Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas is almost here and I wonder, have I been naughty or nice this year? I think it is important to think not just of the big acts that we do on occasion but the little daily niceties that count out of sincerety just to brighten someone's day.

I have once again received an outpouring of love and support from my friends this holiday season and I love the updates and picture cards. Let me tell you from my experience, posing with a dog, is a lot easier than posing with a 2 year old, and, as cute as Miss Heather is with her imposing blue eyes, it is impossible to make her look anything less than the devil's own, even with the best red eye reduction tools out there. My Christmas card duty was tripled this year, as I wrote Kevin's business cards, my personal cards, and then, at the last minute with few picture options, those for Kevin's family. Both his mother and father are in the hospital this year and Heather continues to have respiratory symptoms. I keep insisting that Kevin take her to the doctor- as many of us have learned the hard way, doctors, as good as they are, are people and it is easy for a pediatrician to be complacent and dismiss a first time father as overly cautious for every sniffle and wheeze. But Heather was like this last year I am told and ended up with pneumonia in the hospital.
Unfortunately, I have made it to few parties this year if any at all, because I have a blob of goo instead of a pancreas that requires bathroom location and privacy factors to consider. I appreciate the invitations nonetheless.
Admittedly, I have been getting more and more anxious about the pancreas transplant as January draws closer and it could be any day now. I haven't written any letters like I did with my lungs, I haven't packed a bag like I did with my kidneys, so I just haven't taken any physical steps to assuage the mental part, unless you count taking pills-of the prescribed but no so drastic kind.

In much happier news, my dearest friend MANDY and her husband TED, also known as the kidney locators, are EXPECTING A BABY in JULY 2007! Certainly, I will have to begin saving now so that I can be out there when she delivers. I figure I pretty much owe her since she drove 6 hours to come for the lung transplant and then flew like 5 hours to bring me the kidney! Although they are unsure of the sex of the child, I told her Jill was a good name, but I think I'll have to kick the bucket before I generate a namesake!

More later....

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Well, it's holiday time again and instead of printing out snip-its of my year in summary, I thought it best to direct people here so they can see the pictures and get a real blow by blow about what life has had in store for me in 2006.

I spent most of January and February recovering from my kidney transplant. I can't begin to thank the family of Brett Stern enough for their sacrifice and truly making LIFE possible this year. With this in the back of my mind I set out to pay homage to my donor Brett and of course, Uncle Bob. My lungs turned 74 this year and are doing quite well. In March, I began dating Kevin and Heather (yes, a package deal) and although things went quickly and weren't without hiccups, they are even better now. I began working at Camelot Self-Storage one day a week to start to be part of the family business. A good, quiet job where I can do my school work. In April, I celebrated my 7th lung transplant anniversary! Yippee! In May, I ended up moving in with Kevin and Heather, helping with bills and babysitting. I parted ways with Carrie, who has since moved back to FL. It's hard to live with friends sometimes and I think we found our expiration date for being roomies. June waas filled with babysitting and July found me with a rubber hose up my nose for sinus surgery. I decided to not take summer classes and to give myself a break. August found me working a whole 45 hours in a row- a feat I hadn't done in years. I was excited I could work, but I really need to recuperate from the marathon so that I could have the work-up for my pancreas. On Sept 7th, I was one of 4 listed at the Brigham and Women's. Also in September my oldest brother Scott got married. Everyone had a blast. Unfortunately, I came down with pneumonia just after and my excessive partying didn't help. In October, I was totally spent up with school and figuring out things with Kevin. It seems we hit a little speed bump. He was working overnights and was miserable. Serious questions came about whether we should stay together or not and which/whose direction we were headed in. Halloween was adorable with Heather as a ladybug and Detroit as a bumble bee. They are quite the pair. I decided to move back to Liberty Street in November to prepare for pre and post transplant- to have a space of my own and give Kevin some space too. It seems to be the remedy because when I went away to Jessica's wedding over Thanksgiving he was amazed by the thought of what life would be like without me. And now here it is in December, waiting...waiting for a pancreas, for snow, for Santa. I've learned to live with waiting and have shared this notion with many of the students and groups I've spoken with. Volunteering and spreading the word of the importance of organ and tissue donation has been main mission this year and I think it has been successful.

So what about next year? WELL<>

I have been blogging somewhat less because although I swore I wouldn't do it, I started a myspace page for a Northeastern Project

Seasons Greetings,
Jill Balboni
You Are Strength

You represent both fiery energy and steadfast will.
You are innocent and naive - yet unafraid and undaunted.
Perhaps you don't have the most powerful physical strength...
But your mental powers make up for any amount of muscle.

Your fortune:

Lately, you have been a pillar of ethics and moral strength.
And while things may be difficult, your faith in yourself will come through.
You may need to conquer the animalistic nature of yourself or others, with gentle force.
Although this may seem like the darkest hour for you, victory is near.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving- belated. I am here in Florida, back in Tampa and with Kelli Belfabulous. Jessica's wedding was terrific, with surprise fireworks and all! She was a lovely bride and I met some great people that I know I will keep in touch with. Check out some photos.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Your Elf Name Is...

Spicy Mc Mini
Your Elf Name Is...

Spicy Mc Mini
Your Five Variable Love Profile
Propensity for Monogamy:
Your propensity for monogamy is medium.In general, you prefer to have only one love interest.But it's hard for you to stay devoted for too long!There's too much eye candy to keep you from wandering.
Experience Level:
Your experience level is high.You've loved, lost, and loved again.You have had a wide range of love experiences.And when the real thing comes along, you know it!
Your dominance is high.It's your way or the highway when it comes to love.You like to be very involved in your sweetie's life.No question, you like to be the one calling the shots.
Your cynicism is low.You are an eternal optimist when it comes to love and romance.No matter how many times you've been hurt - you're never bitter.You believe in one true love, your perfect soulmate.And if you haven't found true love yet, you know you will soon.
Your independence is medium.In relationships, you need both "me time" and "we time."You usually find it easy to be part of a couple.But occasionally you start to feel a little smothered.
You Have Fantastic Karma
You are a kind, sensitive, and giving person.And all your good deeds will pay off - if they haven't already.But you're not so concerned with what you get in return anyway.You have an innate caring nature - and nothing can change that!
Here I am in in Sunny, but not warm, Tampa. currently, Kelli and I are in her doctor's office with a complaint of a right upper quadrant pain. Being the medical docotor I am I examined her and ran through a gammut of questions to get at the heart of the problem. I guess I should could go back to medical school because I have come up blac\nk. She also has a symmetrical circle shaped black and blue which I have determined to be a bruise- she is worried it may be a clot. All of her blood work is normal so we will await the results . Her blog is linked to my myspace page under my friends list as Kelli bel-fabulous. I realy thought my myspace site would attract more teens, but I had no idea how many older college buds would have pages. I haven't written since I have been moving, finishing up my class, getting ready for one more before graduation and working. I needed a stress free vacation and although I think there will be some stress, I think the change of scenery is needed for me. I'm going to meeting up with old friends like David, Lisa, and Jessica's Family. More later...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Happy Halloween... A few days late. Heather was a Lady bug and Puppa was a bumble bee. It was a good time for Heather but Detroit was freaked out by all the costumes.
I have had a good week of volunteering. I had an event at Stonehill in Easton where I spoke to a class of women ( I don't know where the men are for my presentations) about my experiences with organ donation and transplantation. I have gotten emails from a few that reported they talked to their families and one even went to go get a new license. Then Friday I spoke at the Jordan Hospital to a group of nurses. Some of which had heard my story or had treated me in the Emergency Department. They were quite surprised I was alive and doing so well. My mom went and told me how proud she was of my efforts. She had never really seen me in action. Apparently she saw some nurses passing around the tissues. You know its successful if some tears are shed. I haven't exactly met my goal of 100 new donors, but I don't think success is necessarily in the numbers. After all, one donor can save up to fifty lives. For more on my project visit:
Last week I decided that I was going to move out from Kevin's house into one of the family apartments in the "compound." SO back to Liberty Street I go. We are not breaking up, but Kevin clearly has issues with my illness and coping with the idea of a transplant. He told me that he can barely take care of himself and Heather, nevermind act as my caregiver. At least he was honest and took the opportunity to tell me before there was some commitment to be broken. I decided that I really needed a space of my own to wait and to heal. A place that is stress and anxiety free because God knows the anxiety runs high waiting for that call.
More later...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Your Life Path Number is 11
Your purpose in life is to inspire others
Your amazing energy draws people to you, and you give them great insight in return.You hold a great amount of power over others, without even trying.You have the makings of an inventor, artist, religious leader, or prophet.
In love, you are sensitive and passionate. You connect with your partner on a very deep level.
You have great abilities, but you are often way too critical of yourself.You don't fit in - and instead of celebrating your differences, you dwell on them.You have high expectations of yourself. But sometimes you set them too high and don't achieve anything.
What Is Your Life Path Number?
You've Experienced 76% of Life
You have all of the life experience that most adults will ever get.And unless you're already in your 40s, you're probably wise beyond your years.
How Much Life Experience Do You Have?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

As much as I try to sound rosey, this surgery is just like having the kidney surgery all over again. The need for a pancreas is more evident than ever since my diabetes blood sugar measures are off the chart no matter how many injections I take. I still have yuck remanents so I have been up coughing and spewing sputum all over the balance. All the midnight sit ups have made the pain of my 14 staples 10 times worse. (It is 14, not 20...I counted!) I'll find out on Friday exactly when I will be healed and ready for status 7 active.
I am at Ministorage today doing homework, but of course I got sidetracked. Actually not really because I am getting data for my Master's project. I looked on, the Organ Procurement Transplant Network and discovered that on the Brigham and Women's Hospital Pancreas Candidates, there are currently 5. All are in a holding pattern. No surgeries have been completed according to current data. 3 of the candidates are men; two women. 2 have type A blood. 1 is between 16 and 34 years of age (guess who?) SO chances are- as soon as the hernia staples come out, a pancreas will be going in soon after.
I continue volunteering with NEOB. I spoke at their new staff orientation and previewed my movie/slide show. I am trying to tailor it to a 16 to 21 age target population. I NEED AN APPROPRIATE SONG...Please help- I am way too old and "I'm Alive" by Celine Dion is okay for adults but for a highschool sophomore- DOUBTFUL. Okay, customer.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Here are some more photos I have from Scott's wedding.

I don't mean to be a bad blogger, but this hernia surgery really kicked my ass. I do have pain medicine but that just makes me cookoo, so I haven't really left the house. I have to muster up all my stregnth to make it to class tomorrow for a paper I haven't yet done. Bad Procrastinatior. My hernia incision is over the kindey incision and it is healing well, for the mena time I have like 20 stitched in me!!!
more later...

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Happy News- Congratulations to High School friend Suzanne Fortini and Paul Miraglia on their engagement! Best Wishes and all my best to you! I bet Lena is ecstatic! (That grapevine sure is intact!)

I got a lot of well wishers for my speech and many thoughtful emails inquiring about how it went and the answer is- it didn't.

I have felt miserable and the yuck was in my chest. I was coughing all night and felt too exhausted to drive the two hours. Plus, someone had to watch Heather. So I let them know I had a personal emergency come up and prayed that I wouldn't have to go to the hospital. I've been continuing my TOBI and the cough isn't so wet and gross, no its dry and it has relocated in my sinuses. I went for my pre-op: hernia repair is on Tuesday, and I got the green light. So no worries. I am trying to get some extra sleep when I can.

Since the wedding, I have been inundated with work. I am taking three classes, two are 6 weeks long, which concentrates all the material and assignments. One of which is my masters' project. I am trying to increase awareness of organ donation for people aged 16-21. I made a movie/slide show and I think it is pretty good. I couldn't really figure out how to upload it here or how to do it on myspace. Yes, I hate myspace for multiple reasons, however, it is the most popular medium for my target population so there I am: I will need suggestions about templates and cool thing to put there, so if anyone has suggestions or technical advice PLEASE HELP!!! I have to get this done by 10/18 when I next have to report on my progress. I am speaking at the new hire orientation on Monday so I have to tweak my movie before then. Thanks to Rebecca to getting pictures to me ASAP and my old Chest PT goddess Betsey who emailed me back in record time!
You know, I don't have many very SICK looking pictures. I mean , I look hideous because of my prednisone moon face, but not what I would have expected given I was just about near death.
Okay, I'm drained! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

As usual, I am procrastinating. I am still recovering from the yuck, although some inhaled TOBI does the trick. I actually tested the stuff in the clinical trials about a million years ago in junior high. Much different now. I have been putting together a slide show of my life, for the most part, for the presentation tomorrow. I still don't have the speech down pat. But I have a lot of rambles that I am sure will turn into something viable. In particular, I am focusing on how respiratory therapists can maintain boundaries of professionalism given the intimate nature of the field. I'm hoping I can make them laugh. I actually heard from Susanne Meninger, my most favorite nurse in the whole wide world. It's funny because I have gained so much insight on the topic recollecting my times with her. I also solicited good ol' Betsey, who found me last year as was getting my Kidney. She gave me a lot of perspective on how you have to handle things and how that has changed for her. But some of the patient relationships she's maintained have made her career what it is, nevermind that's how she met her husband. So wish me luck and I'll post my slide show, if I can figure out how to do that after I deliver it.
Until then..

Monday, September 25, 2006

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY BIG D! Poor Darryl, in all the wedding goings-on, it was Darryl's 61st bday and it passed by with little fanfare. I would sing but it would likely pass germs your way- not the gift you wanted right?

Just don't you forget about June 17th- if I make it, which we all have no doubt about (though in the past things were "iffy") I'll be 30!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Scott and Todd wait for Audrey to walk down
the aisle!

Kristen Galletti, my sister-in-law, takes a photo of me
and I of her on the bus!

Deb and Big D at the Rehearsal Dinner (prior to cocktails)

Well, Scott and Audrey got married and a good time was had by you will see as I get more pictures as the week goes by. Unfortunately, the YUCK has traveled to my puffers and pneumonia is probably a sure thing. I couldn't do my reading because I have no voice and Kristen, my sister-in-law extraordinare subbed for me. I didn't know if I was going to make it to the wedding at all- given that I puked in my mom's Elizabeth Arden Spa bag after I got my hair and make-up done at the Westchester Mall. Nonetheless, I put on my big girl panties, which are, incidentally, my hot-party pants, and went out swinging. I had a great time at the rehearsal dinner and afterwards and my mom blamed my illness on the wedding day on my evening prior- but it just wasn't it. Though it was enough for me not to drink at the wedding... I got a chance to meet some great people- Scott's HBS friends that I ragged on all night, Audrey's cousin and his mom, who has had three (3!) Kidney transplants, and Audrey's brothers and friends who I felt like I knew forever. Todd, believe it or not, made some funnies, during his best man speech. It's the quiet ones you have to worry about you know! Kristin Galletti (Baby Elise's mom) and Dave (the baby's daddy!) sat at my table and had a blast too! The Kingston Fire Chief was burnin' up the dance floor. He may be retired, but you wouldn't know it! All was fine for me until Scott broke out the Cubans and everyone lit up under the tent. The wedding was at a beautiful estate- the Wainright House overlooking the Long Island Sound (?) certainly Rebecca will read this and correct me. Anywho- a lot of laughs, despite the congestion. The best part was coming home to Heather who ran to me and gave me a squeeze and Puppa, who greeted me with a wiggly tail. Kevin was visiting his Dad and doesn't feel well himself, but he would be really stupid not to miss me. I spent most of the evening doing school work that I was supposed to do while I was away (what was I thinking).

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Baby Elise won't be at the wedding Saturday, but her parents Kristin and Dave will be!
I'm leaving for NY tomorrow for my brother's wedding and I got the YUCK! Serious yuck- like borderline pneumonia yuck. I couldn't volunteer today, couldn't go to class. I pretty much stayed in bed. I got the yuck from little Heather, who just loves to tag along with me wherever, to vote, to go to Walmart, to get my car inspected. Unfortunately, despite my antibacterial-microbioial wash I keep in the car, she also loves to give me the yuck. I drank some chicken broth, which came out the same way it went in. Puppa has been right beside me sensing my dismay and wondering how my red nose will look with my dress.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

In general, it's just another quiet day at Camelot Self Storage. However, my mind is frantic planning and digesting everything from this week. I started back to school this week and it was like a fresh wind blew through my house. I felt alive and awakened- then overwhelmed. I'm doing my master's project this semester and while I expected it to meet every week, it turns out only to meet 5 times. This makes implementing my large scale organ donation awareness project much more realistic. I also was granted renewal on my financial aid, an area I am truly trying to resolve as much as possible. I'm hoping my financial management class will rub off on me there.

Scott and Audrey's wedding is next weekend so I have to hurry up and read and do my research for school, some beauty regimens like plucking the caterpillars above my eyes and a highlight for my dead hair, AND creating the presentation for my speech next week for the respiratory therapy society.

For my presentation, I am definitley looking for pictures of me. I ahve across some other general pictures via Google images. The problem with the ocitures that I have is that there aren't a lot of me during the period when I was sickest. I don't have any oxygen pictures or what not. I'm really going to check the archives to scan and make a slideshow. SO...IF YOU HAVE ANY PICTURES OF ME LOOKING BAD (not bad, but) SICKLY/BAD- PLEASE SEND ASAP!!!!
Much love,

Friday, September 15, 2006

I am POOPED! I was supposed to go see doctor kidney today but I have already gone to the city for appointments 4 days this week, so I asked her to switch it to another Friday that I would be coming in anyway. Getting this pancreas will be a thrill, but you really have to committed and not have any other life while you do it. I am trying to be a professional patient, professional student, and pseudo mom.

I opted to take 3 classes to finish up my class work. I still have a bit left from my class in June, which I am aiming to complete this Saturday at work. Just buckle down- Just buckle down. I keep telling myself. But I am going in a million directions.
I am doing my masters project this semester, focusing on what else Increasing awareness for organ donation. I have completed a lot of the parts of the whole so I am thinking that it will be exciting to get all my ideas off paper and into action. Part of my project is going to be my presentation next week for the Massachusetts Society of Respiratory Therapists. I was thinking of a slide show of pictures- SO IF YOU HAVE ANY PICTURES OF ME LOOKIGN SICKLY OR LOOKING REALLY HEALTHY<>

More updates later... Days of Our Lives is On and I must read about Financial Management of Nonprofits.

Friday, September 08, 2006

CRANK IT UP!!!! I just got a call from the transplant nurse at the Brigham and I am LISTED for a PANCREAS. I am technically status: inactive because I still have some more tests to complete my evaluation, but I am accruing time on the list which is important in deciding who gets what when. I found out that I am one of ONLY FOUR PEOPLE at the transplant center that are waiting. It could be as little as 6 months as many as 12.
Unfortunately, this means I can't travel internationally- so sadly no cruise for Kelbel's 30th. I haven't told Carrie yet, but I just rung up Kelbel to tell her. I am really excited but nervous too. I am trying to capture these feeling in wiriting so I know what t0 talk about during my speaking engagement on the 27th of September. I'm calling it "As I Live and Breathe" just like my blog. Help me with stories, PLEASE, that I can incorporate into my talk.

Please pray for me- this may be my third miracle (how many do you need to be a saint?) and I am trying to keep perspective of all the blessings in my life. Life is amazing. Please pray the person that is walking around right now, perfectly healthy not knowing that in a couple months that life as they will be over and passed on to me- that scares me a little bit but I know that God has a plan.
CARVER, Mass. -- Fire officials responded to a house explosion in Carver Wednesday morning.
NewsCenter 5's Jack Harper reported that the house at 17 Eda Ave. exploded at about 9:30 a.m. There were no reports of any injuries.
Two brothers rent the house, located near Edaville Railroad. They were not at home at the time of the blast.

"Everything was off this morning. We got up this morning and got dressed and went to work," said resident Robert Monahan.
Three hours later, a blast shook everything near Edaville Railroad.
"We were up in the main building up the street and we heard a vibration. We were not sure what it was. (We were) going around the building trying to find out what happened. It sounded like something hit the building," said Susan Wentworth, of Edaville Railroad.
Investigators said they are focusing their attention on a propane tank that feeds the residence.
"There is no underground propane in this area of town. Each individual home is fed by a cylinder that is unique to that dwelling, so there is a cylinder on the side of the structure, and we are focusing our investigation on that," said Carver Deputy Fire Chief Eric Germaine.
"Thank God my brother wasn't in the house watching TV," said resident Stephen Monahan.
"We lost everything, but at least I am alive," said Robert Monahan.
Carver investigators are working with state fire marshal's office to determine the exact cause of the blast.

For those that have called and asked, yes, these are Kevin's brothers. They are fine and are getting a lot of help from the Red Cross. All the furnishings belonged to Kevin- we lent them to the brothers after I moved in. They are staying in a local hotel and the Red Cross helped them with clothes, food and a new apartment (including deposits, etc) I think the brothers perspectives about living have given them pause- perhaps it will be lasting.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I'm sitting here at Camelot Self storage, waiting for the next hour to pass. I need a nap. I gave Kevin my cup o' noodles when he visited and now, I wish I had another one. I had some of the gnocc (bread with meat in it, an Italian delicacy) my mom brought down but, he ate the rest of that too. I watched Heather here at work while he priced a job and then he waited here to meet some of the prospects for one of his overnight seasonal jobs. He called the people yesterday and left messages, but still no one showed. He hung out here about 2 hours. He can't sit still though. One good thing: he fixed my blow fuse in my car. Since I got it inspected the radio and the clock haven't worked. 2 days without either was rough. It's amazing how something so mundane becomes part of your unconscious routine. My grandparents stopped by today too. They sold their place up here and expect to spend most of their year in Florida, opposed to splitting their time, north and south.
I've been trying to situate my schedule for school. I'm thinking about taking 2 ground courses at Northeastern and one on-line. But financial aid is up in the air and I don't want to get caught behind the 8 ball.
I am trying to get Kevin to work out Heather's schedule, even for next week, but he can't think that far ahead he says. As much as I want to help, I have picked up extra hours at self storage so that I can pay my tuition bills. I have been really working on tracking my expenses. In fact, while browsing Oprah's website, looking again to see if perhaps I might be a worthy guest, I came across the Debt Diet. I found that many of the worksheets will be helpful. My credit score dropped with the bills I inherited post-divorce and then by being out of work with the kidney failure. I am trying to keep my work less than the government level allows so that I don't lose my benefits. I don't think I could manage to work full time. Certainly not going to school and watching Heather, not to mention all of the pancreas testing.

Has anyone mastered the art of multitasking? Please send me some tips? Parenting tips too about how to get Heather to bed before say 10pm.

More later...

Friday, September 01, 2006

As you may remember from earlier posts, I was invited to speak at the annual conference of the Massachusetts Society for Respiratory Care in Sturbridge, MA on September 27th and 28th. My session is called " As I Live and Breathe: Life Lessons Learned Battling CF and Triumphing Through Transplantation." The contents will be similar to that of my "Get Carded" speech in 2000, as I returned to my "Homecoming" post-transplant. The difference this time will be that it will be more jargon laden and will have more applicability to the audience of medical professionals.

Dear Friends,
If there is something poignant about your experience with me, perhaps I lesson we both learned together the hard way, something you never knew before you encountered me, any funny story, or even a story that wasn't funny until now, please remind me and post a comment or email me. I need your help.
I want to make a dramatic impact- one that is remembered for its humor in the face of adversity. LET'S HOOK IT UP!

The past week has been very busy with medical appointments. I have been at the hospital on the 22nd, the 25th and the 30th. I have had all kinds of radioactive tests, like 19 tubes of blood (which alone could make someone pass out), meetings with doctors and surgeons and social workers. It seems that I may be well on my way to pancreas city. My lungs are in good condition, even though I couldn't do pulmonary function tests given my big fat hernia. I am having surgery on that on October 3rd. My mom is concerned that with such a short time between my surgical repair and flying to Florida for Jessica's shower that I might end up with a blood clot. Right now it's up in the air.
I had my eyes dilated for an opthamology exam, again, part of the pancreas evaluation. They are looking for all of the possible diabetic complications that I might already have sustained. I have yet to see the neurologist, who will be doing the same thing.

Yesterday, Heather and I went with Mandy to Nelson Street Park for a picnic. Nelson Street is right on the ocean. Although it is beautiful, it has become over run with seagulls. They are quite aggressive, more than I expected anyway. We were eating and a seagull swooped down and stole Heather's pickle right off the plate. Mandy got brushed in the head by the bird! Jude and Anne then joined us for some swing time. Jude is adorable and has two teeth growing in. He definitely outweighs Heather by a good 7 pounds now. It was good for Heather to have a play date.

Scott's wedding is fast approaching and I bought a dress this week at Anne Taylor. I really like it, but I am thinking that perhaps someone else might have the same dress. However, I think this kind of thought crosses the mind of most women going to a big event at least once. No one I am convinced however, will have my patent leather peep toe pumps! Shoes are happiness, AREN'T THEY?

More later...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Welcome to the World, NATHAN CHARLES AGNEW!
Yesterday was the first of many appointments for the pancreas transplant. I had to be at the hospital at 6:30am, which meant getting up at 5am. I am not a morning person by any means! The first test was a cardiac PET, a nuclear test meant to view my heart. The tried three times to get an IV in so they could infuse a radioactive tracer and medication to put my heart in stress chemically. Finally, the test was over and I had 5 minutes to get to my endocrine appointment that was what felt like miles away. Of course, I had two heavy bags of paperwork and things to do in case I had spare time. That certainly slowed me down. While the doctor let me know that my diabetes could be more in control, she also stated that I was the poster child for a pancreas transplant. I then met with the social worker, who didn't really have many questions and was more reviewing notes from his last meeting with me, almost a year before my kidney transplant. He seemed mostly concerned with if I still lived with the cats, than my living situation now, which to me, seems more important given that this is where I will be recovering and that I'm living with a two year old and boyfriend. Hmmm... I was supposed to go to Northeastern and clear up my tuition issues (I'm still appealing charges from my kidney transplant but I am getting no where) but I was just too tired and given that my day was over at 1:30pm with nothing to eat, I decided brunch was more important. After all, I am going back on Friday.

On a very happy note, CONGRATUALTIONS to April and Rob Agnew who just had a baby boy! I wish them health, happiness,love and laughter, as I do wish for all my friends!

I visited Mandy and Ted at the Rushforth's the other night. Mandy will be here until Sept 5th.
Hey girls- is the chick lit book club still a go?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

It has been very quiet here at mini storage this week. I did catch a turtle crossing the street today. There are also 10 geese that swim in one of the man-made water bodies that abutts the property. It's weird though, because of the way noise travels down here, it always seems like someone is right outside. The dog thinks so too. He barks at nothing then settles back into his chair in front of thewindow where he naps and suns himself all day. Not one person came in today. Kevin came in but he doesn't really count.

Tomorrow my goal is to finish my class work from ummm..., June. I guess I really should complete it before I start school again. I've been surfing the web considering employment (part time, maybe) in some colleges. I think that is the best environment for me and since I can't be a student forever, maybe I should pursue a career in the school environment. Who knows.

I have given up my search for my lost flash drive. I figure if I give up on it, it will mysteriously reappear. It has the only version of my CV on it. Luckily, I was smart enough to print a hard copy, but with each copy it loses integrity. Yuck!

Okay, more of nothing tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

You can expect that I will be posting more this week since I am working at the storage place all week. It rained today so there weren't many customers, though Nana and Papa came for a visit and some computer tutorials. My brother Chris just passed in a loader clearing out one of the empty units.

I visited Carrie yesterday in Weymouth. SHe has lost about 20 pounds from her surgery and it is noticeable in her face and upper body. She seems to be doing well with the pain, although she still can't look at the scar, which ended up just being a straight line alittle offcenter from midline. Her apartment is cute. I dressed her wound and made her bed, since she had trouble with it. Then we went to Walmart (I'm all for employing disabled people, but putting a retarded lady in a cashier position in the express lane is not good resource management and is setting her up for failure, where is a CRC when you need one?) and Stop and Shop for food.

I ran into my granfather this morning. He informed me that my Aunt was mad at him. He was relutant to tell me why- "I got in trouble with her." Apparently, my 78 year old Harley riding grandfather went on a date with a 46 year old lady/ "broad". I told him to keep her out of his wallet and not to change the will and everyone would be happy. I was afraid it may be Kevin's siter, apparently this chick is one of her friends that he met at the Dunkin Donuts hang out. I'm glad that he is socializing because for a while he was shut in and so lonely. I told him to be smart but to have fun. I know my grandmother wouldn't want him to spend his final days mourning her. I tell you though, Papa Joe is likely to outlive me!

I got my credit report to day and it stinks, but I found a few items that shouldn't be there. I also got a creditor letter for an account I never had in a variation of my name. I was almost going to throw it in my "oh well..." pile but it just seemed wrong. Sure enough, it is.I just read some bad creditor practices on MSN news which prompted me to look. I guess that shows the importance of staying on top of your information.

More later...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

MEET MY DOCTORS: THIS IS DR. STEFAN TULIUS- He's the man that did the kidney and will do the pancreas.

THIS IS DR. KATHRYN TINCKAM- Love her! Also known as Dr. Kidney. I just knew she was the right doctor for me- sporting her Tiffany Beans. She has been seeing me at the kidney clinic and will follow me through the pancreas process.
I am shameful blogger. I thought for sure I had posted last week during my selfstorage stint but apparently I was swept up by HG TV. I have a bunch of days scheduled to cover people here next week - 45 hour work week, which is a lot for me! Needless to say, while the money isn't something I could live on, it does defray my costs as gasoline is $3.05 a gallon here.
Carrie is at her Aunt's house and reports that things are going well post-surgery. She is having the same issue I had with healing in reverse and needs her dressing packed. I told her I can help around my work schedule. I was going to have to work on Monday, but they didn't need me so I can help her.
My mom and Big D are going on their 20th anniversary/annual trip to Ogunquit, Maine. Kevin's sister is going away that week as well. Kevin hasn't looked for a babysitter yet. My dad gave him some business- first stripping and waxing the office floors in the main office- they haven't ever been done according to my memory and the building has been around for some twenty plus years. Then he is going to clean the office monthly. Business has been picking up, which makes him much less stressed.
The doctors started me on a new medication- Avelox. It seems that one of my old medications prescribed for the chronic wound/bone infection I have post-lung transplant is no longer.(The lung infection I had in my CF lungs seeded my bones when I was cracked in half and they were digging out the old puffers. It has stayed in my bones and I take meds to prevent the infection from taking over.) Yup, Tequin was pulled off the market because it causes irratic blood sugars- gee, that sounds familiar, my question is: why does it take 6 years to figure out that thsi is a problem. I mean, they pulled it off the market, forchissakes!
Apparently, though the Avelox is not quite perfect either. I broke into HIVES after two sips of wine. I have had all the typical digestive problems: nausea, the poops, etc, I have had a rapid heartbeat too. It makes me dizzy and drowsy, yet I can't sleep. It can also cause liver trouble so I have to have function tests and an EKG to be sure I have a baseline measure. I have a bunch of doc appointments coming up to get the pancreas evaluation going. I have to see a neurologist, an opthamologist, the endocrinologist, the gynecologist. i have to have an EKG, a cardiac PET, and some other radiologic studies. We are talking tons of bloodwork here on top of it! Oh well, i guess I really can't complain. I have been a more compliant diabetic but the idea of all these tests and recovery and relationship issues makes me anxious- not jump off the roof/slit your wrists anxious or depressed, just a constant buzzing, thinking about it.

So one may think that nothing exciting happens at the self-storage office- boy, would you be wrong: read below!

Cops find 2 more weapon stockpiles; Charges against Kingston man may be sought

By KAREN GOULARTThe Patriot Ledger

KINGSTON - A Kingston man who kept an arsenal of weapons in a Pembroke storage facility had stockpiled more guns, knives and ammunition at his home and in a rented storage unit in Kingston.

Kingston police detectives and Pembroke police yesterday searched a home at 14 Mountain Ash Drive, the last known address of 47-year-old Donald Govoni, as well as a storage unit he rented at Storage King on Marion Drive.
They were looking for more weapons and they found them.

Kingston and Pembroke police have said they plan to seek charges against Govoni for improper storage of firearms. They are also considering several counts of illegal possession of weapons, depending on whether Govoni has licenses for the guns.
Among the items seized yesterday were two semi-automatic handguns, two shotguns, an AR-15 assault rifle, three rifles, nine switchblade knives and 3,558 rounds of ammunition.

Kingston police Detective Sgt. Robert Wells said Govoni does not have a current firearms license and therefore is in violation of the law.
Mountain Ash Drive is located in Town and Country Mobile Estates, a quiet, well-kept community for people 55 and older.

Police said Govoni’s parents had lived in the home but both died several years ago. They believe it has been more than a year since Govoni occupied the house.
Govoni’s whereabouts are unclear.
Pembroke police began looking for Govoni on Friday after workers at Stor-It Mini Warehouses reported finding what appeared to be a bazooka in a storage unit.
Workers at the Pembroke warehouse stumbled across some of the arsenal while clearing out Govoni’s three storage units for failure to pay rent.
Police returned to Stor-It on Monday with a search warrant and found an array of weapons and ammunition, including a rocket launcher, two Uzi-like guns, silencers and a variety of gun parts.

Jim Dickey, a worker hired to help clean out the storage units, said Govoni showed up there last Thursday and asked the owner not to throw away his belongings.
Dickey said Govoni had rented space there for more than a decade and was known to spend hours locked inside the largest of the three rooms.

In addition to the weapons, workers said they found old periodicals, some belonging to the Duxbury Free Library, photos of assault rifles and notes complaining about his boss yelling at him for continually showing up late for work.

Boulter said an initial background check on Govoni turned up no criminal history. Gun purchase records showed some of the firearms found in Pembroke were purchased in 1983 when Govoni was properly licensed. His Massachusetts license lapsed in 1995.

Karen Goulart may be reached at .
Copyright 2006 The Patriot LedgerTransmitted Thursday, August 10, 2006

Well, needless to say when I heard this first on the evening news I was intrigued, but it wasn't until later that I put two and two together. This wacked out fellow ALSO has a storage unit with US!!!!! Ohmygod!
So Thursday, I went down to get my check and tell Deb S., the manager, what I had heard. She called Dad and Anne (and wondered why did I wait until 5pm?) The guy is in arrears but what were we to do legally? The story continues to unfold, but it doesn't look like any guns are here. That's the big story here for the week!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Picture of Bad Sinuses Picture of what sinsuses should be...

Well, the past week has been draining, literally. The doctor went up my nose with a rubber hose and cut out all the polyps. A nasal polyp arises from chronic inflammation and lesions. They occur in the frequency from 6 to 48% of patients with Cystic Fibrosis and chronic sinusitis. They occur in the normal population 1 in 200 people. The polyps are like little fleshy grapes that block the airways- they are not usually cancerous. Basically, even though the CF is gone from my lungs, in which the cells were irregular and led to infection, these cells are still present in my sinuses, since you can't have a sinus transplant, yet, this is really the only place that CF will persist, given the pancreas transplant idea.

So now that the polyps are gone, all the infection that was festering behind, less what was sucked out, has been coming out on its own. The doctor described the infection as resembling peanut butter-pesto sauce. Yum! So I have been dealing with the pain and pressure of a sinus infection or really bad cold. I have had postnasal drip, which has kept me awake. Kevin too.

Carrie had her surgery last Thursday. I spoke with her twice and she is toleratig the pain. I wonder how her recovery will be effected because they could not perform the surgery laparoscopically and had to do it open. From my understanding of the procedure, that leaves you with a huge anchor-like scar from sternum to pelvis and then across. Abdominal surgery is truly the worst because you feel like you are going to explode open everytime you cough, or sneeze, or poop, for that matter.

I thought that maybe working today it would be busy since most people will be paying their bills in the next few days, but just some guy getting wardrobe boxes. I think I have more stamina to work more than one day a week and I have been looking at the classifieds to see about teaching at some local colleges. I have my resume updated and I'm thinking about putting some feelers out today with little else to do. I could clean, but not right now, my soaps will be soon!

Okay, if I don't get to posting again real soon- Happy Birthday to Rebecca (August 1), Bri (8/6/86), Tiggy 8/3- I think, Chris 8/11 Chris and Tiggy's Anniversary 8/6...

see you next time!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I am currently at the Brigham awaiting someone to take me downstairs to preop. What is great is that there's this room- the Family Liaison room equipped with computer and TVs and coffee- not that I can drink any- I am fasting for surgery. I guess my mom and Mandy are very familiar with this place, but this is actually part of the clink I don't know- believe it or not.
I had my jewelry party last night. A lot of people came (thanks) and I got $350 worth of free stuff. Of course, I got some other stuff too. Shelley Coville Beatty came, it seems that everytime I see her someone has died. She booked a party with the new catalog so she'll get a bonus too. My mom is booking in October. You'll find me at home, all blinged out with no where to go. Carrie stopped by before the party started and visited. Her surgery was rescheduled for Thursday so I'll wish her good luck for that. I have to book my airline flights for my Florida excursions and make my plans for Thanksgiving and the December cruise! I can't believe I am going on vacation. I am working some extra days at ministorage to try to save up, not a task I am so good.
Well, off to do some roto-rootering to the noggin. More later....

Friday, July 21, 2006

I went for preoperative testing for my sinus surgery, which is scheduled for July 25th. I was just thankful that it wasn't conflicting with my Lia Sophia Jewelry party on the 24th, Monday. I had sent out invitations and have been cleaning feverishly. Brianna O'Toole is the consultant and this is one of her first parties, plus I want the hostess benefits. Sparkly stuff- woohoo!
Anyway, while I was there for my testing, I figured that I would kill several birds with one stone, or one drive to the city since the traffic has been hellish with the tunnels closed due the cement ceiling killing that poor lady. Carrie was having her surgery that day (see: for her take on things) and I need an ultrasound of my kidney since I have a poochy pouch in my left lower quadrant. Well, my scan revealed not a fluid pouch as I had hoped, but a HERNIA!!! Apparently, it begins with the musculature next to my kidney transplant incision. Not only that, but the muscle that should be appeared to pretty degraded, which I read as irreparable, yet not life threatening. I just will girdle myself up for important occasions requiring a poochless figure. As you can imagine, the physical scars tell the story of my medical past and one might think that I'd be used to it by now but I'm still self-conscious, admittedly. I have only spoken with the radiologist so we'll see what the kidney doctor has to say.
As I was leaving I ran into Carrie's family, going to see her in post-op. Her mother was talking herself saying "just be positive, just be positive," which is a good thing for her. I know that sometimes she can come across as critical and overly sensitive, especially in this situation related to Carrie's surgery. However, when I approached, her very rational Aunt explained that they were off to see Carrie, she went in for surgery however, it was not completed due to a complication and that Carrie still had no idea. The medical team had not revealed the issue to her. When we arrived Carrie was drugged yet was smiling, and I could see that she had no clue. Her mother approached her, grabbed the issue box and Carrie could tell there was something "not right" and even in her drugged state, she was in no space for drama. her mother explained that they didn't do the surgery, yet Carrie was in pain, because they had tried and made incision and had anesthesized her, so she had a sore throat post-intubation. Yet, it was even more painful for her to realize that she was so close and yet still so far away. The doctor had not seen her since and her family was doing the best to convey their understanding to her of the medical-ese. Carrie contained her emotions, which were probably blunted due to the fentanol- I say good. She would have a lot to process. I have been in similar situations and I have been thankful for Versed and Fentanol to ease the anxiety and wash the numbness through you, enabling you to be ready for anything. When I had my lung transplant, they told me that I could wake up and may not have had the procedure. The Brigham will not proceed if the risks are high or the conditions are not perfectly aligned with their end goal. That's what has kept me so confident in their services. I left Carrie and they were about to release her from day surgery. I have not spoken to her because I wanted her to have a couple days, plus I haven't the slightest idea where my cell phone is. My mom hates that, but that is an entirely different story.
I had a few moments before my preop so I ambled down Au Bon Pain to get a bite of lunch. AS I am getting my Splenda for my iced tea a guy somes up from behind and says hello. He then inquires how I have been feeling- "Ah good.," I reply. " Do you remember me?"he asks. I hate that type of query moree than anything first of all. I look at him hoping for some sort of hint. He has on scrubs and a OR cap. "Anesthesia?" I ask, but as soon as I said that I thought he resembled Doug's former paramedic partner. I was trying to put that whole era out fo my mind. After all, I don't look a thing like I did then, in my humble opinion. Anyway, it was him. To which I fumble, I thought you killed someone and went crazy- that's the story Doug told me at least. But he said that it wasn't the way Doug had said it- big surprise and that he was trying to forget that era as well. Um...OK. "Well, see you around," I said. If it wasn't as awkward I could have said and asked him a lot more but I didn't feel the need.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Well, it looks like the pancreas transplant is a go. I have been described as "an ideal candidate" and heck, what's one more person's DNA in my body. I do want to make sure that I don't need like a liver or something else ridiculous in a year before I sign the papers. Because I could have had a pancreas when I got the kidney, you know. Let's make sure we look at the big picture. I have been a bit absent from blogging, emailing and phone chat has been on the relapse, absent as well. Most of my days have consisted of watching Heather, napping, eating garbage and the solace of planting flowers.
I feel invisible with no school and this new mother role. My identity has shifted so greatly and dramatically in the past couple of months. I'm a little blue, really. I hate Sundays. That's when Heather's real mother is supposed to call, and she ususally doesn't, or when she does, it's for like 3 minutes and this poor two year old has no idea who is on the other end of the phone line. Kevin gets worked up looking at the clock tick by and finally he realizes she doesn't call. He says he isn't but I can tell, or maybe it's just my transference to him. I just look at this little girl and wonder how some mother's can be baby machines and then just drop these kids, without even a clue about what she looks like, whether she is healthy, what her favorite foodis, or how she likes to play. My stomach ends up in knots.
I feel like a loser because I get the impression that sometimes Kevin and his family don't think I can handle caring for Heather or that I'm not doing a good job. I try to explain that this is what chronically ill looks like- yes, most of the days I am a little sick, which may mean that I need to take a nap- not that I'm lazy and although they say they understand, it's probably just me feeling like a loser. I fid myself being moody, which I am thinking is related to the diabetes and the fluctuations with my blood sugar plus the chronic prednisone. I'm really not a bitch, am I?
I talked to Kelli Collomb today finally. I'm trying to catch up on my calls - next up Courtney and Rebecca- new cell phone number? Are you away?
I've been shopping and then returning for more practical things- ahh- retail therapy. Carrie's surgery is scheduled for July 18th. I talked to her to get the date and wish her luck. She was going to come and help my mother with her yard sale but was MIA- she must not need anything this week, as someone anonymous pointed out to me- hmmm really- is it that way really?
Below I posted details about what pancreas transplantation should be like. Until later!

How a Pancreas Transplant is Performed
The transplant recipient's own organs are left in place and the new organs are placed in the lower abdomen. Preferably, the pancreas goes to the right of the bladder and the kidney (when needed) to the left.
The pancreas can be procured in one of two ways: it can be procured from a deceased organ donor or half of a pancreas can be procured from a living organ donor. In the case of a deceased organ donor, the duodenum (a part of the small intestine) is also transplanted because the head of the pancreas is intimately attached to it. In the case of a living organ donor, the tail of the pancreas is the part that is used.
Once procured, the donated pancreas is prepared by the surgeons to be put into the transplant recipient. Both extremes of a deceased donor duodenum are closed and a new opening is made. The donated pancreas is then attached to three places in the transplant recipient:
1. The portal vein coming from the donated pancreas is sewn to the recipient's iliac vein.
2. The pancreas arteries are sewn to a graft of donor's iliac artery, which is then sewn to the recipient's iliac artery.
3. The duodenum's new opening is sewn into the recipient's bladder that will eventually receive the exocrine pancreas secretions (enzymes).
Alternatively, the donor duodenum can be sewn to the recipient's intestine. The first two attachments establish blood flow to the pancreas, allowing insulin release. The third attachment allows the exocrine enzyme (amylase) to be excreted into the urine. Low amylase excretion is a good marker of a pancreas graft rejection episode needing treatment, particularly in the absence of a same donor kidney graft (in which case an increase in blood creatinine is a good parameter). The drainage into the bladder may lead to some post-transplant complications, in which case the recipient is reoperated and the same pancreas graft is attached to the intestine.

Friday, June 30, 2006

POOR JUDE! "Puppa just giving you a HUG!" I don't get it- I think it must be the size, but how funny is it! Notice the cute little short ensemble Jude's Auntie Jill got him!

Here is Heather (naked) posing with Jude at the kiddy pool at my Dad's. Heather is imitating Jude, who pants like a dog. It's probably just as well. Jude doesn't know what quite to make of a naked girl- like most men, Jude sits with his mouth open- befuddled.

Detroit Joe Puppa Dog is by Heather's side at all times, even when she's sleeping. She was snoozing in the back of the car and instead of sticking his snout out the window, Pup's jumped in the back to snuggle her car seat. Gotta love him!

Well, summer makes me lazy: if it's not the heat, it's the rain. I still have to finish one of my school projects from last school session. I'm hoping to finish that tomorrow while at work. I have enclosed more pictures of the past couples of weeks, such as my volunteer opportunity with the Coalition on Donation, which is now DONATE LIFE AMERICA, or if you live in Florida- DONE VIDA AMERICA!

That's all for now!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

here is a picture of Courtney and baby Shay in Florida. Shay definitely has Court's eyes- perhaps we'll finally get an idea of what Court's natural hair color is- just kidding. I'm not sure why the image came out so small, but I'm at work so we won't push it.

This would be funny for my autopsy- huh! Thanks to Jill Peter for thinking of me. It seems Copa Cabana will be my legacy, not that I mind! More later- I just got more pictures!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


It's been a little while since I have blogged and my loyal readers have been gravely disappointed at the lack of consistency so I will try to make up for it with this entry.

I opted not to take classes this summer. I found myself to be drained and I owe Northeastern almost $3K because of the error in my financial aid when I got the kidney- yes, six months later and there is still no resolution.

We've been experiencing a lot of rain here this June so I am still pale, though I guess I should be avoiding the sun anyway since kidney recipients are like 10 times more likely to get skin cancer than other transplants. I have been concentrating on organizing my life and putting things in perspective. I am so lucky to have so many friends and family. I just celebrated my 29th birthday (6/17: thanks to those who remembered) and 30 will really be a highpoint- I never in a million years thought I would live this long. Yippee! Though my stomach has been off- the doctors told me malabsorption is worsened by my antirejection medicine so basically I will just have to deal.

In the meantime, Carrie got a new doggy- Gizmo, an Apricot toy poodle the same as Scooter. He is very cute as you will see. My dad had a cookout on Father's day and Heather and Jude had some fun in the pool. Kevin took me to Isaac's on my birthday and we sat on the deck- a nice date. My mom watched Heather and when we got home, Heather was still awake- I guess Deb was having too much fun to put her to bed.

Wedding season is growing closer. Scott and Audrey came by and asked if I would do a reading at their wedding in September- sure! I presented them with the Blue Shirt Chronicles scrapbook, as Scott was very fond of his blue gingham shirt and has sported it at every family outing for the past two years.

Well, that's about it for now- enjoy the pictures!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Rest in Peace Scooter

Poor Carrie. She was driving with Scooter and he jumped out the window and was hit by another car. He died. Carrie has been hysterical and her life is in upheaval with the move, worries about the surgery, and now this loss. She seems to be getting a lot of support from her aunt and her family. He brother even came up to help her move and her aunt had a burial for Scootie. My mom is pretty upset too. She loved him and would always walk him. She treated him just like he was her own grandpuppy. Carrie cam eto Kevin's to visit and she seemed very rational about the grief process and getting life back to normal. She wants to get another pup just like Scooter. I think that is a good idea. I don't what I would do if Detroit was gone. I feel sure I would need some strong medication. Pets are like children and I wouldn't have survived 2004 and 2005 without my boy, Detroit Joe Puppa Dog.
All dogs go to Heaven...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

My dear friend Jenn Cross, who you may recall from earlier musings, is living in Barcelona and endeavouring to become an international media mogul. She, with the help of friends and her boyfriend Marcus, have started a free cultural newsweekly based on Barcelonian culture- muy interesante- it is in English. Please visit her site:

More tomorrow...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Okay- here are the pictures as promised. I didn't think I would get so much use out of my flash drive but with moving and using so many pictures it has been wonderful.

This is the one and only baby Jude. He is a happy and healthy baby and boy has my brtoher Chris grown up since his birth in October. He looks like Chris from the eyes up and Tiggy, who's is gracefully beautiful in an understated way from the nose down- lucky for him, Jude may not have the Fraccalossi snoz. Jude weighs about as much as Heather and according to Nonna Anne has been panting like a dog. Too cute.

This is Heather palying with Mandy's hair as Dr. Rushforth looks on. Mandy got a kick out of telling Heather to say "Jill Bad Driver".

This is baby Elise, daughter of my cousin Kristin Galletti. She was born May 2nd.

I should get extra points for blogging twice! Until next time...
I am working at self-storage today to cover for Deb Savastano. It's been a quiet day- I haven't had one person come in. Instead, I did a resume for a girl my mom's works with- it's a nice side business I have going and it passes the time. I have 2 classes (2 weeks) until summer session begins and I can't believe how quickly it has gone. I am exhausted. Something about working and gettin gup early and driving- perhaps even the rain for the last week has taken an effect on me.
The rain brought sadness this week. Mike Galletti, Darryl's cousin, was found dead the day after Mother's Day. He was supposed to pick up his wife Claire from the airport, as she was in California visiting her children for the holiday. As I was told, Mike was supposed to pick him up but never showed. His son Randy went over to the house and found him dead. Everyone assumes it was a heart attack, but being that no one was there and that he was a mere 59 years old- he was taken for an autopsy. The services are this weekend. I am hoping I can leave for a bit on Saturday so that I can go to the service. Truly a testament to celebrate each day.

GALLETTI Michael Anthony, age 59, of Plymouth, died unexpectedly at his home on May 15, 2006, he was the devoted husband of Claire E. (Mantenuto) Galletti of Plymouth. Loving father of Randy Galletti and his fiancee Anita Daniels of Kingston, Shaine Galletti of RI, Janine Maker and her husband Robert of Halifax and Bonnie Mangini and her husband Michael of Quincy. He was the beloved stepfather of Matthew Bergman and his wife Gretchen of Santa Monica, CA and Diana Bergman of San Francisco, CA. He was the cherished grand- father of Alexandra, Kelly, Zackary and Kyle. The Funeral will take place on Saturday morn ing at 9:15 from the Cartmell Funeral Home, 150 Court St., Plymouth, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary Church in No. Plym outh at 10:00 a.m. Friends may call at the Cartmell Funeral Home on Friday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Interment will be in Vine Hills Cemetery, Plymouth, MA. Donations in his memory may be made to the American Heart Association, 20 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701-4680

Since I have been so wrapped up in things I missed Kara's visit to Lexington- I'm sorry Momma! Additionally, yesterday was Courtney's birthday. I will see her this weekend and hopefully make it up to her when I go to Shay's baptism on Sunday. New beginnings and endings....
I am still moving my stuff into Kevin's. I have one room that he allocated to my junk. I still have stuff at my mom's in storage, at Chapel Hill and in his basement. It's going to take me a while to get settled and unpacked. It has been good so far. I wake up to a little voice saying I love you Jill in the morning or I overhear "Jill sleepin', Puppa sleepin'". Heather has taken to calling my mother Gramma after hearing me talk to the dog with Gramma as reference to my mom. She also goes around the house saying Dahwryl and BIGD, BIGD. I wish he could hear it, certainly that would brighten his day. Heather is also picking up Jill mannerisms- such as flipping her hair, her new words are shopping shoes shopping mall. I know she didn't get that from Kevin. Although she did pick up a scratch ticket from the ground and say money- that is more likely to be from Kevin. They have both brought a lot of joy to my life and I definitely feel alive.
Next time, pictures!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Well, it seems that the beginning of May has come and gone before my very eyes. Here we are in the middle. School has been keeping me busy. I had another altercation with the little middle eastern boy at the Disability Resource Center who chastised me for taking notes for Steve, the deaf man. The note coordinator had not responded by Tuesday and I figured I better take notes for Steve, rahter than have him go without. I took exemplary, neat notes for all 4 hours of class. When I went to the DRC to have them copied and delivered to the man, Ammis, the middle eastern prick, told me these notes are not authorized. You can't just take notes - you are not yet approved. I explained that the note lady hadn't gotten back to me. He told me that taking notes unauthorized was the equivalent of doing a job which you are not hired for (after all there wasn't an I-9 on file, perhaps, Ammis had an issue with this as the likelihood he was na international student is high, clearly, I am a citizen). He told me that it was Steve's problem, once again and that he was going to follow rules and not copy the notes. I told Ammis that the money was no longer the point, I just wanted the man to get his notes- I must have repeated this a million times. Finally, a girl stepped in and offered to copy the notes and have the coordinator handle the situation.

My stomach has been malabsorbing more frequently indicating that the pancreas is probably truly needed and my diabetes is growing more insulin resistant. I try to keep it in balance and cheat only once a week with sweets. But since I got he kidney, I have a sweet tooth.

Mandy was homer for her dad's birthday and it was great to see her! Perhaps a baby is in her near, not yet. She adopted a kitten for her dad and was teaching Heather to say "Jill Bad Driver"- which, really I am not!!! Heather really took to Mandy and has been saying "Mandy coming, Mandy coming" since she met her.

Kevin, Heather and I went to my dad's house for Jude and Heather to play and to make official introductions. My brother Chris and Tiggy were there and they really are good parents to Jude, who is beautiful and healthy, all I could wish for him. According to my stepmother Anne, Kevin is a good egg, which is a good thing. I have known this all along of course. Careful not to repeat mistakes.

I other news my cousin Kristin had her baby on May 2nd: Elise Shirley Majca. She is adorable and I will post pictures as soon as I have my computer on track- I can't reall save pictures to the work computer. ( But all this typing really makes me look busy on camera!)

I want to give my thanks to those who point out when I am slack at blogging for keeping me on track. I am so lucky to have a troupe of committed friends.
Mini storage has been pretty quiet this weekend, as Plymouth has been fully engulfed in deluge conditions. It's a good day to nap, which I would if I wasn't on camera here all the time.

That's all for now...more SOON!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

I volunteered to be notetaker for a deaf man in my Strategies class and I brought my notes to the Disability Resource Center to fill out paperwork. They asked for volunteers to take notes to accommodate the student and in return you get paid $10 and hour, $40 a class you are already taking notes for anyway. I was very disturbed by the whole experience. First of all, they thought my notes maybe too messy. They asked for a notetaker mid-class and I had no idea I was being judged. Secondly, I looked into what services were available to me-lung/kidney transplant girl and I discovered that I could get a tuition waiver for classes I had to withdraw from. When I inquired at the reception desk about the process, this kid didn't know the half of it and kept telling me to go to the website and about how I had to register first, so on, so forth. So what's the point of the office if everything is web-based? Clearly, the office is designed for undergraduate students- asking that you register 3 months before arrival on campus- uh hello, it will be three months practically until I graduate. Northeastern does not have a medical withdrawal policy and has this option, but in my struggle to get the tuition situation cleared up, wouldn't someone have suggested this? Instead, they took $3000 out of my loan to pay for classes I was enrolled to be taking but couldn't because I was in the midst of surgery! BAHUMBUG!
I am working at mini storage, as I do every Saturday and while my mom usually stops down to bring me lunch and chat with me at my solitary post, Kevin and Heather filled in today. While I am quite attached to Kevin, I am even more attached to little Heather, who ran up to me with arms open to pick her up. My mom and I are teaching her to blow kisses. Kevin brought me a sub and Mt. Dew- such a lifesaver. He is watching Puppa and A-scootie, as Heather calls Scooter, while I am working because 9 hours is a long time to go without a pee/poop break for anyone, even a dog. I am prepping kevin to meet the Rushforths and my dad tomorrow, perhaps if my dad isn't golfing. I brought Heather to play with big baby Jude on Friday. Juse loved her. He is 6months old and is bigger than Heather. Jude is a very happy baby, giggling and smiling and Anne keeps him so stimulated that even I was tired. Jude kept trying to touch Heather, was cooing at her and was following her around in his wheely walker thing. She hitched a ride on the back- she's no fool. Jude just really can't steer. I have a picture I will upload later.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

First let me note that my divorce is final- the 90 days have passed and that chapter of my life is over. A new chapter is starting and despite those who caution me about taking things too quickly, I want to say that I am keeping that in the front of my mind as things progress- progress nicely.With Mandy home this weekend, and the girls around, not to mention the Rushforth seal of dis/approval, we will certainly get a new perspective. I am thinking of taking Heather to see my nephew Jude tomorrow at Anne's and bringing Kevin to meet the Balboni side.

I am dogsitting Scooter and Carrie isn't really talking to me, just to my mother, but I guess she is still having me watch the pooch out of necessity. I will bring him home when I am at school but he likes rides in the car and playing Heather and Detroit Joe Puppa.

I started the next six week session at Northeastern and although I was trying to hussle to get it done, last session killed me and I missed more classes than I wanted due to exhaustion. So I dropped to two and dropped my masters project online this summer. There's no reason I can't graduate in the Fall. I was going to find a part-time job, but as the evaluation period begins for the pancreas transplant, more and more time will be spent dealing with medical issues. Perhaps I will see if there are any lecturer positions at the local campuses.

In other news, I have been invited to speak for the Massachusetts Respiratory Therapists in September- a paid gig. Whohoo! That's what I would love to do. My first assignment in my Strategic Leadership class is to write an autobiography. Maybe this will kickstart progrressing with my book.
more later....

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Well, Carrie is really pissed now. While it is okay for her to post about her "surgery" on her blog and disclose the details of my relationship on her blog- apparently, it is not okay for me to write on my blog. Double standard? Reality-based thinking? She is mad as hell. If you would like to read more about how pissed she is, visit:
Anyway, I editted my post and asked her to do the same with hers.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Well, another 9 credits down. Next week I start another three classes: Human Resources Management in Nonprofit Organizations, Strategic Leadership and Program Evaluation and Assessment. I am hoping that I get my financial aid cleared up or I may have to reconsider summer classes, which stinks because I should be done at the end of the summer should everything go right. Needless to say, however, I love school and did well this semester.

Easter didn't go as planned, but it was good just the same. Little Heather ended up in the emergency room while I was at Aunt Deb's for dinner with an awful stomach bug. She was admitted for dehydration and Kevin was with her every second- he really is a great dad. My mom and I brought him Easter dinner at the Jordan. Every time I went back to visit, Heather had more bunny rabbits- you know what they say about rabbits. My mom and Anne both got her gifts and Heather loved them. She was released Sunday night and I watched her most of the rest of the week. She was back to normal.

In other news, Carrie is upset with me. I told her that I can't live with her anymore and that I would probably end up moving in with Kevin in a couple of months. I spend most of my time there, he has a yard for Detroit, plenty of space for junk and it is a house. He would charge me the same that I am paying now. We discussed that it was soon, yes, but when it is right it is right. I have to make sure he meets the rest of the family so they don't think I am moving in with a stranger or repeating mistakes. I want to keep everything above boards. I have talked to Carrie that I am not stopping being her friend but that I have to go my own way and she feels ditched. I can't help her out of her misery when she is uncomfortable and depressed because she is overweight. She could get support from her Aunt who lives in Westborough but she doesn't want to tell her of her plans for surgery. I can't take responsibility for that one. I told her that I thought she was out of control before, now it is worse. She continues to be in a bad space with the cycle of depression and eating. The only suggestion I made that she heard was that she should get into therapy again. She took this as an insult although she is a therapist herself. But I also suggested going to the gym, easting better, stopping fast food, going out, walking the dog, etc. but, apparently all those suggestions fell on deaf ears. I understand that her feelings are hurt, but she is not considering my point that I can't live in a mess anymore, accompanied by misery and negativity. I don't know whatelse to say or do. AND NOW, SOME QUOTES:
for a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin- real life. but there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. at last it dawned on me that these were obstacles in my life. this perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. happiness is the way, so treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. happiness os a journey, no a destination.-souza


RISK more than others think is safe, CARE more than others think is wise,DREAM more than others think is practical, EXPECT more than others think is possible.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

On Saturday night, we ate a combination pre-Easter/group Birthday dinner at my aunts Deb and Merle's house. Rob and Jennifer were visiting from New York City. My deaf aunt Diane was present and Johanna's new boyfriend Jacob was there too. My grandfather rolled in. We had a cake from The Cake Lady, who makes the best cakes in town.