Tony's Challenge

When life presents challenges, we get to choose our attitude.

Month: July 2017

4th of July 2017 with Family

Our 4th of July was low key. I think Tony and I were still recovering from our quick trip to Salt Lake City the day before. Tony slept in late, caught up on some Facebook and puttered around the house. It was good to relax.

It has become a tradition for William, (our eldest son) and his wife, Rebecca, to host a 4th of July barbecue at their house for our family and some of their close friends.

Our son Will at the grill, his wife Becca and their friend, Carl.

Tony quietly tested a lot of the foods to see what he could manage. He had a hamburger without the bun and tried some pasta salads. Later, I saw him nibbling on a hot dog without the bun. I tend to get excited when I see Tony eating. He shakes his head at me. Eating takes a lot of time and effort not to mention how frustrating it is for him that he can’t just eat whatever he wants like the rest of us.

Tony having a conversation with friends. Our grandson Charlie in the foreground. Tony carries a washcloth hankie where ever he goes. Sometimes it is for catching drool from the over-production of saliva or for coughing up mucus that he hasn’t been successful at swallowing down. I admire Tony so much for putting himself out there in these social activities. (I fear I would become a recluse if it were me going through this!) Tony is quick to point out how kind and understanding people are when he explains his story.


Our granddaughter Sophie and our youngest daughter, Emily.

Daughters Josie and Jacque and our youngest granddaughter, Luci.

Our son, Spencer, far right, with his friends Karl and Donald.

Audiology and Dental Appointments

On the road to SLC again… not sure how the appointments fell together so quickly! Probably more divine intervention.

One Step Closer to Radiation & Chemotherapy Treatment

Everything checked out. No major dental work needed. (Any extractions, etc. would have had to heal before radiation could begin.) Tony has had a temporary crown for quite a while, so he is scheduled to get a permanent one at the end of the month and a cleaning in a few weeks.

So here is the rest of the story, so we can share how grateful we are when the universe smiles…

When we tried to get scheduled for an audiology appointment at the VA clinic last Thursday, June 24th, the next available appointment was in September.

On Friday they called Tony and offered to see him next Saturday, July 8th. When Tony explained why he needed the appointment, they found an opening at the hospital for 3 pm today, July 3. Then, Tony called the VA dental office and they were miraculously able to get him in this morning at 11 am so we wouldn’t have to make separate trips.

This morning after the dental appointment, we headed over to the hospital to check in for the audiology appointment. We were hours early, but thought – hey, we will let them know we are here and see what they can do. The doctor that was supposed to see Tony had called in sick. We were sent over to the clinic. When we walked in at 12:30 pm, the waiting room was empty. A doctor was available and they took Tony right back for his test. When Tony came back, the waiting room was full. Ha ha

Eating Out

Tony took me to lunch at Olive Garden on the way home. I was surprised that he wanted to because he has been so limited on what he can manage to eat. (You don’t realize how enormous food is in our lives until your companion can’t enjoy it with you. Not going to lie… it’s been a bummer. Delicious aromas and tasty foods are everywhere!)

Tony is making it happen with the food! Bread is really difficult. It sticks to the roof of his mouth or lodges in the throat where he has difficulty getting it to go down or come back up. It takes a while for him to chew and move the food around, so his body starts digesting while he is still sitting there. It isn’t very long after he has finished a meal that he feels hungry again, so he supplements with some liquid nutrition. We went to Sam’s Club and picked up some Premier Protein in Chocolate because he is getting tired of the vanilla flavor of the Promote with Fiber that the VA is sending him. Even when he takes nutrition through the PEG tube, he can still taste the flavor when he burps. Ha ha

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