Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Gobble, gobble, goblin

Happy Halloween! I'm dressing up as Pamela the Pirate Princess...corporate style, which means I'll slip on my tiara and eyepatch whenever the fun people come around. If you're trick or treating in my neighborhood, we've got Skittles aplenty. Argh!

There's some very good news from the Good Ship Sahara. But wicked tease that I am, I'm not going to spill the jelly beans just yet. I will tell you that she's had an especially rough week, though, so let's give her and Amy a bit of time to gather their energy. Sahara's therapy is a super-high intensity workout with many facets, and she's going at it like an athlete--but that doesn't leave much time for anything else.

If you indulge tonight, FLOSS!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hot hot hot

For all of you who may be worried that Sahara is in an area affected by the west coast fires, rest assured she is safe and sound.

My cold seems to be on its way out. I choked up a small lamb this morning and one of those old-fashioned croquet balls, but the stockholders of Kleenex and Ricola have gone back home, deflated. I've managed to sleep through the last couple of nights without the magical red liquid cough-silencer-bliss-inducer. Woohoo.

Nancy, feel free to give us that veggie chili recipe. I made chili with oodles of beans and beef last week. It's my version of chicken soup. Who needs penicillin when you've got cayenne?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sacrifice the chicken already, would you?

Greetings from the Fountain of Icky Chest Gunk. My entire office begged me to go home today and as I crawled to the parking lot, I swear I saw them wiping down the front door handles with disinfectant. I managed to have a big bowl of onion soup before retreating to my warm bed.

I promised you an update on the Wonderchild, and Amy was all too happy to oblige:

Hello everyone,

Time marches on here in Rehab World. I can't believe we are now in our fourth week! Sahara is still doing very well, in spite of fighting the fatigue that comes with changing medications combined with hard work. Some days she is so tired that she simply has to go back to bed and sleep; other days she gives 110% to her therapists all day long. She has such a wonderful group of therapists working with her - I am so happy with everything they've been doing. She is so much stronger, her skin is finally beginning to heal, and she is sitting up much straighter than she could before we got here.

Her hair is growing in quickly and so far it is straight, LOL. She hated her curly hair with a passion - that's why she had them shave it ALL off for the surgery!

On the down side...her audiology appointment this morning confirmed one of my fears. She has profound hearing loss in her left ear - likely it began with the chemo and was finalized by the surgery. Her right ear is in great shape, though, so thankfully she can function really well and handle normal conversation. They told me to hold off for a while before considering any kind of hearing aid, due to her age and the ever-so-slight possibility that it could improve with time and healing. But for now, when you talk to Sahara, be sure you are on her right side! :)

There are now three people on our floor under the age of 45 who have had strokes!!! What a wake up call this is. Seems like there are more and more younger people who are getting what we used to consider ailments of the elderly (but then again I also remember thinking that 40 was soooooo old.).

Shannon's visit was great and we had a lot of fun. It was so nice to go out for a meal really take simple things for granted when you have constant access to them. We can't wait to get back home!! I'm going to do my very best to get some "normal" back in our lives, although I don't know if I really remember what normal is anymore.

We hope to be able to come home soon!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I want my mommy

I have a cold. This is what happens to a teacher's spouse. They bring these things home and share them. Do they ever bring home cupcakes? No they do not. But they bring home viruses, plagues, and in some extreme cases, cooties.

If my sad, pathetic, wilted fingers are ever strong enough , and if my lungs ever allow me to take a deep breath again, then I will blow out the candles on my pity party cupcake and write you another Sahara tale. For now, I must practice my best imitation of a grouchy, fat, old bear.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Day by day

Hi everyone,

Sahara had a rotten day yesterday. I guess she had earned a day off, all things considered! Coming off decadron is one of the hardest things she's had to face. She woke up with a bright red face and a headache, and was so lethargic she could barely keep her head up. We ended up cancelling her therapies and letting her sleep, because she simply couldn't function. They upped her hydrocortisone, which helped tremendously, and she's soooo much better today. She did some serious standing and stretching this afternoon.

Poor she's also having to face skin tears. It's a blessing that she's moving, but her skin is so fragile from the evil steroid - it's like tissue paper. She has bandages all over! At the rate she's going, she'll be fully costumed as a mummy by halloween. LOL.

Last night we put up the artwork her cousins worked so hard making! Thanks to Carson, Elise, Claire, Evan and Cole - you really brightened up her boring walls. She loved the jokes, too!!!

To Evelyn and Comer: Shannon wanted me to tell you that your package arrived. :) Sahara's going crazy wondering what's in that big box. LOL. Thank you!!!

Shannon should be here soon and it's going to be great to have him back. We hope to enjoy a great weekend together. He's looking forward to meeting the therapists who are working so hard to get Sahara back on her feet.

Thanks to everyone who continues to post...we enjoy reading them so much!


Monday, October 08, 2007

Popeye the sailor man (toot toot)

Hello, everyone,

I'm going to send Pamela a photo of the area I am using for internet'll give all of you a laugh. The one computer in the area is in high demand (brings back memories of the Ronald McDonald House in Houston!), so my time online is very limited. There are also firewalls out the yang, so I can't even do work-related things here. Sigh.

Anyway, things are going so well with Sahara and her rehab. She's working very hard and has impressed all of the doctors and therapists with her great attitude and willing spirit. She does whatever they ask of her, even if it hurts her poor body to do so. The stretches, the movements, all of the exercises and activities...she is so tired at the end of the day. Most of the time she's asleep by 8 or 8:30 at night. They keep her very busy.

She's started "school" here, also. It's great, because the teacher comes to our room! He's a really nice guy and Sahara likes him. He told me that she's the most agreeable student he's ever had - LOL. She's working on math and literature, so hopefully she'll stay on track with her classmates back in Cape. It's our goal to have her back in school just as soon as she can handle it. She misses everyone so much and really wants to get some "normal" back into her life.

This weekend we were treated to a fantastic outing, courtesy of the hospital and the US Coast Guard. We got to go out in a high-tech cutter, which was amazing. Took a nice cruise on a beautiful, sunny afternoon, had lunch on the boat, and got to see an air show that was out of this world. One of the sailors had to lift Sahara a couple of times to get her where she needed to be...she named him Popeye. The man had muscles on top of his muscles, and was truly Popeye the Sailor Man. LOL. It was a great way to spend the day and we had a great time. I was so glad she felt like going on the trip. She was so excited to get out of the confines of the hospital for a day!

Lots of hard work ahead this week...she's no doubt going to be pushed to the limit more and more as the days pass and she continues to gain strength and muscle control. Her legs are so much stronger I can't believe it. I'm just praying for the day that she can take some steps on her own. I've already seen it almost happen - they put her in a sling of sorts, and she took about 15 steps on the treadmill. She was suspended, but was bearing the weight and taking the steps on her own. I could see the pain on her was killing me...but she kept going. I was so very proud of her!

The best news for today is that it's the LAST day of taking Decadron! She's tapering off now on hydrocortisone, and should be done with that by December if all goes well. Praise the Lord, the steroids are going away. She is SOOOO happy about that!

I'll post again when I can, and hope to have even better news as time marches on. Have a great week!!


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Over the ocean

Our west coast girls are fine. I talked to Amy briefly last evening and we've scheduled a call for today, so I'll get you the full scoop on Sahara's progress soon.

They had one adventure this week--the hospital hired a bus company to bring several pediatric patients to the ocean, where a boat picked them up and sailed them past the sights on a cool, windy afternoon. How fun is that? Let me tell you, when I had my tonsils out in 1966, the big kahuna was the orange sherbet...not anything breathtaking like a ride on the ocean. I want a refund.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Life goes on

Cell phone service off the coast of Argentina...oh, I mean, come on, we all know they're in a remote cabin on the Baja peninsula, filming a reality show. Mmm, yeah.

Anyway, getting to the point, cell phone reception is sketchy at best, and internet access is even worse. At one point, Amy was holed up in a cafeteria, hidden behind a bunch of broken wheelchairs and bedpans, typing with a fork to get word out to us.

I'm betting on the obvious: Sahara is diligently working her tail off. Amy's scrounging tinfoil to make a proper antenna. And I'm sure we'll have an official update this weekend.