Sunday, December 28, 2008
I hope that our posts have been a uplifting source to those who have come by to visit. The calls, letters, hand shakes, hugs, visits were, through out our ordeal, rays of sunshine that brightened our days.
May God bless you all as you have blessed us.
Thank you again,
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
If I had a Santa HO HO HO, I would play it with this.
I have to share with you my funny. I say my funny. because it was a funny thing I did.
On Sunday, I wanted to wish my oldest granddaughter a "Happy Birthday". She was turning 15 an almost age, so I wanted to let her know I thought it was important.
Well...I started calling both of her parents phones at 1pm well after church to talk with her. No answer.
I yahoo IM'd, told my granddaughter I would have text messaged her if I had her phone number . I text messaged her mom's phone. No answers. Finally, in a moments desperation, I left a message on my son-in-law's phone saying, 'If you look out your window, you will see a little old lady with a picket sign walking up and down in front of your house. The sign says "Unfair treatment of a grandmother when she can't call her granddaughter." ' Still no response.
About 2 hours later, I received a call from...my granddaughter, my red head. I was so excited. I began telling her about my delima. She laughed and said "Grandma, my birthday is not until Wednesday." LOL. I had three more days before I was late. I told her that in that case, she needed to tell her dad to disregard the message I left. We both had a laugh about that. It was just wonderful getting to talk with her.
I am a blessed woman. I have wonderful, loving, caring, and kind children and grandchildren. That includes the wonderful ones who married my children.
This was our Monday Family Home Evening. Christmas in a car. Our youngest son went to a friends house for a Christmas party that we all usually go to. It was promising to be a quiet, possibly lonely evening. Our home and visiting teacher came by to drop off and pick up some things the hero needed. (They are wonderful people that serve with their whole hearts.) As they were preparing to leave a car drove up. We were baffled because no one had called and said they were coming. When you live at least 8 miles from civilization(although to those of you in the mountains that is not much, in the city minded folk that is a distance), most people call first to make sure you are going to be there or are able to take visitors. In seconds, the house was filled with Christmas. My sweet daughters had pooled together and had brought their families up. No easy feat, both live 2 hours away. The older boys made hot chocolate. Our girls had brought cinnamon rolls to go with it. The babies were busy giggling and seeking what they could get into. After a prayer, the family sang Christmas songs with the hero. He had the energy for a verse. Then he just leaned back and enjoyed all. Little Red's giggles brought a huge smile on his lips. I was gratified to see that. Miss Smiles melted his heart with her smile and thrown kisses. May my girls and their husbands be blessed for their efforts to bring joy to the hero. God has been good to us.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The last two days have been cold for here. We have to use electric heaters because of his oxygen. He did like it when I opened the door for him to see snow in Montgomery TX. Not a usual happening. Of course the snow was not like the picture, but the flakes were huge like the snowflakes up north. We were amused by the phone calls from our son and daughters. It is funny for years one can long for snow, then after living in it for a short time, the enjoyment dwindles with the knowledge of what comes with snow.
The other morning I had been really tired from up and down all night. My oldest son called just to say "Hi, how are you?" It was an encouragement I needed. The hardest thing about cancer is the pain that takes away the ability of loved ones to hold or cuddle the person hurting. Since I am a huggy type person, you have to understand that my inner self is in great pain. It is not my desire to complain, it is merely my desire to express my pain to let some of it go. I know that one day, we will greet each other with wonderful hugs and kisses on the other side. I just miss them so very much with him right next to me. We exchange kisses and smiles as our manner of loving one another.
Right now, the hope is that he will make it through the Christmas holidays, in order that the children can make it to see him and spend some time with him. I just don't know what the Lord has in mind. I do what I can. Don't mistake this post as one of discouragement, rather one of bewilderment. Between the nurses and the fatigue, it is hard to keep in tune with the spirit and understand what is happening.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The Hero made the following comment as he hung up his phone from talking with a treasured old friend. With tears in his eyes he said, "I can never be poor, when I have the wealth of such friends."
This is such a truth.
We are excited! We are going home! It is still under the supervision of hospice, but it will be just 2 or 3 visits a week. The rest of the time he can enjoy home. Blessings do hold our hopes up.
Tonight the Hero is exhausted. An old friend from college came by, a cousin, and three friends from church. The visits were wonderful and he laughed and joked and reminiscing of times past. Now that the excitement has diminished, he is resting quietly on his pillow.
I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that is mindful of his lowly servants needs. What joy to know, we will be in the gentle surroundings of our own home. Praise be to His name.
Love to all
Sunday, November 16, 2008
That is how I feel today. We are at the hospice. Lovely people, but all still have the same mindset that the doctors at the hospital did. It is over just keep him sedated and he will just be fine. WELL, my hero just needed a break. Yesterday the family that was closest all came by and visited with him. By the end of the day, he was more alert, but still very weak. They finally started moving his pain medication back to where it was before we went into the hospital. I had been worrying about having a new doctor to start all over with. (The hospice doctor takes over the care and all other doctors disappear.) God steps in and wa la...the doctor comes in (and while he is not the only doctor, he is one of them that will see the Hero) and surprise of surprises, he was the doctor that inserted the chest tube in the Hero's pleura space to drain the fluid off his lungs at the hospital. He, after visiting with the Hero, increased the pain long acting medication back to what it was before hospitalization.
That relaxed the hero so much that he fell asleep after being given the medication and slept from 9pm to 3 am. Now when you are in the room and want to sleep until 6am...not so cool...but when you are awaken by a wide awake time oriented and alert spouse that you have not been able to have a sane conversation with for 8 days...the sleep dissipates and you sit up and take notice. This is were we had a strong discussion with the night nurse. Her thought was just sedate him and it doesn't matter that he won't be able to think. I said 'no'...he wants to be able to make choices. The Hero after listening to the exchange, then told the nurse he needed pain relief, but did not want to be sedated. So she went to the doctor at 4am and asked for his pain medication to be completely put back to his home meds. Woo hoo...he now has a mind...they were giving him an anti-psychotic, and sleep medication. It pays to ask questions about what are you giving "me".
As I was contemplating all that has happened, it came to me that going through these times have given us lessons in enduring to the end. Christ says "endure to the end that you may have eternal life." I thought "hmmm, if we just sedate ourselves with "whatever", then we miss the opportunity to learn how to endure." I have learned that endurance is done with a clear mind and accepting heart.
Our children and the Hero too have frequently wondered why the blessings of healing when he goes through so much. It has sometimes had an appearance of Job. The Hero, even when his mind was clouded, found solace in trying to say a prayer. He remembered that prayers of gratitude to the Lord were important. Sometimes the prayers were a simple "Heavenly Father, please help me". I have learned that comfort permeates the person who has a prayer in their heart. There is great peace in him. Unless of course I leave and he didn't really realize that I had left, then it can be a challenge.
I must stop and pay attention to my hero. May the Lord be with me and thee. Hummer
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I don't like facing this...but I can do it and Heavenly Father is with me always.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Like a rainbow revealing a pot of gold, the hero's temperature has revealed two infections going on.
This is my own paintart picture I entitled "Confusion"
Monday was an up and down day. The hero was first told, that they were changing his pain medication to hydromorphone....Dalaudid. We were not familiar with the name hydromorphone, so we didn't realize it was dalaudid until the nurse came in to change the drip. Even under the influence of the heavy morphine, a flag went up and he wouldn't let them give it to him until I got back from moving the car. ( I stupidly had put his phone in my purse...duh) The Spirit works! Dalaudid makes him totaly zoned out to where he gets depressed and can't even remember what day it is etc.
Next the nurse relayed that they were going to do a pelvic bloc at 1 pm. We had been told they would come by and discuss it with us. 30 min later they came back and said no we will do it tomorrow. 2 hours later the internal systems doctor came by and said..."They will not do the nerve bloc because the cancer is too near to the area they need to work in." That was a blow to the hero because he had not been told that there would be a time limit on obtaining the bloc. 30min after that, the Hero had a 101 fever. Now they have done all sorts of cultures. We thought that may be it was the constipation from the high doses of morphine. A doctor at UTMB had figured that out last Jan when they couldn't find a reason for his 102 temps. Whatever, he has felt like there was an infection going on so maybe...it could be your prayers for his welfare. The surgeons said they would not do surgery on him. The Internal Medicine team said they were just interested in his chronic pain control. If anyone will do anything, it will have to be the oncologist. That would be the doctor that he had at intake. They upped his dose of morphine again, so he is not really alert and drifts off. He can wake up to eat. etc. Tomorrow will be another day.
Stay tuned to the latest saga in the life of "The Hero"
Love ya all
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The hero has been overwhelmed with the kindness of others. He has been having huge amounts of pain and our biggest challenge right now is keeping nourishment in his body. He has lost more weight. We will be going to MD Anderson Cancer Hospital for evaluation since John Sealy UTMB is still closed. That will be on Wednesday. I will update after that.
I had told you I would write about my son's motorcycle...have to take pictures...He is not cooperating.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
[Having wonderful smelling herbs around are so uplifting.
I love rosemary. I have it just outside the door. It is nice to run your fingers through the limbs and what a lively fragrance. Pineapple sage is both sweet and pungent. The flowers attract the hummingbirds. Oh, I forgot to tell you we put up our feeder and had hours of fun watching the many hummers work together and fight for the the nectar. The hero said they are hard workers but can be mean too! ; ) ]
Here it is Oct. 16, 2008 almost a month since my last post. As I was glancing over the previous post, I believe I neglected to let you know that at the end of July, the radiation oncologist looked at the hero's ct scan again and discovered that the results had been read backward. That instead of going backwards he had been improving in every area. Sigh. The truth is we have been trying to get back to treatment since then. The radiation Dr immediately contacted oncology (chemotherapy) and told them to get him back in the program. Well, 4 weeks later an appointment was made...the hero was in the hospital, so ... they reappointed him to come in on Sep. 13th. Hurricane Ike was a factor and all appointments were canceled. Here it is a month later and we are now trying to find the serving clinic since Galveston hospital of UTMB John Sealy is still trying to dry out and mold clean up and remodel after the water damage done.
We keep getting teaser calls saying that things are being worked on then silence for a week until we call again, only to find that things are still in confusion.
I have suffered from stress which created an acid condition in my body that caused joint pain and muscle spasms. Our daughter and her wonderful husband have blessed us since my walking and the hero's right now are compromised. They are wonderful. With the loving care of a great friend that knows herbs my condition has begun to reverse itself. The arms are almost a okay and the knees are now walkable.
The gangrene wound is healing very well. I am excited at that progress. But he has been having extreme pain in his buttocks, so that is worrisome. One doctor suggested some of the problem might be over congestion of the lymph nodes trying to clean out the dead gunk. Most likely...so I have turned to alternative medicine once again to try to open and move the lymph system and help the liver which will be overloaded. So much...you would think that some of this would be addressed by the medical system unstead of just more medicine to help pain. I am venting sorry.
Our goal has been to focus on smiling and being uplifting to others. Usually we succeed, but sometimes the hero has his head down under the circumstances and we have to pull it up so he can see the angels around him. God has blessed us greatly. It is nice to know we are able to make decisions for ourselves and that there are helping hands at every turn.
I will post next about my youngest son and our experience in his getting his motorcycle license.
Life is good.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
We stayed home to sit out the hurricane. We are 125 miles inland from Galveston and were on the west side of the storm. Our son and daughter and her husband battened down the hatches and we all worked together to make it being locked up in the house for the deluge. Watching the long oak limbs swing widely left one wondering if they would stay attached to the trees. There were some 75 - 100 mph gusts but no sustained winds of that caliber...thank goodness! The neighbors lost a tree across the road, and the same on the way into town. The day after the storm, my son drove in and assisted others in cleaning up the roads and investigated the damage in town. It became evident that we fared well in just loosing a greenhouse and some misc. limbs and electricity ( which meant the well wouldn't work). [I will add pictures when we finally get home. I left the camera there.] We waited 4 days and then gave up to go on into the hero's twin brother to stay, so the hero could have water and bathe. They were lovely host and hostess. What blessings they have earned, in all the service they offered my hero and myself.
After I ran out of catheter kits, we ended up in the ER at a hospital near his brother's home. They have been lovely personnel in this hospital. I hope we can pay some. They put him on antibiotics again, catheterized him, and restarted his wound care like we do at home. The only problem is the confusion around his pain medication routine. Confuses me why it is so hard for them to grasp continuity.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Sigh...Prayers are my source of comfort in this.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
The hero came in saying our cucumbers were being eaten by bugs and looked like the sprinkler was not reaching it. I thought, "my ankle hurts and is swollen, I am tired, I will wait until the morning to go look..." He persisted. When I got out to the garage, he had gotten out the golf cart so I wouldn't have to walk with the crutches as far.
Upon my arrival, my first thought was "did the adolescent son play too close with his sword and whack my cucumbers?...." Then as I traversed the center of the raised beds, I detected the odor of hoofed animals. Since we frequently have horses loose in the area, my first thought was the neighbor's horses got loose again. Then I got to the lemon cucumbers and pole beans...whacked off too and little hoof prints up in the raised bed....DEER!@!
My thoughts are not of sweet Bambi...(maybe in a zoo or on the top of a mountain), but of venison in the freezer. From my experience, I already know the dream of wonderful fresh vegetables I had planned for my hero are waning quickly. I want a BIG dog!!!!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
This reminds me of our life right now. The only way to get a bougainvillea to bloom is to stress it out. You minimize the watering, fertilizing, and give it lots of sunshine.
The hero has decided to stop Chemotherapy. The doctors decided that the medications being used were not effective so they chose to stop those and start a new kind. The literature on the drugs revealed they are experimental from Canada, and if you don't have a horrible rash especially on the face that the drug is not working. The longest the extension of life it offers is 7 months. The hero decided that he didn't want to spend the last months of his life, if that is the Lord's choice, in misery and pain. So we are putting our hands in the Lord's hand and letting him guide us. We had a friend that the doctor's told her she would only live 6 months if she didn't do a specific therapy. She chose against it and over 6 years later she was still going. Only the Lord knows our time.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
The hero had an awesome day. We made it to church in a timely manner....which is in itself a wonder.... He received a phone call from each of his six children, AND he got to talk to all of his grandchildren. Our son and his wife sent him a funny card as well as calling and singing Happy Father's Day to the tune of Happy Birthday. He enjoyed that and the giggle it gave him. The Idahoian family called and each on of the eight talked with him (One is in California helping her aunt). Then the Californian family called and he got to talk to all 3 plus 1 of them. The fourth daughter called and let him talk with her two children. The boy at home waited up for us so he could visit after we got home. We went out to eat with little miss sunshine and her family. It was all good. We are grateful to our Heavenly Father for the many blessing we have at His hand.
Later, we picked up the hero's mom and took her to visit her husband's grave. She had not been there for a while and his birthday had been a week before. She was glad to have made it. We then met with little miss sunshine, along with her hubby and J.T. Great-mother wanted to go to Appleby's Restaurant, so there we went. It was a wonderful time, spent with great love and laughter. The ride home didn't make him so tired, since he was floating on a cloud of happiness.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Not long after my last post, I twisted my ankle in a hole at work. It was just a silly sprain. I felt I was being careful with it, but every time I would walk to the back of the property or walk over the rocks at work, I would twist it again. After 3 weeks, it began to swell up 3 times its size and became exceeding hard for me to walk. Ned finally insisted on me using a crutch. That helped, but the knee of my other leg was weak, and soon began to protest, if I put too much weight (my plague right now) on it. A wonderful friend loaned me a stabilizing boot, which has helped support and minimize the swelling. The doctor said it will take a while to heal.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Spring has brought many new experiences and some old ones too.
As is always the case, at the end of a semester, grades are posted. WELL...I have managed to hold my B average for my Master's. My hero was excited because he had spent hours drilling me on my botanical names of my plant Id exams. He is so special.
He started his 5th Chemotherapy session today. So far so good. We came back to the hotel very tired, because it took from 7:30am to 3:30pm. (Forgot, since we are 3 hours from home, they let us stay in a hotel for the three days of treatment for a large reduction). Tomorrow, we will go walking outside to give him some natural Vit D. His weight has held it's own, no losses for now. When we get home we will update the blog.
Monday, May 05, 2008
We were saddened by the fact the faculty doctor we had is moving away to another hospital. She was awesome. As a matter of fact, we will have totally new staff beginning in June. The Lord has something in mind.
I am extremely excited about my garden...I did tell you that we put in 2 4X40ft raised beds didn't I? Actually it was not us but a very special friend from church who brought over three of his workers and built and filled the beds. This weekend we put in med size tomatoes, pear tomatoes, salsa tomatoes, eggplants, squash (1), and cucumbers (2). I planted some lettuce and carrots. Then we put in 18 bell pepper plants 6 bunches of onions (bunching onions) and one Sweet Basil and one Pesto Basil plant. Next week, we plan to put in some more squash and cucumbers as well as putting in some cantaloupe and watermelon seeds. All of the plants/seeds are heirloom seeds. We plan on saving some of the seeds this year for next year. Will post pictures next time.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Living in the country has its blessings. After being in the city and supressed by the hospital for 5 days, just being among the trees and wildflowers brings a feeling of peace. My poor hero, as he was dressing to leave today said, "I don't know what it is, everytime I leave this hospital I feel like I am breaking out of prison." Now, it is not because of the care or food or medical care, but it is because of lack of nature and ability to get outside and enjoy the sun and air.
Our stay entailed receiving 2 units of blood and a large amount of IV iron. There was a brief moment in time that he actually got to sit flat on his bottom and eat his dinner. This was about 8 hours after he had the large amount of bleeding. He didn't have any pain, which was so wonderful after 1 year of intense pain. Unfortunately, it did not last. The ride home was painful.
He was ready to lie down and rest when we arrived.
I have enjoyed sitting here and visiting with my son who just finished running 6 miles in an hour for his Duty to God Award. He will be 19 in 5 days. Next will be spiritual preparation. There has not been enough time to relax and listen lately.
The Hero will be (oops) have his birthday in 2 days. Hmmm. What kind of celebration will I have. At the end of the month, our oldest son will come home with his wife and we will all go to Indiana Jones Movie.
Friday, April 25, 2008
We got to the ER and he was whisked right in...a real change. After 7 hours in the ER, the decision was made to admit him. He hates hospitals, especially when they withhold food and he loses another 10 lbs to have to regain later.
The floor nurse just told us he will just be watched to see if the bleeding will stop by itself. And yes, his food would be held at least tonight. Sigh...he is just sleeping.
The good news is that after the bleeding had reduced to a trickle, he has had less pain, and he has been able to lie on his back which is a wonder...He has not been able to do this since last July.
So....we are sitting here in the hospital, trying to not think about food with the TV ads assulting us and being cheerful to entertain the staff. The positive is the doctor said that the bleeding is probably from the tumor shrinking and leaving blood vessels open. Usually it does resolved itself. Tumor shrinking, dying, going away those all have a wonderful sound. But of course nothing is without a price.
The room this time is wonderful. The window is where he can see out of it. The sun slips in to kiss his face. That is more cheerful than any other room he has ever had. His nurses are sweet and have listened to the history and are working hard to keep his care consistent.
I am glad if we had to come in, that he has been blessed with such good care and attention.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Before the nursery was moved, I would walk out on the patio and sit and look out over the plants. There I would sit, listening to the birds, watching the butterflies, and feeling the breezes move through my hair. Plants give one a feeling of partnership with Heavenly Father. They are a real learning ground for "if you don't nurture it, it will die". Tonight, when we got home from chemotherapy, I went out to the greenhouse to check on the status of my plants after a week of being away. Walking through the pasture, listening to the birds, and rustling of the leaves was very peaceful. It was not hard to pick up the hose and begin watering the thirsty plants. I spent 2 hours watering and picking up blown over shrubs, and smelling the spring blooms. There is much work to be done, but I can feel a sense of relaxation falling over me and peacefulness as I labor to nourish my plants. My hero came down to help, but his back is not strong enough now to enable him to assist. I think for him it is more of a feeling of frustration right now because he can't participate much. My hope is to get him out more in the sunshine. Vitamin D is helpful in the body's immune system. Not to mention there is fun to be had, as well as relaxation while watching the breezes move through the trees as well as the squirrels playing tag. (As long as they stay away from my fruit trees...then they are varmints.) My thoughts flit about a freely as the birds in the tree tops.
My grandchildren have inherited the fun of enjoying the out of doors too. Whether it is blue bonnets in the spring, snowy mountain tops, or going to the petting zoo, they love being outside.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
A week ago, we went to the pain doctor who has started acupuncture therapy. She is an awesome person. We were just discussing the positive affect the treatment has had on him. Two days later and frequently since, we have observed him having a belly laugh or two and his energy level has been up. He is still having a hard time facing the man in the mirror because he perceives that he has aged years in appearance. I tell him, NO, he's actually getting younger...which caused another belly laugh when his voice cracked later in conversation.
shocking himself during the treatment and for four days afterward. He can not eat or touch anything cold and must stay warm during that time. He lives for when the time is up and he can have an ice cream brown cow. Some people look at him a little strange when we are walking into the store, the temperature is 75 to 80 degrees, full sun and he has on his gloves, and jacket. He can't handle the cold around the cold keepers.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Below was the fun, a friend who has a TRex Car had given the dad a ride and it was arranged for a fun trip around town for the new Eagle.
The dad approving the mode of transportation.... yeah right he was having a ball himself.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
I am glad that I have been given the throw it away and keep it simple spirit to overcome my tendency to be a pack rat.
There is a more than the usual need to put things in order and be kept in order.
Just talked with the Cancer nurse and they are putting the next round of treatments in order.
Will find out tomorrow or Wednesday where we are going.
Being home and playing with my grandson was a real treat....he is a doll. Terrible twos and all that aside we have fun with GranddadE giving wagon rides....(kills two birds with one stone, the hero gets sunshine and the kiddo gets fun outside of the house.) His mom should be having her little girl any day now.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Meet my Handsome blue-eyed red headed grandson. He heralded the start of his new life last week after serveral false starts. Because of treatments it was 3 days later that we got to meet him. This was the second grandchild delivery I missed, not a good trend.
In the mean time, we have finished the first radiation treatments, with a big question mark as to if there will be more. Ned is distressed that their only plan had been to reduce the size of the cancer not remove or destroy the offending cancer. It was supposed to help reduce his buttock pain but that has not happened yet, and we are done. Sigh.
We have been approved for have chemotherapy. I say approved because we had to apply for treatment financial aid as the cost of one drug alone is at the $140,000 amount.
He will be receiving AVASTIN®, in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil- (this interferes with metabolic machinery in synthesis of nucleic acids) based chemotherapy and Eloxatin (oxaliplatin)[ which first mechanism an alkylating agent attaches alkyl groups to DNA bases. This alteration results in the DNA being fragmented by repair enzymes in their attempts to replace the alkylated bases. Second mechanism by which alkylating agents cause DNA damage is the formation of cross-bridges, bonds between atoms in the DNA. In this process, two bases are linked together by an alkylating agent that has two DNA binding sites. Cross-linking prevents DNA from being separated for synthesis or transcription. The third mechanism of action of alkylating agents causes the mispairing of the nucleotides leading to mutations.
If anyone can explain the alkylated agent in layman terms, I would appreciate it.
I am now really pushing to have the correct alkalizing diet in place since that is the one that has the best effect on colon cancers, and lung cancers.
It was refreshing to visit with the pain management doctor. She knew kenesiology, understood aroma therapy and is certified in accupuncture. I have felt more comfortable with her than anyother doctor. She also did problem solving not just application of a medication for a specfic complaint and also did great teaching using a skeleton and diagrams. Best I have seen so far.
Tomorrow is another two tests, I have to pick up the pickup and trailer to pick up citrus for the spring. I will have to leave my hero alone, but the only place I have to take the test is back at home. The librarians down here have said they don't proctor.
A diller a dollar a 10 o'clock scholar. I must be off to bed.