Somebody, PLEASE tell me why I went back to college at the age of 51? This is a young person's game. I'm tired, exhausted, and so tired and exhausted. The other day I had to leave my practicum early and come home and take a nap. I hit the wall and couldn't go anymore.  I want to go back to bed for about two hours after I get up. How can one person be this tired? In May it will be four years since my transplant, and I am still so exhausted. Maybe if I were younger, it would be easier?

Tonight I comforted a good friend as she wept with grief because her grandson is very sick. I haven't had an extremely ill grandchild (Thank you, Jesus), but I have had a very sick son, and she knows I understand.  My heart hurts for the family. Life can be overwhelming sometimes.

God wants us to enjoy our lives and not work all the time. I believe I am going to take the rest of the night off. I give myself permission to relax!


When it rains, it pours. Since we remodeled the kitchen, we have had multiple problems with appliances.  Patrick replaced a part in the oven, fixed the washer, the garbage disposal, and the vacuum. Now we have something that keeps backing up in the downstairs bathroom tub. It happens every year, and it seems that ice gets stuck in there. The problem is that he has to do this every year and I"m sure it's getting old.

On top of that, I lost my grip on the storm door last night, and it won't shut now, and it's difficult to get in the front door.  Patrick has been working on the new barn doors for the pantry all day and ran into some problems with them. I hate to tell him the bathtub is full of stuff again. He's gotta be so tired!

I ran out of my Acyclovir a week ago. It's an anti-viral that I take to prevent from getting shingles. It's my fault I ran out. We switched insurances in January, and it took me a while to figure out the mail order information. Then it turned out that my prescription is expired. The doctor's office (Mayo) was supposed to call it into a local pharmacy for some quick pills but did not do so. I talked to someone who had a transplant about a year or so after me, and he just got shingles because he ran out of his Acyclovir. Oh God please help me. That's the last thing I need.


My dad turned 76 years old yesterday.  Let me tell you a bit about my dad.  He was the fun dad who always wanted to get right in the middle of things and act like a kid himself.  When I was probably 11, I desperately wanted to learn to do a backflip off the edge of our outdoor (above ground) swimming pool. I stood out there for hours one day (more than one day) trying to get my courage up to do it. Dad would patiently demonstrate how to do those back flips I remember feeling so impressed that he could do that. After all, he had to have been in his mid-30's, and that is quite old! At least to an 11-year-old that seemed old anyway.  I never did accomplish the backflip, but Dad sure did try to help.  I used to hang out with my dad in his body shop when I was young and then after school each day since my Mom worked in a hospital.  I would lie on one of the creepers that go under cars and read my Raggedy Ann books.  When I got a little older, I started reading Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew books.  When I was an adult, Dad found a whole set of Trixie Belden books that he bought for me at a garage sale. I will always treasure those books.  Dad was the fun pastor who readily accepted the pie with whipped cream in the face each year at the church party.  He visited all the sick people and encouraged all who needed it. He performed hundreds of weddings and held thousands of babies.  One time he had Logan overnight and drove him to Anchorage where Patrick and I were because he wanted his mommy. After I hugged him, he decided to go back with Pockie and Dad happily transported him back to Wasilla.  He would take Logan fishing on the halibut boat most weekends too.  When the other grandchildren started arriving, he continued to be the most fantastic grandfather of all. He built them a hockey rink that was the size of probably a standard rink. He used his bobcat as a Zamboni. He even had a dog that fetched the hockey pucks. He and Mom housed dozens of teens throughout the years who wanted to skate with my kids. There is so much more I could say about my dad. I'm so blessed to have him as a father.  He loves Jesus, and he loves his family.  He and Mom love Texas, and I miss them very much.  I'm glad he's relaxing more and is warm, but I sure wish he'd come home.

It's just 0500, but I have been up for a while. It was a long and painful night for me. I overdid it yesterday- too many activities. I had to cut out of class early (thankfully I have online classes) and crawl into bed. I hit the wall.  Unfortunately, the pain kept waking me up so I didn't rest as much as I should have. I am praying that things get more comfortable for me. Please pray for a certain individual in my community who is residential treatment but is still fighting change.  I'm concerned this person will get kicked out of yet another treatment center, and there aren't many options left. I want this person to understand the value they bring to others and how they should value themselves. Guilt and shame must go away, and God's grace must blanket over all.


Yesterday was a very, very long day of studying and today has been as well. I'm done for the evening even though I have enough homework for another 50 hours- no exaggeration. I'm tired, and I must listen to my body as it tells me it needs sleep.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of those who are fighting cancer. I am going to pray a universal prayer for all my friends who are sick and going through difficult things.

God, please be with every person I know. Lord, there are many who have reached out to me to cover them with prayer. God, I am asking you to listen to my spirit plead for those who need you even when I am not verbally saying their names. Lord, there are so many I know who are very sick and are going through so much. I know multiple people who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.  Two are little children preparing for a bone marrow transplant now. One is another friend who just found out she has lymphoma and her husband recently had a bone marrow transplant.  It's just too much Father God, but you are in control. You will hold them when they cannot even think.  Hear their cries God and bring peace and comfort to them and their families.  I ask you to bless my friend Sherri as she continues to take care of her severely disabled daughter almost single-handily.  Her life has been on hold for the past 20 years.  I pray you to send someone to her to help her with her child so she and her husband can have some time alone to rest.  I pray for my friend who has Parkinson's disease and continues to work despite her pain and fatigue.  I pray for my granny whose memory is starting to fade and she now has a problem with her heart. I pray for my parents as they deal with the bureaucracy of selling a business. I pray for my husband as he travels home tomorrow from the cabin. I pray with the person who entered treatment a week ago and I thank you in advance for healing his heart, thoughts, and behaviors. I trust you will do this and I have faith in this healing. I pray for all the other people I have heard about who have addiction problems. I pray that drugs will be eradicated in Alaska and the world! I pray no new person even tries a drug and that we prevent new addictions from starting. I pray that you help me get my papers done promptly and I do an excellent job on them. I pray for my daughter and granddaughters health and safety, and I pray the same for my son-in-law and ask you to watch out for his safety as he has a dangerous job. I pray for every single person reading this, Lord and ask for you to bless them with good health, good cognition, financial blessings, and peace. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!


I got word today that the sister of one of Logan's dear friends from Ronald McDonald House was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Her brother died from cancer, and now she is faced with the knowledge she too has cancer.  My heart grieves for her and for her parents.

I also grieve for my lack of effort with checking on those who I hold dear to my heart. I am so overwhelmed with school I am stuck in my little bubble. I haven't even been calling my daughter or granddaughters much. I haven't had a meaningful conversation with my husband in a few weeks. Is going to school worth this isolation?


Valentine's Day... 61% celebrate this "Day of Love". There are multiple historical accounts of how Valentine's Day got started.  There are reports that the 1840s was the start of the official Valentine's Day card distribution.  There are an average of 2 billion dollars spent annually on this day, and 6 million couples will get engaged. The average person spends $130 on gifts for this day. Wow! After Christmas, this is the holiday people spend the most money on in celebration. I am not into forced holidays myself.  When I was a teen, I wanted nothing more than being pampered on Valentine's Day by someone special. I longed to be one of those girls at school who got flowers, gifts, and cards from their dashing, handsome boyfriend. That never happened to me. Patrick and I didn't start dating until after Valentine's Day my senior year. He had graduated a year early in Colorado.  The next year I was mentally ready to have my Knight in Shining Armor shower me with flowers, chocolates (albeit sugar-free) and gifts.  I had it all set up in my mind that it was going to be the most romantic day of my life.  Flashforward to reality: He showed up at my apartment without cards or flowers or gifts. He was unaware that I had this ridiculously romantic dream in my head.  I was crushed. I am embarrassed to say I had quite the meltdown. I was devastated. I had built up my first romantic Valentine's Day so much in my mind that his failure to shower me with gifts crushed me.  He rushed out to the store and bought some plant that had a heart on the planter.  I realized at that moment that I was worshipping the holiday and being greedy and selfish for expecting someone to fulfill my romantic fantasy.  Since that initial Valentine's Day I have trouble receiving any acknowledgment or gifts from my husband on this annual, and very popular, holiday. I decided I don't want anyone to feel forced to buy some ridiculous just because someone decided one day a year should be designated to show your loved one that you are important to them.  Patrick may not have provided me with what I was expecting that first Valentine's Day we shared, but he taught me that he shows he loves me in so many other ways.  He takes care of me by providing for me financially; he supports me in all my endeavors including going to school. Last night he aired up my deflated tire and promised to check on it this morning. He filled my washer fluid up the other day when I noticed it was low.  When I was sick, he lovingly cared for me.  A few weeks ago he brought me a stuffed seal and a card, and it wasn't even a holiday.

We must be careful to not worship holidays, events, or people.  God will always be the love of our lives.  Even though we don't always get what we want from God either, in the end, we will get the best gift ever- eternity with him.  That would make a beautiful Valentine's Day present.  Every day will be a day of love when we are in Heaven.


I've been studying and writing papers since 0530 with only about a 90-minute break today. It is 9:30 PM and I am exhausted.  I'm about ready to go to bed. Tomorrow is another full day of reading.  I do not feel as overwhelmed today as I have been. I finished a couple of papers, so I am not as worried as I was. I do leave Monday for Juneau for one night but two full days. Next week is going to be difficult, but I will somehow manage.

I had another corneal erosion last night, but my hips are feeling pretty good. I'm thankful for that.


I have been awake since 0400 this morning.  I had my alarm set for 0500, but I woke up at 4 and never went back to sleep. I went ahead and got up and headed out the door by 0600 to drive to the airport.  I was excited to get to Juneau, but I was feeling torn about staying home versus continuing the trip.  Patrick fell five feet off a ladder yesterday and badly sprained his ankle.  I have never seen him in so much pain. He was sure it was broken. He's broken many bones before, so I thought it was a strong possibility. I feel terrible about how it all happened.  I had been up since 0500 Sunday and studied all day.  At 3:30 PM I decided to take a nap.  Shortly after I fell asleep, he called me using Face Time Audio. I answered the phone, and he hung up.  Then he called right back, and I answered and heard nothing. Then he called a third time, and I just didn't answer. I then sent him a text and told him he's calling me over and over. I figured he was accidentally hitting the button.  He sent a reply text, "I'm hurt bad and need help." I scrambled as fast as I could to get out to the garage.  Casey helped him get into the car, and I drove him to the hospital. I stood in line to check him in for over 15 minutes.  Finally, we got back, and they stuck him in the hallway- there were no rooms available.  After a time they put him in a double room.  It took me a while to realize he was in a room with a child who had a fever, cough, and was vomiting and they were testing him for the flu. I became very worried and got a mask to help protect me from being sick.  Two hours later, I was able to take him home. Nothing was broken.  His pain continues to be excruciating.  Both sides of his left ankle are incredibly swollen and bruised. I feel guilty leaving him home while I am here. What I am doing is essential though, and as a future social worker, I need to be involved in social policy and advocating for others.

I spent the entire day learning about the issues we will be talking to the legislators about tomorrow.  I was in extreme pain myself and could barely walk.  I signed on to one of my classes for 45 minutes, went and had dinner, came back to the room and took a nap before I had another class project at 9 PM. It is now almost 10:30 PM, and it's time for me to get some sleep. I am not sure how long I can keep up with this schedule. I sleep little at night, and I'm a walking zombie. I am fearful I will get sick again.


Meeting with the senators and representatives was amazing.  I learned so much from all the wonderful volunteers that were there.  The people I was with were so inspiring and being around them makes me want to continue improving my advocacy and helping skills.  It was truly a great experience, and I am so glad I was invited to be part of it.  The icing on the cake was having a 15-minute conversation with Senator Murkowski about one of my papers- Homelessness and the correlation of substance abuse in Wasilla. She willingly gave me her time, and I was impressed with her genuineness and compassion.

I'm running on fumes, and I am not sure how much longer I can continue this.  I have been up since 0350.  I have a full day today with practicum, PT, and interviews for two of my papers. My mind isn't sharp, and my body is weary. I need to sleep so bad.

Patrick finally felt up to going to work today. I haven't seen him in have such difficulty before. He has been hurting so much, but nothing is broken. He does have arthritis in that foot, so I wonder if that is exacerbating his pain.

I know so many people going through such difficult things right now. My prayers are being sent through my spirit. Sometimes I am too tired to say the words, but God knows my thoughts and desires for my friends and family who desperately need him.


Casey was cleaning when I stopped by the house before my MRI. It’s such a blessing to have help. I am so busy with school, and Patrick is still hurting from his fall. I am extremely nauseous today- it came on suddenly. I’m hoping it is because I’m so tired, not because I am sick. I feel like I did all those months after transplant. I had a fun phone visit with the girls last night. Ollie wanted to talk for a change.. I am so behind in schoolwork. I need energy.


The calamities of the Marre's continue. Patrick left Monday morning. I think it was for Texas for his business trip.  The plan was to fly from Houston to Montana after the meeting and then drive Meghan's truck up the ALCAN following Kirk and his truck and the trailer. So the night before Patrick was to leave he asked me to get his passport out of the safe. It turns out that his passport expires this month! Since they would be hitting Canada in March, that wasn't going to work. He got on the internet and found that for around $500 he could have it delivered overnight. The catch was he still had to mail the form to them. He was at a loss of what to do. I suggested that he go ahead and fly to Montant and bring the girls back with him and Meghan drive her truck through Canada. Well, two problems.... It turns out her passport is also expired. And he said, "How am I going to get through the airport with three children and bags?" Kirk decided that they will all fly home and they'll fly back to Montana in a month or so to pick the trucks up. Oh goodness, gracious that was well planned out.  Of course, I feel partly responsible because I take care of all the money and the organization here at the house. I should have checked to see if his passport was still good. I have been neglecting my household duties since I started school. The nice thing is, I will still see Meghan and the girls on Saturday night and now Kirk too! Patrick is going to change his ticket and fly home Friday night from Houston. Wow..... that was a stressful 12 hours. I think God knew that it wasn't a good idea for them to be traveling in the winter through Canada. He works all things out for his glory.

I went to see my orthopedic doctor Monday to get the results of my spinal MRI. I was unpleasantly surprised to find out I have some back issues I didn't know about. I have bulging disks, and part of my back was classified as "severe disk disease" which freaked me out. Now I am being referred to a spinal surgeon.  My doctor said they would probably want to do Cortisone injections. The last time I did that I developed adrenal insufficiency and my blood sugars were out of control for about six months. I do not think that will be an option again, but we will see. He also told me he could not help me with my hip pain. I believe he is the fourth or fifth doctor in three states to tell me that. I am not pleased. I started crying in his office. I'm tired of the pain.  I also continue feeling nauseous and have lost my appetite. I have to force myself to eat- like I did when my blood sugar dropped to 56 this afternoon. No choice but to eat even though food doesn't sound good. I think it's the GVHD.

Tomorrow I am taking a break and going out to dinner with a friend. I am so thankful she invited me out. I need to take some time to enjoy myself and my friends, and I am looking forward to it.


As we head into spring with the promise of fresh flowers, green grass, and sunshine around the corner, I am taking a moment to have an attitude of gratitude. 

The day I got the disappointing news from my orthopedic doctor I had an anonymous package delivered. Someone who cares about me sent me bath products to soothe and calm me and school supplies to keep me organized. I was moved to tears of joy. "Though the sorrow might last through the night, the joy comes in the morning." I have no idea who sent the package to me, but God's timing is amazing. I was down and out for a bit, then greatly encouraged knowing someone sensed I needed a cheerful pick-me-up.

My friend Lisa treated me to dinner last night, and we had a wonderful time sharing and encouraging each other. I didn't realize how badly I needed a friend.

Today I treated myself to a latte and found out I was the recipient of a "pay it forward" coffee which touched me as well!

Meghan, the girls, and Patrick come home tomorrow!  Tomorrow!  It looks like Kirk won't be coming home for a bit which is disappointing, but I will be glad to have the others around.

Today I plan to be finished with my community needs assessment and will start on the other papers. God is good and faithful. I've got this.


It has been a busy few days! Roy picked Patrick up for me Saturday morning, and Kate and I went to pick the girls up that night.  Meghan texted me while still in the air (technology is fabulous) to tell me Ailynn was vomiting.  It seems she got a quick 12-hour stomach virus. She threw up several times on the plane and then again on the way home.  Thankfully Auntie Katie picked up some garbage bags for her to use while vomiting. Poor baby girl.  We are very happy the other girls didn't get it. They all fell asleep on the way home, so I didn't get to visit with them until Sunday. I've been so busy with school work that my time with them is limited, unfortunately. I am so thankful they are staying in Alaska.  Kirk is driving their truck and 5th wheel home. Meghan has been a big help with washing dishes after dinner, and I appreciate it.

Aunt Connie, Holly, and I have interviews with some potential home health aids on Friday. It's time to look at getting help for Granny.


Today I was told I am ignorant and uneducated and I need to be respectful, articulate, and factual in my thoughts and beliefs related to income inequality.  I have some incredibly liberal people in my social work policy class who believe that income must be distributed equally. They don't believe anyone deserves to be wealthy and "no one" earned it, therefore; we must take away the wealth and redistribute it to the poor.  I wrote a very articulate post expressing my views and was careful to be respectful to everyone. The response of this person infuriated me.  She targeted me and three other conservatives in the class. The rest are liberals who think that it is okay to insult their peers in defense of the poor who don't have money. Evidently, all my experience and volunteer work and genuine helping efforts don't count. I am a racist white privileged person. I am not a happy person right now. 


Today is my birthday, and I am thankful I am alive. Meghan and the girls came over today. The girls made me a card and brought me flowers. I feel loved and cared for.  We did nothing exciting, but it sure is nice to be with people who love me and make me feel like I am important and valuable.


I have been staying up far too late each night. This morning I overslept and didn't have time to wash my hair before my doctor appointment.  I took a quick shower, put some make-up on, dressed and was out the door.  My body is letting me know that tonight I must go to sleep earlier.  

The doctor is going to run a different test on me.  I will be getting another MRI but this time of my SI joint.  He said that could explain some of the burnings I have in my gluteal muscles and some of the pain I have in my tailbone area.  He was careful to tell me that my hip problem is a separate matter, but perhaps I could get some relief if the SI joint is another problem.  At least I got very good news when he said the assessment "severe disk disease" was likely a typo because my back doesn't look that bad. I have degenerative disk disease, but it's not terrible. I was thrilled to hear that news of course. I am very fed up with going to doctors.  I still have to buy my plane ticket for Mayo visit in May. The tickets are so expensive right now, and I keep hoping for a sale.

I called my mom today, and she and Dad were shopping at the Hobby Lobby. Dad had a great attitude.  He said, "where there is a lot to look at."  I know he has no interest in the merchandise there, but how considerate of him to go with Mom!  In less than a month they will be here.

Tomorrow I am going over to Granny's to reintroduce her to one of the ladies Aunt Connie and I hired to help her in the mornings 3 x per week.  Oh, I hope she likes her!


I did not make it over to Granny's today because I woke up about 0200 with a stomach virus.  I knew the vomiting would start and unfortunately, I was correct.  I had some flashbacks of the horrendous times I had during chemo and after transplant.  I kept reminding myself to stay in the hear and now and not go back in time.  I have done nothing today but sleep and lie on the couch watching ridiculously stupid movies.  We recently switched to streaming lately, and I cannot figure out how to watch a regular news program or TV program.  I have no new books to read, and I'm bored out of my mind.  Patrick went to hang out with the girls tonight, so I'm very lonely.


 I am ready to leave the country. Not that would help with my current issues. I had body aches and a fever for the last couple of days. Today I started feeling better and went to a couple of meetings. Lunch was provided at one of the meetings. The caterer didn’t find it important to identify there were nuts in the bread. I have spent my afternoon vomiting and miserable. Patrick had an MRI today on his foot because it’s worse. How can we run from problems? Unfortunately, we can not. 

 I spend more time in the doctor's offices than I do with my grandbabies because of therapy and diagnostic testing for my hip pain. I'm a total baby, and I want to again feel hope and excitement. I want to be joyful and thankful. I desire to be appreciative of this amazing opportunity that God opened for me. Yes, I was a total baby last night. I  allowed myself two hours of crying and feeling sorry for myself and then I decided to choose joy again.
I saw a FB post from a guy I have gotten to know through social media.  He had a bone marrow transplant about a year ago, and he does a fine job of expressing his trepidations and fears about his life and recovery from having a stem cell transplant.  It appears to be a common thing; we are grateful to be alive, but still trying to figure out this "new normal" and how we can cope and get through the pain and uncomfortableness we often have after transplant.
Debbie brought me a homemade ham frittata this morning for breakfast to celebrate my birthday.  It was the first time we could find time to get together.  She also made me an awesome bird feeder with green jewels on it which I loved, gave me a necklace she saw me admire, and a beautiful charm someone made in memory of her child who died.  Debbie is one of those thoughtful friends who loves to personalize gifts.
After she left, I went to the doctor as I am still not feeling well.  Now I have a sinus infection AND conjunctivitis.  We had the girls last night (should I say we had the three Petri dishes?) and I wasn't much of an entertainer. I never got off the couch.  I don't feel well, but I am determined to get through this without too much whining.  My antibiotic and eye drops are ready to be picked up, and I will go after I get a bit more schoolwork done.
Patrick's MRI shows that he has a couple of broken heel bones and his tendons and ligaments are a mess. The doctor cannot even see him till next Wednesday, so I don't know if he will have to have surgery or not.
I see Dr. Spencer this morning. The other day I had my blood tests done at a lab out here. I don't usually do it that way, but with our new insurance, I am restricted to one lab.  I dreamed that night my hematocrit was down to 6.5 and I needed a transfusion, and they suspected I relapsed. I woke up gasping in fright.  I haven't gotten my results at this point but I will today. Hopefully, all is okay.
My blood tests were perfect. From a leukemia standpoint, I am doing well.  I spoke with a friend of a friend today who had a transplant for leukemia eight months ago. He needed to talk to someone who is ahead of him in the process. He's a nice guy, and I'm glad I can be supportive of others going through what I went through. I am thankful that little Cove is doing well after his transplant and he's already been released from the hospital to Ronald McDonald House.  God is good and faithful in the good times and the bad times. I trust him.
The doctor said Patrick does not need surgery, but his foot is in bad shape.  It could take six months to heal. It continues to be very swollen.  He's still not allowed to put any weight on it. It's been almost six weeks. I cannot imagine having to use crutches for a day, let alone months — poor guy.
Today I have been even more tired than usual.  I have almost fallen asleep several times already. Just a little more school work and then I am headed to bed early tonight.  Ringo is going to get a much-needed bath tomorrow, and I will visit Granny.
Ringo got his bath, and he's finally bright white, and the dingy fur is gone. He was so filthy. I am embarrassed about how bad I let him look.
I got an SI injection today, and it was absolutely painful.  I may have said a couple of cuss words.....The doctor hit a nerve and pain shot down my right leg. When it was over my right leg was numb, and it was very difficult to walk. I tried to get dressed, and I kept falling over. I realized I felt intoxicated. I asked the technician if that was a side effect and it actually is! Some people report feeling drunk. It took me about ten minutes of sitting in the lobby before I felt sober again.  Since the procedure, I have hurt so bad. They injected me with lidocaine and another medication for numbing. The only thing I can say positive is the right side of my gluteal muscles is not burning- just the left side. But everything else still hurts just as much perhaps even more. I am experiencing the pain I don't usually have.
Meghan and the girls stopped by to see me for a bit before they went over to a friends' house. It was the first time I have seen them since Monday. I think we get to keep the girls tomorrow which will be fabulous!
We did get to keep Olivienne and Ailynn last night. Boe spent the night with grandma Jane.  Meg brought Boe over today when she picked the girls up. I put Boe on the swing outside and she fell asleep.  I carried her across the yard (big accomplishment for me) and she woke up and wanted her mommy. Meghan had her and all the sudden, Boe started vomiting!! It was her first vomiting experience and we got to witness it. Ugh. Poor baby. Meghan said Boe has vomited several more times and Meghan has a fever, body aches, and is nauseous. I am so sorry she is sick and I wish I could help her tomorrow when Kirk goes back to work.  Speaking of Kirk, today is his 28th birthday!  They have been together almost 12 years which seems crazy. 
Here we are at the end of March and the mosquitoes are out and all the snow is melted.  I do believe spring is here!  My parents arrive in nine days and I know this summer will be wonderful.