Sunday, November 30, 2014

Transfusions as Normal

Friday appointment was a normal day with 2 reds and 1 platelets transfusions.  Not much more to say than that, though we are grateful that Terry isn't in as much pain as he had previously been.  As I say that I think about the pain that is still present, but I am glad that some has diminished. 

We have a wonderful season ahead to help keep us focused on things of importance, so in addition to caring for Terry I am going to slowly work on cleaning and decorating and otherwise trying to prepare for a wonderful Christmas, while trying to remember that "The glitter of the season should never ... prevent us from truly seeing The Prince Of Peace." 


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving Day 2014

Thanksgiving Day was a nice day with family here.  We had Anthony, BJo (who came home Friday night last week), and Chase (came home Wednesday), and Brandon, Thomas and Michael with their families = 16 people.   Everyone helped with the food preparation and it was a delicious meal. We had a relaxing day, (to some it was almost to the point of boredom at times) but we were together and I loved it.

A highlight for the day was getting to talk to our missionary.  Ya!  This year in Connor's mission the missionaries being released before Christmas were allowed to call home on Thanksgiving.  :)  This was certainly a tender mercy for him and for us.   The Lord is watching over us and taking care of some of the little things that make such a big difference to us.  Connor will be home in 2 1/2 weeks! :)  A great Christmas gift!

I keep finding it hard to remember to take photos of family when we are together, and I'm blaming it on the fact that being together just makes me so happy that I forget to take a photo now and again. However, I can usually remember to take a picure of the tables since it's just the last step of preparation, so here are a few photos that help document part of our day.

The tables:

I had an idea a couple months ago ...
I thought these figurines would make a great Thanksgiving tablescape so I did some searching on ebay for a few of these things.  Most were very inexpensive, but this happened to cost more than any other set because it is so beautiful and a bit more delicate.  It is my favorite set!

I thought I would pair these things with some greenery, but I got rid of all my greenery at a yard sale this year and I hadn't purchased any to replace it, so I had to come up with a different idea.  I just started looking through what I had and came up with this.  It worked!

I had enough to put two sets of figurines on each table and this smaller set was on the back side of my favorite set shown above.

I didn't do a very good job of centering that photo did I?  I was kinda hurrying when I took these photos and it is really quite noticeable. OOOPS!

I loved the set of the older couple gathering their crops.  I loved the corn and the basket of potatoes they had gathered.  Whether gathering for a feast or for winter storage it fits the holiday beautifully.  I am grateful for the gardens we have in the area that provide such wonderful meals for us and for neighbors and friends that gather their food to share with others.  We have been the recipients of such beautiful bounty.

Another favorite was of this couple who had a goose and a chicken at their side.  They seem so thankful for their bounteous blessings of food and of providing for themselves.  I am grateful for a husband who has provided for us so well over the past 34+ years.  We have much to be grateful for.

Auger, Akleigh, and Elsie helped set the tables.  They seemed to enjoy every minute of it.  It created a beautiful setting.  I am partial to it partly because the table cloths are the cloths we used at our reception in February 1980.  I have had them sitting in my hope chest all these years and wanted to use them again.  It seemed that this year they were the perfect addition to the look I was trying to create.  My heart loved the look and feel of the day!  (even if some of the colors did clash a bit)

I saw that Chase took a photo of the buffet table that we had in the kitchen.  After bringing out so many other dishes to wash I decided to be frugal with my dish washing time and just serve the food out of the pots and pans they were prepared in.  Ug!  Sorry!   But, there were no complaints!  :)

Everyone helped make the food and it was very yummy stuff.  We have some great cooks in the family.  Chase also took this photo, and then apologized to me.

One last photo for the day - 
Elsie loved to help push her grandpa wherever he needed to go.

Thanksgiving is now in the past and we look forward to the wonderful Christmas season ahead. 
May our hearts turn to Him, our Savior, Jesus Christ
at this most wonderful time of year
and remain with us forever.

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year Christmas Sign
found here

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tuesday (25th) Appointments

We did not meet with Dr. Smith today, but did meet with Dr. Barber.   Dr. Barber was so happy to learn that Terry had no fever this past weekend and that the swelling in the lymph node area in his neck is reducing in size.  The best diagnosis at this point is that these problems of late are all due to internal bleeding, not infection.  They are still painful problems we have to deal with but we are pleased that they are not an infection that cause other complications and harder to fight off.

Terry had 2 red cell and 1 platelets transfusions. 

A great quote for today -
"Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny."

- C.S. Lewis

Monday, November 24, 2014

Friday Appointments

Friday visits were interesting.  We went from one doctor who seemed quite passive in helping Terry with his problems to another doctor who was so intense in trying to find out what these problems are and how he can help fix them.  We love the feeling we had with our infectious disease doctor. 

Terry woke up in the middle of the night Wednesday with very large swollen glands on his neck.  They were painful and made eating very difficult (soft foods is definitely on the menu).  This problem is additional to the leg pains and other pains and discomfort Terry is going through right now so it seems to me that it would be pretty miserable and I wanted some help for him (more than just pain reliever - I wanted some help in trying to clear it up).

First doctor suggested that CLL (or Lymphoma) could be coming back at this point, and that was all that was mentioned about it except for "do you have enough pain medication?"

Second doctor asked when and how fast it came on, and a few other questions to help diagnose the problem.  He then suggested it could be internal bleeding, especially since it came on so suddenly, and CLL would have swollen a little at a time instead of all at once within a few short hours.
This doctor also thought that the leg pains were due to the same thing - more internal bleeding and he then suggested that it could be one of the IV meds causing it. 
That medication was stopped immediately and an oral med replaced it.  We hope to see less of this swelling and pain in a few days, though we are somewhat skeptical of the added oral medication because it is something Terry had previous to the hospital stay.  But we continue in faith.

We feel like we have a doctor on our side and that we are doing the best we can do for the moment.  Another thing we have on our side is our faith and trust in the Lord.  We know the Lord is with us every step of the way.  Sometimes it seems a little difficult to see and feel, but we know it and we need it and we love it. 

Here is part of a special message from Donald L. Hallstrom. 

"In the most difficult circumstances of life, there is often only one source of peace. The Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, extends His grace with the invitation “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He further promises, “My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you” (John 14:27).    

image from here

His most exemplary act, the Atonement, required Jesus to descend “below all things” (D&C 88:6) and suffer “the pains of all men” (2 Nephi 9:21). Thus we understand the Atonement has broader purpose than providing a means to overcome sin. This greatest of all earthly accomplishments gives the Savior the power to fulfill this promise: “If ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence … , if ye do this, he will … deliver you out of bondage” (Mosiah 7:33).
... let us turn to the Lord, our “bright and morning star” (Revelation 22:16). ... He will forever light our way, our truth, and our life (see John 14:6) ...

 Full Message by Donald L. Hallstrom HERE

In our most recent General Conference of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Dallin H. Oaks reminded us that "The Savior is the Prince of Peace".  (HERE)
I have been listening to Christmas music for a few weeks now and when I hear that sung or said in any way lately it touches my heart more than any other time in my life.  I have heard it over and over and always believed it for many years, but at this moment in my life I feel it more powerfully than ever before, and associate it with inner peace instead of worldly peace, and I wholly rely on it.  I wholly rely on Him, The Prince of Peace.  I love the Lord, our Savior, The Prince of Peace!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Terry had two doctor visits and a CT scan and blood products Tuesday, November 18th.

Dr. Barber (infectious disease) was our first appointment as a follow up after the hospital stay.  Terry seems to be feeling better in many ways concerning the issues he had in the hospital but he has developed a new problem with his left leg just above the knee that is making it almost impossible for him to get around.  This, of course, was concerning and is the reason for the scan. (No results from that yet.)

Dr. Barber thought it would be great to send Terry back to the hospital to help take care of the infections attacking his body, but Terry told him he would rather not if it wasn't absolutely necessary, suggesting that he gets better care at home.  It is true that he doesn't have to wait for 20 minutes to get a nurse to help him get more blankets or to the bathroom as needed during the night.  Don't get us wrong here, we are very grateful for their good care, but it does lack something that one can only get at home..., and Terry wants to be home.

This is probably a good time to share that we have to be even more careful with visitors and we must make sure that anyone that enters the house is well and has no symptoms of cold, flu, or other illness or infections.  

Dr. Smith (oncologist) was our next visit and she understands his desire to be home.  We have had this discussion with her a few times.  She seems to understand and agree that home is going to be the best place right now, so until we hear different, that is the way it will be. 

This was the first time Terry entered oncology/infusion room in a wheel chair and it was a tender thing for many of the nurses to see. We appreciate the love and kindness shown during our care there, and the friendships that have been made.  They are good people and we love good people everywhere.

We went to get the CT scan and then to the hospital room for 2 bags of platelets and 1 bag of red blood cells.  The first bag began to flow at 4:30pm so we knew we were in for a long evening. Overall things went pretty smoothly with the transfusions but Terry was feeling poorly due to the dye given him during the scan.  We both probably welcomed the affects of the Benadryl as it helped him get some better sleep for a couple hours.

We got home late, but it was good to be home and we are hopeful for some better days ahead.   We hope to hear what they decide is the problem with his leg and get something that can help it.  

Today's quote is

Inspirational and spiritual quotes from LDS General Conference (17)
image found here

"The words of the prophets in the scriptures ... are the words of comfort, love, strength and good cheer that will embrace us all."   -  Carol Louise McConkie

Sunday, November 16, 2014


I guess I should tell you that we are home from the hospital.  Terry had a few days without fevers and home health care was available and scheduled so that we could come home Saturday afternoon.

We saw this on our way home ..., just up the road from our house.  It's cold and that icicle proves it!

We had a great home health care specialist come help us and teach me about each of the three IV antibiotics that I have to give here at home.  They are all different than I have given before, but one does use a pump like we have used before.   It would have been really difficult to figure it all out on my own and he was a very kind person. 

As for Terry's first night at home ...  it was kinda crummy.  He didn't sleep well, had some pain and a fever this morning.  We knew we should not be out among others today so we stayed home trying to keep him warm and comfortable and away from illness as much as possible and gave him his IV meds on schedule. 

Next doctor appointment is Tuesday unless something unforeseen happens (and we are praying that it doesn't).

Now I'm going to step back a few days and share a couple photos from the hospital because I don't want to forget them.  The first is of Turner with his grandpa.

This next picture is of Elsie and Michael fixing the slide we gave her for her birthday.  And then one of her enjoying the slide...and she does!  ( I stole that photo from Tawnee's Instagram)

So, it's Thanksgiving time of year and I am almost feeling compelled to list a few of the things I am thankful for today. 
I am grateful that Terry was able to come home.  I am thankful for Terry!  I love being with him.  I am thankful for our home and the comforts within it.  
I am grateful that we had a good home health care specialist to help me learn my new responsibilities.  It's so much easier when you feel comfortable around a stranger in such a time as this.  I am grateful for doctors and medicines that help cure illness and help prolong life. 
I am thankful for life! 
I am thankful for every member of my family!  I love to see them smile!  I love happiness!  I am so grateful that we are an eternal family.  I am thankful for love
I am thankful for the Savior and for the peace and comfort that He sends our way in time of stress and frustration and pain and sorrow.   I am grateful for His servants, His Prophets and Apostles and for their inspiring messages, especially those given this last general conference.   I am grateful for every opportunity to be better than I am or have been, and for those things that inspire me to do so. 
I am thankful for the priesthood and the powerful blessings that we receive through worthy priesthood holders. 

Oh!  One more thing ...
We have Connor's release date ...
December 17th.  This makes our hearts rejoice!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Two Weeks!

Terry is still spending his time in the hospital.  So I thought I'd share another picture of the view from his window, two weeks later (first photo here).  There is a little more color out there and it was beautiful in the sun today.

Terry still has fevers and this morning had a really bad chill and long lasting rigors that made the rest of the day pretty crummy. 

Doctors are hopeful that the meds they are giving him will do the trick in a few days.  They are also checking for a line infection and if there is one they will pull out the Hickman line.  We hope that is not the case because it is so much better than poking him, especially since he bruises so badly each time they do.  The doctors are also wondering if the high fevers will just be a common occurrence for Terry at this point.  There are still no definite answers so we are just taking things one day at a time ... as usual. 

As far as doing better ... it's hard to say from one day to the next.  He had a really good Sunday, but a not so good Monday.  Whatever I say will be wrong as soon as I say it.   The doctor told us today that he thinks we can get him home before Thanksgiving.

He is somewhat in isolation.  If anyone has a cold or other illness or any symptoms they shouldn't come in his room.  Everyone is to wash up before they enter the room and I have noticed that the nurses and doctors are really doing a great job at that. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

News update from the hospital...

I suppose it's time for an update on Terry.

A few days ago the doctors started exchanging Terrys IV meds for oral meds in preparation for sending Terry home this weekend, but a couple days later he started getting worse (more fevers and worsened chest/lung pain), so he is still in the hospital.

They switched some meds back to IV and if things go well they might consider sending him home Tuesday. He is still getting fevers a couple times a day so we just don't know at this point what to plan on.

I spent the night (Friday night) since Anthony was with the band in Auburn so I'm writing this on the iPad with no knowledge of how to add an image, but I can write a quote, so here is one of my last pinterest saves.

F E A R has two meanings:
Forget Everything And Run
Face Everything And Rise
The choice is yours.

It's been a rough 11 days so far with ups and downs, but we are doing all we can with what we have control over.  I'm trying hard to face everything and rise because the other option is not pleasant.

We continue to pray for better health ...
We thank you for your prayers in our behalf.
And, we send our love your way.

Have a good weekend!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Overdue Medical News

I am really sorry that it has taken me so long to post.  I have been slacking on posting, but not in caring, and I realize that it is time that I share part of what has been going on with Terry's health, and we are definitely going to post something more than the blood counts and transfusions that have become quite ordinary in our lives of late.  Those things still took place but I guess we needed to jump outside that box for a different ride, and oh what a ride we are on.

I tried to keep a daily log, but didn't really want to blog it from the beginning, but now that we are several days into it, it seems easier for me to share.  So, hang on for this ride with us if you choose to continue reading.  However, at the moment this is not the daily info that I previously logged, but a short version.  I might come back later to add the daily logged info, but I don't have time for that tonight.  Even the short version is long enough.

Friday night (Oct 24th) Terry had one of those terrible trembling shakes and chills which led to a fever of 102.8 (anything over 99.9 is not good so this was alarming).  We got this down with Tylenol, a cold damp washcloth rubbed around on his head, and cool drinks of water.

He had daily fevers (up to 103.8) all that weekend and we tried to reduce them as quickly as possible. There were other symptoms that kept us concerned, which included a sore on his outer calf of his right leg that kept getting worse (larger, redder, and more painful) and a pain in his upper left chest (similar to the pain one feels with pneumonia but higher).

We kept our Tuesday (Oct 28th) doctor appointment and went prepared to be admitted to the hospital.  Terry needed the 2 units of reds and 1 platelets, but also needed some IV antibiotics so we went to Central Wa Hospital for those needed transfusions and to stay a few days to determine and treat the
other problems.

This was the view from his window the last few days.  This is pretty on a sunny autumn day, but it's been raining or overcast most of the time.

There were several doctors questioning Terry and tests that took place the first day, but then things seemed to slow down, and we kept hearing what it could be or might be and probably was or wasn't. 

The fevers and pain in the chest continued in the hospital and soon it was both sides of his chest.  IV antibiotics continued and more were added and oral meds were added, as was PCA (pain medication at the push of a button as he needed).  Platelets and red blood cells were given almost daily.  They had him start wearing the oxygen hose Thursday because he was in enough pain that his breathing was very shallow.  His stamina was lacking, if he had any at all.

After a couple days, his leg sore (cellulitis) began to look better and better each day but the other problems remained.  It became apparent that he indeed had pneumonia and that he also had two spots in his lungs that looked like bacterial or fungal infection.  They treated for that and Terry is beginning to feel better now.

FYI - Our last two Halloween days have been spent in a medical facility.  This post includes photos from this years holiday/2014.  If you wish you can click HERE for the post from last year/2013.

Elsie is trick-or-treating but nervous that her grandpa is in a patient costume this year.

Michael, Elsie, Tawnee

Anthony, Auger, Akleigh, Thomas & Boston, Dana,  and Terry.

And here is another photo from the trunk-or-treat Chase participated in with the Car Club at Walmart parking lot in Wenatchee this year.  Fun stuff!  I guess I should have posted this earlier so I could wish everyone a Happy Halloween!  Hope you had a fun one!

Dana & Boston, Thomas & Akleigh, Anthony, Auger, Chase
Okay, back to the medical news...
Terry looked really good today (Nov 3rd).  The leg has improved a lot, but still has some redness that they think is just petechia (pe tee kee i).  The pain in the leg is gone.

Terry had no fever last night :) and we hope it remains that way.  He has not used the PCA med for two days so it was disconnected, his chest pain is lessoning, and they removed the oxygen today.  

The nurse walked in and saw Terry clipping his nails this morning and got so concerned, almost begging him to stop, but told him to be super careful because his platelets were only 10.  ;)  We assured her that he would be careful, but the very fact that his platelets were 10 was a good reason to clip his nails today.  (He hasn't seen 10 for a long time, but we know that is because he has been given platelets daily for awhile.)  It became a fun moment that we smile about now. 

He had a pretty good day today but we don't know when he comes home.  We know they need to continue treating things so that they clear up completely and don't get worse, and we are taking it one day at a time. 

Our laptop crashed awhile ago so I only have the ipad at the hospital and it's too hard to post from that, so I cannot promise when I'll post again since my time at home is so limited.  We hope he will be home in a few days, but it's best that we make no promises, even though we wish we could.

I'll close with a quote Connor shared in his letter today.

"The words of the Lord are found in the scriptures and the teachings of the apostles and prophets. They provide us counsel and direction that, when followed, will act like a spiritual life jacket and will help us know how to hold on with both hands."

This quote is from M. Russell Ballard, "Stay in the Boat and Hold On!",  General Conference October 2014