Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Our Front Door for

We had lots of trick-or-treaters tonight. 
We even ran out of 30 pounds of candy!

One of the pumpkins from John's garden

Grandson Jasper was a Doctor.  He went around the neighborhood, then passed out some candy himself. 

One of the bigger pumpkins from
John's garden.

We have a fire hall down the street where the firemen pass out candy, glow bracelets, and let the kids sit in the fire engines.  So cool.
"Doctor Jasper" in the Fire Engine

Friday, October 29, 2010

No News, Just Pics

John's girls: 
They race to meet you at the gate.
Going into the weekend, we'd hope to have an appointment for a second opinion scheduled.  But, nothing yet.  We did get copies of John's medical records today, tho'.

John's "Special Needs" Hen
Kept in the garage as a pet

John continues to get people lined up to take care of his chickens ... showing them how to do the care, and stocking up on food and supplies.

John, The Troll Under the Deck
(insulating pipes in preparation for winter)

John ventured under the deck today, while it wasn't raining, to insulate the pipes.

Birdie, our little
Senegal Parrot

Happy Halloween everyone!
Gretchen lounging on deck

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More Appointments, More Waiting

Gretchen riding on my bed
in the Prius RV
John's stress test to check his heart health is scheduled for Monday afternoon.  He's been instructed to avoid caffeine, including chocolate for 24 hours before the test.  So, with Halloween being on Sunday, he's a bit bummed.  Maybe I'll make him some chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast Halloween morning, so he can get his trick-or-treat chocolate fix.

He'll get the results of his heart test on the 11th.

relaxed, laying on the bed,
chin on a duffel bag,
watching the world go by ...

John also has an appointment to talk with the surgeon on Tuesday.  Hopefully we'll have more of an idea about timing, risks, etc. after that meeting.

John and brother Bill finished cleaning out the gutters today.  John also went out and stocked up on a couple months worth of layer pellets and bedding material for his chicken flock. 

I've started taking our dog Gretchen with me on short car trips.  Although she gets a bit anxious, she looks so cute sitting on top of my "Prius RV" bed.  Maybe she'll become a traveling dog.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bits and Pieces

I started the process to get a second opinion from the Urology Department at the University of Washington Medical Center. 

We are still waiting to schedule the test to check John's heart health.

John's surgeon has yet to contact him to schedule his kidney and lymph node operation.

John and I are still getting over our colds.

John is lining up family and friends to help take care of his flock of 40+ laying hens.

The first major storm of the season will hit tonight.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

PET Scan Result

Rather than waiting until tomorrow afternoon, the oncologist called tonight to give John the results of today's PET Scan.  The doctor explained that the scan was inconclusive.  That is, the lymph nodes near John's liver did not "light up" on the scan.  If they had lit up, we would have known for sure that the kidney cancer had spread.  Now, we still don't know for sure.

Next, the doctors are wanting to do a major surgery to remove both his right kidney and one of his swollen lymph nodes for biopsy.  We are now waiting to talk with the surgeon.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

John's Heart

John met with both an internal medicine doctor and a cardiologist this morning to make sure his heart is healthy before undergoing surgery.  The doctors expressed "slight to mild concern" over John's symptoms.  But, to make sure, they ordered another test to look at blood flow through his arteries.  We are now waiting to schedule that appointment.

The doctors explained that studies show that a surgery to put stints into a diseased heart does not work as a preventative measure to reduce heart attacks for an upcoming surgery.   So, even if they find heart disease in John, the doctors will probably treat it with beta blockers just before his upcoming surgery, rather than doing heart surgery first.

Tomorrow is John's PET Scan.  Late Friday afternoon, the cardiologist will call with the results. We expect to hear if the cancer has spread beyond his kidney, and if they will do a liver (lymph node) biopsy.

John's cold is getting better.  And, to fix his tooth with the missing filling, he's seeing the dentist in a few hours.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

So Far This Week

John has a couple of appointments tomorrow morning -- cardiology and internal medicine -- both in preparation for his operation.

Ruby Beach, Olympic NP

Also, John went to our family doctor yesterday for a bad cold.  He got some meds so it doesn't progress to something worse.  Now, he thinks a filling has come out of one of his teeth.  When it rains, it pours.

I spent a couple of days exploring Olympic National Park -- ocean beaches, rain forests, and alpine meadows.  What a beautiful place!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More Appointments

John finally got an appointment for his PET Scan.   Next week is going to be busy -- Internal Medicine and Cardiology appointments on Wednesday, PET Scan on Thursday, and Oncology on Friday when we'll get the results of the PET Scan and other tests.  See October 6th blog post for details about the PET Scan.

Mount Rainier peeking out from behind the clouds
On Monday, I went to Mt. Rainier National Park.  The fall colors were beautiful, and the mountain peeked out from behind the clouds a couple of times that afternoon.  Unfortunately, the campgrounds had just closed for the season; so, I opted to come back home.

While I was exploring the park, John went to the Emergency Room for a dog bite.  They cleaned it up and he's now on another course of antibiotics.  I think he just likes the attention he gets from the nurses LOL.

Yesterday John and I took a drive east of the mountains into Cle Elem and Roslyn.  The day was gorgeous and we got some goodies from few of our favorite shops in town.  Today, I'm laying low to keep a cold at bay and John has been out and about getting food for the chickens.

Monday, October 11, 2010

What's Happening?

We are still waiting to get an appointment for John's PET scan.  Hopefully it'll be this Thursday.

Both John and I have been puttering about, getting the place ready for winter.  John has been tending his girls, though almost all of them are molting right now ... poor things.  I've been trying to get caught up on paperwork, John's medical records, and my blogs.

We had a wet weekend, but the sun is shinning now.  I'm going to take advantage of the good weather for the next few days and head out to one of the local national parks.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Next Test: A PET Scan

John's appointment today was with an oncologist (not the surgeon).  He explained that the next proceedure they want to do is a PET scan to see if the swollen lymph nodes next to his liver contain cancer.  That scan will probably be on Thursday, a week from tomorrow. 

Here are the two possible courses of action based upon the PET scan result:

If the scan is positive for cancer, then that means that cancer cells have likely spread all through his body. He would then need to go through chemo treatment as well as have his right kidney removed.  The incision for the kidney removal is small.


If the PET scan is not positive for cancer, then they will remove one of the swollen lymph nodes for biopsy at the same time they remove his right kidney.   The location of the swollen lymph nodes is deep in his body, thus will require a very large chevron-shaped incision to remove.

So, we are now waiting to hear from the Imaging Department to schedule the PET scan.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Result from Head Scan

We got a copy of the doctor's report from today's head scan.  He stated that the spot on John's forehead "is suggestive of a benign bony lesion."  So, that's good news, I think.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Another Pumpkin Harvest

We had more pumpkin harvesting tonight.  Daughter Echo brought grandsons Lane and Luke over to claim their pumpkins and for a hotdog dinner.

Lane and Luke sitting on
their big pumpkin

Lane rolling their big pumpkin

Echo and Luke

Gretchen watching all the action

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Visits with Family

Pumpkins in John's garden
John and I spent some good time with family this weekend.  On Saturday, John's family came over.  John's sister Laura took Mom and Dad, brother Bill, and us out to an early dinner.  Everyone thought the food at the Fall City Roadhouse was wonderful.  Thanks Laurie!

Jasper with pumpkins to take home.

Carrot: 11" long, 11" circumference

Then on Sunday, our son-in-law Cameron and grandson Jasper came over for BBQ and to pick out their pumpkins from Grampa's garden ... a yearly tradition.

When the pumpkins are small and green, John scratches the grandkids' names on a pumpkin for each of them.  They came out great.  Now, we are waiting for grandsons Lane and Luke to come and get theirs.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Next Week's Appointments

On Tuesday afternoon John will have another scan of his head.  There's a small spot on his forehead between his eyes.  The doctor thinks it's probably on his skull, but is doing another scan to be sure.  Then on Wednesday we meet with the surgeon to find out John's next steps.

I made it home tonight ... good to be here with John.