Mar 31, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

I wasn't lonely!! I love my wife.

Holly ended up not having to help a friend move so she got to spend the entire afternoon and evening with me! We had a good meeting today and discovered that my outpatient therapy will most likely only be about two blocks from where we live! How cool is that? She got to watch me through some therapy and it was nice to be able to show her what we do everyday. We also went outside and spent some time taking pictures around the Cherry trees in the garden. Check out the Flickr link at the right. Cory and Natalie called and joined us for an impromptu dinner of Chinese delivery. The food was just okay.. but we had a good time. Thanks for making it over you guys! Tomorrow night (Sat) is game night here yet again. Come any time after 5pm… See the Game Night II blog entry below for details. I had a very tiring day without a nap and am bushed. My hands get pretty exhausted after a few mins on the keyboard, so I’m going to start a combo of text and audio blogs for a while. We’ll see how that goes. More soon…

Release Info & Mailing Address

Since Roger is being released next Tuesday, any cards, etc that are sent probably after today will not make it to him and be returned to you. Many people received returned cards from Bethesda. So if you would like to send Roger a card, please send it to our home address below.

901 N Nelson St Apt 1213
Arlington VA 22203

Roger is very excited about going home especially getting some sleep at night. I'm looking forward to no more hour commutes from work to the hospital and hospital to home. It will be nice to do all the stuff we need to do every night at home. We had a meeting today about his release with the case worker, doctor and his physical and occupational therapists. He will no longer need outpatient speech or occupational therapy. He will continue to do OT at home on his own. His OT is going to give us some samples of things to do plus we need to play games like Connect Four, Battleship and card games. Those types of games are good for fine motor skills. He will need outpatient physical therapy and he can go to the NRH rehab in Ballston which is right down the street from our apartment. So that will be great. Roger won't have to commute all the way over to NW DC. He will also stay on the Keppra, antiseizure medication, but no other medications. We are waiting for Tricare to inform the case worker here when we can get the ankle brace made. You thought the military was bureaucratic, try the military insurance. The people here are frustrated with dealing with it. Both NRH and Walter Reed make ankle braces, but Tricare won't pay for someone else to make something the military can do itself. But the commander at Bolling Air Force base where Roger works has to approve the ankle brace. Like he has time to deal with that kind of stuff. It's quite ridiculous. Roger may have to go home without an ankle brace for a few days. But NRH may let him borrow one until he gets his. We are also going to get a wheelchair issued to us and we'll return it when he doesn't need them anymore. Walking (or actually rolling) down to Ballston will be part of therapy. He will be given a cane that will be his. It will be a reminder of this experience. We should hang it on the wall in our house.

We will start walking in the neighborhood once he gets home after work to build up endurance. The weather here is beautiful so it's going to be better than the halls of this hospital. We went outside this afternoon and took some pictures in front of the cherry trees they have in the garden here. As soon as I get them uploaded I will post them on Flickr.

I missed being able to help Erika move, so I'm here all night. Which is nice because usually I get here and have to rush doing all Roger's exercises and stretches and whatever else needs to be done. We are going to do some laundry, but it will be nice to just sit here and talk to each other.

Hope you all have a great weekend. Thank you for your love and prayers. Our God is awesome!!

Friday, March 31 Schedule

7-8 Breakfast
9-9:30 PT
10-11 OT
11-12 PT
12-1 Lunch
1-1:30 OT
1:30-2 RT
2:00 Mtg
3-3:30 Psych Follow-Up
3:30-4 PT
5-6 Dinner
6-9 Bored out of his mind, please visit!!

Mar 30, 2006

First text blog!

Okay, this is my first text post since the surgery. I can kind of use my right hand now, but I’m making quite a few mistakes. Thank God for the delete button! If you heard the audio blog, you’ll know about Friday night… Holly won’t be here after 5:30pm, so I’m asking for company! We can order some take out and watch a movie or play some games. I’d just like to have some company though. It gets lonely and boring here in the evenings. Call me or email me if you can make it!
this is an audio post - click to play

Game Night II

We had so much fun last Saturday that we're doing it again. (See pictures on Flickr, link to the right.)

Please join us this Saturday, 5:00-9:00 p.m. in the cafeteria (level G) of NRH for fun and excitement. If you'd like to pitch in on pizza or if Roger is sick of pizza (3 nights in one week) something else, we'll order and have it delivered. We'll provide the sweets and snacks. There are vending machines in the cafeteria for sodas and other beverages. We will order drinks with dinner and there’s always plenty of water.

Directions are on the hospital's website for driving and Metro, It's very easy to drive and Metrorail/bus to the hospital. There is no free parking or street parking at the hospital. It costs $3-5 to park in the garage.

Hope you can come!

Thursday, March 30 Schedule

7-8 Breakfast
8-8:30 OT
8:30-9 PT
10-11 OT
11:30-12 PT
12-1 Lunch
1-1:30 OT
1:30-2:30 ST
5-6 Dinner

Mar 29, 2006

Wednesday, March 29 Schedule

7-8 Breakfast
9-9:30 PT
11-11:30 OT
11:30-12 PT
12-1 Lunch
1-1:30 OT
1:30-2 RT
2:30-3 ST
5-6 Dinner

Mar 28, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

More Pictures

I have posted the pictures from Sunday and Monday night in the set titled "It's not a tumor!" on Flickr (link to the right).

Sunday was a great day for Roger. He got a pass and did not have to return until 8:00 p.m. We went to church, lunch with friends and then hung out at the apartment until it was time to go. It takes a lot longer to do things with the wheelchair so we just didn't have enough time to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival. But we're going to this Sunday. The blossoms are supposed to peak this Thursday. So they'll still be around on Sunday.

Monday night, my dear friend and co-worker Joan and her husband Bill picked me up from work and we drove to the hospital to visit Roger. She gave him some delicious gourmet chocolate chip cookies and a great t-shirt. It's so Roger. Cassie will agree. Then our community group from church met at the hospital so we could attend. Aren't they the greatest. We discussed the questions from Sunday's message "Porn Sunday," ate pizza and took prayer requests. We really enjoyed being part of the group again.

I am home resting tonight. Since the Tuesday community group from church is up at the hospital visiting Roger, I decided to stay home and catch up on household duties and sleep. So on that note, good night!

Tuesday, March 28 Schedule

7-8 Breakfast
8:30-9 ST
10-11 OT
11-11:30 OT
11:30-12 PT
12-1 Lunch
1-1:30 OT
1:30-2:30 ST
2:30-3 PT
5-6 Dinner
7-9 Community Group

We had a great time last night with our community group. It was nice to be part of the discussion and be with our friends again. One of the Tuesday night community groups is going to visit Roger tonight. I have uploaded the pictures from Sunday and Monday night, but have not posted them yet. I will try to do that tonight.

Roger walked around the atrium yesterday with only his ankle brace on, no cane or walker. He is getting better and better everyday. The key is to build up endurance. Last night at CG, he was able to pull forward and push back in the wheelchair with just his right leg. He was not able to do that before. Maybe all those lower leg muscles are starting to kick in.

He has been feeling pressure in his head where the tumor was. He has some concern that it might be blood collecting in the hole the tumor created. He is scared that he will have to go back into the hospital and have that drained. He is not looking forward to being admitted back into the hospital and going through another surgery. Please pray for the body to take care of the blood and pressure itself, for God to take Roger's fears away and for his leg to continue to improve. Thank you all for your prayers.

Mar 27, 2006

Monday, March 27 Schedule

7-8 Breakfast
8:30-9 ST
9-9:30 PT
11-11:30 RT
11:30-12 PT
12-1 Lunch
1-1:30 OT
4-4:30 ST
5-6 Dinner
7-9 Community Group

I temporarily lost the camera last night, so I was not able to post the pictures from Sunday. I will post them tonight when I get home plus any pictures I take tonight. Our community group from church is coming to Roger at the hospital. I know he’s excited about that. It will be nice to attend community group again. We sure miss CG and everyone in our group. They are wonderful friends, plus they’ve been feeding me since the surgery. True blessings, they are.

Mar 25, 2006

Saturday Review

Saturday is over. I'm tired. I know Roger is tired. It was a fun, but long day. I spent 3 hours and 17 minutes at a Virginia DMV to get a disabled parking placard for Roger. I stood in line for an hour and a half to get in the door. I got a number then sat in a chair for an hour and 40 minutes. My number was finally called and it took 7 minutes for the transaction and I walked out of the DMV. I was in shock for a while. I had to pray for patience a few times. Numbers ranged from A### to F### and there was no rhyme or reason to how they called numbers. I pulled A021. I was scared to leave for fear of missing my number. I sat for 45 minutes before I finally heard an A### number called and it was A013. Then they'd call a couple more and no more A's would be called for a while. Since I didn't think it would take that long, I made the mistake of not eating before I went and not bringing anything to do with me. So when it was all over I was starving and kicking myself for not eating or bringing something with me to eat and read. I could have finished book six of the seven book series I'm reading.

I finally made it to the hospital about 3:30 p.m, I think. I can't remember what time it was. Roger had just finished with PT & OT for the day and he was pooped. He was laying down when I got there and soon fell asleep. Before I knew it, it was 5:00 p.m. We got ready for game night, you know, using the bathroom, washing his face, putting on long pants, etc. All those things take longer now. Everyone starting showing up for game night. We had a great time. Before we knew it, it was 9:00 p.m. and we had to play one last tie breaker game between the girls vs the guys. The girls won, of course! Roger had to go up for vitals and meds during the last round. Then we all parted ways. Roger really enjoyed game night and would like to do it again next Saturday. Watch the blog for more details. I have also posted all the pictures from tonight on Flickr (link to the right).

Good night all. I'm off to bed, exhausted.
this is an audio post - click to play

Saturday, March 25 Schedule

7-8 Breakfast
9-9:30 PT
10-11 OT
12-1 Lunch
1:30-2:30 ST
2:30-3 PT
5-9 Game Night (details on 3/22/06 post below)

And new pictures posted on Flickr (link to the right).

Praise Jesus, Roger is Walking!

Okay, sit down before you watch this. Some of you couldn't handle the last video. You might not be able to handle this one.

Click to watch: Roger Walking or view it below.

Description: Here is a short video of Roger walking on Friday, March 24, 2006, three weeks after his craniotomy.

Mar 24, 2006

Friday, March 24 Schedule

7-8 Breakfast
9-9:30 PT
10-11 ST
11-11:30 RT
12-1 Lunch
1-1:30 OT
1:30-2 OT
2:30-3 PT
5-6 Dinner

Mar 23, 2006

New Pictures Posted

I just posted pictures from Wednesday and Thursday night. Click on the link to Flickr on the right. The pictures are in a set called "It's not a Tumor!" Roger named that set, not me. It's from Kindergarten Cop. He thinks it's so funny. Imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger say it. You get the picture.

Video from Bethesda Hospital (Sorry it's taken so long.)

Click to watch: Out of Bed or view it below.

Description: Here is a short video of Roger getting out of the bed and into a chair all by himself just ten days after his craniotomy.
this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday Afternoon Update

Roger decided to be a little more aggressive in his therapy. He not only asked for more physical therapy to which they added on another session today at 2:30, but he decided to try a cane instead of a walker. He walked with a cane and ankle brace before lunch today. He is so excited. And exhausted. He was very anxious for lunch to come. He needed the energy. I'm telling you, it won't be long before he's walking on his own. He is detemined now to leave the hospital walking. Thanks for all your prayers and make sure you praise the Lord for all these blessings. Our God is awesome!

Thursday, March 23 Schedule

7-8 Breakfast
9-9:30 Physical Therapy
9:30-10 Occupational Therapy
10-11 Occupational Therapy
11:30-12 Physical Therapy
12-1 Lunch
1-1:30 Recreational Therapy
1:30-2:30 Speech
5-6 Dinner

Roger walked this morning around the entire atrium using a walker and an ankle brace. That’s about 150 feet. He said the muscles in that leg are coming back from the top down and it seems like they are coming back faster now that he is actually walking. It won’t be long. He’s very excited and very tired. All your prayers are being answered. Thanks so much for praying for Roger. He is being filled with joy and hope.

Mar 22, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

Game Night Continued

There were so many of you who wanted to come Tuesday night but couldn't and Roger actually has to play games now for "recreational therapy," so we're doing it again.

Please join us this Saturday after 5:00 p.m. in the cafeteria of NRH for fun and excitement. If you have a good game, please bring it. If you'd like to pitch in on pizza, we'll order and have it delivered. We'll provide the sweets and snacks.

Directions are on the hospital's website for driving and Metro, It's very easy to drive and Metrorail/bus to the hospital.

Hope you can come!
this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday Schedule

7-8 Breakfast
9-9:30 PT
9:30-10 OT
10-11 Speech
11:30-12 PT
12-1 Lunch
1-3 MRI
5-6 Dinner

Mar 21, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday Afternoon Update

It's snowing here in Crystal City. Only a light snow. It's only 34 degrees, 29 with the wind and low humidity. It probably won't amount to anything but it's kind of neat being on the 11th foor and seeing the snowflakes dancing around outside the window. Very pretty. I don't see that very often so it's neat to me.

Roger is almost done for the day. I guess they did so much this morning that after his next session he'll be done. His arm is progressing more. He could clean his left arm with his right arm this morning. He can't articulate yet, but it won't be long. His arm is getting stronger and stronger. His leg is coming along also. They felt movement in his hamstring and quad today. So it's just going to take time. And he was told yesterday that he won't need speech therapy much longer. They said he was just exhausted before. I guess when he's kicked out of speech therapy they will spend more time in physical and occupational therapy. Or that's what I would think. He'd have a lot more free time if they didn't. His room mate also left today. No more showers at 3:00 a.m. anymore. Hopefully he'll get to sleep through the entire night now.

That's all so far today. Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 21 Schedule

7-8 Breakfast
8:30-9 Speech Therapy
9-9:30 PT
9:30-10 OT
11:30-12 PT
12-1 Lunch
1:30-2:30 Speech Therapy
3-3:30 OT
5-6 Dinner

I have posted the pictures from Sunday on Flickr (link below to the right).

Mar 20, 2006

Mission Briefing: Game Night

Mission Status: Critical

Mission Briefing: Game Night

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to travel to an undisclosed exotic destination (NW DC-NRH) on Tuesday, 21 March 2006 at 1800 (That's 6:00 pm for you civilian types) with a team of your choosing where you will be given a project (play a board/card game) and only three hours to solve a problem with global implications (entertain Roger).

We have it on good authority that this brief has been leaked to other teams, so to guarantee complete mission success, you will need to use all communication networks available to you and you will need to have only the best of the best with you.

To access a fully classified brief post a comment below.

To accept this mission, go directly to undisclosed destination at designated time with game of choice.

End of Transmission

Pathology Report


That's what it was. Now if you understand that, more power to you. If you can't, here are a few websites that might help.,2557,449_2160_2984,00.html

We're not very concerned about it anymore. Grade II is very low and that's great. That means it's very slow growing and we don't have to be as concerned about it spreading. Roger will have many more MRI's to watch for new growth and if there is any, it can be dealt with radiation. God really blessed us with this type and grade of tumor. We are extremely happy with it, especially since God gave our neurosurgeon the skill to remove it all. Roger will have many more visits with the neurosurgeon before this is all over to create a plan of action in regards to radiation, if necessary and his future well being.

Don't worry. It's all good. If we're not worried, you shouldn't be worried. God's got our back.

Monday Recap

Roger found out today that he should be discharged from NRH on April 4th. Then he will begin outpatient therapy. So I guess that means they think he’ll be walking by then. That’s amazing to me because that’s only two and a half weeks away. That would be awesome! I’m ready for Roger to be home.

This morning in therapy he was able to roll over onto his stomach on his own and he can roll back and forth to use his hip more. They really tired him out. He called me at lunch and sounded exhausted. He has more range of motion in his arm. He’ll be raising it above his head soon. And pretty soon he’ll be able to use his fingers better. Then he’ll be able to post blogs. That will be nice. His right wrist is hurting him. He thought at first he might have injured it, but now he thinks he knows what is causing the pain. He had numerous IV's at Bethesda, especially in ICU. But he believes the last IV's he had on the ward were kept in too long. He began to feel a hardened blood vessel on his left arm, now he can feel one in his right arm. Both are were he had IV's. He told the doctor about this and they suggested putting warm compresses on it three times a day. Greg got that job while he was here. I guess it's my duty now.

His leg is still giving him some concern. If you remember from the first few blogs, he had no feeling in his right leg then he had pins and needles then it had full feeling. He is starting to feel pins and needles in his leg again and it has him worried. He is concerned that he will not be able to walk as well as he did before or not at all. He spoke with the doctors about it this morning and they said it was all part of the normal process. He could go back and forth with feelings, but they aren’t concerned about it because the muscles seem to be working fine. They are only concerned if it begins to hurt only because they don’t want him to be in pain. He’s supposed to keep an eye on it and let them know if he experiences pain so they can give him pain medication. He says that he doesn’t think it will start to hurt. Please pray for Roger in this area. I can not begin to understand how he is feeling and what thoughts are going through his head. I’m sure the worst is always lurking around.

Oh, I almost forgot. He also gained some weight back. If you didn’t read it last week, he lost 20 pounds at Bethesda. So that’s good. His meals are getting better. He has permission to ask for double portions. Plus since we were up there in the evenings, he ate some of our dinners also; El Pollo Rico, pizza and Chinese.

Also, we received the pathology report. As soon as I can figure out how to spell the name of the tumor, I will post it here on the blog. Don’t worry. It’s not bad.

Hasta luego chicos and chicas!

Monday, March 20 Schedule

Here’s Roger’s schedule for Monday, March 20, 2006:

7-8 Breakfast
9-9:30 PT
9:30-10:30 ST
10:30-11 OT
12-1 Lunch
1:30-2 OT
3-3:30 PT
5-6 Dinner

Roger had many visitors yesterday. He got a quick visit from Bobby which was so much fun. He always makes me laugh. He had Roger laughing so hard that Roger couldn’t concentrate in the bathroom. Roger wanted a haircut so Bobby left and Greg helped me get Roger in the shower for a quick trim. It looks a lot better. Then our dear friend Michelle Earle from Austin came by. She is in town for a meeting and spent the evening and had dinner with us. Since there is no dinner available at the hospital we had Chinese delivery. It was surprisingly good. Ken and Lyon joined us also. We had great conversation and merriment.

Greg and I rode the bus finally last night. So now I know where to catch it and which one to get on to make sure I don’t take the long ride in the wrong direction. Greg left this morning sometime before I woke up. Please pray he makes it home safely.

I think Roger’s real work starts this week. And we should find out today how long he may be there. So keep checking the blog for updates. And please continue to pray for Roger to have patience and perseverance with his therapy and hope and peace from our Lord.

Thanks! Hope a great weekend was had by all.

Mar 18, 2006

Saturday Night Review

Okay, all we have to say about the rehab hospital is that it’s boring after hours. There is nothing to do. Roger is lacking mental stimulation. We’re all lacking mental stimulation here. We played brainopoly at speech therapy today and it was very stimulating. Roger needs more games like that. So if you visit can you bring a game with you? Uno, Cranium, Taboo, any game.

Roger had four visitors tonight. His acting commander and his family stopped by for about an hour. But Greg and I missed them because the hospital cafe doesn't have dinner any night of the week and you have to leave to get something to eat or eat out of the vending machines. Not going to happen. And on the weekends the closest place to get something to eat is at Union Station. So with the drive over there, parking, eating and the drive back, we missed MAJ Aron and his family. So I didn't get any pictures and I missed the story of his recent motorcycle adventure.

Saturday Schedule

Here’s Roger’s schedule for Saturday, March 18, 2006:

7-8 Breakfast
9:30-10 Physical Therapy
10:30-11 Occupational Therapy
11-11:30 Physical Therapy
12-1 Lunch
1:30-2:30 Speech Therapy
5-6 Dinner

Roger slept a lot better last night. He said it seems to be getting better every night. Thank goodness. He needs all the rest he can get. He had two visitors last night, Reuben and Ken. I’ve posted pictures from Thursday and Friday on Flickr (link to the right).

Just a reminder if you visit this weekend by Metro, there is no shuttles running on the weekends. Roger has no therapy on Sundays so anytime after 11:00 a.m. is a good time to visit.

Hope you all have a great weekend. Thanks!

Mar 17, 2006

Friday Schedule

Good morning! Here’s Roger’s schedule for Friday, March 17, 2006.

7-8 Breakfast
10-11 Speech Therapy
11:30-12 Physical Therapy
12-1 Lunch
1:30-2:30 Occupational Therapy
3:30-4 Physical Therapy
5-6 Dinner

Roger slept well last night from 11:30 pm to 2:00 am until his right hip began to ache. He stretched it and it felt better, but then he was awake. He slept off and on until this morning. Last night he was able to stretch his fingers out. This morning he can lift his arm up from his elbow, move his arm at the shoulder towards his body but not away and he can shrug his shoulder more. The Lord is restoring my husband more and more everyday. Please continue to pray for his recovery and his spirits.

Roger had three visitors last night. He really enjoyed their company, especially the beautiful music. Rex stayed and played his guitar all evening. We attempted to sing a few songs. But the music was beautiful and inspirational. Even Roger’s roommate, a retired LTC who served in WWII and the Korean War enjoyed it. Roger was able to get Starbucks last night too. He loves his Caramel Macchiato. Thanks Kezia and Ken for the Starbucks run. I’ll post the pictures tonight when I get home.

Hope you all have a great St. Patrick’s Day!

Mar 16, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday's Schedule

Here’s the schedule for Thursday, March 16:

7-8 Breakfast
10:30-11 Physical Therapy
11-11:30 Occupational Therapy
12-1 Lunch
1:30-2 Physical Therapy
2:30-3:30 Speech Therapy
5-6 Dinner

So please visit him if you get a chance. Other than these events, there is nothing to do up there. It’s very boring.

Also, a few people asked about sending things to Roger. The room is the same as at Bethesda. There are no tables or dressers to put anything on. So plants or flowers he won’t be able to enjoy. He did enjoy the balloons he received at Bethesda, but had to leave them there. And he actually has a bulletin board with thumb tacks to display his cards. So send those cards!!

Thank you all for all your love.

Thursday Morning Update

Roger had a full day of evaluations yesterday. No actual rehab yet. He thinks this week will be all evaluations and he'll start actual rehab next week. It's all very interesting to him though, especially the speech therapy. Which is more than just speech. It's thinking, reasoning, reading, etc. They want him to join a group that meets three times a week for logical thinking because they want to ensure he can do the job he did before.

Dinner last night was a disaster. They actually brought a 31 year old 6 foot tall male for dinner macaroni and cheese, jello and strawberries. That's it. Can you believe that! Greg and I think they gave his dinner to his roommate. Plus his roommate kept talking about how good dinner was until he started complaining about his stomaach being sour and needing to throw up. So I don't think his meal was intended for him. So Roger complained and received a piece of salisbury steak. He called me and let me know to bring him and Greg some dinner when I came up. So he ate very well last night after I brought him some food.

Breakfast this morning was a lot better than all the meals he has had so far. He had eggs, bacon, biscuit with jelly, two types of cereal and beverages. So maybe they have figured it out. I'm sure when he speaks with his dietician next, he'll let her know.

This morning he told me that he can clinch his fist firmer, rotate his arm a little and bend his wrist and elbow a little. It's all coming back. He's very excited. He also gets to wash his head today. His staples were removed on Tuesday morning and he had to wait two days before he could gently wash his head with baby shampoo. He got a "sponge" bath yesterday and was not happy about it at all. He said he was treated by the person like a child as if he couldn't do anything but then she left him to wash himself while he was still in bed with a pan of water, soap and a washcloth. He's trying to get someone to help him to the shower this morning so he can get a real shower. He can shower himself and he wants to so bad. The staff here are not as attentive as at Bethesda. He sure misses Bethesda. Too bad they don't have a rehab facility.

I was able to get a lot done last night. Cory & Natalie brought us dinner. It should last a few days. Thank you guys. It's so nice to not have to think about how we're going to eat. I also was able to get a bunch of chores done last night, laundry, finances, you know, all the fun stuff. I'm still very tired today. I think I'm going to have to sleep in late on Saturday to catch up finally. I'm actually drinking coffee this morning.

Okay, I have to get this up now. My company's internet and phones keep going out. It's taken me four attempts to post this. More later.

Thanks and we love you.

Mar 15, 2006

Wednesday Morning Alert!!

Roger just called me at 8:45 a.m. and he can move all his fingers. Praise Jesus! He still has to think about it, but it will get better every day. And he hasn't had any therapy yet. I think he'll be out of there sooner than they think.

He still didn't sleep well last night. His right hip has been hurting him. Plus I'm sure the first night at a new hospital didn't help. He'll be so exhausted today that he should sleep well tonight.

Breakfast was not good. He said it was tiny. I told him he had to talk to them about it and if they couldn't increase his portions that we'd just supplement. He's going to need all the energy he can get.

Please keep praying for him.

First Schedule

Good morning lovely people!

Here is Roger’s schedule for today, Wednesday, March 15th. I am sure this will change as he progresses and I will update the blog when it does.

7-8 Breakfast
10-10:30 Occupational Therapy
11:30 -12 Speech Therapy
12-1 Lunch
1:30-2 Occupational Therapy
2-3 Physical Therapy
3-3:30 Speech Therapy
5-6 Dinner

Also, if you would like to eat lunch with him, you can bring your own or there is a cafe there with inexpensive dishes. Please let me know if you'd like to so we can arrange for his lunch to be taken to the cafeteria to meet you.

Mar 14, 2006

Tuesday Evening Update

Roger made it to the rehab this afternoon. Kezia got him all packed up and while they waited they did some exercises. He was able to move his thumb and index finger. It’s coming back so fast. Thanks Kezia.

I got there and went over paper work and learned some ins and outs of the hospital with him and the staff. I unpacked his belongings then he ate dinner. We were not impressed with the dinner at all. Bethesda is like a 5 star restaurant compared to this place. He doesn’t even get a choice either. The food was bad plus the portion was tiny. And we found out that he lost twenty pounds since his surgery. Can you believe that! And he ate everything he could at Bethesda plus all the snacks we were bringing in. They weighed him twice because we didn’t believe it. I’m sure he’ll gain it back in no time now that he’s feeling better and will be working harder. You know how you are supposed to eat numerous small meals a day instead of just a few? Well dinner was like one of those small meals. And if that’s the size of the other two meals, we’ll have to supplement what they serve him with a few other small meals. It was really sad.

We went on a tour of the place. Roger got more and more excited to see all the equipment. And the nurses kept saying he’d be out of there in no time when they’d see him stand up and do stuff. I hope so. I’m ready for him to come home and I know he’s ready to have all his movement back. They have this one area that recreates many situations in real life so you can practice before you get back into the game. They recreated crosswalks, stone walkways and stairs, a grocery store, curbs and ramps, a bank and ATM, a newspaper dispenser, gas pump, computer lab, half of a real car to practice getting in and out and even a putting green. This area really got him excited. He can’t wait for tomorrow.

Below I’ve included everything you need to know about visiting him or sending him well wishes. I just want to warn you that there is a possibility that when you come to visit that he may be in a therapy session or taking a nap from exhaustion. So be prepared if you go all the way out there and have to wait or don’t get to see him at all. As soon as we get his schedule I will post it so you know the best times to visit him.

Please continue to pray for him. He will need perseverance and rest during this time. Would you also pray for me to get rest and thank the Lord that Greg is coming tomorrow to help me do just that. I need God to reveal to me what to ask for help. I know that sounds silly, but I keep thinking that I can do something little, but all these little things add up and it’s hard for me to ask for help when I can do it, just not right away.

And please praise our Heavenly Father for all the awesome blessings he has given us, miracles, people, circumstances, the list could go on all night. But I’ve got to get to bed. I am so tired. Tonight was hectic. I love you all. Good night.


Roger Mommaerts
Room 322
National Rehabilitation Hospital
102 Irving Street, NW
Washington DC 20010-2949

Visitor Policy:

Hours: noon to 9 pm weekdays, 11 am to 9 pm weekends
All visitors must register and receive a visitor badge at the front desk and display the badge at all times. Visit is limited to two hours or less.

For driving directions, please visit

For bus/subway directions:

The H2, H4, D6 and D8 buses come to the Washington Hospital Center. The H2 and H4 are crosstown lines and provide daily service. The H buses connect with Metrorail (Red Line) at Brookland or Cleveland Park Station. “D” buses connect with Metrorail (Red Line) at Union Station and Rhode Island Avenue. Check for further details.

A free shuttle bus service runs throughout the day (except on weekends) between Brookland Station Metrorail stop (Red Line) and NRH every 15 minutes. As you exit the escalator at the Brookland Station, the shuttle buses are located on the service road adjacent to the left side of the parking lot. They are small blue and white buses labeled International Limousine Service. (Make sure you get on the one marked NRH.) These buses stop directly in front of NRH. The last shuttle is 7:50 p.m.
this is an audio post - click to play

Off to Rehab-Tuesday Morning

Roger called me this morning to let me know he was able to move his thumb. He was so excited. That gives him more hope about regaining movement in his hand and arm. He said that he was able to move his thumb a little around the towel as Kezia pulled it through his hand. He stated that he couldn't wait to get to the rehab and start working on this more. And not five minutes after we hung up, he called me back and said the social worker told him he was going to the rehab in a few hours. What timing! He's so excited. Kezia is there today to hang out with him, but now she's going to help him get packed and ready to go. I was already glad that she was there, but now I'm even more appreciative since I'm in the negative for leave. The rehab he is going to is the National Rehabilitation Hospital, As soon as he's there, I'll let you all know.


The Weekend in Review

Well, it was a very quiet, slow weekend. And we took advantage of it. The hospital was empty. It was pretty much dead. Saturday morning we grabbed breakfast and ate with Roger. Then he had a session of PT or OT. I get them confused. And he finished the last 15 minutes of a spinal MRI. Other than that, he didn't have anything else to do except for vitals, blood draws, medicine, glucose count, etc. By the time we were all done with that he had lunch. Then we showered him and went on an adventure. Roger got permission on Friday to leave the floor and he and Cassie did explore a little. (We found out today that they weren’t supposed to go outside, but they did. Dr. Rosenbaum gave Roger a lecture and then said it was okay.) But we decided to take him as far as we could manage in that wheel chair. The reason I say that is because that old hospital in not wheel chair friendly, especially the grounds. There are so many "amenities" that are not accessible by wheel chair at all. Plus the curb ramps and sidewalks were deplorable. There was one sidewalk that should have been at least a ramp with handrails on both sides, but in all actuality, the terrain was way too steep for even that. That’s what we call in my line of work, site impracticality. You would get to the end of a sidewalk and it would end in stairs and we'd have to turn around. I almost bucked him out of the wheel chair a couple times. Needless to say, it was an adventure and Roger enjoyed getting out of the hospital into the fabulous weather even if he wasn't sure if he was going to make it. It was fun and tiring. But the weather was so beautiful.

Cassie and I did a monument marathon Sunday morning before church. We went to the Lincoln Memorial, reflecting pool, Vietnam Wall, World War II, District of Columbia World War Memorial and the Korean War Memorial in less than an hour. I didn’t want her to come all the way to the other end of the U.S. without seeing the sights. I wish we had more time to see more, but I didn’t think it would take that long to do what we did. We went to the second service at church. The music was uplifting and moving as usual. The message was about getting a grip on your finances. It’s the second part of a new series titled Money, Sex and Suffering. You can hear the messages on our church’s website, Then we received a call from Roger that he needed a few things. So we had to go back to the house and get them before we grabbed lunch and drove up to join Roger. We were a little disappointed with Roger when we arrived because his corpsman offered to help him shower that morning, but he declined and stated that we’d be there soon to do it. He quickly realized after a discussion with us that he should take advantage of the corpsman every time. But before we could do anything, he had us rush him to the bathroom. Since we didn’t get there until after 1:00 p.m., he had several urges to go to the bathroom, he was ready to go. He felt like he could do it this time. We put him on the toiler and left him alone while we ate our lunch so he could concentrate. It didn’t take long before we heard the cry of success. He was so happy, but not as happy as Cassie and I. No more enemas!! He’s been going strong ever since.

He had one visitor Saturday evening and a few on Sunday. It was just the right amount of people to not over stimulate and exhaust him. He did enjoy it a lot. As soon as he gets over to the rehab, he’ll be able to have more visitors. They’ll have designated times and if he goes to the one in DC, it’ll be on the red line and be easy to get to. You know all the details will be on this blog.

He’s being taken off more medications and procedures daily. They are preparing for his discharge. His blood is only being drawn every 12 hours. He’s very happy about that. He might even be able to sleep well tonight. He spoke with Dr. Rosenbaum about getting the sleep aid at 10:00 p.m. but not being tired yet. And Dr. R told him if he’s not tired, then don’t go to sleep yet. I know, such wisdom. So I left tonight at 10:00 p.m. after doing an hour or so of exercises with Roger. He was planning on doing a few things before he took the sleep aid or attempted to get to sleep.

He is gaining more and more movement in his leg. He started standing with assistance last Friday or so. It’s getting so much easier to help him get around. Tonight I had him try a few things completely by himself just to see if he could do it. And he was able to sit up on the edge of the bed from flat on his back and then stand up holding onto the arm of a chair and sit himself in it. He was astonished with himself. He couldn’t believe he did it. I was like, “duh...all you have to do is try.” I made him do it again so I could videotape it. And he did, but the camera was on the highest setting and now it’s too large to email to anyone. I’m trying to post it on Google video and if it gets approved, I’ll let you know how to view it.

His arm is coming along slowly. Tonight we did a sensation exercise the PT/OT chic does, but we did it a bunch more times than she usually does. Roger said the sensation in his hand to grab the towel was mind blowing. We’ll have to keep doing that one. Right now he’s worried that he’s not going to regain movement in his arm, but he was worried last week about not walking and he took three steps today with the help of the PT. I think once he gets to the rehab he’ll be walking in a week.

Everyday he sees enormous changes and he stays amazed at his progress. All the while knowing who is behind it all. We were talking tonight about how God put us in this place together and how he started working it out many years ago. It reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures, Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. God put Cassie through all her experiences so she would be prepared to help us. God sent us on this adventure so we would be here together with access to a great hospital and staff. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Okay, it’s late and I need my beauty sleep. More later. Thanks for the prayers. They are being answered. Thanks for the encouraging and supportive words. You have no idea how much they mean to us and help us.

We love you all. God bless.

Mar 10, 2006

HA! They "let" ME blog...

Woo Hoo! It’s my turn to blog now. Hi everyone, it’s Cassie from Cali. Boy, have Roger & Holly been busy. (thanx Holly for the intimacies on caring for Roger) if anyone needs some R-E-L-I-E-F, just call me, I’m an expert now. (

Okay, as of Friday @ 1700hrs, Roger has had a full day and it’s not even close to being over yet. As Holly stated earlier, his schedule was hectic even before 10! Well after receiving the awesome news from the Dr and sharing it with Holly, we had a pretty good joyous cry. This has been a concern for them, the uncertainty of possibly having to go back in and remove the rest of the tumor and start this process of recovery over again. This news gave Roger a renewed sense of energy to tackle the rest of the day and boy has he. After a hefty lunch we were out and about. Yep, Roger was able to leave the confines of his little room. He was even able to leave the floor, so we ventured to the great outdoors. It was a day made just for this. 70’s and sunny with a refreshing breeze. The Lord knew that this was just what Roger needed and at the perfect time. We took a couple of pictures and we’ll have them here for you to enjoy with us. We had a good time being out today. Roger’s butt finally started hurting from sitting in the wheelchair, without support, after about an hour walk around the hospital. We headed back to the room for some R&R. (Tough to do in a hospital when you’re constantly being given meds, vitals taken, blood drawn and then there’s your roommate who’s having all the same things done - on a different schedule.) Roger decided he had enough energy left to go through his e-mails. The task of reading has been draining for him. It’s been tough putting the words on the “paper” into something comprehensive for him. It’s like reading while you’re driving a bus full of screaming kids, eating a sandwich and drinking your coffee at the same time. But, not today! Roger started off listening to his e-mails then just went on to read them all by himself. It’s too hard for him to respond at this time, but watching him read your e-mails was touching to me, not to mention how it made him feel.

Roger – “I really enjoyed hearing from all of you. It makes me feel so blessed to know that while I was in here “suffering” all of you where out there praying for me and supporting me. I wish I could take the time to respond to each of you personally, but, my lack of movement makes it difficult and not to mention it’s hard to concentrate on the computer just to read the e-mails. I just want each one of you to know that I’m grateful for your friendship from the bottom of my heart. Although we’ve come a long way, it’s not over yet. I have possibly 2-4 more weeks of rehabilitation in front of me and I will need your prayers even during this time. We’ll keep you posted via this blog. See what a GREAT tool this turned out to be!! I knew I wasn’t doing this in vain, it has turned out to be a great catalyst in bringing this together. Please keep posting your comments and words of encouragement, they’re part of what’s helping me get through the day. Love Roger…”

Roger wanted to put his two cents in… Not like it’s HIS blog or anything. Roger and Holly really do enjoy hearing the prayers and love posting the praises!! This has been such a wonderful day! Okay, back to Roger’s “day”. After reading the e-mails, which he started off with 187 of them! Some of them updates on the stock market and the like, but most of them well wishes. After reading them, Roger was really exhausted. I mean REALLY. His whole demeanor changed. It was a struggle for him to help me get him into bed. He had to take a nap. It was a good one too. He napped for about 1 ½ hours. He snored through most of it. I had him use his MP3 player to block out the constant dinging of the nurses bells and the whistles from the IVs, it worked. He woke up just after I started this and has had his dinner. Yummy stuff tonight: a chef salad, some cottage cheese w/ apricots and some yucky, overly steamed boiled type carrots, wax beans and mushy peas. But he ate and ate well. Now he’s anxiously waiting for his beautiful wife to grace him with her presence. He has definitely been looking forward to that all day. He has so much to show her. He was able to move his right leg up and down a bit, both from the knee and thigh. That’s improvement! He has exercises to do with his right arm to help with recovery, so it definitely won’t be long until they’ll be reporting that to you here.

I’d like to add that this has been such a blessing for me to be here. It was all made possible by my parents and brothers. They’re the ones who insisted I be here and made all of the arrangements for me. I thank the Lord for putting this on their hearts as well. (Yea, Dad, I said it…) ( But I have truly been blessed in so many ways. Not only had it been trying emotionally for me the first night, but it’s been so awesome to see how Roger’s improving every day. Not just from day to day, but from the night to the next morning. It has been so cool. I don’t know how else to describe it, but, it’s the grace and mercy of God. I thank Holly and Roger for allowing my persistence to break through to them and accepting my “help”. It has been great. Time has been flying by. Too quickly. I did get to see the Washington Monument, the Capitol, the National Cathedral, Georgetown and Iwo Jima. All from the freeway on the way home and at night, but they’re light up pretty good. I can’t wait to see them tomorrow during the day on the way here. Thank you for reading my rantings. I wish you all the best and thank God for you and your prayers.

roger-good news

roger-good news, originally uploaded by roger_mommaerts.

I'm going to try to post the picture Roger sent me of himself.

I also wanted to add something:

Thank you to everyone for your prayers. Thank you for supporting and encouraging and loving us. Thank you for being there for us. Thank you for praying for us.

Please continue to pray and praise the Lord for all his blessings.

Love you all, Holly

Again, praise the Lord!

I'm going to try to post the picture Roger sent me of himself.

I also wanted to add something:

Thank you to everyone for your prayers. Thank you for supporting and encouraging and loving us. Thank you for being there for us. Thank you for praying for us.

Please continue to pray and praise the Lord for all his blessings.

Love you all, Holly

Praise Jesus!!!

Roger just called me at 12:15 p.m. Dr. Rosenbaum just gave him the results of the MRI from last Friday after the surgery. They are 100% sure they got all of the tumor. They had a few theories, but were able to confirm today. This is great news!!

God has answered our prayers once again. I have to say it again, Our God is Awesome!! I will be saying it for the rest of my life. I can hear Roger's mom hollering from Texas now.

He will continue to have MRI's for a long time. This will catch any new growth and if there is any, radiation can be used.

I've posted a picture on Flickr that Roger took with his camera phone as he was telling me. I think you might be able to see the euphora he is in.

Quick Friday AM Update

You want to understand how hectic Roger’s days are? Cassie just called me at 9:55 a.m. and here’s what’s happened so far. He ate breakfast. He has already had a visit from the therapist and Dr. Rosenbaum. He already had OT and he was finishing up with PT. They already took him off the saline machine. This is great because now he can be free. He will keep the IV in for medication, but at least he’s not connected to anything at all now. He has to keep taking salt tablets until his sodium level gets up. But he was approved for a sleep aid so he can try that tonight instead of valium or morphine. Dr. Rosenbaum also approved him to go to other floors today in the wheel chair. No results from the MRI yet.

AND...they might move him to the inpatient rehab center on Monday!! This is where he will get intensive rehab 3-6 hours a day. And the social worker told us that most people get out of there in a week or two. Praise the Lord!!

See even in the hospital, a soldier does more before 9:00 a.m. than most people do all day. : )

He slept better last night, but it was interrupted. After he had the shot of Valium, he began to dose off before we left. But they had to draw blood and give him a new IV because his was causing problems so that woke him up. He had some difficulty getting to sleep after that but after some medication was able to finally fall asleep.

He is super excited today. See, it’s getting better and better, almost in leaps and bounds. Our God is awesome. I was talking with a friend here at work about it all this morning and we were praising the Lord. And I thought, “I’m so happy.” I told her I was so happy I could cry. Isn’t it amazing how He gives us joy even in the tough times. Praise Him!

Another friend here at work gave me two gifts that sum it all up.

The first was a magnet of a very happy turtle with cute pink cheeks holding a handful of wild flowers that read, “Bunches of Joy!” and quoted Psalm 118:24: “This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

The other gift is a heart that stands on my desk with a beautiful picture of white roses, greenery and purple flowers and quotes the first verse from one of my favorite scriptures, Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart…”

Thursday Update

Praise the Lord! Things are getting better, in God's time.

This update will be in a few parts today so that it won’t be one extremely long update. Plus now that I’m back at work, I have to work a little you know. : )

Wednesday night was better for Roger. Cassie and I had to leave him about midnight in order for us to not exhaust ourselves. Although it was hard, we knew we had to do it. He slept for about two hours then woke up due to the muscle spasms. He was able to go back to sleep for many hours after requesting more medication. His night nurse Penny is so nice. When Amanda arrived at 6:00 a.m., he was breathing hard in deep sleep.

This made his day a lot better on Thursday. Days are the most exciting for Roger. His schedule is so busy that he missed lunch yesterday. He was going from one thing to another when his lunch arrived and when he returned it was gone. Cassie made sure he ate, but we’ll have to make sure that doesn’t happen again. He is eating so much better. He gets to choose what he eats every meal. And he has had something different each time. There is a lot of variety. Although the food is a little bland, it smells delicious and it must be good because he eats most of it. He’s not a fan of the succotash or the potatoes. He’s had apple pie, yellow cake with strawberry filling, ice cream and lots of jello for dessert. So his appetite is returning. His neck is getting stronger so he’s not getting lightheaded anymore and he has been eating his meals in a chair out of the bed.

He has occupational and physical therapy everyday. The OT spoke with him about speech therapy yesterday. Roger can still read, but putting everything together and comprehending takes a lot of concentration. Reading exhausts him. He was not able to read his emails yesterday. He and Cassie are going to try to tackle that daunting task today, if they have time. He has a crazy amount of emails. The OT and PT have been working him hard. Cassie said it exhausts her just watching. The OT pushed him far yesterday and he let her. She is making him do almost everything himself now. She is helping him be able to function now and helping him to regain movement. So he’s getting better with moving his right side around to help him get around all together. His leg is improving faster than his arm. But we started working on his leg before OT and PT came because we could. His arm had so many IV's in ICU we never touched it. He had a spinal MRI Thursday during the day to just make sure the spasms are not caused by anything else. His neurosurgeon Dr. Rosenbaum visits him about twice a day, so he’ll give Roger those results soon.

He gets a shower everyday. Cassie, a female corpsman and I gave him a scrub down all together in a huge shower room Wednesday. He was making comments about being naked with three women in a shower. Of course, he was the only person naked and we were all getting wet. He still hasn’t had a bowel movement yet on his own. He’s going to kill me for including that. The medication he is on causes constipation plus with the loss of movement of the right side, he hasn’t regained control of the right side of that either. They are going to address that soon too. So I administered an enema on Wednesday and Cassie got to administer one yesterday. We must really love him. : )

He got in a wheel chair last night and we made a few rounds around the fifth floor wards. It was good for him to get out and see what's going on around him. Especially to see all the war heros from Iraq. We were out in the hall on Wednesday when they were presenting a Marine a few rooms down the hall with a purple heart. Today he might be able to go to other floors. Dr. Rosenbaum has to approve it and then they have to find the time to actually leave and go exploring. He spoke with a therapist yesterday. It’s good for him to get out all his fears and frustrations. Basically, his expectations were very high and they were shot down. He knows he is going to get better, but it’s taking longer than he wants. So please continue to pray for him in that area. They also spoke about his muscle spasms and the control of them. When he gets anxious they start up and he has to learn how to control them. Just like the rest of us who get sweaty hands or butterflies when we are nervous or anxious, his right legs begins to shake and if he allows it, it will become uncontrollable.

Okay, that’s it for now. I’ll email more at lunch. Thank you all so much for your prayers. We have an awesome God and he’s working for our good in our lives. He answers prayer because we see it everyday. Please also pray for Cassie. She’s a huge blessing. God knew she was the perfect person for the job and he wanted her here. He gave her a huge desire to be here and help. That’s how you know God’s will. She listened and obeyed. Thank you Jesus!

Mar 9, 2006

Wednesday Update

I just want to say upfront that I am so sorry that I haven’t been able to update the blog in so long. Things have been so hectic that I haven’t been able to get home to do it and there is no time during the day to get to a computer. This will change tomorrow.

Roger moved into a room on the regular floor on Monday. Although he is in his own room, he is not ready for visitors just yet. His schedule is hectic during the day right now and while he is just trying to cope with healing from the surgery and regaining functions, he needs a little while longer before he can receive visitors. As soon as we know when he can, I will post it on this blog. In the meantime, if you would like to send him your well wishes, please send cards only to the address below.

8901 Wisconsin Avenue
Bldg 10 Ward 5 East
Room 9 Patient Roger Mommaerts
Bethesda MD 20889-5601

Roger’s recovery is going well, but slow. Today he got a shower by three beautiful women, including his wife. He was able to shave. He sat in a chair several times today. His occupational and physical therapists are seeing marked improvement. Several times today he moved his leg on his own. We set up his laptop tonight and he was very happy to hear his music. So happy that he got emotional. He can only use his left hand so typing exhausts him and email replying is out of the question right now. He was not able to read any emails today due to his schedule, but he should be able to begin reading emails tomorrow. He also had another CT today and hopefully we’ll hear the results of that.

He is excited during the day, but night time has not been easy for him. His sleep-wake cycle has been interrupted and although he is staying up all day, he can’t sleep well at night. He began having muscle spasms Monday which is a good sign that he is on the road to recovery. But when he gets frustrated or nervous or anxious, usually due to nursing staff issues at night at the hospital, the spasms are so severe that his entire body shakes and this doesn’t help him sleep. This also leads to profuse sweating which has caused him to be pretty much naked all the time. We told him he was going to be known as the Naked Sergeant. His nights are extremely restless. Last night was another long, no sleep night for him, me and our friend Cassie who is here to help. Thank the Lord she is here. She’s a mother of two and is helping me so much. She is so strong and I wouldn’t have made it to now without her. Her years of wisdom as a mother are coming in very helpful for me. Although I’d love to stay at the hospital all day and help Roger do everything, I would not be doing him any good if I did.

And he is having a hard time with how slow his recovery will be. Every day he improves, but it’s not going as fast as he’d like and it’s extremely hard for an active, completely independent person to feel completely dependent. I say feel dependent because he feels this way even though he is doing many things on his own and can. But not having complete control of his right side is hard on him. Which is completely understandable.

I’ve got to cut this short and can’t include all the details due to the amount of things that have happened in the past two days and how exhausted I am right now. But I would like to ask for your prayer over all these things. Also, I am sorry but I can’t keep up with all the phone calls, voicemails and emails right now. I read the emails when I get a chance and they are very uplifting and encouraging and I want to apologize now because I just can’t reply to them all. And as I know how you can help, I will let you know. There’s just not much we can do right now other than pray for Roger.

Thank you all so much for your prayer, love and concern. Please add for Roger to feel the Lord’s will and presence through this adventure.

Until next time, love you.

Mar 7, 2006

Rough Monday Night

Sorry this is short and not full of details like I usually share, that will come later today maybe. But we had a very rough night and we need your prayer. We were at the hospital from 9:30 a.m. Monday to 8:00 a.m. today. I have never experienced anything like I did last night. It was very tough.

Please pray for Roger to be able to handle the stress and anxiety of what he's enduring, for Roger to take it slow, for Roger not to be disappointed at being dependent, for patience and perseverance with his physical and mental limitations and with the staff and please pray for patience and rest for me and the people that are caring for him while I rest.

Thank you all. More details to come later.

Mar 6, 2006

Rough Sunday Night

Roger had a great Sunday morning. He got about 5 hours of sleep Saturday night and after they woke him up for blood drawing or something, he fell back asleep. We were so happy to hear he got some rest. As a result of that, he was so alive. It was great to hear him talking so much and excited. It gave us all renewed energy.

That didn’t last long. He ate food for the first time Sunday at lunch. That was great and he was happy about that. I don’t know if not eating for two days caused him nausea or what, but something happened. He started feeling nauseous and then nervous which causes his body to tremble, then he got hot and his fever went up. And he just felt horrible. He got very anxious and wasn’t happy at all. He finally started to calm down and then they came to draw blood. This is a sore subject with him.

He is so dehydrated that all his blood vessels are collapsed. Even the blood vessels in his a-line and his two I.V.’s are collapsed. They can get fluids and medicine in, but nothing out. But they try. And that is what pissed him off. They try all three until he is in pain and nervous and anxious and frustrated and that just brings him so down. Then they’ll finally just draw it with a butterfly. While he is in ICU, they draw blood every six hours for Roger. So this happens four times a day.

We left Roger last night for dinner and when he returned he was out cold. He was sleeping so deeply that we didn’t want to wake him up. And it was an unassisted sleep which was great. Then we really didn’t want to wake him up. We waited until his nurse had to wake him up to draw his blood. I could tell he was sleeping really well because it startled him awake and he was not quite fully awake when she started trying to draw blood. Then another nurse came in because they are all aware of how difficult it is to draw blood from him and she offered to try on the other arm. So he had two nurses at the same time hurting him on both arms and he began to have an anxiety attack. His blood pressure and pulse skyrocketed. Everyone was asked to leave but Roger insisted I stay. They tried until he couldn’t take it anymore. She let him rest for a bit and tried again. The protocol is for another nurse to try before a doctor is called. That happened and they decided to put in a large needle into his inner elbow. Since he’s been stuck all over both arms and in the elbow of his right arm already, they had to stick him in the left arm. His only functioning arm. The IV they put in is large enough that he can not bend it very well and no he can not feed himself, drink on his own or do anything at all. Although the nurse told him it was a flexible needle and he could bend it and take the pain and just straighten it out after that, it hurts him too much.

So this depressed him enormously. He cried for a bit. After he got it out of his system, he calmed down a bit. He asked for us to read some scripture and pray for him. This enabled him to calm down more. He actually fell asleep for a quick minute while we prayed.

His nurse informed him that while he is in ICU he has to ask for help. He told her that he doesn’t want to bother her, but she told him he has to now.

Please pray for him and me to stay patient with him and everything that is going on.

Mar 5, 2006

Sunday Morning Update

Sorry this is so late. We decided to go to the late service at church to give Roger more time to rest. He only had three hours of intermittent sleep Saturday and when I called the ICU this morning they said he had slept pretty well through the night (Thank the Lord) and that he had fallen back asleep. So we decided to give him some more time. His recovery depends on rest right now. His brain is still swollen and causing pain and preventing him from healing as fast as he'd like. So rest is pertinent right now. Again, he is not taking visitors at this time. soon as he can have visitors, which is he ready for, I will post it on the blog with all the details, directions and times.

He was able to brush his teeth last night which he was happy about. I am taking more toiletries to him today. And his laptop, of course.

Stay tuned for more information. Thanks for the prayers. We've never felt so loved!

Mar 4, 2006

Saturday Night Update

It's Saturday night and we visited Roger today and plan to return tonight for a short while. He is not sleeping well due to the busyness of the ICU and the frequent checks, shots, tests they perform on him and beeping machines. Every time they bug him, he gets very tired and weak from all they ask him to do. He is currently not able to move his arm which he was able to move last night, but gained movement in his right hip. The swelling and general trauma from the surgery is causing this gain and loss in movement. But they did a motor strength test, reflex test and EEG this afternoon. The strength and reflex tests were good. We were there for those tests and to see the reflexes in his right side the same as the left was exciting. The EEG revealed that his left and right brain are almost exactly in sync and they could barely see any difference in the hemispheres. The two neurologists that were present say that they believe it’s due to the surgery and there is no permanent damage. He will regain all movement as time goes by. So that’s great.

He has a CT every six hours due to the concern about the vein that was cut, but so far there has not been any sign of collection of blood in his brain. We have not heard any results of the MRI taken last night to see how much of the tumor is left because it was “misplaced.” When we were about to leave, we were informed by the nurse that the MRI was found. Now we have to wait for it to be reviewed.

Roger’s spirits are up. He wants his laptop. He also wants food, but he can’t have solid food yet. He is still experiencing pain in his head and they give him pain medication every hour for that. He is getting more and more comfortable as time goes by. I can tell that he is ready to get on with life, but his body isn’t allowing it just yet. He would really like to be able to sleep. So they are asking for no visitors until further notice. We’ll see tomorrow morning what they say about visitors.

Keep checking the blog for updates. I added two pictures to Flickr from today when he had his EEG at 4:00 p.m. His “turbin” was removed in order to put all those things on his head and we were able to see more of his head. He asked us to take a picture of him so he could see what he looks like.

Thank you all for your prayers and love. We really appreciate it. Please pray for Roger to be strengthened, encouraged and uplifted by the Lord.

Saturday Morning Update

My mom, Helen, Roger's parents, Roger & Laura and I all feel much better this morning after a full night of sleep and showers. I called the ICU this morning to check on Roger. I wish I would have realized the time when I first woke up because I missed the overnight nurse Coleen. So I had to speak with this morning's nurse who had a strong accent and was a little hard to understand. I know how annoying it is when I have to repeat things and I had to ask her several times to repeat what she said. She said he did not sleep well last night and he still has a little temperature. They are giving him Tylenol for that. He had a CT this morning, but the results are not back yet. She said that he was not able to move his arm this morning, but that was probably from a little swelling and just still the shock of his body from the surgery.

We are making our way up to the ICU this morning. I will inquire about visitors and post an audio blog if he is up to having more visitors. Also, at this time since I am handling his cell phone and my own, I'm asking if you could check the blog for updates and information instead of calling us. Sorry to be so demanding, but I know you all understand. I will keep the blog updated with everything I hear and find out.

Okay, that's all for now. I have to go put on my face for Roger. : )

Mar 3, 2006

Pictures from Surgery

I couldn't add a picture to the blog, but I was able to add all the pictures from today to Flickr. Click on the link to the right below for Flickr and click on the set titled "It's not a tumor."

Surgery Update

Well, it was a long day. We are all exhausted and ready for a good night’s sleep. It started at 4:30 a.m. for Roger and I. We got to the hospital at 6:00 a.m. After check in and pre-op, they rolled him away a little after 8:00 a.m.

The first incision was at 9:24 a.m. We received our second update at 11:26 a.m. that the surgery was going well, they sent a specimen to pathology for the frozen section and that it would be a few more hours.

We didn’t get our next update until 3:35 p.m. and that was hard on us. This time, the neurosurgeons themselves came to the waiting room, so we knew the surgery was over. We went to a separate room and discussed the surgery and results in private.

Here’s an abbreviated version of those notes:
A vein was in the way of the tumor which was sacrificed in order to retract the tumor. Concern about blood collecting in his brain was lessened due to a cat scan after the surgery which showed no serious collection of blood. The vein should either heal itself or the blood will drain from other veins. This is a blessing due to the number of blood vessels in the area and the risk those posed. A large artery near the tumor was of concern due to possibility of damaging it and causing stroke. We thank the Lord that it was a vein and not an artery.
Only a portion of the tumor was removed due to a higher risk of permanent damage to his motor core. An MRI was scheduled for late tonight to identify the size of the remaining tumor.
The frozen section of the tumor revealed possibly an intermediate to high grade glioma tumor. Of course, the pathology results will not be available for two weeks, so this diagnosis may change. The biopsies will be analyzed at two pathology labs, Bethesda and AFIP, for confirmation.
A motor strength test was performed at the end of the surgery to evaluate the effects and/or possible damage from the surgery. At first Roger was not able to move or feel his right arm, torso, leg and foot. Upon our first visit in ICU, he was able to move the fingers on his right hand and feel touch in his right thigh. Later in ICU, he was able to lift his right arm, do more with his fingers and feel touch in his foot. This means that the weakness is only temporary and will improve with time, rest and rehabilitation.

Roger is very happy the surgery is over. His spirits were up in ICU, joking with the staff and us in his normal manner, although being extremely exhausted. He looked good to us which lifted our spirits and gave us renewed energy and relief. His mouth was very dry initially, but with hydration he was able to talk to us fine, but you could hear the exhaustion in his voice. He began to have a little pain and requested medication which made him drowsy. We all got to see him several times, adjust things for him, help him drink until he could get all the tubes situated to do it himself and talk with him.

We left him for a short time for a free meal in the executive dining facility which the hospital offers to families every Friday night. This was a real treat for us and we enjoyed it greatly. The timing was perfect as we were all famished and the sailors who volunteer to serve were uplifting and supportive. We returned to the ICU to say our goodbyes until Saturday.

My expectations of this military hospital experience were shot out of the water. The staff were excellent, professional and so caring. They made our experience comfortable and secure. I believe God sent us to the right place.

While Roger is in the ICU, he would like a limited amount of visitors due to ICU rules, space restrictions and his need for rest to heal properly. As soon as he is ready for visitors and/or is moved into the general ward, I will inform you via this blog. He is looking forward to visitors after that time. At this point we are not aware of when he will be moved. It depends on how he heals and his doctor’s recommendations.

We would not have made it through the day without your prayers, love, support, encouragement and the grace and mercy of the Lord. We had moments that seemed unbearable, but through prayer and petition, He got us through it. Our God is good. We saw His work all day in that hospital. We praise the Lord for his presence with us and in the operating room.

Please keep checking the blog for updates. I will try to include a couple pictures from the day, if I can figure it out or if I don’t fall asleep at this computer first. I would like to add that Roger made me take a picture of him in the ICU because he wanted to see what he looked like. Thank you again. We love you all. Praise the Lord!
this is an audio post - click to play
this is an audio post - click to play
this is an audio post - click to play

Up and off

We're up and headed to the hospital in a few mins. My stomach is still turning from the "punch" last night. I wasn't able to eat much dinner and now I'm starving!! Surgery is scheduled to begin around 7:30-8am and last for about 3-5 hours. Check back here for updates. Love you all and talk to you soon.


Mar 2, 2006


Okay - here's a link to the pics we took tonight:

We're going to pray and go to bed. Thanks all for your prayers. Check back here tomorrow for updates. I love you and I know everything will be fine.

I love you!


Done with Pre-Op

Wow.. what a day! God is good and has been answering our prayers left and right. We were crushed by the news that I’d have to stay overnight after all. We prayed hard about it and whamo! They told us we’d be able to go home. They did caution us that all the tests would take long into the night… So off we went to have blood drawn, then I had to have a CT scan done of my chest down to my pelvis. They made me drink about a half gallon of this power iodine mixed with lemon flavored crystal light. It was not pleasant, but I managed to gulp it down within 50 minutes while my parents enjoyed their subway sandwiches! It’s okay though… I know they were hungry. Then we had to wait another hour for it to take effect. Take effect… what exactly does that mean I asked? She said the results are different for everyone. They just want it to be in your system so that it is easier for the docs to see stuff. Well, about an hour later I found myself running to the restroom to dispose of this wonderful concoction. I’m not going to go into details, but it was liquid and the urge came quickly and with a vengeance. In fact, they came looking for me to go the CT and I was stuck on the toilet. Then I finally made it to the CT and the nurse managed to stick through both of my veins in both arms – this never happens – I have gooood veins! So, another tech came over and did it in another vein.

I managed to leave there and head down to MRI. The doc put the fidules on my head earlier in the visit and the MRI shows them now. They took MRI images that they will be able to render in 3D and the fidules will help them register the MRI to my head. We’ll have pics up of all this in a bit. We finished everything at 8:30pm and got home a little after 9. I’ve made a few phone calls and Holly is on her way back from the airport with her mom. We have to be at the hospital at 5:30am to be admitted – the surgery is to begin around 7:30am and last about 3-5 hours. Holly will post an audioblog here when she has news. I’m still scared, but I have faith that everything will go fine. Look for the pics in a little bit!
this is an audio post - click to play
this is an audio post - click to play
this is an audio post - click to play

Loosen up

We went this morning to get our massages. Boy do I feel loose! Thanks so much to those that gave us this gift. We’re cleaning up and packing up the last few things we need. We’ll be heading to the hospital shortly. All you might get from us today are audio blogs. I did send an email to my doctor, Dr. Robert Rosenbaum, stating my dissatisfaction with the conversations and change of plans I’ve had with his assistant over the past three days. I’ll be talking to him later today. Just because this is the military, it doesn’t mean they can treat us like crap. I will not accept that. Everything will turn out okay though, and I’ll have more later…

Mar 1, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play
this is an audio post - click to play

Brain Flatulence

A few days ago you read about some friends that got us gift certificates to get massages. We were planning to go yesterday, but we were busy all day long and it never happened. Today they are all booked up… what a bummer. We really need them – maybe we can get in early tomorrow or something. Holly suggested getting mani/pedicures instead. We’ll see…

Check out this brain fart… last night Holly cooked a delicious pork tenderloin for dinner. When we were cleaning up we put it in a zip lock bad and left it on the counter to cool off. This morning I was in the kitchen and thought, “man, what smells good?” There was the pork tenderloin still in the bag on the counter. In the trash it went. Our minds are so consumed even little things escape us!

Okay, so I typed the above and then warmed up lunch. I walked into the bathroom to get a dose of Trileptal and one Z-Pak pill for my bronchitis – I picked up the pack and apparently I missed my dose yesterday!! I stood there and looked at it in complete disbelief. I think I even said “oh no” a few times out loud and flipped the package over and over – why? I don’t know. Maybe I was hoping that it would disappear suddenly as if I had taken it. I can’t believe I didn’t take my antibiotic yesterday. I am so religious about that stuff and there is was, Day 2, still in the package. I thought I remembered taking a whole slew of pills before we left yesterday morning, but I guess I missed it. Man, I am really losing it. I can’t believe I did that – amazing.

We had to up our cell phone plan to avoid getting hit with overage charges. If you call and we don't answer, don't let your feelings get hurt. We'll call you back after 9pm. Better yet, send us an email or post a comment below! I’m working on some administrative stuff today – have to get paperwork signed and faxed in to get our expended for Feb reimbursed. And I’m trying to chill out today.

I have gotten some very encouraging emails from friends that I didn’t even knew I had – and family as far away as Greece! The emails this morning have been very uplifting – it is nice to know that what we’re feeling is normal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still scared… but if I wasn’t, no matter who is doing the procedure, I would not be normal.