Saturday, June 28, 2014
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 sister...so 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
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 hang...so worked on that too. I only got one window done...windows 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
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
|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
Monday, June 23, 2014
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.
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 background...so 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
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 home...so 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
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
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
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
|First view of Vanderbilt as we approach on 21st Ave.|
Monday, June 16, 2014
This afternoon I had an appointment at my favorite place...the dentist. This time just for a cleaning and a check-up...an easy visit this time. The dentist even said that he was glad that it was an easy appointment this time...no 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 sad...now 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
Friday, June 13, 2014
Thursday, June 12, 2014
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|
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
|The view from the one-way bridge over the Duck River|
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...
$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
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
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 NIH...so 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 territory...at 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
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 soup...so 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 canned...so 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 cut...you 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
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
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!)