Monday, July 27, 2009

Headin' West!

Another busy week with a visit from our kids in St Paul (eldest son, Peter, wife, Tammy and kids, Samantha, Benjamin and Hannah). It was a great opportunity for our first "3 Generation" bike ride: grandson, son, and granpa! We did a 50 mile ride with plenty of hills and felt we had accomplished something when we returned home.

Sabine ran errands and the girls hung out at the pool, visited Josh at his job at the puppy spa and did some other stuff in Madison.

This is a shot of me and grandson, Ben (age 13).

Oh yes, there were chores -- we took down a large and deceased maple tree from our yard and stacked wood (all good soul work!).

This past week, we also had a visit from one of Sabine's childhood friends, Shirley and her beau, Ron.

And, of course, the evening meal was sufficient with Charlotte's good cooking and at the outside diner.

With a quickly passing light rain there was a beautiful rainbow in the sky to the east of the farm.

I supplied yesterday at St Luke's in Madison -- there is something wonderful about that Anglican liturgy that simply moves my soul...

At the end of this week, we pack up the camper and head west to Glacier Park with dialysis supplies packed away and the freedom of the great American road. Wish us a safe journey and return. When we get back, Sabine will have a bone marrow biopsy, some more blood tests and a checkpoint as to how the stem cells are doing and where the cancer is at.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Yumi's Visit

We had a visit from daughter, Yumi, this week. She flew home for a week of leave from her Army assignment -- Medical Corps, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, NY.

Yumi was recently promoted to Captain and due to medical constraints we couldn't make the ceremony last month.

It looks like Yumi will be posted to Iraq or Afghanistan early next year. We hope to see her home for Christmas before she leaves but all that is dependent upon the needs of her battalion.

She got back on the plan to New York and a stopover at sister Sumi's place and Yumi's niece, Taylor. (We can't wait to see the little outfit Yumi got Taylor while shopping on State Street!) [pictures, no doubt to follow].

This past week was one filled with numerous medical appointments, surgery, and tests -- but Sabine did get the go-ahead for a trip to Glacier Park at the end of this month!).

On our return, Sabine will meet with Dr Longo who will look at her most recent blood tests and then do a bone marrow biopsy that will give us the first information as to how new blood cells are dealing with the cancerous ones! Stayed tuned and we soon hope to give you reports from Glacier Park.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009


This has been a busy week again and it's only Thursday!

Earlier this week we had a dialysis machine failure. After an hour into the treatment we had to shut down and manually return Sabine's blood (this was great for me, I love emergencies I can handle!) but probably a little trying on Sabine.

[The picture above is us dancing in the park last week!]

We called the machine supplier in Massachusets and within 24 hours we had a new machine delivered. We did the programming and off we went. We had some alarms and needed to contact tech support a couple of time to resolve them.

Then we had labs on Monday in preparation for meeting with a member of our transplant team on Wednesday. Sabine's blood work all looked good with her hemoglobin rising again to 9.4 (still below normal but climbing). She got the okay to travel to Glacier Park at the end of this month!

But... her fistula arm appeared to be swelling (this along with the alarms with the dialysis machine) so we were sent to UW Hospital for an arteriogram and checkup.

As we expected, there were blockages in the fistula and catheter areas and the surgical team immediately set about clearing them. After surgery we saw the "before and after" xrays and knew that the intervention worked (I think it's the same process as a heart catheterization).

Sabine was a little groggy after surgery but we soon were on the way home with a few puncture holes in her arm -- but with excellent results.

Earlier this week, daughter Yumi was home on leave from the Army and was able to help out (her new medical corps assignment seemed appropriate). Yumi will most likely be posted to Iraq or Afghanistan early next year and that will be a time of concern for all of us.

Next week we take labs again and have out monthly "clinic day" at the dialysis center and, we both will be thinking about that beautiful national park called Glacier and making arrangements for supplies to be delivered to our lodge and for the camper to be packed!

All in all, it's been a lovely summer...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

So far, it's been a good summer!

Growing new cells.

Day by day.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Stomping on Cancer!

Beats me as to how I can turn this image around. But if you recline on your right side it will work out...

This is a video I took when we were on a 2-day camping trip to Oshkosh and the Experimental Aircract Associaition museum. We really got into flying and so we tried it!! Up. up and awaaaaaaay!