Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jesus Came to Israel

The mother of Jesus was a Jew. Her parents and their parents were Jews. When He grew up, He lived and did miracles among the Jews, the people of Israel. He was the One the prophets had spoke about. Some believed. Some did not.

Today there are Jews who have come to believe the glorious truth that Jesus is the Messiah, and that He is Emmanuel, which means God with us. I pray that others will come to know that as well.

I don't have time to write much of a blog post today. But I'll let the word of this song do the talking. I hope you will be blessed by them.

Monday, December 10, 2012

We Got to the Train (Station) On Time

When we go into Boston to sight see or go to appointments, we like to come home by way of South Station whenever possible. It's a quicker and much smoother ride to take the train than to go by subway and bus.

Last week, after my visit to my primary care physician, we cancelled the requested paratransit van transport because the weather was supposed to be mild and dry for the most part. So we wheeled ourselves from the doctor's office to South Station.

Well, the weather wasn't dry or very mild, and I had to stop along the way to buy a hat and gloves. But we arrived at South Station and I was prepared with my digital camera to take pictures of the electric train display they set up at Christmastime each year.

But...last week when we got to South Station...the had only begun to set up the display. As yet there weren't even any trains on the table.

Well, today I had another doctor's appointment. Afterwards we took the subway from the doctor's office to South Station and much to my delight, the train set up was complete! And, for some reason, DebbieLynne was also very happy for me.

This year the display included a light house, sail boats, and simulated water.

Now I'll see if I can share a picture or two and maybe a video of the display.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Time for the Christmas Letter

Each year about this time Deb writes a Christmas letter to send out to our friends and family members via both email and regular mail. This was quite an eventful year for us, with both harrowing trials and joyful celebrations.

Even the writing of the Christmas letter had a minor trial or two. Deb now has a new computer with a new operating system and a new version of Microsoft Word.  For a while neither of us could get the spell checker to work, even aftter following the official instructions. Then suddenly the spell checker started working, and that was a relief.

When it came time to print the paper copies of the letter another hitch developed. The letter wouldn't print. The printer was connected and turned on and the program was telling it to print, but nothing was happening. Well, I didn't know what else to do, so I turned the printer off, then on again. Sure enough, that took care of the problem.

Originally Deb was going to include my online Avon webstore URL in the letter, but then I checked and discovered the URL no longer works. After many years as an Avon representative, I'd had to give up the direct selling to my local customers this year due health problems and drop in sales, but I'd kept the online webstore for those who wanted to use it and have orders shipped directly to them. But, apparently due to lack of activity, the webstore was closed and I'm no longer an Avon representative.

But I'll still do what I can when I can to earn some extra money. I'm a guy and like many men I like to do something to earn money to provide for my wife. It's not essential that I work, but as long as I'm able I will seek to do so.

 Although I'm no longer an Avon representative, but I am still an Amazon affiliate. That is why you will see Amazon banners on my blogs. If anyone goes to Amazon by clicking on one of the banners and then orders anything on Amazon I will earn a commission.

This has been quite a year for Deb and me. Getting the Christmas letter written and ready to send out has been a time to look back at what God has brought us through, both the trials and the blessings.

Thank you all for your prayers. Thank you to all who have helped us in so many ways. May you all be greatly blessed at this Christmastime and throughout the coming year.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Time For A New Computer For Deb

Deb's computer is quite old, and  lately we'd been considering getting a new one. Yesterday it became clear to us that right about now was the right time to go ahead and order one.

Thankfully, we won't have to go into debt to get the computer. Thanks to the generosity of many of you, we no longer have the debt that medical expenses put us into. We now have enough money to purchase a new computer outright.

We won't be extravagant with the buying of the computer. She doesn't need one that can play dazzling high action video games. But she does need one that can handle an artwork program, a good Bible study program, go online for blogging, research, and fellowship, and playing games like Bookworm, and Scrabble.

I'm so glad that God chose for DebbieLynne and I to be born and live at a time when home computers are available. DebbieLynne is so creative both in her writing and art, and a computer enables her to express those gifts in so many ways. A computer and the Internet also make it so much easier for her to communicate with people using Facebook, Twitter, and e-mails.

The computer that will be coming for DebbieLynne will be one with a good reputation for being reliable and repairable if that's ever needed.

When I went online to order the computer yesterday I ran into some difficulty completing the order. But the online help service chatted with me and soon things were completed and I was given a good deal on next business day delivery. Since we didn't know if we could get Deb's old computer to cooperate a much longer, I asked for the quicker shipping service. So hopefully by tomorrow the new computer will be here and a friend from church has offered to come help get it set up.

I am very happy for Deb that she won't be without a computer. It will be fun to see what she does with the art program that will come with it. It will probably operate faster than the old one, which will be nice. Not so much waiting to go online or for programs to start. And it will even have a keyboard that won't have to be propped up with old cassette boxes like her current keyboard needs.

I get so blessed whenever something good comes along for DebbieLynne. I hurt when she's hurting, but that's part of being married, and it's worth it, because I get to share the fun and joyful things with her as well.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog today. I hope all is well for all of you.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Watching Citizen Kane Together

Last night DebbieLynne and I started watching a movie named Doc Martin because we both very much enjoy the quirky humor of the TV series by the same name. Right away it was clear that the movie was not like the TV show. We gave the movie a few more minutes, but concluded that neither of us were interested in the film. So instead we decided to watch a commentary on Citizen Kane, which is one of DebbieLynne's favorite movies.

DebbieLynne has good taste in both food and movies and (in my opinion) what man to marry. I'm glad she let me know how much she likes Citizen Kane because that encouraged me to give her a two DVD set of the classic movie. The extras include a documentary about the movie and two commentaries.

We'd already seen one of the commentaries, so last night we started watching the second one. I was fun to learn about the innovative things Orson Wells did in the making the film, usually not just be be "new" but simply because this was his first film and he didn't know how he was "supposed" to do things.

Orson Wells had already had success on radio and in the theater, so he used techniques he'd learned in those areas to enhance how he presented the story in Citizen Kane. He used what he'd learned before and experimented to learn more about what would or would not work in making a motion picture.

DebbieLynne likes well made movies, and, like Orson Wells, she like to be creative. In her artwork that she does on the computer. She studies what others have done and written, and experiments to discover new ways to get the results she wants.

I love being married to DebbieLynne for many reasons. One reason is because I get to have more enjoyment out of watching and learning and appreciating movies like Citizen Kane as I do so with my darling Deb.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Doing What We Can for Each Other

Since both my wife Deb and I have been disabled since childhood, we are limited in what we can do for each other. She'd love to prepare meals for me, but since she physically can't do that, she does all she can to see that I eat healthy. She finds good recipes online, modifies them to fit my dietary restrictions, then prints them out so her attendant can shop for the ingredients and cook the meals for us.

She knows I like old movies, so she browses online and picks out ones for us to view when they come in the mail from Netflix.

She knows I enjoy driving both our chairs at the same time when we're out and about, so she often lets me do that even though she's quite capable of operating the joystick of her chair by pushing on it with her head.

It is a privilege and a pleasure for us to do what we can for each other.

During the storm that just came through, when Deb's regular attendants couldn't get here, I helped out a bit more than usual. Back-up attendants aren't as familiar with how things are done so I helped out with explaining things and assisting when I could.

Most days, unless I'm sick, we have lunch and supper by ourselves. The food has already been cooked and frozen, so all I have to do is thaw and microwave it. We both like it that way, rather than having the extra company of an attendant sharing the table with us. At lunch time we even usually have music playing. DebbieLynne picks out music she knows I like and plays it on her computer.

In the morning, after my attendant gets me up, and before DebbieLynne's attendant gets her up, we usually have time to pray while I massage her feet for a few minutes. One of Deb's feet has especially poor circulation since (for some reason) she doesn't ever do any walking. Even my massaging that foot in the morning hadn't helped much. But yesterday the back-up attendant explained that if the lower leg isn't also massaged, the blood pooled in the foot won't have any place to go. So we tried that this morning and her foot looked much better after just a few minutes!

Deb and I can't do a lot of things for one another. But what we can do, we are so glad to do. You see, after just over ten years of marriage, we're still very much in love with one another.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Storm Named Sandy Stayed Away From Us

Folks in New Jersey and New York were severely impacted by hurricane Sandy. Deb and I are praying for them and the workers who are striving to rescue those who are stranded, and repair the damage that was done to their property and lives.

Here in our apartment on the third floor of our building we saw the trees blowing back and forth by the strong gusts of wind. From time to time there were torrential downpours, but they didn't last very long.

My mom, who lives in another part of  town, lost power for a few hours. DebbieLynne's evening personal care attendant wasn't able to come because driving wasn't safe at the height of the storm. Deb's morning attendant couldn't come this morning due to a tree having fallen on her car while it was parked in her driveway.

But our building only lost power for less than a minute. DebbieLynne was helped out last night and this morning by a woman in  the building. I got help from the guy who normally helps me who also lives in the building.

We also got phone calls from people offering to come to our aid if needed. But we were safe. We didn't need to use the water that we'd filled the tub with. We didn't need to use either the electric lantern that we bought or the one that had been given to us by a friend at church.

Thank you for those who prayed for us. Now lets pray for those who are recovering from the damages inflicted by the storm named Sandy which did not do harm to Deb and me.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A View of the Custom House Tower in Boston

Two days ago Deb and I took advantage of a mild late October day to venture into Boston. We visited the Granary Burial Ground where the graves of John Hancock, John Adams, Paul Revere and other patriots are located. We shared a turkey burger at a healthier than most hamburger restaurant. Then headed for Haymarket to buy some fresh fruits and vegetables.

Just before getting to Haymarket we passed by Quincy Market where I took this picture since the fall colors of the foliage looked nice with blue sky and the Custom House tower in the background.

The Custom House Tower can been seen from many locations in Boston. It's not the tallest building in Boston, but it is very distinctive. It does have an observation deck but the day we decided to visit it we learned that the deck has high walls and so those of us in wheelchairs wouldn't be able to see much.

Even though we've never been up in the tower, I always enjoy seeing it, and from time to time take another picture of it. It so good to be able to go out and about with DebbieLynne and see interesting sites.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I So Appreciate the Help Deb Gives Me

Gen 2:18  Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." ESV

 I need help. I get to be reminded of that quite often. For example, just yesterday I was letting the day go by without calling the paratransit service to request transport for DebbieLynne's doctor's appointment today at noon. After all, the office is less than a half mile away and the weather forecast was for no rain until late afternoon. But DebbieLynne reminded me that it would be good to request the trip, and in the morning cancel it if the weather was indeed what it was forecast to be. So I called.

Well, sure enough this morning we woke up and it was raining. Not heavily, but enough to have soaked DebbieLynne and me if we're tried to get to and from the doctor's office in our power wheelchairs. It was still raining both when the van took us to the office and back home again afterwards.

Deb also helps me eat healthy, which is so important for somebody like me who's had cancer and a heart attack. She finds healthy recipes online and adjusts them to fit our dietary restrictions.

She also helps me improve the writing for my blogs. She's an excellent writer and has even served as an editor. Now that I'm blogging more, she's giving me points to help me communicate more effectively.

She also helps me be a better husband. When I blow it as a loving husband, she helps me try to do better. She also forgives me, and that, too, make me want to do better.

She also encourages me to be a more godly man. Even though we very much like to be with each other while at church, she's happy for me to spend time fellowshipping and praying with the other men.

I thank God that Deb is my wife. I can never thank Him enough for that.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Almost Not with Deb on Her Birthday

During the week leading up to DebbieLynne's birthday, one day we had a stuffed baked potato from a cart on the Greenway in Boston, then a canoli from Mike's Bakery in the North End. On another day we took a Freedom Trail walk, had lunch together in a nice restaurant, and I bought her a pretty skirt she saw that she liked.

Her actual birthday is on the 30th, which this year is a Sunday, so we made plans to go to a Mexican restaurant after church, inviting a couple from church to double date with us. Sunday was also the day I planned to give her a double dvd set of one of her favorite movies, Citizen Kane. It was going to be such a nice day.

Well, the day before her birthday things went downhill for me. DebbieLynne noticed I was somewhat bloated that morning, but I felt OK and had breakfast as usual. But by lunchtime I was more bloated and didn't feel up to eating anything.

As the day progressed things weren't going well for me and, at DebbieLynne's suggestion, I called my primary care doctor's phone number and talked with the doctor covering for her. He told me to call back if things got worse, which by evening I had to make the call. He said he would notify the emergency room and that I should get in there as soon as I could.

While waiting for the ambulance to arrive I told DebbieLynne about the Citizen Kane DVD set since it was very unlikely I'd be able to give it to her the next day. The last time I had similar symptoms I was in the hospital for 6 days. It was even possible that this could be more serious than last time if they decided it was necessary to go in and find out if whether it is something other than an ulcer in my intestine that is showing up on CAT scans.

The ambulance came and took me to the Emergency Room, and that's where I spent the night, getting prepped for and then having another CAT scan, answering questions, discussing the situation, and letting staff members know that my wife's birthday was that day (by then it was after midnight so Sunday had begun).

The scan showed that there was a blockage but that it was further down than the last one and might be treatable with a heavy duty enema. The two glasses of solution that I'd drunk to prepare for the scan also have a laxative effect, so things progressed along with the recommended treatment and I got to feeling a lot better.

The heavy duty enema worked extremely well, and they said if I could drink a large glass of water without any adverse reaction I should be OK to go back home. I never wanted to a glass of water so much since it would mean getting to spend DebbieLynne's birthday with her.

When the water caused no problems the call for my transportation home was made. When I arrived back at our apartment I got to wish my darling DebbieLynne a Happy Birthday in person. My being there to spend the day with her was the best birthday present I could give her.

An extended birthday and every day gift to her will be if I can keep out of the hospital. My nurse in the Emergency Room recommended I add a certain kind of yogurt to my diet to help keep things moving successfully through my intestines. That will be in addition to all the other things I'm doing that are recommended by my doctors and learned from researching things and discussing them with my doctors.

I thank you for your prayers for us. Doing all the right things to guard my health isn't enough. We need God to sustain us. So I very much appreciate your going to Him to look after us.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Treat My Wife With Respect Not Condecension

When my wife, Deb, lived in California she often went shopping and to the movie theater and elsewhere on her own. People there welcomed her at their places of business and were glad to have her business. That is how things should be for everyone, even those who like my wife who happen to use a wheelchair.

Today Deb and I were in Boston. We enjoyed being at the Boston Commons. We rolled along Charles Street. We had lunch at B'Goods on Washington Street at Downtown Crossing.

Then we went to Quincy Market so DebbieLynne could have a nice Cannoli. Before I got the pastry I took the elevator down to the restroom. DebbieLynne waited for me in the public eating area. That's when our pleasant day in Boston turned sour.

A security guard came over and asked DebbieLynne "Is your friend coming back?" There was no need for the woman to ask that question. The guard wasn't going around asking anybody else who happened to be sitting alone such a question. But DebbieLynne answered, "Yes, he's coming back."

"Good," the woman responded, "I just didn't want you to be alone."

"I'm Ok, geez" retorted DebbieLynne, aggravated that this woman didn't think she was qualified to sit by herself in a public place.

The security guard then walked about 10 feet away and stayed there, keeping an eye on my wife.

After a time the woman summed another security guard to stand with Debbielynne while that guard went off looking for me. My wife was obviously upset by this treament. What if she decided to go somewhere else? Would they follow her? Would they try to prevent her from leaving the area?

When I got back and found out what was going I demanded to see her immediate superior and then the director of public safety at Quincy Market. I want people to treat my wife with the proper and simple respect she deserves. She should be as free as anybody to be where she has a right to be whether or not she is by herself.

That woman ruined what had been a nice day for Deb and me, and ruined Deb from feeling free to be in Quincy Market or elsewhere in Boston on her own, or even go there with me because there will be times when I won't be right there sitting next her and there will be people like that security guard who will find something wrong with that.

Deb and I are extremely upset that she gets treated that way when on her own. Last year it was a policeman in Randolph who treated her that way. Today it was that security guard at Quincy Market in Boston.

Please pray that these people will learn to treat DebbieLynne and all people with disabilities with the common respect everyone deserves whether they are with others or by themselves.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Celebrating 10 Years of Marriage

A little over a week ago, on August 24th, DebbieLynne and I celebrated our 10th Anniversary. We took a luncheon harbor cruise on the Spirit of Boston. There were roses on our table for two, lobster, and champagne (alcohol removed). And we danced while the DJ played our requested song, Still The One, by Shania Twain. (See a video of our dancing on DebbieLynne's blog post here).

After our luxurious meal and romantic dance we went out on the back deck to enjoy the sunshine and view of Boston Harbor. After such a traumatic year with me in the hospital so much it was refreshing to be together on the 10th anniversary of our wedding.

Two days later our church held a party to for us. Members of my family, friends, and fellow church members joined us to celebrate these ten years together that God has given us. There was good food, fellowship, and another opportunity for us to dance to Still the One.

As the party ended, moments before Deb and I had to get outside to get the paratransit van back home, we had just enough time to open a curiously large present, and a smaller one that went with it, both gifts from the members of our church. The two gifts were a 32 inch TV and a blue-ray/DVD player! We'd never even dreamed of having anything like that. The love and generosity of our friends at church overwhelmed us.

Later in the week Deb and I met my Mom at the Cheesecake Factory at the Shopping Plaza, to treat her to a birthday lunch. While we were there DebbieLynne also bought me a Kindle reader as a combination Anniversary and Birthday present. She also bought me a Study Bible for the Kindle so I can easily read it and even take notes. I can use it when resting in bed at home, or when we're at church, or...if necessary...if I'm in the hospital. She sure knows me and how to bless me.

I am so blessed to have DebbieLynne as my wife. She so blesses me every day. I love doing whatever I can for her whenever I can. I thank God for these 10 years together that He's given us so far.

And I thank you for your prayers for us. DebbieLynne and I pray for you. We pray that you cherish your marriages and friendships. Every day and every moment is precious.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Back in Time For Lunch Today

Most of the time DebbieLynne and I go out together. One day last week we went into Boston and had lunch at Quincy Market and then went to the new Tea Party and Ships Museum. Later in the week we went to the South Shore Plaza to do a little shopping at Sears and Targets.

Today, however, I had an eye exam just a 2 mile bus ride down Main Street, so I went by myself. The exam was scheduled for 1 o'clock so I had to leave shortly before noon to be sure to be there on time. That was a bit too early for us to have lunch before I left, so we decided we'd eat when I got back.

DebbieLynne had her morning personal care attendant make up sandwiches and put them in the refrigerator so they'd be ready when I got back.

I'm glad I left a little early to get to the appointment because Main Street in the center of town had been scraped down to make ready for a new surface. But I found a place to safely cross in my wheelchair just in time to get the next bus down to the eye doctor's office.

The exam was completed by 2 o'clock and about a half hour later the bus came along and it brought me back to the center of town so I could wheel back home to our apartment. It was a little after 3 when I came through the door to see my darling DebbieLynne.

While I was out DebbieLynne had read the blog post I made this morning on my I Ponder Today blog and discovered a typo I'd made.. I appreciate her finding it and letting me know so I could fix it.

She also let me know that she'd written up some fun questions to ask people who come to the party in a few weeks to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.

But before fixing my blog post or reading the list of questions I got the sandwiches out of the 'fridge and she had her cheese sandwich and I had my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. A simple lunch to be sure, but I do so enjoy sharing all our meals again. That 2 and a half months of my being in the hospital meant many days of  not even seeing one another let alone not being able to eat together.

I hope all of you married couples take take to cherish the times you get to be together. If God has blessed you with time together I hope you thank Him and let your wife or your husband know how much you appreciate being with them whenever you can.

I am still learning how to better express love to my wife. I'd appreciate your prayers for me as I seek to do ever better at loving her in both in word and deed.

Thank you all for your prayers for us.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Plan to Celebrate 10 Years of Maraige

For a while this year it looked like Deb and I might not get to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. We were faced with the diagnosis of my colon cancer, and then I had a heart attack which meant the surgery to remove the cancer had to be postponed to give my heart time to mend after the stint was put in.

Finally, after 2 and a half months, I got home from the hospital and gradually began to regain strength. Things were looking up. But then I got some test results that were questionable.and I got quite concerned. Would I be going back into the hospital. Was my reprieve only temporary?

Well, we're hoping I will be OK. Further tests will be done next month, and for now I am feeling good and I'm able to be off the ventilator for more than an hour at a time. I was breathing on my own all through the church service today. I was also off it all during the time Deb and I were on the tour of the Boston Tea Part Ship and Museum last Tuesday.

I am feeling better physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Deb and I are now very much looking forward to celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary.

 On the actual day of our anniversary were are going to go on a luncheon cruise on the Spirit of Boston. Two days later we're having a party at our church. At both events we're having the following song sung for us to dance to:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Doing Rehab One Day At a Time

Following the surgery to remove the colon cancer I wasn't able to eat anything at first. Then I was allowed clear liquids. Then I was allowed some soft easy to digest food just before being transferred back to the rehab hospital. During that time I lost quite a bit of weight.

For the time being I'm on a diet of low fiber food to make it easier for my colon to heal. My abdomen is still bloated, but I'm eating as much as I can to regain weight.

I managed to get up into my wheelchair on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to build up muscle strength. Lack of eating, and being bedridden has resulted in loss of of strength and I want to get built up again as quickly as possible so I can get home to be with DebbieLynne.

Unfortunately on Saturday I had a temperature of 102 degrees. Tests determined it was due to a urinary tract infection. So I didn't get out of bed on Saturday or Sunday. I'm now on antibiotics which should eliminate the infection.

I felt better on Monday (yesterday) and practiced getting from bed to chair and back a few times. We even raised the level of bed a level to make it more like the bed at home. I stayed up in my wheelchair between lunch and supper.

Today I've done two sessions of wheelchair to bed and back transfers. What used to be so easy is now hard work, but should get much easier as I regain strength. I got into the wheelchair after lunch and plan to remain in it until after supper.

I'm also using a device to strengthen the muscles used to inhale when breathing. The better I can breathe on my own and use my arms to do transfers, the better I will be able to do things for myself and DebbieLynne once I get home.

We're hoping I'll be back with DebbieLynne sometime next week. Please pray that will work out. Pray I will regain weight and strength with no more running of a fever. Also please pray for my abdominal bloating to subside.

Thank you for your praying. And thanks again for those who've been helping DebbieLynne while I've been hospitalized now for over two months.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

On the Mend From My Colon Surgery

It had seemed like I was making little by little progress each day following the surgery to remove the colon cancer on May 15. But yesterday I was so bloated that it was hard to breathe even with my ventilator. I could barely talk on the phone with my wife.

Why was my condition so much worse yesterday than the previous day? Was the treatment I was getting here at the rehab hospital doing me more harm than good?

Well, I theorized that maybe I had the night time tidal volume on my ventilator set too high. Maybe it was causing air to go into my stomach as well as my lungs. So I lowered the tidal volume and then lowered it some more until it was as low as I could have it and still have acceptable oxygen levels reading on the monitor.

That change made a great difference. When I woke  up early this morning I was no more bloated than the night before, and I felt rested and refreshed.

Yesterday I was so bloated they put me back on a clear liquid diet. Today, with the bloating significantly down I got to have a lunch of baked fish, mashed potatoes, well cooked cauliflower, and a small cup of canned fruit. It tasted sooo good!

After lunch the therapist helped me get my back brace on. Then she stood by while I with considerable effort transferred from the bed into my wheelchair. It was the first time I'd done that since the surgery two weeks ago today. Praise God.

Building up the strength in my arms to do transfers is important, so I'll continue to work on that for getting in and out of bed and on and off a commode.

I'll also be working to extend the amount of time I can be off the ventilator. For two months I've had to use it 24 hours a day. It will so good when I can be at home with DebbieLynne and not have to use the vent while having meals together. And in time we hope I'll be able to go venturing outside and even into Boston without the ventilator doing my breathing for me.

Thankfully the new ventilator can be strapped to the back of my wheelchair so I could use it when I'm out. But when it's back there I'm not able to turn it on or off. My respiratory therapist is trying to figure out a way it could be turned on or off without reaching the controls.

My physical problems yesterday were distressing. But today things are looking up again. I wanted to share that with you. That's why I'm making this post.

I abundantly thank you for your prayers and for your caring about DebbieLynne and me.

Friday, May 25, 2012

I Thank You For Your Prayers and Help

On May 15 I was brought from the rehab hospital to Massachusetts General Hospital for my colon cancer surgery. A great many people who care about me and DebbieLynne were praying things would go well.

With my permission the anethesiologist performed an epidural since that would allow them to reduce the amount of sedation I would need.

A breathing tube to my lungs was put in place after I was put to sleep, and later that same day was removed and I was back using my positive pressure ventilator with my mouthpiece strapped on. That was a wonderful answer to prayer because it was thought I might need to use the breathing tube for an extended period.

I was kept in the recovery room for a few days before it was deemed safe to move me to the respiratory intensive care unit. After a few days I was allowed to begin having clear liquids. Then, just 8 days after the operation, I was transported back to the rehab hospital to continue recovery.

Thank you so much for your prayers and help. I'll let you know how rehab goes. My re-sectioned colon is healing. I'll have to restrict my diet to low fiber foods until it can tolerate them. The abdominal swelling will need to reduce more before I can use my newer (tight fitting) back brace, but today I was able to use my old  (loose fitting) back brace on so I could sit more upright in the bed to eat lunch.

 Such amazing progress so soon after the surgery is a wonderful answer to prayer.

Thank you also so much for all those of you  who have helped DebbieLynne with meals and more while I've been away and couldn't be there myself to help her.

And I thank you for helping us financially. Your generosity has provided enough to finish paying off the debt incurred when we had to meet a large deductible to qualify DebbieLynne to be on MassHealth.

DebbieLynne and I are greatly blessed. God has blessed us with so much, including friends like you.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Things Often Don't Go As We Expect

When I went for my analoscopy we expected that an internal hemorrhoid was the cause of my bleeding. But it turned out to be colon cancer.

When I went in for the colonoscopy to examine the rest of my colon, we expected I'd be home by the end of  the day, and prayed that things would go well. But right after the colonoscopy I had a heart attack and had to be admitted to the hospital.

Following the heart procedures to clear the blockage and put in a stint, we hoped and prayed that I would be able to spend at least a few days at home prior to my colon surgery 6 weeks after the heart was repaired. But I'm still here in the rehab hospital, with just five more days until the operation.

Arrangements had been made for DebbieLynne to come here tomorrow afternoon for a nice visit of a couple of hours. But this morning I learned that the pre-op tests and evaluations can't be done here at the rehab hospital so I'll have to be brought to Mass. General tomorrow which will tie up all afternoon. So there will be no visit with Deb tomorrow!

Once again things have not gone as we hoped and expected. Thankfully the person who was going to bring her here tomorrow for a longer visit will be able to get DebbieLynne here for a shorter visit later this afternoon. So we'll have some time together before Tuesday.

But we have to wonder. Will the operation on Tuesday go as we hope and pray and expect? Please continue to keep us in prayer. Has this time of my being hospitalized since my colonoscopy and heart attack been to help me be physically ready to survive the surgery and recover, or has it been to prepare DebbieLynne to handle life without me by her side?

We hope the surgery will go well and that after some weeks of recovery I'll be able to return home to be with my beloved DebbieLynne. She plans to arrive at the hospital during the latter part of the operation and a Christian friend will stay with her to help support her during that difficult time. Hopefully they'll get to rejoice together by the end of the afternoon if I'm awake and can let them know I'm OK.

Please do keep DebbieLynne in prayer. If I don't survive the surgery, I'll be with Jesus with no more problems of any kind. But DebbieLynne will be hurting badly. I don't want that to happen. I pray that it doesn't happen. I don't expect that it will happen. But things do not always go as we expect. So please continue to pray...and if God doesn't answer our prayers in the way we want and hope and expect He will, please help DebbieLynne however you can whenever you can.

I thank all of you for what you have done and will do for my beloved DebbieLynne. Hopefully I'll be around for a long time to do whatever I can for my sweetheart.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Visit to My Cardiologist and a Gift From Old Friends

Yesterday (Tuesday) I was transported from the rehab hospital to Mass. General Hospital to see my cardiologist. He had another EKG done and looked at the results of recent blood tests, and gave the OK for me to have the colon surgery next Tuesday.

He said he was comfortable with my blood count being 25, but recommended a blood transfusion before the surgery if it goes any lower than that, Normally he'd like the count to around 30, but some studies have indicated that colon cancer may spread more when blood counts are higher.

After the surgery removes the colon cancer the daily bleeding should end and the blood counts should gradually rise back to normal levels. That should help me regain strength and  stamina.

My cardiologist also thinks I'll do OK during the day of fasting and "cleaning out" the day before the operation. My heart is in much better condition than it was when I had the colonoscopy, thanks to the surgery to open the blocked artery and put in a stint.

I'll be intubated during the operation to take care of my breathing while under the affects of the annethesia. Hopefully I'll be able to get  back to using my ventilator by the end of the day.

Please pray that things will go well during preparation for the operation, the surgery itself, and the recovery from  it.

I also want to acknowledge and give thanks for a generous gift from some old friends of my wife. That gift will bring our debt down to $800.

I wrote about that debt in an earlier post. DebbieLynne and I are greatly moved that people have come to our aid at this difficult time and have done so much to lift that burden from us.

Thank you for your prayers and all everyone has done and is doing during this time of our dealing with colon cancer and being apart for so long.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Updates On Two Fronts

First, as we near the date (May 15) of my surgery to remove the section of my colon with the cancer, Deb and I met with the surgeon yesterday.

Unfortunately he said it wouldn't be possible to do the surgery with two small incisions because my polio affected insides down there aren't lined up properly. So he'll have to make a larger incision in the abdomen to remove part of the large colon and sew back together the remaining colon.

There will be the possibility of infection afterwards until things fully heal, but measures will be taken to lessen the likelihood of that happening. But once the cancer is removed the daily bleeding should end. That should eliminate the need for blood transfusions I now get about once a week.

 He said that it is more likely that I'll have a prolonged period of limited pulmonary function. Since my heart attack the day of my colonoscopy I've only been able to be off the ventilator for very short periods. Lately the best I've been able to be without the respirator is about 20 minutes.

During the estimated 3 hours of the colon surgery I'll be under anesthesia and have a tube down to my lungs to breathe for me. The surgeon thinks it may take many weeks for my breathing to recover.

But Deb and I are thinking that with no more bleeding after the cancer is removed I may regain strength more quickly that what the surgeon thinks. And as soon as I'm able to be up in my wheelchair again, I'll be able to have my new vent on the back of my chair and use it on battery power for about 4 hours, or plug it into an electrical outlet when one is available.

Please do keep us in prayer regarding the surgery. Things haven't been going as we've hoped. The "out-patient" colonoscopy session led to the heart attack and heart procedures and this prolonged hospitalization with no time off to be home together. We don't know when I'll be able to return home after the surgery. So, please, keep us in prayer, including that I do get through the operation and recovery.

The other update I want to share with you is in regards to my earlier posting about the debt we'd incurred while paying for disability related needs to qualify DebbieLynne to be on MassHealth when she moved here to Massachusetts to marry me.

Thanks mostly to the help of caring friends, the $3,000 in credit card debt is now down to about $1,200. Thank you for all those who have helped with that. You have blessed us with your prayers and your giving.

I also want to thank all of those who have helped and will help DebbieLynne during this time of my being in the hospital. I wish I was there to do as much as I can for her myself. But until I get back there, I greatly appreciate whatever anybody does to help Deb.

Thank you for your prayers, your gifts, and your helping out in whatever ways you can. May God abundantly bless each of you.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Date For My Colon Surgery Has Been Set

Today I learned that the surgery to remove the portion of the colon with  the cancer is scheduled for May 15, which is three weeks from today.

 Between now and then I will continue to get chest physical therapy (a sort of pounding) to keep my lungs clear. The more clear my lungs are before the operation, the better it should be for my breathing during and following  the time under anesthesia.

Breathing is rather important. Prior to the heart attack I was able to breathe on my own when sitting up in my wheelchair. For now I'm needing to use a ventilator all the time, whether in bed or in the wheelchair. I'm hoping to once again build up the ability to breathe on my own in the coming months.

It's clear now that I won't get to spend time at home with DebbieLynne before the operation. I have an appointment with the surgeon a week from Thursday. To get to it I'll need medical transportion to and from the doctor's office. Then the following Tuesday I'll be brought in to see my cardiologist.

It would have been difficult to get to those appointments if I'd returned home. There is also the matter of my needing units of blood to replace what continues to be lost due to the colon cancer and the blood thinning meds I'm on while recovering from the heart operation.

Since I can't get to DebbieLynne, in order for us to see each other, she will continue to have to come here when she can. Tomorrow the husband of one of my cousins will bring her, using a manual wheelchair.

Our church has offered to help cover the cost of her to make some visits using two paratransit services. The MBTA won't bring her to this town because it is outside their territory, but they will take her to Brockton to transfer to their paratransit service which does serve the town this rehab hospital is in. The trips will be time consuming but it will mean Deb and I can spend some  time together.

Thank you for praying for us. We miss being together. In case you hadn't noticed, we very much love one another.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Be Careful About Putting Things Off

I'm sure glad that Deb and I went to the Boston Commons, the Public Garden, and Quincy Market shortly before my colonoscopy.  Those are things we love to do, and we didn't know when I'd be up to venturing out and about next. Little did we know what was in store for us.

Right after the colonoscopy came the heart attack and then the heart procedures to clear the blockage and put in a stint. Then this period of recovery while I'm on blood thinners that are good for my heart but tend to increase the loss of blood from the colon cancer. So I've needed to be on the ventilator 24 hours day, rather than just an average of maybe 16 hours a day before these events.

Thankfully, I can still talk on the phone and use the computer to keep in touch with DebbieLynne. Since the MBTA paratransit service doesn't serve the town I'm in, she's not able to use it to come visit me. So she only has been able to come visit when others have transported her.

Prior to the colonoscopy I had taken care of paying bills and other fiscal matters. I hadn't gotten around to showing DebbieLynne how to access our bank accounts and pay various bills

If I hadn't survived the heart attack, DebbieLynne would not only have lost the husband who loves her dearly, she also would be had the added struggle of trying to figure out how take care of the household finances.

So we're now working on her learning how to do those things so she'll be able to do them during whatever times I am unavailable to do them. We're not putting that off any longer. Taking care of it is part of my loving her and taking care of her.

I'm learning to be more careful about putting things off. Please pray for me that I will do whatever I can for her whenever I can. Thank you for your prayers and for taking the time to read this post.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

One Heart Attack Later

Well, I had my Colonoscopy and it determined that there was just the one area of colon cancer. I was recovering from the procedure and my darling DebbieLynne was beside the hospital bed. I remember that much. But I don't remember what happened next.

I'm told that at first the docs thought it was just a breathing and heart problem brought on by the limited anesthesia used for the procedure. They got me stabilized, but decided to keep me at the hospital, and DebbieLynne returned home.

When we were told the next day that I'd a heart attack we thought it was what took place during recovery. But the actual heart attack, which we learned today was a major one with I think 90% blockage, was actually later that day. I wasn't conscious at the time so I don't remember it.

The next day they cleared the major blockage. The following day they put in stint to keep things open so the blood flowing.

I've had to be on ventilators around the clock. Today is the first day they've been able to transfer me into a wheelchchair beside the hospital bed. I'm able to take short breaks from the ventilator while sitting here. I'm taking care of a few things on the computer before they get me back onto the bed.

Thank you for your prayers. The colon surgery has had to be put off by 4 to 6 weeks due to the blood thinning meds I need to be on following the heart surgical procedures. I may be transferred to a rehab hospital to finish recovering and then hopefully get to return home to be with DebbieLynne for a while before the colon surgery.

Please keep praying. I am making progress. Folks from church and my cousins are helping DebbieLynne. This is a difficult time for both of us, but God is providing in answer to your prayers. We thank all of you who are praying and those who are doing things for us that we cannot do for ourselves at this time.

And please pray for all those who are trying to help me recover from the heart attack and be ready for the colon surgery and follow up treatments.

The Lord bless you and take care of all your needs and those of those you love.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day Before My Colonoscopy

Deb and I are concerned about my colonoscopy tomorrow, We are praying it won't discover any additional areas of colon cancer other than one discovered earlier this month. And we're praying that there won't be any complications that could prevent my coming home from the hospital after the procedure.

She only managed to sleep a few hours last night. I intermittently slept a little more than that, but one of the times that I awoke was due to the BiPap oral mouthpiece having slipped down below my upper lip, setting off the air leakage alarm.

In about 45 minutes I will start drinking the 4 liters of the "Nulitely" liquid, 8 ounces at at time every 10 to 15 minutes, to thoroughly empty out my colon. Tomorrow morning two of the men from church plan to drive me in to the hospital, and bring the new BiPap with us.

Deb just suggested I try using the full face mask when I can today. That's a good idea because it might be more apt to stay in place and not leak. She is such a blessing to me in so many ways. She does all she can to look after my needs, whether they be for my health, or encouragement, or refreshment, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

She so wishes she could at the hospital with me tomorrow. But since we don't know when I'll be coming home, if she took the paratransit van in she might end up being there or in a time consuming shared ride home if I get to return home early tomorrow afternoon. So she'll have to stay home and wait for a call as to how things go.

An anesthesiologist will be on hand during my colonoscopy, and a pulmonary doctor will see me when I arrive and will be available if and when needed, so precautions are being taken to help assure things will go as smoothly as possible.

The medical staff will do what they've been trained to do as best they can do it. But we know that God can both enable them to do their jobs well, and He can do things they are not able to do. So we ask for your prayers for them, and for Deb and me.

Deb and I are members of the mission's committee at our church, with the monthly meetings usually held at our apartment. This month's meeting was last night and before the other members left they prayed for both of us. We very much appreciated both their being here last night and that they prayed for us.

OK, Deb just reminded me that it is now noon. Time to start drinking the "Nulitely". So I'll close for now and hopefully be able to do at least a brief post late tomorrow, or perhaps the next day.

Thanks for reading this and for your prayers.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Husbands, Love Your Wives

Eph 5:25-30  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,  so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.   ESV

 I became a husband when I was 52 years old, nearly 10 years ago. Both then and now I consider this to be one of the greatest blessings, privileges, and responsibilities of my life.

The longer I've been a husband, the more I realize my standard for loving my wife DebbieLynne should be measured by how Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. He did what the church needed and no one else could do. He went to the cross as the only sinless sacrifice whose death could pay the penalty for our sins.

Jesus did that because He loves us and that was what we needed.

That's the example all who are husbands should follow. We should love our wives by doing what we can for them to care for them. Just as we would do what we can for our own bodies.

I long to do all I can for DebbieLynne. I ask for your prayers that I can continue to do for her as much as I can.

Today when the personal care attendant coming to get both of us up called to say she'd been in a car accident, it shook us. I so wished I could get my darling wife up out bed and into the bathroom and dressed. But I couldn't even get myself up. All I could was pray with her and make some phone calls.

God did provide somebody to get me up and somebody else to get DebbieLynne up, and then I did what I could for her, like feed her breakfast. I did what I could for her today until it was time to lie down and get some rest this afternoon.

There will be times when I won't be able to do even what I did for DebbieLynne today. I ask you to pray for us during those times. And for those of you who are able to help in practical vital ways during those times I hope you will do so.

I also urge all of you who are husbands to not take your wives for granted. Be thankful you have a wife. Love her. Love her like Christ loves the church and gave Himself for her. Do it while you can. Do what you can for her while you can.

OK, that's all I can post for today. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Deb Shared This Video With Me

DebbieLynne and I have met with Joni Eareckson-Tada both individually before we got married, and once more after we got married. We've read books she wrote, seen the movie about her life, and our church helps support her Joni & Friends ministry.

We prayed for Joni when we heard she had breast cancer and was treated for it surgically and then by chemotherapy. So this short video is especially meaningful to us as we face what will be needed to combat colon cancer.

I hope you'll take time to view and be blessed by this video.

Reporting Progress On Two Fronts

Last night for the first time ever I made it through the entire night using just the Trilogy BiPap machine that I'll need to use during my colonoscopy, surgery, and for sleeping with afterwards. Like the previous two nights I slept for about 60-90 minutes at a time, and then had to make adjustments to make it possible to get back to sleep. But unlike the previous nights, last night I didn't ever have to switch over to using the negative pressure motor to finish getting through until morning.

One difference last night was that I used an oral (just the mouth) mask instead of the larger face mask (nose and mouth) that I'd used on Thursday and Friday. My respiratory therapist thought the oral mask might work well for me. I will also try to get used to the other mask in case my pulmonary doctors want me to use it in specific situations. But we are so happy that this is working well enough to make it possible to go ahead with the colonoscopy on Thursday.

The other area of progress is in the matter of the debt we incurred when DebbieLyyne moved here from California nearly 10 years ago and we legally married rather than just live together. In order for her to get on Mass Health and get coverage for personal care attendants we had to spend a certain amount of money on disability related expenses in a certain time frame.

I had to use credit cards to meet those requirements, and by the time they were met we had about $7,000 of debt. Over the years we have been paying it off as best we could, but when it was discovered I had colon cancer a couple of weeks ago our debt still amounted to about $3,000.

I hope God will allow me to survive the treatment of this colon cancer, but I don't know if or when I will ever be able to get back to earning any income other than the Social Social Disability income that is based on my late Dad's earnings.

That's why I posted a request for help with our debt, and in less than two weeks, we've been blessed with gits amounting to $500. I thank you so much for your generosity and for the prayers of all those who are asking God to meet our needs.

I will continue to do whatever I can on my own to eliminate our debt, and whenever it is gone we will post that news here and on DebbieLynne's blog.

 If you choose to help us with a gift, you can do so via Paypal. I'd ask that you use DebbieLynne's PayPal email ID rather than mine in case I'm in the hospital and not able to use a computer to go online. Her PayPal ID is:


Thank you again for your love, your gifts, and for your prayers.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Cannoli For My Darling Deb

 The full colonoscopy that was scheduled on Wednesday to determine if I have more than one area of colon cancer was postponed until I can be set up with a BiPap machine that can breathe for me all night and during surgical procedures.

 On Thursday a respiratory therapist came by with the BiPap machine and mask my pulmonary doctors want me to use.

This new machine will take some getting used to. I only managed to use it about one and a half hours the first night, but about 2 and a half hours the 2nd night. If I can get through an entire night or close to it then my colonoscopy can take place this coming Thursday.

Yesterday, Friday, I had no medical appointments and the weather was sunny and mild. DebbieLynne and I used our power wheelchairs to go up to the bus stop in the center of our town. That took us to the MBTA subway station where an employee got a bridge plate to help us board the train that had just pulled into the station. At our request he also radioed ahead so when we got to the Downtown Crossing station another MBTA employee (a long time friend of ours) was ready with a bridge plate to help us get off  the train.

DebbieLynne and I love to roam the parks and historic areas of Boston. Yesterday we got to talk briefly with one of the Freedom Trail Walking Tour guides with whom we became friends and now keep in touch with online. We couldn't talk long because he was getting a group together to give a walking tour. But we got to see him a couple more times while he was giving that tour.

Next we rolled through Boston Commons and part of the Public Gardens.I donated a dollar to a lady singing Amazing Grace. We sat for a while on the pedestrian bridge to look at the dry lagoon bed and the newly blossoming willow trees.

Then it was back across the Commons where we stopped briefly to see what sort of rally was taking place across from the gilded dome of the state house. Next we roamed around the Grainery Burial Ground where famous and unknown patriots are buried. We even took a picture of the large memorial in the center that bears the name "Franklin" where the parents of Benjamin Franklin were laid to rest.

Next it was time for lunch at our favorite eating place in Boston, Quincy Market. In approaching it we were delighted to see that there  is now a permanent wheelchair ramp for Faneuil Hall. (Unfortunately the door the top was locked due to a private event taking place.)

After a flavorful meal from a Mexican American kiosk that we have frequented often over the years, I bought a cannoli at the North End Bakery kiosk. Cannolis are one of DebbieLynne's favorite tasty treats. One of the gals who works at that kiosk doesn't even have to ask what I want. If I stop there she knows
what I'm getting and whon it is for.

At Quincy Market the large tables are shared but as many as 10 people at a time. When we began our meal yesterday a couple from Iceland sat across from us. They were gone by the time I got the cannoli, but a gentleman from New Mexico was happy to take our picture so we could share it on our blogs.

I am so glad God gave us such nice weather and a day without medical appointments so together we could enjoy a day in Boston and a cannoli for my darling Deb.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Do All Things Work Together For Good?

Rom 8:28  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ESV

This verse from the Bible is one I know quite well, but I can't say that I was thinking about it last week on Monday when I learned I had colon cancer and knew that when I got home I would have to tell my darling DebbieLynne that difficult news.

But now, a bit more than a week has passed. During this time Deb and I have hugged, and cried, and talked. and met with medical people, and talked with friends from church who have experienced some of what we're going through. So now we are better prepared to take a look at Romans 8:28.

Notice that the verse says "we know" not we "we feel" that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.

Jesus is the creator of everything that has been created. He is the One who determined the properties of everything that has been created. He can create new things when He has a purpose in doing so, such as when He walked among men, giving sight to the blind, healing the lame, and even raising those who had died.

Jesus is my Savior and Lord and He can heal me of this cancer. He can do it miraculously or He can do it through medical people using things God has created that can be used to treat and rid a body of cancer.

I acknowledge that God can be glorified by healing me or by not healing me, and I want God to be glorified. I want to praise Him and thank Him for being with me and helping me be a testimony to Him today and every day.

Yes, I want you to pray that I will be healed and can have many more years together with DebbieLynne. I also want you to pray that we will be a good testimony to our Lord each day, for as many days as He gives us.

Today I am thankful that I am feeling good, and that I'm still home with DebbieLynne. I am also thankful that later this afternoon the respiratory therapist will come to set me up with the BiPap machine which I will hopefully be able to use to sleep with tonight.

As soon as I can sleep with the BiPap, the doctors will reschedule the colonoscopy and then together we will decide on plans for the surgery and follow up treatment.

I am thankful that medical people are working to help me through this. I'm thankful that men from church are helping me with visits to me here and  trips to medical appointments. I'm thankful for those of you who have contributed to help us eliminate our debt. And I'm thankful for all the people who are praying for Deb and me.

Please include in your prayers that Deb and I will cling to knowing that God is working all things together for us even at those times when we do not feel that way.

We love you and greatly appreciate your love and prayers.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Things Don't Always Go As Expected

Early last evening I went to the Spaulding Rehab Hospital to be evaluated for using a BiPap machine and face mask that would enable me to breath when sleeping or when sedated during the colonoscopy on Wednesday.

DebbieLynne couldn't come with me, so after we kissed each other good bye we didn't expect to see each other until the paratransit van brought me back home in the morning. After I left, her attendant arrived and got her washed up and into bed for the night. DebbieLynne found the bed quite empty with me not there.

Meanwhile at Spaulding things were not going smoothly. The BiPap machine couldn't be set for what I needed to sleep with. After a phone conversation with one of their pulmonary doctors it was determined that a different BiPap machine was needed and since I wasn't going to be able to sleep with the one they had for me at the sleep lab that I should if at all possible find a way to get back home.

I was in my power wheelchair, so my only hope for affordable transportation was with the MBTA RIDE service. I called and the dispatcher was somebody who has known DebbieLynne and me for years. He put me on hold for a few minutes and then let me know a van would pick me up within 45 minutes.

A few minutes later I left the sleep clinic and went out to the front door of the hospital. A RIDE van pulled up and sure enough the driver was there for me. Some schedules had been rearranged and this driver was available to take me home.

So DebbieLynne and I got to spend the night together after all. She was very happy to see me, and happy to hear that the Spaulding pulmonary doctor was confident about which BiPap machine would work for me once one was obtained and I was set up with it.

As I write this on Monday afternoon, the colonoscopy scheduled for Wednesday morning has been postponed until I can be set up with the BiPap that can breath for me during that procedure and for when I'm asleep. Today I've been calling doctors and talking with their secretaries and trying to help coordinate things with the respiratory therapist who could set me up with the equipment I need once He is given the authorization to do so.

Please pray that the right phone calls and emails between the medical personnel go through so I can be set up with the needed breathing support and can reschedule the colonoscopy and everything that will will be needed afterwards.

Deb and I would like to get going on the treatment of the cancer as soon a possible, so delays are frustrating. But the negative pressure ventilator that I've used to breath with when sleeping may break down for the final time very soon so it is crucial that we find something that will work for me as soon as possible.

The postponement of my colonoscopy also allows more time for me me to take care of some important paperwork that needs to be done by specific dates. Hopefully I can finish it off this week.

The delay may also mean DebbieLynne and I will get to go enjoy a day together in Boston. Maybe a stroll on the commons or lunch at Quincy Market. Those day trips that we enjoy so much might not be feasible during periods of cancer treatment.

Things didn't go as expected last week, and they're not going as expected this week either. But God is still God and many people are still praying, so we'll go forward one day, one hour, one moment and one prayer at a time.

Thank you all for your prayers, kind words, and gracious help.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Deb Is Irish and So Am I

Today is St. Patrick's Day. Deb and I have a variety of nationalities in our ancestry including, of course, Irish. (As it happens, we still have Irish ancestry every other day as well.)

We'll be staying home and taking it easy today. My cousin who lives nearby invited us to her corned beef and cabbage get together, but she'll send some of it over later since we don't have enough stamina to go out again today.

The year before last Deb and I celebrated St. Patrick's Day in an actual Irish Pub...but we did it the day after so it would be a mite less boisterous. It was a mild day so we took the bus and subway into Boston and then wheeled along the city streets to get to the M.J. O'Connor's Irish pub in the Back Bay.

We picked that particular Irish restaurant because it was wheelchair accessible and it had her grandmother's maiden name.

We love our dates in Boston, and we make the most of them. In addition to going out to eat that day we also strolled through the Boston Public Garden where we saw for the first time the Swan Boat Lagoon with almost no water in it.

Apparently the water is drained sometime before the new season of Swan Boat rides begins. Perhaps to clean the bottom of the little pond.

The Public Garden has been one of our favorite places to visit when in Boston. It keeps changing through the seasons, with new flowers planted and cared for throughout the spring, summer and fall.

After passing through the Public Garden we wheeled our way through Boston Commons and then on to South Station to take a commuter train back to our home town.

The commuter trains are our favorite way to travel because the same people use the same seats every day and thus we have become friends with other passengers. Talking with people and hearing their stories makes the travel time more enjoyable. Before we know it, it's time to get off the train.

That was a really nice way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day a couple years ago. This year we'll be staying home both today and tomorrow so I can rest up for my overnight sleep study session at Spaulding Hospital tomorrow night. (I need to be evaluated for being able to use a positive pressure ventilator to sleep with at night and possibly also to use when sedated during the colonoscopy next Wednesday.)

I hope all of you have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day. Thank you for your prayers for us. Thank you also for reading this blog.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Having Deb With Me Today Was So Good

On Monday and Wednesday when I went for the initial exam in Boston that discovered I had colon cancer and then the follow up cat scan in Chelsea, DebbieLynne couldn't come with me because I was was driven in by men using their cars which couldn't transport her in her power chair.

But today we scheduled the para-transit service to take us to Mass. General Hospital, which meant we both could go, and both be in our power wheelchairs. Although DebbieLynne had to be in the waiting room during my tests, she was able to be with me during the talks needed to get all the information from us and to us to help things go smoothly on the day of the colonoscopy next Wednesday.

The nurses and technicians and therapists were all very helpful and supportive. They helped calm some of our concerns, and together we came up with some ideas that might help with the breathing support I will need during the procedure.

It was good to know that they are are confident (even though we know they can't make guarantees) that it is unlikely that I will have any serious complications, and if for some reason I had to be admitted to the hospital it would probably be for just a day or two.

When we were done with the tests and interviews, there was still about 45 minutes before the paratransit van was due to bring us back home. So DebbieLynne and I had time to share a roast beef and cheese sandwich and some dried apricots and cranberries.

Although it was a rainy Friday afternoon the ride home on the van went fairly quickly because we were the only passengers. We got home and now she's on her computer in the living room and I'm lying down using my positive pressure ventilator typing this blog post.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog posts. And thank you for your prayers.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sometimes I Need Help To Show Love To Deb

Our marriage vows on August 24, 2002, were commitments to one another in all the circumstances that might come our way. Both before and after the wedding we agreed that when difficulties arose that  we would try to turn to God and to one another. And by the grace of God we've done a fairly good job of doing that, and are doing that now as we deal my having been diagnosed with colon cancer.

When we married Deb and I were both receiving Social Security disability benefits based on our deceased dad's incomes. I also had a modest income from catalog sales of AVON products. Because we became legally married with a marriage license and an official wedding, Debbielynne could not become qualified for Medicaid (Mass. Health) benefits to pay for personal care attendants until after we had spend several thousand dollars in medically needed expenses.

DebbieLynne is quadriplegic so she needs help for almost everything. I have enough use of my hands and arms so I can help her with some things like feeding her when we're out on a date. But I am physically unable to do transfers, dressing, showering, and such for her. So we needed to pay for medically necessary things so that she would be qualified to have personal care attendants paid for.

Since we didn't have that kind of money we had to use credit cards and get receipts to show what we'd spent. It took quite a while but eventually DebbieLynne was approved for Mass. Health and attendant care coverage.

By then we had about $7,000 in credit card debt. I thought for sure that I'd be able to pay that off within a few years. After all, we had Social Security income and I had the income from my AVON catalog selling.

But things don't always go as planned. AVON sales gradually dropped off until I had to decide to give up selling it even before I learned this week that I had colon cancer. (A new Avon rep's name and phone number were on the final catalogs I arranged to have given out to my customers this week.)

Over the years, other expenses cropped up from time to time like some dental and equipment costs that were not covered by Medicare or Mass. Health. And then there was the repair and replacement of broken computers. Computers have enabled me to earn a little money and do a little blogging even during the hours I have to lie down to give my back a rest and use my ventilator. Computers have also made it possible for DebbieLynne to keep in touch with people, be creative with artwork, and do her wonderful blogs.

So although we've made a dent in our debt, there is still a sizable amount to be paid off. My ability to pay off that debt by my own efforts seems to be coming to an end. Even if things go well there will likely be surgery, and follow-up treatment of chemotherapy and/or radiation.

I don't know whether God will allow me live on for more wonderful years with DebbieLynne or whether it will be much less than that.

To say that I don't want to leave DebbieLynne would be by far the biggest understatement I'd ever made in my life.

But whenever I go to be with the Lord in heaven I do not want to leave DebbieLynne saddled with debt in addition to her being without the one who sought to show his love to her as best he could.

If there is anyone who would like to help eliminate our debt, but you want to be sure that what I am sharing in this blog is real, I urge you to contact either of our pastors at Brookville Baptist Church in Holbrook, Massachusetts. Both Pastor Dennis Bauder and Pastor Larry Smith know us well. You can do a search online to get contact information for the church and our pastors.

If you choose to give a gift to help us eliminate the debt, please know that we are not a charitable organization so it would not be a tax deductible donation, but simply a gift to help somebody in need.

You could give a gift via Paypal by designating that you want to give a gift to the member of Paypal whose email is  debbielynne_7@yahoo.com.

Any sized gift would be greatly appreciated. And once the debt is gone I will post the news on this blog if I'm not in the hospital, and DebbieLynne will post the news on her "The Things That Come Out of My Head" blog at:   http://debsheadstick.blogspot.com/

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. It wasn't easy to write it. Please keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I Met Deb in a Chatroom

The first time I had a conversation with Deb was in a chat room that she set up. She'd mentioned the chat room in a forum that I'd been reading.

There were only a few people in that chat room when I dropped in that evening. I joined in and chatted away. I guess I chatted about an hour, and did my best to impress the host, Debbicute, with my wit.

That was the start of our friendship. We got to know each other and like each other and we even started talking on  the phone. Then she came all the way from the San Francisco area to the Boston area to visit me for the first time. She came for a second visit the next year. And again to visit the following year which is when I asked her to marry me.

Deb is in a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy, and I'm in a wheelchair due to polio. We got married in August of 2002. Since then we've been very happily married and enjoyed being active in a Baptist church in the next town over from where we live. We love doing day trips to explore the historic sites in and around Boston.

Our life entered a new stage as of yesterday, when I was diagnosed with a serious medical condition that is complicated by the disability caused by the polio.

Deb and I are still very much in love. I still want to do everything I can for her, and that's why I started this blog. If you want to read about us, our lives, and our love story, I hope you'll come back to read the posts will make.