Jan 31, 2007

Christmas Day? and Looking Forward

Holly and I are still gearing up to head out March 3rd. I’ll be taking 40 days of leave and currently am scheduled to return to DC alone to out-process from my work and report to Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC). Next week I have an appointment with my Neurologist who is going to write up some Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) paperwork. When I go to WRAMC, they will likely transfer me to a Medical Hold Company and I’ll be at their mercy until they decide what to do with me. We hear the process could take anywhere from a month to three months to six months. We really have no idea at all. The obvious outcomes from the MEB are: they keep me in the Army with limitations and some type of disability, or they decide to medically retire me with some type of disability. I still don’t have full use of my right leg and I still have seizures, so I’m hoping they’ll give me some type of disability. As for staying in or out, I’m just not sure what I’d prefer yet. Anyway, there is a lot still up in the air, so stay tuned.

I did book a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines this week that Holly and I will be going on some time in March. We are really looking forward to that! It’ll be our first.

Christmas Day 2006 on FlickrAnd lastly, I finally posted pictures from Christmas Day. I’m kinda’ working backward, I guess. Not sure why, but it seems easier. As you know, Mirna, Joey and Ariana came to visit us. We opened presents in the morning and then headed over to our dear friend, Megan’s house, for some great fellowship. We ate, played games and had a gift exchange. It was tons of fun! Click here to see them: Christmas Day 2006.

Jan 24, 2007


Ha! Not us silly... my sister is having another baby! Today she is six weeks and six days (or so her doc says.) Mirna writes,

"Morning sickness this time around has been calm compared to 2 years ago when I was pregnant with Ariana, so I have to believe from a mothers intuition that this one is a boy. I feel great and only queasy at times and doesn't last to long, I pray it will stay that way. Please keep us in your prayers for a healthy pregnancy and for a job for Joey in Austin this Spring. Joey has decided to get out of the Army. His career has hit a brick wall and it's time to do something else. He was excepted by a Professional Recruiter named Cameron-Brooks, Inc. They work with only Junior Officers who are ready for a career change , they are based out of Fredericksburg, TX. We have a conference in Charlotte,NC in late March for 5 days and this will help in a lead for a job in TX (God Willing)."
Prayers for my sis would be appreciated.

Jan 22, 2007

Sandy Update; Freezing Wx and Return Date

I haven’t updated you on Matt’s mom, Sandy, for some time now. Here are the highs and lows…

  • 11/18/06 – Completed radiation but white blood count (WBC) is too low for chemo.
  • 11/20/06 – WBC is good enough for chemo for following week. All chest tumors are now gone. Skin is red and peeling like crazy and mouth and nose are sore and red.
  • 11/27/06 – WBC still good and got chemo. Still peeling but still no chest tumors.
  • 12/12/06 – WBC too low for chemo. Still red and sore from radiation.
  • 12/18/06 – WBC still to low for chemo.
  • 12/20/06 – WBC borderline for chemo but doc approves it.
  • 01/03/07 – There is concern that the cancer has spread to the other good breast. Biopsy and MRI next week. WBC is extremely high – got chemo but now there is a lump in right arm.
  • 01/17/07 – 2 of 3 biopsies are positive for cancer. MRI results were improvement in the left armpit area but spreading to the right breast and armpit area; also cancer in the left chest. Doing old IV chemo and a new IV chemo and a new drug that technically isn't a chemo but is an antibody type drug that doesn't allow the cancer to form new blood vessels to feed it (I recently heard about that in the news.) Off of oral chemo. There are plenty of new side effects with the new meds, but she’s is feeling pretty good regardless.

It was a surprise to everyone that the cancer has spread, and although it is a downer, it certainly has not crushed their resolve to fight this thing off. She still has the will and as long as we all do and keep on praying and sending our best wishes to her, she’ll make it. Please keep praying for Sandy, Mike and the rest of the family.

As for me, I’m feeling fine. I have really not been very anxious at all recently regarding more seizures. But I have made a few changes in the way I conduct day to day things. For example, I no longer walk right next to the drop off to the tracks on the Metro. I stay a good distance away from the end of the platform until the train slows down. The last thing I need is to have a seizure and fall onto the tracks like that dude in NYC did! And now that I'm physically feeling better again, I've started working out in the gym again doing weights and cardio. Sure feels good to get moving again!

We got about 1.5 inches of snow yesterday – it started around 1pm and stopped around 8pm. Then we had freezing rain during the night. It is nice to finally get some snow here. Many of you heard about all the snow and ice in Austin last week. My good friend Jill took some pictures. Click to see those pics: Austin Blizzard 2007. She also came to DC back in Dec for a conference and we had a chance to hang out a bit. Click this link to see those pics: Jill in DC. We had a really good time. Jill, it was great to see you again!!

Lastly, Holly and I have picked a date to leave DC and head back to Austin. We’ll be driving out of DC on Saturday, March 3, 2007… more details on that to follow soon.

Jan 11, 2007

Much Better

I felt much better today. I got a late start, but I really slept well (that's why I got a late start) and went to work and actually got some stuff done. Thank God! We're looking forward to the three day weekend. Holly and I need to go pick up a bunch of stuff that we took over to our friends John and Tamra's house while my sister was in town. Then we need to do some shopping and exchanging of gifts and maybe dinner with friends. It looks like Sunday and Monday might be rainy, so who knows what we'll do. The temps here have finally dropped to normal and we hear that they might get even colder in the next couple of weeks - we'll see. Maybe we'll finally get to see some darn snow.

My good buddy Ryan sent me a link to some pics he took of me, him and Matt O from the spring of 2005 when we went to a Beer Festival up in Maryland. Click here to check them out - pretty funny. By the way, the last few pictures look kinda gray like a storm was coming... it's because it was. We barely made it to the car before the skies opened. We drove him in a downpour. Ahhh... good times...

Jan 10, 2007

Feeling Slightly Better

I’m feeling much better today. I slept through the night without waking up. My head is still congested, but I’m going to work tomorrow. I think my doctor did the right thing with my treatment plan. Thanks doc!

CLick to see Photo SetSo, while at home today I uploaded tons of pictures from the past few months. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting links to sets of pictures for you to peruse. The first set is from just a few weeks ago. My sister, Mirna; brother-in-law, Joey and cute as a button niece, Ariana, came to spend the holidays with us. They got here on Dec 23 and left Jan 2. Initially, they were going to come just for New Years weekend and we were going to sit Ariana as they were going to go to a wedding in PA. But after they decided that they could not drive to both TX and then to DC within a week, they decided to just come here! We really enjoyed spending time with them. And it was so fun to be able to spend some quality time with Ariana because the next time she’ll be so much bigger. I’ll have more pictures from Christmas Eve and Day up soon. Enjoy!

Jan 9, 2007

Relief in sight?

I went to see a doctor today about my continuing crappy health. I got an Air Force doc today and was pretty happy with my experience this time around. She listened to all of my symptoms and past issues and thought hard about what could be going on. She took a look in my mouth and was astonished to my uvula was so swollen it was almost touching my tongue! Okay, that sounds pretty gross.. you know what a uvula is, don’t you? It’s that little thing that hangs in the back of the throat and looks like a punching bag. It it all swollen thanks to my post-nasal drip either caused by allergies or a cold. Anyway, this explains why I felt like there was a ball in my throat when I swallowed the night we went to the hospital and why I have been having trouble sleeping. The darn thing blocks my airway and is just a nuisance. She prescribed some 800mg ibuprofen tablets to help with the swelling and gave me a full ten day course of antibiotics just to make sure I don’t have anything. Like most doctors, she didn’t want to have to give me an antibiotic if I don’t need it, but in my case, she didn’t want to take anymore chances. They also did a blood test to make sure there’s nothing funky going on – the doc didn’t cal me today so I’m assuming there’s nothing to worry about there. Anyway, I still feel crappy but I’m hoping that tomorrow I’ll feel a lot better. I sure am sick and tired of being sick and tired!

On a more pleasant note… I did have a chance to have some fun this past weekend. Holly’s company has a suite at the Verizon Center and they occasionally have tickets available. She snagged a few to the Georgetown vs. Notre Dame basketball game there on Saturday. I snapped a few pics with my camera phone and posted them. They look okay for a phone cam. Click the picture to see the rest. The suite was nice… it had its own restroom, lots of locked cabinets where the good stuff is hidden, a nice sitting area, a bar sitting area and about 20 very comfortable stadium seats. Man, those things were the most comfortable seats in an arena I have even sat on! Anyway, the guys and I had a good time. Holly and I are going to check out a Wizards vs. Celtics game in a few weeks – should be fun!

Jan 8, 2007

Happy *sniff* New Year

Happy New Year 2007 from Arlington, VA! And what a better way to bring in the first full week of the new year than with a nasty cold and trip to the emergency room for relief.

I started to feel a cold coming on last Thursday and it stayed pretty mild through the weekend. Last night (Sunday) my throat started to feel sore. I went to sleep and twice Holly woke me up to ask if I was okay. She said I was making a murmuring sound. After that, I felt like my throat would close up on me and I would struggle for a breath and it would wake me up immediately and scare me a bit. Well, I let that go on for two hours or so and I finally decided I had had enough torture. I got up and wandered around in the dark for a while, but I decided I wasn’t getting any better and I didn’t know why I felt that way either. So I finally broke down and woke Holly up and told her that we needed to go to the ER.

We drove through the drizzle to the ER at Bethesda and I tried my best to explain to the staff what I was feeling. I’m not quite sure I did a good job explaining how I felt though. The doc took an X-Ray of my throat and they also tested for strep, both were negative. They gave me a nebulizer of Albuterol to puff on for a while and then the doc told me that he was diagnosing me as having bronchospasm. I’m not exactly sure he was right, but whatever… I was feeling better.

We drove back home in a steady rain through some rush-hour traffic and made it home around 6am. We went back to sleep for a while but after a few hours, I felt like my throat was closing up again! Then I thought that I might be allergic to something in the apartment or something. I got up and took my allergy pill that I take every morning and I was able to go back to sleep. So, maybe this funky weather is just messing with my allergies or something?? I mean, it was a record high of 73 Saturday and then today we had rain, wind and temps dropping through the 40s. Tomorrow (Tuesday) it is supposed to only be 44 with a chance of more rain. Some of the cherry blossoms have started to bloom in the area. It’s just nuts for my body. Anyway, I have another appointment with a doctor at my primary clinic tomorrow just to follow up and get more meds to dry me out.

I’ve been having a hard time staying healthy recently. I think what I have been through is a big factor. And I have a lot of work to do at work and having to stay home is not good. I’m trying to get all of my work done and transitioned over before I leave. Please pray that I get better so that I can concentrate on wrapping things up here!