As Ford's health has improved, so has his activity level which means that we haven't posted as much as we have in the past. So just to bring things up-to-date, here is some of what has happened and is happening...
Each week since the 17th of March 2009, Ford has had a blood draw in order to keep tabs on what his body is doing. Except for the weeks that he has had appointments up at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, those labs have been done at the Intermountain Health Care Lab next to Utah Valley Regional Health Center. This means that we have gone in every week for almost 8 months. The patient service people, the dear phlebotomists, and even the volunteers have come to know us by name and by sight. Each one has been wonderful to us. They have endeared themselves to us and we are appreciative and grateful to them.
Each week we make two trips to the lab. The first is to take the blood test. The second is to retrieve the results in order to see, as Ford puts it, " if I passed the test." Each week there have been H's and L's beside some name and number indicating that his levels in that area are either high or low. Many weeks this have varied as to what was out of the normal range. Most always it has been the WBC (white blood cells), the sodium levels, and the CO2 levels (which indicate dehydration). Sometimes it has been bilirubin, RBC (red blood cells), lymphocytes, or a variety of other things. Last week all of the levels were in the normal range! What a great surprise!!
Within two weeks (actually 9 days and believe me, we are indeed counting), Ford will return to the pulmonologist to make a decision whether to make the change to coumadin, thus ending the daily Lovenox injections in the stomach, or whether to take him off blood thinners altogether. This will be another big step toward his recovery. Hurrah!!!
Ford has been able to ride his trike to work the past few days and will continue to ride as long as the weather holds out.
His brain processing ability is a little challenging to him still, but I see improvements a little at a time. Chemo brain is one of the negative effects that he has experienced.
At work and at his Temple assignment, he has been given challenges that have pushed his capacity and this is good.
For Halloween, we treated ourselves and went shopping for some much needed clothing for Ford. Along the way we did some Christmas shopping. With the bit of shopping I had already completed, we are almost done with Christmas shopping. We have simplified in so many ways and our daughters have made it very easy on us. For the past few years, the two older daughters, with their spouses, have decided to ask for gifts that help them in their emergency preparedness. Our youngest has been very modest in her requests. They all have let us know far in advance what is on their "wish lists" and this allows us to budget much better. We have made some of the gifts we exchange standard traditions. One family has prepared photo calendars with pictures of different family members for each month. We also have received beautiful photo books of our first granddaughter with pictures from the whole year. And, we carry on a tradition that Nannie and Poohpa blessed our own daughters with which is princess dresses for the granddaughters. We had one to buy last year, we have two for this year, and next Christmas, it will increase to three. That is very exciting and we feel greatly blessed for this opportunity.
Our family loves games and there seems to be at the very least, one game given to someone. Last year's favorites turned out to be Robo Rally and Bohnanza (fondly called The Bean Game). Each of our families have our own collections and we really enjoy getting together to play. There is definitely a great variety to choose from.
In the coming weeks, we will have the opportunity to be with a lot of family and friends. We have a nephew coming from Texas to enter the Missionary Training Center. Ford's sister and her husband will be accompanying him. We also have a nephew coming home from a mission to the Phillipines. One of my college roommates is coming from California to bring her daughter to SLC for a medical visit and will stay over for a couple of days. And our newest granddaughter will be blessed in a couple of weeks. Oh, and of course, there is Thanksgiving.
I believe that Thanksgiving and the 4th of July are two times of the year that rank at the top as favorites for me.
That's all for now. Looking forward to hearing from many of you as throughout the holiday season from now to the new year. WOW! is it ever coming fast!