Monday, April 30, 2012

Getting Back to Normal . . . slowly

Well, here we are all rested and on the road to recovery. It’s going to be a long, slow journey and we don’t expect all of the roads to be paved. 

Just a quick follow up to our last post and The Cowboy’s proposal – what you didn’t see was the whole radiation team plus others in the waiting room all crying and cheering us on!


We’ve made quite a few friends during this little adventure and these two wonderful ladies are part of our special memories. Norma, on the right, was looking forward to ringing the bell on Friday, the day after The Cowboy. I passed off my camera to her daughter Donna, on the left. However, mainly because of lack of instructions on my part, nothing was recorded. I’ll have to check with Donna since I know she took some shots with her phone and thank them for the wonderful tins of candies that they gave us.

And don’t ya just love how that day was supposed to be all about The Cowboy’s celebration and yet the attention and hoopla  . . . turned out to be all about ME? Princess


This photo is courtesy of our beautiful Shygirl posted on Facebook this morning and ya just gotta see this coming . . . I’m such a Pioneer Woman wannabe – actually no that’s not true -  I’d rather be her BFF.

So I’m thinking this will be the new theme for my blog!!

The Cowboy is gradually improving and I see him getting stronger each day. He’s sleeping less and doing more as he progresses. Every day we go for a walk and every day we go a little further. Today we (he) actually drove into Conroe which is about 25 minutes away, spent some time walking around the mall and did a little shopping.


I know he’s disappointed that he’s not improving as quickly as he would like but it took him a long time to get where he is and it will take some time to get back to where he needs to be. He’s not running any marathons yet . . . but truth be told,  he wasn’t exactly running any before.

DSC_0010He still isn’t eating anything substantial yet but he’s drinking lots of Boost and other liquids too.

Now here’s something I haven’t mentioned before and only because I didn’t think that it was major but it really is. For those of you that know The Cowboy know that he has always been a big coffee drinker (it’s a cowboy thing). Well, he hasn’t had a cup of coffee for about a month now. At first he was adding protein powder to his coffee in his travel mug but it just doesn’t appeal to him any more.


We’ve extended our stay here at Castaways RV Park  till Thursday. We’ll see how he’s feeling then. Tomorrow we have an appointment with Dr. Santigny, MD, PhD, (pronounced Santeeny) – doesn’t that sound like a soap opera name? He actually looks the part too, being very tall and speaking with a very strong french accent. He is an Assistant Professor from France – Chemotherapy Oncologist. This wasn’t on our schedule but he wants to see him before we head back up north. Just routine – lab work at 11:30 AM then our final visit.

I just want to re-iterate something that I posted last week but it may not have been emphasized enough the way I worded it. I’ve spoken with a few friends that follow our blog that asked when we were scheduled to come back for follow up. Dr. P. is so confident with the radiation treatment that he doesn’t need to see The Cowboy for 3 months! He usually asks patients to come back in 6 to 8 weeks but he is very pleased and said that everything looks really good. By waiting until near the end of July everything will be completely healed and he will be able to get a more accurate reading as to what is or isn’t there.


Another sign that I noticed that would indicate The Cowboy is getting back to normal . . . when he gets behind the wheel – everyone else on the road is an A$$*%^*  !! Don't tell anyone smile

Thanks again for following along and all of your wonderful messages and your prayers.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

He Proposed!

Our beautiful Shygirl posted this link on Facebook:

Bells Ring End of Radiation Treatment


A bell rings out at one of MD Anderson's regional care centers following the completion of a patient's radiation treatment.
Photo: F. Carter Smith

MD Anderson’s radiation treatment facilities have all the bells and whistles — with emphasis on the bells.

Department of Radiation Oncology faculty and staff used their expertise and the latest technology to treat more than 7,000 cancer patients last year.

When their treatment was completed, many of those patients celebrated by ringing a bell at MD Anderson’s centers on the main campus, in the Greater Houston area and in Albuquerque, N.M.

The now-widespread tradition was introduced in 1996 at MD Anderson when U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Irve Le Moyne, a patient with head and neck cancer, installed a brass bell at the main campus Radiation Treatment Center.

Patients who finish treatment at MD Anderson’s Proton Therapy Center make a bit louder noise by banging a gong to symbolize the restoration of balance, harmony and life energy.


Young patient Karim Apollon bangs the
gong at MD Anderson's Proton Therapy Center.
Photo: Ryan Stephens


Ringing out

Ring this bell
Three times well
Its toll to clearly say,
My treatment's done
This course is run
And I am on my way!
— Irve Le Moyne

Did you hear that? Yes, the bell has been rung!

And more will be ringing!

However, that bell ringing ceremony got trumped!


This man just doesn’t do anything half way. Treatment over and time for the traditional bell ringing. The Cowboy takes my hand and leads me to the bell to be at his side or so I thought. . . before I realize what he’s doing he’s down on his knee and proposing!

For those of you that don’t know our story you can check it out on our ‘About Us’ tab.

He handed me a piece of paper that looked like a certificate that I thought they had given him to signify the end of his treatments.

After that it was just a blur.

Even after practicing taking videos on my camera last night, the above picture is all that I got.

This is what was typed on that piece of paper:

We have been together through the best

You’ve been at my side through absolutely the worst

Our love has lasted through 50 years

I ask you to think as I bend at my knee



If your answer is yes then ring that bell so all can hear

You mean everything to me my dear

Now ring that bell so loud and clear

Cuz we are getting’ outta here!

I Love You                         Your Cowboy

We are moving today so I’m not sure what type of internet connection or cell service we will have when we arrive but we will try to keep everyone posted.

I said ‘YES!’

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

On The Green . . . written by The Cowboy

Sunday, April 22, 2012

So here it comes. I rounded the bend and now stand on the eighteenth hole. I can see the clubhouse. You would think I should be dancing but my putter is dragging and all my power is gone. Just throw me into the sand bunker and let the squirrels cover me over.



This is the lighted mural on the ceiling in the room where the Cowboy receives his radiation treatment.




Man they out did themselves building this hole. Four more Radiation treatments to skin that would put a lobster to shame. Phlegm so thick it could nest bullfrogs and with the energy level of a three month old.


Well bring it on! I know I can’t swing my driver anymore or any of my big clubs but I can still whack the ball with my pitching wedge and if it takes me 30 strokes we are going through this hole. As they say In Golf as in Life you can’t win or lose you can only play the game. There won’t be a great hurrah with a party as I couldn’t celebrate if I had too, but you have to know that little man that stands inside me will be jumping for joy that we can now start the mending process and make some plans to be back with the family we love.


To any of you that may be thinking of taking up the game, I suggest you stay well away from this course.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What, what happened? I am on the green. We met with Dr. P today and I checked out fine. He said everything looked really good and he was very pleased. He normally would want a follow-up visit in 6 weeks but unless I feel a need to see him, he will see me in 3 months for my first follow up. I’m good with that so tomorrow is “Move Day” we are heading North 60 miles to an RV park we have stayed at before and let Mother Nature begin to erase this memory from my soul. I may even find a nice shade tree to sit under and polish my clubs.


This ain’t my first rodeo but I never want to draw this card again. It is because all the great folks we have had pullin’ for us that we have made it. You can count your money as often as you like but believe me it means nothing like an encouraging word or smile or virtual hug from those that care. Now that is real wealth.

Thank You Good LORD and I will see you down the road.

Just a final note: We sincerely hope that the pictures were not too graphic and did not offend anyone. We are hoping that the photos will take help ease that fear of the unknown for anyone following us on this journey.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We are Awesome!

Just a short post tonight but wanted to let everyone know that The Cowboy is feeling a little better today. He’s drinking lots of fluids and still sleeping a lot. He doesn’t have much of an appetite yet but tonight I fixed tilapia and asparagus and although he only had a few bites, he did say that it tasted good so his taste buds are working fine. He says that at least he’s able to think about eating again. A day at a time.
Oh! and not to worry . . . I’ve been eating my share plus whatever he doesn’t eat Who me?  I eat when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m homesick, when I’m excited . . . and why is it that I think I’ll find the solution in the fridge?Confused smile
I don’t forward a lot of emails but sometimes one comes along that is worth sharing. I’m sure you’ve all seen this before but it’s a good read and it’s a good reminder.
No matter what our kids and the new generation think about us,
OUR Lives are LIVING PROOF !!!
To Those of Us Born
1925 - 1970 :
At the end of this email is a quote of the month by Jay Leno. If you don't read anything else, please
read what he said.
Very well stated, Mr. Leno.
1930s, '40s, '50s, '60s and '70s!!
First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank
while they were pregnant.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then, after that trauma, we were
put to sleep on our tummies
in baby cribs covered
with bright colored lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets,
and, when we rode our bikes,
we had baseball caps,
not helmets, on our heads.
As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes..
Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a
warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we weren't overweight.
Because we were always outside
playing...that's why!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day.
--And, we were OKAY.
We would spend hours building
our go-carts out of scraps
and then ride them down the hill,
only to find out we forgot the brakes.. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem..
We did not have Play Stations, Nintendo’s and X-boxes. There were
no video games, no 150 channels on cable,
no video movies or DVDs,
no surround-sound or CDs,
no cell phones,
no personal computers,
no Internet and no chat rooms.
and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut,
broke bones and teeth,
and there were no lawsuits
from those accidents.

We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, and no one would call child services to report abuse.

We ate worms, and mud pies
made from dirt, and
the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and
-although we were told it would happen- we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.
Little League had tryouts
and not everyone made the team.
Those who didn't had to learn
to deal with disappointment.
Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers,
problem solvers, and inventors ever.
The past 50 to 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas..
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.
If YOU are one of those born
between 1925-1970, CONGRATULATIONS!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.
While you are at it, forward it to your kids, so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.
Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it ?
The quote of the month
Jay Leno:

"With hurricanes, tornadoes, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"
For those that prefer to think that God is not watching over us...go ahead and delete this.
For the rest of us.....pass this on.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Our Day Will Come

First up this morning was radiation – only 3 more to go! Then we drove over to the Department of Behavioral Science at the Mays Clinic for our last visit with Cathleen at Project Prepare. She loaded us up with lots of information on what to expect for the next few weeks. We volunteered for this study, it wasn’t mandatory, but we are sure happy with all of the valuable information that she has passed on to us. We’ve met with her each Monday since we arrived here on February 27th and they sent us a $25 WalMart Gift Card. Thank You Cathleen for all of your counsel, encouragement and your sweet disposition!



You can see in the photo The Cowboy’s neck is red and burned from the radiation that targets his neck.




After our hugs and good byes we took the shuttle back over to the main building for lab work. Then we headed home since our next appointment wasn’t until 3:00 pm.

We met with Dr. S, our chemo oncologist. Neither he or his assistant didn’t have any surprises for us although the lab work from this morning showed the white cell count was too low yet so the scheduled chemo for tomorrow was cancelled. There is too much risk of infections with the count so low but it’s not so low that they feel any further steps need to be taken. It’s all very normal at this stage of the treatment. They sent us on our way and we will see them when we return for follow up in about 8 weeks.  The chemo and the radiation will still be working even after the last sessions so until everything has healed properly they won’t have any news.


There are signs of Spring even down here in the 80+ degree weather.


The Cowboy is still sleeping a lot and has no appetite whatsoever. He’s continuing to drink lots of fluids. His weight now shows a total loss of 11 pounds.




He remains positive and his attitude just keeps getting better with the end in sight now.

Doesn’t he just look thrilled?




Here’s another happy bell ringer:


Our turn is coming – only 3 more days!

Thanks for joining us and again for all of your wonderful comments and messages. I’ve copied and pasted them into a Word file so when we need a bit of encouragement we can go back and be reminded of all your encouraging words, thoughts and prayers. For that we Thank You!

God Bless All of You!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Need a loan?

Came across this article and both The Cowboy and I thought it was certainly blog-worthy and perhaps could apply to everyone – not just cancer patients:


Dr. Wendy Schain, a psychologist who counsels men and women who have had cancer, describes self-esteem as a set of bank accounts:

  • One account contains the net worth of your physical self – what your body can do and how you look.
  • The second account is your social self – how easily you get along with others and the emotional support you can count on.
  • In the third account is the total sum of your achieving self – what you have done in school, work, and personal and family relationships.
  • The fourth account is for your spiritual self – your religious and moral beliefs and the strength they give you.

During your life, you make deposits in your accounts, but when a crisis like cancer comes up, you must also make withdrawals. Going through cancer treatment has costs. It takes time, and may take away some of your physical ability to function. It can harm your relationships with others, your career goals, and sometimes your faith. When funds from one of your accounts become low, you may need a “loan” from one of the others to balance your account.

Try to be aware of the costs of cancer in your life. Make a special effort to get new deposits for the accounts that remain active. By doing so, a drain from one area of your self-worth will not bankrupt you entirely. If your cancer treatment has affected your looks, focus on the love and care you get from friends and family who react to you with a deep level of intimacy. If treatment interrupts your work, use some of your energy to enrich your social or spiritual life.

Although you may sometimes feel that all your accounts are getting low, a more careful look should reveal some areas where “income” is still flowing in.

There will be a follow up to this as we have many thoughts to share.

How about sharing some of yours?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Walking the line

Our weekly visit with Dr. P. went well with lots of smiles and thumbs up!

All vitals were good with B/P 145/78 being the lowest it’s been since we started.


Many people suffer from ‘white coat syndrome’ - feeling of anxiety that elevates their blood pressure in a doctor’s office or hospital setting.


The nutritionist seemed pleased and not concerned about any weight loss (8 lbs. in total) One of the biggest fears that we’ve had up until this point was the possibility of a feeding tube that many patients have as a last resort. The Cowboy especially didn’t want to have to go through that procedure and the complications that could result. I agreed but I am also of the opinion that whatever he needs to get the nutrition that his body needs should not be overlooked. At first I thought that it was his male ego getting in the way but male or female I can understand the rationale behind the thinking. Now that he has come this far we doubt that will even be considered – nor would we agree to it.


Another side effect that we were cautioned about was - His saliva has become very thick and sticky and while the old standby of salt/baking soda swishes help, he’s also been taking Robitussin DM that assists in thinning and breaking it up. He continues to sleep a lot and is comfortable sleeping sitting up with a bunch of pillows behind him to help prevent the mucous from choking him.


His voice is still a strained whisper and we’re not sure at this point what the final result will be. His voice box will remain intact but the muscles around it may be affected to some extent from the radiation. The experts here have been telling him that if he is faithful and does his exercises he will be back to singing just like Johnny Cash.


We are counting down in the single digits now. Last chemo treatment is Tuesday and radiation will be over on Thursday. We’ve been warned that just because the treatments will be over doesn’t mean that the side effects will immediately go away so we know we still have a ways to go.


Thank You for joining us and all of your wonderful support with love and prayers. We are truly blessed and extremely grateful.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

All is well

and I didn’t want to alarm anyone who have come to expect a daily post from us.

There is no real news as far as The Cowboy’s progress. He’s sleeping a lot these last few days but I still feel that is a good thing. His body is going through a lot of changes and needs to be replenished.

We’re just being lazy, taking it easy so there will be no regular post tonight but please take a look at some of the other blogs on the bottom right side of this page. Lots of good reading there.


Thanks again for stopping by and we will be back soon . . .

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Computer Is Not Broken

Well, it started out a normal kind of day with radiation scheduled at 8:40 AM. Turns out their equipment was not working and each piece of equipment and each radiation department (and there are several) are each designed and set up to treat specific types of cancers in as many different locations on the body.

So after about a half hour wait we were given a couple of options. One was to come back at 11:40 AM or to go across to the Mays Clinic. We chose the former as we had another appointment back there at 1:00 PM with Dr. P.

We arrived early for the 1:00 PM but there are always lots of other patients to chat with. In fact we ran into Rocky and Cindy there and got caught up with them.

Now that we are rounding the home stretch of this crazy race instead of sharing some of the side effects that The Cowboy HAS experienced, I thought it would be a good time to count our blessings and share with you some of the undesirable side effects most people fear but, in our case, didn’t happen. Keeping in mind that we are all individuals and different medications will have different effects on each of us. We can only share our own experiences.


Relaxation has played a major role in coping with any and all side effects. The Cowboy prefers to sit outside in the shade and relax with a book and his lunch or just sitting and enjoying nature.


To date he has only experienced slight nausea and he’s been able to control that with some common sense practices. Eating and drinking slowly and several small meals throughout the day as opposed to two or three larger meals. Room temperature foods are more favorable plus chewing well is easier for digestion. Diet Ginger Ale was another recommendation that has proven really helpful.


“Glad to hear you won't be losing your hair Daddy! I'm just as attached to it as you are!”

(This was recently posted on Facebook by our daughter who is now 37 – sorry Shy)


The loss of hearing was another thing that they warned us about but I haven’t been able to successfully monitor that one as he suffers from what I call ‘selective hearing’. It’s a guy problem. Winking smile

I have had to make some sacrifices myself in order to make his life as comfortable as I can. I mentioned that he sleeps a lot so while he’s resting I try and be as quiet as I can. And most of you know that with living in a 38’ motorhome that is no easy feat.

So I refrain from rattling around and washing dirty dishes.

I certainly can’t even think about dusting or vacuuming or washing floors.

Even if I wanted to I couldn’t organize my cluttered cabinets and messy drawers.

Or do laundry.

Or clean windows. . .

Analyze This

Remember that movie?

Each week about 2 hours before The Cowboy’s round of chemo he heads up to have his blood tests done so that’s where we started at 7:00 AM today. He’s feeling better today but of course it’s time for the dreaded chemo treatment.

Then it was off to radiation followed by a trip to the pharmacy to pick up a medication refill.

By 9:00 AM The Cowboy vitals were all taken and recorded with a total loss now of about 8 pounds.He’s now over the 2% loss that they allow so I’m sure we’ll hear about that tomorrow at Dr. P’s regular appointment.

We’ve all questioned the 2% because a lot of us, retired seniors especially, have at least 10-15 pounds that we would gladly shed and still remain healthy. At least The Cowboy and I are in that category.

However, these specialists have the expertise and experience so we try to heed their warnings. We’re assuming that The Cowboy’s appetite will continue to wane after the treatments are done and in order to help the healing process and to combat other illnesses he must maintain his weight.

Settling in to our assigned room the nurse came in and advised that the chemo session was cancelled for today because of The Cowboy’s slightly low platelet count. Platelets are the part of the blood that helps it to clot and this is a very typical reaction to certain chemo drugs.

The normal count is 100,000, The Cowboys reading was 88,000 with 20,000 being the number that causes concern.

Once we heard the word ‘cancelled’ it only took a couple of minutes to quickly saddle up and all you could see was our dust as we headed out of there.

Chatting on the way home The Cowboy mentioned that he’s been sleeping a lot lately and that maybe the fatigue was causing the low count – but could it be that the low count could be causing the fatigue? I told you we analyze the heck out of everything!

After we arrived back home I called Dr. S’s office with some concerns. I asked if there was anything we should be doing to bring the platelet count back up. The very pleasant nurse, with The Cowboy’s report in front of her, assured  me that it wasn’t low enough to cause any concern so no need to worry about it. The cells will recover themselves in time.

It’s also highly unlikely that they will schedule an additional round of chemo to make up for today’s cancellation – which was another of our concerns with being so close to the final treatment date.

I finished up this post last night about 10 or so but before publishing, walked over to my Princess couch and analyzed (yet again) if I had included everything that I wanted to say today. I rested on my Princess couch, tipped over and promptly fell asleep.

Thanks again for joining us.         Make it an awesome day!

Monday, April 16, 2012

No Surprises



Following radiation on Monday mornings we head over to meet with Catherine at  Project Prepare in The Star area of the Mays Clinic.


The Skyway is the link from the main building to the Mays Clinic.


This blurry photo was taken on a rainy day through a window but it gives you an idea of the length of The Skyway. We have no idea how long it is but we’re thinking it would be a good Par 5.


While we have walked it a couple of times for the exercise, we will sometimes take the shuttle – motorized 8 person golf cart –especially if the meter in the parking garage is ticking away.

Catherine reviews our past week’s experiences and prepares us for our upcoming week and what to expect regarding side effects. She equips us with lists, reminders and lots of encouragement.

One of the points that she stresses is the importance of doing the exercises that The Cowboy was assigned by the speech pathologist at the beginning of the treatments. 13 – 30% of all head and neck cancer survivors develop swallowing problems and these exercises help in preventing these problems.

The neck stretches and swallowing actions help eliminate scar tissue caused by the radiation burns. They take about 10 minutes and should be practiced 4 times daily. However, The Cowboy has just not been feeling up to doing them the last few days. She assured us that that was normal at this stage of the treatment program.

She also will be following up for about 4 weeks after the treatments are completed – to see how he is doing and to remind him to continue the exercises.

I’ve mentioned before that the side effects of the chemo seem to increase as the weekend approaches and this weekend was no better – knocking The Cowboy right off his horse.

He has no appetite whatsoever but he is drinking about 4-5 protein drinks a day. He continues to eat soups, scrambled eggs, fresh vegetables and soups. He also favors smoked sausage and seafood salad. He just doesn’t eat a lot of anything at any one time.



He is now so used to me taking pictures of his food . . . check out HIS presentation of a salad he made for me last week.


Yesterday I purposely roasted a chicken with sage dressing hoping that the aroma would arouse his appetite. It did and he said it smelled wonderful but he was only able to eat a couple of bites.

Please be comforted in knowing that all of this is all very normal and we are not surprised by any of it. We have all the education and tools in our kit to cope with all of it.

I can totally relate to all of our friends and family members with their feelings of helplessness in being so far away. Here I am, right here with him every minute of this journey and I too am overcome with that awful feeling. All I can do is love him – that’s the easy part!

Please be reminded that all of your comments, messages and phone calls continue to give us strength to see this through.

Thank You so much for your prayers. We know they are working!


This all happened so quickly that I don’t have any idea who the patient was.

You can be sure that when The Cowboy rings this bell next week that you will be able to hear it all the way up to Ontario (maybe even to Eliott Lake) and British Columbia!!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Good News, Bad News

Exactly fourteen days from today we will be on the road heading north. Albeit not that far north, but north nonetheless! I don’t mean to sound ungrateful I mean - how lucky are we? Houston, Texas has to be one of the most awesome places! I’m sure it is one of the most popular places for many people as a destination vacation.

Tourists can enjoy a whole variety of museums, zoos, parks, aquariums and live theatre, operas or concerts.

Tons of exciting things to do but quite frankly – we’re just not feelin’ it.

While we’re both very comfortable here in our own home in this beautiful park we are getting very anxious to be back home in Ontario. Enough whining . . . you’ve heard it all before.

The Cowboy continues to eat well, not his usual appetite but considering all that is happening to his body . . .

Rocky and Cindy stopped by for a visit a couple of days ago and he has to force himself to eat. He has no appetite at all and has been drinking about 6 Boost protein drinks a day. He is experiencing many of the same side effects and it does us all good to get together and compare notes. Man! When did we get old? Confused smile

The Cowboy’s neck area has become burned and very raw from the radiation treatments – as expected. I know it’s painful for him but he’s been really good about applying the recommended Aquaphor. The Doctors have increased his medication and everyone continues to make him as comfortable as possible.The next couple of weeks are going to be tough for him. The good news is that it’s only 2 more weeks. The bad news is that it’s still 2 more weeks.

One of life’s simple pleasures that I enjoy on a daily basis is a trip to my own little library. Both the Cowboy and I received Kindle Fires for Christmas along with a 30 day Amazon Prime Membership. During that free month we downloaded several apps, books and some music. 


Movies, apps, games, reading and more

Vibrant color touchscreen Web browsing and email

8 GB of storage which is said to be good for 80 apps, plus either 10 movies (depending on the quality of the movies) or 800 songs or 6,000 books


Back to my little pleasure – I signed up for a daily newsletter from Amazon’s  ‘E-Reader News Today’ to be delivered to my email.  There is anywhere from 15-30 free e-books offering quite a variety with adult, children’s or young adult books.

You can read about the author as well as reviews. This is just a sample:

by E.G. Lewis
Rating: 5.0 Stars
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Price: $0.00 Save $16.95
Subject to change back to full price at any time.

Some of the genre’s include mysteries, fiction, romance and history while my favorites are spiritual or motivational, biographies and cookbooks. These books are only free on that specific day.

So each afternoon around 4 o’clock I sit with my freshly made cup of coffee . . .


(Now there’s something else that we are homesick for.)



I am aware that I can do a search on Amazon but I simply don’t have the patience or the time to scan through 40,000 results.

The books I select are automatically downloaded to my Kindle and I find that (did I mention they’re FREE?) I’m choosing books and discovering authors that I wouldn’t normally read.

The following is a photo of my Dad-in-law’s Magnolia tree that graces his back yard. It was just a puny looking little bush when we gave it to his Mom on Mother’s Day 30 some years ago.


This picture was taken April 22, 2010 so it should be blooming again real soon.

I’ve been playing around and trying to learn a new photo program – Photo Tangler Collage Maker and this is how that magnolia tree blossomed:

Lyle's Magnolias

Still lots to learn . . .

Holmes Beach (final)

and practice. . .

Thanks for joining us.         Make It An Awesome Day!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Another Great Weekly Check Up

Wednesday is our weekly visit with Dr. P along with his clinical nurse, our nutritionist, and a wonderful chatty volunteer that checks The Cowboy’s vitals. Today was another successful visit – Blood pressure which normally runs a little high was 150/80, hydration levels were good and a small weight loss of about 5 pounds overall. The nutritionist’s goal was set at a loss of no more than 2% of The Cowboy’s original weight so he’s just under that.


Dr. P performed a scope and was very pleased that he could see a reduction in the size of the cancer although he explained (last week as well) that he can’t get an exact reading until after all the treatments have been completed and an ample time spent healing.

He’s suggested a follow up in 6-8 weeks (after the last treatment)as long as everything else is normal. He’s very confident that all else will be normal judging by the way things are progressing.


Many of you have asked when we will be back in Ontario and right now it’s pretty hard to say. It will depend on so many things, the first and foremost is how The Cowboy is feeling and if he’s going to feel up to driving. Quite frankly, I think the big issue will be me holding him back.

We are planning on leaving after his last treatment on Thursday, April 26th with a short trip of about 50 miles to Castaways RV Park, one of our ROD membership parks. We will plan a stay of 4-5 days there until we see if the pattern of the chemo stays on track over that weekend. We will then decide if we need to stay longer for him to recuperate or we can leave earlier if he’s up to it.


He’s planned our route back and it’s looking like it will take about 5 traveling days with about 300 miles a day. Again, that can be adjusted to more – or less miles, according to how he feels.


Our family members have been so supportive offering help in many different ways. The Cowboy’s brothers Blaine & Buck have offered to fly down and drive the motorhome back for us. This offer was instigated by the boys’ father and we so appreciate and love you all for your offers.


Another little gem that we have in our back pocket – MASA Medical Air Services Association is an emergency transportation company. One of the many benefits of belonging to this organization is that in an emergency they will fly both of us back to Canada and also have our rig delivered back there too. This membership is so worth the peace of mind – not just for us but especially for our families.

We have two more followers that we would like to extend a Big Welcome to – I couldn’t find any info but Judie Seeders has joined us on our journey along with Merikay. Merikay and Craig are planning on some summer outings in between getting their house ready for the market and preparing to join the ranks of the full-timers. Check out their blog at Merikays Dream has 6 Wheels.

Thank You to all of our followers. We appreciate all of you and you have no idea how much your comments inspire and encourage us. God Bless You All!