Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Telling the Tale

Results from the latest blood work shows that the cancer is still at low levels and holding. Here are a couple of charts that demonstrate what is happening. The top one is total proteins, the parameter that was high and got me into all of this. The red lines indicate normal range for this parameter, the blue lines indicated what has been going on since June 2007. The sharp decrease is when I started taking the Revlimid. You can see that's when it leveled off. The second chart is the all-important M-spike, and you can see the same trend there.

In addition to being better at fighting the cancer, the Revlimid is much less destructive to me than the other chemo therapies have been. Over the past few weeks, I have repeatedly been reminded of how much better condition I am now than I was months or even a year to a year and a half ago. I thank God for that, and thank you for your interest, concern and prayers on my behalf. This isn't over yet, but it is all good.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Grandparent Weekend

Forget about Grandma Saturday, this weekend we got a grandparent weekend! We got to keep the local grandgirl from Friday afternoon to Saturday night as her mom went to a church children's ministry retreat, and her dad had to work. She is really walking now, and spent more time getting around by walking than by crawling. Shortly after the video was taken, she enjoyed walking through the lawn, kicking and shuffling through the leaves. Afterwards, Carol washed her up before returning her to her mommy.

Saturday evening, we had a real nice and impromptu visiting time with Matt, Amy, Andrew & Julia.

Elder Retreat

On the last weekend in October, the 9 elders of Countryside Bible Church took a planning retreat at the Wildcatter Ranch near Graham, Texas. Most of the time was spent in planning sessions, but we also had some times of fellowship with all of the elders and their wives, and also a brief session on the sport shooting range. Here are some pictures (courtesy of another elder) of the scene from the back porch of our cabin, and Carol and another "elder wife", also on the back porch.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What I Do All Day (Some Days)

One of the many different things that I get to do in my work is to certify that liners installed for municipal solid waste landfills are constructed in accordance with plans submitted by the landfill to, and approved by, the State of Texas' environmental regulatory authority. The liners are there to assure that liquids that come in contact with the garbage to be deposited in the landfill don't migrate out of the landfill and contaminate the groundwater, and to also protect against methane gas generated by the decomposing garbage from migrating off site and creating explosive conditions.

Doing this certification requires frequent visits during liner construction, the full-time presence during construction of one my my materials testing technicians, direction, and lots of tests of the liner in the field, and on samples brought back to our laboratory.

Here is a picture of a liner built out of 3 feet of compacted clay that we are currently certifying on a landfill a little ways southwest of Fort Worth. This site fascinates me because of its purple clay. It also has a strata of green soil, the likes of which I have only seen once before in my life.