There had been so many doctors’ appointments and tests these last few months that getting information to my kids had become a challenge.

Phone calls were too tiring for me; emails have proved to be the way to go: easy to answer and still allowing a sense of humor to creep its way in! This column is my laundry list to you.

Son, Matt, called from Florida yesterday:

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“Just received your laundry list of medical stuff; it’s like a real punch list.”

The first item on the list was some good news: the “shading/thickening” in the left breast is from the radiation I received in 2014. The oncologist assured me that all was normal and I should continue my regularly scheduled follow-up appointments. Hooray for our team!

I will be conducting my own home sleep study in the next week or so. Results will show if I’m suffering from sleep apnea; this condition is the source of many medical problems. Hopefully, I can just check it off and move on

Blood tests remain of concern: red blood cell count is still running on the high side; I will have a third phlebotomy at the end of February. Thyroid indicator is still on the high side—parathyroid surgery could take place in the very near future.

Upon the direction of my cardiologist and other members of my medical team, a heart catheterization should be scheduled. On that advice, I will be seeing a cardiac specialist at Westchester Medical Center this week. After our meeting, he will schedule the procedure fairly quickly. I’m dreading this test—it is critical and not a “walk in the park.” Of course, I will pepper the specialist with as many questions as possible to understand the whys and wherefores of this course of treatment—I’ll still be a nervous nelly until it’s over and I can go home.

Matt’s phone call also brought some happy news: my kids are planning a birthday bash, the big “80,” for me in May. He wanted to let me know that he and Helen would be coming up and staying with me. What joyful news! I’ll finally have all my kids together for the first time in years! Isn’t that a beautiful occasion to think about—especially, when I get tired of the poking and prodding of needles, etc.?

Oh, one more thing: Matt suggested that maybe he could ship doggies Gus and Doak to me for “wellness” therapy. You know how much I love these guys; however I don’t think Bonnie would be receptive to this idea. No, absolutely not!

My readers, Brigadiers and friends: you are now up to date. Stay tuned for the next item on Ruthie’s Laundry List.

My family and I thank you for your good thoughts and prayers! They do make a difference!

Ruthann can be reached at