Sunday, November 29, 2009


We are all thankful for the past year. This time last year we did not think we would have Dad with us much longer. This past year has truly been a gift. It has been filled with ups and downs, but it is still a gift and we are mindful of that each and every day.

Mom and Dad have been able to get away for a few days up north. Dad is not able to get around much at all anymore, but he is enjoying seeing Mom be able to take a bit of a break and just get away. More updates and photos soon to follow.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oh Deer!

This past week, cousin Brian (hunter extradinaire) gave a deer to Allen. So, on Saturday Dad and Al played butcher boy in the barn. Dad really overdid it, but he was determined to stay for the whole thing. And he loved every minute of it! But boy, did he crash when he made it back to the house. He didn't move off the couch for the rest of the day. We're all learning to let Dad do the things he enjoys even when we know he is overdoing it. If it is too much for him and he is wiped out for a few days, that is OK. At least he got to enjoy the moment. Trying to tell him he shouldn't do something is pretty useless anyways, so we might as well get some benefit out of seeing him enjoying himself.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hands up in the air, all together now "Whhhheeeee...."

What a roller coaster of a ride it has been this week! Dad has just had a rough couple of weeks. We were all pretty much saying, "OK, God, it's all You now." I just picture God responding "well, it's about time you got out of my way! I can handle this so much better than you all!" And then the most humbling thought hit me - who are we to think that we can even get in God's way anyways! He is God - the King of the Universe! And He is very much in control of Dad's situation, just as He has always been. We're just a little forgetful sometimes!

Earlier this week, the Hospice nurse and Dr. determined that Dad was having some prostate issues. This has likely been a big contributor to the repeated urinary tract infections Dad has been suffering from. These infections combined with the chemo and the disease itself have just been about more than Dad's frail body can handle the last few weeks. The bit of good news out of this is that Dad is getting back enough of his feeling that he is now feeling pain and symptoms. So, we don't know how long this has been an issue since his peripheral nervous symptom has been greatly affected by the amyloidosis. He is on medication that should help to resolve some of these problems. And for the first time, Dad is having to take pain medication. The good news is that Dad's nervous system is showing signs of improvement. The bad news is that now Dad knows that he hurts.

The Dr. appointment went well on Thursday. Dad's blood work continues to look good. The Dr. has decided to increase the time between the chemo treatments. So, instead of every four weeks, they will now be every six weeks. Hopefully this extra time will give Dad's body a chance to recover and build some strength between treatments. Mom and Dad also got the doctor's approval to spend a week up north. Traveling with Dad is a lot of work! But, Mom and Dad both need a bit of a break, so I'm glad they are able to get away.

Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Time for a change?

Dad is scheduled to see his doctor on Thursday. The doctor will review his recent blood tests and check his overall progress. At this time, it seems as if Dad has reached a lower plateau. He is still pretty weak, but stable. In the past, he would have a few down days and would rest up and regain his strength. But right now, he is just not bouncing back. On Thursday, Mom and Dad are going to ask the doctor if Dad's body needs a break from the chemo. He has been on chemo since August of 2008 and over time it does take a toll on your body. His test results continue to show a decrease in the amyloid levels. However, he is continuing to get weaker and there has been a general decline in his functional abilities. At this point, we are questioning if his current weakness is a product of the disease or the treatment.

Please pray for this doctors appointment as some difficult decisions may need to be made.