28 Sep: Cynthia's chronic pain flare up continues to plague. She tosses & turns all night, sleeping fitfully, then finally falls asleep about daybreak for a couple of hours. Today she hopes to get a shot of cortisone in her shoulder. Ice helps, but the physical therapist's manipulations seem to have aggravated more than benefited.
27 Sep: Visiting Dorothy is always such fun, not only is she an inspiration at 95 years old, but she still teaches me useful things like the use of rutin & vitamin A to prevent glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Besides our animated conversations, her house is a visual treasure trove of watercolor. It is just beyond unfortunate that Cynthia has been experiencing fierce pain from shoulder, hips, and back radiating throughout her body. The pain killer prescribed for her shoulder is doing nothing to help, and the doctor's office failed to get a prescription for anything more effective to the pharmacy.
I'm slogging my way through the address book, sending links to our wedding photos (see sidebar) or copies of several photos via surface mail. If I'd been clever, the links to wedding photos would have had a picture attached. (Maybe I should try again. Oh, I could do that for non-responders. Goodie.)
Work on the Rambo genealogy CD continues every morning at 4am. Version 1 of the CD will be created later this week, and a mass mailing to correspondents will be my next task. It is always a huge disappointment when a correspondent changes e-addresses without informing me. (Are you listening Mike O'Dea?) I've decided to offer the CD free to any Rambo descendant who sends me a reasonable biographical sketch of their parents and grandparents.
It remains hot, hot, hot and dry (parched) here in Texas. Lake Conroe is down about 8 feet, so there is less and less activity on the water. We have been worried about wildfires in Bastrop and Magnolia which were distant but threatening to friends and ourselves. We did get one small splash of rain (.7") last week, but many trees are brown instead of green, so wildfires remain a significant threat.
My knee has been aggravated for the last week from daily use of the elliptical machines, but my sense of well-being is bolstered by the 45-minute aerobic workout followed by a quick 20 repetitions of 7 weight-lifting exercises.
25 Sept, Sunday: Wonderful fun to visit with Jon, Lauren & study partner, Samantha, Steven, Samantha & Jacoby. The food was pretty good too. Another 6 hours later (at 55 mph and 30 mpg) Pappadeaux in Fort Worth is immediately, conveniently off I-30, and we refilled our tanks. Arrived at Dorothy's in Denton towards 8pm and stayed up way too late visiting.
22 Sept, Thurs: UP at 1:45 AM to work on the Rambo CD and back abed by 5AM. Smooch Smooch slept better after beginning work with the physical therapist for torn rotator cuff on Tuesday awakening at seven thirty today --- YET, she fell asleep on the veranda after returning from her PT appointment early afternoon and slept for two hours.
21 Sept, Wed: A strange "plane" that looks like a kite or an ultralight plane that also skims across the water landed across the lake. The craft behind the kite plane may have been taking photos. It had the appearance of a tall antenna rising out of the craft. The sand bar evidenced in the photo is the result of lake depth dropping eight feet since Houston is piping drinking water from it. The lake house on the tip of Bentwater Island is the home of Baird's Bakery owners, I think.
19 Sept. Mon: And the rains came with a marvelous display of lighting in the wee hours of the morning. It will take at least two years for the lake to regain the water loss. See photo below of the blue heron standing on the new "beach" that was created when the water level of the lake dropped 8 feet; this is the view from the kitchen window. A couple of duckies were nearby appearing to be doing a mating dance. He was showing off for her by bobbing up and diving down in the water like a silly goof.
Photos instead of words today: 1.) Ron at the hospital doing a puzzle. 2.) Blue Heron 3.) Ron is hardly working in the kitchen cooking this morning's omelets.
18 Sept. Sunday. RAIN. Beautiful bountiful rain. Maybe five to ten minutes? Cool temps along with gentle rain made morning veranda time quite marvelous. We both have aches and pains... Smooch Smooch is icing sore muscles: hip, knee and rotator cuff anxiously awaiting an appt with a physical therapist next week. She is industriously doing Sudoku intermittently with a Beatty YDNA study.
Interesting to learn that genetically Ron is a Little/Lytle (paternity). This means that a Little/Lytle had a NPE with a Beattie//Beatty//mother who maintained her surname (female Scots did that!). This likely occurred between the 14th through the 16th centuries in Dumfriesshire/Eskdale Scotland. The earlier origins of the Littles may have been Celtic first mixed with Flemish who went Viking around as well as the Scandihoovians. By 1005 AD they were on the border between Scotland and England crossing back and forth - mixing with many other nationalities which appear in YDNA subclade test results. The early origin of the Littles may have been Celtic first mixed with Flemish who went Viking around as well as the Scandihoovians. During the 14th through the 16th centuries the Beatties and Littles are noted historically as part of the Borders Reivers (robbers). I think they were victims. Ron's YDNA is called the Scots Modal.
The Plantations era ushered in a migration wave from Scotland to Ulster, Ireland followed by another wave called the Undertakers. Both terms can be googled in Scots or Ulster history along with Orangemen. Numerous Beatties/Beattys and Littles participated in those migrations. The earliest documentation for John Beatty - progenitor of the Beatty clan in SE Iowa is early in the 18th century. John's son, Benjamin Beatty was the immigrant. Enough history for tonight. Time for dinner at Pappadeaux.
12 Sept. Mon: Waiting. Interminable anxiety. Apprehension.
3:30 PM: Riiiinnnngggggg! Hello??
This is M.D. Anderson's oncology department.
I have your full pathology report: Clear margins: they "got it all!" No cancer in the three lymph nodes removed! Tumor is grade 1 meaning unlikely recurrence: lazy little thing.
Sigh! Whew! Breathe!
See you tomorrow and Wednesday for your appointments with the oncologist and surgeon regarding radiation."
30 seconds pass...1 2 3 4.... ,etc.,
JOY JOY JOY JOY JOY!A joyful noise is heard in all the land (Ps. 66.1) and especially in our hearts!
A joyful heart doeth good like medicine (Prov. 17:22)
11 Sept. Sun: A good day for reflection on this day ten years ago. Today brings its own troubles: 176 Texas wildfires have burned thousands of acres with the closest (2) fifteen miles away. 1600 homes destroyed throughout the state. Thousands evacuated. The temperatures escalate to record highs of 103 again the next few days with no rain forecast. Houston is draining Lake Conroe to use for drinking water; the canals are drying up. Sand bars protrude above water level - beaches appear under the boat ramps where water was once eight feet higher. Few boats are on the lake because it is too shallow - or because it is impossible to download from the boat slips. But - we did have a lovely time with Bill and Merry S. from Waller and Hank, Felicia and Katy from the lake community, plus son Jon at the Walden Yacht Club brunch. Guess who ate dessert! Well - Texas carrot cake has no comparisons. Smooch and friend Katy in the photo. We await that full pathology report... hopefully tomorrow!
6 Sept. Tues: The week that was has been mighty quiet and restful; good news today from the oncologist who is confident that the surgery was successful in "getting it all" with great optimism that it is not aggressive, unlikely to recur in that breast or the other one that has a large benign mass. Brachytherapy radiation is likely - next Wednesday. And the good news is that she will not have to take Tamoxifen or any of the other hormone suppressors. Whew! Everyone has on happy faces!
2 September 2011: The surgery went well. Dr. Akay was very pleased and cheerful afterward; she was confident that they removed the entire 5-mm tumor. Cynthia's expression was "Did you see the truck that hit me?" The right breast is very colorful now, a brilliant green on the underside. I'm up early again, typing until the sun comes up to provide enough light to thread my mending needle.
The mended clothes look mighty spiffy! We left the Rotary House International after lunch, stopping at Wal-Mart for foodstuffs, arriving home right after the florist delivered a lovely bouquet from Cynthia's sister. We have lots of questions about the surgery, but we won't know the answers until the pathology report is available in ten days or so. The report will provide directives for treatment beyond the surgery: radiation or chemo or both? Rate of recurrence? And that dreaded hormonal therapy that suppresses all estrogen in the body,
1 Sep: We were awake for half an hour before the wake up call at 6am, the start of a long day. No breakfast before surgery, and we reported at the 4th-floor outpatient surgery desk at 7:15. We were sent to the 6th floor for vitals, etc. (which included coffee and jigsaw puzzle for me). Back on the 4th floor, Cynthia changed into the cute hospital gowns and was carted off to the pin-cushion lab which inserted a needle to bracket the cancer. She came out with an interesting shape due to the protective cup taped over the surgical site. Then we waited interminably for the surgeon to finish an earlier surgery; (I felt sorry for that earlier patient - and certainly hope that her surgery was successful). A cast of thousands had been hired for the nursing staff and physicians, and every one of them asked Cynthia for her name & phone number. We had seen one anesthesiologist earlier, but a different one came to put her under. My beloved smooch was disoriented in a few seconds and out in a very few more - at 11:30. So I returned to the 6th-floor coffee and jigsaw puzzles to wait for the pager to summon me - which it did at 3pm after we had finished one surprisingly difficult puzzle. Dr. Akay reassured me that Cynthia was fine and that I'd be allowed to see her in recovery when she awakened. Cynthia was not even close to coherent or awake when I saw her, but she was in pain until the nurse hooked up a pain-killer to the iv. Unfortunately the pain-killer put her back to sleep and the monitor kept screaming for her to breathe. The nurse hooked up an oxygen nose-piece as the final accessory to the cute post-op hospital outfit. Cynthia was soon alert, so the professional wheelchair pusher guided us to the pharmacy and propelled Cynthia to the Sky-Bridge. I took over the wheeling from there to the Rotary House hotel restaurant where I shared my salmon with Cynthia and she shared her fruit plate with me. They do a marvelous job in that restaurant; it was even better than Pappadeaux. After dinner the pain-meds wore off, so Cynthia's dessert was a tiny tablet -- that put her to sleep in fifteen minutes. With no jigsaw in sight, I pulled out needle and thread and commenced mending a couple of shirts. After Cynthia awakened at 8:30 and took another pain-pill, I returned to the fitness center for 45-minutes on the tread mill, hoping that the exercise would again allow me longer periods of sleep throughout the night. Goodnight.