Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Big Day

Tomorrow is the day I have been agonizing over all week long. We meet with the doctors to find out what all those tests last week will tell us. I am sure that Friday will still be the day of surgery but it would be nice to wake up most of my parts still intact, but time will tell. Jan and I are heading over to Rochester this afternoon after she gets off work to spend the night. Our appointment is at 0930 on Thursday so in 25 hours we should know what lies ahead. I just wish that I could make it easier on the people around me. I always feel that I have lived such a charmed life, I guess that now is the time to pay up. I don't know what I would have done if I had not had Jan to hold my hand through all of this. This is when those wedding vows " in sickness and in health" start to mean something. Does this sound like whining? I suppose so but I am not used to this sort of thing. Whatever, please keep up the prayers, we need them all.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rochester Report

I will not have the problem of adding pictures to this blog. Our first office visits here in Rochester turned far worse than we expected. The explanation of the surgery involved does not sound pleasant. About half of my lower jaw and associated tissue has to come out , with the jaw repairs with the smaller bone from my lower leg. The doctor said it is a long procedure but you will be asleep the whole time. It is too bad I couldn't just be out until everything is healed up, which sounds as if it will be about 3 months. The recovery is the part that I am not looking forward to. Return visits will be frequent. Luckily we have Gen and Steve and the boys home with a spare bedroom to hang out at. I gotta tell you that we did not expect a treatment that would be this extreme. I felt a strange sense of peace about the whole thing yesterday it is probably all the people praying for us. Today I have a PET scan that will be a few hours long and tomorrow another scan of some sort. All through this whole thing I keep thinking " how can I feel so good while all these things are happening in my body?" Surgery is scheduled for next Friday so keep up the prayers? One drawback to waiting all week is that the tension will build all week long until check in next Thursday.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Farewell Tour?

I have been busy these last few days. I just completed a 2100 mile bike tour and I actually took a few pictures to illustrate what some of the things that were seen. Above is a snake that I saw while stopped for a break on a township road in South Dakota. I am not sure if it was a rattler or not but it sure acted like one. In the upper left is a prayer from a war memorial in Hudson SD. The pictures are in the reverse order, next time I will start at the end and work back so they come out in proper order. After finally getting some action from Mayo last Thursday, I loaded the bike and headed west after dinner or lunch as some would say. Leaving Chamberlin in the fog on Friday morning kind of set the stage for later in the day when I ran in rain and 50 degree weather for a couple of hours. In between I had a nice ride south from Belvidere on a gravel state hiway. Saturday I left Kimball Nebraska early to Cheyenne and down to Fort Collins and west over the mountains on 14 to Walden.

Here is a picture or two from Colorado. At a stop in Walden for lunch I made what turns out to be a good decision to go north back into Wyoming not south further into Colorado (they had more snow the next day) . After that it was a long drone across Wyoming to Worland where I spent the night. Up early on Sunday and over Powder River Pass where it was 28 degrees at the top. It was pretty with the grass covered with frost all sparkling in the sun. above to the left is a picture from Ten Sleep Canyon which you go through to get to the pass. Then across more of Wyoming and back roads in the Hills to Rapid City. Yesterday ( Monday) was spent just getting home although I took a side trip down in the Yankton area to check out an old rail line, it's still abandoned. I wanted to get home to Jan and the rest of my family but getting home means facing reality of what could be ahead of me, none of which is attractive. We are headed to Rochester today to start my doctors appointment tomorrow morning to find out what lies ahead. Long distance riding gives a person an awful lot of time to contemplate things, what your wife and family mean to you, how will I cope with whatever comes down the pike and how lucky I have been so far.

I am still learning here so this will be a little disjointed. To the left is a picture that I took south of Belvidere and below is the GS as loaded before I left.

So anyhow I hope that this title is far from the last tour but if it is it was a grand one. I had a tape recorder along for details and it may make interesting listening for someone, maybe. I hope to blog you from the other side of this, so pray for us.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

missing pictures

Evidently the picture did not make the jump. So here a few from Theilman and a few from our weekend in Rochester.

Good times and Bad news

I am not sure what just happened here but I loaded up some pictures from Eli and my trip to Theilman for the semi-annual off road ride in the woods and hills. Several riders that we talked to said that it some of the best riding in this part of the country. I only crashed three times and managed not to damage me or the bike although I am a little sore from the physical activity of the day. Running through the woods on my 250 Kawasaki was a lot of fun but getting out of the way of the KTMs was important. Everything went pretty well until just before we managed to find a trail back to camp when a passing thunderstorm got the trails and hills really greasy. You haven't lived until you have fishtailed down a hill just trying to stay upright. I was glad to see the truck at the camp. It meant dry clothes and cold beer, it doesn't get much better than that, well, that is not entirely true.
We, Jan and I and Eli and his family had all spent Saturday night at Gen and Steve's' home in Rochester. Jan and I watched the four kiddos Saturday night so that the two couples could go out for their anniversary's. We all had a pretty good weekend I think.
I think that I have been blogging about my tooth trouble and last week we ended up an oral surgeons' office in Mankato. He looked in and took a biopsy of a spot in my mouth and Tuesday we went to get the results. It was a picture perfect day with a bad news start. I got the word " it's cancer", so now I am waiting for Mayo to give us a heads up on when this can get taken care of. In the meantime I was planning a long bike trip to Colorado and Utah so that is on hold until we hear. The treatment options do not sound pleasant to be sure. So there it is out I'm wondering how much other stuff can go wrong and then I get to thinking about some of our troops that I have welcomed home with missing limbs and brain injuries and they are just kids. Well, there is all the news that is news. If the pictures don't make it I will post another blog containing some from Theilman and Rochester.