Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Upate times 3

We are over two months past Glenn's first experience with hemodialysis and he does not want to have to do that again. It has its pros and cons, but he's glad he can do the peritoneal dialysis.
This week Glenn had appointments with all three of his Dr.s yesterday and today. Yesterday we saw his nephrologist in the morning and everything seems to be going well; his labs are looking good overall  which indicates that the dialysis is doing what it's supposed to be doing. In the afternoon we saw his VA Dr.  He doesn't treat him but Glenn gets some prescriptions through the VA so we have to see him. So really nothing to report on there. Today we went to G'ville to see the oncologist. Again, his labs are stable, meaning that the Light Chain disease is still stable so he doesn't need any treatment for that. ( The nephrologist and the oncologist each look at different aspects of Glenn's labs).  We always enjoy going there to the Bone Marrow Transplant clinic because the nurses always remember their patients and are so encouraging. I think it does them good to see at least some of their patients doing well. They deal with difficult and sad situations a lot and are always very kind and compassionate, and I know it does them good to see positive results from their work. Glenn's Dr. is  from Israel and has family there and visits there as often as he can. We knew he was planning to go last month. We asked him how that went and he said it went well, but his travel there was limited, and he had some concerns about being able to land there, and then to be able to fly out at the end of his visit because of the unrest there.  We let him know that we had prayed for his safety last month while he was there; of course he appreciated that.
I'm trying to remember what we've been up to in the past few months since I last made an entry. Really not much that I can think of. We've had a couple visits from Anne-Marie. We've been able to enjoy her progress with her new love of the violin. She also went to Africa for two weeks in August to an orphanage in Liberia that we are connected with from church. She, and the team, left Liberia on a Friday night and that following Sunday the borders were closed for travel because of the ebola outbreak. The orphanage has since quarantined themselves not going out of the compound or allowing anyone else in. We pray for their safety from the virus. It's scary, especially when you know people there who are in danger of being exposed. So far they are all ok.
And so we come to the end of this entry and I probably won't be back here for a couple months, unless something comes up. Thanks for your love and concern.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Update of dialysis

Glenn's first experience with hemodialysis went better than he expected. But that's not to say it was a piece of cake. He was really tense the whole time.  The needle sticks weren't as traumatic as he (and I) were expecting. Everything went smoothly. And they did let me stay with him today, although I won't be able to after today. They had mercy on him bc it was his first time and they knew how anxious he was about it. So we are both glad that experience is over. Now on to new mountains to conquer!

Friday, June 27, 2014


Yep, Glenn had his umbilical hernia surgery yesterday and he is  doing amazingly well. Tomorrow he will have his first hemodialysis (in place of the peritoneal dialysis that he usually does.) This involves 2 railroad spike-sized needles in his arm for 3-4 hours. I won't be allowed in the dialysis room because they keep it as sterile as possible plus there isn't room for visitors. So with this one he's on his own. I don't particularly like that, but that's the rules in every dialysis center, as far as I know. The reason he is doing the hemo is so that the
site can heal. With peritoneal his abdomen is filled with dialysis fluid all day, and at night the machine runs through 4 cycles of filling and emptying.
His most recent visit to G'ville for his check was encouraging: his lab numbers were good again.         
I had the second cataract surgery done two weeks ago and this one was better than the first one in that I didn't have as much discomfort afterwards as the first one. My sight is better now and I may not need glasses except for reading. I can't say it's great because there is another issue with one of my eyes that causes distortion so my eyes kind of fight each other. But it's to be expected that things start falling apart after a certain age. I'm very fortunate not to have more problems. I play cards with a group of ladies several years older than I am and I'm getting a glimpse into what my life will be like if I live as long as they have.
So I guess I'll give you an update on how hemodialysis goes for Glenn. He may only have to do it for a week, which would be three or four times, depending on how his surgery heals.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Much to say about nothing much

Hello all, even though there's not much happening here, I thought you'd like to know that there's not much happening here. ;-) We are gliding along into summer in Florida.
We did get to go on the trip that Glenn planned for in May, but we decided at the last minute to drive up and stay in a hotel instead of doing the RV thing. There were a couple reasons for that change: there aren't any good RV places near where our daughter lives, and we were trying to do two things at the same time: RV and visit our daughter. So we changed the date of RVing to later in the year. Saved a bunch of money that way. And we had a great visit with her. We got to surprise her with a violin and lessons, which she has wanted for many years. And she was very surprised, to the point of tears. She starts her lessons this week. She is so very excited about it. While we were there in Raleigh we visited the NC museum of history, and Duke gardens. We hope to get to go up again in the future and see more of the area. It is very beautiful; I've heard it called "God's Country". It is very pretty, but I guess that description depends on one's perspective and opinions.
Glenn's next visit to G'ville is in a week. But there was a "Survivors" reunion for previous bone marrow transplant patients (of Shands in G'ville) this past weekend that we attended. There were people who were transplanted as long ago as the 80's . I think the reunion was as much for the staff of the bone marrow unit as for the patients. It is encouraging to see that their work has really saved lives. The unit is very much a family. When we saw Glenn's Dr. at the reunion, Glenn started to shake his hand and the Dr. said, "We give hugs here." It just reaffirmed our feelings about where we chose to have his treatment done.
Glenn has scheduled surgery for his umbilical  hernia for the end of June. The surgeon said it wouldn't get better but worse over time and would need to be done eventually so better to do it now when it's not an emergency. Glenn will have to go on hemodialysis for a month after surgery to let it heal. I am amazed at the progress he has made with accepting the stuff that he's had to go through. Certainly he is apprehensive about having the surgery done, but he seems to be accepting it well and not whining about it. This is especially amazing considering that his belly button is the most sensitive place he has and a person can get hit for even acting like they are going near it, (as a couple Dr.s found out.) And his  greatest fear about dialysis was hemodialysis that they use two large needles each time, which is three days a week for about 4 hours. He has a whole month to dread it's approach, so I know he would appreciate prayers for peace while waiting for the day to get here.
As an aside, I had cataract surgery last week while things are quiet here, and will have the other eye done next week. I had to slip those in when I could get it done and have him wait on me for a change. ;-) And, don't tell him this, but I'm really milking it!
So, for not much going on, I'd say there was a lot to share. As always, I will fill you in on our next  visit to G'ville.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ho Hum

We did go to G'ville last week. Glenn's numbers continue to be stable, so he dodged the bone marrow biopsy again. He has finally recovered from being sick twice and has started taking walks almost every day and hopefully he will gain more strength. Life is so boring here that I will talk about our weather: finally in the middle of spring and well on the way to summer.
Glenn has been planning an RV trip for us for the middle of May. We plan to go to Raleigh, NC, which is where our daughter lives. I figured that if I let him do the planning we would be more likely to actually GO on this trip. (Remember the trip I planned for last year that got cancelled a few days before we were supposed to leave?) Glenn feels like a 5 day trip is doable so that's what he is planning. We would love to own an RV and go on little trips now and then.( Believe it or not the biggest cost for a trip like this is renting the RV.) But this will have to do for now. We'll get to see how he handles the driving, and doing his dialysis every night in the RV.
So that's about it for now. Like I said, pretty boring here.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Hello faithful friends, Thank you for your faithfulness in checking in on Glenn regularly.
Glenn has been rocking along in stable status. He has had to have a couple iron infusions in the past couple months, most recently this past Tuesday. Can't seem to keep the iron levels and RBC's up to a functional level. Probably has to do with kidneys not working as they should.  Last week he got that nasty stomach flu, and I mean it was NASTY to him. He had to go to the hospital because he couldn't stop vomiting{and other things), so after about 18 hours of this happening every 30 -45 minutes I made the executive decision. Of course he was admitted after being up ALL night in the ER. He got some med. for nausea that seemed to eventually calm that part down so that he could take in some fluids. He will tell you that they gave him IV fluids, which technically they did, but only at a rate to keep an open access, not really to give him fluids, since he missed two nights of dialysis because he didn't have any fluid in his system to filter. Two  days later he was discharged, but not before he had shared his sickness with me. I went home in the middle of the night the second night with it.  We are both still getting our strength back. That part is taking way too long for our liking. We know of several people who have gotten this rotten bug in various degrees.
His next appointment in G'ville is in three weeks. He should have a bone marrow biopsy this time. It's been more than six months since the last one and we need to keep an eye on the production of blood cells, which help indicate what the disease is doing, along with the usual blood work done each time.
So, barring any new events to report, I'll be back here then to fill you  in on what we find out. ttfn

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Feb. Dr. visit

I don't know if this will post bc I have a different computer than before when I posted and I don't know if I'm actually on the blog site, but I'll try.
We went to G'ville today fully expecting for Glenn to have a bone marrow biopsy since that's what we were told the last time we went. But the Dr. is holding off. I guess that's a good thing. The iron infusions he had in Dec. have done some good bc those numbers are better, ie: he isn't as anemic has he has been. It's hard to try explain about his lab numbers, but some of them stayed the same as last time and some of them went up, (the bad way). But apparently not enough to be a concern. We go back in two months again.  Glenn  continues to be very tired a lot of the time. He gets out and does stuff, but when he get's home he realizes how exhausted he is, actually sometime while he is out, and we have to come home for him to rest. But we are glad that is his only problem right now.
He is planning a workshop for the end of this month, and has two speaking engagements in the next few months. We'd like to try again to plan a trip out west. He found an airplane museum in Arizona that he'd like to go to. We'll have to see how/if that will work out.
I probably won't be making another entry until April, unless something comes up. If we are friends on facebook, I always notify there when I have made a new entry.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Enter 2014

Hello all. Well, as you might have guessed, Glenn's labs have continued to be ok. He has felt his usual wellness: tired a lot but other than that no complaints. Last week and this week he had to get iron infusions because he continues to be anemic and in spite of getting a shot every week for that those blood counts don't improve and seem to go down a little each time. I'm sure that is partly the cause of his tiredness. The  counts for his disease went up in October and again higher in December. So far, he hasn't had to start any treatment. He will  have a bone marrow biopsy at his next G'ville visit in Feb. (five more weeks) and I suppose the Dr. will consider if treatment needs to be started. The Dr.s also want to see how his blood cell production in the bone marrow is doing, given his continued anemia.
We had a very blessed Christmas this year. The kids came over for Christmas eve and I fixed Eda-pizza and calzone which they loved. (It's been a looooonnnnngggg time since I've made it and they and Glenn seemed to appreciate it so much more this time). We had our gift exchange after dinner. Glenn was so surprised to get a "Go Pro" camera from the kids which he had been trying to figure out how he could get the money for. Santa brought me a new notebook computer since this one is about seven years old and veeerrrrryyyy tired and slow. I haven't played with the new one yet because I'm pretty techno-illiterate and am intimidated getting to know a new gadget with the new Windows 8. But I will be tackling that very soon. Then on Christmas day we went to Andy's girlfriend's mom's house for a shared family dinner and Christmas celebration, with Santa arriving to pass out gifts. (That mom of Andy's girlfriend is such a generous person. She is always giving us some kind of nice thing, which she did on that day: she gave Glenn a pass for a 30 minute, ride in a bi-plane and gave me several gift cards for necessities and for fun).
Oh! Also we finally got the settlement for the first of Glenn's two accidents, and we got to buy a "new" car the end of November: a Honda CR-V 2011. We both like it a lot. It's smaller than the Odyssey was, which is what I wanted. We didn't need all that seating anymore and I wanted something that would get in and out of parking spaces easier (than the beast Odyssey), and that would get better gas mileage. God gave us just the right amount of money from the settlement that we could get something we like, in good condition and fairly new. I got to pick it out; Glenn says it is my car. Ok, I'll accept that! He gets to use it as much as he wants.
So I probably won't be posting here until Feb. unless there is news before then. We wish you all a very Happy New Year for 2014.