Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Surgery

At the University, parking and wandering around construction, we find Ambulatory surgery. An oxymoron, in my mind. I don't think one is ambulatory during surgery. "Outpatient" seems more descriptive.

Very nice people greet you and take turns seeing you through the various stages. This is Karen my preop. R.N.

And OMG, I am my mother! My mother was a nurse anesthetist so as a child I was accustomed to seeing her in surgical garb. And I look just like her here.

Two hours later I woke up in the care of a male
nurse, Kim. He and his wife are both R.N.'s that work in the Ambulatory Care Center.  They are refugees from Katrina. Lost everything in the hurricane. 

All in all it was a positive experience.  Everyone took good care of both Ralph and me.
Home with Buddy by mid afternoon and took a long nap.

Maggie's Cancer -Chapter 3- Surgery

Morning. Buddy had an overnight play date with Sadie. First we went to the Tucson Breast Center. Two lady radiologists run this clinic that does all sorts of breast diagnostics.  I had an ultrasound tech named Jessica and Dr. Fitzgerald.
Jessica locates the cancer with ultrasound. After getting it pinpointed and taking some still films, Dr. Fitzgerald gave me a local anesthetic and then inserted a wire, all the time watching the ultrasound, until it reaches and locates the tumor. Jessica then coiled up the protruding wire and did a couple of mammography pictures.

Then off we were to UMC's "ambulatory" surgery center.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Night Blooming Cereus Monstrosa

This is my
giant night
I need to get up about 5:30 am to see it in full bloom. By the time we get back from our walk it is already closing up. Attracts bats at night and bees in the early morning.  Full of blossoms this summer.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Rum and Coke

or why I love Tucson live theatre.

Saw "Rum and Coke" at the Az Rep Theater at the
Marroney Theater at the U of A.

When we walked into the lobby and read on a playbill that the play contained:
  cigar smoking
we knew that it was a play we would like.  This play may best be described as a parody of the "Bay of Pigs" fiasco. Or a comedy-drama of this event in our history. Script and story A+, Acting A+, Set design A+.
This will be performed again Sept 2-13. Don't miss it.

Other Tucson theater performances I loved.
The Invisible Theater - Don't talk to the Actors
Rogue Theater - The Goat
ART. - Leading Ladies.

Big Red

This is Big Red. The bag I carry when I need a lot
of stuff. It makes me think about the store in Nogales, Mexico where I buy my purses. Nice guy, always remembers me, makes me promise to not tell anyone how little I pay for my "Pradas".  Nogales is an almost deserted town now. Due more to fear than the economy. We still go there for dental care.

Several weeks ago, when R.M. was in the hospital, I took  a bad fall walking in to McDonalds.  In almost slow motion, I watched the sidewalk come to meet my face. Suddenly there was Big Red softening the blow. It knocked the wind out of me. And I had some real sore ribs.

The  MRI done for my breast cancer revealed  3 broken ribs. So now Dr. Michele wants to do
A bone scan.  Another day spent in Tucson. My Google resource says 3-5 hours. However since breast cancer can metastasize to the bone, it is the thorough thing to do.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What ARE they thinking!

Remember when....

People brought bibles to church and not guns.

Check out the New York times article:

KEN PAGANO the pastor of New Bethel Church in Kentucky: "I don't see any contradiction in this. Not every Christian denomination is pacifist."
He is encouraging his members to bring
guns to church on Saturday

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Remember when?

...gas was cheap.
...our politicians had affairs but we never knew about it.
...If celebrities died of cancer, we didn't have to watch it.
...we read our news in the news paper.
...news was news and not opinion and entertainment.
...friends met over coffee and not on facebook.
...matchmakers were  friends and relatives not eHarmoy 

But who among us would go back to those days?

Not really. Although I do get disgusted at times, I can't imagine the old typewriter or the mimeograph machine.

photo taken in south Texas 2005

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Butterfly

4**** Movie - A must rental

This is a beautiful sweet little French film.
An intergenerational bond forms between an old man and an 8 year old girl who is neglected by her too young mother.
 Beautiful Swiss scenery. 
 Biology lesson in butterflys.
 Great acting, especially by the little girl.

Rent and enjoy!

I took this photo at the Tucson Botanical Gardens in the butterfly exhibit.

Monday, June 22, 2009

It's time for the US to grow up!!

...says Uwe Rheinhardt, professor of economics / healthcare policy at Princeton, in an interview comparing the US healthcare system to that of Canadas.

IMO: Do we need healthcare reform?

The auto industry failed to reform
 Wall street failed to reform
The banking system failed to reform

What happened to these great institutions?

Health care reform!! We are talking about  lives here folks!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Police oppose bill

"Siding with gun owners over cops, the Senate Judiciary Committee agreed Friday to let people carry concealed weapons without getting a state permit"...Police say that it will make their jobs more dangerous.  From the Az Star Sunday 6/21

Score another for Charles Heston.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Back to the old west

Only in Arizona! From Arizona Star 6/19

"If you are 18 and have never been convicted of a crime, a law set to debate today would let you carry  a concealed weapon without having to have the background check, training and proficiency test now required."

Lets see - young people can carry a concealed weapon in places where alcohol is served WITHOUT background checks and training.

In a state with an alarming murder rate.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Me and my MRI

Why did I have to have an MRI? In about 3% of breast cancers, there will be one in the other breast also.
My friend had two breasts, two cancers, two different cell types and two mastectomies. An MRI will detect this very sad situation.

First photo is the MRI machine. The second is of my fanny and feet sticking out of the machine.

 What is it like? Very closed in. Takes about 30 minutes. I can understand how difficult it would be for claustrophobic folks.
Very noisy! Sounds like a percussion band tuning up. They have you listen to music but you don't hear much over all the thumping, knocking and crashing. I asked what was the physics of all the noise.
MRI is done by using radio waves as the pass through different types of tissue.
Next week I have off and then on the 29th is my surgery. So keep posted. Meanwhile I will post my opinions on other things and what is going on in GV.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Arizona Cancer Center

Why I like the Arizona Cancer Center
       *very welcoming
       *inclusive care offering options
       *all staff are focused on your cancer
       *$3.00 made to order omelets while you wait
       *great followup phone calls
       *physical set up is great. Lots of waiting room. You  don't
        have to watch the TV everyone else is watching.
       *I have never had to wait very long.

Tomorrow is my MRI. Had one several years ago. Don't remember being stressed out; although I hear it can induce a
panic attack.

How do I feel? Like I am walking around with a lump in my
breast and feeling a "lump in my throat".
Maggie Mae

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Maggie's Cancer -Chapter 2

"A well behaved cancer." ummmm? my husband is well behaved, my dog is well behaved.
What is a "well behaved" cancer?

By this Dr. Michele (photo)meant Stage 1, Grade 1.
That is the good news. The bad news:
Early detection + aggressive treatment = best chance for cure.

That means surgery followed by radiation. And a whole lot of appointments in Tucson.

How many times can a girl stop at Chicos?

Check back for future chapters

Chapter 1 - previous post "Cancer Sucks" 6/11

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Welcome to the Old West!

Only in Arizona!
"Senators vote to allow firearms in restaurants that serve alcohol"
     *business can post 'no weapons'
     *need to have Az permit for concealed weapon
     *can't carry and drink

None of this makes sense to me. Weapon is concealed. How does the business owner know if there is a "concealed" weapon. And who can't be served because they have a firearm.

Your Health Care Future

This is still the best photo that I have to represent the mixed up bag of tricks that is our health care system.

I invite you and all your friends to a program at the Green Valley Library, Sunday June 28 from 2-4 p.m.

Bring your concerns and questions. You also will have an opportunity to share any experiences you have had wading through our present system.

Alternative health care

This is a Shaman that we visited in Ecuador last year.
They learn their trade from their fathers and are
"licensed". Villages center around a certain trade and this village had Shamans.
Here he performs a cleansing ceremony on my traveling friend.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Killers and Guns

The Harris Hawk. A Noble predator.
Humanoids as killers. Old geezer white supremacist kills guard.
Pro-life activist kills MD trying to help desperate women. Child kills child accidently. Son kills father. Father kills son. Man kills wife, 3 kids and then himself.
We have too many guns too accessible in this country.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cancer Sucks

I spent the morning at the Az. Cancer Center. The place you want to be if you have cancer. Inside the gift shop is a rack of T-shirts with the above title on them. Well, now that I know that I have breast cancer I can get on with dealing with it.
Had a biopsy today. That is why I have chosen the photo of the blue footed booby. My booby is blue. Next step is Tuesday at 9:30 when she (the Doc)will go over the pathology report and outline the choices that I have for treatment. Ralph and I were very impressed with the Oncologist/surgeon. She was sooo young. Aren't they all these days. The Cancer Center was very imrepressive also.
Too many people dealing with cancer.
Keep posted with my blog.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Socialized Medicine

OMG!! What could be worse than Socialized Medicine!
 In a guest opinion in the Az Star today,
Dr. Charles Katzenberg,  a proponent of a single payer system clarifies:
Add Image Single payer or public option is like medicare and is a social insurance. The VA system is socialized  medicine.
How many seniors would agree to having their
medicare taken away?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Az Buddy cooling off

WOW -Great Tony award show. If only I could "beam" myself to NYC.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Health Care Bankruptcies

In 2005 half of US bankruptcies were filed by working families in the aftermath of major illness or injury, even though three out of four had health insurance at the onset of their physically - and
financially - debilitating situation.   Elizabeth Warren  AARP Bulletin June 2009

A picture of our health care system

Our health care system looks like this:

We will pay $2.5 trillion in 2009. Way more than any other country.

Yet our quality of care, measured  by life expectancy and other parameters, is not greater.

Our system is inefficient, filled with waste, often ineffective and worse;  more than 46 million, many of them children,  lack heath care coverage.

We cannot wait any longer to fix this picture.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

A sign of spring

Young ground squirrels tease the dogs.

My film class voted overwhelmingly to
water the geranium below. Now how does the mother quail get the chicks out of the hanging basket? Putting it down temps the dog Jenny.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Right to Life Dilemma

Gamble quail love to lay their eggs in Geraniums. Even hanging pots. So a choice must be made.
Water the Geranium and probably destroy the eggs.  Or nurture the eggs and lose the flower!
What would you do?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

5***** Movie

One of the best films I've seen in years!
Directed by Shi-Zheng Chang
 Award for best director and writer at 2007 Sundance-
An Indie that I don't think ever made it to the usual theaters in spite of a cast that includes
Meryl Streep and Aidan Quinn. Great Chinese
actor Ye Liu

Great direction and cinematography.
Beautiful soundtrack - listen closely.
Themes - Culture, scientific competition, dreams
and aspirations.


Begs to be discussed!


This is Sadie at the computer. Her registered name is Mercedes Benz-son cuz she was born in
Benson,Az.  Saw "Night at the Museum" yesterday. 2** but an entertaining afternoon.
One way we stay out of the heat.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The real Maggie Mae

So this is the real Maggie Mae. Here I am trying to get in touch with my "inner child". Lovely morning here.
But it will be over 100 degrees.
But it is a "dry" heat. So is my oven but I don't put my head  in it. But any way in contrast to winters in the midwest -
our cars start but we don't have to shovel.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Home work assignment - at my age!!
"Create a blog" says my OLLI leader.
She doesn't know I am a tecno idiot.

The photo? Just to prove I am an 
Arizona Buddy