It’s hard to believe it’s the beginning of June 2021. The past year or so has passed quickly, as do all days it seems most of the time. It seems like a shorter time since I last wrote a post here. Not much has been happening. I have not gone on any trips, other than driving my camper van (named Molly) up the highway every few weeks to keep her running well and moving the gas in the tank and the tires. I saw a bit of rust around the front windshield so I brought the camper van to a window and glass place and they took the windshield out and brought it to a body repair place down the street from them to have the rust spots removed and fixed, or whatever it is they do for that. Hopefully, or some I am told, on Tuesday they will put the windshield back in. Then, sometime after that I will take Molly for a ride up the interstate.
I have some friends on the west coast of Florida, and further north than me that I may at some time go visit. I also found out that a campground I like about 200 miles north of me has reopened. It’s called Manatee Hammock and I have written several stories and posted photos of my stays there. It’s on a lagoon across from Cape Canaveral and one time I got to see a rocket launch happen. That was pretty cool. I also bring lots of bags of unsalted peanuts to feed the squirrels who are very brave and will come up to me to get them and when I run out they jump against my chair and get on my camper looking for more. One time I made peanut butter sandwiches to feed them when I ran out and one squirrel went on the table behind me and picked up a whole sandwich and began eating it. There is a picture in one of the stories from Manatee Hammock.
Other than that, I occasionally go to the grocery store and the rest of the time I am reading, talking to friends on the phone, sending text messages, and sharing with friends I have made around the world on one of the media platforms. This pandemic has opened an entire new world for me and so many people. I am getting to meet people I would never have had the opportunity to meet and learn about their lives and share mine with them. I love having friends all over the world.
As for a health update: Things are still about the same. Some days the pain is a bit more intense than other days. I wish I had a clear front rather than skin so I could see what’s going on inside. Some days it feels like the tumor is getting more tangled with my scar tissue, adhesions, organs, etc. I know things are moving around in there because some days it feels like my lungs and liver are bruised again from being pressed into my ribs. This only lasts about a week or so until they get back to whatever it was that’s called my new normal.
Since once again Humana denied the approval of my medicine, I filed what I thought was my last appeal it’s to a Medicare Administrative Judge. I had to do this in 2018 and that Judge approved my medicine, Humana accepted his decision until this year. So I filed my appeals again and on May 20th had my hearing before a different Medicare Judge. I got the decision a few days ago at the end of June. This judge denied approval of my medicine. I called the 2018 judges office and they said there is nothing I can do, but there is a higher Judge to appeal the decision to. It turns out this new judges office did not send me the Notice of Decision with the date, nor did they send me the Appeal form so I called and asked for it and it’s supposed to be sent to me next week after July 4th weekend. So, I will do the paperwork, go to my doctors office to coordinate with them and file my last appeal and hopefully it will be approved. Humana only approved my medicine until July 9th, so I have to start a new request for approval of my medicine, while still appealing the decision that I started in January and February for the medicine. It’s quite frustrating for me and I am trying my best to let God have the outcomes and to just do my part and let God do God’s part. I am learning more about patience and letting go of outcomes and being ok no matter what.
Otherwise, I am still experimenting with foods I cook, and trying new recipes for desserts. I have a sweet tooth and as a result of eating more since I am home most all the time, and not going to the gym since this pandemic, I have gained weight. It’s too hot to be out walking. I have my car in the spot where I park Molly so no one will take it. I like that spot because it’s mostly shaded from the hot afternoon sun. So I have not had my car to drive for 2 weeks since I brought Molly to the glass place. My friend took me to the grocery the other day and there is one about .6 mile from me if I want to walk to it which I have done a few times this past year. I know I need the exercise.
I tried a new recipe for English muffins a few weeks ago and they came out delicious and I finished them last night. I might have to make them again. This morning I made a cheesecake which is really easy with a recipe I have had for 50 years. It doesn’t seem that I had it that long, but I have to remember in September I will be 71. I am getting more gray hairs and I won’t dye my hair because I know I would not keep up with it and also I have earned every one of these gray hairs!!! I heard a local sheriff a few years ago at our American Cancer Society Relay For Life event, we were both cancer survivors telling our survivor story that year. He said he doesn’t think of it as being a survivor. He thinks of it as being a conqueror. I like that and adopted it for my life too. I didn’t sit passively by and let life happen again. I worked, prayed, took actions, and conquered life and the challenges that presented themselves as does happen by being alive. Here are some of the breads and foods I have been making. I have also been having fun using the 50 different colors of nail polish I bought last year when Tuesday Morning had a big sale on Sephora nail polish. I make all of my own bread, pasta, and crackers along with other foods.
I read something a long time ago that said: I ask God for strength and God gives me difficulties to overcome to make me stronger. God also gives me pop quizzes often. Like when I was in school and a teacher would give us a pop quiz to see what we learned. God gives me pop quizzes to see what I know and learned and how I apply it to my life. I am so very grateful for the life I have been given, for the people who have been my mentors and teachers. Everyone teaches me something. Some teach me what to do and how to be, others teach me what not to do and how not to be. Sometimes the ones that teach me how not to be give me a stronger lesson. If I want to be different than them I have to act differently.
Many years ago I heard a speaker and she asked what would we like our epitaph to be? I gave it a lot of thought for quite a while. I decided I want mine to be: My life made a positive difference. I want to have made a difference in the life of others and the world or whatever area my life touches. I try to live up to that. I don’t always succeed, but I do my best most days. Some days I have all I can do to just walk through life, or sit on the sofa and that’s okay too. It’s like a savings account. Some days I can make deposits, and other days I need to make a withdrawal. As long as I maintain a positive balance I know I will be okay. When I had operations and had to ask for help it was difficult. I was asked by a special woman in my life named Lois many years ago: What does it feel like to do for others? I replied that it feels good, I like helping others. Lois’s reply was if I don’t let others help me I am depriving them of that feeling. It changed the way I look at asking for help. It’s still not easy but if I remember the things that Lois taught me and try to live so that she would be proud of me I know I am on the right path. She passed away May 17, 1989 and Lois still has an impact on my life every day. I am so grateful that God put our God put our lives together for the time that God did, even though it was too short, 10 1/2 months, it was the way it was supposed to be.
That’s about it for now my friends. Abundant blessings and love always.