Monday, May 31, 2010

The Price of Freedom!

I made this "Price of Freedom" sampler some years ago. Its words summarize the meaning of the day: "The Price of Freedom Is Eternal Vigilance." We are very grateful for those who put their lives on the line to secure the many freedoms that we enjoy today in our country. And, may God continue to bless America!

Our family has had a really nice day. Melany, Wade, and Erin came to have lunch with all of us and to spend the afternoon here. All three families pitched in with food. Nathan grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and we had all the trimmings. We ate over at Nathan and Kathy's on their covered back porch...good thing that it was covered, as part way through the meal we had a rain shower. Woody had gone to get the watermelon and had to come back under an umbrella. After lunch the children played, Melany and Wade gardened for Woody and me...weeding, planting a couple of baby Crepe Myrtle trees, filling the bird feeder, etc., and Woody rested. After the yardwork, we started drifting back into our house. For a while the children were all at Kathy and Nathan's with Erin overseeing and the adults were at our house enjoying the quiet. This respite only lasted a short time, as the children very soon started arriving a couple at a time! Games and puzzles became the focus of the rest of the afternoon...Chinese Checkers, Chutes and Ladders, Cat and Mouse Trails puzzle, brain teaser puzzles, and the BIGGEST challenge of the day: Gordian's Knot Puzzle...Graham had started working on this some days ago and he brought it out to see if his daddy could get it apart. Nathan finally got one of the pieces off and then worked and worked to get the rest off and just couldn't...he handed it to Graham and about 15 seconds later all the pieces were apart! We are all hoping that Alex is having a great time at Space Camp...he was our missing person at today's family gathering! Elijah enjoyed the food at his first Memorial Day picnic...Goosey (Woody) was his official feeder at the picnic (in other words...Woody sat closest to Elijah!).

Woody got up early and walked his 12-mile the movie theater and back. He said that he was glad to rest when he got back home. After lunch, he did get to hurting pretty badly when he came home to rest from the festivities. He ended up taking some pain medication which made him sleep rather soundly while yardwork was being done...and he continued to snooze for a while after we came back inside...our talking didn't seem to bother him. Again, his pain isn't all over...just mainly in the scapular area...a very hard place to not put pressure...sometimes it is just about impossible for him to find a comfortable position to sit or lie down.

We are supposed to hear from NIH tomorrow to find out if we will be going back to Bethesda, MD next week.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Busy Sunday

We went to Sunday School this morning. Woody taught his 6th grade boys. Then we came home and I fixed our lunch. Then I got busy making the hamburger patties for tomorrow's lunch. Since we are going to be home, we will have Memorial Day lunch with Nathan and family. After lunch, Woody watched a DVD and worked on some crossword puzzles. Woody and I both took a short nap while we waited for Melany, Wade, and Erin to arrive. They took Alex to Space Camp in Huntsville, AL today and stopped by here on their way home. Erin will be an only child for almost a week. We visited with them for a couple of hours. Just before they left, Graham came over and asked me to come to an awards program at church tonight. So after Melany and family left, I headed to the church and watched the program and took pictures of Graham, Abigail and Joy getting their awards. This evening Woody has been trying to find a comfortable position to not put pressure on his shoulder blade. When I was downstairs just before coming upstairs to blog, that comfortable position was still alluding him.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Consider the lilies...

Woody got up early, but didn't go for his Saturday morning walk. Later in the morning, he went to the library and the grocery store. We had to have more groceries, since plans changed and now we are going to be here this coming week. I have done close to get up and go got up and went, when plans changed! I have managed to finish Graham's shirt which only consisted of cutting open buttonholes and sewing on buttons...but it is finished! He now has a purple shirt to match the rest of the family when they perform. I have started picking up the sewing mess downstairs (where I cut out patterns) and have made the first swipe through the kitchen in an attempt to clean it up. Woody has worked on crossword puzzles. I did pick up his puzzle book and plugged in a few words one of the times that I sat down in the family room to rest. Oh, and, I did make a run to the drugstore to pick up a couple of my prescriptions and give them the renewals I got from the doctor yesterday. Woody watched a baseball game on TV this afternoon and is now watching a DVD that he got at the library. He has been in quite a bit of pain today (left scapular area) . That about wraps up our exciting Saturday!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Change in plans!

We both got up early. Woody watched morning news programs and worked on crossword puzzles. I put a collar on Graham's shirt. Then a little after we 8am, we headed off to my doctor appointment...about 45min. to an hour away. It was good to see her. She had lived here in Tullahoma and gone to church with us and then moved away about a year ago and started up a practice in McMinnville. We chose to stay with her as our personal care physician since she knows our medical history. I have to go every six months for blood work due to some of the medications that I this was the day. I was in the doctor office less than an more travel time than doctor and lab time!

We had some storms this afternoon which kept me from my sewing machine so I ended up making a potato salad. As the afternoon wore on, we hadn't heard from the research nurse, so we decided that I would email the doctor. We needed to hear whether the appointments had gotten made. We knew that it was Memorial Day weekend and that a lot would be off and we needed to hear since we were planning on leaving Memorial Day morning. Just a few minutes after I emailed the doctor, we got a phone call from the research nurse. They had just gotten out of their weekly meeting and she was reporting that "things" have been put on hold for a little longer. The doctor who checks on the growth of Woody's cells said that they still weren't sure whether the cells could live on their own we need to hold off for at least another week. They will look at the cells again on Tuesday, June 1 and make the decision as to whether we will go the following week. So things are on hold till the week of June 7. The nurse is supposed to get back with us on Tuesday...and then perhaps travel plans will have to be made once again!

That meant that I had to figure out how to cancel hotel reservations at two different hotels. I did manage to do that and it didn't take quite as long as it did to get them made.

All this made me tired and I ended up taking a nap...reason that I'm a bit late for tonight's blog. Woody and I had planned to take a walk today, but the stormy weather made us change those plans, too.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Calmer day

Woody got up early, went to work, worked, walked at lunch, worked and then worked some more. Today is his last day to work a ten-hour day this he is off tomorrow. I'm sure that he is glad to have those long work days behind him and to have a really long weekend ahead of him...since he will be off next week due to going to NIH.

We should get an email from the NIH research nurse sometime tomorrow confirming Woody's appointments next Wednesday and Thursday. I certainly hope that they are confirmed, since we have hotel reservations...don't want to go through making them again!

I have sewed, cooked, and played for about an hour with the neighbor grandchildren...a much calmer day than yesterday.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rearranging Life!

The phone lines have been zinging between here and Maryland and other points in TN today. The research nurse called Woody at work to say that tentatively she has set up appointments for him starting at 7:30am this coming Wednesday, June 2, and they will end on Thursday, June 3, at 4pm. The tentative part is that the appointment people are off till Friday! The research nurse will email us on Friday confirming the appointments. Tentative or not, I had to get busy rearranging our lives! I had to make reservations for a hotel. In order to get the NIH special rate at the hotel that we stayed at before, I had to call to make the reservations. Well, at least the person spoke English! She found the rate right away, but...could only give us the rate for one of the nights. I wasn't happy about that so decided to hang up and consider where else we could stay. I talked to Woody and he said to at least make the reservation for that one phoned back...well, this fellow (still spoke English!) had problems finding the NIH rate...he "finally" did and then had to connect me to their special needs department as I needed the room to be feather free!!!!!!!!! The last time I was able to make the reservations online and get a good rate and a feather-free room...but not this time. The regular rate is more than twice the amount of the NIH rate so it is worth the hassle. I still could only get the one night. So then on to find another hotel that was close enough, but didn't cost two arms and two legs! I finally accomplished that and made that reservation online. Just getting hotel rooms took several hours.

My 6-month appointment with my regular doctor was coming up the middle of June and we're pretty sure that we will be away then. I could have postponed it...EXCEPT for renewals on my prescriptions. So I changed that appointment to Friday. I had an appointment to get my hair cut this coming Tuesday and we'll be traveling that day so had to change it. She was able to cut my hair today. I had been putting off getting groceries till I knew how long we would be here prior to our next trip to Maryland. So had to get groceries, too! Let's just say that my head is in a spin! I'm not good with having to make appointments and reservations...guess I should be getting better at it!

Woody got up early, went to work, worked, walked at lunch, and then worked some more and then some more...again worked a 10-hour day. He has been in quite a bit of pain this evening.

I have to tell a funny story on Woody (I forgot to tell it last night!). Since Woody was working late, I decided to empty all the wastebaskets and go on and empty them into the big garbage can and take it out to the curb, so Woody wouldn't have to do it after he came home. I noticed that his car was back, and that it was taking him quite a while to come inside, so I looked out the front door and realized that the garbage can wasn't at the curb. He had taken it around back...he's so used to taking it back when it is at the road, when he comes home, that he didn't think about what day it was! Oh, much for "trying" to help! He ended up making two trips with it last night, by me trying to help!

Just before I came to blog tonight, I looked at our email and the Vanderbilt research nurse checked in with us to see how things were going. I emailed her back to let her know the progress of things at NIH. I just heard the sound that we have email and it looks like it is a reply from her. So we are still in touch with Vanderbilt.

I'm hoping that life will be more settled tomorrow. Now to see if I can get started on Graham's shirt! I did get it cut out last night.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Waiting Game!

Woody got up early and headed into work. He worked another ten-hour day. He has seemed rather quiet this evening...he says that it is just being "male." But I "think" that he is tired and hurting. He did decide to take a pill to help ease his pain.

Today, I prepared a pattern to make Graham a shirt for their performances. I'm hoping to get it cut out tonight.

We didn't get a call from the research nurse at NIH today...the latest waiting game has started!

We are now settling in for a quiet evening. I'm looking forward to the finale of Dancing With the Stars. Woody will probably spend the evening working crossword puzzles.

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's the growing season...

... for both tomatoes and cells from Woody's tumor. I got a call from the NIH doctor a little before noon. He said that the cells that they want to grow have started growing. So now we are waiting for a call from the research nurse to set up an appointment for Woody to come have scans and lab work done. The doctor said that after those are done we will come home for about a week and then go back for the three week period.

Woody got up early, went to work, worked, walked at lunch, then worked some more and some he put in a 10-hour day today. The electricity is going to be out in his building on Friday so he plans to put in 10-hour days for four days this week and take Friday off. Seems strange to have him come home two hours later than usual.

I haven't felt the best today. I think that it is my Transverse Myelitis rearing its head due to a weather change. At first it was just my back that felt funny, but then it went to arms aching, etc. I checked and sure enough there was a change in the barometric was dropping. Weather forecast said that there is a chance of showers tomorrow...guess I feel them coming. So I have just taken it easy today. And, a good day to take it easy, as it has been hot here today...Weather Bug says that it reached 91 deg. F.

Now to wait for the nurse to call...hope that I will be able to report on that call tomorrow night.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day of Rest

Woody and I both taught our respective Sunday School classes this morning. Then we came home to rest and relax and have lunch. Woody completed a book that he checked out of the library yesterday. This is the first book that he has read in a while, as he can't concentrate enough to read when he is in pain. Both yesterday and today he did take pain pills which do ease his pain some what. After lunch I came upstairs to prepare to machine embroider a design on a top and I got to feeling very sleepy (as in...I was falling asleep in my sewing/desk chair) I decided to go lie down for a bit. Well, the next thing that I knew it was supper time. I kept trying to wake up...but my arms and legs felt like they had lead in them...and I just kept on sleeping...guess I needed the rest? Woody has been working crossword puzzles, reading, and watching TV this afternoon and evening. I don't know if he slept/dozed this afternoon or not...I couldn't look in on him and catch him snoozing like I usually do since I was sleeping! And, I'm sure that he would say that he hadn't, if I ask him now...and the reason that he doesn't admit it...he doesn't remember if he has slept!

We are supposed to hear from the NIH doctor tomorrow. He will report if cells have begun to grow from the tumor that was removed a little over two weeks ago.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Take time to smell the roses!

I guess you could say that this has been a very laid back day...some might even consider it a boring day. BUT if you live around here the word "boring" isn't allowed...ask our two oldest grandchildren (the ones who are more apt, due to their age, to say that they are bored!) what Grammy says if they say they are bored! I always tell them that if they are bored I will gladly find something for them to do (there's always some chore that can alleviate boredom!). It is only a very rare occasion that I feel bored...there's just so many things that I enjoy doing that I just plug one of those into my "down-time" and that eliminates boredom! And, sometimes I just like to do nothing...and that is pretty much what I have done today!

Woody was in quite a bit of pain this morning...he always has pain but sometimes it is less bearable than others...and this was one of those times. He finally did take some pain medicine. He had pretty much stopped taking pain medicine not long after he got home from his about two weeks. He said that he wasn't without pain during that time...but that it was bearable most of the time. Woody did go to the library this morning. After coming home, he watched a DVD or two. He is now watching a baseball game. He has been working crossword puzzles.

I have done a little planning to complete a sewing project that I started yesterday, a lot of talking on the phone: to my sister in AZ...she has either dislocated a toe or broken it (1st call), then the next call she told me about the scare they had had...that Mother (almost 98) might have had a stroke (she hadn't), then I have called several times to check on their situation (Mother is fine and Cheryl's toe is taped), I have talked sewing with a friend, and have talked to Melany. I went to the drugstore to pick up a prescription. I have taken a short nap. AND I'm supposed to be preparing a Sunday School lesson. Hmmmmmmmmmmm, and, when is life ever dull or boring around here?!?! When I read this paragraph, I'm not so sure about this being a laid back day, as I stated in the first sentence...but I haven't accomplished very much! Just need to FIND the time to stop and smell the roses!

Friday, May 21, 2010

A beautiful day in May!

Woody got up early, went to work, worked, walked at lunch, worked some more, then came home to rest and relax. We went on a walk not long after he got home. It was pretty warm when we weren't in the shade, but there was a nice breeze. I had been wanting to get a picture of a magnolia bloom...this one was quite high in the tree. They are such majestic blooms! After we got back from our walk, I made our I have to go down and clean up the kitchen...I was too tired to do it right after supper...maybe I have revived enough to do it now! Woody is watching TV and doing crossword puzzles.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bob, bob, bobbin' along!

We have had another pretty day...but storms are on their way, so think that I will blog before they arrive. Woody got up early, went to work, worked, walked at lunch, worked some more, then came home to rest and relax. Since coming home, Woody has watched TV and worked a crossword puzzle or two.

The children and I have had a "summer holiday" day. They have been coming in and out most of the day. I have had little princesses come to play tea party and roller bladers roll through, too. There has been a bit of top spinning and game playing and a snack here and there along the way. We even had a PBS TV party for a while. Just an all around fun day....they kept me guessing...I never knew what activity the doorbell would announce next!

Woody just announced that it is raining...I knew that rain, etc. was getting far just a quiet gentle rain, but it looks like we will have a line of thunder storms come through before it is all over.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mosquito time!

I went out to take the picture for tonight's blog and while taking these Gerber daisies, I was "attacked" by mosquitoes! I am glad that I had on a long sleeved it is I have bites on my wrist and hand. I knew that they were around, as they love feasting on our two littlest grandchildren, and I had noticed that they had "several" mosquito bite bumps. I have a feeling that we will have more than our share of mosquitoes this year due to all the rain that we have had.

Woody got up early (though he said that he must have slept a bit better than some nights, as he "overslept" a bit this morning), went to work, worked, walked at lunch, worked some more, and then came home to rest and relax. Four little ones cycled through this morning and did a bit of "summer" reading with me today. Then late afternoon, I went to the church library to work for a while.

It has been a beautiful day. Just a perfect temperature/weather day. The children told Nathan that he didn't have to work today...that he could just juggle, ride his unicycle, lasso, etc. all day long. He sort of that is his work! Happy Birthday, Nathan!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Birthday surprises!

Today has been full of lots of whispering and planning behind someone's back...someone whose birthday is really tomorrow...of course I went into the hospital on this date all those years ago. And, when I went into the hospital all those years ago, it wasn't because I was in labor...but because I was sick with a high temperature. We guess that it got too hot for Nathan, as he decided to be born three weeks early on May 19th in the wee hours of the morning. We decided to celebrate Nathan's birthday today because we have church tomorrow evening. I made Burrito Pie (burritos lasagna-style). Kathy made a salad and the cake and got the ice cream. Woody and I took the burrito casserole over to their house and had a nice meal together. After we ate, Nathan got to open his presents from the family. I do think that we managed to surprise him despite several "big" hints during the day.

Woody got up early, went to work, worked, walked at lunch, worked some more, and then came home to rest and relax before the party!

Yesterday, after I blogged, I checked our answering machine and we had a message from the doctor at NIH. He said that he had checked on cell growth...not any growth yet...but it was still too early to expect to see any. He was also checking to make sure that Woody was doing ok. He said that he would call us again this coming Monday.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday...all day!

What a beautiful day! It rained early and then cleared up with huge puffy clouds floating in the sky! Woody got up early, went to work, worked, walked at lunch, worked some more, and then came home to rest and relax.

I had a fun day doing school with four of the five neighbor grandchildren. We started out with Joy (4)...she had her reading lesson (reading lists of three letter phonetic words), then she counted to 100, and then did several math and reading papers. At the end I read a story to her. Then Esther (2) came over for her school time, She did her reading lesson (we are making three letter phonetic words with the movable alphabet). Then we went over the numbers and she traced the sandpaper numbers with her fingers. Then she did a color matching exercise. I read a story to Esther (the same one that I read to Joy!) By the time that I walked back over to their house, Abigail (6) was home from her speech class, so she came over to read to me. She read two stories out of her reading book. Then I read a story to her (the same one that I read to Joy and Esther!). It was about lunch time when I took Esther back home, so I told Graham that I would let him read to me sometime after lunch.

Almost immediately after Graham (8) finished lunch, he was ringing the doorbell...and had an exciting announcement to make: HE IS FINISHED WITH HIS SECOND GRADE SCHOOL WORK! Free for the summer!!! He came on in and I showed him the workbook that I had that was for the summer...a bridge between 2nd and 3rd grade. There is a page a day...each day a different subject...reading, language arts, math, social studies, science, etc. Well, he immediately got busy doing Day was reading...they had lots of suggested reading material for him to read over the summer. We got online to check to see if our local library had them...and they did have a lot of them. He made a bookmark to use when he is reading this summer...there are stickers provided in the he got interested in the stickers. He decided that he wanted to do more than one he ended up doing four day's worth! I just love it when children love to learn so much that it is fun for them...he no more saw this as more school work...but as FUN! FUN! FUN!

After Graham finished with those four pages, he headed home and I headed to the grocery week is all turned around now that I am going to the store at the first of the week instead of on Friday...going at the first of the week started last week, after we got home from NIH. I almost told one of my friends, when I saw her at the store, to have a good weekend! So I'm home from the grocery store...Woody helped me put away the groceries...and now I've is Dancing With the Stars! I'm heading downstairs to watch and relax! While we were putting the groceries away, Graham and Abigail paid us a visit and Abigail announced that SHE IS FINISHED WITH HER FIRST GRADE SCHOOL WORK! Lots to celebrate today!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Soggy Sunday

It has rained off and on all day...light at times and heavy at others. We got up and went to Sunday School. Woody taught his class. We came home and I made chicken salad for our lunch. Woody has worked on crossword puzzles and watched DVDs and he said...just stayed in out of the rain. I read...actually finished a book and then have picked up Woody's crossword puzzle book and have been working on it for the last hour or so...while he watches a movie.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mid-May Report

Woody got up this morning and headed out the door to do his eight-mile walk to Kroger and back. Later in the morning he went to the library. He has watched a dvd and some baseball and worked on cross word puzzles. This has been sort of a lazy day for me...I look back on it and realize that I didn't accomplish much. I did sit down and read for a while today (without falling asleep!). I headed out to do three errands and ended up only doing one as a storm was approaching. We mainly got thunder and lightning...but I just didn't want to get caught out in it. Graham spent some time over here this afternoon working on his K'nex roller coaster that is six feet long and three feet high. This coaster has taken Graham one step closer to his dream of our living room becoming a K'nex room! is a living room that is very much lived in and that is good!

Woody and I just returned from taking a short walk. It was very pleasant sitting beside a pond at our turn-around point. Woody spotted a bird up in a tree that I could never find...he's not sure what kind it was.

Woody did end up taking the steristrips off his surgical incision last no more tape. It is good that he took them off, as he was starting to have a reaction to the adhesive on those strips that acted as stitches for his incision. He is healing well. It doesn't seem possible that last week at this time we were nearing home from our second trip to NIH in Maryland.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Girl and Boy Cheese Sandwiches

There is a story behind the title of this blog. When Graham was first learning to talk, he stayed with us for a few days while his parents were away. I was trying to decide what we would have for lunch one day and asked him if he liked grilled cheese sandwiches. He, in no uncertain terms, told me that he liked "boy cheese" sandwiches and not "girl cheese" sandwiches. I will never forget when it finally dawned on me what he had said...good for a very big chuckle at the time! So that term has stuck...though, he now knows that they are grilled...we still have fun making "boy cheese" for the boys and "girl cheese" for the girls. I took care of Graham, Abigail, Joy, and Esther for most of the day today and we had "girl and boy cheese" sandwiches for lunch...along with fruit salad that they made...I gave them sections of an orange, slices of apple and part of a banana and they cut up the pieces to make their own fruit salad...this was Graham's activity that they all enjoyed...both the cutting and the eating! Graham spent most of the day working on a large K'nex roller coaster. The girls played with toys in the toy closet. Abigail and Graham also did some school work. AND, we read a LOT of fairy tales...the old fashioned kind from the fairy tale Childcraft book that dates back to my childhood. A busy, but fun, day! I will admit to being rather tired...I wonder why!

Woody got up early, went to work, worked, walked at lunch, worked some more, and then came home to help me with the children and to rest and relax. He has been working on cross word puzzles...I have been helping him...minimally! Woody's surgical wounds seem to be healing nicely...the steristrips are starting to come off and I think that it won't be long till we won't have to put a dressing on the drain wound. Then he will be free of tape! I had forgotten till the other night that he had had problems with an allergic reaction to tape at the time of his shoulder surgery. I think the sooner he is free of tape...the better...I'm sure that he will agree!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

One week after surgery!

Well, Woody's surgery was one week ago today. He is doing very well. His main issue with the surgery is with tape! He seems to have had a reaction to the tape that the surgeon put on the dressing after he removed the drain tubing. When I took that tape off last night, there were deep scratch-like markings under the tape and the place really hurt. I haven't checked today...that will come in a little while when I change the dressing. Woody got up early, went to work, worked, walked at lunch, worked some more, and then came home to rest and relax.

I keep forgetting to blog about the next possible NIH schedule...IF the cells begin growing. I had an email from the doctor at NIH the day before yesterday, telling us that he would be getting in touch with us in about two weeks. At that time, if the cells have started growing, then a time will be set up for Woody to come back for two days as an out patient...he will have an MRI, CT Scans, blood work, etc. to establish a baseline to use as a comparison on down the line during and after his treatments. At that visit, Woody will also sign the consent form to go on to the next phase in the study. Then we would come home and I guess wait for several more weeks while the cells continue to grow and then go back to MD. At that time Woody would be admitted into the hospital for about a three week stay. NOW all the above will happen only IF the cells GROW.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On Top of Spaghetti!

When I was trying to come up with a title for tonight's blog and mentioned the above title to Woody, he started singing the song in French! Woody got up early, went to work, worked, walked at lunch, worked some more, and then came home to rest and relax.

I actually woke up with a bit more energy than I have had since returning from Maryland. I finally attacked some of the wash that had accumulated due to the trip. Once I got a load of wash going, I decided that I would make spaghetti sauce for our supper. I usually make meat sauce...but for some reason I decided that I wanted meatballs this time. I hadn't made meatballs for our spaghetti in is so much easier to just make meat we decided some time ago that we like meat sauce better since we get meat in every bite. So this time I made meat sauce with half of the meat and then meatballs with the other half. By making the sauce this morning, all I had to do for supper was warm up the sauce, cook the spaghetti, and make a salad. I managed to get a couple of loads of clothes washed and dried before lunch. Then after I ate some lunch, I headed off to run an errand and then went to work in the church library. I worked on processing books for a couple of hours...and then my "steam" ran out. I headed home and took a nap till it was time to put the finishing touches on supper. And...we did enjoy our spaghetti with meat sauce and meatballs.

Shortly I will have to put on my nurse's hat and change the dressing on the place where the surgical drain had been...oh, boy...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's out!

Woody got his surgical drain removed this one step closer to healing. As Woody said, now that place can start to heal. Woody got up early, went to work, worked, left work a bit early for his doctor appointment, and came home to rest and relax. Woody said that getting the drain out wasn't too bad...just hurt a little bit. He's glad to be rid of the tubing. I'm glad not to have to empty the drain retention bulb and measure what was in it! One less nursing job for me. Since the doctor just put the new dressing on this afternoon, I won't have that nursing job to do evening free of nursing duties!

Monday, May 10, 2010

500th Blog post!

What a lot of words I have shared since that first blog entry on January 7, 2009...and what a lot has happened in those 16 months! Sort of makes my head spin!

Woody got up early, headed to work, worked, walked, worked some more, walked some more, worked some more and then came home to rest and relax. The reason that I put walk in there several times is that he walked about three times what he usually does when he walks just at lunch. He had several places that he had to go today while at work and he walked to all of them.

We have had quite the time getting an appointment to have Woody's surgical drain removed. The first attempt started around 7:30am and we didn't get the task accomplished till around 4:30pm...lots of phone calls, emails, etc. before he could get an appointment. It seems like I was either on the phone or waiting for a return call most of the day. He will have the drain removed tomorrow, as his surgeon at NIH wanted. There was a time today that I began to wonder if I was going to have to remove it! I know the 3 S's to remove it...but...very glad that we finally got an appointment for a surgeon to do it!

So here's to 500 blogs and to hope for reasons for 500+ more!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

It has been nice to be home this Mother's Day...I didn't expect to have the whole day at home. Woody said that I would thank him for the long drive yesterday, when we got to stay home and relax today. Woody taught his Sunday School class this morning. We ate lunch with Nathan, Kathy, Graham, Abigail, Joy, Esther, and Elijah. I have talked to Melany, Erin and Alex and to my mother and my sister. Graham came over to read to me and I read to him. So that about makes up my Mother's Day! I'm feeling the effects of the last week...rather tired.

Woody has done quite a bit of resting of his eyes today. He came home from Nathan and Kathy's to rest and the next thing he knew it was evening. So hopefully he has had some good healing rest today. In a bit I have to change the dressing on his drain and check his incision and empty the drain is not draining much at all so he should be able to have the drain removed either tomorrow or the next day.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


I'm too tired to post a picture on tonight's blog! Woody decided that we would make the whole trip in one day! And, he did the driving. Shhhhhhhhh...don't tell the doctors! But, Woody said that he was much more comfortable in a driving position than just sitting in the car and he wasn't taking pain medication. The trip was 650 miles! Not the longest trip that we have ever done in a day...but we haven't ever made such a long trip just a couple of days after Woody has had surgery. He really is feeling very well. He's having next to no pain (just itching) at the surgery site. His main pain is still in the scapular area of his left shoulder.

I was more than ready when we got home to just collapse as was Woody...but no go...we had to change the dressing on Woody's surgical site for the first time...oh, boy. By the way, Woody hates tape! We finally got the surgical bandage off. The wound doesn't look too bad. I would say that the scar is about three inches...but didn't measure it...didn't really look at it all that much...remember my calling wasn't to be a nurse! It is all covered up with steristrips that will come off on their own in the next week to ten days. After we got the bandage off, Woody took a shower. Then I had to cover just the drain site with a bandage...more tape...sorry Woody! So that is to collapse. Tomorrow is another day! Good to be home...I think!

Friday, May 7, 2010


Woody was dismissed from the hospital mid-afternoon. Once we got the ball rolling, it was easy to get out...once we finally found the doctor and he said that Woody was free to go...he was free to go...we just had to walk paper wheel chair ride!

We are now eating salads in the hotel restaurant, while I blog and Woody does a crossword puzzle.

I got instructions on removing dressings, cleaning wounds, emptying the drain, and the the three S's of removing the drain! I am NOT a nurse...would have never been my chosen profession...and it still isn't! This too will pass! I'm not sure if this is the "for better or worse" or "in sickness or in health" part of our marriage vows!

Woody is doing very well. I just hope that he isn't doing more than he should. Guess time will tell. We plan to leave in the morning...and get on down the road as far as possible...playing everything by ear.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

National Day of Prayer 2010

What a good day to have surgery...The National Day of Prayer! I had a collage all ready to post...that showed the National Day of Prayer gathering on NIH campus...but for some reason I couldn't get it to post. I also had a picture of Woody all ready for surgery...he will probably thank the computer for the glitch!

They took Woody back for surgery shortly after 8am and the doctor was back to report by 10am. He was awake very quickly. He only stayed a short time in the recovery room. At this point his main pain has been from his left scapular area and not from the surgical site. The tumor that they removed was about the size of an apricot. Due to the depth, they did have to put in a drain. Which, I guess, he comes home with...oh, boy!

I did go for a few minutes to the National Day of Prayer gathering...I guess there were a hundred or so people there. I was pleased to see a gathering on NIH government grounds! I only stayed for a little while...but it was planned to go on for several hours. The part I was there for wasn't exactly what I was more of a program (Christian groups and individuals singing)...not a prayer time.

It was a bit of a walk so I didn't stay long as I didn't want to leave Woody all that I headed back, stopped to get my lunch to take back to Woody's room. Mid-afternoon Woody decided that he wanted to go outside for a walk (above picture...shows part of his garb!) Don't you love his stockings. His nurse provided him with a robe to match his hospital gown...a very fashionable statement! It was a very pleasant afternoon for a walk...low humidity...sunny...breezy. The only problem was finding a shady bench to sit down on to rest...we did sit in a gazebo for a while on the grounds of the lodge where we were "supposed" to have stayed for a couple of nights. The social worker came by this afternoon to once again apologize for that confusion and to meet us in person.

I'm back at the hotel...again, eating soup and bread and blogging. Tonight I chose roasted tomato soup with garlic croutons...pretty good. They had ice in the ice machine, when I got I'm a happy camper. I will head upstairs and turn on the TV and have a cold ginger ale, when I am finished with the computer. Last night I watched a Senate Hearing on the budget for NIH...rather interesting!

I called Woody after I got back to the hotel and he told me that he had prayed with his roommate this evening. His roommate has lung cancer and is here getting chemo treatments over several days. Woody found out that he is a Catholic. And, thus ends our National Day of Prayer!

Woody will find out in the morning if he will be released tomorrow. We have reservations here at the hotel for tomorrow night, too...and will stay longer if necessary.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

I really didn't have a picture to go with tonight's blog decided to post a picture that I took at one of the Virginia rest's one that Woody really this picture is for him! I left him a little over an hour ago. He was waiting on his dinner to be delivered. I took the last shuttle leaving NIH for our left around 6:20. Got back to our hotel and headed up to our room. I went to get some ice so I could enjoy a cold ginger ale a little later...and what! NO ICE! Oh, well...I decided to come down to the lobby to use the wireless service that they provide here. I also arranged for a wake-up call in the morning...I will sleep better knowing that they will call. I will set the alarm, too. I decided to look at the menu in the restaurant that is off the lobby...I saw people using their laptops in here last night so decided to give it a try. So I am sitting here blogging and eating a bowl of minestrone soup and some delicious bread.

Woody is ensconced in his hospital room. It has taken most of the day to get everything done for the pre-op stuff. They would say..."go do this and then you will have free time." Well, we heard that several times before he really did have free time. We walked around the campus of NIH...Woody was trying to find the Metro station because we thought that was where the shuttle would drop me off in the morning...we did find it...but since getting back I have found out that the hotel shuttle will drop me off at the clinic/hospital building.

Woody is the first surgery in the morning...8am. He will be taken to the "holding area" between 7:15 and 7:30am. Luckily a shuttle leaves here at 6:30am and it only takes minutes to get from here to NIH. The nurse showed me where I was to go if I miss him in his room...I think that I will be still looking for him tomorrow night at this time if I have to go on my own! So I want to be there to follow him to wherever they take him! Then I will wait in the waiting room (they show me!).

I'll report tomorrow night as to how things go. We appreciate all the thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ensconced on Pooks Hill

We arrived at the National Institutes of Health a little after noon. We soon found out that they wouldn't admit Woody till tomorrow. So that meant a glitch in our plans (part of the adventure?)...can't stay at the lodge unless you have been admitted. (lesson learned: don't listen to the doctor except for medical things! The doctor is the person who said to get admitted today--so we could stay at the lodge. Of course, I had mentioned what the doctor had said to the social worker prior to her making our reservations at the lodge...but guess she didn't "totally" clue in...I guess.) After we had been there a while, "our" social worker did call us...then she made a few calls..."no go" for the lodge...she also checked with the hotel that we had reservations with for later in the week and they did have a room for us. So we are ensconced at the hotel on Pooks Hill.

We traveled about 190 miles today. We started out in a pretty thick fog, but it lifted rapidly and the rest of the ride was uneventful...even the beltway wasn't as harrowing as last week, since it wasn't one of the rush hours. And, because we had been here before we found everything very easily.

Woody was pretty happy to settle into our hotel room...a bit of a long day for him. He is busy doing crossword puzzles. He and I have parted ways! I am on Eastern time and he is still on Central time! I am blogging from the lobby...where they have free wi-fi.

Tomorrow is pre-op day and he'll be admitted into the hospital.

Tonight's blog picture is a view from one of the rest stops in Virginia.

Monday, May 3, 2010

On the road again!

Well, at the moment we are stopped for the night. We are in Lexington, VA. We started out this morning around 6:15 (central time) and stopped around 4:15 pm (Central time)...though we are now on Eastern time...we change to eastern time so quickly on this trip as we live so close to the eastern edge of the Central time zone. We have traveled 460+ miles today. We have had good weather for the whole trip. We did start out in be expected after all our rain. The area of TN that we traveled in today didn't show signs of the flooding that is happening in the Nashville and surrounding areas.

At the last rest stop in TN there were several beds of iris...Tennessee's state flower...tonight's picture.

After we got things brought into our room, we took a short get the kinks out after a long day in the car.

We'll get up in the morning and eat breakfast here at the hotel and then check out and head on down the road. We are to go to NIH and get Woody admitted and check out several things that I need to know about the shuttles, etc. and when the time is appropriate we will check in at the Safra Lodge for tomorrow night. I'll be blogging from the National Institutes of Health campus tomorrow night...the good Lord willing!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

All packed...

...and pretty much ready to head out in the morning. Woody and I went to Sunday School this morning. Woody taught his class. I spent the rest of the day trying to get ready for the trip. I still have the last minute things to add to the suitcases the computer that I'm using right now. But things are pretty much ready to go. I'm posting a bit late as I wanted to be able to say that we were packed.

We have had rain again today. My prayer is that the roads that we take aren't ones that have flooded or in flood zones! The entire part of TN that we are going through are under flood warnings. Melany called a little while ago and the schools in her county are closed due to all the flooding in her area. From what I understand a lot of school districts are closed tomorrow.

I'll blog tomorrow evening after we have stopped our driving for the day...hopefully I can say that we are half-way or better. The trip to Bethesda, MD is close to a total of 700 miles.

I hear the rain starting up here, again.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day! May Day!

May has come in like a lion...oh, that saying goes with March and not May. But it was true for May 1, none the less. We've had the storm warning sirens go off, due to us having a tornado warning. At the moment, that threat has passed us by. But more storms to come...I think.

Woody got up early and walked his 8 mile route. He mowed a little before the rains started. He has spent the rest of the day watching it rain! This morning I made a breakfast casserole to take to the brunch that my Sunday School class was having. I enjoyed good fellowship and good food!

I borrowed some suitcases from Nathan and Kathy...they are lighter and a bit easier to maneuver than ours. I've got our wash to get motivated to pack. Every time that I think about packing I get overwhelmingly tired! I was packing last week at this time...I'm just not ready to begin again! Woody just said that I should let him pack...I think not! I have managed to find Woody's Living Will and Power of Attorney...guess they will probably ask for that at the hospital since he is having surgery. I'm trying to remember everything that we need and not take a lot of things that we won't. I'm not known for being able to pack lightly...but trying hard to do better!

Our neighbors (aka Nathan, Kathy and family) came over for a while and brought us some treats to take on our trip.