Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tough Day

Yesterday started out pretty rough for Meme. A long night and a lot of coughing.  She was just feeling lousy.  Spent the most of the day in the recliner.  When she was off the oxygen her level dropped pretty fast but recovers quickly when she gets back on. 

Late yesterday afternoon though, she pulled out of it and was spunky.  I went out for a few minutes and returned to find her watering her plants and getting the table ready for supper.  It was a nice sight to see the smile on her face.  Her oxygen levels stayed higher when she was off the concentrator and it allowed her to do a few things.  On the oxygen, her level hit max, 99%. We have not seen it that high, Praise God. 

They have moved up the date for a follow-up to the catheterization. We will be heading to MD Anderson for a Thursday appointment.  It is late enough that we can just drive up on Thursday morning and we'll see if we come all the way back or stop somewhere on the return trip.

Today is starting off similarly.  My Meme is a sick girl this morning.  The coughing has got her body sore and it hurts for her to cough. Wish there was something I could do.

One of my projects is to gather all our photos and digitize them.  Here are some pictures of our Meme.;

Blessings List;

Meme's smile
Her Oxygen level increase
MD Anderson's responsiveness
God giving us the ability and resources to fight


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dancing with the granddaughter

Started off a little slow with Meme pretty tired.  But then we had visitors and that lifted her spirits.

Meme and #4

Heather and #4 stopped by and brought us some fresh vegetables from the Farmer's Market.  It was a good visit.  Number 4 and I had to dance to "Let it go" from Frozen.  She was in her best form. We did a combination ballet,"dancing with the stars", jazz routine.  Just after they left, Meme said she had decided what she wanted for lunch.  A favorite of hers, a tomato sandwich.  Made from the fresh heirlooms that Heather brought.

The afternoon went easy.  We rented a movie and Harley brought us one, so we relaxed and just rested.  A shower, dinner and completed our procedure and Meme is feeling pretty good tonight. Her oxygen hit 98%. We haven't seen it that high in a long time and it gives us hope that all the treatments are working.  

Thanks to our loving and merciful God for all the blessings he continues to send us.

Blessing List;

Brussel sprouts
Couch time
Dancing with granddaughters
Meme's breathing

Friday, April 25, 2014

Good Day

Pretty good day today.

Meme didn't sleep as much today.  Maybe she is catching up by sleeping more at night. 

Mom brought us some boiled shrimp for lunch and we didn't even give it a chance to cool off. 

We teamed up to bake a cake.  Me doing the leg work and Meme doing the brain work.  Turned out really good with icing made from strawberries and raspberries.

The draining today caused some her some pain.  Maybe we are getting close to removing all the fluid. The amounts should decrease.  Her oxygen level is getting higher and she spent more time today without the extra oxygen.  I'm sure her nose is sore from those darn plastic tubes.

Blessing List:

Mom and Dad
Esteban and Margaret

A good day with Meme


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Big Day

We left our hotel about 10:00 a.m. Hope we don't have to use that one again, too many smokers.  We had made arrangements to meet our former pastor and his wife in Victoria for lunch. Even after a rather peaceful night, getting ready to go wiped Meme out.  We called and canceled but will meet with them in the near future.

She slept almost all the way home. Waking every once in a while when the rhythm of the road changed.  An uneventful trip home, just the way we like it.

Today was the big day. Our first attempt at draining her plural catheter, or as Meme called it; "tapping her". I watched the instructional CD twice and then made notes or sort of a step by step procedure.  I read all the info they sent home.  We were ready.  Meme was the calm one about the whole thing, I was just afraid I would cause her pain.

It went really well!  We are a good team. I can organize and follow directions and she can keep everything calm and light. We removed 1000ml, the maximum allowed.  I hope that makes for a better night for her.  This will become a daily routine for a while and it will get easier as we become more comfortable with the procedure.  The goal is that she produces less and less fluid until it stops and then they will remove the catheter.

I noticed that Buc Days started today.  I held her hand for the first time at Buc Days 1970.  I used the old "Let's hurry across the street" trick and then I didn't let it go the rest of the night.  I haven't let go since and I sure don't want to. Don't think I would even know how to. We are a good team.

Blessing list;

Safe trip home from Houston
Making plans with friends
Calmed fear of necessary procedures
Homemade Bread
Meatball Nirvana
My Meme


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What Day?

What day is it anyway? If it wasn't for our old people's pill containers, we would not have a clue.

Meme's breathing was so poor that we put in a call to her MD Anderson pulmonologist.  They responded about the time we were at her appointment with the local oncologist.  We discussed her new chemo treatment with him. MD Anderson set the protocol and the local oncologist will monitor her as she goes through the cycles. 

 When the appointment was over, we went home threw some things in a bag and headed out.  We checked into our hotel about 1:30 a.m.  At such short notice, Rotary House had no vacancies so we were able to get a room nearby.  We moved in all the equipment Meme needs to breath and settled in only to find the room smelled like it was a smoking room for 50 years and they just put a new "Non-Smoking" sign on the door yesterday.  Not being able to stand it any more, and Meme couldn't sleep hardly anyway because of coughing and breathing problems, I went downstairs about 5:00 a.m. and told them they had to move us to another room. The only thing available was a suite. It is a lot better on all counts. They helped us move.

We had to be at x-ray as soon as it opened and the pulmonary appointment was at 9:00 and again at 10:30.  We caught the shuttle and breezed through the chest x-ray.  I stayed with the tech and saw the image as they took it.  The fluid in her left plural space that they drained last week was back keeping her lung from expanding.

Then 9:00 appointment wanted her to walk for 6 minutes. Her cynical "HA" followed by the coughing and the sight of the portable oxygen bottle made them lead us straight to the pulmonologist appointment.  They drained some of her fluid and put a catheter in that we will use to drain the liquid daily. 

What a difference again. We went back to the room and slept for 2 hours.  Meme slept in the bed lying almost flat. A good rest for her. And now, not even using the oxygen tank. Thank You Lord.

Blessings List:

MD Anderson reacting to our call so quickly.
A safe hurried trip.
Finding a room near the Medical Center on such short notice.
Everyone here being so nice.
Draining the plural effusion.
Having enough oxygen cylinders to make the two days.

and the best one; Meme getting some rest!!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Monday's new chemo went pretty well.  Meme seemed to tolerate the morning and evening dose.  Heather provided supper and she enjoyed her good cooking.   She looked good in the evening and was even her perky self.

A long night, and this morning she is a very sick girl.  She has to eat before taking the chemo and was not able to eat much. A little egg and a bite of toast was about all.  I talked her into some yogurt to follow it up.  Bad coughing bouts all morning.  Some lotion on her hands and feet, and she is getting a snooze in the recliner.  I hope some more rest makes her feel better.  I hate this disease, I can't fix her.  I have a continuous conversation with God, anytime my eyes are open.

Another bad coughing bout just woke her from her nap.

We see the local oncologist today.  We hope he has something to help.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Number 8.
Meme had a long night.  Quite a few coughing bouts.  Today is going to be a day for napping and catching up on missed rest.  Tomorrow is the beginning of her new chemo and we want her to be rested to be able to tolerate the drugs. 
Got news that #6 is ill this morning. Hope she gets feeling better.  
We heard that #2 and #4 have been hunting eggs since very early this morning, and have seen some morning pictures of #5 and #7 with their baskets.
Heather brought some lunch by and some bunny noses they made.

Meme looks a bit tired, but she is catching-up in the recliner today.
That Heather is so creative.

Happy Easter, He is risen!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

We're Home

Our trip home was uneventful, thank you Lord. 

Meme slept in bed all night with only a few interruptions from her cough.  I think we have worked out the best way for her to stay in bed.  The coughing can be triggered by position and slightly on her right side with her shoulders elevated with pillows, seems to be a good place. The coughing bouts take a lot out of her.

Yesterday's treatment, an infusion of a "bone builder" has left Meme feeling a little bad. They said she might experience flu like symptoms but she is doing good today.  She's a trooper and I have seen her do things that would make me curl up and cry like a little baby.

Monday she starts a new Chemo.  This one is oral and she will just take a bunch of pills in the morning and a bunch more at night.  We meet with our local oncologist Tuesday, as he will monitor her while she does these cycles.  Pills for 2 weeks and then a week off, repeat several times.

I do love that MeMe!

We have our trust in God. Through Him, all things are possible.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday's News

Bit of a set-back. She tried her best to sleep in bed last night, but had to give up about 2:30a.m. and move to the chair :-(  She did pretty good in the chair. We didn't wake until about 9:30 and she seems rested. The chair will fit close enough to the bed that I can reach her arm when I need to touch her.  We called to the pulmonary folks and they said it might take a few days to settle down and to control it with the cough medicine we have. We return in 10 days for another pulmonary evaluation.

Yesterday was the first time we have been outside.  We took the shuttle to CVS to get a few things.  Since Sunday the 13th, we have been to all the appointments in different building without ever going outside. We have been to the observation deck on the 24th floor of the Main Bldg. and eaten in several different restaurants.  It has rained and been cold but the sky-way system has kept us very comfortable the entire time. What an awesome place.  Today we may take the shuttle to Barnes & Noble.

Looks like we will be leaving for home in the morning.  We will see what today's appointments bring.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day and night!!

We woke about 1:30a.m. for some reason. Meme said lets turn the TV on for a little while.  I looked over about 30 seconds later and she was asleep again.  A thunderstorm woke us up about 8:30 and we enjoyed the view of the rain and storm out the window of our room. God is really taking care of us, perfect sleeping weather for a tired girl, as we find rain and storms relaxing.

What a difference, a nights rest and plenty of breath.  My Meme is back to "My Meme".  Her smile and humor and all the things that are part of my high school sweetheart. 

We had a follow-up with the oncologist today and what a difference there too.  We were dreading what he might say after Monday's shock!  We had prayed about what to do and were prepared to tell him that even though he may not give us hope, we put our hope and trust in God.  We asked God to give us the words so we would not make him mad and he would keep working with us.  But guess what?  None of that was necessary.  This was the same doctor, but a different man.  He was all "Let's Go", and here are the results, and here is the plan! I think God had prepared him for us!

Meme wearing her maroon in a burnt orange world. (UT MD Anderson)

Tomorrow, some lab work and an infusion. Then maybe heading for home!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Well, after few days of bad news, CT scans, Echocardiograms, x-rays and lab tests, today they pulled a lot of fluid from Meme's chest.  Her breathing has improved greatly.  The oxygen they put her on Monday is no longer necessary.  The fluid will be tested to see if it is associated with her cancer.

I think that she will be able to lie in bed for a good night's sleep tonight.  She has been sleeping in chairs for a month and that is not very restful.  The lack of rest, low appetite and shortness of breath led to her feeling very badly. Now only 2 hours after the procedure, I saw glimpses of her humor and a smile.  She is reclined on the bed texting and looking at Facebook, both of which she has not hardly done in several days. Her breathing is not labored and she looks so relaxed, Thank you God!

The water bottle is full of hot water.
Though the miracle I've been praying for, to heal my wife and cure her cancer, has not yet appeared, everything is in His time.  Her smile is healing for my heart. We put all our hope in Him. Through Him all things are possible.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

We are here at Rotary House at MD Anderson. The trip seemed to go fast with only one stop at Buc-ees in Wharton after leaving Woodsboro. The greeting and information at Rotary House was excellent.
Meme's first appointment is at 7:00 am. A sky bridge connects all the major buildings and the hotel, so our short walk will be all indoors.  Since it is going to be 36deg. here Tuesday, the sky bridge is very nice.  From our exploration, parts of the sky bridge look like a food court, so thanks for the Starbucks card G&B.  

Anxiety and expectations are high!

Will be lots of knee-mail tonight!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

We are heading to our new adventure on April 13. Meme's appointment at MD Anderson on the 14th, has been confirmed. Our hope is that this will be the victory lap and her cancer will be something that was just part of our past.  I held her hand for the first time at Buccaneer Carnival in 1970 and didn't want to let go. Now, 44 years later I still won't.

Since I am not a facebook person, I will try and keep our activities updated here.

Thank everyone for your continued prayers and we still feel that that we are the most blessed people in the world!