12/11/19

Restoration and Repair

By: T.F. Stern | Self-Educated American

Recently we found a television show produced by the BBC, The Repair Shop. Talented artisans receive a wide variety of keepsake items brought in for restoration and repair, their owners hoping these treasured items can once again be enjoyed as they had before time took its toll.

Each piece brought to the shop has a story, something which makes it personal and priceless to that individual. Watching the item being worked on creates a link between the owner and the artisan performing his/her skills while bringing it back to life.

Through the magic of Netflix, this television program, along with others, can be viewed as if newly released, opportunities to enjoy shows which otherwise would never have been seen. The Repair Shop is such a show.

Speaking of priceless…not once during the show was the cost of restoration or repair brought up. I’ve no idea how much it would cost on most of the items presented; however, from my own experience in restoring an old Steeple Clock that’s been in our family for as long as I can remember; expert craftsmanship doesn’t come cheap.

On our Christmas tree are several hand-me-down ornaments which we’ve been able to keep safe over the years from the cat’s attempts to destroy. This one is from the 1950s and didn’t cost that much, even when it was brand new; but seeing it allows my mind to travel through time, back to my youth. It’s only for a short trip; but the vision provided is real and no price can be affixed to it.

I was distracted by another thought, one from an old black and white television series; can’t remember if it was from the Outer Limits or the Twilight Zone. If memory serves, the story had an older couple reaching the end of their lives, bent over and disfigured from the process of aging, presented with an opportunity to be restored to youthful bodies so they could enjoy an extension available at considerable expense by a company providing this service.

As the story developed it became apparent they only had enough money to permit one of them the miraculous transformation and it was decided the husband would go first; his coming out of the procedure a handsome man in his early twenties. His wife, encumbered by old age, took his hand and it became obvious the results were not what they had envisioned or intended.

The last scene, at least as I recall, showed the husband, having been returned to his aged body, walking hand in hand with his wife as they return to the life that they had enjoyed for so many years as a couple. They choose to grow old together and appreciated the memories more than the opportunity to extend mortality separated by age.

We re-live pieces of our lives, happy moments from our youth, a wedding or birth of a child by touching photographs or items associated with these moments in time. Our spirits are healed, restored and repaired if you will, by visiting pleasant thoughts related to physical items, items that most of the time have no intrinsic value to anyone other than ourselves.

11/1/19

Update On My Husband’s Cancer Treatment – 11/01/19 – Happy Bday To My Hubby!

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Garry’s birthday is today. We are thankful for all of you and you have made this birthday especially memorable for my husband and for myself.

We are still downsizing but the new place is great and we are quite happy here.

Garry likes the oncologist he has now who is Indian. We’ve now had one American doctor, one from Australia, one from Lebanon, one from Vietnam and one from India.

He has to get a ton of labs done. Then they want to cut back on the chemo. They prefer he goes with oral chemo as opposed to a pump. The doctor says that to run full tilt at it will wreck Garry’s body and cause neuropathy which it has. His feet are numb all the time. He says that if they go full bore all the time if something resurfaces the chemo won’t work. Makes sense.

In three months Garry will have a CAT scan and a PET scan to make sure the lung tumor is gone and the rectal tumor is dead. This doc says that the surgery to remove the rectal tumor may not be the way to go. It does not improve things and is a monstrous surgery that is dangerous and would put him down for two months or longer. It also has a high failure rate.

All of that sounds good and right to me, the only thing that gave me pause is he will not call this curative as the Tulsa docs did because it is stage IV and has metastasized. But Garry can go into full remission and will just have to be checked frequently to make sure it does not come back.

Right now he feels good and is doing well. On his birthday that is more than he asked for and a real blessing.

If you want to help Garry out, you can give at GoFundMe. You can donate here. You can also donate on PayPal. My email there is [email protected] or you can use the PayPal link on the upper right side of NoisyRoom.net to get there. If you would like to donate some other way, email me at [email protected] and I’ll send you instructions.

We have been up to Lake Tahoe to go on short walks and take pictures and just enjoy the beautiful surroundings. In Washoe Valley and in Genoa on any given day we can see hundreds of deer. Wild horses roam the countryside here. The people are friendly and amazing.

Living in a place you love truly puts all things in perspective. To get where we are now we had to just turn it all over to God and that’s what we are still doing and will continue doing. We’ve lost so much but have gained so much in return. Thank you to each and every one of you!!!

10/16/19

Update On My Husband’s Cancer Treatment – 10/16/19 – Settling In

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Well, we made it to Reno and now we begin the long task of unpacking and settling in. It feels great to be home and Garry loves being back here.

Garry has seen his new general practitioner who says he is doing pretty well considering. We are still waiting on the records to be transferred from Tulsa. We signed a release before we left but it still got tangled in red tape. Garry cannot start chemo again until the records are here. The oncologists in Tulsa swear they should be here by tomorrow, we will see. We have a team of oncologists here just waiting to get started.

Garry had a bit of a relapse on the trip. It was hard on him but he’s now beginning to bounce back since I have him on supplements again. We will also need to get him a PET scan to see if the cyberknife procedure took care of the lung tumor. Then we wait a few months and have the final surgery. Garry will need to stay on chemo until then to keep the cancer at bay.

I am positive there will be a full recovery here but this has taken its toll on my husband. He’s aged quite a bit during all this and it breaks my heart. But he will be with me for a long time and we feel blessed.

The trip was even more expensive than we thought and we still have mounting medical bills. If you want to help Garry out, you can give at GoFundMe. You can donate here. You can also donate on PayPal. My email there is [email protected] or you can use the PayPal link on the upper right side of NoisyRoom.net to get there. If you would like to donate some other way, email me at [email protected] and I’ll send you instructions.

I can’t explain it but we feel much freer being back in Reno. We can see the mountains and deer again. The air and water are clean as well. Things aren’t perfect… that applies anywhere you go. But this is home for us and we practically kissed the ground once we got here. Thank you to all of you who have helped financially and who keep us in your prayers. We could not do this without you and you have literally helped save my husband’s life.

09/15/19

Update On My Husband’s Cancer Treatment – 09/15/19 – Going Home

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Last week, Garry had his first cyberknife procedure. He will have another on Tuesday and the last on Thursday. So far, there are no side effects at all and we expect this will eradicate the lung tumor entirely. Tomorrow, Garry starts his last chemo treatment here in Oklahoma. He will see a new general practitioner in Reno on Oct. 11th and then get referred out to the oncologists, radiologist, gastroenterologists, and the surgeon. In 4 to 7 months he will have the final surgery to remove the rectal tumor and he will be down for 2 months after that. But it is curative… and Lord willing that will end this nightmare except for visiting the doctor on a regular basis.

The week after this one we will be traveling home to Reno, Nevada with our oldest daughter and her husband. We have most things packed but loading and cleaning will be difficult. The drive will take us 4 or 5 days due to health, etc. It’s a 1,200-mile trip. Say a quiet prayer that it will be uneventful for us.

Garry is doing very well and is much his old self. His cancer markers are now down to less than 1 — the doctors are saying it is a miracle and I believe them. All of you have been a blessing to both of us as well — you are our miracle.

The final trip will be expensive and we still have mounting medical bills. If you want to help Garry out, you can give at GoFundMe. You can donate here. You can also donate on PayPal. My email there is [email protected] or you can use the PayPal link on the upper right side of NoisyRoom.net to get there. If you would like to donate some other way, email me at [email protected] and I’ll send you instructions.

We are so thankful to finally be heading home. In Reno, we will take over my son’s townhome. Once again, all of our children have been there for us and we love them to pieces.

Thank you to each and every one of you who have given in one way or another or who have said a prayer for us. We can never repay you except with our love and respect. I will update again after the move.

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

08/12/19

Update On My Husband’s Cancer Treatment – 08/12/19 – Moving Forward

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

The last week or so has been a monumental shift for us in our fight for Garry’s life. For those of you new to his cancer updates, my husband was diagnosed last December with Stage IV colorectal cancer. We have been through a very rough series of radiation treatments, chemo, blood transfusions, and Garry almost passing away because of pain and deterioration.

Then his surgeon performed a colostomy and saved his life. Garry is just about his old self these days and his numbers are surprising the doctors even with on-going chemotherapy.

We were unable to get a definitive diagnosis from the doctors though on whether this was really curable or if he would be on chemo the rest of his life. I cornered the oncologist who said he did not think Garry was a candidate for cyberknife radiation to remove the tumor in his lung. That meant the surgeon would never remove the colorectal tumor and Garry would be on ongoing chemo indefinitely. But the doc did say Garry would live many more years that way.

That was until we got a new radiologist. Our old one got breast cancer, so now Dr. Mrackian enters the picture. He’s from Australia. He asked us questions we had never been asked before and compiled a complete timeline of Garry’s case. He was angry it had taken so long to do the colostomy and that this had not progressed faster. He also said Garry was a slam-dunk for cyberknife radiation. That changed everything because it now means this is curative… not just maintenance.

We told the doc we were on a tight deadline as we are moving back to Reno, NV at the end of September. He immediately got us appointments to get this going and done before we go. He also told us the colorectal tumor could be removed in four to seven months depending on a PET scan. When that surgery occurs, Garry will be down for two months.

With all we have been through and the medical costs decimating us, we feel blessed. My husband will beat this, we will be together and take over my son’s townhome in Reno. It’s amazing how good news can lift a weight from your heart and soul the way it did this week. And we are finally going home.

If you want to help Garry out, one of our daughters put up a GoFundMe page and we have already met our goal but it is being extended for additional costs – she increased it by six grand to help with final medical expenses and moving. You can donate here. You can also donate on PayPal. My email there is [email protected] or you can use the PayPal link on the upper right side of NoisyRoom.net to get there. If you would like to donate some other way, email me at [email protected] and I’ll send you instructions.