Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Doing pretty well

Dear Friends and Family,

Pam is on the mends, Sharon is drying out, Nan is holding her own now that she is older and I'm coughing again.

Nan spoke with Pam this evening and found her better, back to work as a school principal and starting to heal. Sharon reports that an insurance inspector came today to see the damage and she is anxiously awaiting word on repairs. Nan had a visit from Julie, the wound care nurse who is so kind and attentive. She switched from one kind of lock dressing for Nans left nephrostomy to a different kind that would stay locked and hold things in place. No signs of nasty infection and the tummy wound is getting slowly but gradually better.

I worked hard this morning here in the office to try to catch up with clients needs, reviews, rent surveys, conditions, value checks, reviewing appraisals and emailing them out. About 2 I finally headed to Santa Clara for the sole purpose of taking interior photos of a nice victorian that is being currently used for office space. Lender wants to be sure it can be put back as residential if needed as that is how it is zoned. Then I set the GPS for Antioch and a review. However traffic from Danville on was very slow and I ended up taking photos far after sunset. We'll see if we can manipulate them into being visible. Tomorrow STockton at 9 for the oldest house in Morada,a once high end development northeast of STockton, then Lodi with 25 acres at noon and then 2 pm in Placerville for a reverse mortgage, then home I hope. I get really tired by the end of the day and this being the owner means lots of stress and deadlines to meet.

Nan was by herself from 2 until about 6:45 when I got home. As I am getting more and more sick as each day goes by I called my doctor and his staff reached him on the beach in Mexico. He prescribed different meds which I picked up at Longs in Brentwood on the way home. 2 huge horse pills each evening for 7 days. Fun!

Nan and I made our own dinners today. She made nachos and I made whole wheat mac and mushroom soup, a favorite for me. She is eating apple pieces too and drinking a very tall glass of ice water full of ice. I have the fire burning brightly and intend to go prepare her TPN as soon as I finish this blog. Nan on occasion still loses her dinner, it happens suddenly and then it is over and she does not have followup nausea like she was having. She broke up her time this afternoon with some time up resting and some time down puttering around doing things. She is really enjoying a new robe that was supplied by Jan from Denver. It is the softest robe I have ever felt, amazingly so. Nan loves it. Wonder what hotel chain it came from, no Jan would not do that. Just kidding.

Today Nan made appointments for my friday schedule. What a great help that is.

Right now I intend to go sit in the chair by the fire and relax for a bit. While I rest I'll prepare the TPN.

We thank you for your prayers and ask that you would continue.

I'm going to add a couple photos from the party now.



pictured tonight are Pam, Nan, Jason and Jo with Steve, Kim, Peggy and Jeanie. One shows Nan with flowers that arrived from Sharon. More photos tomorrow night.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Another good day

Dear Ones,

Bedtime and blog time too. Nan just cut my hair, seems there is a bit less to cut than that photo from the blog yesterday. Nikki got a real kick out of the photo and was comparing herself at that age to Keanna, thanks Dennis for sharing.

Terri came this morning, she changed the dressing on the new picc line and drew blood using it. Worked well, good news. Keanna and Steve came to visit and that was fun. Nan listened to a conference call today put together by GIST experts and learned of even more trials that are taking place over the country for patients. She stayed downstairs for quite a while and then went up for a nap. She had a good day overall and enjoyed resting, watching TV and snacking. After I got home this evening Nan had some ideas about dinner. She directed me to find and cook some lima's, they turned out great, prepare some vege chicken by dipping it into a mixture Nan created with crumbs and herbs. It turned out very tasty.

Later we built a fire, watched a new House episode and are now preparing to go to bed. Our day has been productive and positive. We are looking forward to seeing a new oncologist next tuesday at UCSF and then having new nephrostomies put in the next day and then home again.

Tonight we are still very much enjoying the memories of sunday and the party with friends. We thank you for your continual prayers in Nan's behalf.

We send our love,

tim and nan

Monday, January 29, 2007

Another very good day! Birthday parties are great therapy!

Dear Friends and Family,

What a great day! We first went to Sutter Delta Hospital to have Nan's PICC line either replaced or repaired. Since the break was just under the skin line the entire PICC line had to be replaced. We had been told Anita was very good and careful. That rumor turned out to be true. Using an ultrasound system she located a good vein and then deadened the skin in the area where the line was to be inserted. Nan felt no pain whatsoever and after about 30 minutes the process was completed, the old line gently pulled out and Nan was ready to go. We stopped at Taco Bell on the way home and Nan had a tostado and lemonade. nan mentioned she had noticed a 75% off sale for Christmas decorations at Ace so we stopped there as well and found a 6' globe with Christmas creatures inside, a few yard raindeer and some little things for Keanna, what fun. Then we headed home and I headed out to work and Nan rested in her recliner.

When I got to the corner I found Highway 4 closed due to a pickup / truck crash so plans changed. Back home to get an Oakland report and after a quick call I headed to Oakland and Nan took a nap. When I headed home Nan and I talked, she was sounding absolutely wonderful and was feeling so well this evening she went to her desk and sat at her computer for awhile and typed something. Now she is waiting for me to finish with this and then we will head up to bed. She is really feeling very well tonight. What started out to be a bit frightening, the PICC line thing can be a very unpleasant experience, ended up just fine. This evening Nan had pizza bread, lemons from Loree's mothers tree, green olives from Marilyn at Sacramento, Mocha from Costco and water from some spring somewhere in the mountains.

Nan has enjoyed telling family members from Texas how nice the party turned out to be, great food, attractive table, clean house, wonderful friends, moving and funny cards and a wonderful tonic for nan.

This evening I experienced one sad note. I called Pam while I was driving home to tell her thanks again and woke her. Turns out she ended up sick today and has pnemonia (sp). She is on strong antibiotics but we are so very sorry to hear she is not well. And to think she worked nearly all night on Sat. night cleaning and scrubbing. Please remember Pam in your prayers.

Soon I will get some photos together to share from the party, there are dozens of good ones flying around. I'll include on funny one that Dennis Lammerding shared in an email this morning, from an earlier time in Sacramento.

Sending our love and thanks for your friendship and care.

tim and nan

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Nan's party is a great blessing

Dear Friends and Family,

This has been a wonderful day for Nan. We send a huge thankyou to Pam Whitted who created the day and worked very hard on all levels to make sure everything was right. Also thank you to Barbara Lammerding who worked very hard to make sure everything was in order. A special thanks to Jo who helped so much and was a great help all day. Jason thanks for helping so much.

They laid out a beautiful table of food with cheese and crackers, vege meat balls, special punch, fruit and veges, dips and chips, wonderful cake which Barbie made. About 25 to 30 people were able to come by for at least part of the afternoon and share time with Nan. She received some very nice cards and some thoughtful gifts. Nighties, hand warming mittens which she has on right now for her aching hands, tables to help her work which she is in her chair, new foot lotion, eye lotion, face lotion, wonderful green olives, exciting room freshener aroma device, a wonderful picture of Steve and Keanna and Nikki framed. It was so good to enjoy seeing people meet other people that they have only heard about before.

Very soon we will be going to bed. You, dear family and friends have given us a very special day to remember. Especially precious to us was having Jason and Jo, Nikki and Keanna here to be with us. So we go to bed happy. A lot of photos were taken today but I'm writing on the laptop and its harder to figure out how to add photos here.

Tomorrow at 9:30 we are at Sutter Delta to have Nan's picc line worked on, either replaced or repaired. Please pray for Nan this evening, issues we face are high creatines, possible infection someplace, continual leaking etc.

We appreciate so many of you taking your afternoon and sharing it with us.


tim and nan

The party is on.............

Dear Friends and Family,

Its about 9:30 on sunday morning, its foggy here, fire is burning the Diaz wood, Starr is soaking up the heat and trying to heal her hurt foot, Nan is resting. We woke at 8:30, did Kytril for possible nausea, dumped some bags and then Nan was able to go back to sleep. Considering she didn't make it to bed until nearly midnight last night sleep is good. Pam slept in the recliner and said she would have started work earlier but it was cold. It was and she is right. So I made a fire and she did a few things and then headed home to create vege meatballs and return. Her work really shows, I need to watch her carefully working side by side sometime so I can learn how to clean. Not something I know too much about. Another tribute to Nan, she has cared for so many things for these 36 years and I am very grateful to her.

She slept great last night only waking once to dump bags, has a sore throat this morning but that has been the case for several days. I made several trips to Safeway last night for things and thanks to Donna and her generous gift card it was all covered. Barb and Gerry have already called this morning and I think are on their way to our house as I write. Gerry is pretty much on crutches due to a sore on his foot so we'll have to take it easy on him today.

Looking forward to seeing you!



Saturday, January 27, 2007

11:45 and we are doing well

Dear Friends and Family,

Here is the picture, Pam in on her kneees cleaning floors and has used her magic touch already on the mantle living room floor, dining room floor and the bathrooms. Food is cooling in the garage on ice, nan is in her recliner considering going to bed after a very long and positive day. She is not running a temperature and has not run one all day. She is drinking guava juice right now and going through stacks of paperwork, she is nursing starr back to health after starr hurt her rear right leg and is limping, she does it chasing the cat over and over again.

The garage is clean and two cars can be parked there thanks to the shelves Tom and John built a few weeks ago. Gerry will be proud. We've had a fire going all day thanks to Art and his wood pile. Pam has the washer and drying going and I think is going to spend the night here with us, sure hope so at this late hour.

Sharon had a big day in Texas, several of her friends and co workers made decisions through baptisim today and then there was a huge potluck afterwards. Such wonderful and blessed news.

I really let people down last night, Nikki and Pam were both waiting for me to call and let them know we were on the way to the hospital and when things turned better and it was so late I did not call, both spent the night wondering what was going on. So sorry about my neglect. Both Nikki and Jason called this morning and got to talk to mom who was doing so well by then.

We are looking forward to Barb and Gerry coming in the morning and then to all of you who are able to come by and visit. Feel free to come and go as you need to. Take a moment to go fishing, feed the ducks, sit and talk with our birthday girl. Let me tell you she is doing well tonight. We just did the incision wound bandage and put a new cover over the nephrostomy and all looks well.

I'm about to wrap up my activities and head to bed, who knows when Pam will finally be ready to sleep, she does great work and has a good eye to make things look nice.

We are very thankful for the temperature breaking last night, thankful that God appears to be allowing us to have our celebration of Nan's 55 years tomorrow.

So we send our love and our appreciation to all of you who have helped so much on so many levels.

tim and nan and pam

98.6 at 3:30 this morning

Dear Ones,

at 3:30 this morning I woke Nan to take her temperature. It was a blessed 98.6 and she slept very well all night. At 3:30 she was herself again wondering why I was waking her.

Unless we get temp again and you can be sure we will be taking it often the sunday birthday event is on. Perhaps before you leave your home on sunday you might want to check the blog again.

We are praying for an uneventful Sabbath. Thank you for your prayers and comments, they help a lot.

Tim and Nan

Friday, January 26, 2007

Bad News on hold

Dear Friends and Family,

Its now 11 pm and the temp has dropped from 103.8 to 101.2. Dr. says don't come to ER unless temp starts going back up again so for now we are staying home. I have the alarm set for every two hours to take the temp again. Nan is now lucid and grippy, all good signs and says she is not sleepy now.

I'l write more when I know more, talk about emotional ups and downs. This is one brave girl.



Bad news

I am writing at 10 on friday night. We will be leaving in a few minutes for the ER in Concord. nan suddenly has a temp of 103.8. Dr. says go to ER and he will admit her.

I think the party is off for sunday, don't see how they can get infection under control that soon. I am so shook right now, a few really good days and now this, creatines are 3.2 and there is infections somewhere, urinary tract infection, PICC line infection, nephrostomy line infection, who knows where.

I'll try to blog more when I know more.

Please pray for Nan, I'm pretty shook up but OK to drive to Concord.

Barb and Gerry, please call my cell tomorrow when you read this.



Thursday, January 25, 2007

Another good day

Dear Friends and Family,

As Nan's birthday celebration looms Nan is doing well. After a good nights sleep she woke without nausea and came down stairs. While she worked in her chair I worked in the office. Keanna and Steve stopped by to feed ducks and to say hello, orders came in the fax and the fire crackled in the stove thanks to Mr. Art's wood gift.

At about 2 this afternoon I finished a difficult appraisal and headed for South San Francisco to a condo project. It is a beautiful development with views of the bay. I had 6 to see while I was there. Then fight traffic home but the GPS guided me without error. On the way home I got a call from Nan who informed me she was in Brentwood having her hair done. I was pleasantly shocked with her courage. She actually got home later than I did by a few minutes and yes she was tired when she got here, sat in that chair and recouped a bit. Between Steve and myself we finally got the jar of artichoke hearts open this morning. I put the lid back on so firmly that Nan could not open it and had her appetite all ready for them. We got it open tonight and she had a ton of them along with iced tea.

When I walked in I decided to clean the family room, it had gotten cluttered over the past few days, if I sit then I start to unwind and its hard to get back up and work. So I cleaned and folded, then to the kitchen and unloaded the dishwasher and then reloaded it, then to the clothes washer to wash sheets, then to TPN prep and then to sitting down for a few minutes to relax.

Nan is doing well, there is only a small amount of drainage from her incision wound, the infection in her nephrostomy is much better and she is moving around much more easily with more strength and her mental attitude is grat, she is alert, rested and very engaged in everything. It is amazing to see the difference between now and 10 days ago. We thank the dear Lord for His kind help and healing.

Looking forward to seeing you sunday, can't wait!


tim and nan

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Overwhelmed by kindness

Dear Friends and Family,

Our friend Art appeared this morning with a truck bed full of wood. I was already out and when he called me my cell did not hold the call so I had no idea he was on his way. Art did a puppy cookie patrol, stacked kindling, move the entire pile of wood from his truck to the wood place on the side of the house and covered it in case of rain. We were down to a few pieces of wood and this makes a huge difference for us. Nan and I thank you Art for this wonderful birthday gift, warmth for the months to come. Arts only reward was a pepsi he found in the frig, he loves pepsis and has been know to consider leaving a resturant if they only serve coke. Art and Nan had a chance to talk for a few minutes and he told me later on the phone that she looked good.

The wound care nurse came today also and pronounced the incision wound better. She also took a close look at the nephrostomy place on the left side and said it looked pretty good, very little evidence of infection and coming along nicely. That was music to our ears. The incision wound is putting out less and less drainage it seems. It can be handled easily with the twice a day changing of the gauze bandage. Nan does not miss that 5th bag she had to wear for so long.

I spent my day going first to a little mobile home in Bethel Island, then to Orinda to a nice place with a great view and cute remodeling worth about 1.2 million, then to Richmond for a FHA quick visit and then to Tracy for a construction inspection and then finally home to momma. We had started putting the hot packs on the wound when Nikki and Keanna arrived. Keanna always comes in full of ideas and energy, this time to have her dinner. Nan and I had decided to try ravolli's and then discovered we had no sauce. Well Nan came to the kitchen, found a can of tomatos, put them into a sauce pan and started adding herbs and spices. It turned out great. nan had 6 raviollis with sauce, Martinelli's sparking apple juice and it all stayed down. We had a great time with Nikki and Keanna but Nikki kept an eye on the clock to get little one home and bathed and in bed at a decent hour. Keanna always wants me to come out to the car when they leave. I've developed a little habit of a little shuffle dance as they drive away and she giggles and seems to like it, its now a tradition, one I like very much.

Last night Nan asked if I could make the humidifier work as her mouth is so dry every morning when she wakes due to the new med. Well in the process I ended up with water all over the floor and no steam coming out. Finally I figured out how to make it work so tonight we'll have more success. Since I've been sick I'm sleeping in the guest room but I think I'm about well enough to be able to return to the big bed! I am gradually getting better, sure not a quick healing process at all.

We are looking forward to sunday when we can see many of you up front and personal. Nan had a thrilling card from her brother, David today. It contained some shopping money and she plans to have her hair done with it. She was so excited and touched by the kindness.

Nan's computer is in the computer hospital tonight, Jim with I-Net Computers has it and is trying to get it to work fast again, its has gotten so slow that it won't do what it is supposed to do anymore. Some of the email addresses are in it that we had intended to email invitations to so at this point we are stuck.

Todays mail once again brought several checks from clients which is good since Nan wrote so many checks for bills yesterday. I need to screw up my courage and call the IRS in the morning before it is too late.

It has been a good day for Nan, she has gotten enough rest and enough up time to be in good balance. We are thankful for days like this and for people like Art who gave us such a boost wood wise.

Sending our love to each one of you,

May God bless you in a special way today!

tim and nan

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Nan celebrates her birthday & Keanna comes to visit

Dear Friends and Family,

Keanna came to visit today and dressed her dollies, fed the ducks, helped grammy and papa a lot with carrying things back and forth between us when we were working, entertained grammy with songs, antics and fascinating commentary. Steve was kind enough to bring wood scraps just right for burning from projects he and dusty had been working on. He has been busy seeing properties all over since Tahoe. Today we were able to help a bit by watching Keanna while he worked, that way we all won. Meleboo came to visit and Starr was very rude, it will take awhile before she realizes that soon Meleboo will be much larger than she is.

Nan started her awaking by a call from son Jason to wish her a happy birthday. The meds had her mouth so dry that she could hardly speak at first. They we changed the bandage and I raced off to Stockton to see a very interesting and difficult house to measure, wow. Then back to work a bit and see Keanna as she fed ducks stale bread and some gummy bears, they preferred bread I think. Then it was time to head to Brentwood, pay comcast before they shut us off and then to an appointment in little Byron, a town of a few hundred people. Then back home. mary had come to visit and stayed with nan while I was gone. Keanna invited her to come to dance class so Mary went to watch her do her thing, how sweet of Mary and Keanna loved it. Nan didn't feel up to going out this evening so I made her grilled cheese sandwiches with tomatos and she was able to eat part of one but it upset her tummy. We have been putting hot packs on her back for several hours to see if we can reduce the swelling and infection at the site.

Nan has written so many checks to cover bills the last 24 hours its amazing. Now I gotta scramble and find money to cover her hard work. I'm trying.

All of Nan's siblings called today to wish her a happy birthday. She also heard from Sharon, you know the one whose pipes are being eaten by rats, very scary and very wet. Hang in there Sharon, things will get better and dryer soon. We heard from Jan this evening from cold Denver and there are probably lots of other people who called that I don't know about.

Nan is resting quietly in her recliner, on TPN and has her meds down for the evening. I need to dress her nephrostomy and change her incision wound bandage and then we go to sleep. Please pray for her courage and strength. We think that she may have been over medicated during our stay at the hospital but its hard to know for sure. She is moving better now and very alert and sharp. For those of you who have not yet received an email inviting you to the sunday party we are having trouble with Nan's laptop and have not been able to get the message out. Please email Pam Whitted at to let her know if you are going to plan to attend. Please no gifts except the gift of your presence and words of support.

I want to take express my admiration for Nan this evening. Over 10 years ago during a surgery to remove a large mass we discovered that she had GIST. She has taken advantage of every opportunity to learn more about the disease and has battled with all the tools available to maintain her health. She has had 5 major surgeries in 4 different hospitals and has learned to live with many challenges that were unthinkable until she had to deal with them. This courageous woman has traveled all over meeting other GISTers, made hundreds of calls to them, shared hints and encouragement with them and has made the very best with the hand that was dealt her.
One never knows fully what another person is made of until the realities of life bring out the best. This is one very special woman and I treasure the fact that I have know her for 37 years and never been bored a moment. She is like no one else I have ever met. Nan is loyal, loving, tender hearted, strong willed, attractive, ageless and it has been a wonderful experience to celebrate these many birthdays with her. I am struck by her resolve and quiet dignity, her love for Keanna and for the soon to be born newest addition. Although we both come from somewhat strange families where our parents did the best they could with what they knew Nan has been a wonderful force for good for our family and for many other people around us. I am proud of my Nan tonight and thankful to God that He saw fit to allow us to meet and for Nans resolve that has kept us together over the years.

Thank you for your special prayers for Nan tonight and in the morning as she turns 55.


tim and nan
ps thank you steve and nikki for sharing Keanna today.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Nan gently moves from sleepy to alert

Dear Friends and Family,

10:30 pm here and Nan is busy writing checks. After a very slow and painful start to this day and hours of rest and slumber she gradually woke around 5:30 this afternoon and kept on waking up more and more. Medical decisions today include: Dr. Kerlan at UCSF cutting her antibiotic from 2,000 mg per day to 1,000 mg. The higher dosage appeared to be causing severe vomiting which has left her chest sore from the heaving. Dr. Morgan at Dana Farber urged us to check the creatine level to make sure kidneys were working correctly. Nan is pretty sure she got an incorrect dosage of something while at the hospital for transfusion which has left her with heavy feet, feet that are hard to move about and a feeling in her head that something was just not quite right. Gradually she has reclaimed full sanity today but it took a lot of rest to get there. Terri came this morning and changed the dressing for the PICC line, took blood, took vitals. At that point Nan's face was slightly puffy and she did not feel well at all. Terri even asked her if she wanted to go to the hospital. After Terri left we changed Nan's incision dressing and found very little leakage, about that same time her colostomy bag failed so that required a quick change which Nan has become very good at. Later we took off the left nephrostomy dressing and placed a warm damp cloth over the infection spot. Nan was able to settle into her recliner in a way I have not seen her do before and with her trusty electric cover and pillows she slept for hours waking only when Starr darted away to chase the cat or bark at fishermen on the lake. Late this afternoon she decided to go back up to sleep in the bed and we got her settled in where she slept more. It seemed that today she needed rest, to sleep off the effects of the meds or whatever. This evening while I was at the store buying Claritin D she called and wanted me to bring home some special french bread, I found it and toasted several slices in the oven. She enjoyed a slice and also part of a package of strawberry and cottage cheese, a new product. She had iced tea and some crackers but has to be very careful not to overdue right now.

I worked in today and was very glad I was here. I was able to give her support when she needed it and to keep the house quiet and calm for her rest. We used some new lotion we found at Costco to calm her dry skin. This evening I think she would tell you she feels pretty good.

Tomorrow I go to Stockton for a 10 am appraisal and then back here to work and then to Byron at 4 for a local one for a change. Steve has really hit the ground running this week and is seeing properties all over, Tracy, Alameda, Pleasanton, Richmond and even Discovery Bay. He is always like the energizer bunny, he goes and he goes and he goes. I can't begin to keep up but of course he is a couple years younger too.

We are starting to hear from people who can join us on sunday for the celebration for Nan's 55th. Barb and Gerry are coming Sat. evening to help set up and can stay until monday morning which is great great news. Pam is hard at work on plans and is getting excited about it all.

I always know Nan is feeling better when I hear her on her cell talking up a storm. Its great exercise for her and is a great boost to her morale. Plus she keeps up on everybody and everything that way.

Finally this evening Christmas marched into storage from our front yard. We were the only ones with wreaths and trees still standing and before long the HOA would have fined us so thanks to Tom and John's shelves I had a place to put things. Now for the rest of the garage, it needs a couple hours and so far I have not had a couple hours to give it so it is a mess. Gerry will not be happy when he sees it, yikes.

Our friends Art and Connie are with friends up in a cabin at Donnor where it is 14 degrees. They are coming home tomorrow after a nice time with the cold and beauty of the place. Someone gave Art some wood to burn and he is going to bring it to us, timing is great since we are down to just a few days left of wood on hand. Our PG&E bill was only $60 some dollars this time, amazing what a wood fire can do.

Well its off to bed now, no more 2 am nights, to hard on the old man.

Please continue to pray that Nan will be able to stay on a healthy track and keep feeling well.

Carrol, our friend from Lodi got great cancer numbers today and will be able to avoid further chemo pills for the next 60 days. This is wonderful news and we join them in thanking God for this progress.

tim and nan

photos are of Nan as she is writing checks, too bad they are not for new outfits or airline tickets! the other photo is of the flowers that Jo and Jason brought when she came to visit. Their flower displays seem to last forever and you can see these flowers still look great. Thanks Behind the flowers you can see the boxes of candy canes that thoughtful people have brought to Nan since we mentioned that they help the nausea, Pam was right.

Blog 302

We have so much to be thankful for this evening. Hi Fellow Earth Travelers,

We went for another outing this afternoon, took in CostCo, Mocha was getting low, yikes! Nan found all kinds of interesting things while we were there. Also some police action in the parking lot, at Costco!
Then we stopped at In N Out and had frys, cheese sandwich and lemonade, then to Jeans, my writer and then Steve and Nikki's where Keanna was changing into a princess outfit and Meleboo was playing. They were working hard getting ready to start work again tomorrow after a week off, that means a 5 am call for Nikki and she has been able to sleep in and get up late for a few days so tomorrow morning will be brutal.
You may remember that Pam brought us lots of lemons and others have brought some as well. Nan didn't want a single lemon to waste so she wanted to juice them and freeze the juice for future lemon drinks. So we set up the juicer and she had a hand juicer and we juiced lemons for an hour or so, we got a couple courts of juice and its in the freezer now. Felt good to accomplish something together and Nan produced more juice than I did. We kept a fire burning, the room was comfortable and she had a much loved heating cover over her as well.

Nan does not feel perfect by any means, just better. She still loses her cookies once in a while but overall she is better, she is not too sure on her feet right now and has to be very careful not to fall, she can dress much quicker now than before and has humor, plans, animation and loves those phone calls from family and friends.

This evening when I changed the dressing there was very little leakage evident and the healing of the incision is speeding us as less liquid is in the way. Due to the infection of her left nephrostomy tube at the point where it passes through her skin she is on some pretty heavy duty antibiotic, 500 mg 4 times a day, Keflex is the name I think. We hope we don't get any reactions in the kidneys from such a high dosage.

We are starting to email out invitations to Nan's party and we hope you can come join us on sunday, the 28th at any point between 2 and 4+ pm. We will have very light snacks to munch on and probably some cake. The primary reason is just to allow Nan to spend time with her friends and family and celebrate yet another year of precious life. This is not about gifts, its about seeing you and getting to catch up on whats happening in your life and letting you see this stunningly beautiful Nan at 55 years of age.

I'm going to try to capture the invitation that Pam created and add it to this blog. Please let Pam know by email if you can come, she would like to have an idea of a number to expect but please don't stay away if you don't get a chance to let us know in advance that you can come.

We are hoping for a very good week, please keep Nan in your prayers.


tim and nan
Here is the invitation the Pam has emailed, hers is in color and looks much nicer!

It’s a Birthday Party

Down in Mississippi in ‘52
She was born under the sky so blue
Bright shiny eyes and golden blonde hair
Our Erin Nan left nothing to spare
She had talents and she had flair
To California she came with care
So glad are we that she made that choice
Singing it loud with her beautiful voice
So come one and all to the house on the lake
So we can celebrate her birth…….. while we eat some cake.

Sunday, January 28, 2007
Mustard’s Home
5387 Willow Lake Court
Discovery Bay
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Please, R.S.V.P

Saturday, January 20, 2007

What a day this has been...

Dear Friends and Family,

I write with a happy heart this evening. Nan has had another really successful day.

We first woke this morning around 5 but decided that we really did not need to be up that early so we tried again at 7:30, did a wound dressing change, a dressing change for the left nephrostomy tube where the infection is currently active and discovered that the PICC line Nan had hooked the TPN back up to was leaking so we called that amazing visiting nurse, Terri who lives here in Discovery Bay and in 10 minute she was here cleaning up the PICC line dressing and urging us not to use the red line any more. Nan dressed and we headed for the hospital arriving there about 10. After a brief time in registration we were directed to the 3rd floor and to a room. We were introduced to our nurse for the day and she was just great, very professional and careful yet kind and thoughtful as well. It ususally takes a while for the blood to make its way up from the pharmacy to the floor and it was after noon before the blood arrived and was started. We both slept on and off and I left to find lunch in Danville at a place I enjoy, then back to just spend time together and enjoy the sparkle in Nan's eyes as the new blood and the steriods given during the transfusion did their number. Nan was practically bursting with ideas by the time we were allowed to leave the hospital. She called Nikki and Keanna and we met them in Antioch at Chilis for Chicken Fried Steak for Nan, ice tea, chips and a taste of her birthday milkshake. What fun to just sit and relax with people you love so much. We all enjoyed having Nan feel so much better than even a week ago, humor, energy, ideas good things. Keanna got to sit with her grammy and together they finally finished their meals. Then it was to Target for a shopping trip for Nan, one of the first in the last two months. I pushed her in her wheel chair and Nikki and Keanna did the basket and we found snacks Nan thought looked good to eat, kitty food and other essentials. Then back to the van and home to a very cold house, 62 degrees. We got her settled into her chair with a small heater blowing her way and the heated cover going full blast. Then into her gown, then the TPN was prepared and attached, then she fed the dogs left overs from her food, I built a fire which is crackling even now, brought all the goodies in from the car, restarted her computer so she could read her 80 email messages.

As you can see we have much to be thankful for at the close of this sabbath day. I am feeling a lot better now and have just enjoyed seeing Nan feeling so much better, the leaking diminishing, her energy level higher, her mental state astounding. I want to be clear, we know we will experience ups and downs but I want to share with you our rejoicing at the current ups. For the last couple of months the majority of our lives have been controlled by nausea. For a few days now that is no longer true, praise the Lord.

So we send our thanks to you for your prayers and ask that you continue to seeks God's will for us, and for you as well.


tim and nan

Friday, January 19, 2007

Another good day

Dear Friends and Family,

What a relief that the work week has come to an end and we can truely rest. This week has seen some progress toward wholeness, you would not believe the difference in Nan's moving, her communication, her alertness and her ability to cope. Nan has been able to move about today while I was gone, to be in the kitchen, up and down stairs, find something to eat so she could take meds, talk on the phone, catch some Zss at times. We have spoken many times on the phone as we reached out to the IR chief at UCSF. This busy man called Nan back and carefully explained what we could do to help the left nephrostomy infection heal, he called in antibiotics to Longs in Brentwood and took time to ask how Nan was doing, a true gentleman.

She also worked on getting an appointment for the blood transfusion tomorrow which is now set for 9 am providing they can locate a bed for her. Seems they are really busy just now. We are also finding the amount of leakage to be slightly reduced and the color appears to be turning from black to a very dark green. Dr. Morgan from Dana Farber emailed today to say he never received the CT scan CD so we'll have to restart that process over again. We are now set to meet a new oncologist at UCSF on the 6th of February. She has GIST experience and we look forward to being in her care.

Nikki, Steve and Keanna are home and came to visit this afternoon. I missed them because I was still in Fremont finishing up a little house and then driving home through traffic. My trusty GPS guided me all day long without mishap finding even difficult streets and addresses. While Nikki and Keanna were here they gave a brief description of the fun they have been having at Tahoe. Keanna really loved the whole experience and especially the snow. Nikki was kind enough to move some furniture around and out of the way. I think Nan was glad to be able to feel so much better while they were here to really enjoy every moment without fear of nausea.

I'm sorry I will miss taking Keanna to Sabbath School in the morning but we are going to be doing some important work, getting Grammy blub as she calls it, thats blood in 3 year old understanding.

My new phone is taking some time to get used to but it works well and has a large readout so its much easier for me to see it with these aged eyes. It has the bluetooth earpiece which I will need come July when all can cell phone calls must be handsfree. I am feeling some better after a very rough night. I was awake for hours thinking about issues we face and trying to place them in the Master's hands, then taking them back and worrying over them again. Plus I was sick and could not breath using my breathing machine I use every night for sleep apnea. Rough night but a good day, plan to head to bed early tonight though and catch some extra hours of rest. We have to be in the car ready to go at 8 in the morning, then we call and see if they are ready with a bed, sure hope so after all the getting ready.

While Nikki was here she prepared some watermelon for mom to eat and when I came home I prepared more watermelon for her to enjoy, I also brought dark chocolate home as many GISTers report that dark chocolate helps the Gleevec go down and stay down. For the next few days Nan will be taking an antibiotic 4 times a day to fight off the infection which is surrounding her left tube, plus the doctor has us using a warm damp cloth for several minutes to relieve the area swelling and pain. I've already changed the sheets tonight so the bed is fresh and ready for her highness.

We appreciate the help of Loree, our assistant for the company who does so many things and has worked extra hard this week to keep money in the bank at the right times. Also we appreciate Jean who helps with writing up appraisals. Both are wonderful help and are very supportive. In spite of feeling rather ill this week I still managed to inspect about 9 properties spread over a couple hundred mile radius. We are thankful for work, for energy and for God's hand in everything.

Tonight we send our love to each of you. If you care to tomorrow afternoon might be a good time to reach Nan on her cell, she will probably be flat on her back getting blood and might enjoy a break in the dull routine. I'm not sure how much they will allow me to be with her since I am coughing and sneezing, not a good way to be in the hospital.

So with gratitute we thank you for your involvement in our lives this week.


tim and nan

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Moving forward

Dear Friends and Family,

Nan is falling asleep as I write, This has been a long day with mostly ups and a few downs.

We started the day at 5 am this morning when Terri came to draw blood for the type and cross the hospital needs to prepare blood for the upcoming transfusion. Terri could only fit the draw in early this morning because she had a very long day scheduled already. After the blood draw we both went back upstairs to our beds, nan to our bed and me to the guest room due to my illness. I slept fitfully working over our challenges we face on the medical front, drainage, pain, necrotic tissue, financial, IRS money owed, covering the house payments and other bills we had to pay, work issues, getting things done and completed, explaining why past decisions were made on appraisals (called conditions), needing to get the Christmas decorations out of the front yard, needing the garage to get back into its clean condition, my own health issues, fever, chills, thick head (a fairly normal condition). When I came fully awake I noticed the sun was shining, I stumbled into check on Nan and discovered it was 9 am! I've not slept that late for a very long time.

So Nan stayed in bed, less nephrostomy pain and I came down to work. I made an appointment and asked the person to call back on my cell. I placed the cell where I would see it on top of a cup which I thought was empty, actually it was full of Thermoflu. Then I went up to care for Nan and was gone about 20 minutes. When I came back the cell phone was gone, well actually it had gone swimming. When the guy called back the phone viberated and slipped right into the liquid, to its death. That sort of started the day off right, I hate to make mistakes that cost me money and time, have too little of each right now. So off the Oakley to see a place, then used Nan's cell to find a cell phone outlet, spent an hour there and came out with a cheap upgrade, I was due for a free upgrade turns out, but free ended up costing about $150. Lost all my cell phone numbers of doctors, friends, clients, family, bummer big time. So if you can email me your number again I'll get it back into my phone, Thanks so much for that.

In general Nan is doing much better. She is much more animated in her voice, stronger in volume, more mentally alert and moves more easily. The leaking amount is much less than a week ago and the dark black liquid appears to be more green in nature for whatever that is worth. We have developed a problem with the left nephrostomy tube site which is now putting out a small amount of brown puss type liquid. I left a message for the IR doctor to call but so far he has not called to give a clue what meds we can use to clear this up. The irritation is causing some pain and we now change the bandage over it a couple times a day.

Nan has much less nausea. She does throw up on occasion but not due to nausea and when it is over she can then take pills or eat again successfully. We had thought that tomorrow would be transfusion day but it will have to be Saturday after all. It always takes a bit for them to find blood with her antibody in it. Once again I will be out seeing properties, Hayward at 10:30 1 in Fremont and 3 in San Leandro or something like that. God has blessed with a constant stream of work this week for which we are very grateful.

We appreciate your prayers and it seems we are seeing some God inspired small steps of progress. After weeks, months of constant nausea the break in that constant enemy is refreshing for Nan and for me as well.

And so once again we want to thank you for your concern and for caring about us.


tim and nan

ps can't wait to see Keanna and family tomorrow, they are set to come home sometime tomorrow.

psps funny thing happened in Sharons attic, seems Texas rats are up to eating through PCV pipe and have destroyed many feet of water pipe in her attic. Who would have even imagined something like that? Our prayers are with you Sharon, hold on girl, its going to get much better soon.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A much better day

Dear Ones,

This will be short. I am ill, running a fever and fell about as lousy as one can feel. But the great news is, nan had a better day. Last evening she had toast and chocolate milk and again this morning she had chocolate milk, after I left the wound care nurse came and together they redid the dressings on the nephrostomies and after some pretty incredible pain the dressings are in a better place this evening. During the day Nan went up and down several times and had the porch light burning as a welcome home to me. But the most thrilling moment to me was when she called and asked if I could bring home some fruit, watermelon, strawberrys, grapes which I did and she had some of each tonight. She has had one tiny bout of nausea early this evening after she overdid lemon and water and it set her tummy off. She called me several times and told me she had a thousand phone calls, in fact she wore her cell battery down, a good thing.

Give this girl a chance and she goes for it. Oncology called today and said blood was 8.1 and she needed a transfusion. So looks like friday will be the day at John Muir in Concord.

In spite of being pretty ill I did two inspections today, one in Vacaville and then one in Pleasanton, then I broke down and bought two tires, we had a certificate for part of the cost. Car feels more stable on the road now. I nearly froze while they worked on the car, they have no place where you can relax and sit down and I was barely able to stay on my feet. Then on to Dr. Jim's for appointment. He let me know my blood tests were pretty good, not perfect but pertty good overall and gave me some prescriptions for my current ailment, aching ears, solid head, runny noise, sore throat, sore glands. So another wait at Longs while they filled the prescriptions, then a quick stop at Safeways to try to find decent fruit and finally home to be with the stunningly beautiful Nan. I spent an hour under a blanket shivering and then sweating but was able to prepare her TPN, wore a mask to protect her from my germs and prepared a bit of dinner for her and myself. I had to take a trip out to the wood pile to get wood but the fire caught and created a warm atmosphere for us.

Tonight I sleep in the guest room to try to protect her with a baby monitor so I can hear her when she needs me.

All I can say this evening is that she is doing better and I thank God for it.

Hope to feel better by morning and also hope Nan does not get this bug, not fun at all. last time she did not get it so fingers are crossed.

We heard from Nikki and family today, they are enjoying playing in the snow and seem to be enjoying their vacation very much. We are soooo happy for them, Tahoe is a beautiful place no matter what time of year but especially now with the snow capped mountains.

We send our love to each of you and deeply appreciate the encouraging words from people who respond. Its the first thing I do in the morning, get my inspiration from others. I hope that Sharon is drying out her carpets and starting to recover from her disaster, of all people she does not deserve this.


tim and nan

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Glimmers of hope perhaps....

Dear Friends and Family,

This afternoon we were able to secure an appointment with Dr. Makker in Tracy. He is a very special person and often has solutions to Nan's problems. We took the email from Boston showing what meds Dr. Morgan had suggested as a possible answer for the nausea. Nan rode in the front seat going to Tracy and we had to sit a few minutes in the waiting room, then we were in to weigh, about 124 lbs and to be able to sit again in the room. Dr. Makker was kind and gentle as usual. He offered accupuncture, he is an expert but Nan reminded him that it didn't help much last time. He looked over the email and explained the drugs that were suggested. He gave us many sample bottles of Zyprexa which is a muscle relaxer, a sedative and can help with nausea. It can only be taken just before going to bed as it makes you very sleepy soon after. The other medicine suggested was Marrinol and he said he could not prescribe it, we needed it to be prescribed by an oncologist. He also pointed out that it is marijuna in pill form. Nan is not to hot on the idea of taking Marrinol. The biggest adjustment came when we told him we were using 100 mg of fantanyl patch to manage pain. He said that the patch can easily be a partial cause of the nausea and we discussed and decided to switch back to 20 mg of oxycontin twice a day like we did last winter. So tonight the patch is gone, the new meds are in. Nan took the patch off late this afternoon and this evening she asked for a toast and chocolate milk and kept them down. She had no feeling of throwing up as we went up the stair chair and is now happily asleep. We certainly can hope that these changes might have a positive effect on the nausea and I can only dream and hope for Nan to feel better. We have not heard from the Concord Oncology group who reads the blood work so no news must mean that Nan does not need a transfusion. We'll see about that.

It was so wonderful to see Nan get dressed in a new velour purple outfit with matching soxs. It is the first time in many days she has left the house or even gotten dressed. She tired quickly and when we left the doctors office she asked to sleep in the bed in the back of the van. I quickly pumped it up and opened the 12 volt heating blanket Nikki got her for Christmas. nan had forgotten about it since I put it in the van right after Christmas day. It worked wonderfully and soon Nan was sleeping, resting and warm and cozy. We went to Brentwood and waited for the prescription to be filled, kept the car running so the blanket would keep working and then came home. She rested most of the time in the car and was relatively comfortable through it all. She complains that I find every chuck hole in the road since the bumping causes her pain. We came home and she changed into a jonny, nightgown in Boston, and watched some TV before eating and then taking her meds. She seems better in spite of being so tired. We hope that tomorrow the wound care nurse can readjust her nephrostomy dressings so they hurt her less.

I worked this morning at home, then did an inspection in Tracy, then back to DB for a few minutes of work and then back to Tracy again. Tomorrow I travel to Vacaville and then Pleasanton before seeing my doctor, Jim Edwards, in Antioch. He treats me so wonderfully and always finds solutions to problems. He will fill me in on the results of the blood work I had done before the end of the year. Plus I am feeling less than ideal today, feel like I am slipping back into the illness I had a couple weeks ago. Hope not as I have a busy week of properties.

I spoke with Nikki and Keanna today and they are having a great time at Tahoe, swimming in the heated pool and spa, sledding in the snow, taking short hikes and I think Keanna even is going to have a lesson at some point. It was nice to know they are doing well and having fun.

We spoke to Sharon in Texas this afternoon and her home has a broken pipe somewhere and every room has water on the floor, plus their weather is terrible right now, sleet and rain. My heart really goes out to her as she battles this new challenge. We are praying for you and for you to find the leak and plug it.

So I feel a little bit more hopeful this evening, my prayer this morning was that God would do whatever and use whatever to help Nan feel better and perhaps that is happening. We will see.

I'm so sorry to be out tomorrow, wish I could just stay home and with her 24/7 but at this point that is not to be. Your calls help and your emails are devoured by nan every day. The time to call or write is not wasted time at all. nan treasures the contact.

Thank you for your compassion and prayers for Nan. And thank you Nan for being the brave and courageous woman you are. I still pinch myself to see if it is real that I've had the honor of being with you for over 36 years. There is no one like you in the whole world and I'm the luckiest man to have you.

love to all

tim and nan

Monday, January 15, 2007

A quiet day of sleep and suffering

Dear Friends and Family,

I just took Nan up to bed a few minutes ago. Since coming down this morning at 8:15 to meet with the nurse she has stayed down the entire day. She found a way to be very comfortable in her recliner using a large foam pillow that she purchased while at Roxanna's house. She used this large foam pillow under her legs and was able to settle in and watched some TV and slept some, actually most of the day. She wakes to sip some water and then slips back into slumber again. Today she ate 6 olives, had hot water with frozen lemon juice she prepared herself, had a popsickle and I think that is about it. The constant nausea and weakness she is experiencing is best treated by sleep, no wonder she lets herself fall asleep often, it is an escape from misery.

Teri, the visiting nurse made her routine monday visit, drew blood for weekly blood tests, took vitals, Nan's heart rate was 126 resting this morning. We discussed the recommendations that Dr. Morgan had made about other answers for nausea and found out one is just a pill form of marijana, Nan does not want anything to do with that but the other one is a new med that is having some pretty good success with cancer patients in controlling nausea so tomorrow we will try to find a doctor we can see and get it prescribed for her to try. It is taken once a day at night by mouth. The nurse visit lasts about an hour. She changes the extensive dressing for the PICC line, give various meds and answers questions and makes suggestions. She is a real asset to us and a great helper.

I stayed in today having several appraisals that needed to be completed and emailed out. I was able to get the relo for a Stockton property emailed this evening and the one from Grass Valley went earlier in the day. Several orders also came in today so the week is filling out pretty well for work. We think we may need to do a blood transfusion this week at some point and is so then I will work appointments around that event.

I've rarely seen Nan so low. She functions mentally just fine and paid the house second mortgage by phone today, no small task and also some other bills. She is very low on energy and has almost constant pain from the poorly placed nephrostomy dressings. I have changed the gauze but have not yet found the courage to change the butterfly locks which hold the tubes in place as they disappear into her back.

Nan is a brave woman and demonstrates a lot of courage in spite of tough times. I frequently find her slipping in a bit of humor or singing along with something on TV, she is always kind to me and thanks me for the little things I do. You cannot know how much I want to just be able to make dinner for her or take her to dinner and see her enjoy herself and be able to eat and relax. It has been many weeks now without relief from the growing nausea threat and it is becoming a more serious challenge. Somehow I must find a way to keep her walking and doing basic exercising just like in the hospital when they have you get up and walk several times a day. But it is very hard when you hurt so much and feel so sick.

I have found that the leaking is less today. The dressing had less black residue this morning and this evening. I'm thankful for that development. I have been begging God to intervene internally and heal the dying tissue or whatever is causing the leaking. I have also been asking that God would help with the nausea, solve it, manage it, control it, whatever we need His help.

Tomorrow I will be out for part of the day leaving here about 9:30 and be gone for a few hours. If you call right now you may find Nan quite weak on the phone and only able to talk for a short time. I still think she appreciates being remembered even if for just a few words.

When Pam unearthed the treadmill she had me resolve to use it every day. I find that when I take Nan up to bed I can ride and it is so quiet that she can fall asleep or watch TV and not be bothered by it. I'm trying to add a couple minutes to the total time I ride each evening until I get up to a reasonable several miles. It feels good to just be able to see the treadmill and to be on it again is a real treat.

I want to thank those of you who have given us financial help over the past many months. I never would have even considered that we might need help, always thought I could just work harder or longer if the money got short, that was until Nan's increasingly serious situation with the GIST and then our long stay in Boston. You know I was supposed to fly back there to be with her a few days and then we had plane tickets to fly home for a few weeks, yet we were in the right place when the blockage occured and the surgery changed everything. 54 days we were there, 54 days without working or generating any income, thank good ness the crew here at home kept the business going, they created a miracle in my absence. Over the months since the surgery you have shared thousands of dollars with the recovery fund. Right now it has over $3,000 in it but we will have to draw money out this week to cover nan's glasses and some other things like that. You have kept us in our home, able to go to doctors and hospitals when needed, you have supplied a bridge which has helped us survive financially. We appreciate it very much. We are not out of the financial woods yet but we are much much better than we would have been without your help. There have been so many expressions of kindness, this morning Kent, a long time aquaintance, answered my phone call and serviced the furnace. It is going to need a part, worked for awhile today and warmed us up and then failed to restart the next cycle. He refused to accept a normal service call fee, I was very touched and humbled by his generosity.

We are going through an experience no one would ask for, it is one that builds a new awareness of tiny blessings which come amidst suffering and loss, an experience that makes one question nearly everything, a life altering experience for all who are close to Nan, to see a good person who has lived her life in doing good and touching lives of family and friends so weakened is very hard. Why does tend to come to mind often? What is this existence really all about? How does God decide to help or not? How do we continue to live daily in the face of such challenges?

Where is God when Nan hurts? Where are we when God hurts?

My prayer tonight is simple and direct. God, please show us the way, open medical doors, heal things we do not understand and give us peace knowing You are in control and are loving, caring and involved.

Sending our love to each of you,

tim and nan

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Nan is having a rough day, please pray.

Dear Friends and Family,

Nan has had to spend most of today resting in bed. Her energy level is low and the nausea level is high, very high. Right now, 10 pm, she is in her recliner with Starr and the evening has not been an easy one for her.

Pam left this morning after only sleeping about 5 hours and working her little hands off. The bathrooms are in great shape, the upstairs curio cabinet is clean and beautifully arranged, it has Nan's creche displays, nativity figures and they are clean and gleam. She did an amazing amount of cleaning while she was here and we have more trash than space in the garbage can. Fortunately the truck comes in the morning to take away the trash and we can start all over again. Pam did baths, floors, numerous loads of wash and a whole lot of other things as well. Nan was so touched by Pam's all night vigil. Thank you Pam and hope your time with Ryan went well today.

We would find a doctor tomorrow for help with the nausea as serious as it is but tomorrow is a holiday. Nan is going to take an Adavan tonight which will help her get some rest and calm the nausea. She has not been able to keep anything down today but fortunately she had clean sheets on the bed so was comfortable. I put new dressings on her nephrostomy tubes and keepers. I need to move the butterfly locks but I'm not that sure of myself to go ahead and do it. Wish I knew what to do.

Thanks to Pam's cleaning the treadmill is now clear so as we go up to rest I'm going to do a few miles on it before turning in. We hope to be able to get Nan on it as well only at a very slow pace so not to rush her, just take gentle steps. Probably not tonight though, she is just too ill.

We've been in all day today, I was writing appraisals and cleaning my desk, Nan has been doing the thing most important to her, resting and getting much needed sleep.

Pam is trying to get an idea of who will be with us for Nan's birthday celebration on the 28th. We are looking forward to having a nice afternoon for Nan and her friends. We hope you can come and join us.

We sure enjoyed having Jason and Jo with us, we hope that Nikki and Steve with Keanna are having a wonderful time at Tahoe. We miss them the moment they drive away and love to see them whenever they can. I know you feel the same about your children, its a special honor having children and a great joy as they grow up and succeed.

Please have special prayer for Nan's nausea. It is growing more serious. We desperately need God's intervention and soon.

thank you in advance for remembering Nan in your prayer time. there is a biblical concept of God not allowing more pressure than a person can handle. We claim God's promises that He cares and loves.


tim and nan

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A very complex day, Nan did pretty well through it all

Dear Friends and Family,

Jason just called this minute and is home safe back at MBA. They have been with us since last evening and we have had a very good time together. Nan started the day quite rough but as the day passed she started to feel some better. Pam came this afternoon armed with every cleaning device and substance known to mankind. She has transformed our bedroom and bathroom, tops of dressers are attractive now, clothes that were laying around are hung or are being washed, the treadmill is clear of anything and ready to be used again, Nan's tan colored recliner in our bedroom is free of clothes and can be used again, bathroom surfaces are clean, sparkle and shine. Pam has worked non stop for hours on things getting ready for the birthday bash. Jason and Clayton assembled the new chairs that Nan found on the web for about 75% off. Jo spent time with mom and they both took turns napping in the warm family room under blankets.

I got to take Keanna to Sabbath School this morning and for a grampa that is about as good as it gets, she was dressed so cutely in boots and a warm outfit, her hair was perfect and her eyes sparkled. Kim was the teacher today and Keanna enjoyed getting to be there again. Then I brought her to her mommy and they had an appointment in Brentwood and I drove back to Tracy church to hear a very encouraging sermon by the pastor. I had a rough time holding it together as I was quite worried about mom being alone again and not feeling that well. She encouraged me to have lunch with jason and Jo at Olive Garden which we did. Then home to help mom come downstairs where she settled into her recliner, got warm and gradually felt some better. Eventually she had a popsickle, then a chocolate milk, then later a piece of pizza and some Martinellis Sparkling Apple Juice. Amazingly she was able to keep all of this down.

So we enjoy those times of feeling better and treasure them. I asked God for His special blessing on our family today and I believe we experienced it.

I am so proud to be able to let you know now a secret that we have known for awhile. Jason and Jo are going to introduce a new little person into the world around the end of July. Ultrasound has not been able to indicate boy or girl yet but Dana using a pencil and string forcast two girls for them. Hmmm, that there is science for you. Mom and I are so happy that there will be another precious little person in our lives, we can't wait. Both jason and Jo are delighted with the news and are preparing themselves for the addition.

It was hard to see them drive away this evening, it always is hard since we love them so much and treasure time we get to spend with them. Cat Stevens's song about cats in a craddle is sure true. Jason used to want me to spend more time with him and now I want to get to see him more, things change and we have to adjust. Do you like to adjust? I sure don't. I don't like to change, to move, to learn a new way of doing something. I like security and a known commodity any day.

Nan's courage was so good this evening and she felt good enough to be fully engaged in conversations with Jason, Jo, Clayton and me as we munched our Straw Hat Pizza and sipped soda or apple juice. Having the kids last night and today really helped her a lot, thanks family. And special thanks to Pam for her hours of cleaning and arranging things. She even took all the little pieces of the different nativity sets out of the cabinets and dusted them and cleaned them, wow that is work.

Now it is time to rest, I'm not sure if pam is staying the night or not but it makes sense if she wants to. She has worked very hard and has to be tired.

It was very meaningful to see our friends and loved ones at the Tracy SDA church today. They understand what we are going through and are very supportive and a great help emotionally. How we treasure the Tracy church family, they know how to share Jesus and His love with all.

I've included a couple photos. One is our faithful Frosty in the front yard, probably tomorrow he will go back into his box for the season until next Christmas along with the other little items. The other photo is of the kids as they left this evening in Jo's new car. The mostly dark photo is their car going around the corner on their way home.

We are sending our love this evening, seeking your prayers and hoping for the miracle of well being. We know God knows what He is doing.


tim and nan and pam

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday night, safe and sound

Brrr, it sure is cold here tonight, nice night to be in by the fire. Tonight is especially nice since Jo and Jason along with Clayton are sleeping upstairs. Nan is ready to head to bed. I too am ready to rest, started at 6 this morning, wrote an appraisal, drove to Copperopolis to do an appraisal, then set the GPS for Grass Valley and it led me right to the second property of the day which was a very nice townhome surrounded by trees and country. Then home. The photo is of a deer who was standing by the car when I came out of the townhome, he or she posed for the photo before moving off into the forest.

Nan has had a rough day, her hands have been hurting a lot lately along with nephrostomy pains and continued leaking. Just not a good day at all for her but it got better this evening when Nikki and Keanna came to visit and have dinner, then Jason and Jo arrived with Clayton and we enjoyed time together. It is so good to have everyone together for a few moments. Keanna loves to see Jason, Jo and Clayton, she plays with them and shows her stuff, she now knows how to spell her name out loud. Today she was student in charge of her class room so she told us all about that. What fun to just get to spend time with this precious family. We missed steve but he was getting ready for tomorrows trip to Tahoe and a time share they have there.

Along with the many challenges we face we have joys mixed in as well. This has been a very tough week for Nan with so much nausea no matter what meds or devices we try and nausea just wears a person down after awhile. She has suffered from the pain in her hands since the surgery and in the hospital in Boston you may remember Sharon prayed for and was given white gloves for Nan to wear. Tonight jason and jo came up with brown rice in a sock warmed in the microwave, that helped a lot to relieve the pain.

Well its bed time. Tomorrow morning we get to take Keanna to Sabbath School, yea, I love to do that. Then back home to spend some quality time with the woman I love and am so proud of.

Thanks for your prayers,


tim and nan and jason and jo and clayton

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Art and Connie visit

Dear Friends and Family,

Art and Connie Diaz drove from Gilroy to our home this morning and Art went with me to an Oakland appraisal appointment and Connie stayed with Nan, swept, cleaned in the kitchen, bagged dried fruit and kept Nan company. Art and I had lunch at the Red Robin in Pleasanton and then back to Disco Bay where Art and Connie moved on and I went to Bethel Island for a late afternoon appraisal.

I appreciate their coming over today very much. It was good to have Art riding shotgun and we both enjoyed having the GPS tell us where to go, we both comments that it was sort of like having a second wife, a womans voice telling us where to turn and what to do next. Very life like and also very accurate.

Nan has been having a lot of pain from her nephrostomy tubes. Tonight when I got home I checked them out. Our visiting nurse had never put them on before, the little butterfly locking devices and as I looked closer she had put them on incorrectly, no wonder the pain. However I'm not sure about me changing them as I have not done it before either. However I do know how they are supposed to be positioned and I'll tell you, they are not right as they are. We may change them yet tonight, not sure, really up to Nan and how much more pain she can take as changing them causes a lot of pain also.

Nan just had a toast so she could take her meds and is ready to head to bed I think. I know I am. Nan has rested a lot today but I think she needed to. She has had a pretty good evening when she came down. Of course the fire is burning brightly and warmly and should hold all night.

We ran out of time today and did not get tires so one more day on my special slicks. Soon! Tomorrow morning I drive to Copperopolis up Highway 4 for an appraisal and then on to Grass Valley for a second appraisal. Then home quickly since Jason and Jo are coming tomorrow night and staying over to go to Sabbath School and Church in Tracy. Yea! Nikki and Steve leave for Tahoe on Saturday for a much needed vacation in the snow, Keanna can't wait to get there.

Hope your week is winding down well. We send our love and appreciation for those constant prayers in nan's behalf.


tim and nan

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Good evening

Dear Friends and Family,

We are winding down. Nan's wound care nurse came today, replaced the dressings, pronounced it is doing well, replaced the vinyl locks for the nephrostomies. Nan has spent most of her day lying down since things seem to go better than way. She was up for awhile today and again this evening. Nikki and Keanna came to visit bringing dinner and happiness. Keanna took the decorations off the tree in the front room and did a great job of it. She danced with her Dora dancing doll, hugged her grammy and then was gone home to take her bath and go to sleep. Having her here with us for a bit really lifted our spirits.

Nan has had a low day with nearly constant nausea in spite of taking the meds for it.

I drove to Milbrea, SF and then San Jose before heading home. The trusty GPS directed my paths the entire day without a flaw. The poor house in SF was rough, very rough, sad how some people end up having to live. Great guy, been there for dozens of years.

We are looking forward to Nan's birthday celebration on the 28th, sunday. I sincerely hope that by then we have a handle on this nausea and Nan can be feeling better. It was about this time last year when Nan started feeling better and reclaimed her health, drove the car when ever, took trips so perhaps we can do a repeat.

Please pray that God is heal the nausea and leaking or lead us to those who can help.

Tomorrow we have the honor of Art and Connie coming to our house mid morning. Then Art and I will drive to Oakland to do an appraisal and Connie and nan can share some time together. I think I may see if CostCo has tires for my car, the bald ones on the front are scaring me.

Our life has blessings in spite of the down sides, we are thankful to be home, to be warm, to be safe and to have our life with the doggies, fish, our kids, the phone calls, the visits. We are thankful for you, please know that you make a big difference in our lives.

Sending our love to you,

tim and nan

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Update from our home to yours

Dear Friends, Family and interested bystanders,

Welcome to the exciting recovery of one of the worlds great ladies, Erin Ann Nelson Mustard.

Some updates to report: Dr. Morgan, our trial doctor at Dana Farber Cancer Institute replied to my email asking if we could possibly use a little pretisone to stimulate Nan to feeling better. His replay was disappointing. He said we should not use steriods due to the combination of Gleevec and Rapamune. He said another reason not to use it was the necrotic tissue, causing the black liquid. He did suggest two other possible meds though, Zyprexa at 5 mg po before bed or Marrinol at 5 mg to 10 mg daily three to four times a day. Can anyone tell us anything about these two drugs he suggested? What does po mean?

The second update to report: Nan received a device she big on and won on Ebay, a little device one wears on the wrist which is often used for people on cruise ships. It sends tiny electrical signals through the skin to certain nerves and often helps people with nausea. Nan really needs a break from this constant enemy and I hope the device or the suggested meds will do the trick.

Nan was downstairs for several hours today before heading back up for an afternoon nap. While there her cell phone battery ran down, she has it charging now. This morning Steve and Keanna came to visit and pick up files. Meleboo came too, what a cute adorable puppy with the softest fur. She is already the size of Starr and growing fast. Next week we get her while the kids go on a vacation to the Tahoe area. That will be fun, she is so cute and wiggly. Keanna visited the kitties, found her Dora dancing doll, chatted with her grammy and then they were gone. She is a wonderful blessing and Steve is a good dad.

I did a relo appraisal in Tracy this afternoon, cute place in near perfect condition but its just the wrong time to be selling a house, lots of inventory and few buyers. Then I drove back here to the office to jam some work out. The Redding appraisal is done and delivered, the driveby Stockton review is also out and gone. So is one in Richmond and pretty soon one in Benicia. Nan has me going to SF and Milbrea tomorrow so once again on the road. I've got to find time to buyer tires, I think mine are good until it rains, slicks are not so good when its wet. Yesterdays trip to Redding ended up using about a tank of fuel and I got about 42 mile per gallon. Found diesel cheaper in Tracy today and since the yellow light was blinking it was time to fill. 13 gallons.

When Nan came down this evening and we opened up the stove we found a bed of coals waiting to ignite again, nice wood. Home is warm and comfortable, my heart aches for Nan, not being able to enjoy anything, just feeling sick or near it all the time. This has got to change, we just need to push until someone finds an answer somewhere. We are begging God to help us begin to move forward once again in the recovery. At least Nan is holding her weight, she was 127 on monday morning, that is a good thing.

I'm blogging early tonight and hope to go to bed early for a change. We both really enjoy our sleep and with minor disruptions during the night we both get pretty good sleep, that is such a huge blessing and a big factor in nan's overall good health I think.

We are looking to the afternoon of the 27th or 28th for Nan's celebration as she turns a year of maturity. Which day would you prefer? Let us know.

Thanks for your wonderful love and support.


tim and nan

Monday, January 08, 2007

We are home together this evening

Dear Friends and Family,

Nan is doing better today, not nearly as sleepy, still some nausea but overall a good day with several accomplishments. Nan reminded me this morning that it was time for me to get up. She was right. I worked preparing things in the office first, did some conditions, in appraising conditions are the name applied any time a lender or underwriter wants something more after an appraisal has been emailed in. Perhaps they want something explained better, or disagree with something said or want better photos or anything that might come to their brilliant minds. Conditions are something all appraisers hate yet like taxes they are a part of doing business and so we do them cheerfully or at least try to. I had a little stack of them to deal with and did what I could before running out of time, had to hit the road, first to Stockton to do a review of someone elses appraisal and then up 99 to Sac and then 5 to Redding. Nan's investment of the GPS system for our cars really paid off. It guided me to each and every address I had to locate and there were 10 addresses spread over 10 miles of narrow streets and private drives. It never missed and found everyone of the addresses. Pretty amazing. That device sure hates it when you don't listen and go your own way, sort of like the Lord, a gentle voice says at the next corner turn left and then left again, meaning turn around fool and go the right way. The GPS keeps track of travel time, how long to arrive at the destination, how many miles to go, how fast you are going and which direction. Now that is a gift that keeps on giving, sweater from Jason and Jo, shoes from nikki and steve, yes Christmas was good to me today.

I asked Nan if she would help make some appointments for the rest of the week and she did a great job on them. That helps so much to have the people know we have not forgotten them, they like to hear when the appraiser is coming. Thank you Nan for your help. We talked several times today and that also helps to know things are OK. Loree was on standby in case Nan needed help, Terri the nurse came this morning, drew blood, brought the IV bandage up to speed and helped with the Eranasp shot. Before I left I changed the dressing.

Pam came this evening, helped out by bringing about a bushel of lemons, unloaded the dishwasher, rubbed Nans feet and was just very good company. She was here when I got home around 9 pm. She even built a fire which was burning brightly when I came in, that shocked me really. Now we are ready to head to bed. While not feeling great Nan has felt better than yesterday. We need to run the idea of using a bit of pretisone by one of our doctors but not sure which one to try. I'll write to Dr. Morgan in Boston in the morning re: this and to see if he has received the CD yet of the CT scan.

In comparison to today when I was out most of the day tomorrow I am only out for one appointment, a relocation appraisal in Tracy and then back to work in the office. We are deeply thankful to our Lord for continual orders and business activity. When I got home tonight there are two in the fax machine, always helps.

Steve and his beautiful puppy came to visit this morning. Melaboo is a black lab and is full of wiggles and licks, has soft fur and is just wonderful. Steve and Nikki are already well on the path of teaching her how to behave. What a precious puppy and today Starr was very polite to her but Lady misbehaved.

The leaking seems about the same with much less in the illiostomy bag. Still things are better with the gauze dressing instead of that awful bag. We take our blessings where we find them and cherish them to our heart.

I am thankful for a smiling Nan greeting me when I got home after driving 500 miles, for good friends that write encouraging comments on the blog or call and help the miles pass quickly. How I love our friends.

Soon Nan is going to have a birthday and we are working on an open house style party for her. Of course she does not want any gifts, hard to find places to put things, but she sure enjoys seeing her friends. I'll pass on more details as I know them. Pam is heading up the birthday committee and can use any help she can find. It will be toward the end of the month.

We are grateful this evening for a better day and for our circle of family and friends, every one is precious to us.


tim and nan

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sunday evening

Dear Friends and Family,

Its sunday evening and this has been a calm day. Nan has been able to rest a lot today. I have concentrated on getting work out. She got up about 10 or so and then headed back to rest at 2:30 or so this afternoon. She told me not to let her sleep too long. At 7 pm I went up and had a hard time waking her, at 8 I went back up and stayed with her until we came down stairs. She is very sleepy, we went up to 100 on her pain patch today and perhaps she is adjusting to the change. Right now she is in her recliner, has the TPN going and is trying to stay awake for a bit, I keep asking her if she is awake. We have the room warm and the new wood really heats great once you can get it started burning. I even bought kindling at Safeway this evening. And soup Nan likes and more mandarin oranges that Nan likes.

Tomorrow I'm going to go to Redding. Nan has a nurse coming in the morning and Pam has called and is coming in the afternoon so I think she is covered. Tomorrow Nan gets her first Eranas shot, someone said it is $4,800 per shot. We hope and pray that it will help her body make red cells and lift the hemoglobin. We have tried for several months to get it and finally we have it. Just hope it does not cause too much pain during the shot like Procrit did in the past years.

It is sort of difficult to get back into a normal work schedule after the holidays but there were so many good times connected. Great memories made. Our front room fake tree is still standing waiting for Keanna to come take down the decorations. Frosty still guards the front yard for a few hours each evening. And most of the Christmas food has been eated with some sweets still around and a big plate of dried fruit remains too.

Its fun to enter the garage as the wood smell is still here from the new shelves. And no more salt water leaking and leaching the concrete floor, Tom and John put a drain down the edge and so it drains outside now. Thanks for everything guys.

We enter the new week with hearts begging for relief from the nausea. We are considering the possibility that the pretisone in tiny doses once in awhile might give Nan some relief but we need to make sure that it does not get in the way of the Gleevec and Rapamune. For some reason Nan had no nausea in the hospital and that is the only thing we can think of that was different. The nausea is worse all the time and Nan has not been able to eat anything today to speak of. Her life needs some joy in it and some relief.

I'm going to be gone for hours tomorrow so it would be nice if you could call at some point. If Nan is sleepy go ahead and talk anyway, she can always go back to sleep again. I plan to call her often while I am driving. Tomorrow we hope to hear from the oncology office at UCSF too for an appointment.

So our life goes on, challenges, little victories, setbacks and opportunities to laugh, to cry, to hope and to face a new day. Over the past 24 hours there has been very little drainage of the black fluid in Nan's illistomy but some has found its way into the incision wound. We keep hoping that it will quit. We keep hoping.

So once again we ask, please pray that God will come close and help Nan again like He has so many times before.

Its not easy to keep up the courage when day after day Nan suffers so much. Thank you for your input and help.


tim and nan

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Calm evening

Hello from Nan and Tim,

Nan just went up to bed after sleeping in her chair for the last hour or so. We've been watching a Hallmark Special with Dick Van Dyke, always enjoyable. After hours the fire finally caught in the wood stove and as the evening passed the temp went up. I have managed to get new firewood and its all in place now so we'll stay warm for the next month or so. Good almond wood which really puts out the heat.

Nan got up about 10:30 but woke with nausea again like normal, the nausea free hours of the hospital were gone and we are back to normal. We have used the injectible nausea meds today but you would never know it. About 2:35 Nan went up for a nap and about 7 she came down again. We tried soup but she lost it immediately. Later she tried a popsickle, an orange, juice from the lemons Dana brought and was able to keep enough down to take her meds.

We decided this morning when we were changing the dressing that we should keep the illiostomy dumped whenever it gets any fluid in it. Well it has not gotten any fluid today at all. The wound had some drainage this evening but nothing like it used to be. Perhaps in time the body will heal and stop leaking altogether, we can only hope and pray for that. Nan has had considerable pain today in her lower tummy area, enough to wake her out of a sleep at times. We decided to increase the pain patch by adding a 25 mg but could not locate the patches. They are somewhere safe.

Tomorrow, sunday, I will be working a long day and hope my health holds up. I am feeling better this evening which is welcome. I have some things that must be completed by monday so Nan will be available for phone calls etc tomorrow since I will be working a lot. We were so blessed by Mary coming to visit this afternoon. When Mary comes she brings hope, happiness and a heart of love. We both love to see her. She brought oranges, grapefruit and some soup. We appreciate her help so much.

Well that is it this evening, as always we solicit your prayers in Nan's behalf. We are so close to her making giant strides to recovery if we could just not deal with the nausea and sick tummy. I am encouraging Nan to move around as much as she can to keep her strength up. I know it is no fun to move around when you feel so rough.

Sending our love,

Tim and Nan

Friday, January 05, 2007

Nan is home again

Dear Friends and Family,

Long day, feel lousy, got a speeding ticket, fell during the afternoon inspection, still feel lousy.

But the good news is, Nan had a good experience with her procedure, minimal back pain this time, minimal bleeding. I left home at 7 this morning but had almost no traffic for the entire trip, arrived at 8:45 but Nan was not able to leave until 10:30. We drove directly home and in a area near Brentwood where the speed limit has changed recently I was clocked at 54 and the limit was 40. Jerk did not care to hear that we were on our way home from the hospital and Nan was in pain, just took forever and suggested traffic school could help keep it off my record. Nan kept saying, be nice to me as I was not feeling nice at all. I've been ill for a couple days getting worse, probably running some fever but really could not change our plans so just slugged my way through them. Nan was glad to finally get home and settled into her recliner with the heating cover Nikki gave her for Christmas and I built a little fire to raise the room temp some. I worked in for a bit and then had to go to Stockton to see a house for a relo company, they have been putting me off for two weeks it turns out. My day was really made when I discovered the house was round, almost impossible to measure and when I got there the owner told me I was the third appraiser, that the first two could not agree on the living area of the home, were 150 feet different in living area so I was hired at a rate of $500 to solve the difference. In the process of measuring I found myself start to slide and slip and the next thing I knew I was flat on my back in some mint bushes. Nothing broken, just a bit jarred and I smelled like mint the rest of the afternoon. Finally I could head home and was very glad to do so. Found Nan still in the chair so we just relaxed together for the rest of the evening. I had brought some fire wood home from Safeway but it does not want to burn, I think it is wet, our course to go with the day the box broke when I picked it up and wood spilled all over the floor, they gave me $4.00 off for the broken box.

So I'm heading to bed with a head that feels solid from side to side, ears hurt, throat hurts and I feel lousy in general. Tomorrow our normal rest day will take on new meaning, I really plan to rest, listen to music, try to temp Nan with some food, she had several nice meals in the hospital. I'm sorry to say I see no difference in the amount of leaking in the wound tonight. They were quite terrible at the hospital at dressing changing, Nan and I do it much better, 6 months of experience helps a lot.

We sat out 4 boxes of very good quality clothes for a charity that was picking up today but of course they didn't come and so the boxes are back in the front room to wait for another day or another charity.

Some days go better than others and I'd like to forget this one but I rejoice that Nan could come home, is feeling pretty good, that the medicine we have been begging for for the last 3 months to help build Nan's blood and possibly to ward off so many transfusions, that precious little vial came in our medical supplies today from Crescent. That is wonderful news, finally insurance company, pharmacy, doctors got it together and came through with the drug. Terri will give it to Nan on monday. Over the last 24 hours Nan has felt pretty good which is wonderful to see. I know she felt every bump in the road coming home today but she toughs it out and does not complain.

Please keep Nan's leaking in your prayers. It is still happening, not at the levels of a month ago but it is still there. I beg God to heal this up as He has healed many things before over the past year.

If you have special prayer requests please respond to the blog with them and we can all join together in talking to Jesus about them. I know of many people who are wrestling with huge medical issues right now and my heart goes to them.

I'd like to report that several lenders have paid on their accounts and we are now able to almost be up to date on at least some of our tax issues, the most critical ones. Loree reported a large amount was recently donated to recovery fund, this will come in handy very shortly when our new years deductibles come out, We thank you for your help, words do not begin to convey how much better I sleep knowing that some of the financial chasms are not so deep now. I want to especially thank Dona Want for sending a Safeway card to assist with groceries. Since our safeway is right down the street and I do the shopping I know how helpful that card is in our daily lives. Thanks so much. We are also grateful that over the last couple months work orders have continued to come in. Perspective is this, in 2003 we prepared nearly 3,000 reports and last year we prepared about 775 reports. That tells you how much things have changed and why we no longer have a thriving company of 8 people working together. Summer decided to have a baby and liked it so much she never appraised again, Kevin became an important manager over at E-loan, Ron is retiring to enjoy life, Jean is helping a lot with writing for me, Heather is busy with her boys but helps when she can and Steve and I work hard traveling all over the place to stay busy and generate income. It looks like I will need to head to Redding on monday for a very good client who is in a jam, now that is a long trip for one appraisal but she has been our faithful client for many many years. Nan has decided to allow her license to expire, it costs hundreds of dollars for the classes and then hundreds more for the license itself and she has not practiced at appraising for several years. It is a hard decision but probably a wise one in light of her recovering status.

Even on hard days there are bright moments. Driving in this morning early I enjoyed the beautiful clear morning over San Francisco, the wind had blown all the junk away and the air was fresh and clear, the bay was beautiful. And seeing Nan's glowing face when I got there was the best sight of the day. Her blue eyes are something to enjoy!

Well, enough for now, we are sending our thanks for your special prayers for Nan's surgery. They did what they sat out to do, now we wait to see if the black fluid will diminish and eventually quit.

We send our love and appreciation for yours,

tim and nan