Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Friday, November 30, 2007

A big family day for Nan

Dear Friends and Family,
Its 9:45, the house is quiet, Pam is with Nan now trying to help her be more comfortable. Marilyn is playing a game on the laptop and Sharon and Dana are still on Texas time and fast asleep.
Jan, Nan's niece arrives tomorrow from Denver at 10 in Sacramento. Dana will drive there to pick her up. We will appreciate having her with us. She is someone that Nan loves dearly and the last time she was here we took her to the Wine Train in Napa for her birthday, what a great day we had that time.
Nikki and Keanna visited a couple times today and while Keanna was creating magic with colors and pens Nikki got to spend time with her mom. We have all taken turns sitting next to her holding her hand, rubbing her leg, putting her sheet back on, trying to keep her mouth from being too dry, helping her back up into a better position in the bed. Terry and Marilyn worked on the dressing over the bleeding spot and while there is some seepage in general it is doing better. Marilyn has become an expert in dressing changes and she does them with so much tenderness, it is amazing to watch. Nan's condition appears to be about the same as it has been over the past 4 days or so. She is often aware of the person next to her, sudden sounds startle her. Last night I heard her say help and so I jumped out of the chair and came over to her bedside where I found that she had lost her sheet, had slipped down in the bed and her feet were hanging over the end of the bed about a foot or so. She was cold and miserable so I cared for her and got her comfortable again.
The love expressed in our home for Nan today has been powerful and amazing to observe. We have all taken our turns at crying at the unfairness of what has happened to Nan. You can't sit next to her and see her in this state without your heart just breaking. This vibrant woman has been reduced to depending on us for everything. This is not her idea of living the good life let me tell you. She loves to be in charge, not be pampered over.
We have gained a lot of strength this week from the various messages to the blog and are always amazed at the diversity of friends, fellow GISTers, family and fellow Tracy SDA church members. We love hearing from you all.
This afternoon when I drove into the driveway I discovered a little lexus sportscar and I knew it was George and Yvonne. The visited with nan for awhile and had prayer with us all before they left. What precious friends and they got to enjoy the warmth from the heater George had brought us yesterday. We have all been enjoying the huge bananas and muffins George also brought yesterday. The chocolate chip ones are sinful but oh so good, I heard they were ideal for diabetics.
I ran out and did a local appraisal which only took about 20 minutes this afternoon. It was COD and a very nice property, then back home. Checks came in the mail today so some bills can be covered, very nice and we are thankful to God for the money.
Once again I ask that you continue to pray for Nan. We hardly know how to pray but I content myself with asking God to handle everything according to His timing. Nan is very comfortable with God's leading, she has said so many times and one of the last verbal comments was to ask if we could pray together which we of course did.
We hope you are enjoying your weekend and have a beautiful Sabbath or Sunday with ample worship opportunities.
Nan and Tim and Marilyn and Dana and Sharon

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sharon and Dana arrive to be with Nan

Dear Family and Friends,
It is 8:45, I've just been to the store for batteries for the pumps that provide TPN and pain control to Nan. For the first time this evenings shipment was not complete. 4 days of TPN and no batteries at all. So for the first time I purchased batteries and also milk and orange juice for our guests.
Nan had a decent night with labored breathing part of the time. She needed to blow her nose but could not handle the tissues so I held and she managed to find the strength to blow, felt good to see her manage it. We had a quiet morning and took several calls from family and friends, some business affairs and then George Miller called to say he was on his way to see us. We were touched by his coming out. He and Yvonne have been stanch supports of Nan's battles and victories over the years. They were with us in the waiting room during the first 4 surgeries and I can tell you, they are the greatest people to have around. I mentioned to George if we could borrow a space heater and he arrives with a brand new one in a box. It really does the job and has lifted the intense chill all day, thanks so much George. George held Nan's hand and prayed with us before he left, what a tower of strength and faith and what a joy to have his visit. For those of you who have George and Yvonne as friends you know how lucky you are and for those of you who don't know them I hope you have friends in your lives just like them. Great travelers, we've been through Petra, Jordan and Israel with them and there are no better fellow travelers than these two. I remember a Sabbath morning walking the wall of Jerusalem and getting fresh squeezed orange juice for someone, George and I did this together. You don't forget experiences like that.
Sharon and Dana hooked up in Houston and flew here together arriving in Oakland early. Mary picked them up and before we expected them they were here. Both went to Nan directly and spent some tough sorrowful moments there hold her hands and letting her know they had arrived, that they loved her and that they were so glad to see her. There is a lot of powerful love in this family and we have seen it over and over again the past few days. Nothing will ever take the sting out of what is happening to Nan but the grief shared between the family and friends reminds one of the heaven to come where strife and bitterness are gone and caring people reaching out to each other is the norm. Marilyn has continued to keep a careful watch over Nan and has found only a small amount of bleeding today, a much better report that a couple days ago. Tomorrow morning Terry will take blood cultures, at this point I'm not exactly sure it will make a difference but it has been ordered and we will see it through.
Both Jason and Nikki have been in touch today keeping tabs on mom's condition. My brother Jerry has also checked in as well as Pam, Irene and others.
Nan has moments of semi alertness in which she seems to know who is holding her hand, she shakes her head yes when we mention Adavan as that lets her sleep calmly with less effort. We try to keep her head fairly straight on the pillow and her upper body somewhat elevated, helps clear her lungs as she has trouble coughing up stuff. Nan is continuing the battle for life in the same manner as she has lived the rest of her life, calmly, stubborn and determined and you can't help but be impressed deeply by her love for life.
We hope and pray for a peaceful night and for God to keep His vigil over her. God only knows the immediate future and we have decided to trust that He knows best. Did He cause this? No way but He is never far away in helping all get through the experience.
I have been comforted by the many thoughtful words written to the blog. It seems you who write in know just what to say to help and I print the messages out so all can read and be blessed by the messages. Thank you friends and family for staying tuned through this impossible time, today I've been scanning through some of the pictures the kids found when they were here. I'm reminded again what a lovely woman I married as I look at photos from our young years, Nan was 19 when we married, our years of parenthood with nan's changing hair colors and outfits, our more recent years of travel and grand parenthood and photos of Nan as she struggled with the after effects of surgeries and recovery. She is beautiful in every photo, a class act, a real woman who evolved into a stronger and even more amazing woman as she aged. Why we have to experience the curtain call half way through the play I don't understand but I do know the years, 36 and 1/2 have been amazing and profound. Life was seldom dull with Nan around, she shopping to do, trips to plan, kids to shop for, friends to lunch with, travel plans for others to secure and some more shopping. She drove fast, stopped hard, could shop for what seemed like 5 mile walks and would come back for more. She slept well, was always on the phone to someone, had favorite TV shows you did not mess with and extreme loyalty to her family and friends. No one messed with people she loved! Nan never has known about the gray areas, those areas between right and wrong. She looked at the situation, decided quickly what was right and that was that, no discussion was required and no amount of argument could make black white. She was a ruthless teacher of appraisers, demanded excellence and hard work, would not settle for anything sloppy and did not really care what anyone thought of her if it was a matter of principle. She was a quiet leader who did not live by consensus but by principle all the time. So I stand in awe of having her as my own for all these years, I have loved the experience of standing before thousands and blending our voices together singing duets, of singing in Carnegie Hall, St Stephens, Notre Dame, Dorothy Chandler in LA where they film the Oscars, we have done it all it seems.
So tonight as nan sleeps somewhat peacefully in her little hospital bed my heart is with her completely. God has blessed us richly in so many ways and tonight I love His special lady, Nan.

Thank you for your care, prayer and warmth.


Nan and Tim and Marilyn and Sharon and Dana

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Brief update

Terry was just here, yes she makes night calls. She worked on the bleeding wound and says it has almost healed over with a scab sort of growth, wonderful news and I just had to share it.

good night

tim and nan and marilyn

Calm restful day for Nan

Dear Ones,

Its 8 pm this evening and the house is quiet. Marilyn is reading under dimmed lights and even the dogs have settled down. But earlier today love was in the air as our children came to spend time with their mother. Jason and Jo drove up this morning with Timothy. Minutes later Nan made her largest response of the morning as she reached out to touch Timothy as Jason held him close. It was a huge effort on her part and just expresses her intense love for Timothy and Keanna. Jason and Timothy just sat beside Nan for awhile and gradually Nan fell back asleep again.

Nan had a good night. I was up a few times with my little flashlight, I would gently pull back the flannel sheet over Nan and then peer closely to see if her blood was still oozing through the gauze pads or not. I found the flow to be slower during the night and this morning Marilyn replaced the pads which were saturated with nan's blood. Terry is coming yet this evening to add more layers of the jell material to try to stanch the leaking.

Pam came to visit late last evening, like being here with Nan so much that she curled up on the loveseat with a blanket and slept the night. It was good to see her finally get some much needed rest. She had a hard time leaving Nan this morning, kept coming back for one more glance, what love and devotion to her friend.

Jason called this morning to confirm he and his family were on the way. He had been making some arrangements on the phone which helped a lot. Early this afternoon Nikki and Keanna surprised us all with a visit and they were able to stay quite a while with Mom, we all got stickers on our hands including Grammy. Mid afternoon Mary arrived bearing some very excellent pizzas and they were a huge hit assisting all of us with our winter diets, well there were vegetables on the pizza you know. So good and so huge. Mary must have purchased the giant versions. Good stuff.

All the while Nan slept and then would wake up, she has trouble getting a cough out and has to work it for awhile before she can actually cough. Sipping water is somewhat iffy and today any form of talking was pretty much out of the question. However she communicated with her expressive eyes and eye brows, her facial expressions and her body language. We usually knew what she was trying to say. Then after awhile she would tire and go back to sleep again.

This evening everyone has gone except Marilyn and me with Terry set to arrive later to work on the wound a bit. We just watched a bit of a Shrek Christmas Special that was so clever, brought a smile to our faces. Which reminds me, earlier in the day when Mary was about to leave she was talking to mom and got her to smile for a second or two, very precious.

I am pretty well staying close right now. I turned down an appraisal I was to do in Cloverdale, just too far to be away from Mom at this important time. Somehow God will find the money we need, just got to do the right thing right now for Nan.

I was able to tell Nan the great news, both Sharon and Dana are flying here tomorrow to arrive at about 2:30 or so in the Oakland Airport. Mary has been kind enough to offer to meet them and bring them home. Nan seemed to understand that they were coming to see her and she seemed pleased, very pleased.

It seems very hard for Nan to do more than basic things right now, coughing is tough, sipping water is tough, she can pull her knees up and then lay them back out straight, she moves about on her pillow. When she sleeps her eyes never really close completely but sometimes when she is awake she can open her eyes very wide but not often.

I want to take a moment to express our appreciation for the many kind comments to the blog today. I have printed them off so all here can read them but they warm my heart. I appreciate the verses of scripture that leap off the page and into my heart, I appreciate hearing from the LRG group and from the people Nikki works with, from classmates of highschool, from fellow GISTers, from fellow choir members and of course from america's poet, Wes.

We are all in this process called living our lives, nan and and the kids have been touched with wonderful opportunities to travel, to perform musically, to lead out in spiritual events and worship services. We have lived a very full and enjoyable life and in spite of the fact that it looks like our enjoyable life is being curtailed we remain very blessed. Nan has expressed no bitterness, ranker, negative attitudes in spite of these 11 less than ideal years. She wants to be able to play with the little ones, she misses that, we wants to see them grow up into youth and then adulthood, she wants what any grandparent wants yet she is not bitter that for her it is not going to play out.

Nan is disappointed in her loses but has not lost her faith in the salvation Jesus provides. When she reaches her hand out and asks that we pray it is confirmation that her faith is there in Jesus.

So now we wait and enjoy every waking moment she has, every attempt at conversation, we treasure our memories, we long for a better day with no suffering, no cancer, no separation.

I thank God tonight first for the salvation that has purchased as such a high price for both nan and myself, I'm thankful for precious children with their heads on straight, who are helpful in so many ways, especially today. I'm grateful for Nan's family who have taught me so much about caring, for their dedication to her struggle and to her life. For the many friends, real friends, deep friends I am thankful, for caring business friends like Tom, Alice, Judy, Bob, Ken and others I am thankful and especially for my personal assistants, Loree and Jean, how could I function without you both.

Many of you have had a huge part in our survival over these past 16 months through the recovery fund. I have no idea where we would be without what you have done but I know we have a roof over our head, fuel in the tanks, drinking water, a full frig and freezer and we are grateful.

Nan has inspired many to look past their petty problems, to hold onto the big picture and to keep fighting for life. I know of noone like Nan in the whole world, I am proud of her, awed by her and totally in love with her this evening once again. What a great privilege I have had to be by her side these past 36 + years. What a lady!

I simply ask that you remember Nan in your prayers, prayers for peace, for a stop to the bleeding and for His divine will to be done in her life, that His timing will be our timing

We thank you for your touch on our lives


Nan and Tim and Marilyn
The photo shows Jo holding Timothy out to see Grammy, shortly after this photo was taken Grammy reached out and held Timothy's arms in her hands. It was a beautiful moment.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Friends gather to help Nan

Dear Family and Friends,
Nan is snoring gently as I write. Let me tell you she deserves her rest tonight, what a day she has had. After finding the large amount of bleeding last night I spent the night sleeping lightly and checking to see if there was new drainage. During the night Marilyn's excellent packing held pretty darn well but this morning Marilyn discovered some ongoing drainage. Sylvia called to say she was coming to visit and help and I asked her if she could help fund the jell stuff which is created especially to stop bleeding, Steve was kind enough to run to the hospital between patients and snagged some of it. So Sylvia arrived with the needed material. Terry however was busy doing work on picc lines and was not able to come until this afternoon. Together they unpacked the site and found massive bleeding and a hole oozing blood that was about as big as a half dollar. It was much larger than what we had seen last night. Terry did her best to stanch the bleeding, repacked carefully and they began to change her gown, change the linen and clean her up. Suddenly a new line of blood appeared across her belly, I nearly fainted, I was so disappointed. Then they discovered the colostomy had failed and was spilling its stinky fluid. Terry does not think it is blood, rather just normal bowel stuff. So they worked hard and got her cleaned up again. All of this was very trying and at one point Terry thought nan might be dying as they worked. However she was very much still alive.
After getting her settled Nan was awake briefly and then fell fast asleep. She has rested most of the time since then. When she does awake her voice is very quiet and she is so so tired.
Late this afternoon I reached Critical Care Home Health to discover that Nan's white count has gone crazy, its up from 13 to 26. I asked them for immediate antibiotics and they called the doctor. However we are not be allowed any antibiotics until next Sunday at the earliest. 72 hours after this morning's last antibiotic Terry will take blood cultures, then two days later if something grows out, only then will new antibiotics be granted. I guess you can tell how bewildered I am with this strange behavior. If we were in the hospital she would be getting three different kinds of antibiotics every day and in a few days the infection would be controlled. Not this time. Our only option is to call 911 and have her transported in a bumpy ambulance to the ER where hours later she will be admitted to a room and then we will face the same doctors we have now. So we are pretty well stuck. Nan has a raging infection which is not being treated. There is a general consensus that mom has a very short time to live. Her breathing is more labored but her vitals are holding strong.
The house has been humming with activity today, Connie has been cleaning, Art doing special projects like removing the battery backup for the office computers and setting up the snow globe Nan and I bought after Christmas last year. Of course it was broken so he had to fix it too but hours later it is blowing snow as cute as can be. Sylvia has been organizing medical supplies from all over the house to great effect. Marilyn has been keeping watch over Nan and Ive been on the phone, trying to do some business, more on the phone time.
So this evening we are finally sitting and relaxing. Pam is on her way from Stockton to visit for a bit and I need to take some pills for a change.
Tonight we pray for Jesus to hold Nan's bleeding in check, for God to do what we can't do, that is control the infection and mostly for nan to have peace in her heart.
What a comfort it has been today to have these precious dedicated friends with us. They have helped in amazing ways today and really helped Nan a lot. I am so grateful for their help. Terry has been a very big help to us and continues to be the person we turn to most for medical issues.
We are all disappointed in the doctors decision today but short of calling 911 we are stuck with it.
Thank you for the 12 messages to the blog today. I have read every one and reread them again and again, soaking in their words and emotions.
So we send our love,

tim and nan and marilyn and pam

Monday, November 26, 2007

This is so sad,

Dear Family and Friends,
How can I begin to convey this day to you for Nan. We slept soundly from 4:30 to 8:30 this morning and when I heard Nan move then I climbed out from under my blanket. We took pills. She was somewhat alert but had been having some mental wanderings during the night. Nan is very low, her chest moves rapidly with short breathing, her eyes look different. Word came from two sources that the latest, last Wednesday, blood cultures grew nothing indicating no infection. Yet Nan's behavior is the same as when she has had blood infection several times over the past few months.
Terry came this afternoon and drew blood for our weekly normal assessment. Her reading of nan's condition was pretty grim, indicating that we could lose Nan at any time now. Early this evening I was rubbing Nan's knee and decided to change the fistula bandage, as I began to open it up I found it was full of blood, a small abrasion at the upper end of the incision wound that has healed and located right next to the tumor had opened up into a bleeding area. When I took off the bandages the blood flowed freely. Marilyn came and repacked the entire area with gauze, layer and layer and then covered it with abd pad and taped it in place. That was several hours ago and we have been watching it to see if the blood flow has been curtailed. We are getting a little bit of leakage below the bandage and we are not sure whether the bleeding has mostly stopped or not. So we have been waffling, do we call 911 and have her transported to the hospital or not. So far I've not been willing to begin that process which will be brutal to her as she is shuffled from bed to bed and waits for hours for care. However if the flow continues we may still have to call 911 and go through the process. Marilyn just came in to tell me that the wound is continuing to ooze blood and the flow has not been stopped. How I wish it would stop bleeding, Nan has had a tough impossible day already and I'm not sure what to do. I also know how confusing Nan's condition is to those in the ER where they try to solve everything which in Nan's case they can't do. We do not feel we can just take her in the car because she cannot stand up anymore and moving her under these conditions would be very dangerous to her and foolish.
Nikki and Keanna came this evening to visit Nan and it was so precious to see Nikki helping her mom sip water and just being with her.
I have talked to the family about Nan's current condition and now the bleeding just compounds our concerns more. One unfortunate thing is that if we use 911 they will only transport her to the nearest hospital which in this case is Antioch, our least favorite place for care. Some things are not really up to us though.
Now its hours later. We have talked to the doctor and we are trying to just control the bleeding as much as possible tonight and at 8 am Terry, our nurse, will call the doctor to get some special medical glue that can patch up leaking spots like Nan has. However we now have a grave new concern. When we emptied the colostomy bag a few minutes ago both Marilyn and I are pretty sure that what we saw as we emptied the beeker into the toilet was blood, large amounts of it. I had thought that was what I saw the other day when I emptied the colostomy. We could easily be wrong. Todays blood work becomes even more important as I would not be surprised to see a huge drop in the hemoglobin due to this blood loss and the possible blood loss in the colostomy. I would not be surprised at all if Nan is in the hospital by tomorrow at some point. In many ways she is in God's hands. I will get up every couple hours tonight to check to see how much blood is seeping out. We can only hope and pray that she does not lose too much tonight. Nan is in severe danger from several fronts right now but she is not aware of the blood that is leaking out tonight.
Pam has been here for several hours and just left. She held Nan's hand, rubbed her feet and let her know of her love once again. Pam has been a loyal and caring friend for many years and her visit tonight in spite of a very full day today and an even fuller schedule tomorrow is vintage Pam. I had planned to travel for several hours to do an appraisal tomorrow. I am now going to have to reschedule as I don't dare be out of town with Nan is this condition.
Nan was very lucid this evening with Nikki, Pam and Marilyn and I but you could see a look of concern in her precious eyes.
The title of tonights blog is words that Nikki spoke as we walked out to her car this evening and they really sum it all up. Why Nan should be struck with this horrid disease is beyond understanding. It is so sad indeed.
I know that many of you have experienced times like this in your lives, the suffering of a precious loved one, the grief at not being able to help or restore, the terrible weight of defeat.
I want to pay tribute to our children, Jason and Nikki who have given us nothing but joy, have been totally loyal to their mom and have demonstrated real genuine love to us both. I thank God for their love, their stability, their thoughtfulness over and over again. I'm thankful that God granted us the honor of having such outstanding people as our children.
You can tell our hearts are breaking tonight, Mom is getting hit so hard from so many different directions right now and its almost impossible to stand.
Please pray when you read this, pray that God will do what is right for Nan, we know He can do miracles and we know He knows what is best. I seek His arms of love around her holding her close.
Its hard to let you go tonight, you are so precious to us all.

nan and marilyn and tim

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Nan's condition is worsening

Dear Family and Friends,
As I write this evening it is with a very heavy heart. I've not seen Nan this ill since she was in intensive care in Boston. To me as a lay person it does not appear that the antibiotic that has been given to us to administer is adequate to combat the infection in her blood stream and body. We went to bed late last night, about 12:30 and she was only up a couple times during the night seeking my help, one time was to help her find her flashlight, another find her water bottle. She was fever free during the night while the house temp plummeted to 61. Dana decided late last evening that she would try to go home today if there was room and there was. So around 7 this morning Dana came down and I heard she and nan talking quite a bit and the conversation went well, lucid and understanding. We left at 8 for the airport and only later did I realize that for the first time in a very long time I had left my phone at home. I never leave Nan's side without the phone connection being secure. I dropped Dana off at 9 and she managed to get on the flight and it was direct to Houston. She called mid afternoon to say she was home and getting a taxi. So that part of the day went well.
When I came back to the house Nan was ready to move to the recliner. She was very weak when trying to stand up between bed and wheel chair but we managed fine and placed her carefully in the recliner where she snuggled in. The room was now 63 degrees. I located the little space heater and ran it until we were up to 65. Nan settled into a deep troubled sleep and Marilyn was not able to get her to take her pills at 8 like usual. So around 10 we tried again but Nan could not focus on the task at hand of picking up the pills and putting them into her mouth. We tried everything to encourage her but to no avail. Finally Marilyn placed one pill at a time in her mouth and she swallowed just fine. Nan has been extremely low today, she hardly speaks, she hardly opens her eyes and she is breathing more rapidly than normal. It was the morning for the antibiotic so we pushed that in, gave her a tiny dose of adavan and she has slept nearly all the day waking only for a few minutes to look about somewhat confused. It appears clear to marilyn and me that the infection is not being treated adequately. It is true she has had only very low grade fevers for the past few days but Nan is in very serious trouble.
As I have worked today my heart was sitting next to her in the family room and every few minutes I would rise and just go stand by her chair, stroking her knee or speaking quietly to her, smiling and letting her know how much she is loved by the whole world it seems, certainly by her family and friends. I have visited hospitals often over the years when I was in ministry and I'm not very comfortable with what I am seeing right now in my dear Nan.
Terry will come at 7:30 tomorrow to draw blood. We hope to hear from someone with results of the blood culture taken last Wednesday and I plan to call our friend, Peter Benstock, who is an infectious disease doctor to see if he can make some recommendations.
If there was ever a time when Nan needs our prayers it is now. This has been a dismal dreary day. On a less important front our financial fortunes are worsening. Although I continue to put numbers on the books the payments coming to us are few and far between. Our accounting system has developed bugs and won't let us send our normal statements out and today our back up battery system for the computers is beeping and blinking suggesting yet another problem at hand.
I have lived my life up to this point with the motto, when the going gets tough the tough get going yet I am discovering a level of discouragement and depression over Nan's condition that permeates everything. For the first time in a very long time I am doubting every move I make for good reason, they seem to not work out well.
yes, you have noticed that by now this is not an up blog tonight. I feel the weight of the world, Nan's condition, our financial challenges, my 75 lbs of extra weight..... I feel it all.
I know a lot of things and I know how to battle back from problems but at this moment I seem to have forgotten how to reach down inside and find the will to fight again.
If you know someone who is willing to make an unsecured loan to help keep us afloat let them know our number. Nan and I are both covered by small life insurance policies but they are not the kind you can borrow against. I have even considered cashing in the only retirement account we have but that seems very short sighted and the penalties would be nasty for taking it out early.
Can I ask you to pray using your power prayers, seeking God's help for Nan. She so needs divine help right now. Yes we also need God's help with other matters but they are secondary to Nan's battle for her life.
I want to thank each one of you who wrote to the blog today. Be assured I read every word over and over again seeking faith and strength from your messages.

We send our love to each of you, thanking you for your prayers and concern.


tim and nan and marilyn
ps Thank you Lord for giving Dana a direct flight home today, to her family and to her own bed to recover. Thank you Lord for making her so tender hearted, so caring, so generous, so thoughtful, so talented.
Thank you Lord for bringing Marilyn back to us safely through the night, thank you for her tender care, her gentle words, her thoughtful suggestions, her arms of love for Nan. These two are good gifts from God and we treasure them both more than words can say.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A day of rest for Nan

Dear Family and Friends,
How I enjoyed reading the various comments emailed to the blog today. I was touched by every one and to each of you, thanks for caring enough to write. nan will get to read them in the morning.
Nan and I have been together, joined at the hip almost all day today. Dana has created tasty food including biscuits and gravy with fried eggs for breakfast, warmed left overs that were great for lunch. Dana has managed to find a very sore back today so has slept on a heating pad from time to time in our bed upstairs. Marilyn is on her way back from visiting Barb and Gerry up in Sacramento area. Nan is sipping warm water and is considering moving back to her bed for the night. I'm about to set up her TPN for the night. She has slept a lot today but has gotten to talk on the phone to Sharon and Aunt Ann, Art and just now to Marilyn who is on her way back.
We enjoyed attending Loma Linda worship service today via the dish Donna provided for us. The music, encouraging preaching and beautiful pictures really help set a tone for the day. We've had very little in the way of fevers today for Nan but she has had many short sessions of stomach upset. She is a brave lady but is so weak and tired these days.
Dana has decided to return home tomorrow morning so we leave here about 8 am to drive to Oakland where she will hope to fly non stop directly to Houston. I say hope because she is a non revenue flyer and has to go everywhere standby. She was amazed to discover that the flights had room left for the trip home. We will miss her so much, she has been a great help to our family and especially to Nan who loves and adores Dana. Watching the two of them reminds me of what a great idea God had when He created families.
Another day without any income, we have passed the crucial place and are now courting disaster once again financially. Yes there is plenty of money on the books but first the client has to actually mail a check in. Please Lord, touch hearts of those who owe, please help us in your own special way.
We have had much rest today. Yet I sense tonight will be a short night. Thank you again for your wonderful messages to the blog today. Each message takes us on a different journey mentally to times we have spent with that person, good times. This friendship stuff is great, really provides a wonderful encouraging lift when one tends to be down or heavy laden.
So we send our love to each and every one of you,

tim and nan and dana and marilyn

Friday, November 23, 2007

Post 646 Nan is weak, very tired but is holding on

Dear Family and Friends,
This evening we have Keanna visiting but we've hardly seen her. Dana too her after dinner for a shower and then a Princess movie before bedtime. Have not heard from either of them since. Nan has had a rough day with very low energy, relatively no fevers for the past 24 hours, many times of throwing up, sometimes mentally clear and sometimes not so clear. The wound care lady came today and replaced one of the perk u stays. We discovered a backed up bag last night and a very wet bed with fluids coming right through the skin by the tube instead of down the tube. At 2 am this morning when I discovered it I found and installed a new bag which drained perfectly and instantly. I put on a new gown and a thick towel under her to cover the wet spot. We woke at 7 and I gave her the next antibiotic in the series. Her vitals continue to be good but she is very weak and discouraged.
Pam came this morning to visit and encountered two detours, one at Tracy Blvd due to an injury accident on the levee road and then a second one since work is being done to a new overpass on Byron Highway. A 1 hour trip took 2 hours to complete. It was so good to see her again and she sat with nan for awhile just to be near. She arrived at the same time as the wound care nurse. After that Nan slept for awhile before we could coax her out of the bed so Dana could wash the sheets and get the bed all nice for her again.
Mary came this afternoon but Nan was mostly asleep during her visit. I've tried to do some work today but did not get as much done as I expected at all. We all really are touched when someone takes time from their family and busy schedules to come and sit with Nan. I know many of you simply cannot do that ever due to distance or your own intense schedules but we appreciate those that can come and have come to visit whether in Boston, SF, Concord, Antioch or our home.
One year ago we were making trips to UCSF in an attempt to solve the fistula. nan had several surgeries to occlude ureters, replace nephrostomies etc. Unfortunately the fistula continues to drain. This evening Marilyn called me over to look at the fistula. Deep in Nan's belly there is an area of soft pink tissue and at the side of the bottom of a little valley a small hole opens and if you push gently on the surface of nan's tummy you can see fluid being pushed into the opening. It is clean, does not look infected and no longer has the really strong aroma that it did for a few days. It has been changed three times today, I changed it at 7 this morning, then the wound care nurse did it again and Marilyn had to change it tonight because the wound nurse does not realize where it leaks out and had failed to do a tight job. She brings supplies we need and we are very grateful to her for her help.
We had thought that the lab might report something growing from the Tuesday morning blood cultures but we heard nothing today. We are continuing to administer the antibiotic every 48 hours as instructed but Nan gives every sign that she still has some effects from the blood infection. It took several days for her head to clear in the hospital last time and its been a week now since we started antibiotics so we hope to see improvements soon.
AT this point at 10:50 she is resting but not yet in a deep sleep. She wakes sometimes during the night and is confused, can't locate her water bottle or flashlight so calls to me and I climb out from my warm blanket into the very cool room to help her. Last night it was about 4 times during the night and we helped her back to sleep each time.
This evening she got to talk to Sharon and Aunt Ann, both of whom she dearly loves. Aunt Ann and Uncle Jim are visiting Sharon in the valley having driven there this week. I was so glad Nan happened to be awake and alert enough to talk to them.
Marilyn is taking a R&R trip to see Barb and Gerry tomorrow in Lincoln and can recharge her emotional batteries a bit. Dana and I will be with nan and you all are welcome too, Dana even has some pieces of pie left for you.
A bit of philosophy, I have found that as a caregiver I adjust to new realities. A year and a half ago I was being introduced to TPN and was learning how to prepare the bag each evening. I thought it would only be for a short time and it seemed just unbelievably complicated, now it is the accepted norm. A year ago Nan was walking to the car to go places only using the wheel chair for longer distances. Now she cannot stand on her own, I hold her in my arms, close to my chest and simply will not let her fall. I have to ask her to stand up and she can for moments and then turns and sits down again. That is the new reality. A year ago she was eating food several times a day but then the blockage set in, we eventually got the pump and now our new reality is Nan never eats a bit of food, not for months. She only drinks water and does that a lot to help keep hydrated. 3 years ago Nan was buying groceries, flying places by herself and was in charge of Nan in every way, now she has to ask us to do everything, that reality is very hard for her to accept. She has never wanted to depend on anyone for anything. It has been over 2 years since Nan has been able to be in a shower and 3 years since she has been able to sit in the hot tub and relax. Nan has adjusted to all these loses without complaint but I know it has taken its toll on the person she wants to be. What a precious dedicated lady to stay the course in spite of her current reality.
Oh that God would hear our pleas, give her strength again, give her peace and comfort.
We are thankful that the Sabbath has come, for us now it means nan does not have to share me with appraisal work for a day, that we can be together much more than on other days.
How is your reality today? Are there things you want to accomplish now while you can walk, talk, work, play? How much are you prepared to lose before you want to cash it in? What kind of life are you living? Survival, mountain climbing, mud wrestling, running in place, sleep walking, retreating? Nan has lost the many opportunities she cherished but you have not, are there dreams that need pursuing? Relationships that need mending? Behaviours that disappoint you but you can't move on?
We thank you for being a part of our lives and I'm amazed at I keep discovering more and more people that say, they read the blog every morning faithfully. You may not be able to do anything to help Nan. Even Dana, Marilyn and myself feel very helpless as we watch Nan weaken and there is nothing more we can do. We do a great job of covering the basics for her but we can't reach inside and solve what is making her weaker and weaker now. There may be nothing you can do to help Nan but God might be placing someone or something in your path where you can be of great help. Will you step up to the plate, take the pitch and knock it out of the park or will you just stand and strike out? I encourage you to stretch yourself.
Just now Nan called to me and I've spent the last few minutes with her. In the quiet of the late evening with pale light she asked for Adavan and asked if she had taken her pills today. I assured her she had taken everything she needed, including hydration, antibiotic, pills, drinking water etc. She told me she was warm enough in spite of the room being in the mid 60s and heading cooler during the night, she only has a flannel sheet covering her. She has her little throw up bucket and in it she has her precious blue flashlight Dana bought for her, her bottle of spring water with the light weight bottle and her tissues, her remotes for the room lights and to control her bed. During the night she will lose the cap to the water bottle, take the batteries out of the flashlight perhaps and turn the room lights on with the remote or non of the before mentioned things. All depends.
We send our love tonight and really appreciate hearing from all of you that responded to the blog, nice to hear from Troy and Aunt Ann too. Imagine, responding to the blog using your cell phone, what next!

tim and nan and marilyn and dana and our little princess keanna

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Dear Family and Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving, we hope your day was filled with meaning, joy and appreciation along with some very tasty food.

Dana started yesterday to get ready for noon today. She started again this morning at 6 am and at 12:30 today the meal was on the table. Keanna helped set the table, fold the napkins, place the cups. Steve and Nikki were here briefly and after Steve saw the turkey he decided they could eat a quick bite. So we had Nikki, Keanna, Steve, Jason, Jo, Timothy, Dana, Marilyn, Clayton and me at the table. We had to create a side table there was so much food. Dana had me take a pie next door and we enjoyed the cheesecake they brought to us. Dana had prepared a 14.5 lb turkey along with a complete vegetarian meal. Everything was great and I don't think anyone went away hungry. Great job Dana and thanks very much. Also a special thanks to Ron, Dana's husband who was willing to share her with us. He was able to have thankgiving with his parents in Houston.

Our morning started pretty stressful as we were getting nan up and into the wheelchair only to discover that after many months her colostomy bag was filled and had broken. Poor Nan, weak from fever was covered with the results of a broken colostomy bag. The team went into action and Dana cleaned, Marilyn cleaned and then marilyn had to do a new thing, install a perk u stay as the one on nan's left side was totally destroyed with bad stuff. In about 45 minutes Nan was clean, in a new gown and on her way to the recliner where she has spent the day. What was so exciting was that the GI system had opened enough to send through a lot of stuff. We don't know if it will stay open and work properly or not but we were thankful to see it work this morning. Nan has spent a day of up and down temperature wise. She has been up to 101 and as low as normal during the day. The house was so cold this morning, 64, that I built a small fire which raised the temp to 71, too warm for her. So then we opened a slider allowing cooler air to come in.

Timothy had a hard time falling asleep last night as he was in strange surroundings. He eventually did sleep and the kids had a pretty good night after all. Clayton took over the motorhome and had wireless internet, TV, a furnace to keep him warm and a nice bed so he was happy.

This morning after the brief detour with nan the Macy parade came on and everyone enjoyed seeing the show.

It is an experience I know you enjoy, that of having family members come home and just sit around and talk, catching up with each others lives, talking kids, comparing child rearing, sharing dreams and frustrations. Nan and I both enjoy having everyone here and though we had thought our nurse Terry was coming by and also Pam we still enjoyed ourselves a lot.

It was with great sadness that I watched the kids drive away, back into their busy lives. Yet they gave so much by coming, they gave joy, hope, encouragement, reassurance, warmth and love. We are thankful that Nan is here today for yet another Thanksgiving.

Today I seek your prayers for the infection and resulting fevers. There is a general concensus that the infection is probably nested at the end of the picc line, yet I doubt anyone is ready at this point to suggest that Nan get a new picc line, she is just too weak right now. So the effort is to treat the infection by having antibiotic flow over the infected place. What is so different is this, in the hospital about a month ago when nan was troubled by infection in her blood she was receiving up to 5 different kinds of antibiotic every day, now we are having 1 antibiotic every 2 days. I think you can see why I am concerned and so far we are not winning with this infection. The effects on Nan are very obvious, extreme fatigue, some confusion, shaky limbs and flushed facial tone. She can hardly hold a glass of water or hold a phone at this point.

This would be a great time for God to do something really special, to lift her up and restore her to a better level of health. We promise to give Him the glory and recognition. However we know we are in His hands whatever occurs.

Special thanks to those who wrote messages to the blog today. We appreciate it very much. I print them out and let Marilyn and Dana read them and if Nan is awake she reads them too.

So we send our deepest thanksgiving wishes for you and yours.


tim and nan and marilyn and dana

ps. the photo was from a couple days ago.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Family is home

Dear Family and Friends,
We started this day with a big problem. At 6 this morning I discovered Nan had a fever of 102.7. I did what I knew how to do, moved the antibiotic time up from afternoon to then, gave her ibuprofen, took away her covers, turned on the fan and started taking her temp every two minutes it seemed. Finally it began to fall and within an hour it was normal again. nan was very weak from all the fever and remained in bed for several hours until she felt a bit better. She rested and I gave her hydration. I called the doctor to see if we could move the antibiotic to every day but after the nurse consulted with the doctor they decided to stay with the every 48 hours. I was disappointed but they felt that was the best course to protect her kidneys from the strong antibiotic.
Dana and I went to Grandparents day at Keanna's school. We were enchanted by Keanna as she and her class sang a song about grandparents and then another song all with hand movements. Then she and Dana created a beautiful frame for a photo. Keanna does great with the glue now. I was so surprised. Then we headed outside to the well planned play area. We had photos taken and then Keanna headed to the sand area where she enjoyed creating make believe drinks in little cups of sand.
I video tapes all we did so Grammy could enjoy it at home later.
We drove home to find nan was still feeling pretty rough. I took a quick trip to Tracy to do a construction inspection on a beautiful home. Then for a much needed oil change and a burrito at Taco Bell. Then home to finish getting all the medical stuff off the dining room table into boxes so we can enjoy a thanksgiving dinner around that same table.
Jason and Jo arrived early evening and Timothy was a happy boy for a bit until he decided he was very hungry. They retired early to get some rest. Timothy was pretty tired. Nikki and Keanna came about the same time to visit and we had a noise family time, totally enjoyable. Nan was awake from time to time but is so tired and feeling so poorly that she mostly rested.
So this is our situation as of now. Nan is battling infection in her blood stream. Some think it is infection on the end of the picc line and that may be. However I doubt we can get it replaced with her in her present weakened condition so our only hope is for the antibiotic to cure the infection as it flows through the picc line. We have had that happen before. It appears that she is better after the antibiotic is given and then by the time the next one is due she is ill again.
Can we ask for your prayers tonight for this blood infection. It is a very serious situation and she is weakened by it and often less than completely lucid.
We are thankful to have another Thanksgiving to come together as a family and we do realize how many acts of kindness we have experienced in the past year. You have helped make this year possible and livable. We appreciate your friendship and involvement in our lives.

We hope you have a good day tomorrow, a good thanksgiving, a good family day, a day of reflection.

Oh and by the way could you please pray about our lack of cash flow, seems the mailman has forgotten us in the past week and things are getting very dicey here once again.

with our love

tim and nan and marilyn and dana and jason and jo and timothy and clayton
ps Clayton has set up house in the motorhome and since the wireless Internet works out there too he is a very happy guy. Oh to have life that simple.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Stickers on our arms..

Dear Family and Friends,
When Keanna comes to visit she finds her stickers and before she leaves she places a sticker or two on each of our arms, tonight she could not reach Grammy's arms and she was asleep so she put them on the arm of the chair. Those stickers show up for days afterwards and every one brings back a moment of joy, a moment when little angel cared enough to spread her brand of fun and life with all those around her. Thank you Keanna for being so sweet and loving.
Tomorrow Dana and I will leave the house at 10:30 to attend a grandparents day at Keanna's school in Brentwood. She will join her classmates and sing songs including signing, she will make crafts with us and she will then get to come home with us. She is so excited and I'll admit we are pretty excited too. As usual I have some work conflicts but they will have to be put aside so can keep this important appointment with Keanna.
Marilyn has been by Nan's side all day today and it is a day that started pretty well. When Nan woke this morning she and I talked about things for awhile. It was only 63 in the room and when the furnace would not start she pointed to the wood stove and said, why not that? So I gathered a few pieces of wood and some trash and we had a little fire which took the chill off the room. We got her moved to the chair and then I had to leave for a long trip to Madera to see a very nice home, then back the same long trip to arrive home at 5:10. Nan had a hard time sleeping but has rested some over the past couple hours. She took her pills at 8:15 and then is getting ready to move back to the bed for the night. The drainage from the fistula is much less now and has much less odor which to me suggests we had some infection going there.
This morning Lisa from Critical Care called to let me know results of the blood work. Hemoglobin is holding steady again, creatins are also holding steady, white count is 11.4 same as last week too. This evening the shipment of 4 boxes of supplies arrived and are now all put away. We have several days worth of the antibiotic to put in every 48 hours. Tomorrow afternoon we will do the next treatment.
We are so thrilled that Jason and Jo are coming tomorrow evening or afternoon. We have given them the master suite since we don't use it and Dana has it all ready for them. Clean new sheets just out of the bag. It will wonderful to get to see them again and to catch up with baby Timothy again and see all his new behaviors.
I'm very tired this evening and I do plan to go to bed early.
Nan is preparing mentally for the trip to bed where she will rest easy for the night, we hope. Her pain level is much less now and her mental clarity is pretty good now as well. Mostly she just feels tired, very tired these days.
Please keep Nan in your prayers and pray that the tumors might be reduced and that she might find new strength and joy.
We send our love,

Tim and Nan and Dana and Marilyn

Monday, November 19, 2007

Nan rests, more antibiotic given, Dana shops, cooks

Dear Family and Friends,
Nan is sleeping peacefully, her TPN is flowing, her pain pump is doing its quiet work and the suction is gently pulling out extra fluids. She has had a sleepy day with long periods of sleep punctuated by waking times and then more rest. The fistula has once again taken a turn and is draining much less and the fluid has much less odor than the last few days. I think we possibly might be seeing evidence of tumor breakdown although that is a guess. Others are reporting on the web site for GIST, that Nexavar is working for them causing tumors to die.
Nan continues to be very weak and can hardly stand when we make the move from the bed to the recliner and back. I have to be very careful and hold her close so she does not have knees that give way. Marilyn has watched over her carefully and tenderly today. Terry came this morning early to take blood draw and do vitals. Vitals were normal and blood draw went well too. She will come in the morning to do a second blood culture draw to see if we are winning against the blood infection.
Dana left early this morning to take Starr and Lady to the groomers. She said it was her gift for their Christmas. She hit a couple stores too bringing more sacks of food home. You'd better consider joining us for Thanksgiving or dropping by some time that day as there is plenty of food planned, even a turkey. Terry our wonderful nurse is going to come by and Pam will come later in the day after spending Thanksgiving with her very special children and her guests. Jason and Jo are bringing Timothy and Clayton on Wednesday evening and staying over, all very exciting! I love family and love to have them around anytime they can come. Steve and Nikki with Keanna will come sometime on Thursday but also need to see their other family in Tracy who they love.
I've worked the majority of the day on one appraisal, a very important one for friends who are building here in Discovery Bay. Our comparable sales are so poor and low in value right now that its hard to do a fair appraisal. Most homes that sell now are selling for a sad reason, divorce, loss of job or being moved to another part of the country for work. I've started work on the very special appraisals for the sales up in Rohnert Park. Once I get everything in order they should go out fairly fast. Tomorrow I have to drive to Madera to see one property. Yet I'm glad for the work and it is for my friend Bob Johnson, a really good guy who does good things for his clients. I also have a new appraisal order for another very special agent, its in Cloverdale and I know that is a ways away from here.
We got up this morning to discover that the trash man had skipped our can. Sure enough they wanted to be paid, its been 6 months since I've paid. They promise to come tomorrow and pick up the trash. We really need the trash space with Dana here she is finding lots of things to toss, what a worker she is. We will miss her but our weight lines are bulging with the good food. She even makes Brussels sprouts taste good, like Marilyn says enough butter and anything tastes good!
It is hard to keep ones mind on work with nan so near and so weak and ill. This wonderful lady has stood by my side through everything for 36 years, only after she was too ill to work at her desk did I realize all the things she took care of without any recognition or thanks. Really quite amazing what she has accomplished with her life. Quiet but very powerful, very bright, very driven, very independent and very beautiful to have around.
Tonight as we were having a quiet moment I was remembering our time at summer camp at Pinecrest when we med. She had this really neat Dirndal (sp), you know, German outfit and she was so hot in that outfit, I can still see it like yesterday. Long flowing blond hair to her waist, tiny body with endless energy, beautiful voice and the deepest blue eyes I had every looked into.
Please pray that God will continue to look into her eyes and into her body, to do His healing work. We are will accept His will for better or worse but we long for better.
Good night or morning my friends, so glad to hear from family members lately, its nice to be remembered.

tim and nan and marilyn and dana

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Keanna wakes grammy, Marilyn has R&R, Dana cooks up a storm

Dear Family and Friends,
Nan is resting having just gotten back to bed about 45 minutes ago. marilyn returned from Sac mid evening having had a great time. This morning was not so fun as she fought ignorant drivers with a death wish who wanted to go 80 mph in spite of dense fog. We were glad to have her safe return. This evening Keanna and Nikki came to dinner. Keanna walked quietly to her grammys side and began to say, wake up Grammy, she continues for about 3 or 4 minutes until finally Nan began to stir, saw who it was and reached out for her hand. Keanna played nicely and counted to well over 100 perfectly several times. She ate her pasta, tried some vegimeat Dana had prepared and was a very bright spot in a dull day.
Terry is coming fairly early tomorrow to care for Nan, draw blood, take vitals and will probably return later in the day for additional blood cultures to see if the antibiotic is helping or not
Nan has been slightly more aware today but was up and had me up on the hour for the first part of the night with various issues, none of which were vital. It takes some courage to climb out from under a blanket that has finally gotten warm in the recliner to walk on a freezing floor and sub normal temperatures in the room, then back to try to reclaim a bit of warmth, even Starr has given up on me to sleep with Dana upstairs. She was my little brown heater.
Nan has slept a great deal today but been awake some too. She and Dana have a tought time communicating, Dana is slightly deaf and Nan speaks in a light whisper now. Yet they manage somehow.
We look forward to seeing Jason and Jo, baby Timothy and Clayton, Nikki and Steve with Keanna and perhaps Pam for Thanksgiving. We know Pam had her own kids to think about and be with and we understand. However if you would like to join us for Thanksgiving I know you won't be hungry. Dana has been carting food items into this house daily including a run to WalMart today in Tracy. I think we will have enough and we'd love to have you join us.

Now I am so sleepy and tired, I'm going to be at 10:40 not midnight like the last two nights.

Please pray that God will heal Nan's infection. It has been a serious hit on an already weakened person. I changed the tummy wound bandage twice today and the second time it was not very wet at all so we might be making progress on that front.

We send our love,

tim and nan and marilyn and dana

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sabbath evening

Dear Family and Friends,
It has been an interesting day.The new antibiotic arrived by courier this afternoon and after it warmed a bit we inserted it into her picc line. Now we wait for 48 hours until we give the next dose. Nan has been mostly asleep today but has had some moments when she was awake and quite lucid. Bob and Carrol came this afternoon and brought the Guptils with them. Carrol got to talk to Nan for a bit and after observing the most visible tumor said she thought it might be a tiny bit smaller. We enjoyed their visit and appreciate the effort it takes to make the trip over.
Dana has fed us some excellent food today which we enjoyed very much. She has us stocked with everything needed for a very good thanksgiving. Marilyn is taking some R&R tomorrow and visiting her friend in Sac. I intend to stay home and work very hard creating appraisals. I believe Nan will start to respond now to the meds and in a couple days she should be better and feel some better too.
Just now I hear that her Dilautid has run out and needs a new three day package. It gives off a little beep when it is empty.
Dana came down about 6:30 this morning and was busy in the kitchen, then gave Nan a bath and washed her hair later in the day. What a team we have here right now. It is very welcome this feeling of not being alone. I know Nan loves having both Dana and Marilyn here along with little ol me.
Now its time to settle down and do those things that must be done every night and then hit the sheets. My prayer is that Nan will start to feel better, that the infection will be stopped and that we can experience tumor reduction. Marilyn found several web site entries today of people taking Nexavar and having success with it. That is encouraging to us.

We send our love this evening,

tim and nan and marilyn and dana

News flash - lab reports Nan has infection in her blood stream

Dear Ones,
Just a quick message which I am thrilled to share. A pharmacist just called from Critical Care to say that he and one of the oncology team were informed by our local lab that something grew out of the blood culture taken by Terry. We are to stop the current antibiotic, they are sending out a new one that is newly released on the market and is taken only every 48 hours. It will not only deal with the blood infection but also the kidney infection as well. This finding explains why Nan has been mentally cloudy for the past few days, when her blood gets infected her clarity of thought is the victim. Marilyn and I are very thankful that this discovery has been made and that the medical people at the lab, Critical Care and the doctor worked together to offer a solution. The delivery person will bring it as soon as it can be prepared. What a Sabbath blessing, to find a solution and get some help. Nan will be thrilled to learn that she is not really losing her mind, that there is a clear explanation for the hazy thinking.

Just had to share this news,

nan and marilyn and dana and tim
ps we look forward to seeing Bob and Carrol this afternoon as they just called and let us know they could come if we were up to it. We hope to see Mary also. In fact you all come, we love visitors....

Friday, November 16, 2007

Dana arrives from Houston

Dear Family and Friends,
This evening Dana arrived from Houston and is now safely sleeping in her room. nan was so glad to see her after a two week absence. Nan has had a decent day with good moments and not so good moments. Her pain level seems well managed but she remains confused sometimes and totally clear at others. This morning she asked to move from the recliner where she slept last night to the hospital bed. She handled the move very well and settled into the soft bed. She was awake for about 4 hours before finally falling asleep again. She is using much less Adavan than she was last week and yet is sleeping for several hour periods during the night and day. She is very faithful about taking her pills. She often has brief times of nausea and this morning some of the foam that came up was tinged with blood so I insisted that we get the aciphex going again.
This morning I got on the ball and started to call the pharmacy that handles Nexavar. We discovered last evening that there were only enough pills for today and half of tomorrow. It took a bit to find the right person and then there was a bit of dancing about over documents that had been faxed or not from the doctors office. Later in the day I received a call from someone who told me the next 14 days worth of the meds were being shipping out and should arrive tomorrow Fed Ex to our door. That was good news indeed. While we cannot prove that the drug is helping we are all pretty sure that the tumors are not getting larger and perhaps have lost a bit of their luster and even size. They remain huge and ugly and a hourly reminder of how high the stakes are at this point in Nan's life.
I traveled to Emeryville to see a condo in a high rise near the Bay. The lady was very interesting and amazing. She raises horses to race at Bay meadows track and other tracks. She has been involved with horse racing all of her life and on the way out she asked me how old I thought she was, well there is no right answer to that question and she told me 78. I would have guessed 50. Her walls, shelves and all storage areas are filled with horse related working items and photos of her horses that have won hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.
Then it was off to Hayward to see a carefully maintained little home where not a week grows. The gentle man who comes from Spain or Portugal said in broken English that he did this kind of grounds keeping at home before America. Garden plots all over with perfectly turned soil and not one week growing. Then a quick trip to San Jose for a few photos and suddenly there was not enough time to get home and then to the airport to get Dana so I fought traffic up to the airport directly, had a bite at Olive Garden and greeted Dana who arrived tired and sore from hours in a airplane seat. We drove home only stopping to buy a better flashlight, Nan had asked for one that she can turn on easily during the night so we got a couple for her to try, also some shower caps that can be used to wash the hair for a patient without water getting everywhere. Now everyone sleeps except for me. I have to do TPN still and then Adavan and then crash until 1:30 when the next antibiotic is due. Oh well this is all a work of love for someone who has done so much for so long for so many.
Spouses, please take time today to express your feelings, your appreciation, your gratitude for the trust and devotion of your other. Let them know how much better life is with them than without them, let your kids know how much you treasure them and as the spending season approaches keep the real reasons for Christmas in your heart, Jesus, our best friend who really knows about giving on the deepest level.
I have a right to counsel you, to urge you to care for each other while you have the opportunity to do otherwise, do the loving thing because you want to and intend to and plan to, well do it now while you can.
Nan is holding on as best she can. Her world has narrowed considerably now and when you break through with a call or a card you expand her world a lot. I want to pay tribute to Mary this evening, Mary knows how to come and sit, for her its OK if Nan is asleep, she sits quietly bay and waits until Nan wakes. Mary, thanks for your great deep genuine love!
This weekend Marilyn is going to get away for a short visit to her friends up in Sac. I urge her to get away and catch her breath. I get away every day as I work but she is here 24 hours a day so we urge her to go play for a bit. She is an amazingly helpful and thoughtful person. No one could do it better for Nan than Marilyn.
For our blessings we thank our Heavenly Father tonight. We seek His divine healing and restoration and mostly His will to be done in Nan's behalf.

tim and nan and marilyn and dana!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Somewhat better, Mary visits, Sharon and Judy talk with Nan

Dear Family and Friends,
Tonight we are all tired. Nan has been slightly better today and has had no fevers at all. Terry came this morning and took blood cultures and urine samples and delivered them to the lab in Brentwood. I left for the field at about 11 and went to Oakland, then San Jose and then Campbell. Along the way the GPS found an Applebees for me somewhere and I got to have that special vege pizza with Gorgonzola cheese, spinach, diced tomatoes, white sauce. Dolly introduced me to it and now I'm hooked. Tasty but not to much, just right. I found an old lunch card that was punched out and so lunch was free. At 5 I left San Jose area to head home and I got home at 7:30, traffic was pretty bad along the way. Brought Taco Bell for Marilyn's dinner and found Mary here visiting. Nan was awake some and mostly asleep while Mary was here. She is less shaky today, slightly more lucid. Marilyn told me that Sharon had called and nan got to talk to her, that is always special for her and this morning our friend Judy from Tracy called and Nan happened to be awake so they got to talk some too.
At this point we are not sure if Nan will move to the bed to sleep tonight or stay in the chair. I think we should try the bed but its up to her I guess. I think moving around a little is good for the body and different pressure points come into play. Also the bed is way more comfortable than the chair, I know because I slept in the bed last night and it was great, really great. Tomorrow we have to get after the Nexavar people, we only have 1.5 days of drug left and we need more, yikes.
I've thought a lot about our situation today and especially about Nan and how she has chosen to live her life over the years. She has made this family her first priority making sure we had food, clothes, gifts, travel and her love. She and Nikki pick out the best cards for special occasions, always say just the right thing. I know Nan misses being Nan now as she has been so self contained and self driven, never really cared much what other people thought, did not live her life on others agenda, pretty amazing woman, hard to totally describe but pretty amazing. I hope you feel about your spouse like I feel about Nan, like the best person ever to get to be with over the years in good times and bad, wealth and poor, traveling or staying at home, walking the beaches in Hawaii many times or driving to appraisal appointments, choir meetings and programs. Nan is a great traveler, packs well, always looks good, is pleasant even in pressure times and is not selfish.
This morning I took some time to just tell her what I thought of her and she took it all in. She said it was beautiful. AT this point in time everything has to be very direct for Nan to understand it clearly, no jokes, no hints, just direct communication.
Last night at midnight right after I blogged I got hit with a rare low blood sugar moment. Once I realized what was taking place I raided the frig and had some wonderful banana nut bread Mary had brought, some cottage cheese and some orange juice and within a few minutes I felt better, good enough to head to bed and sleep well. It was surprising and unsettling. I am also considering stopping taking Avandia since several reports now suggest it has a strong relationship to heart issues.
Tonight we are grateful for the quick actions of the doctor and the home health group that got the antibiotics to us by 9 last night. I believe they are helping Nan feel better already.
Please keep Nan in your prayers and thoughts, if you have tried to call and not gotten her please try again, don't worry about her sleep, she can go back to sleep and will when you are done talking. Be patient and listen very carefully as she can hardly speak above a whisper these days.

So we send our love

tim and nan and marilyn

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wednesday evening and not all is well

Dear Family and Friends,
Nan has fallen on hard times again. Last night she had a temp of 101 most of the night. She was awake often and sometimes confused a bit, took her flashlight apart, could not find the cap for her water bottle and had other concerns. Our long 3 weeks of no fevers and no infections have passed. We also ran out of Adavan during the night. This morning I called Critical Care and Lisa, our pharmacist called me back. The blood work was pretty good, we are blessed with a hemoglobin of 9 up from 8.9 last week, white count was still low but had risen a point from its low of 9.5 last week, creatins were at 2.5 which for Nan is a typical number. I let Lisa know we were out of many supplies and by 2 this afternoon a delivery had arrived with everything we needed. The kind lady who comes from John Muir arrived to do her Nephrostomy Perk U Stays which is a huge ordeal for Nan as she has to turn on her sides while the work is done. The right one was all wet as it has been leaking urine for the past few hours and the left one had some blood but no fresh bleeding. The nurse also repacked the fistula and could see a small hole where the fluids are leaking through.
I emailed Alice this morning, she is at the oncology office. I asked her to please order some blood cultures and urine samples and have Terry do them here at the house. Later in the day Critical care called to say the doctor did not order the tests but wanted Terry to come assess Nan and then decide if cultures were needed. That did not really set well but then Dr. Melynk called as he was driving and talked a bit about whether it was warranted to have the tests or not. The more he talked the less comfortable I was with what he was saying. He said it was a poor place to have a conversation but did I think it would be helpful to have Erin go back to the hospital at all in the future, weren't we just prolonging her suffering. I reminded him that the last stay certainly was helpful, that they found and defeated two kinds of infection and she came home without fevers and feeling much better. He said he would order the tests and also have antibiotic sent out even before the results of the tests came back. So this evening we have a week supply of Zozan which goes in every 6 hours. Terry will come in the morning to take blood cultures and urine samples and hopefully all of this will help a very sick Nanny. She is alert enough to take her pills but not everything she says makes a great deal of sense. Most does. An hour ago she once again had a temp of 101. Her legs are wiggling wildly like they were last time when she had the infection and her faces moves from pale to flush and then back to pale. She mostly sleeps but is awake when she needs to be.
For me it has been a very trying day. I cancelled an appointment I had over in Emeryville and rescheduled for Friday so I could be near. I believe when the antibiotic starts to work she will feel better almost immediatelly. I think her left kidney is infected as she has been having pains in that side and area for a couple days. The nurse thought the urine looked cloudy too on that side.
Nan and I both do want to prolong her suffering but neither do we want to cease giving her the best available care and medical help. Her pain is well managed now so she is not in constant suffering like she once was, she is very weak and we don't know what God has in store for her. We will accept His will but we are not pleased with talk of removing anything that will help her survive medically until her body lets go on its own. I just can't tell you how upset I was after the phone call with our doctor of 11 years. I am considering seeing if her case can be transferred to another doctor within the practice. We want no heroics or artificial life support and we want no less than good medical treatment for treatable issues that come up. To not do so seems to be unprofessional and unkind.
To burn off some steam I decided to cook dinner, that is somewhat of a dangerous prospect. I found and prepared scalloped potatoes, warmed green beans (thanks to Marilyn Bitzer), opened cottage cheese and Marilyn found and baked some rolls. We had ourselves a great little meal. I was pleased and so was Marilyn. Then we had small pieces of cherry and cream pie (thanks to Pam).
A few minutes ago the delivery man arrived with the antibiotics as promised. Nan is resting in the blue leather recliner, the one we purchased on her way home from surgery #4 in San Ramon. Sharon was with us and we drove directly to the Lazy Boy showroom and nan proceeded to sit in about 10 different chairs until she found the one that was right for her. We bought it on the spot and it was delivered the next day. She has lived in that chair and its now my bed at nights. It has turned out to be sturdy, comfortable and still looks like new years later. Good choice honey.
What does tomorrow bring? I really don't know and I'm not even sure what tonight brings either. I will probably be up several times making sure her needs are met. Through all of this she remains kind, thoughtful, courageous and sort of calm. I know she is frightened, she wants the Nexavar to work and we really have no idea if it is or not.
I have made appointments out tomorrow but will cancel them in a moment if things are not looking better here. Even though nan does not often say much about having me near I know she has comfort when I am home. Marilyn has turned out to be a wonderful insightful care giver. She knows Nan so well at this point that she can predict things before they happen. She is really a gift from God and so kind and easy to work with. I keep thinking of how we can really thank her for what she is doing and so far I'm not coming up with the right answers. I know she got to talk to Barb and Gerry today, she knew Barb as the secretary of Central SDA Church when she and Walt were caretakers there many years ago. Barb is anxious that Marilyn get to visit them while she is on the west coast. Barb and Gerry are just back from roughing it in Hawaii for a few days and seem glad to be back with happy memories from being with Mike and Sandy.
Well I've gone on long enough. If Nan ever needed prayers it is now. Please keep her close to your heart. Remember the vivacious lady she was, go go go, plan, help, QVC, shop, energy to burn. She is still that same lady inside, just got sidelined with this nasty cancer. God knew what he was doing when he created Nan and I think we are all better and blessed because of her contributions.
We send our love,

tim and nan and marilyn

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nan gets rest, some waking moments, enjoys new artificial saliva

Dear Family and Friends,
Amazingly its almost midnight again, I can't believe it. We had a calm evening and Nan was able to make the move from the recliner back to bed without mishap. She has quite a few tools beside her in the bed, her orange flashlight, her tupperware urp container, two bottle of water, not one but two, controls for the TV, ceiling lights and fan and bed, tissue and lip balm. She sleeps on two high density foam mattresses with her head elevated somewhat and her legs also elevated. She sleeps under a single sheet or a light blanket and I often find she has thrown them off during the night when she gets too hot. She sleeps for about 3 hour segments before waking and asking for more Adavan. We have the amount of Adavan down to about .25 or .30 ml now. Unfortunately we have run out and I have three vials prepared and then we are out. I have a hard time getting Critical Care to send enough. In fact we are low on many supplies this evening and I expect to speak to the pharmacist tomorrow morning to go over what we need. We have not heard back about the blood work and are sort of anxious re: that.
Nan was up at 2, then about 4:30 or 5 and then around 7:45 last night. Before I left for work at 11 we moved her to the recliner where she spent the day. I drove to Rohnert Park to a project known as Centerville which has condos and townhomes right downtown. I drove there thinking I would see 10 but the office added another 6 to the total so I photographed and inspected 16 units today, then shot comps, then had dinner at Olive Garden, then stopped at Kentucky Fried for dinner for faithful Marilyn, then at Longs to pick up the special artifical saliva for Nan's mouth and throat and arrived home at 8 pm. God granted me a save, sane day without major issues. Now its time to settle down and get these out the door.
I called home a couple times today and each time Nan answered the phone. I was so excited to get to talk to her and it made my day.
So we are thankful this evening in spite of the issues that face us, thankful to be safe under a roof with the precious gift of life uniting us. I got to talk to both Nikki and Jason today and of course that is always very special.
Thank you for your prayers in Nan's behalf. We had a bit of a fever this evening which does not thrill me and of course the white count in the blood work will be very important as will the hemoglobin, creatins etc.
So we send our love,

Tim and Nan and Marilyn
ps we are looking forward to seeing Dana and Sharon again one of these days. That will spice things up.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday evening, I guess we are OK

Dear Family and Friends,
Yes I am blogging before I forget to. Nan is awake right now but can only speak in a very quiet voice. She has taken her pills and drifted in and out of sleep. marilyn and I had Straw Hat Pizza and salad tonight and amazingly put 4 pieces in the frig, not in the tummy.
Terry came back this evening to loosen the TPN dressing which Nan found a bit tight this morning. Her feet and legs have given her lots of trouble today but the pump is working and her vitals were very good, heart rate 104 (normal), blood pressure also normal, lungs sound clear. Nan seems so deeply depressed the last few days, weeks, more down than her physical situation would mandate. She cries easily but is very lucid. She does not want to be a burden but for us its a privilege to help her and assist her. We have so much admiration for her courage and steadfast will.
I've been working today to try to get things completed and out the door. I have not gotten as much done as I had hoped, many many interuptions, new orders, questions regarding values etc. I still plan to drive to Rohnert park tomorrow and begin the process of doing the many appraisals for sales there at Centerville. Several new orders came in today but frankly I find it very hard to concentrate on my work like everything is normal and a few feet away Nan is so ill.
I need to update my own condition. I am feeling pretty good today, I've eaten less food, drank a lot more water and I plan to go up to exercise in a few minutes. Of course had planned to do it much earlier but things kept popping up on the screen. Then there is the one client who sends emails but they are not getting to me at all, thats a bummer since I need to know what he is sending.
Got to see Steve today, he is looking good having just gotten over being very ill with the flu. His landscape business is starting to take off and along with appraising and doing construction work he stays very busy. He is an inspiration to us.
I'm very sorry about the lack of a blog last night. I can't remember if I wrote one and stepped away and lost it or did not even write one. I think I did but I can't be sure. What is clear, it did not get out.
The fistula on Nan's stomach continues to weep a lot and her feet and legs hurt with marilyn rubbing them by the hour until Nan falls asleep again. We've had no more bleeding for several days now which is a huge relief for both nan and me. We honestly do not know if the new drug is working or not but we do know Nan has a dry mouth and hurting feet, both side effects of the drug. I talked to a pharmacist tonight and he is researching some artifical siliva. So far what he found costs $85 for a bottle. He will call me tomorrow with what he finds.
We live in a very cold house, keep the doors open at night, we need lots of fresh air and Nan does much better under a blanket and the temperature on the cold side. So far we've not been able to start a fire for fear that it will make the room too hot. It was 64 when we got up this morning in the family room. When Nan calls during the night it takes me a second to decide to venture out of my warm blanket into the cold room to help her, once during the night her blankets slid to the floor and she was uncovered, she said she needed my help and she really did.
Once again its time to begin preparing the TPN, the Adavan, the Zophram for the night. One vial did not go in so well and when Marilyn looked closer it had frozen so now the little frig is turned warmer, Nan does not need ice crystals of medicine streaking thru her heart. And we pride ourselves on being better than the hospital, right!
Tomorrow we learn the results of the blood work. If we have to go for a transfusion then we face a serious challenge. Risk a ride in the van or try to get the insurance to spring for a ride in a ambulance or try to have Terry do it here at home. Interesting events are about to unfold.
Tonight I am praying once again for my precious and lovely Nan. I am praying that God will boldly show His will for her, that He will do a work in her that is beyond what we can do, that He will allow her to enjoy life again. What we are living through is almost unbearable for us and I can only imagine what its like for Nan to live through.

Thanks for your expressions of love and the messages to the blog. We do read and we do appreciate what you say and how you say it.

love from our life to your life, from our heart to your heart.....

tim and nan and marilyn


Dear Ones,
Somehow I just missed blogging last night, not sure why I did not remember. Nan had a restful day with brief times of being awake and alert. She enjoyed watching baby Timothy squeal and wave his arms and sit in his little exercise chair. Thanks Jo for sending the clips. Overall Nan is pretty low these days, mostly speaks in a whisper or near to it since her mouth is dry and things stick together. She continues to drink lots of water, take her pills on time, the pain meds are working well overall, her heels are dry and cause pain, the company sent lotion for the feet to help and we are using that. marilyn changed the fistula bandage twice yesterday and the second time Nan was suggesting ideas to try for the bandage. Right now Terry is here for vitals, blood draw and assessment. nan is still in bed this morning. The room is 64 degrees as we had doors open last night. We both sleep better when it is cold but when Nan's covers slipped to the floor last night she called for my help, a little too cold!
I intend to become disciplined today and stay in this chair more and hop up less, need to get my work caught up, scattered bits and pieces pulled together and out. Jean, my writer has things ready to go out that only need my final comments and review including a big relocation report. It is so sad to see what it takes to sell a house these days, homes that were about $750,000 in Brentwood are now going out in the $500,000s. Many people are upside down in their loans and when the company they work for offers them a promotion across the country they have to deal with the real estate realities.
The pressures that come to bear on me right now are pretty incredible. People are desperate for a high appraisal, loan officers are pushing for an appraisal overnight and lenders are ripping the appraisal apart in pieces. And of course none of the crowd really want to pay for the appraisal and think that waiting for 2 months before payments is about right. Great profession. One good thing though. A project I work in located in Rohnert park had an auction to sell standing inventory. I am seeing about 9 properties tomorrow when I drive up. That will help the bottom line someday. I am very thankful for this work.
Terry is busy drawing blood and talking encouraging words to Nan. She is a wonder and we love her.
Well if I'm to get cleaned up work wise I'd better start. Please excuse my neglect last night. I don't know what happened. Please pray for us, Nan needs energy and peace, I need backbone to stop eating, start exercising and find some discipline again. Perhaps I'm a bit depressed.

I hope your day goes well and thanks for writing to the blog, I find great encouragement and I know Nan reads every word of your comments as I print them out for her to check out.


tim and nan and marilyn and terry

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sabbath, gentle rain, extra rest, Nan very low.

Dear Family and Friends,
As I write Pam and Marilyn are talking quietly in the family room while Nan rests. She woke before 8 pm to take her pills. I usually give her Zophram to head off any nausea before pills. I have been gone much of the day today with Nikki and Keanna. Marilyn has faithfully been by Nan's side and reports that Nan has been mostly asleep and when awake has stomach pains and legs pains. She has spoken little and while alert has little energy to speak right now. At the present time her throat and mouth are dry, too dry to allow the formation of very many words.
This evening Marilyn changed the dressing and found it very wet, saturated actually with fluids but without blood clots. We may have to change the dressing twice a day for awhile to keep it dry as once does not seem to be doing very well at keeping up. We had hoped that Pam could wash Nan's hair but Nan really does not feel up to it today, just too weak.
Last night Nan slept most of the night through. Keanna woke once calling out for her mother and I went in to see if she was OK and she said, Hi Pappa and then went back to sleep. I think she just wanted reassurance when she woke and was not at home like usual. She woke about 7 and ask quietly for breakfast. I reluctantly climbed out from underneath this light weight blanket Starr and I have been sleeping under, it was suddenly very cold. Keanna ate everything I put before her this morning. I was amazed, she was hungry. Then I showered and she got dressed for Sabbath School. She enjoyed being at Sabbath School with many other children and then stayed for Avalanche Ranch, the VBS program, then she asked for Olive Garden so we did that too. Then home to see Nan and Marilyn, to bring Marilyn lunch and to rest for awhile. We've done little other than rest all day and it feels good.
I woke this morning nursing a cold but after taking some Airborne, orange juice, vitamin Cs I'm feeling much better now. I was very sleepy driving home from Olive Garden, full of salad and soup and bread I began to fade.
It was a very precious experience to get to see so many of our friends at the Tracy Seventh-day Adventist Church. I had a chance to report on Nan's condition and status to several close friends and to just be affirmed once again with pledges of daily prayer for her recovery, it was very good. The Tracy SDA Church is a special place filled with very unusual and dedicated individuals who genuinely care for Nan and love her. Judy has been a special friend over the years and she always asks about Nan and cares so much.

Another week has passed, we are not in a hospital, Nan is not running a high fever, is lucid and appears to be holding her own. While we are very thankful for every good thing that happens we long for her to gain strength and be able to be a bit more in control of her own life. Yet we accept what God provides.

For those of you remembering our financial realities two checks came in the mail today. That will help cover last Fridays payroll. Thank you Lord. We have tremendous challenges coming up financially in the next 7 days and I'm asking for the Lord's help once again. Do I deserve it, no, but His promises are real and His answers are real as well.

Thank you to each person that responded to the blog today. It was so good to hear from Sharon, Sue, Bob and Carol and Roger and Carrol as well as Wes. Thanks for reading and caring each and every one of you.


tim and nan and pam and the ever faithful Marilyn!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Finally its Friday night

Dear Family and Friends,
Nan has fallen asleep after a long day of discomfort and unease. We discovered that it was past time to change her pain patches and changed them this evening. Within minutes Nan felt better, perhaps she was going through a bit of withdrawal. We made the two wheel chair trips to and from the recliner again today without mishap or bleeding. We were up several times last night and she needed Adavan every three hours all night for comfort. Nan continues to think that the main tumor that is visible might be responding to the Nexavar. She has been incredibly faithful about taking the drug at 8 am and 8 pm without fail. I so admire her spunk and her courage in spite of feeling pretty rough.
Pam has let us know that she is going to come visit sometime tomorrow, probably later in the day and Bob and Carrol have mentioned they might get a chance to visit as well. It is always so nice to see friendly faces and I know Nan rises to the opportunity to talk with someone beyond Marilyn and myself as charming and wonderful we are.
This evening Keanna and Nikki came about 6 and Keanna is fast asleep now in her room having watched a vegetales movie about selfishness. Then we read a cute little book and had prayers. She is a precious little person and has such a tender heart for her Grammy. Its too bad she has never gotten a chance to play with Grammy when she was on her feet, going places and engaged with life. Yet we are grateful for this opportunity for Keanna to know her Grammy and to feel that special Grammy love for her. We are looking forward to seeing Jason and Jo with Timothy again when they get a chance to get away. MBA keeps them pretty busy this year and of course Timothy has not been sleeping too well at night lately either. Julie is coming soon from Denver to help out and I think they will both enjoy some help. Julie prepared a very special book with photos of Timothy for us and shipped it to us here. It is so precious and so nicely done. What a nice treat. Reminds me of the two care boxes she shipped to us in Boston that had just about everything you could dream of to eat and survive on. What a sweet person!

I am feeling pretty extinguished this evening, 1 check in the mail all week, numerous calls from creditors seeking payments I cannot make, long days and short nights and I've managed to let my weight climb to a point where I am not feeling well. This afternoon my right eye does not feel right, I've placed drops in it but something is just not quite right. About this time, 9 pm, I suddenly start to feel very tired and worn out and the rest of the evening is an experience of dragging myself to do the needed chores before we can turn in for the night. Marilyn helps so much and it would be hard to manage without her at this point. I desperately need to exercise, eat fruit, drink water, do the right things again.

I am so thankful that we are able to be home this evening, that we are free of fevers, infections, bleeding and extreme pain yet I long for Nan to actually feel better, to be able to engage in a bit of life again. I don't know what to pray for really. Can this possibly be God's will, that nan should suffer at this level for month after month? What does God have in mind?

We received a very complete email from our friend Irene who is now home recovering and doing very well. She is a very faithful courageous lady and we are thankful that Ron has his sweet lady back home with him.

Thank you for hanging in there with us as we live this life from day to day. You seem to be tireless in your faithfulness. I hear from so many people who say they have a time every day when they read the blog, many every day, keeping up with Nan's trials and triumphant. Then there is crazy Wes, what would this whole process be without his wit and insights. I often get my first smile of the day when I read his postings and smiles don't come easily right now.

I am very grateful to Nan's extended family, they have been real prayer warriors for her recovery. What a great family. Hard to remember that Dana was still with us last Friday night, how we miss her wit and energy, her love and her great food. I know she went home to some real challenges and I think she probably misses the quiet of our home as much as we miss her energy here with us. We look forward to her return when it is possible for her. Nan is also very hopeful of seeing Sharon again for a weekend when things settle down in her life to the point that she can get away again.

Thank you Lord for keeping us safe and sound this week, for traveling protection, for work guidance, for strength to keep going when it seems almost impossible to consider.


tim and nan and marilyn and keanna