Dec 21, 2006

Here we go again..

Well, I had another major seizure tonight. Holly and I were eating dinner in the living room. I was sitting on the sofa with a plate in my lap and she was sitting across from me. I started getting the feeling that I was getting a cramp on the bottom of my right foot. You ever get one of those? Where it gets tight from your big toe to the middle of the underside of your foot? When I get a cramp like that, I usually just grab my toe and pull it back; so I put my plate down and did that, but it didn't help. Suddenly I started to feel a pins and needles sensation slowly move from my foot and up to my right calf, and that's when I realized that I was going to have a seizure. I remember telling Holly that I was going to have a seizure and she immediately jumped up to help me, but there wasn't much she or I could do. The sensation worked its way past my knee and then through my side. Soon, I wasn't even able to control my leg or arm - they were sticking straight out - I remember trying to control it, but it was no use. I distinctly remember Holly having a very frightening look on her face and she said something to the effect that she hated to see me like this. I was starting to have trouble breathing and my back arched... I felt the stiffness take hold of the right side of my torso and then my neck. Then I could feel the right side of my face grimace as I struggled to breathe. I tried to lean over to the left onto the sofa because I started to feel like I might need to vomit...


Then, everything was quiet. I came to in bed. I was very confused at first, just like last time. I think I was coming in and out of it as I think she had to tell me several times what was going on. It took me a good while to finally sit up, and then I felt like I was going to throw up again. I went to the restroom twice, but I finally started to feel better. Holly tells me that the seizure started at about 9:05pm and I stopped seizing at 9:08pm. Then she says I laid there for about ten minutes before I sat up. She then says that I got up and was walking around. She said I tried to walk to the front door several times. Apparently I ended up in bed but tried to get up again. I even walked into the night stand next to the bed and cut my knee. Funny thing is, I don't remember any of that at all. I just remember waking up in bed. It wasn't until almost 9:45pm that I started to get what happened.

I think that Holly's take on what happened will be better and more detailed than mine. Maybe she'll decide to blog to write about it soon. My last seizure was July 15th and I have been on meds - but it looks like I'm going to have to get a stronger prescription and I definitely will not be driving anytime soon, which really sucks. I know that my right foot has been having the hardest time recovering from the surgery, and this seizure tells me that the most damage in my brain is located in the area that controls my foot. A neuron misfired there and then spread throughout by brain within a minute and involved my entire body. Freaky, huh?

Anyway, I feel fine now. I just have a sore back and a big headache. My jaw hurts and I'm sure my muscles will be sore tomorrow. One good thing though - I didn't bite my tongue this time! I already called my boss and am taking the day off tomorrow, but I still have to go in just to pick up my promotion packet that I have to complete and mail off next week so that I can try to get my E-7.

Anyway, I just ask that you all pray that I feel better and that the Lord keeps a close eye on us next week as we celebrate Christmas.

Dec 13, 2006

It's All Good!!

Roger just called me at 12:43 p.m. with the results from his MRI this morning. He says everything looks good to the oncologist. There's no evidence of new tumor growth and the area where the tumor was is slightly smaller. Praise the Lord! No new cancer. Yeah!! So he is healing slowly which is what our neurosurgeon and oncologist told us would happen since the brain heals on a molecular level. It will take a little longer for Roger to return to "normal" but we are both very, very happy with the news we received today. I'm sure Roger will blog later today. He's on the road from Bethesda Naval Hospital back to our apartment in Arlington. And when he finds time after resting a bit and the long honey-do list I left him, he will blog.

I wanted to include a picture from my company's holiday party last night. We had a great time and the food was fabulous! Love you all, Holly

ASN Holiday Party 001

MRI Done - Results Later Today

I just got home from the NNMC in Bethesda for my MRI. I asked my good friend, Ryan, if he could join me to make sure I stay awake and he was happy to agree at the 11th hour. Thanks again Ryan, you rock. The MRI was uneventful and I even managed to doze off only to be awakened by the machine at least three times. Now, if you’ve ever had an MRI, you know how loud and tight they can be. You know you’re comfortable with the machine if you can fall asleep several times! Anyway, it took about an hour and I’m going to go back later today for the results. But right now – I’m going to bed – two more hours and I’ll have been awake for 24 hours straight. Pray for the best!

Dec 12, 2006

MRI Tonight!

I've been bad at posting - but we have been extremely busy lately. I neglected to let you all know that my next MRI is tonight... actually, very early tomorrow morning: 1:45am Wed. There are a bunch of reasons behind picking that time. There basically wasn't anything available except for middle of the night appointments. And, I decided that since we are going to Holly's work holiday party tonight, I can afford to stay up a bit later since I'm sure we'll be getting home late anyway and then I can rest a little and head over to NNMC. After the scan, I'll come home, go to sleep and then return to meet with my Oncologist around 1000-1100 Wed. As soon as I know the news, I'll let you know. I'm not worried like I was before the MRI three months ago. But I am aware that if things aren't right my life will change drastically again tomorrow. Please pray that the cancer is still gone... more tomorrow.

Nov 26, 2006

Back from NYC

Holly and I are home from NYC. We had a fantastic visit with Su and Dan! It was low key because we have already been to NYC, so we weren’t interested in seeing all the sights – we just wanted to hang out with our friends and chill. So we slept in, had morning coffee with breakfast, went to a few museums and went downtown to see some Christmas stuff. And of course, we ate a lot – eating is always important on vacation in a fun place. The train ride home was a little crazy – we got into DC 30 minutes late and the train was packed, but we both managed to get a little nap. I hope to have pictures up later this week. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend, we sure did. Thanks Su and Dan!

Nov 22, 2006

NYC

Holly and I made it safely to NYC. We took the Amtrak up here and it was a heck of a lot nicer than taking the bus. We took the subway to the train, right to Penn station where we had to walk one block to jump back on the subway to head over to Roosevelt Island, where our friends Su and Dan live. I took my GPS on the train with us and the GPS told me that our top speed was 125MPH! I was surprised that they go that fast - I guess I just didn't think it would go that fast. Anyway, I'm probably not going to blog from here so I want to wish my loyal readers a very happy Thanksgiving. Eat turkey and sleep, then eat a little more. The holiday eating season has begun!

Nov 19, 2006

No Whooping Cough, Pants and Pics

Yeah – so there’s no way I have Whooping Cough. Friday morning I woke up early with a heavy cough, but after Holly left for work, I went back to bed and slept for about five hours. That was the first time I had slept more than four hours in a row since Sunday night and I felt really well after that rest. Holly and I actually headed out to get some dinner and ice cream Friday night too. Saturday I woke up late in the morning and figured I had gotten about nine hours of uninterrupted sleep and felt even better. I let Holly sleep in another few hours because I had kept her up at night all week with my coughing. We went shopping and to church and to a friend’s birthday get together too. I felt much better yesterday with a slight cough still. This morning we woke up after about ten hours of sleep and I felt better yet. We did some more shopping and chores around the house. Up until today, I needed to use an inhaler several times a day to loosen up my lungs, but I haven’t taken one puff at all today. So, there’s no way I had Whooping Cough because I’m not really coughing today and my lungs feel fairly clear. I am beginning to think that I had a very bad case of Bronchitis or some other upper respiratory bug. So, back to work tomorrow! Thank God it’s a short week.

As I mentioned earlier, Holly and I went shopping earlier. We went to Old Navy and we bought four pairs of pants. I knew I needed new ones and mentioned getting them to Holly. She was slightly ticked off because she was going to get me clothes for Christmas, but I beat her to it. I guess she’s going to have to get me something else! Like possibly a Logitech Harmony universal remote. Man that would be terrific. But, don’t tell her I told you. Anyway, I now have pants that are apparently considered trendy and in – as opposed to gaudy and old. Sweet.

I got a reminder today that one place where we have pics stored was going to be deleted unless I clicked some link to make it not be deleted. Check out these newly saved pictures from our wedding, honeymoon and family reunion a few years back: MSN Pictures.

Nov 16, 2006

Whooping Cough?

I went back to the doctor this morning and because I feel pretty normal except for the cough, the doctor thinks that I might have Pertussis, also known as Whooping Cough. It is very hard to diagnose, but it is the only thing that makes sense. Holly did a little research and found a very good website that pretty much exactly describes my symptoms, minus the vomiting: www.whoopingcough.net. The Symptoms and Sounds page is spot on – so much so that it’s amazing. I’m going to call the doc again tomorrow and ask him about this website and ask if I should go ahead and get tested. Apparently, it’s not uncommon for adults to get it. The test requires a swab or something to be inserted through the nose to the back of the throat. But if the test is done too late, the results can be inconclusive. So, that’s why he didn’t want to do it. He did give me a Z-Pak, or Zithromax – an antibiotic. I’m to lay off all the meds except an inhaler of Albuterol and a decongestant. I feel a tad better, but I’m not looking forward to going to sleep again. I just can’t figure out where I might have gotten Whooping Cough. Maybe I got it from Holly’s mom – after all, she is from Aggieland and she was here last week (I’ll let you think about that one for a bit.)

Our friend Matt, from LA, did manage to stop by. We walked down the street to El Pollo Rico(always fantastic) and brought it back to the apartment to eat. We talked and called it a night. He heads back to LA tomorrow morning. It was good to see him again.

My friend John sent me the following link this week. I thought the video was pretty interesting – a good job on the editing:

Nov 15, 2006

Even Sicker, Sandy Update and Scalp Sliding

I had a heck of a time trying to get to sleep last night. The new cough medicine didn’t really do much to stop my cough. All it did was make me woozy with a cough. I went to bed around 11pm but woke up at 1am since my throat felt like it was closing up. I immediately started hacking again. Ii tried to go back to sleep but I was up again at 2am. I decided to sit in the other room for a while to see if my cough would go away. I ended up on the computer for a while and then tried to lay down again at 3am with no luck. Finally, at 4am I thought.. duh! Why not put pillows behind my back and try to sleep propped up a bit? It took me a bit of trial and error, but I finally found a good position because next thing I knew, the alarm was going off to wake up poor Holly. I know I was keeping her up all night. She went to work around 8am and sometime between when she got up and left for work I pulled some of the pillows from behind and went back to sleep. I woke up around 11am with a very sore back and neck and coughing again. I have been coughing all day and I fear that I’m going to have trouble sleeping again tonight. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m going to have to get up early again (if I’m not already up) to make another doctor appointment so that the doctor can take another guess at what’s going on. I’m tired of coughing, my lungs feel congested and I’m tired. I hope they can get me feeling better soon because tomorrow will be one week that I’ve been sick.

A friend of ours from LA, another Matt, will be in town tomorrow for a meeting downtown. He wants to stop by tomorrow to say hi. His wife, Yoli, and he and their daughter stayed with us for about a week last summer as they visited DC. I hope I’m feeling better – it’ll be nice to catch up for a few hours.

Next, I got another update from Mike and Sandy I wanted to share with you:

Hello all - I wanted to provide an update from today's exciting trip to St. John's Cancer Center… Today went pretty well. In the last update I mentioned that there was a good possibility that Sandy's blood count would be too low for her to get her IV chemo today. That would have meant that she had to get shots for the next three days to build her up enough so she could get the IV chemo on Thursday. Well - Praise the Lord, her blood count was high enough today that she could get the IV chemo. That is really good news that her body is holding up to all the abuse. The bad news is that the blood count was not all that high and it probably needs to improve before next week.

Sandy got two more radiation treatments today and is looking pretty crusty. She continues her two a day radiation through Friday and then is done. For those of you keeping count; that means it is 32 down, 8 to go! Sandy sees the radiology oncologist tomorrow so she may know more, but I don't think anything is going to change at this late stage of the treatment.

The regular oncologist visit next Monday may be more exciting. We really aren't sure what we do next. The oncologist wants to see the radiation results to decide for sure what to do next. Sandy is off the oral chemo this week (the off week in the cycle) and will finish the radiation on Friday, so the oncologist wants to regroup before deciding how much of what and how often starting next week. We will meet with the oncologist on Monday and decide the next course of treatment. Based on the previous conversations, it should be the two chemos that she is on now, but different frequencies and dosages.

Even though things are starting to look better in beating the cancer right now, Sandy could still use all the prayer she can get. Her blood count really needs to rebound a bit this week so the doctor can continue to treat the cancer rather than the blood count. And some of the treatment side effects are starting to kick in. Sandy is having trouble swallowing which is caused by the radiation irritating the esophagus. In addition, the skin on her hands, mouth and lips is very sensitive. Even toothpaste feels like it burns her mouth and lips right now and bending her thumbs is a little sensitive. This is normal from what we are told, but still not pleasant. And her left arm is still a source of pain since the surgery. Once again, normal but not pleasant.

All in all, a day to celebrate the successes and pray for God's guidance and relief for the challenges. Speaking of leaning on God, Sandy and I had a very moving experience on Sunday. The elders of the church, our Spiritual Council, organized a "laying on of hands" for us before services on Sunday. We met in the chapel and the Spiritual Council members along with the Pastors laid hands on Sandy and I, anointed her with oil and prayed for us. There were about a dozen people in all. A real encouragement to us and an example of leaning on each other as the Bible instructs us.

Sandy and I are both looking forward to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. We really need a chance to have some time off work and hopefully away from treatments to spend some "fun" time with family and friends. Matt and Julie are coming in from DC and of course Jessica and Kimberly will be here. I think that is exactly what we need right now.

God bless you all and thank you so much for your continued support. Love, Mike

PS--- Mike covered it all for me. Thank you for your continued prayers & please keep praying. I'm still very tired but at least I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel w/radiation if nothing else. I hope & pray that you & yours are doing well, staying healthy & having fun. Thanks. love, S

I am encouraged by Sandy’s progress. Keep on praying for them, they need it. One last thing – I spoke to my neurosurgeon, Dr. Rosenbaum, today via email (I guess that’s not really talking, eh?) Anyway, I asked him again about the possibility of fixing a problem I am having at the left end of my incision. I keep on getting ingrown hairs that get painful because they closed it up and put skin over more skin where hair is still growing. It’s not pretty. He said that they might be able to fix it in Jan and we might also look at closing the gap where no hair is growing on the incision line. It should be a simple procedure. He said, “I think you could have a better job done… For now - I want you to start holding your scalp and sliding it back and forth across your skull. I know this sounds crazy but if you are able to wiggle the fibers loose and make the whole scalp slide freely we can avoid the prolonged application of a tissue expander.” So, next time you see me, I’ll be sliding my scalp back and forth!

Nov 14, 2006

Sicker and Good news for once

I woke up this morning and immediately started coughing up colorful stuff. I knew that I needed to see a doctor since there’s no way I was going to make it to work. Over here, if you’re sick, you can usually call in sick one day, but anything after that you need to see a doctor if you need to stay home longer. In order to see a doctor the same day, you have to call the clinic starting at 7am for a “sick call” appointment. I started calling the clinic at the Pentagon right at 7am, but a recording said they were still closed. I called back every three minutes or so until they answered the phone at 7:20. The only latest appointment they had was at 8:10! That was less than an hour away!! I had to rush into the bathroom and brush my teeth, jump into some clothes and get on the metro ASAP. I didn’t have to wait long for either of my two trains and I made it to the Pentagon and through security by 7:55. I walked briskly (no small feat at the Pentagon) to the clinic and made it there by 8:05 – just in time!

Because I was coughing and stuff, I had to wear a mask over my nose and mouth to prevent the spread of my germs. It was a little embarrassing - people kept looking at me like I was some kind of freak. But when the doctor called me back, he thanked me for thinking about everyone else by using a mask. The doctor had a chest x-ray done just to make sure I did not have pneumonia – I don’t. He figured that I just have a very bad upper respiratory infection brought on by a nasty virus and assigned me to quarters for 48 hours – which means I can’t go back to work until Thursday – unless I still feel bad. I got some more meds mainly for my cough and got home around 11am. I’m looking forward to seeing how my nighttime cough medicine works tonight!

Now for some good news regarding a cancer fight! Around the time that we went to St. Louis for Matt and Julie’s wedding, I told you about Matt’s mom, Sandy, who is fighting breast cancer. She’s responding to the treatments and is doing pretty darn well. Here’s an update that Sandy’s husband, Mike sent me last week:

Hello all - I am once again the guest writer for tonight. Don't be surprised if you get an update within the update from San if she is feeling up to it later. Today was a good day, of course, everything is relative. We went to see the oncologist and she was thrilled with the response we are getting from this new drug/radiation combination. The small tumors are almost gone, the bigger ones are smaller and no new ones are appearing. It looks like our plan to cook Sandy twice a day while feeding her poison both daily and weekly is working. Whoo-hoo!

Sandy is on week two of her oral chemo. That is the on two weeks off one week chemo. She received her second dose of the IV chemo today. This is probably the last one of those for a while though, because her blood count is dropping to the point that she probably won't be able to tolerate the drug next Monday. The plan will be to check her blood count next Monday. If it is too low (as expected), then they will give her a shot each day for three days to build her blood count up. They can't give her any of these shots if she is on the oral chemo, so next week works fine because it is her off week. Then, after the three shots, they hope to be able to give her the intravenous chemo on Thursday the 16th. That should be about the time her radiation is wrapping up assuming they keep the 2 a days going. Sandy sees the radiology oncologist tomorrow to verify that. Then, the oncologist will probably change the drug sequence - oral chemo on a week off a week and the intravenous chemo every other week or every third week in bigger doses. We will have to wait to see how things look and how Sandy's blood counts are after next week. All in all, a pretty good report for someone who is being tortured. I am not as good as San with the other stuff. I think everyone else is still fine. Thank you all for the prayers and please keep it up. Love, Mike

PS---Now you see why I have to take Mike w/me to keep straight what the docs tell me. OMG! I'm still very tired & for the most part go to the cancer center, come home, sleep & go back. Once in awhile Mike feeds me & I shower :) That's it for me. Please keep praying. We're making headway :) PTL Love, S

Sandy is doing remarkably well after hearing that the cancer was getting aggressive a few weeks ago. It looks like the doctors have figured out what cocktails are working for her. I’ll post more entries from Sandy and Mike when I get them. Please keep praying for them! They really need it.

Nov 13, 2006

Still sick and News about a cousin

I didn’t go to work today. I took a shower last night, shaved and everything with the intention of going; but after I got in bed on my back, I started to cough. No matter which way I turned, I still coughed. I think I finally fell asleep around 2am. When my alarm went off at 6am, I was exhausted and the cough came back. I’m taking a prescription decongestant to prevent getting bronchitis like the last time I got a cold; so I’m not supposed to take anything else. But I do lay off the decongestant and take Nyquil at night hoping that it will help me sleep. Anyway, I’ve had a cough all day – I hope it is gone tomorrow.

My cousin Sandi emailed me last week to share some news with me. Here is the email:

I wanted to let you know- and to pass on as needed about one of our cousins... Paul Mommaerts (I think he's about 47 years old now,) who is Ken's son (he wasn't at the reunion...) Kelly, Mary and Tim/Ford's brother. I haven't seen him since I was about... Maybe 7 years old?? Anyway, he has suffered from some kind of mental illness over the years and has distanced himself completely from our/his family. Kelly called me about 2 weeks ago, and told me she was going to try to find him again - which she does every so often. Well, I hadn't talked to her at all until this morning when she called me... Over the weekend, she was looking for her Brother Tim's phone number for something else, when she stumbled across some old work numbers of Paul's, an IHOP Restaurant in the Detroit area... Out of the blue, yesterday, she called the IHOP. She introduced herself and was immediately handed over to a manager who said "Thank goodness you called; we've been trying to locate family for Paul...” Yesterday (Saturday, I think) he suffered an ischemic (massive) stroke; he is currently on life support with very little brain function and last I heard from Kelly, is not expected to live. Kelly was in shock at the situation and of course of the timing. She was leaving today to go to Detroit to try to see him and find out more about what is going on.

I immediately forwarded the email to my sister and father and replied to Sandi. An hour later she replied back to me:

Well, since I sent this to you, Kelly called me and let me know that Paul died at 7:09pm tonight. They kept him on life support until she got there. No one else in the family is going up there. Kelly will handle the arrangements (Strange family, no comment... whatever.) Anyway, she said that she is trying to arrange a memorial service for his co-workers who have been so wonderful in the past few days (the coworkers at the restaurant are paying for Kelly's hotel room for 4 days) and there will apparently be a memorial service later. Weird thing, apparently before he died, phone calls were going around saying he died... I would imagine your parents might even already know. *sigh* I don't know much else, except that it is probably a very sad story overall. Kelly said he had been homeless at times... I am just so thankful that God had Kelly call and was able to be with him when he died so he could be with his family. Isn't that just amazing??

Apparently he has an ex-wife and a daughter. Lisa, my step mom, who is a private investigator is going to try to find her, however, I think it will be difficult. Her name is "Kara Smith, married to a John Smith" and no one knows where she is…

My dad wrote back and told me that, in fact, he had heard from his brother Mike earlier that same day. Anyway, even though we weren’t close to him – he is part of our family. I ask that you please pray for my uncle Ken and the rest of our family that are dealing with his death. And thanks to Sandi for letting us all know what going on. We miss you guys up in Wisconsin!

Nov 12, 2006

Sick Again

I am sick again. It started Thursday evening – my throat started to feel tight. Later in the evening Holly said I felt hot. I took my temp, and sure enough, it was 100.4. It was just a slight fever, but enough to tell me something was up. I started popping Cold-Eeze and took Nyquil to make sure I got a good rest. I took all of the weekend easy and didn’t do anything to overstress myself. In fact, Holly was out Sat afternoon and I happened across Cinemax which happened to be showing all six episodes of Star Wars back to back to back all day long. So, I watched all six of them in glorious high definition and surround sound. What a great way to spend a sick Saturday.

I’ve had a hard time finding time to blog with Holly’s mom in town last week and just a bunch of stuff going on. I have quite a few cancer related items to share with you that I’ll touch on in the following days. Some good… some not so good. For me – I’m doing well. Besides getting a cold again (just over a month after my last one – I guess my immune system is a little shot) I’m feeling extremely well. My hair really is growing in well. I’m letting it grow, but the rectangle on top has very thin light brown hair. If I let it grow out long, there is a pretty significant contrast, so I keep my hair pretty short these days, but I’m not worried about it. Physically, I feel great! In fact, I decided to run on the treadmill last Monday. I started slow but gradually worked up to a pretty quick pace: an 8:30 mile! I held that for about five minutes and gradually worked back down. At the end of 30 mins I had run almost three miles! But boy, did I pay for it the rest of the week. I was pretty sore but I’m not anymore. I tried running on the ground again, but it is just too hard since my right foot still comes down hard. The treadmill platform gives just a bit and is easy on my leg. I’ll run more and more on the treadmill and maybe my ankle and foot will get stronger.

So, here’s some not to good news… one of Holly’s co-workers, Randolph, has a son, Randolph Jr, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor shortly after I began radiation. He had surgery and was doing fairly well until he had a seizure while he was in radiation one day. He fell into a coma for a few weeks. He started coming out of the coma and started receiving treatments again. Two weeks ago I went over to Holly’s work after I was done at work and we walked over to Randolph’s office to ask how his son was doing. He said he was doing very well and that they were going to move him to a Rehab center (much like the one I was at) very soon. That very next Sunday (one week ago today – Nov 5) Randolph Jr’s three kids came to visit him at the hospital. They started to administer his Chemo treatment and he again fell into a coma. Details are sparse, but they tried to revive him – eventually, he passed away (obit here.)

Holly and I attended Randolph Jr’s funeral this past Thursday. He leaves a wife and three boys, age 6 and twins age 4. The “Homegoing” ceremony, as they called it, was very uplifting to me. His family seemed happy with his passing – and it is an occasion to be happy about. Randolph Jr was a believer and gave his life to Christ at a young age. He’s in a better, pain free place now. But I can’t help to feel somewhat guilty for something. Holly and I talked about visiting him at the hospital. When we thought about it, we asked his dad how he was doing, and he said he was doing better. We always got good news about him, so we never made it to the hospital. I never once got to talk to this young man. Would a visit from little old me have made a difference? Maybe. But I think my life would have been touched by visiting him. The only time I ever got to actually see his face was during the viewing. I’m never going to make that mistake again. If someone is sick – go see them. If they end up in the hospital, visit with them. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Make the effort to see someone if you are moved to do so. I was so moved – and never acted. Thanks for the lesson… may he rest in peace.

Oct 27, 2006

New Order

I finally got my orders extending my deployment through the end of April 2007. We’ll hopefully be heading back to Texas at the end of Feb. What a relief! I have been working to get my Army paperwork in order so that I can go up for the E-7 promotion board. I am hoping to get promoted to Sergeant First Class before I head back home.

I discovered today that my friend, Matt P, also had various pictures of Matt O’s wedding in St. Louis. There are several albums, so here they are: Album 1, Album 2, Album 3. He also has some pictures from Tacky Prom 2006.

There is a lot of rain heading our way tonight. It should all be gone by tomorrow afternoon though. We’re having a Halloween party Saturday night. I thought I had a costume set, but now I’m having second thoughts. Ideas anyone?

Oct 25, 2006

Wayne Rooney Mo-Cap session

Here's the ad that W+K created for EA Sports. It is basically a motion capture session for the video game. They made Rooney do a bunch of weird stuff and got it all on tape and then had him interact with things that were not there. Anyway, check out the other three players they did mo-cap sessions for - they're pretty funny. I think the best part is that almost every one of the guys asks during one point of the shoot, "Is this in the game?" The tagline for EA Sports is, "It's in the game." Enjoy!

Oct 24, 2006

Yeah... It's been a few weeks

Alright – back on the blog again. Ever since we got back from the wedding in St. Louis, we have been downright busy. 2006-10-07, Wedding-St Louis 184Since then I have logged about 15 hours editing a video for church that we finished and showed this past weekend. It was hilarious and one of our best videos yet. I’ll have it posted to the internet soon. There are a lot of things that I am running behind on here on the blog: MRI pics, St. Louis trip pics, the video that was used in the ad… I’m going to get them on here soon enough. I do have pics from the wedding posted though – I was ushering and had to sit at the back of the church. We were pretty busy, so we got very few pictures during the wedding and while the group photos were being taken. We had a great time in St. Louis and Holly and I are enjoying watching the Cardinals lead the Tigers 4-0 in the top of the 8th inning. This game should put the Cards squarely ahead of Detroit 2-1 in the series. Here’s a link to the rest of the pics from the wedding. Congrats Matt and Julie!

Oct 5, 2006

Lots Going On

Wow – when it rains, it pours...

I’m finally getting over this cold and Holly and I are off to St Louis for a wedding this weekend. On top of working on a video for church, having very busy evenings after work and getting ready for this trip, even more important things have been going on.

A friend and co-worker of mine lost her father to Cancer two weeks ago. He was battling it several years before it took his life. I’ve had the opportunity to talk to her at work about it. We also talk sometimes on the train as we take the same one toward home and often get the chance to meet up. He was still in his 40’s, her mom is 42 (I think) and a widow. Please pray for her.

Here’s something I didn’t share with you for some reason. I sent this to our prayer announcement email list right after we got back from Nashville:

On Sep 3, during a church service at my sister's new church, they invited folks to come to the front for prayer, I was thinking of going down for more anti-tumor prayer when the pastor then prayed for a man named Mark Foster, who was in the hospital fighting brain cancer. It struck me and I heard my sister say, "oh my God." I think we all focused our prayer on Mark and that's when I realized that it was six months to the day since my surgery on Mar 3. Anyway, it was an amazing thing to happen on that day. I spoke to the pastor and asked him to pass my contact info to Mark and his family. I'm not exactly sure what's going on, but please pray for Mark Foster's brain cancer.
I never mentioned the six month anniversary of my surgery here since I felt like this overshadowed it. A week later I got an update and sent this out:

First of all - Thanks to everyone for your prayers for Mark Foster, the man with the brain tumors in TN. His surgery was last week and he came through with no lasting complications - and... they got all of the tumor!

Finally, my mom called me today with the following news:

I have an update regarding Mark Foster, the man we learned about while in TN that had surgery to remove a brain tumor. As I shared a few weeks ago, the surgery was a success and had no immediate complications. But in the past few weeks he developed an infection in his spine somehow and also got pneumonia while in the hospital. He was having trouble breathing over the weekend and suddenly passed away early this week from complications due to the pneumonia.
Apparently, he was doing very well, but his condition deteriorated rapidly. His death was unexpected and his family is having a tough time dealing with it. These are the only details I have at this time. Please pray for Mark's family, especially his wife as she tries to cope with this turn of events.

Yeah – so I feel like I’m in the line of fire with cancer sometimes. But it is a good thing, I guess. I helps me realize how human we all are and that I need to keep fighting for myself and for others who are also affected around me.

I never gave you an update on Holly’s dad and his procedures. He fared the tests well and no abnormalities were found. I think he heeds to get back to the doc soon for more tests, but I think his immediate problem was an infection of some type.

Lastly, my friend Matt’s mom, Sandy, had surgery for her breast cancer a few weeks ago. Here’s what she emailed herself to the prayer broadcast:

It's a real blessing to see prayers being answered every day! Even though I've always known of the power of prayers it's something totally different to feel them on a constant basis from so many dedicated prayer warriors & I thank you from the bottom of my heart… I am doing incredibly well. I am totally astounded that since leaving the recovery room I have had NO pain at all!! I certainly didn't expect to feel this well at this point & it didn't even occur to me to pray for being pain free after surgery so somebody must be praying overtime!! :) THANK YOU :)

Before surgery I was taking Vicodin every 4 hours in an attempt to kill the pain so this is a real blessing indeed. Praise God. Next up for me today----------a shower!! I think I will take a nap
first since I am still pretty tired. On Thursday I will call the surgeon to report my drain totals & hopefully they will be such that I can see her on Monday to have the drains removed. That's the best case scenario. Please pray that it happens that way for me. I will also be seeing the oncologist on Mon just for a regular follow up. I'm not sure when I'll hear about the results of my latest blood work but since I feel so well I tend to think it's a lot of nothing. That's it for me. I hope & pray you're all doing well. Please pray for a fast & complete recovery for me. Thanks so much. :)

I think that says it all. I get to meet this remarkable woman this weekend and I'll let you know how's she doing. I’m looking forward to it. Oh – and don’t forget… October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Ladies – you know what to do.

Sep 30, 2006

sick

2006-09-01, Mommaerts Mini-Reunion 331 I've been sick the past few days. The week started off very busy, but I was unable to get through a whole day of work all week. Wed it finally hit me and I had to stay home Thu and Fri. I've been sleeping and resting a lot, but now my cycle is a bit screwed up - so I have been up finally adding, tagging and getting the pics from our family reunion almost a month ago online. But, I did it. Enjoy.

Sep 21, 2006

Video Ad Details

I just can’t muster the energy to get the MRI pics online tonight. It has been a long day for me. I woke at 5am and had a hectic day at work where I learned that I’m going to be heading up a project. We finally traced down the extension request paperwork and it was never submitted for approval. I got the last piece of paperwork in the packet and gave it to the folks that will send it up to the Army for approval. I think we should hear something within two weeks. I came home, cooked dinner and had to take care of some other paperwork. Busy night!

I reached a deal with the ad agency on the video – I signed an agreement a few days ago and got a purchase order yesterday. I fired off the invoice and should see the payment soon. The company that is using the video is called Wieden & Kennedy. They have offices here in the states (and all over the world), but the office that I’m working with is in Amsterdam. W+K is the same company that created all the cool Nike ads in recent history. Everything from “Just do it” and “Bo Knows” to Tiger Woods’ “Hackeysack” commercials to Lance Armstrong’s “Magnet” commercial. They also did some very cool Honda, Coca-Cola, Miller and ESPN television ads. Check out their website where you can watch some of the full length ads. Anyway, they will be using my building implosion video for what they call an email ‘viral’ ad for video game company Electronic Arts. Specifically, it will be used for an EA Sports videogame: FIFA 07 Soccer. I have no idea how they are going to use the video, but they said that when they finish the ad they’ll send me a link that I should be able to share with you.

I’m so totally pooped and need to get to bed. I should have time this weekend to get the MRI pics posted. Thanks for hanging in there with me this week – it’s been a bit hectic.

Sep 20, 2006

Final thoughts on this blessed day

Holly and I left the house this morning at 0845 and we didn’t get home until about 1730. As I shared in my audio blog, the MRI did not show anything that looks like new cancer growth. There is still a bit of scar tissue and blood left over from the surgery, but it takes the brain quite a long time to break that kind of matter down. We met with my Oncologist, Dr. Duelge, and my Neurosurgeon, Dr. Rosenbaum, and they both are happy with the results. Each one looked at the scans and was not alarmed by anything they saw. In fact, they seemed so nonchalant about it that it was almost weird to me, but comforting to know that there is nothing to worry about. The brain works away at clearing this type of material pretty slowly - at a molecular level. It could be a year or more before things clear up where the tumor was. Dr. Duelge says we need to come back in right before Christmas for another scan to see how things are progressing. We’ll probably be doing scans every three months for a while. We should be back in Texas next year, so we’ll cross the “where will we get medical care for this in Texas” bridge when we get to it.

Roger's New ACUsOn top of being at the hospital for about six hours today, we also decided to stop at Ft. Myer to finally pick up a couple of sets of the new Army Combat Uniform (ACU) that I will need to start wearing soon. I bought two complete uniforms, but the name tapes will not be in until next week so I can’t wear them just yet. I had to get new boots too, and we’re authorized to wear the sand colored boots with our old Battle Dress Uniforms (BDU), so I can start breaking them in tomorrow. I spent a little extra money on the boots this time; they sure felt comfortable when I tried them on! And the best part: No more polishing! Can you see me in the picture? I'm standing right there!! Man that new camo is goooood... :-P

I really want to share the MRI slides with you and show you how things have progressed, but the images are on three different CDs and I have to search through a lot of images to find the right ones. I’m going to get that done tomorrow and get to bed early tonight. Besides, I’ve already inundated you enough today with five posts, two of which were audio blogs.

Lastly, the weather is getting downright cool here in DC. Lows tonight are supposed to drop in to the high 40’s. I love it! Holly hates it. But I love it! Did I already say that?

Thank you all for your prayers!!

Audio Blog - Update

this is an audio post - click to play

Looks Good!

Scar tissue has shrunk a lot. Appears to be no new tumor growth. We are elated! More info later.

Audio Blog - MRI Results

this is an audio post - click to play

Sep 19, 2006

MRI is Today - Wed Sep 20th

It’s after midnight here in DC. I wasn’t feeling well Monday – my stomach was tied in knots and upset most of the morning. I think the anxiety of my MRI Wednesday is getting to me. Today I went into work and the day flew by so fast that when 1530 came, I couldn’t believe it! I kept very busy all day long and got a lot of stuff done.

After work, Holly and I ran a bunch of errands: PX, Commissary, Target… we had to stop at The Men’s Wearhouse to get fitted for a tux for Matt O’s wedding next month… then one last stop for dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen and then home. I made some phone calls to my parents and my sister and a lastly, good friend – everyone prayed for us. It has been an awesome day!

The MRI is scheduled for 1000 EDT tomorrow (or today) Wednesday, September 20. We need to be at Bethesda NNMC by 0945. The MRI will take about an hour and a half. When it’s done, we’ll go down to Dr. Duelge, my Oncologist’s office, and let him know we’re done. He’ll go right to the Radiologist’s office and ask him to read the scan and we’ll head to lunch. After lunch, we’ll go back to Oncology and the results should be ready. As soon as we know something, we’ll post it here on the blog. I expect we should know something by 1400. Please pray that the tumor has not come back. I cannot even begin to relate how nervous I am about this. I just want all of this to be over and behind us. I am ready to move on and forward with my life.

Stay tuned.

Sep 18, 2006

What is normal? And HAIR!!

I have been shaving my head with a razor about twice a week. I usually do it on Sunday and Wednesday nights. Before I shaved this past Wednesday, I thought I felt a little bit of 'peach fuzz' on the top of my head where it had been hairless. Today, I can confirm that there is hair growing on the top of my head! I can feel it, but its almost invisible – very light colored thin hair. But… it is growing back in! You can’t imagine how exciting this is for me. I just can’t wait to not have to worry about shaving my head and just letting my hair grow. And having a normal head of hair will be a step toward normalcy for me. Ever since the surgery, something’s been going on. I just want to try to get back to as close to normal as possible. I don’t think I’ll ever be normal again though. In fact, I’m not even sure what normal is. I thought I was normal before the surgery, but I wasn’t – I had cancer and didn’t even know it. Kinda’ brings a whole new meaning to the word, doesn’t it? What the heck is normal?

We had a great weekend. I went to sleep very late Thursday with a headache and woke up with it again Friday morning. I was tired and decided my body needed a day off. My Oncologist, Dr. Duelge, also said I need to listen to my body. I keep wanting to just get back to a (here we go again) normal routine. But I start to notice at the end of the week that my leg starts to get a little sore and tired, and I get more fatigued each day. In fact, my Physical Therapy doctor, Dr. Milani, told me two weeks ago to listen closely to my body too. I emailed Dr. Duelge last week to ask him about my fatigue. I thought that maybe it was a side-effect of the radiation. He laid it out pretty well for me in his reply:

“…I suspect you will not be able to get by on 6-7 hours of sleep for 6-12 months after the end of treatment. You had major brain surgery (with complication of right-sided weakness) and then brain radiation for 7 weeks. … Based on what you've said, I think it may just be the getting back to work along with not enough sleep for the new Roger (i.e. the one who just had major surgery and then brain radiation).”
I have a hard time finding the fine balance between my work and my body. I feel like I have a responsibility to be productive at work. But I do that at the expense of my body. I need to find a balance, but actually act on it this time. This weekend was a great but restless weekend, in my opinion. We stayed up late Friday, stayed busy Saturday, got up super early because Holly wasn’t feeling well Sunday morning and went to church and lunch. When we got home I was exhausted and laid down for a nap. I ended up sleeping for almost four hours, getting up just before 7 pm. I was up and rested, so I took the opportunity to hang out with my good friend Matt O. We had a great time, and I’m glad we met, but now it’s almost 1:30 am and I’m still not tired. Maybe if I just lay down, I’ll fall asleep.

One last thing - The Matt I mentioned before is one of the first people that befriended me when I came out here. He has become one of the best friends I have ever had in my life. We can talk about anything… and I mean anything. He’s getting married to a wonderful gal in October. I get to be an usher at his wedding! Anyway, Matt’s mom, Sandy, has been battling breast cancer for several months now. She has undergone chemo, but it is not having much of an effect on her cancer. She is scheduled for a mastectomy Monday at 10am CDT. Also, Holly’s father, Harvey, is undergoing a procedure to find out why his tummy has been so upset lately. His is scheduled for the exact same time. Please say a prayer for Sandy and Harvey – that they fear nothing and recover quickly. I’ll have results for you on each one tomorrow.

Sep 14, 2006

Ads and Jackie

I’m sitting at the computer in the office. The windows are open. There’s a cool breeze blowing through the window into the room. I sure enjoy the end of summer around here. :-)

I got an email this morning from an advertising agency that is interested in using one of the videos I posted on Google Video for one of their internet based ads. We went back and forth a few times today via email and I think we might have a deal! I’ll let you know how it all turns out after I hear back from them tomorrow. They are six hours ahead, so I should know something by noon tomorrow. Cool, huh?!?

Holly sent me a link to a radio ad that I found pretty amusing. My friend John blogged about it too. Check it out: radio ad.

Jackie 2
Lastly, a few weeks ago our good friend, Jackie, moved back to St. Louis. Her husband, J.D., was stationed here at Ft. Myer, but is out of the Army and they wanted to head back home. Not to worry though, we’ll see them again in October at my friend’s wedding. We’ll miss you J.D. and Jackie!

Sep 12, 2006

9/11 Events

I uploaded the pictures from our trip to Nashville today. I just need to tag them, add descriptions and make them public. Holly and I have been playing catch-up since we got home last week and I think we’re finally there.

The weather has been just beautiful here lately. Highs have been in the 70s and 80s and not too much humidity in the air.

As you know, yesterday was the 5th anniversary of the terrorist attacks here in DC and NYC. There was a lot of stuff going on at the Pentagon, so I avoided the area and went to our HQ office instead. There, I attended a 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony. The agency I work for lost seven employees at the Pentagon on that fateful day. The Director of our agency, an Army Lieutenant General, said a few words; there was music from a chorus and a short video. During the video, I could hear some very loud sobbing from the audience below. Family of the seven were present at the ceremony, but I think it came from somewhere in the audience. I guess it struck me when I heard their pain – I think the majority of us have had enough time to process what happened. But, there are some people out there that are still hurt; still suffering. I’m going to pray for peace for them, I hope you will too.

After the ceremony, I saw the director in the lobby greeting a few people. When I was in the hospital, he sent me a letter wishing me well. At the time, I was touched that word of my condition moved up the chain so quickly to the top, and that he even sent me a letter. I have been wanting to thank him and I figured, when the heck?.. I decided to thank him right then. He was talking to someone and I walked up to him and waited. He turned around, looked at my nametape and I could tell it rang a bell by his expression. He did remember and asked me how I was feeling and what was left in the way of treatments. He was very friendly, personable and it was good to be able to thank him in person. I shook his hand and was on my way.

Lastly, I’m having a hard time getting motivated to exercise again. Please pray for me on that one. I need to lose a few pounds – being so sedentary during my therapies was not good for my girlish figure. :-P

Sep 5, 2006

"Home" Again

Holly and I are back "home" in Arlington, VA. We had a wonderful weekend and we can't wait to share our trip with you by way of pictures. It was fantastic to see my mom and dad again. My sister Mirna is doing well and Joey readjusting to being back stateside. They kept him very busy the whole time we were there, so he was tired out. Their daughter, Ariana, is absolutely the cutest little thing. More soon!

Sep 2, 2006

In TN

We made it to TN pretty much on time. We stayed up late and are having a great time with the family. Have a great weekend!

Sep 1, 2006

On our way!


It is raining like hell, but there are no delays so we should be on our way shortly! Check out the cool old PSA jet!!

Posted by ShoZu

Trying to Escape Ernesto

It is just after noon and the rain is really coming down. Many forecasts yesterday talked about when the center of Ernesto would be over our area... which will be late tonight. The only problem is... the heaviest part of the storm is ahead of the center of the storm! The winds started last night and this morning the rain came. It looks like we've gotten about a half inch of rain since this morning and the heaviest rain is yet to come. I have been checking the conditions at Reagan National Airport and so far, delays and cancellations have been minimal. We'll be heading to the airport around 1:30pm for our 3:40pm flight to Nashville, TN. We're really looking forward to seeing the whole family at my sister's house in Clarksville, TN later today. Please pray that we can get out of here on time!

Aug 30, 2006

News Flash!

My dad called me this afternoon and told me that my brother-in-law, Joey, came back from Iraq early! They flew back very early Tuesday morning instead of Thursday! What a praise that he was able to come back earlier. Baby Ariana is warming up to her daddy. Holly and I are looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend.

It looks like Ernesto, which is now a Tropical Depression, has cleared the east coast of Florida and is back over the Atlantic. The water in the Atlantic is warmer and he might pick up strength and head north. He is forcasted to be around the DC area on Saturday now, so we should be okay flying out Friday afternoon.

Aug 29, 2006

Promises Kept!

I'm keeping good on my promises today, but before I do…

I want you to know that after the seizure a month ago, my Neurologist and Oncologist urged us to consider staying in the DC area longer. After thinking, praying and talking to friends and family, we decided they were right. It would be good to be in the area near the excellent medical facilities as long as possible. And, since the next MRI is scheduled for Sep 20, it will give us some time to decide what to do if the MRI is anything but normal. First, I talked to my boss about it, and then we both had to go talk to the Deputy Director of our Directorate – also the Agency's CIO. We had a pleasant meeting and he agreed to allow me to apply for an extension. I filled out the paperwork and as I understand, it has been submitted for approval. If it is approved by the Army, we'll be in the DC area through the end of February 2007. The last MRI I had was before the Radiation started – where they saw a very small "area of enhancement." This is why they decided to do a full aggressive course of radiation instead of a shorter course. My Oncologist said that they normally do a follow-up MRI three months after the radiation is completed. The radiation finished June 19. So, Sep 20 is when we find out what the heck is going on up there – pray that nothing is going on! Anyway, that's it for that.

I've posted some pics of Anthony's trip. You can see the whole set here. There's one very cool picture that I took at the Natural History Museum. I took a bunch of pics of the main room and then used a free program called Autostitch to put them all together. All you have to do it select the pictures and it does all the work. Check it out! Oh - and if you peeked at the pictures already, check them out again - I added comments and stuff.
Anthony's DC Visit 048

As I mentioned before – my hair is growing back in nicely. Hair is growing back in everywhere except for the rectangle where it fell out first on the top of my head. Check it out…

Here's a pic from May when a rectangle started to form on the top of my head.
Roger's Hair Loss 2

Here are some pics we took last night, before I shaved my head this morning.
Roger's Hair Loss 014
Roger's Hair Loss 018

Weird, huh? You can see that the areas that were exposed to radiation are growing back in with less and slightly thinner hair. Click the pictures and check out the notes that I posted on each one.

So the neighbors… and the baby… we gave them the book and within a few days, we noticed that the baby would start crying, but then would quiet down pretty quickly. Then last week we got a small envelope under our door. It was a thank you note from our neighbors. They thanked us for the book and said that is has helped them immensely already. And that they had already recommended the same book to some of their friends! I'm glad we were able to help them (and ourselves) out. But I guess they still have bad days. Last night the baby was wailing from about 10pm to almost midnight. I just couldn't get to sleep and the earplugs were uncomfortable. I had planned to get to sleep at 10:30pm and wake at 5am, but after that, I could not do it. I got up late and my whole morning routine was behind schedule. Keep praying for them!

Holly and I are headed off to Nashville, TN Friday afternoon to see my sister Mirna, niece Ariana, mom, and dad. And Joey is coming back from Iraq on Thursday! So, it will be a mini family reunion. I haven't seen my parents since the surgery, Mirna and Ariana since Christmas and Joey since April of last year. We're going to have a great time. The only thing that could be a problem is the weather. Tropical Storm Ernesto is predicted to hit Florida later today and then track up the east coast up toward Virginia. Right now they say it will get to DC (if the track stays put) Friday morning. We're set to fly out of DC around Friday afternoon. I hope the heavy rain doesn't affect our travel.

Aug 27, 2006

No news is good news?

Not much going on since my last post. I’m back at work on full days. I have been working to get our most recent pictures posted for you. We’ve been waiting on what’s up next for us here in DC. And we’re off on a trip this coming weekend. I’ll have details on all of that this coming week… including the pictures I promised… I promise!

Oh yeah – I have a follow-up appointment with Dr. Milani at NRH late Monday morning. I think this might be the last one with her – she was my attending while I was in rehab. And lastly – the follow-up MRI has been scheduled for Sep 20th. More soon!

Aug 17, 2006

Promises, promises

So, my mother-in-law, Helen (Hi Helen!) , wants to know what’s up with the blog. Well – I have been feeling pretty good and have been pretty busy working and stuff. Things are so much back to normal, that I just haven’t much to report. But I’m sure I can rustle up a few things… hmmmmm…

Okay – first, my visit with Anthony was fantastic. We really had a great time! We did all the touristy stuff and also managed to relax and spend some time talking. He even helped me with the camera equipment at church on Sunday. Yes, we have pictures, no I haven’t uploaded them yet. Soon – I promise.

Next, the hair. It is growing out more and more. If you take a look back at the pictures from when my hair started to fall out, it fell out in a rectangle. Well, the area that doesn’t have any hair now looks like… well… kind of like a rectangle. We need to take a picture to show you. Soon – I promise.

The weather here has been very nice lately. The air has been dry and temps have been fairly comfortable. Nice weather to get outside.

And – finally, our neighbors had a baby about three weeks ago. The poor little girl cries for hours straight. And their bedroom is on the other side of the wall from ours. She wakes us up about every other night with her loud wailing. I was at the eye doctor yesterday and she was pregnant. She asked me if we had kids, but I told her no, but our neighbors did! Anyway, I told her about the crying and she told me about a book that the Air Force recommends and teaches to new parents. It is called The Happiest Baby on the Block. They also have a website: www.thehappiestbaby.com. Holly was at the PX and bought a copy for them. We’re going to give it to them tonight. I skimmed through the book and it has lots of info on how to calm crying babies. So, if they read the book, she should be sleeping peacefully in the next few nights. If she’s not, you’ll know – I promise.

Aug 3, 2006

Five Months!

Today is August 3, 2006 – today I celebrate five months to the day since my surgery. I have not had any seizures since the last one and the meds are not making me sleepy or anything. I have been going to work on half days all week. Next week I move up to six hour days for a couple of weeks. My hair is starting to grow pack in a few small patches. I have very thin hair on the very tippy top of my head growing back at a pretty fast pace. It seems to grow about 2mm a week. The hair on the right side of my head is starting to grow in pretty well. And the top of my head some thick hair is growing in very sparsely. The hairs are thick, but very spread out. They grow very slowly… about .25mm per week. So, it’s kind of a patchwork that looks odd. I shave the sides and back daily. Some days I slack off, but then it is a rougher shave the next day. I try to shave the top only once a week. Shaving it more often makes little pimples appear. The scar is healing up pretty well. The skin is smoothing nicely and I can even feel the titanium discs that they used to reattach the cut out bone to my skull. Cool, eh?

My good buddy Anthony is here visiting from LA. I took the metro and bus up to BWI this afternoon to pick him up. I’ve known Anthony since the 5th grade. He was in our wedding back in 2003. Here is a pic of Anthony (and Cassie too!) And here are the rest of the pics in the album. I have to work tomorrow in the morning. After that we’re going to hang out and maybe see some sights if it is not too hot.

Speaking of hot… it has been very hot here! The temp hit 101 here today, with heat indices in the area over 110. The past three days have been getting progressively warmer. Today was the worst, but there is a front coming in tomorrow and it should be in the low 90’s tomorrow and high 80’s Saturday. We saw some lightning tonight, so we know it’s on the way. Come on slightly cooler weather!!

Jul 26, 2006

End of Physical Therapy

Since starting to go to outpatient physical therapy in mid-March, I have gotten much stronger and much more agile. As a result, tomorrow, Thursday, July 27th, is my last day of PT. I’m not exactly back the way I was before the surgery, but I’m close. In fact, some times I forget how much further along I really am. When I’m walking, I forget that I can walk fast! When I go up stairs, I forget that I can take them two at a time now! I’m really feeling quite well. I’m still having trouble running, but I think that will eventually come along. Now, nobody is going to push me to improve except myself. Please pray that I keep it up – I want to run again!

I went to work twice this week at the pentagon. It actually felt pretty good to do technical stuff again! In fact, I got so involved with something new today, that I stayed past 5pm! Can you believe it? :-P I have a meeting at our main office Friday to talk about the coming weeks. I’ll let you know how that goes.

I haven’t had any more seizures – I am taking the full therapeutic dosage of Keppra now: 1000mg per day. I am tolerating it well – no tiredness or other side effects. I communicated my seizure with my Neurologist via email and he seems to think that I did not have a Tonic-Clonic seizure, but instead, a Secondarily Generalized seizure. This would explain why I remember thinking I had a leg cramp in my right leg. The seizure must have started in the motor cortex on the left side of my brain and then spread immediately through the rest of my brain. I guess it probably progresses to something like a Tonic-Clonic. It makes sense, let’s just pray that it doesn’t happen again. Oh, by the way, here is some great info on first-aid for seizures. Please take some time to read it; you could save my (or someone else’s) life. Really.

So, that’s about it. I know I have been teasing you with pictures and stuff, but never posted them. I’m going to try to get some of them up eventually. Better late than never, right?

Jul 17, 2006

The Rest of the Story

Before I give my version of the seizure, I have to give praise to God. He deserves so much praise and thanks. I have to thank him for giving Roger this seizure when he was at home and not at work, on the metro or driving. I have to thank God that I was with him and he was not alone. I have to thank him for this awesome country that cares enough about its citizens to employ paramedics and firefighters 24 hours a day. The paramedics were so professional and caring. And the emergency room staff was great. I also have to thank him for putting seizure information in my life over the past years to prepare me for it and that he kept me calm during the whole event. As I’ve said before, our God is an awesome God.

Next I have to apologize for the length of this post. Unbelievable! Sorry.

Now about this seizure...it was very scary. The feeling of helplessness and fear of not knowing what to do was scary. Next to Roger’s anxiety attacks in the hospital after the surgery, this was the freakiest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. With Roger’s anxiety attacks, no one could tell me what was happening and what could be done until Cassie got there and went through a night with me. She knew exactly what was going on. That’s how we knew they were anxiety attacks and were able to get him the help he needed. But this was my first seizure and I would have preferred to have been prepared, but Roger neglected to inform me that his last pill was Monday and he could possibly have a seizure. Thank God I noticed on Tuesday and Wednesday that he didn’t have a half pill in our pill organizer. That’s the only reason I knew when asked by the paramedics that he had finished his anti-seizure pills. Don’t you worry, Roger and I have discussed this communication slip. :)

So Roger and I talked for a bit and prayed before we went to sleep Thursday night. I’m usually a very deep sleeper. I can even sleep through most storms. But I woke up because I heard Roger make a loud “ugghh” sound like he usually does when he gets a leg cramp. I looked over at him and saw his arms out in front of him as if reaching towards his leg so I thought he was having a leg cramp. After a couple seconds of watching him and feeling the bed vibrating strongly, I realized it was more than just a leg cramp. I jumped onto my knees beside him and somehow there seemed to be a lot of light to see him and I began asking him questions. As I was asking him questions, I clearly remembering thinking to myself, “make sure he’s breathing, make sure his tongue doesn’t block his airway, make sure if he vomits, he doesn’t choke on his own vomit.” I got no response from him so I jumped off the bed and ran to his side of the bed so I could see him better. His face and body looked as if he was fighting the seizure, but I’m pretty sure he had no control over it and that’s just what happens when you have a seizure because of what’s happening to the brain. I took his pillow out from under his head because his face was pushing into the pillow and I didn’t want him to suffocate.

I continued to talk to Roger and ask him questions. I think I was thinking out loud more than expecting him to respond. Although I probably would have felt a little better if he had responded. I was questioning if and when to call 9-1-1 and what to do and stuff. There were some requests made to God through out all that too. The seizure lasted for about 20-30 seconds, give or take 5-10 seconds. I wasn’t paying attention to how long it lasted, but it wasn’t very long. The seizure stopped and I began to address Roger with the intent of getting a response from him. At first he didn’t move or talk and every time I began a statement his eyes would open very big and then they would immediately begin to close. I was worried he would go unconscious and then he would be in more trouble. I continued to talk to him to keep him awake as he moved his arms away from his body and uttered “Soooo” and immediately collapsed again. He made a couple smacking type moves with his mouth and I thought he was going to vomit. He opened his mouth fairly wide and I heard his jaw pop. A bunch of saliva came out of his mouth but no vomit. I thought there might be permanent damage to his brain and I decided I couldn’t wait anymore. I grabbed Roger’s phone which is always on his night stand and dialed 9-1-1. The operator answered with the usual spill which ends with “what’s your emergency?” I told him that my husband was having a seizure. He asked me for my address and phone number and if it was an apartment building. I answered and he said paramedics were on the way. Then he proceeded to assess the situation. He asked me if Roger was breathing then how his color was. He asked me about Roger’s prior medical condition. Somehow, I was able to stay completely calm, answer all his questions and not ramble on like a crazy lady. “He had a craniotomy on March 3rd for a brain tumor and seven weeks of radiation that ended three weeks ago. Is this his first seizure? This is his first full seizure. He only had small seizures in his right arm before. Does he have any other conditions? No, he’s healthy other than these. What medications is he taking? Keppra, Zyrtec, Naprocyn for back pain only when needed and he took two Aleve last night for a headache.” He asked me if I would be able to let the paramedics in the door and told me to watch Roger and if his condition changed at all to call right back.

I checked on Roger again asking him questions to make him stay awake. I ran to the hamper and grabbed a pair of shorts then ran to the closet and grabbed a t-shirt. I talked to him the whole time so he’d stay awake. Then I proceeded to find the phone number for the front desk downstairs so they would know the paramedics were on the way and assist them in getting in. The number wasn’t in Roger’s phone where I could find it, so I ran to the office and grabbed the folder from Suite America out of the file drawer that had all the numbers in it. It wasn’t in there. I thought, “Duh Holly, you work for Archstone-Smith, you can get the number from the website” as I moved the mouse. The desktop came up and I clicked on IE. I typed archstoneapartments and hit Control-Enter. The site came up and I clicked on Virginia and then Gallery at Virginia Square. But the website was just changed recently and the phone number now listed was the 800 number not the local number. I didn’t want to call it and get some call center in our Denver office.

Then I remembered we got a letter from the community manager about the fire alarm being tested the day before. And since we recycle it was still sitting on the counter in our paper stack. So I ran over and grabbed it and ran into the bedroom to check on Roger thinking I had been gone too long and no telling what state he was in now. I dialed the number as I spoke to Roger to make sure he was conscious. The front desk person answered and I told him that I had called 9-1-1 and the paramedics were on their way. He responded that they were already here and on their way up. I hung up and thought I need to know how long this is happening in case I’m asked. I looked at the time on Roger’s cell phone and it was 1:57 a.m. (The next morning Roger and I looked at his call log and I called 9-1-1 at 1:51 a.m. So only five minutes had passed from the time I dialed 9-1-1 to dialing the front desk at 1:56 a.m.) I ran to the front door to unlock it and propped it open with a Gatorade bottle from the closet across from the door. I ran back to Roger and he seemed to be a little more awake. I kept talking to him and he was very slowly starting to come to. I heard the paramedics say something and the door opening. So I ran to the door, held it open for them and all of their bags and toolboxes as I said he just came to. They asked which way and began to ask me questions.

I went to the bedroom and completely forgot that Roger had no clothes on. As soon as they walked in they pulled the sheet over him. That was a little embarrassing because I didn’t even think about Roger being naked. It never crossed my mind. They asked me to tell them what had happened and asked a lot of very important questions about medications and medical history as they tended to Roger. I didn’t know this but a couple of them were bringing the stretcher and other stuff in and were in the living room moving the coffee table. I think there were five-six of them. One guy was devoted to Roger. One guy assisted him by handing him stuff. They didn’t say much to each other. The assisting guy knew what they other one needed. One guy kept asking me questions as I went back and forth from the dresser to get Roger’s ID to the bathroom cabinet to find his medicine bottles. The guy with Roger was asking Roger if he knew what was going on, where he was, his name, what day of the week it was, etc as he was taking his blood pressure, pulse and other vitals. Roger wasn’t responding very well and looked completely confused and shocked and maybe a little scared so he told Roger he was going to put in an IV to help him. Roger’s face looked like as soon as the needle hit his arm he was going to freak out. So I walked over to the side of the bed and grabbed his hand and held it. He looked at me and I said to him that everything was okay now, he was here to help him and asked him if he understood that. He kind of shook his head at me in agreement and the paramedic asked him if he knew who I was and Roger said my wife. Then the paramedic asked what’s her name and Roger said Holly. So he stuck him with the needle.

I guess he had a bag of saline (I can’t remember.) and he told me it would help him feel better. I asked if the way Roger was behaving was normal and all the paramedics nodded or responded in unison that it was. That made me feel better. Roger began to come to very fast. He began asking questions about what had happened and what was going on. They explained to him that they were going to take him to the emergency room and why. Roger still seemed a little confused, but he was responding faster and clearer. He wanted to know what hospital they were taking him to, if he could put on some clothes and if he could drink some water. They explained that what ever he put on would be taken off anyway for a gown and they’d cover him with a sheet. One medic pulled our sheet off the bed and then one of the guys behind the stretcher said they had one. I said out loud, “Good because I know hospitals and I’d be scared I won’t get my sheet back.” They all laughed in agreement.

One paramedic gave me directions to the hospital and I began to gather clothes for Roger. As they went out the door, one turned back and told me to tell the ER people when I arrived that Roger was in ambulance 104. I ran to grab a bag for the clothes. I thought we might be there a while and grabbed a bottle of water, banana and an apple. I also grabbed the notepad we used at the other hospitals to write stuff down. I knew I’d have stuff to write down. As I was making my way to the elevator, I realized that I couldn’t really remember the directions he gave. And as I was driving out of the garage, I was starting to question if he said ambulance 104 or 140. I was thinking, “Oh crap, I hope I can catch up to them and follow them.” I did not want to have to use the GPS to find the hospital. I wanted to be there when he arrived. I pulled out of the garage driveway and the ambulance was still there. Talk about relief. I followed them to the hospital through red lights, looking all around for cops every time. They drove a normal speed and turned on the sirens only through intersections. I could see Roger sitting on the stretcher. I followed them all the way back to the ambulance dock. I parked in a row of parking spots worried I would get towed, but there were no signs saying no parking. I inquired later and was told since we wouldn’t be there long, it was okay. Of course, the guy gave me a hard time. And when we left the doctor directed us a different way and I explained that I was parked out by the ambulances, the guy that told me it would be okay said, “If it’s not towed” with a sheepish grin.

In the ER, they hooked him up to the machines and I repeated the story, medications and medical history to the doctor. A young lady in civilian clothes got all our insurance information and copies of Roger’s Texas and military ID. The doctor prescribed a 500 mg Keppra and decided to do a CT scan. So Roger was wheeled away. A few minutes later he returned. The nurse brought his Keppra and Roger told her his IV was hurting him because he bent his arm in the ambulance which pushed the plastic needle up farther and bent it. So when they took blood it wouldn’t work so they had to use a butterfly to get blood. It all reminded Roger of all the blood/needle experiences in the hospital. Not fun, especially when they took it out. The doc came back in after a while and told us his CT looked fine and we would be released shortly. Roger asked if he could drink something. The doctor himself got him some cranberry juice and brought it to him. When he returned I asked him a bunch of questions about what to do next time. Roger signed some paperwork. I helped him get dressed and we walked to the truck. He felt a little light headed when he sat in the truck and we sat there for a bit before we drove off after I asked him if he thought we should go back in. He said no and we went home at 4:30 a.m. We were completely wide awake for quite a while. But it gave us time to find the Tricare numbers we needed to make the necessary call so we wouldn’t get charged for going to a civilian hospital and for Roger to send emails to his doctors at Bethesda to give them a heads up that we’d be there later that morning.

We finally laid down to take a cat nap before we headed to Bethesda around 5:30 a.m. Of course, we over slept and didn’t have time to take showers, but only get dressed and drive an hour in rush hour to Bethesda. We made it to the hospital in the nick of time for Roger’s 9:00 a.m. ultrasound to check for testicular cancer which he found out today was negative, but they’d like to see him again in December. After that we met with Dr. Duelge and then Dr. Rosenbaum. We received a lot of good information and it was good to speak with Dr. Rosenbaum probably for the last time in person as he is separating from the Navy. That will be the Navy and the military’s loss because he is a great neurosurgeon. We ate a great lunch at the mess hall and returned home around 3:00 p.m. to rest finally as we were exhausted.

Roger is still shocked that he had a seizure. It’s almost surreal to him. It’s not for me. I will never forget this and I pray we don’t have to experience this again. Thanks for sticking with me on this ride. I hope you enjoyed it and maybe learned something. I sure have.

Jul 16, 2006

First Big Seizure

I haven’t blogged in a while as everything had been going fine. This past Monday I took my last Keppra, or anti-seizure medication. Tuesday, I made contact with NRH and Apria finally picked up my wheelchair. I was hanging on to it, for I don’t know what reason. I also made it into work Monday for a short meeting and to do some paperwork. I also managed to get back there Thursday afternoon for a few hours. Everything was going so well last week as I set off to dream-land Thursday night…

Holly and I hit the sack pretty early… a little after 10pm. We both had a wonderful end to the day, we laid down, prayed together and fell fast asleep. I remember waking up thinking I had a cramp in my leg. It was actually about 2am. I felt my leg get stiff, but then I recall my whole body being stiff. I yelled out, and that’s all I remember. The next thing I knew, the lights were on and our bedroom was filled with men in blue shirts. They were paramedics and I had just regained consciousness after suffering from my first ever general seizure. At first, I didn’t know what was going on. I came to and there were all these people around me – Holly was right there next to me telling me that I had a seizure and that the men were there to help me. I guess I was really out of it – I don’t really even remember them giving me an IV or putting EKG pads all over the front of my upper body. They asked me a bunch of questions that I don’t even remember – I guess I had a hard time coming to grips with what just happened. They moved me over to a stretcher and rolled me out of my room, out of the apartment, down the hall, into the elevator, through the lobby and into a waiting ambulance. I was concerned when we made it into the ambulance because I wasn’t sure where Holly was. But just as we were about to pull away, I looked through the rear window and noticed our truck had pulled up right behind the ambulance… Holly was right behind us.

We made our way to the hospital, Virginia Hospital Center here in Arlington. I know we talked in the ambulance, but again, I can’t remember what we talked about. We got to the hospital and they backed up, just like in the movies, and moved me into a triage bay. The medics handed me off to the nurses and a doctor. They asked me more questions – but again… I’m drawing a blank. Thank God Holly was there to answer all their questions. I do remember that everything seemed to pretty much go by the book. They took some blood and also gave me a head CT. They didn’t find anything abnormal as I am at risk for seizures and I just came off my meds three days earlier. They gave me a Keppra, some Cranberry juice and after about two hours, Holly and I were on our way back home. We went back to sleep around 5:30am. I still don’t remember exactly what happened – all the details are fuzzy, but Holly will fill you in when she blogs about it.

We got back up at 8am as I had an ultrasound at 9am at Bethesda. I had an ultrasound of my testicles and everything was clear. We stopped in to see my Radiation/Oncologist, Dr. Duelge, just to fill him in on what happened the night before. He was surprised to hear it happened, but there was always a chance. Then we made it up to see Dr. Rosenbaum – it sure was good to see him again. We talked to him for about a half hour and he told me that the type of seizure I has seemed very similar to a Jacksonian Seizure (check out the link.) I thought I was having a cramp in my right leg, where the tumor was located in my brain. It moved from there forward and affected the rest of my brain, then I blacked out. He also said that having a seizure like that makes the brain have a week’s worth of activity in about 30 seconds. He suggested that I start talking half a pill of Keppra once a day now. If that keeps the seizures at bay, then we can stay at that dosage. If I have another one in the future, we’ll kick it up to a whole pill a day and see how that goes. On a side note, Dr. Rosenbaum is leaving the Navy, his last day is this Friday. He’s heading to private practice in NC. Best of luck to you in the future Dr. Rosenbaum!

So, that’s about it. After running around all day Friday, we went to the 275th Army Band concert at a local middle school (excellent) and ate out at Costa Verde (excellent Peruvian food) and then I fell asleep hard. I didn’t wake up once all night. Saturday we slept in and then headed out to see the movie Nacho Libre. I thought it was just silly – it did have me laughing the whole way through. If you want to see it, watch a matinee or rent it when it comes out. Then we had dinner with Ryan and Amanda at CafĂ© Asia (always good food there) and then we stayed up and played games and just chatted the night away. Today we went to church (duh) and then had lunch at Bertucci’s (very good Italian food.) After that we came home and just vegged out since it’s too warm outside to hang out. This weekend and the coming week are going to be hot. We might hit 100 here… that’s hot for DC!

Tomorrow I have PT and a follow-up appointment with my Urologist. I’m going to have to take it easy at PT since the seizure left my biceps, left ankle and neck sore. I also popped my jaw and can’t open my mouth all the way – it really hurts. I have been popping 800mg pills of Ibuprofen too try to help that get better. Please pray that the seizures don’t come back. I’ll try to get Holly to blog about our experience soon. Have a great day.

Jul 6, 2006

Hip Diagnosis

I saw an orthopedist today who tells me that the mass in my left hip is nothing to worry about - it is not cancer for sure... it is just an extra growth of bone or something. The report says: "benign lesion of L femoral neck; prob enchrondroma, does not pose threat." I looked up "enchrondroma" online and it seems to be some kind of common bone cyst that is nothing to be concerned about. I had to take the X-Rays twice since the tech messed them up or something the first time. The whole visit to ortho took just under two hours. So, we can cross that one off the list. Yay!

Before that, I also was able to get in to see the neurologist who says I'm doing well. The visit with him took about two hours too. He typed a lot and did some strength tests on me. He wrote up my Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) paperwork and suggested I take it to Walter Reed myself. I was happy to do that as I was planning on visiting that soldier anyway. The doctor I saw is also leaving the military, but he was good and now I'm not a new patient!

I finally made it to WRAMC and after searching for the right office for almost an hour, and I finally spoke to someone who told me about the MEB process. Apparently, an MEB can take a few weeks to months to complete. During that time, I would be attached to a Medical Hold Company at WRAMC – we would have to move out of the apartment and Holly would have to head back to Texas immediately. When they start the process, you are reassigned within days and are at their mercy until a decision is made. With that knowledge, we are going to wait until the follow-up MRI in August to see what the next course of action will be and then decide what to do. If it is clear, I might take my leave and get everything back to Texas and come back for the MEB after a few weeks. If it is not clear, more radiation might be in store and that brings us a whole new set of unknowns. All in all, there are still many unknowns, but at least now we have an idea of what to expect. For now I can rest, work on my strength and agility and spend time with Holly.. and enjoy the summer! Pray for the tumor to stay away!!

After all the MEB crapola, I finally set off to find the young SGT that Joey wanted me to check on. At the info desk I was told he was at the Malogne House. I stopped by there and talked to his roommate. His roomie said he had surgery this morning, so I walked back to the hospital, avoided the info desk, used common sense and followed the signs to Neurology. I asked several people where he might be and finally found a nurse that was looking for him too! She took me to him and he was doing fine. He had surgery this morning and was still a bit groggy. His mom got there just after I arrived - she missed her flight this morning. I didn't want to stay long so that they could visit, but he was in good spirits. I told him that Joey is my bro-in-law and that he personally asked me to check in on him. He was very appreciative and said that Joey is one of the best company commanders out there in Iraq and that he liked him a lot. He was worried because he was little numb in his left leg and is having trouble moving his toes. I told him about what I went through recently - he said that after talking to me he felt better and that he would be just fine. It felt good to give him renewed hope! I told him to rest and rely on others now until he got better. I gave his mom my number and told her to call me if the hospital staff was uncooperative over the weekend. I got the heck out of there and headed home.

Lastly, I talked to my boss late yesterday and I am returning to work Monday on half days at first. I have a short meeting Monday afternoon to talk about what I’ll be doing for the rest of my stay. Pray that that goes well. Holly and I are having a picnic after work tomorrow at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden where they have free Jazz Friday nights during the summer. The weather has been very comfortable; we are looking forward to it!

Jul 5, 2006

Rest!

It's been about a week since I posted last. I spent the last part of last week trying to rest up. Holly and I had a great 4th weekend that I'll fill you in on later. Dr. Duelge was able to contact a Neurologist at NNMC and I am seeing him tomorrow (Thursday) for continued care and more important, my MRB. After that I have an appointment with the Orthopedist about the whole hip thing. After that, I'm planning to swing by Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) to visit a soldier from my brother-in-law, Joey's, company. Joey was back in the states for two weeks on R&R from Iraq and one of his commo sergeants suffered a back injury. He was sent to WRAMC for surgery and when Joey got back and found out, he emailed and asked me if I could visit this young SGT on his behalf... I told him I would. I'll let you know how all that goes tomorrow.

Jun 27, 2006

Still Wet!

It sure has been wet here. I’m sure you have been hearing in the news how the Washington DC area has been getting dumped on for several days now. I understand that we have gotten over nine inches of rain since Sunday. But the end is in sight… they are saying that the rain should end Wednesday for the most part. The rain really has been wreaking havoc everywhere and affecting many of those around us. We woke up Monday morning with no Internet, but the TV worked. We normally don’t watch TV and we figured all was well in commuting land. Holly headed down to the metro at about 0830 and I was getting ready to metro over to NRH for my 1000 follow-up appointment with Dr. Milani. Just minutes after Holly left, she walked back in and told me that she went in to the metro station and that the platform was packed with people and the next trains were well over 10 minutes away – and most likely packed. She decided she should drive to work and came up to warn me. I was planning to metro but one of the stations on my route was closed due to water over the tracks in a tunnel, and delays were over an hour since passengers had to exit, take a shuttle bus around the closed station and go back down to a train. I needed to make my appointment, so I called our always reliable friend, Kezia. She made it over as soon as she could and we set out. We left around 0915 but immediately hit traffic crossing the bridge across the Potomac River. Holly acted as our eyes and scouted out the traffic jams for us at a very cool free traffic website called TrafficLand.com. She was able to tell us what roads were running smoothly and where stalled cars were in the roadway. It was awesome and she got us around the bottlenecks. But the delays took their toll and we didn’t get to NRH until about 1050. Luckily, they were able to get me in quickly. Dr. Milani was happy with my progress and prescribed another four weeks of PT, but only two days per week instead of three. She also advised me to rest again this week, which I wasn’t planning to do. I had a chance to see Kate and Missy and many other folks there again; it was great to see everyone. And I know it definitely helps them know that they are making a difference. The day was a complete mess for most of the region. I heard many stories of people getting to work three hours late, several government building were closed due to flooding, and many people suffered water damage in their homes and cars.

Monday was so long, I can’t believe it’s only Tuesday! I had PT this morning and learned that Laura’s (one of my PTs) basement was flooding slightly. They had carpet down there and it was a big mess that they are continuing to clean up. Then today at lunch with a few friends, I learned that our friend, Jennifer, had a horrible mishap with her car Sunday night. She was driving home and followed traffic through a water covered road. Her car stalled, started but stalled again and would not start. As she was trying to figure out what to do next, she realized that the water was rising quickly. She called a friend but it was too late, her car was starting to float a little. She opened the door and water gushed in, filling the car. She waded to safety and her car was eventually washed into a pole on the other side of the street. Unfortunately, her apartment was flooded a few weeks ago by a bad pipe – so this was a double whammy for her. Please keep her in your prayers, if you could.

I tried to make an appointment to see a neurologist today but they told me that they have no openings for new patients until August. That really stinks for me since I am not really a new patient. My neurologist is leaving the military and I get screwed. I made a quick phone call to Dr. Duelge at NNMC and he is going to see if they can get me in quicker somehow for continued care – as I am not a new patient. I’ll let you know how that goes. I have not posted the pictures from this past weekend yet. Tomorrow is my first day in a while where I don’t have to be at some doctor appt, treatment or therapy – so I am sleeping in.