Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 30, 2011 - End of June

Jason came back from the PACU today feeling pretty good, and for a couple of hours he felt like he was doing okay. Then, after a couple of hours he started to feel chilled, and asked me for some folded up sheets to cover himself. He didn't want a blanket because they tend to be too heavy. This went on for about 90 minutes and then he started feel better again, and did so for the rest of the day. Not sure what happened, or why his body decided to regulate itself a little differently today, but I was glad it corrected itself. Actually, by the end of the day he was eating ice cream.

A couple of his Marine buddies came by, and a few visits from his family (mostly me), and then a special visit from General James Cartwright, from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was a nice visit, and I even got a couple of pictures this time, thought I think I left the camera in Jason's room, so I'll have to do the down load tomorrow. I guess that since Jason is getting so many visitors, of hire rank, that he has become totally comfortable with them and is able to have a conversation without stammering out of nervousness. He still observes a high level of respect for them, but it is a much more natural conversation.

About the nicest bit of news from today was that he would not be going back in to the PACU tomorrow, and he was getting a day off. He might now have to go back in until Sunday, but we'll take that one step at a time. He was pretty happy to hear that he would be getting a "day off" and then I reminded him that since he would be getting a day without the PACU he might get some extra work from the PT folks. He said he expected that, and he was happy none-the-less.

Thank you, for the prayers and support, it has shown a level of love and kindness that can only come from a collection of hearts working together, moving the hand of God.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 29, 2011 - A bit of a challenge

Jason had a good day today, even though his brother David had to leave and head back home to Los Angeles. It was good to have David here for a few days, and I could really tell that Jason was happy about it. It brought a little tear to my eyes when David said his good-byes and he grabbed Jason's hand. Then Jason just reached reached over and kind of pulled David down to give him a big hug. I wished I'd had the camera ready, but honestly I didn't see it coming - it was beautiful.

The PT folks came by and worked with Jason, but because of his level of discomfort it was decided to simply work on his arms and shoulders, and not have him roll today. He will have the opportunity to do that tomorrow. By late evening you could see a marked improvement in Jason's ability to focus and be alert. It is one of those things that I know is going to continue to happen, and it is simply a reflection of how long he has been taking the medications. He has to get stronger doses and as a result it takes a little longer to get back to a "normal" level of his mental abilities.

Linda (a.k.a. Mom) will be coming back tomorrow, so I'll have some help with the girls, and it will just be good to see her again. Otherwise, not much else to report for today. Jason continues to get mail, and he still has quite a few letters and cards to read through. Every time he does get into the mail he is amaze at how many people have sent him cards and things, and he doesn't even know who they are. I think it humbles him a bit, and that isn't a bad thing... ;-)

Thank you, for your continued prayers and support. The past couple of days I needed them.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 28, 2011 - Turred Upside Down

Jason made a milestone today, in that he was able to turn over, in his bed. Okay, he didn't do it on his own, and was actually assisted by 2 physical therapists (PTs), but it was the first time for him being able to be in his bed for any length of time, and not be on his back. The PTs said they would be back tomorrow, and every day this week, to do the same thing, and help him begin working on some of the muscles that he hasn't been using for a few months now. Initially I think Jason was apprehensive about the movement, but is now feeling pretty good about himself, and is looking forward to the continued "exercise."

Bridgette had to take off today, to head back down to Jacksonville, to take care of some of their personal business. It shouldn't be too long for her to return, so they can be together again. I know Jason likes it better when she is here. To help, the girls are staying with Grandma and Grandpa, so we get to spend even more time with them, than we have been. I promise, we won't spoil them... too much.

We got to talk with Jason's doctor and we were told that his wounds are coming along nicely right now, and it really shouldn't be too much longer until he is ready to move on. Of course there still isn't a hard date, but it was nice to know that Jason is healing up like they want, and continues to improve every day. I am hoping that with all the improvements, and the work from the PTs he will be getting a chance to get out and away from the hospital more, soon.

Thank you, all for your continued prayers of support, and for keeping us in your thoughts.

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011 - The days continue

Jason had a good day with all, though he did have a little bit of a challenge with getting comfortable in his bed today. He is getting used to the routine of heading off to the PACU on a daily basis now, and each time he comes back he is in a slightly different position, in his bed. Sometimes the difference is minor, but today it was just a little more off than the other days. He said he would like to be able to go down to the PACU and give them a class in how to place patients, though he understands that isn't realistic. He doesn't have the strength, yet, to move himself around in the bed, though that will come

There were some visitors today, with some of them being new (an Admiral and a Sargent Major) and then some that have been by before. Actually, he doesn't mind if they have come by previously, he just likes seeing people and talking with them. He gets to talk with family, and that is good; and, he gets to talk with the medical staff, and that is good, too. What he really enjoys though, is talking with people he doesn't see frequently. Especially when they are other Marines... ;-)

Well, that about does it for today - I want to send a big, "THANK YOU!" to all for sending your concerns and prayers - we want them to continue.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 26, 2011 - An interesting and fun day

Jason got a nice little surprise visit today, from a friend he hasn't seen in several years. Shauna E. came by, with her friend, Shara Y., to visit Jason, because they have recently moved to the Washington, D.C. area, where Shawna is working on her graduate studies (I have to apologize, as I don't recall if Shara is also working on her studies). They actually stayed for a nice visit and got to meet Bridgette and the girls, and unfortunately it was one of those times when I didn't have the camera with me, so no pictures this time. The good news is that they live in the area, so next time they come by I'll take a couple of pictures.

While they were here, David, Jason's brother comes walking through the door. He too came out to the East Coast and decided to come on by. Only his visit is going to be for 3 days, and he'll be staying with Dad (me). Actually, David came in about 15 minutes after Shauna and Shara came in, and Bridgette and the girls were already there so the room was full of people. It was kind of funny, in that some of the other "regular" Sunday visitors came by, and looked in the room and wisely just walked on by. It was already pretty full, and I guess we were getting a bit load with everyone talking and doing a bunch of catching up.

Then, a bit latter in the evening, David and I went off to get some dinner, and went to a different Mexican restaurant (Tex-Mex) than we had gone before. Jason asked us to bring him back a burrito (or two), but they didn't have any! We brought him some soft tacos and in effect, mini burritos. When we came in to Jason's room there was another visitor. One of the officers he had worked for, EOD, when he was stationed back in Okinawa. He was actually still there, when I left tonight, which I thought was really great! He felt comfortable enough to stay late with Jason, and I know Jason was happy to have him stay.

Over all, today was a fun and eventful day for Jason, and I think he really enjoyed all the people coming by. Thank you all, for the continued support and prayers, it is really doing wonders for Jason.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

June 25, 2011 - Continuance of a quite week

Jason has had a quiet and restful day. Not too many visitors, though there were a few. He had his dressings changed down at the PACU and came back to his room by early afternoon. Bridgette had gone down to Five Guys, to pick up some food and a nice hamburger was waiting for him, when he came in. The girls stayed with me so that Bridgette could make the trip a little more quickly and easily.

Over the past couple of weeks there seems to be a continuing problem with the wi-fi on the 5E wing, where Jason is staying. I finally brought in my laptop with my AT&T network card and was able to get Jason back on to the web. He did some surfing around, and looked at a few things, then decided what he really wanted to do was to look at the pictures I had on my laptop (I will be posting a few more of them, probably tomorrow). He was happy with how they came out, and was actually having a good laugh at some of the takes that, well, weren't very complimentary. You know, the ones where you catch someone in the middle of a blink or yawn. I was glad he enjoyed them, as it was good to see him laugh again.

He will be going in to the O.R. tomorrow, instead of just the PACU. Originally we were told that he was simply getting a wash out tomorrow, when late in the day the doctor came by and said he would be going to the O.R. He also might be getting some new skin grafts, so he will be uncomfortable again for a couple of days, and they will be putting the wound vacs back on him. Of course this is all subject to change once he is in surgery and the doctors have another look at his wounds. Sometimes he surprises them, and they have less to do than they thought.

Thanks, for the prayers, and the continued support - it is really appreciated.

Friday, June 24, 2011

24 June 2011 - More of an Update

Okay, Jason went in to the O.R. today, and they did some general clean up and a gentle scrub of the wound areas and then put the bandages back on. That means the wound vacs are not back yet. I haven't spoken to the doctors about this yet, so I don't know if this is a good thing or not, and I will do my best to find out as soon as I can. Otherwise he has had a pretty good day.

I did receive a visit from a Lt. Col. and Capt. who were both Marines. The Captain was from the Intelligence group, with in the Marines, and he was talking a bit to Jason about possibly coming into that area, if he wants to stay in the Marines. Jason said he was more interested in staying with E.O.D. and that was pretty much the end of that discussion. The Lt. Col., on the other hand, is from E.O.D. and I think he was happy to hear that Jason would like to stay with the E.O.D. team. They seem to have a very tight "brotherhood" and they work very hard to support each other. The Lt. Col. stayed for a much longer period of time than the Capt. and it was very enjoyable talking with him.

Because of the timing of the procedure, Bridgette brought some Chinese food for Jason to enjoy, and he did. We all (Stacy and Jackie, too) with Jason until late tonight and then when he seemed like he was getting tired. Tomorrow he has another procedure, though this time it isn't in the O.R., so he should be back in his room earlier than he was today.

Thank you, to all for the continued prayers, I really believe it is helping Jason and the rest of us to get through all this.

24 June 2011 - Minor Update

Okay, I have heard back from a few of you who want me to include more pictures, and a suggestion of Picasa was made, so here is the new link. The caveat is that I am not doing much editing of the pictures, so that means I'm being lazy. Whatever pictures I have on the camera, will be posted. Now, once Linda gets back and gets involved again there will be deletions made (she's more particular than I am).

Jason went in a little later today than usual which means they feel he is getting stronger, and doesn't necessarily need to be the first one in. This is both good news and not so good. The good news is that they feel he is stronger and can tolerate the delay. The not so good is that he has to tolerate the delay. I sat with him this morning and didn't have anything to eat either, just so he would have someone to be with during the wait (Bridgette had to take care of the girls and a couple of other errands). Anyway, the pictures are posted, so let me know if this is more in line with what you want to see.

A follow up post to come later tonight

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 23, 2011 - Nice Hair Cut

Today was a good day for Jason. He not only had some nice visitors today, he also got to spend some time with his beautiful wife and dad, AND he finally got a hair cut! He has been wanting to get a hair cut for a few weeks now, and the Marine he wanted to do the job was now available to do it. A short while back that Marine injured his foot and had to have surgery on it. The foot is now better, yet still in a brace, so he was able to come and give Jason his hair cut. On top of that, he was able to do it early enough that Jason was done before going down to the PACU. It looked like a totally different Marine, but you can see that from the pictures. I'm thinking that I should remove some of the older pictures so that there aren't too many posted, so I will ask the opinion of the folks who are reading this - Do you want me to remove some pictures or simply continue to add?

The results of his visit down to the PACU was no surprise, in that there was simply another clean out and a reapplying of the bandages. He continues to make some progress with his healing, and tomorrow he will go in for a bit more work and go in to the O.R. After tomorrow I suspect that we will have a more in depth update on his status, so you'll just have to wait until then. The only thing that didn't happen today was the visit from the doctor(s) from the National Jewish Medical Center. Apparently that has been delayed, not because of Jason, and will take place at a later date/time.

We continue to make progress with all that is going on, and we thank you all for your continued prayers. Jason is getting stronger every day and it shows in all that he does.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 22, 2011 - A good day

Jason had a good day today, and it appears that they have made the adjustment needed for him to better control his pain. My hat is off to the doctors who have to deal with this conundrum of pain control, for the wounded warriors. The patient comes in with a type of wound that requires a certain amount of medication to control the pain. Then as time passes, that patient's body starts to build a tolerance to that medication, and so they have to adjust; and, over time they continue to adjust, sometimes up sometimes down, until the patient no longer needs the medication. All the while their goal is to maintain a comfort level for the patient, so that he can heal. These doctors have been working with Jason for about 3 1/2 months and for the most part have been able to hit their target. To them I say, "Thank you."

Jason will be going in for another bandage change tomorrow morning, though there is no specific schedule. I'm not going to say Jason "likes" the idea of not having a set schedule, or time, but he does understand and, he is actually grateful for the fact that he is well enough that he can be flexible. "Let the other guys go, since they need it more." is what I have heard Jason say, so I am happy with that.

Bridgette spent a good part of the day with Jason, and even went out and got some food for him (yeah, it was Taco Bell). She went and got the girls this evening so they all could spend some time together, and despite the circumstances it was still good family time.

There still is no set date for Jason to be leaving NNMC (National Naval Medical Center), and that is okay because he is continuing to make progress. Some days the progress is better than others, and that is a good thing, because it is still steady progress. My intent is to remain here with Jason, until he is ready to move on; and, as soon as he is ready to do that I will be taking a short break, to take care of some of the things I've been letting slide.

Thank you, for your continued prayers, and for keeping Jason and the family in your hearts.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 21, 2011 - First Day of Sumer

Jason, and the rest of us, arrived here, at Bethesda Naval Hospital, a couple of weeks before the end of winter. We all went through the spring and have seen some significant improvements as well as the occasional set back (and we knew there would be those). Here it is now, Summer, and that brings us to a different phase, if you will, of his healing. He continues to take all of us along paths we didn't think we would be taking, and yet here we are. He has shown us the great inner strength that he possesses, and has been the stability we have all needed to get through this. We will continue to work our way through this, one day at a time.

There really isn't a great deal to report about today. It started out a little rough in that there was an issue with his pain level shooting up some. It was brought back under control and the procedure took place and then he was brought back to his room. The Pain Team is interested in insuring that his pain is kept under control so they said they would be visiting with him to see what they could do to get to the point where Jason didn't have to deal with those pain spikes any more. The doctors have told us, in the past, several times that Jason's case is a complex case. I guess that because of the complexities it is a greater challenge for the doctors to control the pain, and I appreciate all that they are doing to help him be more comfortable.

Jason will be going back in for another procedure, tomorrow, and as I said earlier, we take it one step at a time. At one point he will need to have more than just a procedure, and have another visit with the O.R. but for right now I don't know when. We continue to pray that the doctors are helped and guided by God's own hand, so that Jason's recovery can again move forward as quickly as possible, and we also understand that perhaps he is moving along as quickly as possible already. In any event, we continue to pray that Jason get better.

Thank you, all for your continued prayers and support.

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20, 2011 - Another quiet day

Today was another quiet day for Jason. He didn't go in first, to the PACU, but he did get in early, and back before lunch. I had actually gotten to visit with him early in the morning (one of those days when I woke up early and walked on over). He was talking about having to go without his laptop and wanted to get some information off of it. I guess he is concerned about some of his financial things, as he tends to do, and wants to be sure all is taken care of. I took this as a good sign, that his focus is on the "regular things" of life, and that his injuries are pretty much an inconvenience. His attitude is that he knows he needs to get through this, and it is going to take some time to get back to living his life as normal as he can, and he remains very positive.

I had asked him what he would like to have for lunch, since it seemed he would be getting back to his room around that time. I jokingly asked him what he wanted to have for his late breakfast. He thought a couple of minutes and said, "Pizza!" So, I went out and picked up a couple of pizzas for all of us to share, and brought them in just a few minutes after he got settled. One of the corpsman came in and said that it was the best smelling room in the building... ;-) Bridgette brought the girls over, after picking them up from day care. They got to enjoy some of the left over pizza, and Jason got to enjoy being with them.

The doctors came by a little later and said that he was progressing nicely and that all was going well. They have a pretty good handle on his pain management, most of the time he has a pretty low level of pain, and he doesn't have to do much other than take the meds they provide him. We hope that he is able to maintain this for the rest of his stay here, and just work our way through the full healing process, one day at a time. One last little bit of information - a while back I mentioned that Jason was interviewed by CBS News; well, today they aired that interview, along with the other Marines. If you didn't see it, you can here: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7370743n&tag=contentMain;contentBody

Thank you, all for your continued prayers, we are all continuing to remain positive, and look forward to seeing as many of you as we can, as soon as we can.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

June 19, 2011 - Happy Father's Day!

Today started out a little "bumpy" for Jason, in that they did the procedure this morning, as they have for the past several days; only this time he came back very much in pain and did not understand why. The nurse, same one as yesterday, checked the records from the procedure and found out that in fact nothing new had been done. All we did was to re-position him in the bed and in a short while he was comfortable again. We didn't see anything pressing up against his tender areas, or anything else that might explain what had happened, though we were all happy that he was feeling better. The rest of the day was spent comfortable, and we had a good Father's Day.

Bridgette, Linda and I, along with the girls all went out and picked up some goodies, earlier in the morning and brought them back to Jason to share. Once he was settled through the difficulties mentioned above, he got to the chocolate eclairs; and, when he bit into them you could see a total look of satisfaction. It was the same look we hadn't see since that taste of lemonade, back so many weeks ago. It was the first of the good eating we were to have for a good part of the rest of the day. The day ended with Jason eating a nice steak dinner that Bridgette went out and picked up for him. It was a "steak and potatoes" dinner that Jason really enjoys, and obviously Bridgette knew what she needed to get.

There wasn't much else to report for today, and over all it was a good day. I got to hear from all my sons, who called me and wished me a happy Father's Day, and even got to wish Jason, too. Thank you, all for your continued prayers and for continued following of this blog.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 18, 2011

Jason started today quite early, in that he went down to the PACU at about 6:00AM, to get ready for his procedure. The procedure was pretty much the same as the previous two, and he was back up in his room before 10:00AM. This means that there was nothing new to consider with his wounds and that is a very good thing. The rate of his healing is now at a steady pace, and that is also a very good thing. Bottom line is that today has been a nice quiet day, with Jason feeling pretty good, and not much else going on.

He had a few visitors, besides family, and a new nurse (new in the sense that he had not seen her before). If tomorrow is anything like today I am going to do my best to get him involved in a board game or something, other than watching TV and movies. I want him to start using his hands more, like the PT and OT folks have asked him to do; and besides there are supposed to be games available for them to play, so now is a good time to use them.

I have to admit, it was quite crowed in his room, at one point today, when both Mom and I were there, along with Bridgette and both girls. Anybody else to come in the room would start to feel a bit cramped. Jason was able to spend a little more time with the girls and played with both of them a little. One of the best moments was when Stacy just wanted to sit next to Daddy and hold his hand. I think that made Jason feel better than any of the medications he has had, and did more to help him heal emotionally, than anything else that has come along.

Short post for today, so I sign off with a big Thank you, to all of you for keeping Jason and all of us in your prayers and thoughts. God Bless.

Friday, June 17, 2011

June 17, 2011 - A different kind of day

Jason had somewhat of a different day today. It started off with another procedure, and that wasn't unusual. They brought him back up to his room afterwards, and that wasn't unusual. The medical staff got him all settled and brought in his meds, and that wasn't unusual. The unusual began with how they brought the bed back into the room. Because of the size of his bed, and then with the trapeze on it, there really isn't a bunch of room to get around the end, though all have been doing it. You know, kind of stepping side ways and scooting through (Okay, some of us have more of a challenge doing it than others, but I can get through). Well, today the nurse said to put the bed at more of an angle and that magically corrected the problem. On top of that Jason could now view his TV more easily and not have to look over the bar of the trapeze. It was a win-win all around. Kudos to the nurse and medical staff!

Then, Jason and Bridgette got to spend pretty much most of the day together, without Mom and Dad being there, too much. We came over in the morning after he was back in his room, and left shortly after that; then back again for a short visit in the afternoon. During the time Bridgette and Jason had together they were able to sort through 12 boxes of DVDs, CDs and Books that were sent to Jason, and by golly they were able to get through all of them. I was totally amazed. It was probably the most fun Jason has had in several days, and I think it was fun for Bridgette too.

Okay, so you're wondering what happened to Mom and Dad. We decided to go and take a tour (a ghost tour) of Gettysburg, PA. The Yellow Ribbon Fund (one of those groups who is really helping out the families of the wounded warriors) brought together a bunch of volunteers so that we, the families, could go do something away from the hospital. It truly was a different kind of day. It began with the Klein family opening up their home and property to a bunch of strangers, so that they could first relax and eat a nice meal before going to Gettysburg. Navy Casualty informed us and then coordinated getting all the wounded warrior families together, so we could go. It was great fun and walking around with all that history was my kind of event, even if we didn't see any ghosts.

Thank you, all for your continued support and prayers, and I know I have asked you to pray for all the other warriors and service members. I'd also like to take this blog post to ask you to pray for all those volunteers who go way out of their way to make life a little more "normal" for the families dealing with the pressures of being in the hospital with their warrior.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 16, 2011 -

Today was a pretty good day for Jason, as he was fortunate enough to go down for the procedure early, and therefore back in his room at an earlier time. As it turned out I was guessing at the timing of when he would be back in his room, and Linda and I went out to go get him some breakfast - Chocolate Chip Pancakes! When we did get back Jason had just gotten into his room, so our timing was very good. At least we thought it was very good, until all the activity took over. Also, he was still a little unsettled from the procedure, and they needed to get him his meds. I'm going to digress here for a moment, and complement the nurses, in that they are very good about making sure his meds come in on time and maintain his schedule pretty closely. Considering the interrupts associated with his treatment they keep things moving right on schedule, and that can't be an easy task. Okay, back to his breakfast. Once he was finally settled into his room and comfortable in the bed, he was interested in getting his breakfast. I went to the microwave to warm things up some, and then set them in front of him, where he enjoyed eating them.

He had some great visitors today, too. Some of his buddies from Afghanistan came by and spent a good hour or so talking with him. The wife of the commander in Afghanistan, also came by and visited for nearly 30 minutes, and in both cases the offer of help was made, and in both cases the offer was made with great sincerity. It is absolutely an amazing thing to see, the level of commitment that Marines have for one another. I wish there were something I could compare it to, but their desire to help each other is greater than I have seen, even in some of the closest families I am aware of. It makes me feel good to know that even if Jason were going through this without family, he would have the Marines there to help him.

I talked about the breakfast that we brought in today, and besides that Bridgette made a "snack" run to pick up some items for Jason that she knows he enjoys. I figure that with the efforts of all of us, plus the food that he gets at the hospital and the food that is brought in for everyone to share, Jason can't help but gain some weight. Everyone that comes in and sees him now comments on how good he is looking, simply because he is putting on some of the lost weight, and the therapy folks are working with him to build up some of his muscle mass again. It is probably going to take several weeks to get back to a reasonable level of strength, and it is great to know that that is exactly what is happening.

Thank you, all for your continued prayers and support. We hear about support from all over, and receive cards and letters from all over; yet everyone of them seems to be like they could come from someone very near by or from a neighbor. All of you make this possible and it is appreciated. What I ask of you is to consider donating to one of the organizations (Wounded Warrior Project, SemperFi Fund, Yellow Ribbon, Wounded Warrior EOD Foundation, etc.). I can't tell you how much all of them have helped us, and continue to help. There are many from our military who need help, and Jason is simply one of them, please consider this if you can. God Bless you all.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 15, 2011 - A few more weeks

Jason had a good visit to the PACU today, and he came back with no wound vacs. He had on a completely new type of dressing on his wounds and he was much more comfortable. He also came back hungry, so the Arby's sandwich (not Taco Bell this time) was very welcomed by him. The morning was long for him, as he didn't get to go down to have the procedure done until almost noon, and by then he really wanted to eat or drink something, but unfortunately he could not.

He had a couple of nice visitors, though they didn't show up until after he was back in his room, one of them was from one of the corpsmen who was with him very shortly after the injury occurred. She was able to tell us some of the details as she was in the hospital where Jason was brought, in Afghanistan, and Bridgette wanted to know all that she could. The corpsman's name is Lisa (only her first name this time) and she stayed for a very nice visit. She is also the one who bought the Arby's...

Jason's other visitor of note was the U.S. Under Secretary of Defense (Clifford Stanley) and a general, and I'm embarrassed to say I don't remember the general's name (I also left the sign in book in Jason's room, so I can't cheat). They stayed for a good visit, and gave Jason another coin, for his collection. He is actually building up a respectable collection of these commemorative coins. Mom (Linda) has put most of them into individual sleeves, but I think we need to get more. I'm sure that when Jason gets a chance he will want to display the coins in some fashion, so perhaps that will be one of his first projects, once he is allowed to do something beside healing.

Speaking of healing. He is moving along at a nice pace right now. It looks like we will be remaining at Bethesda Naval Hospital for a few more weeks, rather than heading off to Tampa, as was hoped a couple of days ago. Jason is healing up nicely, but because of some challenges associated with his type wounds they want to keep him here a bit longer. We are back to the, take it one day at a time, and just be patient. Some times I think being patient is the most difficult part of the healing process. Once we find out what the next steps are for Jason I will pass them along, and for right now we are simply focusing on getting him healthy and strong, so that he can move on to the next steps.

Thank you, to all, as we continue down this road. Please remember to keep Jason in your prayers, and all the other service men and women, for they are the ones who make it possible for us to live the lives we have - God bless them all.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 14, 2011 - An update

Jason went in to the O.R. today, and when he got back to his room he was without any wound vacs. Unfortunately I was not able to speak with any of the doctors, after the surgery, so I don't know if this is a temporary thing or if he is finally through with them. I was over with him early this morning, and got to talk with a few of the doctors, but none of them would give a solid answer when asked about the status of the wound vacs, they would say that he MIGHT be able to get rid of them today. I also know that the doctors are very busy right now, as a few new cases arrived late last week and the doctors need to apply all their immediate focus on those guys, until they are truly stable. Much like it was with Jason, after he arrived here. Anyway, I'll do my best to catch up with the doctors tomorrow, and see what I can find out.

Like I said, I came over early to go to the PACU with him (that's where they take all the patients prior to surgery - unless they are from the ICU) and then after that, Linda and I did something different. We went into Washington, D.C. and did a bit of sight seeing. We went to see the Holocaust museum at the Smithsonian, and spent a good part of the day there. We didn't get through the entire museum, and decided that we need to go back, when we can, to finish. Bridgette was also able to go into Washington, with her dad and Stacy, and did a little sight seeing of their own. Linda and I got back to Jason a little while before Bridgette, and once she arrived we took off to go get dinner - yep, you guessed it - Taco Bell. Jason wanted his grilled crunch wraps, and frankly I was okay with that, since Taco Bell is easy. When we came back with the food we all sat down and had our Taco Bell dinner. Funny thing is, I made sure we had Jason's food, but didn't bother to check the rest of the food, and when we started to eat we ended up with more food than we ordered. Nice to have it work in our favor for a change. After dinner we left to come back to the Lodge, and now I'm writing this blog... hows that for real time?

The banjo guy, Jim C. came by to see Jason and spend a little time with him today also. The sad part of this is that Jim is headed back home, and today was the last visit he will have with Jason, and his last banjo instruction. Jason really appreciated the time Jim was giving him, as did the rest of us. You could see it in Jason's face, when he was just plucking the strings, that he was having a good time. I hope that some day we again get to cross paths with Jim, I know Jason would like it. I also wish success to Jim in whatever he does in the future, he is truly one of those good people you never forget.

That about does it for today - so, Thank you, all. You are keeping us in your thoughts and prayers, and it is very much appreciated. Say a special prayer for Jim too.

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13, 2011 - A day in the sun

Jason had a busy day today, with it starting off with banjo lessons. Jim came by (during his break) and spent close to 1/2 an hour with Jason. Jason showed us that he can move his fingers enough to start playing a round (that is a specific way of describing how a player picks the strings in a specific order), and with practice he will be able to play it like a pro. It makes me want to pick up my guitar and start playing with it again, so we can play together - either that or I'll learn how to play the banjo too!

The doctors all came in and talked a bit about how he was doing and asking him how he was feeling, pretty much like they do on a regular basis. I guess it is one of those things that I'm happy with, and that is that Jason never shows any tiring of them, even when they don't bring any new information. He will see, on average, about 10 doctors every day, and tomorrow he will be seeing a bunch of them as he goes in to the O.R. again. We're hoping that it is simply a check and a wash-out of his wounds, with possibly the removal of one of the wound vacs - both if we're lucky. We'll just have to wait and see tomorrow.

Jason also got out on his chair today, and went out side the hospital again. We got out side and then he said, "I could really go for a chocolate milk shake." So, like any good mom, Linda sent me to go get one. Fortunately there is a McD's near by and they do have milk shakes. I came back with a milk shake for Jason, Mom and me. One was offered to Bridgette but she said she was going to the gym a little later and didn't think it was a good idea to drink a milk shake and then run on the tread mill (I think she's right). While I was gone the power chair guy (Pete the Chair Guy) came by and put a cup holder on his chair. We stayed out and visited for a couple of hours when I had to be the spoil sport and said we had to go back in. Jason had come out without his medications and I.V. hookups, so it was about the limit he could go. It was nice being out though, as a bunch of folks came by that we knew and they all took the time to stop and talk with Jason.

Linda and I plan on trying to get out to Washington, D.C. again, tomorrow, so we'll be gone when he gets back from the O.R. We talked to him already about this and he is strongly in favor of us going. The weather is supposed to be much better (not so hot and muggy) so we should be okay. Otherwise, we'll see him in the evening and get the update then.

Thank you, for the continued prayers of support, it is something that we are going to need for some time to come.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

June 12, 2011 - a day like yesterday

Today started out nice, in that I was able to get over to see Jason pretty early, and have breakfast with him. Everyone else was pretty much sleeping, and I'm naturally an early riser. He is still feeling the discomfort of that muscle pull, on his right side, with everything else making progress. His doctor came in early and we got a chance to speak with her, and she confirmed that Tuesday would be the next time he would have to go to the O.R. We spent some time watching movies with him and talking a little about anything he wanted to talk about, and there has been plenty of food brought in for the patients and their families. As a result, we haven't had to go get anything for a couple of days, and that has been very nice. The quality of the food usually goes from good to very good, so there is nothing to complain about. Today was really nice because they had lemonade, and you all know I have a soft spot for lemonade.

I look forward to continued progress with Jason, and his core strengthening exercises, as next weeks gets here. The therapy teams (Physical, Occupational, Recreational)are all very focused on Jason, and they all bring in such high energy and excitement. I know they probably do that to help with the motivation, and from what I can tell, it works.

Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers, and please keep Jason and all the Marines and service people supported.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

June 11, 2011 - A quiet Saturday

Well, not really much to talk about today. We played with Jason's banjo a little, and will probably continue to practice as time permits. Slept more than he has been able to in the recent past, and that was good. Oh! I just thought about something that is worthy of reporting... The building is very warm most of the time, though not hot. For whatever reason, it was decided to set the temperature at a fixed level, throughout the building. The challenge is changing the temperature, since the building is so large it takes awhile to have a rise or fall of just a degree or two. Well, today nearly everyone on the 5E (where Jason is) wing was talking about how warm it was, and a bunch of the guys were constantly sweating. A notice came out that the temperature was going to be going down and we were all happy to hear that. Just a few hours later... it was still warm in Jason's (and others) room, yet most of the rest of the building was now actually quite cool. Not sure what happened other than to guess that the cool air just wasn't getting to that part of the hospital, so it is probably an engineering problem that will need to be addressed. Like I said earlier, his room really wasn't hot anyway, but it was warm.

I'm hoping that tomorrow is about as exciting as today was and that Jason is simply left to focus on healing, and maybe a little time playing the banjo... ;-)

Thank you, for the continued prayers and keeping Jason and the other men and women of the military in your thoughts.

Friday, June 10, 2011

June 10, 2011 - No end yet...

Jason went into the O.R. again today, and when he came out there were a number of good signs with his wounds. However, there were a couple of not so good signs, and that is the challenge. Right now they are saying that at best, we have another three weeks here, and that would take us right up to July. Of course being able to finally get healed up here in three weeks would be pretty good, I just hope the end doesn't move out too much further. I know Jason is getting anxious to move on to his next steps, and to just get out of this hospital. I hope everyone understands that Jason really does like just about everyone here, and that the medical staff and support folks have been good, he just needs a change of location, at least for a few weeks.

Otherwise, today was a pretty good day. We found out that Tim, one of the guys who was a patient here several weeks ago, was going to be coming back for some additional surgery. He and Jason hit it off pretty good when they were both here before so it will be a nice change for Jason to see him again. Tim is over at Walter Reed, much farther along with his rehab than Jason. Tim's injuries are a bit different than Jason's and right now require another surgery, so he has to be here in order to get it done. I suspect that on Tim's 2nd or 3rd day here the two of them will be "cruz'n" the halls in their chairs. They pretty much have the same chair, though Jason doesn't quite have the skill level that Tim has achieved, yet.

Another change is Jason's bed in general. Jason now has a trapeze so that he can begin lifting himself up. He still doesn't have the strength to pick himself up very high, but he can move himself some, and with a bit of work (a few weeks?) he should be able to get into his chair nearly on his own. That is something that I believe he is looking forward to - I know I am.

Thank you, all for your continued prayers of support and your thoughts and keeping us in your hearts. There are still many others who are still in harms way that also need your prayers, so please do remember them as well.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 9, 2011 - Beginning of the 4th month

Wow! I had no idea that we would be staying here this long, and still the time has gone by so very fast. It actually snowed the end of the first week here, and now we have 100+ degree weather, with high humidity. I have seen that the weather back home has been much more reasonable, and yet I know that just as soon as we get back home it is going to be HOT. But enough about the weather - this blog is supposed to be about Jason and how he is doing.

It was a pretty good day for Jason. He had some visitors, a Sargent-Major came by and a Major General, both from the Marines. It is always good to see the Marines coming in and spending time with Jason. It brings his spirits up, and it is always good to talk with someone who has a common point of reference, so that you can just talk and not have to explain everything all the way through the conversation. Then a little later in the day he got into his chair and we (Bridgette and I) went with him as he toured about the floor. He even took the time to go see Cody Waller, and other guys, as they were making their way through their own recoveries. I know it did me good to see him giving the encouragement, rather than always receiving it, and I think it did him some good too.

Jason will be going into the O.R. tomorrow morning, and he is first case, so we are hoping that things don't change and he will be back to his room relatively early. The only reason he would be late is if there was a need to do more work on the grafts, or they find a troubled spot. This could actually be his last trip to the O.R., while he is here at Bethesda, and that would be a good thing, but it is not likely.

Well, that's about it for today, so again I close with a thank you, to all of you for keeping us in your prayers and thoughts. It is so very much appreciated, and it is working.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

June 8, 2011 -

Today, Jason had a Lt. General come in and visit with him, and that was well received. He came in and visited with both Jason and Bridgette (and Linda and I) for a few minutes, and I think the conversation was good for everyone. It dawned on me that these people who have high levels of responsibility still make the time to come out and visit with our troops, while they are healing, and when they need it most. It gives them a greater sense that what they did was for a real reason and cause, and that the sacrifices they have made will ultimately help others. And these high ranking folks are very busy, yet when they come to visit you don't see it. Their focus is on the individual. This has been the case with all the visitors Jason has had.

A bit later in the day there were other visitors to see Jason. Three of his buddies, he has met sense being here, who have gone on to rehab and are now coming back to show the wounded warriors that there is still life after the initial healing begins. Obviously they are further along than Jason, in their recovery, and as it is, not all recover at the same pace. They were all kind of goofy and silly like guys get, and if it wasn't for their own injuries you couldn't tell, by just listening, that anything had happened to any of them. Two of them were double amputees and one was a single. We got some pictures, and we will have to process them as soon as we can.

There was also a visit from the VA people, who will be setting things up for Jason's next steps to recovery. He is looking to go to Tampa, FL for his poly-trauma site. This is where the focus will be on building up his strength, so that he can begin working on his amputation rehab, where he will learn to be able to get around and survive in any environment that he might find himself in. The amount of effort required for this is such that the doctors recognize the need for him to get the needed strength, before beginning this treatment, and thus the need for the poly trauma first.

Please continue to pray for these warriors, and for their families, and thank you for all you have done.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June 7, 2011

I have to say that Jason had a good day today, though he was totally dissatisfied with the hospital food service. There was no breakfast brought, nor was there a lunch delivered. Other arrangements were done to insure he had some food for those meals. Thank goodness for the U.S.O. as they brought in some steaks at lunch, with all the fixens, because that became his lunch. His dinner, however, did come - though, it wasn't what he ordered (they give the patients a limited menu and ask them to select what they would like to eat), so as with the first two meals today, dinner was pulled together with other food that was available. He is getting anxious to leave the hospital, knowing that even though he will be "leaving" he will be simply headed to another hospital. At least it will be a change, and perhaps he will feel as though it is more refreshing.

All his vital signs are registering at more normal numbers lately, and everyone is happy about that. I am hoping to get him out on the chair tomorrow, and maybe even a little bit of banjo practice, to help get his hands moving more. I know the recreational therapist is anxious to see him doing more with his fingers, and the occupational therapist is anxious to see him doing more with his hands and arms, and the physical therapist is just happy to see him get out on his chair more. All of the activity is good for him, but we need to be careful that he doesn't wear himself down too quickly, as he is still healing up.

He did have a couple of visitors from Third Battalion, Eighth Marines, and from what we were told we can expect more. They have pretty much all come back from Afghanistan now and they want to come and see how Jason is doing. Aside from really needing a hair cut, Jason looks pretty good, and I think it does the guys who come to visit as much good for them as it does for Jason.

Thank you, all again, and please continue to pray for Jason. He isn't through with the healing process yet, and we still need the strength to get to the next level.

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011 - A mixed day

There was very good news for Jason today, after he came out of the O.R. and returned to his room. Over 75% of the skin grafts have taken and they look good. The remaining look good too, though that portion still has more healing to do. They still want to continue with the same treatment as they have been doing, for these past several weeks, so that means he still has the wound vacs on, and will probably be continuing with them for at least another week. A small error was made while he was in the recovery area (PACU), and that small error nearly cost Jason a trip back to the I.C.U. His vital signs were lower than the doctors were comfortable with. He had become dehydrated, and it took the 5th floor staff several hours to get him back up to a more comfortable level, and it was decided that he could stay on the 5th floor (this made Jason happy - me too). Jason is getting excellent care on the 5th floor, and he is getting to know the staff pretty well, so he wants to stay there until he is discharged.

Several days ago, another Marine, from the Pleasanton area, came to Bethesda for treatment, and we finally were able to make contact with the family. We had been missing each other, though I had been down to their son's room, and they had come to Jason's room. It was nice being able to speak with them, and to see that their son was making some progress. I always like to see the Marines demonstrate their resilience, and show that injuries may slow them down, but they won't stop them.

On the family front, all are feeling much better today. Medicines were prescribed and obtained, and everyone is on the mend. I suspect that by the end of the week we are all going to be as normal as we can be.

Thank you, for your continued support and for following the blog. Jason read through a big portion of it over the weekend, and he enjoys the comments the most. Please continue to pray for his recovery and for the health of the family.

June 5, 2011 - Good day to practice with a banjo

From Jason's perspective, today was very much like yesterday, though he did get a chance to sing Happy Birthday to his brother David; and Jim C. came by again and this time gave Jason a new banjo (see picture). When Jason left for this deployment he had taken a banjo with him and had intended to get some time in, to learn how to play. because of the way in which he left Afghanistan all his personal belongings were left behind and they are now somewhere in transit or storage somewhere. Some of his stuff did make it back, and Bridgette was able to go through some of it, and alas it did not include his banjo. Jim is an accomplished musician (and banjo player) and feels that music is a useful tool in the recovery, and I agree with him. Jason still doesn't really have the full strength he needs to play, but can get started just moving his hands and fingers, and this will help build their strength. As soon as he is ready for a recital though, I'll let everyone know...;-)

Bridgette and the girls are still dealing with some sort of "bug" and didn't get a chance to come over to be with Jason today. In fact, just as I was getting ready to put this post she called me to ask if one of us could come over and stay with Stacy while she took Jackie to the ER, so Grandma (Linda) is there now. I suspect that Linda will get to bed sometime around 2:00am, and that means I will probably be up until then too. (Late update: Jackie is okay, just needs to take some medicine to get back to her normal loveable self)

Jason goes in to the O.R. first thing in the morning, so I am guessing that he won't be up for any visitors (including family) until around noon. This is probably a good thing with all the other stuff that is going on right now. If he is feeling up for a ride in his chair tomorrow the doctor said he should be able to go for one, though I am guessing it will be Tuesday before he can. Other wise, his progress continues in a positive direction, and we're looking forward to maybe being able to plan on moving to his next level of recovery soon.

Thank you, all for your continued prayers, and please include all his family and especially Bridgette and his girls. We want them to get better as soon as possible.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

June 4, 2011 - Saturday

Today is one of those days where I could probably get away without making an entry into the blog, as it was a restful day for Jason and not much happened. It started with a visit from Mom and Dad this morning, then we went over to watch the girls so Bridgette could come and be with Jason. Then we came back a bit later, with the girls, Stacy wanted to see Daddy, so that all of us were in the room for a short while. Bridgette took the girls back to the Fisher House to feed them dinner and we had pizza with Jason (he actually did the ordering on-line and it was delivered to the hospital, pretty cool). After we ate the pizza we went back over to the Fisher House, and stayed with the girls so Bridgette could go back and spend a little more time with Jason, and say, "Good Night."

The only thing that happened was one of his wound vacs began acting up and caused him a little discomfort, and some simple adjustments fixed that. So, other than a couple of pad changes and readjustments of his position in the bed he pretty much was left alone. It was the kind of day that I was hoping for, and I hope he has a few more... though tomorrow he talked about getting out in his chair, if he feels comfortable enough.

Thank you, all for your prayers and for keeping us in your thoughts and your hearts. God Bless you all...

Friday, June 3, 2011

June 3, 2011 - Another relaxed day

Jason had a good day of healing and is steadily getting better. As one might imagine, the skin grafts have been compared to road rash (on a sun burn) and with road rash the wounds "weep" as they repair themselves. Well, that is one of the issues that Jason is dealing with right now, and as a result needs to get is bedding changed more frequently. It is uncomfortable for Jason, but the clean surfaces are much better for him to rest on, and it is better for the overall healing.

We went over this morning, and got to spend some time with him, prior to taking off to do some errands. Rev. Bill Nebo came by this morning also, and was actually there before the rest of us came (he's an early riser, for sure). Jason was able to work with his occupational therapist, Christine, and she had him doing all sorts of exercises. She even had him lifting some weights (2lb dumb bells), and it made me feel pretty happy to know that his muscles were getting stronger. While that was going on there were phone calls, and visitors coming in to see Jason, all wanting to know how he was doing, and asking what they could bring us or do for us. I'm thinking of putting together some small cards that I can hand out that show the Wounded Warrior Project, Hero Miles and all the other groups that have been helping us and others get through this. If people want to provide us with something then please take that money and donate to one of the groups. Donate in Jason's name, and that will be rewarding for Jason. If you want to send some thing, you can send him a get well card or a letter, you'd be surprised at how those things cheer the guys up. This actually reminds me about another opportunity to show support for some of the guys injured, in the line of duty. There is a golf tournament being put together for EOD troops injured and information on it can be found at:

www.jr-eod.org

This is something that has been put together by Paul Andercyke, GySgt Rickabaugh's Father-in-law. The efforts aren't to just help Jason, they are to help all EOD guys hurt, in the line of duty. It is a 501C3 non-profit registered organization, so if you're a golfer and in the area, and want to play golf, here's your game.

Linda, Bill and I went out to dinner and Bridgette stayed back with the girls and visited with Jason. We didn't get back from dinner (the dinner was put on by Navy Casualty) early enough to see Bridgette and the girls and even Jason was asleep when we came in to his room. We stayed there for just a minute or so, and then turned to leave when he stirred and woke up. This was good because it gave Bill a chance to say, "Good bye" to Jason. It was very nice having him here, as we don't see that many reminders from home. We didn't stay very long, as we were all tired too, and we wanted to let Jason get back to sleep. We took Bill back to his hotel and said our good-bye's, and then headed back to the Navy Lodge, to do the blog, which brings me to here.

Thank you, for continuing to follow along with the blog, and for keeping us in your prayers and thoughts. I'm not really sure how we can ever repay all this support, other than to show that Jason has moved on to a successful life, and I am sure that is exactly what is going to happen.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June 2, 2011 - Where's my Emmy??

Today was a pretty good day for Jason, though he didn't get out in his chair (that might not happen until Saturday). He the tube to his gallbladder removed, and that happened early in the day - actually before we got to his room. When he was brought in he was laying on a bunch of stuff that they had used down at the IR, so that when the CT Scan was done he would be a little more comfortable. Now I don't have any issues or problems with them wanting to make Jason comfortable, but I really don't see the logic in sending him back to his room with all of it. One of the first things we had to do was get rid of it, and that took us a few minutes and it ended with a new "chuck" pad for Jason to be on, and he was happy with that.

After getting settled back into his room CBS showed up on the 5th floor and they wanted to interview some of the Wounded Warriors. I guess this is something that was pre-arranged several weeks ago, as there were all kinds of Navy folks around, doing their best to insure that hospital operations didn't get interfered with, and all the people who were to be interviewed, were interviewed. As it turned out, Jason was one of the last, and this is probably a good thing, because they stayed longer with him than with any of the others... about twice as long. Jason looked sharp, since Bridgette was able to shave him prior to the cameras arriving. When the guy doing the interview began asking him questions, Jason's responses were both clear and sharp. When the questions turned to areas Jason knew better than to answer, he simply said you'll need to speak with the Public Relations Officer about that. I was very proud of him, even if they weren't able to give us a date as to when we should be able to watch it on TV. While they were talking to Jason the handler, or coordinator (not sure what she was called) kept coming in saying they needed to wrap it up, but that didn't seem to matter. That's how it ended up taking twice as long.

After lunch we got a special visitor from home, Rev. Bill Nebo. Bill is the retired Pastor from our church in Livermore. He is visiting Washington, D.C. on business and made time to be able to come and visit with Jason. The down side to the visit was that Jason was experiencing some discomfort and took a couple of hits of his pain meds, and they did the trick. Only they also made him very sleepy and in a short time he was asleep, and Bill just visited with us. It was a nice visit and gave us a chance to catch up on a bunch of things, while at the same time catching Bill up on what was going on with us. We parted with the idea that Bill will be able to come by tomorrow, and we might even be able to go out to dinner with Bill tomorrow night.

Jason had a few more visitors, other Wounded Warriors who were from Walter Reed, as well as some of the support folks. I was informed about another Wounded Warrior from Pleasanton, who was now on the 5th floor, a couple of days ago. And now I had an opportunity to go visit with him. I actually made it to his room 3 times, with the first one a chance to talk with him, and the other two attempts were to see if I could meet his parents, and possibly provide some guidance or help. Unfortunately they were not available so I'll see if I can meet with them tomorrow. I know the early days of being on this roller coaster can be very demanding and intimidating.

We (Linda and I, or Mom and Dad for those that don't know) had dinner with Jason, and he asked for... (you guessed it) Taco Bell! The food was just what he wanted, and after we were done we went over to be with the girls, Stacy and Jackie. Bridgette and Jason were getting some "alone-time" together, and I think it was therapeutic for both of them. Just as being with the girls was good for us. All together, today was a good day for Jason and for all of us.

Things are going in a positive direction, and there are signs of good things to continue for Jason. Thank you, all for all your prayers of support, and support for our family.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 1, 2011 - Skin Grafts

Today was a very important day for Jason, with the skin grafts finally being able to be set. He went to the O.R. early this morning for the surgery, and Bridgette went to his room early to see him off. The plan was for them to take a look at his wounds and to assess the conditions and determine what they could get done. Initially we were told that we should expect that half of his wounds would be covered this time, and that next week they would do the other half. Apparently, when they did take a look they were pleasantly surprised to find that he was ready for all the grafting to be done, so that's what they did. This is a very BIG deal for him because skin grafts are very painful - think of your worst sun burn you ever got, and then you managed to go run at full speed and then fall and hit asphalt for a good road rash on top of it. Now take that and double the pain and you have an idea of what a skin graft feels like.

Obviously they upped his meds a bit and his pain level is being kept somewhat under control. The good news is that as time passes the pain begins to subside and in a matter of a few days he will be at a tolerable level, and actually feel better than he did prior to the skin graft. At least that is the hope. The grafts have to take hold, and if they don't then there will be more grafting to do over again, and then the process starts all over again. So yes... please pray for this to be a one shot deal for him.

Otherwise this has been a pretty quite day for all of us. Bridgette did have to take her mother and brother back to the air port, and Stacy has grown out of her shoes (she had to go buy new shoes for her so she could continue with the day care), and that was pretty much the only other things that had to be done today.

Jason got back to his room a little later in the afternoon, so he kind of missed lunch (as did we), though that was okay because he just slept for a couple of hours and that was a good thing. By the time he was awake again (really awake) there were doctors who wanted to talk with him, and a few other things had to be taken care of and it was now getting close to dinner time, and Jason was getting hungry (me too). Fortunately, Wendy's provided a bunch of food for the people on the 5th floor and Jason was happy to get two bacon cheese burgers - as long as I took the onions and pickles off. It would have been totally great if we had had milkshakes, but hey the price was right, and the food wasn't bad. We closed out the day with a movie, Clash of the Titans (new version) and then finally Jason was getting sleepy again so we headed back to the Navy Lodge and now I'm making this blog entry.

Thank you, all for your continued support and prayers. I feel like we have turned a corner, a big corner and Jason is coming to the end of this phase of his treatment. Not sure how much longer it is going to be, but it does feel positive. Good Night...