Friday, September 17, 2004

Chemo #3 -- Overview

Of all the chemo treatments thus far, Tracey has struggled the most with this one. We are getting close to Chemo #4 and she is still not feeling "semi-normal". I don't know exactly what is making this session harder than others, but it is disheartening to see my strong Tracey weakened so much. I certainly hope that the next Chemo will be better for her!

Pelham Visits
Our friend Pelham stopped by to have lunch with us today! That was such a great thing for her to do! She brought lunch for us and spent sometime with the family. Noah and MacK love Pelham!

Ivan's "Gift"
Pelham's visit was certainly much, much nicer than the one we received from Ivan. This morning, around 3 AM, we began experiencing very strong winds and rain. Our roof finally gave, and we began getting plenty of rain inside our house's front room (which Tracey and I use for an office). I spent sometime covering my desk and moving things around. Shortly after that I hear a large thump in the office. Sure enough … the ceiling had collapsed on my desk! Wonderful … just what we needed!

Roof Work
Tomorrow I will be getting up on the roof and putting tarps over the areas where we have the most damage. We are working with a group of friends to have our roof repaired this October. Hopefully the tarps will help until then!

It seems (in looking back through my previous entries) that I failed to mention that our friend Dan came to visit us two weeks ago (while Tracey and I were at her Chemo #3 session). He looked at the roof to estimate the supplies we would need. When I called him that afternoon to see what money we needed to put together, he informed us that someone will be paying for our shingles! He did not want to reveal who the benefactor is. We were speechless and very grateful for Dan's role in getting us this huge help!

So now we will need to work on getting rain gutters installed after the roof is done -- this will help with some of the other problems we are experiencing -- and replace some of the flooring that has rotted due to water damage (from the roof leaks). We are also looking at having to replace a great deal of our ceilings and insulation (that is mold infested). But we will take it one step at a time. We are hopeful that our Good Neighbor fund will come to our help with some of the expenses for these projects!

Despite all our trials and tribulations, we remain thankful that we still have so much! Looking at the damage caused in Florida and other states (and countries) by the hurricanes and tornadoes lately, we are humble and thankful that nothing like that has come our way! We are also hopeful that all the hurricanes and storms now developing will stay away from the USA! I think we have had enough excitement for one year!

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Noah's Train Tracks

Noah surprised us this morning by showing us the train tracks he built from Lego pieces. He got the idea from the Lego magazine he receives regularly. He has already shown great ability to build things: he regularly constructs "Star Wars" ships, even if he does not have the official Lego parts to do those projects. I see an Engineering or Architect future for him. He has put together amazing cities (one even included a Stargate made from Lego parts).

Hummingbird Delight

I briefly stepped out on to our very weathered deck, taking the cat litter pan out to dry. I looked up and there was this beautiful hummingbird floating right in front of me -- brave little one he is! He then went from flower to flower, snacking at will, before coming back up to see me one more time. He then turned slowly and flew away. What a wonderful way to start the day! I had never been this close to a hummingbird before! :-)

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Chemo # 3 & Frances

I have not had a chance to blog this week -- it has been a permanent state of "busy".

Tracey received her third round of Chemo on Wednesday. Everything went fairly well. She was put on a different combination of medications and actually went through Wednesday and Thursday without major incidents. The meds are expensive (in the realm of $400 per pill -- fortunately we received a sample from the Infusion Center and our prescription plan limits our liability to $35 per prescription). Friday was a totally different thing -- Tracey woke up seriously nauseated and had a very rough day. Today (Saturday) has not been much better. We are hoping tomorrow will be better!

Hurricane/Tropical Storm Frances caused a great deal of "excitement" in our area. We had record number of tornadoes for our state, including three or four all around our house. This week was horrible for sleeping! The weather radio kept going off constantly between Monday morning and Thursday morning. Of course, we count our blessings when we hear all the struggles residents of Florida and the Caribbean are enduring!

Yesterday, the Toastmaster's club I am a member (and currently its President) was formerly inducted -- we learned that we are now the largest TM club in South Carolina! It is a GREAT learning experience and something I wish everyone would try. I have my second speech scheduled for this coming Tuesday.

Saturday Bowling
This morning's bowling session was a lot of fun -- for both the kids and I. Noah bowled a 50 and 52, and MacKenzie a 60 and 50. Not too bad for their first "official" games! I wish I could show you MacKenzie's bowling style -- it is so funny! I think I was a lot better at coaching them today -- but I had to have an iron fist to keep them under control. It is great to see them interact with others -- they are very sociable and they love babies! There was a 1+ year little baby in the lane next to us and both Noah and MacKenzie were so excited to interact with her!

Today is Jenny's birthday -- we had a fun telephone talk with her! She loved the gifts we sent. We found she was going out to dinner and celebrate her 14th!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


Just last night, as Tracey and I were preparing for her third round of Chemo, I turned to her and told her that we had lucked out with Frances, as the weather maps looked like the major portion of the storm had missed us! Boy, was I wrong! I forgot that Frances had positioned itself so that we would be on the wrong side of the storm. Today, we got pounded by heavy rains in the morning and a gazillion tornado watches and warnings. We, thus far, have been very fortunate that nothing has really happened to our area. Others near us have not been so lucky!

This morning we started out driving to the hospital. We were actually very early, in anticipation of the rain delays one expects. Within 30 seconds of driving we turned back because the visibility was so bad that we felt unsafe on the road. Tracey called the Oncology office and postponed her treatment until tomorrow. We spent the rest of the day with the kids, dealing with the minor inconvenience of a few interruptions to our electrical power, and hoping everyone around us was safe and sound. We saw some reports on TV that showed serious damage in Columbia (35 miles south of us) and Atlanta (where I go to work sometimes).

More than twice I started working on something and got stopped by power outages — so I stopped and bummed the rest of the day off. Tracey was very concerned for our family's safety, so I called in to the office and told my partner I was staying home with them.

Thoughts On Sleep
I have recently noticed that the more I sleep, the less rested I am and the more things I need to handle in a state of urgency. I am seriously considering either boycotting sleep altogether or at least cutting down on such considerably. After much consideration I have decided to sleep on the subject and decide on something tomorrow.

Thoughts On Email
For sometime now I have grown frustrated with email — as I am sure most everyone else is — due to spam. My mailbox is ridiculous! Everyday I receive 120-130 emails, and only about ten are from people or organizations I have a legitimate relationship with. It used to be that I looked forward to checking my email — now it is a real chore! I am sure one day we will be able to find the spammers and punish them according to the severity of their crimes: corporal punishment at the town square would be a good starting point!