Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another day in our "one day at a time" life

We went to Glenn's follow up appointment this morning. His labs looked ok but not good enough to cut him loose to go home. We go back Thursday to see how they have changed, whether there is a trend up or not. If things look good Glenn will be discharged to go home. THEN we have to make an appointment to have his central line, (in his chest) removed, which can happen as early as Friday, or at the beginning of the following week. So, we're here until at least Friday, if not early next week. We continue to live by the rule of one day at a time.
I was surprised that his red blood count, and hemoglobin were as good as they were considering how tired he is. But apparently this is to be expected as a result of the chemotherapy. His legs got really swollen while we were waiting at the clinic to see the Dr. We will have to juggle with the lasix until we can get the swelling under control. This is a result of his diminished kidney function.
I took the afternoon "off" and just walked around the mall. Just needed to get some away time. I tried to get our friend to come too, but she couldn't get away. Because our husbands have been so wiped out, we haven't gotten to spend any time with them (our friends) recently. Kind of miss that connection, although being at the Hope Lodge is good because we feel at home with the other bald headed, tired and weak people and their caregivers. We share our "war" stories and help each other along on our journeys. We are happy with the ones who get to go home, and wonder how others who went home are doing. Some have to stay several months, while others only are here for a few weeks. I especially hurt for the ones who are having treatment on their mouths or throats. They can't enjoy the meals we share together and often can't talk. They usually pretty much isolate themselves. And there are those who refuse to give up or give in, but keep going and keep trying other treatments,sometimes experimental , because they have tried everything else available. They live life as normal as possible, while not being naive about their probable outcomes. It just amazes me to see and experience how these people live every day of their lives as though they have no problems. Their dealings with their teenagers' daily trials, their grown kids' dealing with life,a and their enjoyment of their grandkids are just as normal as yours and mine. Life just goes on as usual for them. Very inspiring.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Another lazy day today. But productive: I got the laundry done. Exciting, huh?
Glenn continues to be extremely exhausted. We are curious to see what his labs are in the morning at his appointment. I can't imagine that they could be very good, considering how tired he is. Swelling has gone down a bit since he got started back on lasix, but has a ways to go to get back to normal. He had enough energy to make himself take a shower today. That should give you an idea of how tired he is. When I commented on the fact that his beard hadn't grown out much, he said he didn't have the energy to grow a beard. I thought that was a good one worth noting.
Staying at the Hope Lodge is bad for my health: we had a home made meal of garden grown corn, black-eyed peas, okra and tomatoes, eggplant casserole, porcupine meatballs, watermelon, cantelope. pear halves stuffed with some kind of white cream stuff,  banana pudding, Boston cream pie, brownies, apple dumplings, ummm, I think that's all. And, of course, sweet tea. How do you not overeat with all that food served? And you can't just choose one dessert. You have to try a little of each one. We are lucky to be at the Hope Lodge at same time some good Southern cooks are also here.
Now I go to rub Glenn's back and neck to put him to sleep.

...yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.
                               Habakkuk 3: 18-19

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lazy day

This is a short day because we slept! I slept more than Glenn did: I slept till 11:30, fixed breakfast,  then slept again from 1 to 5. Glenn slept off and on during that time. He let me sleep and fixed his own lunch. He is just wiped out and wishes he would stop being so tired. All he has energy to do is go to the dining room and eat, then come back to the room and rest. His leg edema has continually gotten worse. I realized this evening that the discharge instructions didn't say for him to be taking lasix, although the Dr. had said he would have him doing that. So he got some lasix tonight which should help the swelling, and maybe the exhaustion since I figure his heart has been working hard to deal with so much fluid.
I've put him to bed and I'm going to the dining room to have some coffee, (since we are not allowed to have any food or drinks other than water in our rooms,) and play some solitaire and visit with anybody else who is up.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Finally able to get some rest

Glenn's appointment at the clinic this morning was pretty uneventful. His labs are improving, and he didn't need any more platelets or blood. And since it was a holiday weekend, it was pretty unbusy so we got in and got out in a couple hours. The rest of the day was spent with visitors. Two girlfriends from home came and took me to lunch. It was nice to get to see them again. And our daughter came this afternoon and hung out with us most of the day. We enjoyed so much getting to be with her again. We're starting to miss our home and getting a little anxious to get back there again. Glenn has done well today. He had to do some walking when we went to the clinic today. And he ate and drank more. But most of the time he is pretty wiped out. His body is very busy making new blood cells and it just takes a lot out of him.
I heard a rumor that some people might think we had to sleep in our car. Not a shred of truth to that. We have had a bed every night either at the hospital or at Hope Lodge. So be at peace. And thank you for your concern. The next few days we will  be able to just chill out and relax until Tuesday when he has his next clinic appointment. We so need that rest. We'll just be eating and sleeping and hanging out with our Hope Lodge family. :-)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Some nights and days are longer than others

It was a busy night last night. Glenn got two more units of blood. We were awake a lot of the night; our nurse was the first person at the hospital that we didn't feel comfortable with his competence. He is the only exception to our very satisfying experience at Shands, G'ville, as I'm sure you are probably tired of hearing about by now! I  talked to the "Gentle Giant" nurse about how we were feeling and he came in and checked things out. Luckily Glenn was still alive and well by the end of that shift. I was more than a little concerned. This morning the P.A. came and said that the plan was to discharge Glenn today. By that time, we were not feeling like Glenn was ready to leave. He was still to get two more bags of platelets and something else that I can't even remember now what it was. He was feeling nauseated and not well and had a low grade temp. which they don't consider a real temp. As the morning went on, he got meds for his nausea and started feeling better, so I felt better about us leaving. The next hurdle was to find out if the Hope Lodge had a room available for us, or if we needed to figure out some other arrangements. I called there, and the lady I spoke to said they wouldn't have an opening until possibly Monday or Tuesday. So I just started packing us up while Glenn got his platelets. Later, I called another lady at the H.L. and asked her what the situation was. She said she couldn't give me an answer until we were officially discharged and to call as soon as that happened. The rooms are give on a first-come, first-served basis. I got the impression that she was rooting for us to get there first before anyone else who might be being discharged as well. Anyway, to make a long story not so long, we got the room there. Praise God! So we are back and settled in and glad to be here. We don't know how long we will be here before Glenn is discharged to go home, but from what the Dr. said, we may be home by next weekend. So, Mah Jongg ladies, get your cleaning rags ready to go over to the condo and do your thing! You guys are WONDERFUL!!!!!
I've had a couple people ask me if they can donate blood for Glenn. I have asked about that and the answer is that we have to call the blood bank directly for that answer. I tried to call here and the number that was listed connected me to their fax line. So if you want to call the blood bank there they can hopefully give you a definite answer. That's the best I can do for now. Thank you so much for being willing to give your blood.
There is so much more I could share with you all, but, for one thing, it really might bore you, and for another thing, I am exhausted from last night's ordeal and we have to get up early to go to the clinic. So, yep, you guessed it. I'm going to retire for the night.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Still here

Well, the Dr. came in this morning and said he wasn't discharging Glenn today because he wanted to fine-tune his edema/electrolytes, and follow up with the blood in the urine. So we're still here. We'll see what happens tomorrow. I think Glenn was relieved that he wasn't getting out today, although he had a better day today. He was awake and out of bed most of the day and ate a little better than he has been. He got some more platelets, some more fluids and some other stuff for the electrolytes. Edema doesn't look any better, actually worse. Puzzling to me. As far as the treatment results, he's progressing as expected, but I jumped the gun when I said his kidney function had improved. It went back to where it was, (stage four), but the Dr. said we wouldn't see any improvement for a few months. His blood pressure seems to be more controlled now, though.
Sorry, I don't have any funny stories, or inspiring insights. Apparently I've gotten the "ICU" dull brain syndrome from our being here for almost three weeks now. I probably need to get out for a while but I sure don't want to leave and miss anything the Dr. has to say or any other development. So after sitting here and spacing out for who knows how long, I'll end this here. Till tomorrow night.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nearing the end of this chapter of the adventure

A much more alert day today for Glenn. He was awake most of the day and not as nauseated :-) He ate more today, too. The Dr. says he will probably be discharged from the hospital tomorrow, (Thursday). We may not have a place to stay and might ask to stay one more night and hopefully get a room at the Hope Lodge. They can never tell us if there will be a room available until that day, but we heard a rumor that they might have a discharge Friday and that might be available for us.
Another concern we have is that Glenn had blood in his urine for the past couple days. It is being tested tonight and we should have some idea of what is causing it, or if it is an infection, pretty soon. We are a little uneasy about him being discharged tomorrow because he is not consistently feeling better. He is good for a while and then not good. So there's your prayer assignment for today.
We are missing our kids a lot and hoping to see our daughter this weekend. Our "soldier" son is coming home from Cali. for a visit in a week and we are looking forward to seeing him. He will be getting out of the Army in a month or so. We are so proud of all three of them and they have been a great support to us during this time. It's sweet to see how they are concerned for their dad. We are so blessed to have each one of them. They are each very talented in their own ways, it amazes us that they each came from us and yet each one is so different from the other. Sorry, I got off the subject of Glenn, which this blog is about. But you parents know that we have to go on about our kids sometimes.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Time to wear the pink hat

I would like to know what button I'm pushing that erases my entry when I am half way through it!!! Starting over again.
Glenn started the morning feeling pretty good, but by the end of the morning he was out of steam. His count went up again this morning, which is the trend that the Dr. is looking for. He told Glenn this morning that he will probably be discharged by the end of the week. Of course, we will have to stay in town for a couple weeks for daily follow-up treatment. Our friend was discharged from the hospital today, so we can't be far behind.
Well, guess what Glenn did this morning? He decided to get his head shaved, because it was shedding so badly. So he is officially bald. He now gets to wear his hat that his hair cutter gave him: it's pink and says "I'm too sexy for my hair." He's been looking forward to getting to wear that. I'm still going to get pictures on the blog, when I figure it out. Really, I am.
Quote of the day came from our nurse today. Glenn was telling her that the Dr.s wanted to be sure we understood that what he has is not cancer, but the treatment is the same treatment as multiple myeloma, (which is a cancer and a "cousin" to Glenn's disease). The nurse said, "So I guess what they're saying is, 'You're not an idiot but we're going to treat you like one.'" Hahahaha. Well, we thought it was funny, anyway.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Start of week 3

Glenn has been very quiet today, hardly saying anything and resting in bed the whole day. We did have a visitor this morning for a little while, who came bearing more gifts from several more people from our church family. God continues to humble and amaze us with his love through his people.
Glenn got  platelets last night and two bags of blood today. His count came up today from zero to a positive number, yeah!!! That's a good thing, as long as it continues to go up, and the Dr. and nurses seem to think that will happen. Our friend is being discharged from the hospital tomorrow to stay here in town for a couple weeks. Our Dr. says Glenn will probably be able to be discharged near the end of the week. Someone asked me if Glenn is anxious to get out of here. He really hasn't complained about being here, probably because he's been sick enough to appreciate being in here. It's kind of a security to be here with the health care professionals keeping tabs on him constantly. I, personally, am not ready for him to be discharged for that very reason. We can  get a picture every day of what's going on in his body by his labs. Not ready to leave that security yet.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Still waiting for the numbers to come up

We had another busy day with visitors. Only two couples, but it seemed like a lot to us. These people are just amazing us all the time. We received a generous gift from our life group, dinner, spending money for my meals, and a dessert; then a home cooked meal. We are getting so spoiled, but really blessed. How do you say thank you  as deeply as we feel it? There are no words.                                                                                                                                        Glenn didn't need any platelets or blood last night. We'll see what the lab numbers say tonight. Today he did get several medications to reduce his puffiness/water retention, (albumin, lasix, and potassium). It did what it was supposed to, but from what I can see, he'll need more tomorrow. Oh, and when I pulled on his hair today some came out so he'll be bald soon.
Our friend, who is on the same treatment plan as Glenn, thinks he may be getting discharged tomorrow or Tuesday--but will be staying at the Hope Lodge for a couple weeks for daily follow up and treatment.  So we may be following him soon after that. The determining factor is one of the counts that they are watching so the guys will be safe enough to leave the unit. So far Glenn's has stayed at zero, and it needs to be at least 1500. He has started getting double doses of the shot that is supposed to speed that process along, (Nupogen for all you medical people.)
We have now been here in the hospital for two full weeks. The first week seemed to fly; this past week seems like it began so long ago. We still have about three weeks before we can sleep in our own bed and use our own bathroom. So we're not half way through this process yet. I used to wonder why patients wanted to go home from the hospital when they got to lay around all day, have their meals cooked and brought to them, and be fussed over by Dr.s and nurses. I'm getting it now. It's just not the same as home.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It all revolves around blood.

We had visitors today! My "old" friend and I went out to brunch, and  friends from church came a little later and brought Glenn a wonderful electric razor. He was instructed not to use his usual straight razor because of the chance of getting a cut, which would take a long time to stop bleeding because of his low blood count. It was so encouraging to have visitors,and Glenn doesn't look scruffy now with a good shave.
Glenn got platelets last night but didn't need blood at that time. The nurse told us there were 7 patients here who got platelets. There must have been a good sale on platelets in town! He will get more platelets tonight and still possibly blood. He gets his blood drawn every night to know how his counts are doing and if he needs any blood products. They give those during the night. Still no fever and has all his hair, but our friend has started losing his hair so Glenn's "falling out" shouldn't be far behind. You will be the first to know when it happens. I might even figure out how to get some pictures on this blog, if we're lucky.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Progressing as expected

Bummed out. Our friends didn't make it here today. Two of them plan to come tomorrow instead. Plus another old, or rather, long-time friend ;-). Otherwise, Glenn has had a pretty uneventful day. One thing I forgot to report is that when I got back yesterday, his eye was red and swollen. He claims the nurse hit him. She claims he hit her first. And she said she will do it again. Actually, we don't know exactly what it is. The nurse said it's a good thing it didn't happen a few days ago before his body started working on making new white cells. I guess it wouldn't be able to heal then. His nurse expects that he will be getting platelets tonight and  possibly a couple units of blood as well because his counts have fallen, but that is expected. Apparently almost everybody gets platelets at least once during the process and often blood. the other concern is that his blood pressure  continues to be too high. I'm not at all surprised about that because he was taken off of two of his four meds for that. He has been getting a different one now on a regular schedule plus extra when it is still too high, which is frequently. One good thing, (forgive me if I've already reported this) his kidney failure went back from stage 4 to stage 3. It seems to be stabilized there now. That's the point of all this treatment: to kill the rampantly growing proteins in his blood that are damaging his kidneys. It's all very complicated but this Dr. seems to know what he's talking about. All the nurses say he's the best one in this field. We are so blessed to be able to have him treat Glenn's disease.
By the way, if you expect to see the svelte Glenn and slim Eda when you come to visit, I'm afraid you will be sorely disappointed. He has retained a lot of fluid, and I have retained a lot of calories. He has had to abandon his eating regiment and I have found it futile to try while we are here. I eat what I can when I can, and eat comfort foods, ie sweets, regularly. Just wanted to give you a heads-up before you come to visit.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Back together again

I came back to the hospital this afternoon after a little time-out. Feeling better. Glenn seems to be feeling not as bad. I won't say he's feeling good, but just not as bad. The combination of drugs is helping a lot. Even though  his Dr. put him on IV fluids to keep his fluid level balanced, Glenn has been able to drink fluids and eat a small amount of solid food. He also has been out in the hall walking a few times today. Now we watch for him to get a fever. We've been told that almost everybody gets a fever during this time, and he hasn't had one yet. When these patients get fevers, they come on really quickly so since they are anticipated the medical staff is on the alert and ready to deal with it immediately. There may be another bone marrow transplant unit some where that is as good as this one but I am convinced this is the best anywhere around here.
I've been getting a lot of practice playing solitaire. I have a CEU course I could be working on, and a couple needle point projects here, but my brain just wants to veg out and not work. I've tried to work on those other things, but my brain revolts and quits working. Seems like a waste of time I could be using productively but just can't make it happen.
Tomorrow we will be having a few visitors from Jax. We're both looking forward to seeing our friends. It is so encouraging to both of us to hear from friends, either by visits or by facebook or cards or comments left here. We love and appreciate each and every one of you. Really, we do!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Glenn is where we are told he should be in the treatment: nausea and feeling totally drained, understandably since his blood count that is being watched is now down to zero. It will be that way for several days, but he has been started on daily injections to speed up the maturing process of the new cells that he needs now. He is completely immune compromised at this point. So I have continued to stay away while I am feeling sick. I have been staying at a local hotel since last night when I started feeling badly and will be here another night. I am not feeling totally well so we can all pray together that I will feel renewed when I wake up in the morning. If not, Glenn's Dr. has offered to examine me. This is one of those unforeseen and difficult situations that we can't prepare for and don't like at all. I don't like that I can't be with and take care of my husband and he feels the same way. Tomorrow is a new day, prayerfully.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A little curve in the road......

Glenn is where they say he should be in this process: feeling lousy, almost totally immune suppressed, still has all his hair, sometimes needing fluids, etc. But the curve in the road is that I feel like I am getting sick, which means I   can't stay with Glenn. In fact I kicked myself out of the hospital because Glenn as well as many other patients in the hospital are  immune suppressed and have no defense against viruses and bacteria. So I am spending the night in a hotel in town. Might need to stay a second night, depending on how I feel tomorrow. (Sadly, I've had to interrupt my deepening relationship with my toilet at the hospital.)
Glenn has found some medicine that he can take every 8 hours for the nausea and it really helps him to feel better. Thank you, God! So we could say that his desire to sleep through this part is actually happening. He was also started on daily shots to speed up growth of his immune cells. And I wanted to update you on our friend for whom I asked for prayers. Your prayers have been answered because he is already past the sick part so that his wife can have less anxiety about not being able to be with him this week. Isn't God just amazing?  Who'd 'a thought?
So now I need to go to sleep and try to get well fast so I can get back to my role as caregiver: in sickness and in health.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Another tough day. Glenn told his Dr. today that he needs to work on his vocabulary because "feeling like crap" doesn't really give credit to how bad he feels. :-( He is getting IV fluids tonight because he hasn't been able to eat much.  That's about all I have to report today.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Going down

Today Glenn experienced what the Dr. described to him at the beginning of this as "feeling like crap". His "numbers" are plummeting and the symptoms are becoming more severe. Needless to say, this was probably his worst day so far. Still has all his hair so far, though. We do however celebrate one milestone: for the past 5 days he has had  hiccups, lasting most of each day and sometimes severe enough to be frightening: they sometimes repeated for several seconds and he couldn't catch his breath. But today is the first day since Monday that he hasn't had any hiccups. Thank you God! Glenn would like to go to sleep and wake up when this is over. Certainly that isn't going to happen, but maybe we can pray that it will seem like that to him. While you're at it, could you throw in a prayer for our friends from Jax? She has to work all this week and can't be here with her husband while he goes through this. She could only take off a certain amount of time and will take that time off when he is discharged and staying at the Hope Lodge where he is required to have a caregiver with him. I can't imagine not being able to stay with my husband while he has to go through this and you can guess how hard this is for each of them. I can only help so much since a lot of the symptoms are rather personal in nature and a person would only want a close friend or family member helping.
Our night nurse tonight I can describe as a gentle giant. He is a tall muscular man who looks like he could have been a football player in a previous life. But he says he never played professional sports and has been a nurse for over 20 years. He is one of the most gentlest giants I have ever met and at the same time a man's man. He also is from Jax. It seems like every nurse we have seems to be the best one here until we get another nurse and that one seems to be the best, in other words they each have an impressive combination of knowledge of and love for the field they are in, and tender compassion for their patients. God has made a very difficult situation quite bearable through all the little things he has blessed us with: a room with a view that Glenn loves and close proximity to the bathroom I have to use, a comfortable bed for me to sleep on, friends who are going through the same experience as we are and with whom we can compare notes, a wonderful, caring staff, an extremely supportive group of family, friends, neighbors, and clients of Glenn's work. Thank you God; you are so good- all the time!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

While he's sleeping........

Haven't been able to post for a few days for various reasons. But now while it's quiet I'll try again.
I was talking to another caregiver yesterday and she asked me how long we've been here. When I thought about it, we have packed a lot into the past week: admission to the hospital, chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, 2 units of blood,  a little nausea then hallucinations, (from the nausea medicine) some down times, some good times, 4 visitors, walking in the halls everyday, (twice in the middle of the night), sharing experiences with our new Jacksonville friends, (who we met when we were staying at the Hope Lodge) with whom we are on about the same schedule of treatment. All that between Monday and Friday. Now we are moving into the effects from the chemotherapy with beginnings of nausea, things tasting and smelling strange, fatigue, a little loss of appetite, (finally, because he seems to have actually gained weight since he's been here; he has liked most of the food). Still has all his hair, so far.
We are extremely pleased and impressed with the staff here at Shands, Gainesville. Without exception, everyone has been attentive, thoughtful, professional but personable,  very informed on the diseases they are treating. Even the food service people are friendly and attentive to the needs and desires of the people whom they are serving. We feel very secure in the care we are getting here, and that certainly takes away a lot of anxiety we would otherwise have during this experience.
I'm hearing that  some of you are confused about where I'm staying while we are here. To clear that up, I am staying in the hospital room with Glenn. We were staying at the Hope Lodge a couple weeks ago while he was having his stem cell harvesting, but after that was done we went home for about a week before we came back for his admission, and I am allowed and encouraged to stay with him during this time of treatment. They recognize the value of having a loved one with the patient and how it aids in recovery. They also have different programs for caregivers such as a day of  "pampering" with acupuncture, and some other stuff I can't remember right now, as well as group sessions with one of the social workers. When Glenn is discharged from the hospital in a couple weeks, we hope to be able to stay at the Hope Lodge again while he has daily follow-up care. I think I've shared with you all that the Hope Lodge is a place to stay for free for cancer patients who are having frequent treatments. It is sponsored by the American Cancer Society and is funded by donations. We qualify to stay there because Glenn's disease is in the multiple myeloma family and is treated  the same.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I just got a comment about my discussion  of the visitor toilet I have to use while we're here. We ARE in a hospital and we all know that when you walk into a hospital, all modesty is left right there at the door. We discuss EVERYTHING here. So it just seemed natural to share about the toilet!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stem cells in

Today is the day Glenn got back his stem cells. They make a big deal about it being a new birthday. I don't get it, but we are thankful  that there is a treatment for Glenn's disease. The nurses came in and sang happy birthday to him after the transplant was finished. I wanted to know where the birthday cake was. Our coordinator had every intention of getting one on the way to work today but life got in the way. It was a nice thought, though. Now what happens is that Glenn's blood counts drop as a result of the chemotherapy and when they get low enough, he will get whatever blood  products are necessary. So far he is feeling ok but his counts are starting to go down so he won't be feeling well for long. He continues to work while he is in the hospital. While he was fast asleep from the benadryl his phone rang. Don't you know he woke right up and answered it and it was a business call. I wanted to grab the phone and sit on it so he wouldn't hear it again so he could rest.
The nurse who did Glenn's transplant is a very interesting lady. She became a nurse at 50 years old, after having a successful sales career. And she knows her stuff well. She had two nursing students following her today and she was extremely informative for them as well as for us. We have enjoyed having her because she always explains everything she does in regard to Glenn's care. She has been a nurse for 14 years, so needless to say she is an inspiration to me.
As an aside, I've developed a relationship with the visitor bathroom potty that I have to use. It's one of those automatic flushing kind, and I have begun to talk to it, things like, "I didn't tell you I wanted you to flush yet!" and "Why  is it that when I'm ready for you to flush, you refuse?" and sometimes, "You are so unpredictable: I  never know what you're going to do; sometimes you do what I don't want you to do and other times you won't do what I need you  to do. You're such a tease."  I have refused to name it though or give it a gender.      

Monday, May 9, 2011


We finally got Glenn admitted to the hospital this morning! He got his one and only dose of chemotherapy this afternoon; so far so good. We're told he won't feel the effects for a few more days. Wednesday he will receive the stem cells, (which he so generously donated to himself!) The only thing bothering him right now is frustration at not being able to get on the internet, and to add salt to the wound, I was able to sign on to my computer as soon as I tried!
Many of you have asked if he can have visitors. The answer is yes. We just ask that you call first to make sure he's up to visiting. We don't know when or how the chemo will  affect him, so just to play it safe, call first. You can call him on his phone or me on mine. There are some restrictions: if you have had a fever or been sick in the past few days, or been exposed to someone who has been sick; children under 13 are discouraged  from visiting;  no fresh flowers, dried flowers, Spanish moss, or latex balloons are allowed in the unit. Other than that, visiting is encouraged. I think you will find that you will be encouraged by seeing Glenn. His spirits and faith are strong and we find that everybody else is more concerned than we are. Yes, this disease can have a serious prognosis, but Glenn is more concerned for mine and our kids' welfare in this life than for his in the next life. Like Paul, it is difficult to know which is to be desired more: this life or the next. So he continues to live in this world, yet fully confident and ready for the next.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Not much to report since we won't be going back to G'ville till Monday morning. Glenn is working on getting his business ventures rounded up for the months of May and June. Today we are enjoying the day with our daughter :-). Our friends got admitted today and will be started on his treatment today. His treatment is slightly different than Glenn's so they were able to go in today. Glenn isn't getting as many days of chemo as our friend is because of his (Glenn's) kidney problems. Kidneys won't process it as well. But the Dr. assured us that the chemo he does get is plenty for what he needs.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

We have a new date for Glenn's hospital admission: Monday May 9. A constant reminder that we can only take it a day at a time, or really a moment at a time.
There was a young blind girl at the lodge whose mother led her everywhere she went. She totally trusted her mother no matter how she led her. If her mother walked quickly, she followed. If her mother told her to stay right  where she was, she stayed right there. She never seemed to hesitate to follow where and how her mother led her. This was a vivid visual for Glenn and me. God wants us to follow him where ever and how ever he leads us, even though we can't see where he is leading us. Do you think that young girl and her mother were at the lodge when we were simply by coincidence? Me neither.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41: 10

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Roll with the punches

Today was to be Glenn's admission day. I say "was to  be" because our coordinator called early this morning and said we didn't need to come in until 2:00 this afternoon. So after we got our room at the lodge cleaned, checked out of the lodge and started on the way to the hospital, she called again to say that they had another emergency admission and they had to use Glenn's bed for that patient. So she said we might as well go home and wait for her call. There may be a bed available tomorrow, and if not, we won't be able to be admitted until  at least Monday. So, here we are back home again. We figure God has a good reason for everything, so we roll with the punches. Surprisingly, we are not mad or frustrated about it. If we find out what God has up his sleeve with this, we'll let you all know. So we sit tight here at home.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

We're back! (In G'ville, that is.)

Hello everybody. Did you think we dropped off the face of the earth? We got to have a few days back home before all this"Glenn's chemo and stuff "starts this week. It was sooo nice to be home, sleep in our own bed, and finish up some things before we start this week. One thing we didn't get to do was go to church. We wanted to so badly, but decided it wasn't worth the risk of Glenn catching something by being around a crowd, and causing his treatment to be postponed. :-(
So now we are back at the lodge where we have been staying. It was good to see all our new friends here and meet other new friends. Tomorrow Glenn is scheduled for pre-admit, whatever that is. I'll let you know when we find out. Tuesday he is admitted or, as Glenn calls it incarcerated, for at least three weeks. On his day of admission he will be given the chemotherapy. Wednesday they call a day of rest. Thursday he gets his stem cells back that he donated to himself. After that we watch his hair fall out as well as many other nasty side effects of the chemo. He really wasn't looking forward to this trip back to G'ville. Can't say I blame him at all for that. But he's being a very brave man and going  into it without hesitation. (Reminds me of when Jesus went resolutely to Jerusalem knowing he would be crucified. Obviously that was on a far greater scale of suffering than this.)
I have started a list of all the gifts we are receiving from so many of you. We continue to be humbled by all the love and concern shown to both of us. We truly don't feel worthy. Please forgive me if I keep repeating this but we keep repeatedly feeling it. You all have been nothing but a constant encouragement to us and we are extremely grateful to you all for every prayer prayed, positive thought made, and offer of help extended. There is really no way to adequately express our gratitude to you all. Just know that all of your acts of kindness have not been lost on us. We appreciate every single one.