Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas in St. Louis

This was one of the best Christmases ever. We had such a good time. My daughter Tricia hosted all of us and we spent two days with lots of good stories, good food and LOTS of healing laughter. Today my sister Linda and I drove over to Freeburg, Illinois -- where we grew up -- and drove around town looking up the house we spent 20 years in, as well as friends' homes, the malt shop, etc. etc. I hated to see this weekend end.

When I get home, I will post the group photo (it uploads better from my laptop than my iPad) but for now here are a few photos.

My brother and sister-in-law gave us all "miners" flashlights that you wear on your head! This is my sister Linda and my son-in-law Ed.

            Daughter Tricia with her headlight:

Marshall got a West Virginia gnome, along with some 3D movies and popcorn.

My niece Margaret with her daughter (my great niece) Ellie. Ellie just turned 3 so this was SO much fun.

                         Ellie got a big pink elephant.

My brother also gave us strobe flashlights and we had a light show on the ceiling.

-Posted from BlogPress on Marilyn's iPad.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Holidays

We had a lovely Christmas -- went to dinner at a neighbor's house and had a great evening.

This morning our house sitter showed up at 7:30A and we hit the road at 8A on our way to St. Louis. We stopped for the night in Salina, Kansas and are kicking back and relaxing before finishing our journey tomorrow.

The trip is going really well. Marshall hasn't had any pain and his energy level has been pretty good. Yay!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Thank you for the tips on our winter patio ice skating rink!!! We didn't get to town today but we will tomorrow and we will follow through. This ice is treacherous.

We are scheduled to leave Thursday to drive to St. Louis. The weather in the midwest is looking ugly -- I hope it clears up before we leave.

Nothing else interesting to report.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, December 19, 2013


We went to the dentist and he decided to re-line Marshall's dentures with a temporary liner to see if that helps any.  If it does, then we will try getting them permanently relined.  So far, so good.

The snow we had a few weeks ago is still lingering on the ground, which would be okay except that every day the temperature gets above freezing just long enough to cause some snow to melt (but not all of it) and then it freezes again and we now have an ice skating rink outside our door.  It is very dangerous and we can't figure out what to do about it.  The poor dogs slip and slide every time they go out and we have to be very careful when Marshall goes out.  A fall right now would not be a good thing for him.

We are getting ready to go to St. Louis the day after Christmas to spend a few days with family.  Looking forward to that.  Last Christmas Marshall was in so much pain that Christmas was a nightmare.  It's looking like this year will be much better!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fun days

The past few days have been delightful. Marshall has felt really good so on Saturday we went over to straighten up and re-stock our booth at the Marketplace Shops in Canon City. We did some shopping and had lunch. On Sunday we went to lunch at a new restaurant in town. This one is so promising. Their menu lists southern cooking and so far Marshall has enjoyed comfort food like fried green tomatoes, fried baloney sandwich and biscuits and gravy -- all delicious. Very different from all the other restaurants in town.

Yesterday we bummed around in Canon City again and today we cooked a meal together. We haven't done that in years. And since his diagnosis he hasn't been able to stand at the counter long enough to cook. So today was a lot of fun.

Tomorrow he has a dentist appointment to see if the dentist can come up with anything that can be done with Marshall's dentures.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Goldwater Law Firm

There was an ad on TV tonight asking for men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer after getting testosterone treatments to call the Goldwater firm (sort of like the mesothelioma ads that are on TV all the time). So, since Marshall was diagnosed after receiving testosterone injections, we decided to call and see what it was all about.

The call was screened and we are supposed to get a call in the next few days from a member of the law firm. It will be interesting to see what really happens with these solicitations.

We stayed home today and were lazy bums. I ordered a bunch of Johnny Carson DVDs and they came yesterday so we're going to start watching those. I hope they are as funny as I want them to be.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Visit to Primary Care Physician

Today was the followup visit to the primary care physician. He's been trying to get Marshall's blood pressure under control and it looks like we've had some success. We don't have to go back for two months.

And they drew blood today for the allergist. Trying to figure out why Marshall coughs and sneezes so much. We should have those results in a few weeks. In addition, the allergist put Marshall on three or four medications (over and above the million he already takes) to see if that helps and we think it has helped.

Then we got home and the oral surgeon called with bad news. One of the medications Marshall has been on (Xgeva -- a bone strengthener) can cause a serious jawbone problem if you have any dental work done while on the drug.

Marshall's dentures aren't fitting properly any more and we went to our regular dentist to see if anything could be done and he said the dentures have been adjusted as much as they can be adjusted. So he sent us to the oral surgeon.

The oral surgeon called our oncologist and talked about the possibility of simply cutting away some of the excess tissue on the roof of the mouth. He called us today to say that the oncologist advised against doing anything that could even come close to nicking a bone, so the oral surgeon decided he would rather not work with us -- he didn't want to take any chances.

So now I guess we'll go back to the regular dentist to see if he can try to adjust the dentures again, or maybe re-line them. Otherwise, Marshall may have to be toothless and he's not very happy about that. Send good vibes his way, please, that something can be done.

The psychologist called today and they had a session. When we go back to the hospital on January 6, we will see the psychologist together.

And as I type this, we are watching a Broncos game on this new TV. Awesome.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Today's visit to Cancer Center

We saw the nurse practitioner today (we don't see the oncologist any more unless there's a particular reason). Marshall is demanding to see the oncologist when we go back in January.

Anyway, her name is Kathryn. Kathryn said the following:

* The PSA went up again -- to 2.16 -- and that is something to keep an eye on but it would need to really spike before they would react.

* She said Dr. Flaig likes to "ride the horse" until it dies -- meaning that he does not want to discontinue the medication (Zytiga) unless he feels positive it is no longer working at all. She said each medication that works adds more life so they don't want to stop anything too early.

* The PSA in a healthy man should not be over 4. But the PSA in a prostate cancer patient should be zero. However, every man is different and they have one man whose PSA has been at 100 for 5 years now and he's still on Zytiga and still doing well.

* Dr. Flaig considers PSA to be part of three things to watch: (1) whether the patient is symptomatic, which Marshall isn't and hasn't been for 10 months now; (2) what the scans show, and Marshall's scans are good right now; and (3) PSA is the last thing. So since Marshall is not symptomatic and his scans are good, we should not get worked up about the PSA.

* Whenever the Zytiga is judged to be failing, the next step will be chemo, so we want to be very very sure when we make those decisions. She said that the type of chemo that would be the next step is something called docetaxel which she explained is not as hard on the system as other chemo treatments. It would be administered once every three weeks for a specified period of time.

She also said that radiation was still an option if he develops more bone pain. He just can't have more radiation in spots where he's already had it.

All of Marshall's other lab work came out fine, right where it should be. So that's it for today. I am exhausted. Marshall had brief moments of depression today, but it was nothing like it was at the last visit. Thank goodness!

We are now working with a primary care physician, an oncologist, a nurse practitioner, a psychologist, an allergist, a dentist and an oral surgeon. And he has to periodically see the VA doctor just to be sure he stays in the VA system. It makes my head spin...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Smart TV

The Geek Squad that was delivering our new Smart TV insisted on using a GPS to get to our house even though we told them that GPS won't find our house. So they ended up way out of the way and in the process they slid into a ditch. Marshall called a wonderful neighbor, Dave, and Dave drove out to find the guys and help them get out of the ditch and directed to our house.

Dave even had to bring the TV up to our house in his truck because the Geek Squad's van wouldn't make it. So Dave is a star today!

The TV is awesome, but when they were hooking it up, somehow the internet went down, so that meant a call to CenturyLink to get back up and running again. It only took about 20 minutes.

Tonight we watched a 3D movie on our new TV (it came with the 3D glasses) and I had never seen a 3D movie before. It was incredible. The movie was The Hobbit and I would swear there were birds flying all over our living room. We also bought Wreck-It Ralph in 3D and we'll probably watch that this weekend. We just love the TV and we'll have a lot of fun figuring it out. Merry Christmas to us!

Tomorrow is our next visit to the cancer center and Marshall is always very nervous on those days. Maybe tomorrow will be an Ativan day for both of us. It would be really nice to have these visits be a bit more calm.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, December 9, 2013

Doctor visits

Friday Marshall saw the psychologist. He really liked the guy so hopefully it will get Marshall out of this depression hole he's been in.

The weekend was quiet. We went out to eat and watched football.

I didn't do as well as I thought I would at crafts show but it was still fun.

Today Marshall saw an oral surgeon. I will write more about that as time goes on.

Tomorrow our new Smart TV gets delivered.

And Wednesday is next visit to Cancer Center.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Allergy Clinic

Today was Marshall's visit to the Storms Allergy Clinic in Pueblo. He's had a persistent cough for quite a while now and the oncologist and primary care physician have both been unable to find a cause for the cough. So we were referred to the Storms Clinic and today was the day.

We really really liked this clinic and we really liked the doctor (Dr. Bowdish). He put Marshall through a bunch of tests and now he has to have some lab work done and they will see if they can come up with answers.

Marshall's visit to the psychologist is this Friday and since a bunch of snow is being predicted again -- and since I have a crafts show this weekend that I need to be here for and can't go with him -- Marshall may drive up to Denver on Thursday and spend the night with some friends to be sure he is able to make that appointment. It isn't critical for me to be with him for this appointment. Now I just hope there isn't so much snow that I can't make it town to get my table set up for the crafts fair!

He has had three or four really good days during the past several weeks, but mostly he hasn't been feeling really great.

Today when we were in Pueblo we went to Best Buy and bought ourselves our Christmas present to each other -- one of those 60-inch Smart TVs. It will be like a movie theater in our living room and should be lots of fun. We will probably need a college degree to just learn how to operate the thing!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Catching Up

Now that I'm back after a monthlong hiatus from my blog, I have a lot of news to share….