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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Bone Cancer

It has been a while since I have posted so I thought I would try to get one out today. I feel better than I have in a long time.

Here's what has been going on in my world. As stated in my last blog the doctor wants me to start getting an infusion of Zometa once a month. So that we have the least amount of chance for bone infection in the future the oncologist wanted an oral surgeon to assess my teeth for future dental work. The dentist did x-rays and examined my teeth and said I would need to have six teeth removed.Three upper and lower in the back and three lower front. So I had all six removed on June 9th, then I had to wait for 2-4 weeks for the gums to heal. The surgery wasn't too bad, the dentist was very good and kept the gums numb so I didn't feel any pain or not much anyway.

June 17th I started radiation for cancer in my right humerus, the cancer caused so much pain in my right arm I could not use it for anything. The radiologist said the pain would begin to diminish almost immediately and should all be gone with a month or so. I went through ten treatments, every day for ten days minus weekends. I have about 85% of arm usage back and it keeps getting a little better everyday.

I haven't traveled at all since April and I was wanting to go somewhere. So we went to Coralville where Carl & Merilee were camping and spent a couple of days with them. It was great my arm felt good and I was able to use it quite a bit, still a bit of a ways to go but getting there.

I saw the oncologist on Monday and he said all looked good, lab work looked pretty good and instead of seeing me in a month we are going two months. That was good news.

I still need to go to get fluids, it seems once a week or ten days, but I have no problem doing that. The folks at the VA are great, very accommodating and helpful.

Not much else going on so I will cut this short and say again, Thank you for all the prayers and support.

Until later.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


This may be a short post; it depends on my energy level.

For the past few weeks I haven’t been feeling the best I blamed it on the pain I was having in my back. I have a history of low back pain. Well it all came to a head Monday night. Last Thursday I stopped taking a pain pill because I was having some bad side effects food didn’t taste good, so cold turkey I quit taking the drug, gabapentin and tramadol. I think that is how they are spelled. I thought I was having withdrawals, the same effect as if I was using some street drug.

For some reason I always wait until nighttime to seek help, so nine thirty pm with Daniel driving, Sarah in the back and me in the passenger seat mourning like I was going to die. We get to the VA ER and they get me right in. In the course of events we find out the evening shift only has two nurses and one doctor on duty. I had full blood workup done, then a chest CT scan to rule the possibility of a blood clot. Finally, the doctor said they couldn’t find anything wrong so he gave me something for the pain and we came home.

I had an appointment set up with the oncologist on Tuesday, yesterday, I wanted to get to day.
Monday morning my primary care doctor called me, her day off but she took the time to call. We talked, I told her what was going on and she said the problems I was having wasn’t due to the drugs, she said there is something else going on, so she set me an appointment for Tuesday at noon.

Monday night I was going to the bathroom to get ready for bed and my lower abdomen bowled me over with pain, I thought I was going to pass out. I have never had pain like that before, well maybe the kidney stone I had many years back was close. Sarah calls 911, I could not move I hurt so bad. The Paramedics finally found our house and came in the house. The one PM was really good, actually they were all good, I was in so much pain I didn’t care if they were good or not. They asked me which hospital I wanted to go to and I said the VA. The PM said the VA is closed. I said the ER is closed when did this happen? No she said they are closed to any more ambulances for the night. So I ended up going to a hospital about eight miles from the house. I want to say the ride in the ambulance was one of the roughest I have ever been on. By time we got to the hospital my back hurt as much as my abdomen.

Again I went through a series of test, blood work and CT scan. They didn’t find anything other than enlarged lympnodes because of the cancer but they made a disc of the scan so I could give that to the VA the next day.

So yesterday we go down to the VA and I am to have a CT scan at 10 am. I told Sarah, before we left home, to bring some plastic bags because with food and drink not tasting good I probably would throw up. We get to the VA and I am so weak I can’t walk very far so we get a wheelchair for me. Sarah does a pretty good job of wheeling me around unless there is a bump she has some trouble getting over it. So anyway we get to the infusion clinic to get my port accessed, blood drawn and then I would go to x-ray for the scan. I tell the nurse about the last few days and she says you can’t have another scan so soon; the dye they put through the system can damage the kidneys. This dye, for those of you who have never had a scan makes you feel flush, warm and tingly and when it reaches the nether world you feel like you have wet your pants, I don’t know if anyone ever has, I know I haven’t. The nurse gets the scan canceled and pages my oncologists and she talks to him. He said he would come over and see me in the infusion clinic otherwise I would have to wait until 2:30pm. He comes in and says that all the trouble I have been having was due to the cancer, it is flaring up and doesn’t want to play the same game we have been playing up till now. (That is my take on what he said)

The doctor is changing the treatment I will be getting from now on. One of the drugs is a monthly infusion of Zometa, this is to curtail the growth of the bone cancer. But before I can start this treatment I have to be cleared by a dentist because of my tooth implant the dentist has to check my gums for any possibility of bone infection, I guess you don’t want an infection in the bone while taking this drug. The other drug is called Zytiga, I will have to take four tablets a day forever, it is to hold the growth of the prostate cancer. I will still have pain in the abdomen and elsewhere so I have morphine tablets for the pain.

This isn’t the way I had envisioned retirement but it is what it is, so Sarah and I will deal with it. These last few days has just reinforced what a wonderful friend, companion and spouse I have. I could not go through this without her help and strength, I thank God for her every day.

Please continue sending me the positive vibes and thoughts and most especially your prayers, I know they are there and it is a tremendous help to me.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

March 30, 2016

What a month, we have had a high of 78 degrees and today, March 24, a high of 37 degrees,  I guess winter isn’t done with us yet, no matter that it is spring.

We went to Beloit, WI for Madyson’s birthday party. Robert & Sarah had the party at the local roller rink. I hadn’t been in a roller rink for ages, it brought back a lot of memories of roller skating. I use to be pretty good at roller skating and ice skating, well at least I enjoyed it. We had a great time with the kids and Madyson cleaned up on presents, the majority of them appealed to the creative side.

I have some trouble with getting dehydrated, I drink plenty of water, most days between 60 and 80 oz. of water a day. Evidently this isn’t enough because I still become dehydrated and have to go to the VA to get fluids. Sometimes I will go weeks without needing more fluids and sometimes just days, but the VA folks are very nice and accommodating and take care of me immediately. So I was getting fluids on Mar 12 and 18, hopefully this will last for quite a while.

On the 16th I went to the dentist for more work on my tooth implant. The dentist did some scraping of the implant and said it looked good, so she screwed in a gold screw, I wonder if I am going to get a gold tooth, anyway she said all looked good for now. I go back at the end of the month to have an impression taken for a crown and then a couple more weeks and they will put the crown in and I will have my new tooth.

Last Tuesday we went to Ames, IA to see Tiffany, Matt and Alexa, Alexa’s birthday was on Monday so we got to see them and went out to dinner. Alexa is taller than Sarah and is becoming a nice young lady. We gave her some money for her birthday, she said she was going to buy some books at a book fair at school.

She loves to read and so I am glad to give her some money to help her get the books she wants. We had a great time with them.

Yesterday we went to Des Moines, staying in a Hampton Inn. We have several people we wanted to see while we are here, we try to see everyone but we usually don’t get it accomplished. This time we did pretty good. We had lunch yesterday with Sarah’s cousin Betty and husband Bob at Panera’s. I like Panera’s they have good food and great pastries. Last night we met Dick & Judi and John & Kathy at Smoky D’s for dinner. These were the first folks we met when we moved into our RV back in 2010. They are great people and we have a great time visiting with them. For various reasons we hadn’t seen them since 2014, so we had some catching up to do. Hope we can get together with them again before winter.

We met with our accountant and had great news, we didn’t owe any taxes. People ask me why we have an accountant, Greg Dahm in West Des Moines. I use to do our taxes until ten years ago or so I screwed up our taxes royally. I was referred to Greg and he was able to get it all straighten out for me and we have used him since.

Thursday we had a meeting with our financial advisor and found out we still a small amount of money to spend before the kids get it. Mike Canney, Morgan Stanley, is a great advisor and has done well with our investments, but more than that he has become a good friend and we cherish our friendship a lot. Ashley, Mike’s daughter, works with him and we can call her with questions and she is very knowledgeable about investments and is a great resource to get questions answered. We value this relationship and thank the Good Lord for it.

We met Laurie, Marci and Marie for lunch at the Chicken Coop. This place is right down the street from Marsh where these ladies all worked. We had a great time visiting with them. Without going into details it was fun to see them and getting caught up on all the news and goings on at Marsh. Thank you ladies for taking the time out of your busy day to have lunch with us.

Tonight we were to have dinner with Orren & Norma. Orren had developed a cough and a visit to the doctor said he had more than a cough so he stayed home.; Norma came out to the hotel and we visited a bit, then we went to dinner. Monterey Mexican restaurant was our choice and it proved to be a good choice. The restaurant was busy but the service was excellent and the food was hot and good. We had a very nice visit with Norma and hope the next time we are in town Orren will be able to join us.

March 30, 2016 (cont’d)

Friday we headed for Burlington to visit with my brother Larry and his wife Kathy. We even got to see Jill and Brad, two of their children. We had a great time with them. We also saw my aunts, Millie & Marcella. Marcella will be 90 in August I believe, we took them to Mass on Sunday at St John’s, the church I grew up going to. I lived across the street from the school and church. The school and nun’s house are gone but I have some great memories of growing up there.

We left for home after lunch on Sunday. We stopped at the Iowa Veteran’s Cemetery just west of Des Moines, so Sarah could pick up some Vietnam Veteran Memorial pins from Candi a member of the DAR in Des Moines. The DAR, Sarah is a member, is giving these pins out to all Vietnam veterans.

Daniel called and said he didn’t get the turkey on the grill as soon as he intended and it wouldn’t be done until six. This worked out well for us because we arrived at his house a bit before six and was able to join them for Easter dinner. I was great and we even brought some home with us.
We had a great trip and planning more to come this summer.

Until later stay safe and healthy.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

March 3, 2016

A couple of weeks ago I woke up with a bite of some sort. My thought was it was a spider bite. Later that day I wasn’t doing too well so we went to the ER at the VA and I was dehydrated so I’m talking with the nurse practitioner and I showed her the bite, she didn’t know what it was from either. She suggested I see my PCP, primary care person. In the mean time I put Neosporin and a bandage on the bite. On Wednesday of the same week I had an eye appointment and when I was done I called my PCP to see if I could get in to see her. I got in to see her that same afternoon. She didn’t know what it was from nor did another doctor, they suggested I go to the cancer center and see if it was something related to my chemo. I went and asked my oncology case manager, she is a nurse, she didn’t know and neither did one of the oncologist. Crystal, the clerk, said it looks like a spider bite, she said her grandmother would get them once in a while, I said I agree. My biggest concern was getting an infection, so the oncologist ordered an antibiotic for me and within a week the bite was disappearing and is now gone.

This has been a great week so far. I had a CT scan on Tuesday, lab work also and then saw the oncologist. All looked good and the doctor said “I will see you in three months”. Praise the Lord. Thank you to all who have been praying for me.

So we have a busy couple months coming up, with trips to WI, IA and MO. Granddaughters Madyson and Alexa have birthdays this month so we are going to go see them. It should be fun and it will keep us busy.

I hope all is well with each person who reads this blog. Our weather has been interesting, one day it is 60 and the next it is 30, sometimes in the same day. I do know it is March and it will continue to warm up and the weather will change from possibility of snow to thunderstorms and tornadoes, but this is the Midwest and we expect to have changes in the weather, you never know what to expect.
Hopefully I will get my new front tooth later this month. It is a strange feeling having a front tooth missing. Ice slips right through the opening, going or coming, it doesn’t make any difference. I have dribbled down the front of me more times than I care to count. My one concern is the dentist told me to be careful because my teeth are somewhat brittle. I said you mean I am old and she just laughed. So we will see how it all goes.

That is all I have for now. Till Later, stay healthy and safe. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Update February 9, 2016

I had my sixth chemo session last Friday, now we wait until I get a CT scan on March 1 and see the doctor the same day to see what the next step will be. I pray the doctor will say “I’ll see you in three months”. The chemo will have done its job and I will be good to do a couple of trips.

This last series of chemo had their moments of making me feel lousy, but I always felt I would come out of it and overcome the side effects. The one side effect that is difficult to get rid of is the tiredness, the feeling of weakness. My legs feel weak, I attribute the feeling to not walking enough, I don’t like the cold and if it is windy forget it I don’t go out. Now we have a treadmill and I have forced myself to walk on it, it is in the garage, so the temps are in the forties, no matter the temp outside. I had the garage insulated when the house was built, best money I spent. So I just have to force myself to get out and walk. One more side effect is the effects of prednisone, I feel and look like the statue of Buddha, my face has never been this round, I don’t believe. But again, it is partially due to lack of exercise, so I am going to make a push to walk more.

I’ll let you read about it if you want. The interesting thing about it to me is it tracks how well I sleep and then compares the results with others of my age group, if they can find someone still alive. I use a CPAP and it is supposed to put you into deep sleep, this device is indicating I am not getting to that point. Of course the fact that I am up three to four times at night to go to the bathroom just might be a factor in all of this. But then the consequences of not getting up to go to the bathroom are more unappealing to me than the lack of some sleep. Besides I can fall asleep in my chair during the day if I want too.

When my grandmother was still alive I remember going to her house and it would be 100+ degrees in there, or so it seemed, and she would be wearing a sweater and have a blanket on her. I always thought it was strange, not any more. I don’t have the house at 100+ degrees but I do wear a sweater and at times put a blanket over my legs. As I have mentioned before a side effect of one of the drugs I take are hot flashes and when I get one of those I take off the sweater but as soon as the sensation stops I get cold and put the sweater back on. I had a friend tell me once the best relief she found from the hot flashes was a cold shower, I haven’t tried that yet.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday already, where does the time go. I know a lot of people will be walking around tomorrow with a black spot on their foreheads, to remind us “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”. Here is a great explanation for the day, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ash_Wednesday.

I had a phone call yesterday from a social worker at the VA. She said the oncology clinic had given my name to her as a cancer survivor and she wanted to know if I would be interested in taking part in a cancer survivor support group. I told her sure and she will be sending me information on the meeting.

This got me to thinking, when does a person become a cancer survivor? Is it after you have X number of treatments and you are still here or is it a certain number of days or years. For me I know I will never be free of cancer unless the Good Lord cures me of it. I will always live with the cancer, I accept that, and believe if I am ever free of it then I will have witnessed a miracle.

We were at our son Daniel’s for my birthday last Sunday and to eat smoked ribs, they were very good. We also watched Super Bowl 50. We had a great time and thank you Daniel for cooking the ribs.

A few years ago Sarah and I were in Green Bay, Wisconsin for a wedding. The only camp ground we could find was about thirty minutes south of Green Bay. One day we were looking for something to do and I came across a notice about a Shrine dedicated to Mary the Mother of God. Well being raised Catholic I thought we should go see it. I put the address into the GPS and we headed out, the location is out in the middle of nowhere and without the GPS I would have been hard pressed to find it, but it was worth the trip. Even if you don’t believe in miracles the story surrounding the events of October 8, 1871 make interesting reading. There were two events that are interrelated the Peshtigo fire and the survival of individuals who took refuge in a church while the fire surrounded them. Here are two links to offer more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrine_of_Our_Lady_of_Good_Help, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peshtigo,_Wisconsin.

Reading about fire and talking about hot flashes makes me drink more water than I have ever drank in my lifetime. I haven’t had the problem of dehydration lately and I always wondered how I ended up with it to begin with. I have switched over to just bottled water now because I can measure how much I drink. Some days I feel like if you poked me in the gut I would spray water at the point of the poke.

We have quite a bit of snow on the ground right now but next week is supposed to be warmer so with any luck we will get rid of ALL the snow and not get anymore. Ha-ha, I know we will get more snow and have been known to get it all the way into April, don’t remember any in May but I wouldn’t doubt that it could happened. I just keep telling myself I don’t have to go out in the cold weather and the snow unless it is absolutely necessary.

I have been reading a lot  of books these past few months. Sarah got me started on a series of books where one of the main “characters” is a cat. They are mysteries, not difficult reading and usually I haven’t figured out the killer until the author reveals it at the end. The books are an enjoyable read, the authors are Sofie Ryan and Sofie Kelly, interesting enough the same person writes under both names. The other is Miranda James.

I am also playing the stupid Candy Crush Saga, Soda and Jelly, I have to quite playing them because they are so frustrating. However, my sister is ahead of me in Jelly and I am trying to catch up with her. She plays it a lot more than me so I don’t know if that will ever happen.

Well that is enough for now.

Until later.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Update 01/21/2016

My last three days of chemo ended Jan 8 and it seems like the recovery time keeps getting longer. I don’t think it does but it seems that way. During this last batch of chemo, I watched a BBC television show called The Vicar of Darby. It was about a female vicar for the church in the small town of Darby, UK. I enjoyed watching it, the British have a bit of a different sense of humor than we have but it was still fun watching the show. During one chemo session one of the nurses came in and wanted to know what I was laughing at, I told her. I felt a bit guilty because I didn’t want to upset any other patients but then I thought maybe by my laughing someone might feel a bit better knowing life needs to be enjoyed.

We haven’t been doing much, it has been too cold and I haven’t felt like getting out in it. I have read a lot; I have five or six books in various stages of being read. I get magazines on my IPad through the library, that is a great service. The Omaha Public Library has a little over a hundred magazines available for download to read. Most of them I don’t read, I have no interest in their subject matter, but it is still a great service.

I am waiting for the new Bond movie, Spectre, to be released. I don’t go to the theater to see movies anymore because I end up missing too much of the movie with my frequent trips to the restroom. I wait for them to go to DVD sales and then I either rent or buy. I have found renting the movie is a lot cheaper than go to the theater, although there is a theater here in town where seniors pay only $5 and then if you want popcorn etc. it will cost another $20+. Movie going isn’t cheap anymore, actually hasn’t been for some time now.

We are being buried in political ads. I know most of you think you are also, but we are getting hit with the national ads and the Iowa caucus ads.  Only two more weeks and it will calm down a bit, hopefully. I don’t mind politics; I just don’t like the meanness of it. I don’t believe half of what any of them say and whatever they claim they will do if elected has to be taken with a grain of salt because once elected their job becomes the job of getting reelected.

So I think this is very true:

“No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.” – Mark Twain

I have always enjoyed Mark Twain’s humor, I have been to his home in Hannibal, MO, he wasn’t there at the time but it was still nice to visit.

We all need to have laughter in our lives, I have known too many people in my life who took everything too seriously or maybe I didn’t take things serious enough, I don’t know, I just know you have to have laughter in this life or it will get you down.

The internet has its place in our lives and probably takes up more of our lives than it should but I have found it to be a great place to find humor. You Tube is a great place, I love to go there and watch all the comedy, old comedy, that I want. I read somewhere everyone should have a good deep down belly laugh at least once a day. I try, I don’t always succeed but I try.

I subscribe to The Joyful Noiseletter, it is a publication of great humor, 
https://www.joyfulnoiseletter.com/. It was founded so the clergy could have humorous stories and anecdotes to tell from the pulpit on Sunday mornings. The contributors are from all denominations and all the articles are a great read. It has never failed to make me laugh.

Took the car into get the thirty-thousand-mile service done on it. I try to keep our vehicles serviced and I probably spend more than I should but I take them to the dealer of the manufacturer of the vehicle. I have done that for most of the vehicles we have owned. We just have the one car now, haven’t come up with a reason for two yet. Since neither one of us works and I don’t seem to get out much these days it just seems a waste of money to have two vehicles.

Speaking of money, I wonder what the actual price of a gallon of gasoline should be today, with the price of oil being so low, based on the value of the dollar versus when we were younger. I did see where a gas station in Michigan, I believe, had regular for eighty-four cents per gallon the other day. I am not sure I understand why the market is going down because of the price of oil. It would seem to me the low price of oil would cut transportation costs and most likely some costs elsewhere so this should bolster the economy not hurt it. Oh well, I am not an economist so I really don’t understand all that is involved in these numbers. I do wonder if I will have to be looking for work anytime soon.

I found a video of Johnny Cash singing this song so I looked up the lyrics and I liked them so here they are:

Ragged Old Flag

By Johnny Cash
I walked through a county courthouse square,
On a park bench an old man was sitting there.
I said, "Your old courthouse is kinda run down."
He said, "Naw, it'll do for our little town."
I said, "Your old flagpole has leaned a little bit,
And that's a Ragged Old Flag you got hanging on it."
He said, "Have a seat," and I sat down.
"Is this the first time you've been to our little town?"
I said, "I think it is." He said, "I don't like to brag,
But we're kinda proud of that Ragged Old Flag.
"You see, we got a little hole in that flag there when
Washington took it across the Delaware.
And it got powder-burned the night Francis Scott Key
Sat watching it writing Say Can You See.
And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
With Packingham and Jackson tuggin' at its seems.
"And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on though.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on that Ragged Old Flag.
"On Flanders Field in World War I
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun.
She turned blood red in World War II.
She hung limp and low by the time it was through.
She was in Korea and Vietnam.
She was sent where she was by her Uncle Sam.
"She waved from our ships upon the briny foam,
And now they've about quit waving her back here at home.
In her own good land here she's been abused --
She's been burned, dishonored, denied, and refused.
"And the government for which she stands
Is scandalized throughout the land.
And she's getting threadbare and wearing thin,
But she's in good shape for the shape she's in.
'Cause she's been through the fire before
And I believe she can take a whole lot more.
"So we raise her up every morning, take her
Down every night.
We don't let her touch the ground and we fold
Her up right.
On second thought, I do like to brag,
'Cause I'm mighty proud of the Ragged Old Flag."

Songwriters: JOHNNY CASH
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind

Being a veteran this may have more meaning than to someone who has never served, I hope not but it is possible. Some say it is just a piece of cloth, but it is a piece of cloth many have died to preserve the freedoms it represents. I believe it is time for all of us, elected officials and the general public, to look at history and see what it tells us. Whether the general public believes it or not history does repeat itself and not always for the better. It seems to me the rhetoric in the political commercials are getting out of hand more so than in the past. The problem I see is a commercial says whatever they want without regard if it is the truth, half-truth, or blatantly false. Which poses the problem of what to believe or not to believe. I don’t believe a person should take at face value what is said by their choice of candidate, I believe it is the duty of all voters to research the truth and then decide who they want to vote for. Does this happen, maybe in less than ten percent of the voters. Even with that said this Ragged Old Flag gives everyone the right to choose who they want as their candidate and I stand behind that one hundred percent.

It is now almost two weeks since chemo and I am feeling a bit stronger. I hope I keep from getting dehydrated which as I have found out before can happen anytime. Hopefully my immune system is beginning to repair itself and the other systems are striving to get stronger. One more chemo on Feb 3,4 and 5, then we are done until tests indicate the need for another round of chemo. Our goal is still the same as when we began this journey, keep the cancer under control for as long as we can. God willing it will be for a few more years.

Thank you for all your positive thoughts and prayers, they mean a lot to me and I know they help.

Till later, Stay safe and healthy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Update 12/22/2015

The last couple weeks have been quite interesting to say the least. I try to keep a record on my calendar of how I feel each day after chemo so I can try to avoid the same side effects as before. Well this last chemo sent me for a loop, I had the exact opposite problem from the first time. So as the TV commercials claim I didn’t have bricks I thought I had solid cement in my gut, but I was to eventually remove it with a couple magnesium sticks of liquid dynamite.

As time went on I had the tired feeling almost every day without any improvement. Finally I accepted that this must be what I should be feeling. I had a bloody nose each time I blew my nose and it would get plugged up especially at night when I used my CPAP I would get to the point I could hardly breath. I couldn’t understand what was going on. Finally a week ago I started feeling very tired and weak, I thought I was in the downside of my chemo treatment. Friday I was so tired, I even let Sarah drive me to the dentist. On Saturday Sarah and her sister Cynthia went shopping, I began feeling better so I thought I was on the upswing of feeling better. Both days I had a difficult time keeping my eyes open, all I wanted to do was close them and not sleep but just keep them closed.

Sunday I got up, showered and dressed for church. By the time I finished breakfast I didn’t feel lot going anywhere. After lunch I still didn’t feel any better so Sarah took me to the ER and the VA and they said I was dehydrated. I have never, to my knowledge, been dehydrated but it feels terrible. They gave me two bags of fluid and after the first one I felt a hundred percent better.

It was a lesson well learned, I now believe the stuffed up, dry nose was a symptom of the dehydration.

So that brings us to today. We are in Beloit to see a Veterans program put on by granddaughter Madyson’s class. I am really looking forward to it. We will be here until Sunday and then head for Ames, IA to see granddaughter Alexa and family. Heard from Tiffany today saying Alexa made the honor roll at school. I am very proud of her.

(I stopped writing here for a bit, will continue now.)

December 22, 2015
I don’t know where this year went but it is only three days until Christmas and I have all my shopping done. Thank you internet.

I just about didn’t get my last chemo session because my blood count was so low. For you medical types my WBC was 2.2, and RBC was 2.91, both are supposed to be above 4.0. I hope the numbers will be better for the next chemo, Jan 6, I will have gone 5 weeks between treatments and hopefully the numbers will be higher. I have felt weaker this go around but this again is due to the chemo and the low numbers. We have a treadmill now, it is in the garage, and I have walked on it several times, it takes a lot out of me but I know I have to do it. The garage is usually 50+ degrees when it is in the twenties and thirties outside. So not too bad.

I took care of the bloody nose situation, we had a humidifier installed on the furnace and it has made a huge difference. No more bloody nose in the morning and the little cuts and splits on my fingers are not as numerous.

Last Wednesday I was trying to open a soda bottle, I have stopped drinking soda for the most part, but every so often I crave it so I buy the little 10oz bottles. Anyway, I was trying to open the bottle and my shoulder popped, it hurt like the dickens. So we made a trip to the ER at the VA, don’t you just love abbreviations. They took x-rays and didn’t see anything but put in a request for physical therapy and orthopedic appointments. We’ll see what happens from them. I took some hydrocodone when I got home and the house could have burned down and I don’t think I would have cared. I took it again the next morning and haven’t had any since. I know it can become addictive but I have a problem with how it makes you feel; you have to really be in pain to take too much of it. Anyway, I have been getting by with Naproxen for inflammation and the shoulder still hurts depending on what I am doing but it feels much better.

In a moment of weakness, I bought an Xbox One because it had this great racing game on it, also a game called Fallout 4. I get the Xbox and load the Fallout game and I am lost I don’t understand the concept of the game and what do you do. So a week later Carl & Merilee and Rusty come down for a visit and Rusty gets on the Xbox and begins to show me how to play the game. It seems you just go with the flow and sort of make up the game story as you go along. We’ll see how this goes.
I still have the WiiU and Eli can still best me on the racing games on both the WiiU and the Xbox, he’s only five. Maybe I need more practice.

We didn’t make it to Wisconsin to see Mason & Madyson perform in a skit at church, but their mother, Sarah Ann, sent us a video clip of them doing their thing, we loved it. I have to admit I didn’t recognize Mason right away until Sarah Ann told me which shepherd he was. I love the internet, a week or so before this we were able to watch Madyson’s class Christmas program. I would still rather be there in person.

Thursday night we are going to go see Emily, Isabel and Eli in their Christmas program at church. It should be fun.

If I can get up early enough we are going to go to watch the kids open their gifts Christmas morning and then we will go to church.

Sarah and I want wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a BLESSED NEW YEAR.