Hospice and termites. . .

April 24th, 2007

Hospice and termites, who could ask for anything more???

This is my diary of Monday and Tuesday and my
To-Do list for the rest of the week!

Monday a.m.
Hospice intake nurse (Erin) came and spent several hours, made many notes and really got the ball rolling.
Monday p.m.
Hospital bed, walker, another wheelchair, port-a-potty, oxygen (tanks and non-portable) were all delivered and set up with the help of Chuck. New medicines were ordered and received. Bought new sheets and a baby monitor.

Monday late p.m., Tuesday early a.m.
Bob took the new medicine (morphine) and slept for 6 hours straight. In fact, I had to wake him up to give him his 9 a.m shot. This is really a good thing, he has not been sleeping for longer than 2 hours at a time because of the foot pain. No wake up = no pain!

Tuesday a.m.
Swarm of termites took up residence in my entry way. Actually swarming and taking up residence are opposites. They swarmed, Chuck and I sprayed Raid and vacuumed them up.

Tuesday p.m.
Nurse Kelly came, more questions, checked out Bob’s foot, re-bandaged it. Nurse Kelly will come on Tuesdays and Fridays for the time being. We are going to watch Bob’s new drugs very carefully, because right now he is in no pain, but he can’t focus his eyes, can’t complete a sentence and just wants to sleep. Five minutes after the nurse left, Bob wanted a cigarette so he took his walker to go outside on the front porch and fell. (see the above sentence about not focusing!) It is also reason #985 to quit smoking! I knew cars and boats were problems for him but walkers???? No major damage to Bob but I lost about 4 years!

A.M Doctor’s appointment
P.M. Hospice Social Worker (Toni)
P.M. Exterminators

A.M. Dentist - Sue
P.M. Hospice Chaplain (Howard)

P.M. Hospice Nurse Kelly

And people say retirement is boring, HA!

I hope you never have to use Hospice and my experience is only 2 days old, but I have to say they are efficient and quick. It appears to be a well run organization. Different departments actually communicate with one another and they do what they say.

I know this was long, sorry, but the blog is a good outlet for me too.

Take care,


How time flies. . .

April 22nd, 2007

Well another week has come and gone so this is my “weekend update”.  Friday started off with Bob playing vampire.  He got 2 units of blood which takes a long time (4 hours).  He slept through most of it and I ran errands, walked some dogs at the shelter and visited our friends the Valles.  I really expected miracles from the transfusion and I haven’t gotten them.  Not a lot of energy but a little better than before and in longer stretches.

We had several great groups of company thruout the week and over the weekend, friends and relatives from far and wide.  I would like to thank everyone who visited, especially those who live on the other side of the state and are making or have made trips just to see us.  The visits really do make a difference in Bob’s attitude and general well being.  He seems to “perk up” and rise to the occasion whenever  there is someone besides me to talk to.  Maybe its me, could I be the drag? nah can’t be!  I also totally enjoy the company.  So I want you to come and visit as much as Bob does.

 The boy is not eating much at all and is really tired of me asking him what he wants to drink.  It has become quite the guessing game, you never  know what will work.  I bought some Hawaiian Punch popcicles and he ate 2 of them today.  I figure its sugar and water, can’t hurt. 

 This blog has been great.   Since I know everyone who comments, it never occured to me how comments are preceived by others.  I think cyber friendships are being formed.  For example, Sharon (in KC) really wants to meet Mary Beth, Sharon feels like she already knows her.  Mary Anne thinks Teri has the right idea and wants to be hooked up with her.  (Now in fairness, Mary Anne always likes anything to do with champagne).  It really doesn’t surprise me, because I know and love all of you and I wouldn’t have friends who were not good people.

Hospice should be set up tomorrow.  I was told it takes a couple of hours to evaluate everything.  Probably won’t be a fun day, but we believe its necessary and unfortuately timely.  I’ll post something when I know details.

That’s all from here.  Have a good week and stay safe.


It’s Hospice Time, Sorry to say………..

April 18th, 2007

Just got back from the doctors office where I got 2 ltr of “juice” because I was so dehydrated.   I have to go back Friday for two units of blood to try and raise my energy level.  I am not sure what I am supposed to do with all of this extra energy but I guess doing a couple of loads of wash would be OK with Sue.

The bad news has oficially arrived.   We are no longer going to do anything to fight the cancer.  We are going to “sign up” for Hospice care Friday.  At this point the care will be provided in our house with the option of moving to the hospital.

There are a lot of you that I would like to see but I am not going to be able to because of the dificulty of getting around.  Any, and all of you are welcome to come here.  Yes, Sue has approved that statement.

Things really haved moved a lot faster than what was anticipated.  My posts and comments will be slowing down I am sure.  I still have a good attitude but my  sense of humor is suffering.  Hang in there with me.  We know what is coming soon, but we can still have a little fun.

Love you all,


Weekend update. . .

April 16th, 2007

Does anyone remember the old Saturday Night Live routine “the weekend update with Chevy Chase”? I just remember the Count/Counterpoint with Dan Akryod and Jane Curtain. . .Jane you ignorant sl–!!! (Kelly and Ryan got Bob the DVD of 1st season of SNL and its truly a riot!)

Anyway, the Valentines and Stephensons had a pretty good Saturday. We talked about a lot of issues, wants, don’t wants, cried a little and even laughed a little. Bob went on an outing with Kelly and Ryan to Dairy Queen. It appeared that both the Munchie man and the “baby” needed ice cream! Now, Bob would like to have a motorized scooter instead of the wheelchair, but I told him he needed to master the manual one before he gets a motor! Max would never recover!

On a serious note, we decided that we will use in-home Hospice for Bob’s continuing care. Many pros and cons for both Hospice and hospital, but we feel Bob will be much more comfortable at home with his big screen and his recliner. I hope it will make it easier for friends and relatives to visit also. We also talked about the step after hospice but that’s too new and raw for me to discuss right now. Just know that we are going to be doing what Bob wants. If you aren’t familiar with hospice, and I hope you aren’t, there are many good web sites available. One I found very helpful is hospicenet.org.

He goes to the doctor on Wednesday and I hope he gets more hydration. That has seemed to really help his alertness. He has also decided that being macho man and toughing out the pain is stupid, so we are giving him the max pain relief he can have. As Bob said, getting hooked on pain killers is probably the least of his worries.

Thanks for all the caring you are providing us. I’ll update more after the doctor’s visit.


Wednesday update. . .

April 11th, 2007

Things are progressing rather fast, actually much too fast for me. Today I went and got a wheelchair for Bob. Last week I was making fun of the weed and “cripple sticker” and today he has a wheelchair. Now he just told me he wanted American flags put on it and baseball cards in the spokes, just like when he was a kid! He may be sick but he still has his sense of humor. (The fun part is that our 70 lb. dog is scared to death of anything that has wheels!!!!)

Doctor’s visit showed that he was very dehydrated, so they pumped him full of saline solution for an hour. He also has been having chills without a fever which is not a good sign. The doctor asked us to discuss what options he/we wanted for continuing care. This weekend Bob, Kelly and I are going to have the “talk” we have been putting off.

Our main objective now is to keep Bob out of pain as much as possible. The drugs make him sleepy, but then the pain is manageable so that’s a good thing. Please continue to comment on the blog, call or visit. He faithfully checks the blog when he’s awake.

I want to thank everyone who has commented on the blog, visited, called, offered and provided food/wine, help and prayers. It is very heart warming to know that so many good people care about us.

I’ll do another update in a few days.