Saturday, March 28, 2015

Good Morning! Spring has come and gone and we're back to winter! The weather the first part of the week was glorious, in the upper 70s. It was warm enough for capris and flip flops. This morning it is 32 and only supposed to get into the low 40s with some rain. But I think this is the last of the cold, at least I hope so.

We got good news and bad news from the hematologist this week. The good news is...Bill does not have leukemia or any other blood disorder. He said one of tests that was done can find a single leukemic cell out of 100,000 and it didn't show any. The bad news is...we still don't know what is the cause of the young white blood cells showing up. As Dr. Smith explained to us, there are several stages of cell growth and the youngest cells are always found in bone marrow. The most mature cells are the ones found in the blood to fight infection. All of the others should stay in the bone marrow, but some of the intermediate cells are showing up in the blood. He, Dr. Smith, thinks that an infection somewhere, or inflammation of some kind, is the cause of this and is now referring him to an infectious disease dr. He said that some of the meds Bill is on will fight most infections, but some of the meds make him susceptible to other infections. There are very few ID drs. in our area and he suggested seeing one at Mayo, since we are going to be there in May anyway. He is also going to keep checking Bill's blood monthly until we find a cause.

So, I spent some time on the phone with Kim, one of the transplant nurses who was covering for Stephanie, trying to get an appointment set up while we are there. I talked to Kevin, a really nice guy who works in scheduling, and right now we are on standby for a "hold" appointment on May 5th, which is one of the days we already have appointments. This appointment slot won't open until the end of April and hopefully we will get it. Otherwise it will be the end of May before he can be seen and we would have to go back. One of the reasons we are trying to get it worked in is because of the golf tournament. We can't extend our hotel room, and probably can't get a room anywhere else. We had talked about going to Bill's sister's in Clearwater if the wait was going to be just a few days, but, we're keeping everything crossed that can be crossed that we will get worked in.

I thought of something the other night that may seem rather strange. Since the transplant I have not listened to Bill's heart. I haven't put my head on his chest or back, not because I was afraid to, just didn't think about it. I don't even know if I've put my hand on his chest to feel it. Does this sound odd to you? Everyone reads stories of people wanting to hear and feel the new heart beat, but I don't seem to have that need. To me he's still the same Bill, or at least the same except for the stroke changes. I remember reading an older post (really older post, one of the first ones after he was listed in Memphis) about how I felt about the transplant, and I compared it to replacing a car part. There was none of the emotions of awe or gratitude or humility of knowing that someone had to die for him to get the heart. And, apparently, that still holds. It doesn't mean I'm not grateful to our donor, because I am. I just don't have the "mushy" gratitude. It's still like a car, he needed a part replaced, it got replaced, and now he runs better! Call me weird or callous, that's just the way I feel. Or maybe I don't want to let myself feel those emotions because I'm scared of them. Hmmm, something to ponder.

Well, that's it for this week. It's time for meds, our neighbor should be here shortly for coffee and some Buddy Dog time, then off to Walmart. We're having a carry-in dinner after church tomorrow and I need to buy the things for my dish. Have a good week everyone!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Good Morning and Happy Spring! I hope the weather is nice where you are, as it is here...finally!

We had a busy week, or at least it seemed busy. It involved grandchildren and rain, but no drs. which is always a plus! McKenna wanted to come to the house after school Monday and Brianna finally had her first softball games of the season. The school doesn't provide transportation for the team if they are playing at home. The fields are at the sportsplex about a mile from the school. So, I turned into the Chickasaw ball taxi and ferried a load of girls. At least I'm able to do it, although I don't want to do it all the time. We didn't go to the games. Bill gets too disoriented in crowds and doesn't enjoy them like he did before.

Tuesday I played taxi again and then I got a phone call as I was cooking dinner that Kayden and Kiyann hadn't been picked up from their after school tutoring program. It's at the church that is right around the corner, so I picked them up and then called their momma. Her mom was supposed to pick them up and she fell asleep and didn't hear her phone.

Wednesday both McKenna and Brianna wanted to come here after school. It did make it easier for their mom since it was church night and she wouldn't have to go far to pick them up.

We got some rain Wednesday and Thursday. Nothing really bad but enough to keep us in.

Bill's been using his treadmill and is moving faster. He went with our neighbor Ron to pick up some guns yesterday afternoon and gave me a couple of hours free. They were gone a little more than 2 hours, and most of that was spent driving.

That's our week. Next week is the big one with the hematology results. Have a good week...enjoy the spring weather!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

It's a dreary, rainy day, BUT it's warm...about 60 already. Hopefully our really cold weather is finished and we will stay warm.

We didn't learn much yesterday at Bill's hematology consult. What they are concerned with are some immature white blood cells. As Dr. Smith explained it, white blood cells go through many stages of development, from being formed in the bone marrow to the mature cells that show up in the blood. For some reason some immature cells have escaped the bone marrow. This could be anything from an infection to cancer. After looking at the previous lab results and examining Bill, and lots of questions, he's as baffled as we are, or at least he gave that impression. He said he sees nothing so far to indicate what it could be. He is going to look at his blood himself under the microscope while sending some off for some more complex tests. He's requesting some records from Mayo, and I got the ball rolling on some of that yesterday after we got home. We go back on the 27th to see what this new bloodwork will show.

We were finally able to get out of the house on Monday and it felt really good. I picked up my new glasses and had a hard time adjusting to them. Only my left eye had changed so I really couldn't understand why both eyes were hurting. But, I tricked them. I closed my eyes before I put them on and they've been fine since. I learned that several years ago from an eye dr.

I had some labs done this week to get new prescriptions and saw the new nurse practitioner instead of the dr. I really liked her. All of my numbers were good except I need to drink more water. I drink all day, just not plain water. So, since I'm always nagging at Bill to drink more water, I need to nag myself to drink more. She also gave me some samples of an arthritis medicine to use for my thumbs when Aleve doesn't help. Other than that she said everything else looked fine. I now need to set up for a physical and she can do all of it, including the lady stuff. That will really help instead of having to make multiple appointments. The only extra one will be for the mammogram.

Our granddaughter McKenna was going to come here after school Wednesday, but Tuesday evening she started feeling bad and was pretty sick on Wednesday morning. Her daddy took her to the dr, he was sick too, and she tested positive for a very strong case of strep throat. She's feeling better now, with mega doses of antibiotics, and Emily was lucky enough to be able to pick up the work she had missed. I'm really glad that she didn't come here. That's something we don't need!

The battery in Bill's Thunderbird died this week, or we discovered it was dead this week. We think that the door didn't close completely the last time he drove it. I noticed that it sounded like it was latching, but looking at it, could tell that it had not. We also discovered that the remote will not work if the battery is dead. Since that battery is in the trunk, we had to find where the emergency lock was. There's no way on the outside of the trunk to use the key. Usually these locks are in the glove box but this one is on the shelf behind the drivers seat! At least we had the owners manual to refer to. After a couple of hours on the battery charger it fired up and Bill drove it around the block. We haven't checked it since because it's been raining constantly and we haven't wanted to go out unless absolutely necessary.

All for this week. It's going to be a long 2 weeks until we get the results from Dr. Smith. So, any of you reading this, say an extra little prayer that the results will be good and it's something that can be taken care of easily.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Just heard from the dr. Bill has an appointment on Friday with the hematologist. It's a good thing we're not superstitious, it's Friday the 13th!

I've caught a lovely cold and feel really lousy. When Bill asked me this morning how I felt and I told him lousy he said that I looked lousy! At least he's honest! I stuck my head over the bathroom sink and breathed in some steamy water and that has helped some, at least I'm coughing more and getting this stuff out. I can tell that it's wanted to settle in my right lung, feels like there's a knot in at times.

I picked up my new glasses this afternoon, first time since last Wednesday that I've left the house. They are a lot lighter than the old ones and I keep wanting to make sure they are on.

It's gotten warm enough that the snow is really melting now. Bill was able to walk out to the apartment to use his treadmill. He was moving really slow when he came back in. It had been about 2 weeks since he had been on it with out trip and then the ice and snow hindering it.

For some reason, on Saturday there were more than 400 pageviews for this blog. I think that's the highest 1 day total since I've been writing it. I don't know why that happened, it must have shown up in a lot of random blog searches.

All for today, I'll let you know what we find out, if anything, in the next regular post Saturday morning.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

We are snowed in and have been since Wednesday night. I couldn't sleep Wednesday night and spent a lot of time watching the snow. At times I couldn't see across the street. We finally got about 10 inches, on top of 3 inches of ice. The neighborhood roads are still atrocious, but I've heard the main roads are pretty clear. I made sure we had plenty of groceries and then went back to the store to make sure we had the essentials...cookies and chips and munchy stuff! We've only left the house far enough to get the mail. Didn't even try to take the trash out for trash day, but they didn't come through to pick it up anyway.

We still haven't heard from the dr. Emily checked and was told that they were working on it, but I think she (the nurse) just forgot about it.

We got our itinerary for Bill's annual checkup. I usually wait a little while to make our hotel reservations, but something told me to go ahead and do them, and it's a good thing I did. Where we usually stop for the night was full but there is a college close and it maybe graduation week-end. I was also barely able to get rooms in Jacksonville. The big TPC Sawgrass golf tournament starts that week-end also. Now, if for some reason we have to stay longer than planned, we could be in trouble and have to sleep in the car, or the waiting room at the hospital!

After we get back Bill wants to go to our favorite Arkansas state park for a few days. We haven't been there in years so it will be nice to see what changes have been made to the cabins. We were there when the Oklahoma City bombing took place and we would have known nothing about it if we hadn't gone out for breakfast and there was a TV at the restaurant. We bought a radio because the silence was finally getting to us! But, in the pictures of the cabins now there are TVs in them, probably because of more widespread satellite coverage.

That's about it for this installment. As soon as we hear something from the dr. I'll let everyone know. I may do some insurance checking to see if it has to be by referral or if I can just call them and request an appointment myself.