Milestones and my Day Job

In the social media world, I've hit a couple of milestones recently

  • On Pinterest, over 6K followers
  • On YouTube, over 1,000 people have viewed the Tai Chi Ball videos Bob and I made for Parkinson's patients.

Lately, my time is really not my own.  Once we became empty nesters, I really valued my alone time.  I certainly love being part of a couple, but I also love being fiercely independent.  Bob is much the same way.  He and I really are a good pair.  Cancer has taken away almost all of our ability to be independent.

For the last month I've been the only driver, he's weak and this is a safety issue.  He could certainly drive, but why?  This week he had doctor and test appointments, one to three everyday, I drove him, and went to the doctor appointments, too; except Wednesday.  On Wednesday I cleaned and did errands.

For over 40 years, Bob has always done his own laundry.  All those years ago, he would change his clothes 3 or 4 times a day!  Work, workout(s), relaxing.  I advised him that he needed to take care of his own mountain of dirty clothes, or go naked.  So he learned to do his own laundry.  Now, he can still manage the task, but it takes a day or two, so I do his laundry in a couple of hours.

I am not complaining, change is good, especially to help out a great guy.  The only thing I'm not happy with is lack of quilting/stitching time.  That's been the first thing to go, mainly regulated to the weekends.  I think of Quilting as my Day Job, now Bob is my Day Job!


I threw in some photos of recent quilt work, every post needs photos!  Lots of hearts, lately.
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No News Is Good News, it's a lie.

Most of my "news" is in the "not good" news category, but first I'll tell about the photo.  Our daughter Carrie has lived in NC for 10 years.  Her 100% California family moved to the Raleigh area and are very happy there.  The downside for Bob and I, is we seldom get to see her or her family.  Carrie, like Bob, is not a phone person, so most of our contact is via email!  Four weeks ago, someone knocked on our door, we live in a gated community, and were not expecting visitors, so we figured it was a neighbor.  Wrong, it was both of our daughters and our grandson.  What a delightful surprise.  Carrie had come to SoCal for a visit with her sister, and they thought they'd surprise us.  We had a fun visit and went to Chili's for lunch.

The girls came back a couple of days later to borrow one of our cars, so Carrie would have her own set of wheels while she was in Orange County; they took us to lunch, too.  At the end of her SoCal visit, Carrie came and stayed with us for four days, before returning to NC.  The top photo was taken during those four days.  Bob's T says You Can't Scare Me, I Have Two Daughters, ain't that the truth.  All these visits, were fantastic and a shot in the arm for Bob.  He loves his daughters and loves to see them in the flesh.

Right before Carrie stayed with us, we had an appointment with the Oncological Surgeon, at  the Loma Linda Cancer Center.  He's the one who ordered the biopsy.  He told us Bob's diagnosis, Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.  Here's a link I found with lots of info.  Bob's scheduled to have a porta-cath, installed, next week.  He'll have chemo, but we really don't know as much as we want.  The surgeon asked us to wait for our appointment with the medical oncologist, he'll refer us to, who will be incharge of Bob's care.  Right now, we're still waiting for the appointment.

Bob is loosing weight, because he just doesn't feel like eating; he's nauseated.  This as me as concerned as the cancer.  My immediate goal is to have him start eating, at least a little more.  He has weight to loose, but this really is not the way!

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Bob Report

We went to the Loma Linda Cancer Center, yesterday. The surgeon told us that he could not operate to remove the mass, it's too entangled with too many things. He thinks it's likely Lymphoma not Sarcoma, but we have to wait for a biopsy to see what it is. He's pretty sure it's cancer but we won't know until the biopsy. If it's Lymphoma, it'll be treated with chemo, if it's Sarcoma, chemo and radiation. This is all a lot to take in, but we'll know more after the biopsy, which we also need to wait on!

Bob's a strong guy and still absorbing what's going on. Keep those prayers and good thoughts coming his way.

(Photo take last month at the Lux Art Center.)
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The Bob Report

I haven't done a "Bob Report" in a long time.  Things have pretty much been status quo, until now. This photo shows what we feel like; we're looking down a long tunnel and we think it will all work out, when we get to the end.

Here's snippets of emails that I've sent to friends:

1. Bob's having a new problem that we're trying to get diagnosed. He has a pain on the lower left side of his chest, it hurts to breath, and the pain radiates around to his back. Not fun. An X-ray showed nothing, and yesterday he had an MRI. We'll get to the bottom of it, but everything takes time.

2. We still don't have an answer for Bob, but we're getting close. First an x-ray showed nothing. Then he had a ct-scan and it showed a mass that his doctor said was about the size of a softball or grapefruit, located where the stomach, lungs and all kinds of good stuff come together, on the left side of his lower chest. She sent him to a surgeon.

We went to the surgeon today and he said he's pretty sure it's cancer and and the mass is larger than we thought and tangled around a lot of things. He thought is was in the stomach, and that Bob's case was too complex for his surgical group and a local hospital and referred us to an oncological surgeon at a University hospital. We faxed the necessary reports to the oncological surgeon and are waiting for a call back with an appointment.

So that's where we stand, right now. We're optimistic, I can't think of another way to be. We have a lot of living to do, so we'll get thru this, too.

3. Bob has an appt. with the oncological surgeon at Loma Linda University Hospital in Loma Linda, on 9/11, in the afternoon.

So, on Thursday we'll find out what this surgeon thinks.

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Great day

I had a great day, today.  I've kept in touch with the woman who hired me at B&N, for years, via FB.  Her daughter, who I also worked with, is an art teacher at the Lux Art Institute in Encinitas.  They have a program on Saturdays called Yoga in the Garden.  I'd never done yoga, but I decided to give it a try, with my friend.

I won't show you any photos of me or anyone else doing yoga.  I will say I think I did pretty good for a 70 year old novice.  I did take photos of some of the art in the classrooms.  These are all produced by children.  I hope you're as inspired as I am.

 The next photos are of pieces by instructors at the Institute.

My favorites are the statues and "it's not you, it's you.!  Here's some more of the inspiring classrooms.

Hope you had a great Saturday, too.

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Down, but not out

I have two of these beautiful Sally Holmes roses planted at the back of the house.  They climb as high as the roof, and shade our bedroom windows.  The bedroom faces east, so the roses protect from the heat of the morning sun.

When we came home from some morning appointments, one of the roses had lost it's support and fallen over.  I called David, our gardener, he came over right away, and he thinks the rose can be saved.

He trimmed off most of the bush, leaving the base, and hopefully it'll be saved.  I'll just need to get another trellis for it to climb on.

Here's a shot of Frisco and Ben on the loveseat.  It's amazing that they get along so well.  Ben's so small, he can walk/run right under Frisco's belly.  We are very lucky to have them.

Our morning appointments consisted of me having the annual boob squeeze, aka mamo; and Bob's having new problems.  He hurts when he breathes and the pain radiates to his back.  It has me scared.  The doctor asked one million questions, which is good, and ordered an xray.  I really hope it is a little thing, instead of a big thing.
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Miscellaneous Stuff


Two weeks ago, Frisco, our 7 year old American Spaniel, managed to press the button that lowered the rear window, jumped out of our moving car, fell under it, and was run over.  I blogged about it here, if you want to read about it.  He's doing great, and got his stitches out today!  Our vet said he was doing great, too.

When I went on a recent 6 week trip, it was a packing challenge.  Six weeks is a long time, and we were going to visit different climates.  One of the things I did was pack things I could throw away, namely socks and panties.  No, I didn't buy disposables, I packed what I had, at least four weeks worth, that I didn't bring home.  I purchased large ziplock bags, and each bag held 2 weeks worth of disposables.  Bag One was for thru the Panama Canal, Bag Two was for Transatlantic and Bag Three was for Copenhagen and NYC.  Bag Three had the only contents that came back home to Murrieta.  Bob did the same thing.

On the 6 week trip, in addition to discarding undies, I also lost 5 pounds!  We've been home for two months and I've dropped 5 more pounds.  It's a slow loss and I'd like to lose 10 more, but I'm happy with what's happened and the additional 10 will happen eventually.

We're seriously thinking of going on another cruise in early December.  We've been married 50 years and been on 12 cruises, so you can see we normally don't cruise yearly, or twice in one year, for sure.  But hey, it doesn't hurt to think about it.  The one we're mulling over is a 10 day Eastern Caribbean cruise, with 4 sea days and 5 ports.

10-Day Eastern Caribbean from Miami

The winner of the soap from Eden Hills Market is Kimberly Martinez!  Kimberly, Teresa from Eden Hills will send a bar of Pumpkin Spice Goat Milk Soap off to you. 

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