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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One more surgery


A blessing came my way today in that God finally called my Dad home. He was in advanced stages of alzheimers. Was there yesterday to see my mom and dad. I thank God for taking him from this disease and consider it a gift from God.

I having having my port taken out in the morning. The last foreign object in my body, at least man made object! I take it as a good sign from the doctors that believe that everything is going great! Another great gift from God!

I want to wish all of you a very Merry CHRISTmas. I will really be enjoying my grandkids and family. And slowing down even more to relax and smell the roses. All the family is coming in so it will be a great time. I plan on putting my son to work doing another home project provided the weather cooperates!

I still have the usual stuff wrong with me, but it is minor in the long course of things. Just have to pay attention to myself more.

If it was not for the prayers of all of ya'll, this season would not have been possible. I pray that each of you has a fantastic blessing this Christmas. I know I have already been blessed! Here's to all of you as I sip on a cup of apple cider.......

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

CT results

I saw all the doctors today, got the results of the scans, and saw both Dr Corwin and Rastogi for the results. And the results were all clear! I was informed that PET scans will only be done if they find something in the CT scan. The doctors were so happy that I am going to a 4 month recheck. Needless to say, I am truly blessed. If I said I was not worried, Iwould be lying, but Christmas will be a special one this year.

Still have tingly fingers and feet. Still have dry mouth. Have a new pain on my leg. No weight gain. Look like I have been starved for months! Still bald headed. Voice still not normal. Taste buds still not back. Energy and strength not where I want them. And to all of that, I say, so what! As of this day, I am healed due to God and your prayers. I have leaned on each and every one of you and God has carried me through these last eleven months!

As I was sitting at Allison today, I thought about the last 8 months, the 3 weeks in the hospital. So sick that I wondered if I would make it. The radiation treatments and the neck burning. The never feeling like I would feel good again. I saw folks that are just starting their treatments and old timers in for check ups. Would I do it over again knowing what I would go through? Not sure. If it came back, would I endure another round, if I could have one? Thankfully I do not have to answer that question. Living life each day is my goal right now. I am trying to let God have his way with me to use as he wants. After all, I think I am here for a reason. Not sure I have found the silver lining in this cloud but I think I have touched some lives that may have made a difference in their lives. I know that the outpouring of the love and support from ya'll have made a difference in my life. I have slowed down to smell the roses. I appreciate the small things in life.

I went to my two grandsons Christmas play today and it was wonderful! My grandaughter ran up to me and gave me a hug. Who could ask for more?

This is a season to celebrate Christs birth. It is also the time we should renew our faith in God. To open our hearts to him. To listen to what he is telling us. And most importantly, to committ to doing it for all of 2010. We wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Let's make it one for the ages. I know I plan on it! Later gang....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Christmas season is upon us

Thanksgiving has come and gone. It was a good weekend. Have spent the past week working trying to get caught up at the office including cleaning. I had a CT scan today but have to wait for the results for a few days. The wind blew about 70 mph yesterday. Luckily the damage was not much around here. However, I would not have wanted to be on the edge of town of in the country side.

I was so glad that I had gained 2 pounds over the holidays. However, by the middle of the week I had lost it and now again weigh 131 pounds. It could be worse! I could be losing more weigh and am not, so I am thankful. I had a CT scan this morning. I had a beginning nurse at the hospital and he really dug into my arm looking for a vein. The same one the chemo lab has no trouble getting to! But that too is a thing of the past. Just have to wait for lab results. Prayerful consideration that the cancer is still gone!

I still do not have all my energy back but am working on it. And I still have some chemo brain. At least that is what I attribute things I don't remember. Convenient huh? Still getting cold and expect to wear out several beanies, as well as gloves, this winter!

The glands in my mouth are actually coming back. It is that or I have really gotten used to drinking my meals. But each morning I have to drink before talking as my throat is really dry. But then I could have a devise in my throat because I could not speak normally!

I have always enjoyed the holiday season but this year is really special. Without Dr Patel taking out my tonsil last February, I might not be here today. At least in the shape I am today. So I am truly thankful to God for this special year. Our Christmas ornament this year was a special design that this lady makes for cancer victims. I will post after I take a picture of it.

People still tell me they read this blog and 2 new people have read it this week. If I am helping others then it is all worthwhile. I know it is good for men to keep posting although I don't normally have alot to report to this faithful group.

I am telling everyone "MERRY CHRISTMAS" this year. It is time we put GOD back into the forefront of this nation. This nation was founded on Christian religion and I believe this nation has succeeded because of this belief. I know I am preaching to the choir.

When I feel sorry for myself, I just have to look around me. There are those worse off than me. Allison Cancer Center has been wonderful in taking care of me. But the real credit for my recovery comes from this support group and believing that GOD has a plan for me while I am still on this earth. I had an opportunity to talk to someone about cancer this morning while waiting for my CT scan. It is amazing what we can do if we let God direct our lives.

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. We all get busy getting ready for Christmas but remember that Santa Claus also prays. So shouldn't we take a few moments from each day to do the same?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Merry Christmas

Hope all had a good Thanksgiving! I know I did. Worked hard but enjoyed the friendship and help in putting up a new fence. If not for Jim, Rene, Adam, Sarah and her family and Lucille, I would still be working on it. But it is finished as is the Snow Village.
I still have tingly fingers and feet (especially feet). The fourth bone chip has finally come out and my jaw is still trying to heal itself. Still have a dry mouth at times. Still get real cold. Weighed this morning and now weigh 133 pounds. We'll see if it stays on! Am still having to drink alot of water at meals altough I think it is getting better. Had my eyes checked and they do not seem to have lost much sight with all the chemo and radiation. Can't say that about hearing so I get to use selective hearing!
With the possibility of snow tonight and tomorrow, the outdoor lights may have to wait a couple of days. But plan on really enjoying Christmas this year! I always do but this year will be more special! God has blessed me and my family this year in ways we did not ever think about. It makes me much more in tune with living each day. I don't think I will ever take any day for granted anymore. I hope everyone has a great day..

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Well, got through the weekend campout ok. Was nice to camp with the boys and see them shoot their guns. Worked on getting a project finished for Thanksgiving yesterday afternoon so am a little tired today. Still shows my energy level not where I want it. And then have to get the snow village put up, so lots of activity to do this week!

I got cold working last night and my tingling fingers and feet really paid the price. Doing much better today. Will have to watch that in the future. Did not think about the cold affecting my hands and feet. My jaw is still hurting as the bone chip is not coming out yet! Hopefully it will come out this week!

Lots to be thankful for. I'm thankful for my family and friends who have continued to support me this fall. I'm thankful for all those who have continued to pray for me as I continue on the road to recovery. I'm thankful for the military for the unselfishness they give to this country. I'm thankful to being able to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends this week.

We have so much to be thankful for due to what God has given us. And praying that he will continue to bless this nation! I hope each of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Something to be thankful for

It has been 10 days since my last post. I can't say much has changed overall. I still weigh about 130 pounds. I have another bone chip trying to come out in my jaw. I still drink my meals, although it is getting better. Or maybe my care givers are getting better at making meals more watery! I still have a bald head and I wear a beanie or hat most of the time. My ears hurt because of my jaw and I have aggravated a nerve in my back again!

But before you think I am feeling sorry for myself , DON'T. Things could be alot worse. I get up every day. I am even getting close to getting up with Lucille every morning. Have not done that in a long time. My energy level is improving, I am slowly getting my office back into shape. I am able to camp with my Troop. I get to enjoy my grandkids and my children on a regular basis. I am eating better, although my taste buds are not back to where I would like them. My friends have continued to pray for me and my recovery and to give me words of encouragement.

I am glad to be able to witness to others. I am glad to be able to console Walker as he tries to fight another infection. I am glad to be able to enjoy my family and my friends. I am glad that I am able to work. I am glad I am able to finish some of my home projects at last. I am glad to see the sun come up and go down each day. I am glad to be able to enjoy the fall colors.

And all of this came about because of the prayer and support from you and God. I am still here for a reason and each day I try to do something to let God know it was a good decision.

Christmas is just around the corner. I am trying to put some finishing touches around the house as we get ready for Thanksgiving. I am building an outdoor fire pit for our guests next week. Pictures will be forthcoming. I have started putting up the Snow Village. It is a several day affair. Pictures will be forthcoming on that also. I am excited about this Christmas season. Excited about be able to enjoy it to the fullest. Able to praise God for sending his Son to this earth. I plan on smelling alot of roses this next month!

And yes, I will be saying Merry Christmas to all. Happy Thanksgiving all. Be sure to say a prayer for all our service men and women who are not with their families during this time of year. We owe alot to them!

Later gang!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A good weekend

Good Monday morning to all..

Well Lucille and I spent a relaxing weekend at our dear friends, the McFarlands. We chopped down a tree for firewood, ate, rode motorcycles, fixed a picnic table, rode motorcycles and ate and had a campfire. It was a good weekend!

Did not drink enough water so am having more dry mouth than normal. Will work to get that fixed this week. Have not gained weight but have not lost any either! After this weekend, I found out that my strength is not where I would like it to be. But that too will be fixed some time in the future. Will continue to be active. Only way I know how to get my energy and strength back.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

small steps

Another week of small steps. Taste buds are better. Had a Milky Way candy bar but the real good stuff is maple nuts. Eating like there is no tomorrow but still cannot gain weight. A doctor said it will be a long time, if at all. So guess I will get pants for Christmas!

My voice is still raspy. I am about used to it. I sing deeper now. Still have tingling in my feet and hands. I can rub my head and my feet tingle. Still on blood thinner but have to be as long as my port is in. You can see exactly where the tubing runs on my chest!

My next CT scan Dec 10. I expect nothing to show up but will have these for the two plus years. I can sleep at the drop of being quiet. Need more sleep these days. And when I work alot I pay for it for a day or so. But have to keep pushing to get my strength and energy back.

Working out some, not enough though. But I am getting a little stronger each day. Work is keeping me busy at the office, especially this time of year, and that is good! Did not lose too many tax clients this year.

I am blessed through the support of all of ya'll. I am here for a reason and will let God guide me. I do admit it is hard! But trust we must with God!

I do hope everyone has a great week ahead. I know I will!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Just dealing with everyday life..

Just had my port flushed. Everything from that area looks good. Went camping with Boy Scouts this weekend and while the physical exercise was good for me, I am a little tired.

I don't realize how bad my clothes fit until I put on a dress coat. It is way big. Even after eating solid for the weekend, I still weigh just 131 pounds. But overall I feel good. My feet tingle all the time and my voice is still very raspy. Had my eyes checked this last week and they are not much different than before chemo. Kind of surprised me to say the least. But that is a good thing at this point. I know I have lost some hearing. Noisy places are not for me. I cannot hear at all.

One of my ex-Boy Scouts died late this past week. Please keep the Williams in your prayers. He was 19 years old. A memorial service is being held today. That is reason for dress coat. Also my father in law had a heart attack yesterday so please keep Lucille and Frances (spouse) in your prayers.

Will try to slow down between now and the end of the year. Hopefully, I can get some energy and strength and maybe a little weight before Christmas.

I hope all had a good weekend and will have a great week. With God in our corner how can it be other than that? Good things happen when we let him into our lives everyday, even if we think it not a good thing to us. Prayer is a powerful medicine. We need to really be praying hard. Have a great week everyone.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Still alive and kicking

Contrary to public opinion, I am still above ground and breathing. I have put in too much time at work so am tired and non movement on my part resulting in sleeping.

I still have not gained any weight so still weigh in at 130 pounds. I finally got what I hope the the final loose tooth chip out of my jaw last week. My jaw is still sore but according to the dentist , it is healing just fine. My feet (and fingers sometimes) are still tingling big time so according to Dr Corwin, I need to start taking vitamins. Either I am getting used to having no salva glands in my mouth or some of them are coming back as I am able to eat more without drinking. Probably a little bit of both. My mouth does not feel as cottony as it did a month ago. Had my flu shot the day after I was exposed to the flu by my grandkids. I felt like I had the flu this weekend but think it was a result of getting the flu shot. Have to take the N1F1 shot when it comes out in November.

Lucille has been great in fixing me food that will help me gain weight. Biggest problem is that when I get to office, I do not get home for lunch to eat what she has fixed. Hopefully after Oct 15, I can take a couple of hours off at noon to eat. I need to as you can count the ribs on me.
My grandkids even baked some cookies for me!

Weather was cool (cold for me) and had a fire all yesterday afternoon. So I worked on finishing a project while enjoying the warmth of the fire.

I don't think Iwill ever get over the feeling of having cancer. Every time I have a little ache or pain, I think about "what if it is cancer again?". But will trust in the Lord that he is taking care of me as he has been doing in the past. You just have to live each day to the fullest. Only God knows your timetable and there is nothing that can be done but to just live every moment you have. We take life for granted when we are healthy. But when one gets sick, it makes me think about life and where I am. If you are healthy, don't take life for granted. Live like there will be no tomorrow. Love your family and friends. Take the time to smell the roses and enjoy what you have.

Hope all of you enjoy your week. I know I will!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Recovery just takes a long time

It has been a long week. Have been able to work longer hours but little nagging hurts keeps me from feeling great.

Went to the dentist yesterday to see about the loose bone chip in my jaw. Still tightly fixed into my jaw but the bone is exposed as my body is trying get rid of it. Dentist does not want to cut it out as the jaw is too fragile due to radiation. So some days it feels ok and other days, like today, feels really bad. When I chew too much, the pain gets to be too much. But I just take an extra 30 minutes to eat!

I guess I am under some stress as I have a pinched nerve in my back. Thought I had gotten rid of it but it is back today. Trying to work it out.

Not eating enough to gain necessay weight. But do not feel bad at this point. I just have to keep on eating. The worst thing about not gaining any weight is how cold I always am. It may be a cold winter. But it could be worse, so I just wear extra clothes and get on with life.

My taste buds are slowly coming back. I can tolerate some sweets (along with alot of water), but not to the point that I am eating alot of sweets.

Life is alot of ups and downs. I thank God for walking with me and carrying me when I cannot walk by myself. I could be alot worse. When I feel too sorry for myself, I just go to Allision Cancer Center and as I look around the room, I see folks in worse shape than me. So I count my blesssings and continue on living. Am going to work on another honey do this weekend. Hope all of you have a great weekend.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Another week in recovery

So much for posting during the week. Have been working hard all week and still have two days until I can relax for a few days.

Went to the dentist and there is still a loose piece of bone trying to work its way out. It is slow coming out but it is coming. Hopefully this week it will fester enough to get it out. Then another minor setback will be gone. Still recovering from a throat infection. Will go back to the doctor later this week to get it checked out again.

Am eating more but not enough at this point. But will continue to eat to try and gain some weight. I don't feel bad and my energy level is picking up. And I am finally wearing clothes that actually fit so don't look too bad. If I am feeling sorry for myself, I just walk into Allison Cancer Center and immediately realize that I am doing well! But considering that, the Lord has carried me the last couple of weeks. My feet are back on the ground and am walking side by side with him again.

Life has its ups and downs. As I tell people, we have to deal with it regardless of what we are going through. It is how we deal with the downs that tells us about how deep our faith is. I know that my faith has gotten deeper these last 9 months. And I certainly hope each of you has deepen your faith. I have prayed for each of you as I know that the power of prayer is some strong medicine! The witness we give others whether we get credit or not is what we are commissioned to do. Just living life day to day is a witness to others. We do not have to interact with others to witness. May God continue to bless each of you for your support. I have about 16 more months according to the doctors before I am out of the woods but I am optimistic that it I will be cancer free. Have a great week all.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day

It's been a week since I last posted and for that I am sorry. I guess I have late chemo brain as I thought I posted late last week. It has been a pretty good week although my lower left jaw has been giving me some trouble. Work has been very steady with alot of work to do and not enough energy to get it all done.

It has been a busy week with work, Scouts, grandkids, and doing one of my honey do's and a football game on Friday evening. Work has been very busy. Just have not been able to keep up the energy level. It is getting better but not where I want it. This next week will be very busy trying to meet a tax deadline. My two grandsons start pre-school this week so went to see them off and then took Hannah (along with her mom, Sarah) to get her first haircut. Hannah sat in my lap the whole time she got her haircut. When she says "Pops", it is hard to refuse her! Harrison had a birthday this week. It seems this last month has been one continous birthday day for the two boys. I did catch any infection from Hannah so I am on additional drugs to take care of a sore throat.

Adam came home this weekend and helped (or should I say I helped him) to lay a wood floor in the living room. The only thing left is to put up the trim and this will be a major project done. Still have the hall and the study to do sometime this fall. It really looks good.

My jaw is still giving me some pain. I have pulled two pieces of loose bone and I think there is one piece remaining. It hurts to chew alot and to drink cool liquids. I go to the dentist tomorrow afternoon to check the status of the other piece. Hopefully it will do alot of healing this week.

My facial hair is finally coming back. I still do not have any hair under my chin. I am still shaving my head twice a week. It just makes getting ready for work faster. However, I still get cold easily so may change my mind as the weather gets cooler. I was cold Friday night at the ball game and wished I had gloves and a heavier jacker. I will be alot more prepared for the next game.

I have gained another pound this weekend and now weight 136. It is certainly better than loosing weight at this point. Am able to eat better although I still have to drink alot of water during the meal.

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day Weekend. I did not rest as much as I probably should have but enjoyed been away from work. And enjoying the company of Lucille, Adam and Sarah and Paul and the grandkids. May God continue to bless all of us as we enter this fall season. I don't think I have time to slow down for the roses but I will make time to slow done and smell that rose. Be sure you slow down and smell that rose too. I will try and make sure I post more frequently. See ya.....

Monday, August 31, 2009

long weekend

Hope all of you are starting the week on a good note. I went camping but we came home early which in the end was a good thing for me. Still having some jaw pain but coping with it.

Came home from the camp out to Balmorhea State Park late Saturday afternoon. There was a miscommunication with the park personnel so we came home on Saturday. Was certainly disappointed about not getting to camp out the whole weekend. But slept 14 hours Saturday night so evidently the short trip took more out of me than I thought. Did some repairs around the house on Sunday and tried to relax. Slept in too long this morning but evidently I needed it and will continue to listen to my body.

The piece of loose bone in my jaw is starting to come out. Hopefully it will in the next couple of weeks. It does affect my eating and drinking. Cold liquids really do a number on this spot. And too much talking and eating also affect the pain level. So I take the drugs when the pain gets too bad. Still at 135 pounds but not eating enough right now to gain anymore weight. But that too shall pass. One day I will be wondering how to lose weight!!

Still have dryness in my mouth so drink alot of water and coffee to keep it moist. Working outside makes it worse so have to get into keeping water handy all the time.

Have more work than hours in the day right now. So I am really getting into time management! So here I am posting instead of working! But need this to keep my mental straight!

Hope everyone has a great week. Each day gets a little better. No one said it would be easy. I lean on God to pull me through the rough spots, and he always does. The past 8 months has really deepen my faith and my witness to others!

Friday, August 28, 2009


Today is Friday and after a long week I am going to go on a Scout camp out to Balmorhea State Park.

I have been to a couple of doctors this week with in infection to my lower jaw and cheek. It seems I have a loose piece of bone that my body is trying to get rid of. So I just have to wait for it to come to the surface. Hopefully it will happen within the next couple of weeks. I am on some mild pain killers as the pain has become intense at times.

I was at a ground breaking for a new Hope House on Wednesday and the PA at Texas Onocology just gave me an exam right there on the spot and ordered in some drugs. What a place!!! Then proceeded to see two dentists.

Eating has been somewhat of a chore this week as the more I chew, the more my mouth hurts. But just put some numbing cream on the spots and try to eat through the pain.

I have not accomplished everything I wanted to this week but am working towards getting there. My energy level is up some but still have to watch and make sure I don't get overextended.

I ask for continual prayers for Kohen Subia - the two year old boy who had a kidney and part of his liver removed and is going through chemo and radiation. I know what I went through so can I can just imagine what he is going through and not being able to tell anyone!

Recovery is slow. I tire way to easy and so I am trying to take it slow. It is hard but I am getting better. I weigh 135 pounds. My feet still tingle but I just keep going. There could be worse things going on with me. I get up each day and thank the Lord for another day. It's all I can ask. Have a great weekend everyone. Steve

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Another week gone

It has been a good week. We met with the chemo doctor and the results of the PET scan were great. Nothing was found on the cross section. So visits with three doctors have resulted in good reports from all. Only issue I have at this point in my recovery is my feet still tingle and my fingers sometimes tingle. My neck is still recovering. Every time I wear a collared shirt, I irrate my neck again. I continue to put medicine and cream on it. Just have to be patience. My jaw is causing me some pain. Was told by the doctor that it is common and have to take some medicine for it if the pain gets too bad.

I have gained another pound this week and now weigh a 135 pounds. Still look like a skinny guy but what a waist!! And no stomach!

Meals have been steack, hamburger patty, pasta, mexican food, oatmeal, eggs, biscuit and gravy. Ate a couple of cookes today with a glass of water. Water is a main staple in my meals as of now. But at least I am eating, and drinking and staying hydrated. I have tried to not work too much this week but we had a sidewalk sale the last two days so the hours have been kinda long. Will sleep and rest alot tomorrow.

Our grandsons are spending ghe night with us this evening. It was their idea. It's neat that they want to stay the night. Of course, their mom and dad just live about 2 minutes from here!

I am tried this evening and will sleep well tonight, even with grandsons in another room! Have a full week next week so have to make sure I go into it with lots of energy. And of course, I will be depending on God and the many prayers offered up to him for my continued healing and getting stronger. I am getting stronger every day and getting more energy to make it through the day. God has been good to us and we thank him on a daily basis for his strength. Later all...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

An uneventful few days

The rest of the week was pretty uneventful. Worked about 5 hours a day from Tuesday thru Thursday and then a full day on Friday. Saturday was spent working at the kids house painting. Today will work on the cook wagon for Scouts and celebrate Walker's birthday (grandson).

Biggest problem is still trying to gain some weight. Breakfast is the hardest at this point since bread still does not go well. Breakfast bars are about the same as bread. Lunch this last week has been hot links and hot dogs. Had Chinese food a couple of days for supper so I don''t think the weight gain has increased. I haven't lost any weight, just no gain. So for that I am happy. For someone who was only eating 2 meals a day to having to eat 3 meals with alot of calories, it has been a chore.

My throat dries out quickly if I don't drink water constantly. I worked in the yard about 30 minutes last night and my mouth was so dry it took about an hour for it to get moist again. Have to pay more attention to myself when I am working outside and stop more frequently to drink. I now drink an occasional sprite along with water and coffee. But very little ice. For some reason the real cold does not do well in my mouth.

I can tell my immune system is not up to speed as I have a strawberry on my elbow that refuses to heal, even with medicine on it. Did not do Scout trip this weekend as a result of that. My body is getting better but not as fast as I would like. Did I ever say patience is not one of the things I'm good at?

All in all, I am pleased with my progress at this point. I know that the recovery will take time and that the more I rest, the quicker I can recover. So I am trying to mix the two together. When I sit for very long, I sleep. I try to make the most of my time while I am awake, whether it is work, visiting or playing. hmmm somewhere in there I should be eating!

God has been good to Lucille and me. And I know that it is the prayers that have been given on my behalf that has resulted in my treatment and recovery progress. And I continue to thank God for each of you for your support. I hope each of you has received a blessing this past week. Every day I get one when I look back on the day. It may be feeling better, being able to lift more weight, being able to work longer, my mind clearing up, being able to help someone in need, or just plain old doing a good turn for someone. Oh, and stopping to smell the roses. We should all be thankful in that if you look around, there is always someone who has it rougher than you and me. And that is a blessing in itself. Have a great Sunday.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Another doctor visit

Well, I worked too many hours last Thursday and Friday and spent the weekend recovering. Slept til 10:30 Saturday morning and then messed around house all day. Sunday I had an Eagle Court of Honor for two of the boys in my Boy Scout Troop.

So yesterday and today, I took it a little easier at the office. Went to Dr V Patel this morning. This is the doctor that found the cancer to start with. He did another scope down my throat and I got to see it on tv while he was holding my tongue out. He did not see anything and said the next 18 months would be the most critical for cancer. He also said I did better then 95% of his patients as far as how I was doing at this point. So all in all, it has been a good day. Another doctor visit and another good report. The big one will be the chemo doctor a week from Thursday.

I still weigh 134 pounds. It is hard to eat enough to gain! But I am not losing and that's good. So will keep working on putting on a few more pounds. I am working out more and that is helping my endurance. I trust that God will bless me as I need to be in regaining my strength. I just have to be patient.

A lady I know from Scouts has a grandson that is two years old and he has cancer. He has already lost a kidney. I am asking you for a special prayer for this young man and his family. He starts chemo and radiation shortly. It will take alot of faith for this family and alot of support.

God grants us many opportunities for us to display our true faith. I know my faith has increased tremendously and I have been blessed as a result. I know he has blessed each of you for your support and prayers. It is amazing what prayer will do!

I'll keep you posted with my progress.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

IT'S GONE... IT'S GONE !!!!!

Went to Dr Corwin's office and the PET scan to get the initial results. He proceeded to show Lucille and me the initial PET scan and the scan they just finished. Turns out I have 4 lymph nodes that had cancer and the cancer on my throat was much bigger than we thought. But the newest scan showed NOTHING! Yes, it showed there was no cancer anywhere in my body. The doctor was even surprised as he had forewarned us that a test this early will show hot spots and that the real test would be in 3 months. He was as pleased as were we. While they will review the cross section of the PET scan, I do not think they will find anything.

It was like a big weight just lifted off my shoulders when we looked at the scans. I did not realize that I was as worried about the test as I guess I was.

And I believe that the prayers offered by all of you across this world had a tremedous effect. I truly believe God heard these prayers and made sure the cancer was gone. The support has been wonderful and has kept me going all these months. And knowing that God would carry me when I couldn't or wouldn't walk myself. And I can assure you I had those days when I wondered if I could continue.

So here I am the first of August without cancer growing. I got up this morning and did a limited workout and will continue to try and get my strength back. I weigh 134 pounds and will start eating regular items. I would like to weigh between 145 and 155. But I don't care if it takes months to get there. As long as I have the energy and endurance to do what I have and want to do, then weight is not an issue.

Right now I am hoping to be able to work 40 hours a week by the end of the month. Have to earn a living, but life is about smelling the roses and I intend to do more of that in the future. I do not know how long my life will be from this point forward so will use it to smell lots of roses. Later gang and thanks again for your support and prayers......

Monday, August 3, 2009

Start of new week in recovery

Good morning all. Well, the weekend was in that I gained another pound and now weigh 134 pounds. I did however, fall off a ladder yesterday while doing some work for my daughter. Just a strawberry bruise on my elbow and head. But everything is good now. It is sooooo nice to be done with the feeding tube. I will have a permanent reminder of the tube in that there will be a nice quarter inch hole at the top part of my stomach. But it served its purpose and is a small price to pay. Looks kinda like a belly button that is misplaced. The numbness in toes and fingers are getting better as is my tongue. Just keep on going as it will take some time to get over that. At least that is what I'm told. Found out that my rash on neck and now ankles is most likely due to some bath wash I started using. Will stop using it. While my neck still itches, it looks better already. Hopefully by the end of the week, it will be gone.

Went to an outdoor concert at Museum of the Southwest to listen to my son-in-law play last night. A beautiful evening and enough of a breeze to keep the bugs away.

Am basicly back to water drinking as it seems all other liquids seem to dry out my mouth. Drinking alot of water to keep my mouth moist. But that is a good thing. Keeps me hydrated! Had pancakes this morning. Had pasta Friday night and pizza on Saturday. Anything is possible with water. Have not tried a hamburger yet. Too much bread.

Did finish a couple of projects this weekend around home. Will continue to work on list that has piled up over the last seven months. Even helping Paul and Sarah get some stuff done at their new home. Plan on working a little more this week. Slept good last night but was really tired. I probably worked too much this weekend and not enough rest. Will try to curb the work some this week to make sure I stay rested.

Have the PET scan tomorrow and wait another week for the initial result of the CT/PET scan. Then will have another scan in a couple of months. It is all about recovery and getting back to normal, as normal as one can get. Every time my ear hurts or my throat hurts I think about cancer. Guess it will always be with me from now on. Just have to trust in God and the doctors that all is ok!

I hope everyone has a great week. The rain is over and hot weather suppose to set in for the balance of the week. The rain was great but now things will dry out some. Thanks for your continued support and prayers. Have to admit that I am somewhat anixous about these scans. But I also know that I feel good and at this point the doctors feel good about the results of the treatments. It is all about faith. Faith in God, and faith in yourself (attitude). Thanks to you all for your support. Later gang...

Friday, July 31, 2009

The tube is gone!!!!

It's been a few days since I have been on. Sorry about that. Had a semi rough day on Wednesday. I think it was I was pressing too much at work. So made sure I slept more and am feeling pretty good today. But the most exciting thing is that in the manner of a couple of seconds my feeding tube was gone. We had heard alot of different things that were used to get the tube out and Dr Patel did not use any of them. HE said "take a deep breath" and before I could take a breath, the tube was out. The bottom of the tube is the size of a quarter but only a 1/2 balloon. Some blood squirted out as he pulled it out! Then he just put gauze on the 1/4 inch hole and taped me up. He said the stomach will repair itself within 2 hours and that within six hours everything will be scabed over. And he was right! It feels so good having it gone. I will relax and let it heal over the weekend and that will be one more object gone from my body. The only hurt is when i stretch, the scab breaks apart a little but that's it. The doctor said after six hours they have to make a new hole if it needs to be replaced.

Am having a little reflux problem this week but that too is getting better. Again I have to make myself slow down and take it easy. And my body certainly will let me know! Am having some rash on the sides of my neck but think it is a result of starch shirts so will wear polo shirts for awhile to fix that problem. Such a minor problem as compared to not been able to eat anything!

Had a CT scan on Thursday and will have a PET scan next Tuesday and the results will be the following week. But I feel good and my throat gets better every day. I am adjusting more to no salvia in my mouth as I understand that won't change much. So I drink more water. hmmm Seems I have to do that anyway!

Have gained another pound so weight 133 pounds with my 31" waist. I brag now as this won't last. Can't afford a new wardrobe so have to have to gain weight and a couple of inches in the waist.

So it is just trying to get back to normal both at home and at the office. It is slow, but thats ok. As long as the good days outnumbered that bad, I will take it! And I have all of you to thank for this as I believe that God has truly answered all the prayers. Hope everyone has a great weekend! Later guys....

The tube is gone!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Start of week of alot of improvement

I am still not sleeping all night so am tired at the end of this day. But I feel better each day and that is the main thing at this point. I talked to a Mary Collier (Hope House) and she said this would really be a good week. It will be a good week if for no other reason that I get the PEG out tomorrow. I am more than ready. Tonight I had corn on the cob. The taste was great! Even had a Popsicle after supper.

My endurance is a little better after this weekend. I worked for about 5 hours and slept for about an hour this afternoon. While I am tired, it is a good tired. The weight gain of 3 pounds this last week has made a difference, so a few more pounds should make alot of difference in my energy and endurance later this week.

I talked to Mary Collier alot about Allison Cancer Center and its wonderful staff today. I think they have made so much difference in my treatment. I am much better off as a result of staying in Midland. Staying as local as possible is so good in that, besides the quality health care, my support group in Midland has enabled me to have someone to lean against as well as being able to visit and being able to sleep in my own bed and rest in my own home. I am truly blessed by all my friends both in Midland and outside of Midland around the country and the world. As before I don't think I could have made it without all the prayers and support from ya'll. I know Lucille feels the same way. There are not enough thanks you in the world to express our gratitude!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Another week to recovery

It's Friday evening and getting ready to go to bed. Had what I think will be my last hydration this morning. Lunch with ET. Worked a couple of hours and then painted for three hours. And then came home and relaxed. Had oatmeal for breakfast, chili rellano for lunch and homemade chicken enchiladas for supper with some dutch chocolate ice cream. Everything was good except the ice cream. The taste was not there but enjoyed the coolness on my throat. But all in all I've had a good week of meals. I think I have put on 3 plounds this week so am about 131 pounds tonight.

My energy level gets better every day as does my endurance. So hopefully I will not overwork myself this weekend (that won't happen with Lucille and Sarah around!). And get more strength and energy this weekend. My feet and fingers still tingle but just keep working through that. Hopefully it will go away in the months ahead. I certainly don't intend to give in to it! If my sweet tooth would come back somewhat I would be happy. But my taste buds are coming back pretty quick I think. The tip of my tongue is not as numb as it once was.

I have three special requests fopr ya'll. One is my father in law who has congested heart failure. Please keep Jim and Frances in your prayers as they go through this time in their lives. And also keep Jim Adams and his lovely wife Terry in your prayers as he is recovering from heart surgery. And the last is for Randy Auburg. He is having a tough time for the last week of radiation and then a couple of weeks (like me) to get over the major side effects he is having. He also has throat cancer and is at MD Anderson. Nothing against MD Anderson but I am really glad we stayed in Midland. My treatment and caregivers have been excellent and they take what we have to say to heart and then try to make sure that I was as comfortable as I could be in going through these tough chemo and radiation treatments.

I hope everyone has a great weekend as I plan on it. Every day is a little better than before. I just plan on taking each day at a time. If I can work more then I will, but is I can't then I will come home and take a nap and rest. This is a busy time of year but that is the approach I am taking. And it is becasue of your prayers and support. This nation was founded on God and I believe with all my heart he is still here. I am still here as he has a purpose for me. Otherwise I would be leading something not on this earth! ( a joke people!) Prayer is a powerful ally and I think God has listened to each of you. I know that it is an extra mark in the Book of Life. I don't know if I have found the silver lining in this cloud but I will continue to seek it and continue to do what I can to help others. It truly makes me feel peace within myself when I help other people (regardless of whether they have cancer or not). Maybe that is my silver lining. The slowing down of life, helping more people (whether they know it or not), the witnessing to folks. And you know what - the roses smell really good! Nite all...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What a blessed rain today..

It is Wendesday afternoon and feeling somewhat tired after working a few hours but otherwise doing very well today.

Still only sleeping about 4 good hours a night but I'll take what I can get.

Had good meals yesterday. BBQ for lunch and lazanua for supper and a late night snack of popcorn and sprite. My taste buds are coming back quicker than I thought and able to eat through some of the bitter taste now. Still not eating much bread but drinking lots of water. I think the hyrdation is really helping to keep my water level high. It's just one less thing my body doesn't have to worry about. Had cheese toast this morning and it was really dry but ate about 3/4 of it. But will have a good lunch and supper. Am up to a cup of coffee in the morning and about a half of cup at night. Tea doesn't taste good at this point but water is what I normally drink anyway.

I shave my head twice a week now and my beard is a moustache and a few whiskers on my chin. But hair is coming back alot quicker than I thought. But it is all white now!

It has rained all morning. It really has cooled everything off and everything smells so good. I won't have any trouble taking a nap this afternoon. Every morning I feel better. It's all I can ask for. That each day is better than the last. My throat is responding better everyday which is allowing me to eat anything I thing about trying.

People may not believe in the power of prayer but not me. I am where I am today as a result of God's blessing through your prayers. And for that I am extremely thankful to everyone. Later guys.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

work, rest, work rest...

Happy Sunday to everyone!

I have had a pretty successful weekend. Have gained 2 pounds so I am back to 130 pounds. Breakfast has been eggs, biscuits, gravy and sausage. Had steak one night, and last night was potato soup, cottage cheese. The good side is that I am eating a full meal pretty much. Still can't eat breads as it takes too much moisture out of my mouth. And I have learned to drink lots of water during meal time. And no ice cream yet.

The only major side effect I am having at this point is the tingleness in my toes and fingers. I understand that is from cysplatin. But will work through that. My energy level hasn't gotten any stronger but will keep working at doing a little and resting. It will build up over time. My mind says to get busy but my body says not so fast! So until the two of them get together, I will continue to to work and rest.

Last night we went to theatre. It marks the first time I have really been in public since Feb 4. It was kinda strange to say the least. But it is one more step to getting back to normal.

I am excited about getting rid of the feeding tube this week. I have not used it in a week now and with eating pretty much what I am willing to try, I will not be needing it any more. One more device that will not be protruding out of me! But while I needed it, I am glad it was there.

Will get hydrated a couple of times this week just to be safe. I think it has helped in my recovery efforts. By the end of July I shouldn't be doing hydration anymore.

Thank you for your continued prayers and cards. They are so uplifting. I know lots of people are reading this blog and I sincerely hope it is doing as much good for ya'll as it is for me. I would have never posted without Lucille encouraging me. It has been good for me. I hope God is blessing each of you this blessed Sunday.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Another day - another day of getting well

It's Thursday afternoon. I worked for a few hours today and came home to rest. Could not sleep but resting. Surely that counts for something! Worked in the yard a couple of hours yesterday afternoon and hit the old brick wall around 8 last night. I get about 4 hours of good sleep every night now. The other sleep is semi-sleep. But at least it is sleeping.

My throat gets better every day. Tried to eat some Mexican food last night but it just wasn't to be. Will try again next week. Had a big bowl of potato soup for lunch today and it was great. A little spicy which probably helped my taste buds. Still have not used my feeding tube this week. Will be looking to have it removed next week if I don't use it this week. My grandkids will be disappointed as that it is the first thing they want to see every time I see them. The tube has been a life saver for me and allowed me to be able to stay home instead of the hospital.

The care I have received at Allison Cancer Center has been fantastic. They are truly concerned about your well being and care and hurts. They do everything they can to make treatments as pleasant as possible. I can't say enough good things about those folks.

Each day gets better as my throat continues to heal. My taste buds seem to responding well although chocolate is still not in the cards. But that to will come to pass. Biggest problem I have at the moment is keeping my food moist enough to eat. And that too will resolve itself somewhat. A small price to pay when considering the alternative.

My honey do list is still long but will start working on it soon. I hope to be in the office every day next week getting my work caught up. Not all day but at least 20 hours next week. Rest is still the key to recovery so have to learn to pace myself.

Thanks to all of you for your continued support. The outpouring of God's love is felt in this house every day as a result of your kindness. Talk again tomorrow....

Monday, July 13, 2009

One giant step

Evening everyone..

What started out not too hot ended up pretty good. Got up, had the dry heaves and then had hydration. Spent 4 hours at the clinic. Fed myself thru the tube this morning. But after getting home, I had a hot dog, mustard and a cheese stick for lunch. But for supper Lucille fixed meatloaf, potatoe soup and peas. And I cleaned the plate along with a glass of water. No tube tonight! Am looking forward to each day getting better. Will do hydration 2 more times this week. RIght now will call if I need help. But if continue to eat and improve my drinking, then I think I might very well be over the hump. Im'm sure my clients would like that!

It's amazing what 24 hours can do right now. My attitude is better this evening, my stomach feels good with real food in it. I will work a few hours tomorrow and Thursday. Don't want to get too stretched out. But with God's help, everything is looking up. I'm two weeks out from chemo, so the chemo effects sould be about gone and Thursday is two weeks from last radiation treatment so those effects should about be worn off.

Started lifting some 10# weights for my skinny arms. Nothing serious just want to get my strength back but will do it gradually. While I am looking for weight gain now, I want it to be good weight so we will start eating a little more healthy.

Thanks for the support and continued prayers. Still have about 3 months to really determine if this bad boy is gone (although I think it is). But plan on recovering just like it is gone. So we will be enjoying the next several months. Without this support group, this kind of ordeal would be extremely difficult. I always thought I was a tough guy, but this has proved me wrong! Without God and you, it would have been so difficult. Thanks again..

Try to stay cool. Lots of honey dos around this house so the next couple of months will be trying to finish up alot of those jobs.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

1 week from radiation

Evening everyone.

Well, not off the feeding tube yet, but working on it slowly. Am working on spicy stuff to trick the taste buds (I guess trick my brain) into thinking it is good. It has occurred to me today that I am having to learn to chew differently since I have not really eaten any solid food since I lost my teeth.

This morning was gravy, 1/2 biscuit and sausage. The afternoon snack was some hot wings (really hot!). Under normal conditions only ET and Mark would be eating them. Needless to say I did not eat but a couple. I think my stomach is wondering what is going on all of a sudden by the different food dropping in. Lucille is fixing salmon tonight or tomorrow. It was a good meal when she has fixed before. Drinking is getting easier although not where I can gulp a 1/2 glass yet.

The other adjustment is no saliva glands to help keep the food wet, so have to drink more than I would normally during eating. So just have to relearn to eat so am hoping this next week will bring good results. So far, the throat is doing great. I can still feel a little rough edges but I think it is healing nicely. So by the end of the week, I think that issue will be pretty much gone.

I have dropped another 5 pounds which does concern me but the only way to stop is eat more. I think it is because I am so tired of sitting and am moving around more. But I figure if I don't get to moving more then I will not get any energy or endurance back. But I also know when to say stop and rest! So that is what I am doing.

Each day is truly better tan the day before when I step back and look at each. A small step is great at this point. An improvement to see that I am recovering and while it will be slow, the recovery is coming!

Life is all about choices and my choice at this point is taking what God has given me and putting it to use. And that is life itself. Not sure the number of days left, but think it will be many and if I can have the effect that Jim and Terri Adams have on lives, I will feel truly blessed.

Have a great evening everyone..

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Another day of healing.

Evening gang..

Not doing too bad today.My throat is getting better but not able to take more than a sip at a time. But patience is the key word here. SO I feed the tube, try drinking as much as I can when awake and get hydrated every other day. Will do the same next week.

I worked for a couple of hours today and will continue to try and do so so build up endurance. But I also slept this afternoon and as of now will not have any trouble sleeping tonight. I think this part is as tough as taking the treatments as you want so badly to feel better and it is all up to your body to get the healing done. So in that regard it is kind of frustrating, but this too shall pass.

I've had many comments on my neck so have posted the look of it today. It has healed very well. The cream the doctor gave me has done wonders. It's still a little tender but doing great.

The other pic is stuff I am feeding myself with. Lucille uses whole mile and cream to get the calories up to 850 per ounces. It is so much better than Ensure and I think the cost is not different. But alot less feeding to accomplish the same result. But I look forward to getting off it and back to food. I have all these free meals when I can start eating the big stuff. After all, I don't want to waste their money!!

Sent my Philmont boys and adults off today for their 12 day backpack trip. But just able to do it. Maybe in a couple of years. If up to it, I will go up on July 21 to see them come off the trail.

You just don't know how I pray for each of you for the blessings that God has put on my treatment and healing. You guys are the greatest support one could hope for. I have run out of words thanking you but my heart can't thank you enough! See ya later.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Working through phase 1

No hydration today. Will decide about Thursday later tonight. Got up feeling pretty good. Drank throughout the morning, worked for a couple of hours at shop and have rested and slept and drank this afternoon. Had to take stomach medicine this afternoon. But the good news is my swallowing is much improved today. I can't eat yet but drinking is becoming easier. At least I am able to swallow my pills.

So will continue this routine the rest of the week, Hydration tomorrow, work a little and sleep and rest and drink. Every day away from treatment is better. I may not totally feel like it but the body has to do its business of healing and I have to give it the time. So all my caregivers are making sure I keep to the straight and narrow so it will heal faster. And they are right. Hard for me to do, but they are right.

My Philmont group leaves this Thursday for 11 days of backpacking. Not way I can go but I will think of them each day while they are out. By the time they get back I should be much improved. Not enough to backpack but enough to get back to a more normal life style.

My hair is coming back so will be back to shaving every day in a couple of weeks. Still going to leave my head bald for the summer, at least.

Thank you for your continued support. When treatment is over, one thinks (at least I did) that everything would be alot better. Not so with cancer. The body has too much of its own healing to do. So the next 10 days are pretty critical to my getting healthy again. So will take it easy and rest. God Bless each of you this day.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Recovery = phase 1

Well, what I thought would be nothing but blue skies ahead has not been that! I spent the weekend throwing up as I could not stay hydrated even with the tube.My throat would not cooperate as I could barely swallow. So I spent most of the weekend sleeping, throwing up and trying to keep liquids down.

So at 8:30am this morning I was back at Allison undergoing hydration again. Will do it several times this week to give my throat time to heal so I can start drinking and eating. I was told this morning that July 17 is the date I will start feeling good again and being able to eat and drink. So I will be seeing the wonderful people at Allison helping me stay hydrated until my throat starts to heal up. Just a minor setback. Not one I was really expecting. As Lucille and I looked back, I should just now be starting the recovery process from the last of the chemo process and who knows about radiation. So will focus on trying to stay hydrated, keeping a positive attitude and getting healed.

So right now I am looking at a two phase recovery. The initial recovery is until I am able to eat and drink without a tube. The second phase will be the full recovery of getting back to a normal routine, gaining weight, and helping others.

God doesn't let more happen to us than we can bear. And today more than ever, I believe that I am here because his has additional chores for me to do. You can't out give God. You can just hope we measure up to what he knows we can do. Have we all done our part glorifying God today?

Friday, July 3, 2009

What a final day!

Good morning all..

Got up as normal yesterday thinking that I would just take radiation and a little hydration and things would be great for the day. The radiation went well, received a gift from the radiation department and my mask. I knew that I had to do recovery time but felt so much better mentally knowing that I had endured 8 weeks of radiation. I will tell you there were times that if not for God carrying me I would have made it! But I am here today that I was feeling pretty good.

Went to chemo doctor and was told that a couple of blood counts were done. Little did I realize that the 2 hour treatment that I have done all week would now become a 5 hour treatment. I was the last patient left in the chemo room yesterday. It was not what I had anticipated for this day.

And then as Adam was driving me down the street home, I saw all the signs and cards and family standing in front of the house. Needless to say, whatever I was feeling at that moment from the last day of treatment went away and turned to tears as I started reading the cards and posters from everyone. Adam and Sarah had put this together behind my back and it was just what I needed when I got home. The pictures above are just a few of what awaited me. I'll post a few more later.

The day being done, the final treatment being done. They can't do anymore. I've had maximum chemo and maximum radiation for this bad boy. And I truly believe it is gone. This cancer just wanted to take a final stab at me this day because it knew it did not win this battle. So as the day came to a close, my mental state is much better and I am ready for the recovery period. For getting back into the saddle, for finishing projects, for getting back to a normal schedule. But most of all, I am ready to eat. I am supposed to be able to eat most solids in about 10 days. But I am pumped knowing that this part if finished and that Lucille and I are ready to move to the next phase.

The support of each of you who have prayed, sent cards, emails, or just read this blog have given us the strength to see this through. There are many thank yous to hand out and I am sure I will miss some, but know that I have said a special prayer for each and everyone one of you.

And then there was the special note from from Randy Auburg. He is a cancer survivor and is going through treatments. His notes and comments from his blogspot were so heart felt. There couldn't be enough medicine to keep the tears from flowing. Our prayers will be with Randy and his wonderful family as he continues radiation at MD Anderson.

A special thank you goes out to Region 18 - where Lucille works. The support of the staff through prayers, words, cards and especially help with her work schedule was such a blessing not only to her but to me. It has meant so much that Lucille was able to spend the time necessary taking care of me and I truly appreciate all of you for helping Lucille and me.

As we go into the July 4th weekend, it will always be a more special date for me. And thanks to you and to God, I am able to continue on helping others. Later gang....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The final treatment awaits me!!

Did not sleep particularly well last night. Was pretty restless and am sure that I kept Lucille up alot of the night with my coughs. But had my next to last day of radiation and did hydration this am. Tomorrow I get to take my mask home where I will hang it in my office as a reminder of the events of the last few months. I'm sure it will be quite a conversation piece!

Am feeling pretty good right now. The real test will be this weekend and staying hydrated myself. But hopefully I can start on soft diet this weekend and getting back to eating real food within the next couple of weeks. I know how my grandson feels when he had one thing to eat and his body wanted something else. The same is happening to me. I will not miss the MusL Blast at all. But it has probably kept me out of the hospital for the last several weeks. So for that I am thankful.

Lots of new patients in the chemo room today. One lady was stuck six times this morning as she was terrified of the port. So on my way I stopped and comforted her and to let her know that this port will make life alot easier. Today was her first day of treatment. And if these nurses can't get a good stick then no one can.

I still don't know my silver lining but will trust it will come in God's good time. All I know is that the wonderful people I have meet over the last 4 1/2 months plus all the wonderful support from ya'll that this would not have been possible.

I am off morphine now, my neck looks good. I get basicly 2 months to recover before any tests - a CT and PET scan. It would be great to be on the lake or BBQ with friends this weekend but will stay at home and relax and recover. I look forward to taking less drugs and being able to lay flat on the bed. To wear normal clothes again and not look like I can't find the right pants to wear!

See ya tomorrow!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

And then there were 2 left

Slept fitfully last night but made up for this morning by sleeping 3 hours while I was being hydrated again. Had another day of radiation. Still on go for recovery starting July 3. The days seem to be dragging at this point as I wait for the final two treatments and doctors appointments. It will be long time before I stop going to Allison Cancer Center but the trips will just slow down. I still have a CT and PET scan sometime in the near future, and get this PEG tube removed. I look forward to start trying food again next week and trying to get back up to speed energy wise. The main thing is not to try and get it all done in a week! (Who me?)

I have a couple of other little issues I will try and get resolved this week and then all systems are go for recovery. The people at Allison are a wonderful and caring group of people. Their passion for help goes beyond what they have to do for a job. And while I will not miss the treatments I will miss the people who have treated me. There cannot be enough thank yous given to these folks for their outstanding devotion. And I can say the same thing about the oncology unit at MMH. These people are dedicated to helping people with cancer, and I will never forget them.

I was listening to a young man talk to a new patient this morning. The goods and bads of his chemo treatment. And it made me think of my treatments and thoughts and highs and lows since it began on Feb 24.

Today I am a cancer survivor, and on Thursday I will be a cancer survivor in recovery. It has been a long time for me. I am ready to start on the next phase.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tis Monday

It has been a long weekend! The dry heaves have overtaken me this weekend leaving me in a collapsed heap! But got dehydrated this morning and feel better. Will sleep more this afternoon in hopes of getting some energy back. Will have re hydration thru Thursday this week. Hopefully there will be no more chemo, just the 3 remaining radiations.

The doctor said that he was giving up a special prayer for this week. He evidently knew something I didn't. I thought it would be an ok week once chemo was out of the way and on 15 minutes a day of radiation. But so far it has been the worst week yet!

It takes longer for me to swallow now. Have to constantly drink water and some coffee to try and keep my mouth moist. Speaking more than a couple of minutes is really tough. So I don't talk as much and certainly can't yell! All I can do is whisper.

I think Friday evening, I had some salmon. And while the strong taste was not there like before at least there was some taste. But that was the lull before the storm.

But three more days of treatment and the healing can start. My neck looks great and is pretty much healed. By the end of the week, that part of this ordeal should be over.

As I sat in the waiting room today, I looked around and saw new faces. People who have cancer fixing to start their treatment process. And it made me think of the chain of events from Feb 4 til today. It has reared its ugly head. Just as one gets cured another starts. I am saying a special prayer for all those new folks who are fixing to go through their treatment. Some will be ok, others will be bad. We all react differently even from week to week. You watch tv, people doing normal things, people eating, running, enjoying life. And that is the hope of those of us that has cancer has to hang onto. That we will too be enjoying life again!

Later gang....

Friday, June 26, 2009

Truly one week left

I had radiation at 7am and hydration at 1pm. Am pretty tired this afternoon. Did not sleep well last night. My pillow keep moving all night and could never get it settled. But the good news is I drank most all night so kept my mouth moist.

Did not sleep much today either. Tired but was not able to sustain any long periods so maybe tonight will be better. Will be in bed early tonight fighting my pillow!

Next week will be radiation thru Thursday and most possible hydration will be everyday thru Thursday and than hydration some the next week. Hopefully to help get over the chemo quicker in getting it out of my system. Can drink water and warm coffee. Can eat soft much but nothing has taste so no desire to eat. Week after next that has to change. But expect another week before truly being able to eat another that has some taste.

So while it may not be a posting every day I will continue to post for awhile. I want everyone to know when I truly have gotten back to a "normal" state for a cancer survivor!

Tomorrow and Sunday should be the bad days for the chemo treatment. So will stand on morphine and the other drugs I'm on. I will not miss the upset stomach at all!!

God keeps opening doors when you least expect them. We just have to listen and be patience with him. It's his schedule not ours.

My neck is much better this day and hopefully will continue to get better as this next week unfolds. This is due in part of the lotion, in part to the 15 minutes of radiation instead of 30 minutes of radiation and the boost in radiation (the decrease in the size being treated). I still get cold at night and sleep in a hat. Bet it will be next summer before that part goes away!

My voice fades in and out and after about 15 minutes, it is gone for awhile. My hearing has finally started fading but hopefully it will pick back up after this is all done. As hopefully my eyesight will. Lots of ifs, but the best part is still above ground and breathing.

Nite all...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

just notes

It's Wednesday morning and after a pretty sleepless night, I feel pretty good this am. Am going to work for a little while today but will plan on spending time in the chair this afternoon. Yesterday I went into chemo lab for hydration and that has helped me today. Tomorrow will be chemo day, probably most all day. But due to the fact that my last chemo day is a week from tomorrow, then my last chemo may be tomorrow. Weight is up to 139 pounds this morning.

My mouth is getting drier but I can still swallow water and a little coffee. But looking forward to start trying food late next week. My goal is to get back to food as quickly as possible although I think it will take 10 days to 2 weeks to get there and that will depend on taste buds.

Six more days of radiation. Still have a little anxiety about if all this will work but have to just have faith in God and the doctors that it will. Have to have a little patience here.

I am still tired and like to sleep, and will but think too much sleep is keeping me from recovery as fast as I want so will be trying to do a little more activity around the house to get my energy level back up.

I cannot say enough about the folks at Texas Oncology. They have fantastic this whole time and especially these last eight weeks. If you want to give to some, the Hope House is a great place to start. Mary Collier is a great and compassionate lady that does wonders here. In fact, they are now building a new facility adjacent to the old one. It's a facility I am sorry to be build but it is a facility that needs to be built with the rise in cancer.

My friend Jim is back in Midland and so thankful his recovery is going well. I continue to think of my boys at summer camp this week.

And those who are in the middle at chemo and or radiation, know that is does end. And while it gets tough, the finish line is what it's about. Know that there is a finish line. Perservance, prayer and support and God will get all of us there, whether we are the victum or the supporter. I hope everyone has a blessed day from God today.

Monday, June 22, 2009

July 2 is graduation day!

Weekend was kinda long. Did not feel too good so just slept and rested. My father's day present was some solar outdoor lights. They are pretty neat. Adds alot of soft lightly to the front and back of the house.

My burns seem to be getting worse but tech today said mine were better than alot others he has seen so will continue radiation. Was informed that July 2 is the final day! So only 8 more days to go. Will have a final boost starting tomorrow. The end of this treatment is in sight! A few weeks ago I did not think I would make it to the end. And the end is in sight. Thanks to all of you and my family. God does not let us endure more than we can handle and I think that is what is happening now. The recovery road will take awhile but hopefully my body is up for the task.

Will take it easy today and work some tomorrow. My boys are at summer camp this week. Sent them off yesterday morning. They will have fun.

Talk to ya'll later.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Another day down - another day closer to finishing

What a blessed night and day of rain. We got 1 1/2" here at the house. Spent part of the day getting my Boy Scouts ready for summer camp. This will be the first year in 25 years that I have missed summer camp. Spent most of the afternoon with one of my Eagle Scouts - Ben Kennady. It is so refreshing to see them grow into responsible young men. I'm not even holding it against Ben for going to A & M!

Slept pretty well last night and plan on sleeping in again tomorrow but going to see the boys off to summer camp. Looking at my neck makes one think that I need to scrap off this stuff bu I am supposed to leave all the scabbing on and it will gradually come off as the neck heals from the inside out. I have gained 3 pounds through last night so this is a good thing. The bottom has stopped and over the next couple of weeks I will gain some of this weight back. And when it is over it is back to healthy foods! And some not so healthy foods!

The morphine seems to have really helped with the neck pain as well as with the stomach. At this point the neck is giving me the biggest problems. But have another day of recovery before going back for another week of radiation. The pictures below are what the neck looks like today. They are pretty bad so be aware before you look at them!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Silly me!

I've a pretty good two days but tonight I am starting to feel the stomach issues come back. How soon I forget about the bad days when the good ones arrive, even if short lived. But am rapidly approaching the two weeks left mark.

Had radiation at 7am this morning, came home and took my morphiene and proceeded to fall asleep for about an 1 1/2 hours. Went to work for about an hour and then spent part of afternoon at kids new home.Ran out of gas around 3 so came home and tried to sleep. But was too wired so just rested. Maybe it was the morphine. And then at 8pm I took another morphine and fitfully slept for about an hour.

I really thought the morphine would really lessen the stomach issues but still have to take the other pills. As Lucille will tell you, I hate to take pills so she has to constantly remind me. Good thing she is around!!

I am feeling better now that Lucille found my new meals. For 4 oz of this diet I get 855 calories. So for three feedings a day I am over the minimum again. So hopefully the weight loss will stabilize over the next couple of weeks. I sit and dream of eating real food again and even tried hot wings tonight but alas, it was to no avail. But soon I will be eating the juicy burger Michael promised me from the first time he heard I had cancer.

Tomorrow will be the last one this week so with the weekend to recover. Was told today that I will have only one more boost. Radiation is radiation. Happens everyday regardless of how much they do. I spend the same amount of time at this point as I did before this boost. It is just more concentrated.

I am now up to shaving 3 times a week for my beard and should be for my head but will keep shaving to only twice a week. Gotta go get a new fashion shirt for tomorrow because Lucille cuts the neck band off to keep my neck from getting worse. It is the hit of the radiation department!

Good news from Jim Adams. He is home from Houston and resting. Thank you for your prayers. He is a wonderful guy! Nite all...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

only 2 chemos to go!!

other side of neck today!

neck as of today!

See what morphine can do?

Well, only two chemos to go. This morning I was trying to throw up and feeling very sick and down. But as of now, I feel alot better and prepared to take on another day. I will post pics of my neck today or tomorrow. Pretty raw. Docs gave me some cream which they use on burn victims and it seems to be helping. I did find out that a boost is when the in the last three weeks of radiation, they start narrowing the scope of the radiation to the original spot to make sure all the cells are dead. My first boost was today and will have two more boost in the next two weeks. While July 4 will be Independence Day, it will take a couple of weeks to get back to strength and eating REAL food. But what an experience it will be until everything gets back to normal.

Weight down to 138 pounds, but hopefully I am approaching the bottom of this. I would not be allowed in school because of my baggy pants. But at least I keep my belt tight. No test pulling my pants!! (I do this to my Troop boys who think they can wear their pants too loose and too low).

My voice has pretty much gone. If I have enough liquids in my mouth I can talk for a little bit but not long! Some people I know will consider that a blessing!

The good Lord keeps blessing me and I keep receiving them happily. And I believe those blessings come the prayers the thousands of you have sent up on my behalf. I know I would not be where I am today with all those who have supported me through this. Thanks again.

Monday, June 15, 2009

another day, another treatment

Today is Monday th 15th of June. went in for radiation treatment today and was told that I would have a boost this week., In other words, they are going to narrow the scope of the radiation.

Spent the weekend sleeping and doing dry heaves. In fact, while getting treatment this morning I thought I was going to heave thru my mask. It make be a long three weeks.

But did find out that I was having a reaction to the Ensure. Lucille found a muscle booster that has between 800 and 1000 per 4 ozs. So far it has not caused any reaction in my stomach. Stomach is still upset but understand it will be for the duration of this treatment.

Still able to swallow liquids and some soft foods (with a water chaser). Biggest problem right now is dealing with the burn around my neck and the blisters. IT itches like crazy but am refraining from scratching.

Am sleeping alot. Working at anything is in less than 2 hour increments. But it is better than nothing. Also am cold alot of the time. Only I'm not is when I am outside in the 100 degree heat.

I think the docs were surprised when I told them I still had some saliva in my mouth. Not enough for sure but some. The little drinks of water really help keep the mouth moisturized.

So if I am sohehow able to keep my stomach somewhat in check, things might not been too bad. Will just have to play it out and see.

Jim Adams is hopefully coming home this week from Houston. Praise God for answered prayers. Later gang...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Only 15 treatments left!!

Another week of treatments is gone. Three weeks (15 days) to go. Getting tired alot faster now and my mouth is starting to dry up to the point that it is getting hard to swallow. But in spite of that I had sausage, gravy and an egg for breakfast. I continue to supplement my feeding tube and as bad as I did not want it, it will be a life saver. I am losing my voice more each day. I guess the good news is now I don't have to talk if I don't want to!

Had some dry heeves around noon today. Not sure what caused it but feel a little better now. Took a mid day nap for about an hour and will take another shortly.

My neck looks like a true redneck! What little skin and bones I have is now a great tan except it is just in the neck area. Looks kinda wierd. But when exposed to the sun, I notice it real quick as it is my skin being burned. No short sleeves this summer or collarless shirts.

As things get tougher, it seems someone comes thru at the right time to remind me that there is an end of this - July 3. And for all of you who have prayed, supported, called, given cards, I am most thankful.

My Boy Scout Troop is backpacking this weekend in Cloudcroft. Hopefully in the fall, I will have the strength to do a weekend backpack trip. And to do all the other chores I have had to put off since this started. I've had more people working on my home than all the years we have owned a home.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

3 1/2 weeks to go>>>>YEA

Good evening all..

I am now officially 3 1/2 weeks away from this last treatment. Up at 6am. Radiation at 7am and then chemo until about 3pm. Came home and slept for a couple of hours. Had fried eggs, sausage and gravy for breakfast. Have feed the tube for most of the day. Have felt tired but ok today.

Just trying to find something to eat that will go down. I can swallow but due to the dryness in my mouth, it has to be semi liquid. But can drink and swallow ok at this point. The light at the end of the tunnel can be seen and am approaching it one day at a time. Two more radiation treatments this week and 3 chemo treatments left. July 4th will really be a day to celebrate although it will take a couple of weeks past that to start feeling better.

So just have to take each day, not over extend myself, get plenty of rest and eat and drink. Lucille is trying hard to find food for me to eat. It is like a needle in a haystack. Some days are better than others. Tried a spicy soup tonight but it did not set well in my throat. I guess that is the evidence of a burned throat. But who knows what tomorrow will bring. Water is very soothing to the throat. Helps to keep it wet.

While I am still losing a little weight, we think it is somewhat under control. Hopefully we are able to stabilize it for the duration of this treatment.

Thanks for your continued prayers and support. We are more appreciative than ya'll will ever know. Later gang..

Monday, June 8, 2009

Catch 22

It's Monday afternoon and I am totally wasted. Spent the weekend eating and sleeping but as this treatment gets deeper, I am finding that I cannot get enough rest. Got up this am, had radiation, came home and slept til around 11am. Went to the office and worked until 4pm, came home and slept for another hour or so. And while the sleep is good, I am not eating or drinking enough. It is a catch 22 here. So tonight will be feeding the tube until I go to bed around 10.

Was told that my peach fuzz was out of control and had to shave today! And was told I have hair on the top of my head, which has not been the case in a number of years! But will keep it shaved for the balance of the summer.

Still able to swallow and eat semi solids. But the trick is finding something that is agreeable with my tongue and stomach. Four weeks left so have get with program to make it. Weight is big concern right now so have to stay with anything that has alot of calories.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Eat, sleep, eat, sleep

Feed the tube. It seems my mission in life at this point is feed the tube. I am able to eat some stuff. But not enough so feed the tube has taken on a new priority. I have 4 weeks left. I am still able to swallow and drink. The roughest part of the day is first thing in the morning. My throat is so dry that I have to really lubricate it! But it is responding at this point. Yesterday day I had sausage and gravy and this morning I had sausage, gravy and eggs. But now feeding the tube again at noon. It does a number on my stomach and the only pills that are working are the ones that knock me out. So for the last couple of days, I feed the tube, take a pill and sleep. Not sure how I will handle this for four weeks, but Rocky has told me I will get to the end.

Lucille keeps fixing meals that I don't eat. But being the supporting spouse that she is, the meals keep on coming. The meals are becoming more liquid although I still want to something semi solid to chew. But I'm sure the total liquids are coming. The metal taste I had early on is starting to come back so will be dealing with that issue for the balance of the treatment.

The good news is that in 20 more treatments, I will be finished and able to start the total road to recovery. I thank God that I have been able to get this far as I know I could not have done it by myself. With your prayers and God's broad back I will get through this. Thanks again to each of you for your prayers and support. Later....

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Just trying to get my calories///

Well thought today would be a breeze. Yea right!!

Had radiation this morning and then worked too much today. Haven't felt too bad until around 5pm when my body said I had overdone it! So will have to really tone down my work load and make sure I take it easy. They tell me the hardest part of this treatment is ahead.

Tried to eat tonight. Did not work. But ate onions and bell peppers with olive oil. Don't think there are too many calories there! So will ensure tonight to get calories up some. I really thought I would be able to eat today since I did not have chemo this week. How soon one forgets how long it truly takes chemo to exit the system. But will continue to try and eat. And to FEED THE TUBE!

I am getting more used to this foreign object in my stomach. I know it will not be protruding from my body any longer than necessary.

But the good news is my attitude is much better today and my thinking is getting back on track. Biggest problem is pacing oneself to not get overextended. And my problem is that I feel good and keep going far too long. So for the next couple of months I HAVE to make myself stop even is I don't feel like it! Easier said than done!!!

I would like all of you to say a special prayer tonight for Jim Adams. He is 85 years old and one of my dear friends and he is in the hospital on a breathing tube. He continues to write to me and now he is the one who needs help. I would appreciate your prayers for him.

God has been carrying me this last week and today I put my footprints by his. What a great feeling to know that he is always here for us. We just have to pay attention and have the faith that he will be here regardless. Nite all....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Hi all..

Thought I had turned a short corner yesterday. Was feeling pretty good all day. Drinking and pushing food through the tube. Then 6pm hit and I got thirty minutes of dry heeves and was wasted for the night. Word spreads so by the time I got to the radiation and chemo everyone knew what kind of shape I was in. Dr Rastogi decided I needed to have a week off from chemo so just got hydrated and had some drugs (knocked me out). So I should have a few good days before next Wednesday before diving head long into the last 3 weeks.

My frame of mind has not been good the last several days to say the least. The doctors say that is to be expected as the hardest part of this treatment is the last several weeks. So I will really be watching myself in terms of eating, drinking and resting. And trying to work a little in there somewhere. My blood counts are still good and that pleased the doctor and another part that pleased the doctors was that I was still able to swallow and the back of my throat was not rare - yet!.

As of tomorrow Lucille and I have been married 38 years. Not much of an anniversary present this year! Nor was her birthday! Supporters in this process do not get the support and help they need to help their partners. Please keep her in your prayers.

And to answer the comment about my looks. That picture was taken without a couple of hours after surgery! Guess I should have straightened myself up some! (laugh here people). I will post a happier picture in the next couple of days! I really look better than that!

Still shooting for the July 3 final treatment date! Then, according to Rocky - whom I meet this morning) I have about 2 weeks to get over everything and start the long road of my body fixing itself, getting my strength and energy back. So I think I have 19 days of radiation and 3 chemo treatments left! The light is at the end of the tunnel. Just have to keep my emotions in check, my chin up, my attitude in the right place and giving everybody hell ( what I normally do!).

Rocky was another God send today as he stayed to talk with me after I had radiation. I great guy who I needed to talk to. My silver lining - not sure what it is at this point. I spent the night trying to find it but evidently God has not shown it to me yet.

I am thankful for all of you in your prayers and support. God has sent each of you to us for a reason. And to him and you I am most thankful. This just would not have been possible without ya'll. You will just never know. I will try and get back to a normal daily writing. Thanks again and God Bless Each of You....