Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Another day of recovery

Dear Friends, Family,

Nan just went up to bed and is waiting for me to come change her dressing. She had visits from both nurses this morning and got the one to change the dressing while she was here. I was jamming to get out two appraisals that lenders were anxious for. Although she had a bit of nausea and vomiting this morning for the most part she has had a good day. The first nurse came to put some draino in her PICC line to free it up so it can be used again. It had gotten pretty solid and we did not want to lose it. Her medical draino worked perfectly and we used it this evening to put in Zophram.

The second nurse came to try to relieve the pain from the nephrostomy dressing and was very successful. She was not sure why the burning but thinks some saline got inside along the tube. Anyway that is better now. Nan talked to several people on the phone during the day and had to move Sharons trip later since auditors have announced that they are coming the week she planned to be away. Since her adult day care business relys on federal and state monies the auditors have a lot of say. So she comes a little later than we had hoped for but we sure look forward to her visit. She and Nan will get into lots of trouble and that is a good thing.

My day was interesting. I came down at 6:30 and started work on two appraisals that were promised today. I made it with minutes to spare before leaving for Modesto and Medera, that was when my car failed three times in a row as I was leaving Stockton on the freeway. Finally I got the message and called VW of Modesto, frankly they were not that helpful and had no interest in making good on the $500 I had already paid them to fix this problem and they did not even get close to solving the problem. So I found that if I drove in 4th gear instead of 5th gear, kept the fan and AC off the car would go just fine. I drove from Stockton to Tracy in 4th gear and arrived hot and ready to answers. Tracy VW came through. They listened carefully to my description of the problem and thought they could solve it. I walked across the street to the rental car place and got another lovely Chevy without cruise, no power windows but the AC worked and it went fast down the road. By this time I had missed my first appointment and was getting late for the second. I called them both from the car and they were very kind and worked with me. I got home at 8 pm instead of the 5 I had planned for. Nikki and Keanna came to spend the early evening with Nan, made dinner and even coaxed her into some spaghetti. They were leaving as I drove up after my interesting day. Why did I insist on keeping the schedule going? it was a $900 day, well worth the rental car and extra time spent plus people are counting on me.

Nan slept from about 11:30 until 2:30 and then some more only getting up when Keanna popped into her room and said, Grammie lets go downstairs. It sounds like they had a nice time and Keanna got to play with the kitties again.

So Nan is a bit more pain free than yesterday, still has some nausea and some pain in her back, is eating some food and is moving about pretty well. I've been so busy that I have not had time to walk with her these last three days. Tomorrow we'll walk, we both enjoy that.

Would you believe I am tired this evening? Long day with no rest spots. mary had brought some wonderful pasta and I put it on ice and took it with me today, I was so glad, after each appointment I opened the container and had some pasta, wonderful, got me through the day, thanks Mary.

Thanks for your prayers on our behalf.

We look forward to the weekend so much so we can spend time together again.


tim and nan

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Doing OK

Dear Friends and Family,

We are doing OK. Sure not great but sure better than in the past. nan is resting now having just had her dressing changed on her decreasing incision wound, taken her Bactrim Suspense antibiotic which she says tastes like the hair of the dog, isn't that a drinking term? Where did she learn that, was there a secret life sometime along the way? She had to be alone for several hours today, from 11 am until 5:30 pm. During that time she experienced a wardrobe malfunction, actually a bag let go. Loree was working in the office and was absolutely wonderful with her help as Nan had to recover, install a new bag, change her dressing, change her gown, disconnect and reconnect TPN line. Well the two of them did it all.

I planned to take my VW to a repair shop I trust, harry's auto in Pleasanton, a very good guy and totally honest. My friend Art's son in law is the owner. But when I called Enterprise for a rental all they had were SUVs for $64 plus tax per day. They said call later so I trusted the bug to Oakland for a noon appointment, then a second Oakland appointment, then back to Pleasanton to a 3 million dollar 6 acre property, then I called enterprise again and still nothing but SUVs. Considering that I am driving about 150 miles tomorrow past Modesto and down to Madera I quickly determined that to drive a big rig like that would eat up my profit so I decided to take the car to Harry's another day and came back to Brentwood and back over a gravel road for a couple miles, well on that road the car died but in two minutes it started again and that was my only let down all day. yes I do tend to stay in the slow lane on the freeway so I can get off if I need to and I do tend to notice whether there is room on the shoulder for me to get off. My family and especially Dana is urging me to yell at the Modesto VW repair place that DID NOT REPAIR THE PROBLEM but I really don't want to spend any more money there when the problem is so hit and miss that they might never solve it. So tomorrow I am driving the bug to Madera and Ceres and then home, the next day to Burlingame, Fremont and who knows where else.

My personal assistant Nate is away for a couple weeks on medical leave so I'm learning how to do it all again myself, not enough hours and God is blessing with lots of orders again right now, FHAs coming out of the woodwork.

Nan had a big breakfast this morning, we got up and had hot drinks together, then she had English Muffin with peanut butter and a peach with grape juice I think, during the day she had Triscuits and tonight she had another peach with ice cream. She is loaded up with a new TPN bag for the next 24 hours and a delivery guy brought 7 bags tonight which we have to keep in the frig. One of her PICC lines has plugged so our wonderful nurse will come tomorrow and try to use a special solution to unstick it. The other nurse is going to come when she can to try to make the nephrostomy connection more comfortable, right now it is burning most of the time, not a fun sensation.

nan was able to find a special deal on tickets from Harlingen so we get to have Sharon visit arriving on the 13th and having to go back on the 19th of Sept. We can't wait. We love having company, Dana says she is finally rested up from going home so tired from all the painting and cleaning she did out here, our floors shine where she moped and cleaned. Our kitchen shines from Barbie and our fence stands again thanks to Gerry. We look forward to seeing Sharon again. We have the best friends and family. Speaking of family I was thinking about our children while I drove today. Our kids, Nikki and Jason, STeve and Jo are so special to us. They call in all the time to find out how Mom is doing, they come by when they can, they bring the most wonderful gifts, flowers, food. I really appreciate the maturity and generosity of out wonderful children and of course our favorite happy moments are when Keanna comes through the door, what a great and energetic child. Of course we think she is brilliant and stunningly special.

We can see the gradual improvement taking place in Nan. She is stronger, has much less stomach upset and pains, overall less nausea, still battles a lot of back pain. She was on the computer today writing emails and searching for things, she loves to get emails from people and today Irene was kind enough to call and she and nan caught up on important things like Irene's kitchen remodel, church work and Nan's progress. We heard from our friend Pam Whitted three times today and are glad that she is back from Walla Walla and is feeling better.

Lets just keep praying a blended prayer of thanks and appreciation along with requesting healing and recovery.

Thanks so much for your love,

tim and nan

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Getting back to normal

Dear Ones,

Its TPN time, Nan is resting on the love seat trying to find a comfortable place to ease the pain of one of her nephrostomies. The visiting nurse changed both dressing/lock devices and one has burned ever since. Of course we cannot locate the cell number to reach her so Nan continues to hurt.

Barb and Gerry left our home with some very special clean places, like the kitchen gleams and it was so fun to create dinner tonight for Nan in such a clean kitchen. We had raviollis with sause, parmesian cheese, lima beans, green olives and delicious grape juice. Nan asked for seconds!! It really made my day.

We have been searching the house for papers that might have the nurses phone number but no luck. We have run out of places to look. Tomorrow morning we will call the hospital and track her down. Nan has been moving about today carrying her own bag of TPN. Unfortunately everything she drinks or eats goes straight through, sometimes in minutes so the next challenge is to find a way to slow down the colostomy / GI system.

The pain patch seems to be giving Nan some relief from pain and she no longer has the pain in her stomach every time she trys to eat something, so some progress there. She moves about fairly freely but has to be very careful not to fall. She is resting right now drifting in and out of sleep. George is exploring both of us, he just came and grabbed my arm while I was typing, cute kitty. This morning MooMoo came and went to sleep in Nan's arms while Starr was sleeping nearby and that lasted for a while. She likes her kitties.

I am getting more and more busy with work, we took lots of phone calls today and several orders came in. Not sure how I will be able to keep up with it all but today has been pretty good. It started with Nan having a mocha this morning and she kept it down. Had me make a second one. Then toast with peanut butter, choc milk. Later in the morning she headed up for a nap and slept several hours. Then she came down on her own and went through the mail.

Well the TPN is about to start beeping saying that a new bag is needed so I'd better get a bag from the little frig, add pepcid, add vitamins, connect the line and connect it to Nan's PICC line. I really believe it has helped her. Its a labor of love for me.

Well got to go, we were happy to hear from Pam Whitted today but her health is not perfect right now. We also heard from Nate who is having a tough time. They both need our prayers.
We send our love and appreciation for your prayers, calls and support. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Tomorrow I'm out for the middle of the day until late afternoon. The same day the same middle of the day to late afternoon. Hate to be gone but don't really have a choice.

Please pray that God's will will be done in our lives, that Nan will experience the healing power that only God can give.


tim and nan

Monday, August 28, 2006

Good friends are like polished gold

Dear Friends and Family,

Nan is resting in her recliner now, we've just worked up and then attached a new bag of TPN for the next 24 hours. We are just back from an evening out to Olive Garden in Tracy with Barb and Gerry, Nikki and Keanna and of course Nan. While she was not able to endure the entire meal sitting in the wheel chair she was there for most of the time, she had a bit of soup, a hot tea and enjoyed watching Keanna as she was at her best.

On our way to Tracy we pulled up at the curb in front of Nikki's house and there sitting on the curb was Keanna, so excited and happy to see us and to be able to go to dinner, it was a joy to see and experience. Barb and Gerry were nice enough to take us out to dinner and working like troopers for two days. They tackled and finished so many projects, our sink looks new, our countertops are gleaming, the painting that Dana did the most of is nearly completed now, the fence is mended, the cars are washed, the clothes are washed, dried and folded carefully, everything shines. How two senior citizens can accomplish so much I will never know. Simply amazing! We thank them very much for everything they did and helped with. We are in a better place thanks to their help.

So tomorrow we are just the two of us again, a new experience again and we'll see how we do. We sure appreciate all the help we have received. Mary stopped by this morning and had a chance to visit with Barb and Gerry and Nan. This afternoon after the wound care nurse left Nan and Barb took turns taking naps on our big bed upstairs, I would check and they would be out like a light.

It was good to see Nan out in the car and at the Olive Garden, a tiny step in a long way back to strong.

We are thankful for our blessings. I am going to keep praying that God will give some relief to the pain and nausea which still plague Nan from time to time.

I hope you are having a good evening, ours is ending up happier than many in the recent past.


tim and nan

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tired but accomplished

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you Irene! When Barb and Gerry came in the door they had the most beautiful red roses and a huge ballon for Nan, Barb prepared the roses in a vase and they grace the wet bar where we can see them all the time. Thanks for your kindness!

This has been a work day and we are all tired. We have tackled many projects, green painting is about done now except for a bit around the fish tank, the fence between us the Rot next door is repaired after he came through the other day looking for trouble, the weeds are pulled and the cars washed thanks to Gerry and a portion of the garage is now in the trash can and one can see some of the garage floor again. Barbie has been cleaning, washing loads of laundry and doing food, it has all been very good. Gerry and I would work hard and then sip a coke on the back deck then back to work again. We have been blessed with so much help over the last 3 weeks and today was another big day of accomplishments.

Nan has had a low key day but did an amazing walk this morning, she headed out into the street and then around a mini park we have in front of our house, she rested for a minute or two half way and then finished the walk, she thought I would be impressed and I sure was. She has had watermelon today, lots of drinks and water and toast with peanut butter and even some cream of wheat, her Boston favorite. it was perfect, thanks Barbie.

I think we will all sleep very well tonight. Lots of progress made thanks to a little help, I mean a lot of help from our friends.

Nan and I want to thank you for your continual prayers in her behalf, she is certainly in need of God's peace and his healing.

With love

tim and nan and barb and gerry

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Sabbath evening - mexican train dominos

Dear Friends and Family,

Nan is resting in her recliner after winning at Mexican Train Dominos beating the highly skilled Barb and Gerry Lammerding in a tight game. However it took several rounds to accomplish this victory. Now she is hurting from sitting up in the chair a bit too long. Barb and Gerry arrived around 6 tonight and brought the good makings for a nice smoothie for Nan. They always bring such joy with them when they come. Barbie immediatelly worked on the kitchen sink as she made the smoothie and it gleams again.

This morning I drove the VW to the airport taking Dana. On the way home the car quit twice, seems the Modesto fix didn't solve the problem after all. That was a real bummer and sort of made the day. Now I'm not sure what to do to get it fixed. It goes for hours, hundreds of miles and then fails, a very hard problem to solve.

Tomorrow we hope to get some painting done, some appraisals written, some more games played and some good food as well. Right now its late and I need to take Nan up to bed, she is sore, tired and hurting badly. We still need to replace the dressing and then get her to sleep.

We are so thankful for Dana coming to help in so many ways and now we are grateful to Barb and Gerry for coming. People matter so much.

Please keep praying that Nan will continue to recover and feel better, stronger every day. This is a very long process indeed.


tim and nan and barb and gerry

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday evening - wrapping up a tough week

Dear Friends and Family

Its 5:30 on friday evening, Dana is cooking her heart out in the kitchen and we hope to see Nikki and Keanna pretty soon. Steve has been out working all day long driving many many miles to see properties. Nan is resting in her recliner, a few minutes ago she was hit by nausea so I learned how to do Zophram through the IV. Takes a few minutes and has immediate results of relief. Nan has had a low key day today, was up at 6:45 and we came down, had hot water, hot moca, toast with peanut butter. Later she had gatoraide and triscuits, slept from 10 until about 2 pm. When she came down Dana had just come home from a shopping spree where she found some new nighties, new shirts for Ron, her husband and much much more. Most everything was on special at 75% off. She also managed to come home with yet another kitty and that was a real surprise for Nan, we'll have to see how that works out, could be more than we bargained for. Dana loves animals and could not resist when someone was giving away kitties at the mall. Starr has injured her foot or leg and limps badly, you can tell she is hurting by her expression, well perhaps not since she is a pug and her face usually looks sort of strange.

Its official, Dana flys out tomorrow from Oakland at around 10:30. My how we hate to see her go. We understand completely that she needs to get home to her family and get ready for some medical visits in a week. While we understand that does not take away the sense of loss and lonliness we also feel. It sometimes seems like things will never be normal again, and perhaps they won't be the same. Why Nan has such pain and nausea after nearly 3 full months beyond surgery is more than I can understand. We are hopeful that Dr. Warren at UCSF will be able to fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge and perhaps discover answers that are eluding us at this point. We see him on Sept 12 and can't wait to meet him.

We will probably have a low key weekend here enjoying the good weather and cool home. I just heard Keanna come in, now the real fun begins.

9 pm We did have fun. Keanna was at her best, coloring books, reading, chasing the creatures, eating, running, feeding the fish. And of course she got to name the second Kitty Dana brought home, so far the name is Moo Moo because she looks like a cow, white and black. Nikki had tons of photos to look through of all of us over the past couple years. Keanna enjoyed finding the kitties and watching them get to know each other.

Dana made great food, Nan enjoyed several different kinds of food and then had some more to drink. Now we are mellowing out. Nikki and Keanna had to head home for a bath and bed time, I prepared Nan's TPN and we hooked it up, good for another 24 hours. She took her meds and now is preparing to settle in for the night. We are enjoying our last evening with Dana since she is flying home non stop to Houston tomorrow. We could not take many more days or we would have an entire zoo here. Dana has such a tender heart for pets and we tend to take the longer view, think about it for a long time and finally make a selection. with Dana its two kitties in one week. Wild!

Nan is having a pretty good evening, she seems to be free of the intense pain she sometimes has. In fact it was her idea this morning to head out for a walk, a long one down the block and back.

We are far from normal and really need your prayers along with our own that God will continue to help heal Nan and put her back on her feet ready to enjoy life. We welcome the weekend and a time to relax together in a way that the week days do not allow. Work is very stressful lately and it seems no matter what we do or how hard we try someone is unhappy with our appraisals, so we have challenges on all fronts. Frankly I've had better weeks, broken car with huge repair bill, house all torn up with painting left to complete, but its so beautiful what we have done already, no enough work to keep everyone as busy as they would like, slow payment for work already done. Enough.

We got great news this evening. Our friends Barb and Gerry Lammerding are coming down on Sabbath evening around 6 and staying until monday evening. That will be such a boost and they will help us get things in better order around here. We have been blessed with such wonderful help, Mary, Emily, Sylvia, Nikki, Dana, LeAnn, Loree, Nate and the list goes on. Thank you Lord for such friends.

Please have a blessed weekend!


tim and nan and dana

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thursday, a pretty good day!

Dear Friends and Family,

Nan has eaten lots of different things today, since I was gone part of the day I was not witness to all of them but she has certainly tried different things. I tackled my second smoothie and at first forgot the banana, so back into the mixer and add the banana and then it tasted right says Nan. She ate avocado with Triscuits, toast for breakfast, chocolate milk and lots more things. It appears that she is gaining strength but she walks so bent over it is alarming. Now she often picks up her TPN backpack and makes her bathroom trips on her own, that is big progress. Yes most of the time she either sits in the recliner or in her bed sleeping.

This afternoon the nurse came to take blood for weekly tests and to show Nan how to take Zophram through IV. Insurance has decided to be difficult and only allowed 10 doses of IV zophram for a month when nan often has to take Zophram twice a day, we can only hope that some samples might show up to help us along. Nan battles nausea most of the time and sometimes it is overwhelming. She has a new pain patch on tonight as it has been three full days on the last one. All in all I think it is helping some with the pain.

I worked in the office for awhile today, finally got confirmation of our new E&O policy for the year faxed to us, handled other things. Got a call from the VW dealer which was fixing my car around 2 claiming they had it repaired. Jason drove over from Santa Cruz to be with us this afternoon and stayed until 8 this evening. nan really liked that, she always loves to see the kids, to hear of their adventures, gossip and plans. Jason proudly informed us that MBA where he works as recruiter of students has 240 this year. That is the best total number of students in the past several years and he is thrilled with the high caliber of kids that are there. Clayton, Jo's brother is back and in school. Clayton lives with Jason and Jo and attends as a day student. He is a very nice person and has spent the summer with his mom Julie in Colorado. Jo is getting used to her new group of angels in kindergarden. As soon as Nan feels up to travel we will take the motorhome to their home and park beside the house for an overnight visit. mom loves to visit there as the weather is usually nice and the scenery is beautiful, one can see the pacific ocean from their front porch or back yard.

We have heard that Keanna is feeling better and will go to school tomorrow. Steve has a big day out seeing properties again. Tonight was meet the teachers night at her school for the parents.

Dana headed to farmers market in Brentwood tonight. nan was going to go too but after taking the zophram was so sleepy that she had to rest for a bit and missed her big night out. Dana came home with some very good peaches.

I headed to Modesto, an hours trip usually, around 4 pm allowing plenty of time to get there by 5:30. Traffic was so bad in so many places that I didn't get there until 5:40 but the staff were still there. I was not amused when I studied the invoice. Over $382 in labor and parts were less than $100. How do you turn putting a new fuel filter and replacing an ABS sensor into that much labor, I was not amused especially noting how hard money is to find right now. On top of it all they told me I had bald tires, that is simply not true. I checked the tires out tonight and I see at least another 10 to 15,000 miles before they might become dangerous. Makes every word out of their mouth very hard to believe. The car runs fine so far, no hitches in my trip home. I'll believe it after I travel a few hundred miles in all kinds of conditions.

It is sometimes hard to keep a happy attitude going hour after hour when so many things seem to be mountains to deal with, work issues are always a challenge as right now values are down, not up and of course homeowners want them up and loan officers want them up and lenders beat you down with computer generated appraisals that lack any human input or touch. My work is certainly helped by Nate who is my personal assistant in creating appraisals. He works long hours and is very careful in what he does. He is a very real blessing to nan and me.

Nan called late this afternoon just as I was leaving the VW dealership in Modesto to tell me that we received over $2,200 in the mail today. That is especially welcome since tomorrow is payroll and todays checks will go a long ways toward covering payroll, timing is everything. Now if I could just find some extra dollars to cover the last AMEX from when we were in Boston. You know I do what I can, try to be as careful as I can about spending anything right now and then I sleep just fine. We are surviving financially and gradually moving forward especially when the appraisals I have done this week get paid for, sometime in the next two months.

Dana worked hard today and cleaned the floors to a shine, got all the paint specks up. Its true I have some painting to complete still on the front wall of the living room, actually quite a bit yet but we are making progress and even getting some pictures hung on the green walls. Dana has let us know that she will be going home this weekend and I fully understand yet we are both so sad to think of life without her. she has been so helpful and positive and is a great friend to Nan. We thank God for her and appreciate her coming and helping in so many ways. Cooking, shopping, driving, giving shots, cleaning, inspiring and being a good friend to Nan.

We thank you for your prayers in Nan's behalf. I so wish I could report that Nan is on her feet and that all is well. I cannot make that report yet. She is stronger but hurts and has nausea much of the time. She has little energy at this point. So please keep praying for her full recovery.

We thank you for your energy, drive and positive efforts in Nan's behalf. The CDs that Irene has sent have interesting songs and sure help the miles pass when we travel anywhere. Thanks so much. The new CD from Carol and Roger is fun listening and has a wide range of good songs. Thanks guys!

Well to bed now, dead tired with no real reason for it. Age?? Tension!! Frustration...

with love

tim and nan and dana

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

New hair style

Dear Family and Friends,

Nan ventured out this afternoon to one of her local favorites to have her hair done. It is now the same color roots and all, has new style and looks great. It was a tired afternoon for her and when she got home she headed to bed for a much needed nap. Nan was up this morning about 6:15 and stayed up till about 10 when she went up to rest. While she was sleeping Dana and I both were painting the walls green. Dana is so tired tonight, she has painted a lot today and with a very long handle and roller to get all the way up to the ceiling. She says everything that can be sore is sore, took some advils and headed to bed after a soak in the tub. She has been driving Nan around today to hair appointment and then to Longs for meds.

She and I both enjoyed tomato sandwiches this evening, so good and full of taste. Nan and I decided it was time for us to try making smoothies. Our friend Sylvia long ago suggested making smoothies and even brought out lots of goodies to help make them, then more recently Mary brought over some smoothie material and we made one. Well ours turned out good tonight and nan had a lot of good smoothie which contained banana, stawberries, vanila ice cream, soy milk and lots of ice. It turned out really tasty and we did not even have to add any honey or sugar to the mix. So look out, we are on a smoothie kick, what a great way to get tons of calories and lots of good things into her in one drink. Thanks everyone for your suggestions about smoothies.

I worked in today and painted until about 12:30. It was my job to go to the top of the ladder and cut a line next to the white ceiling and the green walls, at first it just scared me but in a little while I got used to it and it felt fine. Now I am more optomistic regarding painting the exterior of the home before winter. We are 75% completed with the painting and while not perfect it looks pretty nice. nan is going to move painting we own around to bring out the color in each one. We have a couple Colmans we bought years ago in Hawaii which have lots of green in them and they will look great on the walls. Our one obstacle is the 92 gallon reef tank. It cannot be moved, way to heavy, hundreds of pounds so we are painting around it to the best of our ability and on that day when we move the tank out we will complete the walls then. I am amazed at how hard Dana works and how well she does the job. Nothing seems impossible to her, things I did not think could be moved she has sitting in the middle of the floor. Nan and I are both very appreciative of her help with the painting.

We were supposed to get a delivery of IV Zophram today but if they came we never heard them. We have learned in the hospital that IV zophram works in seconds and for us turns out to be less expensive. With a double picc line in place it should not be a problem to give it either.

Nate and I have been cranking out appraisal work this afternoon and some new orders arrived. Not nearly normal amounts but some are better than none. Today and tomorrow we are fighting to get our new E&O policy faxed to us so we can fax to lenders. Seems we battle them every year. I need to start a month earlier but of course we were not even here a month ago.

We are grateful for the decent weather with cool evening and not to hot days. Lots of ice tea and water during the day seems to help. nan has been drinking a lot more lately and doing a pretty good job of keeping it down. I so wish we could have less pain and less nausea. The pain patch seems to be doing pretty well and Nan is lucid and as she would say, not loopy.

As we head to bed tonight my prayer is for God to continue His work in Nan. We know He knows what is involved inside and we ask that He help her recover fully so she can eat normally again, drink enough and eventually be off the TPN yet we are very grateful for the TPN as it allows her to be at home and have a more normal life.

We send our love and best wishes for your week,

tim and nan and dana

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Nice to be home

Dear Friends and Family,

Nan is watching Rachel Ray on Food Channel, she had some Dana hand made mashed potatoes this evening so she could take her pills. The pain patch seems to be working out OK. She has less pain than she did and is more awake than she was on the oxycontin. We did her TPN bag a bit ago so she is set for the next 24 hours. She got word today that they are going to change her TPN some and up the amount of sodium bicarbonate due to the results of the most recent blood work up. So we will be having a new delivery soon.

I left around 9 this morning for a day in the field, saw a 30 acre ranch with waterfrontage in Knightsen locally, then drove to Modesto for a FHA inspection. Thats when the fun started with my less than trusty VW beetle diesel. As I have mentioned before it is starting a new thing where one minute it is idling and the next it dies and won't start. Wait 2 minutes and then when you turn the key the glow light on the dash will light and it will start right up. After seeing the home in Modesto I started to drive the comparables and shoot a photo of each one from the street, 3 times in a 10 minutes period the car died and each time I was able to coast out of the street and wait until it would start. Then it seemed to be better so I grabbed an onramp and down 99 south toward Merced for the next appointment. Even planned to catch a quick lunch on the way, wrong!! I was barely up to speed in the slow lane with all the trucks when the engine died completely which means I lost power steering, power brakes and while I coasted I tried to find a place to get off the road, a very large truck grill filled my back window and a horn began to blast me onward. Finally a space wide enough to get off the lane opened up and I headed off the freeway. This time I sat for awhile before the engine would start again and I determined that probably the Lord was telling me enough was enough so I called the VW dealer and then limped the car down city streets for what seemed like 5 miles to the dealer. I rented a car there, the cheapest Chevy every made I think, manual windows, no power locks, no cruise but it has air, a rock hard seat and enough power to get up to speed. I was only a few minutes late to Merced, had a nice inspection and visit with some pleasant people, shot comps and headed back toward home. I resisted calling home because I had to wake Nan when she is sleeping and I also did not want her to worry about things. The slick guy at the desk at the VW dealership said he would call tomorrow and I've left the finding of the problem in the Lords hands. I really would like to get this fixed without it costing a fortune and will find out the recommendations tomorrow. As I listened to him on the phone with a client who had brought their car in, I think I know how they make money, the guys back breaks were bad, his vacuum hoses were bad, his belts were bad, his timing belt probably needed replacing so his $200 repair came to over $1,100 if he went ahead with everything they had found wrong. Yikes!! My car has 121,000 miles, can only imagine what they will recommend to me!!

When Nan called me late this afternoon I found out that Steve had brought Keanna over to visit today and they had a big time, Dana, Nan and Keanna. It allowed Steve to do an important side job to help cover bills and they got to visit with little power girl. After Keanna went home with her mommy Nan headed up for a nap of her own. She got up later and came down on her own power and surprised us. As the day goes on the bag of TPN is lighter weight and she can carry it. She said her pain was less and let me know she had a lot of things to drink today along with some food. Dana made her some mashed potatoes with butter and she had some of that. Tomorrow is a big day which she has been looking forward to for weeks, she is getting her hair done. She is so ready for that. Nan cares about how she looks and she is tired of all those dark roots creeping in while she was hospitalized. I expect wonders tomorrow.

It seems our prayers are gradually being answered and that each day nan is marginally better, stronger, more alert and has perhaps a bit less nausea, very hard to tell. I would appreciate it if you could still pray for her body to complete its healing and to resist future tumors. This girl needs some breaks her way for once. She looks good and is gradually gaining weight. Her real weight gain will come when she can eat a lot more food along with the tpn and get ahead a bit on calories.

We all thank you for your prayers and support throughout this ordeal. It is hard to think that the surgery was June 6 and here we are moving toward the end of August. It has consumed our summer and been worth every minute of time we have spent. Due to your help I was able to balance the business check book today and it has over a $100 in the black.. That is until I start to pay bills again tomorrow, yet we would be in a huge crisis without the help you have given, you have saved our home and our business and we appreciate it very much.

We send our love,

tim and nan and dana

Monday, August 21, 2006

Nan's day out

Dear Ones,

Nan is resting in her recliner right now after having some toast and a new bag of TPN. She had visits from 2 nurses today which covered the wound, blood work and general issues. They will both be coming less frequently since our insurance limits their total visits and Nan's health is improved. After the second nurse left Nan took a short nap and then it was off to see Dr. Makker in Tracy for B12 shot, pain management patch, Zophram prescriptions. He was amazed at all she has gone through over the past several months. Then Dana drove her to her bank where she got her own personal account reinstated, then to Longs for an hour of getting prescriptions filled and finally home at around 5:30 for a much needed rest. She slept soundly until about 8:50 when she woke and came down to socialize for a few minutes. Although they took her wheel chair she did not use it and walked into the doctors office and to her bank. At longs she waited in the car for the long process.

I spent a long day driving and inspecting properties, it felt good to be back on classical music from XM and behind the wheel. My entire morning was spent with high fog and cool 60 degree temps. I drove first to San Jose where I say a very cute 100 year old home, then to Oakland to see a home and then 3 orders were phoned to me so I saw them as well. Then to Antioch where I saw a large home for the relocation company and then finally home about 7:30.

Dana just went to bed. Ronnie is very faithful about calling her every evening and they have good talks to keep in touch. They are a great couple and she misses him and Jonathan a lot when she is here. She continued to pain today and it all looks good. When the nurse was here she ran out and got a couple more gallons of paint so we can complete our project.

I enjoyed talking to Nikki and Steve today and was very saddened to hear that Keanna was sick Sat. night and all day sunday. She is such a very sweet child and we love her so much.

Tomorrow is another day out for me. My writing assistant Nate will be back tomorrow and there is plenty for him to do. I leave at 8:30 and drive to a local ranchette, then to Modesto which is about 1 hour away and then to Merced which is probably another hour down the road. Then I head home to help with painting and to help with caring for Nan also.

nan is stronger every day. Sometimes I turn around and she is walking carrying her TPN backback with her or I see her pulling the handle to make her chair recline by herself. She could not do that a week ago. At the doctors office today she weighted 104 so we have lots of room to grow and get her back up to 125 or so. However 104 is better than 97 at the hospital. We hope and pray that the new pain patch will help her feel better. It seems that the oxycotin 20 mg was too much for her, sort of put her out of it and she does not enjoy that state of mind.

We are going to say our good nights or good morning now. Thank you for your prayers in Nan's behalf. God is continuing to work in her body, healing and making strength. I'm praying for more smiles and less pain.

with love

tim and nan and dana

Sunday, August 20, 2006

So so sunday

Dear Friends and Family,

Late blog today, sort of been busy, am scheduled out to see properties tomorrow and tuesday, lots of driving to get them seen, they stretch from San Jose to Ceres. We go where the work is.

Nan has had a less than idea day. We have moved to a 24 hour pain control system using 20 mg of oxycontin twice a day and it seems like Nan is not yet adjusted to it. As I remember it takes a few days to get used to. She started the day with nausea and ended it the same. She had a very long nap, 4 + hours this afternoon and woke feeling strange and with some pretty sharp back pain toward one side. She has had a bit of rice, a bit of toast, a biscuit with apple butter this morning, some gatoraide, a lot of water, cranberry juice with lime and her trusty 1500 ml of TPN. Now we double check to make sure it is working. We have changed her dressing and the wound continues to look good.

Dana has almost single handedly painted the entire living and dining rooms. She finally persuaded me to do some cutting of the edges but the top of the ladder two stories up is no fun, took me awhile to get used to it, not fun at all. The color is great but the rooms look like a bomb went off right now, better when we get more paint on and things back in place. Dana is pretty amazing, she just keeps making good things to try to tempt Nan to eat and Nan gives them a try, the biscuits she made this morning were amazingly good, made from scratch and excellent tasting.

Tomorrow Nan sees two visiting nurses here at the house and hopes to get in to see her favorite doctor, Mr Makkur who practices in Tracy. He is a good guy and will listen and helps solve problems. Because we have Dana here I can go work and attempt to generate some income which is badly needed. We heard from the treasurer of the Tracy SDA church that some funds are on their way, the timing is perfect since I am out of money to pay upcoming bills. Some payment for appraisals has continued to come in so we are going to squeak by. I shudder to think of where we would be without the help of family and friends. Nan and I talk constantly about how much we appreciate the generosity of so many including family members in Texas. A large gift is reported to have come from Texas and we send our thanks, in fact we thank everyone for every dollar. We are trying to live carefully and have cancelled the newspaper, the bottled water, the bug guy who seemed to spray the air every month. We get medical bills in the mail almost every day, the bits and pieces that are left over after the insurance pays the bulk of the amounts. Still those little pieces end up being many hundreds of dollars per month.

We are grateful to return to routines we have known for years, it was a joy to mow the lawn this morning, to find the edger and cut the edges clean, a joy to have a paint brush in my hands even if I was many feet above the tile floor, I think I used to be more comfortable than I am now. I live in a world where Nan and I are both very careful trying to avoid more disaster, I drive slower, look again when at intersections, we try to make sure Nan does not fall or trip, so having me at the top of the ladder is outside the norm for our careful behavior. Today it got exciting when the ladder began to creep down the wall with the feet moving slowly across the tile, yikes! That time it came to rest against a wall nearby which stopped its sliding. Tomorrow I am going to give the VW another try hoping it won't die at some crucial place or intersection. First I drive to San Jose which is about 1 and 1/2 hours, then to Oakland, then to another Oakland address to see if things we called for in the report have been fixed, then head to Antioch for a final relocation appraisal at 4 pm and then home. It will be a 200 mile day and should pay pretty well in about 2 months when the companies finally decide to sent a check. Still on the books is better than not at all.

I continue to think that something is not right internally for Nan. Constant nausea and pain is not the norm and not what we expected at this point. Please pray tonight or in the morning when you read this that something can happen to heal Nan from the constant nausea and pain. Sometimes I see her almost break under the stress and strain of managing 4 backs, an open incision, a TPN food line which is always connected. She cannot shower or take a bath, too many open areas on her body, she cannot do even a normal shampoo. All of this gets to her sometimes. Please pray that God will grant her peace and continued courage.

We are so thankful for family and all they have done to help, kind words, phone calls, emails they really do help Nan get through the day and help her feel connected.

We send our love,

tim and nan and dana

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sabbath evening, its been a good one

Dear Family and Friends,

Nan has had a decent day, has not only eated but snacked as well, has had lots to drink and growing stronger. We've had very nice moments this weekend so far, Keanna having a sleep over with Dana, George Nan's new kitty meets Starr for the first time, Dr. George and Yvonne Miller, long time friends from Tracy come to visit this evening, Dana makes me a wonderful Boca burger with yummy tomatoes. Keanna and Pappa get to go to Sabbath School and Pappa finally has an opportunity to thank the wonderful tracy family of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for all they have done, prayers, support, thoughtful cards and emails and calls. It was hard to put into a few words all the gratitude we feel in our hearts for the wonderful support we have experienced at the hand of the Tracy SDA Church, Bob Miller, treasurer has been so extremely helpful and has done all this extra work involved with such grace and kindness. George has overseen the special fund and provided advice to us along the way. It was such a special time to just be able to see the faces behind the cards and letters, the gifts and the prayers, to see everyone felt like a homecoming.

Keanna fell asleep on the way home as she got up early this morning, around 6:30 and had a big time at Sabbath School including a play time between SS and church where she got to play with the other kids. Nikki had her prepared with such a cute outfit, all white, beautiful dress, shoes, hair thingy, beautiful little princess.

Nan was up and in her recliner nearly the whole day today with only a very short nap back in bed. She felt much better, never free from pain or touches of nausea but much better. She enjoyed seeing George, Yvonne, Nikki and Keanna with phone calls from Sharon, David and others I don't know for sure about. We had hoped to join the GIST meeting over in Sunnyvale today but are pretty sure Nan is not up to traveling that far yet.

Right now I am heading up to bed where I took Nan a few minutes ago. I was amazed today at Nan's progress, I heard her set her recliner up straight, not easy to do, then get up, then reach down and pick up the backpack with the TPN and walk to the bathroom on her own, that is a first and took a lot of strength and courage. Something this lady has lots of, courage and determination. When I took Nan up we changed her dressing. it was ready for a change and continues to look good with less and less sluf and more good red healing tissue. I think the steady nutrition is helping her in every way and the food she eats beside is extra needed calories, all good. She keeps coming up with new things she would like to munch on, that is just music to my ears.

Thank you each and every one for your prayers, for your help, for your good thoughts and for your communicating with nan, it all helps us make progress.

Please pray that God will remain in charge of our lives, our healing, our ministry, our family, our sphere of influence. Through all of this experience we would like people to trust Jesus more with their own lives and seek His blessings for themselves.

With love

tim and nan and dana

Nan Mustard's Recovery: Sabbath morning - could be a great day

Sabbath morning - could be a great day

Dear Friends and Family,

Nan is up and enjoying the morning with George, our new kitty, Dana and Keanna. She made it through the night with a lot of sleep and only some pain. Pam Whitted, her dear friend from Lodi, drove over in the evening and arrived while the wound care nurse was still here. Pam visited for awhile and then headed home. The nurse was very helpful and so kind. She changed the dressing and assessed the healing incision. She thinks we do wet to dry dressing for one more week and then perhaps the wound vac can be applied. She was very helpful and gave great suggestions on a number of topics. It definitely looks like we are headed toward some 24 hour pain control instead of the sporatic use of oxycodone for breakout pain. Nan does much better when on 24 hour pain management as the pain does not get a chance to get started.

Nan had a very good day yesterday which included many cups of hot water, three meals which she kept down, naps and lots of up time. She suffered with pain off and on the whole day though. During the morning she walked outside and did a great job of it. She checks her computer often for messages, she uses the so I almost never get to see it anymore. Feel free to write her direct messages and if she is up to it she may reply to your messages. I have the laptop set up on a little table right next to her recliner so it is easy for her to see and use.

Keanna is having a sleep over thanks to Dana's help. We had so much fun with her last night after Nikki brought her over. Keanna is a very bright child, has lots of will power which is often good and loves to feed ducks, watch DVDs, read books, play with her dolls and help with the new kitty she and Dana picked out, George. She is helping George and Starr get to know one another right now, yikes, that may be a tough job. Starr likes to chase cats and I don't think George is going to run away. Keanna named the kitty, hence George.

This morning I get to take Keanna to Sabbath School in Tracy. Both she and I enjoy that experience where she can brush up on her bible stories and see the other kids, sing songs and get stickers.

We are very thankful that Nan has now been home for a week from the hospital. Due to TPN and her faithfulness at drinking, eating and moving about she is stronger, heavier, better than she was a week ago. We continue to pray for her full recovery. I can see progress when I stand back a bit and take in the whole picture.

We will be here if any of you want to drop by this afternoon or evening. We are not doing exciting stuff, just relaxing and enjoying our life as best we can. Mary from Travel comes by nearly every day and has been such an inspiration. I've been able to see a few homes this week and have more to see next week. Thanks to Dana being here I am free to get some work done to generate much needed funds. I've been working the books and realize that we have a long way to go to get back on our feet but house payment is paid, most bills are pain and we are moving in the right direction.

We send our love and appreciation, we solicite your prayers that Nan will continue to prosper.


tim and nan and dana and keanna

Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday morning - could be worse - could be better

Nan is resting, went up about 10 am but before she went up she accomplished a lot. We were up about 6, her back hurt so badly that she could not stay in bed any longer. We came down to our recliners but she chose hot water today, not tea. She managed 16 oz of hot water while I sipped my mocha. She was on the edge of nausea the entire time. When Dana got up a little later and made me breakfast Nan asked for English Muffin with peanut butter and applesauce. She managed that as well. Her back was hurting badly so she took a 5 mg oxycodone along with 3 100 mg Gleevec tablets and 1 2 mg Rapamune pill. I persuaded her that we should walk and she bought in, she walked further today than before outside in the cool morning air. When she came back in she headed up for a nap. We changed her dressing, gave her a lovenox shot and she went to sleep. With minor interuptions she will sleep until noon or 1 pm.

Dana has taken the dogs to the groomers since they have not had a bath for 3 months and you can sort of tell when they come near. Having Dana here is a total blessing as she handles food, laundry, social time with Nan and painting the living room even. She is a big plus to our lives right now and knows Nan well enough to be able to help her in all the right ways. We have a special wound care nurse coming tonight at 7 pm to evaluate the wound and to determine when a wound vac can be installed again. She will also take urine samples while she is here. We are due a delivery of TPN today as we are down to our last bag now. I can tell by the weight of the backpack that nan is getting the TPN and its not just sitting in the bag this time.

I am trying to get caught up with paying bills, logging appraisal orders and making appointments as well. My trusty VW diesel has developed a bad habit of dying and then refusing to restart for several minutes, finally the glow plug symbol on the dash comes back on and the car will start, I sort of invision sitting in the middle of a busy intersection with a dead engine, not good mental images at all. Last thing we need right now is another auto repair but I think it needs attention from experts.

We look forward to the weekend and hope that at some point we can see a couple new faces. I know Jason and Jo are going to be enjoying the beaches this weekend exploring and photographing the sights. Its there last weekend before the rush of starting classes all over again. God has blessed with students for the new year and both jason and jo look forward to the new challenges, I think that is the way they would say it, perhaps not quite.

We get Keanna tonight for a sleep over. Dana is used to having little people visit as she is the proud grandmother of 4 little ones in Houston. So Keanna and Dana bond well. I'll probably get to take Keanna to Sabbath School in the morning since Dana can be here with Nan while I am gone. I'm not sure which of us enjoy Sabbath School more, Keanna or me, I love watching her learn and act out the Bible stories and she loves seeing the kids and getting to do stuff. How thankful we are every day that Keanna lives nearby and we get to see her and her parents. We have ended up with the most wonderful kids, all 4 of them are very special, hard working, creative, generous, loving, supportive and achievers. They bring us continuous joy and happiness. How blessed we are in so many many ways.

I have been accused of sugar coating our situation sometimes. I really don't mean to do that. The facts are Nan was critical with 14 tumors which no one would consider operating on. The experimental drug she was on was not controlling the growth of the tumors and she was headed for a terrible crisis when total blockage occured. Dr. Bertagnolli stepped in and accepted the challenge of operating to help. She and her team were able to remove nearly all the tumors and saved Nan's life. The road back to recovery has been long, challenging and very painful to nan. It continues to be very painful and she often does not feel well at all. She rarely has a moment of relief from the pains and nausea. When we have treasured visits from friends and family she trys to put the best face on her pain and suffering and gains strength from the visits. Her life is not fun right now but it is life and it is getting better slowly day by day. If and when we can get the nausea controlled, if and when we can get a better handle on the back pain she will be able to take more steps forward to recovery. She longs for being strong again and being independant. She does not like to have to depend on anyone for anything yet she finds herself unable to move right now without help, someone to carry the TPN back pack and soon there will be two packs, the wound pump will also be attached. Yet we have hope, she has hope.

I am thanking God today for his help and miracles this far in Nan's recovery and asking that He finish the task at hand, that He guide us to relief from pain and nausea.

Thank you for your faithfulness in remembering Nan to our Heavenly Father.

with love

tim and nan and dada

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Not bad - great company!

Dear Friends and Family,

Nan is winding down from a long day. She started the day around 6 am with a normal herbal tea and promptly lost it. Later she tried a bowl of cereal and that stayed put. Later in the morning the nurse came and took blood for the next blood test, discussed better pain management and asked us to find out if Gleevec can be given any other way beside pills. I had already changed nan's dressing over her incision that is healing. Nan was able to keep quite a bit of water down during the night and had good output as well. She slept pretty well with only a couple times of waking. Finally lower back pain drove her from bed and down to her recliner where there is a heating pad. This morning the chair was cold since I had the sliders open for fresh air and the air was 52 degrees. So three blankets later nan was warm and cozy. Steve came with Keanna for a few minutes for a short visit. Later I asked him if we could have her visit for the afternoon and he brought her over. Keanna and Dana tried napping but only for a short time, then she wanted McDonalds McNuggets. Dana loaded her up in the van and off they went. We didn't see them again for hours. They went to McDonalds, visited Petco and then found a place that has kittys for adoption. They selected one since Nan has been asking for a kitty, Keanna named it George and finally they made it back home. They will pick up the kitty tomorrow from the vet where he is becoming an it. It will be interesting to see if Starr can handle having a kitty around, hope the kitty has lots of spunk and will stand up to Starr. Stay tuned!
Nan went up around noon to rest and ended up being in bed until about 6 pm. I ran errands around 5 thinking Dana was about to return, she didn't make it back until I was already back. nan was ready to leave the bed and join the lower level. Nikki came to pick up Keanna, Art and Connie arrived for a visit and had Sarah and Clay along with the new baby and Gage their little son. Dana arrived and immediatelly started cooking and frying, the food that came out was wonderful, everybody loved it, then Nikki pulled out the cake and cards to celebrate my birthday which was the 10th. Her cards are always to the point and just plain wonderful.
Dana and Nikki made wonderful food and one of the outstanding features was fresh tomatoes from Steve and Keanna's garden. Everyone raved about the taste of the tomatoes, thanks Steve.
Nan had a toasted english muffin with peanut butter for dinner. She just tried a popsickle but half way through had to quit, it was making her stomach upset. I have the TPN running this evening, no more hitches on that front so she is getting nutrition and hydration which is good.
Tomorrow a wound care specialist nurse will come to inspect the wound to determine if and when the wound vac will be installed. We look forward to the vac even though it means one more piece of equipment to carry around all the time. They work, they help things heal faster and they are a 3 day fix to the wound without any changes. We'll also do a urine sample to determine if there is any kidney infection going on. We doubt it since Nan has not been running a fever.
Our work situation is beginning to pick up a bit. We received several orders today and hope that the trend continues. Loree, our very helpful, bookeeper, house sitter, fish tamer, phone answerer and appraisal scheduler lost her dear aunt this week and has services tomorrow. Our thoughts and prayers go the entire family.
Well we are all heading to bed about now, bone tired and worn out.
We send our love and deepest appreciation for your faithfulness in praying for Nan. We continue to seek answers as to why she is constantly near nausea and can hardly eat anything, sometimes can't even drink. There has to be answers, we just have not found them yet.

love from our home to yours,

tim and nan and dana

ps Dana started painting walls today, wonderful color and it is so nice to get away from all while walls and introduce some color, goes great with our painting we bought in Hawaii long ago. Lots more to paint but she is a go getter. I probably should lend a hand at some point since painting is something I actually know something about.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Another day

Dear Friends and Family,

I'm writing after a very long day. Nan started her day off with herbal tea and followed the tea with some cold water, then it all came back up. Later she had a small bowel of cereal and milk which she retained. Shortly after that I left for San Enselmo where I saw a cute property and lovely people including a new 4 month old baby. Then to Santa Rosa to a place with three acres out in the country. Traffic everywhere these days so some slow going. Got home around 7 pm. Late this afternoon Nan called to let me know that somehow the TPN never got going last night after we put in the new bag so no nutrition all day after all. That bag had to be thrown away. We've found out that the pump was the $5000 item, we are not sure how much the TPN costs, in Boston it was $2,000 a bag which covers 24 hours at at time.

The wound care visiting nurse came at 11:15 and like the looks of the wound, redressed it and has a more knowledgeable nurse coming on friday to decide about the wound vac. This nurse also replaced the special locks which stick on nan's back and hold the nephrostomy tubes in place. They were last changed a month ago in Boston. This nurse suggests once a week, yikes. So nan has new clean holders which feel much better and safer to her. Still no idea if there is a kidney infection, that test will be done on friday I guess. We have not heard results from the blood work that was taken on monday yet, paperwork is floating somewhere. Nan is feeling pretty well with bouts of pain. She can move about well and is stable on her feet. She and Dana ventured out for "exercise" today, they went to a paint store. Nan has been looking forward to painting our living room since before her surgery and now we have the paint, do I like the color? Its fine, if she likes it that is enough for me.

Steve was kind enough to drop by for a visit today, mom enjoyed that. Dana had been giving her a blow by blow of what Dana remembered about life in Boston as Nan began her recovery in ICU. Then Steve dropped by and Dana forgot where she was at in her narrative. More later I guess.

It is great having Dana here, I don't worry so much about mom's every move with Dana by her side. I long for Nan to feel better, to feel stronger, to move past the pain and suffering and start to enjoy eating again, start to do something beyond watch reruns on TV but at this point that is about all she can do. I think she is very glad to be home finally, that is a positive step.

Well I think its about bed time. Please don't grow tired of praying for Nan. I know God knows her and cares for her. I ask that He step forward and help her make the next step toward recovery.

we send our love

tim and nan and dana

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tuesday evening, quiet and calm

Dear Friends and Family,

Its 9:50 and quiet here at 5387 Willow Lake Court. Nan slept for hours after returning home from the trip to Sac. to pick up Dana. The rest did her good. She is convinced that she may have a kidney infection in her right kidney yet is not running any fever today or this evening. True to her nature Dana immediatelly took stock of the kitchen shelves and went grocery shopping. She returned after an hour or so with bags of goodies. She made dinner including cottage cheese loaf and it was wonderful, every bite of it. Nikki and Keanna came to call and stayed for quite a while. We all had a good time watching and interacting with brilliant Keanna including her reading books about fish and seeing if they were in grammies tank or not and then playing the grand piano for pappa. She ate a huge meal and charmed us all especially her grammie. We got the TPN all ready for Nan at 6 pm and started the new bag without incident, thats a good thing. She had a few potatoes and a bit or two of cottage cheese loaf, some gatoraide, took her pills and headed up around 9 pm. She and Dana watched House on TV, then Dana headed to bed, her day started at 3 am this morning, no fun.

Now I am wrapping up, actually got the house payments made today, a minor miracle in itself. Tomorrow I hit the road again and see properties in Santa Rosa and San Anselmo a two hour trip from home. Got to go where the work is to make the survival money. Dana will be with Nan and we anticpate a good day!

Please continue to pray that the various pains and nausea producing elements in nan's body might be healed. Also that she can have a good night.

Our thoughts, prayers, gratitudes are with you all.


tim and nan and dana

Dana arrives, yahoo!

Dear Family and Friends,

Dana arrived at Sac. airport this morning at 10. Nan decided to go with me to pick her up but really felt every bump along the way. Her back got worse and worse and finally she vomited a bit on the way home. After we got here she sat up for a few minutes, had a popcycle and a pain pill and headed to bed. We have not heard from her since and that was about 3+ hours ago. Dana has been to Safeway for her needed shopping and is busy in the kitchen. I had both a tomato sandwich and a grilled cheese for lunch, wow were they ever good!
We are relieved that Dana is here. She and Nan get along well and it will allow me to do some work away from home and office that I need to do. In fact tomorrow I am heading for San Anselmo and Santa Rosa, both 2 hours from the office but that is where the orders are right now to do. I can't remember when it has been so slow business wise, yikes!

Nate is busy powerwashing and calking the exterior of the house. He is doing a very good job and seems to be enjoying himself in the process. The rest of the week he will be roughing it on Lake Shasta with family members. Good for him, he deserves it.

I've been going through nan's desk, throwing away papers, paying what bills I can and starting to get caught up after being away for so long. I've just got to tell you straight. Without the financial assistance many of you have made we would be in a terrible situation. Your help has come at just the right times over and over again and let us keep our house, keep our car and keep going. Of course gas prices do not help but for two months we didn't pay any fuel bills, I took the train and that has helped. Still we have a much loved mortgage and costs of doing business which remain fixed. While we are not straight with IRs right now we are still heading in the right direction financially and with some time and more business we will survive. Again I want to emphasis how much Nan and I appreciate your help. It has made an impossible situation possible.

Nan continues to hurt badly in her back, side and incision wound plus is often close to nausea. She thinks that one of the factors might be a kidney infection, another might be the large dosage of Gleevec she is taking. Thankfully the TPN is providing basic nutrition to her and hydration as well. We've been keeping track of the In and Outs fluid wise and it appears that we are doing pretty well fluid balance wise. The blood test taken last night will help a lot in determining how we are doing and what needs to be changed. We dread another round of antibiotics since they always knock her GI tract for a loop but kidney infections are nothing to be overlooked either. If you remember I reported that Nan had some fever last evening. I was informed that until it is 101.5 it is not considered a fever. During the night the temps turned out to be normal and have stayed that way today so that is a good sign. The incision wound is being closely watched by the nurse and she is considering adding another med to the process to see if the sluf can be removed sooner so the wound vac can be installed. We all know that would speed recovery but the wound needs to be a certain way before the vac can be installed.

Nan has not felt that great for a couple days, I can tell in her comments and general appearance. Something or somethings are not quite right. She continues to eat some things, toast, watermelon, juices, hot herbal tea, ice water, jello, popcycles and along with the TPN's help she is gaining weight and looks stronger. However her mental state is often not as happy or up as one could hope for. She is a brave soldier and trys things to see if she can do them. Todays trip was a dry run to see if she could go to the GIST meeting in Sunnyvale on Sat. I think that based on todays extreme fatigue we will probably not try that so soon. She wants to see the other GISTers so badly and to thank them for their kindness but the trip might be too much this soon. Irene has been so sweet and supportive and we would love to see her again.

Our weather has been wonderful lately, cook, sunny and breezy, just right. We are enjoying being home again after so long away and have nice moments of job in spite of the pain and suffering Nan is coping with. She enjoys being in her own Sleep by Number bed we bought after the last surgery 3 years ago. She enjoys her recliner, her view of Willow Lake and her ancient big screen TV, now 18 years old. On many counts nan is doing remarkably well, she just longs to feel better, to be freer of pain and to be able to be more self sustained. She has come so far from the early days after surgery and is anxious to keep the recovery going.

Having Dana here will be very good, Dana enjoys cooking, reading, watching movies and revealed today that she knows how to play Gin Rummy! Nan was delighted in the news. Sharon taught Nan to play and she loves the game, usually wins, she has such a good memory and is so sharp at games, all kinds of games. check your wallet at the door before you enter, she is good!

Perhaps its time for me to work again, nice to talk with you and hope to talk with you face to face one of these days. For now better start working again.

Please pray for the many subtle issues nan is facing right now, pains, discomforts, infections, you name it. Please pray that God will restore her in His time with His healing power and might.


tim and nan and dana

nan enjoyed hearing from Jason and Nikki this morning, that helped her get her day started right. She enjoyed talking to Sharon and Pam as well.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Blue Monday

Dear Friends and Family,

Nan is running a slight fever this evening and has not felt that well all day. For most of the day there was no fever but she has not felt very good. We did our hot tea thing this morning after an uneventful night with only 3 times up to empty bags. She had toast with peanut butter, jello for lunch and cold cereal for dinner, some ice water in between and more hot tea. We walked this morning down the street a ways in the cool temperatures. She handled that well. About 10:30 she went back up to bed and around 11:45 the visiting nurse for her incision wound arrived. She is a pleasant lady and really knows her stuff about wounds and healing. She will come three times this week and for her visit we have a co pay of $60. She liked the way we have been caring for the wound but wants to get more slumf out of the healing portion and she is not allowed by law to do that, takes a special person who is signed off in sluff removal. When the sluff is gone then the wound vac can be applied again. Right now there is some infection going on and she put in the ointment and suggested a different med to help which she will research and bring with her on Wednesday. She is also going to bring the locking devices which hold the nephrostomy tubes in place. She suggests they should be changed every week and the last time was back in Boston, few people know how to change them and even fewer bother to try.

Nan slept some more after the nurse was here and then came down this evening to her chair. The other visiting nurse came for blood draw and dressing of the PICC line around 8 this evening. While she was here she discovered that Nan had 99.4 and a higher heart rate than normal, about 120. So we will be taking her temperature this evening when ever she wakes. With TPN temps can move rapidly so we need to be very careful and attentive. All her systems appear to be working well and the urine has finally cleared, no more blood from the right kidney, the first time without blood since Boston, not sure what that means but its got to be better than losing blood all the time through ones kidney.

Tomorrow Dana arrives at around 10 am in Sacramento. I think we plan on Nan and I riding up to get her but we also have both Steve and Nate willing to go get her, not sure yet what the plan will be but we'd better decide soon.

Nate has started power washing our house today and applying caulk around the windows and doors. Loren Dunston got me thinking when he said he helped his brother paint his house up in Washington. Perhaps we can use some of our spare time and get our house ready for winter. It has been 19 years since we built it and the paint has done pretty well but the trim is really beginning to show neglect. I always just expected to have someone come and paint it but times and fortunes change. Funny, I put part of my way through high school and college by painting houses in the summer. I just happen to know how to paint, handy.

We are so glad that Dana is coming in, at this point we are not comfortable having Nan left alone at all. She cannot carry her TPN bag it is connected to her body 24 hours a day so for her to move to the bathroom or up and down the stairs on the stair chair she needs someone to help with the bag. Although she hates to depend on anyone at this point she has to. She was so glad to see Steve and Nate today and to hear from Nikki and Keanna and Mary and of course her soul mate Sharon. I've been doing a bit of bouncing back and forth, some time in the office working our finances, Yikes, and some time sitting with Nan or getting her things she needs or wants. I have the laptop sitting beside her chair now so she can once again communicate with the world when she feels up to it. She was noticing tonight that someone else who just started on Gleevec at 600 mg was having nausea, muscle and stomach cramping and other systems Nan is feeling, could explain part of what is happening.

Wanted to thank Steve, Loren and Emily and Mary for brining tomatos. I have been enjoying them for at least two meals a day, they taste wonderful and are just ripe. I have been enjoying the banana bread from Sylvia and Mary, the lasuana from Emily and the fruit salad from Mary. I am not going hungry for sure. Perhaps we can tempt Nan into another smoothie tomorrow, hope she feels better over all.

My prayer tonight is for all the pieces to begin to fit into place, we have solid nursing help, Dana for mental health and food ideas and general fun, I know how to prepare the tpn every day and assist with general hygene, we are keeping her hydrated OK this time I think. I long for the day when she is not in such pain in her back, incision, stomach and can start to enjoy her freedom to live.

We send our love and deepest gratitude. Irene, not sure if we can try to trip this weekend or not, we'll have to see as we get closer but thanks for keeping us posted.

Love to all,
tim and nan

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunday evening

Dear Friends and Family,

Sunday evening and we are heading to bed now. Nan has had sort of a rough day, lots of pain for most of the day. We did our normal hot drink in the morning, breakfast went OK, back up to sleep at 9:30 but not much sleep was to be had. For lunch she ate some fruit salad and toasted banana bread along with iced tea.

All afternoon she has experienced pain and been on the edge of nausea. So on one hand we find her doing better, stronger and on the other hand pain and suffering. Luella visited, she is nurse and a class mate of Nan's from high school. She has been a wonderful help to us through all of this and she was not able to put her finger on the reason for pain either. Thanks for visiting us.

Please pray for Nan and for God's guidance to us so we will know what to do, who to turn to to find the problem and help solve it.

Thanks for keeping in the prayer business, Nan is sure worth it.


tim and nan
ps Thanks Mary for that wonderful pasta for dinner and for all the yummy food you have brought for Nan.

Sunday and the living is easy!!!!!

Good morning Friends and Family,

Nan and I are lazin in our big bed at 11:30 am. Already today she has been up and about and I mean big time. We headed down about 6:30 this morning to our recliners where she sipped 16 oz of Lemon Herb Tea and I sipped my CostCo mocha special. Then we slept and watched food channel for awhile with the back door open to the deck, cook breezes, beautiful morning. Then Nan ordered an English Muffin with peanut butter and one of those yummy white peaches Mary was kind enough to bring yesterday. Nan peeled the peach and cut slices which she placed on the muffin. Then she ordered a glass of chocolate milk. This allowed her to take her Gleevec and Rapamune. She also took a 5 mg oxycodine. At 9:30 we headed back up to the upper level with access vis the stair chair supplied by Sharon and David. What we would do without that wonderful stair chair. I remember Nan and I taking the motorhome to Alameda and winding around on the narrow streets until we found the address where the used stair chair was at. The guy helped me load it as we totally blocked the street with the motorhome. The next day I unloaded it on the front driveway and assembled it. I thought I would give it a try out there and since it was not on the correct angle of a stairs it jammed. That meant I had to totally disassemble the gear box and chain drive. Finally I got the gears and chain unjammed, understood how it all worked, reassembled it and carried it into the house to install on the stairs, not an easy process since it weighted several hundred pounds. How exciting it was when I first gave it a try and it worked and it has worked ever since, up and down from top stair to lower floor level. Nan has gotten real good at working it and knows just where to stop it. It is also helpful when moving suitcases up and down the stairs. Keanna loves to ride with her grammy and Starr is always there to watch the action and to try to get in the way.

If we did not have the stair chair Nan would be in a hospital bed on the first level right in the middle of the living room, not nearly as nice as in her own bed with dozens of pillows, her own AC and bathroom. Nan is getting along right now with fairly frequent bouts of intense pain in her incision, in her lower back and also head aches from time to time. She is frequently on the edge of nausea but so far has not lost anything since we were driving home in the van. She has made so much progress I find it amazing. The TPN is allowing her to have basic nutrition, vitamins, pepcid and liquids so we do not have to be concerned continually regarding her falling backward healthwise. It appears that she is continuing to gain weight and that her PH is more where it should be. Her TPN has bicarbonate in it to offset the fact that her body cannot collect that needed part of nutrition from the food passing through.

Nan took a walk down the street this morning, it was such a perfect morning, just the right temperature with alight breeze and she decided that she could handle it so we got the walker out, piled the little TPN backpack on the seat and took off. She walked through the garage which means three steps down, out to the street and then toward the neighbors. She walked pass the neighbors house and then decided to turn around and head home. She walked shoulders up, firm steps and without getting winded or anything. I was so proud of her and it seemed very nice to have her making this kind of progress.

Nan is watching Rachel Ray making something we would never eat but still fun to watch how she does it. She is a little upset that she cannot fall asleep, pains keep hitting her and waking her up. I told her maybe she was catching up on her sleep, not sure if that could be a factor or not.

We've talked to Nikki today and she is feeling a little better, less congestion. This has been a tough year for her alergy wise, she and Steve live very near open fields that are often either crop dusted or plowed or otherwise worked and the dust comes right at them. Steve has created an incredible rear yard with extensive and carefully planned landscaping, many mature palm trees, yard lighting, pond with waterfall, garden area, childrens play area, it is all just beautiful and has a large patio with shaded cover, speakers, BBQ. Amazing what that guy can do and now Keanna enjoys helping him or at least being with him as he does his beautiful thing.

At some point today I will do a little work, make a couple appointments and keep trying to clean up my office, months without me has compounded the mess I left things in before I headed back east. Time to tidy up. Someone suggested that we remove the carpet from our office rooms and put down a hardwood or Pergo floor. I like the idea since there is lots of traffic through and it will be easier to clean. I also want to paint the walls, get rid of things we don't need and make some progress in getting it more attractive. Right now it is a world of dark blue walls, cables everywhere, wall to wall file cabinets and desks and boxes of toners, etc. When you are away for awhile you see things differently when you come back than when you left. I am a very bad collector, I keep thinking I might need it someday and so it stays around, my three car garage holds only Nan's van, the rest is piles of someday items, Christmas stuff, bikes, boxes of memories etc. Some of it must go!

Its 12 noon now and I've enjoyed this little time with Nan and with you too. The last 3 months and in a larger sense the last year has been blur, very little normal life and lots of crisis times yet we have survived, survived with a lot of help from our family, our friends, good medical help and most of all our Heavenly Father. We are grateful on all counts for this day.

With love,

tim and nan

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Progress and blessings

Dear Family and Friends,

Nan has had a pretty good day. First off no vomiting since we were in the car coming home. Secondly she slept pretty well last night. We woke about 6 or so and after a zophram she slept a bit more and then down to the recliner. Hot tea, toast, boost, popcycle, cold water, fruit juice were all successfully enjoyed. However there is an ongoing pain in her back and a sometimes pain in her stomach. This morning she headed down to the recliner and the heating pad. We spent a couple hours with the back doors open to the deck enjoying the morning. Mary called and promised White Peaches for smoothies. When she came I found the smoothie maker in the garage and she made some wonderful smoothies with peaches, honey, yogurt and ice. Nan loved it and had about a cup. Mary also brought excellent tomatos, perfect banana bread, fruit salad and her wonderful cheery outlook on life. We love to have her visit.

Later in the day Nan was resting in the guest room and Jason and Jo arrived. They arrived with snails for the reef tank and mom went down and sat with them by the tank for awhile and I fed the fish and we all enjoyed watching them eat the frozen shrimp. Thanks Jason and Jo for coming and for the snails, it was great to see you again and to see the CD about your trip to South Africa. Hope your return trip is going safely and well for you.

Nan has felt pretty well today with ups and downs along the way. We discovered that using 5 mg of oxycodine does a better job of controlling pain than the Dilaudid does with fewer side effects. Nan tried it after breakfast and it helped a lot. She has moved through the house several times today going up and down the three steps between dining area and family room.
She has fielded several phone calls today and been fully engaged in life. All in all a very good day for a first day back from the hospital.

The visiting nurse came at 5 today to watch me prepare the next TPN bag for Nan's nutrition. She said I passed and tomorrow I do it without help. Nan shudders at the thought but together we can do most anything. We've had a chance to reflect on our many blessings today and to appreciate the challenges that lie ahead. Nan remains committed to getting strong, broadening her daily routine and enjoying our family especially Keanna. Unfortunately we were not able to see Nikki and Keanna today since Nikki has been fighting illness of her own most of the week and does not want to bring anything negative to Nan. She will be feeling better soon and then we can enjoy seeing them again.

We accomplished what we set out to do today, rest up, enjoy being home but Nan's progress went far beyound what we expected. We were very pleased that she was able to keep things down, toast, chocolate milk, smoothie, hot tea, ice water, toast. We never expected any of that since she has had almost nothing to eat in the hospital all week, home is better just like the visiting nurse was telling us. Not to say Nan did not have a lot of down moments with intense pain, upset stomach and headache. This morning she decided to use some Ben Gay on her shoulders and the fumes did not set well this time and gave her a bad headache. Next time Ben Gay is used we will have more air moving and the doors open.

We praise God for a good day overall, far better than I would have hoped for or anticipated. I think we may be making progress on her stomach pain. Will you join me in praying both a prayer of thankfulness and a prayer seeking God's continued healing power in Nan's body.

All in all this is a Sabbath we will long remember. We send our love to each of you and our appreciation.

with love

tim and nan

We made it through the night, yea!

Dear Ones,

Its 7:30 and yes we made it through the night. Nan had several times of intense pain in her back. I found that we can cut her 2 mg Dilotud pills into 4 pieces which yields roughly 1/2 mg per piece. The nurse said she can let it disolve under her tongue so it won't upset her stomach. So that is what we did last night and we did make it.

Our plan for today is to enjoy relaxing around here, enjoy the lake views, the cool of the AC, check out the reef tank, hopefully see a few friends and family if they come over, see if we can find anything that Nan might be able to eat and see the visiting nurse again about 5 pm when she will watch me get another TPN bag ready for Nan.

It seem sort of unreal to actually be lying in our bed, it becomes very real when Nan gently moans with a shooting pain, we are blessed with a beautiful day with rising run over the lake, doggies are both on duty here on the bed ready for what happens next, Nan just asked them if they wanted to go to the park with me for a quick walk, they said yes. Now she is sending me out to the farms of Brentwood to locate white peaches. Seems she is hoping for smoothies with white peaches, sounds good to me too.

The visiting nurse has me counting ins and outs for Nan so we know if she is holding her liquids or not so we count everything in and everything out to see if they are in balance. I'm going to whip up some sheets on the computer for our use in keeping count, also show the pills we take during the day so no forgetting. If she puts out too much liquid then we will need to add liquid through the IV. Nan said that the TPN she signed for yesterday is $4,900 per bag. That really seems wild, we were told that in Boston it was $2,000 a bag.

Thank you for caring out Nan. This last year has been pretty frantic but when we stop to consider we can see God's hand in it all, almost nothing we would have chosen at all, but God has seen us through for which we are thankful.

Please continue to pray for Nan's stomach and GI so she can eat again, we would love to quit TPN when she can hold her own with food. We don't understand the pain but we certainly pray about it.

Nan is up to calls now, our home number is 925 634 4670 and if she is awake she will enjoy talking to you.


tim and nan, Starr and Lady

Friday, August 11, 2006

Home again but can we stay?

Dear Friends and Family,

Nan is resting after an eventful day. We are home in our own bed and Starr is keeping watch over us not letting Nan out of her sights at all. Nan was released from the hospital about 12:30 but not without pain, churning stomach, pain in her lower back. On the way home she asked for ice and almost immediatelly vomited it up. She had a couple more episodes on the way home and felt every bump, I'm no limo driver. When we got home she sat in her recliner for awhile and then headed up for a nap. The home health care nurse was supposed to arrive at 4 but called and said it would be later. She did arrive and was amazing. Totally professional and very helpful on lots of fronts. She took me through the steps of preparing the TPN bag with vitamins, pepcid and then hooking it to the little battery driven pump. Final step is to connect to Nan's PICC line and for the next 24 hours Nan does not go hungry.

We are very troubled with the idea of leaving the hospital still throwing up and with fairly high levels of pain in the stomach and back. Yet we are so thankful to be where we are tonight instead of what we faced about 3 months ago. We've come a long ways and I sense there is a bit more to travel yet.

We are glad its Sabbath tomorrow and plan to relax, take it easy and rest some along with perhaps talking to friends. We sure are glad to be home in spite of the complications. This evening at about 9:30 we got a call from a lost man, a man who was delivering 5 more bags of TPN, glad he found us and now the bags are safely in the frig. Funny little guy could not read his map and was getting frustrated.

Could we trouble you one more time to include Nan in your prayers. We are asking God to solve the pain issues and throwing up. God has done so much before and we jsut ask Him to do it again.

We send our love and deepest appreciation,

tim and nan

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thursday evening - heading home perhaps!

Dear Friends and Family,

Its about 6 pm here in our new shared room, 2122. We have adequate room and Nan is sleeping. She is much better today, has called me many times today on her cell and has orchestrated getting to go home by noon tomorrow. I am delighted but have one concern. She is lucid, has good strength and her PH is now 18 on a 20 scale when it was once 6. Her nutrition is much better and Peter the discharge nurse has arranged for a visiting nurse to meet us at 1 pm tomorrow or thereafter to teach us how to hang a bag of TPN and to care for Nan. I will be able to stay home with her over the weekend and visitors would be welcome, come share our back deck in the sun or shade and sip whatever you bring to drink, I'll have cold water! We have just one problem. Nan's stomach continues to cramp and cause severe pains and here in the hospital she is not being allowed to have accifex or anything for her stomach. They just point at the tpn bag and say, its in there. Well if it is, its not working on her pain. She has ended up taking 1/2 mg of dilotod to cope with the stomach pain. We thought perhaps it was the activa yogurt so tried jello tonight, no different, we thought perhaps it was the Boost so we tried the other stuff with no milk in it, same pains. She has to eat a little to take her Gleevec and it may be the Gleevec that is causing the pain since she eats so little food with it at the time.

So the plan is to drive home around noon tomorrow, see the home health person and start enjoying home again. Dana has assured us that she is coming on tuesday and her coming will help so much as she will be able to be with Nan all the time keeping her safe and provide someone to play Gin Rummy with. Nan says the difference between Dana and me is that Dana is capable of actually learning the game, wonder what she is really saying!!

Today I am 58 years old and overall I feel fine healthwise. Been sort of stressed out trying to balance hospital and appraisal work and have managed to do some of both this week. It is so good to see Nan alert, engaged in life and making decisions once again. I think she may have even gained a bit of weight, not sure about that. We have learned that due to the large amount of large bowel she has lost through various surgeries that she will be taking something to keep her PH in better balance in the future, like bicarbonate pills or something. She hates them but in spite of that we will need to do what we need to do to keep her strong, like it or not. Once in a while being stubborn is not the best attribute to have, usually it is good for getting well but once in awhile it gets in the way of recovery.

We have found out that we will be having two different visiting nurses, one for the incision wound care and eventual wound vac. The other for the TPN and PICC line maintenance. Interesting, we see so much waste in the medical system, its no wonder the costs have gone so high, we have been treated very well by the system and is has done wonders for Nan but we still see many things that logic would say could be done much more cheaply and faster resulting in better patient care. Old ways tend to die hard though.

This evening needs to find me writing appraisals, great plan, hope I get around to it. I've been to Dixon, Modesto, Discovery Bay, Byron and Concord this week to see properties. Unfortunately values are not so good and many people's hopes are not reached when we look hard at sales in their neighborhoods. Still we try to be fair and reflect the improvements people have made to their homes and tell the real story about the properties. Sometimes the real story should be left untold, we see real messes sometimes and its hard to break it to owners that their mess is not equal to the total remodel down the street.

We are thankful this evening for family, friends, cards, CDs that have been sent and for phone calls of comfort and strength. We do not know the future, no one does but I really have a hard time placing much thought into more than the next day, so many times I started to look ahead and its not worked out, now I just keep in the present. But the present is pretty good because Nan has come through it all and is in the present with us. She is far from giving up or giving in. She has plans, hopes and wants to get strong again, travel, drive, play with Keanna, visit the kids, cook, buy fish for her reef tank, get her doggies groomed... she has plans.

My hunger has now overcome my love of blogging, so I'll say good night now. Please pray that Nan's transition home will go smoothly and that the stomach pains can subside. Have a nice evening and thanks for everything, every good thought, every prayer, every card or CD, every donation, all have made a big difference and helped us get to this point in time.

love from

tim and nan
ps Have to share a touching moment from this morning, my cell rang and it was Keanna, Happy Birthday Papa, hope you are doing OK!, sweet words from Keanna. So today I talked to Nikki, Jason, STeve, Nate, Loree and got birthday greetings from all. Nice!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

More awake, better overall

Dear Friends and Family,

Nan is doing better today, not great by any means but better. She is suffering at the moment with stomach pain which happens right after she drinks the Boost and takes Gleevec. Perhaps the Gleevec needs more food to dilute it, not sure. Jason is here and is always a source of information about school events, people and students. He is complaining about our temperature here, says his is normally about 30 degrees cooler and since he lives on the Pacific Ocean he is right, it is cooler there. When he arrived every parking place was taken today, had to find parking out on the street. We are so glad to see him, its been a few days and he is a blast.

Mom had a pretty good night but once again this morning she has had nasea which they are attempting to control with zophram. All three doctors involved with mom tend to be seeing mom leaving the hospital this friday or over the weekend. Issues are making sure the TPN can follow her home with home health care, that we can make sure she is getting enough bicarbonate, potassium and magnessium. I doubt she will be eating a lot of solid foods too soon but smoothies, fruit, yogurts, jellos are on the agenda. It will be wonderful to have her home again but this time we need to take care of her.

Dr. Davies came by and once again was helpful and answered our questions. Nan continues to have cramping stomach and nasea. We don't understand that at all, is it because her stomach is empty? or due to the Gleevec on a basically empty stomach? Or something else? I hate to think of taking mom home with continuing nasea and stomach cramping. But we have some time yet and God has the answers we know.

We really appreciate hearing from people, are glad that Mary was able to be with us last night and Dolly earlier in the day. These two ladies helped the day pass and Nan was most appreciative. I wish they both could see her awakeness today, its much better and all would be perfect if not for the tummy pain and waves of nasea which come from time to time.

Dr. Davies said that on a scale where 20 is the ideal and Nan started at 6 she is up to 15 today so she is making excellent progress. She gets her fats again tonight and has been on TPN enough that she is looking much better and feeling much better. Her magnessium and potassium appear to be leveling off now, not so much loss. The minor infection in her incision wound is being handled with some cream and there is a wound vac coming on friday we think.

This morning Nate met me at 8 and we drove to Dixon to do an appraisal. Nice place and decent comps. Then back to Antioch where Nate drove back to the office and I drove here to the hospital. We were hearing that Nan was being moved but so far that has not happened. I came over expecting to find Nan in a different room and was told she would be moved to 3114 but so far it has not happened.

Right now in spite of getting a 1/2 mg of dilatud for pain she is sipping tea and talking with Jason and me and is very alert. She has just been on the phone with several people, nice to hear her talk happily again. Very nice indeed.

We are thankful for your prayers and ask that you continue to seek God's total healing for all of her ailments. Have a great evening, we send our love.

tim and nan