Lyn Hospitalized…

Wow, it has been a rough end to the Month of September!   On Thursday the 7th, she had her last Chemo infusion.   She was really rough after the session and needed my assistance to walk out.  Each session seemed to hit a bit harder and earlier.  By Sunday, while we were preparing for the Hurricane, she was feeling slightly better (remember better is a relative term!) but still fighting me on eating.

By Monday the 11th, Lyn is feeling better, not good and gets tired real easy but so much better than a few days ago… chemo really knocks you for a loop, especially by round 3..  She stayed about the same the next couple days..

Thursday the 14th:  Well todays oncology visit showed that the chemo is really wearing her down. More weight loss, blood work compromised, blood pressure low… and an infection. They gave her fluids and an antibiotic for the infection. Dr. indicated that she is still doing good for her stage in the process… 2 more weeks and she off of these chemo drugs for this stage of the treatment.  She had a pump change for her 24/7 drug.

Saturday the 16th, I went in to Claire’s 1st Birthday at Scott & Morgan’s.  Lyn did not feel up to going and stayed home.   Sunday, she was rough all morning.  I came home from groceries and she was getting worse.  Not making sense, unable to stand/walk with out assistance.  At a point where she became totally incoherent I called 911 and had her taken to emergency.  They treated her for pneumonia and after running some tests decided to keep her and transfer her to ICU.

On Monday we learned she also had a very dangerous strain of bacteria in her blood.  Coupled with Pneumonia and her weakened immune system from the Chemo this was very serious.   They began treating her with antibiotics, fluids, electrolytes and shots to stimulate her white blood count.

Tuesday, the 19th, they ended her Chemo by removing the pump.  Lyn is doing OK, there is steady improvement, just seems slow to me. white blood count still improving but not there yet. Good sign is that she is starting to eat (and wanting too eat also).  Goal now is to get her health improved, get her home and keep her on track for the next step with is the cancer surgery.   She is not out of the woods yet but all is looking good.

Wed was a mixed day… disappointing in the morning as she was more disoriented than the day before, in spite of improving numbers. Later, I remembered my Dad who was hospitalized several times with infections of the blood and he was also the same. Once the infection was cleaned up, he was normal! On a good note, the Vertigo was gone.  Later in the day when I returned for the afternoon visit she was much less disoriented… Also, they had gotten her out of the bed (PT) and hopefully that will be a daily thing.

Thursday the 21st was mixed news… pneumonia is actually worse as she is too weak to expel it… and the bacteria in her blood is very aggressive so they are treating the same way!  They scheduled a procedure for later to clean out her lung.  The plus’s, Oxygen removed, zero vertigo, disorientation improved… she feels better but weak…

Saturday the 23rd, they moved her to a regular room which we are all pleased about.  Still having problems getting her to eat.   She has been getting shots to boost her white cell production and it finally jumped..   not there yet but much improved.

Monday 9/25 they moved her to the Rehab ward late that evening.  A good sign…

The month ends with her still in Rehab.   Seems like a week of ups and downs …  as soon as we get a good day we pop back with blood pressure or heart rate issues which causes more missed PT.  Plus side was the catheter and the O2 were both removed…

 

(as we go to press in October, she is getting stronger but still fighting BP issues..  Overrall, we can see her getting home soon)

 

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Flintlock Accessories

Last Month I mentioned I bought a Flintlock Rifle….   I had been hoping to get out and shoot it and was waiting on the gunpowder when Lyn got sick, so I still have not shot it.

After the Hurricane, I received a package that was just amazing.  James Castle from Tennessee had seen the post on a muzzle loader group about getting my rifle.   He has been in the “hobby” for years and hand makes his stuff…     When I opened the box it had the following…  (all made by James)

Possibles Bag – Hand made from buffalo hide, button is made with bone…
Powder Horn – Hand made from a cows horn with a handcarved acorn (his signature)
Knife  – Hand forged blade and bone handle
Priming Horn – hand made from a deer leg bone
Hand made bullet Bag
.490 lead bullets – round balls in my caliber that he hand poured.

These are priceless and this from a fellow I never met who just wanted me to have all the stuff I might need!

Thanks James Castle from TN

 

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Claire’s 1st Birthday!

On the 16th, Scott & Morgan had a party at the house for Claire’s 1st Birthday.   Lyn was not feeling well so did not go in but I did and it was a nice little gathering.  Claire seemed to enjoy all the attention.

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Hurricane Irma

That time of year again, another Hurricane!   Tis the season here in the S Atlantic Coast.  Irma was a Cat 4 Hurricane on the 4th of Sept coming into the Caribbean and the next day increased to a Cat 5.  I had been tracking it since the 3rd and as they adjusted the projected track on the 5th and 6th it was looking worse for GA and Savannah.  If it turned up the coast it could be a disaster for the coast of GA and Savannah.   By the 6th, looked it was looking like a direct track to Savannah but it was still too far away to accurately predict.

We began packing so we would be prepared to leave if needed.  We also began removing all Missiles (lawn chairs etc) from our yard.   On the 7th (Thursday) Lyn had her last Chemo infusion.  Chatham County also issued Mandatory Evac orders for the entire county.   Scott & Morgan were planning to leave to relatives in Alabama.  I was still unsure as the track projections were shifting West (to our advantage) but our plans called for being prepared to leave if it was not safe.  I had a place to stay offered by my friend Mike Brown in Charlotte.   It felt good having a place to go if we needed it.

By Friday the 8th, Lyn was shaky from the Chemo.  The track took a big jump West Thurday night and another smaller one in the morning.   I was beginning to have confidence in staying but we would be prepared either way.  Chatham, County EOC was having a radio problem so I pulled my HF rig out of line and ran it down to them.

On Saturday, we confirmed to all that we were staying (assuming no major change).   We buttoned up our house and yard and prepared to shelter in Place.  By Sunday, the rain started.  I was not going in to operate from the Hospital with Lyn home sick so I operated radio gear in support of CEMA and the Hospitals from Home.

Monday we got the worst that we were going to get, tropical storm winds and rain.  Flooding in Savannah and Hwy 80 to Tybee was closed due to rain and boats!  (Yes I said Boats!)  Two sailboats (large) ended up on the highway!

We had no damage here, just wind and rain, lots of both.

 

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Labor Day Weekend…

What a nice Labor Day Weekend…   Family Time!   Our Grandson mark and his girlfriend Laura arrived on Saturday the 2nd.   It had been years since we saw Mark and we had never met Lauren.   They were staying her at our place.  She is such a sweet girl, really happy to get to meet her and visit with them both.   They hung out with us a bit and then went out with Scott & Morgan for dinner and drinks in Savannah.

Sunday, they went into Savannah to take a tour and then later would meet us at Scott’s for a cookout!  In the meantime, my sister Linda arrived from Michigan Late Saturday night.  She was staying at a condo on Hilton Head and came in to visit us on Sunday.  She brought a nice gift of MI made products that brought back memories!!!   Later, we road together over to Scott’s for the cookout where we were joined by Mark & Lauren and some of Morgan’s family and friends.  What a great all around day and nice for Lyn to get out.

On Monday, Mark and Lauren headed out early as they had to back to Knoxville for work on Tuesday.  Linda did some sightseeing out on Hilton Head today and tomorrow, Tuesday, we are planning to drive out and visit her at the condo.

Tuesday, nice visit with Linda …  Great too for Lyn to get out.  The drive is barely an hour and she enjoyed sitting out on the deck overlooking the pool!!   Wednesday, Linda came out our way for a visit as she was hitting the road on Thursday to head back home.  We had another nice visit, so great to see and spend time with her, especially since we will not be able to go home for Thanksgiving.

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Round 2 was rough….

That is round 2 of Chemo…   Round 1, Lyn did not get sick for about 5 days and it was rough for 3, gradually improved and she had good days for the last 10 days..

The 2nd round was much worse…   She started getting sick the day after the treatment and through the end of the month (2 full weeks) really pretty bad.  Trouble eating, losing weight etc and not really able to eat much.  The only good park is that her vitals (BP especially) and blood work have all been good.  She is feeling better going into the last week but is very weak and tires so easily.

Concerned a bit as we fully expect the 3rd round (9/7) to hit her even harder..

She is a fighter…    🙂   we do have some tests and a meeting with the surgeon scheduled for Oct 11th.

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Flintlock Rifle

I have wanted a flintlock rifle for years!!!   30 plus years ago I built a .50 Hawken Replica from a kit by TC.   It is pretty cool but it is like a percussion mountain rifle…   and I wanted a flintlock.

I have looked at kits but the only affordable ones were 2 piece stocks and I wanted the traditional one piece in the KY/PA style.   I stumbled onto one on an auction site that was at a dealers in TX so I contacted them and discussed the weapon and it’s condition.  The price was good and I negotiated free shipping.  On August 25th, we closed the deal and the rifle arrived here August 31st!

Anxiously opening the box, I was enthused with the condition, it was exactly as described and looks like it has never been fired…    Time to pick up some black powder and head to the range!

 

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Finish of the Yard…

We finished up the fine tuning of our yard….    It was adding our personal touch.   We bought two new hummingbird feeders…  threw out one so now have 3.   We put the original in the corner near the patio and the other two went out in the beds centered on either side of the gate.

 

We also picked up two new sets of chimes (shells) and hung from one of the wood feature…

We added 3 new bird feeders (threw out 2 old ones…)   One each side of the yard near the house on hooks and the other 2 hanging from the wood feature by the gate…    It has now got our touch and we are both pleased, sitting out most mornings and enjoying all the activity from the wildlife..

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New Yard – Landscaping

In addition to the new fence, we decided to re-do the entire landscaping.  It was not “bad” but it was old, not well laid out and somewhat overgrown.   The brickwork that defined the bed area was old and sinking so it was uneven.  We wanted to expand the landscape down the side fence where we sit on the patio.  The other side we do not see for the screen room.

Now, we need to find a landscape designer/installer for a turnkey project!!   Did that ever turn out to be a challenge…   I could not get anyone hardly to respond.   I left messages and no one called back.  I got one who answered and said someone would call me back, nothing!   I had one scheduled for a visit and to prepare a quote and he no-showed.   Apparently with all the rain etc…  they were all so busy they did not need my work!

In searching on Angies List, I had past over a company that was new.   I decided to go back and re-visit them and sure enough, they welcomed the work.  They came out on Sunday July 30th and looked at what we wanted.  They seemed to have an understanding of what we wanted and assured us they would get back soon with a quote.  August 5th they sent a quote and then came out with a sketch and photos to discuss with us on the 6th.  We wiggled a bit with the price, agreed to a contract and they started the demo work the next day.

2 weeks later they finished up and we really like it.  I think the highlight for me was the 2 wood features!!

We are enjoying it each and every day!

Work in progress…

Finished Panorama….

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New Yard – Fence

This year we decided to re-do our yard out back.    We had talked at different times about extending the landscape down a side fence but first the fence had to go.   The old fence was showing its age with loos and rotting boards.

We had 2 contractors out and went with the one recommended by the homeowners assoc.  Overall they did a nice job though we had some delays due to heavy rains and some of their back up of work…

In Process Pics…

 

Finished panorama

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Home Chef

We have now finished our 1st 3 meals with Home Chef.   The meals all came out good, were easy to do and the prep was actually fun for me and we prepared them together which was fun.

All 3 were very tasty and there was plenty of food…   Lyn’s appetite was down with how she was feeling so I have cancelled the next 2 weeks delivery until we get her stabilized again but we talked at last nights dinner how pleased we were with the service.  She really ate good at last nights dinner and enjoyed the taste a lot!!   I am sure we will restart as she adjusts and when the selections match watch she can eat.

First up we had Spaghetti & Ricotta Meatballs

Next, Spicy Apple Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Last night, Lemon Parmigiana Chicken Orzo

 

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“C” First Really Bad Days..

Tuesday August 1st, Lyn had a follow-up visit with Victoria.   This was 5 days after the 1st Chemo and she was feeling pretty good.  Victoria checked all her vitals and reviewed her blood work and was pleased with all she saw.  All ranges were well withing standards and she even commented she was prepared to give fluids but she was doing so good that she did not need any.

Then on Wednesday, the bottom dropped out.  She was feeling just lousy, weak and tired.  She had no appetite, ate almost nothing could not keep up with her fluids and eventually started throwing up and had bouts of diarrhea.  She spent most of the day in bed.

Thursday morning, not feeling any better and she went back to bed.  At one point she got out of bed, took about 6 steps and passed out, hitting her head on the wall and floor.  It was 8:30 and I called Summit but they did not open until 9:00.  I could have waited online for the On-Call person but hung up as we were going in anyway for a scheduled pump change.

Upon arrival, they checked white blood count and sent us back to the Infusion Lab.  Vitals showed very low blood pressure.  She also had lost 5 pounds since 2 days ago!!   Spoke to the nurse about the issues and they consulted Dr Mark and gave her fluids, attributing low BP and fainting to de-hydration.  After, they checked her BP and it was back up, they changed the pump and suggested with the food issue to eat snacks all day long.  I did a grocery list and picked up some suggested snacks for her.   She felt better later in the day and then Friday and Saturday she was much more normal.   We have to keep the fluids up and keep up constant eating small bites through the day.

She is also eating better which makes us both feel better!!!    Hey, it will be up and down, we just have to keep up the fight!  Today, Sunday, she is still feeling decent….

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Boat Course Complete

I completed my boat course and passed the final.  This is a basic boat, safety and navigation course put on by US Power Squadron.  Lyn and I began taking it together but she was forced drop out when Chemo started.

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This Months Photo’s

I have been a little delinquent in my picture taking lately, what with all the photos from the Vacation to process and this issues with Lyn’s health followed by my broken foot.  And we are also in the  rainy season!  I am making an effort in between the doctors appointments to try and get more active.

I entered this Photo in the MTF June Contest and in July it was announced that I placed 2nd…

I did the following B&W’s and entered one in the Nikon Weekly challenge.  I was pleased with my shots but it did not place.

Also did a moon shot!

Did some conversions also, one with special processing and several with Oil Paint Effects…

   

And then some others…..

And this one was entered in Nikon Theme “Panning” (IT WON!!) and the Theme “Metal”

 

My Favorite of July!

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“C” Preparing for Battle!!

As Lyn will be struggling some through Chemo with good days and bad, we have made some adjustments here to help her out…

  1.   I can help with cleaning but am just NOT good nor thorough.  We hired a housekeeper to come in twice a month and give things a good cleaning.   We interviewed 2 girls yesterday and Lyn picked one.  They will start in 2 weeks.
  2. Meals and Grocery – I can definitely help here but my skills are limited and I do not do grocery stores.   We decided to use 2 online services.
    1. Home Chef is a meal delivery service.  Each week we pick 3 recipes from 10 and they deliver ALL the ingredients in the proper proportions along with instructions for prep and cooking.   Prep the ingredients and follow the instructions!
    2. We also subscribed to a recipe service called EMeals.    Each week they deliver 10 recipes complete with grocery list.  Using their App, we can tag the ones we want and it will create a shopping list for those recipes we selected.   You can select all the items you have and it removes them, then passes the final list to Walmart Grocery.  I can add anything else that we need, submit the list and they pull it for pickup.

We have our first order coming next week from Home Chef and have already selected and ordered “stuff” for 4 meals via Emeals.  The Grocery Pickup was slick, easy and quick!

We have prepared two of the already and they were both good.

Spanish Style Chicken Legs

Ham & Biscuit Stroganoff

Flat Iron Steak w/potatos & veggies

Patty Melt

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