Catching Up – April 28, 2014

Morning, all. I wanted to do a quick update. There’s not too much to tell, but there have been some changes.

Since stopping in last time, I have been back to Dr. Lanier for another “drain.” This one did not produce quite as much fluid. He wanted to get it off before I became uncomfortable, though, which I appreciate. This one also went easier.

I have also changed to a new chemo drug, Haloven. While the other one was keeping everything level, Dr. Smith says we can do better. I’ll go with that. He and I would really like to wean off the oxygen by getting rid of the fluid in the lungs. So we keep searching for the right combination. I have had two injections of the new drug (you do the first two doses a week apart). Then we skipped a week and I go back this week for evaluation. I’ll have labs Friday morning and we’ll see what’s what. I also go back to Dr. Lanier for another x-ray and to see what’s happening with the fluid. I can’t give you any idea. It really seems about the same to me, so I’ll just have to wait and see what he says. I think, even if we start getting rid of the fluid, that it will be a slow process. So I may not notice it right away.
The good thing about this treatment is that it’s an injection instead of infusion. That means I am in and out in under an hour, instead of three. The bad thing–my hair appears to be coming out again. It had begun to come back in. But I think it’s getting ready to go again. Oh well. Small price to pay, right? Right. The prayer we ask for right now is that this is the right chemo for now. Though there are a lot of options, I’d like to find the right one before we go through too many. We need to get a handle on this thing.

Things are going well around the house. We have started getting things out in the yard ready for spring. Mike has been cleaning out flower beds (we haven’t bought anything yet. I still go with my mother’s wisdom: don’t plant until after Mother’s Day. The one year I did it before I lost everything to that one last freeze………). But I do have a lovely basket compliments of a dear friend. It will be my container garden this year. I hope we do go to Esli’s one weekend. I may not be able to walk around the greenhouses, but I can sit and visit while Mike does. I hate not to see David and Esli. That’s just part of the rite of spring.

I am working on cleaning out the craft room some more. Boxing up things I no longer do, work with, or use. I gave away an entire box of “wooden artifacts” as we call them. In other words, cut outs that I will not paint. Roosters (yes, Phil, roosters.), kitties, houses, pineapples, and more. Some of those things were cut out by Bland Aaron. That tells you how long I’ve had them, if you’ve known me long enough. They have moved four times, let’s put it that way. Meanwhile, I hung on to some Christmas trees that I can handle. I don’t do the detail work any more–my hands are too shaky. But I can handle certain things. And since my hands don’t like the small detail painting, I have taken my card-making again. That’s pretty satisfying. I enjoy the stamping and card-making process. I just have to focus enough to get a full set made at a time. And I do need to get back into the knitting. It doesn’t require steady hands, either. Time to focus. And to purge. I am still cleaning out and giving away. Look out Community Ed and schools. Here come some goodies in your direction. Not to mention Good Will.

Mike continues to stay incredibly busy at work. It’s budget time, plus all the normal things on his plate. But he makes time to do more and more with me. We have picked upholstery for the antique furniture that was Mom’s (in the parlor), and a new couch and recliner for the den. Time to get BRASS on alert to take the old couch and chairs. I hope someone can get some good use out of the couch. It has just never been real comfortable for me and I am not sure Mike has ever liked it. It’s not a good “lie down on me” couch. Essential for a den, right? Right.

I still ask for prayers for Bill Russell. He is a trooper and keeps all of our spirits up. Also, for the Summers family. Dale is going through treatments, and his father also has cancer. Jacquatta needs all our love and prayers right now. She is the backbone. Even though there are days I get “in a funk,” as I call it, I have more days when I am thankful for my blessings. I am able to get out on my own and go to lunch with friends, do a little shopping, return my air tanks on my own, etc. And I function well in the house. In fact, I have days where I out and out get bored and wish for tasks. I have tried to fill that void by being the person who makes phone calls when people are in need of things. I can still touch that volunteer need from home, and that is a “useful” feeling. I had days when I was pretty dependent on Mike for everything. Those days make me very grateful for what I have. Honestly, it is more than many others have in terms of being up and going. And I have been able to stay in touch with other friends via cell phone and notes. some of us are re-connecting and catching up on what’s been happening. As the saying about friends goes, we may have been apart for years, but when we start talking it’s like we never stopped seeing each other. We just pick up where we left off.

Before I sign off I want to thank the members of Volunteers in Action for a recent honor. I was honored to have the spirit of service award named for me at this year’s reception. How kind that was. I can’t tell you how touched I was. I kind of knew something was coming. Josh had told me I had to be at the reception. I really thought it had to do with all the founders of the organization, like Romanza and Cheryl Allen. A group thing. Surprise. That was quite an honor. And yes, I cried. What’s new? Right? Just call me Meyer the Crier. Honestly, thank you to everyone. It is one of the most meaningful things I have ever received. There are others out there that deserve it far more than I do.

OK, I will get off now and get back to cleaning up downstairs. It is supposed to storm and rain endlessly this week. A good time to stay home work inside, I guess. I don’t relish the idea of getting out and running in the rain with the oxygen tank, lol. that could be quite a sight. So I will hang out here.

Blessings to all. Hug your loved ones and tell them how much they mean to you.

Love, Anne and Mike


By terry caturano — May 1, 2014 7:35pm
Congratulations on your Volunteers in Action Spirit of Service award. You really do exemplify the spirit of service!!! I’m praying you will get a good report after your labs and x-rays, that the fluid has stopped forming!! Enjoy your spring ritual visit to the Greenhouse. It has been such a cool spring it seems your Mom’s advice about waiting till after Mother’s day to plant is right on target. Though it’s been cool, the trees have been lovely. My lilac wafts a sweet perfume through the back yard, and my irises are blooming. Blessings, love and prayers, Terry

By Brenda Lemons — Apr 29, 2014 8:39pm
I love being one of the old friends who just picked back up with you where we left off 30+ years ago and I love you!!! You are amazing!!

By Debi Wade Jordan — Apr 28, 2014 6:00pm
All in all, a very good report. We’ll take it!

By Beth Bishop — Apr 28, 2014 2:50pm
Hey there sis and Mike,
I saw the weather map and looks like rain is definitely in your forcast…just don’t have any of those nasty tornados, please!! Glad to hear there is progress on the fluid and oxygen process, and best wishes for discovering just the right mix of medications to get you pumping iron again!! 9 weeks ago today I was walking on the white sands of Siesta Key….I think about vacations based on the days of the week, just to keep the memories alive. I miss you lots, and will continue to pray for improvements for your and Mike, and for your stamina as you clean out those nooks and crannies of the house and craft room items.
Love to you both, Beth

By Chuck and Diana Neely — Apr 28, 2014 1:10pm
Hey guys – This sounds like very positive news! Getting away from the Oxygen will no doubt be a relief – I cannot imagine the patience you have.
We’re still hopeful that we can be in the BG area sometime this summer and are looking forward to seeing you both very much.
We think of you both every day, you are always in our prayers.
Love to you both,

By Betsy (Hirst) Sheppard — Apr 28, 2014 12:38pm
I am glad there is this site so we can keep caught up with everything. Congratulations on the honor from Volunteers in Action! That is great news. I know how hard it is to get rid of things, good luck with that too. I will keep my fingers crossed about your new chemo medication. I’m glad that this one has promise of doing more than just keeping things level. How neat that you make cards! I would like to do that some day too. Cards are so special when handmade. Well, off I go for now. Much to do, and I will be definitely thinking of you. Write again when you can. XOXOXOXOXOXO -Bets

By Jean Secrest — Apr 28, 2014 11:56am
Love to you my sweet friend! I continue to pray for you and think of you often!

By Mary Lou Kirby — Apr 28, 2014 11:29am
Hugs to you and Mike, Anne. The honor you received was well-deserved. I continue to pray for you and Mike and ask for God’s love and blessings to surround you.

By Rhonda Bartley — Apr 28, 2014 11:18am
Love you, Annie. Hope your Spring continues to hold promise. Let me know if you need anything!! Hugs to Mike too!

By Mary Scantland — Apr 28, 2014 11:14am
I absolutely know you are the most inspiring person I know. I love your spirit, Anne. Hang in there! I know good things are in store for you! Love you!