Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Another "new normal" day

I went to the cancer center this morning for an appointment with a psychologist. It was nice for me to have him affirm that we are dealing with this situation in a very normal/positive way. He liked the fact that Mike and I can talk openly about our feelings. I have had such anxiety with doctor appointments fearing that we will be told more bad news. The psychologist assured me that with questions that we might ask, we can have more control over the visits. I have been very afraid to visit the neurosurgeon this Thursday. I was reminded that this visit should be a normal 6 week after surgery visit. He indicated the doctors will tell us what information we want to know. I thought I was one of those people who always wanted to know everything. In this situation, I only want to know what I have to know for tomorrow. I am just to the point in this process where I can think just a little beyond tomorrow... For a many, many weeks, I could only think about today (or acutally the present hour or minute.)

Mike spent time at the office this morning. He napped well after his return home from his treatment and then had lunch. He is off to a client meeting right now. He slept very well last night. There is certainly a correlation between good rest and productivity.

I watched a video last night about an amazing woman who dealt with many trials in her life. One of the things she said was that "we don't have strength, we find it." We are finding strength in so many different ways. I am so strengthened by writing this blog. It is so theraputic to me to be able to write about each days events and especially the high points! Our biggest strength comes from our knowledge of a loving Heavenly Father and in his son Jesus Christ who will carry us when we stumble. I am so grateful for this sure foundation.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The architect at his new work station :)

Mike has had a busy day... He has been doing quite a bit of work from home, after going into the office for a bit each morning. Today he is doing something he is really enjoying because he has been at it since noon!

It is such a beautiful day today. The windows are open and the breeze is so delightful. I pulled weeds this morning but soon got dismayed. It needs to rain so they will be easier to get out of the ground! I have been rearranging our books. It seems we have too many for the amount of shelving we have. I found an old journal of mine from 1975 - 1979. Of course I sat down and read most of that. I read some things to Mike - We laughed at some things and were inspired by much of it. It was so wonderful to relive so many memories.

We look forward to Hannah and Allen's arrival on Wednesday night. I cleaned out the dresser of the bedroom suite that she and Allen will be taking back with them. Once that is gone, the architect will have to figure out what we are going to do with an empty bedroom. That will be another fun project for us. I am sure Mike and Hannah will put their heads together and make decisions and that project will begin soon after the Rick's departure.

A cute quote I found in my journal... "The Lord won't always come when you want him, but he will always be on time."

Sunday, June 28, 2009


We been blessed yet again with a very restful day. Mike has had some good naps, as have I. We spent the morning at church and were uplifted by the things we heard. Our choir sang this morning and did an outstanding job. I don't think there is anything so soothing as good music.

My sister recommended that Mike listen to music when he rests as part of his healing process. She has been so kind to give us some great music on CDs. Thus far, I have listened to it more than Mike. I do believe in the power of healing through music. Hopefully this will be the week that Mike can listen too :)

Yesterday as I was looking at some pictures of friends, I was reminded of a favorite scripture of one of them... "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths." I am constantly amazed at how often I have been reminded of something, a verse, lyric, scripture, that will make both Mike and me feel better. We are stronger, have more courage and are happier because of lessons we have been taught by many of you. Thank you for sharing your music, scripture passages and words of wisdom with us. We love it!

Our family is in healing mode right now! We are learning so much and are grateful for the knowledge we have gained. Many, many good things are coming out of this situation.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Project completed!

Today was such a good day for us. Mike worked a bit at the office this morning. He napped just a tiny bit and then started a long awaited project. We changed to AT&T Uverse several months ago. When it was installed we had cords running everywhere. The control box had to sit on our mantel and cords ran from the mantel to the shelves beside the fireplace. I tried everything to cover them, but it looked like a big mess. Today Mike reworked everything. He rearranged the shelves and put all of the electronic components on them. He ran the cords behind a nice covering and now it looks so neat and tidy. He worked so hard and was so pleased with the result.

I baked bread today and gave one of our friends a loaf. I am so embarrassed... I forgot the salt. It looks pretty but it tastes pretty bland.

When my sister called today after being on vacation for several days, I was able to tell her that I went most of the day today without thinking of Mike with cancer! What a blessing for me! We continue to be grateful for small miracles each and every day. Today, my six week survivor completed a major project. He has been able to do so many things around the house that I wasn't EVER counting on! I'm sure he is going to be voted the husband of the year. How am I so fortunate to be his companion?

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Relay for Life

Mike rested a lot today. This afternoon he told me he thought we should go to the Relay for Life... I told him I didn't think we should be around that many people. We went. Mike may have been the only one whose shirt said "6 week survivor," but he wore it and walked with the other amazing survivors of cancer. Mike will be walking next year as well. Maybe some of you would like to join us.

Too hot to play

Mike had a rough night. He slept well until his legs started cramping. He was anxious about that when I woke up. We think we have it all figured out... dehydration, low potassium, steroids, chemo, radiation, outdoor heat could all be culprit. We got him some orange juice, are making sure he is drinking plenty of liquids today and did call the doctor. The doctor agreed with our assessment. I told Mike that it was just too hot to play outside today!

The Cancer Center will be closed on Friday next week due to the 4th of July holiday. Looks like Mike will end his radiation on a Friday rather than a Thursday. We are grateful for a 3 day break next week! Hannah and Allen will be here on Wednesday and will stay for a few days. Yeah!!

Our children continue to be so amazing during this journey. We have grown closer as a family. Will told me last Sunday that he really "yikes" me. I asked him if he "yiked" Poppy and he said that Poppy and Andy are his good friends. We absolutely love our family... we are a way beyond the "yiking" phase :)

Stay cool and drink lots of fluids today... We all need to take care of ourselves :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

1/2 way there

Mike is having his 15th radiation treatment right now... but who's counting? We feel so blessed that he is handling them so well. He has experienced a bit of a metallic taste in his mouth which is very common with the chemo. The taste hasn't been enough to slow his eating.

We had a nice dinner out last night after a conference we attended earlier in the afternoon. It was nice to eat without cooking! We did a lot of laughing and crying together last night. It was an unforgettable evening. Sharing feelings is so vital during an experience like this. I think we both are renewed today.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's all good...

We got good news from the doctor this morning... Mike gets to taper down again from the steroid! If he has any symptoms like he was having before his surgery, he is to up the dosage immediately. We are praying for no headaches, dizziness or numbness. The doctor told us again today how fortunate we are that Mike's tumor was able to be removed and there were good margins around it. My anxiety level was not nearly as great at this morning's visit.

Mike volunteered this morning to talk to other patients who may be concerned about going through the kind of radiation he is dealing with. The doctor and nurse both were amazed that Mike is so positive, and looks at the radiation therapy (having his head bolted to the table with a mask) as he does. He said he considers it wonderful to have his head PERFECTLY still so the radiation can be administered perfectly. He uses the time to meditate and especially think of beautiful things like the sea. (I think he is getting ready for vacation!) They were pleased for his willingness to share his thoughts with others. They said explaining the process is so much better coming from a person who has experienced it rather than those who administer it.

We read this quote this morning and thought we would pass it along.

"Every life has peaks and shadows and times when it seems that the birds don't sing and bells don't ring. Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result."
Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Come What May, and Love It," Ensign, Nov. 2008, 26

We are happier than we have ever been for our lives together. We are becoming stronger.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


We are having another great day. We visited with a psychologist this morning at the cancer center and it felt really good to talk to him. Mike had his 13th radiation treatment and is still handling them quite well. There still is no sickness associated with the chemo. We are looking forward to our trip to the beach at the end of July and hope all goes as planned. It will be nice to relax for a bit before the next round of chemo starts.

Again, we need to express our gratitude to the wonderful caregivers with whom we are involved. These are truly some of the kindest people we have ever encountered. Our lives are truly blessed with an outpouring of love and support from everyone. Who could ask for anything more?

Monday, June 22, 2009

I can laugh now

This morning's happenings:

Nancy: Sitting at the island reading the newspaper
Mike: Walks in from the garage with Rudy after a walk.
Nancy: "Good morning sweetheart!"
Mike: "Good morning... I've done some really impulsive this morning."
Nancy: Thinking Mike may have bought a new car or sold the house says: "What on earth did you do already this morning that was so impulsive?"
Mike: (Turning around as he talks) "I tried to even up the stray hairs on my head."
Nancy: "You did WHAT?"
Mike: "You will need to fix it :)"
Nancy: "You know I can't cut hair!" (Looking at his head knew she had to do something and something quickly :/)
Mike: "I'm sorry, I thought I could just trim it up..."
Nancy: "Don't you dare tell your friends at the cancer center that I cut your hair! You tell them YOU did it!

We got Mike into the bathroom with a towel around his neck and took off what hair had grown back. I truly wish I would have taken a picture so you could have seen the bald spots Mike shaved onto his head. At least now there isn't ANY hair, so his head doesn't look like a quilt :) I can laugh now.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

We are looking forward to a glorious Father's Day today. It is so wonderful to be surrounded by wonderful fathers in my life. My father is an amazing man. He is full of wisdom, kindess and love for his family, and others. He has always taught how important it is to serve others. He leads our family with such dignity and goodness. I love him dearly.

It is so wonderful to see Tyler as a father. He is so full of love for his little family. It is priceless to see Will and Maggie light up when he walks into a room. We know our grandchildren will never want for love and affection. We feel so blessed to have another generation in our lives.

My dear sweet companion is such an amazing father to our children and "Poppy" to our grandchildren. Not a day goes by without Mike checking on each of our kids and grandkids. He prays for them daily and hopes for the best life has to offer for all of them. Our children are such wonderful people. We are so grateful that each of them is in our lives. Mike has been such a powerful example of good to them and to me always.

I love these men with every fiber in my being. We hope all of you have a wonderful day with your Fathers.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Lemonade on the porch...

Today has been wonderful. There has been no pressure to go to appointments or meetings or anything. Mike has relaxed on the porch since he came home from the office around 10:00. I just noticed that he FINALLY went to sleep. He admitted to fatigue again last night. I love it when he rests.

We had a lovely dinner with friends last night. Our hostess had gone to Trader Joe's and bought out the store! She had researched organic foods online and then bought all organic ingredients. That was so unnecessary, but so incredibly thoughtful. We had a wonderful time. We brought left overs home and Mike had a great lunch today!

We have some friends visiting this afternoon. What a good day for lemonade on the porch.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Someone over did it!

Mike was more tired last evening than he has been throughout this whole ordeal. He started sleeping about 8:30 on the couch. I woke him for his meds at 9:30 and then again at 10:00. We went to bed and he slept. He got up in the night and then went back to sleep. He did about 8 hours of office work yesterday including 2 or 3 meetings. I think he found out what happens when he pushes the limits!

Today we met with the nurse practitioner. Everything is fine except Mike has a thistle underneath his fingernail... Because of the treatments, they don't want Mike to get any kind of infection, so he is on an antibiotic and is soaking his finger twice a day. After just soaking it a bit this afternoon, I can see the end of the sticker, so I will operate later and pull it out :)

Mike has rested and done some work at home today. He is planning on another nap and then we are going to go to dinner at some friends' house.

I have had several people tell me that I look very tired recently. Honestly, I was exhausted last week. This week, I feel great. I am resting so much better and have even taken a nap or two this week. I think I have adjusted quite well to my new role as caregiver. I can't think of anyone I would rather take care of...

Just a few verses from another favorite hymn: These words epitomize Mike!

Because I have been given much, I too must give.
Because of thy great bounty, Lord each day I live.
I shall divide my gifts from thee, with every brother that I see
Who has the need of help from me.

Because I have been sheltered, fed by thy good care.
I cannot see another's lack and I not share.
My glowing fire, my loaf of bread, my roof's safe shelter over head,
That he too may be comforted.

Because I have been blessed by thy great love, dear Lord
I'll share thy love again, according to thy word.
I shall give love to those in need; I'll show that love by word and deed:
Thus shall my thanks be thanks indeed.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Who would have thought?

Five weeks ago today, right about now, my kids and I were waiting for word about how Mike's surgery was going... The doctor finally came to meet us and gave us the preliminary diagnosis. As he talked, I could feel myself having a hard time breathing. When we left the consultation room, my kids scattered so they could call friends and family. I sat numb with some good friends wondering what the future would hold. Seeing Mike in Intensive care was one of the most heart wrenching things I have ever witnessed. He was in such excrutiating pain that I really didn't think he would make it through the night. Exhausted and numb, Hannah and I left the hospital. All I could do was fall onto my bed when we got home. A good friend came over, laid with me on the bed and let me cry and talk.

Fast forward 5 weeks...Mike got up and went to work this morning. He came home before noon to have lunch and nap before his 10th radiation treatment. He hasn't felt any side effects from the chemo drugs. We walk about 2 miles a night. Mike has completed countless little home projects. We have talked, laughed, hugged, prayed. We have started eating a healthy diet. Mike does Yoga each morning. He drives to work and other short distances. He is attending meetings for work and community. We have gone to church and visited with family. If you would have asked me 5 weeks ago if ANY of this would ever happen again, I would have said no.

We have truly been sustained by your kind comments on this blog, your cards and well wishes, the hundreds of visits and calls. Our friend who is going through the same illness right now commented the other day that she believes in angels. So do I! Your love and support have made all of these things possible. Who would have thought that 5 weeks later we could be so fortunate?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Welcome to the "club"

We just got home from the cancer center. Mike was a guinea pig for the new machine they have at the center. They did a panaramic CT scan today to compare it to previous ones. The treatment seemed to last so long and I was getting a little nervous, but then he appeared with a big smile because he had been one of the first to use the new machine. We also met with a different radiation oncologist today as ours is off this week. She was such a darling little Asian woman. We think we have some things under control... He will now take the same dosage of steroids but just once a day in the morning. We are hoping by taking the dosage in this way he will sleep better.

I visited with some friends at the center today while I waited for Mike. My friend, who had cancer 6 years ago, said that Mike and I had joined a new "club," the club of families affected with cancer. She welcomed me and told me that everyone in the club is really nice and that we would fit in nicely! We are again so grateful for such a wonderful facility. People who deal with cancer patients are some of the best in the world. It is evident to us that God has chosen these special people to take care of us everyday. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Three visits in one...

Today at the cancer center while Mike had his radiation treatment, I went up to the surgeon's office with some paper work which he needed in order to write a letter for us. (Long story...) As I was winding my way back through the halls of the cancer center I ran into a man who looked very familiar to me. Once he introduced himself, I knew exactly who he was. Seems he heard about Mike's illness through his wife who is on a board with Mike. He is the head of psychological counseling at the cancer center. He was in fact looking for me. Mike and I had an opportunity to sit down with him, discuss the free counseling which the center offers and we made an appointment for next Tuesday. For those of you who know me well, you know I will never turn down an opportunity to talk to a counselor... Counselors listen...

After that meeting we met with a nutritionist. She was very complimentary of our current diet. She said that Mike certainly could eat food other than "organic foods" but that eating this way was certainly a choice that would not hurt in any way. We discussed the number of calories Mike should eat a day as well as the number of grams of protein that he needs to promote healing. We seem to be right on target with both. When we left, we both decided that we are going to stay away from refined sugar and white flour. Other than that, I think we will probably eat out occasionally, making good choices when we do so.

Mike was able to work from 8 to noon today. He felt so good about having some "billable" time. He has only taken a couple of naps and seems to be going strong yet this evening. He has several home projects lined up to do in his spare time. It is amazing to me how much he has accomplished in the weeks since his surgery. If you all didn't know it before now, Mike is truly an amazing man. He has such a great attitude and is doing so well. He is well loved at the cancer center. I guess I knew he would become a favorite. The technicians, receptionists, nurses and doctors are just so impressed with his enthusiasm, optimism and HUGE smile every day.

Every once in a while, I have a little melt down. Yesterday morning was one of those times. Not only did I get a phone call from a friend at just the right time, but I also thought of the words to a hymn which made me feel so comforted.

I will not doubt, I will not fear;
God's love and strength are always near.
His promised gift helps me to find
An inner strength and peace of mind.
I give the Father willingly
My trust, my prayers, humility.
His Spirit guides; his love assures
That fear departs when faith endures.

Aren't those just the greatest words? I hope these words will help someone else when they feel fearful.

Change in plans...

Mike's treatment appointments will be at 1:00p for 3 days rather than 9:20. There is some kind of new machine in the radiation oncology department and for the next 3 days training will take place for the staff. Since we are so close to the hospital, the change in schedule is easy for us. We realize there are many who are driving a long distance. We see the nutritionist today. I will report on that after the appointment. Should I tell her about the Ding Dongs or should I tell her that Mike is now eating organic? :)

We had a great dinner last night from a friend. I hope her recipe is not a secret as I would love to make it sometime. It was roasted salmon with asparagus. The seasonings were outstanding. She also brought some cheesecake that her daughter had made and Mike and I both indulged.

After dinner some good friends stopped by and we had a great visit. Mike may have done some dozing while they were here but it is still nice to see good friends. They brought us some cherries from their tree. We were so happy for those since the birds got all of our cherries even before they were ripe enough to pick!

Mike feels great this morning and is out walking Rudy before he goes to the office. We are so very grateful for no side effects from the chemo thus far. Recognizing and being grateful for small blessings has become a new part of our lives.

Monday, June 15, 2009


We needed a grandchildren fix so we drove Ty and Kim's last evening. It is so much fun for Mike to just watch the little ones play. Will was happy for the cookies I took to him and his family. Maggie is walking everywhere now. She is getting more teeth. It was a lovely evening to talk to T & K and see the kids.

Mike is off to work and then on to the cancer center for his treatment. He has another board meeting and an annual meeting today at noon. I think he may be pretty exhausted when he gets home, but meetings like this invigorate him. He loves seeing people. He has become quite good at just bumping elbows and not shaking hands and hugging everyone. We bought more little bottles of hand sanitizer on Friday. He has been very good to use it frequently.

Here are some lines from an article I read last night: "...when I patiently endure trials, the Savior, who took upon Himself all of our ills and sorrows, ministers to me through the spirit. I experience the Savior's tender mercies. My trials may continue, but having taken upon me the yoke of Christ, I find Him sharing my yoke, making my burdens bearable, and giving me hope. I then have strength to endure. I have assurance that all will be made right, not just in eternity but also for eternity. Hope is anything but wishful. It is expectation based on experience."

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Today we traveled to Elwood to attend a branch of our church. We again are so touched by the kindness of others towards us. The messages in our Sacrament meeting were so outstanding. One message in particular "spoke to me." The young woman spoke on not boasting about our service, but rather just doing it quietly and meaningfully. She made the comment that no matter what our "position" in life, all of us are humbled and in need of other's comfort and service. Of course I thought of all that is being done for us, so humbly and thoughtfully and I KNOW it is our Heavenly Father prompting you to do what you are doing, be it a note, a phone call, a visit, and most importantly a prayer. It is so different for us to be on the receiving end of this service of others. We do, however, recognize that we all need to learn to be gracious receivers. We are learning that huge lesson.

We drove to my parent's house after church and had a nice visit with them. I could "boast" here and say that I have some of the most incredible parents ever Their lives have been and still are such examples of quiet, meaningful yet anonymous service.

We are waiting on our Basmati rice to cook and then will bake some flounder and add some vegetables and fruit to our meal. We are finding many, many new flavors, textures and recipes that we are liking. Last night I tried a recipe that Hannah sent... hamburgers with blueberries, bread crumbs, balsamic vinegar, Worteshershire sauce, Dijon mustard and garlic. The garlic taste was a bit heavy, but with some tweaking of that, I think those may become a main stay.

We will use this day to rest and get ready for another busy, busy week!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Slow day... YEAH!

There haven't been any appointments or tasks that have had to be completed today. It has been a very relaxing day for me. Mike gets a bit restless. Why is it that I can do nothing for a good period of time, but Mike has to ALWAYS be doing something? I guess I have gone from being a stay at home person to a person who does the home thing as well as having a full time job :) Maybe some of you want to welcome me to the working world :) I will say that unlike some of you I LOVE my new job. I am so happy to do all that is necessary to care for Mike during this time, however, tiredness has caught up with me. Like many of you, I am now up, showered and dressed by 7:00 or 7:30. My day doesn't end until 10:30 or so. I now cook 3 (organic meals a day which is a completely new thing)... I was down to maybe 1 (we ate out a lot.) I administer meds, go to appointments, do most of the driving, etc. (All of which I haven't done since all of the kids were home.) I am grateful for the few hours in the morning when Mike can go to the office. He needs that as much as I do. Thanks for your consideration in giving us some much needed time in the mornings without phone calls and visits. We still love having people drop by. Mike is always happy to talk someone's ear off or maybe take a walk with someone :) We only have 24 treatments to go!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Is it Friday already?

We spent a great day today with all of the missionaries in our mission (162, I think) It was a special conference presided over by one of our leaders from Salt Lake. There was special music which was outstanding. The messages were spiritual and uplifting. Mike had an opportunity to speak for a moment and thank this wonderful group of young men and women for their prayers and support. It was very emotional for all of us.

Mike was able to go to the mission home in Carmel and rest for a bit and then we had a wonderful dinner there. We made a quick stop at Sam's Club on our way home to stock up on office supplies etc. Mike seems to be going strong as he is out walking Rudy as I write. He has had only a couple of power naps today. Maybe he will sleep well tonight.

It is hard to believe another week has gone by. Tomorrow will find me at the Farmer's market and Mike will no doubt head to the office. We may try to go the the Symphony on the Green tomorrow night.

Thanks to whoever mowed our grass today. What a joy to come home and see our lawn looking so trimmed and beautiful. You folks out there are just amazing. We absolutely adore all of you!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Why not us?

Tomorrow Mike completes his first week of radiation. We talked tonight while we were on our walk about it being 4 weeks ago today that Mike had his surgery. It will be 5 weeks ago tomorrow that we found out about the cancer. Our lives have changed for the better. We have a deeper love for one another and for others. We see blessings in our lives every single day. We feel such love and support from others and are so humbled by it. We have learned so much. We have such gratitude in our hearts for good doctors, nurses, technicians and other care givers. Our prayers are more sincere. We are not asking ourselves "why us?" but rather "why not us?" There is good that has come and will come from this experience. Thank you all for sharing in our journey.

Thursdays are red days...

Mike wore a bright red polo shirt to his treatment today. The "girls" at the center all had red on today as well. I am sure Mike will try to coordinate with them from now on. The technicians asked if they could have our blog address... I am wondering how many people are reading this blog? It is such a joy to have made contact with so many good friends around the country and in our community. Again, your comments are what keep our spirits up most days!

Mike has just dealt with the phone company yet again, but did it with kindness as he seems to do with most things. Our voice mail will be up and running again tomorrow morning :) Mike is headed off to an annual meeting of the YMCA today. He feels good - No chemo sickness. He is working on marking up some drawings presently.

Andy is taking a little vacation and we are so pleased that he is able to get away for a time. He has worked hard in Mike's stead at the office and surely deserves a break.

There will be more bread making today and I need to go buy more fruit. Mike is loving those milkshakes (with yogurt:) each evening.

Have a great day and don't forget your umbrellas!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sorry for the delay...

Everything here is fine. I know it has been a few hours since I last posted... This morning I was preparing to go to Columbus to our Temple there. Mike decided at the last minute that he might like to go. I didn't think it would be possible, but Mike was sure it would work out.

Mike had his treatment and today was the day to meet with the Radiation Oncologist. So after his treatment we were seen by the doc. He is just the best man ever. He told us that Mike is doing great as far as the radiation is concerned but we need to watch for fatigue and some hair loss. Other than that, Mike's weight is holding steady and all of his other vitals are within normal limits.

We rushed home and should have left for Columbus by 10:00. We had a 1:00 appointment there. It was 10:30 by the time we were ready. Our friend, Nan, drove us there. She had to do some pretty fast driving to get us there on time. We arrived with 3 minutes to spare :) I got kind of scared when she said "that was great!... 5 miles in 3 minutes! I am not sure speeding all of the way to the temple is a very good thing to do, but we had a glorious time there. Mike and I were both renewed and invigorated. Mike slept a lot on the way and on the way home and is now ready to take the dog on a 2 mile walk. I am really tired. Tonight he will be going solo again! He and Rudy have become really good buddies...

It was kind of heart wrenching for me to give Mike the chemo drug last night. We were both pretty nervous. I woke up several times to see if Mike was ok. There were absolutely no side effects. He didn't get nauseated and woke up this morning feeling better than ever.

As part of the cancer center's courtesies, they allow each patient/family to meet with a nutritionist. We are anxious to see her next week. We want to verify that Mike is eating the correct number of calories, enough protein, etc. I have read so many books in the last few weeks, that I think I know what we are doing, but it is always nice to talk to a professional.

Many of you tried to call today and there was no voice mail... We will call AT&T tomorrow and see what the story is. We are sorry that you couldn't get through today.

I was thinking about the fear I have felt for the past several weeks and found this today..."For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

I know that we can conquer fear with faith. I know faith gives us power and makes us more charitable and loving. I am a bit worried about my mind being sound right now :), but I think in this instance the sound mind that Timothy refers to has to do with "peace of mind."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tender Mercies

We got a lot accomplished today. Mike had his treatment. The chemo drug arrived. The bushes got trimmed. Mulch has been spread on the back flower bed. The laundry is done. Mike worked on office things for a while. The dog has been on a long walk (Mike went solo tonight.)

We had a situation today that shows our Heavenly Father is watching over us and making sure that everything is happening as it should. We are grateful for the tender mercies we have been granted. Hope you all have a great evening.

Waiting on the UPS truck...

I got a call this a.m. from UPS... The chemo drug is arriving today. Mike went to work and then on for his treatment. I didn't accompany him today as I needed to be home in case the UPS man came. When he got home he told me that the girls at the cancer center think he looks good in yellow. We will see how often he wears a yellow shirt now :)

I am hoping there will be some good naps today. Mike didn't sleep well last night.

We had some good visits with friends yesterday. I see cars go by our house very slowly, turn around and go by again. I don't know if people just want to look at our house or if they want to stop and visit. If the wreath is out, stop by. If Mike is napping I will put a note on the door.

p.s. The chemo drug just arrived!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Today's agenda...

Mike had his radiation treatment this morning. There has been a glitch with our insurance company about getting the chemo drug. They have to decide from which pharmacy it will come. The cancer center thought it was all worked out on Friday and that the drug would be sent over the weekend. The pharmacy assured them that they had called us. Interestingly, we didn't ever get a call. I was spitting fire this morning, but Mike called the pharmacy number and was calm and nice and the drug will be overnighted... Grrr.

We had a nice visit with our friend who is going through the same treatments... She looked so pretty this morning with her bright red scarf. It is so insightful to talk to her and her husband. They are about 2 weeks ahead of us and we can find out from them what is coming. She said after she took the first chemo drug she stayed awake all night and waited to get sick... It hasn't happened yet!

I just ground some white wheat into flour with a friend's amazing electric mill. I also ground the flaxseed as it supposedly does what it is supposed to do when it is ground. This will be another bread making day. I have also found a great mac and cheese recipe that I am counting on Mike liking. I think mac and cheese sounds real comforting, don't you?

Mike is working on a project from home today. He slept really well last night. It is amazing how well he is doing. We recognize that the fatigue will be a cumulative thing... Your prayers and kind thoughts have helped us through another week. Thanks.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday greetings

Mike thoroughly enjoyed the golf outing yesterday. He said it was the perfect day to spend with Andy and Andy's friends. He took a nap through about 5 holes and then was ready to play again.

Tyler, Will and Maggie came to visit yesterday afternoon. We had such a great time watching the kids play. Mike and Will started out on the bed in the guest room. They were watching Toy Story until Will decided he wanted to play with toys. Mike told him to go get whatever he wanted. Unable to get the closet door opened (where the toys are stored,) Will returned to Poppy and said: "Door locked, Poppy, door locked." Poppy helped with the door and the toys were brought out. I took a picture when Mike had drifted off but the playing was still going on!

Mike and I went to church at one of the branches of our church in Winchester today. It is always so nice to see our friends there. It was a great service and we feel better for having gone. Mike spoke for a few minutes and everyone was greatly touched.

Mike was instructed on Friday that he really needs to start trying to avoid large crowds of people and also "warm greetings", i.e. hugs and handshakes. You all know that Mike is a hugger and has a good strong handshake. Hopefully you will all be okay for the time being with a fist bump, (that is surely "Obamaesque") an elbow bump, or probably just a warm smile. Mike is still able to give us all that great ear to ear smile!

The chemo starts tomorrow. Mike will take a pill before he goes to bed. He will take an anti nausea medication (with a mild sedative) one half hour before the chemo. The oncology nurse said if there are side effects such as nausea, Mike will probably be able to sleep through them. How great is that? It feels good to finally be getting the treatments started. It makes us feel a little more in control again.

Mike is maintaining his weight quite nicely. He did find out that I have been putting yogurt in his milk shakes and agreed that he couldn't even taste it. He thinks it might be the yogurt that makes the shakes smooth... What a difference a month makes! Mike wouldn't have touched yogurt with a ten foot pole. I have hit on two bread recipes that are really good. And yes, Anita, all good Mormon women have a Bosch! I don't have a wheat grinder on mine, but I mix the bread with it nonetheless. I can make 3 loaves at a time... I hope Mike doesn't come out of this process looking like a bald dough boy!!

I seem to be very, very slow getting thank you notes to everyone. Please know just how special each of you are to us and how much we appreciate your goodness and service. Hannah created some note cards for me and I hope to get some written today. You will be impressed with them. (The card design, not necessarily the message, though I will try hard with that too. :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009


If you read Mike's comment on the last post, you know that he is going to a golf outing today! He promises to sit in the shade when he starts feeling tired. He promises to only take a shot once in a while. He promises to come home if he needs to. He has his hat. He has his sunglasses. He has snacks packed. I feel like I am sending my little kid to camp for the first time! I know Andy will take good care of him. Mike is getting pretty dang independent! I am off to the farmer's market. It looks like it is going to be another glorious day with sunshine!

Friday, June 5, 2009

1 down, 29 to go

Mike had his first radiation treatment this morning and all went very, very well. Again, we are so pleased with the care we are receiving at the Cancer Center at BMH. Mike was told this morning that he has won half of the battle because of his optimism!

We met with the nurse practicioner at 11:00 and she is WONDERFUL! She says that most of Mike's side effects, i.e. eye strain, trembling hands, etc. are due to the steroid, not the surgery. We are on a taper and can't wait for that to end. Things are so much better though that we really can't complain. She indicated that Mike could work as much as he felt like. The surgeon is still in charge of the driving schedule...which right now is only in town.

For a huge birthday present, we had our house professionally cleaned today. I couldn't be happier. Everything smells so clean and wonderful. I think that will give both of us a new lease on life. Understand, we keep a pretty clean house, but this is amazing!

We have been blessed beyond measure. Thanks again to everyone!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Thirty three years ago today Mike and I were sealed in the Washington D.C. Temple. On that day our marriage became eternal, rather than "till death do you part." We are so grateful for temples where families can be bound together forever.

Mike is the love of my life. We are having the most wonderful life together. We laugh, play, work, worship, and love each other and our family to the fullest. We find so much peace in the knowledge that our marriage will go on forever and ever.

We have to weather trials in our lives. We want to do that with grace. Onward we go, hand in hand.

We start tomorrow

Mike and I went to the cancer center this morning and got the final tweeking before the treatments begin. Mike will have his first treatment tomorrow morning at 9:20. We will then meet with the oncology nurse for the chemo briefing at 11:00. Usually the cancer center is great at making sure all of one's appointments coincide with each other. We explained that since we are only a few blocks from the hospital, two trips tomorrow won't make a big difference. They are just so accomodating there.

We met a cute older couple this morning who are both receiving treatments for different kinds of cancer. The man for lung and the woman for liver. The woman told me that they get to sit together to get their infusions. She said they had always done things together and were so happy to do this. We also saw our friend Jane and her husband this morning. It was great to see Jane now 3 weeks into the same treatment protocol that Mike will be having. She indicated she is tolerating the treatments very well. She looked great. We feel blessed that the chemo treatments are an oral medication without the same side effects as the infusions.

Mike was off to a meeting with his partner and their accountant right after his appointment. We will be going to Tipton for a 2:00 appointment with a client. I may be visiting more job sites than I want to during these next several weeks! Mike said I will get paid for mileage... I truly am starting a new job.

Yesterday was a blue day for me. I think the rain/darkness and the fact that we were basically still waiting to get going on this made the difference.

I read yesterday: "Come unto me, all that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

I am yoked again today with the Savior. I know the load will be easier to carry with Him carrying what I can't. Thanks again for your love, concern and prayers. They are what sometimes carry us through each day.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lazy day

Mike slept fairly well and then did some office work in the wee hours of the morning. He developed a bit of a headache and decided to stay home from the office today. He is watching a movie right now, but I think he has dosed quite a bit while watching. He just said the headache is better and he is going to get ready to go to a United Way meeting this afternoon.

We sure see the difference between days with sunshine and rainy days. We prefer the sunshine... It is amazing what light and warmth do for one's emotional state!

We got a box from Hannah yesterday that contained a wonderful cookbook (for cancer patients.) I am anxious to try some of the recipes. There are a lot of wonderful tips for eating while going through treatments... Today I am trying the protein shake.

Andy is still working like a maniac, but will be able to take a few days off next week for a short trip. He is so deserving of the time. We are ever grateful for his amazing support at the office. Tyler stopped in last night before his class at BSU. Just a few weeks and he will not have to make any more trips to Muncie for classes. Mike talks to Hannah nearly every day and considers that a major bright spot in his day. We are so grateful for each of our children and their support.

Even if there is no sunshine outside today, "there is sunshine in our souls." :) Hope you all can have a lazy day like us!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Doctors, Bread, Visiting and WORK!

We visited our primary care physician yesterday and he was amazed at the progress Mike has made since his surgery. He encouraged us try hard and keep Mike's weight up, especially as he begins his treatments. Mike was up a whole pound this morning.

Yesterday I experimented with a bread recipe and came up with 2 loaves with whole wheat flour oat flour and flax seed. It is okay, but has a much more crumbly texture than we like. It did make for a good piece of toast this morning. Mike is really liking steel cut oats with blueberries for breakfast. Who would have thought Mike could get off the Ding Dongs with such little effort!

Mike is in the office for a few hours this morning. This afternoon we are going to visit with some friends in Anderson who are also dealing with cancer. We hope we can all be uplifted by our visit. It looks like the United Way is going to get some of his time tomorrow :) Boredom is such a huge deal here! Did I tell you Mike made us a compost pile complete with fencing, etc. on Saturday? Yesterday his project was edging the drive. We also went out to Rotary Park to make sure things were looking good there since he hasn't been able to work out there for a few weeks. I think today we are also looking at getting some mulch for a back flower bed. Oh my, I am not sure I can keep up with it all!

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's June already

This morning Mike left for work, I read the paper and did the crossword puzzles, the washing machine is running... This is the most normal morning we have had for three and a half weeks! Mike will be home by noon. We go to see our primary care physician this afternoon. On Friday we have an appointment at the cancer center to have instruction on Mike's chemotherapy by an oncology nurse practicioner.

Mike is still having problems with sleep at night. He seems to be able to sleep for 2 or 3 hours and then is up for 2 or 3 hours and then can fall back asleep in the early morning hours. We hope so much that the steroid dose will be reduced today. Mike has tapered off of the anti seizure medication.

Thanks to everyone for the kind birthday wishes. May is over and we are looking forward to the wonderful month of June with its warm days. I need to go water my flowers if the rain doesn't come soon.