Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Happy 77th Birthday Mom


DSC06602, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

April 16th. Today is my mom’s 77th Birthday. She means more to me than she will ever know. I lost my dad when I was 15 due to a massive heart attack when he was 44. She became both mom and dad. Both comforter and discipliner. That was over 30 years ago.

Almost 3 years ago she survived a stroke that damaged the right side of her brain. In February she was diagnosed with Stage II Thyroid cancer. But she is still here and today we will celebrate her birthday! Happy Birthday to my mom and my friend. Even though we sometimes don’t see eye-to-eye, she keeps me level headed and on my toes. She makes me strive to be a better person every day and she loves me unconditionally…she is my MOM.

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Mom and emma, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

For every good moment in life there must be a bad one. I am struggling with life an its harsh reality. I ask why, but get no answer. And I want to scream. My mom has been ill for the past 2.5 years after surviving a stroke. Then she lost the sight in her right eye permanently and will have to have the eye removed at some point. Then last month she was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer. On February 28, 2012 she had a total thyroidectomy and lymph node exploration. We thought things were ok on that day, as the surgeon came out and said it looks good, “its not in her lymph nodes”. She would then be scheduled for RAI or radioactive iodine ablation therapy in 6 weeks.  Or so we thought.

It is amazing how quickly things can change in life. You can get sucked up into a vortex any day and things will be never the same.  A week after her surgery we received a call form the surgeon, “there is a problem with the results of the specimen. The pathologist needs further testing to rule out another form of thyroid cancer. Potentially a rare much more aggressive anaplastic thyroid cancer.  “Wait, that’s not what you told us!”  I cant believe this is happening…the dreaded “C” word.  My mother is what is left of my childhood, she was the one the cured all my illness, listened to my rants, always made things better for me or at least it seemed that way. Now as a “middle aged” woman I have become the “mother”, our roles are reversed. I no longer have my “mom” or at least they way she was three years ago. I am now the caretaker. I am the mother, the one that makes things better. And it sucks. I am angry. I am so upset to have been dealt this hand that mother has. But it is not about me.  I only want to protect her from the harsh reality of life, as a mother does their own child.  I have always been able to control the situation but now I can’t we must wait for the plan from the surgeon and endocrinologist.  I still want to scream.

The pit of my stomach, or what is left to it is in fury. It agonizes for strength to stay strong and not cry. I must be the mother, I must the strong one.

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Happy 15th Anniversary!

DSC07332, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

Happy 15th Wedding Anniversary and Valentine’s Day to my husband, travel partner and best friend. I love you.

All those years ago, my dear,
You made my world complete;
You became my perfect partner in life,
And you’ve been a world-class treat!We’ve loved and worked and made a home
That fills me with pleasure and pride,
And it’s all because of the wonderful one
Who has lived through the years by my side.Thank you my treasured and cherished love;
You’ve made my dreams come true.
Your loving and caring have made our marriage
A blissful adventure for two!


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So how do you get by?


enjoying the sun, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

What a horrific week. My mom has had an enlarged thyroid, which has been being checked since October and last week she had a FNA Fine Needle Biopsy of it. The news was not good when my phone rang on Thursday. The endocrinologist stated that she had “Papillary Thyroid Cancer” and need a complete thyroidectomy and Radioactive Iodine Treatment post op. I am devastated as is my mom with this news. We had no idea that she would get his diagnosis. I am sick over it. As her caretaker I must remain strong for her…but I am not strong. We have had so many set backs since she had her stroke 2.5 years ago. What a horrific diagnosis to have to deal with. We are still in shock and waiting to get things set up for her surgery and other appointments over the next few weeks. I will leave you with this info to read…..

Papillary Thyroid Cancer

What is papillary thyroid cancer?
About 44,670 Americans are diagnosed with thyroid cancer each year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Thyroid cancer incidence is increasing at a faster rate among American men and women than any other type of cancer.

Papillary thyroid cancer, which accounts for about 80 percent of these cases, is a cancer of thyroid follicular cells. Most people diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer at an early stage can be cured. About 1,500 Americans die from all types of thyroid cancer each year. This relatively low death rate is due to successful early detection and treatment in most cases.

Who is likely to have papillary thyroid cancer?
Women are three times more likely than men to have papillary thyroid cancer. Most cases afflict individuals between the ages of 30 and 50. Associated risk factors include radiation exposure, a family history of thyroid cancer, and too much iodine in the diet. Less often, papillary thyroid cancer is associated with having a goiter, or benign thyroid nodule or multiple colon growths (familial polyposis). Also, papillary thyroid cancer has been linked to nuclear weapons testing in the western United States and to accidents in nuclear power plants and atomic weapons production facilities (eg, the Chernobyl nuclear facility accident).

What characterizes papillary thyroid cancer?
Papillary thyroid cancer is characterized by its papillary architectural growth pattern, but more importantly by the changes in the appearance of the nuclei of the tumor. Any cancerous nodule can become life-threatening by spreading via lymphatic spaces or blood vessels to lymph nodes or nearby bones and other organs. However, among all malignant neoplasms, there is a low death rate for papillary thyroid cancer.

Nodules can be detected when your primary care physician checks your neck and throat and feels the thyroid for lumps. Otherwise, early thyroid cancer does not have symptoms. If the cancer grows, symptoms may include a lump in the front of the neck, hoarseness or voice changes, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, trouble swallowing or breathing, or throat or neck pain.  http://www.mybiopsy.org

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Welcome Holidays!


gingerbread!, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year! I hope your days are filled with good family friends and food!

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The Holidays are coming!


I haven’t been inspired to write for a while…busy! Imagine that, life does have a way of keeping us from what we enjoy. Thanksgiving came and went and now Christmas is arriving in 19 days. Time to decorate the tree and do some baking! The photo above is of me and my older brother during circa 1964ish.

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Happy Halloween!


scary face, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

Enjoy your day and your Hauntings…Boooooo

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Late Summer Weekend


plums, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

Labor Day weekend, marks the end of Summer in Maine. Where did it go? So quickly? Close to fading memory…. Soon Autumn will be upon us. In the meantime I will take the time to enjoy the long weekend and wish my younger brother a Happy 46th Birthday. Happy Day little brother Mark! 🙂

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a cactus?, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

It has been a very long month, May that is. I lost my beloved Cat Callie on Sunday May 1st and have barely been able to think about my thoughts until recently. I lost my best friend, I had confided all of my secrets to a cat and now she is gone from this world. I know my heart will one day heal and grow stronger, but the void is deep for now.

I received this photo today as a reminder that life continues no matter what happens on a daily basis. Emma, my 6 year old great niece graduated from Kindergarten yesterday. She is a lively spirit, and her smile lifts my sorrow. I could not help but smile, when I saw her sweet face. My heart lightened and my spirits soared. I cannot believe that her first year of school has passed so quickly. I think we may be looking at the future President of the USA someday folks!

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My Best Friend……

getting sleepy, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

I suffered a tremendous and heartbreaking loss this weekend. My 16 year old sweet feline, who was recovering from Mammary Cancer, passed away. In November she was diagnosed with mammary cancer, had a mastectomy and received chemotherapy and then got sick with acute renal crisis. It has been three days and I can’t stop crying. The love of my life. My feline friend who shared her life with me. I have to share the story of the “Rainbow Bridge” with my readers.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Author unknown…

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