Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dad update 11-30-08

Well, Dad is back in the hospital again. He has gone downhill pretty fast in the last few days. I think he has given up and is ready to go home- to his eternal home. He doesn't want to eat, take medicine, or move much at all. He is tired of all this and I think his body is too. We were trying to get him set up with hospice this weekend, but with the holiday, they won't do anything until Monday. We thought it might expedite the process if the hospital were to arrange things for us. I think that Dad is in his final days now. It's hard to let him go, but it's what we have to do now. We went as a family and made some final arrangements yesterday. That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. How do you stand in a room with your Dad and pick out a casket for him to be buried in? Please pray for peace and comfort- we need so much of both right now.
My brother leaves tomorrow for a few days and I'm still planning on going to Arkansas this week with Josh. Please pray that Dad holds on until both of us are back in NM. I can't imagine Mom being home by herself when Dad passes. Thank you all for your love and support.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving week update

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is over already. We had a good week as a family. Josh was here and my brother is still here. I had to work quite a bit, but it was nice to come home to a house full of people I love each day. Josh and I did venture out one afternoon and get our Christmas picture taken. This year, we hiked about 3/4 mile down a trail and found a nice mountain scene for our backdrop. Titus did pretty good, and it only took about 12 pictures before we got a good one of all 3 of us.
Of course we had a feast yesterday and get to eat wonderful leftovers for the next few days. And I'm a little tired right now as Mom and I were at the mall at 4am to get in our traditional day-after-Thanksgiving shopping. Yes, we are among the crazies that search the ads, make a plan, and wake up at the crack of dawn to grab a few bargains. I think it's fun, and I always look forward to the years that Mom and I are together for this holiday and get to leave the guys at home!
Dad has been getting weaker the last few days and that's been hard to watch. We all wish we could make things better and take this disease away, but instead we can only pray that God brings peace and relief from suffering.
I have been putting off blogging about next week because I'm trying not to get overly excited. Since several of you know and have been asking, I decided I should say something. Josh and I are headed to Arkansas Tuesday for a job interview. Josh applied for a teaching job at John Brown University that starts next fall. He has already had a phone interview and now they are flying both of us out for a couple of days. Wednesday will be a day full of meetings, interviews, and presentations for Josh. I get to join him for a few things, but mostly I get to relax and learn about the area. We have been praying for a job like this in this area for a while. We really think it would be ideal for us, but we are trying not to get too excited too soon. So please keep this in your prayers in the coming days. We'll let you know how things go!
So that has been our week. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday full of many things to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I know it's a week early, but I've been thinking about thankfulness a lot lately. Our family has been going through some hard stuff, and it's easy to get sad and depressed. Dad's overall attitude has been so great during all this, so one of my main goals over the last 6 months has been to try to focus on all the positive things and be thankful for each day we have together. I think this blog entry is more for myself than for anyone else. I'd like to make a list of things I'm thankful for so that I can come back and read it when I lose my focus.
I'm thankful for...
a God that I can trust to keep His promises... a hard-working, faithful husband (that I get to see in 2 days!!)... the best, most loving parents I could ever ask for... the world's greatest brother (and lifetime friend)... awesome in-laws and extended family... comforting, dependable friends and church families... the Bible... prayer... my goofy Titus who makes me laugh every day... my health... nature... doctors and nurses... a warm, comfortable home... safety... financial health... emotions... opportunities... transportation and technology (sometimes-ha!)
OK- I'll stop there. I could go on and on with all the "little" things I'm thankful for, but I won't. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get to spend it with those you love. Josh and my brother will be joining us in NM this year. Thank God for all the blessings in our lives!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Finally back home

Dad finally got to come home today. He is very weak, but I think we're all glad to be out of that hospital. Please keep praying! We love you all so much.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More days in the hospital

It looks like Dad will be in the hospital at least until Friday. The doctors really haven't been able to nail down a cause for his weakness, so they're still doing more tests. Dad has been having some strange moments where he sits up and suddenly gets weak and dizzy. These spells have lasted up to an hour so it's pretty concerning. We saw a neurologist for the first time today. She sees some signs of Parkinson's that might be completely unrelated to anything else. She also has a series of tests she wants to do to eliminate some causes and narrow down the problem. So please just keep praying. Dad is starting to feel a little like a lab rat with all the tests and experiments going on. It seems like we're just treating drug side effects with more drugs but not really getting anywhere.
Thank you for all your calls, emails, and comments. I apologize for not answering each of you individually, but I am truly not home very much these days and haven't had time. I do read all of your notes and appreciate all the love and support.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another day

Dad will be in the hospital at least until tomorrow. The doctors don't think there's much else they can do for Dad at the hospital, but they want to watch him for at least one more day. There are fewer chances for infection at home, so they don't want him in the hospital if it's not necessary. We'll be having a home safety check soon and possibly get some in-home care for Dad. Dad is to the point where he can't sit up or stand up by himself, and Mom and I are just not strong enough to completely hold up his weight. Hopefully the case worker will have some good suggestions for us around the house and some tools/equipment that will make life a little easier.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dad update 11-10-08

Dad is still in the hospital and will be spending at least one more night there. His platelets dropped again today, so the doctors are trying a new drug and might have to do a transfusion if the numbers get much lower. Dad is still very weak and gets completely out of breath if he has to sit up or stand up. His blood sugar level is also a new concern. He actually had to have insulin shots and is on a diabetic diet now. It shocked me a little when I showed up at his room today and there were rules posted on the door. No outside food unless approved, wash your hands before entering, no plants or flowers, etc. It's pretty hard seeing Dad in this condition, but his spirits are still good and he tries to make everyone laugh as much as possible. I'll post more if we get any news.

Back in the hospital

Just a quick note before I leave for work. We took Dad back to the hospital yesterday. He was really, really weak and was having lots of digestive problems. This could be side effects from chemo, but it was bad enough we thought he better get looked at. We were in the ER until about 9pm last night, and then Dad got admitted to the oncology floor. All kinds of tests were run yesterday, but nothing significant showed up. His platelets are still dropping, but that's not too surprising at this point.
We not sure when Dad will get to go home. I'll try to update later today if I get the chance. Thank you for your prayers.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dad update 11-5-08

Dad has been feeling weak the last few days, and he took a fall yesterday. He cut his head and had to have 4 staples but is doing ok. He had a MRI done last week and we got the results today. The news was very disappointing. Apparently Dad's biggest tumor is interfering with the brain stem now. The doctor says this is the reason for Dad's recent weakness and moments of blurry vision he has been having. He also only gave Dad 2-3 weeks without treatment. His platelet count is still too low to go back on his chemo pills, but Dad decided to ahead and have IV chemo done this afternoon. We are hoping Dad's blood is not affected by this type of chemo and that it controls the growth of the tumors. The plan is to see the doctor again in 2 weeks, get another dose of chemo at that time, and have a MRI in 4 weeks to see if treatment has been helpful. It's very hard to know how to pray right now, but I still ask you to pray hard for our family.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hittin' the trail

I've been itching to get outside more, so today I took my 89-pound trailblazer and went exploring. We found a nice little trail in the mountains and walked for about 4 miles. It was called Otero Creek Trail, but I didn't think we would find any water. We eventually found the "creek" but it was just a bunch of puddles. Titus didn't care- he just ran around splashing and drinking.
My little trailblazer
I found water!
Just a little snack along the way.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Titus' favorite day of the year

Today was our annual trip to the vet. Titus absolutely loves going to the vet. So many new smells, rooms to explore, people that love him, treats, and of course all the animals- what more could a dog want? I'm happy to report that Titus is perfectly healthy (despite his 9 pound weight gain- he's now 89 pounds!) I asked the vet if there were different vaccines that we needed in NM that weren't necessary in WA. She said it's not so much viruses and diseases that they worry about here. The main problems are lacerations, barbed wire, rattlesnakes, and mountain lions. Not much we can do about that!
Here's a picture of Titus trying to contain himself until the vet comes back.

I've been meaning to post pictures of Titus with his new toy. Mom went to Bath and Body Works and got this free stuffed Lambie. Titus absolutely loves it, and since it doesn't squeak, it has actually lasted a few weeks.

The Standoff

The attack

The victory! I think it's dead!