Author Archives: lauramccain

In the blood

I’m not sure if I’ve written a post about the fact that I have a Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS). Learn more about it here if you’re interested. I could tell a long story about it, but the abridged version is that I may be heading toward a diagnosis of a blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma.

The average survival rate for people with this condition is five years, but some people live for twenty-five years after being diagnosed. The treatment is a three-drug therapy: bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone. There’s information about a study of that therapy here.

My husband, Ernie, is quite worried that I might one day be diagnosed with this cancer. I am not so concerned because I’m convinced that there is life after death. I’ll write about my interest in near-death experiences (NDEs) another time.

I do owe it to my husband to try and stick around as long as I can. This is where the non-traditional medicine comes in.

There was an Amish healer in Indiana named Solomon Wickey. He is said to have cured people who have cancer and other ailments with herbs, and diet. Ernie knew a few people whose lives were extended after being treated by Wickey, so he believes he was for real. So, Ernie did a Google search for any Wickey protégées that might be practicing. He found a blog post listing a few of them and insisted that I contact one of them. I was resistant to the idea, mostly because I do not currently have Multiple Myeloma. What would I ask the person to cure me of?

Ernie decided he liked one of these people and kept pestering me to call her. I agreed to see her if he would call and make the appointment for me. He made the call, and a week or two later we made the hour and a half drive for a consultation.

I won’t reveal the practitioner’s name unless the next round of blood tests shows a lessening or reversal of the MGUS. I will tell you that her methods could be considered kind of “out there on the fringe.” She put touched my right leg with one hand and then seemed to be sensing things about my health. When something came up, her free hand would twitch. I was willing to accept that what she was doing could be legitimate because I believe in a lot of things that haven’t been proven by science.

The consultation ended with her prescriptions me some supplements to take for weeks and instructions to come back for a follow-up appointment.

The supplements cost over $400, so you have to wonder if it’s all just a scam. I don’t know if my doctors would approve of me taking all of this stuff. I did some research and didn’t find any known dangerous drug interactions. I have had no adverse side effects so far. One of the things she prescribed is CBD oil, and I do think it’s helping me to sleep through the night. It might also be helping with MS-related spasticity. It might all be a result of the placebo effect.

That’s the story so far.

And here’s the art.

Abstract digital art composition

Health and things

Let’s talk about:

  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Weight loss
  • Exercising with MS
  • Herbalists & Naturopaths
  • Near Death Experience
  • Life after death
  • Love
  • Art
  • Writing
  • Jewelry
  • Meditation
  • Podcasts

That is a list of topics that are swimming around my head. It’s a prompt, of sorts-perhaps a promise.

I must blog about these topics, or else.

Or else what? I don’t know.

Red tulips

Repetition

I signed up for a free online workshop hosted by Karen Abend, called Sketchbook Revival.

I did this because I have a habit of signing up for things that I don’t have time for. I’m lucky to have remembered about this one at all.

Today I watched the first video of the series while using cardio equipment at Planet Fitness.

The session was given by Kiala Givehand who is one of the few African Americans I’ve come across in the mixed-media, art journaling world. The field is dominated by white women and I sure there’s a sociology paper that needs to be written about that. I’m no Sociology major, so I’ll move on.

Anyway, Kaila demonstrated some simple paper folding bookmaking techniques that I want to try. At the end of the class, she talked about the value of repetition in making art. She mentioned a poet who sat down every morning for a year and wrote a new poem about the view from his kitchen window. That is a great idea. What if I adapt it to fiction writing. I could write about a character doing the same actions every day for a month. Maybe he/she has a goal in mind, and I try different ways to get there. Now that sounds like an exercise guaranteed to improve my writing.

People say there are no guarantees in life. Let’s listen less to people for a change. Let’s just be us.

Some repetition:

Digitally painted abstract flowerDigitally painted abstract flowerDigitally painted abstract flower

Partake

A daily prompt entry

I want to be in the club and not pay dues.

I want to get drunk and have no morning hangover.

I want to eat all of the world’s chocolate and still lose 30 pounds.

I want to save all the endangered animals.

I want to be

  • a writer
  • an actor
  • a singer
  • an artist

I want everything.

Still, I could use some sound sleep.

I’d love to have financial independence and an herb garden.

I want to understand where my soul resides. Am I separate from it? How do I know me?

Have I always existed?

Was I once a lion?

Have I lived a million lives?

What comes next?

Will I be ready?

Abstract digital painting

True Crime as a guilty pleasure

True crime podcasts are wildly popular as of late. I mainly listen to True Crime Garage and Sword and Scale.

Sometimes I wonder if there is something morally questionable about being entertained by the activities of criminals, and the suffering of their victims. Is true crime socially acceptable porn? But even porn is socially acceptable these days.

I might have been a detective in a past life—I’ll post about my belief in reincarnation another time.

I’m intrigued by the process of investigating a crime. The detectives examine the crime scene and collect evidence. They look into the background of the victim to figure out who they associated with and who might have had reason to harm them.  Sometimes the victim happens to be at the right place at the right time for the perpetrator. In these cases, investigators hope to find someone who witnessed the crime or saw something before or after the crime occurred.

This post is not meant to be a primer on how to be a criminal investigator. I am not qualified to write such a primer. However, my consumption of true crime entertainment and detective fiction is filling me with fodder for writing my own crime fiction. I could refer you to previous posts about me not writing enough, but blah, blah, blah.

This entry (if I can call it that) sort of went off the rails. I need a blogging plan. I need all sorts of plans. Here’s a list.

  • Eating
  • Exercise
  • Art
  • Blogging
  • Fiction writing
  • Plans for plans
    • sub plans
      • sub sub plans

Get the picture? Now watch as very little comes of any of it. I guess a Little is better than nothing.

doodle4-21

Work doodle

 

 

 

 

Finally

After trying for years to convince my husband that we needed a side-by-side refrigerator, we got one! It arrived yesterday and just fits where the old one was. If it were any wider, we would have had to send it back. I believe this fridge will change my life. Does that sound like an exaggeration? Sure, it’s a bold statement to make, but having more space for fresh and prepared foods will make it easier for me to eat healthfully and lose that 20 or so pounds I’ve gained over the past couple of years.

I made a tomato sauce today loosely based on a recipe in The Vegetarian’s Bible: 350 Quick, Practical, and Nutritious Recipes, by Inga-Britta Sundqvist. Cooking is so much more fun when your kitchen is somewhat usable. My space is far from perfect, but the new refrigerator has already made a difference.

I roasted broccoli and prepared some frozen tortellini to serve with the sauce. Here’s tomorrow’s lunch and probably dinner.  I might add some blackened salmon to the evening meal.

White side-by-side refrigerator.

My beautiful side-by-side refrigerator.

Tomato sauce with onions, garlic, carrots, and misc. spices.

Tomato sauce with onions, garlic, carrots, and misc. spices.

 

Roasted broccoli, tortellini, and tomato sauce for lunch.

Roasted broccoli, tortellini, and tomato sauce for lunch.

 

 

 

 

Just when I think

Just when I think I have it, I find that I don’t. I probably never will.

Waiting for magic to happen is the worst thing you can do, because while you’re waiting, magic is springing up all around you. You have to allow yourself to see it. Ask for it.

Is this a dark time in history? Or, is there more light shining on who and what we are.

Magic is in birdsong. Listen all you can.

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