Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Come what MAY

I've been trying to post for a week or so but at the top of my blog where the sign- in bar is supposed to be there was only a blank white space. . .:( Don't know what that was all about. Anyway things look back to normal now so I hope I can remember what I was going to blog about.

Let's see--the wind continues to blow and blow most of the time which makes it pretty miserable to get outside to work in my yard or garden. Uhg! However, every time I feel like complaining, I think of the people in the midwest who have lost their homes or even lives and I feel very grateful that we and our homes are still intact.

I had managed to put 3 dozen sixpacks of flowers into pots ready to put out in the yard (grass and weeds don't seem to find their way into the pots--yeah!!) and then last night it froze good and lots of vinca and marigolds suffered accordingly. I'll have to replace them. Rats. I've been working on getting a water line (drip) to my newly planted grape and berry plants so I don't have to hand water them, but I keep having problems with too many leaks, etc. Will keep working on that. We bought a new riding lawn mower so now Frank does the mowing--nice. I also got a new weed-eater as my old one had completely worn out so now now there's no excuse I can't continue to do that job regularly.

We will leave for Las Vegas tomorrow and the wedding of our oldest grand daughter, Summer on Friday. We're looking forward to that. Before we leave Frank has a doctor's appt. in Show Low to see what direction he wants to go with his treatment. Always that hanging over his head. . .

We were looking forward to seeing all our kids in Las Vegas for the wedding but Kristal has been too sick with her pregnancy (has a feeding tube in which bypasses her stomach and goes into the small intestine)in order that she can get any nourishment to herself and the baby. The tube is VERY uncomfortable in her throat, making it raw and swollen and we're hoping she won't have to have it in the 4 to 8 weeks the doctor indicated. Anyway she won't be able to go to LV. Bless her heart!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bone Marrow Biopsy, Fathers' and Sons' Outing in Pine Valley

The day after we returned from Puerto Vallarta, Frank went to the hospital for a bone marrow biopsy (BMB), the first since his multiple myeloma diagnosis the beginning of 2009. Since the cancer is of the newly forming white (plasma) blood cells in the bone marrow, it is important to occasionally see how it is progressing. The procedure, done under general anesthesia, was uneventful but he was quite sore for a few days.

A couple of days later we drove to St George where he planned to go with our son, Lance and his son 7-year-old son Carson on a Father and son's outing to Pine Valley, where their ancestors had helped settle. They had a great time and Saturday after the outing which included about 60 or more men/boys, Frank, Lance and Carson went to Enterprise Lake and fished, catching many large 12-16" trout which they brought home and cooked for us. Yum!

While they were gone, we girls all went to the movie "Gnomeo and Juliet" for our Mother Daughter date. Lots of fun! We also attended the Hershey track meet and Kayla took third place in the long jump. Hailey also participated. We had an enjoyable time in St George and were glad for the opportunity to spend time with family.

Kayla on the stand receiving her award

This Monday we returned to the doctor for the results of the BMB. The first one he had done in 2009 revealed that 50-60% of the cells were malignant. This time the percentage was 40, which is not good but the chemo had decreased them quite a bit. Since he hasn't been able to continue the chemo beyond 2 treatments in the last 6 weeks because of neutropenia, (see previous post) his M-spike continues to rise. He had had 4 Neupogen shots the past month which had raised the neutrophil count but it dropped on its own and this week when we found out the results, he is neutropenic again. Uhg!! He got another Neupogen shot and we will have more labs next week to see if the neutrophils have risen and he can get more chemo. The problem is, he was feeling quite good until he got the shot. It made every bone in his body hurt and he feels like he has a terrible case of the flu. Each time he gets the shot that happens. (The chemo does the same thing). The doctor is concerned about the effect the chemo (Velcade/dexamethasone) will have on his white count and feels it is time to start looking for another option. He feels that exposing him to a high risk of infection would be asking for major problems. Dr. T is checking into a suitable (if there is one) clinical trial at the Mayo clinic in Scottsdale and will find out if he can qualify for it, based on what has/is happening and the chemo he has already received. We'll return to see him in a couple of weeks and see what he has found out.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

No Chemo, Loss of Great Grandchild, trip to Rancho Banderas

A lot has happened since my last post. Frank has been off chemo for about 6 weeks to give his body a chance to recover. Dr. T. is very cautious which is good as too much could be toxic to Frank. He got myeloma labs last week and will have a bone marrow biopsy tomorrow (under general anesthesia) and then next week we'll go find out the good/bad results and go from there. In the meantime we have been busy--can't let moss grow under our feet, as he would say!

Kandra brought her two cute little boys and stayed a week before Easter to give Gavin a chance to run around in the woods playing with cousins, etc. instead of indoors all the time in LV. Those boys are sure cuties. Check Kandra's blog for more info. on that!

Unexpectedly, Wendy and I went to Las Vegas just before Easter when we found out that it was determined that Summer's baby (our first great-grandchild) and 34 weeks in utero, had no heartbeat. We made it to the hospital that night and after a LONG labor, she delivered a precious little stillborn son named Eric Ryan, weighing 3#15 oz and 19" long. We planned a memorial service there in her ward with her bishop presiding and speaking. Lance also spoke, gave a very touching talk and there were several beautiful musical numbers. Tarik's family was there as well as Kandra and her family and Lance and his. When the paperwork was completed, Wendy, Summer and Tarik drove home with the little body and a graveside service was held in Lakeside and he was buried in the cemetery there.It was nice to get to know his family better and find out what special people they are. Tarik's family with Summer, Wendy and myself after the memorial service.

The next day Frank and I flew from Phoenix to Puerto Vallarta and then traveled to Rancho Banderas where we spent a week relaxing with several friends from Heber and had a great time relaxing on a beautiful beach with amazing sunsets, great waves for boogie boarding and yummy food.

View of the beautiful gardens at Rancho Banderas Resort

Frank and Ron Squire looking out from our balconyMore shots around the resort:

Sunsets at the resort were spectacular when it wasn't too cloudy or hazy to see them.

I'm getting buckled in ready to go parasailing! What an adventure!

Up, Up and away!

All and all, a wonderful vacation with special friends! Frank was ready to just stay there, said he feels better at sea level--who wouldn't!