Saturday, December 26, 2015

December Update

Hi everyone! It has been a long time, and I have been remiss in updating you. Some of you I keep in touch with on Facebook. So here is the news.

Phil is looking better, though the doctor says it will take a year from the surgery till everything is totally healed. He had three more small surgeries on his face last week. They told us that he must be very strong to have gone through this.

I have been quite ill, with a trip to the E.R. recently. I am on new drugs now and doing better. I will have an endoscopy next month

The adoption of our two new grandchildren has been finalized, so I can finally show you pictures! They are two and four. And Anne Marie has grown so much. She is like a second mom to them. I still plan on returning to blogging perhaps next month when things are more settled down. Thank you all so much for your continued friendship and patience. And now, here are the grandchildren and us from Halloween and Christmas!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sunday Update

We got back from Chapel Hill late on Thursday. The weather for the trip was beautiful, as it has been for all our trips there. The doctor cut Phil's eye open, and here is the outcome. The eye had been sewn shot for five weeks. He had about 13 injections in the area, so there is still a lot of swelling. But it will get better with each day. I think that it will look nearly normal in no time. Soon, he will be going back to work and things will return to normal. See you soon!

"Give thanks to God—he is good and his love never quits." 

1 Chronicles

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Latest News From Here

   Hi everyone! Can you tell which one in this picture is Phil? Ha ha ha! With Halloween coming up, you just never know! A blogger just e-mailed me and reminded me that I had not posted an update in  awhile, so here goes!
   Phil has been doing well, and I am medicating his eye four times a day. Here is the big news. Thursday, we go back to North Carolina to have his eye cut open!! Then we will see how his face and eye will look, and I will post a picture. Also, our two granddaughter's adoption has finally gone through, so I will be posting pictures of them. I hope to return to posting and visiting very soon, as soon as things are back to normal!! See you soon!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Surgeries Are Done!

Phil's surgeries are finally done! The cancer had almost reached his eyeball by the time of the surgery. They cut his whole lower lid off, plus a big part of his face. They made a new eyelid, and sewed his eye shut. Then they cut his face almost in half, and pulled it up and over. There must be over 200 stitches. But his face stitches will be taken out on Tuesday! Your face heals very fast! His eye will remain sewed shut for over a month while the new lid forms.

Thank you all so much for your prayers and cards!!  It means a lot! Now, I am treating and cleaning his face several times a day. I will know when the time is right to return, probably after my nursing duties are over. See you soon!

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Storm

We live in an area called the Tree Streets. There are lots of trees, and each street has a tree name. On Wednesday, a storm centered on our area, with fast winds and hail. Also huge lightening. This is the resulting damage. I snapped these as we drove to church right after the storm. One huge tree fell on a roof! Thankfully, no one was badly injured. Power was lost for thousands. All we lost was a freezer full of food.

We are still in a waiting mode for the surgeries. We will be in north Carolina maybe four days if all goes well. Love to all of you!!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

August 22 Update

We drove to North Carolina to meet with the plastic surgeons yesterday. We love the doctor! The dates for the to surgeries are September 14 and 15. There are three different procedures they can do, depending on how much was taken off the day before. One would be almost cutting his face in half vertically and pulling it over. It is a very hard surgery, and the O.R. will be loaded with doctors. Phil will be under general anesthetic maybe five hours.

I do not ask "Why us?" Because everyone goes through trials. A better question would be "Why not us?" I have strong faith. But yes, I am shaken, scared, sad, and almost unbelieving. God does not promise to spare us from trials, but He does promise to be with us during them. And I know that HE is. Thank you all for sticking by us through this hard time!! I will continue to give you updates, and I will return at some point!! My header is a picture of Duke University as we were driving up to it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

August 19 Update

    Hello dear friends! It has been awhile, so time for an update on us. We have just returned from the doctor, and he said I have the flu. This is why all the medicines the last two weeks have not helped me. Normally, he would just let it run it's course. But we are travelling back and forth to North Carolina for Phil's pre-surgery appointments. So he gave me lots of drugs to make me feel well enough for the trips and surgeries.

   The surgeries will be at two different hospitals, Duke and U.N.C. on Chapel Hill. We are driving there this Friday for the team of plastic surgeons to map his face, and may get a date at that time. It took a long time to find a large team of doctors experienced enough to to this procedure. But they are all in place now.

   I so much hope to return to blogging after the surgeries, and I think they must be very close now. You have been so faithful with your prayers and comments. I have the best followers in the world! I will be keeping you informed, and hope to return maybe sometime next month!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Our Trip To Duke University

For a couple of geezers, we made a pretty fast trip! We drove to North Carolina and back all in one day. The surgeon appointment at Duke University was discouraging and frightening. He said the surgery would be “terrible”, but he has done thousands. We have some very hard decisions to make as well. Ones like checking for lymph node spread. The doctor said that at this point, it would not be much help, and twenty percent of the biopsies are wrong anyway. I am still in shock over this. Each time we see a new doctor, there is something else unexpected to consider. I will get used to this, but I will never get over it. We have a plan, and are praying and waiting to see if God has a different one. We are exhausted, and I am taking a sleeping pill and sleeping through the morning! Thank you all so much for your comments and prayers.God is always GOOD! 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Duke University, Here We Come!

   We are going to doctors almost all the time now. Each doctor sends us to other doctors. We have seen six so far, with return trips to each and many biopsies. Finally, the last one said that the hospital does not have the right equipment to do such a rare surgery. They have sent us to Duke University. Apparently, this is where Phil will get the best surgery and where the experts are. We are driving down for a conference with the surgeon on Wednesday, and then the surgeries will be scheduled. Duke is a very long trip, but we have friends and family to help. I have gotten sick with some kind of bug and have been in the E.R. Going to my own doctor today, I have to get well fast! Thanks for all your comments, patience, and prayers!! I love and miss you all. It has been a long and winding road for us, filled with many surprises.
   We spent part of the day with Anne Marie awhile back, and for one day we were able to just forget everything. Here is a picture of us just taken a few days ago. My header is on one of our many medical trips, returning at twilight.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Weekend Update

Time for me to let you know what has been going on. Phil now has a team of doctors at a big University Hospital. They are scanning and doing biopsies to find out if the melanoma has spread. Then a surgeon will remove Phil's lower eyelid, and anywhere else the cancer may have spread.

About a week later, a plastic surgeon will operate again. She will make him a new lower eyelid by taking skin from the top of an upper eyelid, and from underneath the other eyelid. She will create the new lid, attach it, and sew his eye closed for a month.

No one has ever heard of such a thing, so we have no one to talk to about it. We feel like we are in a bad science fiction movie. We will be spending a lot of time in the hospital with tests and surgeries. I STILL plan on returning to posting when things settle down! Thank you all so much for your comments, prayers, and sticking by me!!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bad News

This is Phil after the doctor did a biopsy on his lower eyelid. We got the results yesterday, and he has stage ll melanoma. They will likely have to remove his lower eyelid and reconstruct it with skin from his neck. But first they need to check and see if it has spread anywhere. I WILL return to blogging, but we need to get through this first.  Getting old is definitely NOT for sissies!

I believe he will have a team consisting of: a head surgeon, a dermatologist, an oncologist, and an eye doctor. We go to the big University Hospital on Tuesday, and then we will know the plan. I love and miss all of you, you are the BEST!!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July Update

Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments, prayers, and cards!! They mean a lot. Now to the latest. Phil has had three infections in his incision. They had to cut his whole abdomen open and let it heal from the inside to the outside. I am packing and bandaging it twice a day, and nurses are coming twice a week. It is finally healing, though still a big open gash. Monday we go back to see the surgeon and see when Phil will be cleared. He still has a way to go, but we are walking together and he is going out now. I hope to return to blogging sometime this month!! Thank you so MUCH!! I miss you all. I have a lot of pictures to catch you up on when I return.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Update

Just to let you know I am still here and thinking of all of you! I have gotten an attack of diverticulitis and am on strong antibiotics. Phil's incision may be infected. We are to go to the surgeon's office in the hospital in the morning, where he may need another surgery. I am so overwhelmed. But I know that God sees everything and is always in control! Thank you for waiting, it has been a long time. Love you ALL and I will be back! Just don't know when...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tuesday Phil Update

Hi to everyone!! You are true friends to me, and I cannot tell you how much your comments and prayers mean to both of us!

Now for our update. Yesterday, we went to the surgeon's office. The good news is that Phil does not have an infection! But there is a hole in his incision. The nurses taught me how to clean, pack, and bandage it twice a day. They even gave me a bag with all the supplies, including surgical scissors and tweezers and sterile gloves. They also will be sending Home Health out twice a week. If all goes well, the hole will be healed in ten days. And Phil should be healed by mid to late July. I think of you all every day! And I plan on returning when we have gotten rid of this hole. LOVE to you all!! I miss you all! I am wondering what is going on in your lives.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Monday Update

Hi to everyone! I want to give you an update on what is going on. Phil has been improving. But tonight it looks like he may have an infection starting in his incision, around his navel. I am calling the surgeon's office in the morning. Thank you all for your prayers and wonderful comments! I miss you and plan on returning as soon as we are back to normal.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday Update

Phil and I just got home from the hospital. He is still pretty sick. He has lots of imitations, and is taking lots of meds. He should be back to normal in six weeks to two months. I will see how things go here, and may start blogging soon! But for now, Phil still needs a good bit of care. Thanks you all so much for prayers, good thoughts, and your wonderful comments!!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Emergency Surgery

    Hi my Blog friends! On Monday night, Phil had emergency surgery. Our local E.R. transported him to a big university hospital. They got a team of surgeons together. They removed almost TWO FEET of Phil's small intestine. Some kind of band had wrapped around it and twisted it, shutting off the blood supply and killing it. He has been terribly sick on the surgical ward.
    I have been with him for three days, watching and worrying and talking to the teams of doctors, never sleeping. Finally this morning, I collapsed. A nurse found me and could not wake me, so they called a team of medics and transported me to the E.R. I was diagnosed with extreme fatigue and sent home right away. As soon as I get a lot of sleep, I am going right back. But in these few hours, I can let you all know.
    I don't know what will happen, and I will need to try hard to take care of both of us. I believe Phil is out of the woods now and doing better. We may get some nursing visits at home. But I WILL be back to visit and post. Please be patient as we go through this hard time. I LOVE you all!!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Too Many Rows

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

John McCrae, 1872  1918

No poppies here. Just rows and rows of white markers. This is the Veteran's Cemetery in Staunton, Va.

He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise…”

1 Thessalonians 4

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Ladies Room

These are pictures I took a few years ago in the women's bathroom at a botanical garden. Have I sunk to a new low? But I loved the monkey wallpaper and just had to show you. This was a big bathroom with a couple rooms, so nice and clean.

Speaking of SINKING to a new low, their sinks were pretty cool too! No more monkeying around now, I am on my way to bed.

“The king had ships going to Tarshish with Huram’s sailors. Once every three years the Tarshish ships would bring gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys.”
2 Chronicles 9

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Welcome! Come In! But You Could Be Eaten Alive!

Doesn't everyone trust the Michelin Man when they go to buy tires?

Here is our local tire dealer, just a few blocks away.

But there's a mean surprise behind these doors. A vicious guard dog is roaming the store. These signs warn you to guard your life and limb. Be careful! Do not touch, pet, or even look this dog in the eye!
He could take a dislike to you or the way you smell, and then it's all over for you.

If you should doubt, there are many papers hanging up to tell you that this dog means business! Tread lightly, look AWAY from the dog, don't sweat or get nervous...

I'm assuming the place has had break-ins. Phil will go in, but not me. They even said I could come in and TRY to take pictures! NOOoooo, thanks anyway but I don't think so! I think this may lose them a lot of business. HEY, I am an animal lover, but killer dogs roaming around while I am trying to do business is a bit too much. What do YOU think?

The dog in my header is not the one I am posting about, but I liked  how it turned out with the big and tiny dogs. I would never go in THERE, either!

“You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up.”
Matthew 24

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Hills

We went up on this hill to photograph the sunset. Well, that did not work out. But I noticed how the mountains changed color as the sun lowered.

“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.”

Matthew 5

In General

 Our Dollar General store moved into a new building this year, and it is larger and has a fancy layout. Here are a few of the spring things ...