Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Thanks, Grandpa...  You weren't American, but you fought valiantly for the cause overseas.

I never met my grandfather.  He had died in Peshawar, India, fighting for the Black Watch during World War l.  Peshawar was on the northern frontier of British India, near the Khyber Pass. 

In 1947, Peshawar became part of the newly independent state of Pakistan after politicians approved merger into the state that had just been carved from British India.


We have a trunk of his belongings, though, and it’s very interesting to recreate his life.

My dad was born in Scotland in 1913. 

In 1914, my grandfather was involved in this:

On the outbreak of war there were seven Black Watch battalions - for in addition to the Regular 1st and 2nd Battalions and 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion there were a further four Territorial ones which had become part of the Regiment in 1908. They were the 4th Dundee [Mary O’Note: I’m pretty sure this was his, since that’s where my dad was born], 5th Angus, 6th Perthshire and the 7th Battalion from Fife. The 1st Battalion was in action at the very start of the war taking part in the Retreat from Mons before turning on the Germans at the River Marne and the subsequent advance to the Aisne. Trench warfare then set in and the 2nd Battalion arrived from India, both battalions taking part in the Battle of Givenchy. Meanwhile the Territorial battalions had been mobilised at the start of the war but only the 5th was in action in 1914.


black watch



I guess this is why I love the Pipes and Drums of the Black Watch so much.


Thanks, Grandpa!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What luck!

May, 2010...

In November 2008, while Tom was recuperating from surgery, he answered the phone and there was an RCI offer too good to be refused. He signed up up for a seven-day cruise and a one-week land trip. This is the second of those trips (the land trip) and I hope our son will get to go with us!

I plan to do a journal like I did for Alaska, my Cruisin' with Susan and our RCI Western Caribbean Cruise but I probably will upload it all after the fact so I don't waste much time online posting a day-by day.

This is where we'll be:
St. George's Club

Your trip to Bermuda would not be complete without a visit to St. George's, with it's winding lanes, pink sand beaches, unique architecture and unspoiled beauty. The St. George's Club, located atop Rose Hill overlooking the town is Bermuda's premier Vacation Ownership Resort and Cottage Colony

Seventy-one cottages nestled amidst 18 acres of lush tropical landscape. The Club offers the outdoor swimming pools (one heated) and three tennis courts. The resort's private beach and beach club are a short distance away. The beach club is open seasonally and offers a restaurant, bar, beach chairs and water sports equipment rental. St. George's Club also offers on-site moped rentals and a convenience store.

After a busy day of sightseeing, relax at Griffin’s Bistro and Bar at The St. George’s Club, open for lunch and dinner, plus Sunday's special Brunch which is served until 6:00pm and rated one of the best in Bermuda!

Website Address:

June, 2010

Perched amid the blue-green waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda is unlike any other island destination you may be familiar with.

Lush, tropical surroundings, splendid and unusual pink-hued beaches, and a selection of cultural attractions and sporting options are all excellent reasons for visiting these islands. Furthermore, Bermuda has a distinct air of British propriety and a unique European flavor. Visitors will cherish memories of the islands' pastel-toned homes, ubiquitous flower gardens, charming winding streets, and gracious, friendly people.

Bermuda consists of 150 tiny islands located about 570 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Collectively, these islands encompass only 21 square miles of land. Bermuda was discovered by the Spanish in the 16th century, and became an English colony during the 17th century. Today, afternoon tea and conservative British values rule. Both Bermudans and tourists zip around on mopeds, as cars are not available for rent on this island. Public bus and ferry services are readily available. Bermuda's vacation facilities and activities include restaurants, tennis courts, and golf courses as well as marinas and beaches.


Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Four Years Post-Op Kidney Cancer Surgery

Yesterday was my 4-year surgery anniversary.  Amazing how time flies.  If anyone had told me then that I’d have four years to live, it wouldn’t have seemed like “enough”, though.

Four years ago yesterday was also the first (and only!) Cushie Cruise, leaving for Bermuda on Mother’s Day.  I wasn’t able to go due to financial reasons, but a very kind Cushie Angel made it possible.  I got new clothes, and was very excited.  I’d never been to Bermuda.

So, along comes this surprise cancer.  I told my surgeon-to-be while still in the ER about this cruise and he said no way could I go.

I ended up getting out of the hospital the day before the cruise, the day before Mother’s Day, and the doctor was right.  There would have been no way I could have gone and enjoyed this cruise.  It was a few weeks before I could even walk, and several days before I could consider getting off pain meds.

Another lucky Cushie got to go in my place, so all was not lost.  I got to use my new clothes on a “second chance” cruise and I’m now 4 years cancer free!

Happy endings all around!

Here’s a review of the cruise by other non-Cushies with lots of pictures:

If you’re a member of the Cushing’s Help message boards, you can see cute pictures of “Penelopee Cruise” at  Penelopee was made from someone’s 24-hour UFC jug.  The pictures and captures are a real hoot.

At four years post-op, I have no signs of my cancer returning or showing up in another organ.  (Hooray!)  I do have an enlarged lymph node between my lungs but that seems stable at this time.

Energy levels are still very low thanks to the combination of post-pituitary surgery panhypopituitarism, the removal of one adrenal during kidney surgery and low-functioning remaining adrenal.  Beats the alternative, though!

Daily (l-o-n-g) naps are a must and, I guess, will always be.  Doctors haven’t seem to come up with any ideas for extra energy for me.

I don’t have any lingering symptoms from my bout with cancer, so it’s all good.

As I learned to say in church yesterday, despite my illnesses, “I am blessed!”

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I was so sick last week that I didn't eat for a few days. Thanks to non-eating, I found out yesterday at Weight Watchers that I had lost 5% of my original weight. Not enough to make a real difference but it's a start.

As usual, my mother had an unkind comment when I told her I was going to WW. I don't know why it still bothers me when she says this stuff. I should be old enough to ignore her unsupportive comments but they still get to me.

DH wasn't particularly interested in this "achievement", either. Well, I'll keep trying, anyway.

Kind of like Cushing's. Maybe I'll succeed again without a lot of support.

Maybe we should give out 5% stars for people who have started testing for Cushing's...?