31 December 2009

Another Checkup

Yesterday, Jason and I went to the specialist OB in Annapolis. It was just a routine monthly checkup. We were able to see Monster's face, leg, hands and fingers in 3D ! At first the tech had trouble because Monster is so like his mom and doesn't like to be photographed! He had not only his hands in front of his face, but also was in a pike position with his legs there too! That also makes sense of late because Monster has been quite active and when he kicks-watch out! He's got some powerful little legs.

(traditional view)

(3D view)



Monster now weighs a whopping 2 pounds and 10 ounces! At times, he feels like he's ready to pop out Alien style, especially when I'm ready to go to bed. I can feel his entire little body right at the surface of mine. Very strange feeling!

According to the doctor, all is looking good and I don't have to go back until the end of January! (I'm sure I'll be seeing them every 2 weeks after that though...just like the regular OB.)

11 December 2009

Back from the Land of Citrus

Jason, Mom and I got back from Florida on Monday evening to see the remnants of the snowfall from Saturday. It was nice to see some of the white stuff! Since Jason moved here to Maryland, it has snowed on December 5th every year but one.

Our trip was nice, but it was good to be home again. Our flight to Florida was one of the bumpiest that I have ever experienced. Every once in awhile it would feel like we were on a roller coaster ride. Mom and I laughed about how everyone jostled in the same direction at the same time-it looked like a well choreographed dance! It was also the first time that I have heard a pilot come over the intercom and tell the flight attendants to take their seats. Even though it was bumpy, we landed safely. Thank God for great pilots!

The first shower was in Crystal River (two hours North from St. Pete/Clearwater). We had a great time seeing all the aunts and cousins that we haven't seen in quite some time. Victoria, a budding cake decorator/creator/pastry chef, made the cake. It was a baseball theme with a bear. The baseballs were Rice Krispy treats formed into balls and iced-yum!


The second shower was in St. Pete. It was nice to see some more relatives and friends that we had not seen in a long time...probably since either our wedding or our wedding shower five and a half years ago! We received lots of clothes in all different sizes, a few photo frames, bibs, rattles, and more. We didn't even get any duplicates except for one of the photo frames, however it's such a cute frame I plan on keeping both!

Thank you to everyone who came to the showers and those of you who worked hard to plan and put into motion the two days of fun (those games were difficult, but humorous!) for Jason and me (and of course for Monster!).

03 December 2009

Another visit...

I went to the doctor again yesterday for my monthly checkup with the specialist OB (due to age and health). We got some cool 3D pictures of Monster, who at first had his hands in front of his face-just like his mommy would do! We also got confirmation (because you know...mistakes can happen) that Monster is indeed a boy. He weighs approximately 1 1/2 pounds and is doing fine.

Over the weekend, Monster really got active. He's been kicking/punching/moving quite a bit all the time. He started out just shoving his foot out on my left side at 2:30am. I usually woke up feeling like I had a rock sticking out of my belly! He definitely was moving around during yesterday's sonogram session, but he did cooperate enough so that they could see his nose and upper lip to rule out a cleft palate.

Jason and I are off to Florida for the first two of three baby showers this weekend. When we first made the plans to go to Florida, it felt like it was sooooo far away and it's here already. Where did the time go? Before we know it, the next 16 weeks will fly by too and Monster will no longer be inside of me growing and kicking but a little baby that we get to hold in our arms and love to pieces. I shall be enjoying every minute of the next 16 weeks especially the lack of sleep, the lower back aches, and figuring out how to teach and get to the restroom every five minutes!

05 November 2009

And the results...

we're having a BOY!!!! He is growing at the correct rate and weighs about 12 ounces (like a Coke can, said the technician who was taking the measurements!)

Now comes the fun part...trying to find a name.

03 November 2009

Boy or Girl???

Okay folks...tomorrow, Jason and I go to the doctor for our 20 week appointment (the doctor changed my due date to March 23rd)! (I cannot believe we're at the halfway point already!)

Measurements will be taken to make sure the little one is growing in the correct proportions in accordance with the number of weeks (s)he is. And of course, if the little one cooperates, we will be able to find out if (s)he is a boy or girl.

Jason and I have been teasing each other relentlessly about the gender of this baby. He says "she" all the time and of course, I HAVE to say "he" just because. I think that Jason says "she" because we've had a girl's name picked out for YEARS and really do not have any boy's names narrowed down to any particular one that we truly like (at the moment). It does not matter to us which we are blessed with as long as the little one is healthy!

So, what do you think???

21 October 2009

Lifesaver!

No, I haven't had any cravings for the candies...but I did find the BEST pillow ever! I was using three different pillows to sleep with and none were comfortable nor making me comfortable. Right now, I'm all about being comfortable!

I had heard about some pillows and did some research. I decided on this one:

The Snoogle!



This is the best thing since sliced bread!!! There are about 10 different ways to twist and turn this creative wonder so that the pregnant one (me!) can be comfortable. It's amazing what the right product can do...

04 October 2009

What I've Been Doing Lately...

...of course, going to work and enriching the minds of teenagers (ha);
...putting my feet up once I get home;
...catching up on shows recorded on the DVR since I cannot watch them all at once;
...knitting and knitting some more and here's the evidence:




...plus two projects in the works!

and I've been getting some more yarn in the mail...




06 September 2009

Updates

People (and you know who you are!) have been asking about Mom. She is doing 100% better! She doesn't really need to walk with the cane unless she's walking a long distance, her feet have gone back to their normal size and she's lost ALL of the fluid plus a couple extra pounds. The doctor does think that her thyroid has been acting up (hence the extra weight loss) and has adjusted her medication for that. When we saw her yesterday, she had finished cutting the grass, had washed the car and was just moving around like I haven't seen her do in quite some time. Today she was off to the beach for the week.

School started on Monday. My schedule changed a bit-I was supposed to have 2 Spanish 1 classes, 2 Spanish 2 classes and 1 Spanish 3 class. We had enough students for an extra section of Spanish 1, so I picked that up and gave up the Spanish 3 class. It's nice having that extra Spanish 1 class because the classes aren't packed with 34 students!!! One class has 16, another 27 and the other 28. My Spanish 2 classes are small as well-19 and 24. The real test will start on Tuesday-Can I remember all their names???? Especially since Back to School night is on Wednesday!

I'm still feeling fine. Changed when I take my vitamins and that seems to have done the trick-no more nausea! I absolutely hate that feeling. I would rather throw up than have that gross feeling hang around all day. I'm still tired at the end of the day, which makes driving the 12 miles home interesting! Hopefully, that will change in another week or two.

And finally, I did receive another package from my SP and have taken pictures, but have not uploaded them onto my computer (so sorry, Bees!). I received a skein of yarn (blue and orange in color-Go Gators!) and a package of Pomegranate Cashews from Harry & David's (my favs!).

28 August 2009

Potpourrii

A bunch of randomness:

-this week was loaded with meetings (have I mentioned how much I dislike meetings???)
-one of the presentations was a hoot because the presenter actually could have been a comedienne! (Wonder if she ever thought of doing that instead of being in education???)
-my four year old wish of new Spanish 1 textbooks (that everyone else in county had already) came to fruition; now I just have to stamp and number them.
-the deck is finished (pictures to follow as soon as the rain stops)
-Jason finally joined FB...he was worried that I hadn't friended him yet...how could I when (a)laptops were being reimaged at work (b)FB is not allowed at school and (c)once I got my laptop back my password didn't work
-pricking my finger 4 times a day is oh so much fun (extreme sarcasm here please) especially now that school is starting
-I wish everyone just got along and didn't shoot the messenger
-there's a missing package...or the mail is extremely SLOW this week [Bees, no package as of today :-(]
-I still need to get my posts ready about our trip...before I forget where we even went!
and
-I'm sooooooo tired!
G'night!

20 August 2009

New Addition(s)

Yesterday, is was construction central around here. Before we left for our vacation, we had set up for a deck to be put on the house. The crew came yesterday morning to dig the footers. They will be back today after the inspector comes to start constructing the deck. They hope to be finished by Monday or Tuesday!

We also had a crew from Baltimore City come out yesterday (after 5 days of calling) because we noticed that the road was wet every day starting about where our water meter was. They dug a hole in the street and fixed the problem (hopefully). The process was a hoot to watch because there were at least 5 trucks and 7 or 8 workers. One was in the back hoe, one was in the hole, one was watching the digging, 2 were in the dump truck eating their lunches and at least 2 others just sitting in their trucks! Oh my...


AND...


Jason and I will be adding to our family around the end of March.

13 August 2009

We're Back!

We've returned from our Scandinavian/European Adventure. We had a great time, took lots of pictures, met a celebrity, had Madonna follow us around, ate, slept and played tourist. Hopefully I will be posting pictures and short commentaries soon...as soon as my internal clock is back to EST and not 6-8 hours ahead. Waking up at 3:30am for the start of the day is NOT fun!

27 July 2009

Newest info on Mom

She's still in Upper Chesapeake. The test results came back inconclusive because there's too much fluid to see anything. Mom's iron levels were low, so they gave her an infusion around lunch. She also had some lasix. She'll be seeing a hematologist tomorrow...maybe. We think the hematologist is the one who ordered the iron infusion. We shall see...

Other than that, she's doing okay. Just a bit frustrated that the doctors cannot find the source of the fluid.

Keep good thoughts and prayers coming her way!

Secret Pal 14- Package #1

In amongst going to visit Mom and packing for Europe, I received a package from my pal. In the package was a set of batting (to test my skills on a spinning wheel-when I get around to ordering one!) and a pin from one of my all time favorite shows-Battlestar Galactica (granted it took me awhile to watch the first season, but after some arm twisting from Jason, I was hooked)!



Thank you very very very much Bees Knees!!!!

26 July 2009

Update on Mom

Still no results from the tests done yesterday. The doctor did say that Mom would begin Lasix therapy tomorrow and hopefully the test results would come back by then. Mom still has a bloated belly, but she is not in any pain and looks well. She is getting bored of being in the hospital. It's not easy for her to read since the "reading" light is way above the bed and the regular light is too strong for the middle of the night (when Mom cannot sleep). If she doesn't come home tomorrow, I will be taking her a reading light so that she can at least read a bit.

Keep good thoughts and prayers coming her way...maybe the doctors will figure out how this happened!

23 July 2009

Busy busy busy

Jason and I have been busy lately. We're still getting a few things finished up in the basement-like the bar and the steps as well as "finding" things that we haven't seen since we moved (the things were still in boxes). We've also completed (FINALLY) the refinancing of our home-we started in April and just signed the papers on Monday, July 20th! Plus there's all the packing we need to do for our upcoming trip to Wonderful Copenhagen and Northern Europe. I'm excited about seeing new places where I do NOT know the languages but we shouldn't have any problems since the Scandinavian countries use English quite a bit too.

As if that weren't enough, we also purchased a new vehicle. We replaced the Rav-4 with a CRV. It's really nice...we got leather seats so come Winter, the butt warmers will come in handy (especially since La Nina is back again-more snow than usual????). For a treat the other night, Jason and I went to Chik-Fil-A for milkshakes. The guy in the drive thru window asked what year the car was because he could SMELL the newness from inside Chik-Fil-A! Oh my...

Lastly, Mom called yesterday afternoon to say that her doctor called and that she needed to go to the emergency room because her potassium levels were extremely high and her kidney functions were low. So off we went to the emergency room (Thank you Aunt Sharon and Uncle Tony for taking her!!!!) to wait for the test results. The doctor came in around 8pm to say that they think the only problem is some of the medication Mom was taking was causing the fluid build up in her abdomen (making her look pregnant-I don't need another sibling at this point in my life!!!). So, they admitted her and gave her a fluid drip (we think so she stays hydrated) and a brownish liquid to drink to help lower the potassium levels, which had gone down since the original blood work was done. There did not seem to be anything else wrong (THANK GOD!) and I will be heading back to the hospital this afternoon to see what else is happening and keep everyone posted.

10 July 2009

Trying New Things

I've officially been out of school for three weeks now. I have slept in, read, knitted, been lazy, caught up on watching stuff from the DVR and now am ready to try new things. Well, cook new things!

Jason and I decided that we would go through the Cook's Illustrated magazines that we have (a great magazine if you want to know the WHY behind what is being done and how long it takes them to perfect it!) and pick a few recipes to try each week. Some had no recipes that we wanted to try and others had a few. One in particular had quite a few pages marked...just about ALL of them! We tried two of the recipes from this magazine-Almost No Knead Bread and The French Onion Soup. This was my first time making bread by myself as well as a fancy soup. Both turned out well, even though the soup takes FOREVER to make.


YUM!

03 July 2009

Secret Pal 14 Questionnaire

Once again, it's time for another round of Secret Pal. Here's my questionnaire...

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Lately, I've been using a lot of sock yarns (mainly BFL, merino, bamboo). I cannot stand novelty yarns!!!!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have three cases to store my needles in (one for straights and two for interchangeables)

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting for about 5 1/2 years and I taught myself. I would consider myself to be of intermediate skill level

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes, on Amazon and Loopy Ewe...links are on the left (<---)

5. What's your favorite scent?
Coconut Lime Verbena (from Bath & Body Works)

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Yes, dark chocolate peanut m & m's and I LOVE cashews!!!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I am learning how to spin and hope to purchase my first wheel soon!

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
All kinds...but lately I've been listening to the 70s channel on the TV
Yes, I can play MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love all kinds of blues...there really isn't a color that I do not like!

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Married to Jason with a cat, Ophelia

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes, yes, yes, no

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
SOCKS! And right now baby blankets since everyone I know is having babies (a couple two at a time!)

13. What are you knitting right now?
2 baby blankets, 2 pairs of socks

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Yes

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Circs, bamboo or metal

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes and yes

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
about three years...a sweater that I just have never gotten back to...but will soon!

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe?
Christmas (for both). I love the colors, the weather, getting together with family and friends

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Elephants and sock yarn

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
The Eclectic Sole
I have Creative Knitting and Interweave Knits subscriptions currently.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'd love to do some entrelac...I'm always behind in trends!

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
YES! I wear a 9/12US

23. When is your birthday?
September 6th

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
Yes, srapalmateer

29 June 2009

Spinning

No, not the biking class! (I cannot even imagine doing that!)

But the old fashioned way with a spinning wheel...this past Saturday, I spent 5 hours at Cloverhill Yarn Shop learning how to spin. I tried out five different spinning wheels-The Ladybug (which I did not like-too difficult to treadle), the Kiwi (which was pretty good-although just a beginner wheel), the Traveler (also did not like too much), the Joy (definitely did not like-too low to the ground) and the Traditional (which is the wheel that I am thinking about purchasing). I want to go back to the shop and try out all the wheels again just to make sure since spinning wheels can be quite pricey!

I also learned how to comb and card wool fibers as well as plying spun singles into what everyone knows as yarn. It was a great class and Jen, the teacher, was fabulous!

In July I will be taking another class, but this time learning a different technique for knitting socks with one long circular needle from the toe up called magic loop.

RIP

It seems to me that my family is diminishing just a bit more quickly than I would like it to! Since February, there have been 7 (yes, I said seven) deaths in my family.
  • Aunt Ellen (mom's side)
  • Dad
  • Kas (Aunt Ellen's daughter, a cousin of mom's)
  • Ed (cousin of mom's)
  • Harry (Dad's cousin's husband)
  • Mary G. (Grandpop's last surviving cousin)
  • Pop Hovel (father of mom's oldest friend's husband)
Today was Harry's funeral. It took place at Garrison Forrest Veteran's Cemetery where my maternal grandparents, some cousins and even a classmate of mine (HS) are buried. Mom, Chris and I went and stopped by the graves to pay our respects. It was sort of like playing hide and seek since there is a system to how the graves are laid out, but even when you know the system it is like finding a needle in a haystack!

My grandmother always used to fear January because that seemed to be when all the folks in our family passed on and usually only three. Now I'm beginning to think it just needs to be in the first six months of the year and who knows how many...

16 June 2009

And then there were three...


On Monday, Megan and Stan (Jason's sister and brother-in-law) became the proud parents of Lilian Kaye Walsh. Lily weighed in at 6 lbs. 15 oz. on June 15th! All are doing well, except maybe Jack, who still thinks he's got a little brother!

10 June 2009

1,000,000th Word

Apparently, today is the day that the 1,000,000th word was added to the English language. The Global Language Monitor is responsible for the formula that is used to calculate how many words are added per day (that would be 14.7, if you were curious). The word was added at about 5:22am our time (10:22am Stratford-on-Avon time).

The 1,000,000th word is....(drum roll, please!)

WEB 2.0

This is a word that those of us in education and especially me (having just finished my masters in Library Media) have known for quite some time. If you do not know what Web 2.0 is, it is a technical term that refers to the next generation of the World Wide Web (basically blogs, wikis, etc. that we "normal" people create).

Other words that were possibles: Jai Ho (from Slumdog Millionaire), Noob, Slumdog, cloud computing and carbon neutral.

Interesting...

Safety Follow Up

Yesterday afternoon, we had some wild storms here in Maryland. We were supposed to go to the Orioles game but decided to turn around and come home. We stopped at a local BBQ/Pit Beef place to pick up dinner. It's still raining and starting to get heavy again. We were waiting to turn out of the parking lot...tons of traffic since it was rush hour. Cars were coming just far enough apart that we could not get into the turn lane. Finally traffic lessened so that we could cross, but to our surprise a minivan pulled around us to do that same thing. Apparently we were taking too long. Of course, Jason honked and the driver of the minivan got out of the car at the traffic light and gave us an "oh well" shrug. Of course one of the passengers then gave us the finger.

(**And this is why teaching is so difficult...people think this type of behavior is OKAY!!!)

05 June 2009

Safety

Those of you who have ever driven with me know that I like to go fast. Not too fast, but typically faster than the speed limit. However, I do not drive aggressively nor dangerously. I follow traffic signals and signs, merge when it is my turn, change lanes when there are dotted lines, make appropriate turns (not too wide and not too sharp), use my turn signals and of course turn on my lights when my windshield wipers are on.

This week the weather has been a bit rainy (downpours at times). Drivers have been absolutely RIDICULOUS! First, the number of people who are driving in the rain WITHOUT lights on is incredible. How am I supposed to know there is a car coming and I'm trying to make a turn??? I thought Maryland instituted a law that if a driver was using the windshield wipers in the rain, the headlights needed to be on. Am I just making up my own laws????

Secondly, one of the big safety promotions of the Spring & probably Summer here in MD is motorcycle safety, for those of us who are not motorcycle enthusiasts. I am always aware of motorcycles. Most of the time it is because they are the ones acting in a DANGEROUS manner. Just in the past 6 days, I have been witness to two very dangerous incidents involving motorcycles. The first, Jason and I were coming home Sunday evening from Mom's. We were merging onto 695 and a guy on a Honda or Suzuki bike was riding in our blind spot. Then passed us at a high speed and changed lanes rapidly, cutting others off. The second was on my way home from work Tuesday. I was on Winters Lane and out of the blue, a guy on a Harley is right on my bumper. He began swerving to see if he could pass me OVER THE DOUBLE YELLOW LINES. I was coming up to my turn (a left), put on my blinker and he passed me! I could not believe it. I think the MVA and the State of Maryland need to remind the motorcyclists of how to ride properly. [FYI, I'm all for those who enjoy riding motorcycles to be able to do so, but I wish they would do so SAFELY!]

Lastly, Jason and I were out shopping and were coming home to our little hamlet of Catonsville. We were approaching the light (green!) at Fredrick and Bloomsbury (on Bloomsbury) and a white car turns from Fredrick Road at full speed, never stopping at the red light and almost hit us head on. WHOA! Sometimes I wonder why I go out of the house when people have no concerns about their own safety or anyone else's.

Just needed to rant and get this off my chest.

03 June 2009

Catch Up

So for the past month, things have been crazy. For sake of making a long post short here is the recap in bullets:
  • We spent Mother's Day with Mom; took her to BoneFish and made her cry with our gift (Mother/Daughter trip to FL once school is out for me)
  • I helped Mom figure out how to find text messages on her new cellphone since I texted the "Happy Birthday" Song to her on her bday...learning how to use technology is a GOOD thing!
  • I graduated with my Masters (in Science...still not sure why all the undergrads at McDaniel received BAs-even those who majored in Science and all the Masters candidates received MSs-bizarre...unless of course any of the academics who read this can share their knowledge on the subject.) It feels good to be finished. I have warned everyone that if I mention going back to school within the next couple of years to beat me over the head with a baseball bat-I need some low stress times for awhile!
  • Friends (Melanie and Mike) have become the proud parents of twin boys...born 13 weeks early! Matthew and James are doing well (they have had some troubles, but nothing out of the ordinary for preemies). Their progress is being followed at Raising The Barrs.
  • I mentioned in a much earlier post that my department chair was also having twin boys. They also were born early, about 5 weeks. Matteo and Giacomo are doing well and even visited WLHS at lunch with their mom last week. We think I was holding Matteo (even their momma can't tell them apart...and they're FRATERNAL!) They are adorable!
  • Jason and I have worked hard to finish the basement. We are almost there! There are two things left for me to do-finish staining and polyurethaning the bar and the stairs. This is one of my summer projects. We are also waiting for our sofa and love seat to be delivered (hopefully very soon!)
  • We found out that my cousin, Jaime, is pregnant with child #2. Congratulations!!!
  • Chris, my bro, and I have both been to see the dermatologist. I had one mole removed last week and will have the stitches and the results on the 10th. Chris will have two moles removed on the same day. I know that a few other family members have gone to either be checked and/or have moles removed. PLEASE go see a dermatologist!!!! You never know...it could save your life!!!
  • Jason and I are planning a cruise for Thanksgiving 2010. If anyone is interested in going, the boat leaves from Baltimore, is 7 days long and VERY affordable! You can contact us for more details.
  • Jason finished the Spring semester and has already started teaching the first session of summer school at Towson.
  • Jason's dad was having double vision. Kind of scary...he had all sorts of tests done (MRI, CTscan, etc.), went to the emergency room, saw his regular doctor, saw specialists including a neurologist. Come to find out, he had a stroke. NOT a stroke of the brain, but of a blood vessel in a muscle surrounding the eye. Apparently, this is very common and most of the time we do not even know these little "strokes" are happening. The doctors all confirmed that Rod is no where near having a stroke in the normal sense of the word. WHEW!
  • and finally, we are getting excited about our anniversary cruise! We are off to Copenhagen and the cruise leaves from there to go to Germany, Estonia, Russia, Sweden and Finland. We've waited a long long long time for this...probably since our Honeymoon cruise (I think we started talking about the upcoming cruise then!). I'm a bit anxious about it because this will be the first time that I've traveled to any place where I do NOT speak the language! I attempted to start learning German on the website LiveMocha (like Rosetta Stone, but FREE) but just have not had the time to keep up with it.
So, the short story ended up being long anyway...that's just life. It happens!

12 May 2009

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

The first weekend of May is always the weekend of Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. I have gone the past three years and have enjoyed every minute of it! The first year, it was sunny, windy and a bit cold. Last year it was sunny and hot. This year, it rained and rained and rained some more. The good part about that was that the festival was less crowded. Don't get me wrong, there were still loads of people there! (Who knew people LIKE to be out in the rain???)

Since there were not many people there, we (Angela, Pat and I) decided that we would stand in the t-shirt line (which is usually a mile long and not worth standing in), but this year's artwork was amazing-a ewe with a beehive hairdo (Hey, Hon!) knitting! I bought a t-shirt and some note cards. Once we finished with our purchases there, we went to the main barn to get out of the rain. We saw lots of spinning wheels (I really, really, really want one, but need to learn how to spin first!), spindles, fiber, yarn and a variety of other crafty things. I even got to try my hand at hooking...a rug! It's not the latch hook of the '70s and '80s with the yarny fringe, but pulling bits of fiber through a canvas to create one of those rugs with tight loops that cost $$$$$$$. I did not purchase a hooking kit...even though I was tempted. I wanted to save my money to purchase yarn!

I purchased two skeins of Blue Moon Fibers' Socks That Rock Lightweight mill ends,
(one is more of a Christmasy colorway and the other reminds me of seaweed-dark greens and blues to almost black),





a skein of Lucky sock yarn from the Serendipitous Ewe in colorway Waterlily,



a skein of one of my new favorite indie dyers, Creatively Dyed, in her Calypso base, Mabalo-from white to green to almost black (there seems to be a theme here). I have two other skeins in the Tradewinds base and am attempting to get through some other projects so that I can start in on all my new sock yarn!




I also purchased a skein of yarn that goes well with the Creatively Dyed skein-I do not remember which stand it came from, but it is a blend of bamboo and merino (sooooo soft!). Part of me wants to make a pair of crazy socks where I use two different skeins of yarn, knit the heel and toe in the opposite colorway. We shall see...

I also bought some fiber. I hope to get my spindle out and spin a bit now that grad school is finished and graduation is coming up Memorial Day weekend. The fiber is merino (easiest to spin for a beginner) in the colorway Forest (main color is brown with some red, blue and yellow).

Now, I hope I have enough yarn to make it to next Maryland Sheep and Wool!!!

27 April 2009

It's been awhile...

...so I thought I'd write a bit tonight.

First, I turned in my portfolio last night. It is finished. WHEW! This has been a crazy 2 1/2 years of coursework, internship and finally the portfolio. I've learned a lot and look forward to walking across the stage at graduation to receive my Masters!!!!

Second, with this heat wave that really is meant for July and August, I treated myself to a pedicure and manicure this afternoon. A girl has to have her piggies in tip top shape to wear the sandals and flip flops!

Finally, with so much else to do, I failed to check my email recently. I went through it this evening and came across one that said, "You're a Winner!" Well, it was not from Publisher's Clearing House, but from Knit Picks, a mail order yarn company! I won a copy of Handknit Heroes, a graphic novel about knitting of course (quite appropriate for the librarian to be) and 7 skeins of Wool of the Andes in a color of my choosing. I chose blackberry, a deep purpley color. Not a color I would normally pick, but since it's free (YIPPPPEEEEE!!!!), why not? Now, you're probably wondering what I did to win the contest. Good question. Handknit Heroes is a graphic novel about teens who have powers and knit (of course), so the contest was asking if we could have a superpower, what would it be? I always tease my students that they wish theirs was invisibility when it comes to using their cellphones to text during class, but that was not mine. "If I had a superpower, I would be super fast like the bionic woman! I would be able to multitask and get things accomplished in the blink of an eye. That way I would have more time to knit and actually get projects finished!!!!" Now, if only I were super fast...

And of course, speaking of knitting...I have a few projects on the needles...two pairs of socks (cannot finish one pair because I broke the needles and need to purchase a new set!), a scarf/stole (cannot finish because I need to decide if I want it to be a scarf or a stole...if a stole, I need to purchase more yarn), and three gifts that need to get finished before the end of summer! (Do you see why I chose my superpower????)

30 March 2009

So sorry, oh so sorry!

With my dad's illness and subsequent passing, I have been away from the regular posts of yarn, knitting and the like.

I would like to sincerely apologize to my SP13, Danielle, that it has taken me soooooooo long to post about the wonderful last SP13 package that I received. Here's a pic:
The sock yarn is Lana Grossa's Meilenweit Marmi. It's the perfect mix of blues and grays for me! I also received a bar of Ballard Organics soap-Peppermint Rosemary. It smells delicious-ok, so I won't eat it, but it does smell oh so good! And finally, a hand knit washcloth (which I have been using!!!) in a pretty silvery blue. It's so soft!! THANKS Danielle!!!!

17 March 2009

Dad's Obituary

You can view Dad's obituary on McComas' website. (Click on McComas and it will take you there.) You can also leave a message there.

16 March 2009

Donation addresses

The donation addresses have been updated for those who desire to make a donation in Dad's name.

15 March 2009

Passed on

Dad passed peacefully this afternoon around 1:30pm with Mom by his bedside. He had a restful night last night so Mom and Aunt Felicia got to sleep all night as well.

We have made arrangements for the viewing and funeral. The viewing will be held at McComas Funeral Home. The address is: 1317 Cokesbury Road, Abingdon, MD 21009. Viewing will be held on Wednesday, March 18th, from 2-4pm and 7-9pm. The funeral mass will be held at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 1450 Abingdon Road, Abingdon, MD 21009, at 11am on Thursday, March 19th.

Dad was active with both the Boy Scouts and The Knights of Columbus. If anyone wishes to make a donation to either of these organizations in lieu of flowers, that would please please him and the entire family.

Boy Scout Troop 234
c/o Mrs. Cindy Hutchins
2511 Cullum Road
Bel Air, MD 21015

Or

Knights of Columbus, Fr. Maurice Wolfe Council #11372
c/o St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church
1450 Abingdon Road
Abingdon, MD 21009

Thank you to everyone who prayed with us and sent good thoughts our way during Dad's battle with cancer. Many of you have sent such kind words to us already that show us that we were not the only ones who loved and had the utmost respect for Dad.

12 March 2009

Resting Comfortably

Dad is resting comfortably. He was able to get into the hospital bed (with assistance) that was delivered last night. He is also using oxygen. The oncologist said that it was okay as long as it was helping him. Dad didn't eat a whole lot today-a bit of a TastyKake (his favorite) and a ThinMint Cookie. He told Mom that the TastyKake wasn't cold enough-he likes them from the freezer. (They taste better in my opinion and they don't melt as quickly.) Dad was also a big fan of ice chips today. He crunched away.

We all talked to the oncologist this morning and asked the big question of "how long?" We got an answer that was not a surprise to any of us. He told us because everyone is different that it could be anywhere from a week to a month. We are okay with that and know that Dad will no longer be in any pain and that he will be in a better place. We know there are many who await his arrival with open, loving arms.

"...Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." ICor4:16-18
(Lynette, thank you so much for sending this passage to me. It has gotten me through some rough days. I love you!)

10 March 2009

It was the White ones

Dad went to have more blood drawn yesterday and his white cell count is up therefore he can eat anything he wants to eat. When we talked last night, he was eating grapes. I asked Mom if he really wanted them but they needed to be pealed, would she have done it? She says no. Ever tried to peal a grape? I have and it's really not pretty.

Dad continues to be extremely weak. Mom said that she fed him last night because he couldn't even lift the fork. He was only able to talk on the phone for about a minute before he was out of breath and coughing. The coughing has increased since Dad's last round of chemo. It will probably continue to worsen as the mass in his right lung continues to grow. Also, his speech has started to slur again so the oncologist upped the steroid dose.

Mom also said that Hospice was going to be set up sometime today. Hopefully, they can come to the house on Thursday when we'll all be there so that Mom won't have to relay messages/questions for us.

Love to all!

06 March 2009

Not well

The latest news with Dad is that the mass in his lung has gotten larger. The oncologist canceled the PET scan on Monday because the CT scan told him what he needed to know. Dad has had a stressful last two days due to having blood drawn for typing so that the blood transfusion could happen today. It went well, but Dad is extremely tired. Mom said that he napped off and on since they arrived home. Dad was able to sit outside for awhile-he said it felt good in the warm air.

Because of Dad's low (we think red, but it could be the white) blood cell count, he cannot eat anything raw-not even veggies! If he has fruit, Mom has to wash and peel it. Dad's appetite has been good so that is a plus. He goes in Monday for more blood work and on Thursday he will see the oncologist again.

Chris, Jason and I will be visiting tomorrow, so I will be able to post another update later this weekend.

Love to all and keep praying!

Yarn Party!

I love a good party! The only thing that could make it better is yarn (IMHO). March 15th at Historic Savage Mill from 12-4pm there will be all kinds of indie dyers, yarn and knitting related goodness. Come join in the fun! See ya there!

28 February 2009

Mardi Gras...just a bit delayed

This week apparently everyone forgot that it was Mardi Gras on Tuesday...even the French teachers at school. Unfortunately, celebrations were a bit tame around these parts-a few students brought King Cakes to school and some beads and doubloons were shown. Dad received his own King Cake yesterday from his cousin, Deanna, and her husband, Richard, who live in Louisiana. It was sitting on the front porch when Dad and Mom came home from the oncologist's office (more about that in a bit). The King Cake was one with blueberry and cheesecake filling and came (as the box claimed) with a party-enough yellow, green and purple sugar and sliced almonds to decorate the cake, icing so the sugar sticks, a glove to apply icing, beads, doubloons and even a cup from which to drink.
I had the honor of decorating the King Cake. It smelled really good while I was decorating it...yum! Then I went to show Dad what I had done and took this:Then we cut the cake and everyone had a piece. It was sooo good! Mom was warning Dad that his blood sugar would be high because of the sugar, but when she finally did the finger stick, it was only one point higher than before he ate dinner! Who knows? Thank you to Deanna and Richard for the wonderful and yummy surprise!

Now for the oncologist visit...Dr. Bahrain thinks that Dad has an infection somewhere but cannot seem to figure out where due to Dad's shortness of breathe. He prescribed Cipro (an antibiotic) and sent Dad to have a CT scan because the one near his office was not working. When Mom and Dad got to the lab, they were told that the appointment had been canceled by someone at the oncologist's office. It was frustrating for Dad since he'd been wanting answers and he had been out longer than he usually is. Needless to say he was extremely tired when he and Mom finally arrived back home. Dad has another appointment on Monday (weather permitting) as well as one on Wednesday. Hopefully we'll know more then.

We'd also like to send big birthday wishes and hugs to SC for Jack's 3rd birthday!!!!

25 February 2009

Sorry that I have been slow in posting here this past week or so...grad school has taken over!

Dad started his second round of chemo Saturday night and has been doing well with it. It has made him cough a bit and of course not sleep as much as he needs. He has finished radiation for now and even went out for a bit on Saturday with Chris and Aunt Felicia. They took him to Lowe's and Home Depot to look for material for a job that Aunt Felicia is helping out with. Mom has been having Dad sit out in the sun room for while each day so that he gets a different view. On Saturday, we let him walk up the 6 steps from the sun room to the house instead of walking around the house to the front door where there is only one step. Jason walked in front of him and Chris behind him in case he had trouble or stumbled. No problems! He surprised us all by going up the steps rather quickly.

For now, all is well, but keep praying!

18 February 2009

Quick Chemo Update

Dad went to have the bone and nausea drips today (bone-to strengthen his bones; nausea-to alleviate the nausea from the chemo pills). He won't start the chemo until Saturday. The oncologist wants Dad to be finished with the radiation before he starts the second round of chemo. He will be finished with the radiation on Friday.

17 February 2009

Fewer Meds

Dad went to see the oncologist today. He was taken off most of his medications except for the steroid (which is down to once a day), the stomach medicine (Prevacid), insulin (which he will continue to take as long as he is taking the steroid) and oxycodone as needed for the pain in his side (due to taking a little fall on Sunday). Dad will finish this round of radiation on Friday (yeah!) and will start his second round of chemo tomorrow evening.

The oncologist said that there probably won't be anything new until they do CT scans and all in three months. This is just one long wait which is why we've just got to take it one day at a time.

Keep praying...

14 February 2009

Happy Valentine's Day


We received the BEST Valentine's gift a bit early yesterday! Dad was released from the hospital mid-afternoon, went for his radiation treatment and then went home. I talked to him on the phone and he sounds like a new man! He's grateful to be home and you can hear it in his voice. Chris helped Mom bring Dad home and Aunt Felicia is spending the weekend with them. Jason and I will be going to visit this afternoon.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and know that we all love all of you!

P.S. Happy Blogoversary to me...it's been two years! Lots has happened in that time and this has been a great way to capture it all.

13 February 2009

Good News/Bad News

The Good News: The thoracic surgeon removed the tube from Dad's chest on Wednesday. This means that the fluid has pretty much stopped and the area needs to heal from the inside out. Dad does still have a bit of fluid draining from the area, but not anything to be worried about.

Dad is also half way through the 14 small radiation treatments. He was excited about that when I talked to him yesterday. Plus, the doctors have been hinting that Dad may be able to go home on Saturday (I'm sure only if the Bad News is cleared up. See below.)

The Bad News: Hospitals are notorious keepers of germs. One of them is MRSA. Dad has MRSA, but only in his nose, not in his blood stream. This is scary because of all the news coverage on MRSA last year in schools and locker rooms. We have been assured this is NORMAL and is being treated with antibiotics. Dad can still have visitors, but gowns and gloves need to be worn.

Besides being nauseous (which seems to have subsided at the moment), the only other side effect from the radiation seems to be a hoarse voice. Dad says that it doesn't hurt but does feel like he's talking loudly sometimes. Having suffered from dry, sore throats from talking too much at work, talking loudly is due to hoping others can hear you.

Right now things seem to be calming down and hopefully Dad will be home soon! (He's been in the hospital for two weeks as of today.) Keep the good thoughts and prayers coming.

11 February 2009

Out of ICU!

Dad was moved on Monday night into "intermediate care," which is a step up from ICU. This also means that visiting hours have changed AGAIN. If I recall correctly, they start at 1:30pm (and really cannot remember when they end...). Dad has been sitting most of the day in a chair and has also been getting the nurses to walk him a couple of times a day. Last night, he told Mom that he was going to watch NCIS (his favorite show), get the nurses to walk him on last time and then go to bed.

Dad has also been going each afternoon for his round of 14 smaller/shorter radiation treatments. These do not seem to tire him out as much as the round he had last week and he's been eating more as of yesterday. I think last week's radiation treatments caused a lot of nausea and since Dad hasn't been sick a day in his life, has never experienced the nausea/vomiting and has tried to avoid it by not eating a whole lot.

The doctors keep saying that the fluid that is coming out is lessening, but not stopped as of yet. They have said that once they can take the tubing out, Dad can go home. It would be nice if that would happen soon!

On another note, many of you know that my department chair is pregnant with twin boys. As of today, she has been put on bed rest because she is already 1 centimeter dilated. Her due date is not until the end of May. The boys are healthy and so is Momma, but please keep them in your prayers as well so that all goes well!

08 February 2009

Yesterday's Visit

Jason and I went to visit Dad yesterday. After an overnight stay in the Post Op Recovery (since there were no beds in ICU), Dad finally got a bed around 3:30pm. Dad was barely awake when we arrived and I told him to sleep. Mom said that he didn't sleep very well Friday night since Recovery was pretty noisy-no walls! He slept a good two hours. We were serenaded by snores.

Before visiting hours were over, Dad did eat a bit of apple sauce and drink some cranberry juice. The ICU nurse (another Katie) wanted to start him out with something small since he really hasn't had much to each since Thursday and has been nauseous as well.

Hopefully today Dad will be moved back to the Oncology floor where it's a bit quieter and he can have his "penthouse" again.

06 February 2009

Procedure Update

Dad's procedure went fine and he is currently in the post op recovery since there are no beds in ICU. Apparently, everyone in ICU is staying the same (read: not getting better) and needs to stay put. Hence, Dad has no bed per se and will most likely spend the night in the recovery area. The nurses did let Mom go back (technically, family is NOT allowed in recovery) and said that it would be more quiet there for Dad to get some rest. They also told Mom that they would get Dad up and into a chair (doctor's orders).

As I mentioned before, the procedure went well. The doctor did find a bunch of small lesions while doing the procedure and sent them to pathology. I suppose in a week or so we'll know the results.

Jason and I will be going to visit again tomorrow. I'm off to rest my exhausted self since I slept for 3 hours (between 9pm-12am) last night.

Day 8

The thoracic surgeon finally met with Dad the other day and he will be performing a pleurodesis today. This procedure will hopefully eliminate the space for fluid build up in the pleural sac. The procedure is 60-70% effective and the doctor will know within a day if it will work for Dad. (Like we've been told, every patient is different!) Dad will be in the hospital at least one to two days after the procedure barring any complications.

Dad has had radiation treatments at the cancer center every day this week and has one today too. He will have about 14 shorter treatments to come. Dad has been getting some nausea with the treatments this week and has been getting more tired throughout the week-he's been falling asleep about an 1/2 hour to an hour earlier each night. Last night, he was cat napping whenever any of us stopped talking.

A new round of student nurses came through yesterday and Dad had one assigned to him. She took his vitals, checked him out from head to toe and got him up to walk before dinner arrived. Dad was not hungry when dinner arrived, but was more interested in sleeping. So we let him sleep and took Mom to get some dinner.

I'll update here later today when I know more about how the procedure went.

05 February 2009

FYI

Just so everyone knows, Dad can have visitors! The oncology floor of Franklin Square does not have visiting hours like other floors of the hospital. At least for now, Dad has been going to the cancer center around 1-3pm and is usually gone for 1 1/2 hours. So, anytime before or after that is fine. Dad enjoys seeing faces other than ours every day!

04 February 2009

Day 5 and counting...

Dad is still in the hospital. The thoracic surgeon has not made it in to see Dad yet. We keep being told probably tomorrow. Hopefully, that will be TOMORROW! Dad has been going each day by transport to the cancer center to have his radiation treatments. He has two more that are scheduled-tomorrow and Friday. Dad has been getting up and the nurses have been walking up and down the hall with him at least once during the day. He then gets to sit up in a chair, usually while he eats dinner. Mom says that after dinner Dad is exhausted-from all his journeys this week, I'm sure-and ends up falling asleep around 7-8pm.

Jason and I will be going up to the hospital after work tomorrow to spend some time with both Mom and Dad. Sorry that my posts have been a bit scattered, but I'm physically and mentally drained with having spent the weekend at the hospital, teaching, my own doctors' appointments and grad school. I hope to be better once I have a schedule for myself with my grad school work.

Keep praying and thinking good thoughts!

P.S. Mom has been doing well with the physical therapy with her hand-so much so that the surgeon no longer needs to see her unless she has a problem. He ok'd more therapy time for her and it really has been working! She can touch her pinky finger to her thumb (not the other way around like we thought-that was hard even for me!) and has been using her hand more and more naturally...for the most part.

02 February 2009

Day 3

Yesterday, Jason and I went back to the hospital to see Dad and hopefully give Mom some relief. Mom had called earlier and said that the oncologist was coming in to the hospital to see Dad sometime in the afternoon. We waited. And waited. And waited some more. During the wait, Dad asked if he could sit up in one of the chairs instead of being in bed. The nurses checked and they actually got him up and walked him up and down the hall once. He didn't have any troubles breathing and on his return got to sit in a chair. He was happy about that. His speech has steadily improved with each dose of the steroid and has not been having too much trouble getting out what he is trying to say like he was on Friday.

Around 4:30pm, Jason decided to see if we could find out if the oncologist was actually coming in or not. He wasn't. We did get to talk to him on the phone and he answered all of our questions. For now, Dad's condition is guarded and everything depends on how well he responds to the chemo. Dad will start the next round on February 10th as long as the insurance company approves the drug. The clinical trial is on hold for the moment because of the newest brain lesions. The NIC does not want to have patients who have the potential for strokes or brain aneurysms.

Today, Dad will go across the street to the Weinburg Center for another round of radiation on the two new lesions on his brain. He will also have a consult with the thoracic surgeon to decide whether or not they will put the talc into the pleural sac to curb the fluid build up in Dad's lung.

31 January 2009

Day 2

This morning did not start off well. Mom called me about 10:30am saying that the doctor thought Dad had a stroke because his speech was slow and the right side of his face was a bit droopy. He was taken for a brain scan a bit before noon and the results showed that he did NOT have a stroke (Thank God!).

He does have two new lesions on his brain. The one on the left side is larger and there is swelling around it. The doctor said that the swelling is causing the stroke like symptoms. The nurse gave Dad a large dose of a steroid that would lessen the swelling and every six hours he gets another dose of the steroid.

As the day progressed, Dad's speech improved and he was able to talk to us and not get frustrated that he couldn't spit out the words. He ate all of his lunch and dinner and looked better when we took Mom to get dinner around 8pm. His speech should continue to improve and hopefully we will know more on Monday when all the doctors make their rounds.

I will be going back tomorrow for a little bit so that Mom gets a little break. Keep those prayers coming! Love to you all!

30 January 2009

Another visit to the ER

Mom called my cell around noon today to leave a voice mail telling me she was taking Dad to the ER again due to breathing troubles. Of course, because of the situation, I know have my cell phone on me all day every day. I answered and asked if she wanted me to meet her. No. Did she want me to call Jason and have him meet her there. No. I asked again if she wanted me to come...she hesitated and I said that I'd get the rest of my classes covered and be there as soon as I could.

I absolutely LOVE my department (big hugs to all of you!) because they volunteered to cover the rest of my classes for the day and even made in house calls to the main office to tell them I would be leaving and that my classes were covered (thanks Jeannette!). They made leaving so much easier!!!

When I got to the hospital (Jason and in-laws in tow), Dad was in a "room" in the ER and waiting to see a doctor. He had oxygen which was helping his breathing a bit, but it was still labored. When the ER doctor came in to listen to Dad's lungs even I could hear the distinct difference between the left and the right (the one causing all the trouble, which seems to be typical of the cancer). The doctor explained (drawing on the sheets...) how last week the sac was only 1/4 full but this week, it was 3/4 full. She also explained that Dad would be admitted and he would have the fluid removed as soon as possible.

About an hour later, Dad was taken up to the Oncology floor (he likes to call it the Penthouse since all but 4 rooms are singles and of course he's seen two of the four that are not singles!). There was a problem with the bed not locking into position and the nurse's assistant having to call maintenance. When the maintenance man shows up, the bed works properly. Go figure. The nurse on duty couldn't be found. (He apparently was hanging out on the first floor-we figured this out as we left for dinner.) Then the doctor who would be performing the procedure (a bit different from last week's...a catheter) came by and explained what would be happening and why. Very blunt man-first one that's ever called the cancerous object in Dad's right lung a "mass" rather than a "spot." Once the catheter was in, Dad was feeling a bit better but just wanted to rest, so we went to dinner where Chris and Tom joined us.

After dinner, Mom, Chris and Tom went back to the hospital and my crew headed home. Jason and I will be going back to the hospital tomorrow. As far as we know, Dad will be in the hospital until Monday when the thoracic surgeon comes in and will possibly have another procedure done where some sort of talc (?) is placed into the pleural sac so the fluid does not build up again. I'll keep everyone posted as things progress.

Keep the prayers and good thoughts coming...We all need them!!!

25 January 2009

Home Again

Dad was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon. He is back at home and resting. He has been in quite a bit of pain and has tried not to take as many of the pain pills because one of the nurses at the hospital told him he was taking too many. Plus, one of the pain medications can cause the fluid build up in the sac around the lungs.

The procedure that Dad had done yesterday to remove the fluid is called thoracentesis. This process removed about a quart and a half of fluid. The pulmonologist who performed the procedure was also the doctor who did the bronchoscopy back in December. He told us that the fluid build up would probably happen again. If it does, then they will put some kind of talc into the pleural sac so that fluid will not build up again.

I know I mentioned the oncologist trying to get Dad into a clinical trial at NIH before. We found out that Dad has to wait for three months after the radiation treatments before he can get into a study. So, that means that won't happen until March or April at the earliest.

This has been such a scary time for my family. First, with the doctors being so sure that this was lung cancer and then finding out it's melanoma (the pulmonologist still thinks its lung cancer, btw). Secondly, to see my dad in so much pain and not being able to help him leaves us feeling totally helpless. Finally, I want to thank everyone for all their good thoughts and prayers...it really helps to know that everyone cares and wants to do so much for us. Just being there to listen and pray right now is the best that anyone can do.

P.S. Mom found out that the insurance company only approved one round of the chemo pills. (That would be the round Dad finished last week.) The pharmacist is working to change that so that when the 23 days between rounds is up, Dad can start round 2 on time. This makes my blood boil! If the first round is approved why wouldn't the second round and third and so on be approved? So, yet again my parents have to worry about my dad being approved for chemo pills. This is not what they need during this time. Our country's health care system needs to change and change quickly. Who knew that a decision Mr. Nixon made almost 38 years ago would have a profound impact upon my family?

23 January 2009

Admitted

Dad was admitted to Franklin Square Hospital this afternoon. He was having difficulty breathing and called the oncologist. The oncologist saw him and told him to go to the emergency room. They thought he might have a blood clot in his lung, so they sent him for a CT scan.

Mom called me back later and told me that Dad did not have a blood clot (thank God!) but did have fluid built up in the sac around his lungs. That pressure was causing the breathing difficulties. Tomorrow, Dad will have the fluid drained. I don't know when the procedure will take place; just some time tomorrow. Chris is going to stay with Mom tonight and Jason and I will be there tomorrow.

Please keep the prayers and good thoughts directed towards Dad (as well as the rest of us!).

18 January 2009

End of Round 1

Dad finished the first round of chemo last night. He started on Tuesday and felt okay but did have a bit of nausea. Wednesday was worse and he called the doctor for a better anti nausea drug. The doctor gave him one and said that the anti nausea drip that Dad had gotten was pretty much a waste since it took a week to get the chemo pills. (Figures.) I did see Mom and Dad yesterday and Dad was in good spirits and looked good. He sees the oncologist on Monday.

Mom is doing okay with her hand. She can now touch all of her fingers with the exception of the pinky to her thumb. She is still experiencing some pain, and will see the surgeon on Wednesday.

That's the update for this week. Keep your good thoughts and prayers headed in their direction!

13 January 2009

Update on Dad

This was going to be a post about how I despise our health care system here in the United States. (Don't get me started...and it's worse since I watched SICKO!) I feel like my dad has been a victim of our health care system. It took ONE WEEK for the insurance company to approve the chemo pills for Dad. This is absolutely ridiculous! The man has cancer; his doctor said he needs this type of chemotherapy; and the man is in pain.

However, I cannot thank the pharmacist, Reddy Annappareddy, R.Ph. enough for keeping my parents abreast of the situation with the insurance company and how long it might actually take to get the medication to my dad. This pharmacist was kind, caring and considerate to come in before the pharmacy was open to call Dad and the insurance company. He even gave Dad his cell phone number in case he had questions after the pharmacy closed. Late this afternoon, the insurance company approved the chemo pills (Temodar) for Dad and the pharmacy actually delivered the prescription to the house! The delivery man was knowledgeable and when my parents had more questions, they called the pharmacist and he answered them right away.

Thank you so very much to the pharmacist who makes this difficult time in my Dad's life a little bit easier by taking the time to treat him like a human being. When I can, I will be stopping by the pharmacy and thanking the pharmacist in person!

Thanks, Pal!

My secret pal sent me a lovely package that arrived yesterday. It looked like this when I opened the envelope:
Then I opened each gift: a bag of dried cherries (I've never had them before and tried them as my mid morning snack today-YUMMY!), a bottle of Coconut Lime Verbena Body Cream (my favorite!) and a skein of Malabrigo Yarn Lace!


Ironically, I have just finished my first lace project, Tiger Eye Scarf, and still need to block it. I look forward to finding a project to use the Malabrigo Lace...any ideas???

08 January 2009

Shocker

Mom and Dad received a bit of a shock yesterday when they went to see the oncologist before Dad's scheduled appointment for his first chemo treatment. Dad does NOT have lung cancer! Dad does have melanoma. Yes, skin cancer. The doctor checked my dad from head to toe yesterday and did not find one mole or spot that would suggest Dad has melanoma. Dad has no outward signs of melanoma.

The oncologist has already contacted doctors at NIH to get Dad into a clinical trial. I'm sure that more details on this will be forthcoming.

In the meantime, Dad will not have to go to have chemo at the hospital but will be taking chemo pills at home. He will have to take 5 pills a day for 5 days then be off for 28 days and start again. We do not know how long this will continue right now.

Hopefully, in the coming days we will know more information. As always, please keep Dad in your thoughts and prayers.

07 January 2009

My two favorite things!

It has been brought to my attention that two of my favorite things can now be done AT THE SAME TIME!

I read many knitting blogs and KRAFTY1 mentioned this on her Web Wednesday post:



I'm going to have to investigate this some more...but be sure that I will be Kniittiing with my Wii!

05 January 2009

First Round of Radiation Complete

Dad had no problems with his first round of radiation today. No pain. No nausea. No nothing. He was still having some back pain and called the doctor about his pain medications. The oncologist gave him a higher mg dosage of the oxycodone and also a percacet prescription to use as needed.

When I talked to Dad this evening, he sounded well and in good spirits. The doctor did ask him a strange question about whether or not he had ever had sun cancer...of course, Dad didn't ask the all important question of late...WHY???? Of course I chastised both Dad and Mom and they will be asking LOTS of questions when they see the oncologist on Wednesday.

So far, all is going well. Please keep the prayers and good thoughts moving in Dad's direction!

04 January 2009

This week...

This week is a big week for both Mom and Dad.

Mom will have her follow up appointment with the surgeon who performed the carpal tunnel surgery.  She's been having some pain in her arm.  Hopefully there will only be good news.

Dad begins his radiation treatments tomorrow morning.  He will go in again on Tuesday and Thursday for the lesion near his spine.  On Wednesday he will have the treatment for the lesion on his brain.  He will also begin chemo on Wednesday.  The doctors have said that the pain in his back will be relieved with the three shots of radiation.  I hope so!  Seeing Dad in so much pain is difficult.  Plus I don't think he knows how to deal with the pain since he has never really experienced pain other than muscle aches and strains.  

Dad did go to work yesterday(crazy man), but he needs to keep busy.  

Please keep your thoughts and prayers with Mom and especially Dad this week.  Love to all!