Friday, January 30, 2015

CONFESSION: I Wasn't Always a GOOD Patient

The morning of my admission came with drama from this diva! Since I’ve been transparent with the journey, I’m coming clean with my behavior challenges. Besides, you can use a good laugh.
First of all, I was late arriving. 5:30 am was a little too early. Besides, I wasn’t in a rush to have brain surgery! Once I got to the hospital, I was swiftly taken to the room so that I could change into the hospital gown and be prepped for surgery. This is where the madness began.  I had given my purse that contained all of my NEEDED gadgets (iPhone. iPad) to Catherine who was in the waiting room. I kindly asked the nurse to allow Catherine to bring my iPad to the room so that I could calm myself down by writing.  Sure, I wanted to check Facebook too, but she didn’t need to know that. The nurse said she understood and would call Catherine after she completed entering information into the computer.” UH really??? Lady nurse, I can be writing while you are imputing information. Please call my daughter.” The nurse again stated, she understood and she would call for Catherine, but I believed the nurse was just patronizing me.
After what seemed like 20 minutes of waiting for Catherine to come with my iPad, I MAY have become a little bit impatient. I’m dressed in my hospital gown with my real estate exposed in the back for the world to see. I took the blanket off the bed, wrapped up, and begin to head out of the surgery room to find Cat for myself. Yep, the Diva was on the run! LOL!
As I passed the front desk, my nurse asked where was I going? At the same time, a vertically challenge (very short) woman also approached me as if she was going to hold me down. To myself,  I’m thinking, “They sent YOU to stop me? Let’s do this!” I told the nurse, since you didn’t call my daughter, I’m going to go and find her myself. I need my iPad to calm me down. (Yeah, it sounds really silly today).

Pre-Surgery Prep and my WONDERFUL family and friends

I was then escorted back to my room and told if I try to run again, the surgery would not performed.  Later I would find out that “EASILY AGITATED” was written in my charts. REALLY?? Me? Labeled after one incident. For every shift change, the incoming nurse would be told that I was “easily agitated.” LOL!  I tried to redeem myself several times but it didn’t go well. I’ll tell you about those adventures later.
My WONDERFUL family and friends who were in the waiting room said if I had made it to them in my gown wrapped in a blanket, they would have acted like they did not know me. They also teased me about my continually declaring “It is well with my Soul” and "This is For God’s Glory” and yet clowning and trying to run away to get an iPad. LOL & SMH!! I guess in hindsight, running away to get an iPad was not a good idea.
I did apologize to the nurse.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

I Have Not Lost My DIVA Card!

Sick, weak and still DIVALICIOUS!
2 days home and I am exhausted.  Today I had an appointment with my pain management doctor. It’s good to be able to dress myself! With the side effects I am having, I should not be able to do this….GOD IS SO GOOD! I tried to look as DIVALICIOUS as I can. I must accent my walker. LOL!  It’s good to have a for real saved doctor. We rejoiced together in my progress. Although her service to me has nothing to do with my brain injury, she has been a great encourager.

After leaving the doctor’s, Camille brought me home. I had the bright idea of stopping at Dollar General. Hey, everyone stops at the Dollar General! As soon as she parked, my left leg went numb. This is the third time the numbness has happened since my surgery. Walking became even more difficult, but I did manage to get my one item and leave the store.
Once I made it home, Home Health Care came by. Afterwards I took a 6 hour “nap.” Any activity seems to drain me. I lack energy. Yeah, I know, I just had brain surgery. Pace yourself!

Monday, January 26, 2015


OMG, PRAISE THE LORD, I CAN WALK!!!!!!! In therapy, I have been taught how to manipulate my
Staples being removed
foot to walk, even though my toes weren’t moving. Well, this evening my small toe moved and then a few hours later all of my toes begin to move. They don’t move as freely as they should, but it’s a GREAT start! I must walk with a walker for now.

After 13 days of hospitalization, I will be going home tomorrow!!!! Yes, I said, I am going home, to my house on Emerald Mountain! The therapist has been amazed by my progress and believes I’d do even better at home. They have already set up Home Health Care to continue with my therapy. I still have a lot of work to do with speech therapy and physical therapy.

Yesterday,  30 plus staples were removed from my head. OUCH! It really hurt. Today, I was able to gently wash my hair. Another staple was discovered and will be taken out some time tonight.

When I get home, I will start the process of getting treatment for the part of the tumor that remains. This journey isn't over, but IT'S ALREADY GETTING BETTER!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Celebrating Friends!

I must celebrate my friends. They have been with me every step of the way. In December, Allison was right there when I was first taken to the emergency room. She was there for the surgery and probably has visited almost every day. She is a physician, and I have been careful not to take advantage of that fact. HOWEVER, when I need her knowledge and even favor she steps in without my asking. What a blessing!

Odette has been here with me just as much, and I’m grateful. She’s an attorney and I make sure I don’t take advantage of her as well. HOWEVER, when I was first diagnosed with the tumor, she voluntarily stepped in and got my legal affairs in order. What a blessing!
My girls, Latonia and Annette made sure we had us a girls night in the hospital! LOL! I love them dearly. I know they love me too, even though they have brought food in that has put a few pounds on me. LOL! What a blessing!
My family. Now, I’m crying. They have done more than I’ve asked. What a blessing!
Update on my father: He is still in the hospital and received 2 pints of blood. Wow! A few more test has to be done but he's doing okay.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Blame It On the Tumor

The speech therapy is a challenge. If you have read my post, you may have noticed several grammatical errors. Here's my problem--- it takes about 2 hours for my mind to process and type one paragraph. Errors are numerous, so I attempt to make corrections. I get tired and even fall asleep trying to make the corrections, so I just upload what I have. Therefore, my poor writing skills, let's blame it on the tumor! Lol!

I thank you all for the texts, calls, etc. I haven't been taking too many phone calls because I am still subject to start talking out of my head. I can't have any of you using my babbling against me. Lol! Yep, blame it on the tumor. Lol! If you send me a text, I try my best to respond. If you follow up with another text I am less likely to respond because my thought process can't take the overload. Yep, blame it on the tumor. Lol! I'm getting better, but what's simple for you is a great task for me.

Tomorrow every other staple in my head should be removed. The remaining staples will be removed the next day. I have numerous staples, too many to count, therefore removal is going to take a while. I am looking forward to it because the only pain I am experiencing is from the pressure in the incision area. I am not looking forward to the pain that will incur during the removal time.

Friday, January 23, 2015


So I had a meltdown yesterday. Why? After 45 minutes and 3 request, no one brought me a cup and straw as requested. This left me having to deal with a range of emotion. Yes, I broke down over a paper cup! Lol!

On Tuesday, my dad who lives in New Orleans was rushed via ambulance to the hospital. He lost a lot of blood and needed a blood transfusion. Why? He'd rather tell everyone he is healthy than to see a doctor when obvious signs of illnesses are apparent. He has been ignoring his health for years! He is still in the hospital undergoing test. I told you, Tyler Perry has nothing on my family's drama.

Today was the first day of real rehab. It wore me out but I am determined to persevere. Twice a day I have physical. Occupational, and speech therapy.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

I'm in Rehab

On yesterday, Wednesday, around  2:15 am, I was transferred from the hospital where my surgery was performed to a rehab hospital. Prayerfully, while here I will regain the use of my left foot.  My doctor is greatly concerned about the foot. Me, I'll just trust the great physician, Simple tasks like adding, completing sentences, and recalling thoughts are difficult for me. Therapy should help this as well.

On last Tuesday and Wednesday I was greatly fatigued and groggy. It was hard for me to keep my eyes open and do any therapy. My daughter had come for a visit, and I don't remember her being there. I tried to write, but that just didn't work out. It's all a part of having brain surgery. Therefore, I still get to use the "blame it on the tumor" excuse. Lol!

I have my diagnosis from the pathology report. I'll explain it later. Good news- NO CANCER!!!! Yesterday, the bandage was removed from my head, leaving the incision exposed. WOW, I am not looking forward to having all those staples removed. I'm getting a headache just thinking about it.

Also, playing games on my phone, iPad, writing, etc is all a part of therapy. The doc said its good for mind stimulation. That's why I am in cyber world when I can be here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Zero Concentration!

Today, I’m having a difficult time staying awake.  I’ve only had one dose of pain medication.
I am waiting to be transferred from St. Vincent’s Hospital to Baptist Rehab, The surgery has left me with some memory loss, slowness, speech challenges and a few other obstacles. Concentration is at a low! Today,  I can’t seem to stay focused. This is normal after brain surgery.

I am  very surprised by the “little things” that is a challenge for me. Like, counting backwards, spelling, Hope tomorrow will be a better day,

Sunday, January 18, 2015

You Can't Keep This Lady Down!

Progress has been swift! The doc thought I would be in the ICU for at least three days with oxygen. After 2 days I was moved to a regular room. The oxygen was removed on the first night. On the day after surgery, I was sitting up eating on my own. Saturday and today I have been taking walks around my room. The walks are draining because I am basically dragging the left foot. One day it will move again!

One if the nurses commented about my positive attitude. I didn't know she was observing. Funny how folk are looking and you don't know it. This knowledge should motivate us all to live better. Anyhoo, the nurse said she believes my positive attitude has contributed to my swift healing. I am further along than the medical team thought I would be.

So a diva has loss her hair. I finally looked at the back of my head. They really gave me a jacked up cut! Ain't nobody told me nothing! LOL,

Tomorrow I should be moved to a rehabilitation hospital. I now require 24 hour care because of the paralysis of my foot. I know it's only temporary. In rehabilitation I hope to get function back.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Houston we have a problem!

 Surgery is over! hallelujah! I was so grateful to wake up and know who I  am and where I am. 

I am currently in the neuroICU. Most of the tumor has  been removed. We are waiting a few days for the pathology report. If it's stage 1-3 cancer, we do nothing. If it's Stage 3 or above, we will begin radiation treatment. I am still optimistic, 

This morning I was able to get out of the bed, sit up and eat. However a startling discovery was made. I have some paralysis in the left foot. I can't move my toes, nor can I move the foot. Today a therapist began my treatments with a walker, we didn't go far. Once released from the hospital I will be admitted to a rehabilitation hospital to hopefully walk again. The doctor is optimistic. So am I.

I'm still singing it is well with me soul! I am appreciative of your concern, love, and prayers.,

Thursday, January 15, 2015

In the hospital and have good news.

Well,  we are in the hospital. Saw a few familiar faces already. That's a good thing.
I'm ready for this. We don't know how long this will take. I will be in neuro- ICU after surgery. It also looks like I may have a breathing tube. Prayerfully that won't be the case. This is kinda scary. Fear is an emotion that hasn't immobilized me.

The good news is the tumor has shrunk! The doctor is optimistic.

Grateful things today:

  1. My family and friends are her. Allison and Annette are here.
  2. The family is getting ready to pamper to me big time! Who wouldn't love this!
  3. Getting rest. I need it.
  4. A return to ministry. Yes!
  5. Losing more weight. Yeah! This is not the best method, but at least I can shed a few pounds. lol,
  6. I get to try going natural. I haven't had a real desire, but now, with the hair getting ready to be cut, I'm curious to see what will be. 
  7. Headaches no more. That will be a huge blessing!
  8. I can begin cultivating a new relationship with my brother. We've already begin, but I am excited about growing.
  9. All those cute clothes in my closet that I found when I cleaned it out, I get to wear them.
  10. Driving again. I need liberation!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

STRESS Rears Its Ugly Head!

Now I’m STRESSED!!! Don't you all go hard on me with that "You are too blessed to be stressed" saying, cause I'm blessed and yet stressed! God can handle my truth!  Why did I wait until the final hour to get stressed!!!! UUUGGGGHHHH! The
Todays hospital visit
doctor’s office called at the last minute and changed my test to 2 hours earlier for additional test.  That poor girl on the line was probably not happy to have made the last minute call to me. I was not a happy camper.  I lost 3 additional hours of my day! I WAS NOT HAPPY! I felt like I was bombarded with more test! And now I have to be at the hospital in the morning for 5:30 am. Goodness! I am not an early bird! Surgery scheduled for 7:30 a.m.

Later in the day, I really started thinking about the people who have not called me that should have. I don’t believe in setting unrealistic expectations on people. I do know that everyone cannot handle what I am going through, therefore, I am not expecting everyone to call, visit, etc. HOWEVER, I got a little, well extremely, upset with my dad. Seriously dude, you have not called me during this entire ordeal! Brain surgery in the morning and no call from my dad. Yep, I got family dysfunction too! Maybe I should not have called him this evening, but I had to get it off my chest. It bothers me greatly that my father has not only abandoned me, but hasn’t asked, “Have you made arrangements for my wife who you are taking care of?” No one has asked, “What’s going to happen to Henrietta?” WOW! Face it Roline, you are alone as a caregiver! Thankfully, there is a wonderful lady at my church who has taken on the role of visiting my mom regularly. GOD PROVIDES! By the way, please don’t leave negative comments about my dad. I’m venting and giving you insight to my life. I’m not looking for a pity party. It is what it is.

I had planned to go out on a date with my husband tonight. Copeland's was going to be the “last supper” until after recovery. I didn’t know Frankenstein patches were going to be stuck on my face. LOL! I can eat in public with the crooked face, but the diva in me wasn’t going in public with this new look! LOL!

I’m sooooooo ready for this process to begin. Yes I’m concerned greatly, but I am ready for surgery. My testimony is not “It’s going to be alright”, but rather, my testimony is “It is alright, right now.” From the day of my diagnosis, I have been singing “It is well with my soul.” Whatever my lot, whatever happens, whatever God decides, He has taught me to say, because of my relationship with him, and my meditation day and night on his Word, that IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL! To live is Christ, and to die is gain! I have a PEACE that passes all understanding…..even my own understanding! And I would not have known this, if I had not come face to face with uncertainty. So even though it is not well with my circumstances, it is well with my soul!

I have learned so much on this journey about God, myself, relationships, and others. And I am so grateful for the outpouring of love from people not only across the USA, but also abroad in Kenya, Haiti, and other countries. I am overwhelmed by your support. See you when I see you! Be blessed and be a blessing.

WHEW! God just turned that thing around! I started out writing about stress, but now, I’m GRATEFUL! Here’s my 5 for today:

1.      My husband – Being married to me has made me a better person. He got it like that!

2.      Insurance – My December hospital bill was paid in full! Hallelujah!

3.      My children – They are my everything and have sacrificed to helped me every step of this season.

4.      The kindness of people. We have been abundantly blessed in unexpected ways. This illness is COSTLY! People have ministered to our needs.

5.      My Parents. Yes I said it, although very dysfunctional and abusive, God chose their DNA to bring me here. And I turned out okay. I have had an incredible life, and I’m not done living either!

Brain Surgery Tomorrow. Schedule changes

Last week. I thought I was looking cute.
Well, time is winding down, but not without some scheduling changes. I will be having my pre-op test around 4-ish this afternoon. This gives me time to tie up some loose ends. LOL! A girl’s got business to complete! I will then be admitted to the hospital at 5:30 a.m. Wow, that is super early! I’m am so ready to began the process to healing.
I didn’t sleep well last night. Maybe the thought of what’s about to happen is starting to hit me. A medical team will be cutting my head open. OMG! This is really happening! I’m not afraid. I just got that “please take this bitter cup from me, nevertheless, not my will by thine will be done” thing going on.
The left side of my face is still, as my doctor stated, paralyzed. When he said that, it hit me in the gut, However, there is a ray of light----it’s moving very slightly. Thank you Lord for progress. I have to keep the eye lubricated with gel drops because it doesn't produce tears. It's doesn't hurt, just some discomfort.
I have been overwhelmed by your love, support, prayers, cards, calls, and gifts. I really appreciate each of you and I am unable to articulate just how much you have encouraged, inspired, and blessed me during this season. The kindness my family has received has been tremendous! I love you!
Finally, I pray you have seen the power of God’s peace in my life. I encourage you to KNOW God in a real and personal way. If this illness had not happened to me, I would not have discovered just how much I truly trust Him and sincerely serve Him---that’s the beauty that has come out of the ashes!
I shall make another post today. Until then, I walk away singing “I Will Trust in the Lord” and close with “It is Well With My Soul.”

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Change of Attitude

In October, the Sunday School Class which I teach, begin studying the book “Lord, Change My Attitude” by James MacDonald. It’s amazing how God gives you exactly what you need. This book has helped me tremendously through the season of illness I am in. Thus far, we have covered the first attitude change, from complaining to thanksgiving.

Numbers 11:1 says, “And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp.” God was angry when he heard the people complained about carrying their cross of adversity. This scripture has kept me from complaining about my own situation. Instead of complaining about what I am going through, why not celebrate where God has brought me from and where he is bringing me to. While in the land of in between, out of Egypt, but not quite in the Promise Land, I am intentionally choosing to be grateful. It’s a struggle sometimes, therefore I must be intentional. Daily writing in my journal 5 things I am grateful for is teaching me to give thanks in everything. Today I am thankful for:

1.      Leftover food. It means yesterday, I had more than enough.
2.      Visiting mom. Even though she put me out, I hadn’t seen her in over a week.
3.      A check that came in the mail. I purchased my daughter grocery for college with money that I needed for something else. When I returned home, the check was in the mail. The check covered the purchase.
4.      What God is revealing to me through this illness. If it had not happened, I would not have known just how much I really trust God.
5.   My mom cave. I have a space to once again study and craft, at least until May when Camille returns home for the summer.

Friday, January 9, 2015

What Not to Say

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.  - Colossians 4:6

I was inspired to write the following after reading an article in “Psychology Today.” My illness has made me the recipient of potentially harmful advice from well intended people. I thank God that I love to read and mediated on the pages of God’s Word, therefore, I am at a place where I know what to receive and what to disregard.  Christians are called to serve others. We must be helpers and not hurters to those who seek our help. Consider the following:

What Not to Say to Someone Who is Suffering or Hurting

“I know how you feel.” – You may have been through a similar situation, but you cannot get into the mind of the person you are helping. We all process pain differently. You don’t know how another person feel emotional, physically, or spiritually.

“You are not going to die. You will be okay.” – Dying is not a bad thing. The Bible says to die is gain. Victory can come through death. Don’t offer false hope for the sake of encouragement. You don’t know how God will work in someone’s life. Don’t suggest you have fate all figured out.

“If you need anything give me a call.” Most of us have probably been guilty of saying this someone in need. The statement is vague and places the burden of effort on an already burdened person. Instead, be specific. Ask questions like 1) When can I bring over a meal? 2) When can I come over to clean the house? 3) What items do you need that I can purchase to help with your life?
“You Know Your (insert family member) Loves You.” – Don’t project your healthy family experience onto others. There are adults who are products of abusive and unloving parents. This statement could be enraging.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Next Step - SURGERY!

Two days ago I met with my neurosurgeon to begin writing the next chapter of my life. What’s the chapter’s title? “ABOUT MY HEALING: I GOTTA TELL IT!”

Breast Cancer Center - So much paperwork!
Yes, we have finally decided upon a course of action.  Just keep reading. After the visit, I began post-operative testing. A mammogram was first to rule out breast cancer. “Hold your breath and don’t move!” No problem, I want this to be over! “The first reading is shows concerns. We have to take more pictures.” What???? (Wow, this is really happening.)
It was devastating when the first reading was questionable. But, I submitted and allowed my girls to once again be pulled and smashed. Because of the concerns with the first reading, I had to have a sonogram as well. ALL IS CLEAR, but I’m going to need counseling. I have been traumatized by a mammogram! LOL! Praying for a better way!!

Telephoning my family and closest friends with the game plan was the next step. It was difficult for all to digest, but they handled it well. I felt so much love and it was all good for me. It was weird having a brother on my list of people to contact. WOW, I have a brother. 

What’s the verdict you ask? I know I made you read way too long. LOL! Here it is: The tumor is one mass that is hanging out over both the right and left frontal lobe of my brain and has involved the big vein in the middle. Unfortunately, this is not a good place to be lodged. The greatest concern is not being able to get it all out. If that is to happen, I would need to begin radiation treatment.

I will be admitted into the hospital (St. Vincent’s) this coming Wednesday, Jan. 14th for a few more pre-operative test. The next day, Jan.15th, surgery is scheduled to remove the tumor. We won’t know for sure what we are facing, including whether or not it’s cancerous, until I am opened up. Therefore, the surgery can last anywhere from 3 to 10 hours. My doctor is hopeful that the tumor is Meningioma, which is usually benign.

So how do I feel about this? I am at peace! I trust the God who created the doctors. The Great Physician is the one who I am looking to for healing. IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL……but there is that part of me that keeps saying, “Wow, this is really happening.”

Friday, January 2, 2015

Today's thoughts.....

My friend, Dr. Marcus King, Senior Pastor of the Discipleship Central Community Church in Dallas, TX wrote this on his facebook page. I pray it blesses you as it blessed me.
There really aren't two most important days in your life. The quote is cute but inaccurate. The quote says "The day you were born and the day you find out why." There are actually 5 days that are most important.

1. The day you are born
2. The day you are born again
3. The day you find out why you were born.
4. The day you start doing what you were born to do.
5. The day you die with peace knowing you did what you were born to do!

As I face my own health challenges, I have found myself at peace. Death is not a loss of hope, but a passageway to eternity. I haven't given up but as a servant of God walking and serving in my God given purpose (#4. doing what I was born to do), I have peace knowing that the day I die,  I did what I was born to do.

I don’t know what’s ahead; therefore, I will continue living my life like it’s golden! To die is gain. I’m not afraid. As a matter of fact, when I do transition, I won’t be asking God to send me back to this earth because I got more work to do. Uh, why would anyone get that close to the presence of God and ask to return to this world? No, not this sister! Don’t get me wrong, I am not giving up on life…..but I certainly will not reject being with the Lord. Funny, how we Christians can boast on heaven being our goal, but when the prospect of dying comes, suddenly, “it’s not my time!” What’s up with that? IJS!

I went into the office today to do ministry work. I am transitioning leadership of the Lay Counseling Ministry while I am in recovery. The next few days will be all about tying up loose ends. It was difficult being there because I know I am a burden bearer. The thought of not serving saddens me. I made a video of that moment. Here's the link:
 I keep reminding myself that all will be well. Trust in the Lord with all your heart diva! He got it and he got you!

Today's photo shoot!

I’m discovering, when you choose to live life on purpose, you become better able to accept what God allows.
Camille was my driver for the day. She and I went to the office and did a little shopping. While at the office, a wonderful lady named Angie Reed and he husband John brought a gift to me. I was so touched by the thought that went into the gift. She ha observed the fact that I love paper crafting & Scrapbooking, therefore she filled a box with things I can use to continue my "life's work!" LOL!  Wow! What blessing! Angie has encouraged me in ways she doesn't even understand. I have grown to love her and value every word she says!
Earnest cooked breakfast for dinner, YUMMY! I love me some him. He's YUMMY too!

This is for God's glory!

Thursday, January 1, 2015


Last night’s slumber was nothing but pure hell! OMG! Let’s get these tumors out of my head! I WILL NOT PROLONG THIS PROCESS.  I am grateful however to have been “prepared for the additional pain that was to come.”

Yesterday I visited my pain management office for the usual monthly check-up. When you are taking prescribed narcotics, monthly drug screening is required. Because of the events happening in my life, my doctor had a little formal and informal chit chat, girl talk. She genuinely cares and we like to talk! LOL! She warned me of potential muscle spasm that may occur and told me what to do when it
Heading to the Doctor's Office
happens.  Little did I know, in a few hours I’d be suffering and putting into practice the knowledge my doctor dropped.  Some of you may be spooky spiritual and believe that I allowed her to “speak pain into my spirit.” Well that’s SILLY! I believe it was divine intervention. God used her to give me what I would need because I wasn’t scheduled to meet with the doctor. My appointment was with the nurse practitioner for the monthly drug screening and vital sign check.  If I did not know what to do I would have been in the emergency room last night. It was that bad! Last night was restless because my leg muscles had a mind of its own. Without my approval, my muscles in my right leg were twisting and turning in ways unimaginable. For most of the muscle attacks, I was home alone. My girls were out celebrating the New Year and my husband was in church. I could not move to even get to a phone. When everything is removed from you, and you feel helpless you have a choice --- PANIC or TRUST GOD. I tell you what, I CRIED OUT TO THE LORD!

This morning I woke up with spasms. A muscle relaxer has helped. Praying the rest of the day goes well. I plan to cook today. We will be chowing on Red Beans, Sausage & Rice, and Gumbo (taking it out of the freezer). Non-traditional, but good!