Saturday, February 27, 2016

Enough Sun To Groom The Flower Beds

The days following Joe's last chemo treatment on the 17th, were probably the hardest on him so far. The nurses have always been honest and up front with him and told him it wasn't going to get any easier. He is constantly amazing them with his stamina. For this we are constantly thanking the Lord. After chemo on Wednesday's he goes home with a portable pump so actually he is getting the chemo 24/7 until Friday when we go back and he's disconnected from the pump, and gets a rehydration IV. Then from Saturday morning usually until sometime Wednesday, he feels pretty "puny"  He has no appetite, gets sores in his mouth (which he now has a prescription for) and little or no energy. But he doesn't let that stop him. He  can only sit in his recliner for so long and then off he goes to the guest room where he works on his painting project.  They say you just can't keep a good man down.
This was taken on Thursday morning. It was a beautiful day and he wasn't going to let it get away from him. So outside he went. He was still pretty weak in the knees and it was a good thing his white bucket was there to help him get up. (but he wouldn't admit it) 
It was Thursday, so as much as he disliked quitting, it was time to put things away and head for the Pavilion for the IV. Sometimes I give him a bad time, reminding  him what his nurses tell him, when he can get down  64 oz  of any kind of liquid in a day including juices, clear soups, milk or water,  every day equal to (four regular bottles of water) he won't have to go for the IV's twice a week any more. 

 Even the Heather  bushes got  a "haircut"
Joe and his Aunt Marlene enjoying old family movies.

We are in the process of putting all of our old home movies that are on cassettes on to DVD's. We are using Costco Photo Services. We also took all our old slides and had them put on DVD's with nice music in the background. 
When Joe didn't feel like eating for those three days, he lost down to 161lbs. So this time, when he started eating again, he is determined to put those few pounds back on. He is drinking Coscto's equivalent of Ensure. This way he is getting  all the good nutrients too. He's tried Boost but didn't care for it. He figures if he can get down a lot of calories this week, it will help him get through the next week....... you go Joe.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Little Bit Of Good News

Last Tuesday, Feb. 11th after Joe had his rehydration IV and some lab work done, Dr. told us to go have a good time on our mini chemo vacation. We headed for the beach. Specifically Seaside and Newport. We are Thousand Trails members and stayed at our RV Resorts with full hook ups. Our favorite things to do in Seaside in the winter time is to drive down to the Cove and sit and watch the surfers. And our favorite place to have clam Chowder is at Norma's. We go for the early bird special . For $11 Joe eats the salad /with shrimp, they give us a cup and I fill it from his BOWL and it doesn't even make a dent in it. We split the bread and what a nice lunch.

Thursday we left early and took our time enjoyed driving to Newport. 

After we get settled at Whaler's Rest, we drive the 19 miles back to Depoe Bay and spend the rest of the day enjoying the great performance the Spouting Horns put on.

As we were attempting to cross 101 to the shops on the other side, this one soaked us to the core! But it wasn't really cold so we just considered it part of the fun of the day.
I love the bridges along the coast. This is the one coming into Newport.
And this bridge is the Alsea Bay Bridge, heading South coming in to Waldport. It replaced the old bridge in 1991.

Just across the bridge is a nice pull out area with an area museum that we didn't check out this time. But check out this huge stump that a winter storm threw up on the sand. There are some old occupied homes real close to the beach. Too close for me.

Joe backed in our rig to our site and I opened the door and look who was there to greet us. Yes the Oregon slug. I did a close up so you can't see he brought two of his relatives to say hello too.

It was misty and rainy the whole time we were at Whalers Rest. Actually it rained off and on until we headed home on Monday the 15th. But I think fog and mist and rain at the beach have a beauty all of their own.

We wanted to beat the crowd that would surely be at this restaurant on Valentines Day. So we had a wonderful lunch at noon on Saturday Local Ocean Restaurant on Bay Ave in Newport  I had read they only take reservations for up to 20% of their seating. So I got right on the phone Tuesday afternoon and got those reservations. Good thing. At the appointed time we arrived ( and there was someone just backing out of a handicap parking spot 2nd spot from the side of the building) so we were able to slip right in. People were standing in line out the door and a ways down the sidewalk.  Was I ever glad I had made those reservations.  We split an order of  grilled fish and chips panko crusted catch of the day, fennel slaw and fries. One large fillet of fish that was more than enough to split along with the very fresh, not greasy, fries and the slaw that neither Joe nor I cared for. 

 This is our view from our upstairs seating. The service was great and yes we will return next time we are there.

The weekend was great for both of us until sometime Friday eve. I started to not feeling good and it progressively got worse  including a low grade fever. When my normal is 97 and it starts going up to 99 something is wrong.  But I didn't let it stop our fun day Saturday.  Not Sunday either. We had breakfast at The Chalet in Newport. But the fever was slowly getting a little higher and by this time I pretty much figured out I had a UTI. Did that stop me? Nope. We took a nice drive to Florence, then headed back to the Sizzler where we had planned to have a nice salad bar w/ chicken wings and a baked potato. We pulled into the parking lot, went in and I told Joe sorry, but I just can't eat. I asked him to please go ahead and have his supper, and I enjoyed hot water with lemon and Splenda. From there we went directly to the ER in Newport. I was impressed with how fast we were in and out of there. We were triaged immediately, and with in a short period of time I was called back in again, the Dr. confirmed it was what I thought. The nurse started me on an antibiotic and it was probably a good thing. It was about 8:00 and there wasn't a pharmacy open anywhere until 9:00 AM Monday morning so we picked up the prescription on our way out of town.

I'm so thankful for my blogger friends. I was whining to Elaine about how miserable I was and right a way did she not only tell me about an over the counter drug that could possibly give me some relief, but she took a picture of the box and sent it to me. So with my iPhone in hand Joe took me to Walgreen's and picked it up! You know that old advertisement song "Oh what a relief it is" Over a period of 3 days, the fever, which got as high as 101.3 finally subsided and I'm feeling pretty good now.I don't do well with any kind of antibiotics. Sometimes it makes me feel worse then the ailment.
OK  So here is the little bit of good news.
Yesterday Joe had another CAT scan. Today was chemo day and he always has to see the Dr. and do the lab work before the chemo. It's usually a 6 hour or so day.
After Dr. Hu gave us the results, they gave us the print out. Don't need to read it all to you but here is the last paragraph
1. Liver metastasis has decreased in size approximately 20 percent since his last CAT scan
2. The gastrohepatic ligament and along the celiac axis are smaller
3.  A node inferior to the aortic bifurcation and adjacent to the sigmoid no longer identified.
4.No new adenopathy or evidence of recurrence.

WELL NOW! ....How about that! We have been praising and thanking the Lord all day long for that good report. The battle isn't over yet by any means. But it sure gives him the stamina to keep on fighting. 

What's Joe doing? What else? Flying his planes. Today he flew  the A10 Warthog and the F18.

He's been here enough times now, he doesn't need much help to get around. As he was headed for the restroom one of the nurses said "I see you're on cruise control"   Those machines go on battery when you unplug them.
If you're on my FB you already saw these. All the way going to the coast and coming home we saw wild Daffy's growing along side the road and in the fields. So today while I was at Freddy's I decided it was be good to Betty day and I bought these.  Nice part of it is, Joe loves them too.  Thank you for reading to the end of this very long blog today. I just had so many words inside of me that I needed to get them out! I have a running dialog with the Lord. I'm so glad He never gets tired of listening. My friend and I were talking again last night about  the four things I asked Him for when we first got the news it was cancer. Courage, Strength, Peace and Comfort. He has provided all of those things as we need them. Neither of us could have gone as far as we have on our own.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Long Time Friends Get Together for Super Bowl Sunday

Left to right: Mac has been Joe's pastor and dear friend  for 40+ years and another long time friend John who has been his friend for 30+ years. 

Joe thought it would be fun to have them come and watch the Super Bowl with him. Which really amazed me because after chemo about this time he usually doesn't feel well. But this time he enjoyed a visit from his daughter Saturday and Sunday morning and even worked on cleaning the outside of the motor home for a half hour before his friends arrived and the game began.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He came home from his chemo session this past Wednesday and painted til about 7:00 that evening. These are the accordion closet doors. 
The dark purple will also be on the one back wall. Then we will carpet the floor and the guest room will be finished. 
For those of you wondering if I am watching the game the answer is yes. I'm in the guest room, working on the blog, reading my Woman's Day magazine, and doing tax preparation, for an appointment with our tax lady. At the moment I'm adding up mileage for any and all medical appointments this past year including trips to the pharmacy for prescriptions.
I wasn't the least bit interested sitting in the living room with the guys. All they do is talk, talk, talk and holler now and then. But in their talking they did show their appreciation for the food table  and the pizza at half time.