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


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


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


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


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


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.