Saturday, September 25, 2010


Changing air and hotel reservations can be time consuming and stressful. Joe and I already had reservations for Joe's quarterly check in with Dr V at MDACC for 10/11 and we were to return on Wednesday 10/13, I had to change the return date but now it will be with Dr Keating and the chemo. The FCR treatment at MDACC will be completed at the hospital to watch for adverse reactions. The "R" part is done first which is a monoclonal antibody therapy. Adverse reactions usually happens within the first couple hours of infusion. They have drugs that have been proven to treat the reactions. The "FC" part is done together the next two days.

I would have to extend our travel by 2 days and when I went on line to change the reservation, the Delta web site stated that it would cost us $330 more. YIPES! I decided to call the Frequent Flyer customer service and told the polite agent of our dilemma for medical reasons. Since the medical reasons could be documented, the total fee was only $30. I am grateful to Delta for this concession.

With our hotel I went back on Priceline and requested to extend our stay another two days. I had to rebid for those extra two days and held my breath to see if the $70 a night would be accepted. By the grace of God, it was. The room at the Westin Galleria is normally $295 a night and that is before taxes and fees. Another piece of good news is that the Westin has free self service parking thus it will cost us less than the Intercontinental that we had gotten at $60 a night but they charged $18 a night for self parking. Another plus is that the Westin is next to the Galleria Mall which will make it easy for us to get dinner without having to drive. I was also able to get a decent price for a rental car through Costco Travel using Enterprise Rental Cars that we will pick up at the airport. I tried to bid lower prices at Priceline but they were not accepted. An ironic thing was that the price for the rental car at the airport and in the city was about the the same price. Blessings indeed!

We worked in our front yard today attempting our umpteenth time trying to grow fescue grass. Yesterday Joe had gotten an aerator at Ace Hardware in Tucker to loosen up the soil. I had suggested the one with sharp metal points and Joe wanted the one that plugged holes into the hard ground. It was one of those times Joe had told me to shut up since he was getting impatient since no one assisted us in getting the equipment on the trailer plus he dropped his wallet and bad words came flying out of his mouth at me. So I kept m mouth shut the rest of the day as he aerated the lawn and stayed out of his way.

When I peeked out the upstairs window, Joe was not having much success with the plugger. Later on I looked out the window, he had gone back to Ace and got the one I had suggested. I did not say anything and stayed out of his way. Stupid me, I had hoped for an apology but Joe is not one to do that. It is just the way he is.

Today Joe spread the start up fertilizer in the front yard and later I spread the seed. The hard part was raking the soil which I did, which turned out to be thatching which is brutal work. I knew Joe could not handle that hard of labor. For at least 4 hours I stayed at it till I accomplished my goal of completing the entire front yard. Joe raked and picked up the residue of my work and dumped it in the pine islands. He also spread some of the wheat straw. Tomorrow after church I will need to do the side where the driveway is and a small area near the house. Hopefully I will be able to finish it before the needed rain comes. Please RAIN come gently into the day and night.

When I came back into the house the power was out and I was full of dirt from head to toe plus I was drenched in sweat through all my clothes. I peeled them off in the washer/dryer room and what a mess I made on the floor. I took a cool shower in the dark but it was so heavenly. I had to wash my hair three times. Using the flashlight on the iPhone I got dressed and somehow got my makeup on since we had dinner reservations at Parkers on Ponce at 8:15. Of course just as I finished, the lights came on but at least I was able to dry my hair. Joe was still working outside at 7:45 so I changed our reservations to 9:15 which worked out great.

The meal was so so but at least Joe and I were able to enjoy each other with the tension gone. Maybe the bottle of wine helped.

Joe is doing pretty good today. He was pleased with the arrangement I made for Houston and proud that I was able to work the system to get a decent price. I am so thankful for this.

I have gotten several e-mails from CLL patients who had FCR which was reassuring. Some were in a blog, a diary or just a good detailed e-mail.

I get contradictory advice which contributes to anxiety, second guessing and wondering if I am directing Joe the right direction. Here is where Faith comes into play where one must believe that God is directing us and directs us to go forward. It is the prayers of Joe's Army that is pulling us through.



  1. Bonnie - You are quite a trouper. I know what it is to bite your tongue, wait for an apology that will never come, and stand by your man non stop. That seems to be the work of women, and you and I seem to do it well! and worry and plan every little detail, catching bargains along the way. and making sure plenty of laughter is dished up ... to save our sanity, as well as the impatient patient.

    I find banging a pillow to be very good therapy at times, if not trying to strangle it. This blog is such a nice thing to do. I am so sorry you're having to face yet another facet of this disease, but I know with you by his side Joe will do great.

    My computer is finally fixed, all brand new with loads of unused memory ... so now I can stay in touch and follow your blog. Hang in dear lady from Georgia! You are on my mind ...

  2. Bonnie,
    I always stay at the Jesse Jones Rotary House which is attached to MDACC. It relieves me of having to drive, rent a car, etc. The rooms are OK and the staff is great. You can eat at the restaurant there, or there are a couple of smaller places. Or the cafeteria in the hospital is not bad. The rooms cost more than you are paying but not having to rent a car more than pays for the cost. They have shuttles to take you where you want to go. I guess it is just a matter of preference. After I go through a BMB I am grateful to go there and crash!

    I don't know what I would do if I were Joe. I have always said I wouldn't do the chemo but you don't know what you would do in that situation. Anyway, you know we are thinking about you both and praying for you. Your blog is the greatest! Barbara B.

  3. Bonnie, this blog is one more testament to your strength and your love for Joe. I suppose all couples get aggravated at one another from time to time especially after so many years together. We gals just hush up over the things that don't matter but we persist when it is something we feel strongly about. We are all praying for you both. Love from Memphis - Leeya (Eric's wife)

    PS - If a picture of a small kitten appears with this post, her name is Lucy and she is 2 years older now and a bit larger. :p

  4. Thank you for sharing this journey. Your open, honest words are a benefit to all. Wishing both of you strength and courage.
    PV 2003

  5. Keep on typing, Bonnie! I hope your blog is as cathartic for you as it is informative and engaging for all of us friendly followers.
    Since many of us are at some point along a similar journey, we appreciate learning from your experiences.
    And heck, it just might make a few of us "impatient patients" remember that the going isn't so great for our spouses/advocates/care givers.
    big hugs,
    PV 2009

  6. Bonnie, God gives wisdom; we ask for it and He promises to give it (James 1:5). Ask in faith knowing that He is faithful. He will show you His path for you and Joe.

    Denise, MF, 2009

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