Wednesday, December 24, 2014

CRACK! Just What I Feared!

Never a dull moment around here. After Sabine's fall and ER run on Saturday morning (and the ER doc's reading of her hip X-ray as "no fracture) we thought we were pretty lucky. However, Sabine's leg pain persisted (even with a walker and plenty of rest) so that I took her to her primary care clinic yesterday afternoon following our appointment with Dr Sheehan our oncologist (who also suggested we take another look at the hip).

Suspicions confirmed. Sabine has a cracked femur near the ball joint of her right hip. Prognosis? Bed rest and no unnecessary movement.

So I will be moving all the dialysis equipment from Buddy's house down to ours. We will set up our dialysis clinic in the living room!

We have an orthopedic visit to UW clinics the first week in January.

Time to think healing and, I'm afraid, no dancing on New Year's Eve!

Time to reset for a "new normal" and simply be grateful the damage was not greater and also to note that we are beginning our 8th year of fighting cancer.

This day of Christmas Eve we count our blessings (instead of sheep!).

Monday, December 22, 2014

Whoops! I Spoke Too Soon

On the trail n Governor Dodge State Park north of Dodgeville, Wisc.
Just when we thought it was okay to go back into the "water".... Sabine fell in Gov. Dodge Park during our morning walk on Saturday. I thought she broke her hip. After an ambulance ride from the park to the Dodgeville hospital and 6 hours in the ER she was good to go; that is, no fracture seen. But she could not walk, so it's wheel chair and walker time at New Journey Farm.

We will be doing a follow-up this week when we visit Dr Sheehan tomorrow. In the meantime, it's pretty slow moving around here (and my continuing worry that this seems pretty major for a bruised muscle. Thankfully, a radiologist will be reading the x-rays. (Needless to say, I was quite relieved at this diagnosis... I was sure she had a fracture.)

ER at Upland Hills Hospital in Dodgeville
We missed church on Sunday, but are prepared to do Christmas Eve at St Peter's tomorrow. We have family arriving and I have to admit I am not quite up for crowds right now!

I am still able to transport Sabine up the hill for dialysis but worry about what I will do when the snow flies and I can't get a vehicle into our yard (which avoids the stairs).

But one step at a time.

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!
Back home hobbling around

Friday, December 19, 2014

CATCHING UP: Ending Another God-given Year

They are English Suffolk-Punch draft horses. They drag the logs down the hill and into the donkey pasture.
I have always said on this blog (or if you see me personally) that NO NEWS is good news when it comes to this business of FIGHTING CANCER!

My last post was in September after we had another one of those fabulous Couper reunions.

Since that time we have moved to an oral chemotherapy which is much easier on Sabine than the twice weekly IV chemical infusions at the hospital.
Girls' disc golf team: left to right: Heather, Teak, Heather R., Malea, Gracie, and Sabine.

The latest excitement on New Journey Farm is fulfilling our contract with the DNR according to our Managed Forest Plan. Thirty years have now passed and we are required to submit a logging plan. We decided to have the loggers use horses rather than mechanized equipment in our woods. What a lovely sight.

Sabine and sister Barbara sitting on a log (recently harvested!)

During this summer's family reunion, we rented the wiffleball field at Rookies near Mazomanie.
In spite of a few falls: one by ambulance after a fall on our sidewalk one evening and another one crashing down the hay chute while trying to push a sticky hay bale down for the donkeys! Needless to say, I think all of this was more taxing to the caregiver than Sabine. Nothing like those ER visits!

But all now is recovered after a few months of physical therapy. It certainly did not slow her down with her daily exercise regimen.

It was seven years ago this month that the cancer came on. Sabine's prognosis was not good... first about two years... then we had five... and now we are beginning our 8th year and looking forward to some Florida sunshine at the end of January.

Sabine recently was asked to talk to a group of medical students about her experiences as a cancer and kidney patient. I heard she did a great job. After all, she is truly the Energizer Rabbit.

We bought a used boat late this summer and are looking forward to a lot of river cruising with our trusty dialysis machine. We keep "Kokomo" (that's her given name) at a marina in Dubuque that is only 60 minutes from our farm.

During a late fall run on the Mississippi south of Dubuque with friends Jeff and Bonnie.
The blessed time of Christmas is just around the corner. Sabine is active with me at St Peter's Episcopal in North Lake between Madison and Milwaukee. She helped me prepare three of our youth for confirmation this summer and did a wonderful job. Now it is the time of the Nativity play for them which range teenagers to pre-schoolers.

At this time, I just want to give thanks for everyone's prayers and support through the years. Loving helps all of us and it is the loving prayers (and good thoughts from our less-than-believing friends) that we are sure have made the difference.

I thank God for Sabine in my life. Remember dear friends what Sabine says: "Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful!"

Happy and Merry Christmas to you all!