Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Casting for Recovery donations

"Relay for Life" is fast approaching.  That makes me think--  I've never, ever promoted giving to a particular breast cancer "cause". In truth I'm skeptical about very many! But....if you want to find a breast cancer program to donate funds or gifts please, please, consider "Casting for Recovery".  I can speak from first hand knowledge your contribution goes directly toward the participants.  And the program DIRECTLY impacts breast cancer survivors lives and healing.  Like I've said, I never promote programs.  But this one I know is worthy of your support.  What an amazing weekend of fellowship.

Link for information on "Casting for Recovery":
Casting for Recovery

My trout fishing group.

Monday, April 27, 2015


All you have to do to be a "cool ole" great aunt who makes great nieces look at flowers is take them to Run 21 and listen to their favorite music.  Loud.  .....Oh, and fuss about selfies......

Yes. The beagle stole his wallet.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Chris's Mom

Chris's mom's 6 month tests came back and shows some areas of concern.  Spots on lung.  I fear her cancer has returned.   Praying for best on PET Scan next week.

That's all I can say about that......

Three Weeks

I've gained almost 10 pounds in three weeks.   Yoga is bad luck....

2014-2015 Nashville Predators

Well. Proud of the Preds!!  What a year after being called, last summer, worst odds for Stanley Cup. An amazing playoff round of boys vs veterans missing Shea Weber and Mr. Carrie Underwood for some games.

The bad part?  Ugh.  Put out by Chicago. Anybody but Chicago!  That hurts worst. The only thing I half way like about the Hawks is #91 and that's only because he was Ranger.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Yogurt class??

Talking to Chris's mom tonight and she asked where I was. I told her we had been to yoga class and Chelsea was taking me home.  Nana said. "Yogurt class? Do you run and jump in yogurt class?" Ohhhhh nana. You are precious.

Yoga tragedies again tonight.  Mexi-Wing after class.

Chris's mom...........

Chris's mom was diagnosed with lung cancer almost two years ago.  After all this time some check up tests have shown some new spots in her lungs.  PET scan next week.   Pray....

Predators Gift

A fellow horse lover and Predator fan sent Tanner and I Preds tshirts!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Coolest Ever. And no pink!

Doctor Today

Yuck.  Who likes to go to the doctor?  No one.  But one thing makes it great, family time.  My sister Lynette and nephew Tanner took me to today's appointment.  

Lunch at Tanner's favorite cheeseburger 
joint: Five Guys and Fries 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Follow my blog!

Sign up to follow my blog.  We'll be having several guest bloggers over the next few weeks.   You don't want to miss out!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Ami James

Well crap.  My big question for "Casting for Recovery" met a big fat no.  Which I knew it would.  I wanted to have a tattoo on my wrist-----No BP No Stick.  Hmmmm...the fact that a needle for the tattoo would be inserting ink into the arm where lymph nodes were removed did cross my mind as a contradiction.

But I hoped to meet Ami James.........

No Driving

After speaking with my doctor tomorrow I already know my driving privileges will be revoked for six months.  It's creates such difficults.  But I remind myself there so many, so many living with and in worse situations than I.

Life Lesson

Enduring one tragedy or hardship in life does not exempt one from someday experiencing more.......


It's that time of the year, once per year, for my neurology appointment.  Of course it's been moved up a couple of weeks following my seizure a week ago.

There's nothing like coming to your senses in an ambulance, not remembering how you got there.  How strange to hear men in the back of a box saying "43 year old woman....seizure. ..blah blah...." talking about you. Me? No. No. No....it can't be. What happened!

I'd experienced the same five years or so ago on a busy day of work.  Coming to while  in a box with men in uniforms saying "38 year old woman....blah, blah, blah...."

Similar questions were asked on both occasions,  "do you know your name....do you know what happened....do you know your birthday....etc, etc."

The situation I awoke to on Saturday night seemed worse.  HOW did this happen?  In Knoxville!  I've been on anti-seizure medication for five years.

The first seizure, five years ago?   I had an inkling of where I was, had been.  This one? I was terrified! So surreal, knowing I was in an ambulance far from home, wondering how?  But how could this be me? I cannot put to words or paper the horrible, horrible confusion I felt trying to process in my mind what was happening and that it was happening to me. I wasn't watching some movie about someone else.

The ER was great at Tennova.   Very attentive and one nurse quickly realized the reason I fought silently against the blood pressure cuff was that I was a breast cancer survivor.  Pretty obvious to her as another nurse was taking my shirt off to exchange for a hospital gown.

She quickly asked which side my cancer had been?  (My horribly disfigured, ugly chest leaves to question which side or both.) I told her the right and the RN asked me about lymph node removal.  YES!  From right arm, where the cancer had been.

The nurse, luckily began removing the cuff to move to my left arm where a lymph nodes safely remain.  She also made sure the IV was placed in my left arm.

The younger nurse asked why and the RN explained breast cancer, lymph node removal and lymphedema - every survivor's worst nightmare.  What a great training experience for the younger nurse! I've had a similar situations with blood pressure cuffs and needle sticks, including one of my surgeries last year.  I am very quickly protective of my right arm and explain why.  Nothing like on the job training for nurses.  I truly am happy to have assisted in hopefully a few people in the medical field's awareness of breast cancer patients, lymph nodes and lymphedema.  I doubt that type of situation arises often in an ER.

The only bad-I wasn't fond of the doctor.   At all.

Questions ring so deep about what happened.  The last thing I remember is sitting at the red light looking at Wasabi while thinking I wish a friend and I could have met for dinner.

I must have went into the seizure at that point.  I don't remember my car going across five lanes of traffic to hit a car on the other side.  I would love to see a video. How on earth did that happen with minimal damage to my car and the car I hit?  How did no one hit me as my car went through five lanes of traffic.  I would also like to know how long the seizure lasted, amount of time I was unresponsive to stimuli, etc.

All I know is my guardian angel was on overtime to protect me on a busy Saturday night at 8 pm at the major red light in Turkey Creek-Lovell Rd cross.

All I also know is this post is a disjointed, rambling mess so I'll stop now.  Perhaps I'll return later to re-write.....

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Grand Dog

Grandbaby of our Diesel and Ada Monroe.  Love.  Wish we had a Diesel/Ada Monroe baby.  They are both so old.  Hard decisions are fast approaching.  Decisions I don't think I can make.

What an adventure

What an adventure two of my friends and I had in North Carolina this weekend.  We'd not been able to spend time together in several years.  Several issues cropped up along our reunion.

I think the problems were on account of river running thru it....backward.

Blog later.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Lots of Grief

Okay folks.  I'm getting a lot of ribbing and grief over my fly fishing excursion.   I want a do over!  I swear I could make the whole weekend better and catch some trout.  My nervousness is gone replaced with aggravation of letting fears get in the way of what the weekend should have been.....

Friday, April 17, 2015

Excited about Saturday

Last weekend was spent "Casting for Recovery".  Saturday night is going to be spent with two friends from Knoxville who I rarely see.  Two great weekends in a row. I won't know what I'll do with myself I'm so excited!

Now.  To keep my vertigo, (which started yesterday) at bay....Geez my body hates me........

Baby Doll

My niece Jessie sent this text. Jack, her four year old (my great nephew)."

Jack was holding this baby and said "look, this looks like Chris!" I said who??? And he said "Chris, that lives at marny's house"! Hahaha!!!

Kinda does.....

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Poison Ivy on my Face

Eek.  The poison ivy has decided to invade my cheek.  Oh well.  It has to heal at some point.  Right? Where's the bleach....

First game 2015 Stanley Cup Series

Tragically disappointed.  Nashville Predators lost the first game of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Casting for Recovery group fishing picture

2015 Stanley Cup playoffs!

Tonight. First game. First round.

Poor Mallie

One of my favorite recent photos of my nephew Tanner and my great niece Mallie Belle.  My sister, her husband Greg, and Tanner, Jack and Mallie were hiking this week.  Lynette snapped this picture of what she said was one of Mallie's "emotional" meltdowns of the morning. Her Uncle Tanner was trying to comfort her.  Bless......

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Spinner Bait

While eating tonight I shared stories about "Casting for Recovery" and my not so great job of learning to fly fish with two of my great nieces.

As I showed a picture of my first catch to Chelsea she said, "Marna. That looks like spinner bait."  Thanks Chels....

Yoga Tragedy

I began yoga with my niece and great nieces a couple weeks ago after a friend asked us to join.  Tonight we had around 8 other friends go to class with us.  

After class my two great nieces and I ate Mexi-Wing.  We are yoga tragedies....

Fly fishing = poison ivy

Eek!  Poison ivy.  I'll try scrubbing with bleach but it's to the doctor for a steroid shot I'd say.....

Monday, April 13, 2015

Oh No! Flies for fishing!!!

Oh no!  I feel really bad!  I realized as unpacking I totally had forgotten our box of free fly bait thingies in our borrowed waders for "Casting for Recovery"!  I'd say I was supposed to use those on the river!!!  My poor guide.  I wasted his flies........

Fly fishing....

Fly fisherman I did not make.  While it was very much fun learning, I was terrible, as I feared I would be.  Ponds and lakes present enough problems for me when fishing.  My lures seem to find any and every tree around.  Including sticks and stumps underneath the water.  Chris always regrets the times I talk him into letting me try an expensive lure.  They never last long.  (I prefer white rubber grub worms, real earthworms and corn anyways.  But hate the float Chris wants me to use!)  

The first day we arrived at "Casting for Recovery" we tried on waders and boots which we had pre-ordered.  In my thinking we would be fly fishing on a wide, open aired river, and actually be standing in the river, (think Brad Pitt).  So imagine the sinking in my stomach when we arrived at the river on Sunday to learn to fly fish.  I had imagined a big, wide river (like Tellico River) with plenty of room to avoid trees and shrubs.  What I saw? Citico Creek.  

The positive of the situation came to mind at the same time as the sinking sensation.  I'd not have to get in the water!  All the worry the week before about tripping over a rock and falling down in the water, having my waders fill with water and drowning were gone.  During the previous week of ramblings of fear of drowning after ordering the size of waders, Chris said I couldn't fall in the water.  "Marna, you'll already be in the water.  You can't fall in."  So here I was!  I wouldn't be in the water and thus I couldn't fall down in the water having my waders fill with water and drown.  But then it hit......we'd be standing on the bank.  So although I couldn't fall down in the water, I could fall "in" the river.  

So out of the vehicle we climbed like a pack of lambs to slaughter.  (Well, I'm sure I'm the only to feel that way.)   Luckily I heard "Marna" as everyone was milling about.  (Well, only I was about to be milling around.  Everyone else was excited.)  I suppose the guides had been matched to each lady before we arrived?  Another relief.  Geez I was dreading being picked last.  Like in Red Rover as a child.  

Brad was very nice but I barely remember much about getting to our spot on the river.  (Though I remember it was #8.)  I had too much pent up adrenaline for the situation to think clearly.  Early on during this fishing trip I experienced my one close call to pitching face first into the river.  I'm not sure if my guide caught what happened.  However I quickly blamed my too large boots as I mumbled about almost falling.  Oh the embarrassment had I gone in!

Fly fishing is not easy.  I had no pre-conceived notion it would be.  But it was much more difficult on the actual water than in the yard of the resort practicing the day before.  During our class the lady teaching came and told me I had a great cast.  As she walked away I immediately began to fail.  Pretty soon another woman came over and put a pink rubber bracelet around my right wrist connecting me the pole.  To "keep my wrist straight".  I don't recall returning to my earlier glory.  Why do I do that?  Seems I do much better on my own.  I can take criticism.  In fact I look for constructive criticism.  But once I receive a compliment, bam, the good is over.  Perhaps I feel I cannot live up to what I just accomplished?  I don't know.  That's a whole other blog post......

Add two weeks and the day of being nervous about: "drowning" in public in water with waders; inability to keep a bass/bluegill lures out of trees; dread of finding the right guide; fear of disappointing the right guide; fear of falling off a ledge onto my face; not being able to keep my wrist straight and therefore faltering in my skill in practice thus doubting my ability; learning that tying flies is hard, an art, time consuming and probably expensive and I was about to lose a guide's pride and glory; knowing that trout are more delicate than bluegill, bass or catfish and that I usually (accidentally) either ripped the mouth off a fish on the lake or let it swallow the lure.............. it wasn't surprising I couldn't keep my mind on task:  catching fish, having fun and not worrying about catching trees and bushes or myself for that matter. 

What a mess it was.  Line everywhere-in trees, around the pole....around me.  The first fish I managed to have a bite on?  I yanked the bait right out of it's mouth.  The rest?  Too timid to try.  Though the first I brought onto the bank was a tiny thing.  The size of a bait fish.  I've the impression you're not supposed to say that about trout.  Trout fishing seems to be it's own world, quite different than bass pond and lake fishing.  Trout is not bait to trout.

At one point I almost hooked myself.  Something I have NEVER, ever done in my life.  I didn't even realize the hook was in the back of my shirt sleeve.  The guide told me to hold on a minute then started going to work to free my sleeve.  He was going about it very slow.  I'm not sure if he was afraid of ripping the fabric of my shirt or my flesh.  I was about to tell him just to yank it out whether it was in my arm or not.  I've experienced more pain that a little trout hook could cause and didn't want him to worry about it.  Around the moment I was about to speak he said he had the hook out and it didn't leave a hole.

One trout I managed to hold for a photo?  I dropped.  Twice.  Oh the horror!  Just another thing I'd feared but that fear had came to life.  I dropped a fragile trout!  In public.  With strangers.  Crap.  I dropped lake fish almost every time I caught them but this was a different situation.  One reason I drop fish at home is because I make Chris take the hook out but I want to throw it back.  Fish are slippery when passed back and forth.  (I can put a live worm on a hook but can't stand to take a hook out of a fish.  Strange I know.)

All in all I loved that I tried a weekend of something which took me out of my comfort zone.  There were so many things about the weekend that did that!  In fact all the things in those three days made me uncomfortable-as I had know it would.  So it's surprising I signed up for two years, was disappointed I wasn't chosen either, then was thrilled I was accepted as an alternate.

I think the main reason I wanted to experience the weekend had to do with my Daddy.  I remember as a child Daddy would never hunt or fish.  I remember my brother loved to fish.  I remember that several years after my brother died in 1979 my Daddy started fishing.  Maybe Daddy felt close to Gary doing something Gary loved.  Perhaps I wanted to feel close to my Daddy doing something he had learned to love.  

Daddy, a very quiet man with family, was outgoing with his friends.  A few years after he began fishing he started tagging along with our neighbors who were dedicated trout fishermen.  Every Saturday they'd head to Citico Creek around 4 in the morning to fish the best holes.  I used to ask Daddy every Saturday afternoon how many trout he caught.  For years Daddy would say a couple.  When I was grown and Momma had died I didn't ask Daddy that question very often.  The longer time went on his fishing pride grew.  Daddy never caught a couple anymore.  He caught his limit.

My "bait" trout.

Better??? Think I caught two-officially?

My guide. 

(Hi Patty.  Can't wait to you read this one and compare to my New York Rangers game adventure and how you made fun of the script which ran through my mind during that three hour long disaster.  Lunch soon!)

Gift of hand painted trout t-shirt! Perfect for "Casting for Recovery"

The amount of "goodies" we received was incredible!

Socks.  Of course my fav.

Class on tying flies (for fly fishing)

Had quite a bit of fun learning to tie flies (I believe that's what it's called) at "Casting for Recovery".  However I just couldn't learn the knotting.  Basically I picked the feathers and wrapped the wire.

Finished Product!

Some examples shown during class.  Pretty neat!

No real bugs were used in our class.  Just discussed.

Trying on Waders for Fly Fishing

Yummies at "Casting for Recovery"

(I even ate the fish.)

Saturday and Sunday views from "Casting for Recovery"