Livin’ in a Gangsta’s Paradise

I recently read an article where the author compares having diabetes to being in the mafia.  You are beaten into having it with no choice, you follow its rules b/c there are dire results if you don’t, the people who have it share an unspoken bond like a “family”, and there is NO WAY OUT.  Although one of my fave movies has always been the Godfather, I never thought I’d ever partake in the lifestyle myself!  It also makes me want to refer to the big D as “The Don” since my whole life is controlled by him.  LOL!

Big Italian dinners and private strip-club meetings aside, I was able to “fix” part of the damages The Don has thrown my way yesterday… I had my first session of laser surgery done on one of my eyes.  It was kind of uncomfortable, but relatively painless and very quick!  I don’t feel I can see any better/worse, but I’m hoping that the work they did will help improve my vision in the long run…at least preserve what I’ve got for awhile!  The funny part of it was I came out of the office looking like some crazy lunatic cartoon character with one dialated eye and one normal eye.  Haha… Glad I didn’t run into anyone I knew!  They would have questioned my mental capacity to speak!


I also heard from the transplant team (my OTHER mafia family…who has to approve my every single move) and they finally confirmed that I will be getting a liver biopsy within the next week or two to figure out what is going on with this liver lesion.  I’m frustrated that I have to get it, but glad that it’s finally happening.   Luckily it’s a one-day procedure, so no hospital stays or prolonged waiting (at least I hope)!

So, now that we’re all updated on how my “situation” stands, I’d like to focus on something a little more positive in light of the upcoming holidays (esp Thanksgiving, for which I have plenty to be thankful)!  Some people like raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens… I’ll take my flowers dry, thank you, and I rather think the kitten’s nose is cuter than the whiskers, but I digress.  Below are a few things that, when feeling sad, I simply try to remember and it keeps me from feeling so bad.  See what I did there?  Rearrangement of the words?  Yeah, and somehow this blog went from Don Corleone to Julie Andrews and kittens… try to find anyone else with that kind of range in the same post!  😉

A Few of My Favorite Things

1.  Mexican food.  If I ever had a last meal, it would be loaded with tacos, fajita nachos, chips, salsa and queso and a heap of guacamole!  Mmmmm…

2.  Skeletons in the Closet.  A game we used to play in high school where you and your friends reveal your inner-most secrets/truths.  There is nothing more exciting than learning something new about the people you thought you knew everything about!

3.  Lemon-scented cleaning products.  I’m addicted.  The more I smell them, the more I want to smell MORE!  It could be the steam from the dishwasher or the potent vapors coming from the bucket of Mr. Clean… but it’s invigorating and I LOVE it!

4.  80’s Music.  There has never been an era with such a defining sound and following!  It may sound cheesy these days, but the lyrics were a bit lighter, more fun, and original.  I may have aged myself by listing this, but I’m owning it.  😉

5.  Awkwarhumor.  Is there anything more heart-thumping than that moment when a situation has the potential to be either extremely embarrassing or, well, even MORE embarrassing?  Oh yes, that moment when you imagine yourself in that situation wondering what YOU would do… Classic!

6.  Big, squishy blankets and pillows.  Self explanatory.

7.  Lime skittles.  Alas, they have gone the way of Wham!… gone, but lovingly missed and never forgotten.  Sigh…

8.  Creative people.  I love people who inspire me, and make me think.

9.  Fashion from the 1940’s.  There is something very elegant about that time period.  The clothes were all flattering, the hair was perfect, even the music was uplifting.  There wasn’t a ton of overabundance like we have today, and everyone made an effort to look good…even the poor looked glamorous!

10.  The first day on vacation.  The excitement, the hope, the expectations, and the knowledge that it’s just beginning…nirvana!

11.  Sno-cones.  Especially ones that have lime, orange, cherry and grape all mixed in there together.  Brain freeze!

12. Crime/drama TV shows.  CSI, Law & Order, you name it, I watch it.  I love that feeling when I’m able to solve the crime before the reveal at the end of the episode!

13.  Love.  Not just the feeling of being in love, but also the love you get from your family and friends.  I’m blessed to have felt it all… and continuously feel it every single day.

14.  My family and friends.  They make me, build me, ground me and keep me whole.  They are my backbone and my safety net.  They make my life worth living.  With all the love they give me, I hope to give it back to them 10-fold!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving holiday!!  Eat your fill and please share your favorite things below!  🙂


Since I’ve already listed what I’m thankful for above, I’m going to use this space for a few shout outs (for those who’ve been looking for them…hee!):

1.  Laura, Justin, Mark, Kameron, Nick, Elissa, and Barbara – I had a GREAT time Thursday at dinner!  So glad ya’ll could make it!  I’m proud to have ya’ll as my best buds!  😀

2.  To my Aussie friend Maria – she is finally getting her kidney!  After a long struggle down a path similar to mine, she’s finally got a donor and a scheduled surgery date!  I’m so excited for you. I pray that this one lasts the rest of your life!

3.  Julie and Tom – they just gave birth to beautiful twin boys! Ok, only Julie did, but Tom played a very important part in the process.  😉  Congrats to you both!

4.  Pete – for including me in the prayers of your and your mom’s church groups.  I’m thankful that ya’ll are thinking of me and for the support!  The more we bug the “big man upstairs”, the quicker he’ll act to get us to shut up!  🙂  At least I hope so…

5.  Barbara Ann – My cousin, who is one tough cookie.  She’s my inspiration to keep fighting.  She’s fought and won breast cancer and is fighting again with pancreatic cancer, and her sense of humor and motivation to keep pushing are what keeps me going as well.  If she can do it, so can I!


2 responses

  1. Hey Roberta

    Love your latest blog. Ok , so here are a few of my favourite things. I’m easily pleased:

    Diving into the ocean. That moment when your heart sinks because you know its going to be cold and crisp in there but the moment your underneath the surface, all the sadness of life goes away. I open my eyes and look ahead into the deep blue and for a moment in time I feel like a mermaid. I’m floating, I’m weightless. That’s when I’m most happy. Swimming with the little fishies, seaweed and coral. We have just had another fatal shark attack at our local beach. Yes, its a tragedy but we must celebrate him as he died what he loved doing. Its the 5th in the last 3 years 😦

    Loving being with my husband. Still after 11 years of marriage, my heart flutters when he gets home from work. Being in his arms amongst nature is where I’m happiest.

    I am a crazy dog lady. If I could have a dog shelter and give every homeless dog a home I would. I would show them all my love and give them hope again. I have one Australian kelpie dog called Karri. She feels everything I do and comforts me with her eyes. I can hug her, tell her all my problems and I know she will be loyal until the end. It saddens me that people can mistreat animals. I wish I had the energy and money to be an animal activist but if all I can do is share photo’s of homeless dogs in the hope of finding them a loving home, that fulfils me for now.

    I am proud to be an Italian. Yes, I was born in Australia but I have Italian blood. I was brought up on pickled eggplant sandwiches at school and spaghetti for dinner 4 nights a week. I feel different in a good way and am so glad I was brought up with this culture. As Madonna has once said “Italians do it better.” And yes, I naturally love to cook!

    I love my life. I have had kidney failure my whole life and yes, it’s tough but I am the person I am today because of my struggles. I feed off people believing in me and their support gets me through each hurdle. Even being mentioned in your blog lifts me. Thank you Berts and I believe that one day, we will be dancing to my other love too, 80s music together with our new kidneys somewhere amazing.

    I love to dream. In my mind, I see myself travelling to exotic islands where there are breathtaking beaches for miles. I see my hubby and doggy laughing and having fun with a me and my new healthy body. These dreams get me through each day. Call it the law of attraction, but somehow I know I will get there.

    1. Hey Maria, I literally cried reading your comment! It’s funny, as much as I admire the strength of people who “fight the fight”, it saddens me to think that anyone else is having to go through what we’re going through. I hate the thought that you or anyone else is having to suffer and wait. I can’t tell you how badly I wish for all of this to end for us! 🙂

      LOVE your list! Thanks for sharing it with us! 😀

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