I Want a New Dog

To be more exact, I want a Boykin Spaniel. I am including some pictures to let you know what they look like. They are small dogs that have a big heart, love to hunt , love to cuddle, and are great companion dogs. I am including a puppy picture (just to show how cute they are) but I want to rescue a 2-3 year old female, the smaller the better. Males range from 30-40 lbs. Females about 5 lbs. less.

I have a picture of one with a woodduck in it’s mouth on another post on this page.

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Boykin2Shaved and brushed out.

boykin puppies

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BoykinSpanielDove hunting.

Good Morning Sunshine

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Good morning sunshine!!

This morning has been quite a God thing. I have had energy like I haven’t had in months. Arm doesn’t hurt (jut tingles). And I got up and jumped on a to-do-list that must be 6 months old if it’s a day.

I hope this God thing becomes a regular thing. I may end up paying for this later but I am going to enjoy every second of it.

Let me give you a run down on this week at CTCA. Dr. Castro, who is with “Quality of Life”, was my hero this week. My arm was hurting so bad and she came to my rescue during infusion and gave me morphine to stop the pain immediately and she changed my meds to a type that works on the nerve to stop nerve pain instead just covering up the general pain. This nerve pain med takes 4 or 5 days – 3 doses per day to build up in my system to take effect. But this morning (only after 2 doses) I have no pain. That is why I call today a God thing. Other than that, the time at CTCA was lighter and smoother than we have had in a long time. After lab draws, meeting with our PA to set up chemo, scheduling for the following week, and infusion we were out of there.

We did not run into Linda and Jonathan, even though we communicated on Facebook while we were there and looked everywhere to see if we could see them. Pray for Jonathan as he is on a 5x a week chemo regimen. I can’t imagine how that has to effect him.

Please continue to Pray for Gene. The last we heard, his first chemo injection was supposed to be today.

Connie an Doug I. still need our prayers. We have not been able to reach them for Doug’s exact status but God knows exactly what he needs.

There are other prayer request on the “Prayer Request” page so browse those as you have a chance.

God is so good to us and I love to be able to share what he is doing in my life. Today I feel well enough to go with Lori to pick up the kids from school for the second time, which is a milestone. This is usually way out of my capabilities.

Love all of you guys! I hope you are having a good day, too.

Sincerely,

Alan

Can’t Believe My Eyes

IMG_20131009_091551_426One of these is mine and the other belongs to no other than my no coffee drinking, no tea drinking, supposed to stay away from caffeine, wife, Lori. I can’t believe she is drinking the Kona blend. She said she couldn’t tell any difference, but I could. I guess I am becoming a bad influence.

 

UPDATE: October 21,2014

Lori has been stopping by the store after dropping off the kids and buys me a Kona Blend Monster. When I pop the top she always wants a small cup full. She has not bought one this week and I have not had any energy. I’m going to have to get her back in the habit of stopping in the mornings. It is easy to get hooked on those crazy things. But I love ’em!

¡Hasta la vista!

Alan

Here We Go Again

Tonight we are packing and will be leaving out as soon as the kids are off to school. I pray this week doesn’t turn into a duplicate of last week. {CRAZY!} So far this week appears to be a quick in and quick out. No specialists, no tests, no scans, scheduled to stay on site.

I seem to be having two major side effects from chemo lately. First, and most troublesome is the pain in my left arm (shoulder, elbow, wrist). Secondly is fatigue. I have some new meds that are working on the fatigue (I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism due to radiation damage and will be on meds for it the remainder of my life. As far as the shoulder, I just can’t get relief sometimes. I have (2) strong meds for breakthrough pain that barely put a dent in it. I am using (3) different types of rubs and I have just about worn out a heating pad. Dr. Nathan has talked about giving me some shots at some trigger points to help me with the pain. He feels the nerves might be impinged farther up my shoulder/neck (sounds similar to my paralyzed left diaphragm – I wonder if we can kill two birds with one stone) and this could stop the pain above the source.  I am also experiencing peripheral neuropathy in my left arm which is making me lean more toward the nerve scenario as being the source of the pain, too. Unfortunately, my appointment with Dr. N is next week.

So I am asking this week that my prayer warriors pray for comfort, and increased energy level for me. Also keep Jonathan in your prayers along with Teena. We met these two (separately) at CTCA last week and each are fighting their own fight. Also keep our dear friend Gene in your prayers. He is doing better now and is at home. His chemo should start this week as long as his test come back OK.

Also keep Lori in your prayers. As I sit and watch her do all the things that she does to keep us floating I am more and more amazed and more and more appreciative of what all she does for me. I have said it before and I am sure I will say it again, I could not do this without her. It’s just that simple. Caregivers cannot be overlooked so also add Jonathan’s mom, Teena’s husband, and especially Jeannie, Gene’s wife to the prayer list as caregivers. I pray they will hear and understand the scripture below, cross-tattoos-272as we all should.

I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2 ESV)

God bless you all!

Alan

Fall Has Fell !!

Large5What awesome temps today. Needed to be out in it more. This is my favorite time of year with college football, fall leave, hockey starting up again. Typically I’m gung ho about duck season but I may have to sit this one out his year (with the exception of some perfect spots and friends that don’t mind or even prefer shooting them off the water.) Oh well, we’ll see what comes of it.

WOW What a week


What started out as a normal week became a very busy and very long stay at CTCA. Let’s see … where to start.

Dr. B, my pulmonologist was scheduled for a follow up on my biopsy / paralyzed diaphragm. He was not able to make it so we had to meet with his partner who was fully up to speed on my case. You see, Dr. B was unable to make it because he was at his own follow up Dr appointment. Dr. B was hanging upside down in a door frame making a funny video and fell, dislocating his shoulder in the process. He is such a cut up and always keeps us laughing so this is not hard for us to visualize. I love Dr. B. After finding out I was a fellow Mason, before surgery he hugged my neck and rubbed my head and told me he was going to take good care of me.

The paralyzed diaphragm (left side only) was nerve related. We just have to wait it out to see if in time will heal. Otherwise, my body can learn to compensate and adapt. Or if the symptoms become more problematic there are other options. Secondly, he wants to do a swallowing test next week. They will put me in front of an x-ray movie machine and have me swallow difference consistencies fluids and solids. This is to rule out silent aspiration (food/liquid entering lungs) due to my issues. Physical Therapy showed me several exercises to force transfer of air in that left lung to keep the air moving and reduce the possibility of developing pneumonia.

We were able to move my plastic surgeons follow up from next Monday to Wednesday afternoon to save ourselves a trip down next Monday just to meet with him. He is glad I’m off of Erbitux and hopes that things begin to heal in neck (fistula). Wound Care Specialist, Beth, is very encouraged in the progress that is being made on my donor site on my leg. She said that some may be a raised scar but at least it is healing, since the Erbitux is out.

Also, my endocrinologist asked to move her appointment from next Friday to this Friday. This added another day to stay. My thyroid meds were working but did not have my TSH at the optimum number. With the thyroid, if you are going to medicate you might as well shoot for optimum.

Staying the extra night turned out to be a “God’s timing” thing. This AM at 5:00 I woke up to use the restroom. My urine was darkly blood stained. As the morning progress it lightened up but still has a tinge of blood even now. This could be a side effect of my chemo, which is less likely since I did not respond this way the first (3) times I have had this particular mixture of chemo drugs. On the other hand, Lori had noticed on a PET scan write up that the reader noticed several 3-4 mm stones in my left kidney. My Quality of Life doctor, Dr. C, is leaning toward the stones either irritating my kidney of bladder, or possibly I had passed on and it had aggravated me on it’s way out. Either why, we are waiting to see. Any change and we will take it to a doctor here or back to Quality of Life next Wednesday.

We met some very nice people this week. First of all, Jonathan and Linda U. from AL. Jonathan is fighting cancer on his lung. Jonathan has a great God story that I will add in another post. Secondly, Teena and her husband from NC. Teena has been fighting kidney cancer for 5 years.

I am reading “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young. I know this book created quite a stir when it came out but I really enjoy it. It’s the 3rd or 4th time I’ve read it and I enjoy how it takes some extremely complex theological issues and simplifies them inside a gripping story. In Romans 8:28-30 Paul throws put some serious meat. No milk here. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30 ESV) In “The Shack”, Young takes on this topic especially how we are to be conformed to the image of His son. The only way we have any hope of approaching this seemingly impossible task is that out of love for us Jesus made himself, choose moment-by-moment to live fully human. cross2He led a human life fully surrendered into the hands of God. Fully in relationship with God and fully in touch with the power of God. The miracles performed by Jesus were al by the power of God, after prayer, even though Jesus could have simply willed the miracle to happen. We are after all talking about the Word. 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5 ESV) Why would he have to rely on God to provide the power for the miracles He performed while He walked the earth? Out of undying love for you and me. That is the only way we could ever “conform to the image of His Son.”

That is a powerful love and gives us a lot to live up to. I am glad that love is God’s character and that is what we have to shoot for. As for me, I’m really trying to learn to love everyone, even those who have hurt me. Not saying I can or will forgive/forget but love can transcend.

Love to all my family, friends, prayer warriors, church family, and those that are in similar situations in their faith walk and physical walk. Please pray especially for my left lung, unknown source of my bleeding, Teena, Jonathan, Gene J. – Mr. Alabama (who should be starting his treatments next week, based on what I have heard), And especially Mara. Pray that she will see that the pain now is nothing if such a sickening revelation had come after her wedding. This was God’s timing to save her from more pain down the road.

Sincerely,

Alanred-wings-logo

P.S. (3) Detroit Red Wings over (2) Carolina Hurricane in overtime. Great game. So glad hockey is back. New goalie rules might make this season interesting when it comes to scoring.