Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
Celebrating Christmas at Grandmor & Grandpa Bob's

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Writing Comments

I have heard from some of you that it is difficult to leave comments on my blog without setting up an account. I have fixed that so now all you have to do is click on the Comments phrase at the end of a post and it will immediately take you to a new screen where you can enter your comments and then post them. Please let me know if you continue to have problems with leaving comments and I will see what I can do to fix the problem. Thanks.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Busy! Busy! Busy!

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond but Terri and I have been incredibly busy since I got home from the Rehabilitation Institute last Friday. It is amazing how much time it takes to do simple tasks, such as brushing my teeth and getting dressed, when using a wheelchair or a walker. I also have outpatient physical and occupational therapy all day 3 days a week. How exhausting! When I came home from the institute I was able to walk short distances with the aid of braces and a walker. Now I am pushing to be able to reach my long-term goal of walking on the beach unaided before summer ends.

Had a wonderful Easter weekend with all of the family here. In fact, Andrew, Katie, and little Anna, who is 10 months old, arrived about 15 minutes after Terri and I arrived home from the institute on Good Friday. What a great way to celebrate my homecoming after 11 weeks in the hospital . The picture shows me enjoying Easter dinner prepared by Terri and my son-in-law Michael, the first delicious meal I had eaten in quite some time. 

My journey so far has been quite miraculous. Please pray that it continues to be so and that my feet completely heal. 


What a wonderful meal for Easter after 11 weeks of hospital food!

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Very Special Day

I'M HOME!   And happy to be here!!  More to follow in the coming days.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Progress Continues

Bob continues with therapy in preparation for coming home on Friday! I'm also learning how to help at home. I've learned so much being apart of daily therapy but now that we are going to do it on our own, the pressure is on. It's amazing how much we had to think through just to take a shower! They are trying to wean Bob from the oxygen (however he is getting so little that it wouldn't be an awful thing to come home with...more like a safety precaution) His medication for the pneumonia is no longer through an I V but orally once a day and today or tomorrow he has another x-ray checking on the progress of the lungs. So progress continues! Bob's list of medications is incredible but he knows how to make a great spreadsheet that will help us remember what and when! Thank goodness for his computer knowledge!

We are so looking forward to Friday. Andrew and Katie and little Anna will be in. Elizabeth and Michael will be over so we will have lots of help adjusting to home. Our house on Chester will no longer be a doghouse but OUR house! Thank you God!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Good Day

The doctors are still treating Bob's pneumonia. Yesterday they gave him 2 units of red blood which isn't unusual after a stem cell transplant. This will build up the iron and oxygen in his blood. Today he just looked better. He walked 400 steps without resting and practiced walking up and down 12 steps. He wants to be ready to go home on Friday! He also enjoyed a visit from our nieces. We ordered in a Chinese meal from a local Chinese restaurant and spent a quiet, relaxing evening together. It was a good day!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Continued Progress

Bob continues to make good progress with his PT and OT. The plan is still to come home on Good Friday. The treatment for the mild pneumonia continues. The course of the medication is 7 to 14 days. Of course we are hoping it responds in 7 days so the coming home date isn't delayed but we also don't want to take any chances. Bob is very motivated with the PT but a little discouraged by the pneumonia. Who wouldn't be! Today we go to his oncologist for a check up. RIC is connected to NW with an underground access so even if it is raining, we don't have to worry. We did go out again this week and made a stop at Garrett's popcorn. Nice treat!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mild Pneumonia

Bob has been experiencing cold like symptoms since Saturday. The doctors thought it might be allergies since a cold and an allergy present the same way. Yesterday while checking Bob's lungs they heard a wheezing so they did a chest x-ray. Last night they told us there was something in the lungs and so they are treating him aggressively for a mild pneumonia. He has an IV medication every 6 hours for a week, respiratory treatment twice a day, an inhaler, an expectorant and they will be taking his vitals more often. Bob doesn't have a fever and his white count isn't up and those are usually symptoms of pneumonia. The only thing that he still needs is a small amount of oxygen that they haven't been able to ween off of him. It seems he needs this when he is doing therapy and exerting himself. I guess they felt he should be off it by now and maybe since he isn't, it is because there is this little infection. The doctors want to be on top of this because of his HISTORY!!!

This was a big blow to us last night but we know God is continuing to wrap His healing arms around Robert and he will get over this! The doctors said this shouldn't interfere with Bob's therapy but if he feels he needs a little more rest, he needs to let them know. They told us that hopefully Bob will come home on Good Friday. He was concerned that this mild pneumonia might cause to him to stay longer. The doctors said they didn't know that yet. It all depends on how he responds to all this treatment!

As for therapy, Bob has been flying! He walked 400 steps with his walker with only 1 stop. He has been practicing going up and down four steps, balancing on the parallel bars and while balancing, throwing and catching a ball, (so he'll be ready for little Anna), and exercises to strengthen his hips and thighs. He is a PT star. The therapists love him because he is so motivated and doesn't complain. He asks for more! If he has extra time in his therapy schedule and if the therapists have extra time, they ask Bob if he wants another session! Be careful what you wish for Bob!

So everyone, please continue praying. Pray that this mild pneumonia stays just that, pray for continued strength for Bob's legs and that his endurance continues to improve. Pray that he will be able to come home on Good Friday. He so wants to be back in his own house, his own bed!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Beautiful Spring Sunday

It was a lovely day in Chicago so we had another pass and went to a nearby park which over-looked Lake Michigan. What a beautiful sight!

Again Bob was able to walk 400 steps with his walker but this time he needed just one rest stop! He practiced standing, balancing and stretching while using the walker too. We went to church at RIC, and visited with Elizabeth and Michael and some friends. It was such a nice restful day to help Bob get ready for Monday and three and a half hours of different therapies!

The First Outing

I came home last night and I was so exhausted from our day activities that I was unable to blog! You must then realize it was a BIG day. Bob had to sleep well last night!

Bob continued with his fantastic PT progress. I think he accomplished more than his PT had even planned for him to do at his session. First he walked 400 steps with only two rests and then he worked on the parallel bars to improve strength in his thighs and finally he practiced walking up and down one step.

There aren't as many therapies on Saturday and Sunday so we requested a pass to go outside. This would be Bob's first time outside since January 31. We were both very excited. We took care of all of the paperwork and headed down Superior towards Lake Shore Drive. I was in control. Pushing the wheelchair was a new experience for me and watching for handicap accessibility kept me on my toes. Of course Bob helped too. We went to a park for a bit and then to an indoor mall where there is a lovely Treasure Island. Bob thought the deli looked exceptionally good so we purchased a side of Spanish corn relish, some Cheetos and a cranberry juice. We left the mall and found a bench right off Lake Shore Drive and Bob enjoyed his treats. From there we walked up Erie to the Corner Bakery 'cause we wanted to check out their menu for dinner. I would go back there later and pick something up.

Our outing was great! I did have a couple wheelchair problems at curbs that weren't that smooth but both times someone was there to quickly offer a hand. People are good!

We had a great time today and are so appreciative of all of God's blessings!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Improvement Every Day

Wow, it is amazing to me that every day I need to write something on the blog because what I wrote the day before is already old news! What a wonderful feeling. Today, at Bob's last PT session of the day, he walked 200 feet!!! He had to stop two times and rest a bit but the good thing is his heart rate and saturated oxygen number have improved so much each day. He really is getting stronger. The body is an incredible machine. Today we also went to a harp/meditation program presented by one of the nurses. A very relaxing way for Bob and me to spend a half hour. The music was especially beautiful and the relaxation techniques, helpful.

Bob has had some difficulty with pain control but today, with some new medication, the pain seemed to be better. Maybe that is why he did so well in physical therapy. I'm sure we all move better when we aren't in pain.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Walking 40 Feet

Bob had PT early this morning and he was able to walk with his braces and the walker forty feet! What an accomplishment! We also practiced different transfers so now when I am there, he doesn't have to depend on his PCT to help him move from his wheelchair. I'm taking a family leave until Easter so I am able to be with Bob everyday. I'm most interested in watching his physical therapy and helping whenever there is a need. Yesterday we were able to take advantage of a pet therapy program and today there was music therapy and art therapy. Bob is pretty tired after his scheduled therapies but it was fun to go see the dogs and hear the medical personnel from the hospital provide the music. A little change of pace and a very satisfying day!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The braces have arrived. Bob was able to walk a dozen steps with them today. His legs and feet are very painful but he was able to walk better with the braces which start below his knee and go into his shoe. They give him the support which is necessary for him to be able to practice walking.

Today was a very emotional day. Being unable to walk is very scary for Bob and me. He is not afraid of hard work but he is worrying about how long it will take to get back to walking without all of these devices. The nerves in his legs and feet just need to start responding. We ask all of our friends for their continued prayers. We know how good God has been to us and I know He will continue walking next to Bob as he learns how to walk.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Learning About PT

It has been great watching Bob in therapy the last two days. He really is making great progress. They are making braces for his legs that should be ready tomorrow but today they just used his gym shoes and a borrowed brace on one leg and he was able to tell that when he has his own braces, he will have more strength in his legs and feet to help with walking. He walked about twelve steps with the help of the parallel bars and with his therapist, he was able to walk about 7 feet with a walker. I followed close behind with the wheelchair.

Bob really wants to learn how to transfer from his wheelchair to his bed and from his bed to his wheelchair. His therapist showed me how I could help him and we did such a fine job that she wants to video tape us for one of her presentations! He also wants to learn other transfers so he doesn't always have to call his nurse so tomorrow we will work on some other transfers. I'm so happy to help and be apart of Bob's therapy. I'm an extra pair of hands and his therapist is eager to have me involved.

Please continue to pray for strength in Bob's legs, ankles and feet. He so wants to walk on the beach in Michigan this summer.

Monday, April 4, 2011

First Day of Therapy

Monday finally came and Bob was ready. He had a good nights sleep and he felt stronger. During physical therapy he worked on standing and taking a few steps. His physical therapist decided he needed a brace for each leg that would start just below the knee for support and go all the way down the ankle and into his shoe. The braces will be made to fit Bob's legs and should be ready to go by Wednesday. I'll bring his shoes tomorrow. The therapist feels that this will give Bob the support that he needs for standing and walking. He also worked his legs on a machine that was similar to a bicycle. I took a video to record his activities and later to show him his progress. He had occupational therapy and an x-ray of his back too. He sat in his wheelchair all day and gladly ate each meal. In the evening they helped him with his first shower since the beginning of February. What a great feeling! Now he is watching the Butler/UConn game and hoping for a Butler win. With a busy day like today, he should have a good nights sleep.

Bob requested today that everyone pray for strength and healing of his legs, ankles and feet. He so wants to be able to stand and walk again. I feel confident that he will. I'm sure this is all apart of God's plan.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Spent a relaxing day watching the Cubs, (too bad they didn't win!) doing a crossword puzzle and visiting with friends. Bob is experiencing a little independence again like brushing his own teeth and washing up. He is getting better at maneuvering his wheelchair and keeps his positive, upbeat attitude. He is wondering what tomorrow will bring. :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011


The best part about today was that Bob was given a wheelchair and he was able to get close to the windows and see his lake view. He also got out of his room for the first time in six weeks! He was so happy to have a tour of the new facilities. Progress! Evaluations were completed and next week they will decide Bob's therapy schedule and give him a tentative date for his return home. Bob was feeling more relaxed when I left this evening and looking forward to Monday morning.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Next Stop HOME!

Bob was transferred to RIC today. (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) This is hopefully his last stop before he comes home. His goals are to be able to stand independently and walk! At this time he has no feeling in his feet and the muscles in his ankles are very week. This could have been caused by the 5 weeks in ICU, weight loss, (he lost 40 pounds but has gained back 7!) or it might be a neuropothy from the chemo. The doctors feel pretty confident that Bob will achieve his goals. Tomorrow he will start his therapy with four hours of evaluation. Each day he will be spending most of his time out of bed and will even be able to sit in a wheel chair and get out of his room! He really is a happy camper. After a week they told him he might even be able to have a 3 hour pass and go outside for a bit. Bob hasn't been outside since January 31.

Please pray for Bob's strength to continue to grow and stamina for this intense rehab. He is a little nervous. I know God is by his side every minute of the day and before we know it, Bob will be coming home. We both can't wait!