Cactus in Arizona Desert

Desert Serenity

Quiet peace . . . the desert beauty of cactus

At times it makes me feel as if the desert has been here forever –  just waiting to be discovered

On one hand the desert can be brutal, and then the gentle beauty of cactus flowers overtakes my senses…bringing a colorful and beautiful contrast

Amazing how a simple flower will delight!

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Cactus Blooms

Cactus Blooms Bring Gentle Beauty; Providing a Contrast You Simply Cannot Resist

Look around our world and experience the contrasts…nature provides quiet beauty.  Isn’t that what God wanted for us all along?!  Now all we need to do is to take the time He has given to us  –   find a moment to sit still, breathe deeply, and appreciate the beauty and contrasts.

– – All Is Well – – 



Prescriptions – Friend or Foe?

As my husband and I have been wending our way through this lingering condition of U-238 uranium and tungsten poisoning, the number and strength of medications has been increasing.  Last week we had the worst thing happen to us that could – our prescriptions for the month were way-laid for 1 full week.

I’ll skip the details on how the medication shipment got delayed, but suffice it to say, last week we went through detoxification (obviously un-planned and not controlled).  Detoxification of our systems for seven days had us literally physically jerking every limb day and night, throwing up, and all the basic ingredients that every addict fears the most. 

Because the poisoning that we have is so heavy (trust me: uranium is the heaviest heavy metal out there), no cure is available.  Chelation won’t touch this poison.  Surgery won’t work – unless we wanted to have every single organ in our body transplanted (I understand this has been done before, but the chances of survival are about 3%-we think those are lousy odds).

So, today we drink tincture of opium, take about 4 different pain pills, and add in valium….oh, almost forgot: I use a 100 mg morphine patch too. 

Going cold turkey:  Let me assure you that it’s an experience that is uniquely wicked. And, I don’t mean “wicked good.”  Your entire body including all hair folicles and fingernails hurts like hell.  You vomit constantly, and then you lose everything out the other end too.  During detoxification your skin goes from clammy warm to freezing goosebumps alternating every 10 minutes or so.  You cannot sleep, and you long for death. 

I found myself dropped to the floor on my knees praying, “Oh God, just kill me now and get this over with.”

Well, since you’re reading this blog, you know that He didn’t provide that option to me as an answer 🙂  Both of us made it through 7 long days without our medications.  I’m pleased to have a bit more time inspite of how I felt all week. 

Bottom line for us is that although we wish we didn’t have to take drugs, we must if we want to continue living.  If we stop, we will be stopped . . . permanently.

I am completely amazed at how much humans desire to live!  We fight for our lives even when we know that the final conclusion will be death.  No matter how jaded, cynical, angry, or pessimistic we may be: Life Is Important.

There are other important issues: Quality of life and finding a dignity as we die. Unfortunately in the United States of America and most all countries, the dying are not provided a dignifed, comfortable, and painless way to die.  Suicide for terminally ill patients is unlawful (except Oregon – and there are so many restrictions there, that I would advise you not to pack your bags and get right over there…). 

Richard and I have gone full circle on the subject of the right to die.  We firmly believe the laws must be changed to protect people such as ourselves.  We should have a say over our bodies and life.  We must.  Because by not having a right to say when and how I will die from a debilitating condition, the government basically OWNS me. 

There are a few exceptional events in our life where I don’t want the government involved, and the right to die is one.

Going back to being without our medicines for one week for a moment of reflection: It was hell.  But, I found that I have an incredibly strong desire to stay alive through it all.   We humans can take a lot of battering and pain for just one deep breath of air.

Planning for the Future

How do we plan for the future? …particularly when we know that there’s not much future left for us…

It’s difficult to deal with and plan for what’s coming up in our lives. Heck, planning for anything is hard, regardless of our health, happiness and all that jazz.

I’m sitting on the couch with family – wondering about all this planning stuff.  I think it’s important to have our family and friends clued in on what our desires are.  I know our desires aren’t always going to be met, but I gotta’ believe we need to let people know what our preferences and desires are…family (unless they don’t like us much!) want to do what is fair and right by what WE want).


Planning for the future, I have found that I don’t want a darned thing.  Need things – yes / Want things – why?!


Holding Hands = Love

Holding Hands = Love

I think I’ll plan on holding hands with Richard this evening.  Now, that’s a NEED!  I feel my heart nourished when we hold hands…feeling that fabulous feeling of being loved and cherished is soooo soooo important to all of us.


We are in a place right now with family that makes us both feel loved, safe and secure.  This is a sincere need for us right now.  Our physical and psychic pain isn’t curable, nor is it helped by medicines (perhaps a clunk on the head with a hammer would help!).


But, you know, physical touching, gentle looks of love and affection can get you through a lot of pain.


Evening Beauty

Evening Beauty

Having previously being a Christian, then agnostic, aetheist, agnostic (again…ho hum…), Buddhist, and now a believer of a higher power…I’m not quite sure where I sit.  I’m not fence sitting, but yet I am slightly confused.  I wonder how many of us confused people are out there?!  I have come to believe in the power of prayer.  Perhaps prayer comes in different ways for different people…I know that for the first time in my life I feel a tremendous personal “at ease” feeling with prayer…thanks to those around me (you know who you are!)


Facing death head-on with the poisoning that we have has had something to do with it, but I believe more so…caring people who have been magically popping up in my life lately have helped me more than ever.


I remember the first prayer I had in the last 4 months – – it was a frightening night for me; I was dealing with a ton of physical pain, psychic confusion and all that jazz…and I began to talk out-loud to my God.  I asked for forgiveness and help in getting through this time.  I asked for a cool breeze on my forehead and warmth in my body (I’m constantly freezing because of lack of fat on my body!), and I agreed with my God that what will be, will be, and asked that I can gain acceptance and peace through this period of my life.  Pretty selfish stuff.  But, well…I might as well start somewhere, huh?!


Richard got me a beautiful blanket from Cook Island…it has a smiling fun, fish, flowers, and all sorts of beautiful designs all over it.  I’m snuggled under it now, grateful for his gift of love.  And, grateful for my precious friends, family, a wonderful doctor, and of course…Richard and his stubborn love for me.  He can be a royal pain (! 🙂 sometimes, but, I am blessed to have such an incredible love in my life.  He and I are going through this poisoning together, and we hold each other up pretty well.  …oh yes, I forgot to mention that I can be a royal pain too!


We met with our doctor this week and talked about the radiation exposure and poisoning that we have.  We asked her about what to expect through this end of life experience and how she felt about it.  She very carefully and in a caring, loving way, told us what to expect.  Honesty is her strong suit.  But her strongest suit is caring and love.  Thank you Kochy.  Kochy, You have been our rock along with so many other friends and family. 


You are ALL answers to my prayers.  For that, I’m eternally grateful.  Thanks for not giving up on me.  – Patti

Good Quality of Life

Life itself isn’t that short anymore.  More and more folks are living into their 80’s and 90’s.  The question is, though, how much quality is there to that life?  I hope for anyone who lives to a “ripe old age” that they have been blessed with good memory, excellent joints and bones, working organs, very little pain, no cancer, and a bright, articulate mind to go with a loving heart…

Struggling with the day to day work it takes to keep ourselves “together,” Richard and I vacilate between whether or not living a long life is a good thing or bad.  I’m glad that I have made it this far – – we have some great memories of our lives together for 24 years.   But, I see us stumble (especially Richard) because Richard has no strength left in his knees anymore.  The pain is intense, but he manages to clench his teeth through it and keep on trying.  There have been several times when Richard has been so ill that he sleeps for 30 plus hours – I think it’s his body keeping him alive.  Me – well . . . I have drama illnesses and weird events.  Go figure.

I’m grateful for one thing right now – – I have been given a second chance to understand a little about God, and put things in a diffferent perspective.  Perhaps that’s the reason we’re still here.