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


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.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Organic eating...

Mike went to a couple of board meetings this afternoon and was asked if I would post some organic recipes that we like. Here are two of our favorites:

Lentil and Chicken Stew
3 t. olive oil
8 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into pieces (I use free range chicken)
3/4 c. carrot
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 c. onion
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 c. organic chicken broth
1/2 c. lentils
1/2 c. brown basmati rice
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. fresh dill

Heat 1 t. olive oil in a pot. Add chicken. Stir fry 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Add remaining olive oil, heat. Add carrot, garlic and onion that have been pulsed in a food processor. Saute in olive oil until aromatic (2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken broth. Heat to boiling. add rice and lentils. Reduce heat. Let simmer (covered) for 35 to 40 minutes or until rice is tender. Add diced chicken, lemon juice and dill. Cook till heated through. (Serves 4)

Mixed Berry Cobbler (I have adapted this recipe to organic)
8 cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen) I like to use mostly blueberries, but it is also good with peaches.
1/2 c. Turbinado (raw sugar)
1/4 c. tapioca
juice of 1/2 lime
pinch of salt

1 c. white wheat flour
1 c. raw coconut
1/4 c. Turbinado (raw sugar)
3/4 c. pecans (chopped)
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. cold organic butter
1 free range egg

Mix berries, sugar, tapioca, lime juice and salt. Let set in a bowl while making topping. Put all ingredients for topping in a food processor except egg. Pulse until mixture is course. Add egg and pulse just until it is incorporated. (You don't have to use a food processor. If not, mix ingredients together. Cut in butter. Knead in the egg.

Place fruit in a 2 qt. buttered dish and sprinkle crumbs over the top. Bake @ 375 for 45-50 minutes.

I usually make half of the recipe.

A Walk of Faith into a new week

This week will start with unknowns. We will contact the doctor this morning to see if there is any word on the type of infection I am harboring. We don't know if it is easily treatable or if I will face the surgery from last week. We will walk by faith and face decisions with confidence in the Lord's plan. It is a bit of a step into the darkness, but we know there is solid footing which we just cannot see yet.

It was nice to have the weekend at home with my sweetheart of 34 years! Actually she has been my sweetheart for 38 years, just married 34 of them. We were able to have a wonderful visit with close friends and have an anniversary dinner out on Saturday night, as well as worship at church yesterday. Nancy is an incredible woman and is facing this with courage and faith. I love her so very much and recognize that this journey is harder on her than on me. We walk hand in hand together.

Addendum: Just talked to the doctor's office. Mike will be seen tomorrow morning.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life!

Mike and I are celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary today! We are so grateful that Mike is home rather than in the hospital. We did go out to dinner last evening and today we will go to church (sit in the back and leave before anyone wants to shake hands,) take naps and perhaps make an appearance at our neighborhood picnic.

What an amazing 34 years we have shared together! We have had such an amazing journey together. We have loved each other to the fullest. My weaknesses are Mike's strength and vice versa (not that Mike has too many weaknesses!) We were meant to be a team. We have been blessed with incredible children. They have brought us such an extreme amount of joy. And now that we have added grandchildren to our family, we have even more joy. Our extended families have been loving, encouraging and helpful through out our lives together.

We have loved serving together in our family church,and community. We have established many, many lasting friendships over the last 34 years. How grateful we are for dear friends.

We plan on sharing many more anniversaries. I don't think I have ever loved Mike more than right now... Next year I'm sure I will love him even more...make that tomorrow!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Gratitude Attitude

I realize that title is not original, but I feel such gratitude this morning. I got a good night's sleep with a quiet sleeper, got some food in my belly last night, and there were no interruptions by nurses to take vitals during the night. Life is great!

We are so extremely grateful for a wise and well schooled surgeon who carefully considered options and researched potential outcomes before proceeding with surgery. We realize that we could be heading for OBX next week and, if this had not been caught, the infection could have had 3 weeks run in my body with potentially very dangerous consequences. Though we would love to have been on the beach, we are grateful that it was caught at this point.

We see the Lord's hand in this result and still know that He is in contol of what needs to happen. We but need to trust Him and follow His path as we are lead through this journey of life experience. We have learned so much about ourselves, our wonderful children and friends during the last 2 months. We pray that we continue to have the faith and courage to walk in His paths. Prayers of gratitude are appropriately offered for His guidance this past week. We also are so very grateful for each of you who diligently wade through this blog each day and offer loving support with your comments, thoughts, and prayers.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A few days of reprieve

The doctor just left Mike's room. There will be no surgery today. The cultures that are growing in the lab are inconclusive as to what type of infection Mike has. The doctor wants to wait a few days to let the lab run more tests on the specimen. Mike is being discharged as I write. We feel very confident that the doctor has made the right decision. The surgery will probably still take place when the infection is pinpointed and the proper antibiotic can be administered.

Mike is elated that he won't be spending the week end in the hospital. We will see the doctor either Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning. Hopefully by then we will know what we are dealing with.

We have been assured that waiting will not make the situation worse. We appreciate the approach the doctor is taking in KNOWING what we are dealing with rather than just cutting into Mike's skull looking for the unknown.

Thanks to all of you who have prayed in our behalf today. We remain positive. Your faith coupled with ours is so uplifting.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Room 6112 is not quite like home

After my admission today following a few tests, I have settled into my new room for a few days. I have a room mate who is not going to compare to my sweetheart. He is already purring like a freight train which is none too pleasant. This too will pass. The respiratory fellow just hooked up my "sleepy", so I am ready for rest.

I have read my scripture block from the Book of Mormon (Mosiah 4-8)and gone through Champter 19 of the institute manual. It is so much better to read with Naancy than to read this alone. I look forward to this passing quickly to get back to our routine.

I appreciate your faith, prayers and concerns which have already been expressed. I assure you that we are still full of hope and faith. This bump on my head and on the road to recovery will be a short moment. We have full confidence in our medical personnel and surgeon and that this is necessary. There is yet more to learn from this experience and we are willing to submit to our Heavenly Father's plan.

A Bump in the Road

On Tuesday we noticed a knot on Mike's head with quite a bit of swelling. Yesterday when we saw the radiation oncologist, she suggested that we see our surgeon soon. We went this morning and Mike has infection that has to be treated with surgery and IV antibiotics for many, many weeks. Mike was admitted to the hospital this morning. The surgery will be tomorrow afternoon.

The beach vacation isn't going to happen for Mike and I this year... but we will pray for next year! Hopefully our children will still make the trip...

We thought we were sailing along quite nicely... There is more for us to learn from this. Your thoughts and prayers would be so appreciated again. Thanks.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Time Flies

It is difficult to believe that just 2 months ago I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Time has passed so quickly. I guess that is fortunate, so that we are not so distracted by daily worries. Coming to the end of my radiation and chemo treatments is comforting as the blessings of the Lord have been made manifest on a daily basis. I will miss some of my friends at the cancer center for the next few weeks as I am given time to recover (though I feel strong and healthy, I'm not sure how much more recovery I can do in the next 5 weeks before more chemo).

I am touched by the solidarity of Andy's crew cut and Hannah's offering of hair to the "locks of love". In fact, my friend Jane was looking for a hair piece yesterday and I wondered if she would get some of Hannah's hair. Hannah has donated 3 times and over 3 feet of hair to this. Andy's hair was not long enough. I am also so appreciative of Tyler who has accompanied Nancy and me to many doctor's appointments. Thanks kids!

We have had an amazing Journey. Nancy's first post was our journey begins. The first few legs of our journey are now behind us and it has been an amazing trip. We have learned so much from your faith and prayers and a multitude of generous acts of kindness and service. How loved we have felt from heavenly sources and earthly friends. Thank you sincerely for your caring and compassion. We are certainly stronger now than we were when we started.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

3 days and counting

Yesterday we had an appointment with Mike's primary care physician. He asked the general questions about Mike's health. After hearing how well Mike feels and how much energy and optimisim he has, he stood back, crossed his arms and said, "There are just some things that doctors can't explain. How you are handling the treatments as well as the other aspects of your life is truly AMAZING." He said he knew there was a higher power leading this process. He remembered the day 2 months ago when he told us our lives would change forever... He commented that he didn't expect them to change for the better...

Mike's radiation treatments as well as the chemo will end on Friday. He will then have about 5 weeks to recuperate before the next round of chemo starts. We are so excited that the timing of these treatments will allow us to take a family vacation. I am sure the timing is no coincidence! When we go to the shore we are always able to let the tide take all of our troubles out to sea! We are excited to have rest and relaxation from the pace of the past 2 months.

There have been so many acts of kindness shown to us this week. I have had lunch with friends. We have had many encouraging phone calls and visits. We have been listening to a CD sent to us by friends in Florida... We are learning about how breathing can heal. Yesterday a friend pulled enough weeds to fill our trash bin. This has given me the motivation I needed to get out and do some more. While reading this past week I came across the familiar verse... " still and know that I am God." I pray that we never become so involved with ourselves that we forget He who bestows all blessings upon us. We are so grateful for countless blessings. You are the angles sent to help us. Thank you!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The symbol of solidarity...

Andy texted last night and said he had a surprise... His e-mail said "a symbol of solidarity." What an awesome act of love and courage. Andy was handsome anyway, but his big heart makes him even more handsome!

Our kids have been amazing throughout this ordeal. We are so amazingly blessed to have them in our lives. (We don't want Tyler to feel any pressure!) Your idea of a "live strong" bracelet is wonderful!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Grandchildren bring joy!

Playing with the grandkids gives Mike more joy than about anything. We are so happy they visited!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The End of Another Great Day!

Today has been eventful and fun. While I was Endurathon serving, Nancy went to the farmer's market and stocked up a bit on organic food. I arrived home before noon and after our shopping adventure, our grandchildren and their parents dropped by for a visit and to play. It is the best thing in the world to have grandchildren - I highly recommend it.

We have had a quiet evening tonight with reading for Nancy and catching up a bit on some old emails for me. It is nice to have a quiet time occasionally, but we do enjoy our visits from friends and family.

Tomorrow is the Sabbath and we will attend meetings and a fireside. We will squeeze in some rest and reading in the afternoon. We pray that the Lord will sanctify our Sabbath that we all may feel spiritual feelings as we worship.

Water, Vegetables and Beds

We are grateful for the rain today... Our lawn and our plants needed to be watered well. Mike is at the Endurathon helping at a water station with a group of Rotarians. Seems to me the runners might just want to look up and open their mouths:)

The farmer's market was bustling this morning. There were such beautiful fruits and vegetables there. I bought my fair share. My friend told me how she cooks squash, so sometime this week we will be enjoying squash, broccoli, green beans, tomatoes and new potatoes. My friend bought a cantelope and it smelled so good in the car. I wish I would have gotten one...Perhaps the next time.

Mike and I may shop for a new mattress today. Ours is wearing out. I researched mattresses yesterday online. I took a quiz which asked questions like: Do you wake up feeling stiff and sore? Have you had your mattress for more than 10 years? There were a few more questions and if you answered yes to any of them the best thing to do was get a new mattress. I think I answered yes to all of them! I am afraid if Mike lays down on any comfortable mattresses he will fall asleep. I may take his pillow and blanket with us.

Have a great day. Looks like it might be a good day to curl up with a book. That may be my plan.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Continued Improvement & Fun Friday

This week was another great and positive week with the doctor cutting again my steroid dose in half. This taper is slow, but is allowing me to sleep and also not be so hungry in the night. Last night I slept 6 straight hours which has not happened for several months! Part of that was probably a very full Thursday with a fun trip out of town to field measure some historic buildings in a rural town south of here and some friends visiting last evening. I missed my afternoon & evening naps, so I was ready for sleep earlier last night.

The Friday fun schedule is Rotary followed by my radiation treatment (the therapists and I tease a bit), after some planned rest in late morning I will play in vendor sponsored afternoon golf outing with a client. It is an annual outing and this is my 4th year playing. I will watch my energy level an may take a mid round break and take in plenty of water/hydration.

Every day seems to have some positive improvement in my energy level, productive work for the office, or some small project I can accomplish around home. I am so grateful for the continued healing power of the Savior and the sustaining influence of your faith & prayers. This is a remarkable journey where we are learning a lot about ourselves. Thank you for sharing this experience with us. I hope you are learning as well that we can trust our Heavenly Father's plan for our lives and that there is purpose for these experiences.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A trip out of town...

After resting all morning (supposedly) Mike was able to drive to a job site today that is about an hour away. I was of course scared to let him go, but one of his employees rode with him and he did just fine. I have him home now and he is fine and feeling so good about the day. He is fed and I hope he will rest the remainder of the evening.

It was nice for me to have lunch with my cousin (whose birthday is today) and my good friend from childhood. The three of us used to be the 3 Muskateers in grade school. It was so much fun to think of days so long ago.

We are continually thinking of those of you who have been so kind and considerate of us. Yesterday we got a WONDERFUL plate of brownies... A few days ago, a basket full of tomatoes and parsley... Soon, I will have cherry tomatoes and would love to share our bounty. Stop by and bring your baskets!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I think you will have to agree with me, Mike's post this morning was nice. It epitomizes Mike. He has the most positive attitude of anyone I know. He always tries to be happy. His happiness is contagious.

Having had another one of "those days," I did some reading about happiness. I read in James 5:11, "Behold, we count them happy which endure (or are steadfast.) Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very compassionate and of tender mercy.

So... we are happy when we perservere, are patient, and like the Lord, have tender mercy or kindness. (Note: This is my interpretation.) I don't think I will wait until tomorrow to try this... I'll try to be more like Mike today. :)

Positive Attitude & Rules to Live By

I don't often forward emails which are forwarded to me, but thought this one had some very positive thoughts and rules we can all live by:

A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed eachmorning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably combed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.
His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiledsweetly when told his room was ready.
As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.
I20love it,' he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year old
just having been presented with a new puppy.
Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait.'
'That doesn't have anything to do with it,' he replied.
Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time.
Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged .. it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it.
'It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice;I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away. Just for this time in my life.
Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in.
So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories!
Thank you for your part in filling my Memory Bank.
I am still depositing.
'Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred and fill it with love.
2. Free your mind from worries and fill it with happy memories.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Grandpa's special day

It's been a lovely day... Thanks to everyone who encouraged the chocolate eating yesterday... It did help. I saw the shrink again this morning and he said it was very probable that we would have sad days. So with that affirmation, I will move on to today :)

It is my dad's birthday today. He is 82 and still going strong like a 50 year old. He is absolutely amazing! What a pillar he has been for our family for so many years. My parents have been so wonderful to Mike and me during this time. We thank them for it... I know Heavenly Father hears their prayers! We feel like we are in good hands.

A great friend of mine traveled 3 hours to come to Funcie today for a visit. We got together with a mutual friend and had such a wonderful afternoon. It was so good to talk and cry and share our love with each other. Friends have been so important to us in the past several months. We again thank each of you for your love and support.

Mike is having another of those GREAT days. He napped for a few hours this afternoon and is now back to work. We are curious about his new hair growth. We think we can grow a mullett (sp?) if we work at it... You will see the view from the back. Do you see possibilities?

Monday, July 6, 2009


The sun is shining, the humidity is low, the flowers look great after the recent rain, the tomato plants are huge, the mosquitos are biting, the laundry is done, a room is cleared out, Rudy is chewing on a bone, Mike just left for a meeting. He is feeling well... Goodness my life seems normal. I feel sad today. I am sure chocolate will make it better :/

A New Week

It is a cool start to a new week, but the temperatures are supposed to get to the normal 80s starting this afternoon. We had a wonderful weekend and holiday with Hannah, Allen, Andy, and Tyler's family. We had another meal at Nancy's parents' home yesterday to celebrate her father's birthday coming this week. We are sorry to see Hannah and Allen leave, but they are hauling furniture and attic memorbillia back to Albuquerque starting this morning. We wish them a safe journery and appreciate their visit so much.

I continue to notice positive changes with the decreasing steroid taper. I slept better last night and didn't wake up so early. I am down to the last 2 weeks (10 left) of radiation treatments. I still feel well and really not too fatigued, though I do seem to sleep more in the day than previously. Nancy continues to monitor my progress and I am grateful for her knowledge and expert care.

May each of us make this a great week and continue this journey with full confidence in the Lord's plan for our lives.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Welcome, welcome Sabbath Morning

The title of this post comes from an old hymn we used to sing,,, "Welcome, welcomme Sabbath morning, now we rest from every care, welcome, welcome, is thy dawning, Holy Sabbath Day of Prayer." (sorry that is the limit of my memory of the words). I love the Sabbath Day. Today, our church rejoices together in a day of fast where we don't eat for 2 meals and spend more intensive time in prayer and thanksgiving. It is a humbling experience as we fast and grow closer to God. The equivilent cost of the meal is donated to the church to assist the poor. We all win as we gain humility and the poor are provided with funds to put food on their tables. Isn't that a great plan? Though some may not be able to fast because of medical conditions, we still have a time of prayer and offer a contribution for the poor. I'm sure most churches have a way to distribute to the poor, but this costs nothing to the giver since we are not eating that food anyway. Contributions to a food pantry would be appropriate, if you choose to participate. What a perfect plan!

Yesterday was a good day with our kids. I worked most the morning at the office (just like good old Saturdays or holidays) and accomplished much without the phone or visitors. Alan and I picked up a rental truck and went to the the movie, Star Trek, in the afternoon, but I couldn't completely follow the story because of some power naps during the show. I hope I didn'tembarrass my son-in-law. It did have some ties to my old TV days with Kirk and Spock and some great special effects. The girls chose another show and went to a fabric store. The evening was spent packing a truck with the "stuff" from a spare bedroom and attic memories of Hannah's stuff. We enjoy an occasional trip down memory lane.

We look forward to another beautiful Sabbath day to worship together and have another family meal. This weekend is going much too quickly.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


We just finished packing the U-haul for Hannah and Allen to drive back across the country. We have tried to give them more stuff than they want. After all, they have plenty of room in their truck :) Why is it kids don't want parent's stuff. I think the stuff is wonderful. Hannah's dolls, clothes, books, swimming memorabalia, furniture, quilts and STUFF are now out of our house. I thought once her stuff was gone, our attic would be emptyish... I guess a lot of that stuff in the attic wasn't hers! Yikes, it must be ours :(

Mike has had a good day. He has been happy to have the kids around. We are grateful to celebrate this holiday together. Other than sleepy, Mike is his old self again... It is wonderful to have him back. I need to go put him to bed. It has been a long day for him. I think I will watch the Boston Pops... Happy Independence Day friends!

Happy July 4th Holiday

Today is our great nation's birthday and holiday celebration. We hope you'll have an enjoyable day and a safe one. Today will be rather relaxed around our home with no significant plans. We will enjoy one another and probably have a cookout.

Yesterday was also pretty relaxed, though I found time to work a bit on some projects at the office in the morning and napped on the back porch in the afternoon. Hannah and Nancy did a bit of shopping and running some errands with Andy and Alan.

I continue to heal and feel well, though may not have as much energy as when I was on higher doses of steroids. The taper has dramatically helped my night time sleeping.

We continue to be blessed by your faith and prayers. We have tremendous support from all of you and our precious family. There are many other folks out there dealing with hard times and medical needs. Please find time to pray, comfort, and help them. We sincerely appreciate your weeks of loving attention to our family.

Friday, July 3, 2009

New author

I taught Mike the ins and outs of blogging... He has picked it up quite well and has done most of posting for the last few days. I am so pleased that he is feeling well enough to have good times with our family. We had fun yesterday as you will read in his post. He tires very easily and doesn't really notice his fatigue until he sits down...

We feel it such a blessing to have all of our children around us for a few days. Family photos are generally rather painful for those of us who don't like to be photographed. Our photographer friend made it nice for all of us. We hope one or two, out of the 2,000 she took will look nice!

We hope all of you have a wonderful holiday with your families.

Family Time

We had an appointment with the oncology nurse practitioner at the cancer center who also concurred with the physical assessment from the doctors the day before. She patiently answered every question. Thursday afternoon was a wonderful time at Tyler & Kim's home. All our children and grandchildren were there and Tyler had arranged for Julia Bender (remember that name, she'll be famous one day), a skilled photographer and artist to take lots of photos. On her way into to town she and her husband, Jan, found an abandoned building a couple blocks from Tyler's home with some washed out colors to make for an interesting setting.

After shots of the whole clan and smaller groups, we strolled back to Ty's house. Posing requires more effort than one would think. We sat outside while Tyler cooked some of his specially seasoned burgers on the grill. Will and Maggie played with balls and rocks and entertained us all in their back yard. Every grandparent believes this, but these are the cutest and most special grandchildren, ever. We loved every minute.

We ate lots of produce from Kim and Nancy's gardens and it was topped off by Kim's lemon, poppy seed cake (not so organic, but absolutely great eaten in moderation). It was a delightful afternoon and evening. As usual, Will did not want Nanny and Poppy to leave. I slept in the car all the way home and also fell asleep on the couch after getting home. I was surprised to have slept most the evening, then we visited with Hannah and Alan until almost 11 pm (only 9 pm Albuquerque time) and went to bed. I also slept so soundly for almost 5 straight hours again and feel refreshed this early morning. In the last 12 hours, I have probably slept almost 7 of them. This is a most appreciated blessing.

Today's pace is much less with only an eye exam scheduled and a 50th wedding anniversay reception for our service minded home teachers who have been weeding our planting beds this week. We will enjoy a restful day since it is a holiday for the office and the cancer center.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Oh, What a Beautiful Evening!

Mike is the author again :)
Last evening was most delightful as Tyler and Will delivered Hannah and Allen to our home, Andy arrived, and all were here except our Maggie and Kim (we missed them). We ordered Pizza King (a family favorite) and used certificates provided by friends in some get well cards a few weeks ago. Nancy also warmed up some organic food for me and made a wonderful green salad from leaf lettuce from our garden. It was great to have almost everyone together for the evening where we visited, laughed, and filled our bellies.

Will discovered the new toy that was sent to me from the Huffman cousins (jack in the box with a sock monkey rather than the traditional clown). He had a great time launching bowls and army men off the lid when the monkey popped up.

We stayed up until about 11 pm talking (Nancy, Hannah and Allen were up much later.) and I again slept for 5 straight hours again! I feel rested and my back just gets stiff being in bed that long (may need to replace the mattress soon). We have a full morning of work, radiation, and an oncology appointment before heading the Greenfield for an afternoon with a professional photographer and a cookout at Kim and Tyler's home.

Family time is most precious. This holiday weekend, I hope we all focus on quality time with our loved ones as we celebrate the birth of our great nation. We are grateful to live in a country where we can live in peace, worship as we choose, and live in comfort.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The news couldn't be any better...

(Mike is the author of this post)
We just returned from our second doctor's appointment today and we are thrilled that they both agree that I am recovering and tolerating the treatments much better than is expected. Even with my steroid tapered to a lower level there are no new symptoms and my sleep pattern has improved. Both have agreed that I can drive more and work as long as I feel like it, but not to overdo it (suggesting half days for now). It gives us so much confidence to have two skilled and knowledgeable professionals agree that things are going so well!

Tomorrow I am 2/3 the way through the radiation treatments and have a 3 day break because of the holiday closing on Friday. My chemo treatments are a bit further along since I take those on weekends as well.

With Hannah and Allen coming in from Albuqueque this evening we will have 4 days of fun and activities. We will have family photos taken tomorrow in Greenfield followed by a cookout at Tyler and Kim's house.

We have been so very blessed today with all the good news, but we understand the source of the healing lies not solely in the doctors, a good diet, and rest, but the root of all healing is the Lord Jesus Christ. We trust His plan for us and we know that He is watching over and caring for us daily. We thank you for your love, prayers, and support. Please join us in expressing gratitude for the positive results we are experiencing.

Doctor visits, naps and Hannah and Allen

Today we see the neurosurgeon and the radiation oncologist. Hannah and Allen come in at 3:30. Tyler is getting them from the airport and driving them here. It will be a busy day. I will report back later.

We feel so refreshed with the cooler weather. We may walk to the Cancer Center today.