Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Update on Rich!!!

Some of you have kindly asked how my brother is doing so here are some more pictures.

He's doing great.  He's eating thickened liquids now (pudding, cream of wheat,etc.)

This morning he's having a barium esophagram to confirm that there are no leaks in the "new

He's walking the 1/5 mile loop around his floor and he's doing it four times a day!

Could be discharged today or tomorrow!!!  Thank you all you intercessors!!

Below:  My sister, Rich, and me.

The kids made posters for him.  Wish this first one showed up better because some of the messages are hilarious.  For example:

"Be tube-free!!"   niece Mary

"Get that esophagus out of here!"    nephew Matt

"Good job!  Oh yeah, Dr. Chang!"   niece Liz

"Who needs an esophagus anyway?"  sister Maryanne

"I'm not a jedi yet, but my surgeon is"   Rich!

Rich with darling daughter Monique!

Rich with his awesome kids Monique and Mitchie...

Thank you for all your prayers.  If you would, please pray for a successful esophagram today and continued healing for my brother.  God bless you all for your generosity!!!

What's with Obama

May I ask a simple question that the mainstream media does not seem to be asking.

What does Barak Obama know about making cars????!!!!!?????

As many conservative talk shows have pointed out, he has no manufacturing experience whatsoever.

Now I don't know if the CEO of GM was doing a good job or not.  Many people seem to think he was.

But where on Earth does Barak Obama think he gets the authority to make decisions about a private enterprise?  And how on Earth does he or anyone in Washington think they have the knowledge and expertise to make such decisions?

I know.  If you take money from the government there are going to be strings.

But this looks to me like an arrogant and ignorant power grab by a former community organizer turned junior senator who managed to get himself into the White House and now thinks he's the Supreme commander of the American economy.  Have you noticed the stock market is not buying it?

There.  Had to get that out of my system.  Sorry.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I have some GOOD News (and more coming!)

With all the horror of Obama speaking at Notre Dame (AND GETTING AN HONORARY DEGREE!!) and my brother's esophagectomy, I have postponed telling you some REALLY EXCITING news!!!

Many of you prayed for my son John's audition two years ago for admission to the U of M music school.  And many of you shared my sorrow for him when he was turned down.  And many of you prayed for his admission as a transfer student a month or so ago.

Guess what?????


University of Michigan has accepted John as a piano performance major!!!!!

This was the folder all his materials arrived in.  He was thrilled.  We're all thrilled.  This is really the only school I think John has ever wanted to go to since he was a little boy.

My father was a graduate of Michigan and it was his dream that one of his grandchildren would graduate from Michigan, just as I did and my grandfather as well.

And it's an exceptional music school.

God is good.  How delightful for a mom to see her son's dream come true!!!!  Thank you for your prayers!!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Pictures-- He's healing!!

My sister and my daughter Anne as we waited during Rich's five hour surgery just 48 hours ago.

We kept up a nice calm front but in reality we were all terrified.

Here's Rich today with Suzanne, his compassionate, gentle, and very skilled nurse.

And with Suzanne's help, he's off!!!

Four times today back and forth, down the hall and back, as well as several hours of sitting up in a chair.

I had to quietly hum the Rocky theme song.  He is not going at a snail's pace or with little baby steps either.  

Niece and nephews offering moral support and cheers!

And flowers for Uncle Rich!

He's even posting on his Yahoo group for achalasia!!!.....and checking out my blog:-)

 When the kids are getting restless there's nothing like an empty lounge area and chairs with wheels.

They were having a ball.

God is good!  Thank you for all the prayers!!!

(Sorry, the text/ photo coordination is getting all mixed up on this post.  Not sure why.)

God is good! Look at this guy!

I asked him.  I really did.  I know he's on drugs so I asked him several times, reminding him he's on drugs.  I said you know I'm going to put it on my  blog, right?  He said, "Yeah.  It's OK."

I think he looks awfully good for a guy that less than 24 hours before had his esophagus removed!!!

He really appreciates everybody's prayers!!!!

At this point, I don't think things could be going any better.  He walked from his bed to the door yesterday and sat on a chair for an hour.

God's grace is clearly upon him.  I can't say enough good things about the University of Michigan Medical Center.  They have been so good to him, so kind.  Doctor Chang, the surgeon, has been wonderful.  And the pain control is completely awesome.  There is an entire pain control team working on keeping him comfortable.  He actually described his pain as "some discomfort."  I think that is amazing.  You can tell from the picture that it's true.  And he's not totally out of it either.  He's completely coherent and enjoying company.

God is good, always good.  Thank you for all the prayers and support!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Surgery Went Well!!

Rich's surgery "went very well," according to the surgeon.  He came through it fine and he's looking pretty good.

It took five hours.  

They're already letting him have ice chips.  

It was a long day at the hospital.

He's in good spirits.  Pain is under good control.

God is good!!!  Always good!!

May the Lord continue to heal him and may there be no complications!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Surgery "going well."

Rich has been in surgery for almost four hours now.  Nurse called the desk to say it's "going fine."

Rich had originally planned to listen to a CD with earphones during the surgery-- music that was supposed to "aid in healing."

Just before he went back he said, "I don't think I'll listen to the music.  God is taking care of me now."   


Monday, March 23, 2009

No Time to Write!!!

I'm sorry.  I've read no posts nor written any for a couple of days.  Maybe tomorrow while I'm waiting during my brother's surgery....which brings me to the purpose of this post!

Tomorrow morning at 10:00 Rich will have his esophagectomy!!!!

He's feeling pretty peaceful, clearly the result of all the prayers being offered for him.

Please continue to keep him in your prayers, especially tomorrow.  This is very serious surgery and can have potentially serious complications.

Thank you for all your prayers.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Supreme Insult to Our Lady

I am so upset about this that I can't even write about it right now.

President Obama will speak at the commencement of Notre Dame this May and he will be given an honorary law degree.

I can't tell you how devastated and infuriated I am.

Please send a comment to Father Jenkins, the President of Notre Dame who everyone regarded as a faithful Catholic priest.  Here is the link.  He should be bombarded with reaction from every Catholic who loves Our Lady.  Imagine her grief that the university she loves so much would sell out for political gain.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Update on Rich!!!

Here is an update on my brother Rich:

He had the feeding tube inserted on Friday.  Since then he has gained three pounds!!!!

I called him the other night and he said he was out to dinner with his kids and his in-laws.

"You're out to dinner?"  I asked, knowing he can only drink clear liquids by mouth.

He said, "Well, everyone else is eating dinner.  I'm having a glass of white wine and a Sierra Mist."

I thought Good for Him!!!  He's not sitting home worrying.  He's out there having fun just as he should, even with the tube hanging out of him. 

Clearly, God is sustaining him, in answer to your prayers!!!!

Thank you!!!!  Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday!!! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dr. Sean Morrison-- Here is my response.

Wow.  I want to thank Lucy Ann Lance again for the great job she did interviewing Dr. Sean Morrison, director of the University of Michigan Center for Stem Cell Biology.   Lucy Ann allowed Dr. Morrison to make his case but she also did not shy away from the central ethical questions involving embryonic stem cell research.  I applaud her courage.

Lucy Ann said, among other things ---What about the directive for a doctor to "do no harm?"

Dr. Morrison said that most people don't recognize the microscopic clumps of cells that are embryos as having the same moral status as living breathing human beings.

(Dr. Morrison, that may be true.  But is the opinion of others, even IF they are in the majority, the determiner of right and wrong?  People can be wrong.  History is full of examples.  Our own lives are full of examples.  We must turn to the God who made us or, if one doesn't believe there is a God that made us, one must turn to a higher power or look within to that natural law that is written in the hearts of all human beings.  The masses are a very unreliable arbiter of morality.)

Dr. Morrison went on to say that many in our society believe it's immoral to NOT do this research.  So much good could come from it, etc.

(Again, Dr. Morrison, there is a right and wrong.  It is either true or it is false that embryonic stem cell research is a moral choice.  Truth is independent of the opinions of individuals.  The actual reality and facts of the research are what must be considered.  Embryos are destroyed in the process.  Public opinion aside, one must decide if that destruction is right or wrong.)

Dr. Morrison--- the former restrictions did not save a single embryo from destruction.  Thousands are destroyed whether the research takes place or not.

(Dr. Morrison,.....and your point is what??  Are human lives to be used for the benefit of others simply because they will not survive?  The logical conclusion from such an attitude is that research should also be done on terminally ill infants.  Thankfully, at this point, I don't think anyone wants to go there. (with the possible exception of a few sociopaths.)

Dr. Morrison-- At least now parents of these embryos can have the option of donating them for potentially life-saving research.

(That sounds very good, Dr. Morrison, but parents are not the owners of their children's lives.  That's why we have laws against infanticide.

Furthermore, you yourself said that we need many lines of embryonic stem cells in order to have a "diverse patient population" for research.  We need new lines from "backgrounds not represented now."  Dr. Morrison, these words sent chills down my spine.  Indeed, these embryos are individuals with backgrounds and specific characteristics.  Why, then, act as though they are not entitled to personhood.)

Dr. Morrison thinks that because state money is not being used for the research that somehow those who believe as I do have no stake in the ethics of the research.

(I disagree.  The destruction of human embryos, for any purpose, cheapens all of human life and makes all humans, particularly the disabled, the elderly, and the terminal, very, very vulnerable to the whims of a society that just might decide next  that their lives are disposable too. )
May this destructive research (in the very real sense of the word) come to an end.  It is my prayer that it will soon become clear that stem cell research can continue without the destruction of embryos.  I pray too that the adult stem cell research being done by Dr. Morrison with, I am sure the best of intentions, will bear much fruit and that the lives of many may be saved through his efforts.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hats off to Lucy Ann Lance!!

Lucy Ann Lance, longtime radio personality in Ann Arbor has a new show, the Lucy Ann Lance Show airing Saturday mornings on 1290 AM from 11:00AM to 2:00PM.  What a great thing to have the gracious, fair-minded, and right-headed Lucy Ann back on the air.  She also has another show starting next Monday, the 23rd, called The Lucy Ann Lance Business Insider airing from 9 to 12 every day, also on 1290 AM.   Go Lucy Ann!  I encourage you to listen in if you're from around here, or check it out online here if you're a distance.

This past Saturday Lucy Ann interviewed on her show Dr. Sean Morrison, Director of the University of Michigan Center for Stem Cell Biology-- the very same Dr. Morrison I mentioned in my letter to the editor.  

Guess what??  She read him my letter to the editor and asked him to respond!!!

Lucy Ann, always fair, gave him ample opportunity to speak of the U of M research and his point of view, but she also did not avoid the tough questions.  If you want to hear the interview you can hear it here.

It was great.  I actually got to listen to Dr.  Morrison's reaction to my letter.  I was so honored that Lucy Ann used my letter!!  And what a blessing to hear first hand the opposing view.
Tomorrow I will write my reaction to Dr.  Morrison's comments.

In the meantime, thank you Lucy Ann and best of luck with both of these shows!!!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Letter to the Editor-- unedited, yeah!

The Ann Arbor News published my letter on Obama's lifting of restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.  They didn't change a word, for which I'm grateful.   You can read it here.  There is only one dissenting comment so far.  I was hoping for more discussion.

Anyway, hope you're all having a lovely weekend.  It's a beautiful day here, sunny and blue skies, 42 degrees which feels very warm for us.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Feeding Tube Is In!!!

Rich went to his rescheduled appointment today and the feeding tube is in!!!

Thank you, Prayer Warriors!!!

Not only is it in but they did not have to use the scope and camera.!!! I was astonished.  Since his esophagus droops below the opening to his stomach I thought there was no way they would get it in without a scope.  And the doctor thought they might not be able to do it even with the scope.

But it's in.  The procedure was not too bad, according to Rich.

Angels must have been guiding that tube.  Now he's all fired up to gain some weight and do some moderate exercise to strengthen himself for surgery on the 24th!!!  

Thanks be to God the Great Physician!!!

Thank you all for your prayers and your support!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Rich refused the feeding tube.

His dear brilliant thoracic surgeon told him it was not safe for him to keep trying to get his nutrition with Ensure.  He's visibly losing weight.  He's already had one bleeding episode.  He is in danger.

Rich is talking to other specialists in Chicago and Pittsburgh about other surgical techniques, etc.  He's trying to get out of the feeding tube because he's afraid of the trauma of the insertion.

The very patient and kind surgeon and physician's assistant spent hours talking to him.

I don't think he's thinking clearly.

At one point (several, actually) I almost got up and left the room.  I wanted to tell him he's on his own.  He was being unreasonable and irrational.  I was almost in tears.  I closed my eyes and prayed.  I'm sure the grace from your prayers was filling the room too.

The PA told him his doctor would not do the surgery if he did not get the feeding tube first.  His doc said he is visibly malnourished.  He even said, very gently, that Rich looks like he just got out of a concentration camp.

Finally,  Rich said why can't I have a couple more days to think about it.  (He's already had several days.)  The good doctor said he could reschedule for Friday.

Rich is still not sure if he will do it Friday.  He might want to opt instead to have the surgery done by some doctor in Pittsburgh who has a lot of experience with accalasia.

I told him I can't go to Pittsburgh.  I have a family here who needs me.  U of M is an excellent medical center.  

I'm so emotionally exhausted from this and other stressful stuff in my life that I've retreated to my bed where I'm "playing" with my laptop.

God bless you all and thank you for your prayers!

Rich is probably having a feeding tube put in today.  I will go with him to the appointment.  He's very scared, of course.  Please pray for wisdom and skill for the doctor and peace for Rich.  Threading a feeding tube through his esophagus is not going to be easy.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Letter to the Editor-- embryonic stem cell research

I used to write lots of letters to the Ann Arbor News. I haven't written one in a while though, probably because I get my writing practice (fun) taken care of here in my blog.

On Saturday the Ann Arbor News printed a front page headline article celebrating (practically) Obama's expected lifting tomorrow of the restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. Keep in mind that this is a community that once some time ago, by City Council Resolution, declared itself a "Zone of Reproductive Freedom," meaning that if Roe v. Wade were ever overturned Ann Arbor would still allow abortions. Don't get me wrong. I love Ann Arbor in spite of these occasional embarrassing incidents of insanity.

So, given the political climate of my hometown, I felt this headline article needed a response.

I wrote the following:

Dear Editor,

In the gushing front page article about President Obama's lifting of the limits on embryonic stem cell research the News demonstrates a disturbingly simplistic attitude toward the ethics of life issues. Reporter David Gershman could have done your readers a better service by actually addressing the ethical issue of embryonic stem cell research instead of merely mentioning that one exists.

I do not doubt the good intentions of Sean Morrison, the director of U of M's Center for Stem Cell Biology. But why was he not asked how he justifies the killing of a human life in the interest of science? Does he not consider an embryo to be human life? It would have been interesting to hear a biologist try to make this case. Every reader of the News was once an embryo. Living things do not change identity. What is a human being now was a human being at conception, a person with a genetic identity that will never be repeated in all of human history.

The embryos were destined to be destroyed anyway? How does that justify their destruction? Shall we next experiment on the terminally ill? In reality, we are all terminal.

A senior Obama official said that the aim of the policy is to restore "scientific integrity" to the process. What an ironic choice of words. Any scientific endeavor that does not have as its firm foundation a profound respect for the mysterious sanctity of human life will always be utterly lacking in moral integrity.


Rosemary Bogdan

(We'll see if they publish it. Obama's presidency just gets scarier and scarier.)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Feeding tube!

Rich's doctor is recommending he get a feeding tube as soon as possible.  He is getting very little food down, trying to maintain his weight with Ensure, and even that is not going down easily.  His esophagus is severely distended-- something like five times its normal diameter.  It's so constricted at the bottom that the food is literally getting clogged and bulging out to the side.

He's very scared, needless to say.  Lord have mercy.

Friday, March 06, 2009


I talked to John a little while ago.

He thought the audition went "pretty well."

We will have to wait 4 or 5 weeks to find out if "pretty well" was good enough!!  May the Lord's will be done.  I don't pretend to know what's best for John.  But the Lord does and we will see what he has decided!

Many people were praying.  My youngest three and I said the rosary on the way to school.  I asked if they wanted to and they all agreed.  What a blessing.

I was able to remind my oldest by email and he emailed right back that he was praying.  AND I emailed my investment advisor (who also happens to be a good Catholic and who has become a good friend) and she emailed right back that she had prayed.  (BTW, if anyone needs an excellent investment advisor, email me and I'll give you her name.)

As a mom, I'm hoping my son will not be disappointed, unless it is the Lord's specific will.

Still waiting for word from my brother on his surgery date.

May you all have a peaceful and refreshing weekend!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

More Prayers (Am I being greedy?)

You are all such good prayer supporters!

Could I ask for more?  My son John is auditioning at the U of M music school tomorrow.  The audition is part of his application as a transfer student to Michigan.  He loves the University of Michigan.  He always has.  I am a graduate, as is his aunt, his grandfather, and his great grandfather.  He really wants to go there.  Could you please pray that his audition would go well, that he would be at peace, and that he would be admitted to the piano performance program, according to the Lord's will?

Also, my brother is awaiting the scheduling of his surgery date.  He has had no more bloody vomiting, but he is not eating any solid food yet either.  Please pray for wisdom for the doctors, peace for my brother Rich, and especially peace for his children who have already lost one parent, my dear sister-in-law who died six years ago.

Thank you!!!  God bless you all!  I will pray for all of your intentions too!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

He's OK.

Rich is OK, for the moment.  Thank you all for your prayers!!!!  His bleeding was apparently not dangerous.

He is home, a little anemic, but no more vomiting.  He's trying to schedule his surgery at this very moment.  At least this incident makes it pretty clear that he needs to have the surgery done.

Please continue to pray for wisdom for the doctors and peace for Rich and his family.  Could you also pray that Rich would feel the presence of God's love upon him?

Thank you, dear friends.  I will keep you posted.  (Haha, new meaning for the term "keeping someone posted"  teehee)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Urgent Prayer Request!

My brother is throwing up blood, feeling extremely light-headed, and was just taken to the hospital in an ambulance.  This is the brother with the esophagus problem.  Please pray for his safety, wisdom for the doctors, peace, and grace!!! And however else you feel led to pray!!!  Thank you!!

Monday, March 02, 2009


The other day, since everyone else was out, I took my daughter and her friend to our "dollar movies" to see Bolt.

Perhaps most of you have already seen this animated film.  (I don't get to the movies much:-)

I thought it was so cute.  Really, the animation was so well done.  The story line was cute.  but best of all, I had the feeling that the makers of this film really liked and understood dogs.  Some of it was so funny.

So, there's a movie recommendation for you.  Nice family movie, especially if you've ever loved a dog :-)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Not feeling like it....

I haven't written a post since Wednesday because I just haven't felt like it.  Nothing comes to mind to write and I feel no impulse to think of something.   Hmmm.  I do want to keep blogging.  Maybe it's just a slump.  I really enjoy blogging and I've done some reading of your  blogs but I just haven't felt like writing.

Maybe later today I'll write a post.