Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

We are anxious to get this year behind us... 2009 won't go down as one of our favorite years! We are looking forward to a new start in 2010, however. There is much to look forward to. Mike is making steady progress, albeit slow. The last few days have been rather hard on him as our friend with the same disease died last week. Yesterday I attended a lovely memorial service for her. She was a remarkable person. Mike was eager to hear about it. We were able to share some positive thoughts last night.

Mike got a pretty bad headache while at therapy yesterday and didn't feel like going this morning. I think he needs some extra sleep. He has had some anxiety, lots of late nights and lots of holiday activity. Rest always helps.

We want all of you to know that we have treasured your kindness and service this past year. We could not have come this far without you. We love our family more than we ever thought possible. Each has offered a measure of service that is unique and appreciated.

Please help us with the fight in 2010... May each of you be blessed in your lives.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hannah is home!

Tyler picked Hannah up at th airport last evening and they arrived homeabout10:00 pm. The security at LAX was tighter due to th"underwear bomber,but she had no trouble getting here.Hannah will be homefor a week.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas aftermath...

We are all very tired. We are anxious for Hannah to come tomorrow.

Christmas was good. We enjoyed family and friends. I am not one to leave the house decorated for very long... It is not unusual for me to remove the decorations on Christmas night. I waited until yesterday... While Mike slept, everything got packed away.

Mike had a couple of hours of therapy today. I stayed and did quite a bit of walking with him. He is so much more stable than the last time we walked together. He is very slowly regaining his strength. We are so grateful for small improvements.

Tonight we need to sleep...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

another first today











This afternoon I was able to visit my downtown office with the help of Nancy and Andy. I had not been there since August 23rd (the day before my last surgery.) It really needs some attention. Nancy mentioned that maybe she could accompany me and we could go down for an hour or so each day to work on it. I may be heading back to work once I get things organized so I can get to them! I am glad the architect of that building thought through handicap accessibility :) The elevator worked well.

Nancy here: We are resting today after lots of food and fun yesterday. Will and Maggie were so excited yesterday. I think they played hard enough to sleep for the next few days!

Will came into my bedroom and wanted to lay on my bed and watch TV... I explained to him that the TV had been moved to Poppy's room. I told him he could lay on Poppy's electric bed and watch TV for a time. He got up on Poppy's bed, looked around the room, noticed his toys in the closet, the computer and the TV and said..."Nanny this is the coolest 'woom' ever!"

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas meals

This morning started with our traditional sausage-egg casserole made by Nana and cinnamon rolls and fruit salad. Lunch was breakast leftovers, we are just finishing Nana's Christmas dinner -turkey,dressing,sweet potato casserole, a potato & cheese dish, there was also deviled eggs & other delectable items.

The grand children each opened a couple gifts, but our adult gift money was donated to a christmas charity which provided a complete Christmas for 58 needy families.

The last two days have been tiring, but we are so grateful that we have been able to spend them with our families... What a joy!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We didn't get Christmas cards in the mail this year. For all of you who read this blog, which we know are many, please accept this as our Christmas wishes to you...

We are so strengthened by the wonderful Christmas spirit that abounds in our hearts! Our lives seem to have been turned a bit upside down this year. On May 8th we knew our lives would never be the same. We have had nearly eight months to learn, pray, serve and be served, and ponder on the meaning of life. We accept this challenge we have been given and are determined to perservere. We have found our "new normal" and are progressing each day.

This is a joyous time of year. We are so grateful for family and friends who have been so generous with their time and talents in our behalf. Each card we receive, each casserole we eat, each time our grass is mowed, or snow scooped, each time we have a visitor, our hearts are filled with pure love for the giver of these great gifts. We recognize that each of you are angels put in our path at this time to do things for us that we cannot do for ourselves. This is what Christ did when he was on earth... Yours is Christlike service.

We have unwavering faith that the will of our Father will be done in our behalf. We know he knows us, loves us and wants what is best for our lives. We are so grateful, especially at this time of year, when we can stop for a moment and remember Him whose birth we celebrate. We are grateful for his life, his example and his undying love for each of us.

We pray that your families will be richly blessed this year and that your hearts will be full of gratitude for the joy that still comes from that first Christmas.

Merry Christmas to each of you... Love, Mike and Nancy

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

progress

Nancy says her dad is going home today, so he must have made good progress. He will still need some cardiac rehab. I have been resting today and a therapist will come by for a visit this afternoon. I pray that Bill will obey orders in his recovery at home.

Nancy here: My dad is doing very well. He is anxious to get home. We still plan on a wonderful Christmas Eve with my parents at their home. We are so grateful that things have turned out well for my dad. We are also so grateful that Mike has made such wonderful progress thus far. Thanks to everyone for their continued support. Again, we couldn't have handled it through this latest challenge without your prayers and service. We feel very, very loved.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Challenges...

Today my dad had a stent placed in a vessel near his heart. This is his second. He is up and about at this point and giving the nurses on the 3rd floor lots of grief. He did suffer a heart attack and will be involved in some cardiac rehab. Again we are grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord in preserving his life. My sisters have been stellar in their care and attention to my parents while I am busy with the care of Mike. Thanks to all of you for prayers in our families behalf. Again, they have been heard and answered.

Mike had therapy again today. I must say he was a bit grumpy with a headache when we went but after time in the water, he was a happy camper! He came home relaxed and ready for a "long winter's nap."

We have had some wonderful visits with friends in the past few days. Thanks so much for your help and visits... We love you all so much

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A new challenge

Yesterday afternoon Nancy's dad went to the hospital with chest pains. The thought is that he had a mild heart attack. He was admitted to the cardiac unit. More tests will be run, probably tomorrow to determine if he needs another stent. He is otherwise remarkably healthly for an 82 year old man. Nancy has a mighty full plate taking care of all of us usual. Please keep Nancy and her family in your prayers.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

SLOW SATURDAY

After a 5th straight night with no problems with the chemo drugs, we are declaring victory! I have slept a lot today. We have friends coming for pizza tonight. Otherwise, no other activities, except a shower tonight. It is nice to have a slow day ocassionally.

Friday, December 18, 2009

it's Aqua therapy Friday!

Can you tell I'm excited with this part of the process? I look forward to the comfort of the of the water and floating & exercising. It is the best!

We have had 4 nights of chemotherapy with zero problems. Things are going very well. I am tired and sleeping a bit more during the chemo, but that is a small price to pay.

I attended Muncie Sunrise Rotary via skype from my room. I even had breakfast in bed while attending! It was fun to greet each one as they dropped by the camera to talk. It truly was the next best thing to being there. Thanks to my good friends, Andy and Kathy (and Nancy) for making this happen.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

We just ended a meeting with our accountant and insurance agent. The meeting went well. We were all uplifted. I am so grateful for the people that Mike has associated with, who now are helping us make plans for our future. We have such confidence in decisions that are made in our behalf. Heavenly Father NEVER leaves us to make our own way... We have to remember to knock...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday's schedule

My occupational and physical therapy are at the end of the day, so I have tried to rest all morning. The chemo pills have also been no problem thanks to Nancy's excellent attention to timing each step. I am so grateful for her.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday's new start

We had an early morning occupationaal therapy session followed by aqua therapy. They are going to work on my left arm & shoulder with great intensity. I am still enjoying the water so much. We did many exercises today, so i am a bit more tired. We are starting my 4th round of chemotherapy tonight, so I must follow a time schedule very closely so i won't get sick. We did it perfectly last time with Nancy's close attention. We are confident this round will also go well and we will finish on Friday and get over the fatigue before Christmas.

Friday, December 11, 2009

More Water Therapy and a little Occupational Therapy

Today's aqua therapy was just as pleasant as yesterday's. The therapist equipped Mike with a life vest (collar) and let him lie back and float. He was able to exercise his legs and was so very relaxed and comfortable. He walked very freely again. Any of you out there with a pool, might expect a visit from us this next summer! Mike started occupational therapy today as well. We will try to get some use out of that left hand...

A good friend from Illinois visited today. It was such a joy to see her and partake of some of the goodies she shared with us. Mike and I commented tonight that we are so grateful for the good, good friends we have. Each of you make our lives simpler and more fullfilling. Hope you enjoy the picture of Mike standing in the water as much as we love sharing it with you!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Aqua therapy-a most wonderful experience!

We made our 2nd trip to the outpatient rehab facility this morning and it far exceeded my expectations. The pool has a ramp and plastic wheelchair. The therapist took me down into very warm water. A therapist had me get out of the chair on my own and hold onto a hand rail where I walked almost the length of the pool. We then did some strengthening exercises for my left leg and some for my right. I then walked sideways back to the chair and ramp. it was very warm and comfortable in the water and I didn't come away completely exhausted. I loved it and wouldn't mind doing it every day. This is definitely the right therapy for me right now. The Lord continues to to direct my path to recovery. We are counting our blessings each day.

Note from Nancy: The pool area was so hot it reminded me of where I could go if I don't behave!!! I could not stay and watch the entire therapy session as I was about to implode. We are so very grateful we are starting this new chapter... Outpatient therapy was indeed the right move. Mike was happier today than he has been in months! We should never take for granted our ability to move about freely. Being in the pool used to make my kids very, very tired. That always meant that good naps were in store... I hope the same happens for Mike today :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday happenings

We got up early today for an appointment with the medical oncologist, D. Spahr. Nancy & I have also talked with a therapist today. I havebeen resting since lunch so I can attend a LifeStream board meeting this evening. It will make for a full day, but I will feel ike I have contributed in some positive way.

The doctor confirmed in a very straight forward way that the tests show that I have no active cancer! The4th round of chemo (starting Monday) is purely to prevent new growth. That is great news! Thanks for faith &prayers - it is making a difference.

Monday, December 7, 2009

outpatient rehab report

We had our initial trip and evaluation at the outpatient therapy center this morning. We both were very comfortable with the therapists and the facility, including the pool. I start aqua therapy on Thursday and am excited to see what we'll be doing. We are glad that all of our appointments are not going to be so early in the morning! The therapy will be three times a week. I am looking forward to making great physical progress having made this move.

Note from Nancy: Mike did such an amazing job in rehab this a.m. He is gaining strength and stamina. We see the oncologist tomorrow to get blood work before chemo starts the following Monday. We are so grateful for the blessings we are receiving through this journey.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

aSunday in December already

In some ways this year has moved very quickley, but some things continue to creep along (like my recovery.) I try to be patient and wait on the Lord's time. We still have faith in His plan for this time of our lives.

First thing tomorrow (Monday),we travel to an outpatient physical therapy facility for evaluation and to set up a schedule. I'm a bit nervous about what to expect, but am determined to gain body functions & get back to serving others.

I send you my sincere gratitude for your love, support and prayers. Please continue as I take this next big step. Love Mike

Friday, December 4, 2009

Another day, another doctor's visit

Today was cold! Mike and I got out for an excursion to the doctor. The doctor was pleased with Mike's progress. We are lowering the dosages of some of the meds Mike is taking. We also made a quick visit to the rehab floor to see how the patients were using the Wii Fit. We were able to visit with Mike's occupational therapist. It was fun to see her. We hope to attend some of the conference that will be held at our church this week end. I can't believe another week is coming to a close. Is it almost time for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Loading and unloading...

Today Mike and I loaded and unloaded from the car 8 times! We went to the doctor this afternoon... His office backs up to the eatery that serves Mike's favorite chocolate milkshakes. We couldn't help ourselves from driving through. This evening we attended a ribbon cutting at a nursing/residence facility for the opening of a new Alzheimer's unit. Mike's office had helped with some of the space planning. It was again nice for Mike to get out of the house and visit with some folks in the community. Tomorrow we say good bye to Hannah. It has been great having her here again. Thanks to Tyler, we now have the capability to Skype... We have had fun the last two evenings talking to and seeing Will and Maggie on the computer.

We are both physically tired this evening, but have had a good day again. Thanks to so many of you who greet Mike and I and let us know that you have been praying for us. We know our collective prayers are being answered. You each mean so much to us.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

United Way Award

Nancy& I got up early,bathed,dressed,and to the convention center by 8am. it was the campaign United Way campaign"victory program. they also announced the student winners of the essay contest and a new volunteer award named after me. i felt humbled and honored. it is specifically for excellence in volunteer leadership for my wide volunteering involvement over the last 20+ years.

Just to clarify; my out patient therapy is not at the hospital, but at a new facility on Bethel. parking &long walks shouldn't be a problem. we have our initial meeting/evaluation on Monday morning.

Note from Nancy: If Susan or Kimberlee would like to meet us there that would be fine :) Thanks for the offer!

Monday, November 30, 2009

A new chapter begins

Nancy and i met with the home healthcare supervisor this morning &will transition to outpatient care bext week. this is a huge change as we will not have nurses& therapists herer5 days each weeek. we will be driving to therapyand handling all my personal health needs on our own. it will take a significant adjustment, but we expect greater progress in the long run.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday after Thanksgiving

As we drove to church this a.m. we noticed many, many Christmas decorations. It doesn't seem like it is time for that yet... Our time references have changed so much. I suppose sometime this week Hannah will help with decorating. She will have to come back and help take it down. We may downsize the decorations this year.

We ate roast for dinner. It was nice to not eat turkey again. Turkey is great for a bit, but the first "real" meal after Thanksgiving leftovers always tastes so good. Mike has had a very good appetite lately. I told him today that he is going to have to start moving more if he plans on eating lots...He needs to fit into his clothes :)

We have enjoyed having family visit for the last several days. Allen returns home tomorrow and Hannah at the end of the week. They have been such a help to me. We have given our "regulars" the week off.

Last evening my sister treated Mike and I to a massage. The therapist worked on each of us for over an hour. It was heavenly! I slept like a baby last night while Hannah took care of Mike's needs. Mike has been sleeping fairly well also. I think he was more relaxed than usual last night. We may have to make a habit of massages!

We are so thankful at this time of year for all of our amazing friends and family members. We are thankful for our faith. We thank each of you for your kindness and care during these last several months. Our journey continues a day at a time. Thanks for walking with us.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

laid back Saturday

rick,Sally &Cami left early today to return to Georgia.i've beendozing in bed and decidedi' been there long enough,so blogging was my next priority. we still havel of lots of food,so we don't need to go anywhere. We are thankful for a wonderful days with our family.We hope you have been blessed with a great holiday as well

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday...

We made it through Thanksgiving and are on to black Friday. We have no plans to shop as we have done so much of that online. We are hoping that we can get Mike to his office today. Mike's family is visiting and his brother offered to make the trip to the office with us. We are anxious to eat some of the left overs from yesterday. We are blessed with many... Allen and Hannah are here, Allen for a few days and Hannah for another week. It was so nice for the monitor to go in their room last night. I slept for 9 straight hours last night. Mike slept for 7. My how a good night's sleep helps revive one's soul. We have so much to be grateful for... Let us never forget.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks!!!!!




how grateful we are for this special day of Thanksgiving. We have had family here constantly the last 2 days with Hannanh & Allen here and Nancy's family here for a wonderful feast. i have even gotten in a couple of naps while football is on tv. we have lots of food left if someone out there is still hungry.

we are extremely thankful for the porogress we are making from this medical challenge. the Lord continues to bless us with healing power and strengthto endure. we are also thankful for your love, support and prayers.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

trip to rehab flooor

this afternoon Nancy hauled me out of bed and we went toBMH3rd floor rehab to deliver a thankyou gift of a Wii Fit system. they were alll thrilledto see me and gratefulfor the gift. ffor the gift, we hope they will find creative ways to engagepatients. i got lots of hugs&a kiss from my favorite nurse. it was a wonderful excursion.

Mike

Monday, November 23, 2009

Busy Monday

we got some good restlast nightand,we have beenbusy. our physical therapist came this afternoon. i walked a record distance for her and she was pleased.

Nancy picked up a "Wii-Fit" system for therehab flooor at the hospital as a thnkyou giftfor their service during my stays there. We hope to mtake a field trip this weeek to deliver it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday update

we got a bit of a late start to church,but were still on time. we were both very tired after abusy weekend with guests Nancy stayed up too late talkinglast night.

we both need more naps today and some rest tonight.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Round 3, Day5

you willnote a new poster today. One of the therapists suggestedIget more involved in the blog.Tonight is my lastday of chemo for 3 weeeks.

Last nightwe went to a public showing of a commmunity health center we designed. it was wonderful to seelots of clients and community volunteer friends. i wastired and slept well, but i'm"still tired this afternoon after sleeping most the day..

Nancy is busy making my dinner to eat before th medications start. we look forward to one more good nightbefore the break.

Mike

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It matters that things get done, not that any one in particular does them.

Having chemotherapy causes some real introspection. Mike had a restless night last night, but dear Andy was here to quietly chat with Mike. I slept very soundly after having a restless night on Monday. Mike has an appetite and is up and ready for physical therapy today. We are trying to conserve energy to go to a community function tomorrow. I think it will be so good for Mike to get out and so good for many to see him.

We are so grateful for time we have together to share our thoughts and feelings. Mike is such an incredible man. Last night he was asked by a friend to tell some of his "accomplishments" and things he is most proud of. His comment was, "It doesn't matter that I did those things, it just matters that they got done."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Round 3 underway

Mike started round number 3 of his chemo treatments last night. He took it like a pro. We both had anxiety leading up to it since the last time didn't go so well. Last night was great. Mike slept well with no nausea. He ate a good breakfast and is ready for the rest of the day. We are so very grateful for the many prayers, kind thoughts and words in our behalf. You pulled us through this one! We know Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. We are thankful people.

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's the week end again...

Today has been a good day for us. Mike is making such great strides in his physical therapy. He is now able to get to the shower with minimal help. We are so grateful for the work that our contractor friends did in our bathroom to make it accessible for Mike. We are also so thankful for our physical therapist who is so patient and kind as we try new things. We are planning on a "Saturday night shower" tomorrow so Mike can be ready for church on Sunday. Again we will attempt to go to church but must not shake hands or give hugs. Mike's chemo starts again on Monday. The results of Mike's blood tests were great last Tuesday, so it looks like Mike is strong enough for another round of treatment. We will have some out of town guests visiting at the end of next week. We feel so blessed that they are willing to travel long distances for a visit. We are truly surrounded by wonderful people.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The doctor's visit went well yesterday. As is usually the case after an outing, Mike is exhausted. Today he has slept the morning away. The therapist just called and said she has a cold so she won't be coming until tomorrow. Looks like we have a day without any home health care! It is kind of nice to just have peace and quiet.

Mike and I have enjoyed doing some Christmas shopping on the internet. We are looking forward to the holidays. It will be wonderful spending time with our family.

Thanks so much for everyone who has helped us recently. Staying with me during the night, meals, yard work, flowers, visits, etc. have been so appreciated. We continue to be comforted by your goodness.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sitting together in church

We started the process very early... but we made it to church this morning. Mike was determined to go and go we did! It has been 11 weeks since Mike has been to church. I was beginning to wonder if he would ever be able to sit with me in church again. What a difference a week makes.

It was our children's program today and it was absolutely delightful. The children reminded us of the importance of eternal families. Their sweet messages and music filled our souls.

We plan another outing on Tuesday to see the doctor. Chemo starts a week from tomorrow, so we need to make hay while the sun shines!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A nice outing...

Yesterday Mike got in the car for the first time in 7 weeks. We drove and drove and drove! We visited 4 project sites, went the BMV and got a handicap hang tag, stopped for a few errands, got gas and came home. It was glorious. Mike was dog tired today, but still had the stamina to walk with his quad cane when the therapist came. We had a nice visit from an old friend today. We are grateful for every positive moment we share. We are thinking of church Sunday... but must be very, very careful of germs... Mike may appear in a mask and will definitely not shake anyone's hand or hug anyone.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The word from the doctor today was good. Mike has had no significant changes since the last MRI. We are grateful for the news. Thanks to everyone who prayed and sent good thoughts for us. We will press forward again and pray that the next round of chemo will be doable.
Mike had another MRI last evening. It went well. He said it was the easiest he has had yet. I am sure that is due to the prayers of many in his behalf. We feel very peaceful as we await the results of the exam. We continue to have angels who help us every day as we continue this journey. I received another beautiful bouquet of flowers yesterday, signed "love Mike." Thanks to whoever is sending those in Mike's stead.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween

Happy Halloween... I have already eaten most of the Halloween candy. I just decided that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to have lots of germs come into our house tonight. That said, I will now finish the candy :)

We will be having another MRI on Monday evening. Yesterday the doctor increased the steroid a bit and lo and behold, Mike woke up this morning with an appetite! Andy will stay with Mike for a while today. I have some things to do... I need to buy a clock with BIG numbers so Mike can see it from his bed.

It is so hard to believe that tomorrow is November. I will have to remember to set the clocks back tonight. I wonder if any of us will get another hour of sleep tonight?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quiet day

Today we didn't have any therapists or nurses. Mike was able to eat a bit more today. The nausea is subsiding somewhat. Eventhough he is still sleeping most of the day, he did get up and do some exercising this afternoon. So far he isn't losing any of the strength that he has gained.

We had another plumbing issue today...the third in three weeks! When I called the plumber, I reminded him that we are some of their favorite customers. Surely when this issue gets fixed there won't be anymore. We don't have anymore faucets or drains!

Andy celebrated his birthday yesterday. What a joy Andy is in our lives. We are so thankful for his tenderness as he helps care for Mike.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

We are experiencing the aftermath of chemo. Mike sleeps about 20 out of every 24 hours. We are able to have some good conversations at this point.

We finally let Hannah go home yesterday. Her visit was so wonderful for us. We just got word that Allen's grandma died so she and Allen will be heading to California soon.

We have faith in our Heavenly Father's great plan for our lives. We know there are lessons we still need to learn in this process.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

the week end is finally here.

Mike has completed this round of chemo. The last 5 days have been brutal. Mike is very, very tired. We are hoping he rebounds well in the next few days. His pattern has been to sleep almost all day and night. Thanks to all who have stayed and helped during these past 5 days. We now have three weeks until we start again.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

We made it through day 2 of chemo with flying colors! We spent a lot of the day working on relaxation and deep breathing. Mike was very exhausted from the previous day. Already this morning he has had physical therapy, getting into and out of the car 3 times and walking with the walker.

The sunshine and warmth are such a welcomed blessing today. We plan on taking a walk down the street today. A Concannon's roll tasted very good to Mike this morning:) It didn't taste bad to me either!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ups and Downs...

We had a good day followed by a difficult one. Mike started another round of chemo last night and didn't fare so well. We have spent the day today trying to be calm and relaxed and have a new plan for tonight. Hopefully a new cocktail of anti nausea drugs and a new time of administering the chemo will make all the difference. What a difference a day can make!

Monday, October 19, 2009

What a glorious day...

Today has been momentous. Mike walked again!!! He has been standing very well and today after making 3 transfers to the car, the therapist put a walker in front of him and he took several steps. It was so wonderful to see.

The kids were here over the week end and it was great having everyone together. Will and Mags are as cute as ever and Mike really enjoyed seeing them. Mike still tires very easily, but he has improved about 1,000 percent since he came home a few weeks ago.

We have been so blessed to see daily improvement. Eventhough we started anew, the progress is happening. Thanks again for all of the care and attention from friends and family.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fall/Winter has arrived!

A few days have passed since I last posted... I noticed yesterday how chilly and fall like it is outside. This is not my favorite season of the year, but it seems this year it may pass by without my noticing:) This morning it actually felt like winter was here.

We are finally getting somewhat adjusted to life at home rather than at the hospital. Mike's therapy is going well. He is getting physically stronger each day. He has been sleeping much better at night and therefore I have too. I think we are about ready to "fly solo" at night. We have truly been appreciative of the night time caregivers. Mike has really begun to rely on them in order for me to get a good night's rest.

We have enjoyed having Hannah home for a few days. She always brings great peace with her. All of our children will be visiting today. It will be great to have them all here.

We continue to have great faith and confidence in the Lord's plan for our lives. We feel very loved.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Big day out...

Yesterday after an hour of physical therapy (where Mike was able to transfer to the car,) Mike was transported to the doctor's office. His blood count was high enough to start another 5 days of chemo, beginning Monday. He was so extremely tired after all of the exercise and the excersion. He slept quite well last night.

We are so excited to have Hannah coming today. Tyler will get her from the airport and then he and one of the grandbabies will bring her home. I have Mike back in bed now so he will feel rested for the visit this afternoon.

I think we are getting into a routine that is feeling much more comfortable for Mike. He continues to be very tired a lot of the time. We are beginning to have some good conversations, however, and Mike is cracking a few jokes :)

Thanks to all who have helped with care, meals, cards, yard work, etc. Your service and sacrifice for us will be greatly rewarded with blessings in your lives.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kind people...

Thanks to so many kind, kind people who have helped us out these past few weeks. We are starting to get into a routine and trying to make steps ahead. Mike is making strides with the physical and occupational therapists. He was able to stand yesterday for quite a while. It was wonderful seeing him vertical again. Thanks for your continued prayer and support in our behalf. We do realize we need help and there are so many who are willing.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Slave driver...

The occupational and physical therapists came yesterday. I saw what Mike can still do... It's up to me to encourage him to do the exercises on their days off. I find I am a real slave driver :/ Mike is worn out today from our 2 workouts... We still have one to go. I have learned way to much watching PTs. Mike thinks I am going to let him off easy... We ARE going to push forward and do as much as possible.

We sat on the side of his bed today and I made him hold hands with me and squeeze as hard as he could. He is gaining strength again and I didn't mind holding his hand. He is now staying up in his chair for 2 1/2 to 3 hr. stretches. If we can get him to transfer to a car we will be on the road again soon!

It helps our attitudes so much when the sun shines. Today has been such a gorgeous day. It renews our spirits when we can feel the warmth of the sun. Grandma sent a flannel quilt a few weeks ago. Mike is so warm and comfy under it. It looks so much better than those sterile white blankets at the hospital :)

We decided today that we should call at least 3 people to help brighten their day. It's hard not to look totally inward in times like this. Mike still has one phone call to make. If you got a call, I hope it helped :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Good day...

We have had a very good day today. Mike has been up 3 times and even did a bit of physical therapy today. We are trying to wear him out a bit so he will sleep well tonight.

We are not accustomed to "baby steps" so this last week has been a bit of a struggle. We are making our way and figuring out a routine. If anyone wants to call Mike during the day, I will turn his phone on. Usually after 10 is a good time.

He needs to start communicating with folks again. He is getting bored with me...(Don't know why :) Thanks again to everyone for their extreme kindness and love. We are going to make it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

After feeling totally frazzled yesterday, the sun came out this morning. Some much needed help arrived this morning! Mike has not felt well at all today. He is in a lot of pain from the blood clots. After several calls to home health nurses, and the doctor, we got some much needed relief.

I can't begin to express my undying love for friends and family who have stepped in to help when I have reached my limit. I was not sure until last night I understood what my limit was. I now know I can't do it all.

Monday, October 5, 2009

After a long tiring day... I was helping Mike with a bath and then getting ready to put his blankets on for the night... I inadvertantly scratched the bottom of his left foot and his toes wiggled!! He was able to wiggle them several more times. I have noticed that he is feeling things in his left leg, usually pain, but feeling just the same. The edema from the blood clots is gone. Maybe things are going uphill for a change??

Thanks to whoever sent me flowers today and signed Mike's name. I know Mike would have sent them if he could :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday

We felt great comfort from the messages from our church's General Conference today. Thanks for the phone calls, meal, and visits. We are working on keeping our spirits up... Things always look brighter in the morning :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Giant steps...

Mike had a few rough days after returning home. This morning, however, he was able to get up into his chair, tool around the house for a while and then make the transfer back to bed without much effort. He is still strong. We are grateful for the progress he made in physical therapy and pray that as a therapist comes into our home, he can regain even more strength.

We are grateful today for a quiet day. We will watch the General Conference of our church which is broadcast on the TV (for those who have the BYU channel.)

Cinnamon rolls re being made as we speak... If you want one, come on over, else Mike and I will eat all of them! Hope all of you have a wonderful day.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Home again...

Our trip home wasn't as we expected yesterday, but we are home nonetheless. Mike slept very well last night. His morning meds have been administered (including one shot) and he seems to feel comfortable with his new bed and surroundings. Tyler and Andy spent the day with me yesterday and Ty spent the night. It was nice to have him here. Andy is coming tonight. There are a few others who will take a turn. For a while I feel much more comfortable not being alone. There is a home nurse coming soon. We will have physical therapy at home for a time.

My day has been so odd... This is the first day since the last part of August that I have been home and didn't have to drive to the hospital! It is wonderful :)

Thanks for your continued concern, love and prayers in our behalf.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A friend of mine posted this quote on Facebook the other day. She is going through a difficult time in her life as well... I hope she doesn't mind if I use it today...

"God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges we face... On occasion we may feel distanced from God, shut out of Heaven, lost, alone in dark dreary places...but even then the Father of us all is waiting and assisting. And always there are those angels who come and go all around us, seen and unseen, known and unknown, mortal and immortal."

I have felt Heavenly Father's influence in my life today. Angels have been all around today. Thank you.

It looks like Mike's hospital stay is about to end again. We are not completely sure of the day, but hopefully sometime before the week end.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Great day. Better food. Into a chair twice. Good sleep. Good night!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wonderful friends...

Today we said good bye to some of our wonderful friends who have been here to visit with Mike and I. They brought with them such an amazing peace and comfort. At some point I will write about their thoughtful gifts.

Mike had another day of sleep, visits from friends and family, hospital food that didn't agree with him, and getting back into a chair. We look forward to another week and hope that this is the week when Mike will return home.

A Calm, Peaceful Day

We had a good day today. Mike made great progress. The pain from the DVT is becoming more managable. Mike ate lunch from a chair rather than his bed. What a blessing it was for him to sit in a chair for a few hours.

So many wonderful people stopped by to see Mike this afternoon and evening. Thank you for brightening his day with your visits. We welcome visitors if the door is open. Mike may be sleeping and I may not be there... Hopefully you can judge if the time to visit is right.

Today I have been deeply touched by the gifts of some dear friends and family. Your time, talent, and sacrifice is so humbling. I will cherish the warmth and the beauty of these gifts and your love forever.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another day at the hospital... Some ups, some downs. Mike is a trooper... The chemo went well. His leg pain is a bit less now that he has some fancy hose to wear :) My bed is calling...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

the "meeting" went well

The doctors were all so kind to listen as I ran a "board meeting" this a.m. We are so very grateful for their expertise and knowledge. We are all on the same page now and are moving forward with much more confidence. We decided that right now we are going to concentrate on chemotherapy. Since Mike seems to have no active malignancy right now, the chemo can begin in earnest. It will be administered 5 days out of every month. It is a pill rather than an infusion. Mike tolerated it well at a lesser dosage and from all indications will tolerate the stronger dose.

We discussed Mike's homecoming and decided to wait until at least Saturday so the chemo can start in the hospital.

After our meeting Mike complained of some very intense right leg pain. After another dopplar this afternoon another clot was found. Blood thinners will begin again tomorrow.

We know our courage comes from above. We are relying on the strength and faith of each of you. Thank you again for your prayers and good thoughts in our behalf. I feel as though we are fighting a good battle. We are even becoming good strategists! The battle isn't over. Our children have been such magnificant support to us. They are wonderful adults. We have so much love and admiration for each of them.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Priorities

Today Mike and I decided we need to make priorities concerning his care. We have several doctors who are working to make Mike's body better. However, it seems that there isn't a real connection between them and us right now. After being empowered by my therapist this morning,:) I decided to take charge of Mike's care. I have requested a "family meeting" with Mike's doctors tomorrow morning. We must all get on the same page so we can do what's best for Mike and get him home and functioning well. My boys will be there to ask questions and listen with me to answers.

I lost my confidence on Sunday when Mike had to return to the hospital. We are now planning on moving forward with some home help. We are renewed in our determination to press forward. I will write more after our meeting...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Today was a much calmer day for us. Mike feels well today. He has rested a lot and we feel much safer knowing he is being well taken care of on the oncology floor. The doctors are monitoring his situation very closely and assure us that he won't be sent home until we are ALL ready.

We have a hospital bed coming when Mike does return home. We have some more furniture arranging to do, but we know Mike will feel more comfortable and safer with hand rails and the ability to raise and lower his head, etc.

I felt like I couldn't move forward yesterday... Today we have been blessed with rain and sunshine and an abundance of love from friends, family and a kind wise Heavenly Father.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

ER Visit

We struggled this morning with Mike having a couple of seizures. He is back in the hospital... I am too tired to write more.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The homecoming

We got Mike home today around 2:30...We both cried when we pulled into the driveway and saw the huge "Welcome Home Mike" poster on our front window... Thanks Nan! We realize we have quite a bit of adjusting to do... We had a system in the hospital but now have to develop a new one. I am sure in a few days we will have the routine in place. Until then, if we could limit visits and phone calls it would be great. I am thinking by tomorrow night, we may have a shower taken and medicines given :)

We will start out patient therapy sometime next week. We have a doctor's visit scheduled as well for the beginning of the week. Please pray for us to be able to manage well very soon.

The cookies didn't get baked today, but I did get breakfast ready for tomorrow... Tonight Mike will have to eat an ice cream bar :)

Again, thanks to everyone for your prayers and support. This was a monumental day. We didn't ever dream Mike would be in this situation. He is working hard and so are our kids and I to help make this transition to home move along smoothly. We have hard work ahead of us... Hopefully after a good night's sleep we will be ready to face things head on! Good night to all and may our Heavenly Father's richest blessings be poured out upon all of you.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Last minute instruction...

Today has been a whirlwind... I got up later than I had planned. Rudy had a big surprise for me on the floor when I did get up :( (In Rudy's defense... He has NEVER done this before.) The contractors were here most of the morning. We have new grab bars, a new shower, a new toilet, a new chair that has had 4 inches added to the legs, a new cane, a new wheelchair... and who knows what else. I went with Mike to occupational therapy this morning where he took a shower by himself, dressed himself and then did another 45 minutes of physical therapy complete with walking, and exercising his legs and arms. We received a lot of last minute instruction for exercising etc. at home.

We are set up for numurous doctor's appointments and out patient therapy appointments. There is no rest for the weary!

We took cookie trays to the physical and occupational therapists and another to the nursing staff. Our friend (the baker of the cookies) even threw in an extra tray for the night shift in case all of the cookies were eaten by the day shift.

The house got cleaned today thanks to another dear friend of our family. I planted some bright yellow mums outside the front door this evening. I need to do some grocery shopping so I will be able to start cooking for Mike again. I don't think I have cooked for a month!

I don't think we could be more ready for Mike's homecoming. I am so amazed that he has perservered each and every day of these past 4 1/2 weeks. Without his determination and optimism there is no way this homecoming would be happening tomorrow. I am so anxious to just sit on my couch and look at Mike sitting in his new chair!!! We are truly blessed and will always remember to be grateful.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

An amazing day...

Today was such a great day! I was so nervous about Mike coming home and being able to maneuver through our house. I don't know what all the nerves were about... He handled everything like a pro. He liked the new (sturdy, not gushy) chair I bought yesterday. The therapist thought it should be a few inches higher... I guess my feet will dangle from it, but it will be the right heighth for Mike. Our contractor friends are going to fix it tomorrow. He walked into the bedroom and was able to negotiate getting into and out of bed. He then walked into the bathroom and was able to sit on the new shower seat and swing his legs over the tub. He walked back out into the dining room and we all had lunch! The bottom line here is that we passed with flying colors :)

Don't anyone think that I am wonder woman and pulled a great lunch together. My good friend who caters helped out with the main dish and great fruit salad and cookies. I steamed rice and cooked some broccoli in the microwave :) It was so good to just see Mike walk through the door, that I don't think I will ever take that for granted again.

Tomorrow we have planned a little party for the caregivers on the 4th floor. It happens around noon... Mike and I are both excited to give something back to them.

This has been such a trying stay in the hospital. Mike has worked so hard and we are so ready for him to be home! We have almost made it...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Home visit

Mike and his therapist will be coming to our house tomorrow for a bit of instruction on getting around safely in our home. We are gathering the necessary equipment and hope to be ready for the big homecoming on Saturday. Today Andy and I moved furniture, took up rugs and rearranged some things. I hope we pass the test.

Here's a cute "Mikeism "... Today I walked into his therapy session and he said: "Hi honey tomorrow we are having guests for lunch." I said: "That will be great... how many?" Seems he wants the therapists, and the contractors to eat lunch with him at our house. It will be delightful :) I can't wait!

We have been so blessed with amazing caregivers over the past month. We have come to know them like family. They do their jobs with such excellence! We hope we can thank them adequately.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm back...

The last few days have been rough ones for us. Mike has been sick with a sore throat since Saturday. By Monday he really didn't feel well, but of course he tried to push as hard as ever in therapy. He developed a bit of a headache and of course we all worried. Our oncologist was called and immediately ordered a CT scan. The scan showed the beginnings of a little bleed due to the blood thinner Mike started taking because of the blood clot in his leg. (Did I mention before that Mike had developed a blood clot behind his left knee?) The blood thinner had to be stopped immediately. Today Mike was in the cardiac cath lab for about 2 hours getting a filter put into the main vessel in his torso... If the blood clot from his leg ever moves, it will be caught by the filter before it can go into his heart or lungs. Isn't modern medicine amazing? Mike slept for quite a while this afternoon as the drugs from the procedure wore off. He was up and ready for dinner this evening. We had to skip therapy today, but will be back at it tomorrow. We both feel as though we have a big test to pass before they will let Mike go home... Tomorrow, and Thursday will be our big "cram" days.

We are all so very tired from all that has happened in the last four weeks. I am sorry if I don't get all of you called back... Tonight I am going to sleep... NO MATTER WHAT!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday

Mike woke up not feeling very well today. He napped during the afternoon and felt much better this evening. I hope he sleeps well tonight.

There is a lot to do this week. Mike has to fine tune everything he has learned thus far so he can get around well at home. We can't wait for his homecoming on Saturday. He will work hard this week so it can all take place as scheduled. We look forward to continued out-patient therapy. Tonight as I rubbed lotion on his legs and feet, he felt it on his left side!!!

We are so grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who has guided us through yet another challenge. We aren't all the way through it, but we know we will be able to do it.

Thanks to the visitors today. Mike needed to see you. You buoyed him up so much!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Date night

Mike had a good day... We sat outside for quite a while this afternoon. He has been cold inside the hospital so the warm sun felt good to him. Andy joined us for most of our outing.

I made dinner for Mike tonight. I even took a table cloth for us :) Mike has not complained about the hospital food at all, but I know salmon and asparagus tasted good to him tonight... We had a nice visit.

We reminded each other that this time next week we will be eating at our own dining table together!

This hospital stay has been long and tiring on both of us. But, we are about to start yet another challenge... that of Mike managing at home. I know he will accomplish a lot this week in therapy. He and his physical therapist are coming to our home on Wednesday to see how well things work. We are making adjustments to our bathroom to accomodate Mike more safely. I am anxious to see if we need to make any other changes.

Again, we are so grateful to have wonderful people who care for us, pray for us and support us in so many ways. Thanks to all of you we are making it!

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 update...

Seems Mike and I were a bit reflective today. We enjoyed talking about Hannah's birth 26 yrs. ago. We are so grateful for her pure spirit. We rejoice with her today as she attends the temple in Albuquerque.

Mike and I also reflected upon Hannah's 18th birthday. Her friends all gathered for a party but instead we sat and watched the television to get all of the information we could about the terrorist attack. We will never forget the great sacrifices of so many in that single event.

Mike's therapy went well. We recognize that he has a few more "tricks" to learn before he feels secure enough to come home. I have never seen a man work harder or be more grateful for small steps.

Tomorrow night we decided that we would have a date night. I am going to fix one of Mike's favorite dinners and take it up to the hospital and we are going to dine together. I look forward to cooking and eating with Mike. Three weeks in the hospital thus far... another week to go!

Mike should be finished with therapy by noon tomorrow if anyone wants to visit. On Sunday he will have no therapy so the day is wide open. I am sure he would appreciate seeing friends...

Another little hurdle

For the last few days I noticed that Mike's left ankle and foot werea bit swollen. I mentioned it to the many doctors who come to visit Mike. None seemed too concerned. Last night the medical oncologist came to visit and I mentioned it to him. He felt concerned enough to order a dopplar. It turns out Mike has a blood clot behind his left knee. He started on blood thinner today. The clot was found early enough that it is still soft and there is no occlusion. We count this as another tender mercy that I felt strongly about being persistent with something that I didn't feel was quite right.

Mike seemed discouraged today. He was so afraid with the clot he would have to stay down and lose all of his momentum... This is not the case. He had therapy today as usual. My prayer tonight is that tomorrow things will look brighter for Mike and he will continue to improve.

I guess it is after midnight here... so it is officially Hannah's birthday. We are so grateful for her and the bright spot she is in our lives. Her 3 week visit brought us out of a slump and we are so appreciative of that and everything else she does for us and others. Happy Birthday to Hannah...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

another day, more progress

Mike's progress continues. He is working amazingly hard and doing extremely well. We will have a home visit by the therapist to see what kinds of changes we will need to make in our home to make it more accommodating for Mike's safety. Luckily, Mike is pretty much an expert on making things handicap assessable. We don't have to worry about a wheel chair... Mike told the doctor today that he is WALKING OUT THE HOSPITAL DOOR and coming home with ONLY a cane. I am going to hold him to it...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

more and more walking

Mike is walking more and more. He is now able to walk to the bathroom (with assistance) for his shower in the evenings. He continues to work hard in therapy. Today he balanced himself on his own two feet for five minutes at a time. His left sided movements are starting to come naturally without him thinking and concentrating on evey move. He is definitely on the fast track out of there!

Tomorrow evening 4 of the rehab patients are going to go to Red Lobster for dinner. Mike was among those chosen. I will join him and his friends. It will be delightful for him to leave the hospital for a time. Those who were planning on visiting tomorrow evening will have to wait until another day.

I continue to be amazed at Mike's progress. Thinking back to a week ago when he could barely move is hard to even imagine now. These daily miracles are only happening because your faith and prayers. We will be forever grateful.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

Today was truly a day for Mike to labor...He started walking with a cane today! I went to his afternoon therapy session with him. I hadn't seen him walk for several days. He is doing marvelously! He still has quite a ways to go before his release date, but he is doing it. It is such hard work. It is great for us to see progress every day. Will and Maggie and their parents came for a visit today and it was so good for Mike to see them. We are so appreciative of family. Our children have been so solid throughout this ordeal. What fine adults they are!

Mike's brother, Rick, was taken off the ventilator today. He was able to speak and had no recollection of having a heart attack. We are so relieved that he is progressing so well. We believe in the power of prayer.

Tomorrow will be another day of labor...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Good Sunday news!

Mike's surgeon popped in today for a visit. He has been at a conference for the past week. He was so encouraging... The pathology thus far indicates all of the biopsies were necrosis, rather than malignancy. We feel so blessed and feel we have received an answer to the many prayers that have been offered in our behalf. Thanks to all of you for your continued faith...

Mike's staples came out this afternoon. Tonight's shower will include his head :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Exercises

Mike only had a 1/2 hr. of therapy this morning. He was worried that he would lose all of the muscle tone that he has built this past week so he did exercises on his own all day. He stayed in his chair all day... No naps! We spent some time outside in the beautiful sunshine, visited a friend who had a beautiful new baby, and watched some college football...

Tonight was Mike's first shower in a week and a half. He said it felt glorious. I have been giving him good sponge baths every night, but there is nothing like a shower!!! He smells so good and feels so fresh and ready to sleep.

He would love to see visitors tomorrow after lunch. He has no therapy at all tomorrow. We look forward to the staples coming out at the beginning of next week. Showers next week should be even lovlier :)

Mike's brother is showing signs of improvement. We are so pleased with this great news. He is still on a ventilator, but is getting stronger after the surgery. Thank you all for your prayers in his support. This has truly been a trying week for our family.

We feel such gratitude for each beautiful day. We had great conversations today. It was wonderful. Our prayer tonight is that all of us have a good day tomorrow as we rest from our labors.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The end of a hard week...

Mike's brother had surgery today. He is still not out of the woods, but we are so grateful that he made it through his surgery...

Mike has completed a very hard week. He has made such progress in therapy. He is doing things that I didn't think were possible a week ago. He is so positive and determined. I didn't realize how much I love these qualities in him. He WILL walk out of the hospital!

The week has been grueling. We are both very tired. Mike's mom needs prayers and support. She needs to see her sons on their feet again. Thanks to every one for their continued support. We pray for a restful, peaceful week end for everyone.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

steps

In this afternoon's therapy session, Mike went up steps, turned around and came back down. Every day we are amazed at Mike's progress. He continues to strengthen those around him. He encourages the other patients and speaks words of gratitude to those who assist him. We feel as though Mike's caregivers are our dear friends. Mike has had faith promoting talks with most of them.

Mike's brother, Rick remains in very critical condition. He has not had the bypass surgery yet. His condition must stablize before that surgery takes place. We ask for prayers in his behalf.

If I could be so bold to ask that you PLEASE not visit Mike until after 6 rather than during his therapy sessions. Mike's time with the therapists is so very important to his progress and he really cannot stop to talk to visitors. Mike will be more than happy to tell you about his progress when he has been able to rest. If you want to visit during his dinner hour, that is fine too. You will find him in the common dining room.

Thank you all so much for your support. Wendy brought such a lovely dinner last night. We were able to eat together with Mike's mom and sister who needed our support. I will be forever grateful to you for your love and encouragement.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Balance

This morning we got word that Mike's brother had a heart attack and will require bypass surgery. Our thoughts and prayers are centered around Rick and his family right now. We have faith in our Heavenly Father's plan. We are not given more to bear than we can. Sometimes we need to stop and remind ourselves of that.

Mike just called and said he is up to walking 300 feet without stopping! I was just reminded that he actually walked the length of a football field... Mike has found his balance (literally and figuratively.) That is always where he starts. I think some of us search for a long time to find balance. I am so extraordinarily grateful for his balance. I think by Saturday he may be juggling while he walks!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What a great day!

Today Mike met Saturday's goal of walking 150 feet! He is also using his hand with much, much more control. His muscles and his brain are working hard. We are so impressed with the physical and occupational therapists. They are so very kind and patient. I did get Mike moved to a private room today... It feels like the Hilton! It is nice to have privacy and I know it will help with sleeping tonight. Mike was trying to take care of his room mate... He was giving him motivational talks, etc. Mike has had lots of visitors and we also wanted to make sure his roomie had the privacy he deserved. Thank you to all of you who have visited and sent cards and flowers. It means so much to both of us that so many are thinking of us. Mike is determined to make everyone proud... He is working his tail off and says this is the HARDEST work he has ever done... I love him so much.

Monday, August 31, 2009

walking...

Hannah and I went to Mike's rehab session this morning. Mike walked about 30 feet with a right sided walker. It was glorious to see. He can get up out of his chair with just a bit of assistance now. He was so very tired after this morning's therapy that we left him to sleep until lunchtime. He has so much spirit and drive. The therapist said the goal was to get Mike home only using a cane... What an amazing journey this has been. Thanks to all of you who visited yesterday. Mike had a great day eating and sharing Bonnie's delicious cookies, visiting with friends and family, and going on a "field trip" with Hannah and I last night. We thought it might be nice to get him out and about... We now know parts of the hospital that we didn't know existed a week ago! Your concern and prayers continue to buoy us up.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

busy, busy, busy

Sorry for no post yesterday... We seem to be catching ourselves coming and going. The move to the rehab floor has been amazing. We are so appreciative of the the training of the physical therapists and the nurses there. Mike has learned a lot of "new tricks." This left sided paralysis is a huge challenge, but Mike has made great strides. He is now able to sit up by himself from a lying down position and stand vertical with a bit of help. On the former floor, it took 4 people to get him up out of bed. He can easily do it now with one assistant. He is walking between the parallel bars and is doing much better with coordination. Last night as Hannah and I rubbed his left leg and foot, he felt the pins and needle sensation. If I could have done a back flip I would have... a small cheer (no pom poms) was done however :)

Tyler is visiting with Mike now and I will go after lunch. If anyone would like to make a short visit today, Mike would love to see you. I don't think he has any therapy this afternoon. We plan on having a great day and hope you will do the same.

Friday, August 28, 2009

One Step Closer to the Door

Dad moved to the rehabilitation floor late this evening. It looks like they are going to keep him pretty busy. His schedule will consist of getting dressed in the morning, eating his meals on his own in the dinning room with everyone else, 1.5 hours of rehab in the morning, and another 1.5 hours in the afternoon, shower time, and back to bed. For those of you who would like to visit the time to do so is very limited. He will have some time between 6 and 8. He is sharing a room at the moment so the number of people that can come at once should be 2 at the most and visits need to be limited to 10 minutes. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

Hannah

Up on his feet...

The progress is going to be slow with the rehabilitation of Mike's left side. Seeing him work so hard in his therapy today was heartbreaking for me, but the therapists are pleased with the progress. It was wonderful having my kids with me today. They surely take away some of the burden. During therapy, Mike did get vertical between the parallel bars. The kids are with him at the hospital now and I opted to take a rest. He is being transferred to 4 East tonight sometime. We have loved the oncology floor. The nursing care there is outstanding! We will see progress each day... I just know it. Thanks to those who visited today. Mike will be having at least 3 hours of therapy a day from now on. Anyone wanting to visit might try calling my cell phone or Mike's room phone to make sure he or I will be there.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Progress

We all had a long day today, but great progress was made. Mike is the favorite of the physical therapists! He is working so hard to get his left side functional again. He did regain some sensation in his left leg today. He also was able to use his left hand in gripping things. He was very, very tired after the session and slept a good while. When he woke up for dinner he told us that the sleep felt so amazingly great. He ate well and was back asleep in a very short time. We are hoping he can be moved to the rehab unit tomorrow. Mike is ready to get to work! We feel so blessed that we could see progress today. We are taking baby steps right now and are so very grateful for small miracles.
Mike had a rather restless night. He was very sad to hear the news of Senator Kennedy... The doctors have been in this morning and were delighted to see that he has been working with his left arm and leg and already has more mobility. They are going to try giving him more medication tonight that will relax him and allow him to sleep. He is anxious for the physical therapists to work with him today. He was moved to the oncology floor last evening, but will probably move again tomorrow to the rehab unit. We are doing well. Our dinner last night was delightful... thanks so much K for the service. We appreciate all that everyone is doing for us. We have the best friends and family on earth.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The morning after...

Hannah and I just returned from the hospital after a morning visit. Mike was sleeping soundly when we left. He is doing very well considering all of the probing they did in his brain. All of the radiation necrosis was removed. What was thought to be tumor, was actually necrosis, which is very good news! He does have some considerable left sided weakness as a result of the surgery which will require some physical therapy. They will start the therapy today. Right now there are no rooms available in the oncology unit, so he will wait for a time in the ICU. We feel that the oncology unit is the best place for him right now... We hear the nurses there are STELLAR! Mike is anxious to get the therapy started. He is already doing what he can to lift his left leg and move his right hand and arm. He is happy and alert and has certainly not lost any thinking functions! The hospital stay will probably be a bit longer this time because of the therapy.

We are so grateful to a loving Father in Heaven who has again watched over us and blessed us during this time. We have new determination to do what has to be done. "Thank you" surely isn't adequate for the gratitude we feel to all of you for your prayers and support. We will continue to make this a positive journey...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Quick Update

Dad had his surgery this morning. It went well. He got into surgery a little late but everything else went according to plan. They were able to remove what they intended to remove and get a look at what was left. Dad was awake and alert after surgery and is spending the night in the ICU. He is experiencing far less pain than last time, which is a relief to us all.

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers today. It has been a long day of waiting for us all.

Hannah

Tuesday Is Here

This morning I am up early to get a few things done before surgery and being isolated for a few days at the hospital. I slept well and feel good. We are ready for this next step in the journey. We completely trust the Lord and His plan. We appreciate your love and great support.

Your friendship, close association with us, and our wonderful experiences together are the richness which brings great joy to our lives. I love you and express my gratitude for all that your do which is good in the world. We must all continue to develop our faith and love of Jesus Christ, my personal Savior and the Savior of the World. with great LOVE, MIKE

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ready for tomorrow...

We are getting ready for the day tomorrow. We have great hope that this surgery will be Mike's last for a while. He is feeling well today. We are fixing a big dinner since Mike won't be able to eat after midnight tonight. Tyler, Kim and the grand babies are coming over this evening. Andy and Hannah will be here too. Mike will get a special blessing tonight at the hands of Tyler and our home teacher... We know our Heavenly Father is aware of us and is guiding us through this time. Thank you in advance for your prayers in our behalf. Someone will post tomorrow when the surgery is over and Mike is resting comfortably.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sabbath Schedule

We love Sundays with the opportunity to worship the Savior, Jesus Christ, with so many of our friends. We will have a good lunch and an opportunity to visit with family today. Nancy's mother lost her last surviving sibling on Friday, so we'll try to provide some support there today.

There was a lot accomplished this past week and we will be busy tomorrow preparing for my surgery on Tusday morning and hospitalization this week. We appreciate your continued faith and prayers. We assure you that we are confident in the medical recommendations and have complete faith in our Heavenly Father's plan.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Accomplishments...

Today we got our guest bedroom painted. We have been going to remove the wallpaper and paint since we moved here, but were so tired of removing wallpaper at the time of the renovation, that we left that room. It feels so good to have it done! Mike also was able to fix our coat rack in the garage and get some mission stuff done. We feel good about the day.

Mike still hasn't felt the big fatigue that we were told would happen after the big radiation. He is just an amazing man. I stand in awe at what he can accomplish with all that is going on in his head! I gave that beautiful bald head another little haircut today. I love using electric clippers. I am not sure why everyone doesn't have bald heads... so easy!

We have a few more things to accomplish before tomorrow. We must get to it...

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Today has been such a lovely day. We were able to open up the house and let the cool breeze blow through it. Mike was able to work a few hours this morning and a few this afternoon. He also tells me that he has some work to do tomorrow! Sounds like Mike's old schedule :)

We had some sad news today. My uncle passed away earlier today. He was my mother's only living sibling. Our hearts go out to his family. We know he is now in a place where his body doesn't hurt and he is seeing loved ones who have been waiting for him for a long time.

We have had some amazing friends in our home today and they have helped remove wallpaper from our guest bedroom. I am going to be busy with my paint brush tomorrow. We will have a new bed delivered this coming week for our room and put our bed in the guest room. Sounds like we are getting ready for visitors! It is so wonderful to be accomplishing some projects. It helps to have an interior designer in the house at the present time!

We again thank our Heavenly Father for wonderful friends and family. Please pray with us for the family of my uncle that all of us will feel the peace that passeth all understanding.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

All Smiles

Dad strutted out of his treatment this afternoon with a big smile on his face and plenty of energy. There is perhaps no better sight then seeing him walk out of there with such a spring in his step and grin on his face. He was so full of energy that he and my mom walked home from the cancer center. Once they got home he walked on down to his mom's house. Dad is feeling good. We are feeling optimistic.

Ready for Thursday

We began preparations for Thusday's extreme radiation treatment last evening with increases in steroid dosages. This steroid is precautionary for the heavy radiation dose which will be administered this afternoon to control swelling. They do build up in the system, but last evening was unexpectedly restful until after the 3:00 am dose when the mind said it was getting up. We will work on some more rest today and preparation for the treatment.

We are full of great faith and optomism that this will allow a very positive outcome next week during the surgery to remove some that wouldn't have been possible without it. We do know that God is directing our medical professionals towards this path and we pray for them daily. They are absolutely wonderful and being directed for our good.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A change in plans

We visited the doc again this morning... After the last MRI, which was done for mapping the radiation therapy, (Thursday) it looks like what may have been a tumor is radiation necrosis (dead tissue.) We have a surgery scheduled on Tuesday to remove that necrosis. Mike will still have radiation of the larger, inoperable tumor either tomorrow or Thursday. There is the hope that the tumor, once radiated will shrink and detach itself and be removable at the time of the Tuesday surgery. We feel that this is good news and a very proactive step in our journey.

We would appreciate your prayers to to help get us through these next several days. Hannah is staying for a bit longer... What would we do without wonderful children?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The week ahead

We have had a very quiet day. We went to church where great lessons were taught. Mike slept for quite a while this afternoon and is now up and working at his computer. Hannah and I both got a few winks this afternoon and are both feeling refreshed.

We don't know exactly what the new week will bring, but we do know we are pushing onward with faith. The radiation will be sometime at the beginning of the week. We will post more about that when we know more.

Hope everyone has a great week. Let's make the most of every moment!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Last night's gathering was so much fun. Thanks to Hannah for doing most of the cooking. We are grateful for friends and other family members who helped out.

We adore Andy's friends and know why he is so fond of each of them. It was so great to have people in our home after 3 mos. of not entertaining.

Tyler and his family came a bit early, so Poppy and Will had some private time to watch a few videos. What amazing therapy for Mike the grandbabies are.

We consider all of you our great friends and consider ourselves the most fortunate people in the world to be surrounded by such wonderful people.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Andy…On Friendship

“You can tell a great deal about a man by the company he keeps.” This proverb may be somewhat clich├ęd, but it certainly contains a good measure of truth. Mom and Dad have asked to meet several of my friends this evening. I wish it were feasible to flood their home with 100+ guests. I think they would like to place some faces with the many names I speak of regularly. I believe they also see an opportunity to learn a little something about me through the company that I keep (I hope they don’t learn too much!).

I make friends rather easily. Judging from experience and the many comments on this blog, this is a trait I have inherited from my parents. I am extremely grateful for this inheritance. There is little that is more significant in our lives than shared experiences with friends and family. I have come to realize that it is easy, natural even, to be someone’s “Good Time Buddy”. I have had the pleasure of knowing many who are well schooled in the art of having a good time. We all seek out persons who help us enjoy our time here, and those friendships and acquaintances are to be appreciated and cherished. There are those, however, that are there when you really need them. Sometimes, without even being aware, they are lifting your spirits when you are down. This is the “Tough Time Crew”. As was written above, I wish the whole crew could be with us tonight. You’ll be there in spirit and in our thoughts and hearts…just as you always are.

AE

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The fitting

Mike had another MRI this morning and then went to the radiation oncology unit to have another mask made to fit not only his head, but his shoulders. We had a bit of an anxious night as we anticipated today's procedures. Mike is such a trooper. He just does what has to be done. Today it was so wonderful to see him emerge through the doors into the waiting area of the cancer center. He looked so great in his bright red shirt with his smile that went all the way around and buttoned in back! It was obvious he was happy that things were finished for today.

We were able to visit and compare notes with our friends who are going through similar trials. We all agreed that we are in the fight together. We pray for each other.

Mike is planning on an afternoon of work. We are so grateful today's procedures are over. We are continually amazed at the way our lives are being blessed every with step. Thanks for your prayers in our behalf.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rainbows...

In Albuquerque there is almost always a rainbow when it rains. It rained here last night and I caught myself looking to the east for a rainbow against the mountains. There wasn't a rainbow (or mountains for that matter). I think for the last few week's it has been raining at my parents house and they haven't had the sunshine to see the rainbows. Yesterday after dad's surgery the rainbows came back (perhaps there is some sort of reflection off of the gold beads). We had a good afternoon yesterday, and have had a good morning this morning.

Dad went to work this morning after eating organic cinnamon rolls, which are so good he didn't even miss not having frosting. Mom and I got up, ate cinnamon rolls, and walked down to Nana's for banana bread and a good visit.

The kind gestures of family and friends over the past few days have brought the rainbows back to my parents house. We again have things to look forward to doing, and are again ready to combat rainy days with sunshine. Thank you for all of your sunshine... Keep it coming.

Hannah

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Gold Beads...

Mike is home and ready to eat after not having food since last night. A bison burger is on the way. The procedure went very quickly and smoothly this a.m. We left the hospital with Mike walking to the car. Today's difficulty will be trying to keep Mike from working :)

After speaking with the radiation oncologist this morning, we know the radiation treatment is definitely the direction we need to take at this point. The doctors are very hopeful that this treatment will shrink the tumors and Mike will be back in the saddle very soon after the radiation. On Thursday he will have an MRI with a physicist present and Mike will then be fitted for another mask (this one will cover his head and shoulders.) The exacting of the treatment will be figured out and then the actual radiation will take place at the beginning of next week.

Yesterday Mike received a "prayer shawl" which was specifically made for him. It is beautiful and a beautiful sentiment. The note with the shawl said "Shawls...made for centuries universal and embracing, symbolic of an inclusivee, unconditionally loving, God. They wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace, mother, hug, shelter and beautify. Those who have received these shawls have been uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to fly above their troubles..." It is with extreme gratitude that we accept this gift.

We also were participant in a healing meditation with some good friends yesterday. our positive energy was directed at Mike. We were deeply touched by the sentiment of our friends who initiated this exercise with us.

Our optimism is in place. Again you have lifted our arms when they have hung low. We are walking by faith at this point. We will face the next hurdle when it comes. God is good. Thank you for your prayers and concerns.

This morning I read these words to the hymn, "Master the Tempest is Raging"...
Master the tempest is raging! The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o-er shadowed with blackness. No shelter or help is nigh.
Carest thou not that we perish? How canst thou lie asleep?
When each moment so madly is threatning A grave in the angry deep?
Master, with anguish of spirit, I bow in my grief today.
The depths of my sad heart are troubled. Oh, waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish sweep o'er my sinking soul,
And I perish, I perish, dear Master. Oh, hasten and take control!
Master, the torrent is over. The elements sweetly rest.
Earth's sun in the calm lake is mirrored, and heaven's with in my breast.
Linger, O blessed Redeemer Leave me alone no more,
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor and rest on the peaceful shore.

The winds and the waves shall obey thy will: PEACE BE STILL.
Whether the wrath of the storm tossed sea, or demons or men or whatever it be, No waters can swallow the ship where lies The Master of ocean and earth and sky. They all shall sweetly obey thy will: PEACE BE STILL, peace be still. They all shall sweetly obey thy will, PEACE, PEACE BE STILL.

We are being peacefully still, trusting in the will of our Heavenly Father.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

We are ready to fight!

We are starting a new week. The troops are rallying. (Hannah is traveling from the airport as I write.) We are ready for the little surgery Mike will have on Tuesday and we are ready to radiate those tumors with all we can give them! Mike has a lot to do... and by radiating the tumors he is going to get things done!

Our good friends from Florida stopped by today and will stop by again tomorrow. It was wonderful seeing them and sharing experiences. Mike went to a meeting tonight but wants to be texted when Hannah arrives so he can come home. I even made chocolate chip cookies today... That's a first in 3 months!

We hope you will rally with us this week and pray for a great outcome from this treatment. Your prayers have strengthened us beyond imagination. We are not finished...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

We are home from a trip to the lake with some of our friends. It was good to be away from home for a day and night... Mike got to see beautiful Camp Crosley from the water as we boated around the lake. He was pleased to see the new deck which had been built there. We have such great memories of Camp Crosley. From the water we couldn't see the day lillies or the hostas that we helped plant last year, but I am sure they are lovely this year.

Mike slept almost the entire way home this evening. It was nice for me to drive and think with him at my side snoring ever so slightly. We are both tired from the trip, but look forward to the Sabbath day tomorrow. Know of our deep and abiding love for all of you.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mike spoke in his Rotary Meeting this morning and did a very nice job. He told his cancer story along with speaking about some Rotary projects which he has a passion for in Africa and Mexico. The talk was about adversity.

We hope for a bit of a reprieve from stress and worry this week end. We are all doing well. Hannah is coming home on Sunday. We are looking forward to spending time with her.

Again, the outpouring of your love and support is very humbling and overwhelming. I am thinking there are some thank you notes that I have not sent out... Do you all know how grateful we are for your amazing help and support? I sure hope so. God bless each of you.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

We met with the doctor this a.m. We have decided to go ahead with the radiation treatment. Mike will have an outpatient type surgery on Tuesday to have some gold markers placed in his skull. He should be out of the hospital after a few hours of observation. Probably within the week he will recieve a dose of radiation that will be 25x the amount of radiation he had in one treatment. That radiation will specifically target the two tumors. The radiation is a one shot deal. The side effects of this are minimal compared to another radical surgery. Surgery in fact is not an option since both tumors cannot be taken out. We are hopeful that this treatment will help Mike's well being. Mike and I both need a good night's sleep tonight and everything will look better in the morning.

A Rough NIght, but a new day

Last night was a bit rough. I guess just knowing that there are new "spots" in my brain made my head ache and i had trouble laying down. I took Tylenol through the night, but it didn't help me rest much. Nancy was also up and down a lot last night and didn't rest. We hope for some relief today and some rest. We will post after the doctor's appointment, and hope for a positive report as to the treatment options. One is not operable and will likely just be treated with radiation. We will continue to trust God's plan for us and we understand that we have more to learn from this experience. We will keep the faith and endure His path for us.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dear friends... The MRI results were not what we had hoped for. There are 2 more lesions inside Mike's brain that withstood the radiation and chemotherapy. I talked with the doctor today and he told me about some options... We will meet with him in the morning to determine what to do. I KNOW we are being cradled in God's arms. He knows what is best for our lives. Please pray that we will make the best decisions. Thank you all for your great love. The days ahead are going to be difficult, but with your strength coupled with ours we will be triumphant. Love to you all, Nancy
Just to let you all know, I called the doctor this morning and of course he was out, but I was told that he had reviewed Mike's test and would call me back this afternoon when he returns. Luckily, I had a friend here with me to give me the strength I needed to make the call. At least today we should know something. Thanks to everyone for your kind, sweet, generous thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I know many of you are anxious for a new post... Mike hasn't felt well for the last several days. We have heard nothing about the MRI... I am too nervous to call. I am going with "no news is good news." I have thought up all kinds of rationalizations as to why Mike is having headaches. The truth is, we just don't know. I hope I have hit my low point and am heading back up. Discouragement is a terrible thing. We have faith that a loving Heavenly Father knows us and knows our hearts and knows what we can handle. I posted earlier that we need to replace fear with faith. I'm trying. I don't see my counselor for another week... He is on vacation. YIKES! I have his number... Bob would call :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

This past week end was difficult for us. Mike continued to have headaches. He slept a lot and we both worried. This morning is bright and clear and we have new hope for the new week. We are anxious to hear from the doctor about the MRI results. We trust that we will be able to take the next step with faith.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

MRI complete & ready for the next step

The MRI was completed this afternoon. If you haven't had this experience, it can be a bit uncomfortable. You lay in a tube just the width of your shoulders with a guard over your head for about 20 minutes with a loud noise all around you. They do put some headphones on you to try to distract you from the tight space and loud noise. This is my 3rd one in the last 3 months, so I knew what to expect.

I don't know what to expect from the report next week, however. Though this is a precautionary MRI to see how I fared with the surgery recovery, radiation and chemo therapiess, one just never knows what is lingering up there. We are confident and trust in the Lord's plan for us. We will patiently wait for the results and take the next step in this journey, whatever it may be. We will faithfully pursue our life's mission and continue to make good decisions on eating, rest, and wellness. Our life is in the hands of the Master and we will follow what path is mapped for us.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Another MRI

The doctor decided this morning to schedule Mike for another MRI since he is having headaches. We will do that tomorrow. This could be another one of those long week ends! We have faith that the radiation did what it was supposed to do... We are so fortunate to have the doctors we have. And this too shall pass. Thanks for your continued prayers.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The dawning of a brighter day...

Today I am going to count my blessings... Thus far in this journey we have been at what seems the highest highs and the lowest lows. Today I am headed back up! As the song goes, "So amid the conflict, whether great or small, Do not be discouraged; God is over all. Count your many blessings angels will attend. Help and courage give you to your journey's end...Count your many blessings see what God has done."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's time to take a walk

Mike woke up with a headache this morning. It's interesting how he used to wake up with a headache, take some Tylenol and carry on. We are anxious to see the doctor on Friday. I feel certain that Mike is finally feeling some of the fatigue, etc. that goes along with 6 wks. of radiation and chemo and infection with massive doses of antibiotics.

Worry can certainly immobilize one. I have not accomplished much today. It's time to take a walk :) I expect to get a lot done this evening!

Addendum: (I am posting this at 9:00 p.m.) The walk helped. Mike's headache resolved. Thanks for the prayers in our behalf. They got answered today :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Freedom?

Mike got up, went to work, came home to eat lunch, took an hour nap and went back to the office. I thought quitting time might be before 5:00, but he still isn't home... I have cleaned and cleaned and cleaned today. I now have a huge phobia of germs. Our house smells like bleach... yuk. Seeing those docs everyday sure made me feel secure. I feel as though we have been set free and I don't know what to do with the freedom.

Thanks today for the phone calls, cards and messages. We are so blessed with good, good friends and family. Our journey has brought us so much closer to so many of you. It's wonderful!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Driving along in his automobile....

We spent a wonderful morning in a meeting with many of the missionaries who are serving in the Indiana, Indianapolis mission. We love their enthusiasm, humility, and strength. They teach us so much.

Mike drove today all the way to Fishers and back. It was obvious he was happy to be behind the wheel of his car driving on the interstate. We drove in silence for a while and when I asked him what he was thinking, he said, "I'm just thinking how great it feels to really drive!" It felt good riding with him as well.

I had one of those flash backs to the beginning of May. Who would have ever thought Mike would be doing so well 2 1/2 months later?. I asked Mike that question and he replied that HE THOUGHT he would be doing this well. I absolutely love his optimism and faith. He strengthens me every single day.

In this week when we thought we would be at the sea shore, we are grateful that we are home and close to the doctors who are still following the infection which Mike has been dealing with. Everything looks good... seems the medications are working. We know there was a reason for our staying home. Our children have been so understanding and aware of both Mike and I during this time. We love and adore them. The seashore awaits us some other time.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Week Ahead

It seems a bit odd to not have several doctor's appointments or treatments to face this week. We get to do some normal things like work, some project meetings, and a meeting in Indianapolis. I am still taking some antibiotics 3 times per day, but not much else.

It has been a good Sabbath day with attending our meetings and visiting with friends this evening. I can understand why the Lord sanctified this day and called it a day of rest as our spirits have been lifted and we have rested from other labors today.

Long Sunday naps

Mike and I both napped today after church and lunch. I am always grateful when Mike can rest his body and mind. After 6 weeks of radiation, Mike is feeling fatigued and requires much more sleep than he once did. I remind him that sleep will help heal his body. I am so grateful that he is receiving the rest that he needs.

We hope that each of you is finding peace today. We love each of you. We continue to have great hope and faith. We realize thus far in our journey we have been "carried." We surely have not bourne this trial alone. We remain ever grateful and optimistic as we continue.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Getting ready for Sunday

Today has been a quiet peaceful day. It was wonderful to see the sun come out this afternoon. Rainy days are tiring! Mike is feeling well. After nearly 3 months of doctors appointments, medicine schedules, and daily trips to the cancer center, we are feeling a little lost. It looks like the infection is slowly going away. It is lovely to have Mike's round head back without the big bump! Mike is going to have a haircut tonight so he will look dapper for Sunday :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

4 weeks to breath...

We saw the medical oncologist this morning. He will see Mike in 4 weeks to begin the next round of chemo. He was very positive about how Mike will handle the chemo. He said it most often depends on how the patient handled the chemo during the course of radiation. Mike handled the chemo and radiation very well, so we are looking forward to the side effects being minimal. It looks like the start date will be around the first of September.

The infection continues to improve. The swelling is nearly gone... We still aren't 100% sure about the necessity for surgery, but we are feeling good about it.

Yesterday I wrote a list of some of the things we have learned fromt this experience... I will add one more - BREATH! We plan on taking some good deep breaths these next four weeks. It will be strange to not have appointments nearly every day.

God has been good to us.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lessons learned

We again got good news from our doctor. The source of the bacteria has been identified. The surgeon was quite sure it isn't the type infection that would attach itself to the bone plate in Mike's head. So... thus far, no plans for surgery. Mike did have a headache yesterday and today and we felt quite anxious about that. Again... the doctor said you can have headaches that don't coincide with brain cancer. We need to make sure it isn't persistent. That said, I wanted to share with you some of the great lessons we have learned thus far in this journey.

1. Replace fear with faith.
2. Listen after prayer...the answers often come when we are still and quiet.
3. A support group is essential.
4. Always be grateful.
5. Optimism is contagious.
6. Health care professionals have been schooled and (especially in the Cancer Center,) they know what they are doing and they work with exactness and kindness.
7. Learn to trust your gut feelings.
8. Don't just tell, but show people every day that you love them.
9. Be humble.
10. Set priorities...some things just don't matter anymore.
11. Always appreciate your family and friends.
12. Know that a kind, wise Heavenly Father loves us and knows us individually, and is in charge of each of our lives.
13. Trials make us better people.
14. A long walk clears your head.
15. Eat a balanced diet.
16. Sciptures are relevant to us personally.
17. Understand your limitations
18. Endure with patience

We love all of you. You have been our teachers. We are grateful for your support and kindness always.

Another visit with the doctor...

We will be going to our doctor's appointment at 2:30. I will post something after that. I think I have written so much of late, I am out of words for the moment. Later...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Measuring the bump

I suggested yesterday to the doc that we measure the bump on Mike's head. I am hoping today when I measure it, it will be smaller and likewise when the doc measures again on Thursday we hope for smaller. Isn't it amazing that we often need just a few milimeters one way or the other to make a huge difference in our lives?

We can't, however, measure the ourpouring of love and kindness that has been shown to us. We can't measure the amount of love we have for our family and friends. We are so grateful for such an amazing support group. We feel your strength. If we could measure... our yard stick would reach far beyond the eternities.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Good news!

We visited with the doctor. The cultures are still inconclusive. The appearance of the infection is looking so much better. The surgeon sent Mike down for his last radiation treatment (since he missed the one on Friday due to being in the hospital.) We saw the radiation oncologist who agreed the infection (or whatever it is) is much, much better. We are so grateful that there hasn't had to be a surgery yet. God has again blessed us with peace. Thank you for your continuing prayers. Our Heavenly Father has listened and will continue to listen - and answer.

Something I read last night which was a blessing to me: "Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best - better than does God. Or, at least we are asserting that our timetable is better than his. Either way we are questioning the reality of God's omniscience..."

Making the most of each day

Each day is so precious to me. Yesterday, it was great to be able to work for half a day and attend a couple not-for-profit board meetings in the afternoon-evening. There is so much good to be done in the world and we have an opportunity to contribute to that good. I'm impressed by the quality of leadership and the sincere way in which volunteers and professionals serve our community. As this journey progresses, each day brings new opportunities to learn, but also new opportunities to serve. I love serving and hope each reading this finds some way to serve another person or organization today.

my dear companion serves me every day and provides encouragement and great hope. I thank her for this selfless devotion as it might be getting a little old after two and one half months. Enduring is a gift which she possesses. We head for the doctor's office in a bit to learn the next step of the journey.