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: 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!!