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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.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Update 12/01/15

Haven’t been on here for a while so let’s get caught up, but first I want to remind you of my: Our Go Fund Me site; https://www.gofundme.com/db7q945h. Please send this to all of your friends or any social sites you might be on. We want to raise enough money to supply all the vets with t-shirts. Thank you for your help.

Since my last post, we have been to Beloit to see the kids. Madyson’s class had a veteran’s day program and so we went to see it. Carl & Merilee went with us, we had a great time. The program was about forty minutes long and very well done. What impressed me was the class, second graders, memorized the songs of each of the five services. I wish I had a recording of the program. Excellent performance for all of them.

On our way home we stopped in Ames, IA and had a nice visit with Tiffany and her family. We met at the Hilton Garden Inn and visited for a bit and then went to dinner at the Texas Roadhouse. Great time and good to see the kids. Alexa surprised us by telling us she had made the honor roll at school. Very good Alexa keep up the good work.

Back home I went in for another chemo and the doctor said the chemo I was on wasn’t doing the job so they changed me back to the three day chemo treatment. I don’t have much trouble with it so it didn’t bother me to change.

Nephew Rusty came for a visit. He is a traveling OR nurse and is in between jobs so he came for a visit. It was great seeing him and he kept me company while Sarah and Daniel went to Des Moines to move Cynthia to Omaha. Cynthia sold her house in Des Moines and bought one here in Omaha, about six miles from us.

Thanksgiving was at Daniel’s house, he has a big house. My aunt and uncle, Shirley and Ernie and their kids Mike & Dan and their kids plus Marie’s folks, Cynthia, Sarah and I. Daniel smoked a turkey and grilled a turkey and we had a ham, plus all the trimmings. It was quite a feast and very delicious. The weather was not very good but everyone ate their fill and made it safely home.

The weekend before Thanksgiving I ended up in the emergency room dehydrated. I was feeling well and I was tired plus I had forty-five minute episode of constant shaking I couldn’t stop. So anyway we went to the VA ER and they took care of me. It was interesting because when I got to the ER I couldn’t keep my eyes opened, it wasn’t that I was tired I just wanted to close my eyes. After the first of two bags of fluids my eyes popped right open and the feeling of wanting to close them went away.

I had my doctor visit today for my chemo tomorrow, but that isn’t going to happen. He is putting me on the four week schedule of chemo so I will have it next Wednesday and then the next one will be Jan 6, 2016 and then four weeks after that. I don’t have a problem with this schedule, it worked well for the last treatments and I pray it will work well this time also.

The schedule changed does keep us from doing a couple of things we wanted to do but I don’t worry about that I just do what the doctor tells me to do.

I bought an Xbox One and am trying to learn how to use it, it has a great racing game and a couple other games I will have to take some time to learn. I think I am going to enjoy it a lot, just wish they had some flying games for it.

I finished a great book, “Chickenhawk” by Robert Mason. It is a true story about the author’s experience as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam in 1966. I recommend it, it is good reading.

That is it for now.

In case I don’t get another post out, Sarah and I want to wish each and every one the best of the Holiday Season.