Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Venturing out


We ventured out yesterday.  First time in about a week of being mostly housebound due to illness.  I'm not counting my trip with the deer since Kim was at home for that.  We needed to get to the grocers badly.  We were running low on a lot of things and out on others.  Being housebound will do that.  Don't get me wrong, we have plenty of things on hand to get by for much longer, these were mostly things we could have done without but didn't want to wait, especially with the prospect of bad weather possibly forcing us to stay home even longer.  Kim had also committed to a demonstration of the leather and bead bracelets we create at a society she is an officer in.  It's next week and we needed supplies to provide items to demonstrate to 30 ladies.  So we made another trip to the leather supply store.  We are ready now in case the weather turns icy.  Plenty of food and things to occupy us.

Obviously we are feeling much better, but these trips took their toll on Kim.  She was pretty tired afterwards.  She had already spent time at the allergist that morning.  He gave her some meds to try, and if those didn't help she would get a prescription for others.  He also said he could cure her of her allergy to cedar in about 2 years by getting injections twice a month for that time period.  Sounds expensive but this will most likely be worth it since she suffers so badly.  More research is in order.

Remember my trip to the ER?  My insurance company has gotten the bill from the ER doc.  I have no idea how these people (ER doctor) arrive at their costs.   I was in the ER a total of 4 hours.  I saw the doc a total of maybe 5 minutes.  I know there was work he did that wasn't in my presence i.e. discussion with my surgeon on the phone, reviewing the CAT scan, checking test results.  But his bill was almost double what my surgeon charged and he actually worked on me for over 2 hours plus visits.  I believe a man is owed his due, but this seems exorbitant.   Will have a discussion with my friend(a doctor) that does ER duty and see what his take is.  No real idea what my insurance will cover or what my part will be.  Scary to think about right now with all the other bills still out.
 
Today marks 4 weeks to the day that my surgery was performed.  I'm doing really well.  Still issues with the urinary tract, but we knew that going in.  No real improvement.  Reading more material about that and they say to 'be patient' it could take as much as 18 months.  I can deal with that but hopefully there is a gradual improvement over that time.  It makes coming a going places very difficult and that gets frustrating not just for me but Kim too.  She likes to go places and with me being reluctant to go isn't good.  It could be worse.
 
Happy New Year and Happy Trails.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Almost Human


Finally beginning to feel almost human after a bout with the epizooty.  Although Kim is still feeling pretty poor.  She will see an allergist tomorrow, hopefully he can relieve her cedar fever.  She gets it every year at this time, and some years like this one, it turns into a secondary respiratory infection.  She is just miserable for most of a month, sometimes more.  We have just got to find some sort of relief for her.  The regular doctors have never really helped at all.  Finally got her to consider trying an allergist and see if there can be something he can do that the other can't. 

My sister-in-law is having surgery today.  I hate not being able to be there for that.  I don't think I am contagious, but I am pretty sure Kim is.  I don't think it prudent to expose her or her family to anything we might be carrying.  Not something you want much less after having throat surgery.  We can offer only our prayers and thoughts for support.  I am certain there will be plenty of folks there to take our place. 

The weather guys are predicting a possibility of freezing rain by Wednesday morning.
 
My driveway, we can't even leave the house due to the hill and ice.  Just a picture if what we can expect with icy weather.



Not a good thing in South Central Texas or the Hill Country.  We are pretty much paralyzed transportation wise.  We just don't have any equipment to deal with that sort of weather and we have even less experience driving on it.  The powers that be overreact and shut down roadways completely. 

 

This comes out of a fear of someone getting hurt or worse by driving in those conditions.  Usually someone gets blamed for the drivers poor decision to drive when they shouldn't and it's usually the police or the highway officials.  Just another example of people not taking responsibility for their own actions. 

 
It's not here yet, and hoping stays away.  I know this is not a big deal to you in the colder regions, but when it happens in a place like this, it can be pretty bad.
 
Happy Trails.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Busy


For someone that isn't feeling up to snuff I was much to busy Saturday.  I had asked my uncle to shoot me a Whitetail doe for my freezer a week or so ago.  I got a call from him early Saturday morning that he had one hanging and come get it when I could.  After I had breakfast and made sure Kim was settled (she is so stinking sick).  I headed out to my uncle's house.  Took a little over 2 hours round trip.  I used to butcher all my own deer but not any more.  Takes me way to long so it is worth the amount they will charge me.  A cold front had blown in this morning so the deer got to chill a little.

Instead of going straight to the processor I went by the house to check on Kim.    We decided she needed some other over the counter meds and I went over to CVS and got her some daquil and nyquil and some vitamin C.  Got her taken care of and headed over to a processor in the next town.  Another 2 hour round trip.  By the time I got home she was feeling a bit better.  And I'm beat.  Normally that would not be a big deal but I guess the effects of surgery and being under the weather is taking more of a toll than I anticipated.  Glad my Mom rescheduled our Christmas with them to New Years day.  Otherwise we would have been MIA.

My oldest son and his family made it over Friday evening.  My youngest was too sick to make it over again.  I wish we had been feeling better, we just weren't much fun at all.  We did get to eat the rest of the food we originally prepared for Christmas Eve.  We opened a few presents and then it was pretty much over.  At least we got to spend some time with them after all.

Saturday I got a text from my oldest son, he says that I won Christmas again this year.  My Granddaughter has not taken her purse off yet and even slept with it.  Made me smile a huge smile.  It's the little things that add up and make life pretty good.  Last year she had told me how much she loved dolphins and I told her she might get one for Christmas.  I found one that was bigger than she is and she loves it.  Not to bad for an old man that never had any dealings with girls growing up.  That is a whole 'nother skill set I am trying to develop lol.

I am planning on staying house bound until this epizooty that Kim has, has gotten gone.  We probably won't even make it to church tomorrow.  That hasn't happened in forever.

Happy Trails.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Quiet


Our plans for Christmas Eve got changed.  There is a nasty flu bug going around that doesn't take long to incubate.  It is also a strain that the preventive flu shot doesn't cover.

My Granddaughter started with a low fever.  The people she lives with took her to the quick clinic to get her checked out.  Sure enough she tested positive for the flu.  I would guess it will go through her whole household before it's over.  Consequently my youngest son was the only one able to make it over.  He was suffering from some sort of allergy.  He and Kim both are allergic to cedar pollen and it is extremely high right now and we live right in the middle of cedar central.  They really aren't cedar trees they are a type of juniper everyone calls cedar.  They will get a dirty brown color with all the pollen and will look like they are on fire (or at least smoking) when the wind blows the pollen off.
 
 

I also have come down with what I think is a cold or something.  I have a rare fever of 101.  What I mean by rare is I rarely ever get a fever.  Now my son that did come over was exposed to whatever I have and he wasn't feeling very well either, not to mention my bride.  Just what she needs on top of cedar fever.  Pretty sure it isn't the flu as I don't feel as bad as that would be I'm thinking.

We did chow down on some pulled pork and all the trimmings anyway.  Lots of leftovers that will last a few days.

 
And beans from a blogger in Colorado, thanks Ms. Linda

 
So this was a very quiet and subdued Christmas Eve and Christmas day was more of the same.  I doubt we will ever leave the inside of the house.  Thought about at least trying to meet my parents for lunch in town but didn't happen either, just not feeling all that great. 

All this is just a minor annoyance.   We have to many things we are and should be thankful for this year to let any of this get us down.  It definitely could be worse.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Town

Ventured into town today to pick up a few last minute groceries along with a visit to Costco.  Things went pretty well for me, better than the one other trip I made earlier.  However, the traffic was worse than expected.  With school being out and everyone trying to get into town to finish Christmas shopping I should have expected it, but I didn't.  Consequently it made our trip a little more hurried than we would have preferred.  So we forgot to go by Walmart.  So we are kicking around the idea of a midnight run there to avoid the crowds and traffic.  We are only getting gift cards so it would be really quick.  Sounds crazy but I'm game for a little crazy.

Still discussing and trying to finalize Christmas plans.  My parents have decided they want the families all to come Saturday instead of Christmas day.  Not sure of the reasoning.  But things change almost daily.  That will leave Kim and I alone that day as our son and his family head to his in-laws for part of that day.  So not sure what our plan will be at all.  New territory for us and I am not sure I like it at all.  May try to get up early enough to go to his house in the very early morning to watch our Grandkids open their Santa gifts.  Just going to be a weird week altogether.  Will try to make the best of it.

Probably be pretty light posting over the rest of the week for obvious reasons.  So in case I miss posting more I want to wish everyone that comes by here a very Merry Christmas, hope it's all you can imagine and safe.  Thanks for coming by and taking a gander at what I might be about.

Happy Trails

Monday, December 22, 2014

Way Behind

Can hardly believe that Christmas is almost here already.  We are so far behind getting ready this year.  My surgery and all the other doctor visits had put things on hold for us.  Consequently just about anything to do with Christmas has fallen way behind.  Especially any shopping for gifts.  Unfortunately it will be somewhat sparse compared to other years.  But, since I am this side of dirt for the immediate future, I think we are pretty well off.

Still dealing with issues from the surgery.  The urinary tract is still inflamed and pretty sensitive.  It is getting better, but very slowly.  With that goes other issues I will let you figure out for yourself.  Sleeping through the night is a problem.  Two hours at a stretch is the max due to the urinary issues.  Then it takes a while for it to settle down enough for me to return to sleep.  I may be awake another hour or two for every two hours sleep.  Wears on you after a while but it's manageable.  Slow progress but there is progress. 

Really looking forward to Christmas Eve when my Sons and Daughter and Grandkids come to have supper with us.  We will be having pulled pork sandwiches this year.  Then Christmas day we all head over to my parents.  At some point during that time we will have a house full with my brother and his family and my family.  There should be 15 of us unless my brother's kid's go their spouse's families in other parts of the states.  Glad mine all live near with no need to travel.

Happy Trails.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Finally

Finished the Granddaughters purse today.  I have no illusions of grandeur with this one.  It's still not to my satisfaction but it will have to be the one.  I promised her this back at the start of the summer.  She was very specific in her desires.  She wanted it like Nani's (Kim), it had to be red and she really like hearts.


Was a bit at a loss as to what else to do to dress it up so she got this

 
A monogram and more hearts.  I really don't like making these, they don't turn out near as clean as I want them to be.  I think she will like it.  I also wonder if she even remembers that she wanted it.  She hasn't mentioned it in forever.
 
Happy Trails.
 
 



Friday, December 19, 2014

Will you get what you want?


As most of us at this time of year we get wishes for a Merry Christmas.  Last night someone wished me a Merry Christmas that has been very supportive during my recent ordeal with surgery.  He then asked me what I wanted for Christmas.  I didn't have to think about that at all.  I told him I already got what I wanted.  He knew exactly what I meant.  The good news from the pathology report was all I wanted.  I truly feel this way.  Especially since Kim's mammogram came back normal also.

We ventured out to the leather supply store today and picked up a few items.  Now I can finish my Granddaughters purse today.  Also bought a side of leather, although it wasn't the quality I would normally buy it was a pretty nice side and it was 70$ cheaper than what I would have normally purchased.  I didn't have enough on hand to take any new business even though I have suspended orders until after Christmas.   One friend approached me about a cover for his wife's Ipad.  He wanted it for Christmas.  Not near enough time to complete something like that by then.  He said he would just put a note in a box for her saying she would get one when I could get to it LOL.  I think he is in big trouble.

Most folks don't realize how much work and time goes into something like hand tooled custom items made from scratch.  They want it, so just whip something out.


Like any hand made item there are several processes that must be done with leather.  Almost every step has a wait time that is at least 24 hours.  Cutting the leather to specific measurements, casing the leather (24hrs min,), carving and tooling,  oiling (24 hrs min), staining/dying/antiquing (24 hrs min), assembly, burnishing edges, stitching lacing, final finish (24 hrs. min.).  This is just a rough idea of what is involved.  This doesn't consider the design time or the size of the project or how extensive the tooling is.  I don't want to disappoint and not give them what they want.   But I won't cut corners to hurry it along.  If you cut corners it will look like you cut corners.  Most folks have no idea what goes into a handcrafted item and are often shocked at the time involved and also the price.  They know they can get a similar item off Amazon and maybe pay half the price, but those are never hand made, especially the leather items.  They are mass produced in a factory and are machine made.  Hard to compete with some of that.

It could always be worse.

Happy Trails

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Two Weeks Out

Wednesday is two weeks since my prostatectomy.  I feel much better than I expected, virtually pain free.  There are things that I am and will have to deal with for the foreseeable future.  My urinary tract is still a bit inflamed but gradually getting better.  With that I hope that bladder control will increase.  It has already somewhat.  Little strides is what seems to be the process as of now.  I'll take what I can get.  I am trying to be patient and make jokes about myself to Kim and have her rolling at times.  It's great to see her happier now, even at my own expense.  She has a spectacular smile and it comes to her face easily.  There is one other area that may or may not ever return, to both our dismay, due to this surgery, only time will tell.  I'll leave that part to your imagination.

One of the things the surgeon was suggesting to me that after 1 or 2 years with a 0 number on my PSA levels I might want to consider getting back on testosterone therapy.  I am taking a really cautious approach to that school of thought.  While there would be significant benefits to my quality of life, there are risks.  While it doesn't cause cancer, it is a steroid.  These synthetic steroids can and will make cancer cells go into high gear.  After having cancer, I am a bit more than worried that some random cancer cell might be hiding in there somewhere.  Do I really want to give it fuel for the benefits the hormones would give?  This is such a new area and all the research is pretty much in it's infancy with testosterone therapy.  Things to ponder at least while we deal with the immediate aftermath.

It could be worse.

Happy Trails.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

More of the Same


Remember all the predictions about the Repulicants gaining control of Congress and the Senate?  That they would be able to fight off and repeal many of king barry's excutive orders such as amnesty and maybe even repeal obamacare?  Did you buy into that expecting that the Rino's McConnell and Boehner would change their stripes and actually grow a backbone and stand up to barry?  Are you at all surprised at what has transpired recently?  They are in control and yet they cave again.  Actually cave may not  be correct, they voted consistently as they have all along. 

One lone voice seems to be actually trying to be what he was sent there to be, Sen. Ted Cruz.  Yet he gets vilified by his own party and of course the lame stream media.  If you listen to the lame stream media you would think he was insane.

I really didn't expect anything much different when McConnell won is seat again.  But why does he wield so much power when it seems he can't get out of his own way?  Then there is Mr. Whiskey Tan that talked really tough during the campaigns only to be returned to congress and lead the mess that comes out of there. 

I am about to stop reading all news sources and go stick my head in the sand so as not to get my BP up to a dangerous level.  I don't like or want to be angry and this crap just gets me there faster than most anything around.  There are other things that can do this to me but I can control those for the most part.  My news reading habits may just change permanently.

Where are the People that used to believe in Right and Wrong?

SMH

Wishing you Happy Trails regardless.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Progressing

I don't believe that things could be much better right now.  I am progressing nicely with the healing.  I am virtually pain free at this point.  Although I am restricted from doing anything strenuous for 6 weeks.  That may be pretty hard, not lifting anything more than 10 lbs. 

Kim has her annual mammogram tomorrow.  Her Mom passed from breast cancer at a young age.  Kim is now older than her mother was when she passed.  Having this done is always a time of holding my breath.

I made it to church today for the first time in a couple weeks.  Was able to thank many of the folks that have been so great to us.  Very uplifting for us both.  Must be something going around as a lot of others were missing due to illness.  I am using a lot of hand sanitizer these days.

We did make it out to our extended family's Christmas event.  It was great to see everyone and have some great food.  Was able to stay the entire time without issue.  It's really funny how things go at the dinner portion of this event which is most of the entire thing.  We don't see most of these people but maybe once or twice a year.  So what happens when we sit down to eat?  We almost all sit with our immediate families and visit with them and not with the ones we see so rarely.  I have been noticing this for quite some time.  I am committed to breaking that habit lol.  Maybe it's just familiarity, I don't know, but I think it's weird but we have always done this.

Tuesday we have a chimney sweep coming out.  We have never had that done.  Didn't really know it was necessary, we didn't grow up with chimney's down here.  Just hoping to avoid any additional costs outside the initial Groupon we purchased for this service.



Sunday, December 14, 2014

Joyful

I have been exceedingly joyful the last couple days.  I am so thankful to our God for the answered prayers and am overwhelmed with gratitude.  Not to mention all the expressions of concern from all corners.  I have been hearing from folks I haven't seen in years but the continued expressions from those that have been here the entire time buoy my heart.  I can't help feeling all mushy inside.

I have been and am virtually pain free the past 2 days.  Didn't expect that with everything that has happened before.  In that sense recovery has been pretty good.  I feel almost like my old self.  The incontinence issue is much worse than expected and is very frustrating.  The time frame for that to be resolved varies greatly, from 1 week (very rare) to 6 months with 6 weeks being the average.   SMH.

We may try to head to our extended family's Christmas event Saturday night.  It is about an hour drive and it lasts anywhere from 3-4 hours.  I really want to attend and get a chance to see everyone and thank them in person.  Quite a few folks won't be there for various reasons.  As our family expands this happens more and more each year.  I expect that this event will eventually fade over the next years.  I want to see a cousin that has been battling melanoma for the last 2 years.  I think she is trying to get there, if she can, I should be able to also.  She has just gotten a good report also after many months of a very bleak outlook.  I need to hug her neck.  I doubt we would stay the length but we may venture out since I feel so great.

I want to thank those that read this blog and have commented and sent emails of support.  It means so much to me that you have expressed your concern without even meeting or really knowing me,  THANK YOU! 

Things are better than I deserve, I am so blessed.

Happy Trails.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Hallelujah!


Praise God on the highest!  The cancer was non invasive!  Still more surprises from the pathology.  The cancer was more aggressive than the biopsy indicated.  There was less cancer than the biopsy indicated.  Surprising that my PSA numbers were so low with such aggressive numbers, but the doctor had seen that before.  Only 7% of the prostate was involved when 50% of the biopsy samples were involved.  They had told me to expect more cancer than the biopsy revealed, that was almost always the case.  All in all surgery was the correct decision.  Even with all the other issues.  No further treatments needed, follow ups every 6 months for 5 years.  I can do that.
 
What were the other issues?  First off let me say the surgery was a piece of cake.  The other has been the intense uncontrollable pain, not necessarily due to the surgery.  First those 30 hours in the hospital.  Then a trip to the Emergency Room last night.  We thought I had a bowel obstruction.  Turns out pain does funny things to you.  The doctors tell me that my bladder and most likely me urethra are exquisitely sensitive.  The removal of the Foley catheter was enough to set off an extremely painful experience that sent me to the ER.  Hence the late post on the good news.

Whew......glad that's over.

I still have the Peace that passes all understanding. 

Happy Trails

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Another Milepost


Today we head to the surgeon to get this catheter removed finally and also get the Pathology report.  Early appointment at 8 AM.  Would be great to get some really good news at this point but we are prepared for something less.  I may or may not post the results once we return.  I will at least do that tomorrow.  One Day at a Time. 

I can't overstate how much Kim is a blessing to me.  I can't even start to imagine how all this would be if I was single.  I don't deserve her at all that's for sure.  She has been so patient and kind to me.  A very tender heart a beautiful soul.  This has all been very hard on her but she hides it well, but I can still see it, barely but it's there.  She deserves some good news.  She even cried some tears of happiness saying 'God gave you back to me.'  Well that did it for me.  Had complete control of my emotions the entire time of this whole ordeal, until then.  She is the reason I live.  I give thanks for her every day. 

No dark thoughts have made themselves evident.  I am beating the evil one.

On another note, Buster's arthritis is really giving him trouble the last couple days.  The doggy pain meds don't seem to do much.  They usually help really well.  Hate to see him limping around in pain, but then he thinks he will hear something and goes on full alert and the pain disappears.  He is still in good spirits most of the time just slower moving and gets pretty immobile by late evening.  He is ready for bed much earlier than usual.  Have been trying to remember just how old he is now.  We determined that he is now a few months past 11 years.  I guess it's OK for him to start showing some age and slowing down a bit, he deserves some rest and pampering.  With all that he still wants to do his play time chasing his ball and it seems that stops the pain until it's over, he just can't give up his play time. 

My Granddaughters purse is basically finished.  Need to add the closure and then it's done but have to go to the leather store to get a concho for it.  Once we get into town I will get that done and put up a few pics of it.  

Things are good.

Happy Trails.

 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

When it rains


You know the old saying 'when it rains, it pours.'  Someone might think that is and has been happening with us these last few months. 

The plumbers just left.  For a job that I probably could have done, maybe not all they did, but I could have replaced a hot water heater before my surgery.  I would not have been aware of the 'building code' changes and would not have gotten those taken care of.  We used the same plumber that had a warranty on the existing water heater thinking it might save us some cash.  None at all really considering the warranty would not be extended and then including the labor.  So we opted for a different brand that starts a whole new warranty and the labor is included for the length or the warranty.  So as you might guess, it was very expensive as we didn't feel we wanted to deal with the issue for as long as it would take to get a different plumber out here and go through all that again.  This is the kind of thing I was trying to get taken care of prior to surgery if you remember with my 'to do' list that got rather expensive.  Aw well, a hot water heater isn't something that can really be anticipated when it might start leaking and this one just kept getting worse each day since Sunday and we felt we couldn't wait any longer.  We need the warranty as we have had to replace our water heaters every few years due to how hard our water is.  The one before this one I had to get a plumber because I couldn't lift it.  It was so full of hardened sediment it would not drain.  50 gallons of water and rock won't be moved by a single man.

 We got good news from Kim's doctor visit, no surprises there and she will be getting some meds for her arthritis in her hips.  Blessed.

Kim says it is Satan doing his best to shake us.  I don't know, maybe.  He certainly would have been hitting me at one of my most vulnerable points, the things I stress over the most.  But I look at it like this, if Satan really knew me, he would have known that these things won't work with me at all.  They may seriously frustrate, even worry me, but turn my back on God?  Never.  He is just keeping me on my toes and makes me stronger with each test.

I know I say this a lot but, it really could be a lot worse.  I have nothing to complain about and I hope this didn't sound like complaining in any form. 
 
Happy Trails

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Getting Better


Feeling much better each day.  Nights still get a little unpleasant and can have a bit of trouble sleeping.  I mostly have to lay on my back the entire time, which is pretty hard for me as I am a turner and sleep on my side most of the time.  Still weaning off pain pills, only use them at night to take the edge off so I can sleep better.  Otherwise I don't use them.  Walking up the hill of our driveway several times a day and stretching out the sore areas.  None of this helps with this extremely annoying catheter.  Thursday can't get here soon enough to get that thing out and also the pathology report.  It's just one day at a time.

Folks from our congregation have banded together and are stopping by each day with food.  They have us scheduled through Friday.  I think I will be totally spoiled by then getting to eat great food prepared by those we care about deeply.  These folks love to cook.  In my experience people that love to cook do a great job usually, know what I mean.  We also get to visit with them for a bit which is great since I don't get out and see other faces. 

I need to get started on sending notes to those that have been such an encouragement to Kim and I with prayers, visits, cards, kind words, FOOD and texts.  I am worried about missing someone.  I can take care of a lot by sending a general card/note to the two congregations that have been so great with prayers, it's the visits, and calls I don't want to forget.  Have had visitors to the house everyday but one and it's been a blessing.  Really cheers Kim and I.  Lots of cutting up and story telling.  Best of times.

I thought about posting a photo of my belly in all its scarred glory.  Full disclosure type of thing.  But one of the visitors had mentioned she would cut her visit short if I showed her my belly.  So I am having second thoughts about that.  You can thank Valerie.

You're welcome Valerie.

It could always be worse.

Happy Trials.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Surgical Experience


Here we are in the aftermath of radical prostatectomy.   There were more terms listed for the 'technical' wording of my procedure but I can't find the paperwork that listed it at the moment.  So I want to give a rundown of how it all went before I forget much of it.

We got to the surgery unit about 5:20 AM for a scheduled 7:30 AM start.  They did all the usual things to prep me such as getting me changed into the fancy hospital gown everyone loves and taking vitals.  I stayed calm throughout, never did experience the anxiety I anticipated.  From what I could tell about Kim she was pretty calm also.  Had a few visitors come in to wish me well.  Around 6:30 things started moving pretty quickly.  Meeting the anesthesiologist and discussing concerns and his explanation of how things would go prior to surgery.  He gave me a  cocktail of drugs to make me relax and he said would most likely cause amnesia.  At that point, I remember absolutely nothing until I woke up from surgery.  Either it knocked me out completely or the amnesia was total.  There were quite a few folks that came out to support Kim and I, and most I didn't even get to speak to at all.  I think Kim said we had 21 folks in the waiting room.  They really do love Kim and I am so thankful they were there for her/us.  She thrives on that type interaction and I am so glad she had it.  Made it much easier on me.

I finally wakeup in recovery, with no idea how long I laid there before they woke me.  Took me straight up to a room.  I am so thankful it was a single.  The way things went later it would have been hard on anyone else that would have been stuck with me. 

The first thing I noticed was the intense pain in my groin with no pain where the incisions were made.  It was so intense I thought something was wrong.  It felt like my bladder was going to explode with an intense need to urinate.  My thought was that the catheter was messed up.  The gave me morphine, no relief at all not even a minuscule amount.   Two hours later more morphine and an oral narcotic.  Nada.  No results at all.  This went on for at least 12 hours and then they added dillaudid ( sp?) along with the oral.  They say that's the strongest thing they have.  Still nothing, not even the edge taken off.  I am not at all familiar with how nurses work/think in dealing with patients in pain.  I didn't think that I was being a pansy, I have had surgery on my throat and didn't even take pain meds.  When I explained that to the night nurse, she proceeded to tell me about everyone being different in how they handled pain and how she lived with pain every day because she had arthritis and her tolerance was higher.  Well whoopee for her, I have arthritis too.   This pain was nothing like that.  I felt I had to die to get better by this point.  I was getting to my limit.  After administering the pain meds she said she would return in an hour to check on me and administer the oral.  One hour, no nurse.   Finally at 1 hour 45 in I buzzed her.  Look, I take people at their word for the most part and know that nurses can get overwhelmed with work is I tried to be patient and understanding.   Come to find out, if you don't call then at that one hour mark they think the meds are working and won't come administer them.  My bad.  I think I was a pretty good patient considering how bad I felt.

The surgeon and his resident assistant both came in to check on me early.  The surgeon said he never had anyone experience the pain I was describing and not getting any relief.  He mentioned that my bladder was probably having spasms as they mess with it quite a bit.  But I felt no spasms just constant pain.  He ordered a suppository that would take care of the spasms.  Along with the other meds he felt this might work.  No.  Still absolutely no change.  

We are now into day 2 at this point and I am getting to the limit of what I can handle.  Still intense groin pain and an urgent need to urinate and by this time the 6 incisions are making themselves known.  Another resident visits me and then another.  The second one got there while my oldest son was there.  He deals with a lot of conflict resolution and became a pretty aggressive advocate for me at that point.  I could see the resident was a little taken aback by his approach.  He wasn't mean at all just forceful with his questioning and suggestions.  Pretty proud of him.

Around 3 PM Thursday they come in with some other meds, no real idea what some were, two pills that turned my urine a very dark orange, more dillaudid, more of the oral narcotic, another suppository and an IV of Tylenol.  By the time the Tylenol drip finished (about 30 min) I could tell the pain was finally easing up and within and hour I felt pretty good.  By this time it was 4 PM and they wouldn't send me home until they were confident the pain had subsided to a manageable level.  They most likely wouldn't  be able to give the IV Tylenol again so they wanted to be sure the other meds could handle it. 

Apparently it was a bladder spasm that couldn't be controlled until this last round.  Nurse shift change and one of the sweetest most helpful nurses saw may face and said right away that she could tell I was feeling better than I was on her previous shift.  So I had about 30 hours of having no pain control.

The surgeon came in around 7:30 PM, the resident said he NEVER does that, usually just one time and the residents handle everything else.  He could tell I was much better and felt confident I would go home Thursday.  He is a very personable guy and we got along great.

Pain continued to abate throughout the night and I finally got some sleep.  I hadn't been asleep since Wednesday morning at 4 AM and it was now Thursday evening around 9 PM.  There were 2 hours that I slept restlessly Wednesday evening from 9-11 PM but not any more.

The resident came in around 6 AM and left orders for my release.  They also started cutting back the IV pain meds to see if the oral meds would handle my pain and they did and still do.  We left the hospital around 10 AM and at home doing pretty well.

Having a catheter still attached is no fun at all and can get a little painful but I have no real choice and am dealing with it pretty well.

The next issue is getting the full pathology report to determine if there was any spread of the cancer and getting that catheter removed.  We are preparing for a bad pathology report due to the lymph node issue I mentioned earlier. 

At this point we are doing as well as can be expected and our family and Brothers and Sisters in Christ are taking better care of us than we deserve.  We are so very thankful for all the support, it would have been really rough with out it and of course the readers of this blog that have also been very supportive and kind with comments and emails as well.

Thank you all.  I have been deeply touched and will never forget the outpouring of kindness toward us.  If you have any questions about what I have been going through don't be shy to ask, we can do it privately if you want it that way.

It could always be worse.

Happy Trails.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Suregery is complete

Well it's done.  Got home around noon Friday.  Had to stay an extra night.  More on that later.
I'm doing pretty well.  Next major hurdle will be getting the full pathology report.  I'm not real optimistic about what they will find.  The doctor told me he may not take any lymph nodes ( I wanted him to) it would depend on how they looked.  One looked funny he said.  So he took some.

Will discuss the surgery more over the next day of so.  Not real pleasant being in front of the PC at the moment.

Hope all y'all behaved.

Happy Trails.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

0, Zero

Today is the day we head into town to get that rotten body part removed.  Then you don't have to hear about it anymore.  Well maybe a few things about the aftermath since I created this blog to document my cancer experience.  There will be things that I have to deal with for the rest of my life by not having a prostate.  Nothing insurmountable.  Some of those things would probably have happened eventually due to age etc.  Most of the pressing ones may resolve themselves anywhere from 6 months to a year after.  One of those thing is 'leakage.'  If it doesn't resolve they say they can fix that with additional surgery.  :(  Not good.   The immediate concern is just getting through this and then awaiting the pathology report to see if there is a need for further treatment i.e. chemo or radiation.

Early surgery time and it will last 2.5 hours.  They have told me I will have to stay one night.  Not sure when I will get back to updating this.  I scheduled this and the last post in advance.  Thanks for all the kind words, thoughts and prayers you have been so kind and generous with.

I'll check back to make sure all you kid's played nice while I am out.

 

Happy Trails.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

1, one


Finally got the windshield replaced on Kim's car.  They came out to the house to do it saving me a trip into town, which is always good.  We were first on his schedule, how often does that happen when you have a serviceman come out?  He was done by 9:30 AM which allowed us the rest of the morning free.

The 'to do' list is getting shorter.  Will try to finish up the Granddaughters purse before the surgery.  Got the gusset cut and will start attaching/gluing/stitching today.  Hopefully it all goes smoothly and the 'to do' list will be completed.  At least completed as far as things go that I felt needed to get done before surgery.  I'm sure there are other things that need my attention as with anyone, but those things that I knew would eat at me will be done WOOOHOOO!!!!!!

A niece and her family from Alaska is in town to visit family.  We met them at a Bar B Q joint as that is what they requested.  I am pretty sure Bar B Q like we have here in Texas is hard to find in Alaska.  The husband is a native Texan so he should know what he likes.  Went to a place I had forgotten about and I am glad we did.  It was what you want in Texas Bar B Q, you could smell the smoke as we walked up.  None of those fake oven type cooking jobs I have seen some places go to.  Will have to put this one on the must do again list.

Happy Trails.

Monday, December 1, 2014

2


Finally, the week for surgery is here.  I certainly am glad this two months of waiting for the actual surgery to get here is almost over.  It didn't seem near as long as I thought it would.  I am guessing that keeping a positive frame of mind is most of the reason the wait hasn't seemed near as long as I expected.  Still no butterflies but my thoughts are certainly centered on the upcoming event.  Even when I am occupied with something it's there in the back of my mind.  I'm sure everyone has had something that just stays in your mind, not eating at you, it's just there.

Everyone has been very kind to me and supportive, and Kim has been getting even more support.  All is appreciated more than I could ever express adequately. 

I used to be the one that didn't want this sort of attention, I wanted it to just go away and try to not to think about it.  Most everyone that did offer some sort of words made me feel awkward, uncomfortable.  I just didn't want to talk about it in any sort of manner.  The more it was out there, the more I would think about it and then worry.  Not the case anymore.  I want, need the encouragement.  I never would have gotten this far along in a good frame of mind without all the positive support I received.  Having such a great support system of brothers and sisters in Christ has been invaluable.  I have the 'peace that passes all understanding.'  I now know what that means in the true sense through this experience. 

Posting here will probably be light, even sporadic throughout this week so please forgive me.  I thought I would have much more to say than this when this all rolled around.  Doesn't appear to be the case.

Two more days.

Happy Trails.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christmas Ligths

I actually got Christmas Lights put up Friday instead of Saturday.  Not near as many as usual and didn't get them up to the higher spots on the house, but there are some.  May put a few more around to door tomorrow.


Picture isn't all that good and it's a weaker effort than usual.  It looks much better in person.

After it was done, I was in a mood that told me I may not do this anymore especially with a half hearted attempt like this one.  We'll see next year. 

Kim made good headway on the other decorations and the tree is up.  It just needs all the things she puts on there.  She really makes it look spectacular.  She does all the inside and mine has always been the outside.  Guess that's why my effort looks so puny next to hers, especially this year lol.

I have been just on the edge of getting a few butterflies once in a while the last day or so.  I guess that's to be expected as my mind turns more to the thoughts of surgery as we get closer.  I have expected it.  I try not to let the butterflies get loose.  It's all good at this point, I just want to avoid the giant moths I know are flying around out there somewhere.  We'll see if they come fluttering around when I am alone and Kim is out doing her thing.  I stay on guard for them as I try to keep the mind active and not focused where I don't want it to be.

We went to my Mother and Fathers for Thanksgiving this year.  I sensed that my Mother is a bit nervous about my surgery, maybe more than me.  She hides it well to try to keep me from freaking out, but there is something else behind all her assurances.  I can feel it in the air when she talks to me.
Tried to talk her into staying home as it's a long drive through bad traffic at rush hour to get to the hospital where this will take place.  She says she just can't stay home.  I have suggested that she come later than the early start time.  Come a couple hours later and see me after I get out.  She can avoid the rush hour traffic and still be there before I get out.  Not sure what she will decide.  I would rather she be safe.

Four more days.

Happy Trails.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday

No shopping madness for this house, not by a long shot.  Well not for me at least and Kim hasn't said a word about going.  If I can't buy it online it doesn't get bought.  I have been doing that for a looong time.  When someone asks me if I am going shopping that is the answer I give.  Then they immediately counter with "don't you miss all the excitement of shopping?"  Uh, NO!  Never have been a "shopper," when I did go when the kids were young it was almost always for something specific, no wandering around trying to figure out what to get for whom.  My method was 'get it and get out.'  No muss no fuss.  Not to mention I have little patience for larger gatherings of people in almost any form.  Even so, this year will be sparse anyway due to all the medical bills.  We will get them covered, we just don't want to accumulate any additional debt by adding gifts to each other on to what we get for others.  Plus buying for each other reduces what we can provide for others.  I know that shopping is mostly all a woman thing and that is another reason I don't go into the maelstrom of the mindless zombies that lose all reason and have no idea that they aren't the only ones in the store.  Even though this is supposed to be and generally is a time of year when people are nicer etc. that doesn't seem to apply to shoppers.

Will be trying to get some of the Christmas decorations up.  I like to have lights on the outside of the house, always have.  There have been very few years that I didn't put up at least a few.  I used to do it for the kids but soon realized they didn't care about it like I did as a child.  It was always one of my favorite things to have on our house.  So I continue with it even though the kids and grandkids may never even see them.  I do it for me now and really always have.  This year, even though I don't put up near as many I just don't have the mojo to do it.  Even after dragging out all the tubs of decorations.  That usually gets me more in the mood to do it.  Hasn't yet.  Not sure why that is this time.  Maybe the thought of taking it all down and putting it away after having surgery on your abdomen?  Low 'T?'  Just old?  (hate to use the OLD excuse) No idea really, if it doesn't get done today, maybe Saturday.  Kim goes to the Resort, there aren't really any games on TV I care about and I will be looking for something to keep me occupied.  Oh, on that note, the Granddaughters purse is coming along really slow.  It has gotten the stain/dye applied, just need to cut the gusset, glue where needed, punch holes and stitch it up.  Plenty of time to complete it, but I seem to keep forgetting I need to get it done.  Also trying to decide of lacing or thread stitching is in order.  The lacing isn't as durable IMO for a little girl that may be hard on it.  The thread has some durability issues to but I can repair that much easier.  Kim says thread so I am probably going that route.

Hope all Y'all had a good Thanksgiving and if you venture out shopping hope you can keep your sanity.

Happy Trails.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Light to no posts next few days.

 

 


 
Hope y'all have a good 'un and be safe.
 
Six more days.
 
Happy Trails

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Christmas Shopping

I see they started Christmas shopping early in Ferguson.  I wonder how much of the stuff 'liberated' will end up as Christmas gifts this year.  Probably none, selfish people don't give.
 
 

 
I simply don't understand the sort of mentality that is being displayed there.  Tear up your hometown and destroy your neighbors property and steal from the people that you shop from. 
 
 
All in the name of righteous protest, I call horse hockey.  Who in their right mind or has a normal semblance of reason does this sort of thing or even thinks it's justified.  These riots only justify what they are protesting, don't they get that?  Why should you be treated with respect when you do things like that.  You are just asking for a beat down by the police.  If you even support or condone that behavior you're as guilty as they are, you're part of the culture that thinks backwards, as if thinking is any part of the equation. 

Those that get their names in the press at every event like this are in no way trying to solve the problems they perceive and are just lining their pockets by accepting donations from those that are misguided or have a hidden agenda.  Their cause is ONLY the almighty dollar.  They quit caring about being right the first time they got a big donation and realized they wouldn't ever really have to work again.  They became professional racists, troublemakers and victims.  Our current divisive occupier of the white house is no better.  I submit that there would still have been some sort of civic disorder had they indicted that police officer.  The tensions were just to high to not explode some how. They have been preparing(egging it on) for it for months. 

These protestors don't want justice they want vengeance, misguide vengeance.  There is NOTHING about what is going on righteous.

On another note: Kim went and got her hips X-rayed today.  I assume we won't hear anything until the Doc reviews them.  Her Cedar Fever is still bad.  She is miserable but keeps on.  She is much stronger than me when feeling bad.  Chimney Sweepers can't get here until 12/16.  They don't schedule you first come first serve, it is by where you live so they can create an efficient route?  What?  I understand that but it will have been a month since we first contacted them and they NEVER returned a call as promised.

7 days to go.

Happy Trails.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Leather and Beads

Don't forget to click on the pic.

This is what I was trying to get done for Kim's Open House.  I tool and dye/stain the leather and she adds the bling.  They have been much more popular than just my simple tooled cuffs.   Nothing real fancy as far as leather work is concerned.  It doesn't require intense work/tooling and can be turned out rather quickly and the margin of profit is much higher.

Before

 
After



 

These are what we had produced previously with some conchos, but her new beading idea seems much more popular.  While some of the non-beaded could and are worn by men these latest restrict the market but sell more as the ladies really seem to notice them more with the beads/bling.

Older styles
 


I have a few other leather things I have created at Kim's request that I prefer the looks of over these.  She just hasn't had the time to get around to putting the finishing touches on.  When she does I will post a few of those.  These are similar to what I think she will produce with those.
 


 
Keeps me occupied and I enjoy the work.

Heading into town today, make a few visits to some stores to pick up a few items that will make me more presentable at the hospital lol.  I don't think they want to see what I wear at home and I don't want them to see it. 

Been trying to get a chimney sweep out to the house so we can use the fireplace if we feel like it.  We only use it on the extremely cold days, we just love the coziness even if it does require more work for us.  We bought a 'Groupon' for a chimney sweep but it seems he is very busy and we have been having trouble getting him scheduled.  Not sure why that is.  If you are ready to offer a Groupon you should at the least be able to create a schedule to put your customers on. 

Will also try to get the cracked windshield replaced.  They will come out to the house and do that so I don't have to go into town for that. 

8 days to go.

Happy Trails. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Allergy

Not much here today.  I have a general feeling of malaise about myself and it has been there most of the weekend.  Both the wife and I are feeling the effects of some sort of allergens that blew in last week.  Just not feeling much energy at all.  Obviously it is affecting the few active brain cells I have retained.  Can't really get motivated to write much or anything else for that matter.  Kim's allergy is much worse.  Sometimes is seems it may be terminal she gets so bad.  The Cedar Fever just tears her up and it is much earlier than normal and it isn't anywhere near the peak.  Gonna be a bad one for her if she is this bad already.  I'm not allergic to Cedar so not sure what mine was brought on by.  When trying to stay healthy so as not to delay the surgery, this episode has me a little aggravated that it has shown up now.  Not sure if I am more susceptible with something like this.  Hopefully it will clear up by next week. 

As I suspected I have started thinking more about the surgery the closer it draws.  Thankfully I am not at all distressed with these thoughts, they are just sort of matter of fact if that makes sense.  It's something that has to be done and I am ready for it to be done.   Starting to count down the days now, 9 to go.

Hopefully this malaise we be gone soon also, until then....

Happy Trails.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Open House


Saturday evening was Kim's Open House.  Rain and storms were predicted for the entire time frame with some possibly being very severe.  We're talking hail and tornadoes. 
 
 
In November?  I think the threat of bad weather kept some folks home. And it did come a thunder storm with some hail, but mostly heavy rain.  Got an inch in about 20 minutes.  It's still thundering as I write this.  Since we live well outside the city there are no lights for the city dwellers to use.  Probably safer that they did stay home.
 
She did sell a few things, not a lot but we are grateful for any sales.  She works at it very hard and long hours.   I also want to mention that I don't want to use this blog as a means to sell our wares.  I believe that if you have been coming here it isn't to be solicited and that isn't how you found me in the first place.   One of the husbands did come and we had a good visit, and we kept each other out of trouble for the most part.

The day at the Resort was not good at all either.  That is very unusual for this time of year.  It was raining which is also good for her.  It keeps folks inside looking for something to do and they come find her.  There just weren't many folks there this time.  I thought that was surprising being the week before Thanksgiving.  I figured there would be a load of folks starting a full week of festivities.  Wrong.  Next weekend they will probably be full.
 
Now that we got this show out of the way I can try to return to working on the purse project for the Granddaughter.  Should be able to get the leather colored and ready for stitching.  I think it looks pretty good so far.  Will try to color hers a little different than her Nani's but not to much.  Then turkey day will be here.  We have the traditional meal at lunch time with my Mom and Dad and my boys and their family.  Only one son is married with kids.  Then the oldest and his family will leave to spend some time at his wife's parents house.  Miss being able to watch our football team play with him.  Mom and Dad leave pretty early too but the fact that they can still drive out this far is pretty good.  I just wish our Tgiving with family lasted all day like they used to when I was a kid.  This one I will try to be on best behavior so we have extra good memories of this one before I go under the robot. 
 
Have been a bit under the weather with some sort of sinus thing.  It's not anything bit allergies I think but it has made us more aware.  Trying to stay healthy and have been avoiding a lot of things to keep from getting sick before surgery.  Don't want to delay that any longer due to illness if I can help it.  So am staying away from crowds and using a lot of hand sanitizer. 
 
Happy Trails.