Thursday, November 27, 2014

Survived the Summer of 2014 in ARIZONA.........

We did indeed survive the Summer and are now almost into the winter. Here it is THANKSGIVING already.....    Although we really missed our place in South Dakota this summer, we are quite lucky (blessed!) to have our neighbors that looked after it so well for us. God Bless them, I sure don't know what we would have done without them.  Also thanks to all of our friends that were in the area and offered to look after the place for us...  It was a trying summer, but we came through it.  We are now looking forward more than ever to get up to the BLACK HILLS next summer.

I know a lot of you follow our Careingbridge site, for those of you that don't here is the latest post from there:

"This past Tuesday 11/25/14, the Mayo clinic called me back for my 2nd monthly check up.  It was a more thorough checkup than the first month was and included the 2 bone scans again plus the regular blood work. It was also time for my 3 month Lupron shot, along with the monthly Xgeva bone strengthening shot. So it was a FULL DAY. This is normally a 2 day procedure but since we live so far away (85 miles), we talked them into completing everything in ONE day.  We had to leave our place in North Ranch at 5am.  It takes right at 2 hrs. to make that 85 miles and the last 30 miles are high speed 75-80 mph interstate 10-12 lane traffic driving.  It's almost bumper to bumper at that time of the morning, quite hectic and a little nerve wracking. Thank God for the HOV lane(2 people or more in Veh) or we would never have made it. The worst part is you never know when an accident may plug the entire system up and make you late. We thought about going in the night before and staying in a motel but we both hate motels and they had no place for us to park the motorhome, so we decided to just drive in that morning. We're kinda getting used to the hectic drives....there has been a lot of them in the last few months!

I will cut right to the important stuff and not bore you with all the details of this long day. My first appointment was 0730 for blood tests. They took eight separate vials of blood for testing. Good to get those out of the way as I had been fasting since midnight.   A quick trip to the cafeteria for a cup of coffee and a Ham and cheese omelet was in order. I had to fast 4 hours before one of the bone scans and I had just enough time to work this omelet in. By the time we were done eating and I went to my next appointment to have some nuclear fluid injected 2 hrs. before a scan, they had posted the results of my blood work.  WOW, we checked the PSA and it was 3.8, YES, 3.8!!!    DOWN from 10.2 last month and 124 when I started on the program. We were elated to say the least.  That good news made it so much easier to go through all the rest of the scans, shots, etc.   Our last appointment was at 4pm. The Doctor discussed the blood work with us and changed a few of the vitamin supplements I'm on and told us all the other items looked great. We reviewed the bone scans and I was happy to see there hadn't been much change there. They had stayed about the same.

The trip home went well as we were in such a good mood from all the positive results.......although it was dark all the way and I'm not used to driving after dark.  The oncoming headlights all seem so bright.  We were both tired puppies when we finally got home.   I decided that during those times in the scanning machines would be a great time to pray to our Father in Heaven and thanking him for all the positive results and wonderful treatment. I am so blessed and have so much to be thankful for. I also asked that he please help Ms. Pat and give her the continued strength to keep fighting her ordeal,  I asked Him to bless her Doctors and give them the answer to correcting her problem. She is still in a lot of discomfort from the numbness in her legs and feet. 
Our great friends", Jim and Ellie, are preparing a Thanksgiving feast for us.  Smoked turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, Jim's special Pecan Pie and Ellie's Pumpkin pie.  Ms Pat is preparing a fruit salad and spinach casserole to go along with the wonderful dinner.  Makes me hungry just thinking about it.
Thank you again for all your thoughts and prayers.  They are definitely working!!"



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Think SNOW !

As I sit down here in this sweltering heat in Arizona, I can’t help but think of what happened the day we planned on leaving Custer, SD. last Oct…..   A real blizzard.   Needless to say we had to delay our departure a few days. Here are a few pictures of the predicament we were in, trying to get south.
That is good friend Gregg digging us out.
It was 114* in Phoenix last week and 112* here at Congress….   Talk about two extremes!!!
Hope everyone is having a good summer…

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Happy Birthday!!!

I just saw on Facebook where today is Kris Kristofferson’s birthday…

I had the pleasure of meeting Kris once:

Way back in 1978 or 79, I was working for Dairyland Ins. Co. out of Salt Lake City, UT. where I was the regional manager. I was on a road trip calling on several of our best producing agents all over the great state of Montana. I was in the Kalispell, MT. area and checked into the local Holiday Inn. As I walked into the lobby, I saw this tall familiar looking gentleman coming threw the lobby, As we passed, our eyes met and we smiled at each other and said the usual “Howdy” and this gentleman said to me “How Ya Been”?  I replied “real good, and you”?  He stated back “I’ve been great!” then he said “Good seeing you again” and of course I stated back “you too”!!

I thought to myself, I know that guy, but I can’t remember where I have seen him before or who he is. I’m sure you all know how that happens and how it bothers you.   Still trying to remember who this friendly gentleman was, I ask the check in clerk at the desk if she knew who that fellow was.  Why yes, that is Kris Kristofferson. He is making a movie in this area and the film crew is staying here.  OH MY GOSH !!, Heck yes, I had just encountered the tall good-looking, friendly, singer and movie star, the not so famous then, Kris Kristofferson.

So that was my encounter with Kris and I don’t know why, but I always just thought of him as a friend after that. In just a few seconds I knew I had met a guy that was special. A guy that never met a stranger. (you know the type) He has always been special to me since then and it is the last time I saw him in person.  He has became a lot more well known since that time and I have found out one other thing about Kris. Today is his BIRTHDAY..

I am very happy to share my birthday with him. I am a few years older than he is for sure!!
Well, would you believe 1 year? Kris was born in 1936....
Happy Birthday Kris Kristofferson, and you too Mike McFall.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

OK, here we go!


It has been a long winter. Due to medical problems, we regretfully will not be able to make it up to our summer place in Custer, SD. this summer. We will both really miss the beautiful Black Hills. We have spent every previous summer in the hills since 1995.

If you wish to read the entire careingbridge journal of our medical activities for the winter, you may go to:

I have been being treated for Prostrate Cancer that had metastasized in my bones.  I was being injected with a special “radio active” drug called Xofigo.

After my 6th monthly and last Xofigo infusion on May 12th, we had planned to head towards our place in Custer, SD. However, the Dr. wanted me to get another Nuclear Bone scan before we leave. That scan has been scheduled for May 29th. That should really tell us what this treatment has done to the Cancer in my bones. Keeping my fingers crossed on that one!

Now the "BAD" news. As most of you know, for about the past 3 or 4 months, Ms. Pat has had a pinched nerve in her Cervical spine that has been causing pain, numbness and weakness in the left arm and hand. She has been taking constant Physical Therapy and has had an Epidural in the cervical area in an effort to reduce the pain and swelling around the nerve. The treatments have been unsuccessful and haven't helped the pain. We were advised that she must have surgery as soon as possible to fix the narrowing of the spinal canal that is causing the pain. Failing to relieve the pressure on the nerves in the spinal canal could cause permanent damage and possible paralysis. The diagnosis is Cervical Spondylosis with Myelopathy.

It was decided that she would have this major Cervical Spine surgery (C2 to C7) on Tuesday, May 13. Everything went well except for one minor glitch. One of the screws went just inside the spinal column fluid. It did not affect the spinal cord but needless to say, it caused some blood and/or fluid to enter the brain and cause a few problems. So now she is on bed rest until a Neuro Surgeon and the Orthopedic Surgeon can put their heads together and figure out a good time to do the next surgery.

We had two or three Doctors trying to get their heads together as to when this second surgery should be done. This surgery will be to remove the screw that went array and replace it in it's proper place. The rod in that side of her spine has to be removed, then the screw replaced in the proper spot and the rod replaced. Fortunately, only one of the six screws has to be removed.

After a lot of discussion between the Orthopedic and the Neuro-Surgeon doctors, along with some out-of-state specialists, it was decided that the surgery should be delayed 5 to 7 weeks. It was further agreed that she could come home and receive home care nursing and home physical therapy. She will also receive constant care and watched closely by Lisa (her daughter) and I.

We brought Pat home late on the afternoon of Wednesday May 21st.  She enjoyes being home in her own surroundings and bed. Especially she was so glad to see Ms Megabyte2. However, she misses the really great care and special services she received from the nurses and of course, the meals being delivered after she ordered them from the hospital menu. Plus they always brought Lisa and I our own plate.

She walks well with a walker, however, we are extremely concerned and worried about the numbness and loss of feeling in her hips, legs and toes.  This has improved very little, if any, since the surgery. The Drs tell us it will improve in time. We may be a little impatient, but we are watching closely for this improvement.  As I mentioned, she will receive professional Physical Therapy and we will keep her exercises going as needed here at home. Our daughter Lisa from Florida has been a real blessing for us.

I know you will all keep her in your prayers, as they are much needed and appreciated.

I will do my best to keep you current on Ms. Pats progress and any other changes in her condition. More on the careingbridge site than here.

This kind of brings you all up to date on what is happening right now with us. 

God Bless


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Its been a LONG time!



North Ranch 2014

Anyone around anymore??

Its been over a year (March 1013) since I stopped writing this Blog and put it on suspension. 

I’m just wondering if there are enough followers out there to start it up again on an occasional basis?