|Ready to go!|
|That's the one!|
|How about a wreath?|
|Grandmor and Anna|
With Christmas coming and managing my illness, I find that the days are filled with things to do, but it has kept me from writing in my blog so now I am playing catch-up. The good news is that I have responded so well to the chemotherapy that the last round of treatments was canceled. The last treatment was this past Wednesday. Hallelujah! The schedule has now been set for my stem cell transplant and I will begin initial preparation for it just after the first of the year. (There will be some heavy-duty chemo treatments during that time so we will see how those go.) I'll be hospitalized off and on for about 4 weeks in January and February for the procedure. Most of that time will involve the transplant of the stem cells back once they have been harvested and cleaned up.
Unfortunately, in the midst of this good news, my back pain did return so I am working with the pain specialist to bring that under control. It is most painful first thing in the morning which makes it very difficult to get out of bed. Hopefully I will have some success there as I had been getting around quite well just 3 weeks ago.
Terri and I had a wonderful time in MN for the St. Olaf Christmas Fest. The concert was filled with many of our favorite selections from over the years which seemed especially appropriate this year. It really set the tone for the Advent season for us. As you can see from the photos, we also had a chance for a photo opportunity with little Anna as the family went out to pick their first live Christmas tree. What fun! Grandpa Bob helped to set the tree up and get some of the lights on before we had to leave.
Since that time Terri and I have been doing what I can to get ready for Christmas. Even though we have tried to cut back this year there still has been lots to do. Today, though, I feel in a good place as it appears that all is just about ready. Sometime in the next week we'll head up to MI for a few days of rest and relaxation. We are really looking forward to that as they got about 14 inches of lake effect snow in the last week. It'll be a winter wonderland. We'll celebrate Christmas Day at my sister's house at the Douglass Family Christmas party and then with our kids just after Christmas. It should be a wonderful time, especially with little Anna around, and we are looking forward to a joyous Christmas.