Monday, December 30, 2013

How Do YOU Drive?

It has been a very long time since I actually WANTED time to fly.

It is amazing how much your life changes when someone gets very ill.  I have a whole new understanding of what elderly couples have to deal with.  Most people we know that are our age have one malady or another.  Jerry and I have been blessed with excellent health our entire 39 years of marriage.  Except for some skin cancers on him and the vein surgery for me, we were healthy.  No flu shots for us.  We go years without a sniffle.  I've never had the flu.  I get a cold about every 3 years.  Neither one of us takes any medications at all -- well up until we discovered that Jerry has Lymphoma.  I have swallowed a million Benadryl for allergies, but I'm talking about prescription drugs here.

Still, Jerry is in such good health otherwise, that he hasn't even loosened the top on the vials of several of the medications prescribed to him for the Chemotherapy side-effects.  He has not had any nausea or diarrhea.  He has taken the pain meds off and on.  Yesterday and today, he hasn't taken any.  The main thing I notice about him is he is SO TIRED.  The slightest amount of activity wears him out.  When we came back home to Kingston today, he didn't want to drive.

Let me tell you!


I probably should have called his doctor.

Jerry doesn't like the way I drive because I don't just push the cruise button and let the car go.  Jerry will "cruise" right up some other car's bumper if they don't move.  I hold onto the dash half the time when he is driving for fear I am going to be thrown out of my seat when he slams on the brakes when the bad car in front of us won't move out of his way.

I, on the other hand, like to drive like I eat.

I like everything EVEN.  I put even food on my plate.  Equal meat, potatoes, vegetables and salad.  Then I take a bite of one, then the other, then the other, then the other all the way through the meal.  IF I run out of peas and I still have meat and potatoes on my plate, I have to get a few more peas.  I can allow the salad to run out because you are supposed to eat the salad before the other stuff anyway.

When I drive, I like to have a certain amount of distance between myself and the other cars.  I want to be either AHEAD of all the cars, or BEHIND all the cars.  I HATE being in the middle of cars and even more, semi-trucks.  I feel like a little ant crawling on the ground between volcanic mountains on gigantic wheels, and I'm just sure they can't see me.

THEREfore, I drive a lot with my foot on the gas pedal.  Then I can adjust my speed constantly to stay away from other cars and especially, semi-trucks.

Drives Jerry crazy!  He keeps hollering, "JOY!, put the cruise control on!"

Jerry drives right along with the semi-trucks and traffic all around him, and the car is in "Cruise"!

There will be a semi in front, one in the back and one on each side, and several in front and back of them.  And they want to PASS each other!

I get claustrophobic, and I STARE out the window constantly at the MILLIONS of wheels on all those semis wondering which one is going to blow up first and shoot long strips of black rubber flying through the air that are aimed RIGHT at our car while at the same time, watching the space between our car and the one directly in front of us as it gets narrower and narrower because our car is in "CRUISE"!

One time,when I was driving alone, a WHOLE TIRE bounced out of the back of a truck and came rolling extremely fast right toward my car.  I could NOT believe my eyes!  Just before I smashed head-on into the escapee, it bounced and bounded up in the air over the next lane, into the shoulder and into the grass where it bounced again and JUMPED over a fence into someone's backyard.

I SWEAR that is totally true!

Imagine what the homeowner thought when he went into his backyard, and there was a large tire lying there that had probably left a path of destruction behind it.  What if it CRASHED through his patio door!

Another time -- alone again -- I was behind a big truck with a flat bed full of boxes on it.  I was purposely staying as far behind it as I could, but it was right in front of me in heavy traffic.  I watched as the end of one of the huge boxes OPENED ITSELF UP, and hundreds of 15-foot long slats -- shaped like those in blinds, but wood or metal, -- slid out of the box and plopped right in the street in front of me!  The end of them hit the road first.  As the truck kept moving -- having no idea he was dropping his load -- the slats came out of the box further and further and further until the other end of them finally came out and slammed onto the I-40 exit off of I-35 spreading themselves across the entire lane!

I, of course, expecting all of that to happen, was already in the other lane and had decided to keep on driving North instead of exiting.

You can probably understand now WHY I like to have the road to myself.

Jerry is tired and ready to get in bed so I need to shut this down.  Hope you all had a blessed Christmas.  Ours was the best we have had since the grand kids were little.  Everyone was so loving to Jerry, and it did my heart good.  I even heard from a very dear friend from years ago.  I have missed her so much over the years.  It was a very good Christmas indeed!

Hugs, Joy

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Birthday JESUS!!!

What a GLORIOUS celebration we have had this year.  Almost like when our girls were little.  Love and laughter and memories.  No arguments or problems or misunderstandings.  Wish every Christmas could be this blessed!

Dear Readers:  Please pardon all the pictures of people you don't know and who didn't even make the outfits they are wearing.  This IS a sewing blog, after all -- well, it used to be -- and will be again soon.  I tried to email some pictures to my daughter, but for some reason, pictures won't attach today.  HOW FRUSTRATING!  Anyway, I'm posting some in my blog today for them to see.

Christmas Eve was at our house because Papa was grounded.

That is Lindy, our granddaughter, Papa Jerry, me, grandson Jacob and our daughter, Tammy.  Hollie had not arrived yet when this was taken.

Hollie, who is married to Tammy's oldest son, John, arrived late.  John is still in Alaska as the Army did not understand the desperation of Mom and Grandma back in Oklahoma wanting their soldier HOME for the holidays.

The BIG, BIG excitement this Christmas morning was that Tammy and Len got to see their grandchild, Jourdyn for the first time in forever; and I got to see her for the first time since she was 3 months old.  None of us are allowed to see her because she is being raised by the Mother's parents, and they don't allow it.  In Oklahoma, grandparents don't have any rights, so we just have aching hearts to know this child.  And, yes, it is the fault of the parents' misbehaving, but nevertheless.  We grands didn't do anything wrong.

Jourdyn has the flu, so I couldn't go near her.  I can't get sick or I would have to move out and leave Jerry all alone.  I just took pictures.

You can see in this video how my daughter and my son-in-law are trying to get their own grandchild to acknowledge their love for her.

Len is really good with children.  It wasn't very long and this little one was BUTTER in his arms:

And as I was leaving to go back home to Jerry this morning, Tammy said, "Mom, LOOK!"  I snapped a picture.  Pray Tammy is allowed to have this child in her life from now on.  So much love this baby needs to know.

All of that was this morning.  I went over to Tammy's by myself.  Jerry wasn't allowed because we knew the baby was sick, and Jerry was hurting so much, he couldn't have gone anyway.  He said this morning that he felt like there was a burning hot iron sticking him in the back between his shoulder blades.  He took the steroids for five days, and now that they are gone, the pain is severe.  Thank God, this too shall pass!

Last night, we celebrated here with just Tammy and family so they could be with Jerry.  Jerry didn't have to leave his recliner, so it worked out great.  The BIG attraction of the night at my house seemed to be our fat cat, Bootsy.  My granddaughter and granddaughter-in-law wrestled him to get him to allow them to hold him.  VERY RARE, as this cat does NOT like to be held.

I can't imagine anyone not wanting a hug from these two gorgeous girls!

My daughter can knit.  After seeing what she made this year, I asked her if she would teach me how.  Look at these DARLING fingerless gloves.  I begged her to make me a pair for next year.  I made some myself out of fleece, but they are grade school compared to these.  I never wanted to learn to knit, but I may have to just to make these.

The white ones are still under construction at the thumb area.  I wish I had taken a picture with them on my hand as they are the nicest ones I have seen anywhere.

And Tammy took me into one of her bedrooms to show me that I'm not the ONLY one who buys one of everything when I have a hobby.

There are THREE cabinets full of yarn here, and so neatly organized.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!!!

 There must have been an earthquake when I took this shot, but you get the idea.

No kidding!

We had one yesterday afternoon and another one in the middle of the night.

And I have so many more pics, but my husband wants me to pay property taxes.

Hope all of my readers had as marvelous a Christmas as we have had this year.  So much to be thankful for.  Jerry is hurting, and that is sad, BUT this time next year, he will be all better.  That is certainly something to be thankful for.

Hugs, Joy

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Lone Watcher

Hi everyone!

This has been the most peaceful day.

I sat most of the day at my jewelry-making station watching You Tube videos or a new Craftsy class.

Jerry read the rest of Four Blood Moons by John Hagee. He sat in the recliner with his housecoat on over his clothes because he seems to be cold all the time.

I walked out to get my hourly kiss sometime after lunch, and he had the fireplace on.  I have wanted to turn it on, but I didn't want to get down on my knees and stick my head inside the opening and then turn my face up toward the sky to see if the damper -- which I wouldn't know how to find in the first place -- was open or shut.

I was so glad to see he had done it!

Phylly and I TRIED to have a Skype session this morning, but the internet was just not cooperating.  Her sentences sounded like Morse Code, and her image kept freezing.  She said I was pixillated.  She had her three grand kids there with her, and they make it impossible for her to carry on a conversation.  You may remember she was SUPPOSED to come over today for a play day, but the icy roads prevented that.  Sure hope Christmas isn't messed up with more ice.  Last year, we had to cancel our plans because of it.

Tammy called to check on us and remind us that Jerry is suppose to be rinsing his mouth out several times a day with salt water to prevent mouth sores.

Jerry and I had both forgotten about that rule that we learned in Chemo School.  There is just too much information!  I feel like we are taking an advanced college course, and we should have taken better notes!
I made FOUR of these today.  It is much prettier than it looks here.  The beads are Preciosa Glass Beads.  I accidentally ordered 1200 of them instead of 100.  Therefore, I was able to make four of these necklaces, but I threaded beads on wire for hours today!

I hung one from each of the girls' stockings.  It would look a whole lot better if it were IN FOCUS, but I was using my I-phone.  It just doesn't do as good a job as my little pink camera.  Plus, the beads are sparkly, and the light reflects off them.  You will have to use your imagination on this one.

Jerry decided to buy The Lone Ranger from Amazon to watch tonight.  I think they need to change the name to "The Most Horrible Movie Ever!", but you know men.  Anything with a gun and a horse in it! 

I excused myself to come do my blog, so Jerry is "The Lone Watcher".

Since I've given out all the Christmas earrings I made, I can show you a picture now.  I love them all.  Now, I need to make some for myself.

This pair with the spiral was an experiment.

I think they are really cute, but I don't like the way the "stems" wobble around.

I need to tweak these a bit.  They might be cute with just the green part.

I made one other style, but I guess I didn't photograph it.  I gave them to Margaret the other day so she could wear them BEFORE Christmas is over.

Jerry is still feeling very good.  Different things keep occurring, but nothing he can't handle.

One night he got an upset stomach after dinner.  Yesterday, he had headaches.  Today, the bones in his jaw were hurting.  He feels good enough to watch that awful movie which is STILL on.  Guess I'll go out to see if he needs a hug or a kiss.  (-;



Friday, December 20, 2013

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

How Is Jerry?

Check it out:

Here he is before we went to get his shot yesterday.  He ate the WHOLE THING.  He wanted me to take him to our store after his shot, but I suggested he not overdo it, so he will go today instead.

We left Johnnie's to go to Mercy Chemo for the shot in the belly.  It has something to do with PREVENTING pain in his bones -- or was it COULD CAUSE pain in the bones.

I'm always TRYING to get a smile out of him, but it isn't easy.  I KNOW!  I can hear you saying, "JUST LEAVE HIM ALONE!"  But he is SO CUTE, and he was in such a good mood.

I couldn't get a smile out of him, but a nurse walked by and noticed me with a camera in my hand, and she said SOMETHING to Jerry that got him laughing.  Check out this HAPPY boy!  (AND -- IF Jerry could read this right now -- he would say, "Do I LOOK like a boy to you!?"  AND I would say, "You sure don't look like a girl!"  (- ; )

He sat in the comfy chair so the nurse could give him the "24 hours after chemo" shot in his belly.  It was a really thin, short needle, and it didn't seem to bother him at all.

She put a fun bandaid on it, and we left.

We went to Mardel to buy a Bible for my grandson -- Jerry bought 2 books -- and then we came back home.  Jerry was up all day either working at his computer or reading a book.

He looked great and felt great and I was VERY, VERY happy!

Tammy surprised us with a visit yesterday morning.  She came bearing gifts as she always does.  If we aren't home, she leaves them on the front porch.  Yesterday, it was plastic forks, knives and spoons because the lady in Chemo class told us metal silverware may taste nasty to him.

There is ONE person on this planet that can talk even more than I do about God or the kids or life or whatever, and that is my daughter.

I can't imagine WHERE she gets it from!

The three of us stood and talked while we followed each other from room to room and finally out of the house and into the driveway where we split and got into separate cars.

I've got to go.  Just wanted to update everyone.  Jerry is now in my FORMER recliner reading his new book.  No pain -- no side effects.  Praise God!

Hugs, Joy

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Can You BELIEVE I Got in Trouble at Chemo???

It is TRUE!

I am such a ditz when it comes to clinics, hospitals, doctor's offices and, actually, most EVERYwhere!

We arrived early to Dr. Keefer's office this morning.  Jerry was called into the lab right away where they took blood.  About 15 minutes later we went in to see Dr. Keefer.  Dr. Keefer was as nice as if he was Jerry's brother.  He and Jerry talked about OU/OSU and some other football teams whose names flew out of my brain before they even entered it.

Dr. Keefer explained to Jerry about the drugs and what they would do.  He brought up Jerry's PET Scan on his computer and went through it with Jerry standing right next to him.  He told Jerry his blood count was 150 million -- or something like that -- and said that wasn't unusual for a spleenless guy.  Then he dismissed us to go up one floor to the Oncology Infusion Room (OIR).

We arrived at the OIR where we sat in the waiting room for a bit.  Then we were called back.  There were only one or two people back there at that time in one of the many 4-seat sections located therein.  A nurse named Paula took us to a section of 4 chairs that had nobody in it.  I was DELIGHTED, of course, because I decided I could just MOVE IN.

HA HA HA!!!  In about an hour, every single chair in the whole room was inhabited.  I could NOT believe all those people had cancer!

BUT -- BEFORE all those people got there, I was pretty much alone in our cubicle of 4 recliners.  I had brought something to do so I wouldn't drive everyone there completely nuts because I can't sit still or stay quiet for five minutes.  I had brought the lap top for Jerry.  I brought my Ipad.  I brought snacks and paper and pens and ear phones and tissues and even a lap desk.  I brought 3 pair of jewelry pliers and 2 baggies of sterling silver and gold rings to make bracelets while I was there.

When they sat Jerry in his chair I noticed immediately that there were these silver trays on wheels all over the place.  I thought, "HOW NICE of them to have these trays for us to use.  I won't have to use that lap desk."

I walked over to one of the silver trays -- rolled it right over in front of my side chair -- and I put a styrofoam cup of ice and water on it that I had helped myself to as well as my Ipad.

In a minute Paula left, and Joyce -- another nurse -- arrived.  She saw that I was using the silver tray and

while pulling it away from me,

she announced,

"MAAAAM!, YOU CAN'T USE THAT!  You have no idea WHAT could be ON that tray!!!"

As she was rolling it away from me, I grabbed my Ipad and my cup from it.

THEN I remembered that I had handed Jerry that cup -- off that tray -- to use to swallow a pill with.  I remembered learning at Chemo School that he wasn't to dare touch a carrot or an apple or any vegetable because it could have a germ on it!

I thought, "OH, NO!!!!  I have just infected my husband with God-Knows-WHAT from that tray that Nurse Joyce was wiping off with some kind of sanitary wipe she had gotten out of a large bottle next to a sink.  She wiped the tray with the cloth and walked off.

My LIGHTNING FAST MIND decided to rush over to that bottle -- grab a disinfectant wipe from it -- and rush over to wash all the germs off Jerry's hand from the styrofoam cup he had been holding that had been lifted from God-Knows-WHAT germs from the silver tray on wheels.

WOULDN'T YOU KNOW that when I went to pull ONE wipe out of the bottle, half a dozen pulled out!  I tried to tear just one off, but it wouldn't tear.  I tried to stuff the extra ones back in the bottle, but they wouldn't go.

THEN along came Nurse Joyce again.

"MAAAAAAAAAAAM!, YOU CAN'T TOUCH THOSE!  THEY AREN'T FOR YOU!"  She pulled my hand away and kind of shoved me back over to my corner.

I said, "But, but, but ..............  My husband's hand touched that cup and it touched that tray and he isn't supposed to touch VEGETABLES!!!"

She looked at me like I was going to be her worst nightmare today, and pointed to the squirt-foam on the wall behind Jerry's chair and told me to use it.  I did.

So THAT is how the day started.

Fortunately, it got better from there on.

I got out my little lap desk and used it for my supplies.

There was a small countertop height ledge next to us, and I was able to put my cup of water up there.  Jerry popped up the footrest on his recliner, and I was able to share that with him.

I looked around to see if there were any plug-ins nearby that I could possibly plug a sewing machine into, but there weren't any.


Jerry was VERY comfortable, and he SHOULD have been since he had taken a handful of drugs before getting there, and they had pumped several into him for nausea and other things.  He went to sleep right away as the first bag of drugs was dripped into the port in his chest.  The port site was not uncomfortable at all.

We were there from 9:00 this morning until 3:30 this afternoon.  Jerry left the chair only once with the drugs on wheels to go to the restroom.

He watched TV for a short while using headphones that kept others from hearing the sound.  WONDERFUL, as I hate most of what is on TV in the daytime.  He was watching the business channel about the Stock Market.  He likes that.

When I returned from lunch in the hospital cafeteria, Nurse Joyce came over with a syringe full of bright red fluid.

She said, THIS is the BIG DEAL.  We call it "The Red Devil".

I asked if it was the one that made hair fall out.  She said it was.

I asked her if I could take a picture of it, and she actually posed it for me:

She brought Jerry a cup of ice chips and told him he needed to chew on them the whole time this was going into his body or his mouth could get sores in it.  LOVELY!

The pain pills from this morning wore off after noon, and Jerry was awake and alert and felt fine.  He swallowed FIVE pills of some kind of steroid this morning.  That and this Red Devil stuff has stopped the pain in his back.  He hasn't had a pain pill since this morning.  He had been taking one every 3 hours!

Praise the Lord!!!!!

He is at his desk working now.  He looks great and feels great.  Deanna brought him deviled eggs last night because those are his favorite, so he ate FIVE of those when he got home.  He just asked if he could have a Protein drink before dinner.  SURE!  We need to fatten him up.


As I said, this room was PACKED with people today -- all having Chemo treatments for cancer.  MANY of them were way overweight -- maybe 300 pounds or more.  Some of them looked thin, but not TOO thin.  I didn't see any of them that looked horribly weak.  Many were bald.  All were in good moods and friendly.  It was encouraging.

I've gotta run.  Time to get some of MY work done.  Goodness!  Candi is going to fire me if I don't get my paperwork caught up.  I have bills to pay, and numbers to post, and papers to file, and on and on and on....

Phylly is coming over Saturday for a play day.  Right now, there isn't room for a gnat's tail on my sewing table, so I need to clean it off.

Stay tuned.  We go back tomorrow for some shot that spleenless people have to have.

Hugs, Joy

Monday, December 16, 2013

Snowmen, Stockings and a Surprise Visit

My goodness!  WHERE does the time go?  The office party for our Kingston store was today.  This is the first time Jerry and I have missed our own company Christmas party, but it could not be helped.  I sent a surprise box down for my Manager to open during lunch, which she did.  I was in the cereal aisle of Walmart looking for the now non-existent oatmeal that Jerry likes when I received a call from the WHOLE CREW on their speaker.  They called to thank me for the box and for lunch; and they told me they love us, and I told them we love them.

REALLY?  How many businesses do you know of that the employees end phone conversations to the boss with "we love you"?   It is truly a blessing and touches my heart more than anyone but God can know.  Our employees are very special, and if it wasn't for each and every one of them, the doors of our businesses would have to close without Jerry and I there.

Jerry mentions it often to me.

He is amazed that he has been so sick -- and has not been to either store AT ALL for weeks -- but the business still runs, the checks still come in, the bills still get paid, and the world has not come to an end because of his illness.

HONESTLY, we are so very thankful for our employees, and we pray for them when we pray for Jerry that God will bless them with good health and prosperity.

Tammy read my mind somehow and determined that it would not be good for Jerry to go to her house full of people on Christmas Day.  That day will be the one when he is most vulnerable to infections due to the chemotherapy that starts this Wednesday.  I can't even feed him a fresh vegetable because it might have bacteria on it!  Tammy suggested that she, her husband, Lindy (her daughter), and Hollie (her daughter-in-law) come here on Christmas Eve.

No sooner did I read her text than I FLEW into high gear.  I spent most of yesterday decorating a bit.  Nothing remotely resembling what I used to do, but still a little bit of Christmas spirit.

Snowmen with candles in their bellies light up the fireplace mantle, and 7 stockings hang underneath it.

There will be only 6 of us, but there were 7 holes under the mantle.  I decided the 7th stocking would be for Jesus.

After all, it is HIS birthday!  And YES, I know it isn't his REAL birth date, but it is the day we celebrate it.  I KNOW what He wants for His birthday too.  He TOLD us!

He wants us to LOVE GOD and LOVE ONE ANOTHER.  If only everyone would do it.

I have a big Christmas tree and mega boxes of decorations, but they are up in the attic.  Jerry always used to get it all down for me and help me get all the tree branches stuck in the proper holes, and then he would put the box back up in the attic.  He can't do that now -- or maybe he could, but I'm not asking him.  Therefore, I got out my baby Christmas tree and put it on a table.  It looks like half the lights are burned out, but they aren't.  That's all the lights the poor little thing has.

I found a piece of white fabric in my stash and made some pretend snow out of it.  Then I took down the big picture that usually hangs on the wall above the little table, and I hung up a quilt that was given to me by an employee years ago.  In a few days, this area will be covered with wrapped gifts, but here is a BEFORE picture of my little Charlie Brown tree:

While I was running around the house this morning -- making a list and checking it twice -- trying to figure out what I could buy to put in all the stockings, Jerry received a call from his daughter.  She and her family live in California, and we hardly ever see them.  Before Mom's funeral, I hadn't seen her or the kids for over 5 years -- still haven't seen the kids.

Jerry doesn't fret over such matters because in his way of thinking, if she and her family are happy and healthy, then he isn't going to mess with perfection.  He figures if she needs him, she will call.

I'm NOT that way.  I think grandparents should be part of the grandchildren's lives.  I think we should visit them and they should visit us and there should be lots of love and hugs and talks and prayers and forgiveness and understanding and, you know -- a "family".

ANYWAY!  She CALLED Jerry this morning.  She told Jerry that they are coming here right after Christmas, AND they are going to come see us -- well, him -- but I live here too.  I am so excited, I can barely keep it to myself, but I am -- except for my blog, of course, where I spill my guts about everything.  Jerry gets upset if I ask questions about them because he never knows how to answer them.

Such hard questions, like:  When will they come to see us?
                                         How long will they stay?
                                         Will we get to see our grandchildren?
                                         Can we buy them Christmas gifts?
                                         Will they come for dinner?
He always says, "I don't know, Joy!"  So, I'm not even asking this time.  I am really excited though to see our grandchildren -- IF they come -- which I don't know for sure, and I'm not allowed to ask -- and I pray they will remember me and the good times we had when they were much younger.

Have you ever seen those TV commercials about the United States Post Office Priority Mail boxes?  It goes something like this:
                                             "If it fits, it ships, for one set price."

Well, it isn't true.  Don't believe it.  I had to MEASURE my box, and then I had to WEIGH my box, and then I had to pay $40 to ship it!  The box had "Priority Mail Box C" stamped all over it.

I think the "C" stands for COSTLY!

Anyway, before I figured all that out today, I drove 5 miles to the nearest Post Office.  It is a big PO with lots of parking BUT every single parking space was full except for one that was the farthest away.  I parked -- walked around to the other side of the car and lifted the large, 12-pound box off the front seat -- shoved the door shut with my hip -- and headed toward the front door of the PO.

As I was walking, I looked down at the box in my arms and suddenly had the horrible realization that the box had NO LABEL!  I came to a dead stop.  I looked at the box, and I looked at the complete stranger man walking next to me, and I announced to him that my box did NOT have a label!  He looked at me like I must be some poor lady who just escaped the Loony Bin.  He began walking faster and faced the other way so I wouldn't DARE speak to him again!  I turned around -- shaking my head and talking to the unlabeled box in my arms telling it how STUPID I was to not put a label on it --  and walked back to my car.  Perfectly NORMAL, right?

By an AMAZING stroke of good timing, I was able to go online to, figure out with the help of my husband how to buy postage and print out a label, and JUST as I was taping the label to the top of the box about 4:30 this afternoon, our postman walked up to the front door with our mail.  I asked him if he could take the box, and he did!

Christmas lunch for our OKC store is tomorrow at The Cheesecake Factory.  Jerry says he feels good enough to go.  Maybe I'll get some pics.

Hugs, Joy

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Staples OUT, Mediport IN, Happy Me!

Back to Mercy Hospital for Out-patient surgery today.  Dr. Ellis did the procedure.

Remember Dr. Ellis?  He is the doctor we didn't like much, at first.  I called his nurse "Nurse Ratchet".  We didn't like her AT ALL!  We heard from many people, including doctors my daughter works with, that Dr. Ellis was the best surgeon.  We decided we better use him even though he didn't seem to like us much.


I have to tell you.  I absolutely ADORE Dr. Ellis now.  After he removed Jerry's spleen two weeks ago, he came into the waiting room to tell me that Jerry was still alive and breathing, etc.  I was SO HAPPY that he had the knowledge, training, education, expertise and ability to do the surgery that saved my husband's life that I just wanted to give him a great big hug -- but, of course, I could NOT do that.  I probably would have scared the poor man to death as he is quite shy.  Since I couldn't hug him, I took his extended hand to shake it, and I told him how VERY MUCH I appreciated his expertise and knowledge and the fact that he saved my husband's life.

That compliment seemed to really bring him to life.  He looked me in the eyes, and he said something nice -- although I don't remember his exact words.

TODAY, when Dr. Ellis came into the little pre-surgery exam room, I smiled at him, and he smiled at me and at Jerry, and he shook both of our hands and asked us how we were.  He SMILED!  The first time I met him, I swear he was gritting his teeth and wringing his hands at my questions.  He looked MOSTLY at the floor and his feet.

When the surgery was over, Dr. Ellis came out into the waiting room and found me.  He not only took his time talking to me and listening to me, he SAT DOWN IN THE CHAIR NEXT TO ME.  I told him again how amazing and wonderful he is, and he smiled and smiled and smiled.  Isn't it amazing how a person comes to life when they smile?

He listened intently to me and then explained that we didn't have to come see him again unless we wanted to for some reason.  He said he could remove the Mediport in his office quickly and easily when Jerry no longer needs it.  THAT was nice to know!  He wished us well, and he left.

A little while later, I was called back into the pre-surgery -- now the post-surgery -- room to take Jerry's clothes to him so he could get dressed.  On the way down the long hall, I passed Dr. Ellis.  He looked right at me and smiled, and I said something about how we keep seeing each other.

It sounds totally kooky, I know, but it is so comforting when I feel like a doctor sees ME, and not just my checkbook -- and when I feel like he might even remember my name if not on a chart in front of him.  And, yes, I know by tomorrow he will have forgotten he ever knew us, but it sure was nice today!  I will certainly NEVER forget him.

I haven't forgotten Dr. B. who operated on Jerry's spine back in 2008.  He was a complete ******* with an "I am God and You are a Moron" complex.  Jerry couldn't stand him either.  We never went back to see him after the surgery.  Tammy removed Jerry's stitches.  I understand he is no longer in Oklahoma.

And about Nurse Ratchet.  It turned out later that his nurse called one night and was very nice over the phone, so we've decided we like her now.  Her name is Julie.  Sometimes, you catch people having a bad day.  It just seems to be so much worse when you are having one yourself.

I, of course, took a picture of Jerry's new boo boo:

It doesn't seem to bother him too much.

He is THRILLED to have the staples out of his tummy.  He is taking the pain meds that were prescribed today, and he is feeling really good!  He is at his computer right now, and he hasn't even slept since he got home from the hospital.

I dropped him off at home and then went to the pharmacy to buy practically every drug behind the counter.

You think I'm kidding, don't you???

I took a picture of that for you too.  This is what I picked up for him TODAY, less the one on the end from Walgreen's which I picked up last week.
The M&M's are from Dr. Joy.  I call them "pills", and I keep some in a baggie in my purse and some in a candy dish by the couch where Jerry naps.  Jerry really likes these "pills" now that the Dietitian lady said he can have sugar!  I also bought him six bags of those little assorted dark chocolate bars -- his favorite.  I may not be able to put 20 pounds back on him in a week, but I sure will try!

Jerry is wide awake and feeling good, and I am VERY HAPPY.  I'm going to sneak over next to his staple-free body on the couch and see if he still squeals when I try to hug him.

I told him in the hospital this morning that I hope he never hurts his lips because I couldn't stand it if I couldn't still kiss him!

TV time.  Jerry is waiting for me to choose a movie.

We finished the Alaska people who live under snow and ice 8 months of the year.  No toilets -- no running water -- no stores -- and you have to shoot or catch all your food.  NOT for me, thank you!

Thanks for your comments!  Love the one about me writing a book.  Jerry says I should.  I think I'll stick with a blog for now.

Hugs, Joy

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It was a Lovely Day

This is Tuesday, 12-10-13.  It was Chemo Class day at Mercy Hospital.

Jerry and I arrived in the still icy parking lot to find Tammy walking from it to the hospital.  She was pretty far in front of us, but I recognized her shape and the way she walks immediately.

I said, "OH!  There's Tammy! Quick!   Honk!"

Jerry will never - ever- ever - push the horn in a car.  I don't know WHY that is, but he won't.  If a semi-truck is about to run us over, he won't push the horn!  If another car is pulling over into our lane too close to us, he won't honk the horn!

As I always do, I stretched my arm over to the steering wheel and started pushing on whatever I could reach.

Jerry pushed my hand away while telling me that it WAS NOT Tammy.

I said, "It is too, Tammy.  I think I KNOW my own daughter!"

She was getting out of eye sight, so I kept trying to honk, and I finally got one quick little honk out.  Tammy turned around to look, but then ignored it and walked on.  I decided to quickly roll down my window to holler at her BUT NO!

Jerry's little van has the window buttons in the NUTTIEST place.  They are BETWEEN THE SEATS!  By the time you figure out WHERE the window up/down buttons are, you have already arrived where you are going.  Suddenly, I remembered we were in the "nutty window" vehicle, and I pushed on the button and the window went down.  I hollered, "Tammy!"  She heard me and walked over to talk to me.  She said she would wait for us.  It took us awhile to find a parking space, but Tammy was waiting at the door for us.  We all went in together to find out what Chemo Class was all about.

We entered a very nice combination of interlocking rooms with lovely pictures, crosses and scriptures on the walls.  There was a coffee, ice and water bar and even some cookies on a tray.  We were escorted into a large conference room with a very looooooooong table and very nice high-backed, padded, swivel and rock arm chairs up and down both sides and on each end.  Very quiet and pleasant.

In a moment two ladies entered the room and introduced themselves.  Sherry was an Oncology Nurse.  Diane was a nutrition expert -- or was it dietician?  Anyway, she talked about what Jerry COULD and COULD NOT eat after his chemo treatments.  Jerry was ecstatic to hear that he could eat all the sugar he wants.  Evidently, there are new studies that show sugar isn't bad for cancer.  My Father sure wouldn't agree with that, but that is what Diane said.  She said he needs lots of protein and carbs.  He can't eat any fresh fruits or vegetables because of the danger of bacteria or insecticides.  Food has to be frozen or canned.  Beans are good.  Lots of beans.  Something I have fixed maybe twice in my life.  I'll fix them now though.

Sherry talked for an hour and a half about all the woes of chemo treatments.  It was enough to make one want to jump up and run away, but we didn't.  Sherry did convince Jerry to TAKE THE DRUGS the doctor has prescribed for him.  There are a LOT of them.  Some for nausea, some for diarrhea, some for pain, some for mouth sores, cream to put on the port before treatment, some for uric acid, some for inflammation, and on and on ................  Jerry is NOT one to even take a vitamin, and he hates to take pain pills.  Sherry and Tammy convinced him that it was better for his body if he DID take them, and it would be only until the chemo was over.  Jerry finally agreed.

And GUESS WHAT?!  Medicare may pay for a wig for Jerry -- or I guess it is called a Toupee for a man.  There is a shop that sells them not far from us.  Tammy and I are going with him this Friday to find out about them.  Sherry said to go NOW -- BEFORE the hair falls out -- or we won't be able to match it.  Jerry is really dreading being bald, so I am SO HAPPY we can do this.  Whether or not Medicare pays for it is irrelevant, but it will be nice if they do.  Jerry and I have the same haircut, so I told Jerry that I can wear the wig when he is done with it.  Wonder how I'll look as a blonde!

After listening to the two ladies and asking all the questions we had, we were escorted upstairs to the Oncology Infusion floor where the chemo treatments will be given.

AGAIN, a very nice, clean, organized, friendly place.  Big comfy chairs with TV's hooked RIGHT TO THEM -- every man's dream -- and a not-so-comfy chair for the wife or caregiver to sit next to the patient.

I am trying to figure out how I can haul over 30 Art Bin Boxes of jewelry supplies up there so I'll have something to do!!!

WHY didn't I take up knitting????

We were on our way home when Tammy called and asked if we would like to meet she and her husband, Len, for dinner at The Interurban Restaurant.  We had a wonderful dinner together just chatting about "stuff", and then we came home.

Jerry just found an old movie for us to watch so I've gotta go!

Tomorrow, the mediport is installed in Jerry's upper chest and the staples come out AT LAST from the long wound in his tummy.

All is good!

Hugs, Joy

Monday, December 9, 2013

Good Monday Morning!

My goodness!  Jerry and I haven't been out of this house since last Thursday.  We have to get out onto the icy roads today, however, to take Jerry to Mercy for the heart scan.  I talked to Tammy yesterday, and she said the main roads are all fine.  Our neighborhood streets are still skating rinks!

I don't know what is more disconcerting:  The icy streets or the earthquakes!  We had at least three of them a few days ago.  Will somebody please tell Mother Nature that this is Oklahoma?!  Who ever heard of earthquakes in Oklahoma?

If I hadn't been knocked out of my suddenly shaking desk chair, and if I hadn't heard the train-like growling sound underneath me, and if I hadn't felt the house shaking, I wouldn't even believe it!  Jerry and I walked all around the house to be sure all the walls were still up.  CRAZY!

We heard on the news that it was 5 miles down and at Lake Arcadia which is just a few miles from our home here in Edmond.

I have made SO MUCH jewelry!!!  My sweet, adorable, SKINNY husband told me I am VERY TALENTED and SMART when I was showing him all my creations the other day.

I kissed his face half off and hugged him as good as I could with all those staples sucked into his healed belly gash.

He said, "You can do SO MANY things, and you do them all WELL."

I informed him that I could say the same thing about him.  I told him we are really so much alike.  I reminded him how he decided many years ago that he wanted to be able to do his own welding, so he bought a book and got online and he TAUGHT HIMSELF how to weld.  He has been doing it ever since.

The government decided that to be in the business we already had been in for 25 years that we could no longer sell Rehab Wheelchairs unless we had an ATP on the payroll.  "ATP" stands for Assistive Technology Professional.  You must have so much experience already -- a number of years of college -- and you must take a hard 4-hour test and pass it to be certified.  A lot of people flunk it 2 or 3 times before finally passing it.  Jerry decided it was best for him to become the ATP for our business because he wouldn't have to worry about himself quitting.  He studied for MONTHS.  Flash cards and a big, fat textbook and online courses.  He took the test, and he passed it the first time!

He decided when he was 30 years old that he wanted to be sure we were prepared for retirement.  Owning our own business meant nobody else was going to do that for us.  Jerry bought a subscription to Money Magazine.  I remember him constantly watching that guy on TV -- Louis Rukeyser.

Jerry became extremely well-informed on what TO DO and what NOT TO DO.  Thanks to Jerry, we are more than able to live from now until whenever because of his financial planning over the last 35 years.

When we purchased 11 acres near Lake Texoma, Jerry wanted to have a bass pond.  It was his life-long dream.  His very own bass pond that nobody could throw him out of.  Instead of hiring someone to dig the pond for him, he purchased a bulldozer, and he -- with the help of a neighbor -- learned how to use it.  Jerry spent SEVEN YEARS building our pond.  He worked more than full time in our business during all those years, so it took a long time.

The ability to sew and make jewelry DOESN'T HOLD A CANDLE to what Jerry has done, BUT I sure did love hearing that he thinks I'm so smart.  (-:

I better go.  Jerry is asleep on the couch next to me.  He takes lots of naps lately.  Lord knows, he sure has some coming.  I don't recall the man EVER taking a nap in the 38 years we've been married!

So rest, my darling, rest.  God is healing you as you rest.

Hugs, Joy

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tired Boy and a Video

Good Afternoon!

The snow/sleet/ice mix is falling fast here in Oklahoma City/Edmond.  It was nice this morning -- cold -- but, nice.  I needed to run away from home for awhile, so I met Phylly for lunch.  Just as we were finishing our yummy Mexican food from Abuelo's the ice started falling.  My tires slipped twice on my way home.  I won't be leaving home again until this is over.  Probably 4 days.

Phylly and I never eat lunch at Abuelo's because I THOUGHT I didn't like it.  It has been years since I've eaten there.  Things change all the time at restaurants though, and in this case, it was all for the BETTER!

We were served those really thin chips that I love and 3 kinds of salsa -- actually 4.  The fourth one was in a very small container, and we were told it was "spicy", so neither of us touched it.  Phylly and I both wanted to DRINK this one though.  It was sweet, and cool, and very, very good!  I took a picture for you:

 The waitress told us it was GREEN TOMATOES and PINEAPPLE.

IF it hadn't been nasty weather outside, I would have asked for a "To Go" container for this stuff.  We had a 2nd bowl of it on the table.

I ordered something I have never had before.  It is some kind of Chimichanga -- I think.  It was very delicious also.

I made you a short video this morning while "grumpy" was in the shower.  Poor Jerry.  One day he acts totally normal wanting to lift heavy boxes, drive 150 miles, and go out to have Pizza.  But today, he is worn out and very short-tempered.  When I got back from lunch, he was sending a fax to someone.  Then he turned out all the lights in his office -- which he NEVER, EVER does.  Next I found him in the recliner in the living room -- underneath the cozy blanket Tammy gave him at the hospital -- sound asleep.  He is still there.  NOW, I feel HORRIBLE for saying he was grumpy.

We had three phone calls this morning from doctors.  One to schedule the heart scan next Monday.  The next call was to schedule Chemo School (Class ?) next Tuesday.  The third call was from the doctor's office to me -- thank goodness -- describing what chemo was going to be like.  Linda -- the nurse -- is the one who called.  She is so nice, and we have talked several times.

Linda told me that the FIRST chemo treatment takes ALL DAY LONG.  She said they do it very slowly the first time.  Jerry is to take a book, a laptop or whatever.  Too bad he doesn't knit.  Linda explained that they would be calling in several prescriptions to CVS for Jerry to take because of the side effects of the chemo.  Nausea, pain, itching, etc.

No wonder Jerry is sad and downhearted.  I know he is absolutely DREADING all of that.

So, PLEASE forgive me for calling my sweet baby "grumpy" in this video.  I am so upset with myself.

I will be extra nice to him when he wakes up.  I PROMISE!!!

And here is that video if anyone cares to watch it:

I would dearly LOVE to be able to make something for Jerry, but HOW do you make a man jewelry?

Jerry never wears anything but his wedding ring.

I better get back in the jewelry room.  I need to be making gifts, not jewelry for myself.

But here is a close up of the pair I made in the video.

I think these may be my MOST favorite, so far!

Hugs, Joy

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"Lovely" Weather and Jerry Update

Good Heavens!  Jerry and I woke up this morning to weather so warm outside, I had to turn the air conditioner on.  I was outside in a short sleeve, thin knit tee.  I was planning to have a very long swinging session today on the patio,

Our daughter and Phylly both sent me messages telling me that the weather was going to get awful starting tomorrow and last for a week.  Since we were in the wrong town for Jerry's next surgery -- installation of the Mediport and staple removal -- we immediately started packing up AGAIN and loading the car.  In Oklahoma, you do not want to travel when the roads are icy.  Even if YOU are capable of driving in a blizzard on top of ice, most people who live here AREN'T.

My mother, for instance, who grew up in Boston, MA never gave a second thought to what the roads were like.  She could drive in any conditions.  My father grew up in Ohio and he wasn't afraid of any road condition either, but he also thought he was a Race Car Driver that somehow ended up being a Draftsman for Motorola, and he drove fast and carelessly.

He was taking me to school one day when I was a Senior in High School here in Oklahoma City.  I don't know how my two sisters got to school, but for some reason, I was going with him.  He was driving too fast, and I was TERRIFIED and kept begging him to slow down.  He just told me to be quiet.  I doubt that we had any seat belts, and Daddy wouldn't have worn one if the car did have them.  We were driving down Grove which was a two-lane road with fields and fence on one side, and homes on WOODED lots on the other side.

Did you get they were "WOODED" lots?
I was holding on to the dash in front of me for dear life!  Daddy acted like it was a beautiful sunny day outside, and was driving way too fast!

All of a sudden, Daddy lost control of the car and we started going around and around and around in circles.  As we went around in the first circle, we went OFF the road and into somebody's front yard.  As Mother always said, Daddy MUST have been a really good driver in spite of the speed because as we circled around and around, Daddy somehow got the car to circle AROUND and BETWEEN the trees.  Tree after tree went flying by the window, and I was absolutely TERRIFIED!  Daddy acted like it happened every day, and just kept going.  SOMEHOW, he got back on the road, and we continued on to the High School going too fast.

I decided RIGHT THEN AND THERE that I was NEVER, EVER getting in a car with him again, but the fact that I was 17 and he was my father kept that from happening.  In my house, the kids did WHAT they were told -- WHEN they were told -- and HOW they were told.  You didn't talk back or ask why.  You just did it.  So, being more frightened of my father, than I was of the icy roads, I did have to take another ride with him after that.  It was even more icy and it was at night.  It's a wonder I didn't have a nervous breakdown!

And WHAT was my point?????????????

Oh, yeah.

We hurried back to our other house in Edmond, and that is where I am typing this post to you right now.  It is much colder up here -- 150 miles North -- than it was at our other house this morning, but it may be colder there too by now.

Jerry and I stepped out of the car in our summery tees, and we about got frostbite before grabbing a coat.  That's Oklahoma weather though.

So HOW is Jerry doing by now???

He is doing WAY TOO GOOD, if you ask me.  He is back at his desk on the computer early in the morning and back on it in the evening as soon as dinner is done.

This morning, I asked him to please help me carry the ice chest -- him on one side and me on the other -- and he informed me it wasn't even heavy and he could just carry it himself.  I informed him in my OUTDOOR voice that I was the one who filled it up, and I was the one who knew how heavy it was, and why couldn't he just HELP ME and carry his half.  He stopped complaining and carried his half.

A few minutes later, he carried his briefcase (also known by the employees as"the black hole") out to the car.  That thing weighs 50 pounds, at least.  What could I do?  Nothing.  Thank goodness staples didn't start flying off his belly into the grass!  He also has a large cut on his arm from having a skin cancer cut out yesterday.  

I was RIGHT THERE when the doctor told him it would be a long time -- maybe 8 weeks -- before he could do any heavy lifting.

THANK GOODNESS I was there to hear it because Jerry, obviously, was not listening!

And BELIEVE ME, I am NOT one who lifts heavy objects because anything over 10 pounds causes my lower back to crunch and get very painful.  BUT, I will do all the lifting SOMEHOW when the doctor has told him he can't do it.

Last trip, I was putting things on my desk chair and rolling them out to the car.  Jerry was barely lifting himself at that point.

More waiting.  One week to go before the Mediport gets put in.  Then 4 days.  Then Chemo.  Jerry is dreading it, but I don't think it will be as bad as he thinks.

Hugs, Joy