March 14, 2014
Dearest family and friends!
It has been another long month and so much to tell you about Kris and about my visit for a week with her in late February. The photo above was taken when we visited her very favorite place, RED Arena Therapeutic Riding Ranch near Dripping Springs, Texas. Kris goes there once a week (weather permitting, of course) to ride Sven, their beautiful Swedish Fjord horse. While I was there that week, Kris and I had several opportunities to go places on our own and RED Arena offered two of those opportunities!
The next great news is that Kris no longer has to wear that cumbersome AFO, a leg brace, on her right leg! The ankle surgery back in December to repair and lengthen her Achilles' tendon was so successful, the doctor has ruled she doesn’t need the brace anymore. Hurray!!! And, as of Thursday’s monthly care meeting, I learned by conference call to that meeting that Kris is now walking ALL the time while there at CORE. Her wheelchair is available if needed, but she walks as much as seven hours a day or more with and without her walker. Someone is always with her, of course, but that walking is amazing.
Her posture is much better and she is now working toward tying her own shoes. That has been helped to a great extent by the steroid injections she received a few weeks back in her right elbow and her right shoulder. It means her right arm is working so much better. Kris is amazing!
With an increase in her nutrition intake amount from four cans to five cans per day, her stamina and her energy seems to be doing better, too. Her walking and sit-to-stand has improved enormously and, believe it or not, they are working with Kris to walk backwards! That, of course, is very tenuous but it serves to help her balance herself even more.
Swallowing continues to improve with more and larger ice chips. The more the better now and, hopefully, some real smooth, light yogurt may be tried again soon. She is improving with the use of a communication board, as well, and her impulsivity is 80 percent gone. I am simply amazed every evening when we Skype at the words she says and things she types. Communication is so improved using her board that she can now contribute to a group therapy session for the gals. How wonderful for Kris after years of not being able to say what she thinks and needs, or expressing her thoughts. God is tremendous! Kris is absolutely delighted with her accomplishments and rightly so. She has earned every bit of praise and all the accolades are hers!!!
As for John, please know that he finished his four rounds of chemo at the Cancer Treatment Center (CTC) near Chicago back in February and, as I write, he is there again now for implantation of a pain pump. The surgery for that was yesterday (Friday) and other procedures and things will be done to relieve some severe pain today. The outcome of the chemo will not be known until they do another scan, so pray, pray, pray.
He has done very well each trip out there for the sessions of chemo, but it really wears him down for several days afterward. We are rejoicing, however, that his wife, Robin, did contact CTC back in the fall. John is far better mentally and has great hope, as do we all.
We continue to be blessed with wonderful friends and loved ones who offer their encouragement and prayers. I simply don’t know what we would have done or would do without that. We rely on God’s strength day to day and keep busy: George is preparing to help put new siding on our house, and I am working part time again at The Palms of Sebring plus writing, writing, writing!
Please continue to pray. It is our greatest encouragement through God.
Blessings and love,
Carol and George