Archive | August 2010

Medical update & “‘And then there was one…”

Keith all moved in to his dorm room. Kelli says goodbye!

Last week  one more birdie flew  from our nest. Keith left for college at James Madison University here in Virginia, and now only Kelli is home with us.  Keith is an engineering student on an Air Force ROTC scholarship and is rooming in on campus dorms with a buddy of his from high school here in Woodbridge. This first week has gone well for him and no surprise, Keith is making loads of friends and entertaining all he meets!

I met with the oncologist last week for a routine follow up and what a whirlwind week it was! That same day I found myself meeting with the breast surgeon and having a breast mri that afternoon, followed by a breast ultrasound and digital diagnostic mammogram the following morning (they obviously wasted no time), only to find out the area of concern is just a cyst.  Whew! Sigh of relief. I decided that once you’ve had cancer, maybe they give you special treatment (or maybe I was just having a very good hair day 🙂   ).

But gastrointestinal troubles such as chest pain, cough, metalic taste, dysphagia, globus, and losing my meals,  have plagued me for several months and I was seen 8 days later by a gastroenteralogist.  Again, they wasted no time at all, so today had an endoscopy under anesthesia.  Two areas were biopsied and results should be back in a week.  They are hoping that this is something that can be treated with either antibiotics and/or steroidal treatments. As usual, “stay tuned” and say a prayer for quick, benign results that bring me some relief.  Love, Koryn

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This entry was posted on August 31, 2010. 1 Comment

Loo Who?

One of the interesting things about traveling overseas is witnessing the strange and somewhat funny things about another’s culture.  Even though Tim and I have lived overseas, we had not yet been to England, where, strangely, the Brits have a fascination with the Loo. What is a “Loo”, you ask?  The Loo is the restroom.  The Water Closet.  De  Toileten ( Deutsch ).  In short, it is …the bathroom.  I found a few funny things in British bathrooms.  Not once did we ever see an auto flush toilet. You must press the flush bar or button. I suppose that is because it just wouldn’t be proper NOT to flush, and every Brit does. It is the proper thing to do!  (And believe me, Brits ARE proper ). No need for the automatic kind of flushers that go off  willy-nilly while you are seated and barely move!  We never saw paper towels  in any of the British bathrooms.  Europeans are very eco-conscious, as a rule, and so wasteful paper being scattered about a bathroom floor would seem, well, wasteful. They have hand dryers in each and every restroom, no paper towels.  In some British bathrooms you must pay to use the facilities. Usually only 50 cents or so, but when you are in a hurry, this is a complete nuisance! In one loo we stopped at in a rest stop, I saw plaques all over the walls that had been framed. They were the Loo – Awards!  This particular bathroom stop had won 3 years in a row for being the most outstanding Loo in England! I must admit, it was efficiently laid out and exceptionally clean.  I wonder who gets the job of inspecting loos around that country?  European bathrooms are notorious for selling all kinds of things in their bathroom vending machines. And I am not talking about the standard feminine products and Tylenol.  The one that took the prize was the one men’s bathroom that sold “True Blue” men’s enhancement pills for around $4 each.  I guess Viagra isn’t regulated in Europe, not in Britain, anyways.  In London you can use the loo and watch everybody around you walking by without being seen behind the one way glass mirror. We didn’t use this particular loo, nor would I want to!

An art exhibit of a usable toilet enclosed in a cube of one-way glass is seen across the road from London’s Tate Britain Museum. The person inside the outhouse can see passersby while remaining invisible to them.

So there you have it, my take on the British potty culture. Just one of the many interesting sites we found along our journey!  🙂

The Trip of A Lifetime!

Click on the soldier to view photo album

Tim and I returned yesterday from our 3 week whirlwind tour of Europe! And what a trip it was!  After the year and a half we have had, this time together was a much needed get away where we escaped all stresses and just enjoyed traveling, relaxing, laughing and exploring.  We started our trip by driving 4 hours to McGuire Aur Force Base, New Jersey, where we got a space available military flight to Ramstein Air Base Germany.  We spent some time there in Germany with our former German neighbors and landlord, then caught a commercial flight to London where we spent 6 days touring both the countryside, Cambridge, and London.  We stayed at The Royal Air Force Club in London, just one block from the Queen’s house at Buckingham Palace!  We took in 2 theatre shows in London, toured Westminster Abbey,  and enjoyed the quaint and beautiful countryside of English villages.  Driving a rental car on the other side of the road has its challenges, and if I had just kept my eyes closed the entire time I wouldn’t have been so uptight, nevertheless Tim needed my navigation skills as the twists and turns through tiny villages and winding narrow roads was a bit dicey!  After a week in England we took yet another flight to Ireland where we drove from one side of the coast to the other, taking in the gorgeous scenic views and rich interesting history dating back 1,000 years.  At the end we flew back to Germany where we spent a day on the Mosel River where we use to live, and enjoyed wine tasting and strolling, reminiscing and just wishing we could go back in time and live there once again.  We visited our German neighbors and had dinner, and with a tear in our eyes, bid farewell fondly to Germany on a military C-17 aircraft bound for New Jersey on Saturday morning.  The boys’ held down the fort here at home just fine and we are now in the throws of packing up each and every one of them for college this week as well as Kyle who moves to his new apartment and starts his job in Charlottesville tomorrow.  Kelli arrives back from her month in Colorado tonight.  It’s good to be home. We’re glad to be back together as a family again if just for a day, and then we can catch up on this jet lag in the coming days!  Click on the photo of the soldier to view a few (60 or so) of our 500 pictures.  The pictures just do not tell the story! The beauty was amazing, the colors were so bold and we enjoyed 3 full rain free weeks!  Best of all Tim and I realized just how much we still enjoy one another’s company, after all these years, and hope to enjoy much more travel adventures in the coming years.

I visit my oncologist this week, which I admit I am not really looking forward to.  I’ll update sometime after that, but in the meantime enjoy the photos. Click on the first one, then you can scroll through them in full view using the next tab at the top. Captions are under each photo.