Friday, August 30, 2013

A Birthday Morning!

We were preparing for another night of baling (but it was too wet) and the next morning celebrated a birthday - Akleigh is 2 years old.
I wanted to give her a dump truck, but wanted a pink one. 
Tonka doesn't make pink dump trucks so I had to create my own.  Spray paint helped make it pretty easy, still keeping the Tonka look.
Akleigh was happy!

I was happy that the truck turned out cute.
sorry my camera doesn't do movement very well
She was happy with all of her gifts!
Happy Birthday!


... and the baling ... well, they stayed one more night to get the baling done, because it was too wet the first night, but now it is done for this go-round!
I think silage harvest is the next big push, but I should have asked before I post about it - oh bother!  I guess you'll learn if I was right or not, when I post about the next farm work being done.
Happy Day Y'all!

Medical Report

Blood draw in Royal on the 27th - phone call from Dr. Smith a few hours later.
To WVC for neupogen shot on 28th.
Get stronger medicine to help with terrible cough.

Received a call this week from SCCA and a package in the mail with our info.

Arrival date is Sept 25th - we have one month 23 days.
So much to consider, plan and do in preparation for this.
We are hoping and trying to make this as easy as possible, but it's not easy!
In some ways it's easier than the first time, but in other ways it is much more difficult.

We can do hard things!  Especially when we have the Lord on our side - or when we are on His side.
So, we move forward with anticipation and HOPE!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

More Medical News

We went to the doctor again - it was just a normal check up for Terry this time.  All is well.

WBC = 4.1(L) - normal is 4.5-11
RBC = 3.78(L) - normal is 4.5-5.9
Platelet Count = 43(L) - normal is 150-400
Ab Neutrophils = 0.9(L) - normal is 1.8-7.8

I don't recall having mentioned about the other counts in a while -
It is quite nice to see all the liver counts and a dozen other on the lower end of the chart in the normal range, and have been for several weeks now, with only an occasional (H) here and there.  I couldn't tell you what that means for sure, but it is nice to see some normal counts so often.  We will see how long that lasts.  :) 

Terry did get a Neupogen shot because of the low neutrophils, and the fact that he is taking the Revlimid, which lowers those counts. 
He has been taking the Revlimid for about 2 weeks now and will continue for another week, then stop for a week and start up again with a higher dose for another 21 days.
This is hopefully going to lower the CLL count and prepare him for transplant.

The lab work from the Hickman Line testing were in, and as expected, proved to be infected.  The name of that bacteria is Psedomonas Orysihatitans #2  (you understood that, right?)

There is some info at Everyday Health, and some at ABIS Encyclopedia, or you can google it and be more confused. ;)  

The good thing to know is that we believe it to be gone now, especially since the source (the Line) has been removed and antibiotics taken.

Now, for some much anticipated news -
SCCA called and we now have an arrival date.  It's coming up too fast - we only have a month -
SCCA arrival date is September 25th.

I'm not ready!  But, I have 4 weeks to get ready.  My TO-DO list is going to get longer, rather than shorter for awhile now.  I think I've been trying to not think about it too much, and even hoping that it would get moved back a bit, but no such luck.
With all the thoughts running through my mind, I can only imagine how concerned Terry is about leaving his sons again, during a busy harvest time ....

Oh how we will be relying on the Lord.  With His strength we can do all things!

(I have no picture for today, sorry!  I know that pictures speak a thousand words and touch the heart faster than a word might, but today I will use words to quickly describe the picture.
Picture this -
Me, at my computer, with Akleigh on my lap, both of us in our pjs and with sleepy hair, but the sun shining through the window glistens so beautifully on hers in front of me, and the house is quite for another few minutes. 
Yip!  It's been another couple days/nights of baling, and for the most part, it went well.  Lovin' the family time!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Just a little update

BJo is feeling better every day.  Well, Friday was a hard day - it was that day when it is "worse before it gets better".  But Saturday and today she is feeling some relief and mending and it seems that things are now in the "better" days.  Woohoo!  Happy Day!  We hope it lasts.

As for Terry, well, the bandage is now removed from the chest where the Hickman Line exited and though it's still wounded and tender, it is on the mend.  It looks good!  No signs of infection or concern.  He was able to work a little Friday and a little more Saturday, though it was short hours and very exhausting, it seemed to help him feel like he is accomplishing something, which is good.

This is the week for more updates - Terry will see the doctor Tuesday and BrittanyJo will see hers on Thursday or Friday.  We hope to share good news for both.

BJo was given a booklet of instructions and this image was in it.  We have seen this image many times at SCCA and occasionally at the WVClinic.  It's kinda funny to me. 

We saw it on the wall at the emergency room in Wenatchee too.
I'm not convinced that it's an accurate way to determine pain for everyone. 

Oh well!  It is what it is.

Here's hoping that your pain is at a 0 today, or at least a 1 or 2. 

Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It's Back .... and .... It's Gone!

What's Back?  -  the chilling, trembling, fever, vomiting, etc.

Terry went to bed Sunday evening feeling pretty good except for the aches and pains that seemed to be worsening, but by 11:15 he was beginning to chill and the chilling kept increasing, bringing with it all of the other terrible symptoms.  I started heating blankets for him - trying to keep a warm blanket on him at all times.  I don't remember what time it was when I was able to get back in bed for the night because it was over, but I know it wasn't really over because I could still hear his breathing was not normal and I could feel that he was still trembling some, even though he didn't need the blankets anymore.  I think that it all seemed to go away and things seemed more normal around 2:30am.   

We contacted the doctor Monday and got a call that evening to tell us of a scheduled appointment to have the Hickman line removed the following Monday.  That didn't seem too acceptable because he'd have to go thru this everyday for 7 more days.  We have noticed that this attack takes place a few hours after we flush his lines, and we have to do that everyday.  Once it starts it just keeps going.
That just can't happen. 
So we did the next best suggested thing.

What's Gone? - the Hickman Line has been removed.

Doctor Smith told us after the last round of problems got cleared up that if it happened again the line would need pulled because we would know that the line is what is causing it.  So, Bye-Bye Hickman Line!
We went to the Central Washington Hospital Emergency Room, arriving there about 9:20am, and asked for a doctor McCourtie, as instructed.  There was much confusion because ..., well, that's a long and hard to explain story ..., there just was!  We finally got admitted and met with this doctor, who has an awesome accent (he's from England) and a kind personality to match it.  We like this guy - he is a surgeon, and if we ever need a surgeon again we might request him (though we aren't really sure what his specialty is).  He had read Terry's file and was aware of his past and even some of the future medical concerns and was very pleasant to work with.  Dr. McCourtie requested a CBC to check the platelets level because they had to be over 50 to pull the line or he could do some major bleeding. 

Well, platelets today were 29 - quite common for Terry lately, so he was given a platelets infusion.  Alas, it was time to pull the line.

FYI - here is an idea of how the Hickman Line is attached in the body.  What you cannot see is where the line is attached inside.  I remember the doctor who inserted it (Dr. Petty) telling me that it was attached at the top (#1 area on the diagram), but do not remember anywhere else, but Dr. McCourtie suggested it could be attached in other places (between #1 and #2) as well.  So, this tug has got to be hard enough to effectively remove it from these attached areas.  They are apparently attached with some sort of "cotton" type something or other. (Informative huh!)

Position of a central line

Doctor numbed the area and pulled the line out.  Yip, he tugged and pulled on the line from the place it comes out (#3 on the diagram above) until it was all out, putting pressure on the wounded areas of Terry's chest and neck (#1 and #3 areas in the diagram above).  Doctor said that it was evident that there was infection because a line that has been in that long (3 1/2 years) wouldn't have come out as nicely as it did.  ("Nicely" doesn't mean that it was easy and that it didn't hurt, but it wasn't as complicated as it could have been for that amount of time.)  They sent part of the line away for testing. (I wonder why they don't send the whole thing?)

So now, Terry sports a bandage on the hole left behind in his chest (area #3).  It should close up in a few days. 

Oh, there is more to the story though -
Terry was placed in a position with his head lowered than the rest of his body while the line was being pulled.  When he was raised again it caused some terrible pain in his chest - the worst kind of heartburn he has ever felt in his chest and back.  It didn't subside so they gave him some medication to help.  They had the heart monitor going and gave him some oxygen hoping to help.  He did begin to feel better. 

But no, we were still not done.  I started to notice areas with a red rash and raised spots on his body, much like a large mosquito bite on a reddened area of skin.  Oh No!  This was a reaction to the platelets infusion.  Luckily they can do something about that, so in comes the dose of Benadryl to stop that reaction.

Well, now we were ready to leave - we think it might have been about 1:45.   A LONG DAY!

We had some lunch at the clinic bistro while waiting for some prescriptions to be filled, and made a couple grocery (mostly for fresh fruits for smoothies) and gas stops and were on our way home.

Terry is taking Levofloxacin again now to help with the infection so we hope these episodes are over - really over. 

The other prescription we had filled was for BJo who was home alone most of the day, but did fine.  Other than being somewhat bored, she is doing well.  We are apologizing with the fresh fruits for smoothies or slushies or whatever they are called.  ... insert smile here ...

Hopefully we are all on the mend now.   But I'd better go make dinner and a smoothie/slushie!
May your day be merry and bright!  (oops!  I think so much has been going on here that it should be Christmas already.)

Have a good day!  If you want or can!  :)

Friday, August 9, 2013

FYI - another medical report

BJo got her tonsils out today - long day - at home recovering!
She is doing fine! 
She will be down and taking it easy for several days.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Family Fun!

We were so excited to get to have Gregory and Adena and their children here for a few days after the family reunion.
We tried to let the work wait and have some fun while they were here ...,
We went to the theater to see Despicable Me 2. It was fun to hear the kids laugh at the silly things.  I don't know what my rating would be on this movie - it was cute and I love the pro-parenting and do-good theme, but didn't care for the occasional additions of potty humor.

We went to McDonalds after the movie for some fun in the climbing toy and a bite to eat. 
Can you tell we were focusing on the grandkids that day?  That's kinda what we do! 
(you can also tell that I didn't take the camera ..., oh bother!  I missed a few photo ops due to a dead battery, so I quickly got that taken care of. Whew ... now I have some fun memories to share in visual form!)
We enjoyed being together for the normal every day occurrences, like eating ...,
one meal included roasted hot dogs/sausages 
and s'mores ...!
We played ...,
and played ...,
and played ...,
and played ...,

and played ...,
(who can find Akleigh?)

We gave gifts ...,
and became gifts ..., 


(did you know it was Ethan?)

We read books ...,

We played in the sand and the water ...,
(thanks to some awesome friends/neighbors)

  Here is evidence of some busy days ...,
We had to say good-bye last night, but are so grateful for the time together ...

Now, we have some work to catch up on ...
vacation / staycation is officially over!

That terribly overgrown lawn you saw in some of these photos is getting cut today, and the straw is going to be cut and baled, weeds pulled, and the house will be cleaned and laundry done, the painting of the bathroom continued ...,  

That's Life!
(and I'm/we're happy to have one!)

Another Doctor Visit

Terry had a regularly scheduled doctor visit this week, and is one small step closer to transplant.  He is feeling better, as far as the chills & trembling, fever, and throwing up, but he does have some nausea and lack of energy and aching that doesn't seem to wanna go away.  I will agree that he is doing better and that he is fine, but he still isn't feeling well.

Blood Counts for this visit:

WBC = 4.1(L) - norm is 4.5-11.0
RBC = 3.63(L) - norm is 4.50-5.90
Platelet = 51(L) - norm is 150-400 (this count is up by about 20 so that is strangely better)
Neutrophils = 0.9(L) - norm is 1.8-7.8

Because they want to bring the CLL counts down before transplant they have decided that Terry will take the Revlimid pills again, so he has started those.  That pill causes low white counts so they gave him a Neupogen shot before leaving.  He will be aching from that now.  


Have you heard ...

Welcome to Confluence Health

Wenatchee Valley Medical Center and Central Washington Hospital are now Confluence Health?
More info here.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Family Reunion

'Tis the season for family reunions!
We were all looking forward to this year's family reunion at Pacific City, Oregon. Another thing we were looking forward to was getting the wheat harvested.  Both seemed to need done at the same time, so that was a bit tricky for us.
We started harvesting wheat on Monday and the reunion was to start on Tuesday.  The harvest would take about 4 good days, and the last full day of the reunion was Thursday, so we wouldn't be able to fit both of those things into our schedule as we had hoped.
Terry told me to take the kids and go, but with his poor health lately, I just couldn't leave him.  I was torn apart - wanting to go and wanting to stay - each had an important place in my heart, but I knew what I had to do. I had to ask the Lord for peace because I was feeling so disappointed, and I am so grateful that He did send it.
 I didn't want the kids to miss it, so we sent BrittanyJo and Anthony early.  They followed my brother and arrived in time for all of the festivities.  I am so grateful that he was willing to lead the way and be there for them if anything went wrong.  I wouldn't have sent her off on her own, especially that far away and with no idea of the area. I love my family and I'm so grateful for their compassionate service. 
After two good days of harvest Terry decided that we would leave Wednesday afternoon to attend the last full day of the reunion (Thursday). 
Wouldn't you know - that morning the combine steering went out and had to be repaired.  So, Terry made a quick trip to Odessa for parts and repaired the combine.  We finally left about 4:30pm, arriving in Pacific City at about 11:00pm. 
Thomas and Michael stayed to finish the wheat harvest. I was grateful that they did that, but sorry that they missed out on the reunion.  Luckily they had each had some time off earlier so that helped me feel a bit better.
My parents and their children - missing one couple unable to attend, and one son who passed away many years ago.

Gregory and Adena were able to attend this year.  It was fun to stroll along the beach with the kids and collect some precious souvenirs together.
This is the house we stayed in (with other family members) and gathered in for one of the meals.  It was right on the beach, comfortable, and enjoyable - it had everything we needed kitchen tools, bathroom and beach towels, movies, games, sand, beach, space, a great view, etc. 

We gathered for family pictures, wishing that Haystack Rock was more visible, but happy to be together ...,

We played ball ...,

decorated and flew kites ...,

played Kubb ...,

visited ...,

strolled along the beach ..., collected sea shells ...,

gathered (at another home) for dinner and more time together ...,

enjoyed the traditional candy toss by Grandpa Ron ...,
(usually it is peanut m&m's being tossed, but this year it was individually wrapped candies ..., enjoyed by all ...,  could you imagine m&m's out on this wet lawn?  ew! yuk!  )

Time went by too fast for us and clean up began Friday morning.  There wasn't much to do because it was much like a motel - use it and leave it for them to clean up.  We did make sure it was straightened up (and we had to wash our dishes and put one load of towels in the washer). It was an awesome place!

Terry enjoyed some time with Maddie while we were packing up.

 It was so awesome to be able to attend this one day.  I am so grateful for everything that came into place to allow it, from the parents that started this family through to the siblings that planned this years reunion, and the kids that stayed home to harvest, and a husband who loves his wife and desired to make her happy ...,

I am also grateful for the peace that our loving Father in Heaven sends to help us make it through the tough days.  We all have those tough days and wouldn't be able to live as happily without His help.  We are so blessed!