Sunday, June 30, 2013

Finally, we got some rain

For the past three days, we have had an afternoon shower every day.  That was BADLY needed.  It is drizzling right now.  It's the talk of the town.  Everybody is overjoyed.

Yesterday Marshall went out and bought a 300-gallon water tank and today a neighbor came over and filled it for us.  He situated it outside right where the fire department could see it if they ever have the need to come up our road.  And we bought several more fireproof boxes for the important things.  We have a big stack of things at our door all ready to grab and run if we have to.

Marshall has been extremely fatigued the past few days.  It has been depressing him a bit.  Fatigue is going to always be part of his life because of the medications but it seems to have gotten worse, so we are hoping the iron supplementation will slowly help in that regard.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Still hot and dry

The last few days have been miserably hot. We operate on solar power so we don't have air conditioning (although we do have a window unit out in the garage and we just may install it in a bedroom window and only run it when absolutely necessary).

Marshall has been able to get a couple of nice rides on his Harley the past few days but today he said his legs felt like they had lead weights on them and he didn't move around much. Those varicose veins showed up again today, too, and I believe they can cause a heavy feel in the legs. We'll have to ask about that. But it was great that he had a couple of higher-than-usual energy days. We are attributing some of that to the iron supplementation he's getting.

We noticed that the "check engine" light was on in the Prius so I drove it over to Toyota in Pueblo today. Turns out that the mice have been busy again. They've gotten in and chewed some important wires. In the past four years we have spent more than $2,000 fixing mouse damage to our various vehicles. So I sat at the dealership for several hours and came home $200 poorer.

I have heard that peppermint oil is a deterrent so tomorrow I am going to put cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil in both vehicles. The smell is overpowering but if it keeps the mice away it will be worth it. If anyone has other suggestions (other than poison) I'd love to hear them.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Colorado Fires

The fires in southern Colorado are all around us (Walsenburg is 40 miles away, Royal Gorge is about 40 miles away, Texas Creek is about 27 miles away, Wetmore is 26 miles away, Colorado Springs is 80 miles away) and even though none of those fires will threaten us, they are showing us that southern Colorado's drought situation from the past few years is serious and dangerous.

We met with some of our neighbors today and explored all of the feasible escape routes if our area should have a fire. All of these routes (except one) require 4-wheel drive and a keen sense of direction.  I have 4-wheel drive but the sense of direction???  Not so much.  So let's hope that if worse comes to worse, Marshall and I are both home and he can do the driving.

We also have two ATVs and we spent several hours yesterday making sure they will start and that we have gas for them, etc., so that will give us even more escape choices.  I thought I was getting a little paranoid, but everyone around us is doing the same thing.

And for the past few days we have been gathering our important belongings and packing them up and putting them at the front door, very easy to grab if we have to leave in a hurry. We have also packed some suitcases and they are in the car. Better safe than sorry. All it takes is one idiot tourist throwing a cigarette butt out a car window.... and it is tourist season in Westcliffe.

Usually when we go up to the Cancer Center our neighbor Cathy comes over several times during the day and takes care of the animals (bless her), but she wants to stay close to home this summer so I've got a message in to our dogsitter to talk to her about coming over on those days.

Marshall has been having problems with his legs lately. His knees hurt (which we think is arthritis and I'm getting him some of those Ace braces to stabilize the knees). He appears to be developing varicose veins which are causing pain issues. We will discuss that on our next visit on July 9.

He is having some dental difficulties -- and one of the possible side effects of the Zytiga is jaw bone problems -- so he has an appointment with the dentist to check that out. And he is having vision problems, so we made an appointment with an ophthalmologist at the University of Colorado on July 8.

I got my "post-cataract" glasses and I'm not at all satisfied with my vision, so another doctor visit will be in the works for me.


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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Today's lab work at hospital

We spent the night in Denver last night because our appointment this morning was early. Marshall forgot to bring his CPAP machine so he didn't get any sleep and was totally exhausted today.

[At our last visit, the Nurse Practitioner had suggested that Marshall needs to eat things like red meat and spinach to help with his iron intake, so last night we went to the Texas Roadhouse and had a wonderful steak dinner!  Following doctor's orders.....]  :)

We got to the hospital at 8AM and got the lab work done and then settled down to wait for the results. We saw the Nurse Practitioner at 9:15. She said the kidney function is back where it should be. Yay!  He now needs to be sure to remember to stay well hydrated every day.

However, Marshall is anemic and needs to start a daily iron supplement. I asked if this would be temporary and she said this anemia was a side effect of the Zytiga so the iron supplementation will be long term. She warned that iron supplementation can cause constipation.  Ugh.

But the PSA is down and there's no pain, so we're very happy.

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Colorado State HOG Rally

I have very cool news to report.  This weekend, Marshall took his bike to the Colorado State Harley Owners Group Rally in Greeley, Colorado, and he entered it in the competition.  The bike won 1st place!!!  He will be home today (Sunday) and then Tuesday we go back up to the hospital for more tests to be sure his kidney function has improved.... He's been a good boy and has been drinking the water like he's supposed to....
Bikes lining up for parade

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cancer Center -- lab work

We saw Nurse Practitioner Kathy Breaker again today.

Good news: PSA is now down to 1.45. That is cause to celebrate!!!!!

However, the lab work showed that Marshall was very dehydrated and his kidney function was suffering. So they hooked him up to IV to hydrate him before we left the Center and we have to come back next week for another kidney function test. He was also instructed to drink 80 ounces of water a day from here on out.

In addition, there were issues with his hemoglobin. I kind of got lost on that one, but she said his blood was more pink than red. She is going to ask the oncologist what he wants to do in that regard and she will talk to us about it next week when we come back.

All in all, though, a really good visit.

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Photo Shoot, Part 2

Yesterday we spent about 5 hours with the photographer who is taking the photos of Marshall and his bike for possible publication. It was a very tiring 5 hours, but lots of fun.

He met us at the place where Marshall stores his bike -- a garage off of an alley -- and he really liked the lighting there so we spent 3 hours there. When you see these pictures you will wonder what in the world we are doing in a spot like that, but he says he will change the background later.

Then he found a great place in an alley behind a 100-year-old building that was a car dealership back in the early 1900s. The windows were cracked, the brick was really funky and there were humongous red doors. You could definitely see the possibilities with those photos.

While I was watching I took some pictures of what was going on and I'm attaching some so you can keep these in mind several months down the road when you see the finals.

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Marshall got home safely

Marshal got home Tuesday night, all sunburned and tired. He had a really great time.

The motorcycle was covered with bugs and since this weekend will be a little more of the photo shoot (for a possible publication in Harley's magazine "HOG"), yesterday we went down to where the bike is stored and we worked on it for a few hours. Boy, was that a job. And it's still needs a few more hours of work.

Today it rained off and on, so we just stayed home. Tomorrow (Saturday), we will go back and work on it some more and then the photographer will meet us in the afternoon and hopefully take the rest of the pictures.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

All is well

Sorry I don't update regularly, but things have been going so well.

Marshall has been gone on his motorcycle trip several weeks and will be back tonight. He has had such a good time. Went to St. Louis and saw Tricia & Ed; then off to Ohio to see his sister and lots of nieces and nephews; then to South Dakota to see an old military buddy. He encountered a little rain and lots of wind, but he says he had a blast.

Marshall is ready to be home and get a little rest.

And I have had some very nice "me" time.

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