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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy 2013

Christmas 2013 @ Our House
Wow, it's hard to believe we can be in 2013 already.  I remember receiving benefit statements in the late '70's showing future pension estimates for 2012. I thought, who'd be around that long but here we are in 2013.  Funny too that Jan 13, 2013 was THE date they time traveled to in the 1985 movie "Back To The Future".  So yes, here we are 2013. 

We hope you had a wonderful holiday season whatever your holiday is or isn't.  It's always a nice time of the year that is special to us.  

Give me a BIGger smile

Susan finished her 2nd and 3rd rounds in this phase of chemo last Friday and since our last post.  We believe this phase is a bit easier 
on her (says the guy who has never been through it) when compared to the first phase.  So with 3 down she has 9 more to go - then on to radiation.  She thinks it's a long time before it's over but it will be here before we know it.  

I've mentioned her doctors before and how we feel blessed having them on our team.  Well, I spoke to another lady on Sunday who mentioned her mother-in-law had the same Oncologist (Dr. Sy) and Radiologist (Dr. Rajput) and she loved them.  Of course I had to say "I hope she was a Winner".  She did Win and felt fortunate as we to have had them as part of the team.  

Last week Susan had a substitute driver and "assistant chemo caregiver".  Our friend Denise Doss picked her up and got her to and from treatment.  I heard from both of them they had a really great time catching up.  

Susan was going to drive to Atlantic after treatment that day to join me, but with so many in the family getting sick we decided that would not be wise. 

My mother passed away on 12-24-12.  She was 90 and had suffered from the effects of colon cancer the past year and nine months.  She'd done pretty well until the last few weeks.  Her mind was always so sharp and remained so until very near the end.  While we knew the eventual 
outcome, we were still  shocked and saddened with her passing.  Fortunately Dad and some of my siblings were with Mom.  She is better now and we are relieved she is at peace. 

The day she passed is also Susan's birthday. Since few restaurants are open Christmas Eve we always have dinner in.  The steaks were ready to come off the grill when my brother Ron called with the news.  Needless to say it changed the evening.  They unfortunately had a long evening making the many calls to friends and family. 

I traveled to Atlantic the day after Christmas.  Dad was still in his PJ's, flat out in bed sick at 1:00 PM.  We all thought it was probably anxiety and a lot of sadness.  Turns out sister Nancy got quite sick that night followed by several others over the next couple of days.  Being a Winner herself for 25 years, Nancy knew it would be unwise for Susan to join us for the services.  Good call sis!  The consensus opinion was a norovirus had landed square in our midst.  Unfortunately it 
took down several in the family.  Younger brother Rob was so sick on Saturday he could not attend Mom's funeral.  So he was both physically ill and doubly heart sick.  

Mom's funeral service was such a positive and uplifting service.  I told a friend that it was the nicest funeral I'd ever attended and I'm glad it was for our Mom.  Nancy, my oldest sister, gave a wonderful tribute for mom based on inputs from many of us blended in her own way with words.  Fortunately Mom had the chance to read it and gave her approval by calling it "neat", a word she often used to describe what she really liked.  And it was a "neat" tribute to a wonderful lady and attended by so many.

So, Susan was not able to be with us due to all the sickos in Atlantic.  She'd dropped Riley and Rocco off at the kennel in Bettendorf however before Friday chemo in anticipation of attending.  You can imagine they were two mighty happy Yorkies when she picked them 5 hours later. Or should I say 3 days early.

Lynn Betz, Vanguard
Rick's Auto Clinic
Niece Heather & Chris
Susan is now on an every Friday morning chemo schedule which works out well.  This past week she slept a bit more than the last two in this phase.  So it's probable the cumulative effect is continuing and having an effect.  

We learned this week there will be a break between the end of chemo and radiation.  They want to ensure her white cell counts are back up before the radiation. That does extend her a couple weeks or more into the spring but that works too.  I know how anxious she is to get through it all. 

Susan had a mammogram, a surgeon follow up and a blood draw today. She will have an oncologist visit and chemo on Friday.  So you can see she stays "busy".  She got an "all clear, no disease and healing very nicely" report this morning from radiology and her surgeon.  Exactly what we expected to hear!

None of our kids were able to be here for Christmas although Christine and Laura came back for Mom's services. They were in on Friday night and headed home early on Sunday.  They even got to drive in a snow storm from Des Moines to Atlantic (white knuckles).  Brad was to be back in San Diego for his promotion ceremony (to WO-4) so was unable to come back.  They hoped to be here in January but we decided it will be better when Susan is finished with treatments.  

When that time comes we'll also be up for a road trip.  So everyone think spring and it will be here soon. Although it's 45 F and sunny outside right now.  Nice March weather in early January.

Thank you to all who have sent notes, cards, emails, food, memorials and flowers.  Susan appreciates her support base so much and knows she is blessed. We are blessed.

Happy New Year and many blessings to all.  


  1. Susan and Roger,
    Thanks again for all the updates, we are so happy to hear that Susan continues to do well with her treatments, and so happy to call her a "Winner"!
    Love, Sharon and Ken

  2. Roger and Susan - thanks for the update. Roger, I'm sending condolences and prayers to you. Such a lot on your plate as well. I don't think I'll see you two before I head out, but sending love your way. I'll be getting your updates so please give Susan a hug and peck for me! See you in May!!!


  3. Great I finally figured how to post. You both are such an inspiration to all of us. I love receiving the updates on both of you. Roger I am so sorry to hear about your mother. Sounds like her life was full of many happy memories. I just want you to know you are always in my prayers and can’t wait to see you. Love, Rebecca