Click on picture to read Chaco's poems

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Homemade Chili and Trick'r Treaters

Today we made a giant pot of homemade chili and its was excellent!! We were visited by Sheila's daughter with her kids all dressed up for Halloween and also my daugher Jacki and her boyfriend Joe came by on their way to a party. Here are some pictures.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Told to Take a Week Off!

Well I have not updated in a few days because nothing has happened. We went to blood tests on Friday and then again Monday hoping they would start chemo. NO WAY! I guess it's because her platelets are still low but they did not have her go for more platelets. We really don't know why but the doctor told the lab to have Sheila come back in a week, with no labs in between. This is a first. I guess we will get answers when we see the doctor on Monday. I just think he did not want to give her chemo again so soon. The problem is now she may not have enough recoup time to get her counts back up to travel to Newport. This is a major disappointment! We have nothing to to but go in on Friday for a dressing change and flush of her CVC line. Monday we will see the doctor and get some answers and I guess start her last "scheduled" round of chemo. I am still hoping it will all work out....we sure could use sometime away from the Cancer Center.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sent to the Blood Room

After hitting Mickey Dee's for breakfast we went to have Sheila's blood work done at the Cancer Center. When we got there we found it was not open except for the workers doing remodeling on the weekend. We then went over (next door) to the Infusion Center and found out that there is where we were supposed to be. They do the blood work and have a person from the lab there on the weekends. We have never needed to get blood drawn on the weekend before. We were supposed to wait on the results in case her platelets were still low, and go over to the hospital for platelets if needed. We decided that instead of waiting there for an hour we would run over to Walgreens and get Sheila a pneumonia shot while her white counts were good and in case chemo starts on Monday again. When we got back to the Infusion Center sure enough her platelets were low and we had to go to the hospital to get her platelets topped off! Well that put us behind on getting to her grand daughters birthday party at McDonald's but when her platelets were complete we went to the house and tied the bicycle we bought for Maizie into the truck of the Miata and flew to McDonald's. we got there just as everyone was leaving but we got to see Maizie and give her the new bike! Then we drove to Grand Prairie to check our mail and get a pizza for our lunch at Pizziolo's. Another day of running all around town!

Friday, October 23, 2009

5 Mile Walk for Acorns and Mexican Food

Today at the Cancer Center Sheila's blood work came back with all her counts looking pretty good. Platelets are still down but her white counts are very good so she does not have to wear a surgical mask when she goes out. The doctor said we would start chemo a week from this coming Monday, then he remembered that we want to fly to Newport for Thanksgiving. Now the plan is back to trying to start chemo this coming Monday which means Sheila will have blood work tomorrow and Monday to see if her platelets come back up to allow the chemo to start on Monday. We are hoping it will all go as planned because she has to have 2-3 weeks to recoup after chemo before she will be allowed to fly to Newport. That's the plan so far but it all looks like it will work out. We also went on a 5 mile walk today down to Lake Arlington and back. While we were at the lake we watched the ducks and then the squirrels. It was nice getting outside for several hours and Sheila felt really good walking that far. We stopped and had lunch at a Mexican restaurant on the walk home. The weather has been great, sunny and in the 60's!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rain and More Rain

Today we went to the Cancer Center for Sheila's neupergen shot and antibiotics and her lab work. Her counts are still low but slowly coming back up. That new round of chemo was some potent stuff! She feels good now though since she got 2 units of blood and 2 units of platelets this week. Tomorrow its back for more neupergen and antibiotics then Friday we see the doctor and get her blood work again to see what the counts are. Hoping to start the "last" round of chemo around the 26th so that she can recoup for a trip to Newport for Thanksgiving. Will still have to wait and see. Mike and Greg got some bad news today. He has been feeling worse and his legs and feet have swelled up very badly. They did cat scans on him today and the cancer is spreading to his liver and lymph glands. They are going to stop all chemo for now and let him get his low blood counts back up for the next few weeks, go home to Kansas for Thanksgiving, then when they get back start a completely different kind of chemo. They are having a really rough time of it right now. It has rained hard all day here and a cold front comes in tonight so we have just relaxed around the house.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Guns, Germs and Steel

Today we:
Went to hospital for platelets.
Went to Cancer Center for Neupergen and Antibiotics.
Drove to park to meet Sheila's Daughter Rhonda and 3 grandkids.
Got keys to borrow Rhonda's truck to go guy bike for Mazie's birthday.
Went to Walmart to pay for bike and decided it MIGHT fit in Miata's trunk.
Loaded bike into Miata's trunk...kinda...tied trunk lid shut with paracord.
Drove bike home to unload until birthday party.
Got call from Rhonda to check on elderly lady walking in traffic.
Drove to location of elderly lady.....found no one.
Drove to Boston market for lunch.
Dropped Sheila at home to go meet my daughter Ashley.
Met Ashley and picked up my hand gun.
Drove to car wash and washed Sheila's car.
Drove home to meet back up with Sheila.
Dropped truck keys back off at Rhonda's
Went back out to Walmart for laundry detergent (it was all stolen in yesterday's break in)
Arrived at home to talk to Carol who bought locks for me to install on windows.
Home FINALLY where Mikey cooked dinner for us all!!! THANK YOU Mikey!!!

So now we are safe and sound at the WE CARE house with new locks and armed against further intrusions with a Smith and Wesson Airweight .38 Special and a Wilson Combat Tactical 2 Fighter knife w/5 inch blade. THEY WILL GET MY TIDE WHEN THEY PRY MY COLD DEAD FINGERS FROM THE SPILL PROOF SPOUT!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

WE CARE House burgled today!

Well today was not your normal day of treatments by any stretch of the imagination. We went to the Cancer Center this morning because Sheila had an appointment to see the doctor. When we got there and she checked in for her lab work they told her she was "supposed" to come in over the weekend for Saturday and Sunday antibiotics and neuprogen shots. We told them that's the first we have heard of that! No one had told us to come in over the weekend for anything, We WERE told to go to the hospital for blood on Saturday and we did that. No one even called us when we "failed" to show up at the Cancer Center. The doctor was not too thrilled with the breakdown and when we got back to the infusion center they had already gotten an email from him about the lack of communication, so we start another full week of antibiotics and neuprogen shots because Sheila's counts are still very low. While we were at the Cancer Center we met Mike and Greg who were trying to get in to see their doctor because Greg's legs are giving him trouble and swelling badly. They then received a call that their son Shane back in Kansas was taken by ambulance for the second time to the ER. They said Saturday that he had kidney stones and gave him something for the pain and said the stones would just pass in time. I guess he is having some serious pain to be hauled to the ER again! Now the fun stuff begins!!!....When we got 'home' we noticed that the bedroom door which we lock when we leave in the morning was open.....we then noticed that someone had been through the whole house with drawers and cabinets all open! As we carefully looked around we saw a case of toilet paper from our bathroom left at our bedroom door. I checked our closet and the portable DVD player and tote bag of movies that Mike had loaned to us was gone! That's all that was missing. All Sheila's prescription drugs were still on the nightstand. My $400.00 custom knife given to me by my brother and my pocket knife were still on the shelf in the closet, right above where the DVD player had been. Nothing else was missing but the window screen outside our room was torn off. I must have forgotten to latch the window after opening it last night. Sheila was running fever and we opened the window about 1AM. I don't remember if I latched it after closing the window before we left this morning! There were drawers and cabinets and lights on through the house and Mike and Greg's door out to their patio was unlocked. It didn't look like anything was taken from their room but all the drawers were open. I called 911 and told the police to get there ASAP! They said to leave the house but I knew there was no one in there still. I called Mike and after talking to her it didn't look like anything was missing. There was still jewelry and her other DVD player and movies and all Greg's prescription drugs were still there. When the police got there I walked around with the cop and it was easy to see what happened. We found a DVD movie right beside our car in the grass where I always park and it was not there when we pulled up to the house. It looks like he or they heard or saw us pull up and as we came in through the front door they went out the back through Mike's room and ran down the driveway and dropped a movie right beside the car. I was damn glad I had decided to take my backpack with laptop, camera, GPS and other stuff with us this morning as they surely would have taken that! We did notice after the police left that 3 or 4 bottles of liquid laundry detergent was stolen out of the laundry room. Why the hell would someone take that and leave TV's, VCR's, DVD players and jewelry? Just stupid kids is what the police thought. After posting this incident on Face Book a friend came back and said they make METH out of laundry detergent! You learn something new everyday. They break in to steal TIDE and GAIN and toilet paper??? I guess I am not as mad as I thought I would be, partly because I feel bad leaving a window unlatched although there are several windows in the house that CANNOT be locked. Carol will have to fix that problem! Also I guess because this house in not ours and it certainly is not our "home"! I do wish I could have caught the little bastard(s) as they came through our bedroom window though. As it scares me alittle to think what they possibly could have done to me if I was there , it scares me more what I may have done to them!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Relaxing Sunday at the WE CARE House

We slept in today because we had no lab or doctors to visit. When we got up around 9:30AM we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast and it was packed. I was worried because Sheila's white count are probably still very low and she forgot to bring her mask. We staked out a back corner to wait for our name to be called and tried to avoid all the people and their germs. When we finally got seated we talked to the waitress we know there who is from Newport, RI and she asked us to bring back some chourico (Portuguese sausage) when we go up there for Thanksgiving. When we pulled back up into the driveway at the WE CARE House, Mike and Greg were also just pulling in. They had been to the Cancer Center for his treatment. Mike immediately ran up to Sheila for a hug, she had just heard that her son had been taken to the ER back in Kansas and could not find out what had happened. We have since learned that he had been in intense pain and they were giving him morphine and trying to do some tests and x-rays. Their son has been trying to run both his own and their farms since they have been here for the last 6 months for Greg's treatments. Greg is also having a bad day due to his legs swelling from all the chemo he has been getting and is having a tough time just getting around. Mike has really got her hands full and I think it is it starting to take its toll on her. They are stuck down here and worried about their family and farm back in Kansas. Mike had been talking to the local cocker spaniel rescue recently about getting a dog but with all this going on I don't see how she could possibly handle the extra attention it would require. She asked me a Sheila if we would mind if she adopted a little dog since we live in the same house. Of course we said it would be no problem as long as we got to take it for a walk now and then! I don't think now it will happen though. We were all looking at pictures of a couple of cockers she had it narrowed down to at the Rescue's website and the two names were Wrenny and Quisp. One was a blonde female and the other a tri-colored male, both were cute little dogs. Today would have been the ideal day for a walk with a dog as the weather has finally cooled off and the rain has stopped. I still have 11 oleanders to put in the ground for Carol but I checked today and the ground is still very muddy. I may try later today to get a couple in at least. Sheila is full of energy today due to the 2 units of whole blood yesterday at the hospital and she has already swept the front porch off and is doing laundry. I am hoping we can go for a short walk in the neighborhood later today.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Two McMuffins and Two Units of Whole Blood Please!

Well we just got to the hospital after a quick breakfast at McDonald's this morning. The other day when we came here to get platelets we met one of the nurses who took care of Sheila when she was in the hospital. Thuroo, the nurse from Shri Lanka was working in the hospitals infusion and blood center and today when we got here Dianna, another nurse that we knew from the hospital was working here. Also Fatima the nurse from Jordan whose son was murdered while Sheila was in the hospital is also here in this ward and seems to be doing pretty good. It was good to see them again and to hear about all the other nurses we met back in June and July. We have been meaning to go back to that ward and bring a cake or something to all those nurses but just have not made the time to do it yet. When Sheila gets all her treatments behind her we will do just that. They were so glad to see Sheila again and to see that she has done so well. They all wanted to look at her arm and were amazed that it all healed up to well! Right now this place is not very busy, I guess because its Saturday there are only 3 other people getting blood.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Back to the Hospital Tomorrow

We just got back from the Cancer Center where Sheila had another neupogen shot and antibiotics. She still has zero white cell count meaning that she has no immune system right now. She has to wear a mask when out in public and limit the times she is around other people. That's really no problem since we almost never go anywhere. Tomorrow she goes to the hospital to get 2 units of whole blood.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

To the Hospital for Platlets Today

Today we went to the Cancer Center as usual to have Sheila's blood work done. She also needed antibiotics and a neupogen shot (it is supposed to help her white counts come back up quicker and fight risk of infection). While we were waiting on her antibiotics to finish the blood work results came back from the lab and her platelet count was just about zero so it was off to the hospital for an infusion of platelets. At least today we got it all done in one trip! Tomorrow Sheila has another lab for blood work and then a visit with her doctor, I am thinking by tomorrow or Monday she will need some whole blood as she has between every chemo treatment. The doctor's plan was to try and start the last round of chemo by October 26 so that she could recoup and get her blood counts up so that she could fly to Newport for Thanksgiving. It all depends on getting her blood counts up in the next 10 days. We are also hoping to get her a pneumonia shot before the next round of chemo.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Twice to the Cancer Center Today!

Well we came to the Cancer Center today for Sheila to get her blood work done. When we got back to the house they called us back for Sheila to have an antibiotic infusion because her counts are continuing to drop. We never know if we should stick around or leave after they take her blood because it can take from one hour to several to get the results back. The time we stuck around for the results we waited over an hour then were told that the system was down. The last time we left they called us right back. This time we left they called in about an hour and said to come back at one o'clock. Right now we are back at the Cancer Center for the antibiotic infusion. That's the worst part of all this treatment is not knowing what to expect next. Sheila is doing great though and that's all that really matters. We saw Make and Greg were still here since we saw them here on our first trip today. He has been getting a hell of alot of treatments.....radiation, blood, chemo., drugs.....the whole works!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Today we went to have blood work and to see the doctor. Sheila's counts are still good but are coming down as expected. The chemo she just finished was 60 TIMES more potent than the original chemo treatments. I asked the doctor what is the exact purpose for this type of chemo and he said that is used to kill any remaining resistant type leukemia cells that might still be in her bone marrow and that it also goes into her central nervous system and the brain to go after any remaining leukemia there. When her counts come back up to normal (after they bottom out) he will start her on one more round of the same chemo. If all goes as planned that will be the end of her treatments. She will have to have routine check ups and blood work and bone marrow biopsies to make sure it is not coming back. So far so good!
Sheila was feeling so good that last night she went to Fair Park in Dallas to see Mary Poppins the musical with her daughter and grand-daughters. She was just off chemo and her counts were still up so it worked out great. They had a good time.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Backpack Number 3!

Today we went to the Cancer Center to have Sheila's last backpack of one day chemo hooked up and after it gets disconnected tomorrow she will have a few weeks of no treatments to let her counts build back up. When we got home...hmmm...... HOME?...when we got back to the WE CARE house there was another truck in the driveway with Kansas plates and since Mike or Greg had not said anything about having visitors, we knew they must have had family drop in from Kansas for a surprise visit. Sure enough when we got inside there were Mike and Greg's son, wife and two boys! They said they were shocked when they got a call on their cell phone this morning and the caler (her daughter in law) said " come open the front door!" Anyways they were sure glad to see them all and after talking with us for awhile they all went out to dinner and to Bass Pro Shop in Grapevine. The weather is also turning really cooll here finally, it must be only in the high 50's now and raining. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and cool also so I aam hoping we can get out somewhere for a good long walk.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Backpack Number 2

Today we went back to have another backpack round of chemo, then another on Friday and this one will be all over. Yesterday was a day off from chemo and we just hung around the house. Thats about it today, not much new.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sheila Gets a New Backpack

Today we went to the Cancer Center for Sheila to start another round of chemo. When we got there they fisrt gave her some premeds through her IV. Then the nurse said that her last blood work was OK but not really good enough to start chemo. She asked when bloodwork was last done and we told her it was last Wednesday. She said we should of had a blood workup just before starting this chemo. We told her that when we came in last Friday that they said no bloodwork, just a flush of her CVC and a dressing change. Well it turned out that she SHOULD of had bloodwork last Friday! So they did it right then and there. We had to wait for the results before they would hook her up to her chemo backpack. Anyways it all came back AOK and they hooked her up and let us go. The new backpack is bigger than the last ones she has had and it goes on and off all by itself throughout the night. We go back in the morning to have it disconnected. Then Wednesday we start it all over again, every other day of chemo for a week.

Pic Today: Shelia checks out Capital Peak, Palo Duro Canyon, West Texas

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Planting Oleanders in the Rain

Today the weather cooled off and Carol bought 13 five gallon Oleanders for me to plant for her along the back fence of the WE CARE house. i had already turned over all the dirt along the fence and was going to start putting in the plants when the rain came down. I got just two plants in. She is also going to buy 10 more plants since she now wants to do the side fence also! She also dropped of a box of romex (wire) off so i can finish up her wiring projects! Sheila is doing great and she starts chemo on Monday. This round will require turning the backpack machine on and of and I guess they will show us how to do it. She will also have to go to the infusion center everyday for a flush of her CVC line and to remove the pack. She will get the pack back on every other day for a week of chemo.