Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How does our garden grow?

We got a late start on our garden this year, but it has been a good year with no hail storms. The hair scared away the rabbits, so our garden grows well! We have eaten a lot of lettuce. The tomatoes are still green.

We have been eating zucchini for a couple of weeks. Spaghetti squash are on the left side.

These pictures were taken before the first green bean picking.
Yesterday, Jeffrey picked the first green beans. Beth snapped and canned 9 quarts for us. This is her first time to do it all alone, and it was one of her goals for the summer. Great job, Beth!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

3rd chemo day--half way done with treatment

Here's part of our day in pictures. - captions by Beth

The first thing is getting a tube hooked up to the port, and drawing blood to test. (The blue thing hanging down in front is the tube connection.) Also, you've just got to chat with whichever nurse is serving at the moment. This is Kathy; she was Mother's main nurse today.

We are thankful for nurses who both have a good sense of humor... they keep people coming back--that's for sure. (We actually can't decide if patients want to come back because of the entertainment the two provide, or if it's that they HAVE to come for chemo!)

This is the computer that they type all sorts of information about your vitals and meds in...

Then it's time to get weighed. (The blood they drew is being tested.)

The Medical Assistant, Aubrey, has to check blood-pressure, temperature, etc. and verify medications/vitamins being taken at home.

Mother had a "steroid glow" at this point. First thing when we get to chemo they have to ask her her name and birthdate, which are both on the label (that's on her arm in this picture), to make sure she's the right person!

Visit with Dr. Ann Stroh and check-up is next.

This is the other nurse, April, in her blue gown. The nurses have to wear one of these every time they hook someone up to a new bag of chemo, and dispose thereof in bio-hazard containers. (She was helping someone else in this picture.)

Chemo infusion time.
(Actually, Mother gets some preliminary "juices", before the two chemo meds, and gets flushed with normal saline and heparin at the end.)
This picture was taken right before she hooked up the second chemo. The chemo comes in this big "ziplock" bag; and then the blue gown, gloves, and the first (now empty) chemo bag is put in the "ziplock" bag, and disposed of in a bio-hazard bin.

Mother's reading this book to review it for BookSneeze. I'm sorry I didn't get a better picture of her in her chair today.

Lots of documentation on the computer ...

We didn't get a picture, but we always (three times hand running) have a picnic, because of being there over the lunch hour. Today we brought zucchini cake to share with the nurses and patients.

Chemo 3 report - from Janet

Everything went well today. I took the steroids pills yesterday and that was successful in preventing a reaction like I had last time. Tomorrow I go back for the extra fluid and Neulasta shot. My labs were good. I am a little high on wbcs and a little low on rbcs and platelets, but not enough to be concerned. The Neulasta shot is working, causing my wbcs to stay up there!

If this round is like last time, Sunday will be my hardest day with bone pain from the Neulasta shot. The pain will start on Saturday and last until Wednesday, but lessening each day after Sunday. By next Thursday, I trust I will be feeling mostly normal again. The Prilosec (omeprazole) I take every day for the gastritis symptoms I had the first time, really really helped those symptoms. So I am very thankful for that.

Right now, I feel kinda fuzzy headed and a little bleary, but otherwise good. I am drinking lots of water to flush the drugs so they don't hurt my bladder or kidneys. I will even drink in the night and get up to the bathroom several times in the night. We will take a walk tonight, as is our usual evening activity.

Thank you to each one who is praying for me. God is faithfully helping me. Pray for me on Sunday. I would love to have the pain under control and be able to go to the Sunday School ministry, even if I am in the pew, not doing the story. I love those kids and hate missing every third Sunday.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jeffrey's 20 today!

On this date, 20 years ago, our family was blessed with our 3rd boy, Jeffrey David Albertson. From the first, Jeffrey was an "easier" child than our earlier models. When I think back on Jeffrey's childhood, I can only remember two really "bad" things that he did. Once he went under the school table, that was disguised as a tent with a blanket over it, and when he came out the front part of his hair was missing! I've told him many times since then, that is why his hair doesn't lay down properly in the front! The other time, we had company, and the adults were busy visiting upstairs. Jeffrey slipped away, got into the game cupboard, and emptied the contents of every game into a pile, and mixed it all up together! That took hours to reorganize.
But most of the memories of Jeffrey as a child are of sweetness, diligence, gentle spirit, helpfulness...About the time he was born, Rowen and I were exposed to more homeschool resources, Christian parenting resources, and after learning a lot of new information, we were ready to be better parents. Thankfully, it wasn't too late for our older two and they benefited from our increased wisdom too.
A couple of pictures from the past...Jeffrey around his first birthday

Jeffrey when he was three years old

I love the expressions of sweetness and joy.
More lately, Jeffrey at Johnstown Lake, wearing the Ukrainian cap he got on his 2009 construction trip to Ukraine. Jeffrey also had the privilege of a Haiti trip in 2009.

Jeffrey is leaving August 15 for college in Cincinnati, OH. We appreciate Jeffrey's commitment to God's ways. He has been such a blessing in our home, helpful and kind, looking for ways to help. He has been a diligent worker and closing manager at our local ACE Hardware store for two years. He has learned much about thinking through people's problems and how to help them. He has a heart for children, and doing God's will above all. We love you, Jeffrey! We are going to miss you like crazy! But we always want you to obey God in everything!

Monday, July 4, 2011

American Independence Day

Reprinted from this Blog post on July 4, 2009 (slightly edited)

One of the things that I did this morning, was what many "red-blooded" Americans have done for generations; I put our family flag in its holder on the front of our house. As I did it, I wondered again why I was doing it, what it really means to me, and what it might mean to others as they drive by our house.

Does it indicate to observers that I am firmly in support of our current federal government, and all that they are standing for and supporting? I certainly hope not!

Does it mean that I want to identify with things like they used to be, say on the original Independence Day? Well, I think so...

Could it mean that I wish to elevate the importance of the U.S.A. above all other countries and peoples on earth? NO! I have too many close relatives living in, and serving the people of countries around the world to ever have that thought...

Is the God of the Bible ever pleased when His people show allegiance to an earthly kingdom, perhaps more, or at least more visibly, than they do to Him? Oh, Lord help us!

I trust that the Lord will bless you and yours by drawing you to His precious heart today and everyday. "Lord, help us to not take for granted the freedom and liberty that are the privilege of each child of God, regardless of where we live on His earth".