Cancer Update: September

Published September 19, 2018 by lynn k scott

Not a whole lot to report. I am experiencing issues of anemia again.  The same symptoms when I was diagnosed (almost exactly a year ago).

I called the oncologist’s office to find out what’s going on with my CT scan.  Well, it’s on hold because of their inadequate scan coordinator.  The facility, that’s in my city, can do the scan, but refuses to administer lidocaine to numb my arm for the IV.  I have collapsing and rolling veins.  Most IVs take two or three attempts (not to mention hurting like hell on each attempt).  They don’t do that on a “clinical level”.

Seems the scan coordinator is inept at calling the patient to update them or having someone else follow-up.   It would seem, the scan coordinator isn’t able to search other hospitals to see if they might be able to accommodate a very reasonable request.  Nah – let’s not do anything…we’re only talking cancer, right?

The receptionist was gracious enough to let me know that following up wasn’t in her job description.  She agrees someone should have called but couldn’t answer who would do that.  Let’s chalk that up to “no help”, shall we?  Then she told me to feel free to call back to check on the status.  I let her know I have been symptomatic.  Gave her all the symptoms.  Anyone with half a brain, working in a hematology office knows what anemia sounds like and should make sure the patient is called back.  Yea…not this office.

I almost passed out yesterday.  I was able to stay awake for 1.5 hours after work.  I slept after work and was in bed at 9:00 and went to sleep for the evening.  Their inept attitude is robbing me of my quality of life.

Am I demanding?  Yes.  I give them an opportunity to do their job and then I take off the “kid-gloves” and let them have it.  I will not apologize for being my own advocate; esp. when patient advocacy and the online help feature have also failed me.

I submitted a referral request for a doctor, who’s an hour away.  I asked for confirmation they received the fax and confirmation when it was processed.  The fax was sent over five hours ago.  Did the doctor’s office call:  Nope!  Now I have to follow-up with them; again.

There is no excuse I am receiving such horrendous treatment.  If I end up in the emergency room, I will not be paying a bill that could have been prevented by the doctor’s office simply doing their job.

Part of the blog is to show how (cancer) patients are being treated while facing a life-threatening illness as well as documenting issues should a lawsuit be necessary.

Sutter Health Plus, based out of Sacramento, California, should be ashamed at its inability to provide healthcare based on the needs of the patients.  I shouldn’t be forced to go to a subpar facility, even if they deem it ok.

Apparently, I have Schrodinger’s Cancer:  I either have it or I don’t.  Guess we’ll never know because my health isn’t a priority to anyone but myself.

 

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Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts

Published September 18, 2018 by lynn k scott

In my goal to be a good, ok, better vegan, I am trying vegetables and foods I never thought I would eat.  On the list of intimidating foods I don’t typically eat are brussel sprouts.

I made them a couple weeks ago in the oven.  They were ok.  Nothing to write home (or on a blog) about.

When I was at church this past week, someone mentioned making them in the air fryer.  Now why didn’t I think of that?  I use the air fryer for almost everything!

As it would happen, I purchased another bag of brussel sprouts a few days ago.  Their health benefits outweigh my desire to forego eating them.  I decided to give it a go in my air fryer.

I quartered the large pieces and halved the tiny ones.  I used a tiny bit of olive oil (maybe two teaspoons – max).  A sprinkle of salt, pepper and a dash of paprika.  I put them in a single layer in the air fryer.  Set the temperature to 400 degrees fahrenheit and cooked them for 8-10 minutes.

They turned out perfectly!  Nice and crispy.  I did drizzle about a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar on them after they were done cooking.

I highly recommend using the air fryer for these little cabbage-like veggies.  You can’t go wrong if you do.

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Living History – A 9/11 Remembrance

Published September 13, 2018 by lynn k scott

As a native New Yorker, I take September 11th very seriously.  Not only was our country attacked, but my home state was attacked.  My daughter is on the cusp of being a teenager (just a few months from now).  This year, I exposed her to what 9/11 really means.

I did my personal remembrance at work.  I posted my favorite songs, shared stories, said more prayers and felt blessed.  I had friends share their memories of the day.  I printed out pictures for the project I would have my daughter complete for her history lesson.

Out of my five children, she wasn’t born when 9/11 took place.  For her, it was a history lesson.  For me, and many others, it was the day the world stood still as we watched in horror as our country was attacked.

When I got home, we opened the laptop, I had her read the memories of family and my friends.  She saw pictures.  Her mouth was opened and she covered her mouth with her hand.  She was being exposed to what evil looked like.  She was exposed to death and terrorism.  Yet, she was also exposed to heroes.  She was exposed to the faith, kindness, love of strangers and to patriotism.

She saw her mother lose composure.  A tear escaped when we were watching images put to Alan Jackson’s, “Where We You When The World Stopped Turning”.  She saw me, got up, gave me a hug and we watched the rest of the video.  She shed a few tears.  It was emotional.  However, my reality was her history.  I, and others, are living history.  I believe it’s important to impart our knowledge with the the next and future generations.

With a few projects under her belt, we brainstormed how to complete her project.  She cut out paper, wrote bits and pieces of what she took away from her “lesson”.  She arranged, glued and taped her project into existence.  I am proud of her work.  I am honored to share such an important day with her.

I am blessed to be able to home educate.  Knowledge doesn’t always have to come from books.  Use the resources around you to live, learn and thrive.

WE WILL NEVER FORGET!

Review: The Beyond Burger

Published August 24, 2018 by lynn k scott

It’s been about a month now; give or take.  I have been on a primarily vegan diet to treat my colon cancer.  I juice a lot, follow a gluten-free (did that before cancer) and now a vegetarian, if not vegan diet.

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I would say that about 95% of my food intake is vegan.  I never thought I could give  up cheese.  Surprisingly, it hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it would be.  Since changing my diet, I have had goat cheese 4 times and feta cheese twice.  Not too shabby.  I occasionally will have either fish or shellfish.

I have also given up dairy and eggs, in addition to red meat, chicken and pork.  I will occasionally do honey; but limit natural sugar.  I rarely have any refined sugar these days.  My daughter always wanted a rabbit to join the family.  She will just have to accept me as a surrogate bunny.

Onto the review…

I saw a blog post about “The Beyond Burger” about a month ago about this alternative meat.  As soon as I read about it, I knew I had to try it as soon as it was available.

Earlier this week, when I was doing the weekly grocery shopping, I happened to stumble upon it.  It was nestled in the meat department, right about the ground beef.  I picked up a package to try, picked up pre-made burgers for the family (rarely do that) and was EXCITED to try it for dinner.

Last night, I cooked up their burgers in one pan and made my “burger” in cast iron pan.  They had a perfect sear to them.  The “burgers” are primarily made of pea protein and beets.  I have had pea protein milk before.  It’s a great dairy-free alternative.  However, it tends to be a bit more expensive then, say, almond or cashew milk.

I wish I had taken pics of the “burgers” before I added the avocados.  I opted to forgo the vegan cheddar cheese.  I didn’t put them on a bun, as I didn’t have gluten-free ones available and didn’t feel like going the lettuce wrap route.

While the “burger” didn’t taste like read meat, it “bleeds” while cooking because of the beets in it.  They are also a bit smaller than what I would call a traditional burger size.

A bonus for me is they have 30% of the recommended daily volume of protein.  I am continually anemic from my cancer.  To say, I love this plant-based option, wouldn’t be an understatement.  My husband and daughter thought I was nuts when I was so happy about my dinner.  You can read more about the nutritional content here.

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I topped the “burgers” with avocado and dipped each bite in a bit of mustard.  I love mustard and I use it whenever I can.  I really enjoyed the taste.  I cooked it with just a bit of salt and pepper.  Nothing complicated.  I made vegan mashed potatoes.  The family wanted fries, which I made them in the air fryer for them, but I wanted mashed potatoes.

I don’t often buy pre-made meals for myself.  However, this is one option I will definitely do.  It makes prepping dinner a bit easier on my busy nights.

If your family does a meatless Monday or you’re trying to cut back on red meat, I would invite you to give this option a try.  I think this is now one of my new favorite foods.

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Phone Safety

Published August 20, 2018 by lynn k scott

This post is extremely difficult to write, but I feel it’s important to share.

My tween was caught speaking to someone on her phone (a rarity).  When questioned who she was speaking with, she lied.  I let it go for a day and then I took her phone and went through it.

My checking her phone is nothing new.  However, this time, I found out she had downloaded Snapchat.  She is not allowed to download apps without permission.  While I had her phone, she received a message.  I will not go into details, however, the message was obviously from an adult and was extremely inappropriate.

I probably should have saved the information, but I deleted everything off her phone.  I went through her call log, but there wasn’t much there.  I had a breakdown.  My trust in my daughter was shattered.  What’s more is her safety had been threatened and she didn’t even know it.

After I composed myself, I had called a friend so she could be my sounding board but also to ask for some help.  I am truly blessed to have people in my life that I can trust my daughter with.  Her family is going to help me by allowing my daughter to hang out at their house during the work-week.  It’s more about her being in a safe environment; which gives me peace of mind.

Later, my daughter and I had a long discussion.  We had “the talk” years ago.  However, this conversation was more about how her actions put her at risk.  What a predator was, how they act, how they draw kids in and what happens if they were to actually able to get a hold of her.

We have had discussions about not posting any personal information or pictures.  How to not give out personal information to people in the mall.  How not go to with girls who may approach her at the mall (should I not be with her).

Our discussion included the dangers and how human trafficking is a real thing.   My world was shattered.  You think you are keeping your kids safe and to find out, a predator, violated that realm of safety.

She kept calling herself stupid.  She was crying an apologizing.  At no time, did I yell.  I explained, she broke established rules and this is what resulted.  We don’t make rules just to have rules, but to protect her.  She wasn’t stupid, just young.  We are trying to protect her, but there are people who would harm her and cause her pain.

Her phone is no longer in per possession and I don’t know when/if she will have it returned.  For now, it’s at least a month; maybe more.  She has been given the house phone to use.  She is not allowed to use the internet without an adult present.  She rarely uses the computer alone, but I added that restriction; just in case.

No matter how overbearing your kids think you are.  If they complain you are invading their privacy, DO IT ANYWAY!  No one is immune to these predators.  Our children’s safety is paramount.

…Said Every Parent

Published August 14, 2018 by lynn k scott

It’s hard to believe, but I am NOT a Disney fan.  I have been to Disney World twice, when I was a teenager.

That being said, I don’t like crowds; only gets worse as I get older.  I don’t like paying for overpriced trinkets when they are an eighth of the price elsewhere.

I could have made this video.  John Crist did stellar job in summing it all up.  I almost fell off my chair laughing at the homeschool kid bit.  This is truly accurate!  If you are a parent and never felt like any of these scenarios, I consider you a saint.

Enjoy!

 

Say What You Mean

Published August 14, 2018 by lynn k scott

I was just having a discussion in another group.  A friend had added me and I knew better than to stay.  I am simply too upfront with people and in today’s age, they don’t know how to deal with that.

The discussion was about driving THREE hours to go apple picking, pumpkin patches , getting baked goods and/or picking up a Christmas tree.

One person said she didn’t have time to bake pies, so she made this trek every year.  I basically responded she could make the pie dough, process fresh pumpkins into puree and make three pies in the time it took to make the drive.

She responded, it’s a tradition, they stop for dinner, get their tree, etc.

Hmmmm…that’s not what she originally said.  She said she didn’t have time to bake is why she went.  Not the same thing.  What is so hard about saying what you actually mean?  This is a pet peeve of mine (obviously, if I’m blogging about it).

Not to mention, there’s only one road in and one road out, that moves about 5-10 miles per hour.  It’s full of tourists who have no idea where they are going; making traffic worse.

There are vendors everywhere (good thing for a tourist trap).  This aids in gumming up the traffic, as people aren’t sure which vendor they would like to stop at.  I grew up in a tourist town.  While it’s cute to take kids apple picking or let them go to a huge pumpkin patch (which we have locally too), it jacks the prices for people who have no idea that apple cider can be purchased for a much lower price elsewhere.

Family time can be done anywhere.  Don’t defend a position after you change the parameters of said position.  I did what I should have originally done; left the discussion and the group.

I need a tattoo that says, “does not play well with others”.  Maybe a license plate frame too.

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