Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy Eve of the New Year

Wow, 2015 is just a few hours away.  So do you make resolutions?  I don't do that anymore, I figure I just need to be who I am and try to improve on it whether it's weight, or de-cluttering the house or whatever.  I don't stress, I just figure I'm a work in progress.

We've gotten some great news to start our new year - CR has been approved for the Provenge treatments and we've gotten the financial help needed due to the expense of the treatment and we begin on Jan 9th.  We'll do a Friday/Monday schedule for 3 weeks with a week off in between.  We even received a call yesterday that we'll be getting a debit card with quiet a large amount of money to take care of food and gas expenses because we travel to Spokane (2.5 hour drive north of us) for the treatments.  Wow, that was such a surprise and a welcome bit of assistance.  Just pray that the roads and weather play nice for us as it's not the best time of year to be traveling.

In other news, I ordered an adorable butter dish and it came in earlier in the week:


Yesterday I got the stitches out in the finger I had fixed and I have to say it's wonderful to be pain free.  The stitches weren't bothering me, but they were snagging my embroidery thread, which was a nuisance. 

This weekend I'm taking the Christmas decorations down.  I would prefer to take them down soon after Christmas, but CR like to wait till New Years, so I hold off and wait, yesterday thought I told him I can't wait to put the house back in order and he just laughed and said he wondered when I was going to say that.  He knows me so well.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas or whatever it is you may celebrate and that the New Year brings you peace, happiness, and good health.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

We've had a lovely Christmas Eve.  We started our day with some homemade Pumpkin Scones and coffee - lots of coffee.  We've just been at home chillin out, watching Miracle on 34th Street (the original version) and puttering around.

Yesterday we received a wonderful gift from our friends the Massey's.  It was an edible bouquet.  Oh man it's pretty, but not for long, we really enjoyed it.  It had cantaloupe, honey dew, strawberries, grapes, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered apple slices and chocolate covered pineapple slices in the shape of reindeer.  Along with that I fixed a plate of salami, mozzarella cheese wrapped in prosciutto, we had a few cheeses and a butter brie that we put on crackers and then a pineapple pepper jelly on top of that.  It was a good after noon to eat around here.


We've never had an edible bouquet and I have to say we were really impressed with how fresh and ripe all the fruit was - and delicious too!!


And the rest of the snack spread wasn't bad either, yum!!

I also baked our Christmas dessert today.  Rather than a pie, CR wanted my dark chocolate cake baked in the Christmas tree bundt pan of course.  We'll pair it with a really good port for dessert.


Tomorrow we'll open out gifts (I already have mine and have had it since the first of December).  I'll get a prime rib in the oven and I'm making a sinful potato dish to go with it.  We ought to be so stuffed we can't move but it will be fun and delicious.

Have a very Merry Christmas and I hope your holidays are just the way you like them!

Hugs,
Tam

Monday, December 22, 2014

Busy Work

Today was a wonderful day -- why you ask, well I got that huge dressing taken off of my finger and just have bandaids protecting the end and the top area where there are stitches.  Those will come out next week.

In the mean time, when I wasn't drooling from the drugs they gave me (even a tiny surgery like that brings a whole lot of pain with it), I was trying to stay busy. 

So I ordered and received a mortar and pestle to use for the rub I'm making for our 5 pounds of rib roast (prime rib) on Christmas day.


I hope the Christmas dinner I'm making is as good as Thanksgiving was.  In years past we've had Spaghetti, and other similar dishes, but this year we are going fancy, well as fancy as we get that is.

I've also been putting all my recipes in sheet protectors and in binders and even sorted them into categories (I need more tab sheets though).  I love how organized it is and I've been meaning to do this for, well probably a year now.



I have also started a new project.  I'm still working on my embroidered owls, but I never intended to do them non-stop till they were complete, it's my long term project.  This project is for a wall hanging that has winter, spring, summer and autumn.  I have winter done.  I'll be making 2 for a couple very important March birthdays.  More on that later.


We are home for the holidays, even our grocery shopping is done, so no one has to fight the crowds or deal with the zoo that is out there for last minute shopping.  I've never been one to wait till the last minute - that would make me crazy.

Are you ready for Christmas?? 

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fusing the Finger

Yesterday morning I had my right ring finger joint fused.  It involves surgery but you're not knocked out either.  They put a block in your arm pit which numbs the whole arm for about 6 hours.  They do give you meds to relax and snooze a bit, but it doesn't bother me to be awake and listen either,

The doc gave us pictures of the pin in my finger that is used to help fuse things and the pin will be removed in 6 to 8 weeks.  I find it fascinating so I thought I'd share the pictures.



I'm currently on some pretty potent pain meds so that is all for today.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Results from the Oncologist

So many of my blogging friends have become such good friends that we email with nothing to do with blogs.  The support you all give me is so wonderful and I feel so blessed.  I thought I'd share the results with you from our oncologist appointment last Friday.

In a matter of a few weeks CR's PSA went from 57 to 98.

The Cat Scan showed that some lymph nodes were larger than normal and of a worrisome size in the lower back region.
 
The Bone Scan picked up "suspicious" areas on his right 5th and 10th ribs.

You know what, I've learned over the years that "suspicious", "worrisome" and "concerning" are not good terms when dealing with cancer - no good comes out of it, or so it seems.

So that said we are going to move forward with a immunology treatment called Provenge.  Basically it is a treatment designed to reprogram your body's immune cells to attack advanced, hormone resistant prostate cancer cells.  It jump starts the immune cells already in your body to help your body fight the disease. 
 
It's a 2 step process that is done for 3 weeks, every other week.  The first step is a 3 to 4 hour session of removing blood from CR, it then passes through a machine and collects small portions of your immune cells, some platelets and some red blood cells.  Then the machine returns the blood that isn't used back to CR.
 
This blood is then shipped off to a lab where the magic happens (I wish I could explain, but I'm not a scientist).  The treated blood is returned to the Oncologists office and two days later we are back in the office to have the treated blood put back in to CR.  This helps CR's own immune system fight the disease.  Currently his immune system isn't fighting it at all.

Of course there is a catch.  The treatment is $90,000.00, after insurance the co-pay is $20,000.00, which is just way to expensive.  Lucky for us we make well under a certain dollar amount per year so we are eligible for co-pay assistance and even travel assistance with this drug.  That said we won’t know till all the pre-approvals with medicare, Cliff’s secondary insurance and the drug company get together if we can move forward.  It all depends on what we will end up paying.  Cliff doesn’t want to pay a fortune and I understand that.  There are other chemo drugs that can be used and can also be successful, however in the early stages of his disease metastasizing,  the Provenge looks to be the treatment that will give him the most benefit with the least amount of side effects.  We should know in January what the outcome with insurance, etc will be and be able to decide then.

So now you know.  We are doing well, and actually after so many tests and expecting to hear this type of news, I guess in a weird way it's a relief because now we can get treatment and possibly get it under control.  The doctor has told us they can't cure this, but we can treat it and try to control it and that is all we can ask for.  CR feels good and doesn't have a lot of pain anywhere and that is a good sign as well.
 
Please if you would, keep my wonderful hubby in your prayers, send him good vibes - we sure appreciate it!!
 
Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Results

We are off to Spokane tomorrow for CR's appointment with the Oncologist.  We'll find out the results of his tests last Friday.  Yeah, we're nervous.

So since we'll be up there it seemed like a merry idea to make 2 of my dark chocolate cakes in my Christmas Tree bundt pan for our Urologists office and the Oncologists office.


Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, December 8, 2014

Lazy Sunday

I love lazy Sunday's.  I usually take my shower and then put on a pair of clean pj pants and relax and stay home all day.  I also like to make brunch.  I will often watch a Netflix movie - yesterday we watched the Giver.  I wasn't sure if I'd like that movie or not, but I did, it was really different and intriguing. 

I also did some sewing, I finally finished a small wall hanging that I've been trying to get done for a while, but kept getting side tracked.  I did the embroidery while I was recovering from my knee replacement.


Scotchie was on top of my favorite warm, chunky sweater most of the day yesterday.  I guess he's taking it to heart that Sunday is a day of rest.


Maddie was in her favorite chair and watching take a picture of Scotchie, so I decided to snap a pic of her as well - she's do darn cute.


Hope you all had a good weekend - did anyone do anything exciting??

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Decorations

Thought I'd share our Christmas Decorations this year.  We don't put up a tree, but we do manage to make it look festive I think:














 

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, December 1, 2014

Turkey's - Who Knew

So being that I just cooked my first Thanksgiving Turkey, I just have to say, who knew you could do so much afterwards with the meat, the carcass, etc.

The day after Thanksgiving I boiled my carcass to make stock.

The next day I made 2 different soups, one was a curried turkey & rice soup, the other was just a regular turkey soup with noodles.

Curried Turkey Rice Soup - boy was it delicious!!

Regular Turkey Soup with Noodles

Then last night I made a turkey pot pie with the rest of the leftover turkey and I used the left over dressing, added an egg and moistened it a tad, then shaped it into a round, when I had the pot pie put together, oh and it also used the left over gravy and some stock I saved, I put the stuffing on top and baked it for 30 minutes.  Wowzer, it was the bomb!!

Today we had to go to Costco.  I hate going to Costco this time of year, but thankfully it wasn't to bad and we got in and out quickly.  It can be a real zoo this time of year.

Then I went to a couple other stores where I found this adorable snowman cookie jar:

 
I love that he's not Christmas colors so I can keep him out for the winter.  Now that I have my new kitchen I have room for things like this and it's fun!

I also decorated for Christmas this past weekend and I'll show you some pictures later.  So when do you decorate for Christmas??

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam