Survivin’ & Thrivin’ – post #4




  • 12/28 @ 12:30 PM – Remembering Legendary Figures Who Died in 2020 ZOOM LINK HERE
  • 1/1 @ 12:30 PM – Celebrating the New Year Around the World ZOOM LINK HERE

Many more “Surviving the Covid-19 Winter” ideas HERE

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Survivin’ & Thrivin’ – post #3




  • 12/21 @ 12:30 PM – Christmas Around the World – traditions plus creches (nativity scenes) ZOOM LINK HERE
  • 12/25 @ 12:30 PM – Favorite Christmas Stories, Books, Poems, Songs and more…  bring something to share or sit back and listen  ZOOM LINK HERE

MANY more ideas on our “Surviving the Covid-19 Winter” website

Survivin’ & Thrivin’ – post #2

HOLIDAY GIFTS – check these links for some laughs



  • 12/14 @ 12:30 PM – Christmas Lights in Anderson Township, Cincinnati and World-wide ZOOM LINK HERE
  • 12/18 @ 2:00 PM – Holiday sing-along (secular and religious) with Steve, Les and/or ??? ZOOM LINK HERE

MANY more ideas on our “Surviving the Covid-19 Winter” website

Inaugural Post: Surviving (and Thriving During) the Covid-19 Winter

This may become a regular feature during our Covid-19 Winter:

MANY more ideas on our “Surviving the Covid-19 Winter” website

Great news!

Great news – the lymph nodes are confirmed as clear as of 2018-09-11. Hallelujah! Thanks to each of you for the expressions of caring in varied ways, especially the strength and support you shared with those thoughts and prayers!

Herbie – RIP

Today was hopefully my last day at Anderson Mercy Hospital as a patient for a long, long time. We were skillfully registered by Jillian; ushered to and cared for in “my SSU room” by Glenda and Angie; wheeled up to the CT Scan by Ronda and Ashley (without hitting the walls or other obstacles!); CT Scanned by Tracey and then cared for well over an hour in the Radiology/x-ray room by Ronda, Ashley and Dr. Charles Young (with guest appearance by Erin.)

I mention the names above to provide you a glimpse of the number of folks involved with my care each week. I’ve written about Mercy Anderson as a precious gem in the Anderson Township jewelry box and it’s the people more than the building structure that I reference. These people have made the hospital experience wonderful in spite of the medical nuisances. Please do me a favor and hug someone you know in the medical profession the next time you think of it. Should they ask, tell them “it’s for all the Steves they deal with so effectively and lovingly.”

On to the Herbie news. The third sclerose agent, betadine, seems to have successfully finished the task of deflating Herbie to a fraction of his original size. Most of my last several days have involved no drainage which was a priority before completing treatment. So, today we performed one last betadine sclerose and took Herbie’s tailpipe out. That little 12 inch piece of pipe/hose is a welcome removal. We now count on Herbie to stay entombed with no further awakening. Herbie RIP!!!

How can we fully thank you for your part in making this journey so successful? We can’t. What we can do is share our thanks in these words plus hugs, words, smiles and other future expressions of appreciation. Here’s a video expressing a little of my thanks for your love, support, thoughts, prayers, notes, cards…

Many thanks for all you’ve done to lift me up as though on eagles’ wings. While doing some reading this morning, this Krista Tippett quote resonated with me:

“The intention to walk through the world practicing love across relationships and encounters feels like a great frontier.”

Thanks for navigating this great frontier with me, practicing love on me. I’ve felt it “big time!!!!!” I love you!!!!


Herbie Uncapped: is third sclerose agent the charm?

Well, Herbie was not one to be capped. Within 24 hours we were seeing evidence that capping was not a solution so last Friday afternoon we went back to the ‘ol tube & bulb to release that pressure.

This morning we went in for a treatment with the third and final sclerosing agent (we kept the agent in for an hour so Herbie got a full dose.) On 4/12 we will be doing a CT Scan to see if we’ve reached as much “Herbie hardening” as we might ever expect. If so, that will be the day we pull out the drain and then will play the “wait and see” game –  will Herbie become a mostly-hardened cyst that never causes another symptom or is likely surgery on the horizon…

Kim has been a great source of support on this journey and that continues to this day. We’ll continue to be inquiring, prayerful and persistent. We are both EXTREMELY thankful for all the blessings you all have showered down upon us in so many forms: prayers, cards, calls, other acts of kindness and much, much more. Many thanks, one and all.

With love, prayers and thanksgiving,


While trying to balance my mindset in association with all that’s going on with Herbie and his side-effects, this quote really caught my attention:

“The soul is not simply within the body, hidden somewhere within its recesses. The truth is rather the converse. Your body is in the soul. And the soul suffuses you completely.” ~ John O’Donohue (1956-2008), Irish poet and priest in Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom, 48-49.

[Should you have interest in reading some other favorite spiritual/religious quotes, amassed over a lifetime, they’re HERE]

Capping the drain to see Herbie’s reaction…

As anticipated, this morning showed no improvement. Our radiologists decided after trying two sclerosing agents it’s time to see if we’ve hardened Herbie up enough that he won’t cause any more trouble. The tailpipe (drain) is now capped.**

Next steps?

  • We hold our breath and hope that Herbie doesn’t try to re-inflate. At 28 cc, he’s less than 10% of his original capacity and shows no inclination to get smaller. We’ll hope he doesn’t try to enlarge now that fluid has nowhere to go.
  • CT scan on April 12th to see if Herbie stays small or if he expands once capped. If there’s no expansion, we’ll take out the tailpipe and hope that he never causes problems (possibly even dissipating into my body over time?)

This decision is welcome in multiple ways:

  • For the first time in over two months there is no extension tube and bulb, making clothes more comfortable and simplifying several daily activities
  • There’s some hope that we’ve collapsed Herbie enough that he’ll give up
  • Though we appreciate their smiling faces and personalities, it’ll be nice to skip a week of visiting our acquaintances at Anderson Mercy Hospital

We won’t get our hopes up TOO much, but it’s nice to assess and then proceed as warranted.

Many thanks for the continuing thoughts and prayers. We hope and pray for a joyous Easter time for you and those you love!

** the drain is staying in since Herbie is deep in the body and of smaller size now, making connecting another tailpipe more difficult (and likely painful?)


High hopes, we have, high hopes … and then nuthin’, for this week.

Looks like Herbie has had enough of the fizzy drink – no progress (same size opening as a week ago.) We’re giving ‘ol fizzy one more try just in case, but we’re figuring that next Thursday we’ll move to the final type of sclerosing agent***. With that day being Opening Day for the Reds, maybe it can be closing time for Herbie (with the allowable few days to clear out his things?) We’ll keep those high hopes for sclerosing to complete the task!

Thanks for the continuing kind thoughts and prayers for me, Kim, our family and the medical staff** working with us.  Enjoy the day, with a smile on your face [and with knowledge that I’m smiling at the blessings of this day, and every day!]

** This week’s staff member focus is on Dr. Charles (Charlie) Young. Dr. Young is a kind soul – gentle eyes, friendly manner, confident approach, similar hairstyle to mine…and a burly beard! 🙂 He reminds Kim and me of our good friend and former MWPC church member, Brian Hill (for those who don’t know Brian, he is a kind, bright, gentle, passionate soul.) Dr. Young remains confident that Herbie can be hardened and left to disintegrate in me rather than requiring surgery. May it be so…

*** our understanding is that this sclerosing agent will be “introduced” twice daily by us using the drainage tube. Maybe my next career will involve going back to school for nurse’s training? NAH!