2nd treatment update

Joey had his second treatment yesterday and all seemed to go well. I talked to him just a few minutes ago and he said he was feeling tired but not nauseous at all. He attributed that to the fact that he took the anti – nausea medicine sooner and also that he took a dose of pepsid before the treatment as recommended. He didn’t do that with the first treatment and said he actually is feeling a bit better so far after this go round. He was given all his blood stat’s from recent testing and everything looked good. In some cases his blood numbers are below normal but have improved over the pre-treatment ones. He’s actually gained weight whereas the expectation is that he would lose weight. With Joey, unlike his parents, losing weight is a bad thing.

Without a doubt he’s eating better now that Nancy is in the loop and she adjusts the menu each cooking cycle depending on the reports and comments from Joey. For example we heard that his hemogloblin is slightly low, I think he said 13.7 vs a normal 14. It was 13.3 before the first treatment so this is actually an up tick. When Nancy heard that, pickled beets went on the list for the next food delivery. Joey requested home meade chicken noodle soup – so she plans to use spinach noodles for the extra iron. The routine we’ve established is that we meet Joey on Monday’s for lunch and a movie and trade empty food containers for full ones. Nancy cooks over the weekend such that it’s impossible to put anything more at all in our refrigerator. And any left overs we have – history. So if I don’t move quickly, it’s gone – just like when he lived at home.
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Ever wondered what a guava bush/tree looks like? or ever wonder what a guava loosk like? That’s what’s pictured above. Most people are familiar with guava jelly but not the fruit itself. The red fruit is about 2” across and full of seeds. I eat them right off the bushes and skip the jelly conversion. They’re soft and sweetish but not overwhelming. My neighbor planted them years ago and now they pop up all over the neighborhood. This year’s crop is good and the squirrels haven’t found them yet.

Garden disaster. last month I planted some Bell pepper seeds in a container and kept them nicely protected on the porch. Nothing unusual about that. I nursed the seedlings along with water and fertilizer until they were ready for transplanting into the garden. There were a dozen plants which I timed to be fruiting about mid October and produce until we had a freeze. A dozen plants would provide enough peppers to allow us to freeze for a winter supply. Mistake number one was doing the transplant in the morning. That’s the right thing to do in the spring because it gives the plants a full day in the warmth and sun in anticipation of a cool evening and overnight. I learned that it’s the wrong time to plant them in mid July. They roasted. Out of a dozen plants – 2 sorry looking ones were still alive when I checked on them 12 hours later. And I use the term “alive” in it’s loosest form. I’ll start a new batch and then condition them to the Fla sun in small doses. Lesson learned.

Another tidbit – I noticed that the crop of cherry tomatoes and jalapeno’s has been dropping off. We’ve had ton’s of both so I just assumed the plants were playing out. But on a couple of occasions I’ve hit the garden in the early AM and noted lots of young cardinals hopping around in the bushes of both varieties. I moved in close to the plants, maybe 2′ away, and waited to see if they’d come back. They did and I saw that they were eating the very young fruits and the blossoms. Just before a blossom actually drops off, you can see the baby fruit forming at the center. That’s what they are eating. I do like the cardinals but this is putting me under a bit of stress. We had noticed that there was an exceptional number of young cardinals around and about this season and felt this meant they had a bumper crop of babies. Now I’m wondering if maybe they have gathered around here because the food is so good. This will surprise you but I took one of the sunflower heads that was loaded with seeds – traditional cardinal food – and set that down on a bench in the middle of the garden. They would peck around that for a bit but then head back to the tomato plants. Not only that, George put up a nice bird feeder about 50′ from the garden and keeps it full of commercial bird seed. So there’s plenty of food about but they prefer the tiny tomato and jalapeno’s. Who’d a thunk it.

A note on commenting on the blog- Several people have said they have trouble sending comments. I tried and found it doesn’t work about half the time. Tom is trying to fix the problem but if you try a couple of times, it will probably work. I do appreciate hearing from you and hope this inconvenience is short lived.

4 thoughts on “2nd treatment update

  1. Hooray for Joey! I’m glad to hear the good reports. Sounds like his Mom is gonna beat this thing with him! Give him our love. Enjoyed the garden reports. You really write an interesting blog. I’m checking every other day now for news of Joey. Ya’ll hang in there.

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  2. For those of you who keep tabs on me through Dad’s blog…All your positive thoughts and well wishes are appreciated. Dad is spot on in his analyses and I can’t add much more. The cycle seems to be chemo on Tuesday, Neulasta shot on Wednesday, then start down hill with fatigue and nausea til Saturday morning. By Saturday afternoon the nausea has eased and my energy level begins to sneak back up a bit. By Sunday evening I am pretty much back in the game and good til the following Tuesday.

    As Dad mentioned, The weekly (or every other week, this go around) food for empty container trade has been a Godsend. If it weren’t for the premade food I really think poor Mark would be sunk. I am not the best “sick” person, so having all the leg work done by my Mother has really allowed him to focus on the presentation vs preparation end of it. The fact that the food is good (great) helps with what would otherwise be a poor appetite. When you have a sick stomach you really don’t feel like eating… But when it’s my Mothers’ spaghetti sauce or homemade chicken (greenwise, Thanks Mom) soup, I somehow manage to get it down.

    As you all know, my parents don’t seek out hero points and none are ever expected; but to all of you who read this blog, I just wanted to let YOU know what an important piece of my life they are. As I work my way through this I can trust that they will always be there for me. This blog and the amount of time that has been dedicated to me as of late shows what a vital role their children (and grandchildren) play. In our family when someone goes down it’s time to circle the wagons and everything else in life gets put on temporary hold. In the end, there’s only family and close frieds…My family is as good as it gets….

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