Thursday, October 31, 2013


Dylan, Laynie and Taylor.  I think Laynie's costume is the best one ever.  It's so dramatic!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Back to Kasky

Another Fall Sunday, another colorful ride to the Kalkaska area.  Their colors are still vibrant, while ours are beginning to fade.  We found some terrific back roads to explore, some less bouncy than others!  We were lucky enough to find eight geocaches, and unlucky enough to not find two others.  Maybe next Sunday?

We enjoyed the drive, the backwoods, the searching, lunch at Big Boy, and being mellow.  It's been a good day.

And then the Lions put the icing on the cake with that fantastic win over Dallas!  What an exciting finish! So glad we got home just in time to see it.  Go Hawaiian Blue  ;)

Cowboys 30

(4-4, 1-3 away)

Lions 31

(5-3, 3-1 home)

1:00 PM ET, October 27, 2013
Ford Field, Detroit, MI

Didn't find it 10/27/2013 You couldn't find Aarwood Trail Access Site Visit Log
Not good enough to make the find today
Didn't find it 10/27/2013 You couldn't find Log Lake Campground And Disc Golf Visit Log
GZ took us to the corner just inside the fence. We looked for something which matched the clue. Expanded our search back outside the fence, explored a couple of other sites which matched the hint with no luck. Pushed the search across the road, still a blank. If the cache is there, we just aren't good enough to find it this day. I must say that searching that area gave me a strong impression that disk golf players are slobs. Despite the trash barrel sitting right there, the ground is covered with trash. Good spot for a CiTO.
Found it 10/27/2013 You found Old Boney Tree Visit Log
We were enjoying this rain free Sunday by going for a ride and enjoying the fall colors. The amount of snow on the ground, especially the piles in yards next to metal roofs, was a surprise to us, you must have gotten a lot more snow here than we received in TC. When this cache was published, we, a couple of retired teachers, put it on our "must do" list. So, after our Big Boy Buffet, we came to make the grab. Enjoyed the walk and made the find. Signed the log, took the coin and left our flashlight and our new pen. Thanks for the fun, we'll give it a favorite.
Found it 10/27/2013 You found You've been horsed Visit Log
Quick grab, signed log. TFTC
Found it 10/27/2013 You found Trouble Visit Log
This one was too much "Trouble" for us the last time we looked. Thanks to kkoehlert for bringing it back into reach. The log was full so we added a page and signed it.
Found it 10/27/2013 You found North country spider cache Visit Log
We really liked the container for this cache. Signed the log and left our pathtag. Thanks for the hunt. BTW Can anyone tell us the story behind the peanut?
Found it 10/27/2013 You found Do you smell what I am cooking? Visit Log
We started our search on the wrong side of the road but figured it out. TFTC
Found it 10/27/2013 You found Farkle Visit Log
The log was completely sodden when we found this cache and could not be signed. We signed a replacement. The piles of snow that have slid off the neighboring garage is scary. We aren't ready for that yet. TFTC
Found it 10/27/2013 You found Excuse ME!!!!! Visit Log
A quick grab while in town today. Thanks for the fun.
Found it 10/27/2013 You found Yahtzee party Visit Log
We decided to take advantage of the lack of rain to go for a ride and enjoy the colors. We wound up in Kalkaska and decided to finish off the caches we hadn't gotten to previously. Made the find and signed the damp log. Thanks for the smilie.                   


Laurie and Chip hosted a Halloween party at their house last night.  In this picture, Laurie reminds me of Pippi Longstocking!  Looks like a fun party :)  And Laurie is definitely the cutest one!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Happy 50th !

Tom's Birthday!   Now we have two children in their fifties...holy moly!   We both would have been  27 years old when Tom was born.

He's spending the day in Hollywood - yes, that Hollywood!  They Might Be Giants is performing their children's songs this afternoon, and tonight he'll be going to a play - can't remember the name of it.

Anyway, his 50th should be memorable!

Our day might not be quite as memorable - we went grocery shopping, and ran errands at the P.O. and the Library.

While we were doing our daily cruise of Downtown, we saw a huge Lake freighter of some sort maneuvering around West Bay.  We tried to get around for a better view, but it turned and headed north.  It looked huge to me.

We called Tom for a verbal birthday hug, and Bill called to catch up and to give us their winter schedule:  Wisconsin for Halloween, Hank's for Thanksgiving, Wisconsin for Christmas, January in California again - whew!

We'll be here for Thanksgiving, and Jana is coming home.  We've promised her a big buffet at the Great Wolf Lodge :)

Now we're watching State v. Illinois.  Go Green!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

There's Interventional Radiology in My Future

It turns out that I have had liver cancer for two or three years totally unaware.  It also seems that I will always have liver cancer, because it continuously recurs as time goes by.  My lovely liver will need to be monitored every six months or so.  The TACE procedure seems to be the current state of the art treatment for it.  My interventional radiologist Dr. Picotte believes that it will take two procedures to treat it correctly.

 My first appointment is for Dec. 3.  I'll spend one night in the hospital afterwards, and recovery takes approximately two weeks.  I'm not completely sure of the follow-up treatment date - it may be sometime at the end of January, 2014.

We're still planning to drive to Florida for Christmas, just not as soon as originally planned.  We'll probably fly back in January for the second treatment, stay here for the two week recovery period,  and then return to Palm City for the rest of the winter.  Those are our current plans - although you know what they say about the best laid plans!  We are really not quite sure what we're dealing with yet.  Whatever comes up, the two of us make a good team, and we'll try to stick to the game plan!

Meanwhile, I'm living with cancer from now on, and so far it seems do-able.

This is The Man:

Dr. James Picotte, MD

Dr. James Patrick Picotte MD is a male doctor, has 7 years of experience and practices in RadiologyDiagnostic Radiology, and Vascular & Interventional Radiology.
Video profile

This is the letter that Dick sent to the kids:

We met with the Dr. this morning. The MRI shows two masses on the liver, one large, one small. Because they are on separate lobes, surgery is not an option. The large one is 6 centimeters and was not there in '09.  It is the first order of business.  He will enter the femoral artery, go up to the liver, enter the cancer and deposit small glass beads covered with chemo which will eat the tumor away. She will check into the hospital at 8 AM and stay overnight. 

He told us the side effects would be a level of pain and discomfort which varies from person to person. There is a two week recovery period. After 6 - 8 weeks, the procedure must be repeated. He feels that the second shot should take care of it. The smaller tumor can be dealt with by a lesser procedure at a later date. He also indicated that because of cirrhosis, once the liver cancer begins it will continue to crop up, so she will need to be checked at least annually.

The procedure is scheduled for Dec. 3.   We will stay here until about 12/15 and then head south through the end of Jan.  We will come back here for the second treatment and then back down until ?.  One possibility we have discussed is flying up and back for that trip.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Off the Market

The offer that we received was not satisfactory.  It was a real low-ball offer.  We countered, and the prospective buyer's response was also way too low.  We've decided to take our house off the market for the winter and try again next Spring.  I feel that we really need to find a condo first before we get serious about selling our home.  We have other things on our minds this Fall, and the real estate dealings were getting a tad too stressful.

Beccy, our agent, was very understanding and is taking our property off the multi-list and she's agreeable to waiting until Spring.

This is the letter Dick sent to Beccy:


We're sorry to have taken up so much of your time dealing with the sale and purchasing of housing for us, but we have discussed the latest counter offer and have decided to let the matter rest at this time. 

Nancy's health is our main concern and until we get that matter resolved and have a clear path to the future, we want to put the matter of selling the house off to the side for the time being. 

We have an additional diagnostic test today and then further consultation before scheduling the anti cancer procedure itself. We don't yet know for sure when and where  that might be done.  The treatment, the results, and a prognosis going forward are foremost in our minds, and right now, at this point in time, the selling and buying of housing is an additional distraction we don't need and are not prepared to deal with. 

We feel that we will have a better view of what the future holds for us in the spring and hopefully we will be better able to focus on the housing situation then.

Again, we thank you for the effort you have put forth on our behalf and apologize for taking up your time, but we hope you understand.


Dick and Nancy Steiger

And this is Beccy's response:

I certainly do and respect your decision completely.  Yes, Nancy's health is a priority and know that selling a home can be stressful.  I will let the buyers know, should they still have interest in the spring we can pursue it.  Plus, Nancy, the Lone Tree Condo most likely will be
With that, I will remove your home from the MLS and hold off until are ready to sell.  Dick if you want to pull the signs and set next to house, will pick them up when I'm out that way.
My prayers to you both.  Please keep in touch and let me know how things are going. 


Beccy Janis

Thus ends our latest real estate adventure!

I had the endless MRI this morning.  Well, it was really only 50 minutes, but it seemed endless.  I get the results on Thursday.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Beccy came out for an hour this morning to present the very first offer that we've had on our property.
We had a nice visit, a good chat, and some needed explanations.

So we've had an offer on our property, and we've countered but won't have the response until next week most likely.  This offer is from a person who has never been in the house - he's a river enthusiast and conservationist who is only interested in the property and the frontage.  We're not very optimistic about this deal, but at least it's nice to have our first offer.

 We told her about our plans to replace the septic drain field and how that would affect the buyer as far as closing dates, taking possession, etc.

 It's a good thing we have an agent - there's so much paper work, signatures, initials, etc.  I'm glad Beccy has a grasp of what has to be done, because I sure don't!
Why use a Realtor?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

M & G

Our October Meet and Greet was really enjoyable.  There were lots of people there. old and new.  Tim and Susie were there for the first time in a while, and it was great to have Jay and Mary there as well.  I had fun meeting Brian - nice conversation.  I wasn't able to go to the last one around the campfire, so I was especially glad to be able to get to this one.  Enjoyed talking to everyone.
Premium Member
Attended Attended
Another fun evening sharing tales and catching up on the lives of fellow cachers. Good to see you all and to meet some folks we hadn't met before. Thanks Vante and Sammy Pants for bringing us together.


Transarterial Chemo Embolization (TACE)

Transarterial chemo embolization therapy involves administration of chemotherapy directly to the liver tumor via a catheter. With this technique, the chemotherapy targets the tumor while sparing the patient many side effects of traditional chemotherapy that is given to the whole body.
Following chemotherapy, your physician will embolize (cut off) the blood supply to the tumors. In this manner, the tumor is treated using two different techniques. If necessary, TACE can be performed multiple times to achieve the desired response in the tumor.
Chemoembolization animation © 2009.  Created by Joseph Sampson, graduate student in Dept. of Art as Applied to Medicine, in collaboration with Division of Interventional Radiology, Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Ruch called this morning with the results of his conference yesterday with the U of M liver cancer clinic team.  TACE, which is explained above, is evidently the preferred treatment for my tumor.  Now I'm waiting for phone calls to set up appointments for an MRI, a radiologist (Dr. Picotte), the TACE procedure, and another with Dr. Ruch.

Friday, October 11, 2013


Beccy called to say that the couple who looked at our property really, really liked it, and thought it was beautiful.  She thinks they may want a showing next week when everything is back to normal.  They are more interested in the property than in the house. 

They would not live here, they would most likely rent it out.  It seems that he is a conservationist, environmentalist and investor in river property.  He wants to preserve the riverside properties.  If that works out, it would be the ideal way to sell our place.  Of course we haven't had the showing yet, and we haven't had an offer, but it's nice to speculate.

Gout Week

Wow!  Gout week is finally over!  (I think!)  The Tylenol is working.  No headache and minimal residual pain in the foot.

 I showered, shampooed, got dressed, and walked (with the walker) to the living room.  I'm feeling ecstatic.  Waved good-by to Dick as he left to volunteer at the Visitor Center, fully confident that I am now able to take care of myself. 

We knew that our geocaching friend Nurse Nanna (Anne) was in town and was going to stop in and see him.  He called and asked if it was OK if he took her out to lunch after his shift.  Of course!  I'm fine (but not quite ready yet for the out to lunch thing), and it will be a nice break for him.


Last Monday, I literally couldn't walk.  Each time I tried to step on my right foot, it felt like I was walking on razor blades.  I sorted laundry in my room. because Monday is wash day:)  It took  mighty effort and about 45 minutes to get to the living room. 

Dick brought in the walker, and that did help,  but mobility was at a serious standstill.  Sat in the recliner all day, with Dick waiting on me, hand and (ouch) foot.  He kept the ice packs coming, the the ice did make things feel better for a while. 

He brought the laundry basket with darks into the laundry room, so the next time I went to the bathroom, I started the machine.  When the washing machine was done, Dick put the stuff into the dryer.  Later, I was able to fold while sitting in the recliner. That was my accomplishment for the day. Dick picked up Subway for dinner.

Tuesday - Everything seemed worse.  I did manage to get dressed and get to the living room.  I practiced in my mind how I was going to reach the things I needed from my bed without putting my feet on the floor. I spent a lot of time on visual imaging, as Olympic athletes do, (well sort of).  So I did manage to get dressed and make it to the living room.  

Beccy called that morning and said that she wanted to schedule a showing this afternoon from 3 to 5!  I was just devastated that we couldn't possibly have things spotless for a showing by 3 o'clock, or any other time.  I would not be able to get into the car to leave for a showing anyway - that would take gurney and a staff of helpers.  Fortunately Beccy understood - both of her parents had experienced gout.  She asked if they could just come and look at the property and not come into the house.  It was the perfect solution.  So the couple came, and walked all around the property, and even spoke briefly to Dick.  They thought that the property was beautiful  (but we already knew that).

Dick brought the whites to the laundry room, and during the day they got washed, dried and folded - it took all day.  I did write some checks for a couple of bills, and paid a couple more online, and those things were all that I accomplished for the day.

 By 7 o'clock I just could not get comfortable in the recliner - that foot was so sensitive to every little movement it just got to be unbearable.  We used the walker in a unique way - sitting down and going backwards down the hall to the bedroom.  Dick would help me navigate by pulling me along while I just dragged that godforsaken foot.  Getting undressed was too hard to think about, so I went to bed wearing jeans and socks.  The most bearable position was to have my right foot out from under the covers and almost hanging in mid-air, off the mattress, not touching anything. 

Wednesday - Now it's really horrible, and I thought it had already been horrible.  On top of the hated gout, I now have a headache, I think it's from having the constant pain.  This was a lost day.  I stayed under the covers, with all lights off.  NPR was playing very softly on the radio, and I slept on and off all day.

Thursday - Another lost day.  Read Wednesday.  One difference - the gouty foot was feeling a little less caustic, but I was beginning to feel gouty twinges in my other foot.  So I took a small amount of Tylenol, which I'm not supposed to have because of liver disease.  It took away my headache, and made both of my feet feel some better.  My mood was improving at last.  I ordered tapioca pudding and jello for dinner - just couldn't bear the thought of a plateful of real dinner.  Dick is the perfect nurse and right hand man :)

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Are the National Parks Really Closed?

Dick wrote a letter to the kids describing our day - are the National Parks REALLY closed?

"To celebrate good test results, we decided to drive out to Leland and have Sunday brunch at the Bluebird.  It was great!  Afterwards we cruised some of the back roads in the area.  It's what we used to do more than 60 years ago.  On Sunday afternoons, Mom would let me take the car, a maroon Dodge coupe, 3 passenger max, no back seat.  We would find roads that dead ended at Lake Michigan, walk the beach, have a picnic, enjoy the day.

Today it was raining and gloomy, but after the Doctors' reports we were happy and sunny.  In the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore there were signs proclaiming that it was closed, but folks were hiking and biking in the rain anyway.  To get into the Dune Climb we had to drive around a Stop sign and some barrels.  We thought it would be empty, but we saw at least 8 people going up and down the Dune, in the rain.  You could tell by the footprints in the sand that folks had been climbing despite the signs and the rain."

I don't know if it was Saturday's pot roast or not, but today I'm feeling goutiness in my right foot.  So far, just a slight limp.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Homecoming at South Fork

The world's best grandson is all ready to go to the Homecoming Dance at South Fork.   I  know he'll have the best time !  He's such a good dancer - has all the right moves and  "swag".  Go go go and have a super time :)

Michigan v. Minnesota

The team seems to have gotten over their Akron/UConn slump.  The first half was not all that enjoyable, but the second half was spectacular.  Thank you team!

Devin² Helps Keep Little Brown Jug in Ann Arbor

MGOBLUEDevin Funchess
Devin Funchess
We had slow cooker pot roast for dinner - really yummy.  I think I ate too much beef, and beef is not gout friendly.  This yummy pot roast may backfire on me.

Oct. 5, 2013
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Michigan Stadium)
Score: #19 Michigan 42, Minnesota 13
Records: U-M (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten), MINN (4-2, 0-2 Big Ten)
Attendance: 111,079
Next U-M Game: Saturday, Oct. 12 -- at Penn State (State College, Pa.), 5 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Senior/junior quarterback Devin Gardner (Detroit, Mich./Inkster)threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns, while sophomore tight end Devin Funchess(Farmington Hills, Mich./Harrison) set career highs in receptions (seven) and yards (151) to lead the University of Michigan football team (No. 19 AP/No. 17 USA Today) to a 42-13 victory over Minnesota on Saturday (Oct. 5) inside Michigan to retain the Little Brown Jug. With the win, the Wolverines have won 31 of their last 32 Big Ten openers dating back to 1982.
Fifth-year senior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (Youngstown, Ohio/Liberty) rushed 17 times for 78 yards and two scores. Junior linebacker Desmond Morgan (Holland, Mich./West Ottawa) produced 10 tackles, while sophomore linebacker James Ross III (Orchard Lake, Mich./St. Mary's Prep) contributed nine.

Friday, October 04, 2013


We made our own sunshine on this gloomy day.  Dick's cardiologist, Dr. Recchia, reports that his tests show no changes and he will see him again in one year!  Sounds lovely to me.

Dr. Ruch reports that the body scan shows no cancer anywhere else!!  We are over the moon. 

October 15th  he's having a computer consultation with the liver specialists at U of M, and they will put their heads together and recommend the best treatment options for me.  I will hear the results of that on Oct. 16th and from there we'll determine how to proceed.

We got our flu shots today, too.  Just don't seem to be able to stay away from doctors' offices!

Of course we did a celebratory cache on the way home:

Found it 10/04/2013You found  Airport BizVisit Log
This was a dreary fall day, not a glimpse of sunshine, so we made our own. A stop at the Dr's to pick up some good news, a stop at Bubba's for a super Reuben sandwich and then a stop here to grab a cache. The micro maven was telling me where the cache was without leaving the car. I was explaining to her that her idea was impossible and attempted to demonstrate - Oops!
Sheepishly handed the log for her to sign (BWB) and replaced as found. Thanks BIZ for placing this cache and adding to our sunshine for this day.

Thursday, October 03, 2013


Spent the day at Munson, first in CT prep, and then in the old familiar Infusion Clinic.

 The name of this scan is a real mouthful:  CT scan with contrast and hydration.  The scan itself was quick and easy, the IV went in easily, the injection was barely noticeable.

 However, the scan includes 6 hours of hydration - two hours before the scan and 4 hours after.  It's necessary because it protects the kidneys from the contrast they inject.

 I'm in favor of protecting the kidneys, but still and all it is a bit of a drag.  Dick sat with me almost the whole time, and I'm sure it was a drag for him too, but he did not complain.  How lucky I am!

I see Dr. Ruch tomorrow morning - have no idea if he will have results by then.  I'm thinking we may have to wait until next week.

Add caption

It was raining cats and dogs when we left - Dick was soaked - I didn't get a drop on me - such a great chauffeur!

Meanwhile, my niece Pam is having a double mastectomy today - my day has been far preferable to hers.  Pam has been having chemo all summer, and is now ready for surgery.  She likes to say that after today she will be cancer free :)  The faculty at her elementary school all wore pink today in her honor.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Mustard or Mayo....

Fasting blood test this morning via Dr. Barnes, the gastroenterologist.  He says he's curious as to whether or not this cancer could be genetic, or into what other category it might fit.  Twelve vials of blood were drawn, and the nurse said that 5 will be sent to the Mayo Clinic.  I'm in the dark about all of that, but I can conclude that Dr. Barnes is very thorough to say the least.

We had a super breakfast at Bubba's - did you ever hear of a Spanish burrito?  That was Dick's choice, and I just had a classic breakfast.  But it was yummy, and we enjoyed discussing the shut down of the government, an event which would be ludicrous and ridiculous if it weren't so serious.

The rest of our day was spent eating, sleeping, riding and reading.  We feel like we're on vacation, footloose and fancy free.