Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Moving along...

Reid had his second Adcetris infusion a little over a week ago.  He felt kind of yucky up until today, but now he's starting to feel better.  They did reduce the drug by 36 or 37%.  I asked the nurse, but can no longer remember if it was 36 or 37%.  That struck me as kind of odd.  Why not 35 or 40%?  Must be some kind of formula they use, but the drug was reduced because of a couple of liver numbers that had gone up.  The doctor has him scheduled for a scan on July 5th to see if the drug is working.  Reid and I were both a little concerned about him being scanned so early into this treatment.  We both would prefer to believe the drug is working for a while before he's scanned.  I'm not sure if that makes much sense to anyone that's never dealt with cancer before, but for those of us waiting for scan results it makes perfect sense.  We would prefer to delay the stress for a while longer.  Please keep Reid in your prayers.

I was thinking the other day how quickly life changes.  I had gone to Keith's in Austin for a weekend in April.  When I returned that Sunday I was only in the house a couple of hours when I took Jim to the emergency room.  I never even had a chance to tell him about the trip.  I do remember driving home that Sunday and thinking to myself what a good idea the trip had been.  Keith had some time off from work and suggested that I come to Austin for a break before Jim had another round of chemo and Reid had his biopsy.  They had all encouraged me to go.  Keith and I had such a good time and I felt so well rested.  I had absolutely no idea what was to come.

I finally took the time to look at the pictures the other day.

Keith and I visited the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  The bluebonnets were just about shot and it rained a little, but there were no crowds and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
There are trails and we enjoyed hiking.  I believe this was an underground cave along one of the trails.  It was a while ago and I know we saw a sink hole and a cave. 
Maybe this is the sink hole???
Even without a lot of wildflowers it was very scenic.  I would love to go again someday.

We also visited an overlook that weekend.  There are some cliffs and you hike up to the top and the view is wonderful, but I only know that because Keith took pictures.  I chickened out.  I was afraid of slipping and falling, so Keith took my camera and hiked to the top.
Little did we know how much our lives were about to change.  Sometimes ignorance is the expression goes.

Thank you Keith for such a nice time.  I probably forgot to tell you.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day 2012

I was torn about what to do this Father's Day, but knew I wanted to go somewhere else.  I thought about going to Austin for the weekend to visit Keith, but Reid was scheduled to have chemo on Tuesday and I knew he wouldn't  feel up to making the trip.  Then his chemo was canceled because of an elevated liver number in his blood work and rescheduled for this Tuesday.  So, after talking it over we decided to drive to Brenham, Texas and meet Keith there for lunch.  Brenham is about half way between Austin and Houston and took us about an hour and 40 minutes to get there.  One hour of that time was spent driving across Houston!

This is Keith and Reid taking it easy in downtown Brenham.

I didn't want the day to go by unrecognized either, so I had a present for each of the kids.  I gave Troy his present on Saturday and Reid got his before we left home.  Keith got his when we met in Brenham.  They each got a framed picture of the three of them with Jim.

We ate at a placed called the Brenham Grill and we all thought it was very good.  We had a good time and we'll probably do it again one day.  The drive wasn't that bad...especially on a Sunday when traffic is lighter.

When Keith came to visit the end of May I had a special gift for him, but forgot to take a picture.  I made sure to take one in Brenham.  Keith and Troy were tested and if Reid should need another stem cell transplant Keith is a match and will be the donor.  He teases Reid about it all the time.  He's told Reid that once he has his stem cells he'll be able to read his mind and know exactly what he's thinking.  I don't believe there's any medical evidence to prove that, but the two of them have a lot of fun joking about it.  Since I'm a little nervous riding in the car with Keith I got him a bumper sticker for his car.
We do have fun sometimes in spite of everything.

And I was in a store the other day and bought myself a present.  I figured I'd better buy it myself before one of the kids saw it and bought it.

I hope everyone had a nice Father's Day.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Moving along...

I guess I'm moving along, but at a snail's pace.  I've gotten a lot accomplished, but still have lots more to do.  I hadn't paid a bill in almost 44 years.  Jim was an accountant and it just made more sense for him to do it.  I've had to set up my own system and so far it's working out OK.  I still have some big decisions to make, but I'm taking my time and not rushing into anything.  I did join a Griefshare group at a local church which has been helpful.  We're all in the same boat (so to speak) which really helps.

Reid had the Adcetris infusion and although it's not nearly as difficult as the chemo he's had in the past... it's not exactly a walk in the park either.  He's had waves of nausea, but at times he's felt OK too.  He's been able to eat which is a big change from the regular chemo.  I don't imagine he'll be loosing any weight this time.  The fatigue is a problem, but has improved a little this week.  Last week when we went to the store I had to drop him off at the door and pick him up again when we were done.  He just didn't have much energy at all.  This week that has improved a little too.  Next Tuesday he'll have the second infusion.

Keith came last Thursday and stayed until Sunday.  We had a really nice visit.  Thursday was his birthday and we all went out for dinner at an Italian restaurant.  That was his choice and it seemed appropriate for someone born in Italy 43 years ago.  How time flies.  I found it a little sad without Jim though.

We had a little rain while Keith was here and a branch broke off and got caught up in the pecan tree.
It was a bit of a problem since it was hanging above the mailbox and I was afraid it would fall down and hurt someone.  It had broken off pretty high up in the tree and fallen quite far before it got stuck.  I don't know if you can see in this picture where it kind of peeled off, but I guess the weight of the pecans had something to do with it.
Keith went out and got to work.  That thing was stuck real good.
He couldn't just yank it out, so he ended up having to saw some off before it would come down.
We lugged the biggest piece to the backyard and broke up the rest so the trash men would take it away.  If we ever need to get out the chain saw we'll cut up the piece we put in the backyard.  For now it can just stay there.  The cats enjoy using it as a scratching post anyway.

As Gilda Radner used to say, "It's always something."

I'm so glad the primary election in Texas is over.  We have something called the "Do Not Call List" in Texas, but the politicians wrote the law and excluded themselves.  I can't even begin to tell you how many robo calls we received. I lost count, but I would guess at least 30+ in the two weeks leading up to election day.  I haven't been sleeping well and one afternoon I decided to lay down for a little while and there were three calls during the hour and a half that I attempted to sleep.  I even got a robo call from the former mayor, the current mayor, the Governor...all on behalf of the candidates they were supporting.  Some didn't even respect Memorial Day.  I believe I got three calls that day.  I think the law should be amended and we should be allowed to opt out of political calls too.  Does anyone listen to recorded messages anyway?  People put themselves on the "Do Not Call List" so they don't get disturbed.  If they want my vote they need to show me that they respect the intent of the Texas "Do Not Call List" law.  I don't want robo calls from anyone.  I've even E-mailed both county political parties in past years asking them to stop, but I've never received a reply.  This year I E-mailed the mayor and asked that the calls stop, but I received no reply from him either.  It's just an attitude that says to me, "We're better than everyone else and can do as we darn well please."  This isn't a Republican or Democratic thing.  They all do it!  I think it shows a lack of respect for the voters. 

This is the only place I've ever lived where the politicians have a sign contest.  This was taken outside city hall.  Do they think the candidate with the most signs wins?  Maybe it's the candidate with the biggest sign?
I know in past years I've seen city workers taking them down the next day.  Personally, I think there should be a limit to how many signs each candidate can put up on city property and then they should have to take them down after the election.  Maybe limit the size too.  Do they do this where you live?  What about the annoying robo calls?

This is one of my pet peeves.  Thanks for letting me vent!