Monday, November 30, 2009

Precious Moments

Woody got up early, went to work, came home to relax. We went on a short walk around the block before it got dark. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! The temperature had dropped and it was breezy. I have spent the day decorating for the moment we are in quite a mess! Last night Woody started pulling boxes out of our Christmas closet...trying to get to the two Christmas tree boxes...which, or course, are on the very bottom under tons of other now the office/school room is filled with boxes...but he got to the trees! But...what he was really looking for was our Precious Moments Nativity set. He was successful in finding those boxes last night before I went to bed I got the Nativity set up. The Precious Moments Nativity was what Woody missed last year when we didn't decorate.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cycle 5, Day 21

Woody started out his Sunday with about a four mile walk. We both went to Sunday School and taught our Sunday School classes. We came home and enjoyed Thanksgiving leftovers for lunch and then relaxed...Woody with football games, reading, and a with a nap mid-afternoon. I think that my adrenalin must have stopped flowing after a very busy last week! I rearranged the Fisher Price Nativity so I could take a picture of it to share here on the blog...after taking the pictures, I sat down in the chair across from it to ponder on it AND begin to think about attacking our Christmas thing I knew it was an hour later!

Pictured in this collage is the Fisher Price Nativity that I mentioned in yesterday's blog. The last picture is our 2-year-old granddaughter, Esther-Noel, pointing to the Reason for the Christmas season!
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

The party's over!

We really had a nice day with our children and grandchildren gathered here at our house. It was a busy day...starting out quite early...Woody and I got up before 6am to start the turkey cooking and then to get the other dishes prepared and the tables set. Melany, Wade, Erin and Alex arrived mid-morning. Nathan, Kathy, Graham, Abigail, Joy, Esther-Noel, Elijah and Kathy & Nathan's 6-year-old nephew, Emerson arrived closer to noon, as they were saying good-bye to Kathy's parents who had been here celebrating Thanksgiving with them. Nathan did "talk" Alex into blowing leaves before lunch...I think that Nathan used a sort of "Tom Sawyer method" to entice Alex to do it..."Hey, Alex, we have this neat leaf really need to try it out!" Or something like that! Well, it worked! And, once again our yard is blown clean of leaves...but for how long!? Melany carved the turkey. Wade mashed the potatoes. Woody sat with the younger children at the table in the kitchen. The rest of us ate in the dining room. Woody said that he was still a child...but...really sitting in the kitchen put him closer to seconds! After lunch, Woody sat to work doing the dishes, Melany cut the rest of the turkey off, I put away dishes, later Wade took over doing the dishes. After lunch, the children started putting out the Fisher Price Nativity scene, Wisemen set, and Inn set that we gave them last year. I had the coffee table all covered and the boxes awaiting them...and several noticed them when they came in and I told them that they could set it up after lunch. They enjoyed doing that...of course...we have a couple of sheep on top of buildings or trees and other objects in odd places...but they had fun and that is what matters. And, hopefully it got them thinking about the reason for Christmas! Last year Woody and I made the decision not to decorate for Christmas due to his broken arm...and, then, we were really glad that we had made that decision, when we learned about his melanoma the new children's nativity scene sets put Christmas in our home. I'll probably blog a picture of it during this Christmas season. Oh...and, Alex had so much "fun" blowing leaves before lunch that he did more later in the afternoon! Everyone was busy either playing or working or visiting!

Today I posted a picture of a nuthatch that Woody and I spotted yesterday on our walk...I guess I should say that we we heard him first peck, pecking away...and then spotted him. We both have realized that our "photography walks" have made us much more observant of our surroundings when we walk. We are sometimes amazed at all that we see (or hear).

At the moment, Woody and I are both ready to put our feet up and rest after our day of celebrating Thanksgiving with our family.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pie, anyone?

Pies are done...surely that means that the meal is finished...oh...guess that is only when one is eating and not cooking the meal! We have had a busy day and it isn't over yet! Woody took the Arizona package to the Post Office this morning. He has completed the vacuuming. I look back on the day and wonder what I have done...can't even think at the moment...but know that I have hardly sat down today. I have done some general picking up, some wash, some dusting, etc. Woody and I went on a nice walk this was a bit breezy and chilly...but so sunny that it was really nice. We found a place to sit down next to a pond and saw a lot of birds. It was a nice break in our busy day. After the walk, I finally decided that it was time to tackle the pie making. I have to get in the right mind-set to get started on making the pie crusts...but as you can see I managed to get them done...and even got the filling in them and got them baked too. (By the way, the pumpkin pies are made with pumpkin that we cooked and froze a while mistake that I made...forgot to get it out of the freezer yesterday. Thank goodness for microwaves!) The pies were my main cooking goal for today...but I also wanted to prepare things for the other dishes that I will be making in the getting celery, mushrooms, and onions sliced and chopped for the dressing...and the topping ready for the sweet potatoes...and...I have managed to get that done too. Besides vacuuming, Woody has read, watched football, washed dishes, etc. I'll just say that team work has gotten a lot accomplished today! Guess I'll head downstairs and check on Tom and decide what time I have to put him in the oven in the morning!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Over the River and Through the Woods...

Hope that everyone has had a wonderful and thankful Thanksgiving! We are still waiting for ours! Although, we didn't wait to be thankful...we are thankful every day!
Woody got up early this morning and headed out on his 12 mile walking route...a rather chilly morning...right around freezing...frost on the ground. Brrrrrrrrrrr! Glad that he left me home asleep! We have been busy cleaning and cooking today. Woody has been vacuuming for me. He also has followed behind my cooking messes and kept the dishes washed. I did manage to mop the kitchen do you suppose that I can keep it clean till Saturday?! I have met my cooking goals for today. Woody has gotten the wrapping paper on our Arizona gifts. Now I have to put the ribbon, trimmings, and name tags on them. He has found the box to put them all in to mail. I still have a little sewing to finish before we can seal up the package. When Woody wasn't helping me, he watched some football and read. He's watching a library DVD now. We didn't take a walk together got dark before I found a good stopping point.
Our feasts for the day...for lunch we finished up the Cream of Chicken Florentine Soup (a pot out of the refrigerator to make room for Thanksgiving food)...then for supper...PIZZA!
Tomorrow I'll be making our pumpkin and pecan pies and making preparations for the recipes that I'll be putting together Saturday morning.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cycle 5, Day 17 (One month till Christmas!)

I've been running around today "like a chicken (or should that be a turkey) with its head cut off." I decided that I would run errands and finish up the shopping for our Arizona package...and that is to get them wrapped so we can get them into a box and off to meet my goal of getting them to the Post Office on Friday! Along with that goal there are also preparations for our family Thanksgiving on Saturday...still have a couple of days to cook, wrap, clean, etc. Woody has told me that he will do the vacuuming ( old good to have him feel well enough to offer!). I spent quite a bit of time today undoing Graham's K'nex creations...their spot in the living room is needed for the Christmas the K'nex are going to have to find another spot in our house for a month or so.

Woody had a typical day...he got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, worked some more, came home to relax and to start enjoying the long weekend. He and I went to the library. I was about to run out of books and the library is closed till Saturday. He got some DVDs to occupy some of his time this weekend.

Wishing each of you a Happy Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for...hope that we take time tomorrow (and every day) to reflect on all the blessings that God has given us!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Things are humming around here!

I have been sewing/embroidering on my sewing machine just about all day...and, as I type the machine is still humming along! Nice to have one that sews by itself...except for changing thread...and, have I ever changed a lot of thread today! I have been making various and sundry thing that I'm trying to finish today is all the ornaments for family members for this year. The above picture shows one ornament in the making...but doesn't give enough away for anyone to figure out whose it will be! I even put in Christmas cd's to get me in the mood to "think Christmas!"

Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, worked some more, came home, took out the trash, and now is relaxing with TV and a book.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday, Monday

Another rather dreary, chilly day here in Middle Tennessee. Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, worked some more, came home, and has been relaxing. We did go on a walk before it got dark. It gets dark so early now that it is hard to find a time to walk any we just walked around the block. We were about half-way down the road that heads back to our house and we saw "frantic" waving from the window of the house at the end of the street...we "think" that we spotted Joy, Esther, Abigail, and Graham.

We got a phone call from one of Woody's research nurses at Vanderbilt today. She was calling to say that they had changed his next appointment day...they switched it to a Tuesday instead of Monday (still the 2nd week in December). We are to be there by 8am...looks like we will be getting up "dark and early" once again (well, Woody gets up at that time most days...just me that doesn't do well at "dark and early!"). All of Woody's appointments are now in the morning rather than so late in the afternoon...a good thing!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cycle 5, Day 14--Half-way Point

A rather lazy Sunday...after our rather busy Saturday! Woody taught Sunday School this morning...he taught the 6th, 7th, & 8th grade boys.
While we ate lunch, I told Woody a couple of goals that I have set for this was to get the Christmas gifts for Arizona wrapped and in the mail by Friday...he said that he would help, so he took on one of the tasks at hand (which I can't reveal because it is "tis the season" and it would give a really big hint to some of our blog readers). He also helped me find boxes for several gifts. We changed a light bulb know the jokes that go around about how many it takes to change a light bulb...well...this time for us it took two (ceiling fixture)! He has watched football and read. We didn't walk this afternoon as it was drizzly. I'm sure that Woody is looking forward to a short work week.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Food Science Day = Day with Graham!

What a fun day we have had! But...I definitely know that I'm not as young as I used to be! I had been wanting, for some time, to have a day of bread making, so Graham could see how yeast works...and today became that day. He came over around 9:30am and we got underway. We first watched a short movie clip that I found on YouTube about what yeast likes to eat. Then we got underway with making our bread. In the "waiting times" we did lots of other things. The hit of the day was mixing yeast, water and sugar and putting it in a soda pop bottle and then covering the top with a balloon. What fun he had watching the balloon inflate due to the carbon dioxide gas. During one of the breaks he ran home to check out the deer that his daddy had shot this morning. Then he hustled back to our house to finish the next step in the bread-making process. He kneaded the dough, watched the dough rise, punched down the dough, shaped the loaves, etc. it was definitely a hands-on science project! And, he found out that it takes a looooong time to finally get a loaf or two of bread! While the loaves cooled, Woody, Graham, and I went on a walk...they picked up aluminum cans to recycle, I took pictures, Graham crowed at the rooster, maaaaaaaaaed at the goats, and skipped along (most of the time ahead of us!). When we got home, we sampled one of the loaves (ours) and then he headed home with his whole loaf so he could share it with his family for their supper. He left with the promise that he could come back to have a bath at our house this evening (if he got permission from Mom and Dad)! That is where he happily is at the moment. He chose the pictures for tonight's collage and helped arrange them.

When Graham headed to his house for supper, I got back to making our soup of the day: Cream of Chicken Florentine...very good! Woody went to the library this morning, has watched a DVD, read, watched football, gave our front door its second coat of paint, and made Cranapple Crisp for our lunch dessert. Busy day for all of us! By the way, Graham and I made Pilgrims' Bread. It has corn meal, whole wheat, rye, and white flours in it. It is a good hearty loaf...appropriately named for this time of the year!
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Got my turkey! Have you?

Today has been a busy day for me...Grammy's Montessori school with two (2 and 4-year-old) and listening to reading with two (6 and 7-year-old) of our neighbor grandchildren plus I did our weekly grocery shopping (got our turkey). I was thankful that Woody was home when I got home from the grocery store to bring in the groceries...I had hoisted the turkey enough times...a pretty hefty bird! Joy was a help putting groceries away, too...she put the cookies in the cookie jar...pretty rough job...but someone had to do it and get rewarded after she finished!
Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, stopped at the Post Office and the fruit market on the way home from work, invited Joy in for some kids PBS programs when he got home, and has pretty much been relaxing since getting home. Joy relaxed so much that she fell asleep while sitting in the recliner with Goosey (Woody). I walked Graham home after he read to me, as he wanted to show me their newest aquarium acquisitions...three for him, one for Abigail, and one for Joy...and he can tell them apart! I had Nathan come over to the house with me so he could carry Joy home...and when we got there Goosey had his eyes closed along with Joy...he claims that he wasn't asleep...but...
The research nurse called today and left a message saying that Woody's next appointments at Vandy (2nd week in Dec.) really needed to be earlier in the day than they had made them (I thought they had been made too late in the day, since he needs to start taking the first dose of his chemo while there, and as early as possible, so he can get another dose in that night) at the moment we are to get there early...and they will work us in.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cycle 5, Day 11

Here's a picture of an imported nightmare! This is was imported from Japan in 1911 to control erosion and restore nitrogen-depleted soil. the warm, wet climate of the Southeast, Kudzu has run rampant...overgrowing forests, fields, buildings, etc. The picture on the right shows it taking over the hillside along the times taking on some rather strange and eerie shapes.

Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, worked some more, came home and has been relaxing...watching TV and reading this evening.

I called one of Woody's research nurses this morning to see what was going on with ALL the appointments that had been made. And...shock of all shocks...I didn't have to leave a message...the nurse I was trying to reach answered the phone herself! Each of the research nurses gave us their phone numbers to call if we needed to get in touch with them...but we hadn't needed to call before today. I couldn't believe the ease of getting in touch with her. Of course, I chose the wrong one of the research nurses, as she hadn't made the appointments, but she transferred me over to the correct nurse. There were extra appointments the extras will be cancelled. She also was able to get Woody's next CT scan scheduled on the same day that Woody is to see Dr. Ginger Holt for his next checkup on his upper left arm that she removed the Melanoma tumor from back in January. It will be good to "kill two birds with one stone!" So...hopefully...just two days of appointments at Vanderbilt in December...and those separated by several weeks.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cycle 5, Day 10

We see the above objects scattered along the roadside as we drive to Vanderbilt. They are Osage-oranges...the only use that I know for them is decoration...and, the place that I have seen them used is at Colonial Williamsburg in some of the Christmas wreaths.
On this chilly Middle Tennessee day, Woody has pretty much had a status quo day. He got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, worked some more, then came home to rest and relax. He's been reading and watching TV.
I have been checking to see if Vanderbilt appointments had been made for December. I found appointments posted today, but something doesn't look right...more appointments than I would expect...two days of appointments rather than one guess I'll be checking in with his research nurse to see what's happening for sure.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cycle 5, Day 9

It has been a rather chilly and damp day here in Middle Tennessee...I knew that the warmer temperatures, that we have been having, were going to leave us eventually. We have really had a very mild November so far...sort of spoils us!

Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, came home, and has been reading, watching TV, resting and relaxing since he got home.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Told you so!!!!!!!!!!!

I told you that in two days that you wouldn't be able to tell that our yard had been completely cleared of leaves. The top left picture is what our front yard looked like this morning...two days after it was totally cleaned off. For a while today it looked like it was raining leaves. I was able to capture a picture of some leaves as they were falling...bottom right picture. Nathan decided that he needs to blow leaves every few days to keep up with them so they don't get out of hand!!!!!! The picture at the top right shows him adding to the pile in the front of our house...and...Nathan is around 6'4"...the pile is getting higher. I thought that some of you, who don't have the amounts of leaves that we do, might be wondering why we are piling them out in front by our curb. Tullahoma has leaf trucks that come along periodically to sweep them up...think a very big vacuum! It's a way to get rid of leaves and not have to burn them...I will say that my allergies are glad for people not burning leaves!

Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, came home, invited Joy in to watch a show or two on PBS...later Graham and Abigail joined her. He watched the news and has been reading. I forgot to tell yesterday that he made another cranapple crisp. I'm about to go have my helping for tonight!
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cycle 5, Day 7

At 6pm Woody officially finished the pills for the 5th cycle of his chemo drug study. Now the rest of the month should be a piece of cake for him...well...I guess time will tell, but at least no more pills that he has to take! I have bagged up all the chemo pill bottles, as we have to take back to Vanderbilt, and also the diary sheet...that way they are out of Woody's sight and thus he won't have to think about them until we head back to Vanderbilt three weeks from tomorrow.

We both went to Sunday School this morning. He taught his 6th and 7th grade boys' class. We came home from church and Woody settled in for an afternoon and evening of football and reading. We did take a walk around our block at the half-time of one of the games.

Tonight's blog is a picture of one of the most beautiful trees in Tullahoma. It is a ginkgo tree. The top three pictures I took two weeks ago today and the bottom three I took this afternoon. It has ten trunks. This tree has a "feature" that we wish that all the trees in our yard had...once it starts dropping leaves, they will all be off in several days. As you can see the tree is almost bare of leaves. I wanted to take it without any cars so took it both times mid-afternoon on Sunday...the first time we had quite the time not having cars in the picture...folks kept driving up in cars to take pictures...imagine that! I didn't have quite the competition today that I did two weeks ago! As you can see, the ground is carpeted with yellow leaves.
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Leaves, leaves, leaves!

There was a whole lot of leaf rakin', blowin', and pilin' going on at the two Dorrell residences today...also all over the neighborhood. That pile that Woody is standing behind is absolutely huge...wide and long and tall...about lost a couple of grandchildren in it (just kidding!). Although, yesterday there was a cell phone lost in it. The pile that is pictured in the bottom left snakes along from in front of Nathan's house down to our driveway (well, there is a space where a car can seen at the top...the pile about hides the car! That's a lot of leaves!!!!!!!! Nathan is enjoying Woody's last year's Christmas present (a leaf blower)...but, it is still a tremendous amount of leaves and a LOT of work. And, the trouble is that in a couple of days the yards will be covered again...probably just in a you can see, some of the trees have just barely started losing their leaves! Woody raked a little up close to the house getting some leaves out of that garden. Graham and Abigail really got busy in their front yard...raking leaves onto a plastic sheet and then dragging them to the road. Kathy used the blower in their back yard while Nathan pulled big loads of leaves to the road on a plastic sheet. I guess most everyone except the very youngest and me worked a bit in the leaves. I did pick up some gardening tools and put them in the garage...and picked a few leaves out of a couple of my guess I had a "hand" in the leaves too! At a point the children "took a break" and proceeded to tunnel through the leaves in front of our was funny to see them disappear and then pop up again. I'll bet their bath water was dirty tonight! Joy and Graham came in to play for a while in our house. Graham was sneezing...wonder why!!!! Abigail went back to her house to clean her bike with my spray bottle (for misting flowers) and then came to pick up her brother and sister on the Barbie battery powered 4-wheeler! Been a lively day! Lots of work and lots of playing!

Woody really hasn't felt the best today. He got up early, had trouble taking his morning chemo pills but finally got them down (today he only had to take five in the morning instead of eleven!). He went to the library and got apples at the fruit market. He took care of Joy and Elijah while the rest of Nathan's family went on a short bike ride. He and I took a walk this afternoon. We walked around the perimeter (read that as a BIG block) of the neighborhood that is next to ours and also around our block. He has read, watched football and library DVDs this afternoon and evening, and just rested. And, he got his evening pills now he just has one more day of taking chemo pills for this cycle! I made another of our favorite soups this morning...Spicy Vegetable-Beef.
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Friday, November 13, 2009

Cycle 5, Day 5

This is a view from our front porch...the oaks are absolutely beautiful. But, boy, you should see the leaves...they have been raked and blown lots of times this Fall, but they keep falling and covering up the yard again and again and again! Some of the oaks won't drop their last leaf till the new ones come on in the Spring.

Woody once again didn't have the best night...he had trouble going to sleep. When he finally fell asleep, he only slept about four hours. He did say that his pain seems less this evening. He will (at least he says that he will) take pain pills if the pain interferes with his sleep.

He got up early, took two pills, went to work, took his 9 chemo drug pills, walked at lunch, came home, took 4 more chemo pills, and has relaxed the rest of the evening in his recliner. He just has two more days of taking pills for this cycle...Sunday evening, when he will be through taking them, can't come quickly enough for him!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cycle 5, Day 4

Woody got up early and started taking pills! He went to work, took more pills, didn't walk at lunch, came home, took more pills and has been relaxing and reading this evening. At this point in the day he has taken 18 pills. Tomorrow will end having to take so many pills for this cycle. He has taken a few extra pills today, as he has had some pain so took some Ibuprofen. He said that he had some trouble sleeping last night due to pain. I think that he is trying to lessen the pain before trying to get to sleep tonight.

I took the picture of this bull on one of our trips to and from Vanderbilt. When he looked at me, it looked like he only had one horn. Then when he turned away, I saw that the other horn was facing backwards.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Coming or Going?

Some days it is just hard to know if you are coming or going, as these two miniature donkeys illustrate!

Woody got up early, took two pills, went to work, took nine more pills, worked, walked at lunch, came home after work to relax, took four more pills a little while ago, and now has another day of taking drug study pills behind him for this fifth cycle. He told me that he took it easy on his walk at lunch today. He says he's not feeling bad...just not feeling exactly his best! This evening he has been reading and trying not to think about pills! I have filled in the blanks in his drug study diary for today and have his pills all ready for the morning.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Waiting...Watching...Wondering...Will he be zapped?

These turkey buzzards are just watching to see if Woody will be down for the count due to his Zometa treatment! But they were foiled...he has felt pretty good today...not at all like he did with the treatment last month. We saw this tree full of buzzards on our way to Vanderbilt yesterday. Quite a sight to see so many at once.

Woody got up early...though he overslept he slept well last night after his long day at Vanderbilt. He went to work, didn't walk at lunch due to the rain, came home and has relaxed for the rest of the evening. Ida's rains kept us from walking this evening.

He has managed to finish his 2nd day of pills for this 5th cycle...definitely not easy for him...but two days down!!!!

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Cycle 5, Day 1

It has been a very "Golden Day!" Both in the golden color outside and also in the golden moment inside Vanderbilt when we got good news from Woody's latest scan. All his "hot spots" of melanoma were stable except for one that had grown just the tiniest percentage. All his lab work looked good too. So...Dr. Sosman signed the papers for Woody to continue on to the fifth cycle of the chemo drug study.
We left home around 6:30am and Woody was signed in at Vanderbilt by 8:30am. And things started rolling right away. He had his lab work finished before his appointment time. He was called back to Dr. Sosman's inner waiting area prior to his appointment time. He saw Dr. Sosman right about the time of his appointment. He did have a needle biopsy of a place on his right calf that wasn't part of the expected appointments. Woody had tried to point this place out to Dr. Sosman at an appointment some time back, but at that time neither of them could find it. This time Dr. Sosman was able to find it and said that he would order a needle biopsy, if Woody was willing...which Woody was. It did hurt! But he survived! As soon as we were through with that, we headed to the chemo infusion area to get registered for his Zometa treatment. He was taken back quickly there...but then it took a very loooong time for the Zometa to get to Woody from the pharmacy. He took his anti-nausea pill around 12:15pm and took his first pills for day 1 of this cycle around 12:45pm, while he was in the "Zometa chair." He signed several forms for the research nurse also while waiting on the Zometa (forms were for possible reimbursement by the drug company for mileage). Finally the Zometa arrived and it got underway. We got away from the chemo infusion room about 1:30pm--the time we were supposed to be there for his Zometa treatment. Oh, and the protocol has changed for the fifth cycle...he no longer has to have lab work done an hour after taking the first chemo dose of the cycle. Nice to have that dropped from the regimen. It took a bit longer than usual to get our car...but we were underway for the trip home by 2pm. And, we got home around 4pm...we did stop several places to take pictures on the way home. The above picture being one of them. A lot of leaves have dropped...but it is still I said at the beginning of the blog...very golden!
Woody decided not to walk this has been a loooong day. But I decided to venture out and walk around the block on my we rarely see dogs on our block...well, would you believe...there was one tonight!!!!!!!!! The owner was there, but the dog still came out to greet me, much to my dismay. But I survived...but decided against my first walk around a second time!
Tomorrow night I will report on how he does with the Zometa treatment...hopefully he won't feel as zapped as he did the last time.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cycle 4 Completed!

This is day 28 of Cycle 4 of Woody's chemo drug four months behind to find out what is ahead for him! We will find our tomorrow what is in the immediate future. We will head out dark and early...although, since the time has changed, it won't be as dark as our trip four weeks ago...and, hopefully it won't be raining!

Today has been a pretty typical Sunday. We got up and went to Sunday School. Woody taught his 6th and 7th grade boys. We came home, changed clothes, ate some lunch, and then went on a walk through one of the near-by neighborhoods...not a long walk today. Woody has read and watched football most of the afternoon and evening.

I titled today's blog collage: "November Flowers." We took all these flower pictures yesterday on our long walk. The red rose was a bit of a challenge as the wind was blowing...I would get it in focus and it would move out of the picture. I finally got an almost sharp picture of the rose in the corner of the frame. We were surprised to see azaleas blooming in November...and also a bit surprised to see hydrangeas. So...take time to smell the November flowers!

I think that I have everything packed up that we need to take to Vanderbilt tomorrow...pill bottles, diary sheet, anti-nausea medicine...and then of course I have to have reading material to help pass the time (oh, and camera and lenses!). Woody's first appointment is at 8:55am (labs) and the last at 1:30 pm (Zometa treatment) with seeing Dr. Sosman and the research nurse/s sandwiched in between...and lots of waiting on lab results, pharmacy, etc. We hope to once again get to Vandy prior to the first appointment time to try to get "the show on the road!" I'll report tomorrow night as to how our day goes.
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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Busy, Beautiful Saturday

What a beautiful day it has been! This has been a really busy day for Woody. He got up at a reasonable time for a Saturday (6am...late rising for him!). He went downstairs and started preparing the vegetables for our vegetarian chili. He said that he enjoyed it so much two weeks ago that he wanted to have it again. When I got up, he turned the rest of the preparation over to me...he mainly wanted me to put in the spices. While the chili simmered, Woody went to the library. We had the chili for lunch...very good...probably only a one alarm chili this time! After lunch we went on a looooooooooooong walk. We both rested a bit after we got home...his toes hurt and my back hurt. Then, not long after we got home, Woody brought a can of paint to me to see if it was the paint for the front door. He primed the door (it's metal and rust spots were coming through the paint) and then after that dried he painted the front door. After he finished that, he asked for help...he had the tulip stencils for the mailbox and the number stencils. We had painted the mailbox some time back and had never finished the job of restenciling it. So I went out to help him with that job. So, once again we have blue tulips on the mailbox and the house number on the mailbox post. So if you want to come visit, you will be able to find us! Not long after he came in he started making cranapple crisp. I have been preparing for my next sewing project. I would say that this has been a very high energy day! He has done some relaxing...he has watched football and a library dvd and has read.

Today's collage shows a bit of what we saw on our walk...some leaves are fading, some are gone, some are on the ground, and some are still very vivid on the trees...grasshoppers abound...Woody found a rock and threw it in a stream to make concentric circles...dogs "greeted" us...then the top two pictures show a couple of Woody's industrious efforts after he came home from our long walk!
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 26

Friday has rolled around once again. As I said last Friday, time really seems to be flying by. Woody got up early as usual, went to work, walked at lunch, stopped at the fruit market to buy apples on his way home from work, and has been relaxing this evening. He's looking forward to a relaxing weekend. I did the grocery shopping today and that was my walk for the day!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 25

As I typed the day of this cycle, I realized how close Woody is to the end of the 4th month on this drug study. This past Monday's CT scan and this coming Monday's labs will determine if he will be continuing in this study. If the scan shows too much progression of the melanoma, it could mean a "show stopper" for this study. If his lab work is a bit off, then it could mean a delay like he had at the start of Cycle 4. We will know Monday what the verdict is as to whether Monday will be Day 1 of Cycle 5. I did just check the "My Health at Vanderbilt" site to see if the report from the CT scan was posted and it is not...which is what I expected. I will admit to being "anxious" to hear this prayer is that the melanoma continues to be checked...or better yet is shrinking! But as Woody continues to say...all he is praying for is "God's Will." Perhaps... I'm being too specific?

Woody got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, and came home to rest and relax. He and I did walk around the block before the sun went down...a bit chilly. We are supposed to have a freeze again tonight. Woody said that his knee has stopped bothering he is easing back into his walking.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 24

We pass this sign each time we take our "back road" route to and from Vanderbilt. I was finally able to capture it with the camera on Monday, so now I can share it on the blog. Great name for a farm!
Same ol', same ol' for Woody today...he got up early, went to work, walked at lunch, came home and relaxed. I took a short walk with Graham this afternoon, when we went to the library together...before we went into the library, we went to check on the beaver dam and pond.
We got our friendly automated call from Vanderbilt this evening reminding us of Woody's appointments this coming Monday.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 23

This is a sign that we saw on the way to Vanderbilt. We thought that it was a great that we hadn't seen I tried to capture the sign on our way home...which meant taking the picture from the opposite side of the highway, through the windshield, and in a moving car...but it is readable...and definitely worthy of contemplating!
Woody has had a pretty typical day. He got up early, headed to work, walked at lunch, came home, and has been relaxing. We are planning to go to the library in a little while, as we have both run out of reading material. We didn't walk this afternoon after Woody got home since he had walked at lunch.

Monday, November 2, 2009

In for the long haul!

Well, today we were in for the long "hall." This is the hall that connects Vanderbilt Hospital with The Vanderbilt Clinic. We make this long trek quite often. Walking the length of this hall twice was our walk for today.

Woody got up early, went to work for four hours, came home, and we headed off to Vanderbilt. We left in plenty of time to be able to stop and take pictures along the way. He did stop several times for me to take pictures, but we still arrived at Vanderbilt almost an hour ahead of his appointment. He checked in, we went back to the CT scan waiting room and it wasn't very long before he was called back to get ready for his IV. He was given the yucky drink to down. He then had to wait for 45 min. till they could do the scan. They called him back for the scan at 1:45pm (his appointment was for 1:40) and he was finished with the scan by 2pm and we were on the road by 2:20. There are times when it definitely pays to get to appointments early. We then took our time getting home stopping to take pictures along the way. I will be sharing them with you in the days to come.

I don't imagine that we will hear the results of this scan till next Monday when he goes back for labs, to see Dr. Sosman, have another Zometa treatment, and perhaps start on cycle 5, if all tests say "go." Next Monday will be a much fuller Vanderbilt day!

And...back to the title...we really are in this for "the long haul" whatever that may mean...and God is seeing us through it!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cycle 4, Day 21

Woody is 3/4 through with his fourth drug study cycle. Woody taught his Sunday School class this morning. We came home and ate lunch and Woody has read and watched football and baseball on TV. This afternoon Graham and Joy came over for a little while to play. Then Woody and I headed off in the car for a "tree picture taking drive." One of the trees in town that is just spectacular was in full color today. There's a plan for a blog picture of that tree in a few days.

We will head off to Vanderbilt in the late morning tomorrow. Woody's CT scan is scheduled for early afternoon. It "shouldn't" be a very long day at Vandy, since it is only for the scan...but one never knows! I'll fill you in on our day at Vandy in tomorrow's blog.
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