More News from Texas

My uncle has sent out another update on my aunt. Thank you again and again and again for your prayers for our family.

Howdy, all! This is a long one.

Warm, September greetings from the St. ****** Rehab Center. I don’t know where August went, but apparently time flies when you’re having…

B***** is doing pretty well, in my opinion. There have been few problems with cancer treatment. Radiation has become routine and the oral chemotherapy has lead to only mild nausea that is treated with medication. She’s usually tired but that can easily be attributed to the rigors of therapy and a somewhat broken sleep pattern. Going to the bathroom is still an effort, in that she has to transfer to the wheelchair, then the commode, then the wheelchair, then back to bed, and so going to the bathroom in the middle of the night leaves her wide awake afterwards. Last night she slept straight through, which should translate to more energy today.

She had an ‘assessment’ a couple of days ago to mark her completing her fourth week here in rehab. The therapist said she’d made tremendous progress. I’ve been easing back into work and my new role as temporary mom for a week or so and as a result I’ve not been around during her therapy sessions. So, I was very surprised to learn yesterday that in her recent walking (using one of those ‘walkers’ for balance), she has not had a therapist moving her left leg. A therapist is present to monitor her technique and to make sure she doesn’t fall, but B***** is doing the walking on her own. I knew better than to bet against her walking out of here. I’m also told that therapy on her left arm is going well, and I know she enjoys and benefits from her daily hour of pool therapy. All this seems to be working for her and so we were glad to learn that she’ll be here for at least another week. As much as she would like to be home, the inpatient therapy is much more extensive than what she’d experience as an outpatient.

I was present at therapy today and I was blown away at how well she’s doing. She walked (with the walker) unaided for about 50 feet, which is incredible when you realize that it wasn’t long ago that she was having a hard time just standing. She’s also made great progress in various exercises that are done on a mat, including rolling over, kneeling up, etc. I’d not seen her during therapy in about a week and she’s accomplished so much that I’m amazed and encouraged about the prospect for further improvement.

Before I forget, I want to thank you all so much for having inundated her with cards. No matter how difficult the therapy might be, having a bunch of cards brought to her in the middle of the day is a huge boost. After she reads them, we hang them on a louvered shade on the inside of her window. She now has so many cards on that window that we have to double them up. She’s even received cards from people she doesn’t know, either former students or “prayer partners” of some of you on our list. It’s wonderful.

If I might make another request it would be for pictures. Some people have included pictures of kids, etc., and a former classmate and good friend sent a picture from graduation, something that had been saved for over 30 years. Her cousin L** sent a picture of herself, her daughter, and her granddaughter. As an aside, B***** and I had our first “date” at L**’s daughter’s Baptism, many moons ago. Talk about bringing you back.

Anyway, I have started affixing tape to the back of photos and putting them on the wall. You would be amazed at what this does to the room. Seeing all those smiling faces is a great reminder of everyone who’s pulling for B***** and saying so may prayers for her. So, I would really appreciate another round of cards, in particular one that included some “happy” snapshots of all of you. If you send B***** pictures of you all having fun it’ll be just like you’re in the room with her. Even, or maybe particularly, if she doesn’t know you.

On other fronts, B*****’s brother B****** and his wife L*** are in town for several days, helping me with running errands and also stocking our refrigerator and freezer with so much home-cooked food that the boys and I will be set for a long, long time to come. L*** even made a huge pot of chicken soup and then split it into smaller portions for freezing so that B***** will have the “cure” should she not be feeling well while on one of her occasional trips home.

We had one of those trips today, after enjoying a nice lunch at one of our favorite barbeque restaurants (*********). Tomorrow is an “off” day at the rehab center, so we’ll get a nice, early start toward home again.

The boys are all fine. S**** and K***** went to tonight’s Aggie football game and young A******, who will be born in just under four weeks, got to experience a nice night of college football. And we won, too.

R***** is fine. He spent the night watching football on TV.

K****** missed a few days of school this past week, having contracted a virus. He’s doing better now and met up with some good friends yesterday evening when his former high school, ************, came up to play ******* High. He enjoys going to St. ******’s High School and will probably start running with the cross country team on Monday. No Labor Day vacation for schools or A&M down here.

C***** is enjoying and doing well in school also. He is playing football, and last evening his team defeated Mt. Carmel (visiting from Houston), 15-0. C**** got in for just a few plays because he joined the team late in the preseason. He understands that people who were there for all the Texas summer two-a-day practices earned the right to play, but he expects his playing time to increase. He thinks he’s pretty good. Just as I don’t bet against B*****’s determination I’m not betting against C****.

There’s not much to report for me. I’ve been going back to work, bit by bit. My coworkers have been great in taking care of things and my local friends and department colleagues have been very supportive. I’ve been staying at home with the boys most nights, with occasional stays on weekend nights at the rehab center so that I can get Liz out the door earlier on “travel” days. I also got a VERY short haircut with the assistance of my barber Leonard, but B***** asked me to let it grow back. Apparently, Yul Brynner need not fear competition from my good looks. Some of the nurses here told her she should start calling me Mr. Clean. They’re all ganging up on me.

On a serious note, I want to thank you all again for your continued support and prayers. We are humbled by the love that has been shown and we are praying for all of you, too. I look at prayers as “gifts” and I hope that you receive the blessings you all deserve. I’m praying for a miracle – B****’s healing – and also for miracles in all of your lives. God takes care of us all, in ways big and small. Sometimes He acts through us, both for us and for other people, and I’m actively looking for ways to do my part.

Y’all take care. Love one another.

B***** and the gang

As always, I’ll forward the link to this update, so if you would like to leave any comments for my family, go ahead and do it. 🙂

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