Friday, September 30, 2005


I know....I've been slacking about putting up another post. Everything just gets so busy on both sides of a wedding.

We had a really good time in Vegas, and it was a great place to get married. The scenery of the Red Rock Canyon State Park was just gorgeous.

In addition to getting married, we also took a helicopter/jet ski/Hummer tour of the Grand Canyon/Lake Mead/Mojave Desert. It was more than I normally would have paid, but for the wedding trip, it was SO worth it. I highly recommend it. We also saw a number of shows while we were there: Cirque Du Soliel's "O" at the Bellagio, David Copperfield, and Bally's Jubilee. The "O" was obviously the coolest with the most stunning costumes and acrobatics, but the most surprisingly fantastic show was Bally's Jubilee that we saw on our last night in Vegas. We got tickets to this show before leaving Pittsburgh, because it was recommended by our favorite map company "Cognoscenti." The show was described as "the traditional Vegas experience"--including bare-chested women with more rhinestones and feathers than you can possibly count. But, REALLY, this was a gorgeous show and so fully entertaining. I would definitely see that show again. There were seven acts that had different scenes with people singing and dancing and juggling and tumbling. It was just an eye-full! That night also stands out for us because, after the show, we went and had dinner at the stunning restaurant at the top of the Eiffel Tower in the Paris hotel next door. It was a DELICIOUS dinner with a fantastic view of the Bellagio fountain show below across the strip. Seriously--SO GOOD. I'm salivating just remembering it. I would also highly recommend this restaurant to others--although be prepared, it 'tis a bit pricey.

As far as other news:
About 3 weeks ago, I turned over all communication with the health insurance company to Ralph. I can't handle listening to their poor excuses and discouraging information. I ask him questions every now and then to see where we are at with everything but I don't want to know all the gritty details. Here's what I do know: we have hired a lawyer to fight HealthAmerica and we are currently waiting to hear the outcome of the first round of appeals. On the other hand, that wonderful man that is my genetic match has agreed to donate his stem cells for me!! So, whenever we can get HealthAmerica to toe the line we are good to go.

I'm working on another painting right now. It's actually harder than I expected when I started. I'm hoping to finish it by this weekend, but we'll see!!

That's all for now. But before I go, here's one more picture from our wedding. You can see the colors of the area better in this one. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

You may now kiss the bride.

On September 17, 2005, Ralph and I were married in Red Rock Canyon State Park, just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.

It was a glorious evening...(more details to come later)

This photo was taken a little after the minister said, "You may now kiss the bride."

Friday, September 09, 2005

Cold shoulder.

HealthAmerica has now denied coverage for the transplant deeming it as experimental. I spoke with a woman today at member services who apologized for the denial (eventhough she is not directly involved). She said that I should go through HealthAmerica's appeal process. The same process that I have been through for two different treatments already, and that are categorically DENIED every time. I'm starting to think that the appeals process is about as effectual as the little thermostats in offices that make the employees think that they can adjust the temperature of their office. In reality, it's just a placebo to simulate control of the situation.

This morning, I called my contact at HealthAmerica.
"I wish there was more I could tell you. I guess it's your choice."
Stunned, I responded, "To LIVE or DIE?!"
"Well, if you are going to have that treatment...if you are going pursue trying to get your health insurance to pay for your treatment."
"Because there are so many other options?"
"Yeah, I'm sorry."

Good morning to you too.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Some man out there.

I had an appointment with Lister on Tuesday. He confirmed what we had been suspecting. I do need a transplant. This time is should be from a donor other than myself. They have found at least three folks that are ideal matches for me. As of Tuesday I was told that we had contacted the primary "candidate" and are awaiting his agreement.

I know limited facts about this person. It is a 32 year-old male, living in the US. They don't know if he's on vacation or just thinking it over....

Doesn't he know it doesn't hurt? It's not like in the old days when they had to operate on you. It's just like giving blood through an IV. THAT'S IT. They have made the process a whole lot easier.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

La Berlina

I think I'm finally done the next painting, "La Berlina." Here it is with a close up of the face area.The colors look a little off...I need to get it professionally photographed. Right now, it's only taken with my digital camera in our guest bedroom. :-/