Tuesday, May 20, 2014

42 Years

Forty two years ago today, I married my High School Sweetheart and best friend.  I doesn't seem like that long, and it surely is not long enough.  It's a scary and exciting time to begin sharing a life together, but those memories of our first little apartment together could not be sweeter.  It was a one bedroom separated from a main house by a garage.  The owner was an older woman that lived by herself in the main house.  The house was on a dead end street in Annaville that ended in brush, but beyond the brush was a sendero where we would take walks in the evening.  It was quiet with rabbits and lots of birds. It was perfect.  The apartment is still there and we drive by sometimes.  It looks like no one has lived in it for a long time and was boarded up last time we looked.  If it was available, I wouldn't hesitate to move in and start another 42.

I still see my girlfriend whenever I look at her.  To me she will never change. 

I love you Beth.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Latest Trip

Quick trip to MD Anderson.  We drove Tuesday to Wharton and spent the night. Holiday Inn Express was pretty nice and the got us into a handicapped suite and it just happens to be across the street from Buc-ee's.  We left Wharton about 7:00a.m. and made it just in time for Meme's 8:30 appointment. Probably need to leave a little earlier next time to allow more cushion for traffic conditions.

The stitches came out of her catheter and the site looks nice and healed.  We are keeping the plural fluid level down so that she has more lung capacity.  Her chest x-ray showed something else going on in her lungs.  Pulmonologist said it might be pneumonia, or pulmonary edema.  This accounts for her persistent cough and the tightness in her chest.  After a coughing spell, it takes her a little while to recover her oxygen level and breathing rhythm.  They said that would like her to be admitted to the hospital for a few days, but we would have to go through the emergency room. 

After 7 hours in the emergency room, blood work, and a chest CT, they said you might have pneumonia or pulmonary edema.  They gave her a breathing treatment in the room and scripts for an inhaler and antibiotic and said go home and see your doctor as soon a possible. 

The honeymoon is over.  MD Anderson can be just as bad as any hospital.  Calls are in to her local oncologist.  We have trusted him a lot over the past few years and he has always been there for us. He is already managing her current chemo prescribed by MD.

Meme had an almost sleepless night.  She struggled to breathe this morning.  Draining her catheter brought some relief.  The inhaler seems to help a little too.  I hope she naps all day today.  I pray that God gives her air in her lungs and rest, and that the antibiotics and inhaler cure her breathing difficulty.  I also pray that He removes this terrible disease from her body.

Ok.  Now what lifts her spirit;

Our #1 and #3 came by on Mother's day.  They were not able to make the gathering at Jeremy's.  They brought hugs, kisses and bonks.  They presented Meme with mother's day art work.

Meme and Me, by #1

Meme and Me, by #3

We will hang them in the house, well just until the Louvre calls for them.

Today she got a letter in the mail from #5.  That was a bright spot too.

Blessing List;
Deb and Randy
Our new portable Oxygen concentrator
My bride and High School sweetheart
Safe travel
A smile from Meme

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Celebration

Well I think I was telling everyone that our next appointment was on Thursday, but Meme was asking about our plans for the week and I checked the schedule on MyMDAnderson.  Our appointment is Wednesday!  Glad she had me look.  So we will be heading part way on Tuesday, probably after the expected weather event.  We like storms and hope to watch this one come through.  It will also give us a chance to hook-up her catheter at home in the late afternoon.  I don't like the idea of doing the procedure in a motel room, but we could if we have to.  Drive most of the way Tuesday and finish the trip Wednesday morning for our first appointment at 8:30a.m.

We got our new portable oxygen concentrator today, so Meme is getting used to it.  It is a little different as it is not a continuous flow but a demand flow type.  It gives a shot of oxygen when she inhales through her nose.  Sure will be better than toting cylinders around and wondering if she is going to have enough to make the trip, or forgetting gaskets or all the other things that go with that type of oxygen source. 

This trip is to the Pulmonologist.  They are going to remove the stitches from her catheter and see what her progress has been.  Hopefully the x-rays will show that we are decreasing the amount of fluid in her right side and her left side in not accumulating more.

We had a Mother's day event at Jeremy's on Saturday.  Each family made ribs and it was to be like a cook-off.  Glad we didn't really have to judge it, as each batch was excellent. They were so different it would have been hard.  It really made for some good eatin' and of course anytime we get to gather is wonderful.  Only ones that were missing were #1 and #3, but we got to see them Sunday.

I don't think I have posted pictures of #7 and #8, so here they are;

Favorite snack for #7

Eating was the the theme and #8 joined in too.
Everyone had a good time!




Meme and I sure love those babies.

Blessing List;

Number 1 through 8.....how can you need more....


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Quick Trip

We were having a little leakage around Meme's denver catheter.  I sent an email to MD Anderson and they scheduled us to be in today at 10:30 a.m.  So we left at 4:45 a.m. to make the appointment in time for her to have a chest x-ray first.  Traffic was.... well it is Houston.  We made it in time. 

I was not as well organized this time and always worry if we will have enough oxygen for the day.  Switching bottles, the gasket started leaking and I was afraid we would leak all the contents and I would have to go back to the car for the back-up.  I have new gaskets but I left them all at home.  As we have heard of and experienced, the legendary helpfulness of the staff MD, they came up with a new gasket. I had temporarily fixed the problem, but I knew that if I had to switch bottles again, we would not have to worry about losing the contents and running out of oxygen. When she is in the examining rooms, we plug into to their oxygen supply saving ours for travel and transfer.

Today a nurse did the draining and I observed to see if I needed to change anything in the way I have been doing the procedure.  The leakage was observed and they said that as long as it didn't get a lot worse, it was ok.  Meme's x-ray was good and showed that we were keeping the fluid from building and her left lung had not changed.  I learned that it is called a "Denver Catheter".  I suggested to Meme that it was named after John Denver.  She said it was probably named after Bob Denver (Gilligan).  That's my girl! 

Meme asked about physical exertion and they told her to try walking around the house a little.  Since we have about 30 feet of tubing on her oxygen concentrator, she can move around the house some.  Without the oxygen supply, her pulse ox % drops and her heart accelerates.  So a few steps is like running a mile.  She is sort of like a hard hat diver, as long as she is attached to the hose she can move around some.  I think I'll call her a "hard head diver".

We go back next Thursday to have her stitches removed.  I don't think we will try a one day trip again.  We might just drive most of the way Wednesday and finish the drive on Thursday.  It is hard to find a room on short notice near the Medical Center.

Today was brother Steve's birthday. Happy Birthday from Me and Meme!

Here is a photo from one of our summer visits to Edinburg. 1963

Notice who is in the center front?

Blessing List;
Safe travel (God is wonderful)
Steve and Melanie
MD Anderson staff
Having enough oxygen for Meme
Good results
Meme's sense of humor