Monday, December 29, 2008

An end of a year...

We are almost finished with what I call our "rolling Christmas." Last Friday, Sumi, Scott and Taylor's flight from NYC was canceled. So no Christmas with them -- yet (but we do expect to see them today on their way back from Green Bay).

Sabine's niece, Kim, and her two boys didn't make it last week because a car hit them about a mile from home. Thank God, no injuries, but their car was out of service.

We did do Christmas Eve mass at St Andrew's in Monroe, WI. But it was tricky driving there with all the snow, wind, and sub-zero temperatures we have had. Then to top it off, we had rain and temperatures in the high 40s. Well, that's Wisconsin.

But this year end is not only Christmas for us, or New Year's Eve, but also our Anniversary -- this year our 27th!

I wrote a poem for Sabine. This was scary year for us. We didn't know if she would still be around at this year's end.

i often
think of our life together
like a immense photo album
but the early photos
are not
black and white
they are all techni-colored
vibrating radiant
they flash and dash
like a documentary collage
through my mind
and now
as we age
the expectant colors slightly fade
i look for them
wanting them again
the flashing dancing radiance
instead i find myself
walking with you
along a path
it seems like late fall
the summer colors are gone
but instead
something is new again
peaceful and calm
we are filled with deeply
rich tones
tones of an old sepia print
and we look at each other
and fearlessly

[dec 29, 2008 -- on the anniversary of our 27th year together]


Thursday, December 18, 2008

An Early Christmas Present

No, this is NOT a new picture... This is a pic of Sabine after 9-11 when the police got all this fancy riot control gear.

But what I wanted to do by posting this picture of my gal was to illustrate that she is a fighter! And this week proved it!

First of all, our meeting with Dr Sheehan was, again, GOOD NEWS! While Sabine's cancer numbers were up somewhat over last time they were not significantly up; that is, not up enough to trigger a new round of chemotherapy.

The doc seemed happy with her progress and that made Sabine happy and when Sabine is happy so am I!

The following day (Thursday) we had our monthly clinical appointments at the dialysis center and a check as to how the third surgical attempt at a fistula hookup was working.

Since the surgery we had detected a pretty good pulse at the surgical site and had even experienced what is called a "thrill;" that is, a definitive pulse you can feel at the surgical connection site with your finger tips.

And you know what? It was confirmed by the medical staff that the connection sounds and feels pretty good. Sabine now needs to let it "mature;" that is, she will now do specific exercises like arm curls to get the blood flowing in that area and expand those dinky veins over hers.

Nevertheless, we are not going to rush on this and let this site develop. So that's MORE good news this week.

Later this spring, I plan on putting Sabine out on the championship arm wrestling circuit. Perhaps you can come and see her at bar or tavern near you.

We are looking forward to Christmas and seeing Sumi, Scott and little Taylor along with Josh, Sarah, and nieces Teak and Kim. Teak with husband Kelly and their two kids, Seger and Malea, and Kim with her two boys, Jared and Jackson. Daughter Yumi cannot be home this Christmas as she is working help a unit in her battalion return from Iraq.

Blessings to all of you as we all contemplate the road to Bethlehem and the birth of child who changed the world.

David and Sabine

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Look!

It's below zero... snowing out and so I decided to put a new look for a coming new year on our blog! Hope you enjoy it and slowing down and engaging the sacred as we walk toward Bethlehem....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Florida and Back!

We made it down and back. The home dialysis went well with no hitches. The camper preformed admirably... and now we are back home shivering in below ZERO temperatures!

While we were in Florida we meet with granddaughter Lauren and her friend, Kayle and had a nice dinner and poolside evening with them.

The adventure continued when daughter Jennifer, husband Karl and granddaughters Molly and Rosie came for a day in the pool.

We also had a visit from friends Rusty and Diane Olson who had recently moved nearby to Winter Garden. They were members of our parish in North Lake.

Sabine tried to spend as much time as she could in the sun.

On the way home we stopped overnight at a beautiful state park in Georgia and then found ourselves sleeping in a truck stop in Illinios when we found two state parks and they both were closed!

We have a big week ahead of us:

This afternoon we received our monthly shipment of dialysis supplies (over 50 boxes).

Tomorrow we meet with our support group in Madison.

On Wednesday, we check in with Dr Sheehan and see how the cancer is doing or NOT doing!

On Thursday we attend our monthly medical clinic at the dialysis center in Madison and get a medical, social, dietary "check up" and more supplies... (it's not over yet....)

On Friday and Saturday kids and nieces and nephews roll into Blue Mounds for an early Christmas (we seem to have to do that each year to try and get everyone together).

Sunday is 4th Advent and then Sabine and I have a quiet week as we prepare for Christmas Eve Mass at St Andrew's in Monroe where I am the celebrant! Phew!

Nevertheless, as we all approach the Sacred Time, Sabine and I wish you a blessed and peaceful Christmas and New Year's!

Last year, Sabine's cancer was "kicking in." We didn't know what it was during Christmas time and then on New Year's Eve we were in the hospital. We have all come a long way. We never thought we would ever be celebrating this Christmas together. God is good.

And as we said in our Christmas Letter... "this has been the most challenging year we have faced. We have learned four important things:

1. Human beings are very adaptable.
2. Love is powerful.
3. Laughter heals.
4. Family and friends are indispensable!

With our heartfelt love...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Safe and Sound in Sunny Digs!

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Here we are in sunny climes -- Vistana Resorts near Buena Vista! We now have had a successful dialysis here in our resort... and our dialysis supplies arrived via truck (we had emergency backup in the camper if we needed them!). The weather is great... and the best thing was that Sabine said that she had forgotten that she had cancer... and that's what all this is all about!!

Peace from both of us...

Friday, December 5, 2008

On the Road!

On Wednesday we did our dialysis and then headed south in a snowstorm.

We stopped at Metropolis, IL just before entering into Kentucky. I wonder if their newspaper is called "The Daily Planet"?


Lois, is that you?

No, it's Wonder Woman!!

Now in Georgia just south of the horrendous Atlanta traffic we started searching for BBQ's -- and we found one of the best!

After one night in a state park near Paducah, KY we headed south and found a great campground in the Osceola National Forest near Lake City. FL.

We had our morning coffee watching the sunrise and were treated to an early morning rainbow. Then it was a press-on day to Orlando and our place near Buena Vista (Mouse Country)!

Our dialysis supplies arrived intact at the resort and we are ready to go....

We, of course, miss you all and wish you could join us for this 85 degree weather!

Love to all of you,
David and Sabine