Friday, March 30, 2012

Playing the Front Nine - written by The Cowboy

A few weeks back in a post I had done for our Blog I mentioned that I was relating this experience to the game of golf.
I can hear some of my instructor’s words now:
“Don’t swing to hit the ball - Play through the ball” he stressed.
“Picture the entire flight of that ball rising high over the fairway and coming to land on the green near the pin for a short putt in to score. BE THE BALL”.
Well that was how I started out. Not looking at the Cancer but looking through and past the Cancer to the other side. What I wasn’t prepared for in this game is that the Cancer sometimes makes me the Ball.
At times I am the one that gets hit and flies off into the rough. (Cancer is not a very good golfer). It sometimes has me riding right out there in the middle of the fairway, then a crappy swing and I am in the rough again.
As in Golf everyone plays their own game. Everyone will approach a course with a different stride, swing, club and ball.
Golf is said to be the GREATEST Game ever played. Just like life, it can never be won or lost. It can only be played.
You are competing against yourself and testing every fiber of your moral integrity.
Cancer is not a lot different. Everyone’s game will be different. The course you are playing is ever changing. You have to pull from the person you truly are if you are going to complete the game. Just like in golf it is easy to not put everything you have into each hole. What you failed to do on hole two may come up to bite you on hole five. You must pay attention to each detail as the game is unfolding and act accordingly. You have to be honest with your score card and if you had a bad hole mark it down, take your lumps and then plan for a better next hole.
As in Golf the “Golf Gods” always give you that one great hole, or that one great drive that will keep you coming back and so will the Cancer. Take those days that are good and tuck them into you game bag to be pulled out on the days that life has you in the bunker.
As in Golf self honesty is of the utmost importance, just like Cancer. Yes I have had some rough days and yes I will have some more before this round has ended. Am I disheartened by my performance on the course? No you see I am just a “Duffer” and my skills improve every day.
I’ll keep you posted as we approach the back nine.
Thanks for being my caddy today.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

You Light Up Our Lives!


Each morning after we have turned over our vehicle to the trusty and friendly valets we are greeted by these lovelies at The Radiation Reception desk:


MD Anderson knew what they were doing when they hired these efficient wonders.


However, and sadly, they are about to lose this one – One more day to retirement!

MD employs more than 18,000 people and provided care for more than 108,000 patients last year.

For those of you back home that’s about 3,000 more than the population of Tillsonburg!

We have some new followers that we would like to ‘WELCOME’ and show our appreciation for taking an interest in our blog.

You can click here to read about the travels of Carolyn and Gerald from Mississippi as they wander about in their Allegro motorhome.

Life with Luci and Loree over in Redmond, Oregon is never dull. Lots of preparation for spring going on right now with organizing and cleaning up the yard.

If you’re looking for some incredible photography go on over to check out John and Ellen’s site Connected to the Vine Photography.

Rick and Paulette have just made it back home to British Columbia. While Paulette quilts (and shops for quilting supplies, a lot) Rick is the go-to guy for his blogging and internet knowledge. He has a great EBook that you can download for free – full of great, easy to read info on everything ‘computer’.

Annie & Roxi are The Good Luck Ducks with a very popular and well written blog – lots of activities, travels and humor!

We also have 2 more of our daughters who just recently became followers. Actually, they have been following our blog for a while but just recently admitted it . . . you know what kids are like Who me?

BIG Thanks to Genine for your continued love, support and caring for both of us. I’m doing the best I can to take care of your Dad.

You can read more about Tracey on our tab ‘More about us’ but better than that you can read her brand new blog And Then We Moved To The Farm. She has a real flair for writing and has some great photos portraying their life in British Columbia.

You can read more about our followers in our previous posts by clicking here or here. I sure hope I haven’t missed anyone but sincerely apologize if I have.

We also want to send out a big Shout Out to these loyal commenters:

( I am in awe of these people with their busy lives, reading and commenting on blogs so faithfully and finding the time to publish their own entertaining blogs!)

* Russ and Donna Krecklow and their very popular Travels in Therapy blog. An amazing couple and again I don’t know where they find the time to comment, blog and keep up with their busy family’s activities.

* Travels with Mr. Nimble is written by the infamous canine Jack B. Nimble. He has some great stories. He also leaves beautiful comments on our blog as Hobopals.

* Joe and Betty's travels are on hold for the time being but they are sure enjoying the signs of spring up in Oregon.

* Jim & Sandie, another great blogger, Where are the Dixons today. Another couple that seems to have more than 24 hours in a day.

* Kenny and Angela over at RV Life is Good Today where you are guaranteed to laugh out loud at the jokes that he shares.

* Allen & Lolita counting down the days to his retirement in July and looking forward to fulltime RVing.

Now a final acknowledgement to our sweet daughter Shy who, with her busy life, has to do a quick read of all of the daily posts before she calls us each week to re-connect again. (Hugs to Dave, too!)

And to my brother Ken – your comments and messages, quite simply, Blow our Minds! You are the best hugger in the world and we can’t wait for that first one from You, Mary Ann & Caitie when we finally get back.

To All of You – Thank You so much for your Prayers!

Whether it’s becoming a follower or your comments, emails or phone calls we love to hear from you.

You fill up our hearts with Love!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More Food Porn

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had one of these:


Surprised smileSurprised smileSurprised smile   !!!!!  OMG !!!!!    Surprised smileSurprised smileSurprised smile

‘Nuff Said.

Another great day with lots of good reports on The Cowboy. Radiation went well plus we came away from our BM Management class with a lot more information and knowledge.

MD Anderson offers several places to sit and enjoy a meal and we chose the big cafeteria for breakfast.

Lots of choices – an omelet bar, Asian section, salads, burgers & fries, cereal, just to name a few.




One of the three pharmacies (below) located at MD Anderson. The Cowboy went online last night, renewed a prescription and picked it up this morning. I’m sure other hospitals and drug stores offer this service but hey it’s all new to us country bumpkins.


Received all great comments today from the Doctors and Nurses. Blood pressure is good and indicates he’s been following orders and hydration levels were all excellent. Dr. P. was very pleased with his weight and treatment progress.

Had a very good conversation with the Dietician – she even suggested the best place to get a really good burger!

The first part of the week is usually filled up with quite a few appointments so we are always relieved when Wednesday is over. The only bookings now are the 8:40 AM radiation treatments on Thursday and Friday. No early mornings.

I promised my brother Ken that I would try and clean up my act and not post as much ‘food porn’ on this site, so this one is for him:


Can’t help myself . . . this one is for Donna K -


Thanks for stopping by and spending another day with us and for all of your wonderful words, virtual hugs and especially your prayers.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Just Beautiful

It was another early morning start for us and while the procedures themselves are simple enough (easy for me to say) and by now we are somewhat familiar with the different areas it still consumes a lot of time.


From lower left Parking Garage 2 to

7:00 AM Blood Samples – Elevator A, 2nd Floor (right)

8:40 AM Radiation – Elevator G, 1st Floor (top)

9:00 AM Chemo – Elevator E, 6th Floor (left)

and back to Parking

Oh and keep in mind that not all of these elevator areas are on all floors so sometimes it’s necessary to take one elevator to a certain floor in order to end up in the area you need to be to catch the necessary connecting elevator.

(Reminder to self: If that’s your biggest issue today? Get over it!)

Anyway, between the 7 AM & 8:40 appointments we found the ‘Sun Dial’:

P1180035 P1180034

Time for a little nap – on the 2nd floor overlooking the entrance to the main building.


Usually much busier than this – Valet parking for the main building and where the shuttles drop off patients. Most of the hotels, motels and RV parks (including Lakeview) in this area offer this service.

P1180037 P1180038

The Cowboy is definitely feeling more fatigued the last few days but he is eating more. He’s actually gained a couple of pounds according to his weigh in this morning. Plus he now prefers his soothing milky protein drinks over coffee. That’s all good news!

We have another full day tomorrow with radiation at 8:40 AM and 11:00 Bowel Management Class . . . sounds crappy doesn’t it? Pun intended. Then his weekly visit with Dr. P., the radiation oncologist at 2:00 PM. We will probably slip home for lunch in between since we are such a short distance away now.

Changing subjects now . . . I am lucky enough to own 2 very nice cameras.

My Nikon D80, which I love, is just too cumbersome to lug around especially when we make our trips to the hospital. Plus the fact that I never seem to have the right lens on for the shots that I want to take. So I use my Panasonic Lumix which is a great camera but it’s getting a little tired. It’s about 4 years old and has taken over 25,000 pictures.

Yesterday on our little jaunt to Galveston I thought I might have a few more photo ops so I took along my Nikon and some of the differences were amazing. Now, I use Picasa as my photo editing program and I can’t say enough good things about this free software.

This is a shot on our way . . . also remember that most of my pics are taken from a moving vehicle.


I cropped, hit another button ‘I feel lucky’ to enhance and removed an ugly overhead wire.


Or this one:


After straightening, cropping and removing the Subway sign . . .


Just one more – we stopped for gas on the way home and struck up a conversation with the owners of these two twin brothers Chico and Choco who were bought for the couples twins.



After cropping and getting rid of those ugly overhead wires (again) and a small red, distracting sign in the background. They were very docile and friendly. Beautiful dogs.

Beautiful Day.        Beautiful Life.        Thanks for joining us.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ice Cream and People Watching

What a great weekend and what a great day to escape the city (88F = 31C) and head to Galveston Island on the Gulf of Mexico. Located about an hour southeast from Houston we enjoyed a nice leisurely country drive.

Fullscreen capture 3252012 42349 PM




The scalloped highway divider match the wavy design on the street light standards.


Rich in history this city offers up lots of museums and many points of interest.

OH! Well, I guess a few other people were trying to beat the heat:


Well, one thing was certain . . . The Cowboy was sure going to be exercising his neck today Be right back



It’s a rare sight to see cute little blondes down here.

Great place to sit and enjoy some ice cream and people watch. We didn’t venture out in the sun too much as The Cowboy’s neck is tender from the radiation. He always wears a collared shirt and even with his hat on there was no shade out there at all so we stayed near the vehicle.


The Cowboy has also been showing a few other signs of side effects. His throat was sorer on the weekend and he was having difficulty eating harsh foods. Maybe showing signs of a bit more fatigue but with the exhaustive heat the last couple of days, it’s hard to tell.


We’re still trying to make sure he’s getting his daily requirements of protein, fiber and carbs. While everyone else is usually trying to avoid carbs we’re doing the opposite.


I try to keep enough good food prepared and ready for him to eat when he feels like it. Since he’s not a picky eater, that’s easy enough to do. Eggs, which he loves in any form, are high in protein so there’s always a supply of boiled eggs in the fridge. Today I made a batch of creamy parmesan and asparagus soup – using half and half instead of milk.


Plus I’ve got beans soaking which I’ll cook up tomorrow with some yummy ham.



One of his protein drinks is vanilla flavored so he’s found mixing that with his coffee give him a kick-start as well as imitating a specialty coffee – hot or iced. Plus the chocolate flavor will make for great milk shakes or he likes them just diluted in water. They soothe his throat too. The daily recommended amount of protein for men is about 60 grams while women only need around 50 grams. While The Cowboy is undergoing treatment he needs about 120 grams to maintain his present health. With this protein powder mixed in the appropriate amount of liquid his daily intake is about 128 grams. That’s  not counting protein from any other sources.


Not quite ready to leave the beach . . .

Thanks again for stopping by and spending some time with us. We thoroughly enjoy your comments, phone calls and emails. Your words are so encouraging to both of us. We also love hearing your suggestions or advice, especially from those with either their own or family and friends experiences.

We continue to count our blessings every day and each and every one of you are in that count.

God Bless All of You. We Love You.