Nan Mustard's Recovery

This blog is a record of Erin (Nan) Mustard's recovery.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Enjoying the outdoors in CT.

Dear Loyal Friends, Family and Fellow Gisters,

Nan and I are in chaise lounges on the back deck of Rick and Roxanna's lovely home. We are looking out to a bird feeder and have seen a beautiful blue bird, robins, cardinals, sparrows and a very persistant squirrel who has tried everything to get to the seeds in the feeder. He has jumped and ended up holding on with all fours while hanging upside down beneath the feeder, climbed the metal pole and ended up on the top of the feeder where he could not get to the seeds and for a brief moment actually in the right place where he was eating. The back area is upsloped and partially landscaped with beautiful trees, a Christmas tree perfect spruce, Stargazer lillies and many many mature tall trees which provide shade. A stone wall is to the right marking a property line and below it is a solid granite rock about 20 feet high with color growing anyplace that will hold a bit of dirt. Further to the right is a fish pond where several little fogs live. The only sound is the distant hum of a window AC and a constant sound of some sort of bugs in the trees. The sun is trying to make its way through the trees and shafts of light reach us, right now one is lighting up Nan's face and she looks totally lovely. On the rear deck Rick has assembled three different tables, many metal chairs and a stainless steel BBQ which looks very serious, he proved it works last night. What a feast, now the food at the hospital was good but this was even better!!
Nan has had many cups of decaf tea today, three cans of Boost so far, Cream of Wheat for breakfast, Asparagas soup for lunch prepared by chef Tim, yikes, thats the way people end up in a hospital! Saltine crackers, lemonade. Nan has tried on some clothes today, walked around the circle of the interior of the house, read the emails, watched TV and slept in the recliner and slept some in the bed. All of her body systems appear to be working well. We are getting onto our schedule for meds, keeping water and fluids going and limited exercise.
Last night was challenging to Nan since she has been used to a hospital bed for 2 months. She handled it pretty well but could feel pain at times since she is not used to lying flat in bed yet. We both made it through the night though and have had plenty of chances today to catch naps.
This is a very beautiful part of the country. Nan says we are very near to the ocean, everything is green, most homes have been here for a very long time, there are many streams and lakes and hundreds of country roads which are very quaint and easy to get lost on. We are staying in the town of East Lyme. Saybrook, Old Lyme, New London are all nearby. Our weather has been pretty good today, sunny yet not hot at all. To those of you with hot hot temperatures we know you are suffering and we are so sorry for you. We talked to both Nikki and Steve today. Their power was out 25 and 1/2 hours. They survived using good old fashion ingenuity. Keannas pool was set up in their driveway and they spent the afternoon keeping sort of cool that way. Steve went and got the motorhome so he could use the generator to power his frig. He never was able to get the motorhome cool enough inside to stand it, down to about 116. Motorhome ACs are not very good and ours is weaker than most. Nikki and Keanna visited friends homes a few blocks away that had power and that helped. Finally at 7:30 PG&E found a blown fuse in the transformer which sits in front of their home and powers the entire block. They were told that the fuse was large enough to power the 12 homes it serves but several homes now have pools and the pools pushed the power needs over the limit and the fuse blew. Way to plan ahead PG&E.
Roxanna just came home and found us on the back deck enjoying the beauty of this place, Nan was starting to get chilled by the breeze so she is back inside in bed under covers. Roxanna baked some potatoes last night but we all forgot them and when she discovered them later they were very baked. So she is going for it again tonight. She just brought out a plate of chips and alvocado, yummy! This is one Bed and Breakfast you don't want to miss. We appreciate Roxanna and Rick opening their home for us as Nan recovers. I have been sorting things today, deciding which items need to go home and which items can be shared with someone around here. We will come home with 6 suitcases.
Sort of a bummer news item today, Gleevec has been linked to increased heart problems. Gleevec is the targeted cancer drug which has helped Nan in the past with tumors and is being used along with Rapumune to resist tumors from coming back. Really did not need the news flash from researchers who found that mice had heart problems when put on Gleevec. So just one more little challenge to face as we move forward.
We called Ellen who runs Dr. Bertagnolli's office and firmed up an appointment for 10:30 on Wednesday to have the vac sponge removed and to have the PCCK line removed. Also to get an OK for thursday morning travel via Southwest to Vegas and then to home. We hope to line up a limo for the trip home from Oakland. Our one big splurge on the trip and a worthwhile one. This limo company has been great to us over the years. They carried Nan to the plane when shortly after a surgery we had to fly to Texas for Jason's graduation. They did not hit one chuck hole in the street, smooth and perfect. After getting up at around 6:30 on thursday morning, to the airport at 7:30 and on the plane for a 8:45 departure Nan will be very tired when we reach Oakland and finally home.
When I see Nan taking a nap and her face is relaxed I enjoy the moment knowing that she will soon wake up and open those baby blues. Her being here is a precious gift of the Father and I treasure it. We face some hard times in the near future as we try to put our financial life back together again, we face the challenge of my balancing my time between caring for her and doing business, of finding the right balance between rest and exercise, of finding what food work best, of keeping her magnessium and potassium at the right levels, of guarding her hermatocrit, of getting the wound to finish healing at home. Of me learning how to change the wet to dry dressings at least twice a day without doing hard to her recovery. Yes there are challenges but considering what we have already faced I firmly believe the rest is doable somehow. Our friends the Lammerdings who live near Sacramento have offered to come down for a few days to help and that sounds real good to us. We have traveled with them, cruised with them, enjoyed their cabin at Tahoe dozens of times, played games with them, laughed with them, cried with them, yes they are good friends, you know they are good friends when they come to your house and pull weeds, amazing. Hopefully Dana will be able to come to California and help us paint the living room. Nan has a color selected and with Roxanna's input feels really comfortable with it. We hope Sharon can come visit but we know for her to get away is tough because so many people depend on her but we have hopes anyway. We can't wait to see our kids and Keanna, to see Jo's new car, to just be able to relax with the greatest family in the world.

Does it sound like we are anxious to get home? You bet and its all positive.

Please pray that God will keep his protective hand over Nan as we move about, ride in the car, fly, have Dr. visits. She is such a brave lady, 4 bags and tubes to cope with and right now a 5th tube connecting to the vacuum pump. Yet she never complains. She hurts, she gets tired but she never says, why me?

So I sign off for now. Nan and I both live our lives these days with a load of gratitude for your help in every possible way.
we send our love,

tim and nan and roxanna and rick


  • At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Tim, Nan, rick & Roxanna,

    I'm jealous. It sounds so heavenly there. You deserve every minute of it. Enjoy!! I pray that you will continue to improve and grow stronger every day. Remember that we love you. Keep me posted.

    Love you all,


  • At 6:13 PM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol said…

    Hi Mustards,

    That blog was like a short story book Tim, You are becoming a very descriptive writer. We can almost feel the cool Atlantic breeze as We read.

    So good to hear Your plans to be Home soon and that the power issue for Your Daughter & family has been resolved.

    We will go out on a limb and predict cooler weather by the time You arrive on Thursday.

    Much Love And Take care,

    Bob & Carrol.

  • At 10:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Nan,Tim and your geat friends in Conn,

    We are happy to hear the reports of your continued progress and all the manifestations you report of Gods love shown through your friends, family and health care givers. Your continued progress is prayed for by all of us here in Tracy as any other place you have been. Your blessed friends here are asking special travel mercies for your trip home.

    Continued best wishes,

    Wes & Nan

  • At 11:14 AM, Blogger Irene Wing said…

    Hello Nan and Tim,
    Your description of a leisure time in Connecticut sounds so inviting. You forgot to mention whether you were sitting in Adirondack chairs which would have complete the picture of the East Coast backyard - in the style of Martha Stewart! Now, that's a great picture.
    I'm so glad Nan is adjusting well to life outside the hospital. Sleeping in a regular bed does take time to adjust to but sleeping in your own bed at home will probably do the trick. Tim, I didn't know you could cook - asparagus soup sounds devine. Perhaps, you can share the recipe with us, the blog readers.
    Speaking about food, I hope I won't embarrass anyone with the following request. Tim, when you came back to California earlier this month, you mentioned in your blog that you found your refrigerator empty with the exception of some outdated milk. I certainly can empathize with that scenerio. If someone who lives in Discovery Bay would like to contact me, I would like to provide some grocery money to buy some milk, Cream of Wheat, fresh vegetable and fruits, ice cream for the hot weather we're having, and anything else you may know that Nan and Tim like. I will be happy to send a check to whomever can provide this service. You may contact me at
    Those of us who are GISTers are so inspired by what God has done for Nan. It lifts us up as well. God is so awesome! Also, as many others have said before, "Isn't it wonderful that life gets in the way of cancer!"
    Enjoy your two last days on the East Coast and looking forward to having you back on the West Coast.
    Irene Wing


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