Monday, August 31, 2009

Why did the turkey cross the road?

Woody got up early this morning and went to work for four hours. He did walk a bit at work today, as he had some business to take care of in another building on the base. He came home and picked me up and we headed to Vanderbilt around 10:20am and we pulled back into our driveway around 5:50pm. Not a short day, but not as long as some have been.
We had a fairly uneventful day at Vanderbilt on Day 22 of Cycle 2 of Woody's double blind chemo drug study. His potassium is still slightly low and his red blood count is slightly low...but his white blood count continues to be in the normal range. All appointments happened on schedule...the main hold-up was for the CT scan...he has to drink some contrast and then wait for at least 45 min. They called him in right at the 45 min. time and he was back from the scan in less than 15 min.
We did do some questioning of the research nurse today as to what would determine if he would continue with the drug study. He will probably continue the study, if his CT scan shows no further progression of his melanoma or if it shows that the melanoma places are getting smaller. If his melanoma has progressed some, then they will evaluate the percentage that it has increased since the scan at the start of the study...there is a certain criteria in the study that says at what percentage the study has to stop. So...time will tell.
Dr Sosman and the research nurse will evaluate the scan in a couple of days and then call us at the end of the week to tell us if Woody will continue with the study or not. Whether he continues the study or not, we will be going to Vanderbilt next Tuesday (Labor Day is Monday so no appointments that day.). If he continues, he will start taking the chemo and the study drugs that day and be given another daily diary sheet to fill out. With cycle 3, Woody will only have to go to Vanderbilt once a month...not once a week. If he doesn't continue, then they will do the final paper work for the drug study with Woody on Tuesday.

Here's the answer to tonight's title question: (This picture is clickable so you can see the reason better!) (If you click on the top picture and scroll over to the right, you will see another turkey by the metal that makes a total or 17 or 18 that we could see in this rafter of turkeys.) (I'm sorry that I didn't have my telephoto lens on...but that is how it goes when I'm taking pictures...seems like I never have the right lens on for the picture that I want to take...a memory of my father!)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 21, Cycle 2

Today puts Woody 3/4 through with the second cycle of the trial drug study. We both went to Sunday School and taught our respective classes. We came home, ate lunch, relaxed, and then decided to take a walk. We walked about three miles. Woody has read and relaxed this evening.

On our walk today, we found this oak tree just laden with acorns. Looks like there will be plenty of fodder for the rascally squirrels this winter. Last year due to our drought, there were hardly any acorns and supposedly squirrels starved during the winter. Looks like this year will make up for last year with a bumper crop. It is rather dangerous to take steps in our yard or on our sidewalks, as they are already so covered with acorns.

We head back to Vanderbilt tomorrow. Woody will have lab work, see Dr. Sosman and the research nurses, and then have a CT scan our day at Vanderbilt will most likely be longer than the last two visits. This CT scan will determine whether he will continue on with a third cycle in this trial drug study.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day 20, Cycle 2

Sort of a typical Saturday...Woody got up early and walked 8 miles, he went to the library, and he has watched a couple of DVD's. We both walked the Tullahoma Greenway this afternoon. It stretches between our public library and Tullahoma High School...we parked at the library and walked over to the high school and back...a total of 3 miles. I, of course, took my camera. Here is one of the pictures I took. I think that I will call it: "Beaver Dam Monet." Aren't the reflections great! It was a really pretty walk. After we got back, Woody did some more mowing.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 19, Cycle 2

This is the picture that I was heading out to take yesterday, when I caught Woody sawing up trees again. Can you see just the hint of a Fall brushstroke on the dogwood tree? I think that we will have beautiful Fall foliage this year since we have had so much more rain than in the past several years...lots of years our leaves start turning...but it is due to dryness not due to God's timing for Fall coloration of leaves...and those years just don't seem to have the breathtaking color that our wetter years have...guess time will tell about this year...but the hint of Fall is here!

Well, today I did the grocery shopping once again...that decision was made due to the fact that "the flu" seems to have gotten to Tullahoma and Woody probably needs to stay out of places like WalMart, Kroger, etc. So I got up, got the grocery list ready and headed out to run errands and grocery shop. Then, when I got home, I put away the groceries and decided that I would go on and cook our supper with some of today's purchases. After I did that, I was rather worn out so I took a nap while Woody mowed and then we ate supper.

Woody got up early as usual, went to work, walked at lunch, came home and headed out quickly to mow (before the next band of rain/drizzle got to us), then came in cooled off a bit, ate supper, and has relaxed and read the rest of the evening.

It has attempted to rain most of the day here...but we never got very much wherever I was...either that or I was in stores while the showers came and went. I took my umbrella...but it was really more an encumbrance than a I never needed to open it...just had to make sure that I didn't forget that I had it and leave it hanging on a shopping cart! We did have a short shower while we ate supper and Woody did get drizzled on off and on while he mowed.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 18, Cycle 2

I went outside to try to take a picture of one of the dogwoods that is starting to change to Fall colors and look who I found busy with his saw once again. This time the top of a dead tree had toppled down due to too much weight from vines that had twisted around it. So Woody sawed it up and took it out to the brush pile. The vines made this a bit of a challenging job...he kept getting his feet tangled in them...and he doesn't need to fall on his left arm!
Woody has had an almost normal day minus his walk at lunch...he got so busy that he just worked through lunch. Then he came home and did some more mowing and also sawed up this tree. When I went downstairs just now to check with him about what he had done today, he was emptying the dishwasher.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 17, Cycle 2

Oops...I'd better jump in (like this squirrel) and post...time has gotten away from me this evening.
A pretty routine day once again...Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, mowed a little after he got home from work, ate supper and has read and relaxed the rest of the evening.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 16, Cycle 2

After yesterday's "ugly" creature, I thought that I should put up one of God's "beautiful" creatures. Is there anything much prettier than a monarch butterfly? We spotted this one on our walk on Sunday. I got a picture of him with his wings closed then waited for him to open them...Woody told me when I needed to snap the picture...good team work!
We are having a wind-down day after yesterday's trip to Nashville. Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, came home mowed a little, ate supper, and has read and relaxed the rest of the evening.
The thing that I am noticing about going to Vanderbilt every is like Monday disappears from my week...the rest of the week I always seem to be a day off.
Today is a very special day in our family. Our oldest grandchild is how days and years have flown by since we were heading to Nashville to see her at Baptist Hospital for the first time! Happy birthday, Erin Elizabeth!

Monday, August 24, 2009

"V" is for...

...very ugly vulture seen on the way to Vandy. We are always looking for new wildlife to photograph...this turkey vulture isn't the most fetching of God's wild creatures that we have seen on our trips...but we captured him nonetheless. Normally we see these "fellas" flying overhead and not up close and personal. Ummm guess I would rather see them soaring overhead! We also missed a groundhog today...Woody missed him with the car and I missed him with my camera.

Our trip to Vanderbilt was very routine...once again...we like those! Woody got called in pretty quickly for his lab work and then he was called in exactly on time for his appointment with Dr. Sosman. The appointment would have been even quicker if all the lab work results had come in sooner. His labs showed that he was slightly anemic (probably due to the chemo), his white count is still ok (they are looking for it to drop next week, if it is going to drop). Woody's potassium level was back in the normal range, but Dr. Sosman wants him to continue to take the potassium pill or eat four bananas a day. The decision is his...but we will have to go to the grocery store, if he chooses bananas!

Next week is the week for a CT scan along with seeing the doctor and having labs. If the CT scan warrants that he continue with the study for a 3rd cycle, it will start Sept. 8th. If he continues on, then Dr. Sosman says that he will be on a "normal" chemo schedule...going to Vandy once a month...once a month sounds great!

Woody went to work for four hours this morning prior to us leaving at 10:30am. We got to Vanderbilt a little before 12:30pm and were driving away from Vanderbilt by 2:10pm (our appointment with Dr. Sosman was 1pm). We came back on 41A and still made the trip in two hours despite red lights, several school zones, an accident, getting behind tractors, etc.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day 14, Cycle 2

Just wanted to be sure that you knew that I had posted! Today is the half-way point in the second cycle of Woody's chemo drug study. We both went to Sunday School. He taught his sixth grade boys class. The weather today is absolutely delightful. The high was in the low 70's. After lunch, I suggested that we go on a walk together. So I got my camera ready and we headed out. We walked about five miles (long walk for me!). I took quite a few pictures...which I will probably share with you along the way in the blogs. It was a nice walk, but towards the end I was REALLY ready to get home!
Tomorrow the wheels on the car will once again turn towards Vanderbilt. Woody will have labs and see the doctor. It "should" be another fairly quick day at Vanderbilt...but only time will tell about the quickness of the visit! I'll report tomorrow night on how his visit went and what the doctor and nurses had to say.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 13, Cycle 2

Here's another of our "yard mushrooms." This one is such a pretty color and I love the fluted edges. This one was so newly popped out of the ground that the dirt that it had pushed aside was still on the cap.

Woody has had a very busy Saturday. He got up very early (before 4am, I think) and went for his Saturday walk. Today he was back to doing his normal Saturday walk of twelve mile (last week he took it easy since he was taking his chemo drugs and only did eight miles). When the library opened, he went to get books. Then he came home and spent a lot of time raking up debris (sticks, acorns, etc.) in our front yard and then mowing it. Then this afternoon we have spent time, at one point or another, with all five of our neighbor grandchildren here at our house...we have read, rocked, read some more, played a game or two, built with K'nex, built with blocks, taken a picture or name it...and we might have at least tried it!
It has been a gorgeous day temperature-wise (the high was only 76 deg F) and humidity-wise here in TN. I really think that Fall is in the air! I have been noticing that the dogwoods are changing color a bit.
Oh, a major accomplishment for me...last night I finished going through and reorganizing all the digital pictures that I have taken since Dec. small task...many, many hours...many, many pictures! I am so glad to have that task much easier to access now.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Day 12, cycle 2

Another Friday has rolled around...they seem to come quicker and quicker. Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, came home and picked up the grocery list and did our weekly shopping (so something new added to his weekly routine as I have been doing the shopping lately), came home, helped me put away the groceries, ate supper, helped wash the dishes, and has been relaxing and reading for the rest of the evening.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 11, Cycle 2

Not a lot happening here where two Ivy Leagues meet. Pretty much the same ol', same ol'...not even a call from Vandy today.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 10, cycle 2

Telephone wires have been zinging between Vanderbilt and Tullahoma today. (call #1) One of the research nurses called this morning, telling me that Woody's potassium level had dropped and Dr. Sosman wanted him to start taking a potassium pill. He was to take two today and then one till the level was up again. There is a good chance that the potassium level change is due to his blood pressure medication and not due to the study drugs. I gave her the phone number of our pharmacy so she could call in the prescription (call #2 was from Vandy to the drugstore).
I was out of the house for a short time around noon and later in the afternoon I found a message (call #3) from another of the research nurses. She was asking me to call her back that they had a favor to ask us. She was already gone for the day before I was able to return her guess we will be left hanging till next week as to what that call is in reference to...she said that she would be out tomorrow and Friday and that she would get back to us next week if I hadn't called before she left for the day. (I'm guessing that they want to rearrange an appointment...time will tell if my guess is right!)
When I got home from church tonight, Woody said that he had gotten reminder call from Vanderbilt about his next appointment (call #4).
Definitely we were popular with Vanderbilt's "switchboards" today!
Woody wants me to tell you about these pills that he was prescribed. He says that "they are so big that even a horse couldn't swallow them!" And, I did look at them and they are very large. And, he had to take two today!
Other than the calls, today was a pretty typical day: he got up early, went to work, attempted to walk at lunch, but the siren went off saying that there was lightning within 10 mi. so he only walked part way when he had to turn around and go back, came home, and has read most of the evening.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 9, Cycle 2

We seem to have a yard full of mushrooms lately...can you guess that it has been wet. Some are quite interesting. The underside of this one looked just like a sponge.
Woody had a typical day...he got up early, took his ONE blood pressure pill, went to work, walked at lunch, came home, read a story to Graham and Joy, ate supper, finished a book, and has relaxed (and that doesn't mean sleeping) tonight.

Monday, August 17, 2009


We left the house at 10:30am, stopped at the Post Office, stopped to get gas, no picture stops...arrived at 12:30pm, had lab work done, saw the research nurses, saw Dr. Sosman, and we were back in our car by 2pm, and home by 3:30pm. We did go interstates on the way home rather than the back roads trying to avoid so many school zones. We still went through at least four school zones. We also went through a couple of rain showers on the way back. So 5 hours and 3 1/2 of those were on the road...not only spend 1 1/2 hours at Vandy!
The top picture shows you where we enter most of the time for our appointments..."TVC " = The Vanderbilt Clinic. Sometimes on a map or on an appt. paper it will say that an office is in took me a while to realize that they meant The Vanderbilt Clinic...maybe I'm just slow!
The bottom picture shows a really nice service that Vanderbilt offers: free valet parking. At first we were parking our own car. One day Melany suggested that we use the valet parking (when Woody was so sick after his IL-2 treatments) and we found it to really be a time don't have to wind through the parking garage to find a space, then walk forever to find your way out of the garage and to the clinic, AND remember where you parked when you come out! Nice after the appointments, if Woody (or any of us!) is tired, to just have them bring the car to you! This service was much in demand today...they were super busy. When we got there today, I sent Woody on into the clinic and I stayed to give them our name and get the car claim ticket. By the time I got back to the lab waiting room, he had already checked in at the first desk and was called to the second check-in spot by the time that I sat down. So it really saves a lot of time on both ends of the appointment. A hearty round of applause to Vanderbilt for offering this service!
It was a routine visit today. We turned in the empty pill bottles and his diary card. The research nurses asked Woody questions. Dr. Sosman came in and examined him. The complete lab report wasn't ready yet, but the part that was back looked good.
We were told today that if he continues on to the third cycle that we won't have to go in weekly. That really sounded good.
Next week's visit will be like this one (hopefully short and sweet), then Aug. 31 he will have scans to see how his melanoma has responded to the drug study.
Woody did go to work early this morning. He worked till 10am and then came home and we headed out. He read some while waiting...but not much reading time at Vandy today! After we got home, Woody read Esther (2-year-old granddaughter) the same story six times. We have eaten. He is now resting (read that as sleeping) in his recliner. That's about it for our day!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Day 7, Cycle 2

Woody is finished taking pills for this cycle! I know that he is praising the Lord! This has been a pretty predictable Sunday...Woody and I both went to Sunday School. He taught his sixth grade boys' Sunday School Class. Then he came home and has had a pretty relaxing day. He has helped me out a bit by doing some dishes and he has read.

I'm going to go pack up all the empty pill bottles and the diary chart to take back to Vanderbilt tomorrow. I'll report in tomorrow night about our weekly trip.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Day 6, Cycle 2

These birdies just "think" that they are hiding from me!
Woody got up at o'dark-thirty this morning and walked about eight miles--he said that he took it a bit easy today since he didn't do his normal Sat. twelve mile walk. He came back home...managed to get his morning pills down. He went to the library. Came home and watched a DVD or two and has read. He also did some more mowing. This evening the sixth grade Sunday School teachers met up with their sixth graders at Baskin Robbins...a fun way to start off the new Sunday School year.
Before leaving for Baskin Robbins, Woody managed to get down his evening one more day down and only one more to go for having to take pills! I know that he will be glad when tomorrow night rolls around and he will be through with pills for this cycle.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 5, Cycle 2

Matter of prayer: Woody is at the point in the cycle that his aversion to pills is becoming more and more of a problem. With each dose it is becoming harder and harder for him to get the pills down that he HAS to take! Looking on the bright side (and, this is for your eyes only, as he doesn't even want to talk about pills)...he only has two more days of taking pills in this cycle and today he finished taking the anti-nausea pill and the four chemo he has subtracted five pills from the regimen. Now he "only" has to take four drug study pills in the morning and four more twelve hours later tomorrow and Sunday...then he is through with pills for this cycle!!!!
He told me today that he really is glad that he is going to work daily, as that helps him to keep his mind off of "not feeling well." Here's how his day has gone so far today: he got up early, took the anti nausea med, drove to work, took his chemo and drug study pills (with great difficulty!), then worked, walked at lunch, worked some more, came home and rested for a short time, then went out and mowed, came in and rested, ate supper, took his evening pills, mowed some more, and is now making banana oat bran muffins! Again, staying busy keeps his mind off of how he is I would say that he has had a busy day and isn't letting the chemo keep him down. Praise God!
Tonight's picture I found when going through old pictures that I have been organizing. It was taken with my original digital camera back in 2001. I was playing with the camera's special effects. This picture is sure to enlarge it...the effects are better viewed when it is larger. I thought that you might enjoy a bit of late winter/early spring on this hot summer day!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's a Matter of Perspective!

This railroad track and road look like they are going to join up ahead...this picture is a good example of perspective that we learned about in art class...anyway, that is the first place that I think I was introduced to perspective. In reality this road and railroad track are just about parallel to each other.
There is a problem with perspective when Woody starts to describe how he is feeling today. He says that perhaps that he has nausea...but then again it really isn't nausea...just a lump in his throat...or...perhaps it is just a gag reflex over thinking about taking his pills. The choice is yours or I guess his! He just doesn't know what it feels like to be sick so has trouble giving the rest of us the correct perspective on how he really is feeling!
This is Day 4 of Cycle 2 and this is the day of Cycle 1 that he felt the worst. I will say that he doesn't "seem" to feel as crumby as he did a month ago in the first chemo drug study cycle. But I can also tell that this isn't a really great day for him. He has done the normal up early...took his anti-nausea pill...headed off to work...took his chemo pills...worked...walked at lunch...came home and plopped in the recliner in our room upstairs. Now, here is another perspective problem...he says that he was feeling sleepy...but that he probably didn't get enough sleep last night...his perspective won't let him see that it could possibly be the chemo medicine that is making him feel a bit tired/sleepy/crumby.
I have been trying to organize all my digital pictures...what a job! I was working on those this afternoon, after he got home from work. After he rested for a bit, Woody went downstairs and in a bit I heard the front open and close, so I knew that he had gone outside. A while later he came back in...he had gone out and done some yard work! So you can see...he won't give into not feeling the greatest! He had set a goal of getting some yard work accomplished today and was determined to get it done. He did say that he took it slow and easy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Shot of Wild Turkey, Anyone?

Not too far down the road from the bison we happened to spot this rafter of turkey walking across a field. There were at least ten (as seen in the top picture). I'm not sure that I got all of them into the picture. I was intent on getting pictures so I didn't take the time to count! The most that Woody has ever seen in a group (rafter) of wild turkeys is six. It really was quite a sight to see them strutting across the field. (pictures are clickable so they can be enlarged to see the rafter and the single turkey better; be sure to scroll across to see all the turkeys in the rafter)
Woody completed day 3 of cycle 2 at 6pm. So far, so good. He hasn't had any adverse effects...yet. The fourth day was the roughest last time and Dr. Sosman figured that it would be about the same as last time. So far he hasn't had that bad taste/smell.
Woody got up early this morning, took his anti-nausea pill prior to leaving for work and took his chemo pills after he got to work. Instead of walking at lunch he had some business to take care of on the other side of the base this morning, so he walked there (a longer walk than his usual 2 miles at lunch, but cooler since it was earlier). Since coming home, he has been relaxing and reading.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An FYI and I'm going to try the picture again (2 blogs for the price of one tonight!)

There...I made it clickable!
Now for the FYI: If you come to view the blog some night and think that I should have already posted and you still see yesterday's on refresh and it just might pop up with that day's blog. I have been surprised several times when I have come back to check on just what I have said that day...and the blog isn't there! I will almost always have blogged by 10pm Central time...and hopefully sooner than that. I "try" to do it between 7 and 8...but sometimes it takes me a while to get it all together (pictures and what I want to write) and then sometimes I get interrupted and have to come back to it. But, do try your refresh button and see if that works. For those who are saying where is refresh...your F5 key is supposed to refresh your screen and also at the top of my screen there are two curved green arrows that go in opposite directions (that's what I use) there and they will refresh your screen.

Day 2, Cycle 2

Home, home on the range...though, a modern range

Sorry that these pictures aren't clickable to make them larger. When I enlarged the top one in my photo software, what should appear, but a satellite is right under the middle stripe on the flag! And, then, of course, there is a telephone pole on the horizon...but even with these modern items pointed is still rather picturesque!

Do you see why we enjoy going the scenic route?! Yesterday morning these bison were grazing along the roadside. One never knows what will be around the next bend. We left about a half-hour early yesterday so we could stop for me to take pictures. More picture surprises to come in later blogs of things we spot off the beaten path!

Well, Woody has completed taking the drugs for day 2...8 drug study pills in the morning and 4 drug study pills in the evening. So far he says that he feels fine. He got up early as usual...took an anti-nausea pill before heading to work (has to take that 30 min. before the morning chemo pills). Then after he got to work he took the 8 drug study pills. He walked at lunch and got sprinkled. He took his other 4 drug study pills around six (they are supposed to be taken about 12 hours apart). Then he filled out his drug study chart. He can now rest and relax for the rest of the evening and forget about taking pills.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Day 1, Cycle 2

Here's the first view that we get of Vanderbilt on 21st Ave...the buildings that are just above the close buildings. I wish that this picture was clickable...don't know why some can be enlarged and some can't. The tallest with writing says Vanderbilt.

Another long day at Vanderbilt. We left the house at 8:30am and pulled into our driveway at 6:50pm. We got to Vanderbilt around 10:45. The waiting room in the cancer facility was quite packed when we got there. It took a bit longer than usual for them to call Woody back for labs. I kept hearing receptionists explaining to patients checking in that it was Monday and that they were running behind. Woody got called back for his lab work around 11:45. Then we found a quiet place way at one end of the waiting room and we both read. Around 1:30 two of the research nurses (two today as one was being trained) brought paper work for Woody to fill out. They told us that Woody's lab results looked good and that they were getting the prescriptions for the chemo drugs to the pharmacy and the drugs should be ready by 3pm. So we waited some more. Then we were called back to the inner waiting room and waited some more. The research nurses brought the chemo drugs to Woody in the inner waiting room and he took today's dose at 4pm. He took four of the known chemo drug and four of the unknown "only" eight pills at a time for that dose. Before they could give all the pills to him they called him back to Dr. Sosman's exam room. He took the last of the pills after he got his blood pressure taken. Then Dr. Sosman came in and talked to Woody and examined him. After that the research nurses came back in and finished giving us our instructions and the diary card that he records when he takes his meds, etc. After they finished with us, we went back to the main waiting room to wait for five o'clock to roll around, as Woody had to have labs done an hour after he took his medicine. By the way...the big waiting room was close to empty at that time...we had our pick of seats! We were in the car and on the way home by 5:10pm.

We took the scenic route to Murfreesboro and then interstates the rest of the way to Vanderbilt and took interstates all the way to Manchester on the return home. Woody drove both ways today.

I feel that Dr. Sosman and the research nurses are pleased with how Woody is doing so far. Dr. Sosman said to expect about what happened the last time...that Woody won't feel all that great on the third or fourth day. His white count shouldn't change, if it does change, for a couple of weeks.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Day 28...Cycle 1 COMPLETED!

Just as this little bird is preening, we are preparing for the second cycle of Woody's chemo drug study to begin. Day 1, Cycle 2 will commence tomorrow. Due to the Doctor Sosman's clinic schedule tomorrow, Woody won't get started as early in the day as he did on day 1 of cycle 1. We are to get to Vanderbilt around 11am. Woody will have lab work done and then wait till the lab results get to Dr. Sosman. Dr. Sosman doesn't get into the clinic till 12:45 pm. He will have to see lab results, decide on how much of the known chemo drug he wants Woody to take this cycle, then he will have to fill out paper work, write prescriptions, etc., send prescriptions to the pharmacy, and then the pharmacy will have to fill the prescriptions, seal them up in the "hazard bags," get them to the research nurse, and then...she will bring them out to Woody. At that time he will take the first doses of the known chemo drug and the study drug. Somewhere in all this, Woody does have to see the doctor...I'm not sure if that will happen before or after he takes the chemo drugs. After he takes the drugs, he will have to wait a certain time period for more lab work. Sound a bit complicated??? Guess we will just get there and let them make it all come together! Tomorrow will be another waiting question! The research nurse did tell us that it won't be as long a day (time will tell!) as it was at the start of day 1, cycle 1 because they don't do as many labs this time. This time the main "hang-up" looks to be the is that a surprise?!?
Our Sunday has been pretty normal. Woody got up early. We went to Sunday School. He taught sixth grade boys (a change after so many years of teaching 8th grade boys). We came home and have pretty much had a relaxing afternoon...Woody read and I sewed.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Day 27, Cycle 1

Here's another frequent visitor to our front yard. He is a flicker...I think a yellow shafted flicker. Doesn't he have pretty markings! Woody has learned something with this post...and the proof is in the bottom picture. He did not know that flickers forage on the ground unlike others in the woodpecker family. They feed on ants and other insects that live in the ground, which they pull out of their nests with their long tongues. Woody said that we could use more flickers in our yard! We seem to have a heavy population of ants...of several sizes. The flicker also enjoyed eating suet from the suet cage when it was hanging in the tree and then when the squirrels knocked that down (rascally squirrels!), he enjoyed pecking at the suet in the cage on the ground.
Woody got up early (too early according to he has felt sleepy the rest of the day, but has been unable to grab a cat nap). He walked out to the movie theatre and 12 miles. After he came home he waited around till it was 9am so he could go to the library and stop at the local vegetable market. He has read and watched a DVD or two this afternoon and evening. He's reading as I type this. That's about it for his day today!

Friday, August 7, 2009

3, 2, 1, blast off

Three days till "blast off" for Day 1, Cycle 2.

This is a replica of the Saturn V rocket complete with launch tower that our 7-year-old grandson made with his K'nex. We say that he is a K'nexpert! It is as tall as he is...perhaps just a tad taller...I would say around 4-ft. tall give or take an inch or so. A rather impressive structure. (This picture is clickable so you can see the details of his rocket.)

Woody has had another routine day...days like these we are thankful for! Sometimes it seems a bit repetitious to keep saying: Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, came home to relax...but we are glad of repetitious good days! Today we can add a bit of "out of the ordinary" to his routine...after he got home from work, he went next door to keep an eye on two of our five neighbor grandchildren. Then after supper tonight we went next door again and partied! Esther-Noel turned two this week and we celebrated tonight with cake and ice cream and presents. Fun! Fun! Fun!This is also another "red-letter" day, as it is Elijah's 1 month birthday...boy does time fly...he'll be up and walking before we know it! So Grammy got her camera out and had a good time taking pictures of birthday celebrations.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 25, Cycle 1

Don't look now but you're being followed!

A pretty normal day once again. Woody got up early, went into work, walked at lunch, came home, and has been relaxing since getting home. The only break in routine is that shortly after Woody got home we went to vote. Our town had an alderman and school board election today. After Woody ate supper, he flopped down on the bed to rest a bit...and he is still there...hope that he will be able to sleep when it comes time for bed!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 24, Cycle 1

After a rain

Another routine day for Woody...up early, headed to work, walked at lunch, came home to relax. He has read a lot today.

I started doing reading lessons with three of the grandchildren today. They are home schooled and I help out when I can. Graham and Abigail each read me a story and Joy went over the sounds that the letters make.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day 23, Cycle 1

Roadside splendor!

Woody was back into his "routine" today. He got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, and then came home and as he put it "piddled around." He and Nathan attempted to see if they could figure out why we are no longer getting a TV signal...Nathan checked to make sure that one of our rascally squirrels hadn't chewed through our antenna wire or something. So far the solution hasn't been still quite quiet around here! He has been reading this evening.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wow...even going the scenic route...

Even going the scenic route we made it in record time. We left the house a little before noon and got home around 5:30. And, I even got to take a few pictures along the way home.
Woody got called in immediately for his lab work (which is the norm). Then he got called back to Dr. Sosman's inner waiting room also fairly quickly (often the norm). That is usually a place that we get to sit for some time...but not so today. We were very quickly taken to an examining room. And this is usually where the big wait time begins, but today his vital signs were taken and then either a resident or fellow came in with the research nurse. They asked Woody questions and examined him and then lo and behold Dr. Sosman came in without the usual wait. The tech person had told us that he didn't seem to be behind today...but we didn't hold our breath!!! We were outside waiting on our car by 3:25 and our appointment time had been 3pm!
Everything is pretty much "same ol', same ol.' I think that again the doctors, etc. are pleased with how well Woody is doing. BUT because he is doing so well his next dose of the known chemo drug will be increased. This week will be another "free week" as in free from taking chemo drugs this cycle. Next Monday (Aug. 10) will be Day 1 of Cycle 2. At that time Woody will have lab work done, be given his first dose of the chemo drug and the study drug, see the doctor, wait around for more lab work, be given the caution bags of chemo drugs...and hopefully be sent on our way!
Woody got up early and went in to work as usual. He worked five hours before coming home to head off to Vanderbilt. He drove us to Melany's in Murfreesboro and she drove us the rest of the way.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day 21, cycle 1

A neighbor's tree
note the white object at its base

A very large fungus of some sort

It almost looks like a rose!

Woody got up early this morning. We both went to Sunday School. Woody has read and watched DVD's most of the afternoon and went to a youth Sunday School meeting in the late afternoon. I have cooked. I'm not sure what I was thinking about...planning several items in one week that take a long time to cook. Today seemed to be the day to make them...again...what was I thinking! I am still cooking (started cooking a little after noon)...well, not cooking at the moment (though there is something in the oven)...I am taking a break to do the blog...but there is more cooking to do when I get back downstairs. But...ONCE...everything is made I will have it "made in the shade" as far as cooking for the rest of the week...that is if I survive after today's cooking marathon!

We will go to Vanderbilt tomorrow afternoon. Woody has an appointment for labs and then an appointment with Dr. Sosman. The fact that the appointment times are mid-afternoon will probably mean a rather late day. Today is the three week point in his chemo drug study. Tomorrow is just another check-in day at chemo till cycle 2 which will start next Monday (Aug. 10). I'll report tomorrow night about tomorrow's appointment.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day 20, Cycle 1

Busy day! Woody got up early and went for a walk. He said that he "only" did an eight mile walk this time. Woody went to the library just prior to me leaving for a Sunday School class salad luncheon. When I got home the top picture was what I found left of the tree. Woody had gotten the last of the tree taken to the brush pile. So all that is left is part of the root.
We sat on the front porch for a while after I got home and then Woody said that he had better get back to mowing the yard. Now...this is the first time that he has ventured out to mow since he broke his arm in the bicycle accident back on Sept. 15 last year.
While he mowed the area in front of the little wooded area at the back of our house, I decided to venture into the "woods" and take a few pictures of all the tangled vines. It really is a pretty picturesque area. In some respects it looks like a Tarzan jungle...vines for him to swoop in on! Just a neat rather unique area that lies between our house and the road. I think that this is where the deer sleep. I know that Nathan and Graham startled a deer from this area early one morning.