Friday, September 25, 2009

The Tie

I'm sure the tie has been the source of much speculation..'s the story. Once, about 15 years ago, I was in Italy on an equipment buying trip and

as is the custom of my wonderful Italian hosts, they presented me with a

gift as I was leaving. I didn't know it at the time, but we had been touring tile

factories in a specific region of Italy that was also known for the silk trade.

So they gave me this tie.... very nice, very expensive, pure silk, and it has little

geese all over it. It's a very unique tie and I've never seen another like it.

So.... I put my goose tie on one Sunday morning and wear it to church. After church our associate pastor says "what is that on your looks like sperm to me". When she reads this, she'll get a chuckle. And I still do occasionally wear that tie to church on purpose. I had never noticed...I had only seen it from up close and it is geese. see for yourself.

Isn't life funny sometimes.

Today, I finish the first round of Sutent. 14 days on, 7 days off, 14 days on, and I'll start a week off. Then we'll do it all over again. I do have some minor side effects. I think it's about time for my hair to turn white....this week I've noticed that there is a little irritatable rash under my hair. I can put up with it because I normally don't wear a hat, but I noticed it on Wednesday when I was in Houston looking at an old courthouse...and we had to have hardhats on. The other thing is that we spent the better part of Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning climbing stairs in and around that courthouse.... wore me out...I'll blame it on the chemo.

Gone to my 40th High School Class reunion this weekend...Should be a hoot...we're all old people now!!!!

Purple Hull

Monday, September 21, 2009

Really, it could be so much worse.

FACT: Dad hearts Emmylou.

I think we have all been vascillating on the line of what is the appropriate respect/fear/attitude/ignorance(the verb)/obession to give the Rotten Kidney Disease, and I think we're trudging through... feeling it out as we go, but I can't seem to get myself too down about it. Really, it could be so much worse.
I have my moments of envisioning what I wear to Dad's funeral(sorry Dad... you are wearing a loverly suit and that goose tie that looks like sperm from far away), and how I'll explain it to my children, and if I'll need to delete emails and phone records so they don't sneak up on me.. I suppose my visions are psychological preparedness or something.... WAIT, not my point. My point is that so much more often than that, I am reminded that Really, it could be so much worse.
I see kids every day that have gotten the short end of the stick. Not all those kids, mind you... as I don't consider a disability a short stick AT ALL! Ethan is still asking me for a full leg orthotics and a G-tube so he doesn't have to eat dinner anymore. But some kids, for some reason, have gotten a shitty road laid before them. Suddenly injured and not the same, abused, or chronically ill child: those are worse. No question.
No offense Dad, I wish you didn't have Rotten Kidney Cells floating about your vessel, and this blog may label me "Cruel Loveless Daughter-Blogger PooPoos Father's Metestatic Kidney Cancer!," but I don't mind. I know you know that I know that you know what I'm talking about.
I know it may get worse. I'll worry about that if it happens. Right now, right this minute, I know everything's alright. If I'm so caught up in what tie Dad's wearing to his funeral, I can't appreciate the gigantic CORN DOG! he brought me from the game last weekend, or the magazines he mailed me that I left at his house (made my DAY!), or the brand new appreciation I have for Diet 7-up. Delicious!

Here's dad taking Chemo at the game. Thanks drug-nerds. I wish I had half your brain power.

This is us,
E to tha A to tha B

Saturday, September 19, 2009

If I pulled this off, I'm totally awesome. I didn't even have to call family tech support.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hey- it's the absentee blogger. Dad just called to tell me he had prepped a blog, but had gotten all the pictures screwed up and now couldn't fix it. He sent me the most twisted, bungled mess... but I fixed it. As he states below, we're living life as normal. The Oliver Bed and Get your own Breakfast (stolen wit from Mama)is underway... it's football season. You know... when we first got this diagnosis, I wondered if Dad would ever come over again. Here he comes. As Ethan said when I told him they were coming "Oh good! I love them!"
Hold please... here's Dad...


For those curious among you, things are going as expected I suppose. I don't know about the rest of the world, but I'm going about life as normal.I'm not sure that I had time for full time employment anyway. I've been a busy boy.
Eli came over early last week and he got the school lunch menus out and wrotetickets for me to come eat lunch with him on a couple of Fridays. I'll attempt to attach
a picture of how a first grader goes down a slide...makes perfect sense to me. That was last Friday, and tomorrow is Friday again. I think we're having grilled cheese sandwiches.

Don Bell's sister found some old campaign flyers from 1968....geeeeze that's over four decades ago. Don mailed them to me early on in this saga, and I just found them again under a pile of medical invoices. I've attached a picture. The theme of course was Byrd's the Word..... remember "popppa um maou maou" If I was more technically proficient I would download it and have it playing in the background as you read this blog :) The relativity of the old picture is that my newest side effect is exfoliation . So I'm getting a chemical peel whether I want it or not. Maybe when it's all done I'll look like I did in 1968 NOT ! And only $ 7600 per month ...cha ching

I saw the Urologist (Dr. Langford) today. Debbie had an appointment with him today so I went along. They all kinda said...."what are you doing here" then "oh, y'all have traded places" I didn't know that I was that memorable, but I'm tellin' you, I have been exposed to an incredible group of medical people that want to practice medicine. Anyway, she's gonna get that CT scan she's been wanting since I had one and maybe he can figure out the UTI.

My Momma came down for a visit, and we had a nice time. We also took a whirlwind tour of the State Capital Building while we were waiting for her ride back home. I think it wore us both out, but we did have a good time.

Off to Fayetteville this weekend. Hope we can take care of Georgia. This will be another test of the recovery. We'll keep you posted.

I barely have time to work anymore !!!!!

Purple Hull

Sunday, September 6, 2009


When we built our house nearly 28 years ago, one of our intentions was to be a welcoming place. Having our family and friends come here is one of the great joys of our lives.

Thursday, Diana came through. We talked about life in California and the problems with funding the libraries there. She is on the BOD and works to find creative ways to keep the doors open. (She's resisting getting an electronic reader--loves the feel of the book in her hands. And she hauled a Key Lime pie all the way from California.

Friday night, Rachel and Matt arrived with friends Meredith and Brook. We caught up with their worlds. (Meredith broke a bone in her foot and had surgery last week! She's a true Hog fan to trek from tail-gating to stadium seat.) Rigby, the dynamic puppy, enjoyed running, bouncing, and talking dog to Buck and Phoebe. Matt is working to make Coors a greener company. Rachel makes everyone look better in print or online.

Saturday we made the big Game journey. This picture of Joe shows true friendship. Bryan really wanted a dietCoke but the scouts only had water and real Coke. When the boy came back up on his return trip with a new supply, Joe was trying to get his attention but couldn't so he just sat down in the way. Bryan got his diet Coke. The world righted itself again. And we won the game. WhoooPigs!

Today, Judy and Roy (Alicia's parents) brought Eli and Emily out to play while Sam and Alicia held another open house. The place was full of energy. We had a full table for dinner and a little bit of not-a-school-night lingering.

Typical? Yes. Tiring? Yes. Feels good? Absolutely. It's why we built the house. It's why we're here.


Well, I think we have a side effect here

Hi all,
I finished my first 14 days of Sutent on Friday night so now I have 7 days off then will take it up again for another 14 days and then off another week...and thus cycle 1 will be done. The number of cycles is at the moment undefined.

Last night we went to the Razorback game, and before the game we stopped at a local place with our friends Joe, and Mary Helen, and their son Chris. I ordered my favorite.... Pizza...thin crust...italian sausage...light sauce... extra cheese. And man, was that a good pizza. Game went well, I stayed for the whole thing and life is good!!

This morning I decided to have some California Key Lime Pie (story to follow in this blog) for breakfast. It just as well have been puried newspaper. No taste... so I'm thinkin' did I burn my tongue on the pizza as I often do because I like it so much can't help myself? Nah. I would have noticed it and it's always the roof of my mouth. Following that with a tasteless diet coke confirmed the loss of taste. Even a glass of water tastes like you would think stagnant pond water would taste. That would make the milestone at day 16. Oh well, I'm sure it will come back. Either that or I might lose that 5 pounds again. Removal of a kidney got me down around 15 pounds, but I wouldn't recommend it as a diet.

Now to the PIE. My cousin, Diana Dearmore, lives near Sacramento and she flew in late
Thursday night to spend the night on her way up home. She unloaded from her rental car a perfectly kept Key Lime Pie. She had bought that pie in California, checked the TSA regulations for flying it on the plane , and was prepared to argue with them if it couldn't make the trip in the passenger compartment. I have to tell you that my dear cousin wagged a key lime pie around all day via Southwest Airlines so she could make sure I didn't run out. It arrived intact and I had eaten some Thursday night, Friday, and Saturday (sharing of course) so I know it was good. I shall not waste another slice until the taste buds return. That's just one of my crazy cousins. Actually I'm one of 30 first cousins on my Dad's side and none on Mom's side. I do have more than my share of wonderful kinfolks.

Tomorrow is Labor Day, and I plan on doing as little as possible again. I really am feeling about normal for somebody my age. Joints ache sometimes, think i'm catching a cold maybe.....but
to me thats pretty much normal. I'll have an appointment next week with a nephrologist. Since I'm down to one kidney, Dr. Baltz says I need one to adjust b/p and all sorts of other things that kidneys do. Who knew that kidneys were involved in adjusting b/p. Maybe that's why mine had gotten on the high side of normal in the last 5 years. Now after surgery, it's in the high category in that the bottom number is high. I think it is partially from the Sutent and partly from just being an OKW. Never can have enough Doctors I guess. I've run into a good double handful of really outstanding ones in the last 8 weeks.

Seems like a long, disjointed post again.
I'm feeling the vibes from y'all.
Purple Hull

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


That's my favorite part of the visits, the hugs when the doctor comes in. Nice.

The scans don't show anything new. That's good. Blood levels stable. That's good. No side effects from Sutent. That's phenomenal! Doc says Bryan is in the top 5% of folks recovering. . . I asked why. . . he said some people just do better than others. It must be frustrating for scientists to not be able to pinpoint the variable that makes the difference. Prayer? Friends? Driving a drop-top? Playing with grandchildren? Having an amazing wife? Laughing? Genes? Drug therapy? We'll take the result, whatever the precipitating event.

Dr. Baltz did say that it's the scans three months from now that are important. A lot can happen in three months. Football, leaves, Halloween costumes, parent-teacher conferences, Thanksgiving, making tile, finishing this remodeling/decorating project, just life. . . .

Go hug somebody. I was directing traffic in the hall: "Walk on the right side! We won't let you have a driver's license if you can't stay to the right!" As I spread my arms intending to show kids where to walk, one kid just melted into me, obviously needing a hug. Now, teachers are warned about the dangers of touching students. All those accusations of nepharious intent---but, this kid will always be connected to me and will listen when I talk to him. So sue me.

The One Kidney Wonder is working madly to finish all the invoicing and posting and whatever he does. Thanks to Sam the Computer Wonder for connecting Dad to his office computer from home. Magic.

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