Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy, happy talk!

Hey, why not some happy faces here?
I'm wearing one!

Sabine met with her primary cancer doc (Dr Sheehan) today and he reviewed her recent tests and all looks GREAT! All the important markers within normal range. He will see her in SIX weeks! This coming Monday, Sabine has some "minor" day-surgery to start to establish a "buttonhole" in her arm for dialysis purposes... swimming is just ahead!

It's been almost 2 years since that terrible diagnosis. Thanks to all of you for your support and prayers -- we couldn't have done it without you!

Love from both of us!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Cabana

Sabine's brother, Rainer, was in town for three days, with hammer and saw in hand, and looking for something creative to do. So, Sabine said, "Let's build a cabana!" And so we did (under, of course, Sabine's close supervision)...

The roof is now on and I have just a few things left to do like putting up the screening and a door... Otherwise, we now have a CABANA!
Thanks, Rainer!

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

T for Two!


Because Sabine believes that her cancer hates oxygen, we purchased this used tandem from a couple near Lodi (thanks to

It is both an on and off-road tandem so we can use the many bicycle trails in our area. Next Wednesday, Sabine plans to take the tandem into her appointment with Dr Sheehan and ride it back home (a round trip of about 60 miles!).

The picture is our first ride on the tandem near the Military Ridge Trail at Blue Mounds.

Sabine plans to save gasoline by using the tandem to commute the 10 mile trip to our cottage in Mazomanie during dialysis days (with good weather!).

p.s. it's taken me 28 years to get her on a tandem bike! I used to have a tandem when we were dating and she simply did not like having to be in the rear! (my smelly shorts?). Generally, the person with the most upper body strength is the "captain" (in front) and the other person functions as the "stoker." This is NOT sexist!

So, it's taken me all these years to break her in (don't tell her I said this!) and now she seems to enjoy the team effort of tandem riding. Again, life may not be fair, but it is good!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Poetic Ramblings

This has been an artsy couple of weeks with plays in Spring Green and at the American Players Theater nearby. This week (on Wednesday) Sabine finally gets back to see her primary cancer doc, Dr Sheehan, after being passed to Dr Longo for the successful (I might add) stem cell transplant. Hallelujah!

Then next week we start the "buttonhole" process (establishing a fistual site in Sabine's arm to enable dialysis in a more aseptic way than the tunnel catheter we have used for nearly two years!). This will permit access for dialysis in Sabine's arm and enable her to engage in swimming and water sports which were prohibited by the tunnel catheter in her neck. We have a day surgery scheduled for the 5th of October.

And, oh yes, the Marriage Course ( begins at New Heights Lutheran Church in Mazomanie on October 8th!

My hobby (I have finally realized) is writing poetry. Some of you have read some of it from time to time here on this blog.

Some events have happened which resulted in some wordsmithing: Sabine's temporary remission as a result of the stem cell transplant, a father and son dying nearby us, ruminating on past loves and losses with one of my daughters, and a bicycle ride discussion I had with my friend, Jeff, about "What's it like to be you?"

this interim time
sweet as summer squash
peaceful as an afternoon nap
i hold my breath
watching you sleep
about that cancer
it’s there
lying in wait
like a mugger
on a dark path
God, you know what
you have to do
smite it!
yes I said smite
smite those
evil mugger cells
like you smote
you can do it

two deaths you say?
so close together
down that
winding hill?
a father and son
same spot
weeks apart
an accident?
the father's
empty boots
along the road
his body
the trigger
and the toe
fall leaves
crimson red
as two souls
like evening mist
the creek
each other

to all i've loved
and loved
me back
thank you!
(i mean it)
you've taught
me much through
trial and error
my faults
hurts & pains
and yes grief
(let’s not forget
the grief)
oh yes
the loss
(we can't forget
the loss either)
thank you
your teaching has
not been lost
it's led
me to
a love that
truly passes
without you
all of this would
have been
old dogs
can learn

what's it like
to be you?
whew, you say
that’s heavy
yes, but what IS
it like to be you?
what makes you
how can i love you
if i don’t know
what it feels like
to be
think about it
i’m thinking about it
telling you
what’s it like
to be

Thanks for all you continued support and prayers!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Enjoying the late summer...

Yes, that's Sabine and me on the far right (for once!). We were at the annual "Bob Fest" in Baraboo (a liberal bastion of democrats and free-thinkers). We got some good t-shirts and lawn signs.

You are probably wondering "where's the blogs?" But you know that NO news with me is usually GOOD news. We are celebrating this new lease on life called a stem cell transplant. Sabine is feeling great and strong! (And, thus, lowering greatly my nearly two year long anxiety!)

This is Sabine outside the new indoor American Players Theater near Spring Green. In one week's time we saw two stunning plays. First. "Old Times" by Pinter (wow!) and then O'Neil's "Long Days Journey Into Night." Both were powerful relational plays and gave new meaning to dysfunctional families!

We met with the "access" folks at UW Hospital and Sabine has her surgery to bring her vein connection up on October 5th. (Just in time -- we begin teaching The Marriage Course on the 8th). It's a day surgery and this is the second step now to creating a fistual access point in her arm for dialysis. It will also permit her to rid herself of the tunnel catheter in her neck!

We are greatly enjoying this late burst of summer, taking hikes, and enjoying each other's company.