We received the results of my biopsy on Monday and 2 of the 4 biopsies taken were cancerous so the recommendation is bladder removal. Not at all what we were hoping for, as you can imagine. At least my kidneys and ureters looked good. I contacted the doctor in Gainesville on Thursday for a 2nd opinion and he concurred that is the best route to go in. The surgery will be scheduled sometime mid November, and I'll be in the hospital for 3-5 days with a 4-6 week recovery after that. I'm pretty sad about it but peaceful and pretty ready to have this season of constant checkups and scopes and biopsies of my bladder over with. Still wish the outcome was different but it is what it is. Will keep you posted.
There are no pictures on this one - just an update that I had promised back on July 1st. Here's a little timeline:
We drove back yesterday from visiting Nathan, and then I got dressed up and went ballroom dancing at my dance studio. When I arrived home at about 9:30pm our very pregnant cat immediately greeted me and ran to the box we had prepared for her to deliver in. She was trying and pushing, but all we saw was a little tail trying to come out. I called my neighbor, Pam, who had wanted to be there for the delivery, so she came over. When we realized nothing was happening despite all the pushing our cat was doing Pam suggested we contact Fetch Emergency Veterinary Hospital. They said if none of the kittens were coming out we would need to bring her in for a c-section. Sure enough, that's what we had to do. So thankful for Pam's suggestion, because Fetch was fantastic! They called a surgeon in from home, and when she got there she met with us and explained what she was going to do and showed us the x-ray where it looked like there were 4 or 5 kittens in there. I also requested she spay our cat while she was in there, and she agreed. The surgeon then suggested we go home and get some rest (by now it was well after midnight) and they would call us in the morning. The crazy thing about it is that we had to put down a $3000 deposit, and we have always kind of joked about those pet owners who spent thousands of dollars on their pet! Goes to show - never judge! Anyway, they called us this morning and she didn't have 4, or 5, or even 6 kittens. No - she had 7!! But they said one was a runt and probably wouldn't make it. We bought kitten formula and a bottle and went and got them and brought them all home. (by the way, Fetch said it was less expensive than the deposit we put down and they actually gave us a $150 refund!). We started feeding the little kitten right away, and needed to feed it every 2 hours. Tim and I had planned on going down to Port Charlotte for the day to visit my dad and sister, so he encouraged me to go while he stayed behind to feed the kitten. Tim said the kitten took less of the formula on the 2nd feeding, and even less on the 3rd feeding, and then passed away. He and Nicole and her friend who was over gave it a proper burial and while it was sad, we're glad we at least tried to save it's life. Here's a picture of mama cat before delivery and then the kittens, and then a picture of my time in Port Charlotte. Great visit with the fam!
Nathan has been at Trinity College for the past couple of years, but he came home most weekends to lead worship at a local church and even spent the night a lot. Not so for this year since he is an RA and has so many responsibilities on campus. So we (Tim, me, and Nicole) decided to go to him today! We drove out to Trinity, picked him up, took him to lunch, then walked aroud the 5 below store and got him a few things (the dog mask was NOT one of the things we got him and thankfully he didn't get it either!). We spent the larger part of the day there and I only took these 2 pictures, so that's all I've got to commemorate our time. So here they are:
My best friend from college, Sheryl, lives in Orlando with her husband, Don, and though we rarely get to see each other, she's one of those friends you can just pick up where you left off! Plus, our husbands get along well, too - it's one of those rare combinations when all 4 people of the 2 couples really like each other! So we decided to be more intentional and actually plan a time to get together with the 4 of us, and today was the day! We were going to go to a tea room in Lake Alfred, but after looking at the prices we opted instead for a place called Cornerstone Grill. So glad we did! The food was really incredible, and of course the fellowship even better! Check out the deserts we ordered - yummy! Afterwards we drifted around an antique shop where Don and Tim (the 2 shoppers more so than Sheryl and me) bought a couple items. We then had to part ways, but I'm hoping we plan this again very soon! Love those 2!
A few weeks ago my friend, Kim, invited me to ride up with her to her Dad's cabin in Ocoee, Tennessee. Why not??!! So we drove up this past Sunday to this gorgeous approx. 3,500 square foot home in the woods! We drove up Sunday, did some hiking on Monday and Tuesday, did some cleaning and relaxing on Wednesday, and drove back yesterday (on Thursday). In the evenings, we did foot soaks while watching chick-flicks! The cell phone coverage there wasn't very good, so we went into town one day to sit at the McDonalds and do some stuff on our computers. It was really a fantastic getaway, and I'm so very grateful to have friends like Kim in my life!
The final days of our trip - so hated to see it come to an end. The first picture of us is as the Spokane airport waiting on our food so we could wolf it down and board for our short flight to Seattle. Upon arrival, Tim went to rent the car while the 3 of us stayed and had Starbucks (don't worry - I got one for Tim, too!). Then it was off to downtown Seattle. We had talked about doing the space needle, but we ended up just walking around down by the water where it was almost deserted, and then walking up some stairs to where all the people were - the market!! We did our grocery shopping for the next few days, went to a coffee shop where we sat outside and people watched, ordered dinner from a local fusion restaurant, walked to pick it up while Tim went to get the car, then Tim picked us up and we were on our way to our final destination in Port Angeles (a couple hours away). We got settled into our AirBnB and got ready for the National Park trip the next day!
This is us before leaving for Olympic National Park! We hadn't bought any breakfast stuff, so our breakfast consisted of our leftovers from dinner the night before! Lol!
When we reached the visitor center at the top we were greeted with this amazing view of multiple mountains that the camera just doesn't do justice to! But I took this panaramic of the mountains and below that is a plaque that lists all the names of the mountains for you nature buffs!
Then it was time for the hike!! The views were amazing and the weather was perfect!! The only snafu was when the Hoffman's and I wanted to go further but Tim didn't and we made plans to meet back up. After a couple of harrowing hours where we couldn't find Tim, he finally appeared. He had set up his hammock on the trail and had fallen asleep thinking we would see him, but we didn't come back via that trail and we had no cell service! Talk about a slight miscommunication causing lots of angst! After a short burst of relief that he was OK it took me a minute (or more) to come down from being really mad at him!! We were able to use the marriage tools we teach about to resolve our disconnect and come back together in short order, thank God!! Check out the wild life we saw up there - the chipmunk, the beaver looking thing that I forgot the name of, and the deer who was super close - guess he's been given a free meal or two! After we left the park we drove to a store where Tim and Scott could get fishing licenses, and then we just drove over to the shore for a stroll by the water. Just beautiful. The last picture of this day shows Canada behind Tim and me - we were so close!
The next day (our last full day - boohoo!) Tim nd Scott got up super early to go fishing. Laura and I slept in, took our own sweet time getting ready, and then walked downtown by the water. The boys drove back from fishing, picked us up, drove back to the place we were staying to put fish away and then leave for the whale watching tour. What a GREAT way to end our Great Adventure!! We saw so many whales we lost count! The weather was absolutely beautiful and being on the water was such a joy! Such a blessing!!
We got up on our last morning of vacation, got ready, packed up the car and drove the 2+ hours to the Seattle airport. The final picture is a beautiful shot of Mt. Ranier - it was breathtaking! Just a cherry on top of the ice cream vacation we enjoyed!!
Well, now I know how to spell Coeur d'Alene, because that's where we've been the past 2 days. It is absolutely gorgeous, and we used these days as 'down' days, not planning anything special. We arrived late Sunday and after unpacking went out to dinner to a very nice restaurant called Tony's on the Lake. I had Ravioli di Funghi, Laura had Lasagna al Forno, Tim had Gamberoni e Cappe Sante (jumbo prawns and scallops over rosemary quinoa salad), and I think Scott had Gnocci con Gorgonzola. It was all absolutely delish! Monday was a lazy day so much so Tim decided to stay and take a nap while Scott & Laura and I drove into the city and they got some time together while I got some alone time at the city park by the boat launch. I drove back while they went out to dinner, grabbed Tim, and then the 4 of us walked around downtown a bit and then headed home. Tomorrow we head to the airport in Spokane, fly to Seattle, and drive to our final destination, Port Angeles. Here are the pictures from our time in Coeur d'Alene.
We got up at like 5:30 this morning and Tim made coffee and heated up some crustless quiches we had gotten at the store yesterday. Scott and Laura came to pick us up, ate the quiches, drank some coffee, and we were on our way to Glacier National Park! We drove up Going to the Sun road to one of the central places in the park, Logan's Pass, took a quick potty break, and then were back on the road. 10 minutes later I realized I had left my phone in the restroom at Logan's Pass! Yikes! We hightailed it back there, but my phone was no longer there and the ranger station didn't open for like another 30 minutes. We decided to keep going and we would check back later. We drove to the other side of the park to Lake Mary and then asked if we could call Logan's Pass. They said Logan's pass doesn't have electricity or phone service at all, and we'd have to go back there. In the meantime, Laura was checking out a boat ride on Lake Mary with a guided hike, so we scheduled that for 2pm. It was only 11am, so we decided to go back to Logan's pass to check on my phone. Amazingly, someone had waited for the ranger station to open and then turned it in! I was SO grateful! We then went back to Lake Mary and went on our boat ride and guided hike. The waterful at the end of the hike was so loud even though it consisted of 2 short drops, but the water was crystal clear! We saw a deer on the hike, and some lovely multi-colored stones in the river. We left the park and went to a much recommended family restaurant called Johnson's, that has been owned and operated by the same family for almost 70 years! The food was good down home cooking, and we once again shared everything we got! Tim had Rainbow Trout, Laura had Walleye, Scott had the chicken fried steak, and I had Buffalo steak. It was all yummy! For desert we had a huge homemade cinnamon roll a la mode that we all shared. I was STUFFED! We then made the 1 1/2 hour trek back through the park to the other side, and stopped at the campground there for a short visit with a friend I used to work with in the same department at IBM and her husband who also worked there who were camping. So great to see them! Here are the pictures from our day there:
This past week we got to celebrate the 30th wedding anniversary of our dear friends, Scott and Laura Hoffman, on a fabulous trip out west with them! They flew from Charlotte, NC, and we flew from Tampa meeting up in Kalispell, MT. Our trip consisted of going to Glacier National Park, driving to Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, spending a couple of days there, and ending our trip in Port Angeles Washington visiting Olympic National Park and then whale watching!! We've been friends for around 35 years, and our friendship just grows sweeter by the year! I'll start with the trip to Kalispell and Glacier. Tim and I arrived today ubered to our AirBNB (which was a 5th wheel RV), took a lovely nap, and then united with Scott and Laura as they arrived at our place! We rode with them to their gorgeous AirBNB place on a farm up on a hill and helped them unload. Then it was off to dinner at the Montana Club Restaurant where everything we ordered was absolutely amazing! We started out with a Creamy Crab (as in Snow and King crab) Parmesan Dip - so good! Then Tim had a mesquite grilled chicken salad, Laura and I split a Seafood trio platter with wild Alaskan Halibut, Salmon and a shrimp skewer, and Scott had a yummy steak. The best part about each meal we shared is that we REALLY shared our meals! We all tried something from everyones' plate, and it just made it that much more fun! After dinner we went to Flathead Lake (the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi) where Tim and Laura got some coffee and we walked out on a dock and enjoyed the view! Here are some pics from the place we stayed, the place Scott & Laura stayed, at the yummy restaurant, and then on the dock.
Tim & Jodie