Thursday, February 25, 2016

Dalewood Memories

I have been feeling a bit nostalgic lately so here is a memory to share. It was 20 years ago that Daddy sold the Dalewood property.  Our last time to spend a "Cousin's Birthday Party" at Dalewood was in August 1995. Sometimes memories of times and places from long ago give me a warm since of peace and joy. If you ever spent time at Dalewood with our family over the years you may enjoy this look back.

My White cell count has continued to trend downward to the point of concern. Today we go back to MD Anderson in The Woodlands Clinic for another blood test. It was only one week since my last blood draw there. When all was going well my blood test were scheduled every two weeks. So far no new treatment changes has been suggested nor have I had a new blood transfusion yet. Next week I go to the main Houston, MD Anderson for my monthly appointments with my care team.  I will have my bi-monthly bone marrow aspiration in addition to blood and other testing, so we should know more about what is going on after that visit. For now, we are just hopeful all is ok and that my White Cells are going to get better.

The recovery from my fractured rib is slowly getting better. This has been a tough time with much pain and discomfort.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Winter In Texas

Discovering new things in our surroundings is interesting, if not fun. We call it "being in Texas" but that is such an incorrect description. "Texas" is a huge state and we only occupy space in the Houston, area. This is not a geography lesson nor is it meant to suggest we are completely lost in our new home. What we discover every new day, however, is how much different things are for us in this place we call "Texas". Maybe living in the fourth largest metropolitan city area in America is the big thing compared to being small town, Mississippi country folk. Are we like fish out of water?

It's hard to believe how quickly time passes. My last post was in December just before Christmas 2015 and here it is Mid February 2016. My health has been crazy good and bad. The good is my MDS remains in remission and the "Miracle Drug" AG-221 experiment is still my lifeline. My monthly appointments with the "Team" at MD Anderson have been good. Today, I get to do my mid cycle lab testing at The Woodlands MD Anderson clinic on the campus of St. Lukes Hospital instead of having to travel down to the Texas Medical Center MDA in Houston. This is a welcome big deal for us because we avoid the heavy, dangerous travel to and from that area for at least one extra time a month. Even though Janine is now a "Pro" at driving down there every time we go, we welcome not making that trip as often, only once a month now.

The bad is that I have been nursing a very painful rib fracture for the past two weeks. I had a fall early one morning when I passed out in the toilet room (standing). This occurred about 30 hours after I had undergone a surgical procedure while recovering at home. Likely, dehydration caused my passing out since I had not eaten or had very much to drink prior to nor after the procedure. I broke the ninth rib on the right side. Healing is taking place naturally as there is nothing they do for these fractures but tell you to tough it out. So far it is much better and the pain is only terrible when I sneeze or move quickly  into a strained position. Sleeping at night in bed still is a challenge but is getting a little better.

It seems our closest "friends" here are our medical teams. I have established new relationships with the following practitioners: primary care physician internist, pulmonologist, breathing center therapy  "terrorist", cardiologists, colorectal surgeon, dentist, ophthalmologists and local oncology team. Additionally, Memorial Hermann Hospital and their emergency room and an emergency clinic have been visited by me for various reasons or problems. Janine's new doctors are also established now with an internist, dentist and ophthalmologist. Almost every day we have been at one of those medical places.

Photo Opportunity:  Every year we try (some years it doesn't happen) to get a family group photo made. This one below was taken a few days after Christmas when we all gathered in Carrollton, GA to celebrate with James and Taylor in their new home area. Trying to get all Ten of us together at the same time is getting more and more difficult as we get further scattered about. This was a welcome opportunity, in deed.