Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years!

I would like to wish everyone a wonderful 2009! If you had a great 2008 than I hope it's even better, If 2008 stank (like ours did) then I sincerely hope it improves. I just plan to take each day as it comes and enjoy that day to the max. If 2009 stinks, then at least I'll have these pleasant things to remember! Yesterday Larry was watching Saturday Night Live on DVD, with headphones, I'll always remember the sound of his laughter- it's been pretty rare this year.

I've been re-arranging the basement, or at least my part of it, the last couple of days. Lots of work and hopefully a better working arrangement. I need a bigger space dedicated to my sewing and research, we need a bigger space for TV watching. Finding the balance is hard. Maybe this time. The real problem is that we have too much stuff! I'm working on that as well. I should finish the final touches tonight or tomorrow and find a place for everything. I need a different arrangement for the recycling which currently threatens to overrun us--told Larry I needed to quit bringing in so much stuff! Perhaps then I can sew.

We have decided, I think, to fly to Hawaii and take a cruise around the islands in February. Larry doesn't want to go to Hawaii and not be able to get in the ocean and so wants to wait until he's rid of the wound vac. I hope that's soon and the way it's healing I think it will be.

Again, best wishes in 2009! Enjoy it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday, again

Sorry I haven't posted in a while but we've been on the Christmas tilt-a-whirl! Okay, sometimes it felt like it but it was really fun! We had an exceptional Christmas day here, unwrapping of the gifts in North Pole central began about 8:30 and continued until 12:30! We have begun a new tradition since children began moving out, when those who live here are all up we open our socks. Yes, I still make stocking gifts for everyone, Larry makes mine, and in some ways they are the most fun and most anticipated gifts of all! Go figure. Then we open one gift every 30 minutes until the rest get to our house when we open until they are gone but we open them one person at a time so we can see what everyone else is getting. Part of the fun is to watch the reaction of the person you bought the gift for after all. I think everyone was happy with their gifts, both large and small. After gifting we moseyed toward dinner, with my extended family; my father and both brothers as well as Jessie, Jim's wife. Many hands helped cook and set up the tables. We went back to moving all the living room furniture into the kitchen and the kitchen table, bench and chairs into the living room to make one large table (everyone wants to be at the big table and be able to talk to everyone else.) We used Mom's dishes again on the gold chargers set this time on green table cloths. It was very pretty and even though my rolls were a complete disaster dinner was terrific. Then on Friday, Scott and Bri who had been in St Louis for Christmas day joined us and we repeated gifting and had a big mexican spread. I took Saturday off cooking but on Sunday we celebrated Tanya's birthday! See what I mean? Tilt-a-whirl!

Today, Larry and I headed back to the VA as he was scheduled for Chemo but they had people stacked up like cord wood and one nurse out so we rescheduled for Friday. We had a couple of other things to clear up over there and the day that was planned to finish early morphed into our leaving in time to go out for lunch at Olive Garden; soup, salad and breadsticks always a winner for us. Since we got home I've been trying to clean up a bit, can't believe how much cardboard there is I think it may take two loads to get the recycling to the center! Rob took the outside lights down as it is a nice day and only the snowflakes worked--our icicle lights were a disaster this year! Rob and Tanya have plans for next year, I told them to go for it!

I hope to make some progress on the rest of the house, especially my desk and sewing area. I should be able to manage some work between shouting MIZ -ZOU during the Alamo Bowl! GO TIGERS!

I hope you are enjoying this holiday week and that 2009 proves to be a good year for you!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all!

I just wanted to take a minute now to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! We are looking forward to a great one. Some how our living room has become North Pole central it's so stuffed with gifts! We are blessed in spite of everything with loving and local (distant too) children and just being with them is a gift! Our challenges continually bring to mind the need to savor every minute of every day, to see the beauty and love that surrounds us. May you be blessed in 2009.


Friday, December 19, 2008

He's home again!

Well, we finally made it home today about 6:45pm. We knew early in the day that he'd be going home but had to wait for the Dr to change his wound vac and for the portable wound vac to arrive. Changing this thing will be an ordeal for a while (like months) as there are foam sponges inside his thigh. The theory is that the sponges soak up the fluid which develop and collect in the space left by the tumor and the wound vac sucks them gently out. The wound itself is not closed by stitches and the sponge/vac allows it to heal from the inside out. Translate, big scar. There is also some evidence that it helps the lymphatic system recover from radiation/surgery faster. Unfortunately, this is not a speedy process and what progress there is will be slowed by chemo beginning again on the 29th. We will have a home heath nurse until I feel I can do it, which is basically now. I will be nervous but I'll manage. Due to the platelets and lack of coumadin before surgery we are back to twice daily shots to thin his blood, urgh!

We don't have Doctor's appointments until Monday, I'm so ready to stay home! Larry's ready to sleep in his own bed and not have someone wake him for vitals at some outrageous hour! Nearly ready for Santa's big day here, it will prove to be a good one!

No matter how often I re-read these things as soon as I post it I find something wrong, be patient!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Good News! No Infection!

Test results are back and show no infection in the leg. Already the thigh has lost some of it's puffiness and all it's redness and heat, his leg and ankle are still swollen but that will just take some time. He says that as long as he doesn't move it doesn't hurt and the pain isn't too bad anyway. Perhaps he's becoming used to pain? He can't feel the wound vac either but it sounds like he's about to leave the ground! (Larry says it sounds like a motorcycle and Rob likes he's reving his engines!) Dr. Allen, his oncologist, was very encouraged by the news and despite the fact that the vac remains in until the wound heals from the inside out chemo will begin again on the 29th. Begin again is the right way to say it as it truly is starting over. The wound vac he currently has is the size of a small suitcase and weighs a ton but he's to get a portable one that runs on batteries and straps to his leg, can't wait to see that!

I'm home early as the roads are expected to get icy tonight and Larry worries. Never mind that I'm headed out to finish my shopping-never a favorite event for me and I certainly cannot even attempt to attain either Lucas' or Rob and Tanya's level of bargain shopping! I actually only have one more gift to buy and then I have to head to the pet store for frisbee's as all ours are buried under snow. The dogs have suffered a lack of my attention this year and it sometimes shows, I'm hoping to do better next year. They deserve new toys for being my faithful buddies no matter what. Larry has the cats, who never let him forget it! Rob and Tanya are going to meet me for dinner out then I'm for the sewing room again! My Christmas cards are to be done as well but that will likely be tomorrow's chore.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Surgery No 4

That's right, he's had four surgeries on his right leg! One, open biopsy, two, tumor removal, three drain insertion, and four vacuum drain insertion. We both vehemently hope this is the last one. Everything went well, it was about 12 before he went off to the surgery suite as he had to be given platelets to increase his clotting time beforehand. Dr. Templeton, who did both the open biopsy and the tumor removal, did the surgery. She said that visually it did not appear to be infected but sent some fluid off to be tested to be sure. Thinks it is still the lymph nodes that were damaged by both radiation and surgery causing all the trouble. He was resting comfortably when I left and has since eaten a full dinner. I don't expect him home before Friday as I have to learn to change the sponge and tubing on this drain. I am glad there is no infection as they were planning to send him home on IV antibiotics, that seems somewhat intimidating to me! Oh well, we just do today what needs to be done and keep on learning more stuff. Really, I couldn't give a shot before this year!

My house is a wreck and it seems that all the cleaning earlier was for nothing, sigh. Perhaps when I get him home again it will spiff up quickly. Tonight I'm heading for the basement to do a little sewing and watch tv until I go to bed. All this waiting is unreasonably tiring.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

No surgery today

Larry's surgery was postponed today. His blood clotting levels were too high (meaning he might bleed too much) so it was rescheduled for tomorrow first thing. This is what they want when they put you on Cumadin! First things translates into anything after 7:30am. He was admitted though and is in room 3210, phone number 816-922-5817. His spirits are pretty good even though he really doesn't want to do this-ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

We got 3-4 inches of snow today, I went shopping this morning, I love shopping when it's snowing and there's no one out--well I didn't go to the grocery store they are usually swamped! I've finished my shopping for the most part. I'm still thinking about a couple of things for Larry and I have some things I'm making to finish. Christmas will be good this year if Larry and I have anything to say about it!

I'll be at the hospital about 7 tomorrow and will post tomorrow night again with the latest.

Monday, December 15, 2008

"Interesting" Cat Scans

Dr. Allen's first words were: "These cat scans are really interesting." To which I replied, I don't want to hear that! Larry has a large pocket of infection in the leg at the site where the tumor was removed and the little buggies that are causing the infection have created air pockets there. Did you know they could do that? The things you learn. Anyway, we went over to see our good Dr Duncan in Orthopedics and surgery is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon to reopen the leg, drain it and clean it. Will most likely put a vacumn drain on it this time and he'll be in the hospital for a few days on IV antibiotics. There's talk of sending him home on IV antibiotics, man the things I've learned how to do this year! Chemo is on hold until this is cleared up, maybe until after Christmas. Oh, by the way, the cat scans were interesting.

In other, less depressing news, We had all the children here on Sunday for a pre-Christmas celebration and a little package opening since the California kids went home today. I put them on a plane tonight, they were looking forward to San Diego Weather 9F degrees is too cold they think! At the end of the party Larry's Mom, Sister Marie, Niece Kristi and G-neice Alayna came by on their way home from the airport. Alayna had decorated cookies for all of us and they were adorable, Since she isn't even old enough for school they were amazing and very sweet of her!

I am nearly ready for Christmas, I was better situated before today but I'll make it, I think. I had gotten to a place where I was going to be able to just sew but I think there's a kink in that plan!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Chemo Week two a no go

Larry was scheduled for chemo today but his white blood count was too low for it. Not dangerously low but low. That's one of the side effects of this chemo regimen plus he has something going on in his thigh which is likely to be an infection and that lowers white counts. The only thing to do for it is to wait and it will come up on its own. He's on antibiotics for the leg and is scheduled for a CTscan on that right hip and thigh Thursday evening. We tried to outsmart the system today. it didn't work. We decided that he'd go in and have his port accessed and blood drawn then come home and I 'd fix breakfast then we'd go back--not to be, he called about 8:30 and said he had an appointment at 9 with his oncologist so I quickly drove over to the VA. We had two cars there. After seeing Dr Allen, the Pharmacy, and getting his port tubes out we got home about 11:00, starving.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday, a sewing day

Yesterday, Larry and I took care of some nagging details--the icicle lights that didn't work now light up our house and we are no longer drowning in recycling to name two. We also got the tree up, so the decorating is done! Larry set up an oval for his old "O" scale train under the tree this year and I added other of our toys from childhood. It looks cute even though it cuts down on present space! After that Larry was going to watch the MU-OU game and since I didn't particularly want to see them get creamed I went to the basement to sew. I finished one of my never-ending shopping bag projects, only about 9 to go, then I worked on blocks for Brayden's quilt. Today I have made more blocks, it's such fun and even fabrics I thought might not work or might not work well together are working out. I'm shooting for 10 blocks a day so that next week I can make the quiltlets. I hope it comes out cute enough for them to use it as his bedspread but even if it doesn't he will have a warm quit made with love by his Granna.

Speaking of Brayden, he was here for a while on Friday evening while Mommy and Daddy went Christmas shopping. He enjoyed playing with all those old toys, and reading books. He knows where we keep the candy and now always wants a "butterscotch," he nearly always gets one! Strangely, he never asks for more than one. I'll be picking him up at school tomorrow and we are going to Bass Pro to see the trains etc. Should be fun!

Larry, goes in bright and early tomorrow for his week two chemo. He has to have blood work and will ask them about his leg. He continues to have pain in the right leg and it swells and gets red as the day goes by. We are hoping the problems cause a spurt in activity on the Drs part as he is still not scheduled for imaging on it.

We're headed out to dinner soon, Cracker Barrel here we come! It's one place we can be sure to find food he can eat so we go there if we go out. It would be pretty discouraging to order food and not be able to eat it. Every day we look for more foods that he can eat but it's pretty limited and there's no rhyme nor reason to it, we both get frustrated with it. Other than the leg and the food things his only other problem is that he tires easily, not as bad as we expected.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mid-week crazies

I'm trying something new here, adding photos! I pick Brayden up on Mondays from day care so we can spend time together and he loves Thomas the Tank engine trains. This is the layout he and Larry built this last Monday-it took up nearly the entire entry floor! I think they both had a ball, even though Larry complained about it being hard on the knees!

We went out and bought a snow thrower today. We'd avoided it so far but we have a lot of driveway (and parking lot) needing to be shoveled-sometimes. Also our helpers Rob and Tanya are just too busy this year to shovel, Larry does not have the strength and I have shoulder issues so a big hulking snow thrower has taken up residence here. It probably won't snow all winter now. I used to say that the winters when all the children had boots, gloves, snowpants etc were the ones with no snow, let me get behind on that and we got feet of the stuff!

I've gotten most of the decorations up and we plan to do the tree on the weekend. Saturday is to be warmer so we plan to get some outside stuff caught up. We need to work on the icicle lights and put the snow thrower together, I will probably mow leaves one last time as well. All before the MU-Oklahoma game!

Monday, December 1, 2008

CT news-Some good, some bad

I know everyone is awaiting news from Larry's CT scan last week so here goes. The good news is that there are no NEW places in his lungs, the bad news is that none of the old ones gone and two had grown a little. There is a little good news there as well as it was only a little not doubled or anything. This means that the course of chemo he was on isn't working so today he began a new course with different meds. These are administered on a out patient basis in a three week cycle, one today, one next Monday and then one off. After the second cycle he'll have another CTscan, probably the first week in January, the judge the effectiveness of this course. The good thing here being not admitted to the hospital AND the fact that there are fewer side effects to this stuff. He has been having some pain in the hip where the tumor was and will have some imaging of it in the near future as well. It could be a nerve, or arthur or more tumor, we have to wait and see.

I need to go get my little guy from day care, talk later.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The day after

We had a really wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday, twelve around the table. My Father and Brother, Bobby, Larry's Mother and sister, Marie, three of our four children with their spouses/fiancees. Poor Brayden slept through the whole thing. I used my mom's china and sterling for the first time, the china is platinum and white and I set the dishes on gold chargers. It was really lovely. I think that if I'm going to all the trouble to prepare a feast then the table should look as fantastic as the food tastes! Besides, I love to fuss! I played around with the pies this year as well, made the pumpkin out of real pumpkins and put cut out leaves on the edge instead of the crimping. They tasted good and looked pretty, although they weren't perfect.

Today, I made waffles for Mom, Marie and our kids. After they scattered and I finished cleaning up then we had a rest day. I napped, a very rare occurance. Then I wrote some cards to service men as I home to have them in the mail soon. Christmas decorating has begun, I hope to have that finished next week. Larry reports for chemo round 3 on Monday. Things will slow down for a couple of weeks then our oldest comes in on the 11th. After that it's Christmas. I love the holidays and I make a practice of not wishing my life away but this has been the year from hell and I will be glad to see it go.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A good day

The trailer's home! After two months at the dealership we got it back this morning all ready for winter and all fixed. I'm glad to get things back to normal, plus the backyard just looked wrong without it.

The new dryer was delivered this morning as well, we finally gave up and bought a new one. It is very quiet and very BIG.

Now all that's left is the mower. At least in terms of things needing fixed or replaced. I hope that's the end of it anyway. We're expecting one or both of the frigs to go in the next year but that is for another day.

Larry had a CT scan tonight, we won't have any results until Monday. When he's back in the hospital. We can only hope the chemo is working, if it isn't they will change meds and begin again.

Tomorrow will be a very full day for me, I try to do alot of the Thanksgiving cooking before hand and I have tables to set up, etc, etc. Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Just be grateful for all those irreplaceable things/people in your life!

Monday, November 24, 2008

One more shot

Blood work today showed enough improvement that I only have to give Larry one more shot of blood thinner. I will still give the Friday shot to boost his bone marrow but that's better than 2 a day. He doesn't have to go back for more blood work until Friday, any thing that means we don't have to go to the hospital is something I'm behind! We get our trailer back tomorrow, it's been in the shop since September, there wasn't much wrong but we had it winterized and told them to take as long as they needed. I'll be glad to have it back as I'd like to put all the things I took out to clean and have been looking at ever since. I'm busy getting ready for Thanksgiving and keeping the house clean. Made party snacks yesterday and today so the baking begins! Rob and Tanya put up the outside lights this afternoon, lighting on Thanksgiving. Just like the Plaza! Wednesday, on top of cooking I have to pick up the part for the lawn mower. I'm sure I'll be mowing leaves over the weekend! I have a zipper to replace in a jacket so I'd better get sewing!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another 6 shots

Larry had blood work for the cumidin again this morning, so we have six more shots. The numbers are coming up but not yet enough to get off the shots. We also got his CT scan and Dr's appointment for the next round changed and enough of some of his meds to last until the mailed ones arrive. A good morning at the VA--and we went early enough to get a parking space. Came home and worked at my desk for a while before I went to Brayden's day care Thanksgiving lunch. I brought him home with me to play with his trains and such. So other than the shot deal it was a good day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cards for the troops

My sister in law emailed me about sending mail to the wounded at Walter Reed, Tanya and I tried this last year and our letters were returned, regulations prohibit mail addressed to Any Service member, all mail must be sent to a named individual. I found this really neat web site: where you can request addresses for service members, 2 each day. They have all the rules and regs and recommendations for care packages etc. All in all very useful. I requested addresses for two Air Force members today and will request more tomorrow. They have this going year round as well. I've wanted to do this for years so I finally found the place to do it. I finished housecleaning today!! And no I won't come clean yours!! Larry has to go do the blood thing tomorrow morning and we have some appointments to change. Then I'm going to Brayden's day care for a Thanksgiving party. I'm pretty sure I'll be bringing him home with me--he 'll want to play with the train table! I hope to be able to sew some tomorrow or maybe bake, anything will be more enjoyable than this endless cleaning has been.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another Tuesday

I have only the floors to clean and I'll be done! Yipee! I use Murphy's Oil soap in my carpet machine so I'll have that done in about an hour tomorrow. Then I'll just need to buff it up every few days. It will be great to have that out of the way, just in time for the cooking to begin. Larry is still quite exhausted from the last bout of Chemo, his diet is picking up though. His blood thinners have still not gone to work so I'm giving him shots twice a day. I really hate it, it sometimes leaves a big bruise but the Anti-coagulation guy says that's normal, but he needs to have them until the Warfrin gets things under control. Apparently this is quite common in cancer patients. I have to take Charley to the vet in the morning, it's time to shuffle the pets in for checkups and shots plus he has a cough. After nearly losing Kelsy earlier this year I'm taking him in before he gets really sick. They are nearly eleven, really old for dogs. While I'm out I have to pick up brake shoes for my van the Rob will put them on for me, I hope tomorrow as the temperature is forcast for 60ish and he has to do it outside. I'll finish the painting outside plus some other odds and ends as well. I've been up since 4 this morning, couldn't sleep so I got up and went to work, laundry etc. I got a lot done but I'm starting to drag. This happens to me fairly regularly-maybe once a week- so I've decided to just get up and do something, at least I know I've a reason to be tired!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The weekend's over, so sad

It shouldn't make any difference to me what day of the week it is but it seems to. Perhaps it is years of programming for school and work days, or perhaps it is the fact that there can be no
Dr appointments so I can plan something and actually hope to get it done! Yesterday, I cooked pumpkins for pies, and bread etc. I'll make 8 or 9 pumpkin pies before the end of the year and the rest I'll use for breads. I've done this before but I found an easier way, well I think it's easier. One of the nurses from the VA had offered me a Thomas train table for Brayden, just the right price--Free! I went to Overland Park to collect it and dropped in at Joann's for flannel. Luckily, I found six more, only 5 to go! Today, I finished with pumpkins and , wait for it, mowed leaves. My usual weekend chore. This time it was a bit different, I broke the mower! It's been raining broken things around here, we've had trouble with clothes dryers this fall and that saga continues. We tried taking mine out and using Tanya's, yesterday the touch panel went out on her's and it wouldn't stay running. This morning Rob and Tanya moved mine back in, we're hoping that Larry fixed the orginal problem. Otherwise, it's off to the store (probably Lowe's since they will take away the one that doesn't work) for a new one. Both dryers are old and we don't want to put money into them. Rob fixed his car, again, this week. He just doesn't want to buy a new one just yet. Larry put up a jigsaw puzzle yesterday, something he loves but hasn't done lately mostly because of the cats (they eat pieces.) I bought some felt and we are covering it up when not working on it. Tanya spent a little time with it as did I, it's fun. Tomorrow, we're off to the VA for blood work due to his blood thinners, we need to talk to his Oncologist about his CT and next appointment as well. I still have not finished cleaning the house altho it's getting close. If we don't have to spend too long at the VA I might get done tomorrow, It not then Tuesday. I'll be really glad, both to be finished and to have a clean house. I have, of course, several projects and chores that are waiting form me when I finish. Hope all of you have a good week!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Home again, for this time

We are home again, it's getting weird, we see the same nurses so when we leave it's " See you in two weeks!" We'll miss them when the treatments are over. Larry's blood counts remained good, so no blood transfusions necessary. He's on big blood thinners for the clot, I now get to give him TWO shots a day and three on Fridays. He's tired and has trouble finding anything that he wants to eat as most things don't taste very good. We have to watch his fluids and finding something he wants to drink is a challenge. Right now we're just glad he's home and we can all get back to normal for a little while. Ct scan Dec 1.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chemo Cycle 2, Day 4

The last "push" was earlier today and the bay of Mesna is hung now, they are treating the blood clot with blood thinners and Larry should come home tomorrow. He had pretty severe nausea again today and they have upped his meds for that to as needed. The meds make him terribly sleepy-he fights to stay awake but he loses! His Mom and sister, Marie, came up today for a visit. Beth, Lucas and Brayden came this evening. He likes the company even though he's always telling us not to come! I went up early today in the hopes that I would see the Dr. stayed until about 12:30, no doctor. I'd have stayed longer but we got new guttering yesterday, quite a bit of the faceau boards had to be replaced and therefore painted. Today was pretty warm for November so I went home to paint. Rob helped me with the high spots and we finished all but a strip on the back which we should finish on Sunday(when the weather is warm again.) I have grocery shopping to do tomorrow then I'll head in to the hospital. We should get home in time for dinner tomorrow night.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chemo Cycle 2, Day 3

Third "push" is done and the third bag of "nasty" is hung. Each bag is getting hung a little later in the day so it will be late afternoon before he gets out on Friday (like 5:30) which is the pits but we'll deal. They did an ultra sound of his right leg today and found a deep vein clot, about 30% obstructed so he goes on blood thinners along with everything else. He is very tired and sleeping alot, still hasn't lost his hair. His blood counts are still good, he'll have a ct scan in two weeks to see if this is working.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chemo cycle two, day two

Larry is still feeling pretty good, had his second push and the second bag is dripping slowly away. He doesn't have a roommate this time around and that is a good thing. Another good thing is that his thigh has finally quit draining so we don't have to deal with that this time around. His blood pressure is really low but they think that is probably from not enough fluids, it did come back up this afternoon. An unusal event, Larry of the 200 plus over 100 plus bps. He gets dizzy from it. He will also be having an ultrasound of the right leg (tumor leg) as it is somewhat swollen and had a couple of possible clots in the calf. The doctor's are on top of it. It's been an interesting couple of days for him; as an inpatient in a veteran's hospital on veteran's day. He's gotten several thank you cards from grade school children, one from Hawaii!, and three different flag pins, Uncle Sam and his Missus came to visit and he was "kissed" by some girl scouts (it's okay, only chocolate kisses! They also gave him a carnation.) The food was even special. Yesterday, the Marines were there in force--you know their birthday! Raining and cold and I am still cleaning house, I don't get alot done while he's in the hospital plus I have to keep up the part I've already cleaned! Maybe tomorrow I'll get all the books dusted. /those of you who've seen the living room of this bibliopile can attest to the fact that dusting books is not a small chore!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chemo cycle two, day one

Larry is back at the VA for his second cycle of chemo. He's in room 8291 bed 1, his phone number is 816-922-5905. He's had his first push and they finally hung his first bag about one. His only about the food--it's terrible!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

More leaves!

First, Happy Birthday Kristi! I don't want to think about how OLD you are because of how old that makes your Mom and Uncle Larry! I hope you are feeling better soon.

It's Saturday so it's leaf day! Larry went out and helped me today, he raked leaves away from the house, all the places I can't get to with the mower, and helped me empty the bag and dump the leaves. It really helps to have someone out there with me and he didn't get too tired out by it. Finished the backyard and will do the front tomorrow, it doesn't have as many leaves and isn't is large so I should finish pretty fast, even if I don't have help. Football after all! I've nearly finished cleaning the kitchen, I know why I always start with the kitchen now, I'm so sick of cleaning at this point and there's still a bit to do. It looks so nice, to see all my glass sparkling. Who am I kidding, it's nice to see the countertops! Hope to finish up in there tomorrow. Life gets interesting on Monday. I finished one denim bag today, I have three ready more to go. I have six after that needing to be sewn together. I'd like to use them next grocery day, but mostly I want them off my to do list.

Mostly, the same ol same ol. Glad to no longer hear about the election, am already tired of hearing about the transition. Most days I just don't listen.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Roof saga continues

Well, yesterday we were scheduled to have our roof replaced and the crew showed up about 9 and got started. About 10 they packed up and left. They had tacked tar paper up over our old roof on the top, where they had taken shingles off, we thought they were putting a third layer on and they were supposed to be taking it off so Larry called the company. Turns out the crew left because the weather had turned threatening. It was very windy and it had clouded over but it didn't actually rain until after dinner! After the crew left they delivered the trash trailer and parked it on our driveway, completely blocking us out. I guess it was good they didn't block us in! Larry and I left to do our chores not knowing if the crew was returning, they didn't. We took care of a lot of pesky details, like getting our passports (one thing off my 60 list!) After dinner the guys went out and hooked the trailer up to the truck and backed it the rest of the way down the drive so we could move the vehicles to the back. I seriously don't like to leave the cars on the street as we've had windows broken out and cd players stolen. Today, the roofing crew showed up about 7:30, we hadn't even gotten the cars out! The guys moved the trailer up the drive for the crew and we put our cars on the street in case we wanted to go somewhere. The crew was here all day pounding and pounding until after dark, I'm not sure they finished. Rob and Larry hooked up the trailer again so we could get the cars in but our truck wasn't heavy enough to move the trailer. I really hope nothing happens to any of the cars, I don't want to deal with anything else! Hopefully, this will all be done tomorrow but next week the guttering goes on.

I'm working on denim shopping bags, still. I think I have been for about two YEARS, but I'm really trying to get them done and out of the way. Then I can sew other things, like a quilt for Brayden's bed and slipcovers for the pink chairs, the one's the cat's have totaled. I always have more projects than time and this year that's especially true. I have finished painting a cabinet Larry's Grandfather made and have new hinges for it. I found the door handles I want but I have to order them, we are using the cabinet to store our VHS and DVD collection. I like the way it's turned out, think it looks nice. Finding new uses for things we already have is a pleasure for me. Well I want to sew handles on a couple of bags tonight so I'm going to get to it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tuesday update

I've been cleaning like a mad woman the past two days, completely cleaned our room, our bath, the hall and the extra room, having done the basement last week I now have only the hall bath, the living room and (gulp) the kitchen left. I love having a clean house, I just don't really like cleaning! I'll probably do the kitchen next week in little bits as we are getting a new roof tomorrow and we plan to vacate the premises! I feel for the dogs but they didn't even bark today when the roofing materials were being DROPPED on the roof so maybe they'll just sleep. We have quite a few errands to do and we'd like to go to the Truman library as well. We'll see how much we can handle. Larry had his hair cut off last week because it was due to fall out, instead it's growing back in! He has a fuzzy head! I love it, it is so typically Larry to have the opposite reaction than the doctor's predict. Brayden continues to delight us, yesterday on the way home from daycare he commented on the fact that the big boat was gone. I had not even noticed that the big boat on the corner was gone, the people have had a " for sale" sign on it for that last couple of years maybe they sold it. And I consider myself a "Noticing" kind of person! Guess I'd best hit the laundry folding and ironing, not thrilling but it's what I do.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday night

I have the hardest time figuring out what TITLE to put on these things! We've had a pretty busy weekend, yesterday Larry and I ran a bunch of errands. He held up really well, did more than he has in a long time. I guess that shot I gave him really worked! When we got home I mowed and picked up the leaves in back, did the front today. (This will be a recurring event for the next several weeks!) We were having Rubens for dinner so I called to see if Beth wanted to come eat. I can never fix them without asking her as I know she loves them--if I don't ask then I feel guilty besides it gives me the chance to be with my daughter. Not to mention the chance to be with Brayden. I feel guilty anytime I cook something I know one of my absent children really loves because they're not here to eat with us. Guess that's one of the many ways I miss having them at home. Today, besides the leaves, I finished putting up groceries, put the rest of the pots in the shed so I can say that (besides leaves) I'm finished with yard work. I watered the inside pots, made an apple crisp, clipped cat nails, brushed everyone down and gave the dogs a bath. After which I had to give myself a bath! All in all I have to say that I had a pretty good weekend.

I really like trees, I appreciate the cool of their shade (especially in summer), I love the colors of fall, and the patterns of the bare branches in winter. I DO NOT LIKE TO RAKE/MOW LEAVES!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday at the VA

Larry had a follow up with his oncologist today, he doesn't need a blood transfusion (right now) and I get to give him a shot every week he's not in the hospital! I don't think that's going to be fun, I gave him blood thinner shots after surgery but this is a bit different. He says I'm gleeful at the prospect! I'm not. He still kind of weak and hoarse, not sleeping well, etc BUT he says the icky taste is gone and that coffee now tastes good. He's able to drive again, he mostly drives short distances because I worry that he'll over do and not be able to drive home. Since Rob is driving the Truck (the Dinky died) that would put me in a fix! He had all his hair cut off today which is weird but it was due to fall out any day and he just didn't want to bother with it. He has a nice head for bald. He will loose all the hair on his body soon.

I'm finally finished with the basement room and I'll start cleaning upstairs this weekend. Tomorrow is my big shopping day so I'll be out and about all day. Then on Saturday I'll mow those leaves! We thought about going for a short trip but have decided against it, I think. Getting a new roof on Wednesday weather permitting so someone needs to be here to pay them.

Nothing really exciting going on just doing what we can each day until it's time for chemo again.

Monday, October 27, 2008

After the weekend

We had a pretty busy weekend. Scott and Bri were here Friday and Saturday for Rob's birthday dinner. We had a full house with our four, Beth's three and Chad and Kelly Rogers everyone seemed to enjoy Rob's pick of French Dip for dinner. Saturday, Tanya and I joined Beth, Lucas, Brayden and Jensen (Lucas's niece) for the Halloween Parade on the Square. The last time I'd gone Beth was a Sophomore and marching in the band! We had fun and ate a little candy. Lots of cars and motorcycles, but most interesting were all the firetrucks, both current and historic. We left Larry at home as he poops out really quickly and his Mom and sister were coming. They had arrived when I got home and we all went out to the Cracker Barrel for dinner, a table for eight. Rob kept us up to date on the Mizzou game. MIZ-ZOU!! Everyone had a good time and a good visit then Mom, Marie, Scott and Bri all headed back to Columbia, while we headed home to crash and watch the MIZZOU game. Happily our Tigers won! On Sunday, I worked outside clearing out the shed and moving stuff up to the attic, emptied the sand box and packed up the outside toys (sorry Brayden!) Larry watched the Chiefs, who did not win, sigh! He's been watching the World Series as well, I think he's cheering for Tampa Bay, oh well. Today I tried to find our basement, my sewing area, and my desk. I only partly succeeded, but it will still be here tomorrow, dang it! Larry did alot of computer work and drove himself to the bank! His first time driving since his surgery August 20th. Some normal anyway.

Friday, October 24, 2008

He's home!

Larry was discharged from the hospital and I have him home and tucked into bed for a nap before the party tonight. First thing he did was take a shower! He's been pretty nauseous today but getting the "hospital smell" off his skin should help. It's quiet here and no one is going to wake him up to take his blood sugar, blood pressure, or give him a sleeping pill! I have the baby monitor on again, you just never know when that little gadget will come in handy! He has 6 or 7 new scripts and an appointment for blood work and to see the oncologist on the 30th. I'm glad to have him home! Maybe I can get some work done around here, I hope. I'm tired of having a dirty house. Starting my deep cleaning for fall on Monday, then it'll be ready for the holidays. Once those Christmas decorations go up cleaning is just a lick and a promise! I'm glad the weather has finally turned cool, maybe for good, and the trees are beginning to turn. I always love the colors of the fall leaves against that brilliant blue sky! It's so beautiful my heart hurts!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chemo, Day 4, Cycle 1

So the last of the chemo dripped in about 1:15 and was replaced with a 24 hour drip of Mesna, a drug to protect his bladder and other inards. So tomorrow about 1:15 he'll be done with that and will get to come home. The only side effects he's had are bouts of nausea primarily caused by smells. His thigh it still draining and may have become infected, at least the nurse is calling the Doctor to see about antibiotics for him. He should be home tomorrw afternoon in time for our celebration of Rob's birthday! Rob's birthday isn't until next Wednesday, the 29th, and he'll be 27! I can hardly believe it, all my kids are getting OLD. I, however, I'm still young!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chemo, Day 3, Cycle 1

Larry received his last "push" chemo and has he last bag containing chemo drugs up and dripping. The bag tomorrow only has the protectant medication added to it. He is getting drugs for the nausea so he doesn't vomit any more. His blood sugar has been really dropping and they have decreased his meds for that hoping to prevent any more 46's. Between the blood sugar and the nausea meds he was looking pretty peaked and said that was how he felt. He slept most of the afternoon but perked up after dinner. The food leaves alot to be desired, of course, in both flavor and quanity. Imagine hospital food that was fit to eat! I sometimes take him food from home, he especially wants more breakfast! As well as decent coffee!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Chemo, Day 2 Cycle 1

Well, Larry's into his second bag of chemo and has has his second push, so far without any major side effects, a little nausea treated with meds. His red blood count was down to 9 so they are watching that if it goes below 8 they will transfuse him. His leg had completely stopped draining when chemo started and there didn't seem to be any build up in the leg so we were hopeful that it was done, silly us, tonight he got up to change cds in his laptop and fluid went everywhere. I wasn' t there but he said the nurses were trying to get it under control. Wound care had put a soft latex cover on the opening this afternoon so he wouldn't have to have any tape but it won't hold much in the way of liquid, the mesh stocking didn't stay in place very well so I don't know what they ended up with. Ortho is mystified, so are we. Lucas and Beth took me out to dinner tonight which was very nice of them I always enjoy spending time with them and will Brayden, of course. I'm still coughing when I need allergy meds and even though I slept 10 hours last night I'm beat. It's off to bed for me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Chemo, Day 1 Cycle 1

Larry began chemo today and in usual medical style we were at the hospital at 8am and they didn't get him started on chemo until 2pm. He won't get out until Friday afternoon, probably late, they count days in 24 hour segments (Imagine that!) and the segments began with his first bag and push. When I left about 3 they still didn't really have their act completely together but he was doing well and wanted a nap. He's in room 8143 bed 1 at the VA, his phone number is 816-922-5893. His leg is still draining but the people in oncology seem a tad more concerned than ortho did last Friday so I feel like we may get some resolution there this week as well. His skin just won't tolerate any more tape on that leg--considering the fact that there has been some kind of tape on that thigh for three months it's a wonder he's managed this long. He's wearing fishnet stockings to keep the bandages in place, not really as sexy as it sounds! His port is really nifty! He especially likes the fact that they draw blood through it as well. Dr ordered some meds to help him sleep but otherwise he's pretty much pain free and that's good. He has a small room, a roommate, and no chairs for visitors so it's a bit uncomfortable to stay with him. Rob and Tanya are visiting him now and I'll head over before lunch tomorrow. I'm beat, and fighting allergies and asthma so I'm fixing something to eat and heading for the bed.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another day at the VA

Larry and I began the day with a major mess, his incision re-opened yesterday and it had soaked through the dressing I had put on it. This kind of thing has happened before and we always hope it's one time thing and it never proves to be. Knowing that this was Friday off we went to the VA. One of these appointment-less visits is never short and several hours later we came home with the leg still draining and a big bag of bandage materials. We are getting really tired of going to the VA! We made three trips over there this week, boring. We have to just let it drain and change the bandage when it is soaked until Monday. Monday he goes into the hospital for his first Chemo session so they can deal with it. It has been three months since his first surgery and healing still eludes us. We got back home about noon and I went right back out as this was grocery day. So I'm beat! Tomorrow Rob and his friend, Troy are putting in an attic ladder then we're having a mexican feed. I'd like to just deal with one issue at a time but I guess that's not possible!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Drain's out, port's in

The good news is that Larry's drain finally quit draining and was removed yesterday. Today they installed his chemo port, so he had about 24 hours without a foreign substance in his body! Poor guy. They were really behind at the hospital today so we sat from 11am until almost 4 pm. This is the first time we've had to wait a really long time in Radiology and of course I did not take enough to do for such a long wait! After he "recovered" from the happy juice we went to dinner at Cracker Barrel. Then to Home Depot (sorry Lucas) to look for attic stairs and hardware for a refinishing project of mine. We didn't like the ladder but I found the hinges I wanted. Now we are home watching the playoffs. We are both tired from sitting around all day. My mammogram came back normal, normal as did the ultrasound so as I suspected there was much to do about nothing (and not by me.) I am sick again, I think with allergies, I am so tired of being sick every fall! It's my absolute favorite of all seasons and I miss too much of it being sick. Plus the holidays are coming and I don't feel like getting ready. I am finally finding the house, although Brayden says my basement is a mess. Too true, too true but I'm working on it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Silly Saturday

Fall is here and the weather forecast is looking lots cooler so I spent the day out in the yard, mowing, pulling up the stuff that's done in the garden and cleaning the cobwebs off the house. Fall cleanup. Since it's fall and there are leaves (read allergic) and the mold count is pretty high (read allergies, again) I wear a face mask so I don't get sick. I really can't afford to be sick! I mowed, and began clearing veggie beds etc., when I stopped to have lunch I took it off, when I got ready to go back out I could not find the darn thing. So.. I got out another one, put it on and went back out to work. Quite a while later Rob and Tanya come out and laughed at me because I'm wearing two, count 'em two masks! One on the top of my head and one over my nose and mouth! Man did I feel silly! Then later I was ready to water the plants in front and turned on the water without connecting the hose, duh! I didn't feel too bad as Rob told the Tanya the dryer didn't work when he hadn't turned it on!

I nearly finished all my outdoor chores, just need to clean up the back and under the deck. Will get that done tomorrow and pull the patio cover down as well. This will be the last time I'll be able to deal with the leaves by just mowing, next Saturday I'll have to bag, oh fun.

My check up was pretty good, just a few little niggles to remind me of my age! Next a mamogram.

We had a ball with Brayden on Wednesday and Thursday playing with all the cars and his Thomas trains. We read a lot to him and this week was no different except the reading material was a flyer showing all the Thomas trains, we turned it into a "Wish List" for Christmas and he WANTS IT ALL!! He's so much fun.

Larry's drain seems to have finally slowed down, here's hoping he gets it out this week.

Well, I have to go give serious attention the MU vs OSU game.....MIZ ZOU, go Tigers!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My attempt at blogging

I decided to begin this blog to save repeating the same information 20 different times! Be patient with me! I will use this post to keep everyone updated on Larry's treatment, our adventures, and my thoughts. And so I begin...

Larry will have a "port" put in next Wednesday afternoon, he's actually excited at the prospect as he abhors needles and this makes IV's obsolete! Chemo starts on the 20th, four days in the hospital then two weeks at home and repeat. After the second series he has a CAT scan to see if the tumors are responding then two more etc. If everything goes by the good doctor's plan he'll be finished in late February or early March (I hope by his birthday on the 13th!) Just in time to meet our second grandchild, Brayden gets a brother or sister--both he and Larry are certain it's a girl.

I had another vision appointment today on the cataracts, the verdict of this doctor is to wait six months and look again. I have never liked this particular group of eye doctors but that's the one our insurance has a contract with so that's where I go, at least until I change insurance! Will have to have some new glasses anyway. I have my annual physical on Friday, no complaints but it's time, I need a flu shot and I have to take care of my health to take care of Larry.

We spent part of last weekend out in the trailer, our time at Truman Lake had to be cut short as Larry's drain became clogged and no matter what I tried I could not get it moving so home we came on Saturday. The Trailer went in the shop on Monday and after repairs are completed it will be winterized, no more weekends away for a few months. We're sad.

I picked up Brayden a Day care today as he was running a low grade fever and did not feel good, coughing etc. We had fun playing and we get to play again tomorrow as he can't go back to school for 24 hours. Hope he brings His trains!