Monday, June 30, 2014

Last Day of June

Woody walked four miles early this morning.  Look who I got to do my dirty work!  Isaac stayed over at our house a good part of the morning so I decided to put him to work!  He really likes to use our vacuum...especially under the bed.  Got that cleaning job done!  He also vacuumed some in the school room  and then he said that he wanted to vacuum the upstairs guest bathroom (called the Bear it is decorated with Bears). Then he helped Woody spray paint the front door. It looks like vandals have sprayed white paint on it.  Woody was spraying it with the paint that keeps rust from coming through before he paints it blue again.  Nathan came over concerned as he thought that someone had painted graffiti on our door!  So you know that it looks lovely!  I made another yummy green bean recipe for our supper tonight.  We are really enjoying the beans that my friend gave us.  A few minutes ago there was a little knock at our door.  It was three of our grandchildren...selling green beans!  Joy's bean plants that she and Goosey (Woody) planted are producing more green beans!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday Doings

 It has been a rather busy Saturday.  Woody got up early and walked four miles.  Later in the morning he went to the library and also his weekly trip to Walmart for groceries.  Before he left I had him help me move a couple of heavy things in the bedroom so I would be able to wash the other window.  Just as I opened the window it began to rain so I had to close them up for a while till the rain passed.  While I was waiting I got the curtains into the drier to spin around on the air cycle to get the dust out of them.  Once I got the windows washed and the curtains back up, I had Woody move the heavy pieces back in place.  So our room is getting cleaner...pretty clean now...except for the closet (another time!) and I should vacuum under the bed...but I just don't have the energy to pull out what the few things that are under there...again another day.  After I got the bedroom finished.  I headed downstairs to make a marinated salad.  It has fresh green beans in it and one of my friends gave me a BIG bag of green beans so I wanted to make that salad.  I got it put together and into the refrigerator.  Then I loaded up the dishwasher and got it going.  And, that is about the time that my energy ran out for the day!  The recliner has looked pretty good since then.  I have a good book to read and every once in a while I do a Sudoku puzzle on my iPad.  I have also messaged back and forth with my niece.  She is off for a weekend in the Grand Canyon area with her kids and my I have been checking up on them!  The last I heard from them they were at Bearazona...hope that the bears haven't gotten them!

Tonight's photos were taken in Sea Lion Sound at the St. Louis Zoo.  It is a really neat tunnel that goes through where the sea lions swim...pretty neat to have them swim right over you.  The top picture is right as we entered the tunnel.  Woody is in the white shirt.  In the photo on the left you can see the people who have left the tunnel and are still looking at the sea lions swimming.  Where those people are standing are where I was standing when I took the picture on the right. The sea lions love to swim upside down as shown in the picture on the left.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Findings!

Look what I discovered on the light pole that is on the street in between our house and Nathan and Kathy's.  The hole that you are looking at, I believe, is their nest and I think that perhaps there might be a family in there as they spent the whole day coming and going.  This is waaaaaaaaaay up in the air at the very tip top of the pole.  I used the extra zoom strength on my camera lens.  I have been seeing a red headed woodpecker every so often on the pole lately, but only today discovered that they might be living there.  They are beautiful birds!  I managed to take several pictures, but in the meanwhile I got eaten up by mosquitoes once again. My sister told me to rub vinegar on my legs and arms...I decided to try, but it didn't least "our" mosquitoes weren't repelled by it.

Woody walked four miles early this morning.  He did some more mowing again today.  He also ran several errands after lunch. Today I continued cleaning our bedroom.  I decided to tackle the windows.  We have the easy to clean windows...but it still isn't totally easy, as the curtains have to come down.  And...if the curtains are down then they need to be run through the drier on the air cycle to get some dust out of them.  I also am trying to correct a problem with the way they worked on that too.  I only got one window washed and curtains back up.  I guess tomorrow I will tackle the other window.  I got a bit distracted from my window task due to discovering the woodpeckers.  So took several picture breaks which made the window task take longer. Supper was easy tonight as we had left over goulash from last night...even better the second go-round!  A friend dropped by a little while ago with some books for our church library and we had a nice time chatting.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thursday...all day

Woody got up really early and walked twelve miles...makes me tired just thinking about walking that far!  That's the first time in a while that he has walked that much at one time.  I guess the Galapagos tortoise is a good picture for today as Woody got to find worms and feed Elijah's turtles.  Woody said that the baby snapping turtle really attacked the worm that he dropped in for him.  I don't think that the box turtles are quite so aggressive.  Woody also did some work in the yard today...some mowing...until a rain shower ended that endeavor.

I decided that today was the day that I needed to try to reclaim the house from so much dust, dirt and grime! I just haven't felt much like cleaning lately and it is beginning to show.  I worked on our bedroom...vacuuming and dusting.  So far my allergies/coughing aren't much worse than when I started.  Often it is better for my allergies to just let the dust stay where it is rather than dusting and stirring it up!  I did use the dusting attachment on the vacuum first trying to keep the dust going back into the air at a minimum.  I'm still not done, but it is cleaner than it was when I got up this morning.  I also made us a "concoction" for supper...trying to make something that my mother used to make...goulash (noodles, hamburger, tomatoes, corn).  It ended up tasting pretty good...not exactly like mothers but was tasty and an easy top of the stove meal.  I'm waiting for 8pm to finish part of my cleaning.  I have an antique handmade runner on my dresser and it needed to be hand-washed.  I'm waiting to iron it till 8pm like the electric company has asked us to...we aren't supposed to use items that are high electricity users between noon and 8pm during the summer months...the high peak usage times..trying to comply. Once I have that pressed, then I will be able to get the things off our bed that go back on top of the dresser.  Woody has been down in the kitchen cleaning up the mess from my cooking concoction.  And, that about sums up our Thursday.  Oh, I meant to end last night's blog with a reminder that Christmas is just six months away...tonight it is one day less than six months away!  Can you believe it???

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"Normal" Wednesday

There were lots of baby animals at the zoo.  Tonight's photos show African Antelopes: Bongos. Isn't the baby precious!!!

Our day settled back to being somewhat "normal."  We did the things that we normally do on Wednesday.  Woody walked six miles this morning.  After lunch, he headed off to do his Krogering and I headed off to work in the church library.  That about sums up our day!  Pretty low key around here.  I think that I am still recovering from our weekend trip and yesterday's trip...going at "things" pretty slowly and not accomplishing much...but it looks like we have made it through another day.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

There and Back!

Woody walked four miles early this morning.  Then mid morning we headed off to Nashville for his appointments at Vanderbilt.  Everything went like clockwork.  He was finished with his labwork five minutes after his appointment time.  We were called in pretty quickly to the clinic and taken to an exam room right only two waiting rooms this time.  The nurse practitioner came in pretty close to the appointment time.  She spent quite a bit of time with us going over his scans, etc. They see quite a few places (hot spots on the PET scan) that indicate metastatic melanoma (recurring melanoma).  All are very small and all are subcutaneous (just under the skin).  There are a couple of places that do show up on his shoulder where he had surgery and now has a plate...not sure it it is the hardware or if it is melanoma that was showing in that place.  Also the place that was radiated on his leg continues to show quite brightly...again can't tell if it is just due to the radiation or if there is still melanoma there.  We got to see some of the images from the PET scan...pretty interesting.  And, his brain MRI was clear.  He will go back in three weeks for more lab work, see Dr. Sosman and have his first Ipilimumab infusion (I will learn the name that it is now called eventually).  I just got the spelling down for Ipilimumab and now they are calling it by whatever the drug company has named it.    The infusion takes 90 min. and then they have him wait around for an hour to make sure that he doesn't have any reactions to it.  We left Vandy a little before 2:30pm and headed down the road a piece.  We decided that we would stop and have a late lunch.  We were heading for Olive Gardens but we saw a Steak and Shake and it called out names!  Plus we were at the time when their shakes are half Woody was happy with another strawberry shake and a hamburger and I was very happy with a hamburger and their yummy fries.  We were back home a little after gone from the house around 7 hours.  Even though things went like clock still takes a big chunk out of ones day...what with travel time added in.  We're glad to be home...again!  Smiling a little like this hyena!  I told Melany about the hyena just standing and posing and staring at me...and she said that he was thinking about eating me!   He wasn't laughing so maybe that was exactly what he was thinking!  But, whatever the reason, I appreciate that he did such a good job of posing for me!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Home from MO!

Woody seems to have had an enjoyable time at his reunion.  He said that he talked the whole evening (a phenomenon in and of itself!) with folk from his past.  He ended up having to drive back to the hotel in really torrential rain.

We got up yesterday morning, ate breakfast at the hotel, and headed out for the zoo.  As we got nearer to the zoo the darker and more threatening the sky became.  It started raining pretty hard just a little before we got there.  We parked and waited it out till there was a let up in the rain.

Here's the view of the zoo from the car when we first parked!
If you get to the zoo early enough you can
park free along the side of the road...we were parked
 quite close to the entrance.

Here's the duck that I attempted to take a picture
 of in the rain...first animal I saw on our trip to the zoo!

Woody read and I tried to take pictures of ducks out my side window!  When it finally let up a bit, we headed toward the entrance.  That entrance happened to be one that takes you into a large building that houses a gift shop, etc. so we could stand around and stay dry...which was a good thing as it began pouring again.  Once it let up again we headed to the nearest animal area that was covered which happened to be the we looked at various creepy crawlies for a while and went into the butterfly dome.  When we came out the rain had finally stopped and we were able to go on with our zoo visit with no more rain...the only things wet were the benches so a bit hard to stop and rest weary bones and/or change a lens or battery.  A lot of the animals were holed up due to the rains so some we didn't see, but I managed to take quite a few pictures and got some that are good enough to share! Some of the animals actually posed, as the zebra did in tonight's blog photo.  We spent 3 1/2 hours at the zoo and then headed on down the road towards home.  We stopped in IL at a Steak and Shake (mmmmmmmmmmm!) and had lunch...a popular place obviously, as we had a bit of a wait...we rarely go out to eat on Sunday so we don't know much about the after church crowds! But the wait was worth it.  I had a yummy hamburger and Woody really enjoyed his Strawberry shake (he said that it was the best of the shakes that he had had on this trip).  Then we got back on the road.  We got home around 7pm with no rain except on our way to and while at the zoo.

I have done absolutely nothing today...except go through pictures and pull the best into one place on the computer so Woody could look at a "slide show." I have dozed off several times and took a rather long nap this afternoon.  Woody seems less affected by the trip than I.  He got back into routine and walked his four-mile route this morning.

As I type this I am hearing rumbles of thunder in the storms rolling our way...or so it sounds.
Tomorrow we will be "on the road again" heading to Vanderbilt.  He will have his baseline lab work done and see Dr. Sosman's nurse practitioner in the clinic.  Hopefully these won't be long appointments...but one never knows with Vanderbilt appointments.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

50 Year High School Reunion Night

It is Woody's 50 year high school reunion tonight.  He should be well into eating and catching up as I type this.  I am here in the hotel room watching a storm blow in!  Looks like it may be quite a storm...lots of  strong wind and lots of far...supposed to be rain and perhaps hail also.  Hopefully I'm safe here in the hotel and Woody is safe in the banquet hall.

We had an uneventful travel day.  We left home around 5:30am.  We ate lunch in Illinois close to the MO border.  Then we came on into St. Louis and stopped for dessert at Ted Drewe's Frozen Custard Stand.  It has been in the same spot for 75 years...and they have lots of yummy flavors.  I had a Cardinal Sin Concrete...fudge and tart cherries...named for the St. Louis Cardinals.  A concrete is a big cup of very thick frozen custard.  Now Woody just had a favorite...a strawberry shake...he wasn't very adventurous with his choice!  We always tried to stop here with the kids when we were on vacation in St. Louis.  Today we talked to Melany while we were heading there and then called Nathan and Kathy after the fact...just wanted to make them all drool!  After Ted Drewe's, we got back on the road and found where Woody's shindig was being held so he could easily find it on his own.  Then we headed on to the hotel.  We will go to the zoo in the morning...the good Lord willin'!  And, then after a while at the zoo, we will head on home.

Tonight's picture is a cheater...I took this quite a few years ago when we actually visited the arch.  Today I got drive-by photos of the arch.  I won't have access to the pictures from this trip till I get last night I loaded this one onto a new blog and then just saved it as a draft.  More than one way to skin a cat when it comes to posting pictures on the blog!  Well, the rain has gotten to where I am...guess I can say...first thunderstorm of the summer!  Happy First Day of Summer!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Another Rescue!

Woody walked six miles early this morning. He also did a little mowing today. Abigail came over and invited me to come and take pictures of Joseph (he'll turn 5 months old while we are gone).  They had him posing on a blanket in the front yard.  She also told me that one of the baby cardinals had fallen out of the nest.  Nathan had peeked in the bush where the nest is to take a look at the baby cardinals and one of them jumped/fell off the edge of the nest...they are probably about ready to leave the nest.  But Mama cardinal was not happy and was letting them know!  So Nathan got out his gloves and scooped up the little one and put him back into the nest...after several pictures were snapped and several pairs of little eyes checked out the baby bird up close and personal.  I'm thinking that you can sort of see a bit of a tinge of red in its feathers.  Never a dull moment next door!  Mama cardinal was back in the nest fairly quickly after Nathan put her baby back.

Woody and I have spent the day doing tasks to get us ready to head to St. Louis in the morning.  I am just about all packed...a trip that only involves one night is pretty easy to pack for.  We will head off fairly early in the morning.  Woody's reunion dinner is tomorrow night.  Then on our way back on Sunday, we will stop at the zoo for me to have a fun time trying out my cameras and lenses on various animals.

I think that I am starting on my third round with my allergies.  My cough has been coming back for a couple of days now and I started sneezing and blowing my nose a couple of hours ago.  Well, back to getting ready.  "See" you in St Louis tomorrow night...the good Lord willin'!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Walkin', Plannin', and Cookin'

Woody headed out on an eight-mile walk early this morning to beat the heat.  The heat got broken late this morning with a passing thunder storm.  I started out this morning working on a new recipe.  The first thing that I had to was skin and remove the bone from chicken thighs...I needed skinless/boneless chicken thighs for this recipe...not the most fun thing to do!  It took me a while (following instructions that I found on the internet)...perhaps the next time I will be quicker.  But I will say that when I was finished they still looked like chicken perhaps the time taken was worth it?  I think really...I'm just slow!  After lunch, I started chopping celery, onions, green pepper, etc. for the recipe.  After the rain finished, Woody went out to the garden and get me some garlic for the recipe.  And, later I went out and cut some flat leafed parsley that I needed.  I rested a while and then started putting the recipe together. The cooking time was much shorter than the prep time.  I will say that the end results were worth the time that it took...quite tasty...a "bit" spicy...definitely a keeper...Spanish Stewed Chicken Thighs.  While I was cooking and while I was resting, I was making plans (in my mind) for our St. Louis trip. Woody did more than plan in his mind  for the trip...he actually did a load of wash...on my list of "to-do's" for tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Shade & Sun aka Hot and Humid!

Woody walked five miles this morning.  He said later that he should have gone for his walk earlier as it was already hot and humid out.  Before he left on his walk, Woody told me that when he got back he and I would walk around the block (trying to get me acclimated for our walk at the St. Louis Zoo).  When he got back, Isaac was visiting, so we invited him to go on the walk with us.  We looked for animals (wild animals)...we spotted several birds, a kitty cat, several squirrels, a it was a successful animal finding walk.  Woody decided to teach Isaac about shade and sun.  He pointed out to Isaac how it was much hotter when you walked in the bright (sunny) places on the road, but was a bit cooler when we walked in the darker (shady) places on the road.  Tonight's photo shows Isaac when he spots his house and his dad standing in front of his house.  He was happy to see his daddy and his house!  After lunch, I headed off to run an errand or two before I headed to the church to work in the library.  After I left, Woody headed off to do his Wednesday Krogering.  A little while ago, before Woody put the car back into the garage, we vacuumed out the trunk and the inside of the car...getting ready for our St. Louis trip. Boy was it hot and humid out there...and boy did I ever get eaten up by mosquitoes!

Woody did mention today that he felt a bit wiped out today.  I said that there were probably several reasons...the hot temperatures and how humid it is and plus he had those tests run yesterday...nuclear medicine running through his veins!  I'm glad that he actually told me that he was feeling a bit wimpy...he doesn't usually admit it!

I will relay a funny story about yesterday.  I don't want to forget that it happened and I didn't mention it last night.  I use the blog as a diary to jog my memory at times as to just what exactly happened.  And, it is fun to remember funny things as well as serious things!  Woody's appointments were late yesterday...3:15 and 6:30pm so we weren't sure whether we could use their valet parking or not.  The valet parker said that it wouldn't be a problem...that if they were already closed up (6pm) when we finished that we were just to call a phone number and they would have our car to us very quickly.  So...Woody was finished at 6:05pm...and, of course they were gone from the valet parking area as were most of the workers at Vanderbilt.  I had forgotten my cell phone, but had noticed that there was a telephone at the reception desk for patient/visitor use.  So I headed for the phone and attempted to dial.  I finally got it to ring...but it would only ring busy...for 15 minutes I tried...still busy.  So we headed back to the Cancer research registration area and found one worker.  She ended up getting them to answer and our car was promptly brought to us.  She said that she just dialed the last five digits.  Well...I had no idea to do that and there were no such instructions at the complimentary phone or on the valet parking ticket.  If I had had my own phone there wouldn't have been this problem. For a while I was wondering if we were going to have to stay there till the folk arrived in the valet parking area the next morning!  Even with that delay we were still driving away from Vandy by 6:30pm...the time for Woody's final appointment.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Vandy Revisited

First view of Vanderbilt as we approach on 21st Ave.
We've stopped to get a bite to eat on our way home.  Woody hadn't eaten since breakfast and hasn't had much to drink.  The tests went like clockwork...actually we were leaving when his MRI was scheduled to begin.  We ran into Dr. Sosman on our way out.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Water Fun/Work + A Discovery!

Woody got up and went for his ten-mile walk early this morning...beating the heat.  The neighbor grandchildren started pretty early in on a car wash.  They washed our green car, their Suburban, and their camper...quite a job!  But they had fun doing it and did a very good job!  Woody suggested that if I went out and took some pictures it would get me in practice for taking pictures of wild animals at the zoo!  (We have an upcoming trip that will hopefully include a zoo visit.).  I still haven't had much energy so after taking a few pictures I came back in and went back to reading.  I finished a book last night and started another one this morning.  The new book that I am reading is an old one that I have read before (I don't usually reread books, but wanted to reread this one...Cheaper By the Dozen.)  I think that I got interested in reading it again after Woody brought home the modern DVD that is "supposed" to be based on this book.  It was one of those movies that had no resemblance to the movie except for the name...and I guess they did have dozen children...but...When checking into whether the public library still had a copy of it, I found out that there is a sequel: Belles on Their Toes.  So I will read that next.  Good fun reading material for the waiting rooms at Vanderbilt tomorrow.  There is no telling when we will be home tomorrow as one of  his scan times is in the afternoon and the other in the evening.  We won't have to leave home all that early, but we will probably get home pretty late.  He got a call from a tech person this afternoon giving him some further instructions about when to stop eating and when to be there, etc.

This afternoon I had an appointment at my favorite place...the dentist.  This time just for a cleaning and a easy visit this time.  The dentist even said that he was glad that it was an easy appointment this fainting this time!  As much as I hate to go to the dentist, I really do like our dentist.  And, today I found out that he will be retiring soon...that made me I will have to get used to a new dentist...not a happy camper thinking about having someone I don't know poking around in my mouth! Our present dentist is 82...guess it is time for him to enjoy retired life!

Woody went to church this evening for a time of visiting/following up with some of  the families who had children in VBS this past week.  The plan was to take some cookies to these families and tell them that we were glad that their children had attended VBS.

Just a few minutes ago the children ran over all excited.  They had made a discovery of another bird nest that had a baby bird and an egg in it.  This time the next of a cardinal...noted as they saw the mama cardinal fly out of the bush.  Nathan got out a step stool so I could climb up on it and he parted the branches so I could get a picture.  It's the first time that any of us remember seeing a baby cardinal.  I know that the mama was happy when we moved away from the area!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Consider the Lilies of the Field...

Woody walked six miles today.  He also did his Saturday trip to Walmart and the library.  He got several books for I am a happy camper with a stack of unread books next to me.  I did make one of our favorite newer recipes (a recipe that I found on one of my recipe apps for my iPad)...Rottini and chicken thighs.  The chicken is baked in a slow oven for an hour and a half in marinara sauce.  The original recipe calls for "canned" marinara sauce, but I make my own.  This bakes and just makes the chicken so very tender.  Once baked, it is served over rottini or whatever pasta floats your boat.  The recipe calls for penne, but that is not our favorite so I have substituted rottini. We were going to have it tonight for supper, but we went to a 50th wedding anniversary party late this afternoon and we were so well fed there that we are forgoing it till tomorrow...and hopefully some leftovers for Monday.  We had a good time visiting with friends at the anniversary party.  Now we are in for a quiet evening at home.  I'm ready to head to my chair and Woody is resting downstairs on the couch...such a lively pair...not!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday the Thirteenth

It has been a pretty low key day around here.  Woody walked six miles and has worked several crossword puzzles.  I haven't done much. I did finish a book that I had been reading. I keep waiting for the energy to kick in that often happens when one takes prednisone...but...I've been pretty sleepy all day.  I will say that I proved that I am getting better cough-wise as I was able to sit in our living room and converse with my friend, Linda, for about an hour and I don't think that I coughed at all...definitely progress!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bonnaroo...Oh, No!

We had to travel right through Manchester where everyone is getting off the interstate to go to Bonnaroo...luckily we didn't need to go interstate today.  For those who haven't heard of is a very big venue...big enough that Ringo Starr was one of the featured performers last year...haven't heard of who is being featured this year...just think Woodstock of the 21st Century!  Nuff said...except to say that we normally would stay far away.

The reason that we were in the area was that we have to go through Manchester to get to McMinnville where my doctor is located.  I saw the doctor and she decided that I needed a steroid dose pac to get me over this mess...hoping that she is right.  I had my lab work done and then we were on the way home.  We were gone a little over three hours.  I ate lunch and then ended up sleeping away most of the afternoon.

Woody went on a four-mile walk earlier in the evening.  While he was away I had two little boys join me to keep me company!  Elijah and Isaac decided that they wanted to stay here rather than go to the Family Night for VBS.  And, it is probably best as it has turned into a rather lengthy program and Nathan just called ans asked if I would go next door and get Isaac ready for bed.  So that is where I am heading as soon as I put a period at the end of this sentence!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Lots of interesting clouds yesterday
Today has been a fairly "normal" least no doctor appointments.  Goosey (Woody) headed next door early this morning to take care of Esther, Elijah and Isaac.  The rest of their family went to the Nashville area to do a school program.  For part of the time they came over here and had fun in the school room...Isaac using the school equipment, Elijah playing Mindcraft on my iPad, and Esther doing art work.  While they were playing, I straightened up some things that still lingered in the room from the school year.  After lunch, I went to the church library to work for several hours and Woody headed off to do our weekly Wednesday Kroger shopping.  Woody walked four miles this evening.  Tomorrow morning we will set off  to go to our personal care physician.  I have an appointment to have some labwork redone and when they called to remind me I asked if it would be possible to see the doctor.  So I will try to see if she has a remedy to rid me of this cough and whatever else might ail me!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


The view from the one-way bridge over the Duck River 
I had looked forward to Dr. Sosman's reaction when he first saw Woody today.  Just as we had gotten into a patient room, Dr. Sosman walked by.  He stuck his head in the door and said, "Wow!"  Woody said, "Long time no see."  And Dr. Sosman replied, "It has been a long time."  Then he said that he would be back after seeing another patient.

We left home around 8:30am and Woody was checking in at 10:05am.  The lady at the desk who gave him the pager said that it would be about 20 min. and we went and sat in waiting room #1.  Well, 40 minutes later, I suggested that he check with her and see if he had been forgotten.  She said that his appointment wasn't until 11:00am and they would call him in then.  ???????  Then why are you supposed to get there an hour early?  Anyway, Woody decided that perhaps the 11:00am was the hour early for the appointment...I don't think so...but that is about the way things stacked up.  At 11:10am he was called to one of the registration/insurance windows.  Then we were told to go to a different waiting room (so waiting room #2).  We had never been in this waiting room as it was part of the renovation that was taking place when we were there over four years ago. He filled out paper work in this waiting room and sat some more and waited some more.  I'm not sure how many crossword puzzles Woody did during all this waiting time! At 11:40 he was paged again and he went back to be weighed.  Then we were taken to the waiting room #3.  Finally at noon they took us back to the patient room.  At 12:10pm the Fellow (and he was a fellow this time) came in and went over Woody's history and asked a lot of questions and we asked questions too.  He told us what path Dr. Sosman was planning to take with Woody.  He talked with us for about a half hour.  Around 2pm Dr. Sosman came in and we went over lots of things with him. We were leaving the building at 2:30 and on the road shortly thereafter.  We did stop on the way home for a late lunch.  We got home a little after 4pm.  A typical long day at Vanderbilt!

At the moment Woody is set up to have a whole body PET scan and an MRI of his brain next Tuesday at Vanderbilt.  Dr. Sosman said that the quality of what was sent to them from NIH didn't satisfy their criteria.  I know that they just want their own scans to look at and have to later make comparisons.  Then the following Tuesday (2 weeks from today), he will go in for baseline labwork and see Dr. Sosman's nurse practitioner (Dr. Sosman will be out of town) and she will get Woody set up with the next step in his fight against Stage 4 Melanoma.

For this next step, he will be getting Ipilimumab (market name Yervoy) also just referred to as "ipi."  This is given in infusions as an out patient.  Once again it isn't chemotherapy but immunotherapy.  He will get four infusions with three weeks in between each infusion.  This drug works the way his own cells did with his TIL protocol at NIH.  It is supposed get his immune system fighting the melanoma once again.  I will explain it better at another time when I have absorbed and understand more about it.  I do know that I just looked up the cost...
drum roll...............................................................................................................
$30,000 for each infusion so a total of $120,000 for his four infusions. Gulp! One of the last things that Dr. Sosman said was that they would be getting everything approved with Woody's insurance.  Think that Woody will hit into the catastrophic area of his insurance this year?!?  Thanks goodness for insurance!

Woody walked four miles this morning before we headed out and then walked to and from the prayer room at church this evening.  He has just returned.  We are thankful that we missed all the bad storms that came through our area today.  We hardly had to run the windshield wipers at all.  The good Lord is looking out for us!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Let the Appointments Begin!

Well, as I title this, I can say that two appointments are already this was a day of appointments for Woody.  He saw his urologist this morning.  The pathology report from his prostate biopsy said that 99% of the cells were normal, but that 1% were abnormal and they were sending those off for further testing.  Woody told that urologist that he was pretty sure that melanoma was going to get him before prostate cancer would.

Then this afternoon he had an appointment for setting us his next colonoscopy.  I guess that he is all registered at the surgery center and has all his instructions.  That isn't until next month.  So now we can concentrate on tomorrow's appointment at Vanderbilt. This afternoon I found a message that we had missed a call from one of Woody's doctor's at NIH.  I returned the call and left a message, but we haven't heard back.

I spent quite a bit of time yesterday and then again this morning and can say that my photos are once again all sorted and stored in two different Passports (small hard drives)...except for the few that I took a little while ago when I was invited next door by Isaac to see their newest turtle.  Now they have an adult box turtle and a quite small box turtle (both of the box turtles have a home in "turtle town" in their backyard) and a baby snapping turtle (in a fish aquarium in their house).  As I left I complimented Nathan on his menagerie...lots of turtles and kids...quite a household!

Isaac spent a couple of hours over here this morning.  He had the best time playing with Fisher Price toys...old and new.  How do you like his new haircut?  His mama said that he said that he wanted to be finished with the haircut so she left it a bit longer down the middle!

Woody didn't have much time this morning to go on a walk so he just headed out a few minutes ago for his daily walk.  I guess that tomorrow night I will be reporting about our day at Vanderbilt. They are predicting storms coming in later tonight and into the wee hours of the morning...and perhaps some more in the morning...I could do without having to drive to Nashville in the rain!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

NIH Summation

I had been wanting to figure out how much time we had spent at NIH over the last four night when I was having trouble sleeping I went through my blogs and found all the dates, etc. of  Woody's out and in patient times at NIH.  We made 20 trips to NIH...18 driving and 2 flying. He spent a total of 63 days as either an inpatient or outpatient. Add to those 63 days 36 days on the road either getting to NIH or going home.  So a total of 99 days out of his daily life he gave for research.  He had 2 surgeries there and one time spent 24 consecutive days as an inpatient when he received chemo to almost destroy his immune system prior to receiving his TIL cells and IL-2.  During one of his inpatient stays he passed a kidney stone.  He had a total of 4 inpatient stays--2 for surgery, 1 when they gave him dye when they shouldn't have (that is the time that he passed the kidney stone), and then the long 24 day stay to go through the research protocol. He was a guinea pig for National research.  He was one of the success stories with this stage of this particular protocol.  Last week they did express gratitude and said that they had learned a lot from his time and loaning of his body for research. He has definitely beat a lot of odds as to life expectancy after being diagnosed with 4-stage melanoma. At this point it is has been 6 1/2 years since he first stepped foot in Dr. Sosman's office in Dec. 2008...not bad when I was told that he would probably live less than a year.  God's grace has followed Woody through all these procedures and we have faith that God will continue to grace Woody.

Now we will proceed on and see what is waiting in the wings for the next chapter for treatments.  Vanderbilt is right up there in research.  Dr. Sosman is the head of the Melanoma dept. at Vanderbilt and is known all over the country and world as a melanoma expert.  The Vanderbilt- Ingram Cancer Center is a part of the National Cancer Institute of we are really still a part of NIH.  Yesterday we received a call from one of Dr. Sosman's nurses and today we received a "packet" of information...rather like first-time patient info.  We've already been there and done that!  That is one thing...we are heading back into familiar least location-wise.

Woody did our Saturday WalMart grocery shopping and went to the library this morning.  He walked six miles today.  I have spent a lot of hours sorting pictures...that time once again when I realize that I haven't done it in a long time and a lot are sitting there needing to be put in their proper place.

Friday, June 6, 2014


Woody walked six miles this morning.  His route included the vegetable/fruit market so he could replenish our tomato supply.  I cleaned the dining room this morning.  Since the table was pulled out from our meal yesterday with Melany, Erin, and Alex it was a good time to do a good vacuuming and dusting/polishing. Late morning after Woody got back from his walk, one of  Dr. Sosman's nurses called us to update Woody's information.  She was checking on whom to check in with at NIH to request records from his visit in January and his latest visit.  I thought that I had taken care of that info getting to Vanderbilt...but they hadn't received anything except for the CT and PET scans which came from medical records at NIH. Hopefully all the information (his current medications, surgeries since last we saw them at Vandy, etc.) we fed her today will make for less paper work on Tuesday.  By hearing from her, we know for sure that they are expecting us on Tuesday...we had heard from an animated voice reminder, but it is always to talk to a real person!

After lunch, I headed out to get my hair cut.  I sort of wanted to run another errand or two, but decided that just the hair cut was enough gadabouting for me for today.  I rested and read for a little while after getting home and then started in on our supper.  We had baked pork chops...the recipe that calls for cream of celery since we are attempting to not use canned soups, it meant that I had to make homemade cream of celery soup before I could get them baking in the oven.  Definitely that is a step that adds to the preparation time, but the homemade soup really makes them much more tasty than the it is worth it.  Plus when I bake these I make enough for two meals.

It has been a very overcast day today, but we never got very much rain.  Tonight's photo is Lake Tullahoma taken today after I got my hair can see how lush our vegetation has gotten and also see some of today's clouds. The clouds were breaking up a bit when I took this, but they were still hanging in there.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Weeding Day!

Today was a good day to weed.  Melany had set this day aside to come and help us in the gardens weather permitting.  She decided that it would be a good day since we had had rain in the night so it would be easier to weed.  She spent a long time in the large flower garden that straddles Nathan and our property line.  Erin and Alex accompanied her.  Alex played regular Monopoly with some of the bigger kids and Erin played Junior Monopoly with the younger kids.  Erin and I went to the library and she got a movie and a book.  Everyone just sort of hung out and did many sundry things during the day.  We had hamburgers and trimmings and chips and corn on the cob for lunch.  Then Melany and her daddy went back to the garden and worked.  I went in and took a nap!  When I woke up I realized that I was hurting and that probably meant more bad weather was on the way.  I checked radar and sure enough.  So I went downstairs and urged Melany to gather up the kids and head back home before the storm got here.  They made it safely home.  We had a very nice day.  And, the garden is looking great!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Routinely Speaking

Wednesday routine for Woody: walked six miles this morning and later did his Wednesday Krogering

Wednesday routine for me: worked this afternoon in the church library and still coughing

Vanderbilt routine: received an animated call from Vanderbilt reminding us of Woody's appointment this              coming Tuesday

Nightly routine for me: blogging and choosing a photo (tonight's photo is one that I took on our return trip from NIH...Virginia's beautiful countryside taken as we passed by at 70mph!)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Must Be June!

The Day Lilies are blooming so it must be has only taken me three days to realize that June has arrived!  Well, really it has just taken me three days of  June to get out and take a picture of some of this year's blooms!  And, really I didn't feel exactly like going out and taking a picture...but the temptation was there and I decided that perhaps a little fresh air would help whatever ails me!  BUT the family across the street were mowing their yard so a lot of dust was flying.  I didn't stay out long.  I once again got up fairly for me...funny how that happens when there is no school and I could sleep in a bit!  I worked moving out of my closet some cool weather least I don't think that I will be needing them for a while.  I ironed a couple of things that I washed yesterday.  I have done a little vacuuming and a little dusting.  Then the rest of the day pretty much I have spent in my recliner reading.  As today I'm feeling worse than I did yesterday...sneezing has been added into the mix of what ails me today. So I have enjoyed reading a book on my iPad using the Kindle app.  I finished one and as soon as I finished it, I went to our library's e-book check-out and was able to check out the next one in the series.  So I just continued to read about the same Amish family...enjoyable reads.  Woody has spent time outside watering and weeding some of our flower beds.  This afternoon a couple of our older neighbor grandchildren and their cousin came over and watched a Star War's of Graham's "big loves" these days.  He can really expound upon just about everything and anything that has to do with Star Wars. Woody left a while ago to walk to the prayer room at church...the walk to and from...his walk of the day.  Well, back to my chair and my book and my box of Kleenex!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Up In The Air!

We seem to be up in the air about quite a few things these days.  Of course we are now waiting till next week to see what the next/new step will be to fight what may be Woody's melanoma recurring.  Then to add to that wait, he has added another "wait and see" to his health.  When he went to see his urologist several weeks ago, his PSA had risen from the last time it was tested.  So his urologist urged him to have a prostate biopsy.  The doctor at NIH concurred that it would be a good idea to go on and have the biopsy. So Woody had a prostate biopsy this morning.  I had Nathan take him to the doctor as I wasn't sure that I could "handle" him when it was time to come home due to the fact that they had him take a couple valium and he had never taken a drug like that before.  So I stayed home and took care of six of the grandchildren plus their 10-year-old cousin because Joseph had a doctor appointment at the same time as Woody's.  Woody has taken it easy most of the rest of the day.  He actually slept a good part of the afternoon...the sleep should be good for whatever ails him!  Woody has an appointment with the urologist this coming Monday.  Next week is a big week for doctor appointments for us...oh, boy!  Looks like we will be on the road quite a bit for said doctor appointments...two on Monday in Tullahoma, one on Tuesday in Nashville, and one in McMinnville on least that is all that are scheduled at the moment.  I got up early this morning and did quite a few things before I went over to Nathan and Kathy's so this afternoon was good for a nap for me too.  I am still coughing, but I do think that I am getting least I hope I am...I rescheduled my dental cleaning and check-up for the third time this morning as I just can't imagine him working in my mouth with me struggling to breathe and coughing the way I am...hopefully I will get to the appointment before he retires or my teeth rot out!!!!