Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hannah is home!

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

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas aftermath...

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

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

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

Tonight we need to sleep...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

another first today

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

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

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

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas meals

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


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

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

Monday, December 21, 2009


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

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

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

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A new challenge

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

Saturday, December 19, 2009


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

Friday, December 18, 2009

it's Aqua therapy Friday!

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

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

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

Thursday, December 17, 2009

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday's schedule

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

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday's new start

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

Friday, December 11, 2009

More Water Therapy and a little Occupational Therapy

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

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

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Aqua therapy-a most wonderful experience!

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

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

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday happenings

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

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

Monday, December 7, 2009

outpatient rehab report

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

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

Sunday, December 6, 2009

aSunday in December already

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

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

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

Friday, December 4, 2009

Another day, another doctor's visit

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

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Loading and unloading...

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

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

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

United Way Award

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

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

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