Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Crafts Fair and Pet Food Distribution

Our Schedule this week is really full. Thank goodness Marshall's back pain has let up. We have been taking a little walk every morning and doing some stretches to help strengthen his muscles. Also doing some balance exercises. Things are going good.

This week is the Custer County Library Crafts Fair so I have been busy making jewelry to get ready for the show. We set up on Thursday.

Then Friday is the pet food distribution at the Care & Share.

Saturday the crafts fair ends and we break it all down (and hopefully count our profits!).

Marshall has gotten back on Facebook (after being off of it for several years) and he's been having fun catching up on family and friends.

And now it's very late and time to call it a night....

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving at Rainbow Lutheran Camp

On Thanksgiving, Marshall still had some back pain but it had let up quite a bit so a few Tylenol was all he needed to get up and around and we headed out to the Rainbow Lutheran Camp for Thanksgiving dinner.  This camp is set way out in the woods in a gorgeous building with breathtaking views and every year they prepare a Thanksgiving dinner for close to 200 people at no charge.  They have a donation basket for people who can afford to donate.

The Lutheran Camp volunteers work all Wednesday night to prepare a full Thanksgiving meal (turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, rolls, ham, yams and pumpkin pie).  And when the meal is over, everyone gets to pile up with leftovers to take home with them.  We've gone there for the past four years and it has become a tradition for us.

Here are some pictures to show you what an idyllic setting this is.  This has been a tough year but we have a lot to be thankful for.  We hope that all of you also had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Entrance to Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp

Cabins at Lutheran Camp

Pavilion at Lutheran Camp
Dining Hall -- 30 minutes after I took this picture, every table was filled.
We arrived pretty early and Marshall met a guy from Virginia who
also used to be a truck driver -- they were swapping stories.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

PSA stayed the same

Well, the PSA today was 10.22 (last time it was 10.01). So basically it didn't move. Dr. Flaig said he was very pleased with that result. Marshall has only been on the Casodex for a month so Dr. Flaig said the fact that the PSA held steady and didn't go up is very encouraging for the continuing success of the Casodex. So while it was a bit disappointing to not see it go down, we still felt pretty good.

All of the other lab work looked good.

When we left the house this morning, Marshall had some back pain which got worse and worse as the day went on. By the time we got to the hospital, the pain was pretty excruciating. Dr. Flaig went over him and asked a bunch of questions and said he felt positive that the pain was not cancer related, it was simply back pain. So Marshall is on painkillers to try to control it.

Marshall asked if it could be related to inactivity and Dr. Flaig said it was possible, so they discussed a light exercise routine. He said Marshall could do some slow walking and he could do stretches, but absolutely nothing strenuous.

We also asked Dr. Flaig if the other weird pains Marshall has been having could be shingles and he said no.

After we left Dr. Flaig, Marshall got another Xgeva shot (bone strengthener) and we were done for the day. Next appointment is January 3rd.

And by the way, the traffic coming from Denver to Westcliffe was an absolute KILLER. I guess people left work early to get on the road for Thanksgiving. It was bumper to bumper for miles and miles. But we are home and we wish you all a wonderful and warm Thanksgiving.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tomorrow is next visit to Cancer Center

Tomorrow we go up to Anschutz for lab work (PSA test), Xgeva injection (bone strengthener) and visit with Dr. Flaig (oncologist).

Please pray for the PSA to have gone down demonstrably!

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Relocated the motorcycle

Even though we bought this beautiful enclosed trailer to haul the bike off of our mountain to get to a spot where it can be unloaded in order to take a ride, this became more of an ordeal than we anticipated, and also made it hard to take a spontaneous ride on a beautiful day.

So today we rented a storage unit in town with electricity, heat, running water, and a bathroom (believe it or not -- how perfect is that!) and we took the bike down there and got it in the unit.  Now if a winter day dawns unusually beautiful and warm, Marshall can just drive into town and get the bike out within 20 minutes rather than the hour it was taking with the trailer.

The trailer will still be invaluable for hauling the bike to shows, but using it for a spur-of-the-moment ride just wasn't working.

He's still not feeling great and today was exhausting for him, so he is now resting.  But if the weather tomorrow is as awesome as it is today, he is looking forward to a nice ride tomorrow.  He is meeting a friend in Pueblo for lunch and hopefully he can ride the bike.

I signed up for a crafts fair at the end of November and I need to get busy making jewelry, so while he's out gallivanting on the bike, I can crank up the music and be creative (:-)  

PS:  Here's some interesting background on the storage unit we rented:  the prior "resident" of this unit was a taxidermist who did not believe in using chemicals, so he used beetles to "clean up" the animals (I think I understood this correctly).  This unit is where that "cleaning" was done.  Gross.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Could it be shingles?

Last night I posted a message on the "For Ladies Only" prostate cancer forum listing some of the weird symptoms and pains Marshall has been experiencing. I got four responses saying it sounded like shingles.

So I spent the night consulting with "Dr. Google," and I learned that it is possible to get shingles without getting a rash (and that is called zoster sine herpete). We are pretty sure that Marshall got the shingles vaccination last year, so I checked with "Dr. Google" on that and he said that if you get the vaccination, it is still possible to get a milder version of shingles. So far so good since if Marshall is getting shingles, it is definitely a milder version.

Shingles tends to show up during times of stress, and I think we can safely list cancer as a top cause of stress.

So then I checked symptoms of zoster sine herpete and here are the ones Marshall is experiencing:
pain on one side of the body that affects the spinal nerves
weird skin pain on right side of abdomen (tingling, sensitive to touch, burning)
stabbing pains in abdomen on right side (Marshall's are intermittent)
vertigo (the lightheadedness in the car Wednesday??)
loss of appetite
feeling dizzy or weak

So we are feeling way more comfortable that what is happening right now is not cancer-related, but we will check with the oncologist on Wednesday. Shingles isn't fun -- I had shingles about 28 years ago and I still remember the excruciating pain -- but better shingles pain than cancer pain!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lightheaded -- while driving !!!

We went to Pueblo today to get Marshall's iPhone set up and we stopped to get the mail before leaving Westcliffe. There was a magazine in the mail and I was reading it as we were heading out of town.

All of a sudden I realized Marshall was veering off of the road at a very strange spot. I looked at him and said, "What's going on?" And he said, "I don't know." He said he had gotten very lightheaded and didn't know why. So he pulled off the road (thank goodness he was able to do that). That was kind of scary. I drove the rest of the way to Pueblo and by the time we went just a few miles, he was feeling better. So now we have another question on our list for the oncologist -- does cancer cause lightheadedness?

He's also had a very weird tender/sensitive spot on his abdomen for no apparent reason. And it doesn't go away. Another question on our list.

But the rest of the day was fun. He got his phone set up and we went to lunch. I got to piddle around in Hobby Lobby while he sat in the car figuring out all the cool stuff his new phone can do. And then we came home.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A bit of pain in back and ribs

We spent yesterday at Eskridge Veterinarian Clinic in Canon City selling low-cost spay/neuter vouchers.  We were there three hours and only sold 6 vouchers, so that was disappointing.  We need to figure out better ways to get the word out.

Anyway, Marshall's back was hurting a bit so when we got home he rested the remainder of the evening.  This morning when he got up, he also had rib pain on the right side.  So he took some Tylenol and rested.  We went to town around noon to have lunch and pick up the mail and now we are back home again.

I did a little internet researching on some of the cancer forums and found a guy who had intermittent rib pain because he carried a trash can up a flight of stairs and since the muscles are so weak (because of the cancer and the hormone therapy), they pulled against the bones of the ribs and caused pain.  He said his pain lasted three days.  That kind of fit Marshall's situation since he did help carry the table and chairs we used yesterday at the clinic.

So we take it one day at a time.....

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Delightfully boring

I hope we keep being this boring. Marshall continues to feel good and has a good energy level. We've been running around doing all the things we normally do and it continues to be wonderful.

Tomorrow we are going to Canon City to sell low-cost spay/neuter vouchers at a veterinarian's office. The group we volunteer with -- Pet Project -- is big on promoting spaying and neutering.

Tuesday we will probably go to Pueblo for the day.

And I think winter has arrived. The temperatures for the next few days are going to be in the 20s.

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

5 days of feeling good

Marshall has been feeling really good the past five days, the various side effects died down and his energy level picked up. So we have spent the past five days running around doing "normal" things (going to breakfast, shopping in Pueblo, lunch with friends, errands, etc.)

He hasn't smoked since mid-September when the CT scan showed spots on the lungs. I am so proud of him ... and so relieved.

Marshall's grandson, TJ, is doing his paperwork to go into the Navy. That's kind of scary to me, but he really wants to do it. Here's a photo of him at his graduation with his mom (Tanya) and his brother (Brandon). The lady in the background is Marshall's ex-wife Charlene. (Catherine, if you are reading this, hasn't Brandon grown since that day 8 years ago when he wanted to be your boyfriend??)

And since I've posted a photo of TJ and Brandon, I should also include the granddaughter Alexis (she is going to be a real heartbreaker). This is a prom picture.

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