Friday, December 25, 2015

The Story of Two Lighthouses

Please click on the picture to enlarge
A few weeks ago, I posted on Facebook that I was looking for a picture of a lighthouse and I described it the best I could. Many, many years ago a picture like that hung over my fireplace. When I married Joe, and we were busy combining two households into one, I gave many things away, one of which was that picture. Within a few hours my niece was texting me. She said she thought about that picture as soon as I told her about Joe's diagnosis.  She soon found it in the form of a poster and mailed it to me with this message....."I love you Auntie. It had to be me to get it for you. I remember it so vividly above your fireplace."
Underneath the picture is the word COURAGE and the following inscription below that says We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face. 

I found the perfect frame for it, the same wood as our fireplace, at 50% off...I just can't pass up a sale like that. So now my lighthouse is back above our fireplace.
Thank you Denise and Joe

This is the story of the second lighthouse. Joe's cousin, her husband and daughter and close friend came to bring us a Christmas gift. The gift was a picture of a lighthouse but it's not just any light house. This is a picture of the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse .This is the story I told Cindy. I know this lighthouse! I have lived in Astoria, Bay City, Tillamook and Hebo all along the Oregon Coast. And Cindy told me the story of this particular picture. They know the photographer and he had to endure hiking in mud, floods, bad weather, all to get this coveted picture. Cindy had seen my post about a light house on Facebook also and when she saw this one she said she just knew  she had to have it for cousin Joe. So she had it framed and the inscription on the little plaque says. " In The Day Of Trouble He Will Set Me Upon A Rock" Psalms 27:5     Thank you Cindy and Tom

Two different lighthouses, two different stories but with the same message. "On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, All Other Ground Is Sinking Sand" 
  by Edward Mote, 1797-1874

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year

Hi My Blogger Friends,

Just a quick little note to let you know we are both O.K.  This first chemo treatment Joe only experienced mild fatigue, appetite is mediocre and the weather hasn't made walking, the only exercise he feels like doing, feasible. He has lost 20 lbs now but we were told to expect that. I have been teased that I'm the one who caused him to gain 20 pounds after I married him because  he always ate every thing I put on his plate.  I argued, he knew how to say no thank you......

He had a Dr. appointment today, two tomorrow and an ultrasound on Sunday (Adventist Hospital do those things on Sunday) then he has one more appointment, Another Dr. appointment on the 29th and Chemo on the 30th.  So to say the least, we are on Doctor appointment overload.  But these are all part of the big picture of the good care Joe is receiving and for that we are very thankful. 

So many of you have told us you are glad I kept the blog going, that you went through our happy adventures with us and now you want to walk with us on this not so happy journey.  So this is one of the times it's hard for me to write about but it's all part of the big picture.  At today's appointment with our primary care family physician, he felt we both should see a counselor for a time or two to help us with our communication skills in facing this "elephant in our living room" We both agreed. He has been our doctor for five years now. And he described us pretty well today. Betty is a helicopter wife, hovering over her honey, being the best care giver she can be and she's smothering him.  Joe is a quiet, kind, patient man who keeps everything inside........... yep.
He told us he has many cancer patients and it's very common to see the spouse become sicker than the one with the cancer  because of all the stress and not dealing with it well.  Those of you who know me well, know my eyes "leak" on a regular basis and sometimes it can turn into a flood!!  I try very hard not to have that happen in front of Joe, but a couple times I couldn't make it to my place for tears.  Just so you know, our faith and trust in the Lord is as strong as ever. But we also believe the Lord has put some really good counselors on this earth to help us over the rough spots.   ( I call them Jesus with skin on) 
So that's how it is for the moment. No pictures tonight. It's very peaceful in our home, sitting in our recliners, watching Christmas movies holding hands........ 

Tomorrow after we get done with the Dr. appointments and a quick visit from one of Joe's cousins,  I'll start cooking Christmas Dinner. We  splurged and bought a Honey Baked Ham.  To that I'll also have  Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Green Salad,  a nice dessert made with Cool Whip, Cottage Cheese, and Strawberry Jello. Joe's son and his fiancee are going to come for the day. I have a "honey doo" list for him... not much. Just want a picture my niece gave us and I had framed to be hung over our fireplace and it is to heavy for Joe to do.
So as I close my blog for this evening, Joe and I want to say thank you for all the cards, letters, phone calls and gifts.  God bless all of you for blessing us. Merry Christmas and a Happy Wonderful New Year to you.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Easy Day

Joe has been encouraged to wear a mask any time he is outside our house. This was his first try at it.

Today was an easy day. He had his pump disconnected from the port. No pain, easy peasy. Only nurses that have been specially trained, can do this. Our Eastside clinic didn't have one available today so we had to drive to the Gresham clinic. 

 His nurse took time with us to explain how important it was for him to get the fluids in.  He thought he was doing so good drinking two bottles of water a day plus his juice.  She told him that WAS good, but he needed to double it. What????? But after she explained why, he settled down and is determined to do it.   I try to have all his meds, and his water available by his chair when he gets up in the morning. The other thing she emphasized was the importance of taking his medicine at the very first inkling of nausea because it wouldn't get any better. He has three different prescriptions for the nausea.  So thankful he hasn't experienced any yet. 
Daughter Kelly came to see dad after his first chemo.  She and Joe are going through boxes of old family videos and as a Christmas present from her and Hoi and the kids, he's having some of them put on DVD's.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

First Chemo Session Is Almost Behind Us

Hi every one. It's good to be back. While I was gone though, I kept up with all your blogs. I understand some of you that work with Live Writer were having some problems and trying to get your blog done with  Blogger didn't help you any.  For me, that's all I know so it's easy for me. I hope it all gets back to some kind of normalcy for you soon.  We went to Redmond, Washington last weekend and were able to stop and have lunch with my sister on the way. We were suppose to spend Thursday, the 10th with her, but I-5 North was closed due to a landslide. So we left Friday morning.  It was "nasty" going up there, a lot of rain. We always pray for the Lord's protection before we ever start the car. And we truly saw the hand of the Lord at work this day. We were in the middle lane on I-5 headed North, lots of traffic and as I said it was raining really hard. All of a sudden the driver veered over towards our lane and if in a split second that Joe saw there was no one coming up in the fast lane, he swerved over and she missed us...She would have hit right at my door. Joe had no time to even think.  That's my Greyhound Bus driver for you and the Lord's protection. We don't think that lady even had a clue what she did.
Kelly prepared a wonderful lunch for us celebrating a 50th birthday for Joe's son Rob, grand daughter Jolene 

They are growing up so fast! Kevin is a sophomore and Joleen, a Junior.

Joe always enjoys "making music" with Joleen. This time it was Christmas Carols.

We not only celebrated two birthdays, but also an early Christmas. I'm not a tree decorator, But I love looking at all the ornaments so I unwrapped each one of them and handed them to those decorating the tree. 
We celebrated Christmas early with them because they will be in Disneyland Christmas.  We were suppose to be there with them but life can change at the snap of a finger so we won't be there with them this year.

A gal and her daddy.  Kelly has been such a support to both me and her dad. She lives a 4-5 hour drive from us and she drove down here to be with us when dad had his first appointment with the surgeon, then again when he had his surgery, and now she will be here tomorrow eve to see how he is doing after his first chemo treatment. She's going to "dad sit" so I can go get my hair cut Saturday and then head back home to get ready for the Disneyland trip. I am so blessed to have her for a daughter in law.

So this wonderful daughter in law is also a very funny gal. After lunch, her husband dared her to finish 3/4 of a bottle of Knudsens Pumpkin Spice Sparkling Water.......chugaluging no less, and he would give her $20. Yep, she did it.  And Hoi gave her the $20 she really deserved. She didn't look to good after she got done but we all had a good laugh.  And it only got better when he told his son Kevin he'd give him ten bucks if he would swallow a tablespoon of Cinnamon!!!!! 
Oh My Word!!!!!! Click on the picture and you Can you see the cinnamon flying out of his mouth.  We all laughed so hard.  Crazy Kid. He said it was like it was growing in his mouth. He must have coughed, spit, gagged and drank water for 10 minutes. if you look close, Joe is in the background holding his stomach because it hurt when he was laughing.  It was a wonderful weekend.  By the way, the gift Hoi, Kelly and the kids gave us was a blessing jar.
I don't remember mentioning it to her, but I was telling Joe one day, I wanted to make a blessing box to write down everytime we receive a blessing. She remembered that  and came up with idea. The kids decorated the lid. Isn't it beautiful. I just love it.

Now for the continuing story of Joe's Journey on Uncharted Waters Battling Cancer.  Wednesday Morning, December 16, we left the house before daylight to get to  the Knight Cancer Institute by 8:00AM. For those of you who know the Portland area. Their Eastside Clinic is located in the top floor of the Pavillion that is connected to Portland Adventist Hospital. They are connected with Oregon Health Science University, renting space from Portland Adventist Hospital.

The first thing they did as soon as he got there was take his vital signs, place the needle in the port, draw blood, then took us to the infusion lounge.
First they did "premeds"  medicine to combat nausea. Then there was IV medicine to do the same thing, then another one to combat any other side effects and then finally the Chemo. It was very busy that day with all the recliners being full.  There are juices and snacks available. The nurses are quick to help when needed, and your treated like you're the only one there. If they want them warm blankets are available. Joe had one under his own "blankie"  It is very relaxing there, ceiling to floor windows. It feels like a five star hotel. 

His chemo wasn't finished when the bag was empty...... his nurse then hooked up a pump to his port and he went home with it. He was still receiving chemo all night, all day today and tonight, and tomorrow at 1:30 we will go into the Oncology Department at Mt. Hood Medical Center in Gresham, where the nurse will disconnect the pump and Dr. Hu, his oncologist, will check a sometimes rapid heartbeat he has experienced a couple of times.  She is pretty sure it is from the steriods he is taking until Saturday.  

There was a little bump in the road when he was having pain in the calves of his legs and a pain in his chest when he did any deep breathing.  So after chemo he was sent to the xray department for an ultra sound on both legs to rule out blood clots. I'm happy to report that is negative.  No blood clots.
I have become Joe's  protector for now. We have posted this sign on both the front and back door of our home. He tires easily and we want to protect him from  "bugs"  If you would like to visit and you are free from fever, cough or sneezes, please feel free to text or PM me for a time that would be good for you to stop by for a few minutes. Thank you for understanding.

Showing off his chemo pump.
So now we play the wait and see game.  The only two symptoms he has experienced so far, was  pain in the back of his jaw where his salivary glands are. It was determined that pain is from the major chemohe he received  yesterday. He said only hurts when he takes the first bite . He hasn't experienced any more rapid heart beat since late last night. So we are thanking the Lord that the first Chemo went so well.  We asked Him to give Joe peace as he experienced all these new things and He certainly answered that prayer.  With Dr.'s OK he even drove home last night. How about that! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

My Blog Is Going to Take A Rest Too

I wish this would have turned out better, but almost all the leaves are off our red lace leaf maple. It had rained really hard, and the rain drops looked like glass drops.

 In my last blog, the update on Joe was, Dr. Hu, his oncologist has rescheduled  his first chemo treatment on December 16th. She wants to make sure his incision is healed and he is a little stronger after having the bowel resection.  She said just take the next 2+ weeks and rest and recuperate. That's exactly what we are doing.
This is the large poinsettia we got from Costco from the Christmas money Joe's Aunt Marlene gave us.

So my blog is also going to take a rest. If there is any updates that need to be posted I will do that but otherwise there will be no posts until the 16th. Talk to you all later.  God Bless you for all your continued prayers and well wishes.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Port Is In Now A Couple Of Weeks Of Rest

Hello fellow bloggers.  You will notice as you read, more to the bottom, I'm having trouble with my fonts. I use Google's blog spot.  This just recently started to be a problem. If any of you have a suggestion as to what is going on and/or how to fix it  I would be interested. In the mean time, please excuse the large and small of it. ;)
Joe had his port placement yesterday. He really dislikes needles and pokes But when his nurse started his IV yesterday, he said he hardly felt it at all.This guy really knew his business.

The nurse is explaining the port to Joe. What it looks like and where it will be and how they do the procedure.

The port is in and he is hungry! He hadn't had anything to eat since a small supper the night before.  After the procedure, the doctor came out and let me know every thing went really smooth. He said it was "easy peasy"  Joe agreed when he came back to his room. He said it was the easiest procedure he's had so far.  He had conscious sedation for the procedure. Conscious sedation is a combination of medicines to help you relax ( a sedative ) and to block pain (an anesthetic ) Having this port in means no more needle pokes. He will get the chemo through this and also his blood draws can be done through the port. I teased him because he thought he was with it enough he could drive home NOT!!!! It was dark but not raining when he was discharged at 5:00pm. I drove us home and did a great job of it he said.  It started raining just as we were pulling up to the carport.

Joe slept all night and except for when I had to change his dressing, and another when his Aunt Marlene stopped by, he slept until noon! He just couldn't figure out why he was so sleepy.....I just smiled.  Aunt Marlene came over with a beautiful Christmas Card with a money gift in it. She knew we were going to just have a large poinsettia from Costco this year instead of a Christmas Tree and the money gift was ear marked for that poinsettia. Joe is standing by it.  Thank you Aunt Marlene.
Joe had yet another Dr. appointment this afternoon. This time with the surgeon to check on his incision that is slow in healing. He finished the antibiotics and the Dr. is pleased with the progress.  It is still draining and I am still changing the dressings twice a day. He has another appointment to check on it next Tuesday afternoon.
I received a phone call from Dr. Hu, his chemo Dr. yesterday while he was in Post Recovery. She felt his chemo treatment that was set for tomorrow should be set back until Wednesday, December 16th, giving his incision more time to heal.  When Joe heard that his whole demeanor changed.  He was really feeling overwhelmed and anxious with all the  procedures and surgery and facing chemo.  Now he has a little over two weeks to just rest and relax.  His family get together has been changed to accommodate the new schedule and while we are up in Redmond, WA., We are going to visit my sister in Bonney Lake and go to Spanaway Park to see the Fantasy Lights

I enjoy my kitchen calendars every month of every year.  Ever since we went to Kauai I also enjoy pictures of pretty roosters. They were annoying while we were there though. One time we were trying to have a picnic and they first jumped up on the seat of the picnic table then they had nerve enough to jump up on the table  itself and disrupt our lunch to the point of forcing us to pack up and eat in the car. 


We are really looking forward to just being able to stay home with no interruptions with Doctor or procedure appointments for awhile. We want to thank all of you who have visited by phone or in person, by email and Facebook, those who have sent cards and for all of your prayers and well wishes.  

Monday, November 30, 2015

We Were Blessed Beyond Measure Today

I have known Burt and Phyllis  for many years. Because they have been associated with the Singing  Christmas Tree for over 30 years, I had texted Phyllis to inquire about seating at New Hope Church where Portland's Singing Christmas Tree was performing. I wanted to surprise Joe by buying us tickets to one of the performances. It would be the first outing since his surgery. Shortly after I texted her I received the following message."Betty, each year because of our giving to the Tree Burt and I are able to bless people with tickets to a performance. This year I'd like to include you and Joe. Let me know and I'll contact the ticket office to let them know you'll be calling. You can come to any of the shows of your choice and I'll have you talk to the ticket office manager, Patty, so she can help get you priority seating on the day/evening you'd want to come. I'm not sure what the sales have been so I couldn't tell you what's available. And here's the upside. If for some reason up to the last minute Joe doesn't feel like it will work out, it's not a problem. Patty can always fill the seats.  Well even though he tires easy, he wanted to go. We were treated like royal guests! It seems like more than a few knew of our story and those involved got us to exactly where we needed to go.  

The performances were held at New Hope Church this year rather than downtown at the Keller Auditorium. (It was announced tonight that they will be back at the Keller next year.  The whole church was so beautifully decorated. 

This isn't the best picture. We were allowed to take a picture before the performance started. Then no more pictures or videos.  Over three hundred participants. Adults, teens and children. The first part was secular Christmas music and dancing, and the second part was the Message of the Manger. A beautiful Nativity presentation. We were in awe, spellbound, by what we were seeing and hearing. Thank you again from our hearts Burt and Phyllis, for blessing us with tickets to see and hear The Singing Christmas Tree.  
 Joe has to be at the hospital at 11:00AM  this morning for the port placement. Prayers that the procedure will go smoothly. Thank you so much

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Just One Of Those Days

Please click on pictures to enlarge
Two of Joe's cousins Dick and Dennis Tarr came for a visit yesterday. Joe was an only child, so his cousins were like brothers to him.

More than a few of you have asked me not to take my blog down. Some mentioning that you have followed our past journeys and want to be on this one with us.  Others saying they want to be there through the hard times. Well I have to tell you today was one of the hard times. Joe felt well enough to go out to the motor home and start it up and also run the generator for a while. He was out there for a long time and I thought I had better go out and check on him. I try hard not to cry around him but when I came around the corner he was sitting on a step stool in the sun and it just broke my heart.  I went up and put my arms around him, laid my head on his shoulder and cried. He shed his tears too. It's so sad. He wants to be in the desert so bad. I agreed with his daughter, hoping he was sitting in the sun, building his resolve to fight his way back to the desert.  Anyway, we wiped our tears and I went back in the house, and was reminded of this scripture. "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry  Psalm 34:15.  The rest of our evening was one of peace and rest.
Tomorrow we are going to The Singing Christmas Tree, a gift from some dear friends.  It was debatable that Joe would feel like going but it looks like its "A Go"  Then Monday starts a full week. Monday he has a port placed so the chemo will be easier to take. They can also do his blood draws out of it too. Then Tuesday hopefully there will be  an MRI and Wednesday is the first of his chemo treatments.   Thank you in advance for your prayers and well wishes for him.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Getting Ready For Chemo

Thanksgiving for us this year is one of Rest and Recovery. I rest when Joe is napping. I pushed our chairs together so we can "hang on" and "hang out"

Joe's son Rob and his fiancee' Gloria, came down from Olympia for the Day. Gloria is a coin collector so she enjoyed taking time going through all the change we save.  

Joe has always enjoyed having snacks beside his recliner. That won't ever be an option again. He is on a low fiber/low residue diet. That means among other things, no more nuts of any kind , food with seeds in it, nothing with skins (like potatoes, tomatoes, grapes etc) no raw veggies, limited amount of milk just to name a few things.  So I thought what a better way to get rid of these goodies then to set them all out on pretty dishes on the bar and let Rob and Gloria enjoy snacking on them. I saved all the bags which seal nicely, and asked them to take every thing that's left at the end of the day home with them. They said sure. What they can't eat, they will give to family and friends.

I have had holiday breads in the freezer that I can take out and thaw for guests that drop by for a visit so I put these out too.

Rob and Gloria brought a pumpkin pie and half a berry pie for our after dinner, just before they leave, dessert.
What I didn't take a picture of, was the main meal.  Four Swanson Hungryman TV Turkey Dinners!!!   So simple. It was an absolutely wonderful afternoon. I don't know if it was Joe, Kelly or Rob that originally suggested the idea, but it was so nice not to cook a big dinner, or clean up afterwards.  After the Macy's Day Parade and the Lions and the Eagle's football game, we spent the rest of the afternoon watching Christmas Movies. Hallmark's "The Christmas Card" The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" with Henry Winkler and Bing Crosby's "White Christmas".
Now for an update on Joe. He is sitting beside me in his recliner sound asleep. I'm sure he is having sweet dreams of the time we spent with Rob and Gloria today. Yesterday we spent most of the morning at the KNight Cancer Institute. Joe met Dr. Jingjing Hu, M.D. She is one of the oncologists on staff there and will be his primary chemo Dr. Until now, just by reading all his lab reports and what ever else we could read on the internet, it sounded to us like his cancer staging was four. Yesterday she gave us statistics and more answers. If he wouldn't have had surgery, or agreed to chemo, his prognosis would have been 6 months or less. By agreeing to do Chemo, he added about 28 months or so.  If later, the tumor shrinks enough to where they would be able to do surgery, statistically it would add even more time, up to five years or so.  Dr. Hu told us she is placing it at a moderate stage 3.  She is cautiously optimistic, giving about a 30% chance for him that the chemo being used can shrink the tumor on his liver to where they MAY be able to operate to remove some of that cancerous tumor giving him even more time.  After 2-3 months they will check to see the amount of shrinkage then check with the liver surgeon.  If it happens at all, surgery won't be until sometime next year.
Monday, he is having a port put in to get ready for his first treatment on Wednesday Dec. 2nd. For any of you who have had chemo for  colon cancer, his chemo is Fairfax. A combination of two medicines.  They give it to him by IV then he goes home with a pump that will allow the medicine to run continuously through the 2nd day. Then on the third day, he goes back, they remove the pump and no more chemo for two weeks.  In a few weeks another medicine called Avastin will be added, but they have to wait a while after surgery.  Avastin helps prevent blood vessels from reaching the tumor.  This could starve the tumor and is very tolerable. He will be on a two week routine.  The only symptoms he may have will be extreme fatigue for two or three days. Then we have a good week to take off in the motor home.  But the doctor prefers he goes no further than a hundred and fifty miles in any direction.  That means we could enjoy both TT Seaside and TT Bend/Sunriver. Plus his kids and my sister. (Sorry Blanche, for now Lynden is too far away) Dr. also said he may or may not loose some or all of his hair. 
Well, there you have it...Lots of numbers, "what if's", "maybe's and maybe nots", But Joe and I still agree we serve an all knowing, Sovereign God. WE also believe He can totally heal Joe if it is His will.  Only He knows the number of our days and we give thanks for each of those days.
For those of you who care to pray specifically, we ask prayers for

  • Total and complete healing for Joe
  • for treatment tolerance
  • for health for Sept and his son Rob's wedding. (Joe is to be the best man. Rob was his best man at our wedding)
  • And that chemo shrinks the liver tumor so it becomes operative.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Visits from Family and Friends

Today Joe had a nice visit with his Aunt Marlene who lives here and his cousin Cindy and her daughter Tammy who drove down from Centrailia, Wash.

They brought us a beautiful flower arrangement, just perfect for our Thanksgiving table.
Later in the afternoon, we had a wonderful visit with a pastor friend,Guy Shields. It was good to just sit and talk about those words no one really wants to talk about. Death and dying.  I remember my brother, who has since gone to be with the Lord say to me one day, and I'm sure he heard it from someone else, " Everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die to get there".  We have always believed only the Lord knows the number of our days and until that day we will we will continue serve Him to the best of our abilities
Tomorrow is one of those  days that we've not really been looking forward to. Meeting Dr. Hu, Joe's Oncology Doctor. But it is also a day when we will finally get answers to so many questions. I am so thankful Joe's daughter Kelly is going to be with us. She is on the road even as I am writing, coming from Redmond, Washington. She will go right back home after the appointment and prepare for a big Thanksgiving dinner with her husbands side of the family.  Speaking of Thanksgiving.... Joe's son and fiancee' will be here about 10:30 Thanksgiving morning to spend the day with us.  Joe and I are both so tired. No energy at all. They knew that so we all agreed, no big Thanksgiving Dinner. In fact, Joe eats so little still,(but is improving daily) that we decided a Swansons Hungryman's Turkey TV Dinner for each of us will work just fine. And Rob is bringing my favorite, a pumpkin pie for us to enjoy during an afternoon of football. We are all just so thankful for each of those days, the Lord is giving us, be it days, weeks, months or years, for family, and for friends.
Out of the blue one morning, Joe said , "I hope the Lord lets me live til I'm 80."Well that would make me a happy wife too. So a couple of days later, when I handed him the handicap card, he looked it over and started laughing and told me to check out the expiration date on it.  AUGUST 12, 2023.... His 82th birthday!!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Subtle Changes

It came to me while Joe was still in the hospital that maybe I should apply for a handicap card.  I really don't like to drive and Joe loves to drive. So he did all the driving. Now I find myself in a position of having to do ALL the driving until the Dr. says Joe can drive again.  We know there will be days ahead that he's not going to feel like driving.  So about a week ago, I got in the car,  (I was staying at the hospital) and drove to the DVM in Gladstone. Now normally that would be a piece of cake for most drivers. But keep in mind I could probably count on one hand the number of times I've driven since I married Joe 11 1/2 years ago.  Got the application, drove back to the hospital and dropped it off at the Dr.'s office. Friday, I picked it up and when Joe was discharged, I drove him home. He graded me an A+. Today, we had to go back to see the Dr. again.  Seems Joe's incision isn't healing as it should.  So Doc took care of that little matter by opening a small area so it can drain faster, told me to change the dressing twice a day and sent him home with a prescription for some pretty high powered antibiotics. That meant stopping at Fred Meyers and a medical supply company close to us.It was getting dark and raining, and I don't see very well at night because of the cataracts.   So that's where the first subtle change came..... Being able to park closer to where I need to take him was nice. The first of many changes, I'm sure

Saturday, November 21, 2015

I Just Giggle Sometimes At The Lord's Goodness And Perfect Timing

I knew Joe's cousin Dennis, was coming to see him today, just didn't know when.  Earlier,  my oven door separated when I opened it.  The white cover came apart from the inside black part . I guess a screw came loose and fell out. Anyway, there was a knock at the front door and there was Dennis. Joe  didn't know about the oven situation yet, so I quietly hurried Dennis into the kitchen to survey the situation. He went back out to the car to get a screw driver and came back in with his safety vest and hard hat on....."can never be too safe" he says.  About that time Joe came out of the bedroom and found Dennis just finishing up putting my oven door back together.  Thank you Cuz for coming to visit and thank you Lord for sending him at the perfect time to fix my oven

Today was a very good day. He's eating and drinking better and we even got a "once around the park" walk in. It will be good when he feels like doing it three times a day.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Day By Day

I realize I just posted a very long post, but in reply to someone's response, I thought of this Hymn I  have sang since I was a child. And now, more than ever it's message is very real to me.

Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best--
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
2 Ev'ry day the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.
3 Help me then in eve'ry tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.
Baptist Hymnal, 1991

Saying Goodbye To Some Of the Day Shift Care Givers

Please Click to Enlarge Pictures.
This picture is of just a few of many of Joe's care givers during his stay on the surgery unit at Portland Adventist Hospital.  They work 12 hour shifts and because he was discharged around the noon hour, we didn't get to say goodbye to the evening shift.  Just know they got him through some rough times in the night hours and for that we are very grateful. These are some  of the gals that jumped for joy when they heard the first "gurgle" in their stethoscope when listening for bowel tones, "yippeed" when he tooted for the first time, "waahoo'd" when he had his first poop, shed tears when we had tears.... I just wish I could have gathered all of them from both "shifts to take their pictures. 

I didn't do a very good job on this picture. Jean is the nurse that discharged Joe today and she didn't give an inch when he argued with her about raking leaves when he got home. The answer was a big NO. And she related a graphic story to him about the possibility of what could happen if he tried it! Needless to say She won!! 

This is Brie.  What can I say. She recognized Joe when he was admitted to the unit from surgery. Why? Because  a few years ago she worked  at Miramont Pointe with him.  Brie  would set goals for Joe to get him to increase his fluid intake.  And in the end he met that goal of over a 1,000 cc's so he could go home.

This is Jenny.  There wasn't one nurse on that unit that wasn't full of compassion and caring. But something "clicked' between Jenny and Joe. He is a man who instead of verbalizing tends to internalize.  Jenny listened with her heart. She understood his anxieties and got him to talk about them. It is pretty well known I'm a "cry baby" and I shed my share of tears this week. But every one of those caregivers have given hugs, listened, and wiped my tears ( or made sure I had tissues) and for that I will be eternally grateful.
As we were getting ready to leave, Jean handed me a card. I opened it and inside were notes of encouragement  and caring from each of them. I hope they know we loved them as much as the love they showed us.

Well, here we are, end of this particular journey and getting ready to start the next one .

Next Wednesday, November 25, Joe has his first  appointment  at The Knight Cancer Institute  located in the Pavilion which is connected to Portland Adventist Hospital. At this appointment, Joe will meet 
his oncology Dr., Dr. Jingjing Hu, (pronounced Who),  

I borrowed this picture from the Internet. 
 When I went to pick up the paper work today, Nicole gave me a short tour of where Joe will be getting his chemo treatments. 
For the next few days, we are resting while Joe continues to heal from the surgery. They took his incision staples out today before he left the hospital. He is already eating better. He says it's the home cooked food. He rarely takes the pain pills ordered for him not because he's trying to be strong and brave, but because he has little or no pain. For that we thank the Lord. And on that note, the Lord is answering our prayers. We have peace, we feel His strength and comfort and we need it, He gives us the courage  to meet each new challenge.  Today was a good day and for that we are very grateful.  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your prayers, your thoughts, your notes of encouragement and all the beautiful cards.The mantle on our fireplace has turned into 

 a place to display all the cards.  Yes, the Snowy Christmas Picture is a bit early, but I found it at a Christmas bazaar sale the  Hospital Volunteers were having and I bought it for Joe to enjoy from his recliner.  If any of you care to use the snail mail to send notes of encouragement directly to Joe, our mailing address is P.O. Box 68207, Oak Grove, Oregon 97268