photo taken by Angela Speiker

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Playing catch up


I think, perhaps, that my New Year's Resolution shall be to do a better job at keeping up with the blog. I apologize, but I truly have had a lot added to my plate recently. Here are a few pics from most recently. I love the one where Bullseye was helping watch over the stable in our Little People Nativity set. Emerald & I went to a Beauty & the Beast play and had a great girl's night out.

I have a lot to update, including news about Walt, Zachary turning 2, and all the other happenings around here. Stay tuned for more :)
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Thursday, November 18, 2010



Walt is finally home! He's been home for about 2 weeks now, and they are settling into a routine. The first week was busy getting things figured out, setting up visits with therapists for evaluations, and adjusting to being out of the house for nearly 5 months! We are so happy for them. Cheryl is the primary caregiver, and that has been challenging. Luckily, many people have offered their help with transfers, meals, cleaning, offering help with rides, etc. If you'd be willing to help, feel free to call Cheryl at home and offer your help.

Walt had a doctor visit yesterday and got his next round of chemo straightened out. He is finished with radiation, and his first round of chemo. He got a small break, and will begin again. This round will also be a pill-based chemo, so Cheryl should be able to give it at home with no extra trips to the doctor.

We want to continue to thank everyone for their prayers, thoughts, and offers of help. I know that many of you have wanted to do something for the last several months. I know Cheryl is constantly creating her "honey-do" lists, and is needing some help with transfers and possibly meal companions. Even if you can offer to help sit for an hour so she can get a break, I know she'd appreciate it! Thanks so much!!

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fun fishing day

This is an email from Cheryl:

Hello all,

Just thought I'd let you all know about the absolutely wonderful day we had yesterday.

Saturday actually began several weeks ago when I found a flyer at Wesley Rehab promoting a fishing event for the disabled put on by an organization called "Fishing Has No Boundaries". I stored the information on my cell phone "To Do List", never dreaming we would still be in Wichita come September 25th. About ten days ago the notification sounded to remind me of the long since forgotten event. With Walt's recent decline and his upcoming radiation and chemo treatments, I really wasn't sure if this should even be a consideration, but I mentioned it to one of Walt's wonderful friends (a true fishing buddy). Brad called to say his Saturday was clear and he would be happy to take us to the event held at El Dorado Lake (with the loan of a van from another truly dear friend--Dave). Still unsure of how Walt would tolerate his first week of treatments, I called the number from the flyer to explain our situation. They were so wonderful and invited us to come for whatever amount of time Walt could tolerate. Midweek, I began asking about the possibility of us taking Walt out of ManorCare to attend this event (red tape, paperwork, and learning to give his noon insulin shot).

Saturday, the Lord's creative hand painted the most beautiful fall morning with perfect conditions for our excursion, and after breakfast we set out for El Dorado Lake. The Fishing Has No Boundaries organization provided all the equipment (rods, reels, bobbers, bait, boats, and volunteers) necessary for a most pleasant fishing experience. Although I didn't witness the catch, Walt landed a "monster" measuring in at a whopping 5 (the kid measuring had to really stretch the tail to make the 5� hash mark) and was probably in the running for smallest catch from the bank (although we weren't able to stay around for the closing events on Sunday).

Around 11:45, Walt really began to tire and didn't even want to stay for lunch, but the lure of pizza changed his mind. A couple of slices of pizza and a salad which he enjoyed immensely (not having had either in over 3 months) perked up his spirits and we were able to make it back to ManorCare with only minor complaints of "Tired Butt" during the last 10 minutes of the drive.

No sooner had Walt been tucked in for a well deserved nap, than the skies darkened and the rain came down. I only hope the storm didn't dampen the spirits of those who remained for the rest of the day and those that camped overnight (hope they brought their long-johns as it got quite chilly overnight) and continued to fish on Sunday.

At supper, Walt reveled in telling his tall fish tale (with a little assistance in recounting the event) and was very grateful for the friends that helped him to enjoy the experience. To check the organization that prompted our fishing outing go to

By the way, Walt seemed to tolerate the first week of radiation and chemo successfully with only minor body soreness.

All our love,
Walt and Cheryl

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Some long overdue pics


I thought I'd finally get around to posting some pictures of the kids with Pop Pop!
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Path results are in from Mayo

Today is the start of a new chapter. Walt & Cheryl met with the oncologist, Dr. Moore, and received the results from his biopsy (performed 2 weeks ago) that had been sent off to Mayo Clinic. Walt has been diagnosed with a Grade 3 Anaplastic Oligoastrocytoma. This tumor is located in his brain, and there is not a plan to have any future surgeries on the tumor due to its location. Walt has received a treatment plan from his oncologist which will include a mix of a daily chemo pill and daily radiation treatments. This particular form of chemo is said to be "well tolerated". His radiation will be done at Wesley as an outpatient service. There is a plan to continue with radiation and chemo 5 days a week for the next 3-6 weeks. Both Walt & Cheryl are very positive about finally having a diagnosis and knowing what lies ahead of them. They are ready to work hard toward this path to recovery. Walt has a great attitude ready to attack this thing. For now the plan is to remain at the rehab facility and take his daily trips to the hospital from the rehab facility. We aren't sure exactly how much therapy he will be able to tolerate during this time.

Many people have called or emailed asking us how they can help. Knowing that Walt & Cheryl will remain in Wichita for awhile longer, we have a few suggestions. If you would like to help, we would love to gather some gift cards for Cheryl. She has had to eat out for several meals, unable to spend time cooking meals. She loves Panera Bread, Sonic, McDonalds, and Starbucks, and could possibly use some gas cards to places like QuickTrip or Dillons (there is a gas location located near my parents house, where Cheryl is currently staying). We aren't saying that you have to do this at all, but for those who have asked, this would be extremely helpful. If you are interested, please call me, or email me at and I will give you an address to mail the cards to her as she really isn't getting her mail from McPherson all that frequently.

Our family continues to ask that you pray for Walt during this time of healing. We ask that you pray for the doctors who are working toward his recovery. We pray that Walt continues to stay positive and keep up his spirits as he is undergoing his treatment plan. We also ask for prayers for Cheryl as she continues to support her loving husband. We ask that prayers for her peace of mind, her well-being, and her ability to stay strong throughout this trial. We ask that your prayers show your continued love and support of her as she fights this battle with Walt. We ask for prayers for Walt's children who are trying to understand this diagnosis and continue to show their support for their father.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

More waiting

Cheryl spoke with Dr. Morgan today. The path results are back, but are not really making Dr. Morgan satisfied. In order to clarify the results, he is sending it on to Mayo again to evaluate there. While this is somewhat frustrating, it is also reassuring in that we will have definitive results in the end. I am going hold off on any slight details of today's results until we get confirmed results from Mayo. In the meantime, Cheryl has been speaking with Dr. Moore's office (a wonderful oncologist referred by Dr. Morgan). He will hopefully be meeting with Cheryl and Walt this week.

Keep praying for patience. The move and transition was especially hard on Walt this time around. He has seemed nervous in his new surroundings. Today he got back into therapy sessions, which we all feel will help him. He is also able to use a loner wheelchair again, and this will hopefully make him feel better to get up and out of bed. Hoping for a speedy trip to Mayo............

Friday, September 3, 2010

Yet another new address

Walt has been moved from the ICU to a place called Manor Care. This is a place in which he can receive therapy, but less than at his previous rehab facility. We are still being patient and waiting on the path results from Tuesday's biopsy. Dr. Morgan has been fabulous at answering all our questions and will continue to stay on top of this, even promising to come in and speak with us this weekend (while he has scheduled time off) when he gets the results. Walt was in some pain after the surgery, on Wednesday, and was able to get some relief. He had another procedure done on Wednesday as well. I think he kind of feels like he's been put thru the ringer. He is still struggling with speech, but the pain seems better now than was on Wednesday. We are hoping that the new facility will be able to fit him for a wheelchair today so that he is able to get out and enjoy some of this fabulous weather! Cheryl has been staying strong thru it all, but we can tell she is tired (not that she is ever complaining).

This process has been a lot of "hurry up and wait", and has been teaching us all just a little more about being patient. Hoping and praying for some positive results soon........

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Another surgery

Walt went in for another surgery this morning. He had a biopsy done. We were hoping for results from the biopsy this morning (or at least a quick look from the doc), but it was unclear. They have sent off the samples to pathology and we will get results within a few days. Until then Walt is happily (not so much, rather grumpy and unfiltered) recovering in the neuro ICU again, same hospital as before. We are at least quite familiar with the area. It is funny that we led the hospital volunteer to the right location in the hospital, told him where to go, and nearly walked right in ourselves.

This biopsy was minimally invasive, so recovering will be less than before. They are hoping to move him out of ICU w/in a day or so, then moving him to a regular room in the hospital. Until then we will try to keep Walt happy, and get rid of his grumpy face.

I will post more info on the biopsy as I hear results.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


We are waiting for tomorrow, and enjoying today. Walt's cognitive has decreased significantly this week. They ordered several CAT scans and an MRI on Thursday. Dr. Morgan (his neuro surgeon) called Friday morning and wants to meet with Cheryl Monday morning to go over the scans. We are all anxious and making a lot of guesses as to what we think might be happening. We are asking for prayers for both Walt & Cheryl.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A long time.....sorry

So sorry for not updating about Walt lately! We were without a power cord, then got a virus, then had issues with an internet connection, and that's not even to mention the life & happenings keeping me away from the computer!! So, I do apologize for all those who had been checking the computer to keep updated on Walt.

The first and best news I can post, Walt is WALKING!!

Let me take a step back and describe in more detail since it has been so long since I've posted. Walt is still at Wesley Rehab Center in Wichita. He is actually becoming the senior member there, becoming quite well-known by all the staff :) He has been making fabulous progress. They have continued to work him VERY hard with 3 hours of therapy a day, and even making him work while at meal time. He spends a majority of his days in a wheelchair these days. His physical therapist (PT) has been pushing him hard. His left side is gaining so much strength. He can lift his left arm parallel to his shoulder, can lift his left leg up off his chair, and can move his hand around. It was such a blessing to see this out of him. He has such a positive attitude, too. Well, except for those few rare moments when he is rolling his eyes at Cheryl for making him work too hard (this was good to see, too, b/c it reminds us of the old Walt we remember).

Back to my good news--last week the PT was working with him and got him to walk along the set of parallel bars, which is about 15'. That huge milestone even brought tears to his eyes, and brought back encouragement to him. He told us he wasn't sure he would ever walk again before those steps. He has moved on to walking with a walker, and was walking around the gym yesterday for a total of almost 100 feet!!!! With each step he takes it makes him more determined to take another step. We are all so very proud of him for his determination and hard work!!

At this point the rehab facility is talking about a possibility of Walt coming home in the next couple of weeks. It is all very dependant on various things Walt has to accomplish. Cheryl is working very hard at preparing the house for his homecoming. There is a bathroom remodel going on, and a ramp being built. I will post more on this when we hear definitive dates. For now we know that he does have a surgical follow-up visit with Dr. Morgan, the neurologist, next week. We are thinking Dr. Morgan may run a battery of tests on him at that point, but again, we will just have to wait and see.

Cognitively, Walt is still struggling a little. He seems to do better on some days, and other days are rough, most especially when he is tired. His short-term memory is challenged, but you can see in his eyes that he is trying so hard to remember the right name, or get out the right word. We will just keep cheering him on to work hard at this area.

We have some sad news to share. Maggie, Walt & Cheryl's beautiful, sweet puppy went to Heaven. Maggie had been staying with us, and had been doing really well. She passed away in her sleep, peacefully. We were saddened by this event, and hated to share this news with Cheryl. We especially hated having her have to tell Walt about Mags, as he loved her so very much. She was a great hunting dog, a sweet companion, and she loved Walt (and all those extra special food treats he always shared with her) very much. We miss and love you Mags!!

Walt celebrated his birthday last week. We are thankful to have him with us to celebrate another wonderful year.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pathology results...sort of

After Walt’s procedure to insert a filter into his leg, he stayed in the Wesley ICU for a day for observation, and then was moved to a recovery room on Saturday night. This room is fabulous--single patient (no roommate), on the 10th floor, with a wide window looking out west. We watched a storm roll through, and he is able to enjoy the beautiful sunsets. We were thrilled to have him move to this room, as he was able to see all 3 of my kids at the same time (that is a first in this long 5 week ordeal). Walt loved seeing the kids. We visited for quite some time. We were happy to see his spirits so high! As nice his new room is, though, he will hopefully be moving back to the Rehab center soon. This could likely happen on Tuesday.

Walt continues to regain some movement in his left side. He can wiggle his left fingers and toes. He can raise his arm and knee a little bit. He can even give a “single-finger” salute to his brother, who was never so happy to be given the bird.
The neurologist (Dr. Morgan) who did Walt’s craniotomy last month spent about an hour with us on Saturday explaining the results of the pathology test, and answering all of our questions. We had been waiting such a long time to receive these results, and he had briefly told us last week that the results were “inconclusive”. That word didn’t satisfy us, and we had many questions about what this all meant. He understood our frustration, and was frustrated himself about the delay. But he explained that the length of the test and the “inconclusive” finding were not necessarily a bad thing.

A pathology test tries to positively identify abnormal cells as a certain type of cancer, and origination of the cancer. He said that in Walt’s case, they tested all of the available samples thoroughly, but still were unable to definitively identify the cells, for various reasons. When we asked if he would be passing Walt’s treatment to an oncologist, Dr. Morgan said that there was really nothing for sure to pass to an oncologist, at this time. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t have cancer. But the current treatment plan is a “wait and see” approach. He said that Walt is exactly where he needs to be at this time…at the rehab center, getting stronger. There is a follow-up appointment scheduled in about a month with Dr. Morgan. At that time, he will do another MRI and other scans to observe the region from which the tumor was removed. He will then be able to compare that MRI to the scans taken immediately after the surgery, and tell if there is any cancerous growth reforming. He assured us that during the next month, we are not losing any time in fighting possible cancer. He says that Walt needs to be physically stronger in order to do any further treatment. Periodic follow-up visits will continue, which will allow him to keep an eye on any areas of concern.

Dr. Morgan also explained his opinion about the lesion on the other side of Walt’s brain. He said the lesion was much smaller than the tumor which was removed, and of a different type. It is highly unlikely that the two items are related. He said that he could try to remove the lesion, but it would be much riskier than to leave it alone. So his treatment plan for this lesion is also to watch and observe.

For now, we are working with Walt to get him stronger and more mobile, and he is doing a great job.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A little procedure

Walt got to take another ambulance ride today, although this time w/o the lights and sirens. He is now at Wesley Hospital in the ICU. During an ultrasound today, they discovered that Walt had a rather large clot in his left leg (a leg that has been swollen this week). They aren't able to give him the normal blood thinner b/c of the previous hemmoraghe on the brain. Instead they did a minor procedure to insert a filter into his left leg. This was a quick procedure, and is already completed. He will remain here, in the ICU for a few days so that they can monitor him. After this, he will return to the rehab facility.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Walt is having to work hard

The new rehab facility is just where Walt needs to be! They are making him work hard at PT, OT, and speech. He has nearly 3 hours a day of therapy sessions. He is also attending some education classes to help he and Cheryl learn more about moving forward with the "new" Walt. Walt has moved to the window side of the room and he is on the second floor, so they say it is like living in a tree house. They have him sitting up in a wheelchair for several hours a day, which in itself is a lot of work on Walt! He was able to take a shower Saturday (first shower in nearly 4 weeks). With the wheelchair they are able to wheel him around the rehab facility and even took a stroll outside. We are hoping to possibly bring Maggie up this weekend for the 2 of them to visit together--we know Walt will adore his time with Mags!

We would encourage any visitors who are considering visiting to first contact one of us, as Walt's schedule is quite full with therapy sessions. If you show up during one of his scheduled times, he is unable to stop working to visit. Meal times are also considered somewhat therapy times, as he is still fully concentrating on chewing correctly, and is working hard at feeding himself. During this time he is working on using his hand correctly, depth perception (still a slight problem in this area), and correct usage of all the right utensils. His food is in a pureed form and this doesn't make him overly happy. We are hoping to get him back on the chopped up food soon.

Walt still has some problems with his left side. He works each day at recognizing that side of his body, and moving his left arm and leg. Cheryl tells us he is moving his hand and foot slightly and has had to attempt to put pressure on the leg when he is placed in a standing position. His short term memory is still a little slow, but he is working hard at all of this. We are pretty proud of him for working for the therapists and for Cheryl! Keep praying for him to regain strength in his left side and that he will continue to stay positive wanting to work hard with the therapists. Walt's brother flies in tomorrow and is sure to get him in happy spirits. Glenn is known to make people smile :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Walt has an entirely new addess!

Walt was moved to a rehab facility yesterday. I don't have all the details, as I didn't speak long with Cheryl. However, I do know that this is a good move. They will have him intensively working on physical, occupational, and speech therapy. For those who may not know, the speech therapy isn't as much for actual speech, as it is for the muscules involved with swallowing. Walt was on a vent for several days and that can cause problems with swallowing foods and drink. They are just monitoring him to make sure he is doing everything correctly.

I will write more when I learn more info.

Monday, July 12, 2010

And yet another move

Walt moved back down to the 5th floor today. This is a good move, as they only keep "stable" patients on the 5th floor. He has moved to room without a roommate, and this is fabulous news. Walt needs to have as little distraction as possible right now, and his former roommate was a little "needy". Walt was able to sit in a special medical chair on Saturday to eat his lunch. This is the first time he has been able to be out of bed. Yesterday he was able to be in this chair for nearly 2 hours!! I am quite sure this felt really good for him. Walt is doing much better with the small details, brushing his teeth, combing his hair, working on feeding himself, although he is only able to do these with his right hand. Today he was able to squeeze his left hand, which was the first movement we have seen in his left side!!

We realized in talking with some of Walt's friends that we might need to do a better job describing Walt's present condition. His left side is still not moving (although the squeeze of his left hand today is a great improvement). He is in bed nearly all the time because of this lack of movement, leaving it difficult to sit up, or even get up and walk. He does work with a PT & OT, and speech therapist each day to gain back some skills. We really encourage those who might want to visit to do so. If you'd like to talk with me to schedule a time, so that we don't bombard him, I would love that. Again, my email is I know Walt & Cheryl both love seeing their friends. If you do go to visit with him, he is usually albe to remember names, but don't be offended if he forgets. He tends to repeat things often. Some times during conversations he gets confused, and frustrated. We think some of this frustration is causing him to be a little more emotional than before. He does realize how lucky he is and has told us we take things for granted--which is so true. The more tired he gets, the more his conversation seems to drift. We suggest that if you choose to visit, that you keep the distractions limited, and not too many people at a time. Walt has a great attitude trying to do what he is asked. He is trying to joke around with the nurses, which is just like Walt! He will be able to carry on a conversation with you, and most times his eyes are fully open, but at times he will close them (especially if he is overly tired). If you visit, you will probably be able to see his scar on his right side of his skull (and his cool haircut). It looks great now! He has come so far, and we are proud of how hard he is working. We would ask that you wash your hands and refrain from visiting if you are sick. After a major surgery everyone has a lower immune system, and we do not want to do anything to compromise his health at this point.

We continue to wait for path results, oh so patiently! We have spoken with the neurologist and he has not dropped us, but is sticking by our side until those results get back. We have been so impressed with Dr. Morgan! We aren't pushing Walt too fast in his recovery, we undestand he will do things in his own time, when his body is ready. We are hoping that at the end of this stay at the acute care center, Walt will be moved to a rehab center to work on some intense physical therapy. Many of you have asked if he will be coming home anytime soon. We don't have a date, and probably won't have a homecoming date for some time. It is a long recovery road. We just ask that you continue to pray for Walt, his recovery, the medical staff that is helping him recover, and for Cheryl, in her patience, her own health, and her understanding of all this information that is thrown at her.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursday update

Walt still had another good day. He seemed to enjoy a baseball game last night. Cheryl has been talking with nurses about the possibility to move him out of this room and get a room in which he will be able to focus more on his therapy. He tried to feed himself again today, which continues to be a good sign. He had a big morning getting moved around in his bed (they changed bedding) and several other housekeeping things, so he was a little more worn out for PT. He tried to do what they said, but wasn't quite as successful. The PT keeps telling us he has a good attitude. They continue to work with him in keeping up the skills with his right side, and getting his left side back into action. There is a big meeting with Cheryl and several of the heads of departments tomorrow. This will be a great time to evaluate where he is at, make sure everyone is working together, and discuss some of his next steps.

We feel so loved by so very many people! We want you to know how much you are all appreciated. As much as we love you all, and want to share updated information, we (the kids) want to protect Cheryl just a little. We sense that this is going to be a very long journey. We can tell that Cheryl is getting tired, and feels inundated with all the tasks at hand, not to mention wanting to spend as much time with Walt as she can. We are encouraging her to ignore phone calls if she is in the middle of helping Walt, or dealing with imporant information. I want to encourage any person out there reading this blog and curious about Walt or the situation to feel free to call me!! Cheryl loves all of you so much and doesn't want to miss anyone. However, we don't want to see her so exhausted that she ends up in the hospital. If you would like my phone number, please email me at I hope you can understand our requests to limit the phone calls to Cheryl. We love her dearly and really do want to protect her!!

In addition to the above request, we are going to be putting in a guest book in Walt's room. If you come by to visit, please sign the book. We aren't always able to be in the room, and we don't know who has been there to visit or who hasn't. We'd love to be able to discuss with Walt who has visited, and looking at the guest book will be one way we can do that.

Again, we want to thank you all for your prayers, love, and support. Thank you for the lawn mowings, the meals, the calls, and everything else! The outpouring of love continues to show me what a fabulous family I married into. Their love has always been so obvious to me--the love they show each other, their children, grandchildren, community, etc. It is only right for them to feel loved back at this time in life!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Getting better each day

Walt had a great PT session today. He has been very cooperative with PT, OT, and Speech and is willing to try to do whatever they ask. He fed himself some of his lunch today as well. We love to continue hearing positive steps each day.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Walt's weekend

How does that phrase go, "slow & steady". That is how we feel about Walt's progress. I am frustrated that the simplest question is so hard to answer, "How is he doing?" He is doing good, better in fact, than last week, but this road is such an incredibly long journey! He has both PT & OT working with him. He was able to sit up on the edge of the bed again yesterday. Another big step we saw yesterday was that he could take a drink of water out of a glass by himself! That shows that he has come so far in a week. There are moments of understanding, and moments of confusion. He loved seeing the kids again yesterday. We spent some time with Cheryl back in Mac this weekend trying to help get things situated there. They did remove the cannula (can't remember if I mentioned that), so he is free of almost all medical equipment. Hoping for some good test results today (or soon). Today marks 2 weeks since his surgery.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Another move


Sorry about the pics, I couldn't help myself. It is 4th of July weekend and I had to put up some pics of the kiddos! Those same kiddos got to see Pop Pop today!!! They were all so very happy. Pop Pop kept telling me he was crying "tears of joy" and my kids talked about the visit all day long. They've been such troopers waiting patiently for nearly 2 weeks to finally see him. It was such a great day!

Walt was moved again. We anticipated this move. He is still located in the Via Christi St. Francis building, but it is in a longer term care facility, a rehab center, in which they will help Walt get back to his old self. We are happy to see this move, even though it did wear him out today, because it is one step closer to him being able to come home. They also removed his PICC line today, removed staples, and are weaning him down to almost bare bones in the hospital world! He was doing such a great job visiting with his family today. What an improvement one week can make. Here's praying the rehab center will get him stronger soon. Calvin told me that he & Pop Pop that need to go fishing real soon.
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Walt moved today

Walt was moved out of the critical care unit, and moved into a step-down unit this evening. He is in a room with a roommate. We are still asking that we limit visitors at this time. He had a good time visiting with his daughter, Laura, today. We are seeing improvement each day. The nurses sat him up in bed today for the first time.

Thank you

I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone for helping our family out during this time. The outpouring of prayers, phone calls, and offers of help have been incredible! While I know that Walt & Cheryl are wonderful people, it is so sweet to hear all of your comments on how very much they are loved by everyone else. I know so many of you want to do what you can to help, and trust me it is VERY much appreciated! For now, I think we are covered on meals. For now, the house is taken care of. For now, I think we are ok. However, this is a very long road, and we may be calling in 2 or 3 weeks to cash in on some of the offers of help.

Walt is stable and is doing pretty good. They are looking at possible transferring him to another facility, which will be able to care of his needs and move him out of the CCU. We will let you know if this happens, and when it would be ok to come and visit. At this time they are still limiting his visitors to not wear him out too much.

Again, we thank you and appreciate your support!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Great Wednesday

It is a good day today with Walt. His eyes are open, he is even tracking things moving around looking. He is currently eating lunch and enjoying it a lot. He's talking a great deal today. He told us "Walt's back". We got some of the results back and two of his tests came back clear, which looked great! We continue to wait for the path results. His neurologist is supposed to be in this afternoon.

He's been pretty funny these few days. Quite the sense of humor, and a little unreserved on other comments. It is so good seeing him looking better today!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Walked in to the room today and the nurse said that he was "alert & responsive". These are wonderful things to hear! He is on a mushy food diet (he and Zach may get to share some food) and finished all of his breakfast & most of lunch, which is great news! They removed the feeding tube (with a little help from Walt) and are just watching him closely to ensure he consumes enough calories. He was bantering with the nurse quite well this morning, even telling her he'd rather have a pizza. You forget how something so simple (eating, moving him around, bathing) can really wear you out after everything he's been through. Walt is getting some great attention from his nurse today, since he is her only patient. We still haven't gotten the results from several tests. Still waiting.

Walt's brother & sister flew back home (after a flight delay kept them here an extra night). It was so nice having them both here! We tease G a lot, but I think it was perfect having him here. Cheryl is already missing having N's medical experience! Sure wish you guys lived closer :)

Cheryl was able to get home last night to Mac. We got Maggie out of the kennel and she was very happy to be at home with us. Cheryl was able to visit with several neighbors & friends. She is trying to return calls, so if you've called, be patient with her as she is swamped right now and is really trying to spend as much time with Walt as possible (and we are trying to force her to take care of herself some, too, you know like eat & sleep). I think the whole situation is starting to catch up to her. She (and all of us) VERY much appreciate your offers of help. Don't worry, she will be calling you to ask for help.

Walt has been asking about his "Magster" and his "monsters" (aka grandkids), so this is such wonderful things to hear. He tells us he loves us and doesn't love it when we leave his room. We tell him we have to go so he can rest, and it never, ever gets easier to leave a loved one behind as you walk through the doors of the hospital. It wasn't easy 18 months ago, and it isn't easy now!

As you continue to pray for Walt's recovery, pray also for Cheryl. This isn't easy on her. We all love them both so much.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Yesterday was a very good day, as Walt woke up enough to open his eyes a little, respond by nodding his head to verbal questions, give “thumbs up”, and even smile some. However, our exuberance to see all this may have caused us to overwork and exhaust him. Today, although still showing some of this responsiveness, his overall awareness/responsiveness level has been a little lower. Because of this step back today, the doctors are trying to let him rest as much as possible, and also conducting a few tests to determine if there is some reason for this setback.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What a sweet, sweet sound

As we were leaving tonight, we told Walt we loved him. He says, "I love you" back to us!! That was an incredible sound! He also was able to tell us speaking about his brother, Glenn, "he's annoying" but we all laugh and are happy hearing Walt say that, b/c well, that's just Glenn!!

We were hoping to put it out there for a possibility for some "help" requests:
1) I'd love to have some people offer to do SMALL meals, possibly sandwiches, small containers of salad (she loves a chicken waldorf, with pecans??? I will check on this for you). The containers need to be small, and able to be marked with her name that can be stored in a community fridge. I would love it if you could contact me first so that we don't have too many people trying to do this all at once. Email me at

2) I think I (Stephanie) am going to stay in Mac for a few days after Skip heads back to KC. I would love to be able to help Cheryl out in Wichita if she needs me and was wondering if there are any Mac family/friends who might be willing to help watch the munchkins. This could be at their house, or at your house, whatever is convenient. Again, email me at Possible times include anytime Tuesday and/or Wednesday. I will take whatever I can get.

This is all I have per Cheryl. I will let you know if I hear more requests from her. We appreciate all the cards, calls, prayers, etc. If we don't get you called back immediately, I hope you understand. Access to the internet is limited as well, so please do email, but be patient as I will try to get to it as I can.

A special personal prayer goes out to my dear friend Stephanie tonight. In the midst of this chaos, she is working hard at bringing a brand new miracle into this world! Best wishes Steph, can't wait to see pics of that sweet girl!! Love you Steph & Kyle!!

Wonderful news!

Walt is awake. Sometime last night he woke up. He was responding to requests (lift 2 fingers, nod head yes & no, etc) & really focusing his eyes on us. He even belly laughed at his brother. He became very emotional seeing Cheryl this morning, and she did a good job calming him down. They extubated him at 9:10 and he has done a great job breathing on his own. He does need to have a lot of rest. The visiting with family seemed to wear him out and has been sleeping a lot the rest of the day. The docs asked us to take it easy to allow him to have enough energy for the docs.

We are beyond thrilled at this good news. We know there is still a long road ahead.

They are hoping to remove the drainage tube from his head (that had been draining fluid) tomorrow. It has been clamped since yesterday and he is doing well with that.

His lungs continue to look good. They did a brochoscopy (forgive me if this is wrong) yesterday and it looked good. Lungs have remained clear and he is giving us some good deep coughs.

He was able to get a good bath & shave today. This is a good thing b/c the scruffy look was not looking right on our Walt.

We continue to wait on the patholigy results. No news yet.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Some good news

They have been watching Walt closely for congestion and/or pneumonia. They did a procedure this afternoon to look into his lungs to make sure they were clear. They were a little worried with the fluid they had seen in the tube, but were very pleased to NOT see any significant amount of fluid on his lungs. They are still giving him some antibiotics to prevent pneumonia. They had given him some heavier duty meds for the procedure, so the rest of the day we don't really expect much out of him due to the drugs. We were very pleased to not see fluid on his lungs!! For the most part everything else is remaining the same, and right now stable is not a bad thing! We are just allowing Walt to have some time resting until his body is ready to "wake up". Keep praying for him, and keep praying for Cheryl, as I know this isn't easy on her.


I haven't heard anything from Cheryl yet. Walt's brother & sister flew in from Florida this morning, so I am very happy they are here to spend some time with Walt and being a comfort to Cheryl. Will update as soon as I hear some news.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday's wrap up

There were a few changes today, but mostly Walt is just still resting. The docs wanted to run an EEG today. The results came out fine. The docs said that he is just taking his sweet time to come to the party (the doctors didn't seem at all concerned about how long it is taking). His nurse told him she wanted to have a serious discussion with him about his getting back to his preferred position 15 minutes after they position him (to prevent bed sores) and the kicking he is doing with his right leg. He also gets quite annoyed when they suction out his mouth or brush his teeth (he never did like going to the dentist). He is coughing "real" coughs not just the gagging ones and getting up the fluid from his lungs. They removed one of the shunts, the one placed during surgery, as it was draining very minimal fluid. There is still a shunt in place, the one they put in to drain fluid that they positioned the first evening. We saw him yawn this morning (very different than a gag). We are keeping positive and hoping for continued improvement each hour.

Still waiting

I guess there really isn't much change for today. The neuro came in and was pleased with the movement in Walt's right side. He has ordered an EEG which may be happening this afternoon. Will share results when we get them.

Thursday update

As of 10:00 this morning, we are still just waiting on the doctor to come. Don't know much more, but will update as we hear any news.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wed. afternoon update

Walt is staying stable thru the day. They have given him one dose of pain meds today, and have him on insulin. His numbers were a little elevated but that could be due to the amounts and types of meds he's received. He has been doing a great job breathing on his own all day, yeah! He's a little "feisty" (Cheryl's words) as he is really moving his arm to try to pull out his intubation tube we assume. The doc came in and reminded us that this last hurdle is worthy of celebration, b/c he is doing such a good job so far. The swelling in his brain is greatly reduced. They don't plan to extubate him tonight, but are hoping to try to do that in the morning.

We continue to take things one step at a time, dealing with the minute presented to us and not totall focusing on what our next step will be.

More updates

Since this info, at 9:30 they started to reduce the sedative. He is making movements with his arms and legs, and starting to respond to pain stimulus (which is a good thing). They also stopped the vent, and he is doing a good job breathing on his own, keeping his Sats up. They still have him intubated for now, but are hoping to remove that soon. They hope to have him back to his "base line" today, which means responding like he was when he entered the hospital on Monday night.

We have heard from the doctor that the section of the tumor they looked at doesn't look great. It may be a higher grade of tumor, which can mean it is more aggressive. We are asking for prayers for that to not be the case. Again, we won't know anything for sure for 2-3 days until results come back from patholigy.

I know MANY of you have offered to help. Even if Cheryl (or any of us) haven't taken you up on it, this will be a long road, not over in a few days. We may be in the hospital for some time, and then a long recovery at home post-hospital time. Offers to Cheryl for things like meals, lawn mowing, prayer lines, people to run some errands for her, possible babysitting for the crazy 5 grandkids so that we can help with Walt's recovery are all VERY much appreciated and will be utilized. I can't imagine my crazy 3 munchkins running around like wild children near Walt right now. Thank you for everything, it is so appreciated.

It's a good morning

Note from Cheryl:

Just talked to Walt's neuro surgeon, whose style is to take things step-by-step to avoid overwhelming everyone inv loved. Walt's CT scan this morning looked very good and the doc is pleased. Today's task is to cut back on the sedatives and allow Walt to wake and let us know just where he. Walt is still in the Neuro CCU and pretty much for the next 2 days is only allowed 2 visitors (immediate family only) at a time.

Thank you all for all the prayers and well wishes, and keep praying b/c the road ahead will be a long one.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Out of surgery

Walt is out of surgery. They removed a tumor that was slightly larger than a golf ball. The tumor bled into itself, thus the "bleed" they saw on the CAT scan. They do not know at this point what type of tumor it is. They've sent it on to patholigy and will not receive the results for 3-4 days. They saw a significant mass on the other side of the brain as well, and will identify it later with a more detailed MRI later today possible or tomorrow. He will remain in a sedated state for today, heavily sedated so as to keep him calm. They inserted another shunt as well to drain fluid. As soon as the tumor was removed there was an immediate "shrinkage" of his brain, and it firmed up a lot more. They said we are taking things one step at a time. He may be talking in a few days, possibly even up walking, but may not, we aren't sure.

Cheryl looks exhausted & hoping she rests soon. We are going to drive her up to Mac to get some meds, clothing, check on Maggie, and wrap up a few things. The doc felt confident that we'd be fine to leave for a short bit, and he will just be in recovery mode from the surgery. Prayers still requested for a good result from the patholigy, a healthy recovery, and that he handles the news ok when he is awake & aware.

Will update later if we learn more info.

Walt's status 11:00 AM

Walt collapsed at work last night. this was a good thing, as that forced him to go to take his stubborn personality to go to the hospital :) They did a CAT scan in Mac and it presented as a stroke, so they transported him on down to Wichita where there is a specialist. The neuro isn't convinced that it was a stroke, more to follow. They took him into surgery at 10 this morning, 2 hour surgery, to remove the bleed. The neuro is optimistic that he will recover, although it will be a long recovery. We are thinking he is here for sure for 72 hours post surgery, possibly days or weeks longer, depending on how he does and if there is a need for any further surgeries.

We appreciate all of you who have helped in this emergency. We also appreciate all prayers centered around Walt & Cheryl during this stressful time. We will keep this updated as we hear more.

Friday, June 11, 2010

More from Steph's shower

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A princess is on the way


I was lucky enough to get to go to Steph's baby shower in Arkansas. She is soooooo ready for a little girl to light up her world after her 2 crazy boys. Don't get me wrong, we love Keegan & Gavin, but little Reagan is going to be quite the addition--and ALL pinked out! It was so much fun to hang out with my friend.
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Friday, May 28, 2010

March for Babies walk


Emerald loved the cheerleaders! The group pic is of the staff & grads of OPR NICU.
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

More MOD pics


Pic at top is Greyson & Zach, buds! The next pic is a nurse, Jenn, that took care of Zach, then had her little guy, Jameson, a little early and he and Z were neighbors. Calvin helped us out by being awesome that day. We were also thankful that Heidi & Josiah were able to come out and support us!
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

MOD pics


So I'm going to just start posting tons of pics and will write when I can. I am sooooo far behind!
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Can you see this?


Can you see this pic? Posted from Picasa, still trying to figure this out. If you can see this picture, check on the "Interesting" box below this text.
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Monday, May 24, 2010


I am still working on this, arghhhhhhhhhhhhh



I am trying this again. Our computer is not posting pics, and I wasn't able to post to Blogger once or twice when I tried. Why must everything be so difficult?
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