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Friday, June 6, 2014

Hello, Stranger!

That would be me!  :D  I see that I have not made a post here for almost 4 months!  Where does the time go?  Out the window!  Poof!  Gone like the breezes that blow!

So, we went from winter to summer in a matter of just a few days!  What happened to spring?  We really did not have much of a spring.  We've already had some days 90 and above in temps!  YIKES!  I'm thinking its gonna be a hot summer!

For those of you who follow me on facebook (or you are family), a lot of this will be old news until the very end.  For those of you who don't follow me on facebook, this will be a quickie recap so this post doesn't just go on and on and on and......well, you get the picture!  :D  And, speaking of pictures, here's some of the jewelry I have been making in the last couple of months:



Let's talk about Tim's cancer.  Treatment #1 (IL-2 administered during 2 hospital stays) did not cause the tumors to shrink (subcutaneous melanoma).  Treatment #2 (Yervoy administered as outpatient four times) did not cause the tumors to shrink and he had a bad reaction during the 2nd administration and had to quit half way through).  Treatment #3 is a BRAF inhibitor and I can never remember the name of it is being taken in pill form.  The pills are as big as pre-natal vitamins and he takes 8 of them a day.....4 every 12 hours.  And to quote Tim's thoughts about Treatment #3......."If it were the best, wouldn't they have administered it first?"  Well, the answer to that is no.  The different treatments work or don't work on different people.  Blood work revealed that Tim had a certain cell mutation that the doctor felt positive about #3 working.  If I understand this correctly.......the BRAF inhibitor is something we all have that tells the cell when to stop dividing.  But, the cancer turned this off in Tim's case and so the tumor cells were dividing like crazy because the BRAF inhibitor was not doing it's job.  So, this Treatment #3 is to cause the cell division to stop.  And, praise the Lord, that is happening and the tumors are now shrinking!  So, Tim has since had to take back his words and disbelief that Treatment #3 would work! 

Tim had to have blood work done before beginning the treatment to make sure his liver was not toxic and that the Yervoy treatment was not going to be a problem.  The first week gave bad liver readings.....not as low as the doctor wanted, so we waited another week.  On Friday, May 16th the blood tests gave good readings so Tim started his first dose that night.  When the members started arriving the following Wednesday at church, they all started mentioning the visible lump underneath his left eye was smaller.  He and I hadn't noticed it and I took a double look and thought the same thing, that it was smaller.  Tim thought everyone was just trying to encourage him.  But, by the weekend he was noticing ALL the lumps on his body were significantly smaller!  By the next Friday (2 weeks since beginning Treatment #3) at the doctor's office for follow-up blood work, the doctor noticed right off that the tumor under his eye was smaller.  The only one that is not noticeably smaller is the big hen egg on top of his head.  The doctor said because it is on the skull, it would be the most stubborn one to get rid of.  But, I think, and so do the members at church, that even that lump is somewhat smaller.  He will go back for more blood work on the 27th of June.  They are keeping a close eye on his liver.  This medicine has made him very sensitive to the sun.  He has to wear a hat and very dark sunglasses.  He is wearing long sleeved shirts and when he drives he wears gloves because the sun coming in the window burns his skin right now!  He has had some joint pain, too, which is another side effect, but he hasn't mentioned that this week, so maybe that has run its course.  But, he is happy for the side effects....."means something is happening!"  We are rejoicing in the Lord for healing and are praying it continues and completely eradicates the cancer!

The last 2 photos were taken when we went to Tennessee the Thursday - Saturday before Memorial Day.  The falls in the background are Black River Falls on the Cherohala Skyway that runs from Tellico in Tennessee to the Nantahala Forest in North Carolina and ends in Robbinsville, NC.  Beautiful, relaxing drive.  On our way back on Saturday we hit the Goodwills along our route (I-40).  Tim's hands were hurting and burning from the sun shining through the window, so at the first Goodwill he bought these gloves.  He had 2nd degree burns in no time!  Lesson learned!  He does not leave home without his gloves now!

My desktop computer has been dying a slow death for several months now.  When I would turn it off, it would take several tries to boot up.  Finally got to the point of spending 1/2 an hour just trying to get it on.  So, when I finally got it on last Sunday, I did not turn it off.  In 2005 we bought 2 HP computers just alike, 6 months same as cash deals.  They have been the best computers and I hated that it was dying!  We had taken the power supply out of Tim's a couple of years ago and put it in mine, but other than that we have had no problems.....til now.  So, Tim said that he was interested in using a desktop again in the man room instead of the laptop he has, so he took the power supply back out of my computer along with the however many rams of memory and put it back in his computer.  It would not start, so both computers are now on the trash heap for the July Junk pick up.  So, I will be limping along on my laptop that I got back in 2007 and have had a few problems with it, too.  For instance, I cannot have the computer to restart.....I have to shut it down and then start it again.  And, the battery has been dead for a LONG time, but we don't want to spend that much money on another one, but the battery has to be in the computer, even though it is dead, or the computer will not turn on.  So, I have to leave it plugged into the outlet the whole time I use it.  I told Tim I would just have to start saving all the birthday monies and Christmas monies I get from the kids and start saving up for a new desktop.  Only thing I am dreading is not being able to get Windows XP again since Microsoft has stopped supporting it.  And when you get a new computer, you automatically get the newest version.

Tim was able to find a nice computer at Goodwill this week for $260 with Windows 7 installed.  He has a week to use it and make sure it works OK and then he will upgrade it to Windows 8.  I think it has 8G of ram??  He said he can really tell the difference in the start up of all his programs.

A couple of months ago, in protest of Time Warner's high internet prices, we left them and signed up for AT & T's UVerse DSL internet.  What a mistake that was!  We have had nothing but problems!  Every time I tried to skype with the grandkids, the connection would fail and our conversations were always cut short.  And every night at 7 we had connection problems, most of the time not even being able to get on the internet.  Well, we put up with it for about 3 months.  On Monday Tim called Time Warner back and signed up for the slowest speed for $14.99 a month (we were paying $75 for the fastest before).  I am happy to say that I was able to skype with Kara tonight with only one hiccup.

Yesterday and today Tim and I have been working on the computer situation and I have been cleaning and organizing my craft room.......again!  I wanted to put some brackets on the wall to put a counter top configuration on for my beading area.  We went to Lowes to do some pricing.  Well, one metal bracket that would come out from the wall and the counter top would sit on was going to cost $10.  So, buying 3 of those, not to mention the metal running up and down the wall to put those brackets in was going to cost more than I wanted to spend.  So we looked at the wood and thought we could do what I wanted done using 1 x 2's.  We did some rough guestimating and came away with 3 1x6's and 1 1x8.  Total cost was $11.12!  CHA-CHING!  Here's a picture of our project after completion.  I still have a bit of organizing and putting away, but I'm basically done in the room.  And, I love the beading area table now!  And the price was perfect!  The other thing I want to do in here is clean out the closet which is a total disaster!  I will have to get to it next week.  Right now my feet are killing me from being up on them for 2 days working in this room!  :D

One more thing before I go.  We are gearing up for VBS, which will be August 4-8.  So, I've been trying to get the crafts together for the week.  Here are the 2 I have decided upon so far.  The monkey is for the older kids (juniors and teens) and the monkey will be for the primary kids.  I was thinking of this being for the pre-primary kids, but they would not be able to do the work, so I will probably have them making one of the beaded witnessing bracelets.

OK, that's it for me tonight.  Sweet dreams!


Gram said...

Glad you're back!

I finally saw Connie's bracelet in person and I think it is gorgeous!

We are going to be in your neck of the woods in August and hope to stop by to see you and Tim, perhaps for lunch. We can talk details via Facebook.

Tammy said...

Nice to see you back!! :)