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?

ma

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!

 

My Dad… My Hero…

On this Memorial Day, I, like all good Americans, honor the soldiers who have died for our freedoms.

My dad, SFC William R Adams, of the 49th Armored Division, fought in Korea. He was in the fight at Pork Chop Hill, where he took enemy gunfire, and ultimately received a Purple Heart for his actions in saving another fallen soldier. On the Korean War Veterans Memorial, it says “Freedom is not Free”.

This has been a truth for Americans since the Revolutionary War. And today, we must still remind ourselves of the selfless actions that our armed services have performed to ensure that we continue to have this freedom.

My dad, known to his rather large “tribe” as “Papa” did come home to Texas, took care of his dying brother, and then went on to be the husband of Freda, and the father of 5 children and later, was grandfather to 16 grandchildren.  He was a kind and gentle man… my best friend.

Papa fought his own personal battle for many years.  He developed coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and then finally, colon and lung cancer. He lost the battle on March 15, 2009, but received the biggest reward of all by going home to God, where he is in perfect peace and pain free.

We all miss him. And today, I want to say “THANK YOU” for EVERYTHING you did for the country and for your family. We will always remember and love you.

Enjoy the slideshow (short)

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What the…?

Hey campers!!!

It’s Monday, and I’m still here.  Are you?

It was a tense weekend, but not because of the “rapture malfunction”, but because of major events that affect us. These include the Iceland volcano eruption, the tornadoes in Missouri, the continued flooding in Louisiana, and of course the continuing saga of our president’s gaffe in the Middle East Peace Process.  At least the POTUS limo is unstoppable, that is as long as no CURBS are in sight.

Hmm… it kind of makes me wish that we had been raptured.  It seems like I am destined to watch the world through hand covered eyes with fingers slightly separated.

Good news, though: both protease inhibitor drugs that I have been waiting for are here! They are rather pricey, but having spent over $100K so far to keep the engine running, I believe I will go ahead with therapy as planned. At least I have insurance…

(btw, if you are not used to it, the colored text will take you to a news article on that subject)

Well, we shall see what happens next.  Take care of yourselves!

The End of the World as We Know It

This weeks news has been abuzz with all types of stories.  The one that intrigues me is Harold Camping’s prediction that the Rapture happens on 5/21/11.  This same man had predicted the Rapture back in 1994, but when it failed to materialize, blamed scripture in Matthew for the miscalculation.  The article from ABC news is interesting. (see story here.)

Also of interest is the discussion , today, between PM Benjamin Netanyahu and our “Mr President”.  Words from Obama’s Middle East Speech last night, called for the 1967 borders of Israel to be used as a starting point for peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.  Has anyone really looked at the SIZE of Israel? It is a small sliver of land that probably amounts to the square mileage of Greater Houston, Greater Dallas/Ft Worth , and Greater San Antonio.  Essentially, Obama is giving a chance for the terrorist organization of Hamas to step in and take over our Jewish brothers, including the birthplace of Christianity and all things we hold sacred as Christians and Jews in Jerusalem.  This would amount to genocide, similar to the Third Reich in WWII. It is not a good place for the leader of the free world to be taking us, as Americans, or the Israelis. The Christian Science Monitor had a good report. (See article here.)

Maybe it IS the end of the world as we know it…

I plan to work in the yard tomorrow.

Later!

Back on the mend…

Apologies, friends, for the long absence. Shortly after the last post, I had a major physical setback, which ultimately led to surgery on the 6th of May.  I came home from the hospital on the 13th.  The problem was that due to all of the issues in recovery from the original transplant (E Coli infections, Pseudomonas infections, etc.) my tissue was never were able to heal properly, therefore resulting in one HUGE ventral hernia… essentially the length of the incision. They were able to repair about half of it this go round, with the other half pending my recovery from this intrusion.

Also, my buddy, Hep C, is back and we are preparing all out war against him, starting in June.  I will begin a “triple cocktail” of pegulated interferon, ribavirin, and a protease inhibitor (either teleprivir or boceprivir).

This man’s last chance at killing the virus.  Everything else is in God’s hands.

I am doing OK, just very sore.  It will take a few more weeks for me to feel normal again. But in the meantime, I sit in my office and watch my squirrels and birds and flower gardens. And I walk around outside as much as I can.

Till next time…