Tuesday, February 27, 2018


I'm going to take a break, friends. I have so much going on physically that is not right, and I am battling this depression again. I have scans rescheduled once again for next week. I have 4 medical appts within the coming 6 days and I know that has added to my anxiety. I hate the scans. I feel as if I need to just isolate myself in the arms of God and work on this. I am so weak and malnourished right now that I need to concentrate on food. Anyway, I will see you on the backside of all this.

Satan is trying hard to "kill, steal and destroy," (John10:10) but I have faith that he will have no victory.

Friday, February 23, 2018

13, 14, .....

Today has been no better.

13. Snow was the culprit this time for having to cancel for the 2nd time, all my scans. I got up at 5:00 and checked the road reports and the trip to the city said,"Ice, slippery, snow." We checked again just before we would have had to leave and it was unchanged. After you total a car on black ice 6 days prior, you are no longer foolish about taking the risk. So.....folks....I may never get scanned.

14. Felling lousy again today; stomach problems, down, major lethargy.

15. Dick got a phone call from the doc who did the path report on his infected finger. He has  MRSA in his system! Lord, that was not what he needed. He went in to have his excised hip checked but he can't remove that bandage off til Sunday. He cannot do anything with that hand with the finger pain. I pray these strong antibiotics can wipe out the MRSA.

16. I spent over 4 hours on the phone with my phone company today trying to troubleshoot another problem. I got a new phone 1 week ago and spent 2 hours troubleshooting a malfunction. I sent it back and they sent this new one, which I activated today. Then spent 4 hours trying to get the text function working. My body ached from sitting that long. They erased my new phone and I told them I would try to get it going on my own. Low and behold, I solved the original problems all on my own. Me, the techie-zero.

17. I am so weak and malnourished and my husband is now forcing me to eat every afternoon and every morning to supplement my 100 pounds. Maybe my palliative care team will help me with this too. Since the flu, I've just had no appetite.

I am hoping my laundry list of woes ends today.

Thursday, February 22, 2018


If you think you are having a bad week, think again. I feel like our Ekstrom blood is cursed at the moment:

1. Dick came back from Haiti with a sore finger.  

2. He went to Mpls to go to a Wolves game with Sam.

3. On the way home, he hit black ice and snow and went into a guard-rail at 65. He was protected by angelic pillows because we were driving a car whose airbags never deployed. It was totaled. We are very grateful for Dick's life. His life has been saved 3 times in 3 years by angels...miracles, all.

4. I proceeded to completely screw-up his flight arrangements home from Mpls by not looking at am vs pm. He had to stay another whole day there because of me when all he wanted was to get home. I had so much guilt in my lack of being diligent about things like that.

5. When he got home, his "sore" finger was wrapped in small cords of pus, very swollen and untouchable. He went right to the ER (this is midnight now), had it drained and was given antibiotics. They called it cellulitis. Dick has since studied up on this, as he has gotten 5 other Cellulitis pustules. It is a Haiti-originating condition from being in dirty water. (other countries too). NOTHING was clean there.

6. Still waiting on insurance information. Hard when they are making judgments without you being there.

7. I slipped into 3 days of anxiety, stomach trouble, fear and depression and cried for 2 days, Prayer has been tough and hope tougher, that it will end.

8. I cancelled my scans once again due to continued cough and may need to do so tomorrow because we're getting snow.

9. We made the decision together to scrap our trip, planned for 6 months. Neither of us is physically or emotionally in a place for a road trip and a week in Florida.

10. Putting our timeshare up for sale ended up with Dick taking 2 trips to FAX places to get 
correct info in.

11. Our one dear 17-year-old car had a deflated tire this morning that we to get to the station and Dick had to walk all the way home cuz I had no way to get him.

12. He went to a doctor today and she excised a large cellulitis on his hip. She packed it well and it is not comfortable. He can't even lay on that side of his body.

There was only one thing that made me smile today, or maybe in the last 6 days: Sam got the play-by-play gigs for 2 quarter-finals, 2 semi-final games of the big-time MN State Hockey Tournament plus the Championship game for Class A. So proud of that kid.

I truly hope all of you had a better week than we did.

PS. Shopping for cars, for me, is like having a root canal. Cannot think of anything I like less and now I face this task, later rather than sooner, which gives me gut balls and high anxiety.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


So I'm sure you are wondering about my brain and lung scans. Results would have been today, had I HAD the scans. My body, instead, opted to contract influenza A and I spent all last week fighting this horrible illness. Never moved off the couch til bedtime. Fever broke on day 4, but today, even on day 10, I am coughing--------and oh so weak and without energy. I lost the 4 pounds it took me 7 months to gain and the body aches from the flu haven't all gone yet. I guess it doesn't matter. I have those aches even without flu!!

I went outside awhile ago, first time in 10 days, and walked to the corner. I can sure tell I'm not ready to go to the health club yet! I walk like a 100-year-old.

I am so grateful that I was not among the hundreds across the globe who have died from this. I actually wanted to, during the worst of it!

I am also abundantly grateful for a husband who tended to my every need, without being asked, and did so with grace and love. He took over every aspect of the home as well and kept things running like clockwork. He is the very definition of a servant-spouse.

I will report when I get the scan results.

Thanks for the prayers.

Sunday, February 4, 2018


I had my palliative care appointment on Monday. Met with the doc, pharm, nurse and soc wk. Had a real nice round table mostly about who I am and where I'm at medically. Bottom line decision was to double my hydrocodone. After 3 days, all I can tell is that it has made me so drowsy that I can no longer read at any time of day for more than 10 minutes without falling asleep. They said this would probably be a side effect. I have 4 books to read for the week....at this rate, it will take a week to finish the first one!! Pain level? Not sure yet. I'm sure the increased dosage needs to start circulating for a few days.

My hearing aid adjustment is slow, but it is happening. Trying to get used to the loud noises (running water, keyboard strokes, putting on glasses) that are all new to me.

Richie had a good trip to Haiti. He went without all creature comforts (including hot water) for a week and came home with bed bug bites and dust mite bites from the mattresses on the floor where hygiene was minimal (and other inconveniences like a 3 hour bus trip on deeply rutted gravel paths)-----but he served and blessed the patients the best ways he knew how----I so admire him. Glad to have him back.

My scans are next Thursday and the following Wednesday. Results by Thursday. I am so hoping that being off sugar for these 8 weeks might make a difference in tumor reduction.

We are starting to plan our March Florida week. I am soooo ready to leave this Deep Freeze.

Happy Valentine's Day.