Patty's Mammie Grams

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Feb 21 5 New Posts - Sorry About That

Read 'em while they're fresh!!! Don't strain your eyes, though, take it slow. : ) Love ya Love ya Love ya. Patty : )

Feb 21 Visitors From Kansas and Randomness

I just had a great visit (way too short, though) from my best friend in college, Donnie and husband Mike from Olathe, Kansas. (Oops! Strike that, to read Ottowa, a bit further south.) They arrived Sunday the 10th and left Tuesday morning the 12th.
Donnie was the Matron of Honor at our wedding, and I was the Maid of Honor at their wedding - the hottest day in Kansas, EVER! It melted the candles at the alter so that they just leaned over, then curled over and melted wax all over the floor and Donnie's cute little brother, Joey, climbed over the railing and straightened them upright again. It truly was hot hot hot. I think it set a record for that day. it was in the summer (I had a tan!) (sorrycantrememberthedate) of 1979, I think. I was going to UofA and flew back for the beautiful and fun time. Edited to add after speaking to Donnie tonight - June 27, 1980.
Visit their orchard and winery website here:
and see where I've visited many times, and where Sally and family have gone to get Halloween pumpkins and go on a hayride many times.
We spent a day at the Desert Museum and I was POOPED from all that walking. I hadn't walked that much since way before my foot surgery. We were hurrying at the end, so we could rush over to Old Tucson, and got there at 4:30, to find that they closed at 4:00. Darn, and sorry Mike. We (without Bob) ate at El Charro's restaurant downtown, and so all of you who have visited me from out of town know those are the two places I take everyone, if they have just a very short time. We met Bob the next evening at Buddy's Grill which is our other favorite place. I haven't been out to the orchard for a few years, and hope to visit them and all the other Kansas friends in August after the family reunion in Garden City, Kansas. We had a wonderful time catching up, and them laughing at my gnashing and weeping and trials and tribulations of raising a teenager. Their daughter, Landi, who was 7 years old as my flower girl 21 years ago tomorrow, has a 5 year old of her own, now. It will all come out in the wash. I think. I hope. I pray. She (Landi) is doing great.

Thanks for wading through all these posts, I know I have been pretty sporadic. And Random.
Here is some more random. HAIR! I haven't kept you apprised of my hair! I left it grey so Donnie and Mike could see and make fun (they didn't!) and then tinted it on Wednesday after they left on Tuesday morning. We were always going to go for the funky fun colors, and so we applied, timed, shampooed off, and I looked in the mirror and said, "I love it!" It was the most beautiful shade of orange copper red. Then about 30 seconds later, I said with horror - "I have to go to Granddad's funeral on Saturday, I can't have this hair color there!" So, we immediately applied another round of a color to try to neutralize that. It was better, but on Friday, we once again colored it to get rid of some more of the orange. It looks like me, now, and I am so glad my hair has finally begun to grow in the correct color!
Now, I haven't ever told you about my fingernails, either. They ended up with dark and then pink bands on them from each chemotherapy. They were ridged along with the off color (Hee hee, I said off-color) and I had to buff out the ridges pretty often. They also seemed to be pretty weak at those spots, so I was always having to file broken nails. I think if I filed them off incredibly short right now, the 'funny' would almost be all gone. Almost.
My toenails didn't seem to be affected, but I heard all sorts of stories that peoples nails turned black and fell off. I'm certainly glad that didn't happen to me.
You all are probably wondering how I am getting this time on the computer! Sara is out of school for Rodeo (don't ask - we are the only ones in the world - but it is a big deal here) and is currently at Golf and Stuff with a new friend she met at Target with me the other day. He is a friend of a school friend from French class last year, and may be the salvation of our computers!
He thinks (Sara says) he can fix her laptop, and can also bang on this beast to make sure it doesn't go wonky all the time. He works for food and minimum $, he says. Yay for computer geeks! Love ya lots. Patty : )

Feb 21 Sleeping Issues and Movies

I still am not sleeping as I should - I went to bed last night (?) or rather this morning ,at 7:00 a.m. I just cannot go to sleep without an aid.
I keep trying to remember to take a sleeping pill early enough in the evening to get me to sleep, but there always seems to be laundry, or dishes, or one last check of something or the end of a favorite TV show. We are seriously considering TIVO or the like, so we can go to bed earlier. I know, I know, we could just not watch. But, I like a lot of this stuff.
We have been watching videos (oops, DVDs?) more lately. We just rented Across the Universe. I highly recommend it for anyone who ever listened to and loved or even liked the Beatles. It was a lot of fun. All Beatles tunes wound into a musical story of a Liverpool lad (Jude) who goes to America and makes a new friend (Max) who has a sister (Lucy). Do you see the thing shaping up? It was a lot of fun to watch. Very 60's and 70's.

Feb 21 Rad Onc Visit on Tuesday 19th

I went for my first follow-up visit to Dr. Croghan on Tuesday the 19th. Everything is 'normal' and I go back to see her in 6 months. The plan she says, is for me to see someone (surgeon, rad onc, or med onc) every 3 three months from now until eternity. Not really that long. I suppose for 5 years?
Blood pressure is pretty much back to normal - the steroids really sent it high for awhile. Skin has healed and is the normal color now. The tan lines are gone! There is a pretty tender spot, right on the lumpectomy scar, that is still swollen and sore and did I mention TENDER! Only when I put weight on it, as in sleeping on my left side, or hugging someone crooked or touch it while showering or whatever.
Weight is...well, I'm maintaining the gain I've had in the last year with the foot thing and not walking and the chemo thing and being too fatigued and the no sleep thing and not wanting to get up to walk in the a.m. and the laziness thing that is that I really just don't like being hot and sweaty and in the sun. So, the good news, as they say in Weight Watchers, I am showing that I can maintain well.
I am having more of the hotter than hot flashes - hotter than any I previously had - from the Femara. It also is giving me joint pain in every joint, but especially in my arthritic thumb and finger joints. My back and hips are next worse (?), and the rest of me is just dealing with it.
Love ya, love ya, love ya. Patty : )

Feb 21 Days passing

I know I am repeating myself - partly because I'm too lazy to go back and reread the last posts I've written, but I don't want to do that just now.
The service was very very nice. Bob's brother John created a wonderful slide show presentation, and all three 'children' (Mary, Bob and John) spoke. Two of George's good friends who were mentored by him in the beginning of their careers spoke of his help and friendship. Mari's sister-in-law played the violin, as she also had done at Dave's service. Granddaughter Elizabeth read a poem George had written, and Sara sang her Homeward Bound solo. (She was not or did not seem to be nervous!) This is the song - neither of us alone, or together could have sung it this well:
We are mostly doing better every day. Bob is having a very hard time. This was his best friend and fellow inventor and go to guy and collaborator. They talked very often, sometimes daily, for all the years I have known them.
I know from experience that time does heal, but it takes a long time to build up enough strength and callous in your heart to bear this sorrow.
Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers and cards and e-mails and comments and well wishes. We appreciate them all.
Love to you all. Patty

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Feb 16 In Memory of George W. LeCompte

Today at 1:00 was the memorial for Bob's dad. I have known good men, and met good men, but this was a great man.
When I went to the house on Thursday evening, there was a gentleman from NASA, in Texas, whom George had mentored when this man was just beginning his career. He told stories of George that none of us had ever heard, including that he helped figure out what went so wrong with the Challenger debacle. He was the one (really!) who figured out that the problem was the temperature - and told our guy who was the top guy to figure out what had happened, to put the O-ring into the freezer, and then test it. Bingo!
Then he got another call - for Columbia this time. They couldn't figure what went wrong - their calculations showed that there was only a 1 in 250 chance of the mission failing. George figured out that they were using only the one mission, instead of the entire program. The chances of failure turned out to be 1 in 5!!
That was why he had a top secret clearance - he didn't tell what he wasn't supposed to tell. Bob's quote about his own top secret clearance was - "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you", always said with a smile. That probably is a much used quote.
At any rate - this was a man full of surprises. He always whistled tunes around the house, and seemed to know the words to just about any 'oldie' song. Mari said he grew up singing with his family around the piano, and used his knowledge for fun and edification.

He really was a genius, and I admired him greatly.Please check out his obituary in the Arizona Daily Star at
We will be interring him with son David and grandson Sean in the Vashon Island Cemetary the end of June - probably on Saturday the 28th or Sun day the 29th. No date or arrangements have been made yet, but the family will be renting a house on the island for the week following those dates.
He is and will be forever missed.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Feb 7 Back in Tucson From Phoenix

Sara and I arrived in Phoenix Monday night at about 9:15 or so, at the condo where the rest of the family was staying with Bob's dad.
George finally was able to stop his very labored breathing at about 4:40 a.m. Tuesday morning, and the family stayed with him until the hospice nurse came to pronounce him at 7:50 a.m.
The hospice chaplain came to be with the family until the funeral home came to take his body, and we met with the mortuary later that day to make arrangements for his cremation. He wanted to be buried in the Vashon Island Cemetery next to David and Sean, his son and grandson. We will be up there sometime this summer for that ceremony. Probably the end of June will be when we can get into the same house where we had a family reunion in 2002 and buried David's cremains. That was 6 years after we buried Sean's cremains. Here it is, 6 years later again.
We all drove back to Tucson Tuesday evening, after the trip to the funeral home, and after we finally went to eat at an Olive Garden close by the mortuary. Most of us hadn't eaten much for the last couple of days.
We managed to finish eating in time to get to drive back south in the Phoenix rush hour traffic.
I managed to get lost and it took 1 1/2 hours to find I 10 and get going south. Should have probably taken maybe 15 - 20 minutes NOT during rush hour. It wasn't fun and I have never been quite so scared driving around in the dark and not having any idea whatsoever which direction I was going. I finally made it back to 8620 at 9:15. I left the restaurant at 6:00.
The problem was the 101 and 202 freeways go in a circle and if you don't know exactly where you are going, all is lost. A map probably would have helped, but how hard could it be to just drive down and turn at - and then turn at - but that turn gave you a choice of east or west and I wanted to go south! That was the beginning of a very bad couple of hours. I think it is time to get some kind of directional help in my car. I will NOT be driving in Phoenix in the dark ever again.

Bob's mom is at home now, with kids trading off with support and company. Her address is - Marian LeCompte, 8620 North Pomona Road, Tucson, Arizona, 85704-2249.
Arrangements are now in place for the memorial on Saturday, February 16th at 1:00 p.m., at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 7650 North Paseo del Norte Drive, Tucson, Arizona, 85704.
I am including this information just for edification, do with it what you wish. I know from experience that it is so wonderful to hear from everyone about how much they loved your loved one, and a memory is always nice to share.
Sara and Elizabeth (granddaughters) and I have been asked to sing at the memorial. I hope we can manage it. I have suggested an earlier taped performance, in case we cannot manage it at the time.
This has been the hardest thing they have ever had to deal with, and they are all suffering greatly. I know all of you know that, and they need your thoughts and kind wishes.
Sara and Bob are having a very hard time. Sara never really knew her Grandpa Smith, she doesn't remember much. She doesn't remember Grandma Smith at all. She was in the first grade when my mom died. The photos show her without her two front teeth. Bob and his dad were pretty much best friends, inventing things together all their lives.
These grandparents have been a huge part of Sara's life, living so closely, and she was one of only 5 grandchildren, and the only one living right in town with them. There are now 4 living grandchildren, and 2 great granddaughters.
This is a sad hour in Bob's family, this man was the glue. He was a great example for just about anyone. I don't know that he ever did anything against the rules. He didn't smoke, drink, swear, cheat at cards or taxes or games and never even drove over the speed limit. He took care of his body - watching his weight, exercising, and dancing (round dancing) and eating well. Just doesn't seem fair, but it never does.
I have blithered long enough. I guess I needed to vent a little, myself. I loved this man very much. He had a great sense of humor - very dry wit, loved puns, and loved words. He had a huge vocabulary, and was willing to use all of his words so everyone else could learn and utilize them, also. He loved to play cards and games with his family. He was a good man.
Hug your loved ones close tonight. Keep yourself safe, and I'll be thinking of all of you.
Thanks for reading this far - I know I can go on and on and on. ; )
Much love and good healing thoughts to all of you. Patty : )

Monday, February 4, 2008

Feb 4 All Is Well With Me

I'm fine, Sara is fine, and Bob is up in Phoenix with his family. Sara and I are getting ready to drive up there, it is dark, and raining, and it hailed while I was at the doc this afternoon.
Bob's dad is slipping into a coma - we are on our way to say good bye.
Peace to all of you and yours. That is all I can think of right now. Love, Patty