Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat!

Well, the last day of October is upon us. That means a time change...which means that we move an hour closer to my family in Arizona (AZ doesn't change time so part of the year we are two hours apart and part of the year we are only one hour apart.). And, hopefully, we will get an extra hour of sleep tonight. When we changed time in the Spring, Woody was in the hospital for Interleukin-2. Glad that is behind him and that we are home for this time change!

Woody didn't walk this morning, nor did we take a walk together today, due to his knee. It's better but he is trying to rest it. He got up and had the kitchen really neat and tidy by the time that I got up so that I could mess it up again when I made a pot of soup. I made Stuffed Spud Soup's a quick and easy soup...and I love it (Woody likes it too) those were my deciding factors (mainly the easy part!) in soup choice for this week. Woody went to the library and got more books and DVDs. He has spent the afternoon reading, watching football, and watching DVDs. I have been sewing...or at least getting ready to sew something. So a pretty calm and relaxing Saturday for us.

Tonight's picture shows the decorations on our dining room table. A couple of days ago I added the real pumpkin...the one that grew voluntarily in our compost did get orange enough to use for our Fall decorations! This is our first success with growing a pumpkin...and we did nothing!

Now I will post this before Trick or Treaters ring the doorbell again. So far we have had seven (make that nine!)...we never have very many.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 19--It's Friday...again!

I really can't believe that it is Friday once again. Time really seems to fly these days...sometimes that is good and other times not so great. I guess the thing that is the hardest to believe is that November will begin on Sunday. The year is quickly drawing to a close.

Woody got up early, went to work, didn't walk at lunch as he is still favoring his knee, stopped by the fruit market on his way home and got tomatoes and apples. He relaxed in his recliner for a while...until his back got to bothering him (pressure on his back in the scapula area hurts him at times--this is the area where Dr. Sosman did a needle biopsy that proved to be melanoma the first time that we saw him in December of last year.) Anyway, Woody suggested that we take a walk around the block. He said that he needed to get up and move around and get the pressure of the recliner off his back. He thought that his knee was doing better and that if we took a "careful" walk it would be okay. So we did take a walk around the block staying on level surfaces as much as possible. After he got back home, he put the heating pad on his knee.

We survived...or I guess I should say that our three youngest grandchildren survived our taking care of them last night with "only" one bloody lip! Esther (2) fell out of one of their recliners and hit her lip on the corner of an end table..."ouch!" She was very brave and Joy (4) helped us by getting one of the ice packs that they have stored in the freezer door for such occasions. Woody read them lots of stories. And, I got in some good "Elijah holding time." Nathan, Kathy, Graham, and Abigail enjoyed their night out. The play "Little House on the Prairie, the Musical" with Melissa Gilbert (Laura in the TV Little House series) playing Ma was definitely a hit for both the parents and the children. I got to hear about favorite parts from each of them today. Graham and Abigail told me how they made it look like there was a storm and a fire and also how they made it look like there were horses on stage when there weren't. Abigail got fascinated with the lights and seeing the dust particles in them! She also had to be convinced that Mary wasn't really she told me that Mary was "acting like she was blind."

We are looking forward to a relaxing weekend before Woody goes to Vanderbilt on Monday for a CT scan. For the first time, we have received no word about this appointment from either the nurses or from the automated Vanderbilt voice. I went online to make sure that the appointment had been made and it has...guess we will go without any prompting!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beaver Pond Reflections

Woody still has a gimpy knee so he didn't walk at lunch and we won't be walking this afternoon either. But I figure that we may get our exercise shortly. I'm posting early today, since we are heading next door to take care of Joy, Esther, and Elijah, while Nathan, Kathy, Graham, and Abigail go to see "Little House on the Prairie, The Musical."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 17

Once again, Woody got up early, went to work, and walked at lunch. When he came in the door after work, he mentioned that his knee was gimpy. He doesn't really remember when it started bothering him. But we didn't take a walk this evening, since he thought that he had better rest it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 16

Even less happening today than yesterday! It has rained a good portion of the day. Woody got up early, went to work, didn't get to walk at lunch due to the rain, came home and has rested and relaxed for the rest of the day. We didn't take a walk this evening due to the rain. Right now Woody and Graham are watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." And, it is still raining. Obviously this picture wasn't taken today! We snapped this tree when we started out on our walk on the Tullahoma Greenway on Sunday. Oops...I almost forgot...Woody did make another cranapple crisp this evening.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Another booooooring day!

Today has been pretty much a same ol', same ol' you can see above, even Storm, the kitty, thinks that our life is pretty boring! Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, was very busy at work, came home and we went on a walk. It was a pretty long walk--2+ miles. We were both glad to get home from the walk. We ate supper after we got home. We watched the news. Now I'm blogging and Woody is reading. That's about it for our boring life! But, as I have said before, we are quite happy for boring days! It has been another absolutely beautiful day.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 14 (half-way mark for this cycle)

What a glorious Sunday! The sun shone brightly, the leaves seemed to shimmer in the sunlight, and the Fall colors were magnificent. Woody and I both taught Sunday School this morning. We came home, changed clothes, ate some chili (still quite hot...I tamed mine with shredded cheese and sour cream!), then headed out for a walk on this beautiful Fall Sunday. We walked the Tullahoma walked at least 3 miles...of course, it is a slow three miles, as I keep stopping our progress to take pictures. The leaf photographed above seemed to have gotten caught on the rock rather than being swept down the stream...which was a good thing, as I had to change lenses to get a good close-up, and, if it had been in the flow of the creek, it wouldn't have still been there when I was ready to take its picture. We thought it very unique!
Woody rested after we got home...had one of his "feeling sleepy" times. He rested and relaxed watching football. He had a Youth Sunday School Teacher meeting this afternoon. He is now watching baseball. He's happy to have the TV back.
I started this blog more than an hour ago, but our doorbell rang when I had written just a couple of sentences. There were five little children and two parents at the door. Three of the children were dressed backwards and all shouted "trunk or treat" when Woody answered the door. They looked rather familiar so we let them in...and their treats were tangerines (with lots of seeds that several of the adults had to extract!). We did finally figure out that it was Nathan, Kathy, Graham, Abigail, Joy, Esther, and Elijah! They had been at church and stopped in to see us on their way home. Since they were dressed silly and won't be here on Halloween to go "trunk or treating" at our church they decided to "hit" us up tonight! We had a nice visit and now they have gone home to find their beds. They had been away for the weekend doing ministry gigs in TN and AL, so they will be glad to sleep in their own beds tonight.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 13

When we were walking a couple of days ago, I was trying to get a picture of these horses, but they decided to walk away. Woody whistled and all three looked back at the same time.
This has been a slightly different Saturday for Woody. He slept in a bit later than he usually does on Saturday, so he decided not to go for his normal early Saturday long walk. It was a bit drizzly at that time, too. So due to the time and the weather, he decided to make the chili that I had planned to make today. It is vegetarian chili and it has lots of veggies to prepare and also it has a long cooking time. I slept in a lot later than Woody did and not long after I got up the timer was ringing for it to be finished. The main problem with Woody making it is that when he doubled the recipe, he doubled everything including the cayenne pepper and the crushed red we have according to Woody a two-alarm chili (personally I think that it is more alarms!). After the chili was done, Woody headed to the library. Then he came home to read, watch a DVD and then football on TV. We walked around the block at halftime of one of the football games he was watching. For a while today, he had that sleepy feeling that he had yesterday. He just told me that he wasn't feeling that way at the moment. I think that he has had a pretty relaxing day.
I have sewn most of the day. I'm working on a Christmas present for Esther-Noel (2-year-old granddaughter). I'm making her a small quilt and have worked on piecing the top together today. And...that about wraps up our Saturday!

Friday, October 23, 2009

300th blog post...oh, my!

This is today's view from our back door. God has definitely been busy with His paint brush! Woody slept in a bit later than usual this morning...still headed off to work at his usual time...just didn't wake up as early as he usually does. He said that he has really felt sleepy this afternoon and evening...which surprises him since he got a better night's sleep last night than usual. I'm wondering if it could be due to his chemo...guess we will never know! Woody didn't walk at lunch today as it was still a bit drizzly. We did take a short walk after he got home this afternoon. After morning rains, it turned into a beautiful, rather warm afternoon...once again a bit humid. I'm trying to capture the beauty of the trees with my camera, when we take our walks. After we got home from our walk, Woody set to work peeling apples. He made our first cranapple crisp of the season. Yummy! He is looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 11

It has been another gorgeous day here in Middle Tennessee. Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, came home, and headed out to do some yard work. After he finished working in the yard, he came in and rested for a little while, and then we went on a walk around the block with Kathy, Abigail, Joy, Esther-Noel, and Elijah. Then he and I watched Joy, Esther and Elijah in their backyard, while Kathy and Abigail rode their bikes around the block. We have eaten supper and Woody has watched a bit of and the such. He is going to go over to read Abigail, Joy, and Esther bedtime stories this evening.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 10

This has pretty much been a status quo day for Woody. He walked at lunch, but we didn't walk this evening as I was working in the library at church. He raked and mowed some this afternoon. He has been reading and watching TV (or at least letting the TV be background noise) this evening.
We haven't gotten a call from the research nurse telling us the date and time of Woody's next CT scan, but I got online and found the appointment. It will be on Monday, November 2. And, then the next Monday he will see Dr. Sosman and also start the 5th cycle if his scan and lab work are such that the study will allow him to continue.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The leaves are falling!

It's a beautiful day here in Middle Tennessee. Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, came home, mowed a little, we went for a walk around the block, then he came in to WATCH the news on TV...something that he hasn't done in about three months. We finally found someone who would work on antennas and he came this afternoon and it seems that he found our problem and has fixed it. I'm sure that Woody will fill the rest of the evening with reading and watching TV.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 8

Posting a bit late tonight...have been having Internet connection problems. Woody got up early on this very cold morning (around 31 deg. F was our low for today) and headed into work, walked at lunch, came home and relaxed for a while, and then we went for about a mile walk...where we saw this rooster. Woody is a bit hoarse due to allergies today. He has spent the evening reading.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 7

What a beautiful day it has been here in Middle Tennessee...though a bit on the chilly side. We both taught Sunday School this morning. Then we came home, changed clothes, ate some soup, and then headed out for a walk. Tonight's blog collage shows what a wonderful day it was. We started out our walk checking on our got frosted on last night. Woody cut it after our walk, so now I will use it in our Fall decorations. The sky was that wonderful blue that it gets in the Fall (It looked even bluer since we hadn't seen it for quite a few days!). The trees are definitely getting prettier. Some flowers are lingering...we are due for a freeze tonight so some flowers will be gone tomorrow...some are already gone by as witnessed by the rose hips. This dog kept us company for a good part of our walk...hope that he found his way back home. Our walk was rather at the mid 40's with a pretty good breeze at times.

Woody made corn bread and I made chili this afternoon...really good on such a cool day. Our heat did come on this morning (with Woody's help). He is not usually the one who turns it on first. I think that he did it for me!

At 6pm Woody took the last of the pills for this drug study cycle. He now is ready for me to get all the pill bottles out of sight! This cycle we tried something new...I got all pills out for him...put them in a baggy if he was taking them to work...and I also filled out the drug study diary. That way Woody didn't have to think about the pills before or after he took them! He said that it did help..."some." All the empty pill bottles have to be taken back to Vandy with us when we go back for the start of the next drug cycle. This time the pharmacy did something different...they were all double we had to open two bottles in order to get to the pills...not sure why. I think that each pharmacist does it differently as they have never been bottled/bagged/labeled the same way twice. I now have to go and put all the bottles back together the way they came...and Woody is anxious for me to do that to get them out of he can forget about them for a few weeks!

This evening Woody isn't feeling the best. He has a sinus headache. He took a Sudafed to see if that would help.
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 6

Woody got up early this quite chilly morning and went for an eight mile walk. He took me to my all-day quilting event. Then he went to the library, ran errands, and after getting home he read and watched DVDs. AND, he took PILLS! That was his report to me when I asked him what he had done today while I was gone. Tomorrow is his last day to take pills for this cycle...for which he is very thankful!

There is a frost warning out for our area for tonight and then a freeze warning for tomorrow night. Guess we will be able to say "the frost is on the pumpkin" after tonight if the weather report comes true.

Friday, October 16, 2009


What happened to Fall? It has been very chilly all day. Here it is not even 7:30pm and it is already down to 43 deg. F. I can feel the chill even in the house today. It won't take many more chilly days for our heat to come on! It's hot tea weather for me! Woody walked at lunch in a drizzle and he said that it was a cold walk. The highlight of today for Woody was that this morning he took the last (for this cycle) of one of the chemo that subtracts six pills from his chemo regimen each morning. We didn't walk this evening as it was still drizzling and I'm trying to get ready to attend an all-day quilting "shindig" tomorrow. Woody seems to be faring pretty well so far this cycle...guess he would say "fair to middlin'."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Party Animals!

Big party in our neighborhood this evening. We celebrated Abigail's and Joy's birthdays. Joy turned four on Monday, and Abigail will be six on Saturday. Tonight was the birthday dinner and presents! The cupcakes and ice cream were a big hit, also. Fun all around!
Woody got up early and read for about an hour before he headed off to work. He walked at lunch and came home and relaxed and read till it was time for the party. We partied over at Nathan and Kathy's, and then Woody came home to relax and read in his recliner.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 3

Woody's day was almost back to normal today. He got up early as he usually does, went to work, didn't walk at lunch (it was drizzling so he decided to take it easy and work through lunch), came home and has had a relaxing evening reading. I spent the afternoon running errands and then stopped at the church to work in the library for a little while. We didn't walk this evening since it was already close to dark by the time I got home...probably a good idea for Woody to take it easy another day.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Zapped by Zometa

Zapped is how Woody describes how he has felt today. He just has that overall achy feeling that you get when you have the flu and a slight headache. Not the best of days! Yesterday, when Dr. Sosman asked him if he had had problems with Zometa before, Woody told him "no." I corrected him and said that he had felt very bad the day after Zometa. Woody said that he didn't remember. Today Woody told me that now he remembers how he felt after his first Zometa infusion! Even though he doesn't feel great, I don't think that he feels quite as bad this time as he did with the first infusion.

He did get up early and went to work and worked an 8-hour day. He did not walk at lunch, but rather sat back and closed his eyes for that time. He said that he only moved from his desk when he had to while he was at work today. When I called to check on him mid morning, he told me that he mainly just felt weak and had no energy. I think that he felt worse as the day went on, as I was finally able to convince him to take some Tylenol after he got home from work.

Normally only the first Zometa treatment makes you feel like you have the flu...but Woody's first dose was 8 months we are guessing that he is getting to experience two "first treatment" flu-like effects. From something Dr. Sosman said yesterday, I thought that he (Dr. S.) expected that this might be like a first treatment since it had been so long between first and second Zometa infusion.

Needless to say we didn't take a walk this evening. I can now report (I just went to check) that he has officially completed taking his chemo pills for Cycle 4, Day 2. (I think that it is even harder this go round for him to take his pills.)

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 1

Another long day...the alarm went off at 5am and Woody was already up. We left the house at 5:30am and arrived at Vanderbilt Clinic around 7:15am...we made very good time despite conditions--rainy and dark. The first appointment was at 7:40am for lab work. He was called in and was out before 7:40! took longer than usual as they didn't have the correct drug study vials. They started taking blood and realized that they were putting it in vials for the lab work the hour after Woody takes the chemo drugs. So they had to call around to get the correct vials. So they had to stick him again! Even with that confusion he was out before his scheduled time. It was a busy morning for drug studies for Dr. Sosman as there were four of his patients there at the same time. I think that we got there first as we got into a room first. Woody's blood platelet count had risen even higher he was good-to-go to start cycle 4. We saw Dr. Sosman briefly and Woody answered questions and filled out paper work for the drug study and then it was time to go back to the waiting room for more waiting...but before we got out of the room Dr. Sosman stuck his head back in the room and asked Woody about his Zometa treatments (bone strengthening treatment for cancer patients). We told him that Woody hadn't had a treatment since his first one which was prior to his IL-2 treatments back in February. So...Dr. Sosman told the nurse to set up a treatment for! And, after Dr. Sosman left the research nurse told Woody that the lab hadn't used the correct vials and that he would need to go back to the lab for his initial blood draw AGAIN!!!!!!!! So, if you are counting...that is three sticks so far! He went back for the lab work...then the research nurse took us to the Cancer infusion offices. Woody filled out the needed paper work and signed consent forms, etc. He was called back quickly there. Before the Zometa got started, Woody's chemo drugs arrived and he took those while hooked up but still waiting for the Zometa infusion. Then, it was watch the clock time...Zometa infusion doesn't take long...about 15 min. but it had to get to Woody from the pharmacy. And, Woody was to have blood drawn at noon for the follow up lab work after taking his chemo meds. And, it all went like clock-work...Woody got out of the infusion chair with just enough time to get back to the lab. At this point he has been stuck 4 times. The Zometa infusion nurse left the needle in so they could use that one...but that caused a problem in the lab and he had to be stuck he was stuck 5 times total today!!! Ouch!!! (The worst part, though, was getting the tape off from the infusion needle!) We were out waiting on our car by 12:15pm.

Since it wasn't raining in Nashville, we left Vanderbilt and went to Tennessee Bicentennial Park. The last time we had been there was shortly after it was dedicated in 1996. I took a few pictures some of which I have shared in tonight's blog (the collage is clickable so you can see the pictures larger). (That is Woody walking across the big map of TN.)The farmer's market is right next to the park so we walked through that, too. The walk in the park and through the market was our walk for today. On our way out of town we did stop and get a bite to eat. We then went on to Murfreesboro where we stopped at Toys R Us to get birthday presents for two of our granddaughters who have birthdays this week.

Happy Birthday, today, to Joy Charlotte who is sooooooo excited to have turned four! Abigail Grace will be just as excited to turn six on Saturday!

We got home around it has been a long day. Here's a prayer request...that Woody not have the problems that he had with the first Zometa treatment. The second is supposed to not bother the patient as much...but there has been such a long period of time between doses that his body might act like it was a first dose. And, Woody had flu-like achy feeling for a couple of days after the last infusion. Woody will be having Zometa treatments monthly at Vanderbilt...when we go for Dr. Sosman's monthly visit. He will be having scans in three weeks as that will be eight weeks since the last scan.
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Respite Day 6=Last Respite Day

This is one of our "friends" who watches when we make one of our walking loops through our neighborhood and the next neighborhood. might note that I put the word "friends" in quotes. I don't consider most dogs my friends, since I am very, very afraid of dogs. If I see a dog coming toward me, it is my inclination to turn around and head the other way as quickly as possible. Now, Woody on the other hand is not afraid of dogs and he says that he will protect me from any that are out and about...well...I "try" to trust that he will protect me from them...but...sometimes it is hard! This dog is always out on his driveway and never on a leash and there is no fence. He never comes towards us and he never barks at us. Woody and I have discussed him as we walk by and have wondered if this family has an "invisible fence." Well, yesterday I took his picture when I stopped to take the declining roses and just now when I was looking at yesterday's pictures on the computer screen I could see something on his collar...I'm pretty sure now that they have an invisible fence and I think that they also have "bark control." Anyway, guess I won't be afraid of this one as I pass in his territory...that is "maybe" I won't be afraid!
Woody has had a pretty busy day considering that it is Sunday. He got up early and took about a five mile walk. He did some of his wash and has put it away. He also made corn bread. We both taught Sunday School this morning. As soon as we got home, we changed clothes and went for a walk. We walked 3 +or- miles. After our walk, Woody read for a while and is now watching a library DVD. I have been sewing. Woody came upstairs a while ago to hang up some of his shirts and he asked me to come down and start the dishwasher when I wanted a break from my sewing. When I questioned him as to why...he said that he was in the mood to put dishes away and there weren't any clean ones to put away!!!!!!! I did go down and start the dishwasher shortly after we will see if he is still in the mood to put away dishes when the dishwasher is finished!
Tomorrow we will head to Vanderbilt dark and early. He will begin the 4th cycle of his chemo drug study. I'll report on how our day goes tomorrow evening.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Respite day 5

These last roses of Fall are still hanging on...but they are about the only thing hanging on these rose bushes...

We walk by these rose bushes fairly often on our short excursions from our house...each time there are less leaves...but there are roses hanging on to the very end of some of the stems...guess you could say these are VERY long stemmed roses!
Woody got up very early this morning (I wonder if he will ever learn to sleep in on a Saturday morning!) and went for an 8-mile walk. Later in the morning he went to the library. This afternoon and evening he has relaxed watching a DVD or two that he got at the library and has read. Late this afternoon we did take a short walk around our block and a block in the next subdivision. About the only thing that I accomplished today was to make one of our favorite soups: J. Hatheway's Italian Sausage Soup. Today was rather chilly...good day for soup...when we went for our walk this afternoon it was around 55 deg. F...a bit cooler than when Woody walked early this morning.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Respite Day 4...Good News!

I snapped this picture a second too late...the bee had been in the flower when I started to take the picture...I thought that I had missed him completely, but then found out when reviewing the pictures on the computer that I had captured him in flight. Woody is always wanting me to stop the motion on an insect's wings...well, I did at least for one of this bee's wings.

Woody got up early as usual...but this time he didn't head to work, instead he headed to Harton Hospital for lab work. He found out how efficient Vanderbilt is "most of the time" when compared to today's experience at Harton Hospital. It took him about 45 min. of being sent from place to place and then finally to the lab...once in the lab it only took about a minute. I was concerned about us hearing today before Vanderbilt offices shut down for the weekend...but that concern was for nothing. A little after 1pm a nurse called from Vanderbilt to say that Woody's platelet count was up to a normal point...the count had been 95 and was now up a bunch. So we will be heading to Vanderbilt on Monday for Woody to start on the 4th cycle of his chemo drug study.

After Woody's lab work, he headed to work, worked through lunch , stopped on the way home to get a hair cut, and then came home to relax.
Today is one of those days that you know that you live in Tennessee...very humid...very close...Woody called in the afternoon to make sure that I knew that we were under a tornado watch (conditions are right for a tornado)...I didn't know, but wasn't surprised due to the way the air felt when I was carrying in the groceries...after Woody got home we heard the town warning siren going off...that meant a tornado warning (tornado sighted somewhere in our county)...that warning siren went off another time a little later. When the first band of the storm got to us, the rain really hit with a vengeance...just came down in sheets. We had the power go out a couple of times...just long enough to mess up clocks and the microwave. Before the storm hit we were almost 80 deg.F and after the second band of the storm went through, the temperature fell to the mid 60's. REALLY felt like TN today. We didn't get to go on a walk tonight as the rains/storms kept coming through and we couldn't tell exactly when the next would hit.
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

By-gone days!

And, to think that this was the higher grade of gas too...I think that the lesser grade was something like 35.9cents! Ahhhhhhh for the good old days...especially when it comes to the price of gas!

This has been pretty much a same ol', same ol' day for Woody. He got up early, headed in to work, walked at lunch, and came home to relax after work.

Early tomorrow morning he will go to get labs done to see if his platelet count has risen enough for him to head back to Vanderbilt on Monday to start the 4th cycle!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Respite day 2

This is our "volunteer" pumpkin. It decided to grow in our compost pile. We always like these volunteer plants that decide to produce something for us. We had quite a few cherry tomato plants pop up in the compost pile that produced quite a bit. This is our only pumpkin...and you should have seen the wrapped all around the compost pile...lots of blooms...but only one pumpkin. It has started turning hopefully it will turn orange before it freezes!

We have had a beautiful day weather-wise. When Esther (2-year-old) went back home today after our school session, her comment was: "It's not raining." After Graham (7-year-old) read to me this afternoon, he decided that he would sew a little. He uses my older sewing machine from time to time. We set up the machine in front of the window in our guest room. Graham sat down to get the machine ready and looked out the window and said, "Isn't it a beautiful day!" Does it sound like it was good to see the sun shining once again?

Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, came home and relaxed after work. We took a short walk...just around the block this evening.

Vanderbilt called with the reminder of Woody's appointment for Monday...of course that "voice of Vanderbilt" doesn't know that though we confirmed we still might not be going if Woody's platelet count hasn't come back up. The research nurse who set up our appointment knows that Woody gets up early...she has made us the earliest appointments yet...we will be leaving at "dark and early" if we get to go.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another Rainy Evening in TN

We saw this on our drive to and from Vanderbilt yesterday and thought that this was a rather unique way to decorate a fence for Fall so stopped and snapped a picture on our way home.

Today has been rather typical for Woody. He got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, worked some more, came home and has relaxed. We did take a short walk in the rain.

One of Woody's research nurses called this morning to tell us that she had faxed orders to Harton for Woody to have blood work done there on Friday. He can go any time between 6am and 6pm so he plans to go before he heads to work. She also said that she was setting up appointments at Vandy for Woody for Monday...and will just cancel them if his blood platelet count hasn't risen by Friday.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Bump in the Road!

We laughingly took this picture yesterday, while we were on our walk...saying that we would file it away to use in the blog for "the next bump in the road." Never did I dream when I took it that I would be using it today. But...the drug study nurse came out after his lab work was done and told us that Woody wouldn't be starting the chemo drugs today as his blood platelet level had dropped below the allowable number for the drug study. The blood platelet count has to be 100 or above and Woody's was 95 (which is not seriously low). They expect that in the next couple of days it will have risen enough for him to start Cycle 4 next week. They are supposed to be calling in orders to Harton Hospital (our local hospital) for Woody to have blood work done there on Friday. Harton will (hopefully) get the results to Woody's Vanderbilt drug study team by Friday afternoon so they can call us and tell us whether he is to come in on Monday.

They explained that the way chemo works these days is when something like this happens due to the drugs being taken (and they are sure that is what caused the platelet count to drop) that they now let the body recover on its own without the drugs. They used to just keep on with the chemo...but often that just made matters worse and the chemo patient would just get sicker.

Woody feels fine. We were rather surprised by the were the nurses...they were expecting him to get started on the 4th cycle today...but a bump in the road occurred and we all will wait patiently till he can begin the next cycle. Dr. Sosman told us today that he had just seen a patient who they were still waiting to get him started on his 2nd cycle and it had been 8 weeks.

Woody and I got to talking on the way home. One of the comments made by the nurse was that perhaps the level would even be up by tomorrow...and that should have been "day one" after the last cycle since the last cycle started on a Tuesday due to Labor Day. So today was really "day 28" they should have made the appointment for tomorrow...and then "perhaps" the platelet count would have been ok to continue...well, no use speculating on that now...we will wait and see what Friday's lab work shows.

I asked Woody if he was disappointed in not being able to start cycle 4 today. He said that the main thing that he was disappointed in was having to make another trip to Vanderbilt next Monday! (Of course if his platelet count hasn't come up we won't be making the trip that day.)

FYI...the nurse explained that the platelets have to do with the clotting factor in our blood. Again, Woody's are not dangerously low...just below the level allowed to go on with the drug study till they are at 100 or more.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Harvest Moon

I took this picture last night on our walk...I am so glad that I is one night short of being THE harvest moon...but tonight it is raining and I can't get a picture of it. We were walking just at the perfect time last night...when it seemed to be at its largest...when it was closest to the horizon...yet we could see it above all the trees around here.
Today Woody and I went to Sunday School. He taught his sixth grade boys and gave them an object lesson using money...they really seemed to like it...especially when Woody gave them presidential gold dollars when they participated in the discussion! We came home from church, ate lunch, changed clothes, and headed out on a walk. It was sprinkling most of the time that we walked. Woody did take an umbrella that we used part of the time. We enjoyed hearing the rain on the umbrella. I took a few pictures...protecting my camera with a plastic bag and the umbrella between shots. We walked 2+ miles and I was ready to head home when we hit the half-way mark (probably before)! It wasn't my legs or my feet that made me wish for home...but my neck and back...I was very glad to get home. I flopped down on our bed and called Melany and after that a friend called I rested my back while talking. Not long after I talked with them, I must have dozed off as the next thing I knew I was waking up! Woody has read and watched a DVD after our walk (I can't vouch for whether he ever slept, since I was sleeping!). We are glad that we headed out on our walk when we did, as shortly after we got back the rain really settled in and it looks like it will be here for a while. I'm now enjoying hearing the rain on the roof as I type tonight's blog.

Tomorrow we head to Vanderbilt bright and early. We are going on how we did it last month, since we haven't heard a word from the research nurse. Our goal will be to get there before 10am so that the lab work can be done. Then it will be a waiting game for the lab work to be read (it usually takes two hours from labs being done to being read), doctor to review lab work report, chemo drugs to be ordered from the pharmacy, pharmacy to get drugs back to the doctor and then for them to call us back for Woody to take the chemo drugs and hand in paper work and the third cycle pill bottles. He can't eat anything and only drink water two hours prior to taking the medications and has to take anti-nausea medicine 30 min. prior to taking the chemo drugs. At some point he will be seen by the doctor and the research team. He will have to have more lab work done an hour after he has taken the chemo drugs. And...then we should be able to be on our way home.

I'll report tomorrow night on how our trip to Vandy goes.
And, now another harvest moon...this time an abstract! Something that I created by accident last night...but I thought it was pretty least worth adding at the end for a smile!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Three in one shot!

Look what we found on our mile walk through a nearby neighborhood this evening. Woody woke up really early this morning and started out before 3:30 for his Saturday morning walk of 12 miles. Later in the morning he went to the library. He also planted garlic and mowed some more. This afternoon and evening he has read and watched library DVDs. I made one of our favorite soups, Stuffed Spud...yum! I worked on library memorials and also tried to identify some of the wild flowers in pictures that I have taken. Just an all-around "exciting" day here in Middle TN!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

A blazing end to the week!

I took this picture several weeks ago when we were walking at sunset...doesn't it look like the clouds are on fire?! And, it is just the sun outlining the clouds...pretty neat effect!

Pretty much a typical Friday...Woody got up early and went to work, walked at lunch, worked some more, stopped at the local fruit market on the way home and bought some apples, mowed some more, and is now relaxing and reading. We didn't take a walk tonight as my weekly grocery shopping became my walk for today.

A lot of Tullahoma students and teachers are looking forward to a two-week Fall Break that started this afternoon. Our daughter and two oldest grandchildren are excited about their one-week break in the Rutherford County system that began today, also. The weather is delightful at least for the start of these breaks! Beautiful and crisp...definitely Fall is in the air!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Fiscal New Year!

Look what I discovered coming out from under a bush in front of our house today. Isn't he cute?! But they certainly do grow up to be rascally! Woody wanted to know how I knew that it was a baby squirrel (due to the close-up shots making him look big) so I showed him the picture that is on the top in the he could compare him to the size of our hose! Good thing that I decided not to zoom in for all the pictures or Woody probably wouldn't still believe me! I don't think that I have ever seen a squirrel this small in our yard least I don't remember seeing one. I know that he was scared, but he did so well...just kept creeping ever so slowly closer to a place that he could be more under cover...then he let out a high pitched he was calling for his mama! I went inside at that point since I knew that he was very distressed...didn't want to scare him further and I had some pictures so I was happy!

Woody went through his usual routine today, except that he mowed for about 1 1/2 hours after he came home...his exercise for today added to his walk at lunch. I went out to lunch with a friend. And after lunch, I wandered around in a cemetery that is across the street from where we ate. It was rather interesting...instead of rubbings, I took close-up shots of some of the interesting decorations on the headstones. Anyway, the cemetery walk was my exercise for the day!

We got our confirmation call from Vanderbilt last night reminding us of Woody's appointments on Monday. Woody's third cycle in the drug study is about to come to a close.
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