Brrrrrrrrr, it's actually cold down here this week ... a chilly 53 degrees today but with bright sunny, blue sky and NO snow! Had to bring in our "temperature sensitive plants" (as our weather people refer to them!) so they wouldn't freeze last night. Martha's slowly recovering from her recent stomach surgery. Her surgeon is pleased with her progress. While she's been downgraded from "Hurricane Martha" to "Tropical Storm Martha" for a bit, she
keeps incredibly busy. It has been a busy time with wonderful friends visiting. Right before Martha's surgery, her dear friend Linda arrived for a nice vacation - she spent much of her time driving around to Doctors appointments (the golden years) we were happy to have her love and support. Then Martha's long time friend Karen Gale from Hartford, CT was here for a short week-end visit - I can't believe how much two women can talk about! It was a good visit and they enjoyed a few long walks on the beach and we even got in a nice bike ride. We again send warm heartfelt greetings to ya'll from Edisto!
THANKS BE TO GOD ... Martha and I received a wonderful, early Christmas gift this year ... my 15-week CT scan on Wednesday, December 19th showed my cancer remains stable with "no change" in tumor size! Yeah! We actually rolled up the radiologist's report, tied it with a ribbon and placed it under our Christmas tree this year! Nerves were frayed waiting for my oncologist Dr. David Ellison to enter the exam room per usual to share the results of the CT scan. His smile told it all even before he emphatically exclaimed "good scan"! Martha hugged him twice, once for the great news and once for checking in on her at the hospital during her recent surgery ... Dr. "E" (as many of us call him) isn't really a hugger but seemed to accept her joyful hugs okay. Thanks be to God and the great work he is doing through Dr. E and his team at the Charleston Hematology and Oncology Center. My blood work was good so Chemo Round 29 was administered as scheduled.
GRANDKIDS (and KIDS!) ARE COMING FOR CHRISTMAS ... We're excited Lindsay is flying in Christmas Eve and will spend Christmas with us here on Edisto. Seems like forever since we've seen her, actually it was this past summer in Rochester. Lindsay's been working hard with her somewhat challenging class at The Mary Cariola Children's Center this school year. Martha, Julie and I are planning to worship Christmas Eve with our incredibly supportive community of faith at the Edisto Beach Baptist Church. Julie will arrive tomorrow for football (ok maybe we will not actully watch the game) Martha and Julie will continue the preprations for Christmas. Stefanie and Aaron will retrieve Lindsay from the airport Christmas Eve and drive down to the beach. What a wonderful night it will be with them all here. Lindsay can't wait to get her hand on that new pink bundle of joy "Baby Capers"!. Betty plans to arrive Christmas Day and we'll enjoy a great family feast here on Edisto. We're thrilled our great new friends Bill and Susan Kozub will join us for Christmas dinner as well. How much better can Christmas get this year? Well okay ... perhaps if Derek, Carrie and grandson "Jack" were able to be here as well ... but the really good news is they're flying down the middle of January to celebrate Christmas (part 2) with us ... we'll just keep the (artificial) tree up and do it all over again in January! Fun, fun, fun! We can't wait to get our hands on that toddler grandson of ours again and spoil him just a little bit more!
MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU AND YOURS THIS CHRISTMAS and ALWAYS ... we each have so very much to be thankful for, yet we often take so much for granted. Simple things like "there will always be a tomorrow". In reality tomorrow isn't guaranteed. We sadly reflect on the twenty innocent children and six teachers who per usual went to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on December 14th, only to be horrifically murdered and never to return home to their families again. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost these children and loved ones this sad day. Our nation continues to weep for them ...
On a personal note "our retirement" here in the south hasn't gone exactly as we had hoped. Stage 4 non-smokers lung cancer? Really? Where did THAT come from? Fighting this "terminal cancer" over the past 21-months has been challenging to say the least. To be honest, chemo every three weeks is tough. Thankfully we've found ourselves engaged with a healthcare system that has exceeded our expectations, surrounded by caring and supportive friends and family, and with Faith has been renewed and strengthened. We've surrendered our challenge to God for it is only He knows the ultimate game plan. Edisto is a special place and we believe the right place to heal. Please do come and experience it for yourselves. Our door is always open.
We wish each of you and your families good health, peace, joy and happiness this Christmas season and always.
With our love ...
Dan and Martha