Wednesday, September 30, 2009

One More Knightly Moment....

Today was a good day. It was the day that we have been waiting for for a long time.....
Tim had his feeding tube removed!
The tube has been his companion for quite some time now. He had it put in place 7 1/2 months ago when eating became so difficult during his radiation treatment. I recall the doctor saying to Tim that when the time came that he decided to have a feeding tube put in that it would be a relief to him. She was right about that. Perhaps it is hard to comprehend how taking liquid food through a tube in your stomach would be any kind of a relief, but having watched Tim struggle to eat as the days progressed with radiation, I saw that it was easier to pour a can of food in the tube to get nutrients than it was for him to suffer the pain and discomfort of trying to chew and swallow.

I kidded Tim that I was going to take a video of the tube removal and put it up on YouTube! :) Well, I didn't do that but I was there to witness the tube removal just as I have been there with Tim for every step on this road. We've walked every step together and I wouldn't have it any other way.
The moment came when the tube was being removed and if you are familar with the kid's movie Shrek 2 where Donkey is making that popping noise with his tongue to entertain himself while he is on his way to the Royal Ball at Fiona's parents castle, well....that is the sound that Tim's tube made when it was pulled out! I smiled and wanted to call out, "Donkey!" :)

Tim didn't even so much as groan when the tube came out although he did admit that it hurt and it stung...a lot.

My knight is as tough as they come!
One more knightly moment and one more step on the path back to "normal".

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This Is Mike.

This is Mike.
Mike is good.

We like Mike.

Mike has come to our house a lot.

Mike brought Tim's pump for his feeding tube.

Mike brought supplies for Tim.

We like Mike.

On a rainy day Mike came and took the pump away.

We like Mike.

Mike made us happy.
Thank you, Mike.

Monday, September 28, 2009

One Year Ago Today....

Today is my anniversary.

It was a year ago today that I began my blog. Little did I know that my "little life" would be expanded in ways far beyond my comprehension.

What began with me writing just for fun about the kids and everyday things of life turned into my therapy as we were confronted with Tim's cancer diagnosis.

My blog became the place where my deepest feelings found a voice. It is the place where the sorrow that our family grappled with came into focus. It is the place where that same sorrow gave way to hope and gratefulness for what we have in spite of the burning trials. It is the place that I have shared scriptures that have eased my pain and given me hope. My blog has been my lifeline in many ways.

That said, I have been absent from blogging for a few weeks. I've gotten email from some wondering where I was and asking why I have been AWOL. Let me assure that all is well. Life has just been tugging a little too hard and in too many directions so some things had to be put on hold for a while and unfortunately my "therapy" was on that "hold" list.

But all is well.

So a year has come and gone and my "little life" has been enlarged in more ways than could have ever been imagined. But more importantly, my heart has been enlarged in the process.

Psalm 119:32

"I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart."

Friday, September 11, 2009

"It's More Than Just the Tie"...

Yesterday Tim had an appointment with our favorite ENT, the fabulous Dr. O.

The fabulous Dr. O was the second opinion doctor that Tim saw when he was first diagnosed with cancer. It was the fabulous Dr. O that we credit with saving Tim's life. Had we done what the first doctor was suggesting we believe the outcome would be very different from what it is today. Dr. O recommended surgery before radiation and chemo rather than after. We saw Dr. O one day and the next day Tim met him in the OR and the fabulous Dr. O has been our hero ever since.

At yesterday's appointment, as soon as we were taken back to the exam room, the nurse commented on how great Tim looked. I had to agree -- he looked fabulous in his blue dress shirt and tie! (the picture in this post of Tim and the fabulous Dr. O wasn't taken today, it was taken back in June) The nurse said that he looked like he was back to normal, like the day that we first came to the office. It is good to hear that word so much more often these days.

The fabulous Dr. O wasn't far behind the nurse in entering the room and as soon as he came in he commented on how good Tim looked! (Tim was grinning ear to ear by now!) As Dr. O poked around Tim's neck he said, "Externally you look real good and it's more than just the tie!" :D

I don't know that we've ever met a more pleasant doctor than the fabulous Dr. O. That, I suppose, is what makes him so fabulous! Even the most unpleasant of tasks is done with a cheerfulness that we've rarely encountered in the months since becoming acquainted with cancer.

Today the Fabulous Dr. O had to do something that Tim doesn't think is so fabulous....the old up the nose and down into the throat with a little camera trick. It's something that Tim hates to have done. He moans and groans (to me) when he knows it's going to be done. We knew by which exam room they put us in what awaited Tim. After it was over the fabulous Dr. O said, "Tim you are getting so much better at this!" (Tim had a terrible time with it before as it makes him gag to have that up his nose and down his throat!) To that Tim said, "They just water board me at home to get me ready for this!" As is Tim's goal, Dr. O got quite chuckle out of that! :)

I venture to guess that the fabulous Dr. O likes Tim as much as we like him. He is the kind of doctor that everyone wants to have and Tim is the kind of patient every doctor wants to have. Like the fabulous Dr. O, Tim is pretty fabulous too!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Well, it has happened....Tim's pump has been banished to the garage! :)

Yup, it has left the house and been put into temporary storage until the call is made to Lincare to take it away!

Tim has not used the pump for a week now! He has a doctor's appointment on Thursday where he is anxious to see if he has been able to maintain his weight while getting back to eating real food and Ensure. Once we can verify that he's not losing weight it will be safe to send that pump packing!

On Monday Tim was looking for something in his wallet and found this lovely blue card that he used each day of his radiation treatments. He had to check in at the front desk each day by slipping his card into a machine that would read the card and let radiology know that he was there. Once he checked in we would sit down and wait to be called down for his radiation treatment.

I asked Tim what he wanted to do with the card and it didn't take him long to decide he wanted to cut it up....

Even the blue card was banished.... :D

Friday, September 4, 2009

Endure the Ensure...

Some of you may remember back in the early days of Tim's radiation that began at the end of January and continued for 7 weeks that he drank a lot of Ensure.

It was before his feeding tube was put in and all he was able to get down was soup broth and Ensure. A few weeks later he had the feeding tube put in and although that is a trial in itself, it was a relief to have it in so that getting nutrients wasn't such a burden.

I remember the day the oncologist talked about the high probability that Tim would have to have a feeding tube before he finished the radiation and I remember her saying that by the time you get the tube put in it is actually a relief. That was hard to understand in the pre-feeding tube days but it was completely understandable when that point came for Tim.

Tim has been a champion through the whole thing. He's adapted his life around the cumbersome tube. The packing and carrying all his "supplies" that he needed was an art form he perfected over time. The IV pole became his guest of honor in many places from General Conference to basketball games, from church meetings to riding in the car. He's been doing it for nearly 7 months now. He's become a pro, if there is such a thing.

Over the past weeks Tim has been trying to eat more regular foods. It's tough to find things that swallow well. He's been successful for the most part although, as odd as it sounds, his throat tires easily when he eats and then the muscles don't work as well to swallow his food. But, he keeps trying. It's that fighter in him and I know he's going to "win this round"!

A few weeks ago Tim was able to get to the point where he was able to eat enough food to stop his tube feedings during the day and only do the overnight feeding which is a continuous feeding by pump. Little by little, all night long, it pumps his liquid food into him. So during the day life is much more "normal" but at nighttime he would hook up to the pump.

That was life until 3 days ago. On September 1st Tim decided that he would try to go all night long without the pump. It was quite a milestone to go from an all night long pump to nothing! I think it surprised us both the first night that he slept all night long, only waking at 5 am to drink an Ensure as his hunger began to set in.

For the first time in nearly 7 months Tim was free to sleep on his side without the worry of getting the long section of tubing tangled or feeling the uncomfortable tugging that happens where the tube enters into his stomach if there is any tension on the tube. He didn't have to unplug the pump if he need to get up in during the night and there was no warning beep from the pump announcing the tube is kinked. It was a happy day! One more milestone on the cancer road.

In the wee hours of this morning as I had difficulty sleeping, I saw the silhouette of Tim's IV pole and pump by the open window in our darkened room. I wondered how much longer before we can make the phone call to inform Lincare that we no longer need the pump and the IV pole that has literally been Tim's lifeline for all these months. What a thrilling day that will be. It will be a declaration of Tim's stamina and strength to endure.

2 Nephi 31:20

"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."