Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey Trot
Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving!

What a great day. We had all the children and grandchildren here to celebrate this year. Andrew spent the night at our house, and he and Austin had a great time playing together and laughing.

As a tradition, we always run and walk the "Turkey Trot" at Clearwater High School. I was surprised on Thanksgiving morning when everyone came into my room wearing "Team Grandpa" T-shirts. Adam and Jenny put great effort into ordering the t-shirts and keeping it a big surprise until Thanksgiving morning.

Our family has been doing the "Turkey Trot" for about 25 years. Every year we take a family picture wearing our Turkey Trot shirts... below are pictures of some previous years.

1988

1989


1998


2004


2007


2009


2011

(I'm composing part of this post on Thursday, Thanksgiving morning.... right now the house smells so good with the turkey and all the side dishes; I can't wait to chow down.)

We have so much to be thankful for. On Wednesday, we accepted an offer to sell the office. That is a real answer to prayer.

I am so thankful for each of you that have been following our journey through the "tall weeds." Almost every week I hear about someone who is reading the blog and praying for us.

I think we are going to have to go to the next step with my back - injections. Last Sunday I passed out getting into the car from the intense pain. Patra wanted to take me to the E.R. but I insisted we go home. Over the past two years I have become somewhat of an expert at passing out. When I told the nurses at dialysis what had happened, they said I should have listened to Patra.

Thank you again for joining our family on this journey.

Dear God, thank you for allowing me to enjoy another Thanksgiving day with my family. You continue to provide answers to our prayers (like selling the office) and great encouragement from our friends.

Until next Friday, God willing
Bob

Friday, November 18, 2011

TENS

TENS
Friday, November 18, 2011
from Bob

I was pleased with my visit to the pain management doctor for the compression fracture in my back. After being given some options, I decided to try the conservative route first. The doctor gave me a back brace, a TENS unit (Transccutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator), a muscle relaxer, and a numbing patch which is applied to the area of pain. When I am sitting or laying in bed, the TENS unit does a good job of blocking my pain. The TENS unit has four sticky pads connected to wires which send small electronic pulses to my back. (Note from Adam: I suggested that we borrow a taser and try to shock ALL the pain out in one jolt, but Dad didn't seem too keen on that idea.) I still have difficulty standing and getting in and out of my wheelchair. Patra and I joke that we should get a video of me trying to get out of the car - someday it will be funny. Right now, I just worry that I may have to sleep in the car. We will continue this treatment for several weeks, but if the pain doesn't subside, then the doctor will try injections.

My brother Chuck came for a visit this week. He and his family live in Kentucky. After being in our house with all the grandchildren, I'm sure he will appreciate some quiet time when he gets home. The grand kids have enjoyed Uncle Chuck - crawling on him, bringing books for him to read. I enjoyed watching Andrew and Chuck discussing baseball and looking at some of my old baseball cards. As I listened to their conversation, I was struck by how fast Andrew is growing.

Bob and Riley

Avery and Chuck

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving. I am really looking forward to turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. Even more, I'm looking forward to being with all of the children and grandchildren. I don't want to just be thankful, I want God to know I am thankful to Him. Every good gift comes from God. I am spending the beginnings of my prayers praising God and thinking of His attributes. God is good, God is love, God is gracious, God is merciful, God is omnipotent, God is omniscient, God is faithful. What can you add to this list?

Bob

Friday, November 11, 2011

"THANKS!"

"THANKS!"
Friday, November 11, 2011

From Bob


This week I was taught an important lesson by my grandson. Andrew had extensive dental work and the doctors put him to sleep for the procedure. He did very well but he was very anxious and scared. After it was over, he and Jenny went through fast food for a treat. As they were in line, Andrew let out a loud, "THANK YOU!"

Jenny turned around and asked who he was talking to. He said,"God." The prayers of a 6 year old boy had been answered and it was natural to him to give thanks. I thought about how many times my prayers have been answered and I have neglected to give thanks.

Note from Jenny:
I usually try not to interject into my dad's posts each week, but I just have to interrupt to share that the story got even BETTER after Andrew's prayer of thanksgiving on Thursday...

Early Thursday evening, Andrew asked Jesus into his heart! He'd been asking questions all week about God, Jesus and heaven. After he prayed this precious prayer Thursday evening, we talked a lot about what it meant for his life. Both David and I are thrilled and so grateful to God for Andrew's decision to trust Jesus Christ to guide his life here on earth and give him eternal life in heaven!

I'm with my dad... I want to learn the lesson and thank God for the years of prayers that were answered for Andrew to know and love Jesus at a young age!

Now, back to his post...

We live in a world where sin rules. As a result, disease and illness afflict us all. To be honest, until two years ago, I thought that I and my family were immune from any serious effects of sin. Sure we had our share of childhood illnesses and broken bones, but nothing too serious.

That all changed in early December, 2009 when the results of my kidney and bone marrow biopsies came back. I knew there was something wrong with my kidneys, but Amyloidosis? I had never even heard of it. That was soon followed by the hematologist/oncologist telling Patra and me that I had multiple myeloma. Watching television made me think that if I ever received this kind of news, it would be accompanied by a change in the music or lighting. But my doctor was very matter of fact. "Here is your bone biopsy report. You have multiple myeloma." Patra had tears in her eyes but held up pretty well until we got to the car. I don't remember any words we spoke but I know that as we looked at each other, we communicated on a deep level.

I am still a blessed man! Sometimes I think I may be more blessed now than I was before my diagnosis.
I have told more people I love them than I ever did before. And I mean it when I say it.
I think I can see things more clearly than I ever did before. I spend far less time worrying about inconsequential matters.
My prayer life is more focused.
The Bible is so important to me.
My family means everything to me. They have been so good about checking on me and coming by to visit. That is wonderful because I am basically bed-ridden because of my back pain. I love it when everyone crawls into Grandma's bed (right next to my hospital bed) and we laugh and play.
Patra and I have grown as a couple. Every once in while I ask her if she had known that we would be where we are, would she still have married me? So far, she has always said "yes."

My back is still giving me significant problems. I have an appointment this morning (Friday) and I am praying that soon I can get some relief.

Dear God, THANK YOU! Too often, I have neglected to give you thanks. You have been so faithful. I am even thankful for the ways you are using this "nasty little disease" to bring me closer to you. Thank you for the blessings you give. May I be faithful to You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Until next Friday. God willing.
Bob

Friday, November 4, 2011

November 4

November 4, 2011

From Emily:

One of the joys of living in a university town is special events like Homecoming! The entire town (including the local school district) shuts down for the weekend as the campus comes alive with fans, parades, and the ever present orange and blue!

While I am not even a Gator fan, I cannot help but immerse myself in the excitement of the event: picnics with friends, play dates since school is canceled, and college football.

This year, however, I made a quick decision about homecoming weekend. I was going to actually head home. If my little family had the time off work and school, then we were going to enjoy homecoming with my mom and dad!

Multiple Myeloma has changed our family. I can honestly say that there is no place I would rather be right now than hanging out with my brother, my sister, my precious nephews and nieces… and especially mom and dad. This is home… this is homecoming.

And then I imagine what heaven must be like. What a homecoming it will be!

Here are some of my dad’s thoughts from this week:


From Bob

I was able to avoid being hospitalized this week, but hospitalization was a real possibility. This was a very difficult week. Because of significant back pain, I went back on some heavy duty pain medication. That led to some mental confusion and even worse, I had serious gastro-intestinal problems. Monday was probably the worst day I have had at dialysis. The doctor has given me another prescription for pain.

The x-ray report for my low back pain showed that I have mild degenerative disk disease throughout my low back but the more significant finding may be a compression fracture in my thoracic spine (T-12.) I have lost about 40% of the disk height. The issue is that the level of the compression fracture is higher than my symptomatology. I have an appointment the end of next week with the pain management doctor. This doctor comes highly recommended - I've learned that the better their reputation, the longer it takes to get an appointment.

I can't believe it is already November. The grandchildren dressed up this week for “trunk or treat” events at their churches. They continue to bring me joy and I have included several pictures below for you to enjoy as well.



Ms. Megan (age 2) is now modeling a new pink little cast on her leg. She broke her foot getting out of bed.





Until next Friday, God willing
Bob
 

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