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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Remembering Tim

Tim has been in heaven a week already, as of 9:48 EST this evening!

I Can Only Imagine what he is seeing and experiencing!  Click on the link to listen to Amy Grant and be prepared for chills and tears!

Heaven will be worth it all!

Heaven Will Surely Be Worth It All
Lyrics: W. Oliver Cooper
Music: Minzo C. Jones

Often I'm hindered on my way,
Burdened so heavy I almost fall;
Then I hear Jesus sweetly say;
"Heaven will surely be worth it all."

Many the trials, toils and tears,
Many a heartache may here appall;
But the dear Lord so truly says:
"Heaven will surely be worth it all."

Toiling and pain I will endure,
Till I shall hear the death angel call;
Jesus has promised and I'm sure
Heaven will surely be worth it all.

Chorus:
Heaven will surely be worth it all.
Worth all the sorrows that here befall;
After this life with all its strife,
Heaven will surely be worth it all.


The pastor who conducted Tim's funeral is a good friend of Tim's.  He wrote this poem for Tim:

Timothy Day, 1954 – 2017
A quiet man of kindness known,
By words confirmed in actions shown.
A man respected, without deception
Above reproach with no exception.

A scholar’s mind, a servant’s heart.
A student’s friend, the seeker’s art.
In language skilled, in words well-said.
Ever learning, in books well read.

Friend, father, faithful man
Of God, always trusting Heaven’s plan.
A life too short but yet well-spent
A soul not here, but just absent.

Loved more than our words can say,
By those who mourn with us today.
Loved even more by his Savior
Who received him into Heaven’s favor


Safe in the arms of Jesus!  I miss and love you, Babe!


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Update on Tim

Tim's decline in health has been very evident over the last couple of weeks. But this week it took a nose dive.  Friday, there were several times I checked on him in the spare bedroom to find him flat on his back with a comatose stare at the ceiling. When I asked him if he was ok, he could barely answer. He also had been feeling the need to urinate without being able to.  So I sent a note to his 3 main doctors: the oncologist, the radiation oncologist, and the neurologist. I basically begged them to consider admitted Tim to the hospital because of his weakening condition. The neurologist (neurosurgeon) answered that he was concerned about Tim's overall condition deteriorating. He said, "After reviewing his most recent brain imaging, I recommend no neurosurgical intervention. However, he needs a medical evaluation. I recommend that you bring him to the ED here for an evaluation and possible admission to the hematology/oncology or medicine service."  Knowing how Tim HATES waiting in the ER, especially when you don't feel well to begin with, I asked him if he wanted to go. He said yes, so we went.

While we were waiting to be seen, the oncologist called me to see what was going on. I told him he was even worse than he was 2 days ago when he had the brain MRI. He told me someone explained to him that the cancer has spread to the lining of the brain. He said once the cancer has done that chemo usually doesn't have much effect. He said he would work on getting Tim admitted with the idea of transitioning to hospice care at home.

In a few minutes time, the doctor's nurse called me and said they were waiting on a bed. Within an hour one of the ER nurses was taking us to his room. Thank You, Lord!

The nursing staff set about to make him comfortable. They first did an ultrasound on his abdomen to see how much fluid was in his bladder. They found it to be holding about a liter, so they inserted a Foley catheter. First problem solved.

Next, fluids were administered after his portacath was accessed. And then they began to work on his constipation by giving him a laxative.

The plan for getting him to sleep for the night was Xanax and Ambien. I asked him if he was ok with me going home to get some sleep and print out the bulletin. He said yes. I stayed until I knew he was asleep.

On the way home, I realized that I needed a hug. So I called Sharon and asked her if she was busy and told her I needed a hug. She said to come! Thank you, Sharon and Calvin for the hugs, the food and the encouragement and love.

After I got home, I started calling Tim's family to let them know about his condition. I sent texts to others and an email to a pastor friend and his wife. I printed out the bulletin and did a little bit of laundry.  I was in bed around 12:15 and didn't wake up until 5:50! I haven't slept that well in a month of Sundays! Thank You Lord!

Took my shower, packed my bedding and clothes in the suitcase, washed our sheets for the girls and threw them in the dryer, fixed up my purse and a tote with my meds, camera, books, etc., took the bulletins to the church and our tithe. Loaded up the car and headed back to the hospital.

Nothing has relieved Tim's constipation. Not the laxative or the suppository or the enema.  Not sure what they will do about that. He has been throwing up bile today.

Well, here's to another night of rest (hopefully, if Tim ever settles down and quits fidgeting). Of course, when Tim finally settled down, the nurse needed vitals! GRRR!


Thursday, August 3, 2017

911

I had to call 911 around 3:30 a.m.  I was helping Tim move from the recliner to the bed in the guest room.  He tried to get there too quickly and his legs buckled under him and he went down while I was holding him.  We worked for 15 minutes trying to get him up, but without strength, he could not help me and I just could not lift him.

911 dispatch transferred my call to the EMTs.  I put a pillow behind Tim's head, threw a blanket over him and he went to sleep while waiting on them to arrive.  It took longer for the paperwork than for them to get him up.  Fortunately it didn't cost anything since we didn't need ambulance transport to the hospital.  Thank You, LORD!

He slept pretty well until 1:00.  After that it was a game of transfers.....from the bed to the recliner to the bed and back again.  And add to that the many times he had to pee.  BUT, I'm glad he is drinking more!  Thank You, LORD!

He said several times today that he wished he could go to the ER and that they would do something to make him feel better.  Breaks my heart!  Liz is going to come tomorrow and bring me some milk and give me her opinion on her dad's condition.  He is definitely worse, but I don't know how much more to endure before I insist he be admitted to the hospital for some help.

I'm tired, so I am just going to close so I can get some sleep while he is sleeping.  Thank you all for your prayers!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Update on Tim

Today’s doctor and MRI visits:

We left the house around 9:40 and finally got back home around 5:30.
The first item on the agenda was porta cath care and blood work at 10:30.
Then the follow up with the oncologist at 11:30 so he could talk about the results of the blood work and examine Tim.  However, today he did not examine Tim since Tim was in the wheelchair and kind of out of it since he did not get much, if any, sleep last night.  He fretted all night about the MRI. 

He is becoming more and more anxious.  He was getting his feet tangled in the covers the other night, so last night he decided he needed to sleep on top of the covers.  So, I put a sweatshirt on him for the replacement of a blanket.  Before I could get it over his head, he was panicking.  The bathroom light across from the bedroom has to be left on at night and our bedroom door remains open.

Anyway, the oncologist said that this should be the low point of the chemo treatment and he should start to rebound now…….just in time to begin the process all over again.  The good news is that we have been able to tell that a few of the melanoma tumors have shrunk.  Let’s just pray the ones in the brain do, too!  I asked the doctor if there was a limit to the number of treatments Tim would be taking.  He said it all depended on the white blood cell count.  So blood work will be done at least once a month before he determines whether Tim is good to go for another 28 day cycle of 5 days taking the chemo pill followed by 23 days off.

The doctor wanted us to come back to see him after the MRI was done.

We had about an hour and a half to kill before the MRI, so I grabbed a chicken sandwich from Hardees, took it to the MRI Center and ate it in the parking lot while Tim took a nap.  He had to be at his appointment at 1:30 check-in time and 2:00 for the MRI.  We went in at 1:00, hoping to be slipped in early.  Not so much.  They were running behind and it was 2:45 before he even went back and by the time they gave him the sedative it was later than that when the MRI started.

The nurse said the sedative was a fail, but they were able to complete the study.  Tim was just really fidgety even with the sedative.  He remembers them telling him to be a good boy and hold his head still (this after she told me he wouldn’t remember anything about it!)  HA!

We got back over to the main campus of the hospital around 4:00.  The nurses de-accessed his port and we waited for the doctor to come see us about the MRI results.  When he got there around 4:45, he had to admit he didn’t really know what he was looking at.  He is not the brain MRI specialists.  He said he saw the melanoma, but he doesn’t know what the other doctor has in mind for any further radiation treatment, if any.  So, he said he would have to wait and talk with him.

In the meantime, the doctor is very concerned about Tim’s weakness and trying to walk around the house up and down the steps between the “man cave” and the kitchen.  I told him we could take care of that since there is a bathroom and a bedroom in that end of the house and there is really no need for him to go up and down the stairs.

On the 11th we meet with the eye doctor about the double vision returning.  Tim is really suffering with motion sickness, I think, due to the double vision!  I think that is why he keeps getting nauseous while we are out, especially!

All it took was for me to wheel him into the MRI center for him to become nauseous.  He saw the trash can and said, "Stay close to that trash can."  So, I asked the check-in desk if he could use it to throw up in.  Fortunately, he sat still long enough that he never did throw up.  I hate it for him, though.  Hopefully the eye doctor will be able to do something to help him.

I’m discouraged because Tim was doing so well before he started this chemo treatment.  He was getting back into preaching again and feeling pretty good!  Now, it is as though all of the progress has been ripped away from him again!  I think he is doing worse now than when he had the brain surgery!  I think I need an attitude adjustment!  Thy will be done, LORD!  Thank You for the good years Tim has had during the treatment of the metastatic melanoma!

I did learn today that probably giving him one of the doses of the steroid with his night time meds is contributing to him not being able to sleep at night.  The doctor said that 5:00 should probably be the latest he takes the last dose.  Well, by the time we got home tonight, we were already past that time, so I decided not to give him the dose at all tonight.  I started the Xanax tonight.  Pray that he sleeps through the night!  Pour guy needs it after the night he had last night!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Urgent Care Visit

Well, it's been another one of those days!  Tim had the dry heaves this morning and had a slight headache.  I sent a note to his oncologist about the fall yesterday, the throwing up in Walmart, the throwing up today and the headache and asked his opinion.  I got a note back from a triage nurse that said, due to the symptoms we should go to the ER or urgent care so trauma could be ruled out.  Tim did NOT want to sit in the ER all day, so we found the nearest Wake Forest Urgent Care facility in Clemmons (about 15 minutes away) and went there.

YUP!  There will be no more ER visits unless it is by ambulance!  We were in a room within 15 minutes!  The doctor gave Tim a good examination.  He ruled out a spinal bleed (I think) and determined that there was no trauma from the fall.  When he listened to Tim's abdomen, he said Tim had lots of acid.  He prescribed a stronger antacid medicine than what he is currently taking.  I told him Tim was not sleeping very well.  He said it is normal with the obvious stress his body is under from the cancer.  He also prescribed Xanax for him to take at night to help sleep.  But he also said Tim needs to refrain from all the napping during the day!  That will be a tough one, considering how weak Tim is!

Since Tim will be getting sedation tomorrow for the MRI, we opted not to give him the Xanax tonight because Xanax and Versed react to one another in a bad way, causing terrible side effects!

I don't know how the subject came about, but the doctor also wanted Tim to start eating chicken noodle soup 4 times a day.  I think for strength and fluids, maybe!  I'm not sure where that all fits in to our visit today!  I would love it if Tim ate half that much!  Today, he didn't eat breakfast due to the nausea.  After we got back home, he did eat 1 small ladle of chicken noodle soup.  And, he was not about to eat that for supper, too!  He had about half an ear of corn.  He's just about as weak now as he was when I had to take him for fluids last Friday.  I'm at my wits end of knowing what to do to make him drink and eat!

Since we were at the urgent care for awhile and then went to the store to fill the new prescriptions afterwards, he still took a nap after he ate the soup.  He did snooze a little bit throughout the afternoon, but not as much as usual, I don't think.  Pray he sleeps well tonight!

We also went outside for a bit tonight.  Here's a few pictures and some movies of the birds.

Please pray for Tim.  He is so anxious about tomorrow's MRI that he cannot sleep tonight.  I can't give him the Xanax because it interacts in a harmful way with the Versed he will receive tomorrow for the MRI.

It turned cloudy late this afternoon.  Made the temp comfortable for sitting outside.

The flowers got chopped off the tobacco today.





video

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Tripping Hazard

I woke up at 6 a.m. to Tim's yelling, "Vicky!  Help me!  Vicky!  I need your help!"  Oh man!  That is a terrible way to wake up!  Tim had been in the recliner and had decided to go back to bed.  When he got out of the recliner, the wire to the heating pad was around his foot.  When he got as far as it would go, he went down.  He said he hit his head and he hurt his left shoulder.  He was laying right in front of the doorway to the guest bedroom.  I checked his head.  There was no sign of a bump or anything.  He must have landed on his left shoulder as that was what was hurting him.

Finally after getting him up out of the floor, we made our way back to the bedroom so he could go to bed.  Well, needless to say, I was not going to be going back to sleep!  So, I got him settled and went into my reading chair and read my Bible and my devotional and one other book I am reading.  But the more I read, I started wondering if I should get Tim back up in case he had a concussion or something.  (I did notice this evening that he has a fresh scratch on that left elbow.  But, the shoulder is not really hurting him now.)

Well, at 7:00 he yelled at me from the bedroom.  When I went to check on him, he said, "Maybe we need to call 911."  I think his shoulder was bothering him.  I didn't really think that was necessary, but I said, "Let me call Sharon and talk to her about it."  When I called Sharon, she was on her way to work, but was just coming up to our exit, so she came.  She used a flashlight to check his pupil dilation and had him raise his arm and move it around.  She said if his arm was broken he would have been in terrible pain and would not have been able to move his arm around the way he was able to.  She told me just to watch his pupils for dilation problems the rest of the day.  Thank you, Sharon, for stopping and easing our minds!  I told her, as she was leaving, that I liked having a nurse on staff!  :D

It was such a beautiful morning!  Actually, it was a beautiful day, but the afternoon did get rather warm, but the humidity was still low, so that made it more tolerable.  I asked Tim if he wanted to go outside around 10:30.  I already had my brunch in the oven.  I asked him if he wanted to share it with me, so he did!  But he didn't even eat all of the little bit I gave to him.  I fixed him some ice cream with chocolate syrup on it and you can bet he ate all of that!


After we went back in the house, Tim laid down to take a nap.  And then I talked him into going to Walmart for a change of pace.  He was going to sit in the car, but I told him I was going to push him in the wheelchair, that he needed a change of scenery.  Well, by the time we got up to the self-checkout, he said, I feel like I'm going to throw up.  So I grabbed a couple of grocery bags and he proceeded to throw up in them.  Some young man came over to help pick up the groceries that fell from Tim's lap when he started puking.  He asked if there was something else he could help me with.  I asked him to go into the bathroom and wet some paper towels for me.  He knew the paper towels were out in there, but he went to McDonald's there in Walmart and got some napkins for me.  Then went to the deli and got a couple of sturdier ones.  That was so nice of the young man!

The puking ended as soon as it began.  I asked him if he thought it was a combination of the double vision and riding in the wheelchair.  He said yes because he felt like it was being car sick.  So, until the double vision is resolved, I guess I won't be doing that any more!  OY VEY!  What a day!

So, today, Tim ate about 1/2 bowl of cereal, 1 chicken strip, about 1/4 cup of mac-n-cheese, 1 ear of corn and some pudding.  He still didn't drink as much as I would like to see him drink!

This evening, we went back out and watched the birds.  I finally got some GREAT pictures of the hummer (the one that guards the feeder)!

Another beautiful day!

Tufted Tit Mouse hung around longer tonight than he has been!

Splish Splash I was takin' a bath!

The guardian hummer

Nut hatcher
Nut hatcher

Peek-a-boo!

I refilled the feeders today and dumped the old seeds on the ground here.

Do you see him? Just about dead center in the photo.  I was finally able to catch the hummer sitting in the tree guarding the feeder.






Compared to the picture below, he had his neck stretched out here.

Have I mentioned that I absolutely LOVE the zoom on my camera?!  :D

Talkin' around the water cooler.


And, that's a wrap for this Monday!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Lead Me to the Rock!

Psalm 61:2, 3
2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  3 For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

The enemy.....sickness.  Tim's sickness.  The dreaded "C" word.  Cancer.  I cannot imagine how people cope without having the LORD on their side!  The comfort in knowing that He is in control and is working everything for my good and His glory is the only thing that gives me hope when I am feeling overwhelmed!

Thank you, Joy and Sharon, for singing this song this morning.  It blessed my heart!  I'm so thankful for the ROCK we have to lean on in those overwhelming times!

The Rock That is Higher Than I

O sometimes the shadows are deep,
And rough seems the path to the goal,
And sorrows, sometimes how they sweep
Like tempests down over the soul.

O then to the Rock let me fly
To the Rock that is higher than I
O then to the Rock let me fly
To the Rock that is higher than I!

O sometimes how long seems the day,
And sometimes how weary my feet;
But toiling in life’s dusty way,
The Rock’s bless├Ęd shadow, how sweet!

O then to the Rock let me fly
To the Rock that is higher than I
O then to the Rock let me fly
To the Rock that is higher than I!

O near to the Rock let me keep
If blessings or sorrows prevail,
Or climbing the mountain way steep,
Or walking the shadowy vale.

O then to the Rock let me fly
To the Rock that is higher than I
O then to the Rock let me fly
To the Rock that is higher than I!

Our neighbor, Lori, is moving to Hubert, NC.  Today was her last service to be with us, so she wanted a picture to take with her.  Unfortunately, there are several missing for the picture.
Thank You, LORD, for these wonderful people!

Since Tim couldn't be at the services today, Lori came to the house and Ilene took the picture.

And then Lori took one for Ilene.

Church sign for this week.  The Cornerstone of our faith is that ROCK mentioned earlier in this post!

After I worked on the sign after church, we still had a little bit of time before it got dark.  I felt Tim needed a change of scenery from being in the house all day, so we went outside for a bit to watch the birds.  Nothing came around but the cardinals, the hummers and the one bird that I still don't know the name of.  I started getting a bit chilly myself, so at around 8:30 we came back in the house.  Tim was ready for bed anyway.

In examining some of the melanoma tumors under his skin, we believe some of them have shrunk.  That is encouraging!  Especially after the rough week Tim has had!  LORD, please heal his body!  Help him to be hungry and, more importantly, to be thirsty!  Thy will be done!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Such a Beautiful Day!

All in all, it was a beautiful day!  A few clouds and a few sprinkles this afternoon, but those didn't hang around for long.  Low humidity and lower temps made for a delightful afternoon and included a wonderful breeze!  My kind of day!

Tim was feeling a bit better today, so I went with the ladies to breakfast at IHOP!  It was so nice and I enjoyed myself immensely!  Calvin stayed with Tim and he said Tim kept the conversation going!  I was gone for 2 hours.

What a fiasco at the restaurant!  We didn't get seated til about 10:30, I am guessing.  The waiter took our 7 orders WITHOUT writing anything down!  I knew that was not a good sign!  Sure enough, after he went to the computer to put the order in, he had to come back to the table and get the orders again.....still not writing anything down!  He got most everything correct.  My egg sandwich had 2 eggs instead of 1.  One of the omelets had no cheese or spinach as ordered.  Pancakes were brought that were not ordered.  One order had each individual item rung up separately instead of as a platter.  The 55+ plates were not rung up that way. The whole table was put on one order.  He had 9 waters on the order and there were only 7 of us at the table and not all of us got water!  OY VEY!!  When we got ready to leave, we just got the shift manager involved and she asked everyone what they ordered and she rang them up separately.  I'd say that waiter was having an OFF day!

Tim took a good nap this afternoon.  I went outside to watch the birds and read so as not to make any noise in the house.

When I thought Tim might be up and ready for something to eat, I went back into the house to check on him.  Still in bed!  So I went back outside for another hour or so.  When I went back into the house the television was on but he was not there.  I found him sitting at the dining room table.  I asked him if he was ready to eat, which he was.  He said he basically had just gotten up.

After supper, he watched a little bit of television before joining me outside.  We stayed out another hour or so.  The temperature was delightful to me, but he was a bit chilly in the breeze!  It was time to go in and read our Charles Spurgeon devotions anyway.

Thank You, LORD, for a wonderful day!

Here's some pictures and movies for you to enjoy!








I almost cut myself out of this picture!



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Bird Haven


Looks like a strut to me!  :D

I saw three hummers today!  But only one at a time is allowed at the feeder!  :D





Very hard to see, but the hummer is checking out this feeder.  He is to the left of the feeder in about the center of the picture.


Haven't seen a blue jay all summer!  Wow!  They are so much bigger than the other birds!

Nut hatcher

Still don't know what the name of this bird is.
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Here's to hoping Tim feels well enough to at least go to church tomorrow, but he didn't eat or drink much again today!  He was unsteady this evening.  He got up around 11 p.m. and wanted some pancakes.  Took one bite and decided they weren't very good and didn't eat any more.  He went back to bed with a heating pad against his back.  Normally his back only hurts him in the recliner, but he said it was hurting in bed tonight.