Sep 11, 2007

Rocky's biopsy results came back this afternoon.    Uterine adinocarcinoma.   The MRI showed that the uterine wall was thickened and might contain some added growths.  The biopsy stated that there were abnormal cells indicative of an early cancer.  There doe not appear to be any spread past the uterus/cervix.   It is well differentiated which puts it about a stage 2.   Dr. Yancy (OB/GYN) is referring her to a GYN/Oncologist and hopes she can do her treatment and surgery in Longview.  If not, then probably at Baylor in Dallas.  He was very optimistic and said that this type of cancer survival rate is 80-90% survival rate if all goes well.    The only drawbacks are Rocky's health.  She is extremely anemic, coupled with her stroke last month and her weight--she is a HIGH risk.

But we have our eye on the prize......

"Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God...." Philippians 3:13-14


  • The light in the darkness
  • The hope amidst the despair
  • The comfort that crushes fear
  • The belonging that comes with sharing
  • The power that comes with knowledge
  • Knowing the victory is ours, when we run for the goal one small step at a time.


Rocky is getting worse.

Sep 08, 2007

I am scared, depressed, and scared some more. My whole world has turned upside down and all I can do is cry.

   My BABY sister, Rocky (41), is facing a diagnosis of cancer.  The Dr. is fairly sure that it is a malignacy, but until all the results come back, he doesn't know what stage.

   His last remark to me was "start looking for a way to get to MD Anderson in Houston.  That's the best place for you to go." 

   Now, Rocky has been in bed all week, and won't eat.  She only comes out of her room to go the bathroom, and throw up.  Nothing I cook for her tastes right and she isn't even keeping 7up or water down.

   We went to see Dr. Yancey, the gynocologist, for a routine pap exam.  She hasn't had one in almost 15 years (yea-really.) He couldn't do a routine pap smear because he found a "mass" growing on her cervix. He did a biopsy and sent it to the pathologist, but he was very negative and certain that it was a malignacy.  He said if he could see it with his naked eye, that it was not a positive situation.  He also said any surgery that was needed would be extremely risky because of her weight.  That's funny because she has lost 60 pounds in the past two months!  But she still weighs about 400 lbs.  The standard procedure would be to do a complete hysterectomy. But since she had a stroke last month, and is super aneimic, and obese---he doesn't know if a hysterectomy would be possible.

   So we are just waiting, waiting, waiting until the results come in.  Maybe on Monday.  Then we will have to make decisions  on what to do next.

  There are 5 cancer centers within 100 miles of us. But we don't have a car. AND only one of them will take Medicaid which is all that Rocky has.  The cancer center in Longview, only has a GYN/Oncologist one day a week and she WILL NOT take Medicaid.  That would be too easy.  So we have to figure out how to get to Houston, and how to pay for it.  I have been on the computer all day, looking into Angel Flights --which would get us there, IF Rocky can climb the steps to get into the plane.  BUT Rocky is in a WHEELCHAIR!  She can't climb stairs. Another problem. 


Rocky update

Aug 04, 2007

Rocky is doing better.  

Her physical therapy and home nursing visits ended this week.  The occupational therapist said she was a miracle patient and he had never seen anyone bounce back as fast as she has. 

She had her MRI last Wed. and it scared us both.  The radiologist read the first MRI and called the neurologist, Dr. Perkins who ordered two more.  The second and third scans showed that she had a "disected carotid artery".  Which means that the lining of her carotid artery had seperated and a blood clot had formed between the wall and the lining.  That blood clot had gone to her brain and caused her stroke.  The standard treatment for that is blood thinners(coumadin or Plavix).  BUT because of her history of anemia and how much blood they gave  her in the hospital, he doesn't want to do that. 
So he is going to start her off on a single aspirin a day and see keep a close watch on her blood tests.  

The newest problem that we have now is how reliant she is getting on pain killers. SInce she has come home from the hospital her back has hurt her constantly.  When she was there, they had her on a "special bariatric" bed.  The mattress was rock hard.  I kid you not.  I sat down hard on it and hurt my tailbone.    They were giving her morphine shots every 4 hours in hospital.  Now she is taking 2 Vicadin every 8 hrs.  She doesn't want to get out of bed and is not eating. I keep telling her if she doesn't eat, her protien levels will go down and she will be anemic again.  Her blood level is up to 9.4 now.  Still not as high as it should be. 

So each day is getting a little better, but things are still tough.

Keep us in  your prayers.

Family Troubles

Jul 21, 2007

My sister, Valorie (we call her Rocky) had a stroke on Tuesday. It has been very  hard to be optimistic. 
She is not "bad off" as far as stoke victims go; she can still speak, and stand up and can walk by herself about 3 feet at a time. 

The biggest frustration is that the hospital's CT scanner wouldn't hold her weight, even though she had lost almost 40 lbs. by their scales. Their table's max was 450 and they told us that she weighed 462. They couldn't "fudge" it by 10 pounds. So I told the Dr.  I thought I knew of one in
Tyler which is about 40 miles away from us. He told me AND the nurse to start calling around and find one. Even if it was in Dallas , Houston , or Shreveport . The nurse on duty at the time was the only one who tried to call. No one else followed up on it. I showed her the Obesityhelp site and the ad on the main forum for the large MRI. But it doesn't have any links to large CT Scanners. When he came back Friday, he asked me if I had found one. I told him no & mentioned the MRI in Tyler . He said: "That'll Do!” and then said it would probably be done as an outpatient. He then asked us if speech, physical or occupational therapy had been there (which they hadn't) and got a little mad. About 30 min. after he left the speech therapist showed up. But no one else.

The neurologist said that without a CT scan, they couldn't rule out any bleeding in the brain.--but he was "pretty sure" that it wasn't.

Her red blood count was 5.2 when she got there. 
Normal is somewhere around 10-11.  They have given her 7 pints so far. At last count it was up to 7.8.

Friday they told us she has a MRSA staph infection in her leg and started her on IV antibiotics.   Saturday, the social worker came and told us they wanted to send her to a nursing home. There are some good rehab places in town, but the problem is that Rocky only has Medicaid and we pretty much have to take who ever will take her. Medicaid doesn't pay well. 

If Rocky comes home, Medicaid will only pay for about 3 weeks of home health and therapy.  If she goes to a nursing home, she HAS to stay 30 days, they will take her pay for the month, and there is no guarantee that she will get therapy.  It has been my experience that at nursing homes, you usually get dumped and forgotten about.  The two places that the social worker mentioned are the same 2 that my Dad was at.  The first one, he was overdosed and went into a coma, and the second one is where he died. 
Rocky is already deeply depressed and doesn't need that. 

I have been staying at the hospital with her since the start and finally came home tonight.  I made my own side trip down to the ER on Wed. night.  I have a flair up of cellulitis too. Not being able to keep my legs up, they swelled up like balloons and that's all it took .  I got the same Dr. who admitted Rocky, (Dr. Payne!) and he was great, gave me a couple of prescriptions and I was out in an hour.

My cousin has been feeding the animals, but my dog was locked up in the house and made a terrible mess.  It's gonna take a while to get the smell out of here. But thank God I don't have carpet!

I just don't know how the hospital can kick her out, if she still has a staph infection & her blood is still low.  I know they need her room, I know she's stable, but she's not ready mentally to leave. She's afraid and so am I.  I know I can care for her, but it will be hard.  They are discharging her, either today or tomorrow.  I was asked to bring her wheelchair up there today, and they will send her home in a Medicaid wheelchair van.  

I took care of my dad for over 10 years after he had 3 strokes.  Each one was worse than the previous.  But I am 15 years older and getting  sicker all the time. I didn't have arthritis then. He was only about 170 pounds.  I know that I can care for Rocky, but I'm scared. 

Please keep us in your prayers. 

Who said Friday the 13th was bad luck?

Jul 13, 2007

I got a phone call today..........I am afraid to tell anyone because it might fall through. I have been this close before only to have the floor fall out from under me.  

I got a call this morning from the producers of the TLC show "Big Medicine."

I have an appointment to meet them next week to interview for a spot on season two's show.

So cross your fingers and say a prayer for me. I'll let you know more after next week. 


Discovery Channel's Big Med & Me

May 28, 2007

I haven't been here in almost 6 months.  I have lurked on and off and have kept up with what is going on with all my friends.  

Tonight, like a lot of our community, I am watching Discovery Channel's show "Big Med."  Expecting the same old media spin on gastric bypass and fat people, I guess it was a suprise to see the people involved.  It just really hit me hard. The defining moment was when Penelope said she had been wanting this surgery for over a year and couldn't believe her moment had finally arrived. I just sat on the couch and started crying.  I have been wanting this surgery for about 15 years. I still haven't found a way to get it. There is a problem with transportation, and I have no support system in place. No one who will help out with  my sister ( who resembles Alan in the show.)  Everything about my life just came crashing down and I was back in deep dispair. 

In the past year, my sister has lost a little weight, she is now at 500 pounds.  But we now have a bariatric hospital bed, complete with the overhead trapeze.  She's not on oxegen yet, but who knows how long that will be.  This show, brought home how dependent she is on me, and how much I have become like Alan's mom. I am her enabler and she verify's my "worth" in the world. Without her, who would need me?  I feed, clean, dress her wounds and clothe her. And I guess she really makes me feel important to a certain extent.   Unlike Alan, she can get out of bed.  She also got a new power chair and has started going places with me now on the medical transportation bus.  It's been a long time since she was out of the house. 

We are completely without a car now.  For the first time in my adult life, I don't own a car. It sucks. 

In the past 6 months my health has started on a downhill slide.  I went to the Dr. last week, and I have a problem with my liver.  My liver and spleen are enlarged, which by itself is not uncommon in obese people.  But I had a scan on my gallbladder last month and it showed that I had scarring on my liver. I also have a very large hernia and my heart is getting worse.   

My mother died after a double heart bypass, and my dad from liver/colon cancer.  My grandparents, dad all had multiple strokes.  I don't want to die this way.

On the upside, I have lost 10 pounds since last Sept.  I don't know why but I did!

My dream of gastric bypass is slowly slipping away.

Happy New Year!

Jan 01, 2007

Happy New Year to all my friends!

I cannot believe it has been almost 5 years since I found this website.  Time does fly when you are having fun!  Of course, I am no closer to getting skinny than I was back then and weigh more to boot.  A lot of things have changed since then, but none for the better.  But on a happier note I have survived my holiday blues and all that is left is taking down the decorations. At the time I was deep in self pity, but like always I came out of it. Funny the things we can survive. If my family wants to act that way, there is nothing I can do to change it.

I want to thank all of y'all who sent me support. I felt your love.

Now it's on to the new year.


I just saw the greatest movie. WE ARE MARSHALL. It is so sad, but so inspirational. If you only go to see one movie this year, be sure to catch this one. I cried all the way through it. Of course, I'm an emotional old biddy ~~ at least that's what my sister tells me. She sat through the same movie and never shed a tear.

Happy New Year~Y'all.

Why is Genealogy so Popular?

Dec 05, 2006


    To start off, I believe that we should preserve our history, whether it is artifacts, architecture or family. The Bible starts off in Genesis with a family history, sort of the first Gedcom. 


    My grand mother, Roxie Ann Milner Orms, was a shining light in our community for 74 years. People knew that there was always a place at her table, a bed to be slept in, or a hand waiting to help. Granny touched the lives of everyone around her- she raised half the kids in our community of East Mountain , and knew the other half. She was a faithful member of East Mountain Baptist Church (Upshur Co., TX) and guided her family into the church as well. While she worked in the nursery, Granny encouraged Grandpa to “keep up” the old East Mountain church cemetery. I remember many a hot day with Granny and Grandpa in the cemetery pulling weeds and cleaning headstones. Granny would sit down under a huge oak tree in the cemetery to rest and cool down and she would tell us that when she passed to “bury me under my tree in the shade”, and we did. My grandmother taught me the importance of hard work, honesty, compassion, and keeping my faith. She also taught me that cherished memories of a loved one will last a lifetime. 


    If we don't keep our memories and history alive for the next generations, then we will cease to exist. It sometimes surprises me that our young people today have no grasp of history (& I wonder what they are teaching in the schools these days--history was always my favorite subject and I once wanted to be a history teacher.)


    Most people know their immediate history back to their grandparents, but it is amazing how many don't know anything past that. I was helping my little cousin with her social studies assignment last year. She didn't even know her grandparents names? What does that say about today's society? I now have her hooked on genealogy and am helping her build her family tree.


I have been working on my family tree since 1983. I started with a little scrap of paper out of my mom's address book. She had the names of my Dad's aunts and uncles written down. That became my building block and also stands as my highest brick wall to date. I have been collecting ancestors for over 23 years have found a barber, pioneers, war heroes, blacksmiths, preachers, engineers, moon shiners, Indian fighters, and a lot of farmers. They were just plain regular folks who were looking for a better life. I now have over 17 generation’s and14504 names in my database.


Drop by my WebPages and browse my family tree. Don't forget to sign the guestbook!


Here are a few of my surnames: 

Direct lines - Paternal:

Smotherman:  WA-->MO-->TN-->NC-->VA-->

Beddingfield:  AL --> GA--> NC

Eades/Eads:  OR-->WA-->MO--GA--KY-->??

Reid/Reed/Read:  TX-->MO-->KY-->MS.....THE brick wall!

Chastain:  AL -->GA-->SC

Franklin :  OH-->NJ

Hackney:  NJ-->

Syron:  OH-->NY

Thomas:  MO-->TN-->VA-->PA--> ??

Renfro/Renfrow/Renfrew: TN-->SC-->KY-->VA-->

Deihl/Deel/Deal/Teal:  PA-->


On Mama's side:

Orms/Orm/Orme: TX--> AL -->KY-->NC----really need help on this one...

Kight:  TX--> AL -->NC

Milner:  TX-->GA

Clark/Clarke:  TX-->TN-->VA

Murphy:  TX-->GA-->NC

Phillips:  TN-->MS

Wallace:  MS-->TN

Flurry:  GA

Meeks/Beekes/Beeks:  MS-->TN-->VA-->

Choate/Shoate:  TN











The Holiday has passes so why do I feel like a turkey?

Nov 26, 2006

Whew! Thanksgiving is gone, gone , gone! 

The turkey leftovers are either in the freezer or in the dog and all that's left is to take out the trash. 

I can't remember the last time I actually had to cook a turkey.  Let me tell you it didn't turn out well. I started cooking it the night before, and finally at 3 am took it out of the oven & I went to bed. I figured it had to be heated up the next day and if it wasn't done after 3 hours, it would get done then. Not so. I finally got everything else finished (almost at the same time!) and started carving the bird. 

First, let me tell you this, never take the advice of a TV chef. I did the Emeril thing and put herbed butter under the skin. Half a pound of it. The turkey had blisters wher the butter had been. Plus, when I took it out of the oven, there was a 1/2 of melted butter in the pan. I got rid of that. The first few slices of the breast were looking good. Then I pulled
off a leg, and it was still raw inside!

Let me tell you, I come from a long line of great Texas cooks, I didn't say I was a great cook, just that I had cooking ancestors.  So anyway, I pulled out my Granny's iron skillet and cut off the breast and seared it with a little gravy. Turned out great. I nailed my Mama's cornbread dressing and of course it's not Thanksgiving without green bean casserole.  But after 2 days of leftovers--I'm over it too.  

Now it's on to Christmas!!!  I have already gotten 3 cards form my OH friends and started decorating by putting up a garland with twinkle lights over the kitchen sink. I am hanging the cards there this year.  


November 16, 2006

Nov 15, 2006

Well, today was quite an adventure. The car is out of commission again. There is oil in the radiator and water in the oil and in the air filter. So it goes back to the garage. But at least this time it is still under warranty from the last repair. It hasn't been 3 months since we got it out. That cost us $751.59. The warranty is for a year or 1200 miles. We haven't gone anywhere near that much. Bad news is that he can't get to it until after Thanksgiving.

We were going to go to my cousin's home for Thanksgiving & I was looking forward to not having to cook. So today, after 3 previous tries, we went to Super I Food grocery shopping. We had to ride the county bus. It is a short little bus for people who are on Medicare/Medicaid and need transportation. I helped my sister to get ready, and we were sitting in the garage in 58 degree weather, with 20 mile an hour gusting winds, waiting for the bus. To ride this bus, you must call a day ahead and schedule your pick up. Then you have to be ready when they come. You can't schedule a specific time, unless you are going to a medical appointment, and then it has to be between 8 am and noon. You have to be ready to go home before 2 pm. They don't like you to have an appointment before 10:00 am unless you are one of their regular dialysis patients. We aren't.

The lady pulls up to the side of the road, and lets down her wheelchair lift. It isn't wide enough for my sisters chair., so Rocky has to get out of her chair and stand on the lift, to get in the bus. OK. She can't stand up for very long. Next, the lady collapses the chair, and puts it on the lift-----and nothing happens. It stopped about 6 in. off the ground and won't budge. Dale, the driver, starts checking all her connections, reset buttons, even tried to manually pump it up. Nothing worked. By now, my sister is feeling very self-concious, and keeps asking me if she broke it. I told her no! Those things are rated to 800 lbs. The bus driver is getting more and more agitated. She's running late now to pick up the other passengers, and one has to be at work at 9:00. So the base keeps telling her different stuff to do, and she keeps trying to figure it out, and Rocky starts telling me she just wants to go back into the house and forget about it. But I wasn't having any of that. It wasn't her fault, even though the base keeps asking her weight (hello~ it's a CB radio ~ she can hear you!)

Finally, after about a half hour, the driver gets out, and starts checking all the connections again. And viola! it worked. She had not "clicked" the saftey belt that runs across the front of the lift! And we were off. It took an hour to get to the store, because like any public transportation, you have to stay on till your stop.

Coming home was even more fun, with about 15 bags of groceries, 20 lbs of dog food, the turkey and all the trimmings. They help you put your groceries on the bus--but they don't help you take them off. They just set you off on the side of the road in front of your house and the rest is up to you. Well, by now the temp has dropped ot the low 40's and IT WAS RAINING! The winds were still roaring about 20 miles an hour. I got my sister in the garage and started carrying everything in. We finally got it all put up. My pantry hasn't been this full in about 4 years. I bought way too much stuff, but with no car, who knows when I'll get to go back. At least not till after the first of next month, because now I'm broke.

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all.
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About Me
Longview, TX
Jun 17, 2002
Member Since

Friends 62

Latest Blog 21
Rocky is getting worse.
Rocky update
Family Troubles
Who said Friday the 13th was bad luck?
Discovery Channel's Big Med & Me
Happy New Year!
Why is Genealogy so Popular?
The Holiday has passes so why do I feel like a turkey?
November 16, 2006