Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter 2011


 Not a very Easter-y pic, is it?

 Excuse me while I ramble....

 Easter was cool as a kid. You'd dye eggs, you'd search for them, you'd even get cool presents. Now as an adult, I go to church and eat Easter dinner with my folks. I need to live more, don't I? :)

 Of course, there was that one time almost ten years ago when I organized an Easter egg hunt for my cousins, who were 5 and 2 at the time. I got plastic eggs and hid stickers in them that I didn't want anymore. I got M&M's and stuck them in the eggs. I even got big prizes at the end for them-cute little baby chicks. Their mom thanked me and hugged me for what I did. The two-year-old ate M&M's at nine o'clock at night (hahaha). It was good.

 I suppose that like Christmas, I need to focus on the reason for the season. It's not about finding cool eggs all around town. It's all about Christ and my relationship with him.

 This year's Easter was drab and dull, if I do say so myself. I woke up too late to attend church. It was raining out and looked miserable. I then had dinner and the above dessert with my folks. I tried to liven up the action after dinner with hunting for more eggs around town.

 Fun stuff, huh?

Too much Cool Whip, huh?

 Did anyone else have a more lively Easter?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

a year later.......

 As I sit here today on Easter Sunday, I praise God.

 Yes, for Him, but also because modern medicine was wrong last year on this date.

 I can hardly believe that it has been one year since my doctor told me that I had cancer. What a strange trip it was.

 What happened was that I had lost 86 pounds, which made things like feeling a lump on my back more possible (that normally was covered in fat). And I did one evening at work. My back felt funny, and I went to scratch it and felt this lump on my back.

 "Oh wow, guess I need to go to the doctor" I said to myself.

 When I went to see my primary doctor, he wasn't concerned and thought it was a lipoma (hardened fat cells). Still though, it was big, and so he referred me to a general surgeon.

 I was so angry when I had to make the appointment with the general surgeon (who is with the big medical group in town associated with the local hospital) because I had to wait on the damn phone 45 minutes until I could schedule the appointment. Still though, I did. I knew another general surgeon though who was in practice by herself, so I made an appointment to see her also.

 When I got to see her, she said that no, it wasn't a lipoma, but that we'd just extract it and take care of it. No worries, just do it. I'd wait for the call from her office to see when we'd schedule the appointment. That should have been my first clue that it was all okay. (Sadly enough though, she ended up closing down her practice a short time later, so she never removed anything.)

 Still though, I thought it couldn't hurt to see the general surgeon who my doctor recommended. So I made my way to the new building that housed these doctors and was impressed with the surroundings. I made my way to the exam room and the doctor sees me. He feels the area, looks at me concerned and says the words I would not forget.

 "This needs to come out quickly, understand?"

 Um, okay........

 He wanted to know what he was dealing with, he said, so I had to get a CT-scan done. The worry set in right then. He saw that I had a history of AVMs and so he tried to reassure me before he left the room that it was probably that. He told me later on though that he was very concerned.

 The doctor's assistant calls me that afternoon and says that the CT-scan is scheduled for the next week. I take time off from work and go that next week. I go to the new building again and am impressed again with the facilities. I get on the table and they insert an IV in me and inject me with iodine. I was clueless as to what they would find.

 Results would be ready in a day, I was told. So check back with your doctor then. No need for me checking back with the doctor! That evening at work I get a cell phone message from the surgeon's assistant telling me to call them pronto. It was a Friday evening, and I needed to get to the doctor's office Monday for him to tell me what the CT-scan results would be. I called her back, and weirdly enough, she didn't get the message. When I got home from work that evening, my primary doctor even leaves me a message.

 "KIM! I DON'T CARE WHEN YOU CALL ME, YOU'VE JUST GOT TO CALL ME! THIS IS URGENT!"

 Since my primary doctor works Saturdays, I called him. He is very personable and responsive, so even though he was with a patient, he called me back pronto.

 "Why don't you come on down so that I can tell you in person?" he said.

 "No," I said. (Hell, I've been up the whole night worried about it, so just tell me, I thought to myself.)

  "Okay," he said as he took a deep breath. "Oh boy. Well, your CT-scan came back with a few things. You have a mass on your chest wall and one in your spleen. Kim, we need to get you to an oncologist this week."

 I sobbed right then.

 He kept on talking and told me that the report showed that this was liposarcoma. The doctor had to look it up. (Is that good or bad?) He told me that his grandfather had it and that it responds well to chemo. He spoke with an oncologist he knows, and they would call me and get me in by Wednesday at the latest.

 "Are you going to be okay?" he asked.

 "I need to pray right now," I told him.

 "I'm going to pray for you too," he said. (He and his dad, who is also a physician, are very strong Christians.) "I'll call you this week to see how you're doing, okay?"

 We hung up. I called my parents. My mother was calm, but told me to call the oncologist's office. (What on earth for?? LOL.) The doctor gave me the number, but of course I got it wrong during my sobbing. I called him back and he gave it to me again and asked for my e-mail. He e-mailed me and gave me the Web site to the oncologist's office and tried to reassure me that I was in good hands with both the general surgeon and the oncologist. He would call me to see how I was.

 I called the oncologist's office and of course got the exchange since I was calling on a Saturday.

 "Um, yes," I said through my sobs. "I would like to discuss my treatment with the doctor."

 Okay, the exchange said. They would give the doctor the message. I doubted he would call me back.

 He did!

 The oncologist was very nice and told me that he was dealing with a lot of unknowns with me, but that I would get in there early in the week and that he'd talk to me about everything then.

 I was just shocked he called me back!

 I didn't take a shower that day or get dressed. I e-mailed my whole address book and put my status on FB that I had cancer. One of my neighbors that I was on my association board with came over as soon as she read the e-mail and hugged me and told me I wasn't going to die as she cried. She knows when people are going to die (LOL!), and she didn't feel that with me.

 My e-mail inbox filled up. Friends called me and were shocked. I had a lot of prayers lifted up for me. I sobbed some more.

 I talked to a family friend who is in partial remission from cancer also. She was Stage 4 and not given long at all to live when she was diagnosed almost ten years ago. She was very uplifting and told me to fight. She gave me lots of advice also. Both she and another cancer survivor said that I needed someone with me at appointments.

 And so, my mom went with me to the oncologist's. He is a part of a huge practice that now looking back, I can see was run extremely poorly. Cancer patients were screaming at the staff. It took forever to get in to get anything done. When they took me back to weigh me and get my blood pressure, I saw that it was in the same room as where chemotherapy was administered. The people sat in nice leather chairs as poisons entered their bodies. It was chaos though. Pure chaos.

 I got to finally see the oncologist, and he said that he was dealing with a lot of unknowns because there was no biopsy. He did not think it was liposarcoma, but was in fact lymphoma. (Oddly enough, my dad's cousin had lymphoma and was successfully treated. So, I believed the oncologist.) He had spoken to the general surgeon and they were deciding on where the biopsy site should be, because after all, I had so many sites that showed up on the CT-scan as masses.

 My primary doctor didn't tell me everything. There were in fact many spots in my chest area with masses. My thyroid, lungs, lymph node......I didn't cry as the oncologist said this, but put my head in my hand. The oncologist had the look of a deer in the headlights at that moment. He did not know that my doctor didn't tell me everything. He told me that I had to have felt the lymph node spot with the mass. No, I said. Without lifting my arm, he went to feel it and felt nothing. (That should have been a clue to switch doctors right then.)Still though, he said that he knew we had questions, and he would answer every single one of them. What were they? I asked if he thought this was a Stage 4 cancer. Yes, he said.

 I had no further questions. I told him I was scared out of my mind as I cried. He took my hand right then and told me that I had to think of this as a comma in my life and not a period.  He needed to do cancer marker blood tests on me, so I waited for that.

I thought I needed to prepare my funeral at that moment.

 My mother kept saying I needed to fight as we drove home. I know when I'm down. And right then, I thought, I'm down. We got back to their house (the oncologist's office was close to their house and by the nearest hospital to them), and I said I was going to lie down. I couldn't take it anymore. I had to sleep to forget.

 I was woken up by the phone. A friend of my mother's called (the mother of one of the women in partial remission from cancer). For some reason, my mother told her to pray with me. The sweet thing did. I went home and I got ready for work. My mother thought I needed to quit my job. Instinct told me not to though. I said I would wait until after the biopsy results got back. I told my boss at work what was happening. She was sympathetic.

 And so, I get in to see the general surgeon to talk to him about the biopsy. He looked scared as he asked me if I knew the results of the CT-scan. Oh yeah..... He said that the thing on my back that started it all was a tumor.  He agreed that it was probably lymphoma. I told him that the oncologist couldn't feel the lymph node. What? He put on rubber gloves at that moment and told me he'd find it. He felt the armpit with my arm down. Nothing. He told me to lift my arm. Voila. That would be the biopsy site. (Like I said, that should have been the clue to switch oncologist's at that moment.) They would schedule the surgery for next week, he said.

 "Doctor," I said matter-of-factly, "How soon can we do this?"

 He looked at me and knew I meant business. I could tell.

 "Tomorrow?" he said. "Hang on, let me talk to my scheduler."

 And so, the biopsy was scheduled. I got to the same building where the doctors are, and a nurse even prayed over me after she stuck the IV in me. The surgeon was on the phone as they wheeled me out and they stopped me, because the doctor didn't initial where the surgery was going to be. (Isn't that sad about surgery today that they have to initial where they cut??)

 I think the surgeon was on the phone with my primary doctor, because I heard him say, "We're going in now. Okay. I'll do that."

 He walked over to me then and initialed the site. He put a comforting hand on me then. It was almost as if he was saying, "You poor thing."

 They wheeled near sighted me down the hall then. Too bad I didn't have my contacts or glasses on, because the new facilities looked nice! (LOL!) I got to the operating room, and was out in moments. I woke up with my right arm packed with gauze and in a sling. My mom came in and told me that she spoke to the general surgeon. Good news, my lymph node had no masses. It was to the side of it.

 I go back to worrying when three days later I get a call from my primary doctor that made me jump for joy at midnight.

 "HI KIM. THIS IS THE BEST NEWS EVER! CHECK YOUR E-MAIL! I'M E-MAILING YOU THE PATHOLOGY REPORT!"

 I did. The biopsy site was a hemangioma! I called my doctor the next day and thanked him. Still though, I wasn't out of the woods, he said. They had to figure out what the rest of these masses were. He and the general surgeon thought I needed the mass on my chest wall taken out next. (Yes, I said ouch to myself.)

 The oncologist was in shock. He wanted me to have a PET scan done and to have City of Hope do a second biopsy of this.

 "I have a history of hemangiomas," I said to him. "Does that matter?"

 Oh really? He apologized and said he should have asked me that at my first visit. (DUH!!!!)

 "And what about the cancer marker blood tests you did at my last visit?" I asked. (I seriously think he would have never told me if I wouldn't have asked.)

 They were all fine.

 Praise. God.

 He still wanted to figure out why I was getting so many hemangiomas all over and said he would do some research for me. Would that be all right? Yeah sure. I don't have cancer, so that's all that matters. Bless his heart, he did and I had some blood work done (which got lost and I had to re-do). It was all fine.

 The general surgeon was doubly shocked when I went back for my post-op visits.

 "I am shocked! I cut that open in the operating room and it was a necrotic tumor!" he said in disbelief.

 I told him that the oncologist thought that City of Hope should take a look at the biopsy. He said that wasn't necessary, that the hospital pathologist was very good. Still though, he wanted to know what was on my thyroid and also wanted to do a CT-scan of my pelvis. Fine. Whatever. I think I couldn't believe the good news either.

 And so, I went in for the CT-scan and it was different this time. In addition to shooting me full of iodine through an IV, I also had to drink an iodine solution. I also had an ultrasound done of my thyroid. My thyroid is a multi-nodular goiter, which my doctor showed me on the report is all hemangiomas.

 "Can't do much with that" the general surgeon said.

 My pelvis was fine. And the masses on my chest? They were also hemangiomas, he said, and also said that the thing on my back that started it all was also a hemangioma. He could see the blood vessels due to what I drank. I was still doubting that I was okay, and said the oncologist was wondering if I should have a PET scan. No, he said, because that shows blood pooling in different spots, which would show cancer. I would have been worried for no reason.

 Now I can breathe. Now I can live.

 "Well, you had a good scare," he said when all was said and done. He told me to come back if I wanted the said hemangioma on my back taken care of .

 That's okay.

 "Your life has to matter now," one of the cancer survivors told me. "You have to live with purpose."

 That is true. What a roller coaster that was, and I really hope that my life is lived with purpose.

 Happy Easter, all. We are all risen. We are risen, indeed!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Interesting tidbits of my parents house

 Before I went home yesterday, I snapped these pictures at my parents house. Maybe I was bored. One was simply odd, but cuteness abounded also. Here they are:

  •  This is Honey, my parents Pomeranian. She is roughly seven years old and just the cutest, most spoiled little dog to ever live. She's so spoiled that one time my mom asked me to go through the Carl's Jr. drive through to get her a dollar burger! She now likes to kick it on my parents bed, specifically on my dad's side of the bed. She will lick his pillow, rub herself all over it and even sit on it when in a happy mood. This picture was taken on his side of the bed, looking intently at the door. I may have brought her into the fold, but they love her daily.



  •  This to me is simply bad placement for a calendar page. My dad, being a life long NRA member, gets a calendar from them every year. I spotted this while checking my e-mail in his office. I thought it was odd to place turkeys on the April calendar page. I didn't look to see what November's calendar page was. Bunnies?


  There is more that I could have taken pictures of, but I didn't. I think all of us have interesting tidbits of personality that show up in many ways in our lives, whether it be the house we grew up in or in other ways.

 May we always document them.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A pictoral diary of wisdom teeth extraction....



 Remember how the endodontist said to just yank the dead wisdom tooth? Well, when I went in for the consultation with the oral surgeon, the man was a comedian! The man is Asian, and when I told him that a Dr. Wong told me to get the wisdom teeth yanked, he said in his best Asian accent, "Oh yes, I know doktah Wong. His dad is a dentist-doktah WONG WAY! HAHAHAHA!" Also, when I told him that I saw his video on his Web site about all the complications that can happen when you are older and getting your wisdom teeth pulled out, he said, "Eh, don't worry. I've done this once before. (wink!)"

 I came to the oral surgeon thinking I'd get one wisdom tooth yanked, but nooooo. In addition to the dead wisdom tooth, the one below it was infected. So, the doctor's advice was to just yank the three remaining wisdom teeth. (I had one removed ten years ago because the dentist said it was too decayed to keep.) And so, God bless dental insurance, I did yesterday.

 Needless to say, the doctor was all business when sticking the IV in me. Whatever they give to knock people out is good stuff, because the room spun in a circle, and thirty minutes later, I was done. The tools that he had covered on the tray in front of me were scary though! That crowbar thing? Yikes! Glad they knocked me out to take them out! (That crowbar would have freaked me out if I were awake!) I actually asked the assistant in the room what they gave me when I woke up, and was remarking what good stuff it was. LOL!

 The following is a pictoral recap of the day, and my love of Vicodin (And yes, I must have been super high if I took these! I seriously do not remember taking the last one though! They make me laugh, and I hope you do too.):



"Where are the drugs??" I have chipmunk cheeks because of all the gauze they put in my mouth. Do I remember taking this one? Nope!

"Aaah yeah, Vicodin..." Who cares about chipmunk cheeks? I got me some Vicodin! And do I remember taking this one either? Nope!


After my second dose of Vicodin.... Do I remember taking this one?? No!

 I should tell you all that I don't need the Vicodin today. Yippee? ;)

 I feel toothless today, though! I can really feel the areas where the teeth got yanked. Oh well.

 Now on to more important things......

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Duh...WINNING!

 I think Charlie Sheen needs some serious lithium, but his phrase is appropriate for me right at the moment. Why?

 I'm WINNING!

 There is a really cool new Web site in the town I live in that literally tells almost everything going on daily. They have an awesome idea that they are putting into play right now-an adult Easter egg hunt! The people who run the site hide two plastic eggs daily with prizes from local businesses inside them. Clues are given as to where the eggs are, and I must say, some of them are tricky!

 I first tried to search for the elusive egg 3 or 4 days ago when they gave the clue that the egg was hidden by Rutabegorz and the park next to it. They took the picture from the parking structure (clue #10), so therefore, I rightly thought that the egg was in the parking structure.

I didn't see it.

 I look down to the park and see a yellow looking object in the bushes.

 "GASP! THE EGG!" I said to myself.

 I go downstairs and rush to the object, and wouldn't ya know......

 It was a lemon! (You may all laugh now...)

 "We're all looking for it, too," a man and woman sitting on a park bench said to me as I turned around. They were right. The whole park was combing the bushes and looking under playground equipment to find the egg! I told them that I thought the egg was on top of the parking structure but couldn't find it.

 "Oh no," she said with a laugh. "They only took the picture from up there."

 The egg was found on top of the parking structure.....

 As I get back in the car, a pickup truck comes to the top of the parking structure and begins searching also. They told me that they had just found an egg at the police station (clue #11). I was done for the night but thought this was fun.

 I didn't want to brave the rain to look for clue #12. 

 Clue #13 came when I had articles to write, go figure. Still though, this clue was relatively close to me! I told myself to go for it and write when I got back home. And so, I drove there and searched the area in the front. Nothing. I searched the back. Nothing. Not one to give up, I searched the perimeter of the parking lot.

 I gasped when I came to a rosebush. Success!


 I found an egg and won a gift certificate to a gourmet food truck! I should add in that a man and woman had just come to look right when I was walking back to my car with the golden egg. Hehehehehe....

 Needless to say, I was hooked at finding eggs!

 And so is the community! When I went to go interview someone yesterday for an article, they said after recognizing my picture on the Web site, "You found the egg yesterday, didn't you? What did you win?" Like I said, this site is popular.

 Yesterday's clues were interesting. I had to think for a second for clue #14. I also did this in between writing articles. When I got there though, the egg was gone. Not one to give up (hahahaha) though, I searched the perimeter of the fire station and saw nothing (except for mini booze bottles). I had been to clue #15 once before and didn't really remember where it was, so I was unsure of myself directions wise-and wouldn't you know it that I got there right when a nice mom, kids and their big dog were taking their picture with the egg they won. They also picked up the clue #14 egg.

 I had work to do and didn't venture out for clue #16.

 I ventured out today though for clue #17! And I saw the same nice family (sans dog) that won clue #s 14 and 15. We talked about what we won, which were nice prizes. We searched and searched the perimeter of the library and even ventured over to city hall before calling it a day and each leaving in our separate cars. They had mentioned something about the airport, so I actually drove there (Remember, I don't give up easily!) and then as I drove back and got to city hall, I saw something in the grass that told me to go back and look again.

 And so, I made the left turn (And I should add that I debated parking in the police inspection area. Don't worry, I didn't.) to park at city hall again. I got out of the car and walked the grass and realized that the egg wasn't specifically there.

 It was close though!

 My peripheral vision spotted something in the bushes at city hall as I walked back to my car. A neon green egg was in the bushes!!!!


 (Please excuse the bad skin. I need to hit the dermatologist's....)
  Gigglegigglegiggle! I got another one!!!! I got a gift card to the gelato cafe in town.

 I hear that the prizes will be even more awesome towards the end of the hunt. I can't wait!

 Free stuff is good! ;)

 Why?

 Because I'm WINNING!






Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lord, help me if I ever get THAT desperate!

 I learned a valuable lesson today.

I was looking today on the county courthouse site for some public records for an article I'm writing, and let's just say I learned a little too much.

 Yes, I did a little bit more searching than I needed to, and thought about something as I found the name of someone I once had a crush on who got divorced a short time after marriage. (So kill me, I'm human!) I mean, it was such a short time period that they shouldn't have even bothered getting married.

 And that got me thinking about a bunch of things related to marriage. A bunch. Please though, if this applies to you, don't think that I am judging you. These are just my thoughts.
  • Yes, I want to get married, but not due to anything else except love and friendship: One of my dad's cousins asked me at a family get-together a few years ago when in the world I was going to get married. My mother's jaw dropped at such a rude question. I knew this cousin meant well, so I just told her that God hadn't brought him to me yet (which is true-Who knows though? Maybe He has and I just don't know it yet!). I would love to be married. Love to, but not because of any other reason than that I love them-and I have a deep, abiding friendship with them. To those people who have gotten married due to other reasons, please note that I am not judging you! I'm talking about me here. And who knows? I may end up in one of those situations of a "have to." I laugh, because it seems so unlikely, but you really never know. I will then delete this post. :)
  • Oh please Lord, help me to not act out of loneliness! I thought about this also. After all, I'm 36 and 40 will be creeping its super ugly head soon. Friends of mine are married. My cousins are married. I want to be married too.You all have no idea how fun it was to do a series of freelance articles about planning a wedding in my city and looking at all the wedding sites, flowers, etc. ( I'm a girl, what can I say? :) ) I can now jokingly say that I've planned the wedding, just supply me the groom! Even though I want this, I don't want to choose someone because I just want a husband. I know someone who did this, and I remember having this feeling before her wedding that she wasn't happy. I actually asked her if she was happy. Her response? "Ohhh, I'm happy enough."  (????) I believe wholeheartedly that marriage is a gift from God. I believe that marriage is forever. I just don't want to settle. I don't want to be happy enough. I want to be ecstatic that God found this wonderful man for me, and I get to spend the rest of my life with him. Ya know what I mean?
  • Why don't more people get pre-marital counseling? Yes, I remember how fun it was to peruse the Martha Stewart Weddings magazine with a roommate of mine ten-plus years ago. Let's face reality though, folks. Marriage is not a party. I personally think that people want the substance so much that they lose fact that they are dealing with a drug-user, an adulterous lech, yadayadayada. And then, they marry them. I believe we could cut the divorce rate in half if folks would go through pre-marital counseling first.  
  • Even with the best efforts and intentions, I too could end up a divorce statistic. And that scares me. I'm not one to go down without a fight, but I also know that things happen. Life happens. People fight. They say things. Things that can't be taken back.
  • And that's where faith and hope and prayer come in. God is so good. He is awesome. I totally believe that a good marriage comes from Him.
 And so, these are my thoughts. Married people, what say you? Single people, what say you?

(Single men, please note that if we hook up, please forget item #2...)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

"gourmet" food trucks and DTF Art Walk

  Yesterday was a good day.

 I thought that I would need a root canal when I hit the specialist's office, but lo and behold, I don't! My wisdom tooth is the said problematic tooth, and so the doctor said to just yank it out. So, I'll be having fun at the oral surgeon's before much longer! :( With that looming prospect though, it was still a good day and I wanted to end it as such.

 And so, I tried the roach coach phenomenon.....

 Yesterday, thanks to this site, I saw that the much talked about gourmet food trucks would be by me. I thought it would be good to grab dinner out of one of them before heading to DTF Art Walk.


Look at all this goodness.....
                             

I had heard a lot about this place, so I went to this truck for my dinner. You are probably thinking that I got a BLT, right?

Nope, I got these lamb patties with bacon mixed in!

People actually make an evening out of it when these food trucks come by them!

And I got this for dessert.


And then, I went to Art Walk. This was one of the first art displays I saw at Art Walk.


The above was clever only because it had this candy station with it.




Another display. What are these, you wonder? Think back to the '70s. Yes, they are latch hook wall hangings! I could not believe it when the owner  of the store these were at said that some of these really go for $1200!
  May all days carry such good news as yesterday did.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Recapping March

 March: In like a lion, out like a lamb.

 This month literally FLEW by, because I am busy. I started my freelancing gig again. Here is my page for the site that I freelance for. (Not only will I write about Fullerton Community Issues now, but I will also be the Orange County Museums reviewer too!) I started back up with my column again by attending the monthly Fullerton Art Walk, which is really uber cool.  I then worked my way into two community issues (SHOCK!) and wrote articles about them. In fact, I need to get in touch with another source so that I can do yet another article on a community issue. The Web site is really specializing what people write about now and sent us an e-mail this week to remind us to stay on topic for our columns, hence the reason why I'm applying for new titles. I have ideas for others that I won't share, in case you would all like to earn millions also. ;) I'm also going to start freelancing for Yahoo.

 I also saw Speaker of the House John Boehner speak here. My sweet mother invited me to go with her, so how could I say no? Plus, it's not like I get invited there every day! Of course it was neat to see the Speaker of the House once in my lifetime. For those of you wondering, he's a very plain-spoken man who tells it like it is.

 I've also begun to hike more. The picture above was taken on one of my city's hiking trails-this one, to be exact. I really need to get on exercising more this month.

 The end of the month brought about a miserable dental issue. I do mean miserable. The right side of my mouth became really swollen and my jaw nearly clamped shut. Eating anything other than pudding for a few days was miserable pain. Of course, during all this the dentist had to go on vacation, so I got sent to his emergency person-a specialist who thought I'd need a root canal. He put me on medication that I take three times a day, and the swelling has subsided. Salad never tasted so good after I could eat again! I went back today after grumbling to myself, and wouldn't you know it, the tooth that is causing me so much trouble is my wisdom tooth, which is dead. (He could tell by putting this cold spray on cotton and having me bite down on three teeth leading up to the wisdom tooth. When I got to said bad tooth, I felt nothing, which meant the tooth is dead.) A dead tooth normally calls for a root canal, but since it's my wisdom tooth, his advice was to yank it. I appreciated his honesty. I wondered if the man was a Christian, because when I walked in the office the first time, Christian music was playing. I didn't ask, but the man's honesty speaks volumes.

 And so, we move on to April. Here's to more memories!