e8e102d39517a9ef1707ed625af8ba12Zeus and his fellow gods and goddesses on Mt. Olympus must really be Greecing the skids for me.  It seems every time I’m ordered to spend weeks off my feet, Zeus sends his special spectacle to the rescue!  Back in 1988, I went into preterm labor with Mychaela and was put on bed rest for eight weeks, the first two miraculously coinciding with the Seoul Games.  I would not have made it through if not for Flo Jo, Greg Louganis, Elena Shushunova and the rest of the gymnastic girlies from the USSR.

UnknownSprint forward a couple dozen years.  Due to my staggeringly low blood counts, I was confined to my germ-free bubble with a carved up leg (biopsied) rendering me temporarily lame, hip bones punctured for bone marrow biopsies, tubes protruding from my arm and brutal nausea and barfing.  Oh ya, I almost forgot the horrific Solu-Medrol infusions, making sleep impossible.  Needless to say, spending lots of time wide awake and very uncomfortable in bed during the summer of 2012.  Miraculously, the London Games with Usain, Misty, Kerri, Gabby, and Mr. Phelps saved me!  Jolly Brilliant!

Unknown-1Like clockwork, when I need to take to the couch and elevate my f-ing toe for a couple of weeks, what happens to dominate the telly each and every day?  The Rio Games!  I’m absolutely LOVING the competition and the athletes’ stories, but perhaps the greatest thing about the 2016 Olympics  – Don and Hil have shut the f up 🙂

Looks like this little piggy (right) went to market and had all the roast beef, while this little piggy (left) had none and cried wee wee wee all the way home.
Rose, the Pedicure Princess

So, ya, my toe took a blow.  No hangnail.  No bunion.  No scrape, stub or sprain.  The distal phalanx bone of my right big toe found itself under a falling 937,486 pound patio umbrella base.   F-ing crushed it.  Immediately after, nothin’ but numb.  Shock.  I took a giant inhale but could not expel the trapped air.  Then finally I calmly stated, “There’s something wrong with my toe.”  I hopped inside and collapsed on a couch.  Sounds I’ve never heard before emanated from my soul.  Whimpering.  Moaning.  Bellowing.  Neighbors no doubt wondered what a mortally wounded savage animal was doing in our house.  The pain was through the stratosphere. Waaaaay more than giving non-medicated birth to Mychaela way back when, who witnessed the episode and sprang into action.  A double tequila shot with a Red Vine chaser arrived stat.  Such an exceptional girl.  My toe was placed on ice for half an hour, then I forced my self upright.  I had 75 guests arriving in a couple of hours, and much still had to be done.  My toe THROBBED like a bitch throughout the party and for the next two weeks.  It blew up to three times its normal size while transforming into a Magic 8 Ball.  Answer:  Outlook not so good.  It was a thing of horror movies.  Still is.  Broke the Gross O’ Meter.  An x-ray confirmed a break – a crush fracture.  Several docs recommended against draining it to relieve the pressure, for fear of an infection getting into the bone through its many fragmented openings.  Inexplicably, the pedi from the day before survived.  My friend Rose at Bliss Nails, Crystal Cove truly nailed it.  Get it?  I wrote nailed it.  Sometimes the cleverness is simply astounding.

Diagnosis:  A bad case of the fuglies

After a three and a half year nightmare of eye issues, I think I may have a solution in my sights.  There eye go clevering again!  Three and a half years of chemo and steroid-induced surgeries, procedures, tests, medications, patches, drops, failed vision tests, pain, light aversion, constant tearing, ocular migraines, floaters, halos, puffiness, redness, crustiness, and fugliness just may be coming to an end with one (hopefully) final procedure:  intraductal meibomian gland probing.  That’s a four word procedure, people.

055_ro0215_f4-2You should be very thankful you have healthy, functioning meibomian glands.  You probably narcissistically take them for glanted.  Mine are really f-ed up.  These little suckers are located on the inner side of your eyelids – about 50 on your upper lids and 25 on your lowers.  Their job is to supply your tears with oil, which prevents evaporation.  They also trap your tears between the edge of your lids and your eyeball, preventing tears from constantly running down your cute narcissistic face.

The probing sesh lasts an hour while the doc opens each gland with a stainless steel poker thingy, then squeezes the gland to get all the crap out that’s clogging it.  Popping 150 extra meaty zits on the inner side of your eyelids.  Can’t be that bad, right?

Getting my sculpting on with my used pill bottles

I created a YOLT (You Only Live Twice) sculpture, using some of my pill bottles from the past few years…  I trashed it after it was completed.  I guess it was kind of a cleansing thing, not really sure, but they’re out of my life 🙂

Jared has received some fantastic news!  Hey, if you have more than one piece of news, does it become newses?  If that’s the case, Jared has received some fantastic newses!  He is being honored with Be The Match’s 2016 Awareness Award!  He will be flown to Minneapolis in November, so Be The Match officials can honor him in person during their annual meeting.  So proud of my friend!  Right after he heard of his award, he was notified that one of his swabees has been named a perfect match for a patient in need of stem cells, and will donate next month!  In case you’ve been living in a cave on a deserted island on an otherwise uninhabited planet in an undiscovered solar system, and I know there are some of you out there, Jared walked across Amarrowca last year, swabbing potential bone marrow/stem cell donors along the way, while filming a soon-to-be-released phenomenal documentary.  When his route took him through Chicago, Jared met Rob, told him about the desperate need for donors, swabbed his cheek, and sent it to the BTM lab, along with 600 other potential donors’ swabs.  Another life to be saved!!!

I recently learned of a new blood draw procedure some scientists are working on with a painless micro needle.  Cool, right?  I only wish they had figured it out a few years and over 300 blood tests ago 🙂


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I am a survivor of two extremely rare diseases, thanks to over 100 blood transfusions and ultimately, a bone marrow transplant. My blog,, chronicles my adventures through medical offices, operating rooms, clinics, transfusion centers, hospital transplant floors, victory celebrations, and finally my bucket list items – all with a humorous and sometimes profane twist. My goal is to inspire others not to give up on life or anything else, and to understand that it’s actually possible to enjoy any experience, even battling a life-threatening illness (or two).

16 thoughts on “Toetally

  1. Ugh! That toe looks… well.. it looks bad. So sorry about your injury. Best of luck with your upcoming eye procedure, it sounds very promising. Thanks for sharing another chapter with us, you are brilliant!


  2. Cook loves watching the olympics in her depleted state too. Getting her through this mess. Youre a funny lady please keep writin..


  3. As always, Jocelyn, you are a tower of strength through the shittiest of life’s events, including the marrow marathon, shingles sprint, meibomian meet, and digit dash (or should we say smash?). We stand with you, dear friend. Gold medal for endurance. Sending you tons of cosmic healing and endurance energy from your fabulous Brandt fanbase. Love S3


  4. That toe… what a doosey! As always, your humor and ability to roll are inspiring. Congrats to Jared, we can’t wait to see Amarrowca! Thanks for this blog Jos. You keep us grounded in what’s important in life and you keep us laughing while you do it. Love that about you!


  5. What are you doing lifting a thousand pound umbrella base? You can’t be making this stuff up because it’s to bizarre. Truth IS stranger than fiction. To avoid problems in the future, you had better find a permanent place on the couch and remain there indefinitely, but since the olympics only comes around every four years, you may get bored. Sorry to hear about your latest adventure with pain. this one sounds – and looks – brutal. Besides toes and eyes, we hope the rest of you is well and happy. At least you have not lost your sense of humor. It’s nice to hear that Jared is being recognized for his tremendous feat and it has benefitted others. At this point, the only advice we can give you is to stay on the couch and watch the 2000 year history of the olympics. Love Lynn and Carolee


  6. Note to self! “No more bitchin’ & bellyaching or sweating the small stuff”…Jos, you may want to ck your records Sweetie as I believe you have overpaid your health & wellness dues! 🤔Good Grief! Crossing my fingers, holding my breath for you!!! Sending mountains of love & rivers of light & positive energy! 🙏❤️😝


  7. So sorry about your toe!!!! As always you are incredibly funny, very intertaining, and so amazing!!
    Thank you for sharing your life with us.


  8. Jos,

    You are my hero and are always in our prayers! Go Jared, too! Love you!

    Gretchen and Dick

    Sent from my iPhone


  9. HUGE UGH AND OWWWWEEEEE about that toe! Enuf already!!!!!!! You,woman, are simply the bravest, strongest creature I know!! And THAT is no f-ing lie!!!! 😡😥💖


  10. Hey Jos. You sure have taken what some would call lemons and made lemonade with it!!
    Love ya’ and good to know that even your toe didn’t want to be left out of the action!!
    Go girl. ❤️


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