Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fusing the Finger

Yesterday morning I had my right ring finger joint fused.  It involves surgery but you're not knocked out either.  They put a block in your arm pit which numbs the whole arm for about 6 hours.  They do give you meds to relax and snooze a bit, but it doesn't bother me to be awake and listen either,

The doc gave us pictures of the pin in my finger that is used to help fuse things and the pin will be removed in 6 to 8 weeks.  I find it fascinating so I thought I'd share the pictures.



I'm currently on some pretty potent pain meds so that is all for today.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Results from the Oncologist

So many of my blogging friends have become such good friends that we email with nothing to do with blogs.  The support you all give me is so wonderful and I feel so blessed.  I thought I'd share the results with you from our oncologist appointment last Friday.

In a matter of a few weeks CR's PSA went from 57 to 98.

The Cat Scan showed that some lymph nodes were larger than normal and of a worrisome size in the lower back region.
 
The Bone Scan picked up "suspicious" areas on his right 5th and 10th ribs.

You know what, I've learned over the years that "suspicious", "worrisome" and "concerning" are not good terms when dealing with cancer - no good comes out of it, or so it seems.

So that said we are going to move forward with a immunology treatment called Provenge.  Basically it is a treatment designed to reprogram your body's immune cells to attack advanced, hormone resistant prostate cancer cells.  It jump starts the immune cells already in your body to help your body fight the disease. 
 
It's a 2 step process that is done for 3 weeks, every other week.  The first step is a 3 to 4 hour session of removing blood from CR, it then passes through a machine and collects small portions of your immune cells, some platelets and some red blood cells.  Then the machine returns the blood that isn't used back to CR.
 
This blood is then shipped off to a lab where the magic happens (I wish I could explain, but I'm not a scientist).  The treated blood is returned to the Oncologists office and two days later we are back in the office to have the treated blood put back in to CR.  This helps CR's own immune system fight the disease.  Currently his immune system isn't fighting it at all.

Of course there is a catch.  The treatment is $90,000.00, after insurance the co-pay is $20,000.00, which is just way to expensive.  Lucky for us we make well under a certain dollar amount per year so we are eligible for co-pay assistance and even travel assistance with this drug.  That said we won’t know till all the pre-approvals with medicare, Cliff’s secondary insurance and the drug company get together if we can move forward.  It all depends on what we will end up paying.  Cliff doesn’t want to pay a fortune and I understand that.  There are other chemo drugs that can be used and can also be successful, however in the early stages of his disease metastasizing,  the Provenge looks to be the treatment that will give him the most benefit with the least amount of side effects.  We should know in January what the outcome with insurance, etc will be and be able to decide then.

So now you know.  We are doing well, and actually after so many tests and expecting to hear this type of news, I guess in a weird way it's a relief because now we can get treatment and possibly get it under control.  The doctor has told us they can't cure this, but we can treat it and try to control it and that is all we can ask for.  CR feels good and doesn't have a lot of pain anywhere and that is a good sign as well.
 
Please if you would, keep my wonderful hubby in your prayers, send him good vibes - we sure appreciate it!!
 
Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Results

We are off to Spokane tomorrow for CR's appointment with the Oncologist.  We'll find out the results of his tests last Friday.  Yeah, we're nervous.

So since we'll be up there it seemed like a merry idea to make 2 of my dark chocolate cakes in my Christmas Tree bundt pan for our Urologists office and the Oncologists office.


Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, December 8, 2014

Lazy Sunday

I love lazy Sunday's.  I usually take my shower and then put on a pair of clean pj pants and relax and stay home all day.  I also like to make brunch.  I will often watch a Netflix movie - yesterday we watched the Giver.  I wasn't sure if I'd like that movie or not, but I did, it was really different and intriguing. 

I also did some sewing, I finally finished a small wall hanging that I've been trying to get done for a while, but kept getting side tracked.  I did the embroidery while I was recovering from my knee replacement.


Scotchie was on top of my favorite warm, chunky sweater most of the day yesterday.  I guess he's taking it to heart that Sunday is a day of rest.


Maddie was in her favorite chair and watching take a picture of Scotchie, so I decided to snap a pic of her as well - she's do darn cute.


Hope you all had a good weekend - did anyone do anything exciting??

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Decorations

Thought I'd share our Christmas Decorations this year.  We don't put up a tree, but we do manage to make it look festive I think:














 

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, December 1, 2014

Turkey's - Who Knew

So being that I just cooked my first Thanksgiving Turkey, I just have to say, who knew you could do so much afterwards with the meat, the carcass, etc.

The day after Thanksgiving I boiled my carcass to make stock.

The next day I made 2 different soups, one was a curried turkey & rice soup, the other was just a regular turkey soup with noodles.

Curried Turkey Rice Soup - boy was it delicious!!

Regular Turkey Soup with Noodles

Then last night I made a turkey pot pie with the rest of the leftover turkey and I used the left over dressing, added an egg and moistened it a tad, then shaped it into a round, when I had the pot pie put together, oh and it also used the left over gravy and some stock I saved, I put the stuffing on top and baked it for 30 minutes.  Wowzer, it was the bomb!!

Today we had to go to Costco.  I hate going to Costco this time of year, but thankfully it wasn't to bad and we got in and out quickly.  It can be a real zoo this time of year.

Then I went to a couple other stores where I found this adorable snowman cookie jar:

 
I love that he's not Christmas colors so I can keep him out for the winter.  Now that I have my new kitchen I have room for things like this and it's fun!

I also decorated for Christmas this past weekend and I'll show you some pictures later.  So when do you decorate for Christmas??

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Friday, November 28, 2014

My First Turkey

This Thanksgiving I made my first turkey dinner.  I know I'm a bit old to just be making my first, but we've spent the last 32 or so years at Cannon Beach for Thanksgiving and a 5th wheel oven is not big enough for a bird.  So this year I made a turkey, dressing, gravy and brussel sprouts and I bought the cranberries.  Here's a look at our table:

All set with my beautiful Autumn Angel that the Aunties gave me for my birthday.
Gravy - I was so afraid of making gravy - turns out its so easy and mine turned out lump free and super tasty!

Ahhh, my beautiful bird - it tasted so good.
 
So tell me was your Thanksgiving as wonderful and relaxing as ours? 
 
Today we've just stayed at home, neither one of us is a fan of black Friday and the insanity of the shoppers.  So we have had a lazy and relaxing day.  I made turkey stock with the carcass and wow, you should smell my house.  It smells so good in here I could just pour a cup of the stock and drink it.  But I'm saving it to make a turkey soup tomorrow.  I've also gotten my dusting done so that I can decorate for Christmas tomorrow.  I can't wait to put my new nativity out.
 
Hope you are relaxing and enjoying your day.
 
Happy Stitches and hugs.................Tam

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my wonderful blog friends.  I am thankful for so much this year, I hope you have a lot that you are thankful for as well.



Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Let the Preparations Begin

This past week I got hit by a nasty flu type bug.  Man it was ugly and I was wondering how long it would take me to get over it.  Luckily Thursday and Friday were the bad days and today I woke up feeling pretty good.  So we went to breakfast and then came home so I could make my grocery list.

Here's Maddie waiting as patiently as possible for the list to be done so she could go.  Up till now it's been to cold for her to go and wait in the car.  Today it's almost 50 degrees out, but the wind makes it much colder if you're just out standing in it and boy is it grey and gloomy.

Oh Mom, hurry it up, I'm ready to go for a ride!
I'm really excited about making a Thanksgiving dinner.  I have my recipes all selected and got all my ingredients today at the store.  I also got all the baking stuff too.  So today I'm baking Pumpkin Scones (a knock off Starbucks Pumpkin Scone recipe, however I do not frost mine) and some White Chocolate/Cranberry cookies and I've put together some crusty bread dough to bake tomorrow and have with the Potato Leek soup I'll be making.  Busy girls are better girls, right.


I made 3 batches of scones and CR just told me they're some of the best I've ever made.
 
I love the crusty bread recipe - you mix it up let it sit for 12 to 18 hours, then bake it and
there you have it - homemade bread without all the fuss  Here's the link to the website and recipe:
Simply So Good Crusty Bread
I had my step stool out today in the kitchen so I could get things off the higher shelves and Rascal decided to take up residence on the stool as if to help me or perhaps supervise me.  He was so cute, but when I went to get a picture, he bolted.  Darn cat.  I did capture a few pictures of him earlier in the day - his little face is so inquisitive and adorable.




Now that it's cold he really is into snuggling my neck and sucking on my shirt and he purrs and purrs, I tell him he's purring 60mph in the school zone and he's gonna get pulled over.  Whatever we do and where ever we are in the house he will be right there helping us and making sure we do it correctly. Either that or he thinks it's a game especially when it comes to making the bed, oy vey!  It gives the other boys more time to nap I guess, since they seem oblivious to our coming and going most of the time.

So tell me have you started your holiday preparations yet?

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Best Surprise

Yesterday I got a box via UPS from the Aunties.  I thought it was some paperwork and such that we'd gone through that Aunt Jean would be sending me once I got home.  Well I opened the box and it sure wasn't what I thought it was, there were several Jim Shore boxes inside.  It was a Jim Shore Nativity set:





Oh my goodness I was so excited my hands were shaking getting all the pieces out.  It is absolutely beautiful.

I immediately called both Aunties to thank them for such a beautiful gift and to let them know how much I LOVED it.  I'm pretty excited to decorate for Christmas this year and display this beautiful nativity.

So tell me what is your favorite Christmas decoration?

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam