Friday, October 23, 2020

 It is a sad task to have to inform you of the passing of TwilightStar, our Annie, on September 05 of this year.  She is now among her stars that were so important to her.


Thank you for being a loyal follower of her blog.  



Wednesday, July 29, 2020

New Blogger Interface is a mess!

As you can see, I haven't yet been able to come to grips with the new Blogger interface - will probably sort it out eventually - or not.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Another Update

As far as I know, or have understood to date, these are treatments coming up ASAP. I hope this post will help straighten out my own muddled head - apologies should it turn out to be fairly un-readable, un-inteligible, un-interesting, or any other 'uns' available!

Targeted therapies for liver lesions and progressed bone issues are being organised - will know more about the former in around ten days. No idea as yet, oncologist not very forthcoming - probably has to get the OK from somebody or other.

Targeted therapy for further metastasis to bones will be a bone medication to be given every 3 months, by injection (Xgeva). This I do not relish, but neither do I relish a fracture of spine or rib! Horrendous side effects, including possible damage to jaw bone. Before agreeing to this medication I insisted on seeing my dentist - did so on Tuesday. The docs prefer patients who are about to use this med. to have any necessary dental work done before beginning treatment. lovely dentist put my mind (reasonably) at rest about the jaw issue which I worried about a lot, due to the "clicky" jaw , right-hand side I already have. He also confirmed that there are no tooth issues to deal with. He recommended that I go ahead with the medication, as far as any dental matters are concerned. An appointment now has to be made for the first injection. First appointment has to be at a main Cancer Center, in a bigger town, half an hour's drive away; any injections thereafter will be done in our local Cancer Center.

Then there's an MRI to be done (sedated) tomorrow (Friday 24 July). This is for radiation planning I think, to expand on results in PET scan.

I shall not see either my oncologist or my radiologist until 5 August. Stuff about radiation, and other bone treatment will then be discussed with benefit of MRI results, which they will need. They've agreed that I can have a sedated MRI because I'll not be able to lie flat for an hour in the machine, due to increased back pain. With the knowledge, by 5 August, that I've had my first Xgeva injection, and with the MRI results, the docs should be in a position to plan ahead in more detail. I guess I shall learn about the liver treatment on 5 August too.

Beyond this, all is mystery.

My pain is now considerably worse than it has ever been since this health saga began. Pain pills aren't working as efficiently - or so it seems. I'm suffering from awful nausea, "gagging" and complete loss of appetite, practically living on Boost. Trying to find something in medical marijuana that might help.

Saturday, July 18, 2020


My PET scan a few days ago showed that the disease has progressed, in my bones (spine, legs) and now in my liver. I am not feeling too good currently, so can't write in detail just now. I have various treatments coming up, and hope to write about them later. Many thanks for your support.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Getting the Brush-off

Hardly anyone gets by online these days without being "phished" by scammers. A growing number of online shoppers are now being hit by another, newer, scam: "brushing". This one works in connection with Amazon. It's not a brand new scam, possibly around 3 years old in fact, but an increased amount shopping online recently might have encouraged more of this type of scamming.

I was hit by, what I now know is, the brushing scam on Friday. A big box, from Amazon, lay on our porch, along with a couple of smaller packages which I was expecting. Maybe this is something I've forgotten about, pre-ordered, or whatever, thought I. Inside the box were two humidifiers.

"Did you order two humidifiers in my name?" I yelled to husband.

"No - why would I? We bought some in Walmart a few months ago."


Eventually, after considering various possibilities, I Googled a relevant question, then all became clear. There's much online about the scam of "brushing". Here are a few lines from one (linked) article explaining how it works - with

Free box-loads of merchandise from Amazon right on your doorstep! What could possibly be bad about getting the Santa treatment all year long? Plenty! Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers that there is a scary downside to this recent scam. You are not the one who hit the jackpot. A scam company is the real winner.

This scam is known as brushing, and it has been popping up all over the country. Suddenly boxes of unordered (by the recipient) merchandise from Amazon begin arriving. There is no return address except that of Amazon. The receiver has no idea who ordered the items. They are varied. For example, in one case a humidifier, a hand warmer, a flashlight, a Bluetooth speaker and a computer vacuum cleaner arrived unordered.

Why would such merchandise be sent to you if you didn’t request it? The companies, usually foreign, third-party sellers that are sending the items are simply using your address and your Amazon information. Their intention is to make it appear as though you wrote a glowing online review of their merchandise, and that you are a verified buyer of that merchandise. They then post a fake, positive review to improve their products’ ratings, which means more sales for them. The payoff is highly profitable from their perspective.

Why it’s bad news for you..........
(read on at the link above)
I've taken advice given: notified Amazon's Customer Service, by e-mail, changed my password at Amazon, and elsewhere. I have not been charged for the humidifiers (yet!) We'll see what, if anything, happens next. I sincerely hope this will be a one-off brush-off for me. According to others reporting online, though, the scam can go on for weeks and months, with regular deliveries of scammed Amazon parcels.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Re 4 July

I'm not even going to wish the USA "Happy Birthday" this year on 4 July 2020, as I've done on this blog in most of the previous 16 years I've lived here, especially in those years after becoming a US citizen - 2008.

This is a vast, varied, very beautiful country, with potentiality to be a powerful force for good in the world. From time to time, over centuries and decades, it has managed to be just that. Right now, though, due mainly to the man who became president in 2016, the country's reputation has nosedived to a place between laughing stock and heartless would-be master of the world with a highly incompetent leader. "Incompetent", though, is too mild a word on its own, to get a clearer description, Google synonyms of the term - they all (and more) apply.

I do not understand why, somehow, the leaders and members of the Republican Party could not have rid the country of this man as a leader months ago? There have to be ways and means. He is doing the party's reputation no good, but its leaders seem afraid to take steps in that direction. "Home of the brave" they said? Hmmm!

There is, and has been for many decades, a dreadful level of racism here in the USA. There is also deep general inequality - not only among the African American communities, but also among the population as a whole, whatever their skin-shade or ethnicity. Until THIS area of general inequality of opportunity is adjusted nothing else will change in any concrete fashion. If this inequality were to be adjusted, and in an appreciable way - then all kinds of change could follow smoothly, it'd be a natural progression.

On a different topic - I managed to get my PET scan done on 30 June, 8 am, without too much difficulty, after days of anxiety bringing on nausea and even more loss of appetite than normal. I wasn't sure I'd be able to lie flat on a hard surface for 20 minutes during the scan, due to the joint and muscle pain I experience (side effects) - but I did, with the help of an extra pain pill. Now I must wait until my appointment with the doc. on 15 July for results. I guess there'll be something to deal with, but shall try not to let anxiety get the better of me, at least not for a few days!