Nana Diana Takes A Break

Nana Diana Takes A Break

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

AN UPDATE ON THE PRAYER REQUEST FOR RON TOMES & A request for his family

Good morning!

I wanted to let you know that our good friend,
Ron Tomes,
has left this earth.

His body remains 
but his soul 
SOARS WITH THE ANGELS.

He died, as he lived,
with great dignity.
He left behind a legacy
that will long be remembered
in the community where he lived.

Please pray for his wife, Sue,
and the whole family
as they navigate the waters of the
grieving process.


Thank you for your faithfulness and prayers.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

DANCE FOR JOY and AN UPDATE ON JOHN

Happy Tuesday!
Sounds like a movie, doesn't it?
Starring:  Sweet Cheeks and MyHero.

For those of you that don't read 
I am copying that message over here.
If you already read the post there 
please don't feel
you have to make a comment here, too.
I know that time is a precious commodity.

Here is the post:

Remember when you were a kid and the days just seemed to drag out forever?  Only in summer when you were on vacation from school did the days seem to fly past and summer ended long before you were ready to go back to school.

Time has marched very slowly for us these last few months.  Six bad days followed by one tolerable day---five bad days followed by two bearable days---finally a week or two with a "good" day. etc---and then fast forward.  Today John has had a few good days in a row followed by set-backs.  There are days when he still feels nauseous and there are days when he feels very weak.

He has taken a couple of falls due to weakness and dizziness.  The last one being a bad fall yesterday.  Today, he is using some pain killers again.  He had pretty much given those up-just taking nausea control pills and something for thrush mouth.  If you have not had thrush mouth, you do not want it---trust me on this.

A week from today he is going to attempt to go back to work.  I don't know if he is ready but he has to do it for his insurance and benefits.  He will have to see what he can tolerate and cross that bridge when he comes to it.  For today, and the rest of this week, he is laying low, recovering from his latest fall, and gearing up/praying for the strength to be an effective chaplain again.

The cards and well-wishes continue to be a blessing to John.  A friend of ours sent him a prayer shawl.  He wears it all the time which took me totally by surprise.  I think it is going to be like trying to wean a baby from a pacifier to get it away from him! Remember when your kid(s) wore the same thing day after day and you had to creep into their room at night and "steal" it so you could wash it--hoping they wouldn't miss it.  What was the first thing they did in the morning?  Start a frantic search for "my favorite outfit".  I can see a replay of that in my future here. Hmmmm...maybe he is in his 'second childhood'?

It has been cold, rainy and dreary here for most of the spring.  It is sometimes hard to remain happy and upbeat-especially when you feel sick.  However, there are little things that make John smile.  He got a big smile out of seeing our little SweetCheeks (Julia) in her dance costume as she prepares for an upcoming recital. (picture at the top).   She always makes him smile with her droll comments.  Never one to mince words she says things like "that's gross" or "YUCK" when John coughs/hacks/spits/etc.  It is not the words as much as it is the accompanying eye rolls and facial expressions that makes me laugh. If she is sitting on the sofa she moves as far away from him as she can with a close eye on his "sick things" so that she doesn't get too close to them.She is not even aware that she is doing it.  I have found that we take our laughs where we can find them these days.

I think the next post will be from John as he prepares to go back to work and then we will probably give our Caring Bridge posts a rest for a while until after John's PET scan in June---unless there are some major changes before that...(please Lord NO MORE of those).......

Blessings to all of you- thank you for praying for us so faithfully. You all are the best!!!!  Diana

I will be back in a couple of days
with a report on your prayers
for Ron Tomes & his family...
and I will attempt to play catch up
on some things that have happened
that have NOTING to do with cancer.
Thank you, Lord, that there
ARE THINGS
that have nothing to do with cancer.
It is so easy to let cancer dominate
your every waking moment,
as some of you know all too well.
It is good to be distracted 
with other things that are part
of 'real life'.

Have a wonderful, blessed Tuesday.


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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Please Pray For Our Friend, RON TOMES, -Pray For A Peaceful Passing

You know I never mind
asking for prayers
for someone.

But THIS ONE is tough!
Our friend, Ron Tomes,
has only hours to live as I 
write this post.

Ron has a type of cancer
that does not respond to 
regular treatment.
His only hope has been a
STEM CELL TRANSPLANT.

His son was his donor a couple of weeks ago.
Sadly, for Ron and his family,
the transplant did not work.

His body is full of infection
and his immune system is so compromised
that he can't fight it off.

Ron has been such a wonderful support
for John in his recovery.
He prayed with him and talked to him,
understanding what he was going through,
as only another cancer patient can understand.

He has always been full of hope and is a 
TRUE INSPIRATION
to everyone that knows him.

Ron looked forward to golfing with
John and his buddy, Jerry Price,
this summer.
I guess he will be golfing in heaven now.
Please pray him home to that big
GOLF GREEN
in the sky.

He has maintained his faith in God 
and always felt his illness was
a lesson somehow.
It has been.
It has been a lesson in 
GRACE & ACCEPTANCE
as he fought this battle.

Pray for his wife, Sue, and their children, too.
His death will leave a huge hole in all their lives.

Thank you so much for your prayers.

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Friday, April 15, 2016

THE BIRDS OF SPRING!!! A MOURNING DOVE AND THE JOHN-BIRD

This is the message I posted in 
this morning.
I know some of you can't access that site
so this is for you.

Good Morning!

We have survived another week  post-treatment!  We have seen some definite improvements this week!  

John had two appointments this week for assessment and 'training'.  He learned some exercises that he needs to do daily that will help him learn to swallow properly again. One of them is to hold your tongue between your teeth and then swallow. Sounds easy, right?  Go ahead-try it- I'll wait.  Y'all did it, too, didn't you?  I know you did.  Not as easy as it sounds, is it?  It is kind of what a baby does when they are nursing-the undulation of the tongue that takes the milk/food to the back of the throat and down.  Yeah---NO NURSING allowed here--so the exercise is his only option.  I said that to my son and he said that even saying NO NURSING created too horrible of a visual to even think about.  So-there is your smile for the day. You're welcome!

Some of the exercises he will have to do for the rest of his life; others are temporary while his face/neck is retrained.  We also found that all of his saliva glands were destroyed except for one large one on the far back right side.  Simply put, this is a 'reactive' saliva gland and only works when called upon to produce saliva--as when a person chews.  That means that John will most likely have to chew gum during his waking hours.  At night, he has a throat spray that sits by the bed that he can use to moisten his throat when he wakes up.
  
He started trying to eat a bit this week.  He found that he CAN get food down his throat now.  However, NOTHING tastes right!  His goal this week is to drink one liquid protein drink over the course of a day-whether it tastes good or not.  He is also going to eat a half cup of soup or applesauce or something soft each day.  Everything tastes bitter, or sour, or tinny at this point.  Hopefully, some of his taste buds will regenerate. Meanwhile,  I am still tube feeding him about 2400 calories a day.  He has lost a total of 63 pounds since last Fall at this point-but, as of this last week, he is now holding his own.

He has set a goal to go back to work on May 2nd.  He really doesn't have a choice because of insurance and no more FMLA (family medical leave).  So, ready or not, he will have to go back.  I think, at this point, that he will be able to handle it.  It will tire him out but also be good for him to feel part of real life again.  Being sick and in limbo is no fun at all but I think John has handled it pretty well.  The golf channel has had quite a workout and ROKU has been a life-saver for those long nights when sleep will not come.

We have put off doing things we normally do-inside and out.  However, yesterday was a nice day and for the first time since last Fall John spent a bit of time out on the patio.  He swept the patio off and enjoyed the fresh air.  I decided to brush off the small side porch we have off our dining room.  I am just a LITTLE BIT LATE.  I had an old urn that I placed in the middle of the glass table out there around Thanksgiving time.  I stuck some greenery and berries in there and put some twinkle lights on it in preparation of the Holidays.  Those twinkle lights have acted as a nightlight when we get up in the middle of the night.  Well, we can enjoy them for a few more weeks because a mourning dove has taken up residence in the "tree" and laid three eggs in a nest.  I took the picture through the window (screen) from our kitchen window.  Oh well!  If anyone asks I will tell them we are headed towards Christmas in July! Gotta love how those Mama Birds protect their babies.  She never took her eye off me the whole time I was watching her.



Speaking of BIRDS~The next message here will come from John.  If he is well enough to sweep the patio he is well enough to type! RIGHT????!!!!!  This Mama Bird is pushing the John Bird out of his comfort zone.  
It is time to 
GET WELL, BABY!!!!!  
 
Thank you for reading and visiting and continuing to support us in prayer and well-wishes.  We are blessed---even in spite of cancer---we are blessed.  Have a wonderful Spring weekend and live life to the fullest.  That is what we are trying to do!   Love to all of you- 
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Friday, April 8, 2016

A COUPLE OF BRIGHT SPOTS IN THE WEEK!

For those of you that aren't able to access
here is the post from this morning.

Good morning-or afternoon- depending on what part of the country you are in-

 We are at the cancer center for hydration and I have to run a few errands while John is getting his 'fix'.
I am happy to be able to tell you that John was able to get a few ounces of water down his throat.  Swallowing is not an easy task for him but, thank the Lord, he did it!  That is a big step in his recovery process!

The next step is to learn the massage technique necessary to keep the scar tissue from becoming hardened/rigid.  The tissue is severely damaged under the skin (think hamburger-sorry-gross, I know).  The massage will help the tissues regenerate.  He also has to do facial excercises (which he told the oncologist he HAS BEEN doing-but I can tell you fristhand that he lied about THAT)!!!!  
Yesterday was NOT a good day for either of us. John had a day where he just felt completely exhausted-even though he needed to work on taxes. We ran out of John's 'food' so that meant a trip out to find something comparable.  The stuff had been ordered but did not come in when it was supposed to.  PLUS- My ex-sister-in-law's mom died and, as much as I hate doing that sort of thing, I knew I was going to go to support her and her sister and brother(s).  My youngest son, Ryan, went with me and i was so glad that we went. Another dear friend lost her dad this past week, and although I did not make that funeral it weighed heavy on my heart knowing what she and her family were going through.  Anyway, the purpose of telling you this is that when I got home there was a box sitting on the kitchen counter from Farm Girl Flowers.  I had never heard of them and I anxiously opened the package. Inside was THE MOST GORGEOUS bouquet I have EVER received in my life!!!!  The sender wants to remain anonymous so I won't 'out' her here but she knows who she is...and she also knows, via email- that she made my day...or-rather, my week! 
Thank you so much for all the prayers and support.  Thank you, too, for those that have sent cards and notes of encouragement to John.  He keeps hem all bundled up on his desk as a reminder of how much he is loved.
Of course I have to leave you with a smile.
Our little 'joker'  (from the BROWN E scheme-see last post if you missed it) came over last night.

He said .  "I have a 'special picture' just for YOU, Nana."  
It was darling artwork--looked like flowers and leaves to me- frame-worthy.
When he got ready to leave he got as far as the door and ran back and grabbed MY picture.  
"Hey", I told him, "I thought you made that for ME." 
"I did!", he said.  "I didn't say you could KEEP it!"    And off he went! 
 
Sigh- such is life!  Just when you think something is yours someone else grabs it and runs!

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Monday, April 4, 2016

An Update on John and I Got Fooled!

For those of you that can't access
here is the post that appears there today.
Good Morning~

Sometimes it seems like it is one step forward and two steps back.  Friday was a good day for John.  He took a ride with our son and came home feeling pretty good. On Saturday he said he did not feel very well and Sunday proved to be a very hard day, emotionally and physically, for John.  

He said he feels helpless and weak at this point.  He is not seeing much improvement and the lack thereof is exacting its toll.  We both thought that by now he would be feeling a lot better.  It is now a full month since his last treatment.  However, not being able to swallow means we still go to the cancer center for hydration three times a week. We are there about three hours and he is able to sleep most of the time.  Just getting a shower and dressing to get there takes a heavy physical toll on him.  He continues to experience severe acid reflux and, while the medicine does help a bit, it is ever present. 
 
As of this morning he has dropped a few more pounds.  We see the radiation oncologist on Wednesday so I am sure John will get a little 'tune up' about taking in more calories then. He does not like ME telling him that he needs to 'eat' more. (I will let the Doctor tell him-it gets ME (The Queen) out of the "you should" position)

Well, I am smiling now.  We are AT the cancer center and the nutritionist just came in (as I was writing this) and gave The King a little 'pep talk' about adding some more calories into his feeding regime.  That takes the proverbial monkey off MY back.  Speaking of MONKEYS!  On April 1st a little monkey called me and said he was bringing me a BROWNIE for dessert.  Now, you all KNOW I love a treat (or two or three).  So, I was looking forward to getting my BROWNIE.  Sadly, as you can see ---it was NOT what I was expecting. It was a BROWN E.... Just so you know---I decided NOT to EAT IT!.  Hmmmm....wonder how much weight that would add to the old boy if I could get it through his feeding tube?  just a thought...

...
Hope you are all having a great Monday.  We are looking forward to each Monday being a better one here.  Diana
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Friday, April 1, 2016

THE BIG FAMILY SECRET! We have a NEW BABY!

You know,
We were trying to keep things under wraps
but I need to tell our littlest granddaughter
Little Miss Bright Eyes 
to 
MOVE OVER!
 No use screaming about it!


The NEW BABY has a 
LOT OF BLOND HAIR, too.
See for yourself!
Okay- 
April Fool!  Kinda----
She IS a baby after all, you know!
Her name is SANDY and she is a 9 week old
COCK-A-POO!
I am telling my friend, Sandy, that she is named 
after her--even though that's a lie...lol
hmmm...wonder if that is an honor anyway...
to have a DOG named after you?
Pfffttt...SHE'LL THINK it is!

She belongs to this sweet family.
Not sure where Ria was 
when this picture was taken
but she belongs to all three girls.
 Happy Happy April First!
We made it!

Have a wonderful day...
Now go out and fool someone!!!!

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