Sunday, September 30, 2007

we're moving today!

Finally!  John and I are moving into our new place today.  The boxes are packed.  The U-Haul is rented.  Everything is ready to go.  I am really excited.  And exhausted.  We did some of the moving yesterday, and I am tired.  Really tired, LOL.  Once again, like the last time we moved, everybody bowed out who was supposed to help.  This time we have one person who is coming over to help us today.  Ugghhh.  Why say you are going to help if you have no intention on doing so?

So anyway, I don't know when I will be able to use the computer next.  I won't be over here at my parent's house anymore, so I won't be able to use my Dad's.  I probably never properly explained why I was using my Dad's computer in the first place.  I couldn't hook my computer up downstairs in the room John and I were staying in at my parent's because that phone line for some reason was claimed by Giant, LOL.  We don't know why the phone company gave Giant (the grocery store) and us the same phone line.  But the phone company told us we had to stay off of it, LOL.  So I had no way to use my computer.  Actually, it has not been funny at all.  So I have been using my father's computer.

So now that I am leaving my parent's house I won't have access to a computer until I move my computer over to my new house and hook it up.  And you see, I don't know how to hook it up, LOL.  Until I get a friend to help me, I won't have a computer to use.  I did hoook up my own DSL in the past, but I am feeling intimidated by the whole thing right now.  All of those wires!  But I will try to get it hooked up as soon as possible, and get back to journalling as soon as I can.  

I am also excited to have my own documents again soon.  I will be able to add photos, ones that I have wanted to add.  You can see updated photos of me and John!  And our new home!

Right now, I am happy.  But I also feel tired and a little bit overwhelmed.  I have a lot to unpack and put together in my home.  It will take a long time.  There are some things that seem a little complicated to me.  I don't know how to put together some of the things, such as VCRs and certain shelves.  But I will figure it out, and John knows a lot.  He can do a lot when he is not too tired.  He has been feeling a lot better lately.  I am also thinking, what's the rush?  I can work on some every day.  What if it is not done immediately?  I am not entertaining guests next week.

So I better get back to work.  John and I need to start moving our stuff over to the apartment this morning.  I am so glad this whole business is over and we finally get to move in.  A  month late, but we are still moving in.  How about that?

Love you all, Krissy :)

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Monday, September 24, 2007

monday morning question


What volunteer work do you do?  If you aren't doing any right now, what volunteer work would you like to do if you had more time?

My answer:  I volunteer as a board member for a local cancer organization (for cancer survivors and their loved ones). 

When I have more time, I want to do more for the cause to fight cancer.

How about you?   


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

waiting for the next ultrasound

Hi.  How are you all?  I'm OK.  I just talked to John, and wanted to let you all know what we knew so far, about what is going on with the mass in his kidney. 

John just got off the phone with Mitzi.  She said Dr. Claxton agrees with Dr. Donelan that they should wait three months and then take another ultrasound of John's kidney to see if the mass has grown.  

John says he is concerned, but not worried.  At least not at this point.

John says hello to everybody.  :)

Love you all, Krissy 

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

what's the mysterious object in John's right kidney?

Okay, so like, John has some mass or something in his right kidney.  It may be a cyst or it may be cancer.

Uhm, like, John's local nephrologist (kidney doctor) told us two weeks ago.  I didn't say anything to you all b/c I wanted to wait until we had something more definite on what it was.  But who knows how long that's going to take.

Two weeks ago Dr. Donelan (he's local) told John that he had a mass in his right kidney, according to an ultrasound that the doctor was viewing, and a report.  He also told John he wanted him to have a CT scan in three months, to see if the mass had grown.  That way it would help the doctor determine if the mass was merely a cyst, or if it was kidney cancer.

John and I thought about it for a day or two, then quickly determined that waiting was folly.  Why wait three months to SEE if something is cancer?  I don't know if anything can be done to check anything sooner than the three months, but why not ask Dr. Claxton, John's oncologist, instead of waiting?  We called up Mitzi, Dr. Claxton's nurse, at Hershey Medical Center.  She asked that the ultrasound and report immediately be faxed  to her so that Dr. Claxton could view them.

That was two weeks ago.  It has been a horrible wait.  B/c it has been one mess up after another, from Dr. Donelan's office's end.  Instead of explaining the whole thing, I will just say that Dr. Donelan's office just sent the report YESTERDAY to Hershey.  They used many reasons why they hadn't sent the report earlier than yesterday.  One was b/c they wrote the wrong fax number down on the fax sheet.  It was one number off.  I guess there is a car dealership out there, or something, looking at photos of John's kidney. 

At any rate, Mitzi should be getting the fax today (or maybe got it yesterday evening).  Now she can give it to Dr. Claxton.  We don't have any idea when we will hear back from Mitzi.  Hopefully in the next couple of days.  We of course want Dr. Claxton to have a chance to have a thorough look at everything.

If it is cancer, we won't be surprised.  It is not too terribly rare to get a secondary cancer after a bone marrow transplant.  In John's case, it would be a third cancer if he does have cancer.  If he does have cancer, it would be in no way related to his other two kinds. 

On the other hand, it could just as easily be a cyst. 

Or, I suppose, a kidney stone?  A few months ago a technician told John she thought he had a kidney stone, while performing an ultrasound.  It is coming back to me, he had an ultrasound for another problem.  Why would a technician have the right to attempt to read an ultrasound during a test?  She was not a physician.  And another thing, why weren't we given the results of this before now?  That ultrasound was done months ago.

I guess I shouldn't have brought any of this up.  Until we knew the results for certain.  But this has been awful stressfull.  And all the while, at the same time, I have had to be the Mold Inspector, LOL.  I am getting sooooo stressed.  What's next?  Meanwhile, John has been neutropenic, with no immune system, for a month.  Yes, we went to Hershey a month ago, and we were told the news.  This is the lowest his immune system has been since about his stem cell transplant.  *Sigh**

But John is staying out of bed and doing things!  He is happy!

Okay, we will keep you updated.  We really are generally upbeat.  Just somewhat exhausted, LOL.

Loving you,  Krissy :)

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Monday, September 17, 2007

monday morning question



If your living room HAD to contain one of these retro items, which would you pick?  (You can click on each word to find out more about it!)

disco ball

lava lamp

a black velvet Elvis painting

black light

a "flower power" poster


My answer:  I guess I'll go with the lava lamp, LOL.  White liquid and red lava!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

i think the mold problem is being taken care of

Hi you all.  Wow, it has been a long time.  I've been commenting in journals here and there when I have had time, which hasn't been very often.  Sorry.

John and I had to do major battling with the apartment management to resolve the mold problem in my new apartment.  We are still at my parent's house and the workmen at the apartment are still working on removing the mold and repairing the walls in our laundry room at the new apartment.

A lot transpired since I last wrote.  More photos had to be taken of the mold and water damage.  The workmen would do some work during the day.  And I would then sneak in at night and take photos of the mold.  It's my place, the rent is already paid, but I wanted to inspect the progress while they weren't there.  That way they couldn't just patch it up, and lie about what they were doing.  And I could get the proof in photos.  I wanted to prove, in court if necessary, that they were just patching over the mold, because John and I confronting management directly wasn't working.  I felt like a spy, LOL.  John couldn't come into the apartment with me to look around and take the photos, because he couldn't be around the mold, even with a mask on.  So it was pretty stressful, because I had to go in alone, but I went in the room and took the photos anyway. 

That was not this Sunday but the previous Sunday.  Then on Monday I called a lawyer.  Thanks you all for the suggestion!  The lawyer told management, who own a lot of properties in the town where John and I live, that they must remove all the mold from our apartment, remove the water damage, and rebuild the walls and paint them.  Management at our particular apartment was also called.  They were told they better get on the ball.

Funny.  Suddenly a new workman showed up, ready to do all kinds of work for us.  I told him exactly what I wanted done.  Which walls needed to be done, because I could see the mold damage.  There was some black mold on the surface of the walls, so I knew there would be some green mold on the 2 by 4s, just as there was on the other section of the wall.  I showed him that, the water damage, the moldy shelf.  I showed him exactly what I wanted done.  He agreed with me.  He told me exactly what he would do in the same situation, before I could even get to it.  We matched exactly.  I was happy.  We made a verbal agreement.  BIG MISTAKE.  I left happy at that point.

He told me it would take a week or two to finish the repairs as they were large.

I left happy.  But because I had had experience, LOL, I continued to take photos during the week at night.  Okay, I am trying to sum this up, LOL. 

On Thursday night, I went to take my photos.  That is when I noticed, to my horror, that one wall was patched up that shouldn't have been.  Some of it, however still remained  cut out and unpatched.  I looked inside.  To my horror I saw green two by fours!

The next morning (Friday) I called the head workman W. up (the one I had just spoken to, who had been so agreeable to the necessary mold removal.)  W. proceeded to lie to me, contradicting himself allover the place.  His contradictions made me know he was lying.  I told him I wanted certain parts of the wall cut out that contained water damage with mold on it and behind it, as he had promised a few days prior.  He admitted that the wall had contained mold, but said in a snotty voice, something like, "Look, I'll do it, but you know it is just going to take longer before you can move in."  I told him that that was fine, and that I didn't want to live with mold.  I didn'twant the mold to kill John.  He grumbled and said he would take care of the job the way I wanted it.

I wondered why he was so agreeable in the first place and then had changed.  I think he thought he could get away with doing less and that I wouldn't check at night.  That he would just patch the one wall, paint everything, and that I would not have checked and thought he would have done ALL the walls.  Well I am NOT that stupid.

What I am thinking is that the management (at highest level) might have tried to force him into finishing early.  She is the one who originally went to HUD and told Betty there was no mold.  The one who originally lied.  I think she was trying to fool HUD and even the lawyer.  The lawyer told me to return if I didn't have satisfaction in getting the mold removed.  Trust me, I would have gone back to him if the mold wasn't taken care of!

I think everything is ending on a great note, though

Valerie and I went and looked yesterday (they usually don't work on Saturdays, LOL), and it looks like W. and the workmen have done what John and I told W. to do.  Three more sections of the wall have been cut out.  The inner parts of the wall appear to be mold free, and have been or will be painted with mold resistent chemicals.  The plasterboard will then be put back on.  And the whole thing will have to be repainted with mold resistent paint (two coats).  The shelf will need a little refinishing also.  

Okay, so this will take awhile.  We hope to be moved back in by the weekend. 

Should we ask for most of this month's rent back, LOL? 

Love you all,


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Monday, September 10, 2007

monday morning question


Pertaining to your young childhood, how would you complete this statement?

                         I was a  _________  boy/girl.

My answer:  I was a scared and insecure girl.

What's your answer?  

Krissy :)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

my apartment is too moldy to live in :(

Hi you all.  I want to thank every one who has been in contact with me since my last entry.  I really thank you for being concerned about me.  I have been away from journaling because so much has been absolutely insane in my life. 

I don't want to jam everything that has been going on into one entry (my entries get too long, LOL), so right now I will just tell you about how the move to my new apartment has been going (or hasn't, I should say).  Basically, when I moved into my apartment, before actually looking at it, I was told there was a "pinhole leak, with very little damage" in the laundry room beside the kitchen.  

Well, it has been a nightmare.  John and I signed the lease on August 31.  Then we did the walk through.  We were horrified to find out that the laundry room had pretty considerable damage.  It was NOT a pinhole leak.  Many of the walls were soaking wet.  A portion of the ceiling was cut out. A plaster board shelf under the hot water heater was soaked.  Over all, many many feet of the laundry room was wet.

The maintanence man assured us that he would cut out the wet walls on Friday, August 31 (this was the weekend before Labor Day) and that he would dry it over Labor Day weekend.  Then he would apply mud on Tuesday and Weds. after Labor Day weekend then pain it on Thursday.  This was acceptable to us.

I went and looked at the apartment on Saturday, the day after we signed our lease, and the day after he said he would have the walls cut out.  To my horror, he had cut out NONE of the offending walls.  Black mold had already begun to grow on the walls!  Black fuzzy mold.  It was Labor Day weekend and I had no idea how to get in touch with anybody.  

On Tuesday after Labor Day weekend John and I went and talked to the Assistant Manager of the apartments.  She said she would fix the problem.  She called out the maintanence man, who lied about something.  Too long of a story.  I think he just didn't want to take out the walls on Friday b/c he wanted to kick off early for Labor Day weekend.  I reminded the manager again that John was a stem cell transplant patient and that he couldn't live in mold.  The maintanence man said he was going to patch over the walls at this point whether they were very wet or not.  We informed him that he would NOT, that the plasterboard needed to be taken out, so that the walls underneath could be dried out, or the mold would grow inside the walls.

To make a long story short, which I am not, LOL, the workmen have been trying to dry the walls for days (both plasterboard and innerwalls and two by fours).  Actually, they are NOT DRY even today.  It has been over a week.  Well over.  Day before yesterday, there were VERY GREEN two by fours in the apartment in a section they had cut out.  The apartment building was not taking care of the situation.  So I snapped photos.  I would love to show you all the photos of the severely molded wood but I am on my father's computer and can't put pics into his documents.  The pics show moldy wood and two by fours.  It also shows extensive water damage on several walls (in which they have yet to cut out), and mold growing on the water heater, and mold growing on a shelf they never took out.

On Friday, Sept. 7, I got HUD involved.  I called the apartments and told them so.  I also told them I had photos.  

On Friday John and I went and visited HUD.  They were VERY negative towards us.  The woman who was head of HUD told me she didn't believe me, basically that I was lying.  She told me that there never was any mold.  She said she had spoken to the landlord of the apartments who told her I was lying. This was after the assistant manager of the apartments, Amber, had told John in the morning of Friday, that she had "seen the mold, would spray it, and had extensive experience in this type of thing." The woman from HUD refused to look at my photos.  I had 20 of them.  I proceeded to drop them down in front of her.  Sher recoiled back.  I said, look at this green mold on the two by fours!  She stated that "Mold is not green.  Not that color green."  I said, "Yes it often is."  Then she said, "I think that is fresh wood.  Have you ever heard of green fresh wood?"  I dropped my mouth!  How could apartments that are 10 years old have green fresh wood in them?  At any rate, she said many, many things that were insane, and I believe she has already made up her mind in the case, she is going to side with the apartments.  She basically told me so.  She said she would make her decision on Monday.   

BTW, On Friday night John and I visited the apartment.  They had sanded off some of the mold, and bleached it.  There was a big bleach stain on the kitchen floor, about a foot by a foot.  Hmmmmmm.  A lot of the walls were very wet.  Paint was bulging off of them and peeling in places.  

You know, if there is proper mold removal, John and I are willing to live there.  We actually love the place in a lot of ways.  BUT THEY MUST remove the wet walls, and the mold under them.  They MUST scrub the other two by fours and put mold remover on them.  Also take out the moldy shelf and scrub the water heater.

That would be acceptable.  That's IF John's oncologist says it is ok for him to live there.  On Friday morning Dr. Claxton faxed HUD a letter, as well as the apartment bldg., saying John should NOT be living in that particular apartment.

Okay, to make a long story not so short, LOL, the woman we spoke to at HUD said she would make her decision on Monday, whether or not the apartment is livable.  I am concerned that she will say it is, b/c the apartment management cleaned up one small section.  But thus far they have refused to remove and clean up the rest of the wet/moldy walls.  BTW, I am positive they are moldy underneath.  A friend of mine took off a small piece of wall, and it had green mold growing underneath.

Okay, so like, if the woman from HUD rules against me and John, and John can't live in there, maybe we will have to do the legal thing and go to a hearing to overule her decision.  Maybe I will have to get a lawyer. 

I have a major headache right now, b/c of all this.  We have already paid rent for this month and we have not been able to live there.  When I go in, even for a few minutes, I get a severe headache for several days.  I also get a sore throat, am unable to clear my chest for several days, and get confused and angry.  That is definitely how mold effects me, and I can't live that way.  John and I are still at my parent's house.

We have not been able to move in most of our stuff to the apartment, b/c we did not want it stolen by workmen.  Also, another moving truck has to be paid for at some time.  We also have not been able to move in our washer and dryer, which Catholic Charities so kindly gave us the money to pay for.  Hopefully the appliance store will hold it for us.  There are other complications in this whole matter, but I won't bore you.  Ughhhhhhhhhhh.  Why does my life have to be so complicated?

At any rate, we are trusting the Lord to work things out.  One day at a time.

There is other news on the home front, it has to do with John.  But I will explain soon, hopefully next entry.  Sorry I have to leave you hanging.

Loving you all,

Krissy :)

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