Oops! I forgot…

Not really, I’ve just been distracted The short version is:

1) Worked a lot.
2) Stopped the telepravir drug…continued interferon and ribavirin.
3) Became a grandfather!


Good morning! It’s gonna be a GREAT day!

4) Lost my Father-in-Law … my other Dad.
5) Lost our little Ragdoll cat, Annie, to renal failure.
6) Got Evan enrolled in San Jacinto College for his AS in Plant Process Technology. He just has to FINISH. We continue to pray.

I will try to limit my political rants, but let it be known: I AM a Christian, a Contitutional Conservative, A supporter of the 2nd Amendment, and a TEXAN to the core (both as a citizen and a “Fan of the Raging Bulls.

It’s the day before Labor Day and I’m not going to labor tomorrow. I am going to visit my mom in East Texas.

Till next time…

Week 2

I made it through week 1, although not totally unscathed.  I have had a severe headache since BEFORE I started the therapy.  It has gotten increasingly worse, to the point where I can barely come out from under the covers. Additionally, I have moderate to severe tremors, fluid retention and a general overall malaise. I finally had ENOUGH and called my doc.  It appears that these symptoms are not side effects of the therapy drugs, per se, nor or they related to “flu” or allergies.  I am overdosed on cyclosporine (my anti rejection agent) No, not intentionally, but this is one of the things that happens with the telepravir… it increases the blood serum levels of the cyclo- (or tacrolimus, which I no longer take). We knew there would possibly be some adjustments necessary, but that is what the every other day labs are about.  We caught it on Friday.  So this issue is under control for now.  The solution is simple.  Don’t take my cyclo every day… we will start with every third day and then adjust from there. Oh, and my labs are looking pretty good so far.  No need for transfusions or neupogen yet. (I must be getting tougher… HA HA!!)

All of which is good news, since I can start feeling better now.

Which is good news because my first day at St Luke’s/Texas Heart Institute is next Monday. It’s a part time research position that will last for about 1 to 1.5 years.  It’s a really good and interesting study. I will be working with some of my best friends and I am really excited for the opportunity.

My prayers today are for Terri Hale and her family as they await results of her biopsy, and for me that I have the strength to carry through with this new position during the next 11 months of therapy.

And that’s all for now, folks!

Day 1 and counting…

I started my triple therapy treatments today.
For the last two weeks, I was switching my anti rejection drug from prograf to cyclosporine and getting a serum level to work with before the other medications were added.  My level is good, but we made a preemptive cut in dosage, since we expect the levels to rise rapidly with the introduction of telepravir. My blood counts are low, but tolerable at this time, so we won’t worry about neupogen (to increase white blood cells), procrit (to increase red blood cells) or transfusions (for anemia) till next week.  I am set up for blood work three times a week to monitor all of this. (they said they would do pediatric draws so as to not further the anmemia…. I always wondered if having that much blood drawn was detrimental… I guess it is, in fact)
I started the treatments about 1 hour ago and I already have that old familiar feeling of “the Flu”. Nothing from the telepravir, yet.
I am prepared for the side effects which are (combined) migraines, nausea, diarrhea, muscle and bone aches and pains, rash, anemia, impaired immune system, shortness of breath, fatigue and depression.  From experience, I know I will suffer at least 3/4 of these.  (I am already on antidepressant so I’m not to worried about that.)
God is in charge and he has provided excellent health care providers for me, so I feel confident that I will weather this season.
The first 30 days will determine the course of treatment.  If we have a good response in the first month, then we will continue for an additional 11 months, and be rid of the beast.  If we have a negative response at the end of thirty days, we stop treatment.
So, prayers are need for a positive outcome, and for me to have the strength to take this therapy.  Also, prayers for my family, who will have to deal with me in this state for the next year.
I’ll keep you posted!

I’m baaack!

Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve written or posted anything.  I’ve been busy.

I have pretty much recovered from all the surgeries, to the point that I almost feel normal.

I felt good enough at the end of October to accept an invitation to go down to South Texas to the hunting lease I was a member for many years.  It was an incredible experience: 4 days with all of my old friends.  A cold front blew in and the weather was mild to chilly. Hunting was “so-so”, but the fellowship was extraordinary, and so was the food. (we never skimped on meals at the lease)

I’ve been hunting with this group since 1990:

da boyz

We came to shoot...

So it’s now December and there’s a lot going on around the home front.  My Mother-in-Law is in for a week, my ex-Sister-in-Law is in town for a few days, and my Brother-in-Law now lives in Houston.  We are all going to Austin tomorrow to watch my Daughter-in-Law graduate from UT with her Masters Degree in Nursing.  Then we drive back back to Houston where we will all attend a Texans game on Sunday.

I have 2 more hunting trips planned between now and February.  Then it’s time to get out the fishing gear and the kayak.

It’s good to have health and family!

How's that Hope and Change workin' out for you?


Older and Badder

As I lay in my hospital bed, awaiting surgery, I was reading an email from my mother (a long time Democrat). She sent a piece that I thought was very interesting.  I lived most of the things that are mentioned in it (not the icebox, or the hand cranked cars—though I have hand cranked some tractors), and it makes me realize, even more intensely, how much I love this country, and how I refuse to let it go down in the flames of socialism. Please read and enjoy, and by all means, drive, ride or use your walker  to get to the polls on election day 2012 and help the Grey Haired Brigade take this country back and make it the Land of the Free!

Grey-Haired Brigade

They like to refer to us as senior citizens, old fogies, geezers, and in some cases dinosaurs. Some of us are “Baby Boomers” getting ready to retire. Others have been retired for some time. We walk a little slower these days and our eyes and hearing are not what they once were.We have worked hard, raised our children, worshipped our God and grown old together. Yes, we are the ones some refer to as being over the hill, and that is probably true. But before writing us off completely, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration.

In school we studied English, history, math, and science which enabled us to leadAmericainto the technological age. Most of us remember what outhouses were, many of us with firsthand experience. We remember the days of telephone party-lines, 25 cent gasoline, and milk and ice being delivered to our homes. For those of you who don’t know what an icebox is, today they are electric and referred to as refrigerators. A few even remember when cars were started with a crank. Yes, we lived those days.

We are probably considered old fashioned and out-dated by many. But there are a few things you need to remember before completely writing us off. We won World War II, fought in Korea andViet Nam. We can quote The Pledge of Allegiance, and know where to place our hand while doing so. We wore the uniform of our country with pride and lost many friends on the battlefield. We didn’t fight for the Socialist States ofAmerica, we fought for the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.” We wore different uniforms but carried the same flag. We know the words to the Star Spangled Banner ,America, andAmericathe Beautiful by heart, and you may even see some tears running down our cheeks as we sing. We have lived what many of you have only read about in history books and we feel no obligation to apologize to anyone for America.

Yes, we are old and slow these days but rest assured, we have at least one good fight left in us. We have loved this country, fought for it, and died for it, and now we are going to save it. It is our country and nobody is going to take it away from us. We took oaths to defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that is an oath we plan to keep. There are those who want to destroy this land we love but, like our founders, there is no way we are going to remain silent.

It was the young people of this nation who elected Obama and the Democratic Congress.

You fell for the “Hope and Change” which in reality was nothing but “Hype and Lies.” You have tasted socialism and seen evil face to face, and have found you don’t like it after all. You make a lot of noise, but most are all too interested in their careers or “Climbing the Social Ladder” to be involved in such mundane things as patriotism and voting. Many of those who fell for the “Great Lie” in 2008 are now having buyer’s remorse. With all the education we gave you, you didn’t have sense enough to see through the lies and instead drank the ‘Kool-Aid.’ Now you’re paying the price and complaining about it. No jobs, lost mortgages, higher taxes, and less freedom. This is what you voted for and this is what you got. We entrusted you with the Torch of Liberty and you traded it for a paycheck and a fancy house.

Well, don’t worry youngsters, the Grey Haired Brigade is here, and in 2012 we are going to take back our nation. We may drive a little slower than you would like but we get where we’re going, and in 2012 we’re going to the polls by the millions. This land does not belong to the man in the White House nor to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. It belongs to “We the People” and “We the People” plan to reclaim our land and our freedom. We hope this time you will do a better job of preserving it and passing it along to our grandchildren. So the next time you have the chance to say the Pledge of Allegiance, Stand up, put your hand over your heart, honor our country, and thank God for the old geezers of the “Grey-Haired Brigade.”

~Author, Anonymous

Greetings from the beach!

I am in sunny, slow moving, Pawley’s Island SC for a visit with my inlaws.  I thought I might escape the constant drone of political trash that I’ve been living with.  You know… go on vacation, hang out at the beach, go boating, leave the PC on “hibernate”, turn the phone off, etc.

It did not happen that way. My mom, pop, and brother in law are all very involved in following the stock market and politics in general.  So I have stayed up to date via newspapers and Direct TV.

Watching Wall Street go crazy was scary, but awesome. All that STIMULUS really has paid off, huh? I had predicted that gold would hit 2K within a week, and it almost did! I was glad to see the market stabilize, some, and the price of gold level off at around $1750/oz.

There are the pundits, and some Senators, saying that the downgrade is the fault of the Tea Party (??!!). Now the Washington mainstream is placing its faith in the formation of the Super Committee: Republicans who have been told to “compromise”,  Democrats who want to tax, and one Mr. Clyburn who wants to close the wealth gap (guess how?  Yep… redistribution)

So, do you think anything GOOD can come of this? I rather doubt it.

On the other hand, I did watch the Iowa debates, and I was NOT impressed by ANY of them.  (Is it 2008 all over again?) Glad to hear that Rick Perry finally threw his hat in, officially, not just because I’m a Texan, but because he is a leader and a fighter, with strong moral convictions and a true belief in a smaller central government.  Go Rick!

I am heading up to Indianapolis on Thursday for a few days with my Hoosier Family. I am really looking forward to it.  I will head home to Houston on 8/23, and hopefully have my last surgical procedure the first week of September.

I’ll post again around the 28th.

Stay RIGHT, people. Stay RIGHT!