Friday, May 30, 2014

Side Effects, Back To Highbanks? and What's Next?

DeBary, FL.

70 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast = Mostly cloudy early, then thunderstorms developing this afternoon. High near 90F. Winds SE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80%.

By Tuesday, Linda's bones were really aching from that injection that she received on Friday. Normally, the ache starts on the Saturday or Sunday after the injection, but for some reason it was delayed this time. She has also had extreme fatigue and although she doesn't have that rash anymore, she says that at times, it feels like her skin is burning. :-(  

It's not all bad news though. She has been able to sleep pretty well and when Big RED took her and Jim to the Chemo Doctor's office yesterday morning, all her blood counts were with-in the normal range. Also, by yesterday evening, it seemed like she was feeling a little better and I heard her ask Jim if he'd like to go back to Highbanks to stay in the trailer for awhile, pretty soon?  :-)

So, what's happening next? Well, depending on how Linda is feeling, we may end up over at Highbanks in a few days. Linda has another chemo doctor's appointment this next Thursday for another blood test and then she'll have her last Chemo Treatment on the 12th of June and her last injection on the 13th. After that, she'll have follow-up appointments with the Chemo doctor for at least 2 weeks.

Once the Chemo Dr. releases her, (we have no idea when that will be and it could be quite awhile), we will be outta here and on our way back North to Illinois. Jim already has a trip plan for the trip up North and the trailer is pretty well stocked up, so it wouldn't take us long to get going.

Of course all these plans are in pencil and Jim still has that big eraser. Ever since Linda was diagnosed and we came down here last August, we have not been able to make any real plans, and it's still that way. That has actually been one of the toughest things about this whole process, (the uncertainty of it all). I'm hoping that by next spring Jim and Linda will be able to make more concrete plans and we'll be able to get back to more normal, (for us), ;-) living.

Did you know that on this date in 1854 - The U.S. territories of Nebraska and Kansas were established?


Monday, May 26, 2014

Spare Tires, More Chemo, A Close Shave and Remember Those Who Served

DeBary, FL.

71 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast = Partly cloudy. High near 90F. Winds E at 10 to 15 mph, 20% chance of rain.

By 8:45 Thursday morning, Big RED had taken Linda and Jim over to the Chemo Therapy place and soon after, they had taken Linda into the treatment room and Big RED and Jim were on their way back here to the house.

I don't think I mentioned it, but when we were at the trailer last week, Jim decided that it would be a good idea to check the tires on the trailer. Well, can you imagine his surprise when he removed the cover off of the spare tire and found out that it was the wrong size??? Not only was it the wrong size, but it was a 14 inch tire instead of a 15 inch tire, but the wheel had only 5 lugs instead of the 6 lugs that the trailer has!!!!

So, even in an emergency, there would be absolutely no way to mount the wheel on the trailer!!!!

Anyway, after having another cup of coffee, Jim took Big RED and headed over to Highbanks to get the spare off of the trailer. From there they went to LaMesa RV where Jim talked to Shane, (the service adviser). After checking, Shane said that it would not be a problem and he had the parts person order and new spare tire and wheel for the trailer. When Jim asked, she told him that they should receive it in about 2 weeks.

It sure is a good thing that we're not traveling right now. I don't know how we'd get the new tire and wheel if we were on the road.

On the way back from LaMesa, Jim stopped by at the 4 B's Restaurant for breakfast before coming back here to the house.

It was around 3:00 when Linda called from the chemo place to have Jim come and pick her up.

Friday, not much went on around here until around 3:30 when Linda and Jim headed over to the Chemo place to get her injection. After finishing there, they went over to Steak & Shake and had a couple of burgers for dinner.

By Saturday, Linda's bones were starting to ache from that injection so other than helping Jim do a couple loads of laundry and visiting with Laura when she stopped by for awhile, not much else was accomplished.

Yesterday morning, Ashley, Anna and Laura stopped by for awhile. Ashley has a new sewing machine and is wanting to learn how to use it, so Linda is going to help her. They're planning on making a blouse or something for Ashley so the first step was to measure Ashley so that they can get a pattern one of these days.

Another reason for Ashley coming was to shave Linda's head again. You see, Linda's hair had started to grow back and it was probably about an inch and a half to 2 inches long, but since she is getting the chemo treatments again, the hair has started to fall out once more. :-(

Thanks Ashley!!! ;-)

After Laura, Ashley and Anna left, Jim and Linda watched the Indy 500 race on TV, took naps and then watched most of the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 race, after that.

I guess that pretty well brings this blog up-to-date. Linda's getting many of the Chemo side effects back again, but there's only 1 more Chemo Treatment to go!!! It'll be on June 12th, (Laura's Birthday), and then after the injection on the 13th, all of the treatments for the cancer should be completed!! :-) Then, it will be time for the recovery process to begin.

Please take some time today to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day. So many gave so much so that we could be free.

“Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.”
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Back Home Again

DeBary, FL.

66 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast = Sunny. High 94F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph 0% chance of rain.

Late Tuesday, after going over to Gram's Kitchen for dinner, it was decided that it would be better to head back to the house before Linda's Chemo Treatment, so yesterday morning, bright and early, Jim started packing things up. Then, when Linda got up at about 8:30, she ate her breakfast and helped Jim finish the packing.

By noon, we were back at the house and most of the things that they had brought back were already put away. They left quite a bit of "stuff" at the trailer this time, so in the future it should be much easier to gather up what's needed and head over there. :-)

We were only at the trailer for 4 days, but it was a nice little get-a-way and I really think it was good for both Linda and Jim.

Today, Linda has her 2nd Chemo Treatment of this series of 3 treatments. Her appointment is at 8:45 and it'll probably be mid to late afternoon before she gets back home. We're hoping that there's no weird side effects this time, (like the rash she got after the last treatment).

No big plans for the near future. A lot will depend on how Linda feels after this treatment.

Did you know that The first Indianapolis 500 was held on May 30, 1911, which was on Memorial Day?  Ever since, the race has always been held on Memorial Day weekend (Sunday)  in (of course) Indianapolis, Indiana.


Monday, May 19, 2014

We're Back At Highbanks

DeBary, Fl. (Highbanks Marina & Camp Resort)

59 Deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast = Plentiful sunshine. High 86F. Winds ENE at 10 to 15 mph.

Much to my disappointment, we didn't go to Highbanks Friday, so Saturday morning, bright and early, I was waiting by the door, ready to go. ;-)

Actually, Jim and Linda had packed up a whole bunch of stuff on Friday and taken it out to Big RED, so there really wasn't that much to do before we left the house Saturday morning.

As soon as Jim started carrying things out, I ran out to Big RED to make sure they didn't forget to take me!!!!

By about 10:30 or so, we were on our way to Highbanks. :-)  Once there, it took quite awhile for Jim and Linda to get everything carried inside and put away. In fact by the time they were done, they were both tuckered out and ended up taking naps.

Not a whole lot has happened since our arrival. Saturday evening, Jim cooked some burgers on his little charcoal grill while Linda put salads together inside. Sunday, Jim cooked a large pork chop on the grill and Linda cooked asparagus inside and got out some French Bread to go with it.

They have been organizing and reorganizing both days and there's still a tote in the back of Big RED that needs to be gone through and the contents put in boxes that are in the outside storage area of the trailer. Jim also hooked up a different water filter that he bought at Low's the other day so that we'd all have better tasting water to drink.

He had been using one of those in-line hose filters, but it wasn't doing the job and the water tasted like chlorine. :-(

I don't know exactly how long we'll be staying here this time. A lot will depend on how Linda feels and they also have to take into consideration that this Thursday, Linda has to go in for another Chemo Treatment and then, that injection on Friday. :-(

The weather has been great since we've been here at Highbanks. The highs have been in the lower to mid 80's with low humidity and there has been a nice breeze blowing. The nights have actually felt kind of cool, with lows in the upper 50's. That's going to change though, they're forecasting highs in the mid to upper 90's starting on Thursday and staying that warm throughout the weekend. And, of course, that also means much higher humidity. :-(

Linda seems to be doing better. She's feeling pretty well, the rash and the itching are gone, but now her skin is peeling, just like it would as if she was getting over a sunburn. She's very fatigued most of the time and gets aggravated when she tries to do things and can't because she has to rest all the time or ask Jim to help her. She's trying real hard to keep her spirits up though and I really think it's been good for her coming out here to the CG.

Did you know that May is "National Salad Month"?


Friday, May 16, 2014

A Good Doctor's Report and A Plan

DeBary, FL.

63 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast = A mix of clouds and sun. High 81F. Winds NNW at 10 to 20 mph.

Linda's doctor appointment with Dr. Saferali was at 8:00 yesterday morning, so Linda had to get up very early in order to get ready to go. :-(  But, by a little before 8:00, Big RED had taken Linda and Jim  over to the Chemo place and soon after, Linda was getting her blood test and was meeting with the doctor. 

The new tests showed that her white and red counts had now returned to close to normal and the other tests done to the blood were now with-in specs. :-)  Also, the rash that Linda had is just about gone and the itching has almost stopped. The doctor was pleased with the results and told Linda that now she didn't have to worry so much about catching something if she went out in public.

So, when Linda and Jim left the doctor's office, Big RED took them over to the 4 B's Restaurant for Breakfast!!! ;-)

Not a whole lot happened the rest of the day. Linda was tired, (remember, she had to get up "before the crack of dawn), so she slept in her recliner for some of the afternoon. Laura stopped by for awhile to visit and find out how Linda's doctor's appointment went and Jim and Linda started making plans to go over to the new trailer at Highbanks for awhile again. In fact, we're probably going to head over to Highbanks either today, or tomorrow, depending on when they can get things together to take over there.

And that, brings up another problem.

Jim and Linda are finding that to go over to the trailer to spend a few days, they're having to take quite a bit of "stuff" back and forth. This makes it difficult to just go over there for a few days. They've started making a list of what they need to take with them and what to bring back here when they return, but there's always something that gets forgotten.  It's also a pain to lug all that "stuff" back and forth and put it all away, especially if Linda doesn't happen to be feeling too well, or is fighting a lot of fatigue.

They don't really want to buy doubles of everything, but they'll probably be purchasing some things to make the back and forth moves a little easier.

So, if everything goes well, my next post should be from the trailer. I like it over there and it gives Linda and Jim a chance to get away for awhile. ;-)

Did you know that today is "National Sea Monkey Day"?


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Jim Goes Shopping And Brigns Home A New Toy

DeBary, FL.

73 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast = Thunderstorms likely. High 88F. Winds ESE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 80%.

Jim took Big RED and headed out to do some shopping yesterday. One of the items he went looking for was one of those little benches that you put in the tub or shower to sit on. He found one at Walgreen's.

From Walgreen's, he headed over to Lowe's, (with a stop at the gas station to get Big RED a drink of #2 diesel. There, he picked up a flex downspout extension to go on a downspout at the rear of the house so the water will be directed away from the house. As he was walking towards the register to check out, he noticed that 2 Lowe's employees were putting some merchandise out on a clearance table. One of those items was a "Dremel" type rotary took kit. Being that Jim's Dremel had died a year or so ago, he decided to buy this one.

It's kind of neat. Of course it has the rotary tool with accessories, but it also has 4 different small pliers, 6 small screwdrivers and 2 "Exacto" type knives with extra blades.

From Lowe's, Jim headed over to Bed Bath & Beyond to check out a "music center" that he had seen when he was there the last time. He and Linda had been considering buying one of these for a long time, but just hadn't done it.

For those of you that may be interested, it's called a Wooden Music Center, is made by Innovative Technology and it's model# ITVS-750.

It has an AM-FM radio, a 3 speed phonograph player, a cassette player and a CD player/recorder, all in a nice wooden case.

You can use the CD recorder to record from either the phonograph or the cassette player. This allows you to transfer all those old vinyl records and cassettes to  CDs. (Jim and Linda don't have any records anymore, but they do have a whole bunch of cassettes).

Jim hasn't tried recording anything yet, but he and Linda were listening to the radio and some of those old cassettes and a few CD's yesterday afternoon.  ;-) It's pretty large, so they won't be taking it along in the RV, but it should work out well when we're here at the house.

Linda still has her rash but it doesn't seem to itching her so much. I think the dizzy spells have gotten a little better, but she is very fatigued. Tomorrow she has an appointment with the chemo doctor, so we'll see what she has to say then.

Did you know that in fall of 1877 Thomas A. Eddison invented the record player?


Monday, May 12, 2014

A Mother's Day Breakfast For Linda

DeBary, FL.

70 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast =  Partly cloudy. High 89F. Winds E at 10 to 20 mph.

Laura called Saturday and told Linda that she and Lindsey would like to come over and make breakfast for Linda and Jim Sunday morning for a Mother's Day present.

So, Sunday morning Laura and Lindsey came and did just that! ;-)

Lindsey is quite a good cook and took charge of the scrambled eggs

and bacon

Laura was in charge of drinks and toast. (She butters the toast all the way to the edge) :-)

Ashley and Chris came over too and brought Linda a "Miniature Rose" plant for Mother's Day.

After eating, Jim snapped this photo of Ashley and Chris,

and another one of Laura, Linda and Ashley.

As you can see, everyone was having a good time and was "hamming it up" a little for the camera. :-)

Oh, and I almost forgot!!!! Laura and Lindsey also brought Linda a nice carrying bag for Linda's sewing supplies, (or something like that), and some neat wind chimes.

Around noon, Laura and Lindsey headed over to Lindsey's parents and Ashley and Chris headed over to Chris's mom's house.

Linda was so pleased that Laura and Lindsey made the breakfast for her. It really made her day!!!

Thanks, Laura, Lindsey, Ashley and Chris, for picking up Linda's spirits during this difficult time.    :-)

During the afternoon, Joe called from Virginia Beach to wish Linda a Happy Mother's Day, Mike called from North Carolina, Anna from Jacksonville and Linda called her sister in IL and her brother's wife in WI.

A very good day!!!! :-))

Did you know that Bobbie McCaughey is the mother who holds the record for the most surviving children from a single birth? She gave birth to the first set of surviving septuplets - four boys and three girls -on November 19, 1997.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

DeBary, FL.

74 deg. partly cloudy, SE wind @ 6 mph.
Forecasts = Generally cloudy. High 88F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. 20% chance of rain.

 is for the million things she gave me.

 means only that she's growing

 is for the 
tears were shed to save me.

is for her 
heart of purest gold.

is for her 
eyes with love-light shining.

right and right she'll always be.

Put them all together they spell 

I hope all of you Moms out there have a GREAT day!!!!!

Did you know that the trend of celebrating mother's day can be attributed to the ancient Greeks, who celebrated this holiday in the spring season to honor Rhea, the mother of the gods?


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Different Side Effects

DeBary, FL.

70 deg. clear, E. wind @ 5 mph.
Forecast = Sun and clouds mixed. High 92F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph.

Linda has been having some different side effects from the Chemo treatments this time. First of all, she didn't have near the bone pain this time. She thought that was great because that's when Joe was here and she was able to enjoy the visit. Well, as it turns out, the injection she had a week ago Friday didn't work like it was supposed to, and now her blood counts are quite low.  In fact during the chemo doctor's visit on Thursday, the Dr. suggested that she not go anywhere where there are too many people, and gave her a mask to wear if she did have to go to a busy place. She has also developed a rash that itches a lot.

The chemo doctor believes that all of this is because the radiation treatments and the chemo treatments are interacting and both are affecting her at the same time. So, she gave Linda a couple prescriptions to try to help with the rash and ward off possible infections.

Her dizzy spells have also gotten worse again and at times has been having difficulty just moving around here in the house.

Yesterday, Roland and Louise, (Jim and Linda's very good and longtime RVing friends), stopped by for a couple hours. They're on their way to their place in North Carolina for the summer. While they were here, Big RED took Jim and Roland over to Highbanks to see the new trailer, and then to Arby's to get some sandwiches for lunch.

They had a very good visit and it sure was good to see them once again. And, there's a small chance that we'll be able to see them again this fall. :-)

Then in the afternoon, Laura stopped by for a little while. She looked at the lab report and agreed with what the chemo Dr. has said and done. She and Lindsey are visiting Anna in Jacksonville right now, but they'll be back in a day or so.

I know this has been a kind of "downer" post, but I try to tell it like it is. Basically, Linda is doing OK and except for a few days, her spirits have been pretty high. She's a fighter and I'm sure she'll fight her way over  his bump in the road too.

Did you know that On April 9, 2003, Satyabhama Mahapatra, a 65-year-old retired schoolteacher in India, became the world's oldest mother when she gave birth to a baby boy?


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Joe's Visit

DeBary, FL.

65 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast = Sunny. High 92F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph.

Joe was able to get a flight Friday and by about 2:00 he was pulling up to the house in the rental car. :-)  After H and K, (Hugs and Kisses), and some visiting, they all climbed into Big RED and headed over to Dr. Saferali's so that Linda could get her injection. (The one that makes her bones ache).

In a little while they were back here and relaxing. Joe especially needed to relax because he had gotten up really early so that he could get to the airport early to be sure of a seat on a flight.

Because everyone was tired and the weather wasn't too nice, (Lots of rain), Linda called Laura and Lindsey  and invited them and Ashley and Chris to come over for pizza. (Sorry no photos). :-(

After they arrived, the pizza was ordered and soon everyone was enjoying the food and catching up with what has been happening with Joe and his family.

The side effects from Linda's injection didn't seem to get too bad this time so on Saturday, after spending the day visiting and relaxing, Jim, Linda and Joe took Big RED and headed over to Gram's Kitchen for dinner. Jim and Joe had the fish special, and Linda had a chopped steak meal. Again, the food was very good and the conversation even better. ;-)

Sunday morning, they headed over to Highbanks to show Joe the new travel trailer. Then on the way back here to the house, they stopped by Walgreen's and picked up a few needed items that Jim and Linda needed.

Monday, not a whole lot happened. Laura stopped by for awhile in the afternoon, Joe made spaghetti for dinner and then Laura and Lindsey came back and spent most of the evening visiting.

Early yesterday morning, (around 6:00 AM), everyone got up and visited for awhile while Joe packed all his belongings  up. By a little after 7:00 and more "H and K", (and a few tears), Joe was on his way back to the airport. :-(

It sure was good to see him again. His visit really really lifted Linda's spirits. It's too bad he couldn't have stayed a little longer, but he had to get back to Virginia. Hopefully, if all goes well, we'll be stopping by their house this fall.

Did you know that May is "National Vinegar Month"?


Friday, May 2, 2014

A Disappointment and One Down And Two To Go

DeBary, FL.

71 deg. partly cloudy, S. wind @ 6 mph.
Forecast = Thunderstorms likely. High 77F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 90%.

Yesterday morning, we found out that Joe has had some problems getting here. He has some kind of tickets that let him fly free, but only if there's empty seats on the flight. Well, when he got to the airport yesterday morning, the flight was completely full and there was no seat for him!!! :-(


They told him that there was another flight this morning that wasn't so booked up, so he'll wait until this morning and hope to get a seat on that flight.

Linda's Chemo Treatment went well yesterday. Again it was a long day and she didn't call Jim to come pick her up until about 3:00 in the afternoon.

One treatment down and two to go!!!!! ;-)

While Linda was getting her treatment, Jim took Big RED and headed over to LaMesa RV in Sanford. I don't think I told you, but the tray in the micro-wave turntable was missing when we got the trailer and they've been trying to get a replacement. Jim has talked to them a few times over the phone, but yesterday, he took the microwave booklet in and talked to the service adviser and the parts people. They didn't have the turntable in stock, but at least now they have the proper numbers to order one.

Today, we're looking forward to Joe coming. If all goes well, he should be getting here early afternoon. Then, at 3:00 Linda has to go in for that injection that helps her immune system but makes her bones ache.

Did you know that Airports in the US alone cater to about 29,000 domestic and international flights each day?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Back At The House and A Good Report

DeBary, FL.

71 deg. clear, S. wind @ 8 mph.
Forecast = Partly cloudy with afternoon showers or thunderstorms. High around 90F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

By noon on Tuesday, we were back at the house and Jim was unloading "stuff" out of Big RED. It was another hot day with temps hovering around 93 degrees, so he took his time.

About the middle of the afternoon, Dr. Saferali's office called and told Linda that the Dr. wanted her to come in on Wednesday morning for a saline transfusion because the test that they had given Linda on Thursday indicated that she was dehydrated. After explaining that she had appointment with Dr. Graham at 10:00, an appointment was made with Dr. Saferali at 11:30.

This was kind of disappointing because both Linda and Jim had planned to use Wednesday afternoon getting the house and other things ready for Joe's arrival on Thursday. :-(

So, after doing some cleaning and straightening Tuesday, Wednesday they headed to the appointment with Dr. Graham at about 9:40. Dr Graham was pleased with how Linda was doing and when they told him that they were planning on heading North to IL, NC and VA this fall and wouldn't be returning until sometime in November, he said that that wasn't a problem and he would like Linda to make an appointment to come back in for a CAT Scan when she returned to the area.

And, by the way, Dr. Graham also told Linda that the Radiation treatments that she received were very aggressive and with those treatments plus the aggressive Chemo treatments she was receiving, he really expected to find Linda to be cancer free when they did the scan. :-)  :-)  :-)


After leaving Dr. Graham's they had some time before Linda's appointment with Dr. Saferali, so they just drove around for awhile, looking at some of the areas of Orange City that they used to go to.

While Linda was getting the hydration transfusion Jim headed to Winn Dixie, bought some groceries, then brought them back here to the house and put most of them away. It was about 2:30 before Linda called Jim to come pick her up and about 3:00 before they returned.

The rest of the afternoon was spent putting away the rest of the groceries and relaxing.

This morning, Linda's Chemo treatment appointment is at 9:15, so she and Jim will need to leave here a little before 9:00.  The treatment will take most of the day, so it will probably be late afternoon before she's finished.

Joe's flight is supposed to get in at 11:30, so by the time he gets his luggage, rents a car and drives here from Orlando, it'll probably be around 12:30 or 1:00. It sure will be good to see him again. The last time we've seen him was in November, right after Linda's surgery. ;-)

A Point to Ponder :  Sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.