Saturday, July 30, 2011

Final post from Jerald's family. We miss you.



Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 72 degrees, high 90 degrees, partly cloudy

Jerald, my wonderful husband of 48 years, died July 6, 2011 from complications of Amyloidosis. He fought this disease very hard but in the end it was not enough and his strength was depleted beyond fighting to survive anymore. Jerald never gave up and believed to the end he would go into remission and live to be at least 100.

I cannot tell you in words how his family feels losing him so abruptly. He was a strong believer in keeping close family ties, making to-do lists, and making just one more road trip in our RV. We never accepted the possibility of failure and we were positive of his eventual recovery. Me, "his girls" and grand kids will always miss and love him because of the husband, father and Pop Pop he was and will always be to us.

In his memory and hopefully to help someone out there that may have Amyloidosis, I'm listing the symptoms you need to be aware of if you have have been in and out of the hospital or doctors office for ailments that suggest more than just congestive heart failure. You can be tested and know for sure or you can slowly waste away and leave family members asking why and how could this happen.

Amyloidosis Symptoms Alert:

Many symptoms mimic other diseases, cancer is just one example.
Fatigue
Weight Loss
Numbness of hands or feet
Weak hand grip
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
Bruising around the eyes
Dizziness when standing
Light headed feeling
Shortness of breath
Wheezing
Swelling of the extremities
Edema
Difficulty swallowing
Irregular heart rhythms
Enlarged tongue
Hoarseness
Changing voice
Diarrhea alternating with constipation
Feeling full after small amounts of food
Another potential key indicator is increased protein levels found during regular blood tests.

Jerald had all of these symptoms at one time or another and most of them before he died. To learn more, please go to http://www.amyloidosis.org/

Someone once wrote: The past is history, the future unknown, but The Present is a gift. Treat each day as a gift and remember always that life is fleeting and the present you know becomes the past and those left behind have a future a little less bright without you in it.

Take care all and be safe.
Jerald's "girls" and family

Today's Town (his home town)- Ocala, Florida: God Be With Us

Not all who wander are lost.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tuscaloosa/obituary.aspx?n=Jerald-Simmons&pid=152425549

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I Missed Something Yesterday

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 64 degrees, high 91 degrees, clear skies

I made a great mistake in yesterday's post - I failed to mention that Carolyn and I had been married 48 years as of yesterday. How in the world did I forget that? The only thing I can think of is that I have been under the weather. Of course, Carolyn is under the same pressure as me, and she has to fight the effects of her vertigo issues. We did wish each other a happy anniversary, and had plans to eat out, but the little problem I had yesterday morning stopped our plans.

But, I did remember the roses. Two dozen of very pretty red roses that Carolyn loves, and she'll tale care of them as long as they are viable.



This post was difficult to write, as it seems the holiday has spawned a horde of people working on their computers. I think many of the people are downloading movies which takes up a lot of band width, slowing the signal down for everyone. Part of the post was written on the HP, while part of it was written on the I-Pad, which doesn't seem as affected by the slow signal.

I had a lot of problems sleeping last night, for the first time in about four nights. So, I'm back to trying to nap in the daytime so I can get some sleep and rest. It may have been the excitement of Lori's family being here, but I have to try to spend some time with them.

The neighborhood we live in is a very nice area, with mostly newer houses and well-landscaped yards. I find it amusing sitting at the dining room window, watching as first one, then another home owner will start mowing. It seems like the daylight hours are filled with the sound of mowers running. Many people use a yard service to keep their yards looking good, and eventually, we may have to go to that. That's too bad, because both of us enjoy working in the yard.

Scott and Chriselda are celebrating a wedding anniversary today, made even more special by the birth of their son. Happy anniversary, guys.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Pulaski, Tennessee: Small Town Style, Big City Services

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Missed Posting

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 64 degrees, high 93 degrees, clear skies

Typical weather for the holiday - hot and dry. I remember one year (2004) when we had to wear jackets for the holiday. We were on the coast of Oregon, and I thought I would freeze. It was so cool that Carolyn chose to stay at home when I went to the fireworks display at the Waldport harbor. Fun memory, better times.

Yesterday was a bad one for me, as I felt so bad I couldn't get up the energy to write the blog. I was told by my doctor's office on Friday that my electrolytes were off-balance. Not bad enough for going in the hospital, Thank God, but bad enough that it made me feel so rotten. Today, we had the levels checked again, and found there has been some improvement in the numbers. They told me to keep doing what I was and check back on Tuesday after the holiday.

Lori and her family arrived from Texas about mid-afternoon, choosing to split their trip up this time. They spent the night in Slidell, Louisiana, and then drove on up here today. In the past, they have made the trip in one day, and found that it's just too difficult. At this time, I don't think I could handle the trip from Slidell.

Recently, I became a new uncle, as my brother Terrell's son Scott and his wife Chriselda became the proud parents of their first child, William Garrison Simmons. Congratulations to the new parents and grandparents.

It's interesting to sit at the computer and watch the hummingbirds and red wasps fight over the feeder that Carolyn put up for the hummers. The red wasps are very aggressive, but the hummers don't back away. Occasionally, we will go outside ans swat the wasps in an effort to get rid of them. We do have some success in swatting then. The dining room is probably our favorite room in the house, because we can look out at the world while working on the computer. In addition, we work on our puzzles in this room because the light is more natural. Nice room with a wood floor.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Winona, Mississippi: The Art And Soul Of Mississippi

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lori And Family Coming

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 59 degrees, high 90 degrees, clear skies

Carolyn had an early dentist appointment (0815 hours) this morning with the new dentist. She likes the new dentist and hygienist, as do I. The only problem we see is that they seem to overbook their time, resulting in more waiting than we expected.

After her appointment was finished, we stopped across the street at McDonald's for a sausage egg mcmuffin. Then, it was back home to allow Carolyn to do a little more housework that she wanted to get done.

I slept well again last night, again without a sleep aid. My body is soaking up the rest and sleep, remembering what it is like to sleep well again. In fact, I took two naps of about an hour each today. I think that part of the sleep stuff in the day time is caused by the chemo treatment, but that's okay. I feel better after each nap. I'm hopeful that I'll feel stronger tomorrow so I can mow the yard for the weekend.

Lori and her family expect to be here late Saturday for about a week. While here, they will be helping John's mother, who lives in Huntsville, with some repairs on the house and cleanup in the yard. Maybe they will find time to do some vacation stuff.

By the way, did you notice the low temperature? Are you kidding me, 59 degrees in late June? Carolyn loves it. I kinda like it, too.

Carolyn is afraid of any type of bug that might sting. Bees, red wasps, and that sort of thing. This morning after the dentist visit, we were in the garage when we noticed several bugs buzzing around in a holly tree next to the garage. I knew right away that they were bees, but she didn't think they were. She thought they were some kind of beetle that have been eating her rose blooms. I asked her to close the garage doors so they couldn't come in, keeping it low-key. About an hour later, we checked and the bugs were gone. I still think they were bees, moving in a swarm that paused in the holly tree on their trip to wherever they were going. At least no one got bit, and Carolyn didn't get stressed.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Ozark, Alabama: A City For All Seasons, A City For All Reasons

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I-Pod

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 64 degrees, high 84 degrees, high fog early, then clear skies

Last night was the best night for me as far as sleep in many days. I got 6-7 hours without the use of any type of sleep aid. As a result of me sleeping better, Carolyn got more sleep because she is so tuned in to what is going on with me.

The chemo treatment from Monday caught up with me today, as I was nauseated most of the day, with no appetite. I enlisted another specialist to help with my care in the event I have to go back into the hospital or just need to see him in his office. He is an internist, and is aware of Amyloidosis. In addition, he will handle anything beyond my pulmonary or cardiac system. In effect, that makes him my primary care physician, and I feel comfortable with that. My hope is that with these three specialists helping me now, I can stay out of the hospital a little more.

We have an I-pod we bought a few years ago that we kept in the truck to play over the radio. Over time, we almost forgot about the pod, not using it for the last six months. A few days ago, I brought the pod in the house and played it some to make sure I remembered how. Sure enough, I couldn't remember everything. But I have a pod manual on the lap top, so pulled it up and started reading. At this time, I'm fairly proficient with the pod again, but am still trying to figure out how to delete several songs that we don't care for anymore. Once I do that, I'm going to check out some cds from the library and put them on the pod. We have a docking station we're going to use that has a really good sound for the pod that we'll use most of the time. I'll also sync the pod to the I-Pad so I can listen to music on it. Makes the pad even more useful.

More late, be safe.

Today's Town - Nacogdoches, Texas: The First Town In Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rain

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 64 degrees, high 77 degrees, rain most of the day

The rain started about 0600 hours this morning, and continued until mid-afternoon. The farmers are loving this weather.

We were getting weather crazy about noon time, so I suggested we go get a hamburger at Jack's in Athens. I guess it was good, because Carolyn said it was. I ate about 3/4 of mine, and it seemed to take a long time to eat that much.

After the hamburger, we took a ride down Nick Davis Road to see how things have changed along a road that we used to travel quite a lot. A lot of new homes have been built on and just off the road, but we still like the scenery out that way.

I was reading up on Limestone County, and found that it is the fastest growing county in the state. That statement was a little surprising when I first read it, and then I realized that the county draws a lot of people who work in Madison and Huntsville. Both of those places have a lot of government jobs as well as high tech jobs.

I finished a new book by C W Box that I checked out of the library using my I-Pad today. I immediately returned it electronically, and checked out another one that I'll start reading tonight. This electronic book reading is pretty neat. So far, it hasn't cost me anything to check out books. No taking a chance on going to the library hoping I find something to read. I just browse the electronic section and find something that's interesting, and down load it in about ten seconds. Pretty neat.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Atlanta, Georgia: A-Town

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Halfway There

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 62 degrees, high 91 degrees, clear skies

This morning was one of the most beautiful we have seen in quite some time. Clear, blue skies, almost a brisk low of 62 degrees, no allergies bothering Carolyn. Very nice.

I had an early appointment in Huntsville to see my oncologist. I didn't know if he was going to allow another treatment this soon after getting out of the hospital last Tuesday. The lab was not set up to draw my blood and analyze it, so I had to wait for all that. Finally, all my schedules were set up, and I went in to have a treatment. Yes! Number six is out of the way, other than recovering from it.

After receiving treatment, Carolyn noticed that I was displaying signs of dehydration. We were going to Sam's Club, so decided to eat lunch there and get some fluids in me. After two large cups of Powerade and one for the road, I felt much better.

We picked up what we needed at Sam's and headed home. We put everything away and rested for the next two hours. I needed it badly. After getting up, I continued my hydration, and feel much better.

My oncologist prescribed a different sleep aid, so I'll try it tonight. I need a good night's sleep.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Enterprise, Alabama: City Of Progress

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dreams Continue

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 86 degrees, mostly cloudy skies, showers in the afternoon

Note the low temperature of 68 degrees. It occurred this afternoon about 1430 hours. Weird, huh?

Carolyn's hummingbirds continue to grow in number, with at least five now buzzing around the feeder. She feeds them daily, and is talking about getting another feeder for the over flow. As long as it gives her pleasure.....

I took another sleep aid last night, and the dreams continued. It would be nice if the dreams would be pleasurable, rather than being glad when I wake up. Carolyn said that I mumble and talk all night, as well as shifting around in the bed. So, I have a decision to make with the help of my oncologist on the choice of another aid. Hopefully, we'll find a sleep aid that doesn't cause dreams, yet allows me to get the rest I need in fighting this disease.

Judy and Roger visited this afternoon, and it was good to see them. Roger has been sick after his cancer treatment in Birmingham this past Monday, so he didn't feel like doing much. He was better today, so they came to see us. Glad they did!

I have to go to Huntsville tomorrow for my chemo treatment, which will be number six out of twelve. Here's hoping all my blood work looks good enough to allow the treatment. I missed last week's treatment while in the hospital, and I hope I don't have to miss anymore.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Midland, Texas: The Tall City

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dreams

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 63 degrees, high 90 degrees, mostly clear skies

Terri left again on her way home today, after changing her mind yesterday and coming back. It's okay with us, we like having family around.

Terri has been giving a little thought to possibly moving to the Athens area in the near future so she can be closer to family. We would to have her closer, but emphasize to her that the decision is her's to make. We're doing our best to stand back, but it is difficult.

I took another sleep aid last night, and the dreams continued. This time, the dreams were mostly political in nature, and that may not sound so bad, but eight hours of it? It got so tiresome in that dream, and even though I woke up in the middle of it, as soon as I went back to sleep, I went right back in to the dream. I guess I still have to decide whether dreams are worth more sleep. It wouldn't be so bad, but none of the dreams I have had so far have been pleasant ones.

I did a little more puttering around in the shop, and took a short, one-block walk. I'm making as much as effort as possible to get some physical activity. Before I got sick, I walked at least four miles a day, plus took care of all the upkeep on the RV and truck. And, that doesn't count all the sightseeing we did. My goal is to get back to something close to what I was able to do before, but will accept whatever I get.

Supper was at Appleby's, as Carolyn had a pasta dish, while I had half of a small sirloin steak. Carolyn said her food was good.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Franklin, Tennessee: A Great American Main Street Award Community

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Better Than Hospital

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 70 degrees, high 84 degrees, cloudy, rain in the afternoon

I slept good last night after using a sleep aid. The only problem is that I felt groggy for half the day. I don't know which is worse: not sleeping enough, or the side effects of the sleep aid.

Once I got over the effects of the sleep aid, I did some more puttering around in the garage and shop. The garage was swept and things put away in preparation for spraying for bugs in the room. Carolyn likes to sit in the garage, but doesn't like it when some little beetles show up. The room has now been sprayed, and we'll see if it helps the bug problem.

Terri decided to stay another day, and will now leave on Saturday. It's nice to have company.

We're working on another puzzle, and it's another hard one. Carolyn complains about the hard ones, but I think she likes to prove she can master them.

Supper was pizza from Pizza Hut, and we made it the large supreme pan pizza. I can't taste much of it, but I like the texture of the crust.

Not much going on here today, but at least I wasn't in the hospital. I'll take a day like that anytime.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Columbus, Mississippi: Possum Town

Not all who wander are lost

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Caught In Groundhog Day

Sometimes, I feel like I'm trapped in a kind of Groundhog Day moment, where everything is repeated over and over.

I woke up this past Sunday morning with my heart beating like a drum and shaking my whole body. I had no chest pain, and no shortness of breath. We went to the emergency room, where they started trying to figure out what was wrong. It was quickly established that I wasn't having a heart attack, but no one had seen what I was experiencing. Unfortunately, my cardiologist was out of town.

In the course of all the many tests and x-rays, it was discovered that I had a pocket of fluid between my lungs and the chest cavity. That needed to come out, so I was admitted to the hospital. The rest of Sunday was spent doing tests and being pricked and poked.

On Monday, the tests continued as did the heart beating like a drum. I got very little sleep Sunday night. A pulmonary specialist came in early and talked to me about the fluid pocket and how he was going to remove it. At noon, he came back and removed about a liter of fluid from the pocket.

Shortly after, my cardiologist came in, and immediately knew what was wrong with my heart. It seems the pacemaker has a wire that runs down the left side, near the diaphragm. There is a nerve in the diaphragm that was being stimulated by the pacemaker, making it appear as though I had the world's worse case of hiccups. The cardiologist called the pacemaker rep, who came in about an hour later. She hooked me up to her machines, and started making adjustments. Almost immediately, the heart beat straightened out. What a relief!

The rep stayed about an hour, trying various settings so the best one for me could be used. It appears that what she did has worked, at least for the time being. I called the doctor who installed the pacemaker today, and informed his nurse. She said to monitor the situation, and let them know if it comes back. I wonder if there's a warranty on the work?

I was released late Tuesday, and have several followup doctor visits to go to over the next week or so.

Next is the chemo treatment I'm going through. I missed this week's treatment, but am scheduled to start again next Monday, if the oncologist agrees. With the next treatment, I will be halfway through the program.

So, that's what's been happening the last few days. Not fun, but could have been worse. I'd rather be RVing.

I had a followup visit with the pulmonary doctor who removed the fluid from my chest. After an exam and x-rays, he said the fluid had not returned, and that my lungs were clear. I'll see him again in a month.

Terri and Thomas are visiting for a few days as she had to see with her own eyes that Dad was okay. They will be going home tomorrow.

This afternoon, I puttered around a little with the weed eater. After supper, I mowed the front yard. Trying to do what I can when I can.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Fort Bragg, California: The Gem Of The Mendocino Coast

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Back Home

Elkmont, Alabama

Just a quick post to let everyone know I have been in the hospital again, and got out Tuesday evening. I'll write a post to relate what happened as soon as I get to feeling better in the next day or so.

Jerald

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Norther?

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 90 degrees, partly cloudy skies

When we lived in Texas, one of the weather events we always watched for in the winter was for a norther to blow in. That meant a front was going to pass through with sudden high winds and sharp drops in the temperatures. We have actually seen them pass through, as a mist would sometimes rise along the line of the front.

So, why did I bring the subject of a norther up? Today, we were in the living room reading when a sudden roar of the wind came up. This wind was totally unexpected, and there hadn't been anything in the forecast to indicate bad weather was coming. I called up the local radar on the computer, and saw that some strong storms were passing through Tennessee. Apparently, we were close enough to the storms that we got these heavy winds that were probably 50-60 mph. The winds subsided after about a half hour, and we didn't get any rain. But, it sure looked like rain for awhile.

I managed to feel well enough today to go to the WalMart Mall to pick up a few of the things we purchase there. It was early enough that traffic was light, and few people were in the store. Just the way I like it. I managed to find everything I was looking for, even though it seems they move products around every week. I had planned to go to the local Sears store before going home, but by the time I left the Mall, I was wiped out. I'll go to Sears next week.

Last night was not a good one for me, as my sleep was interrupted all night by aches and pains. This disease of Amyloidosis has so many things that it does to a person, and one of them is the sleep interruption. As a result, I took three short naps today, which helped me get through the day. Believe me, I would rather be sleeping at night.

Judy and Roger visited this afternoon, and we agreed we would celebrate Father's Day by eating lunch at a local restaurant tomorrow. I hope I can find something that I can taste. If not, that's fine, because I know Carolyn will enjoy eating something besides her cooking.

Next week, Athens State College will be holding a celebration for the life of the Delmore Brothers. The Delmores were from Elkmont back in the early 1900s, and were one of the first country music groups that became famous. They were inducted in to the Country Music Hall of Fame. If I feel well enough, I would like to go listen to the music. I love the old music, especially that made with all acoustical instruments. Then, there's the Athens Old Time Fiddler's Convention, coming in October. I should be be finished with my chemo stuff by then, so I plan to go watch all the musicians standing in groups and jamming. Good stuff.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Lander, Wyoming: Where Rails End And Trails Begin

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Windshield Replacement

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 66 degrees, high 80 degrees, mostly cloudy all day with light rain showers

Light rain started here about midnight, and continued until a little after lunch time. That's the first rain, along with what we got the day before, for the month of June.

My chemo sickness was a little better today, and I'm hopeful tomorrow will be even better. I still had to take things easy, but was able to get through the day with only two little naps. Food still doesn't taste good, but I was able to eat enough to keep Carolyn from fussing at me.

Speaking of eating, we went to Publix this afternoon to pick up a few groceries. Carolyn likes shopping at Publix, and will take an hour to look around for things she likes to get. The deli has a really good sub shop, and we had one made today for supper. And lunch. And..... That thing was so big. It had to weigh at least two pounds. It had roast beef, turkey, ham, salami, cheese, and all the trimmings on a large multi-grain roll. The meat was all Boar's Head products. Now, I'm expected to eat half this thing. With the way I'm eating, it will last three meals. Oh, by the way. The name of this sub is the Ultimate. And, it is.

We had the windshield changed on the truck today. If I had known how easy it was going to be, I would have done it long ago. Back in 2007, a rock flew up from a passing truck in Texas and broke the windshield for the first time. The crack grew, but never in a way that bothered our vision. Then, about five weeks ago, another rock hit the windshield, putting a big star on the passenger's side, and started growing. I contacted our insurance company to find out what to do about getting it fixed, and they set up the repairs.

The repairs were completed today at our house. The repairman said he would be about 20 minutes, and he was right. I'm amazed at how easy it was for him to make the repairs by himself. And now we have a nice clear windshield. Let's see how long it stays like this.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Groesbeck, Texas: Texas’ Best Kept Secret

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bad Chemo Day

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 61 degrees, high 90 degrees, clear skies

We got a little rain last night, but the wind and lightning were the most impressive things to come out of the little storm that passed through here. More trees were blown down, and the area has lost a lot of nice ones this spring.

The biggest thing that happened to us was that we lost our satellite television signal during the storm, which is normal. But, it didn't come back after the storm was finished. We went through all the things that the network said to do in order to get the signal back, but nothing worked. It was obvious that the dish had moved just enough to lose the signal. I called Dish, they went through the same things we did to try to get the signal back, and then they scheduled a repairman to come out and fix the dish. I thought we would be waiting a week, but the repairman was here, did the repairs, and was gone by lunch today. I would say that's good service. Kudos to Dish!

I'm in the part of the chemo drug cycle where I'm taking drugs by mouth for four days after an infusion of another chemo drug on Monday. I finished the oral part of taking the drug today (until next cycle), and the oral drug has really hit me hard. I think today was my worse day yet in this chemo treatment thing, and the one drug has caused it. Thank God I don't have to take it any more than I am.

Most of the day was spent trying to not be nauseated. I accomplished that, and was even able to eat a little. Tomorrow should be better.

I bought an I-Pad a few weeks ago, and have been tinkering around with it since. Learning how to use something like this is a little difficult when you don't feel on top of your game, and might be just a tad technologically challenged. Well, I think I'm learning how to use it. I've learned how to do quite a few things with it, and even down loaded a book from the Athens library that I read on the I-Pad.

I can imagine a world where real books will become obsolete. That's a shame, because we love books and reading. However, reading on the I-Pad is so much easier. Just touch the screen and the pages turn. Make the print larger or smaller as needed. The I-Pad is lighter and more convenient than toting a book around.

Then there's the surfing on the Internet that can be done with the I-Pad. Use it any place there's a wifi signal. Music and movies can be accessed. I've only touched the surface of what this thing can do, and I'm impressed. I'm using the first generation I-Pad, and the second generation is even more powerful. It will be interesting to see where all this goes.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Atlanta, Texas: The Other Atlanta, Texas Style!

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dental Appointment

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 66 degrees, high 90 degrees, cloudy, windy

Most of the day, it looked like we might get our first rain in almost a month. And, we did after the sun went down. At least the grass was staying green, and I didn't have to mow so often. Now, more mowing in a couple of days.

The chemo drugs hit me with a thud today, as my feel good days ended. I was expecting the down turn in how I feel, but was hoping I could get another good day. I had to take two naps to get through the day, but still found the energy early this morning to help Carolyn put some of her plants in pots. I can't stop trying to do something every day.

I had an appointment with a new dentist today, as we were due for our six month checkups. Carolyn's appointment will be late next week. We saw the same dentist in Texas for almost 20 years, and had a great relationship with him. Our hope was that we could build the same type of relationship with a dentist here. Based on my experience today, this new dentist is going to work out fine. The dental hygienist that cleaned my teeth was very good, using a combination of water and ultra sound to clean my teeth. At the end, there was a small amount of using the old scraper, but no pain, no bleeding, and my teeth feel very clean. I met the dentist when he checked everything out, and he struck me as being personable, and caring about the condition of my mouth. I think Carolyn will like this new office, too.

Since my appointment was just after lunch, we didn't eat lunch until the dental stuff was finished. Since we were in Ardmore, about the only thing that interested us was McDonald's. We stopped there, where I had the fish sandwich, which is a good sign that my appetite is hurting again due to the chemo drugs. I managed to eat it all, along with some unsweetened tea.

By the time we got home, I was wore out, so a nap seemed like the thing to do. An hour later, I felt better. As I was sitting in the dining room, watching the hummingbirds feed outside the window, I decided to see if I could get some pictures of them. Check out the pictures below.









I guess you could say we get a lot of enjoyment out of watching them.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Bartow, Florida: The City Of Oaks and Azaleas

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Felt Good, Again

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 64 degrees, high 90 degrees, clear skies

I managed another day of feeling half-way decent, not even having to take a nap for the second day in a row. Tomorrow is expected to be a different outcome, as the chemo drug treatment from Monday starts licking my rear-end, again. At least I had two good days, and will take what ever I can get.

I used the feel good day in an effort to do some of the things that Carolyn leaves to me. I made a trip to Lowe's to get another roll of window film so we can finish tinting the windows on the south side of the house. Actually, there is only one window there, but it is in our bedroom, and with the early sun rise here, light starts pouring in the window before 0500 hours every morning. Tinting that window will stop most of the light, and maybe fool our bodies into thinking it is still early. I also picked up some landscape cloth for Carolyn so she can prepare some flower beds.

Since we are only using the fire place as a place to set the gas log, we decided to cap the flue opening at the top of the chimney with a more or leas permanent cap. I had the cap made at a metal shop while I was waiting, and it only cost $8.00. Not bad for a custom made piece. When Traci is here, I'll ask her to install the cap with some construction adhesive placed on the edges of the flue. Capping the flue keeps rain out, as well as birds, and keeps us from losing heat up the chimney when it's cold.

When we bought the riding mower, we were offered an extended warranty for it. I deferred a decision on that until today, when I decided to go ahead and purchase the warranty. Normally, I don't like extended warranties. but, in this case, with my illness and the cost of repairs without the warranty, I decided to go ahead with it. One more thing to not have to worry about so I can concentrate on getting well.

Traci does a lot of landscaping in partnership with a friend. Whenever she finds an interesting plant, she brings it to Carolyn, since Carolyn loves plants and flowers so much. I had to pick up some pots for plants to be transferred to, since most of them are root bound. We didn't do any transplanting today, but probably will tomorrow.

I have a dental appointment tomorrow with a new dentist. We had the same dentist in Texas for almost 20 years, so we are hopeful we can build the same type of relationship with the new dentist. Fingers crossed.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Ada, Oklahoma: City Of Pure Spring Water

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Company Left

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 64 degrees, high 91 degrees, clear skies

Lori and her family left shortly after 0700 hours this morning, on their way back to Texas. We had a great week with them, and the good thing is that they may be back as soon as 2-3 weeks from now. John's mother needs some help with repairs on the house and upkeep in the yard, so that's probably what most of the next visit will consist of. It doesn't matter to us as long as they are here.

I had to go to Huntsville this morning for another chemo treatment. There was a chance that the treatment would be put off due to my platelet count, but the lab work showed that the count had recovered to normal levels. So, the doctor and I decided to have another treatment performed. That's number five out of twelve completed. This week is different, since I will also be taking oral chemo drugs for the next four days.

The infusion person that helped me said the steroids they have me on are designed to help my appetite, as well as help me feel better for a few days. I have to say the steroids worked well today, as I didn't need to take a nap, and my appetite did seem a little better. I tried to eat as much as I could, since I have found that my appetite suffers later in the weeks as the chemo drugs kick in. I'm not gaining any weight, but at least I'm not losing any.

One of the problems I have with this disease is extremity neuropathy, which is a tingling, numbness, and loss of feeling in the hands and feet. In addition, the drugs cause the same problem. I talked to my oncologist about it today, as well as my primary doctor in Atlanta. It was decided we would use a combination of vitamins, minerals, and supplements in an effort to help the problem. If the issue is not better in three weeks, a prescription drug will be used.

While I was in Huntsville, Carolyn was doing her thing with the house. Changing beds, washing clothes, dusting, wiping, sweeping, mopping, etc. Getting ready for the next company, which we love to have. Then, she even found time to start a new puzzle.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Binghamton, New York: Home Of The Square Deal

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rest Day

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 91 degrees, clear skies

Today was a rest day for Lori and her family, as they get ready to go back home to Texas tomorrow. Lori and Zoe spent the day with us while John and Julian spent most of the day with John's mother in Huntsville. At our house, at least, there was a lot of reading, surfing the net, and watching television. Plus, I managed to sneak in two short naps.

Remember when I used to say that I didn't take naps, but instead used down time like that for meditation? Well, I have to say there's little meditation now. If I lay my head down, I'm probably going to fall asleep. It's all connected with my illness and the treatments I'm going through. There's nothing like a little chemo treatment to make you feel wore out all the time.

Now, having said all that, when I got up this morning, I felt the best that I have all week. As a result, I decided to go to Publix and the WalMart Mall to pick up a few groceries. I usually enjoy shopping for groceries, but being sick has made it difficult to do more than necessary. So, it was nice to be able to get out early while it was still cool and the stores were not crowded so I could take my time and look.

Carolyn prepared a nice meal of lentils and rice for lunch, along with french bread and Italian sausage, and there was so much that it served for supper, too. Zoe had never eaten lentils before, and found that she really likes them, at least the way Carolyn prepares them. Plus, dessert was cocoanut cake. Not bad.

As most readers know, we have two daughters. Here are a couple of pictures of them. They had to get their looks from their mother. I'm surrounded by beautiful women!

This is Terri, our oldest.



And here's Lori, our baby.



Have I said lately that I love my family?

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Industry, Texas: Cradle Of German Settlement In Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dead Batteries

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 91 degrees, clear skies

Lori and her family drove up to Sewanee, Tennessee, today as they visited the small college town and a family grave plot. Many of John's relatives are interred there, including his father who passed away last year. They took John's mother with them, since she doesn't get up that way very often. While there, they did some cleaning of the grave sites and head stones.

The big news around here today was that both batteries on the truck went bad at the same time. When I went out to start the truck this morning, the motor would turn over, but not start. We've had this problem before, like every three years, so I quickly figured out the batteries were probably bad. Since everyone was gone from our house, I called my brother-in-law Roger to see if he could take me to have the batteries checked. He arrived and we loaded the batteries in to his truck. When we got to the battery store, luckily before they closed, it was quickly found that the batteries were bad. I bought two new batteries and we took them home. Installation took a few minutes and the moment of truth arrived. Will it start or not? Yay, it started. Big sigh of relief! It's a bad feeling to have a vehicle broke, and no replacement for it.

When the family went on their hike on the Rails to Trails system yesterday near Elkmont, they took some pictures that they shared with me. Therefore, the readers get to share them, too.



Th picture above shows our daughters Terri and Lori on the top steps, then grandson Julian, with grandson Thomas and granddaughter Zoe on the bottom steps. John was taking the picture.

This next picture shows there really is an Elkmont.



Terri likes pictures like this.



Finally, this looks like a cool spot on a hot day.



More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Columbia, Tennessee: Mule Town

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sleeping Aid

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 64 degrees, high 91 degrees, clear skies

The weather has remained basically the same now for about two weeks - clear, with highs in the low 90s. Humidity has been low for this area, averaging in the 40% range. So, what does all that mean? No new tornado outbreaks. Plus, the wheat combines are working in excellent conditions for harvesting the winter wheat crop in this area. Farming is still a way of life for many people up here, and it's good to see them get a good crop. After the wheat is harvested, the same ground will be planted with soy beans.

Lori and her family went to Tennessee today to visit the Franklin Battleground area and Jack Daniel's Distillery in Lynchburg. They invited us to go, but I'm not up to tromping all over the place in the heat. Besides, it's their vacation, and they should be doing things that they like, rather than trying to entertain Mom and Dad. I think they forget sometimes that we like the peace and quiet just fine.

I had to go pick up a few groceries at the WalMart Mall this morning. On the way home, I stopped at a little diner located in the Greyhound Bus Station to pick us up a quick sandwich for lunch. What a pleasant surprise that turned out to be. Carolyn asked for the toasted club sandwich, while I ordered the hamburger. Carolyn said her club sandwich was the best she has ever had, and my hamburger, if I could have tasted it, would have been outstanding. Total cost - less than $7.00.

One of the side effects of the chemo treatment I'm going through is restlessness, general aches and pain, and lack of sleep. I've never been a person that needed to take any type of pill in order to sleep or rest. Until now.

With all the side effects of the treatment, I have become exhausted from lack of sleep and rest. My doctors have been very supportive in giving me whatever I needed to try to rest, but I resisted using it because I didn't want to become dependent on a pill so I could sleep. One pill that was prescribed caused me to have nightmares for two nights, so that didn't work too well. Last night, I took a different sleeping aid that might work for me. I was able to get eight hours total of sleep, with no ill effects, and felt better today. Not any where close to 100%, but I wasn't in a fog all day. I think I'll take another one of those pills tonight. If they continue working as well as that one did last night, I'll be able to rest and hopefully help the healing process. Then, I'll worry about stopping the pills when I'm finished with the treatment plan.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Hutto, Texas: Official Hippo Community Of Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sulphur Creek Trestle

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 92 degrees, clear skies

The chemo treatment I received this past Monday kicked my rear-end big time today. I got up this morning with a little nausea, but got over that. The worse part of the day was just not feeling well, at all. But, I am sick, so I guess all of this is relative.

I had to go to the treatment center this morning to give the leeches more blood. Fortunately, I had to be there early, so I missed most of the traffic mess. By the time I was finished and talked to the nurse about one of my medications, it was late enough that all the morning traffic rush was finished.

When I got home, the first thing I did was lay down for awhile to try to get over some dizziness I was feeling. When I got up, all the visiting family company had decided to go for a hike on the Rails to Trails system, located a couple miles away. Their primary interest was in going to the site of The Battle of the Sulphur Creek Trestle. During the Civil War, the Union Forces built a fort to defend a railroad trestle that crossed Sulphur Creek, about 1.5 miles south of Elkmont. The Confederates attacked the fort and drove the Union forces out. The battle was the bloodiest in Alabama for the war.

The site where the fort was located is now in private hands, and a new house has been built on the old earthen fortifications. Looking at an overhead view of the property, the old trenches and other identifying features can be plainly seen.

Everyone got home about mid-afternoon, and spent the rest of the afternoon recuperating.

Terri and Thomas had to go home this afternoon. He has a reservation with a church group to go to Atlanta tomorrow, so he had to get back and prepare for the trip. At least we had the family together for a couple of days.

Lori and her family are planning to go to Franklin, Tennessee tomorrow to tour the battleground for the Battle of Franklin, the bloodiest five hour battle of the entire Civil War. Interesting place to visit.

I've had enough for today. I'm going to bed.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Boone, North Carolina: The Heart Of The High Country

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lasagna

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 64 degrees, high 93 degrees, clear skies

Lori and Thomas finished trimming our shrubs this morning, while the weather was still somewhat cool. Of course, they needed a straw boss to watch what they were doing, and offer suggestions on doing the job better. Just kidding, I was out there but it was to offer support where I could. They did a fine job.

After lunch, all the folks who are visiting decided they wanted to go to the movies, so they checked what was playing in Athens. Yes, that's right, Athens now has a movie theater. They found a movie they might like, and off they went. We were invited, but neither Carolyn or I wanted to go. Instead, we used the time to rest and plan supper.

We decided we would pick up some frozen lasagna, both vegetarian and meat. We have some vegetarians in the family, so we always make sure we have food for them. I drove in to the WalMart Mall and picked up what we needed. When I got home, we should have started cooking the lasagna, because it seemed to take a long time to get it cooked. Anyway, the lasagna eventually cooked, and we added salad and garlic bread. Dessert was chocolate pound cake, so a pretty decent supper.

Earlier this afternoon, we watched a video Lori rented named True Grit with Jeff Bridges. Excellent movie, but then Jeff is one of our favorite actors.

Another busy day. We'll see what tomorrow brings. I have to go to Huntsville in the morning for more lab work. Apparently, this lab work has a little more importance than previously. We'll see.

Oh, by the way - remember the puzzle we almost gave up on? Well, we finished it Tuesday morning. Perseverance does pay off, even with puzzles.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Austin, Texas: City of the Violet Crown

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spaghetti and Family Gathering

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 66 degrees, high 93 degrees, clear skies

Lori, Zoe, and I spent the early morning hours trimming some of the shrubs around the front of the house. In addition, we worked on some straggly limbs on the shade trees. We still have some shrubs to trim, but we'll get those before Lori goes back to Texas. I sure appreciate what they are doing to help us.

Later in the day, Traci came over and shaped up the holly trees located at the front corners of the house. The place is looking pretty good.

About 1700 hours, Terri and Thomas arrived from Tuscaloosa for a visit of a couple of days. That means we have our entire family at home at one time for the first time since Christmas of 2009. What better time for a more extended family get together, so we invited Judy, Roger, and Traci over for a spaghetti supper. John, Lori's husband, brought his mother from Huntsville, so it was a great gathering of people that we care about.

Spaghetti is nothing special, but it seemed to go over big with the crowd. And, it is easy to prepare for that larger a crowd. Add in salad and garlic toast, along with fresh baked cookies and brownies, and everyone seemed to have plenty.

I know I have said it several times before, but family is important to us. Getting together with everyone today was special for us.

I'm wore out after the busy day.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Tampa, Florida: The Big Guava

'Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, June 6, 2011

One-On-One With Lori

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 64 degrees, high 91 degrees, clear skies

I had another chemo treatment in Huntsville today, and Lori asked if she could go with me. Well, of course she could. So, we left home about 0730 hours, headed for what we thought was going to be heavy rush hour traffic. Luckily, the traffic was not as bad as we thought it would be, and we made good time through the normal bottleneck of Madison.

Before we left Athens, we stopped for a little breakfast snack so I wouldn't get hungry while waiting to be served at the cancer center. Even with the stop, we were a few minutes early, giving the vampires in the lab time to pull their weekly quota of blood. We found that the dosage of one of my medicines needs to be adjusted downward, so that will be happening over the next few days.

After the vampires were finished with me, I checked in with the doctor's office, knowing that I would have to wait until the lab reports were ready before I could see him. While we were waiting, Lori and I had a nice visit, talking about all manner of things.

After about thirty minutes, I was called back to see the the doctor, after my vital signs had been checked. Lori went with me, since I wanted her to see the entire experience I go through at the cancer center. The doctor did his usual checks, and then I started asking questions. The lab reports are starting to show some real differences in values since my first treatment, and I have to go back to the lab on Thursday for more blood donations. My next scheduled treatment is next Monday, but that may be delayed a week to give me a rest from the drugs. In addition, the labs will be checking the critical parameters for the Amyloidosis to see what changes are going on there. Overall, the doctor thinks I am tolerating the chemo well. That was the key issue before going in to the treatment plan.

Once I was finished with the doctor, I went back to scheduling, where I was given the times for my next two appointments. Then it was on to the infusion lab, where I was hooked up to an IV with steroids. After the steroids were infused, the chemo drug was pushed in to the IV, and I was finished. Now, that doesn't sound like much, but the whole experience always seems to take a lot out of me, and Lori was able to see how weak I was when it was finished.

After getting to the truck and resting a few minutes, we drove down to Sam's Club, where I picked up a few things that we use. Then it was back to Athens and lunch at home.

It was a busy day, but I spent a good part of it visiting one-on-one with Lori. That doesn't happen often, and I appreciate her wanting to see what I'm experiencing.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Grants Pass, Oregon: Where The Rogue River Runs

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Old Friend Bo

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 66 degrees, high 91 degrees, hazy

It looked for awhile today that the thunderstorm we are dreading was ready to hit us. But, it played out west of us, so still no rain. The temperature did cool off a little, so we're grateful for that.

We took an extra roll of window film back to Lowe's that we didn't need, and picked up a roll of their darkest film for our bedroom. We need to darken the room early in the morning, and the dark film should take care of it for us. I'm getting tired of waking up at 0500 hours and thinking it must be 0700 hours.

We like good bar-b-que, and have had a hard time finding what we consider good bar-b-que in this area. Living in Texas for 20 years, we got used to what they served out there, and use it as the standard to judge all others. We are not fans of a vinegar based bar-b-que, preferring that it just have a dry rub with the option of adding a sweet sauce. There are several restaurants in this area that serve bar-b-que, and some of them are high profile outfits that go to cook offs all over the country. We have tried many of the locals, and are still searching for that one place that we wouldn't mind going back to. We may have stumbled up on that place today.

Whitt's is a local outfit that has several little stores scattered around the area. Since we were in town at lunch time, we decided to try them out. Now, this is not a place to go for a lot of variety. They have pulled pork, beef, and turkey. Their pulled pork sandwiches are probably their biggest seller, served on a bun with mayonnaise, cole slaw, and dill pickle. We ordered some of these sandwiches, but left off the cole slaw because it is a vinegar based slaw.

Well, the sandwich was quite a surprise, as it was full of meat which was not dry. Nothing had to be added, and it was quite tasty. At least Carolyn said it was, as I couldn't taste it. I still ate it. I'm looking forward to the time when I get my taste buds back so I can experience what it really tastes like.

This afternoon, I talked to old friend Bo, who lives in Texas. We both retired at the same time from the company we worked for back about ten years ago, and worked together several times since then in various contracting jobs. Speaking to Bo brought back a lot of memories, mostly good, of things that happened while working. I find that I miss the social aspect of work more that anything else. It would be great to see some of the other people I used to work with.

More chemo treatment tomorrow as I continue to fight Amyloidosis.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - London, Kentucky: Home Of The World Chicken Festival

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Yard Work

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 66 degrees, high 91 degrees, hazy and cloudy skies

It looks like the weather here is building up to a big thunderstorm in the next few days. At least that's the way it looks to us, with the haze and humidity getting worse every day. We're not looking forward to it, especially after the tornado outbreak in April.

Carolyn installed the window film on the west side windows today, and there seems to be a definite difference in the amount of heat coming through those windows. We decided that we will use a different film in our bedroom in an effort to also reduce the glare in the room. Our hope is that it will darken the room so that it doesn't get light inside the room at 0500 hours. As I said earlier, the sun seems to come up real early here.

Traci came over this afternoon and started doing some of the yard work that I can't do at this time. Things like tree trimming and weed eating wear me out now, and I don't have the strength to do those little jobs that used to be so easy. While Traci did her thing, I mowed the yard, which I can still do, at least if using the riding mower.

Roger also came over, and in between work and rest, we had a good visit. He crawled up on the roof and measured what size roof cap we need so we can cover the chimney. Now, you have to understand that Roger really shouldn't be up on that roof with the problems that he has, but he is a tough old bird that you can't get down. A former Green Beret, he has been fighting cancer for the past eleven years. He has a business that he still goes to most days. He, along with my sister-in-law Kathy, are my role models for this fight that I'm going through with Amyloidosis.

Our daughter Lori and her family are coming up from Texas tomorrow, and should arrive late tomorrow night. It will be good to see them again. I'm sure we will have plenty to talk about when they get here.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Liberty, Texas: First City On The Trinity

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I-65 Sauna

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 66 degrees, high 95 degrees, clear skies

We spent more time than we wanted today on the sauna known as I-65, the interstate highway that goes between Athens and Birmingham. The reason for the trip was to do a followup visit with the doctor who installed my heart pacemaker about six weeks ago. Temperatures on the highway averaged 102 degrees, and we were held up for about 30 minutes near Cullman as crews were removing storm debris from the right of way.

Our appointment was for 1240 hours, and we arrived about an hour early. Imagine my surprise when I was called back to see the doctor within ten minutes after getting there and checking in. The doctor said the pacemaker appears to be working well. He made some minor adjustments, and ten minutes later, we were finished. All right!

The trip back to Athens was uneventful, except for me being tired. We stopped once so I could rest my eyes. When we got to Athens, we decided to have a late lunch/early supper, and stopped at Logan's Road House. I ordered the catfish, while Carolyn had the pork chop. By the time we got home, it was about 1600 hours.

Since I was wore out, I took a nap of about an hour, and felt much better. Our niece Traci came by for a visit, which we always enjoy. She's coming back tomorrow to help us catch up with some of the yard work that we can't do at that time. Oh, by the way, we pay her for helping us. If she didn't do the work, we would have to get someone else to do it for us.

My brother-in-law Wayne had major surgery on his back yesterday, and it appears he came through the operation in good shape. He's got a long road ahead of him as he recuperates, but I'm sure all the prayers helped.

Company is coming next week. I hope I can be a good host.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Buffalo, New York: It’s Good For You

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

This And That

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 93 degrees, clear skies

The warm weather is getting a little warmer each day, and is expected to keep going up. We are staying inside as much as possible, but when we do have to get out, we tend to get whatever it is that we're doing finished as quickly as possible.

Today, we had a few things to pick up at Lowe's, like window film to reduce the heat gain through the west side windows of the house. The box the film came in says that the film will reduce heat gain through the windows by 60%. If so, that's pretty good, and will help keep the house cooler in the afternoons. Plus, it will cut some of the glare. The sun starts coming up before 0500 hours here, so maybe the bedroom will be a little darker for a short time in the mornings. Another plus to the window film is that we can take a tax credit for installing it.

I'm already planning for snow removal when it snows here in the winter. This past winter, we didn't have a snow shovel, and there were several instances when we could have used one. And, of course, there were none to be found in the stores. There are plenty available in the stores right now, so I bought one when we didn't need it. If everything works out well, we will be in warmer weather in the RV when it snows here again, and the shovel never gets used.

I also bought an extendable tree trimmer to trim the trees in the yard. I don't have the energy or strength to do it right now, but we have company coming next week. Maybe I can talk them into doing some of the trimming. Oh, and weed eating, too.

I have a doctor's appointment in Birmingham tomorrow with the doctor that installed the heart pacemaker about six weeks ago. His office called to ask if we could be there at 1240 hours, rather than at the original time of 1500 hours. I accepted the new time, because it means we can get out of Birmingham before rush hour starts. I'll do that every time I can.

Not much happening here, other than trying to stay cool and finish the puzzle that is so difficult.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Grants Pass, Oregon: Gateway To The Redwoods

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Benadryl As A Sleep Aid

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 66 degrees, high 91 degrees, clear skies

I talked to the oncologist's nurse practitioner about my sleepless nights, and we discussed some aids to help the situation. She said the issue was caused by the steroids that I'm taking. The doctor prescribed a sleeping pill to help me sleep, but that fix seemed to cause me to have a lot of weird dreams. I asked about using Benadryl, and she said that would be fine, even saying that if one tablet didn't help, to take a second one. Last night, I tried the Benadryl, and it seemed to help the little aches and pains, plus seemed to help me sleep a little better. The nurse said if it doesn't work like I need, to let her know, since there are some other prescription sleep aids that might do the job for me.

I never dreamed that I would be taking all the medicine I'm taking. Folks, watch your health. It can get away from you in a heartbeat. This is coming from a person that supposedly did everything right: tried to get enough exercise, tried to eat right, had routine physicals, did everything the doctors said to to do, and then got blindsided by a disease that no one ever heard of before. Amyloidois is a terrible disease that has the potential to brought into remission if caught soon enough and treated aggressively. I'm in the aggressive mode on treatment, so time will tell if it works. I think it will, and am planning accordingly. Even to the point of thinking about going to a different type of RV when we can travel again.

We met Judy and Roger for lunch today at Captain D's Seafood. Wednesday is senior
discount day, and they offer 15 different meals along with a drink for $4.99 a meal. That's a good deal in my book. We enjoyed meeting and eating together, and will probably start doing it at least weekly. Not at Captain D's each week, but there are plenty of places around Athens we can go to.

Remember I was whining about how difficult a puzzle was that we were trying to put together, and that we would probably put it away? Well, we have sucked it up, and kept working on the puzzle. At this time, it is about 50% finished, and we estimate we have about another week before it will be finished. No stinking puzzle is going to beat us!

While we were in town, we stopped at the WalMart Mall to look for a hoe. Not a hoe to work in a garden or flower beds, but a hoe that can be used for killing snakes. That means it needs to be substantial enough to beat on a snake without breaking. Can you believe the Mall did not have any hoes? I guess we'll have to check Lowe's the next time we're there.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Hartford, Connecticut: Insurance City

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Broken Windshield

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 91 degrees, clear skies

Today was another chemo treatment day, and I had an appointment to be there at 0820 hours. Since I didn't know how bad the traffic would be at that time of the day, I left a little earlier than needed, but did miss most of the traffic.

The first order of business was to have the leeches draw another batch of blood so we could see if the chemo drugs are causing unexpected problems. Apparently not, as no one talked to me about the report. I received a copy, but don't really know how to read it. I didn't see the oncologist today, but will next week, so maybe I can get a quick lesson in what to look for.

Once the blood was sucked out, I had to wait about a half hour before being called back for my chemo treatment. I was given a steroid IV that lasted about 20 minutes, then infused with a syringe full of Velcade. There is one other drug I take orally for four days of the month named Mephalan, along with more oral steroids once a week. No Mephalan again until about two weeks from now.

By the time I was headed home, the morning rush hour traffic was done with, and the drive back to Athens was easy. I might try to have all my appointments set up for early morning.

I decided to go to the treatment by myself, since there isn't anything Carolyn can do except offer moral support. That worked out well, so whenever I can, I'll be trying to regain my independence. She will go to appointments in Atlanta so she can help me stay alert. For these trips of about 25 miles to Huntsville, I think I'll be able to handle it.

When I got home, I was wiped out since I didn't sleep well last night. I took a nap of about an hour, and it really helped refresh me for the rest of the day. As a result, I did a lot of puttering around the house, taking care of little chores that I usually do.

A few weeks ago, we had rocks hit our windshield that caused it to crack badly in two places. We were on the interstate, so there was no chance of identifying the big truck that might have caused it. Today, I called our auto insurance about it, and they are going to set up a windshield replacement for us at home in the next few days. Thank goodness I won't have to go sit in a glass repair shop for half a day.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Bridge City, Texas: Building Bridges Together

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 66 degrees, high 91 degrees, clear skies

Hopefully, people will remember the purpose of Memorial Day, which is to remember the sacrifices made by the members of our armed forces, past and present, in helping keep our country free. The day is usually spent by most people gathering with family and friends for picnics, swimming, and other summer fun. There's nothing wrong with that, but let's all take a moment to think about the real reason for the holiday.



Speaking of picnics, we went to Judy and Roger's house for a cookout this afternoon, complete with hamburgers, red hot sausages, potato salad, baked beans, and all the trimmings. The food was great, and visiting even better. And, we did take time to remember why the holiday was being held.

We had not seen Judy and Roger for almost two weeks, as Judy came down with the shingles again. We have had the shingles shot, so may have been immune, but decided it might be best to stay away until Judy got better. I don't need to be taking chances with a disease like that with all the other stuff going on with me. Luckily, Judy is doing much better now, just in time for the cookout.

Having the cookout meant we needed to pick up a few things ahead of time, so I went to the WalMart Mall early this morning before the crowds hit. We haven't been buying many groceries lately, with my last time in the Mall about two weeks ago. I was surprised that some prices had been dropped, apparently for the holiday. Even more surprising was how much some items have increased in price.

It didn't take long to pick up what we needed, and then it was back home to rest from the activity. It was about 0900 hours by the time I got home, and traffic was still light. I guess many people were sleeping in before the fun started.

We have a bug here that looks like some kind of moth that has been making a noise like clack, clack, clack. The noise is bothersome when outside, and reminds us of sounds we hear when near the ocean in Florida. The bugs seem to stay in the trees most of the time, and really raise a ruckus if I walk under the trees. I'm not sure how long these things stay around, but we're ready for them to go wherever they go.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Irmo, South Carolina: Gateway To Lake Murray

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

HARD Puzzle

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 92 degrees, clear skies

It seems like today was the warmest day of the year so far. One saving grace is that the humidity is fairly low. We won't have that helping us in July and August. Hey, maybe I'll be finished with treatment by then and we can go where it's cooler. That's something to start planning for.

When Carolyn was cleaning one day, she found what she thought was a soft place in the floor by the television in the living room. We checked it out, and found that by an omission, one of the floor registers had not been cut out when the carpet was replaced before we bought the house. I have no idea how an oversight like that occurred. Today, I picked up a floor register at Lowe's, cut out the carpet from the hole, and installed the new floor register. We're still shaking our heads over his one.

I don't like to say it, but we may have tried to put a puzzle together that is more than we can handle. The new puzzle is so difficult to work with, we may put it back in the box and say good riddance. Carolyn's mother Doris would probably like this one a lot. I'm about ready to send it to her. We have about 1/3 of it put together, and nothing seems to be coming to us.

Remember in yesterday's post where I mowed the yard and tried to do some weed
eating? The weed eating kicked my tail in more ways than one. I still felt the effects of that little exercise today, having to rest several times. On the bright side, I still think I can do just about anything I want, even if the truth is that I can't. Now, to figure out what I really can do so I don't have another day like that.

It appears my appetite has stabilized somewhat, allowing my weight to stay within a range that the doctors can live with. This morning, I decided I wanted an apple fritter, which is something that I usually don't care about. But, I decided to go with what I wanted, and picked up the fritter when I was in town. I'm glad I bought the fritter, but it didn't taste like I expected. On the other hand, we had leftover pizza today, and it came close to tasting like I remember. No, not limp, soggy, and cardboard like. But the fresh vegetables, meat, and cheese, not to mention the pan crust, combined to tease me with a taste that was better than I have had in some time. Perhaps there is hope for when the treatment is over that I can enjoy food again.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Fort Payne, Alabama: One Of America's Top 100 Small Towns

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Yard Mowing

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 55 degrees, high 88 degrees, mostly clear skies

We have always been the type of people who prefer to do things for ourselves. Things like yard work, especially. Since I have been sick, we have struggled with getting the yard mowed and plants trimmed up when needed. Our niece Trace has been a great help to us, but she has her own things going on, so we hesitate to ask her for help. We bought a riding mower a couple of weekss ago, since there was no way I could handle a push mower. Buying the mower has allowed us to at least mow the yard when needed, but did nothing to take care of the other things, like weed eating, trimming shrubs, and so on.

Today, I mowed the yard, and managed that with no problems. Then, came the problems. I got out the weed eater so some trimming could be done. I didn't realize how weak I was until I tried to edge the driveway. What a job that turned out to be. By the time I finished that little job, I was wiped out.

After seeing what the little bit of work did to me, we decided to continue mowing when needed, but everything else will be farmed out to whoever we can hire to do the work. It's not something we're happy about, but resignation has set in, at least until I can start feeling better. Drat!

Have you noticed that gas prices have declined slightly in the last week or so? In this area, gas can be bought for ~$3.54/gallon, while diesel is $3.89/gallon. Not a big decline in prices, but anything is welcomed. The question I have is this: are the prices being lowered slightly in order to raise them even higher than they were?

Carolyn had a birthday today, and we tried to make it as special a day as we could. She didn't want much - breakfast at Cracker Barrel, no cooking for supper, and that sort of thing. It's amazing how little we want or need as we get older. I don't know what I would do without her around to help me through this illness and treatment plan. When I feel bad, she knows how to help me feel better. When I feel like getting out of the house, she's there, ready to go. I love her so much, and I hope I can do something really special for her when this is all over.

Happy Birthday, Dear.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Giddings, Texas: Experience Hometown Hospitality

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I-Pad Learning

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 57 degrees, high 73 degrees, partly cloudy skies

The new I-Pad I bought last week hasn't been much use to me so far. Not because it isn't a wonderful piece of electronics that can do all kinds of things for me, but because I have not been able to get into the intricacies of the use of it, compared to my lap top. The chemo drugs I'm taking appear to have slowed down my thought processes, so when I try to use the pad, I find myself going back and forth reading the manual in order to use the different functions. It could be that as I continue to familiarize myself with the new piece of equipment, it will get easier to understand. At this time, however, it is a slow slog.

I remember having the same problem when we bought an i-pod. What a great concept - put all your music on a small piece of equipment and enjoy to your heart's content. It seemed to take forever, even though it didn't, to get familiar enough with the pod that we could navigate around it. The sound was great, especially when using a docking station, and we could get rid of all the music cds that we were trying to carry with us in the RV.

So, there is hope for the pad, but I think it is going to take longer than I realized before I become proficient with it. Lori is coming up to visit in a few days, and she has one. Perhaps I can use her as a learning resource while she's here.

A couple weeks ago, we noticed that the storm door leading to the deck had a screen that was bent, which would allow bugs to come in the house in the summer. That won't do with Carolyn, and I'm not too fond of it, neither. We took the screen to a store in Pulaski that rebuilds them so we could get a new screen. We never heard back from the store that the screen was repaired, so I called them today. The screen was ready, so we took a nice little drive up to get it. It was nice to get out in the beautiful countryside, where everything is lush and green after all the rain. Since coming back to this area, we have a different appreciation for the natural beauty available here in the Tennessee Valley.

Now, if we could do something about the bad weather that comes through here much too frequently. At least it seems too frequent to us.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Las Vegas, Nevada: The Entertainment Capital Of The World

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Another Storm

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 63 degrees, high 80 degrees, partly cloudy skies, windy

Last night, the tornado sirens went off just after midnight, prompting us to get the weather radio working and turning the television on to see what was going on. When we went to bed, the weather folks said that a little rain was coming, but nothing to worry about. Apparently, they didn't have the whole story. We had high wind, hail, and heavy rain until daylight. More trees have been blown down in the area, and people have had damage. The power is off in some areas, but not at our house.

I'm ready for some stability in the weather. We will never take the weather for granted again after the outbreak we had here last month.

I had to go see my cardiologist for a followup visit this morning. Everything is looking good as far as my heart is concerned, which is always good news. Some minor problems seem to have gotten better, so that gives me more energy to put into handling the chemo drugs I'm taking for the Amyloidosis.

After leaving the doctor's office, I stopped at the hardware store and bought the storm door that I mentioned in yesterday's post. The handyman that I talked to yesterday will stop and pick up the door next week when he installs it for us. We have always liked Small Town, USA, and we are continually reminded of the advantages of living in a small town. Like the great service this handyman is giving us.

We changed out our hummingbird feeder today because the hummer didn't seem to like the feeder we were using. Almost immediately, two hummers showed up and started using the new feeder. That made Carolyn's day, because she thought there was only one bird. How many will there be?

The last couple of weeks, my appetite has improved a little, primarily because I decided I would only try to eat what seemed good at the time. As a result, I try to use my imagination, thinking about what I used to like and what it tasted like. Sometimes, the food I come up with might seem a little strange, but at least I have gained a few pounds back. Tonight, I decided I wanted Italian food, so we went to Clark's Restaurant in Athens for their Thursday night special of chicken parmigiana. I wasn't sure how the taste would come across, since most food tastes differently now. I have to say it wasn't bad, even though the taste was slightly off from what I remember.

Now, if only fried chicken tasted like I remember.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - New York, New York: Media Capital Of The World

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Safe Deposit Box

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 86 degrees, partly cloudy skies

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, we looked at the storm doors at Lowe's so we can get one for the front door. Today, we went to a local hardware and lumber store, and found a storm door that we like better than anything we saw at Lowe's. And, the one we found today is over $100 cheaper. In addition, the quality seems better. So, I will go back tomorrow to buy the door. Then, a handyman that I found through a list that the hardware store gave me will install the door early next week. He will pick up the door from the store, so I don't have to do anything except pay the bill. The way I feel right now, that's about all I can handle.

The chemo treatment is kicking me when I'm down. I'm not nauseated, and don't have diarrhea, but I feel so washed out that it is difficult to do much of anything. Of course, if this is the worse that I feel throughout this treatment process, then I will have done well.

This morning, we started going through the stuff that we might want to put in a bank safety deposit box. It quickly became apparent that we have different ideas about what should go in the bank. I tend to want to put important legal papers, along with a few personal items in the box. Carolyn, on the other hand, wants the legal papers, but also wants just about every picture, memento, and anything that has an emotional attachment in the box. Only one problem with that: there's not a box big enough to hold all the stuff. I think we will probably scan the pictures and just about everything else that we can, and put dvds in the box holding the images. That should take care of everything except the legal papers, such as wills, house deed, RV title, truck title, etc.

It's easy to forget the good lessons we learned about getting rid of clutter and excess stuff in an RV. I think the lessons would kick in again if we could take a road trip, but that appears to be out in the future.

With the way I feel right now, this is about all I can write tonight.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania: The Diamond City

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Glass Door Search

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 86 degrees, partly cloudy skies

The chemo drugs biggest effect on me seems to be to cause sleeplessness. I'm lucky to get two hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time. When I wake up, it seems to take a couple hours to go back to sleep, so I usually get up and surf the net or read. Sometimes, I'm able to fall asleep on the couch, which is a bonus. During the day, I can usually take a couple of short naps, which helps my tired feeling. Sure would be nice to be able to sleep through the night.

We plan to install a glass door on the front door entry way as a way to get some natural light in the house in the mornings. This morning, we stopped at Lowe's to see what they had available, but have not made a decision yet. The opening for the door on our house is wide enough and tall enough, but is not quite recessed enough. We lack about a quarter inch having enough of a recess for the door to fit right. That means a shim would have to be installed. Lowe's will do the installation, but we have talked about whether we want to try to do the installation ourselves. With my weakened state, I don't know what kind of problems I would have. As I said a few posts ago, I used to eat this kind of stuff up. Now, I have to think about what I try to do. Mowing the yard last week wore me out, even though all I did was steer the riding mower.

The hummingbird is starting to show up more frequently, and Carolyn was able to see him today. She gets a lot of pleasure out of watching nature, and has watched a pair of bluebirds as they raise two young birds in our newspaper box. She'll be sad when they leave.

I forgot to mention that we finished putting a puzzle together last weekend, and started another one almost immediately. The new one is even more difficult, and it may actually take a month to do. Time flies when trying to find a piece that fits.

We have shrubs in front of our house that are big and require a lot of work to keep trimmed. They sit there green all the time, without any blooms. We have discussed removing the shrubs and putting in shrubs that actually have some color and blooms. Such as camellias, gardenias, roses, azaleas, hydrangeas, and things like that. The hard part would be digging the old shrubs out, which would be very difficult for me at this time. I think I'll see if we can hire some high school boys to dig them out and plant the new plants. That is if I can find some kids that want to work. The realtor we used to buy the house told us to let him know if we needed any help, so maybe I can talk to him to see if he can steer us to some kids that actually want to work.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Ozona, Texas: Biggest Little Town In The World

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Hummingbird Arrives!

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 86 degrees, partly cloudy skies

We have a hummingbird sighting! I saw the first one late this afternoon after we got home from chemo treatment in Huntsville. He(?) is a little skittish right now, but maybe I can get a picture soon. Carolyn sat for a while in the dining room in an attempt to see the little hummer, but missed him. It doesn't take much to entertain us, does it? Puzzles, reading, surfing the net, a little television, and now a hummingbird to watch. It doesn't get much better.

Except being able to travel again. We're working on that, and it will happen when it's time.

It was a busy day for us. We had business to take care of at the new bank first thing this morning. Before that, we stopped at Burger King for a breakfast sandwich, since we felt that we would have a long wait for lunch while at the cancer center in Huntsville.

Leaving the bank, we drove on to the cancer center, where the first order of business was to let the vampires have their way with my veins. Halfway through the blood letting, a different vein had to be opened so enough blood could be drawn.

The next order of business was to find a comfortable place to sit. That brings up the question of whether there is a comfortable chair in a medical facility. If so, I have never found it. Anyway, two hours later I was finally called in to see the doctor. He checked me out and asked how I felt. This illness makes you feel like you have the worse case of flu possible. What the doctor meant was how did the chemo treatment affect me over the past week, and I have to say there was less effect than I thought there would be. Maybe I will be one of those people who stands up to the chemo in a good fashion. I hope so.

After seeing the doctor, I was sent to talk to the scheduler about my schedule for the next two weeks. Then, it was on to the infusion center, where this week's treatment was administered. That took a total of about an hour.

By the time all this was done, it was after 1400 hours, so we decided to drive back to Athens for lunch at Logan's Road House. The lunch was good, but the service was not up to par, as our server seemed to forget about us. I tipped her the normal 15%, but I usually tip more for better service.

By the time we got home, it was after 1600 hours. I stretched out in my WalMart recliner in the garage and slept for about 45 minutes. That made me feel good enough that I was able to do a couple things for Carolyn.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Thermopolis, Wyoming: World’s Largest Hot Mineral Spring

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lunch At Appleby's

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 63 degrees, high 82 degrees, mostly clear skies

We spent some time today moving the herbs that Carolyn bought yesterday in to containers. She enjoys cooking with fresh herbs, and already has plans for drying some of the extra herbs that we can't use.

In addition, she put up a hummingbird feeder in an attempt to draw some of the little birds to our dining room window. It may be that it is too late for the hummingbirds this spring, or it could be that they have already moved on, but no action so far. If they don't show up, Carolyn is going to be disappointed. She gets a big kick out of watching their antics.

A pair of bluebirds set up housekeeping in our newspaper box, and there are two little bluebirds in there now. The newspaper box is beside our mailbox, and the parents raise quite a ruckus when I go to pick up the mail. Little do they know that we are the last thing they have to worry about.

We went to lunch at Appleby's, one of Carolyn's favorite restaurants. We were there when they opened at 1100 hours, and had an enjoyable meal that had more than enough leftovers for supper. Carolyn had some type of salad with chicken on it, while I had the chicken strip lunch. We ate all we could for lunch, and finished it up for supper. I added a protein shake as I try to gain back some of the weight that I've lost over the last few months.

After getting home, I took a short nap that would have been longer except for the noise that erupted as Carolyn was doing some work with her Dremel tool. I bought a fancy recliner from the WalMart Mall yesterday, and it just seems to fit my body to a tee. I've used it twice in the last two days in the garage, and it was so easy to fall asleep in it.

My brother-in-law Roger visited for a short time this afternoon, leaving Judy at home as she is fighting a bug. Roger used the recliner while here, and I thought he was going to take a nap for awhile there.

Since the tornado outbreak a few weeks ago, we are more aware than ever of the possibility of bad weather. For a short time today, we watched as reports of bad weather came out of the mid-west. It did not seem to be a fun place to be. Thank God the weather here is fairly tame right now.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Comfort, Texas: Haven In The Hills

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Food And Appetite

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 59 degrees, high 88 degrees, mostly clear skies, breezy

One of the worse things I have to put up with in my fight with Amyloidosis is a lack of appetite, caused mostly by most foods not tasting like they should. As an example, take a simple hamburger. We used to consider ourselves connoisseurs of hamburgers, always looking for the ultimate tasting burgers. Now, hamburgers taste nothing like what I remember, and even though I keep trying to eat them, I usually throw most of them in the garbage.

Carolyn is very good at trying to prepare food that will taste good to me, but I have found that the only foods that come close to what I remember are the more spicy ones, such as pizza. Even that is usually lacking some taste detail that I remember, taking away any pleasure of eating. Tonight, we decided to try a Pizza Hut Super Supreme Pan Pizza, and I have to say it wasn't bad. I had two pieces, and my stomach feels good. The taste wasn't perfect, but at least I could eat it.

Breakfast usually tastes okay, especially eggs and grits. For some reason, those items have the same taste as I remember, but I can't eat eggs all the time. Some fruits are okay, as long as they are not too sweet. We bought a nice cantaloupe, and it has a very good taste. Canned peaches in a light syrup are okay, but I can't eat the heavy syrup. The only tea I can drink is unsweetened, which I would never have drank when I was healthy. I've actually learned to like unsweetened tea.

Ice cream is not bad. It seems very cold foods are okay, as long as I eat them quickly. Like milkshakes from Sonic. And, the frappe' mocha from McDonald's is good, even though I'm not much of a coffee drinker.

Enough about food. Carolyn needed to get her eye glass prescription filled today, so we checked the options at the Vision Center at the WalMart Mall. Her last glasses came from the Mall, and she was happy with them, so we decided to try them again. She was able to find a pair that she liked, and she seemed to be able to make the salesperson understand that the new glasses needed to match the old ones as far as where the lines on the glasses were placed. That's because of her vertigo. The new glasses should be ready for pickup in about a week. The salesperson said if Carolyn was not happy with what they did, she would be refunded her money. I guess you can't ask any more than that.

While we were at the Mall, Carolyn found some herb plants that she has been looking for. She picked up some Italian parsley, sage, dill, rosemary, thyme, and basil. If I ever get my taste buds back, we should have some good eating.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Childersburg, Alabama: A New Beginning, Progressing Toward The Future

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tornado Perspective

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 52 degrees, high 86 degrees, clear skies

The weather is getting nice. It's enjoyable to sit on the screened porch, soaking up the warmer temperatures, watching the birds do their thing with nests and babies. I know the humidity is coming, but I'm loving this.

I slept better last night, even though I still feel like I had some of the sleeping pill affecting me from the night before. Carolyn said I didn't seem to dream like I did the night I took the pill, but was still a little restless. I do know that I felt better today, and I will not take another of those sleeping pills. What in the world was I thinking to take that thing? Especially since I had never used them before. Oh, that's right, I forget that everyone has to learn for themselves what works for them. I'm here to tell you that these particular sleeping pills don't work for me.

Today was the first day without chemo drugs this week. I'm glad that I get a break every week like this, since it may help the severity of the drugs on my body. My brother-in-law Roger and sister-in-law Kathy don't seem to get a break like this. Of course, one thing to keep in mind is that they are actually fighting cancer with the drugs they take, while my illness is treated with the same drugs as used against cancer, even though I don't have cancer. The drugs are used against myeloma, which is a cancer of the blood, while I have Amyloidosis. I hope all this makes sense.

This morning, while I felt halfway decent, we decided to take a ride down to the community of Tanner, about five miles south of Athens. Tanner was hit very hard during the tornado outbreak, and we had not been there to see how bad the damage was since then. We built a house in the worse hit area back in the 1980s, and had heard that the house was completely destroyed. Well, we found that the house is still standing, but suffered a lot of damage. All the windows were blown out, the shutters are gone, the roof is damaged, and the house looks like it has been abandoned. It is such a shame that people have lost everything, and we think it will be a long time before the recovery effort in the neighborhood is finished. We saw the path that the tornado took, and it appears that it was about a half mile wide. It sure gives me a different appreciation for the damage that these things can cause.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - New York, New York: The City That Never Sleeps

Not all who wander are lost.