Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day

We were lucky to have all the girls and all the grandchildren over for Father's Day. The weather was perfect and all the babies are just gorgeous.

Definately need a bigger house for all the baby gear that's for sure. Jan and I stayed at the house while the girls took the boat out for awhile which gave Jan (and I) time to rest up. Dinner was great - everyone brought something and of course had more food than we needed!
On Monday Jan was experiencing some shortness of breath so had to go to the ER - the Dr's were concerned about blood clots. The CT scan revealed no blood clots though so we were lucky. They had discussed admitting him and not doing the radiation, but we explained as nicely as possible that Jan has much better care at home between the 3 girls and I than he could ever have at the hospital. We are simply not interested in an inpatient stay right now and will do whatever it takes to avoid it in the future. We need to stay on track with the radiation because if they stop it they most likely will not restart it.
So we got our way and had the radiation and off we went. Last night was hard for Jan as the shortness of breath is increasing- even short exertions of energy cause it. Trying to come up with a plan for that today. The books all say it's from the radiation and should let up in a few days.

Thanks for all the help this week to Mike and Michele and Andrew with the yard and the bushes. Michael is so much like my Dad-mostly noted when he is doing physical work. It's really funny. He even talks like him when he's working hard!! I remember my Dad cutting back the rose bushes almost to the ground every year -totally against the book - but he always had the nicest roses on the block. Michael was in the same mode while trimming the hedges here. Had to make him stop at 1030pm..

So today will be a quiet one here - headed out to Ann Arbor this afternoon for more blood work and radiation, but plan on watching a little golf and making a big pot of soup.

Will keep you posted.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


So far so good! The radiation and the chemo pump are working ok. Jan's energy level is low, but he just keeps on trying to do things to stay busy.

We have the weekend off from going to Ann Arbor. Since the chemo is in the pump attachment that he wears it is administered 24/7 so we don't need to do anything with that. The radiation is not done on the weekends.
The drive to Ann Arbor is just over an hour in the late afternoons, we are attempting to move the time up a little to avoid the traffic.

Looking forward to a quiet weekend at home. Fathers Day is tomorrow - looks like we are doing dinner here. I am sure the girls are a little apprehensive about tomorrow but should be ok.
The heat is tough on Jan right now - good thing we don't live in AZ, even that "dry" desert heat would be hard right now.
Ordered an arm cover for the picc line so it doesn't get wet during showers - they even said you could go swimming in it. What would you do with the pump?? Not sure I understand that yet, but this is a constant learning process that's for sure. Still looking for an effective hook/hanger for the shower too.
Jan's appetite is certainly down. When he eats his stomach is upset for awhile afterward so he is going to need to eat more often with less at each serving I guess. The soup, fruit, fish and salad menu is working ok.
Will keep you all updated but at this point no news is good news!!
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ann Arbor, Mi

So we are on track with the program now. Got the chemo 5FU running in an IV connected to the heart with 24 hour infusion. That means yes he is wearing a line with a cassette that delivers the medicine 24 hrs a day. Pretty inconvenient - trying to figure out the shower process right now.BUT not feeling too bad.
Had the radiation treatment as well. The plan says we go to Ann Arbor everyday at 430 for this procedure. Also makes him tired.
When looking at Jan you would hardly know he's sick. He looks great and the positive mental attitude is helping alot.
I had an issue with oncology yesterday - over $36.00- started tearing up and then the stupid clerk raised his voice to me. That was the beginning of a complete onslaught of tears for me. Boy was he sorry he said anything!! It took 5 nurses working on the file to get my way..and even then we have to wait until next week for the nurse manager to fix it.
You would think that the $60,000 per month for chemo/radiation treatments would be enough, but the $36.00 just sent me over the edge.
Hopefully the VA will get this taken care of.
So the schedule is everyday at 430 and two days a week at 330. Not bad avoids rush hour traffic and hopefully will allow a little time on the boat in the early afternoon or early evening.
As far as company is concerned that is really hit or miss right now. As I mentioned to someone this morning I am now the official "bouncer" at the door. We have to be extremely careful of germs/bacteria and if anyone is sick or has been around anyone who is sick do not come visit! Between day 8-15 if Jan even gets a cold it could stop everything.
Looking for some good soup recipes. Got the chowder book out and away we go with all new menus. Soup, salad and fruits are the primary diet right now. They even recommend strawberry milkshakes which just happen to be Jan's favorites. Will keep you posted, thanks for all the positive messages...

Saturday, June 5, 2010


So we have made it home safely. We came home to a wonderful surprise- our boat is in the water. A very close group of friends got together and put on a new engine and powerwashed the very dirty boat. Also had a nice bottle of wine and an appetizer tray waiting for our arrival!!
We were so amazed at the caring and loving friends that made this possible that once again we were both in tears. Thank you is just not enough. The card said they felt the best medicine for Jan is his boat in the water and that is so very true. We appreciate it more than I can say.

The ride home was uneventful thankfully- the new car now has 4500 miles and runs like a top. Unfortunately we didn't get to Dallas but hopefully we will see them soon- on our boat!!
Next week we are back to Ann Arbor - let's get this started - as the song says.
I will post more often, the last few days have been very difficult but we will make it through this much easier now that we are home to the greatest support system imagineable..I am now able to speak on the phone again without crying
Thanks and love to everyone.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Well things did not go well today. They are unable to do anything to help Jan. The disease is too progressed to qualify for other treatment.

We are leaving in the morning to go to Ann Arbor to begin palliative chemo/radiation treatments.

Very sad day for us we had put alot of hope into this working. We are sort of in shock right now and not looking forward to the drive home. We will be on a tight schedule going back to get started asap. The sooner they start the higher the prognosis of time.

Talk to you soon

Monday, May 31, 2010


So we have arrived in Tempe. Staying at the Mission Palms resort -wow is this place fabulous!!

Here's hoping our luck keeps up this week. The drive was very hard on both of us - between the Holiday traffic and the construction we are done! Had lots of time to talk in the car and both are pretty scared about tomorrow -we have alot riding on this.

Met a couple last night in the hot tub. At first she was just too chatty while we were just interested in having a cocktail and enjoying the hottub. She asked where we were going and just kept talking - so I mentioned we were there to go to the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. She then started in on how her friends husband had gone there and it costs so much money and then they lost their house. I took a very slow drink of my much needed long island and
Jan and I said at the same time - So who gives a shit about real estate? I took another drink of my much needed long island while Jan proceeded to tell her about our 35 years in the Real Estate industry, having purchased over 20 houses and exactly what good is a house with no one in it??? Meanwhile I did not drown this woman, but she did get the point. She then attempted to give a Navajo blessing to Jan who then proceeded to tell her his very private religious views!! When we left the pool the woman was speechless..
So now we are here and this is for real. I will try my best to keep you updated.
Thanks for all the love and best wishes

Sunday, May 30, 2010


So we made it to Winslow - almost done with this incredibly long drive.
Very uneventful thankfully, but so much construction - where is that money coming from??

I have never seen so many casinos in my life as across New Mexico and into Arizona plus all the parking lots are full -- what a waste of good real estate.

We are beginning to feel like we are a hand of poker and we just went "all in" Here's to the river that's for sure.

I will let you know when we arrive in Tempe tomorrow, trying to relax a little tonight and tomorrow because this driving is rough rough rough. I am definately in the mood for a long island now.

Hope everyone is enjoying the Memorial Day parties.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Amarillo Texas

So we made it to Amarillo Texas - what a drive today. Holiday weekend traffic at every turn Oklahoma leaves alot to be desired that's for sure.

Branson Missouri is the only place in America where a shiny new 30.06 is an acceptable wedding gift!! Red neck heaven that's for sure.

So we are 2/3 of the way to Phoenix, plan on stopping in Flagstaff tomorrow to see the petrified forest.

Thanks for all the postive comments on the voicemail greatly appreciated.
Hope everyone is enjoying their Holiday weekend.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Ozarks

So we picked up a 2011 Toyota Camry yesterday - perfect for the trip! Drove through Michigan, Indiana,
Illinois and we are now in the Ozarks in Missouri - definately not a destination The car drove great, very nice trunk in case your wondering I brought all my summer stuff and room for more.. We are planning on taking 3 days to go down - pretty tiring for both of us.
Got to see all three girls last night - plus Gavigan and the twins. Braxton is up north starting the long weekend early with his "other" grandma..Tough saying good bye but had a lovely dinner at Matter of Taste -thanks Luke and away we went.
The plan for tomorrow is to get to Amarillo Tx what a fun place!! We will probably to be too tired, but they have some fabulous country bars - imagine that?
Just found out my cousin Jerry Gavigan - aka Joey Gavigan on Facebook- has a house in Phoenix and Sharon said he will let us stay there.
I think Jerry is still mad at me because when I moved in with them we had to share the same first grade class and every night for dinner I reported on everything he did wrong that day - to all the other 9 people at the table.
Poor Rita don't know how she did it.
We are booked at the Tempe Resort and Hotel until 06/04 looks fabulous. Hope to arrive late Sunday and hit the pool Sunday and Monday..
Will keep you posted - this is one long drive. Too much time to think.
Miss you all!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


So today will be called Day One.
I have stopped working as of today which is a big deal, tomorrow we pack and off to Arizona we go.
We are headed to the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix Arizona for treatment for Jan's cancer. We are trying very hard to maintain positive thoughts and emotions as we prepare for this journey of ours, but it is sure tough at times.
Between making sure the bills are paid, the house is somewhat cleaned and arranging for all the little details of life while we are gone there isn't alot of time left to dwell on what's happening.
We were at the VA hospital in Ann Arbor, Mi yesterday - when the Dr's and nurses found out it was our 36th anniversary they were so amazingly nice.
The American Cancer Society today called and asked if we wanted assistance paying the hotel bills - what an organization they are.

Telling our girls what's happening has been the most difficult thing ever.

However we do have some good news to celebrate - Becky and Luke got engaged on our anniversary. Luke wants to make sure Jan walks Becky down the aisle. We were very happy about that. We joked with Luke that if she said no that at least he had our support until he could talk her into it!!
So my plan is to keep some notes on what were doing as we travel across the United States so that people will know what is happening.

Keep us in your thoughts - already thinking too bad we are going to miss both Robinsons weekend party and Andrew Zack's graduation! We will be at both in our thoughts for sure.