Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Update...

Things have been kind of hectic around here lately and I've found myself with little online time to either post or read blogs.  Keith was here from Austin for Christmas and left on December 29th.  That was also the day that Reid had numerous appointments down at MD Anderson for the latest round of tests, scans, X-rays, etc.  We left the house a little before 8 in the morning and didn't get home until after 6:30 in the evening.  It was also my birthday and the best present I could hope to receive is for Reid's scans to all look good.

As anticipated Reid came home from the hospital on Christmas Eve.  A change in nausea medication seemed to have helped with this round of chemo.  He was able to eat a little and the only problem he had was with the constant fatigue which is to be expected.

On Christmas Day Reid had a 12:30 appointment for the Neulasta injection which is always given 24 hours after chemo.  Keith, Troy, and I took Reid down for that while Jim stayed home.  On Christmas Eve Jim came down with a cold, so we immediately began treating him like Typhoid Mary with everyone avoiding him like the plague.  With Reid's blood counts down after chemo he's very vulnerable to infection, but so far no one else has come down with Jim's cold.

We gave Reid the option of waiting to celebrate Christmas at a later date when he would be feeling better, but he did not want anyone else to have to wait.  There are no small children involved and everyone else was very agreeable to waiting, but Reid wanted to go ahead and celebrate Christmas on Christmas Day.  So, that is what we did after we got back from the hospital.

This is Jim (AKA Typhoid Mary) on the far side of the room opening one of his presents.  He was a good sport and wore that mask up until yesterday.  Meanwhile, I followed him around with disinfectants and hand sanitizer.

This is Reid opening one of his presents.

It was really something for him and his cat Ash, but Zoom decided to check it out first.  It's a remote control spider.

Troy was Christmas Boy this year.  It's a yearly tradition in our family and the person chosen as Christmas Boy hands out the packages.  He was supposed to be wearing the Christmas Boy hat, but we all forgot so he got away without wearing it this year.  This is Troy opening one of his packages.

Jim and Keith always complain about me keeping the house too cold in the winter.  They've lived in Texas too long and no longer remember the colder climates we've lived in, so anytime the temperature outside dips below 65 degrees they complain they're cold.  I bought them heavy bathrobes.

Here's Keith wearing his new robe while opening a gift.

Troy also got a new robe.  Reid didn't because he already has one.  Here's a picture of Jim wearing his new robe with Zoom hanging on.

As is usually the case, there are no pictures of me.  I'm the official family photographer.

I had bought some stuffed pork chops for Christmas dinner and took them out to thaw in the morning.  I didn't want to leave them out while we were down at the hospital, so I stuck them back in the refrigerator and took them out again when we got home.  They were still partially frozen when I put them in the oven so I added on some additional cooking time.  When we cut into them we could still see pink.  I put them back in the oven again for some additional time, but they still didn't look done.  Finally, I decided not to take a chance and threw them out.  Reid's food is suppose to be thoroughly cooked and since none of us could decide if they were cooked enough we couldn't take a chance.  It's was OK...we didn't really miss them.  We had enough other stuff to satisfy our hunger.

We had a nice day.  Even though the tree was put up at the last minute and I had one day to shop everything seemed to fall in place.  Considering what we're dealing with right now things went very well.

Tomorrow Reid has a 7:30 AM appointment at MD Anderson for a blood draw.  His platelets were down on the 29th and will probably be down even more by tomorrow so they need to check.  He'll probably need a platelet transfusion, but that's to be expected with this round of chemo.  Jim is well now, so he'll take him down this time.  I'm going to try and stay up to watch the ball drop in Times Square.  Fortunately, we're on Central Time so the ball drops at 11 here.

Next week will be a busy week with Reid having appointments at MD Anderson on January 3rd, 4th, and 5th.  He'll be seeing both the Stem Cell Transplant doctor and his Oncologist.  I'm hoping and praying that those scans look good.  I'll post updates as time allows, but I'm usually too tired in the evening to get online.

I have a few more pictures of Reid's cat Ash to share.  He keeps us all laughing.

This is Ash pretending to be a turtle.  That's actually a cat bed turned upside down.

And here he is hiding under the Christmas tree.

But Mikey found him!

Sometimes life becomes overwhelming for Ash and he decides to give himself a time out.

I wish everyone a safe and healthy 2011!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Round Two...

Reid was admitted to the hospital Tuesday evening for the second round of chemo.  As expected, his platelets had gone up to a safe level.  The way things look now he should be coming home on Christmas Eve, but will have to return to the hospital on Christmas Day for the shot that helps build up his white blood cells. 

Keith will be arriving from Austin on Christmas Eve and Troy will come over on Christmas Day, but we expect that Reid will not be feeling well.  After the first round of chemo he was sick for a week, so we will celebrate Christmas at a later date when Reid feels better and Keith is back from Austin.

I probably won't have time to post again for a while.  I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and you find lots of surprises under your tree!

Circa 1949?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

It's been a while...

I know it's been a while since I last posted, but I sometimes lack the time and/or energy to get something written.  I decided to spend a little time this morning writing an update.

Reid slowly recovered after his last chemo.  This is a stronger chemo and has left him quite fatigued, but at least the nausea gradually subsided.  We thought he'd be having his second round of chemo by now, but his platelets are still too low in spite of a platelet transfusion on Thursday.  The Oncologist said that this isn't at all unusual and we'll just wait until they go up to a safe level for chemo.  He'll have more blood work on Tuesday and another appointment with the Oncologist.  They've got him scheduled for admission to the hospital on Tuesday, so I'm assuming that means the Oncologist is pretty certain the platelets will be up by then.

This has been a busy week with four days spent down at MD Anderson for various appointments.  He was seen in the Stem Cell Transplant Center and we all attended a mandatory class on transplant.  We learned that he'll spend approximately three to four weeks in the hospital and then he'll need a caretaker with him 24/7 for up to another 30 days once he's home.  We might have to rent a place down near the medical center since they're required to be within 30 minutes of the hospital for those 30 days and we're 45 minutes to an hour depending upon traffic.

In order to receive the transplant he must be in full remission.  He'll be receiving more intense chemo when he's admitted to the hospital for the transplant.  This hopefully will destroy all the cancer.  It will also destroy the blood forming cells and suppress his immune system.  Having the transplant makes it possible for him to receive these higher doses of chemotherapy than would otherwise be possible. 

The transplant he'll be receiving is called Autologous which means he'll be his own donor.  His stem cells will be collected, frozen and stored in a laboratory.  Then he'll receive those high doses of chemo to destroy any remaining cancer.  The stem cells are then reinfused and we wait for them to engraft.  The doctor explained that stem cells are like the seeds of the cells.  Once they're infused we wait for them to grow like seeds in a garden.  He assured us that they always grow.

Prior to transplant the stem cells will be mobilized for collection by injections that cause more of them to pour out from the bone marrow into the blood.  They'll then be separated from the blood using some kind of machine and collected in a bag and the rest of the blood returned to him.

You can probably find a much better explanation of all of this here.  My explanation might not be completely accurate, but it's the way I understand things right now.  We were given reading material and a CD, but haven't had a lot of time to absorb all the information yet.

We've decided to celebrate Christmas when Reid is feeling up to it.  The way things are looking now that might not be until February, but we'll wait and see.

We received a surprise last week when the florist delivered a decorated Norfolk Island Pine.  My friend Sherelyn had read that I might not have time to decorate for Christmas, so she sent us a decorated tree.  I stood at the door crying and the poor florist didn't know what to say.  Sherelyn will be glad to hear that we did finally bring a few things over from the storage shed and I plan to do some decorating this weekend.  Of course, it looks like our decorations will still be up in February.

Meanwhile, we took the dog to the emergency clinic late last night.  My sister's package arrived and it included a tin of Peppermint Bark from Williams and Sonoma.  In my wildest dreams I never imagined the dog being able to open a tin box, but Jim and I went out to dinner and when we got back the tin was open and the Peppermint Bark was gone.  I know not to let the animals get near chocolate, but I thought the Peppermint Bark was well protected in a metal tin.  Some of the other gifts had been torn open too, but I believe Sophie might have had help from the cats.  I think they were just playing with the paper.  Anyway, Sophie started vomiting and around midnight or so we decided to take her to the clinic.  Her heart rate was up a little, but not dangerously so, and she was given a shot to calm her stomach.  Never a dull moment.

I'd better go.  I have a lot I'd like to accomplish this weekend.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 09, 2010


I had to take Reid down to MD Anderson early yesterday morning for blood work.  Then he had a 9:00 AM appointment in the Lymphoma Clinic for more labs and then a 2:00 PM appointment in the Fast Track Clinic to evaluate how he's been doing.

Yesterday we used the valet parking at MD Anderson so we could get a wheelchair right at the door.  He's been pretty sick with this round of chemo.  He was taken quickly for the blood work and then we made our way upstairs for another lab appointment at  9:00 AM in the Lymphoma Clinic.  While he was checking in at the desk his cell phone rang and it was the lab downstairs.  They made an error and needed one more vial of blood.  So, we made our way back down there for another draw and then returned to the Lymphoma Clinic to wait.  We waited for an hour and a half and all Reid wanted to do was lay down and try to get comfortable.  I went up to the desk a couple of times and finally asked if I could leave my cell phone number and take him downstairs where they have an area where patients can lay down and sleep between appointments.  The lady at the desk said she'd send the nurse out to speak with us.

The nurse came out and told us that they had combined the two labs and he didn't need to be in the Lymphoma Clinic at 9:00.  He just needed to be there for his Fast Track appointment at 2:00.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  We had a printed copy of the schedule and I showed it to her.  We had waited an hour and a half.  If things had changed and he didn't need to be there why didn't someone come out and tell us?  Would they have left us waiting there until 2:00?  If he had felt OK it would have been one thing, but he was very sick.  In fact, he rolled the wheelchair into the men's room at one point because he didn't feel well and after about ten minutes I become very concerned, but I couldn't exactly go in after him.  I got up to stand by the men's room door in hopes a man would come by and I could send him in to check, but fortunately Reid came out a short while later.

I was so upset and the nurse apologized.  She asked for my cell phone number and told me to take him downstairs to the area where he could lay down and she'd call if they could squeeze him in before 2:00.  A short while later she called and he was seen by the Physician's Assistant.  All his blood work looked good, but he has to drink more which is difficult with his stomach upset.  She changed the nausea medication and had him increase the anti fungal medication and gave him a prescription for a mouth rinse since he's already developed mouth sores from the chemo.

I took him back to the area where he could lay down and went up to the pharmacy to wait for his prescriptions to be filled.  He was able to sleep for an hour or so while I waited.  I guess we got home around 2:30 PM.

The good news is that he hasn't taken any pain medication since leaving the hospital on Sunday.  I didn't even realize right away, but he told me he doesn't need it.  That means the mass must have already shrunk.  He's using his left arm and thinks he'll be able to type now on the computer.  That's pretty amazing since he was requiring some pretty strong pain meds just to get the pain to a manageable level.

We're having some computer problems, so don't be surprised if I don't post for a while or answer E-mails.  Hopefully, we can get it fixed soon. 

Monday, December 06, 2010

He's home...

We brought Reid home from the hospital last night.  He's very, very sick from the chemo.  It must have been a cumulative thing because we could see his condition change day by day.

He's vulnerable to infection and has to take antibiotic, anti fungal, and antiviral medications in addition to medication for nausea and all of his pain meds.  He woke up around 7 this morning and took some of the meds and went right back to sleep.  He's extremely fatigued.

I'm busy this morning cleaning the house, but my back hurts and I'm worn out from going back and forth to the hospital the last few days.  I just want to have everything as clean as possible to help avoid infection.

I can't even think about Christmas and have no idea when and if we'll get up any decorations this year.  I'd like to, but I just don't know when I'll find the time or energy to go over to the storage shed and bring everything over here and then put it up!  Besides, if all the chemo goes according to schedule he'll be pretty sick at Christmas time.

Tonight he has to be back at the hospital for a shot at 6:00.  This shot has to be given 24 hours after chemo is finished.  Jim is going to come home a little early so he can drive.  I just have too much trouble seeing to drive at night now.

This was the view from Reid's hospital room.  It's a little dark, but the tall buildings in the distance on the right and left are condominiums and I believe the building in the middle is the VA Hospital.
Now I've got to get back to cleaning...

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Saturday Update...

Reid is feeling better than I expected.  He ate breakfast this morning, but his stomach was bothering him this afternoon.  The nurse told him that he needs to tell her so she can give him something right away.  He's in good spirits and was watching TV and napping while we were there.  His pain level has been at a two which is good.  I would say so far things are going very well.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Another Update...

I"m home now from the hospital.  Jim arrived after work and he's going to be staying for while this evening.  When the doctor came in this morning he wanted to know why Reid's chemo hadn't been started.  I think it was a resident with him and he said that the orders had never come up from Admissions with him last night and their pharmacist went down this morning and got them.  When they tried this morning to access his port it was clogged (not a medical term I'm sure, but that's what we say) and they had to put something in it for a hour to unclog it.

A little before 3:00 this afternoon they started the pre-chemo drugs.  They took about a half hour and then they began the first of the three drugs.  I just spoke to Jim and they've started the second drug.  With this one they have to check his blood pressure every hour because it can cause his pressure to drop too low.  I believe this one takes around two hours and then they'll start the third drug.  Then the whole thing gets repeated for the next two days.

The doctor told me that one of the drugs can cause confusion and if he seems confused and doesn't make any sense I should let them know right away.  He also said that would be very unusual in a young person.  I passed that information on to Jim before I left.

Before they started chemo Reid and I ordered lunch from Room Service.  They don't bring the meals to the floor all at once on a cart like they do at most hospitals.  Instead there are menus and Reid just picks up the phone and calls in the order.  I think he can do that from 6:30 in the morning until 10:30 at night.  The guest menu has prices, but other than that the menus are the same and there are lots of choices.  Reid had a pizza and I had a Philly cheese steak sandwich.  It was delivered by a man wearing black slacks and vest and a white shirt.  Kind of like what you'd see a waiter wearing in some restaurants.  It would be really nice if cancer didn't suck.

Jim said someone came in a little while ago and explained about all the medications he'll have to take once he gets home.

I'm hoping he doesn't get too sick from this chemo, but time will tell.  I guess he'll be coming home on Monday now since the chemo got started late.


The hospital finally called around 6:30 last night...just about the time we had decided they probably wouldn't call until today.  We had to wait for Jim to get home from work since I no longer drive on the freeways in the dark.

We got down there around 8:15 and left after Reid got settled in his room.  I would imagine they started the chemo last night, but I don't want to call his room and perhaps wake him up to ask.  It's before seven in the morning here and I don't think he'd appreciate it.  I'll be going down later this morning.

Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Standing by for Plan B...

Here's how it works.  Reid is to be admitted to the hospital sometime today, but we don't know when.  He had to call MD Anderson this morning and leave his cell phone number.  When a bed is available they'll call him.  I was told yesterday by Admissions that he'll have until 10:30 tonight to claim the bed.  He'd just as soon wait until 10:30, but I don't drive on the freeways at night anymore so earlier is better.  We'll have to call Jim home from work if it gets too late.

The Oncologist told him that the hospital is nice and there's even room service.  Reid would still prefer the Hilton over MD Anderson.  He's not looking forward to chemo again.

This picture was taken last Friday.  Keith made Turkey Soup for dinner and Reid was wearing the shirt Keith gave him.  It kind of says it all.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Today is the last day of the Giving Thanks Challenge and I'm playing catch up again.  Reid had doctor appointments that took up a big portion of both days and with Keith here I just didn't have time last night to post. 

I'm thankful that yesterday Reid's appointment with the cardiologist went well.  His cholesterol was down to 150, but the doctor put him on Lipitor because he wants it down to 100.  This is because there might be problems later on with the coronary arteries from the radiation and he doesn't need any additional complications caused by high cholesterol.

Today I'm thankful that Reid saw the Oncologist and Plan B is finally getting underway.  This is the prelude to the stem cell transplant.  The plan is to admit him to the hospital on Thursday if there's a bed available.  If not, it will probably be the next day.  He'll be hospitalized for three days and then home for two weeks, back for three days, etc.  This chemotherapy is given as a slow drip, so it can't be done on an outpatient basis. 

I'm also thankful that the Social Security hearing went well today and he's been approved for disability income.

This is the last day of this year's Giving Thanks Challenge.  Thank you Leah at South Breeze Farm for sponsoring this meaningful event.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


This evening I'm thankful that we were all able to watch The Amazing Race together.  Everyone was here except Troy, but I know he watches it too.  It's a family favorite.


I'm thankful that we're so busy having a good time that I don't get online to post as regularly as I normally do.  This one is late again, but no less thankful.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I'm going to combine a couple of days again in the Giving Thanks Challenge.  Yesterday was a busy day and I didn't get a post written.

On Thanksgiving Day I was thankful that our family could all be together once again.

I know they look a little hot, tired and bored, but there's a good explanation.  (And please don't look at all the junk piled on the coffee table.  It's actually sometimes worse.)

As I posted previously our A/C went out again.  It was warm and humid and with the oven going it was over 80 in the house.  I had planned dinner for around 4:00 and thought the turkey would have to cook for 3 1/2 hours.  Well, I was wrong.  I guess I read the directions for an unstuffed turkey by mistake and our turkey took a lot longer.  I was using two thermometers and it was like waiting for a pot of water to boil.  They just weren't going up.

I had planned to serve dinner buffet style so we could take our plates outside on the deck.  The idea was to get out of the hot house, but by the time the turkey was done it was dark outside and starting to sprinkle.  So, we quickly set the kitchen table and ate there.  (You'll notice in the above picture that it's dark outside.)

The turkey was very good.  Nice and moist.  Done to perfection if I must say so myself.  The family assured me that it was worth the wait.  Of course, I forgot to take a picture.  No picture of the turkey and no picture of the family sitting around the table.  (I was hot and tired and not thinking clearly.)

I did take a picture of the cranberry casserole and edited my previous post to include the picture with the recipe.

Troy made some pumpkin bread and it was very good.  I remembered to snap a picture.

I also managed to take a picture of the apple pie.  It had a praline topping.  (Just in case a regular apple pie doesn't have enough calories.)

We also had fresh asparagus, potatoes, bread stuffing, and giblet gravy.  No sweet potatoes this year and I forgot to put the Taffy Apple Salad out on the table, but no one missed it.  Things weren't exactly perfect, but we had a good time anyway. 

I've posted the recipe for the Taffy Apple Salad in the past.  I believe others were having it this year too because I noticed people arrived on my blog after doing a google search for "Taffy Apple Salad" or "salad with apples and peanuts."  (That's something you can check if you use Blogger In Draft.)

Within an hour or so of eating the temperature outside took a nose dive.  Within a few minutes it probably dropped ten to fifteen degrees.  I went around closing windows.  I just wish the cold front could have moved in a little earlier.

Right now Keith is out in the kitchen making turkey soup which we'll have for dinner tonight.  He doesn't head back to Austin until next Wednesday, so we'll have some extra time together.  He brought Reid a couple of shirts and today he's wearing one.  I hope I remember to take a picture.

Today I am thankful that it's cooled off and it's finally turkey soup weather!

For information on the Giving Thanks Challenge click on the button on my sidebar.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Alphabe-Thursday...Oh dear, I wrote this last weekend

Oh dear...I thought I was so smart writing this last weekend.  It just happens to be a recipe, but I worked some "J" words into the text because that's what I thought we'd be doing today.  Oh well...maybe I'll post this again next Thursday...kill two birds with one stone as the expression goes.  Actually, I might not even have time next week because thankfully my son will probably be beginning chemo in preparation for a stem cell transplant.  Yes, we have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving it goes.  This is the post I had ready in advance.

Class is in session!  Welcome once again to Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Ms. JENNY over at JENNY Matlock..."off on my tangent." 

JENNY is a "J" word and today we are studying the letter "J".  What a coincidence. 

Since we're celebrating Thanksgiving I thought I'd share a favorite recipe with you that is JUST delicious.  I found it in the newspaper some years back and eating this is pure JOY.  Cranberry Casserole will be a part of our Thanksgiving Dinner, but as I write this I haven't made it yet so there's no picture.  We'll be eating it hot from the oven.  If I remember to take a picture I'll come back and edit this post to include it.

Cranberry Casserole

3 cups unpeeled chopped apples
2 cups raw cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup melted margarine

Combine apples, cranberries and sugar in a 2 quart casserole.  (I spray it with Pam.)  In a separate bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, pecans*, and margarine.  Top fruit mixture with oat mixture.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for one hour or until bubbly and light brown.  Do not overcook.  Serve hot with turkey or ham or as a dessert with vanilla ice cream.  Makes 8 servings

*I don't add the pecans to the oat mixture. Instead I sprinkle the pecans over the top  for only the last 20 minutes or so.  I've found they burn a little otherwise.

I love eating this stuff.  It's JUST so good.  JUST don't eat too much.

JUST have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

Don't eat too much JUNK food.

Now head over to Ms JENNY'S blog for a list of this week's participants and for information on how you can join in the fun.

Friday, November 26, 2010:  I'm editing this post to include the picture taken on Thanksgiving Day.


This one is so easy.  I didn't have to take any time to think.  It came to me in a flash...even with my almost 65 year old mind.  Are you ready???

Today I am thankful that Reid will soon begin his stem cell transplant at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  I am thankful that the latest biopsy still showed Hodgkin's Lymphoma and not anything else.  I am thankful that he'll have the opportunity to make cancer history.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Update on Reid...

Reid had his appointment with the Oncologist this afternoon.  His biopsy once again indicated Hodgkin's Lymphoma, so there were no surprises there.  He seemed satisfied with that biopsy and hopes to begin Reid's chemo later on next week in preparation for the stem cell transplant.  Reid sees the Oncologist again on Tuesday and then we will know more.

He will have to be admitted to the hospital for this chemo.  It will take three days each time.  I believe there will be a couple of weeks between each chemo treatment and he will have three treatments.  I'm not sure I have that exactly right, but if not completely accurate it's probably close.  I'm sure we'll learn more as we move along in the process.

We were told that the treatment is called ICE and there are three drugs.  The doctor would like to add an additional drug that I understood him to say was a trial, but he's not 100% sure that will be possible.  He will know by Tuesday.

Meanwhile Reid has his SSI hearing also on Tuesday.  His lawyer feels pretty confident about his chances of being approved.

We will also be back down at MD Anderson on Monday for his follow up appointment with the Radiologist and Cardiologist.  They are watching him for possible complications from the radiation he received.  He was doing very well on the low cholesterol diet until the relapse and the chronic pain.  He was not able to eat much while the pain was severe and lost twenty pounds.  After that we were more interested in just getting him to eat something and the diet wasn't as strictly followed.  He's doing better with it now, but with Thanksgiving I'm not sure how high the numbers will go.  They're concerned about his coronary arteries because complications from the radiation can show up later, so he needs to watch his cholesterol so that doesn't cause any additional problems.

I've been doing a lot of worrying while waiting for the biopsy results.  Yesterday I mentioned to Reid about today's appointment.  He replied, "Oh yea, I forgot about that appointment."  I joke that if I didn't do all the worrying in this family it would never get done. :)

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Playing catch up again...GIVING THANKS CHALLENGE - Day 22 and 23

Yesterday I was  thankful for supportive friends.

Today I am thankful and very grateful for the medical care our son receives at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

For information on the Giving Thanks Challenge click on the button on my sidebar.

Feral Kittens Progress For Tuesday Show And Tail...

Today I'm participating in Tuesday Show and Tail over at West Virginia Treasures.  For information and a list of participants head over to Angela's blog.

The feral kittens are now over 7 months old and all of them have been fixed along with their mother.  I started going outside and sitting on the back step with some cat treats.  At first they wouldn't come near me, but I started to toss cat treats towards them and eventually they started eating them and coming closer.

Atticus and Scout loved the cat treats, but Jem would just sniff them and walk away.  Eventually all three of them came right up to me, but Jen just out of curiosity.   I've held treats out towards Jem and let him sniff them, but he's just not interested.  The other two gulp them down as if they were starving.  I wish I could find something that would attract Jem because most of the time he keeps his distance.

I can now pet Atticus and Scout and I've even picked them up for very short periods at a time.  I've managed to pet Jem a couple of times, but when he turned around and realized it was me he quickly walked away.  I hope with patience I can make some more progress with him too.

Reid used his cell phone to take this short video.  The sound isn't always clear, but I commented on how fat around the middle Scout was getting and he joked about her being pregnant.  She's not.  Like her mother and brothers she was fixed.  They all have their left ears clipped which is done with feral cats to indicate they were spayed or neutered. Jem kept his distance while the video was made, so you won't see him.  Atticus is the red tabby and Scout is the black and white one.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Goodbye Thanksgiving Day...Hello Black Thursday

Is it just me?  What's happening to Thanksgiving Day?  I guess it was inevitable now that the brick and mortar stores find themselves competing with the online stores that are able to conduct business 24/7.

Toys R Us and Sears are going to be opened on Thanksgiving Day for the first time.  Granted it won't be all day, but I still think it's a shame.  I read that The Gap will have 90% of their stores opened this year and K-Mart, Target, Big Lots, etc., have already opened on Thanksgiving Day in prior years.  I'm afraid this thing is going to keep escalating and soon Thanksgiving Day will be called Black Thursday and become another huge shopping day instead of a family day.  Norman Rockwell must be rolling over in his grave.

Remember when stores would open at 6:00 or 7:00 AM the day after Thanksgiving?  Now it's 3:00 AM!  How can their employees enjoy Thanksgiving Day when they have to go to bed at 8:00 in order to get up for work the next day?

As many people as possible should have the opportunity to share this holiday with friends and family.  I realize certain professions have always had to work on Thanksgiving Day.  I'm thinking of policemen, firemen, ER doctors and nurses, soldiers, etc.  Now many non-essential people are being called into work.

Let's take time to sit down and enjoy our turkey with those closest to us.  We can always shop another day.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blogger In Draft Problems

If anyone else uses Blogger In Draft could you let me know if you're having trouble uploading more than one photo into a post.  I never had trouble until a few weeks ago.  Now I can only upload one picture from my hard drive and then I have to leave the posting screen and come back in order to add a second picture.  This has to be done for each picture in the post and it's time consuming.

I also just tried to add a You Tube video and had trouble.  The screen with the thumbnail froze and I couldn't get the video added to the post.  I guess I'll have to go back and do it by adding the html to the Edit html screen.

Anyone else having these problems?  I was really enjoying Blogger In Draft until these problems cropped up.


Today I'm thankful for our A/C.  It's really a necessity here for a good part of the year.  As I type it's humming in the background and it isn't really all that warm right now.  However, they say we'll have temperatures back in the 80's sometime this week.  A/C is just as important to us as heat is to International Falls, MN.  Yes, I'm thankful for our comfort which we tend to take for granted sometimes.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Today I'm thankful for the rebirth I saw on Galveston Island.  We took a ride down there today and drove along the Seawall and then headed over to The Strand.  I remember on one of our first trips down there after Hurricane Ike I thought the island would never be able to recover.  I was wrong.  It's coming back strong.  They're not there yet, but they've come a long, long way.

For information on the Giving Thanks Challenge click on the button on my sidebar.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Today I'm thankful that while driving along in a different part of Houston we spotted a Dunkin Donuts.  They are few and far between here and we hadn't had any of their donuts in many, many years.  We zipped right in and bought a dozen.  (They were $6.99 a dozen and when we last had them I think they were $3.99 a dozen.)  Sounds like a simple little thing, but we were thrilled and for that I'm thankful.

Reid's latest biopsy...

Reid had the biopsy yesterday, but it was not what was originally planned.  The Oncologist told us that if Interventional Radiation thought it was safe he would have a biopsy taken from the mediastinum.  If that wasn't possible at this time they would wait two months and rescan Reid to see if it was possible then.  He indicated that there was something a little suspicious in the mediastinum and they needed to have a biopsy from there before proceeding.

We were told to watch Reid's My MD Anderson page where appointments are posted.  If the biopsy appointment appeared then we would know that they felt it could be done at this time.  So, we showed up yesterday fully expecting the biopsy be taken from the mediastinum.

Jim went back with Reid for the pre-op stuff and when he came out to wait he told me that they had been told it would be taken from the back.  That's what was done and we didn't see any doctors afterwards, so we'll have to wait until his appointment on Tuesday to find out what is going on.  Reid later told me that the Physician's Assistant indicated that it wouldn't be safe to take it from the mediastinum because of veins and blood vessels.  There was too much of a chance of hitting one.  This time the biopsy was a CT scan guided one. 

Meanwhile, we'll have to go down to MD Anderson today for more pain medication prescriptions and to have Reid's chemo port flushed.  It was to be flushed once a month and it's time again.

On Tuesday we'll know more and I'll try and post at that time.  Your warm thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Today I'm thankful that Reid's biopsy procedure went well and there were no complications.

For more information on the Giving Thanks Challenge sponsored by Leah click on the Giving Thanks Button on my sidebar.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Today I'm thankful for all the safe trips we've had on the Houston freeways.  Over the years no one in our family has ever been in a serious accident.

For information on the Giving Thanks Challenge click on the Giving Thanks Challenge button on my sidebar.

GIVING THANKS CHALLENGE - Days 15 and 16...catch up!

I'm playing catch up this morning, but I'm no less thankful the last couple of days.  I just didn't have time to get over here and post.  I'll try and do better this evening and post day 17 then.

I'm very thankful for food.  We never go to bed hungry like many do in this country and other parts of the world.

I'm also thankful for the water we drink.  In many parts of the world they do not have clean, safe drinking water.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I'm thankful that Hurricane Season will officially end on November 30th and that there have been no hurricanes along the Gulf Coast of the United States this year.  The weather has cooled off and I believe we can all breath a sigh of relief now.


On Thursday, November 18th Reid will have another biopsy done at MD Anderson.  This one will be taken from the mediastinum.  Then on Tuesday, November 23rd he'll see the Oncologist again.  Your warm thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


November 13, 2010 would have been my Dad's 92nd birthday.  Today I'm thankful for the many, many good years he had on this earth.

For information on the Giving Thanks Challenge click on the button on my sidebar.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Today I'm thankful for the deep blue sky and white fluffy clouds that I saw this morning while driving to the next town.  I was mesmerized by the beauty of the sky.

For information on the Giving Thanks Challenge click on the button on my sidebar.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Today on Veterans Day 2010 I am grateful to all of our past and present military men and women.

I am especially thankful for all the Vietnam veterans who bravely served during that difficult time in our Nation's history.  Because of an unpopular war, we failed at that time to welcome you home as the heroes you were.  For that I am very sorry.  Welcome home.