to find Patti Singleton these days.

Souvenirs from My Heart; Postcards-Three and Four


Caspian Tern at Dinner Table.  John's River, WA PHALL PHOTO 2013

Caspian Tern at Dinner Table.
Johns River Dike Trail, outside of Aberdeen,WA
PHALL PHOTO 2013, click to enlarge

New Header photo. I love the sun rays that shoot down from the top. I took this through the Sweet Gum tree. Yes, that was a sweet gum seed pod/fruit in the post here. None of us ever figured out why it was so elongated. But after returning to investigate, I saw some were round, some were like the one in my photo.  Jon discovered that there are two completely different shaped leaves (pic below) on same tree?

Sweet Gum Tree leaves. The white feet of a cave dweller:>) PHALL PHOTO 2013

Sweet Gum Tree leaves. The white feet of a cave dweller. Painted nails & cool sandals courtesy of my daughter:>)

This post  is part 3 of a serialized version from a portion of my memoir-in-progress. It varies slightly from the actual book, in that it is not a book, but a blog post! Smile. Below info is from the document I gave medical staff; theirs had a few more details (exact dates, etc), and no memoir narrative. The document also included Paul’s D.O.B. and his familial medical info, such as parent’s cause of death.

Abridged Medical History

August 2005 Surgery to repair left rotator cuff, non-hospital outpatient. (On the love story side of things, although I had met Paul 10+ years earlier, I became reacquainted with him a few weeks after this surgery. More of this in the first book in the memoir series)  

September 2005 Labs show low hemoglobin. Already, Paul has me tag along to all his appointments; an advocate is born (and no, I never got a cape or badge or anything).

October 2005 Paul went to the dentist for pain associated with impacted molar under a crown and gum problems. Molar removed, recovered quickly. Not to freak you out or anything, but leukemia patients often (Remember, I’m a stickler for no statistics) have dental issues months or even, as in Paul’s case, years before diagnosis.

Postcard 3:

Do you have a hard copy list of the current names and numbers of your friends and family? Why not just go ahead and start a file for your answers to these postcards? Then, if a crisis happens, you’ll be that much closer to being prepared. Add a star by those you want contacted first. Tell your closest family member where the file is kept.  

November 2005 Labs show iron/folates a little low.  

December 2005 Surgery to repair right rotator cuff, non-hospital outpatient. Paul recovered very quickly from both surgeries and followed through with several months of physical therapy. (Love story notes: I had just sold my house, so it seemed like a perfect time to move in with Paul and help with his recovery. Smile. His personal caregiver is born. Again, no cape, but I do get to be his chauffeur in a brand-spanking new Thunderbird!) Smile.

Late winter/early spring 2005/2006 Paul had periods of 1-2 weeks where he had a fever (no recorded temp, but skin was extremely hot to touch), and wracking chills at night. I would wrap my body around him trying to warm him up and calm the chills. He was fatigued and pale during the day, but continued to work, with more rests in between, and at a slower pace. We self-treated with aspirin and anti-inflammatory OTC drugs, rest, and cool rags for the fever. Something was going on, but his doctor had no idea what. These are more statistic-free indications of leukemia.

Postcard 4:

Have you followed through on Postcard 3 yet? Please add a page of basic family (parents, grandparents, and sibs) medical info. Big time-saver: your doctor’s office has this (part of your initial medical questionnaire)  on file. If stopping by doesn’t work, call and have them send you a medical release form. Fill it out, mail it back, and they will mail what you ask for. Some folks with huge files, can often request, and get a medical file summary.

Postcard 1 here.

Postcard 2 here.  

Hope you find something useful in these posts. Please let me know with a comment?

Thank you,


Author: Patti Singleton

Pursuits of happiness include gardening, walking the desert, reading, writing, photography, traveling and genealogy.

16 thoughts on “Souvenirs from My Heart; Postcards-Three and Four

  1. Having just completed wills with my husband and having very weird feelings in doing so, I am taking your postcard recs and having him do it as well as doing them myself. As a healthcare professional, I can see these thing saving so much frustration and time when time and mental energy are needed elsewhere.

    • I do know how weird talking about illness and death is, especially when everyone is healthy.
      So happy that this is helping you and your husband. It was so hard to do when I was filled with fear and a mess emotionally. Good for you guys!

  2. Hi Patti!
    RE: Post 3~ Interesting observation re: the gum tree leaves!

  3. When do I get my ‘prize’ RE: Sweet Gum 😉

    • watch for it! I should have, thought I already did say that you thought it was SG FIRST. Ed Mac is bringing your prize:>) You only have to buy 5 subscriptions to magazines you don’t want or need. Easy-peasy.

  4. Thanks for the clarity re the Sweet Gum tree, and for your continued sharing about the journey you and Paul went through. It’s a gift to offer insights which may prevent others from having as difficult a time of it as you did – thank you. H xxx

    • That’s all I can hope for. It would be satisfying to help others on that awful path.
      You are very welcome and thank you for returning and commenting.

  5. Great ideas, Patti. Love the new cover photo, too. I just read about the losses you have head. I’m so sorry for what you have gone through. xo

    • Thank you, Luanne. Writing like an addict is how I deal with it all.
      The photo was another accident…I can’t see distance well, but I can see the shot I like. What ends up in the shot is often a surprise to me. That was actually another pic of the tower that I posted last week, when I saw those rays, I knew I had to use that as my header.
      Glad you like it.

      • Very much!
        Yes, writing like an addict. I have had a rough year this past year and have written more than ever!

      • Funny life. Before Paul got sick I was studying for certificate in Journaling for Healing…I really wanted to teach others in seminars and health care settings. Now, I’m just too lost in my own healing.

      • I have gotten some great shots when I couldn’t see anything much except blinding reflections or just fuzz. Thank God for auto focus.

      • I have some great birds who always manage to make their way through my photos. This time the sun…so cool.

  6. That’s reminds me painfully of how life doesn’t go the way you want it to … and that surprises are not necessarily happy. Thanks.

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