March 14, 2008

Clare Mosmiller (1937-2008)

I was fortunate enough to be able to sing at Aunt Clare's funeral this Tuesday. As expected, the service was beautiful, even more so that due to the fact that it was nearly entirely handled by family members from top to bottom. I always take something special away from our gatherings whether they are joyful or sorrowful for this reason.

I was not fortunate enough to know Aunt Clare all that personally due to our age difference and my health, but she always treated me as if we did. In recent years I felt like we had a special connection, perhaps due to the fact that she seemed to understand the impact of my health condition more acutely than most. It was clear at a glance that she wanted the best for me and was worried that it might not happen, and that meant a great deal to me.

If you have any stories or experiences you would like to share, post them in a comment and I will add them to this post. Some comments made by friends of the family are available as well as some fantastic pictures are available online already.

Posted by Andy at 03:01 PM | Comments (1)

January 29, 2007

Sad News

Mary Wilson died in the presence of her family last night around 9pm after fighting with numerous health issues for the past few years. I hope that her sons and daughters can take some comfort from the fact that so many of our relatives visited during the past week. I think the packed parking lot at the top of the hill says a lot about what our extended family is all about.

If you see this post, feel free to add a comment to it or send me an email in which you share a memory or quality that you respected about Mary. I will then roll those remarks into this post. I will get this started below.

  1. I feel that Aunt Mary's greatest legacy is evident in how tightly knit the Wilson family is, and how easily they accept the rest of us into the fold just as a matter of course. As an only child with health issues in my branch of the family, it would be easy to be left out of most family events just due to my unusual circumstances, but that has never been the case with the Wilson crew. Whether they're just having a low-key cookout or a holiday event, I know I'll always be able to drop by whenever I am feeling up to it. Additionally, one or more of her children would be down fairly regularly just to help out with something or to visit. I know most families are like this, but the atmosphere surrounding the Wilson clan is so inviting and close-knit that I feel it is worthy of praise.

  2. Andy,

    Thank you so much for the comments about Mom. She was clearly the binding that has held our family together. Her commitment to family was unparalleled, extending well beyond the Wilson clan. We are extremely blessed to have such warm and wonderful relatives to share in the laughter and sorrows of life. Thank you for providing the forum to express our thoughts.

  3. I loved Aunt Mary for her outspoken nature,sense of humor and her love of the whole family. I always felt welcome in her home. She was quick to serve up some macaroni salad and roast beef. She would even try to feed the ten or so friends, who just wanted to use the bathroom after boating. She would always take time to help me with my many problems at the MVA. I'm sure I would be walking now without all of her help. I picture all of the Flahavan's, Uncle Will, Uncle Walter, and Marty Corry welcoming her to heaven, and waiting patiently to get a word in...well, maybe not patiently...she will be missed.

  4. It hasn't hit me full force yet. I think in the spring when I go out to yell across the way, it'll sink in. We've all lost something here.

Posted by Andy at 12:42 PM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2006

Zap Finale

There was some waiting involved in today's treatment, but now I am done for good and planning my retreat into the wilderness, never to visit a health care facility again! Ha ha! I would like to thank Dr. Oh, nurses Candy and Trish, and all seven members of the radiation staff who did the actual zapping each day.

I expect it will take a while for me to get back to "normal", but that will give us the time to plan the trips I discussed some time ago. Designated coordinators, start your planning... Now!

Posted by Andy at 03:52 PM | Comments (3)

March 29, 2006

Zapped Again

I had my radiation treatment again today, a bit ahead of schedule. In case you are unaware, I have been posting daily updates on my page of the site. I will likely not comment further about radiation here because the information probably won't be changing much. If you want the updates, just flip over to my my page.

Posted by Andy at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2006


I got my first radiation treatment of 25 today. It took longer than they apparently will most of the time, because x-rays had to be completed to confirm the positioning of the marks they placed on me a week and a half ago. The x-rays get repeated every 4 to 6 sessions from what I understand. Speaking of marks, I look slightly like a whiteboard marked with a play designed to win a basketball game. If you want to know your role, just ask and I'll tell you which 'X' you are.

I came out of the treatment tired, and after about 15 minutes the nausea hit. I've had worse from medications designed to help me, so I didn't feel this was too big a problem, at least not big enough to stop me from eating regularly, including a sundae from the Daily Scoop up the road a few miles. I was also able to get through my osteopathy treatment, which helps to relieve some of the problems I get day to day, particularly during times like this. Hard lab tables have a high price tag for folks like me.

I timed my Netflix signup just right, so I was able to pop in Serenity a few minutes after I walked in the door, which brings me to now. Coulda been better, but coulda been a lot worse I figure. Five weeks of this is a lot, but I'll do it, and hopefully watch some fun movies and hang out with some friends and family along the way.

Posted by Andy at 11:28 PM | Comments (1)

March 16, 2006

Setup Complete

I am home from my setup appointment. The whole thing took a bit over an hour, in part because they had to scan me twice. The first scan didn't go low enough to be complete, so they reset and started over. The CT table was rock hard, and by about 10 minutes in my limbs were all going numb or were numb, as I was not supposed to move at all. It is hard to relax into nerve pain, but it's all over now and the actual treatments will be much shorter and later in the day. At the end of the scan, I was marked up with magic marker in three spots around my midsection, then injected just beneath the skin in each spot with a little bit of dye.

I go in for radiation treatment #1 on Tuesday, March 28th at 2:45. From that point on I guess I will be there every day for a month and a week.

Posted by Andy at 11:57 AM | Comments (2)

March 15, 2006

I Met the Second Radiation Oncologist

Today I had my appointment with Dr. Oh up at the Tate Center in Glen Burnie. After what appeared to be a sketchy beginning (the first nurse was not familiar with the names of any of my prior surgeries), everything straightened out nicely, and I plan to undergo my radiation treatments at this facility instead of at Hopkins. The difference between 15 minutes and an hour one-way in a car is pretty huge for me.

Dr. Oh also reinforced the radiation option over chemotherapy or observation, and declared a little hard area under the skin at the base of my abdomen to be nothing problematic. This doc has me slated for 25 sessions, so that means 5 weeks instead of 4. I still think tne shorter distance will help me more despite an extra week of treatment.

I go in tomorrow at 8:30 AM (ouch) to get my preliminary scans done so they will then know precisely where to radiate me. I expect to start actual radiation after another week and a half or so have passed, because I need to get fertility testing and banking handled prior to the start of the radiation process. Dr. Oh says that I should expect poor results on that test, which I must admit is a blow. I am experienced with having dreams put in serious jeopardy, but at the same time, I don't think it will ever get any easier to handle it.

Right. So, setup happens tomorrow followed by about a week and a half off, followed by 5 weeks of radiation therapy. I shall keep you posted as always.

Posted by Andy at 07:52 PM | Comments (4)

March 08, 2006

Appointment Scheduled

I have an appointment to see a doc in the new Tate Center (a branch of what was called North Arundel) next Wednesday at 3. That gives me a few days of break, which I won't argue against, and also a second opinion.

I also got some more behind the scenes help today from a web guru who I can't credit for what you might call legal reasons, for lack of a better term. If you're reading, thanks yet again for the help!

Posted by Andy at 10:22 PM | Comments (1)

March 06, 2006

I Met the Radiology Oncologist

Today was my meeting with radiology oncologist Dr. Song. We reached Hopkins at 2:30 and left at about 5:30. Once I got back to the room we talked at length with and I was examined by a resident with a couple of years left in his training. While I appear to be clean of the seminoma as far as blood testing and CT scanning can determine, my case is atypical due to the beta HCG level in my first blood test. This guy led us to believe that I would in fact not be getting radiation and would instead undergo chemotherapy, but he was overridden by Dr. Song 45 minutes later. I will be getting radiation, 4 weeks worth, 5 days a week, starting probably in 2 and a half or 3 weeks.

We discussed the possibility of having it done closer to home, perhaps at the Tate Center up in the North Arundel Hospital complex, but the Hopkins folks weren't really able to help us much in that regard in terms of a recommendation or with the transfer of information. I may have to go through this all over again up there if I want to avoid the 45 minute or hour travel time to Hopkins every day for a month. We were given a folder full of information though and I can at least check and see if they have the same type of equipment, which seems to me the most crucial element in something like this.

Doctors at every step have also highly recommended that I go to a fertility doc for testing and also to have sperm banked in case the radiation treatments render me sterile. I was not given any kind of numbers regarding the chances of this occurring, but obviously this isn't something to be overlooked regardless of the odds. I plan to get this done as well, but until we know if we're shifting to a new facility or not, I won't know just where I'll be going. The annoying thing is that if I wind up at another instituation, the Hopkins people won't really be involved anymore. That seems sort of unecessary to me, but that's the way it is.

I also learned that I'm now considered at high risk for getting this again on the other side, with maybe a 1 in 20 chance of that happening. I got this info from the resident though, and he may have been a little alarmist about the numbers. I was told to perform a monthly self-exam so as to catch anything like these as early as possible. I'm pretty sure the surgical procedure would be drastically different were this to occur, so I'm just hoping I will never have to worry about that. I had to make a point of asking how to do the self-exam or I'd have no more ability to do that now than I ever did. This makes me wonder what else I'm supposed to be checking that never gets mentioned, despite my significantly higher rate of doctor's appointments than your average citizen. Do yourselves a favor and ask your doctors about what you should be checking. You may never know otherwise.

Dr. Song's nurse was especially helpful and friendly. The folks in the oncology center were slightly more disposed to take seriously my CFS and NMH problems as well, though they really had no idea how to help me with regards to that information. I asked the nurse to convey to the appropriate people my concerns over the exam room chairs, and I feel confident she will do so. She understood what I was saying, and hopefully she and I can help other patients down the road with this little bit of "proactivity", if that is in fact a word.

The side effects brought to my attention were the possibilities for nausea (diarrhea, etc. included), a probability of fatigue, and an increased risk for other cancers down the road ranging from a 30% to 100% increase compared to a non-radiated individual. I think this might sound worse than it is considering the risks of things that aren't commonly statistically labeled in this way, like driving recklessly or eating an imbalanced diet. On the plus side, I will be checked frequently for all sorts of things from here on out, so that might actually improve my odds over the guy standing next to me in some ways. The con of course is that all of this is very tiring for me.

One thing I should note is how much my parents are helping me do all of this. They're making all the phone calls, keeping all of the paperwork, filling out forms, taking notes, driving me all over, and representing me as needed on the phone and in person when necessary. Without them I would be hard pressed to have even had the surgery by now, let alone try to move my radiation treatment to another institution.

So, there you go. 4 weeks of treatment for 5 days a week barring an about-face if I have to get a second assessment done in a different location. If any of you have info that can help me out I am happy to talk with you. Actually, I'm happy to talk to you if you don't have any info as well, so feel free to give me a ring, add a comment, or send an email. My email address is available at the bottom of every page on this site.

Posted by Andy at 08:42 PM | Comments (1)

March 03, 2006

Good Report

I just got home from my appointments at Hopkins. There was again some waiting involved, but it was not as bad as before. So, to the meat of it... My CT scan was normal, and my bloodwork was also normal, so though I cannot officially be declared "cancer free" until after radiation therapy, I'm close if not there now. Radiation will take place in order to fry any microscoping remnants that may or may not have spread into the lymph nodes in my back.

I see Dr. Song, a radiologist, on Monday and am going to investigate the possibility of having it done closer to home. There is a healthy difference between a 20 minute drive and an hour drive, so I am hoping it will not be a problem for that to occur. I may also find out at this appointment how often I need to be checked over the next five or so years. The urologist wants to see me back in a year, which is substantially later than I had imagined from my reading. It would certainly be nice if I didn't have to add bimonthly appointments to my doctor appointment lineup, so I am hoping that'll be enough. It's hard to complain about a once a year appointment.

So, things are looking good. Radiation isn't going to be a walk in the park with my existing health problems, but I have a definite light at the end of the tunnel to keep me moving along. Thank you all for your continuing support. I'd like you all to think about an idea I had over the past couple of weeks that I will describe below.

When all of this is over, I would really like to get a big group of family and friends to go to the aquarium, natural history museum, or both over a few weeks, and I would further like to not have to be the organizer of it all. I have not been to either place since I was a little kid and I think this would be a great way to move out of a rough situation. I would need a wheelchair to last through the day, but I would be able to handle that concept I believe. I think it would be a lot of fun to get whole families in on it, kids and all, and if people drove separately some could leave earlier than others if they needed to do so. This could happen as a big family and friends arrangement, or we could set up a family day in one place and a friends day in the other. I am confident everyone would get along great regardless of which way we chose to do it. So, send me your comments with your thoughts on this idea. It's too early to figure in any dates because I don't know how long radiation goes or how whipped I will be on account of it, but that can happen once a few weeks have passed.

Posted by Andy at 07:10 PM | Comments (6)

February 23, 2006

Blood Tested

I had my blood re-checked this afternoon for the beta HCG marker as well as another that I think is just being double checked. I likely will not get any results from this until my appointment next Friday at Hopkins. That's a wait I could stand to avoid, but that's the way it goes.

Posted by Andy at 05:48 PM | Comments (3)

February 22, 2006

A Dubious but Positive Milestone

I realized late today that I'm more distracted by pain in my back as opposed to pain around the surgical incision. I think that means things are progressing more or less as they should. I think I am running into a partial CFS block when it comes to the sitting up for long periods, but I look forward to a much-needed post-surgery osteopathic treatment next Tuesday which should go a long way towards fixing the back issue and righting the ship energy-wise too.

I enjoyed a reasonably packed day of Olympic coverage today and am hoping for key US wins in both hockey and curling tomorrow. I have really gotten into this curling thing. If I had a greater flexibility in terms of choosing activities in which I participate, I would seriously consider looking for a local place I could learn this sport. I think there might be some activity in Glen Burnie, much to my amazement.

Posted by Andy at 12:29 AM | Comments (6)

February 17, 2006

Dressing Removed

I had my appointment today as planned with Dr. Rogers at Hopkins. I was scheduled for 3:00 and got in at about 4:30. The wait was pretty brutal given that I only sit up for short periods right now. We just walked in the door at about 6:20. Now for the update.

The dressing was removed as planned, which was essentially just a peeling of the plastic bandage. I could have done this part at home, but this gave Dr. Rogers the chance to look over the incision, which is healing normally. I also received a copy of the biopsy but of course had already read it and posted it here. I was hoping to learn more about this but I am coming out with exactly the same information with which I went in unfortunately. To review, I have testicular cancer of the seminoma type and only of that type.

So, what's next? I get followup bloodwork next Thursday and a CT scan on the 3rd of March to determine whether or not the relevant beta HCG marker is back to normal. The CT scan will be reviewed at a followup appointment on the same day. I am also being scheduled to see a radiation oncologist in the interim so that I can be briefed on the process of radiation therapy, which, if the marker has returned to normal, will progress thereafter for 2 to 3 weeks as often as every day or as few as several times per week. If my marker has not returned to normal we will then have to explore the possibility of chemotherapy or further surgery, as that would be an indication that the tumor had metastasized into an area like the lungs or brain.

My efforts to obtain even the limited information presented here could be likened to the pulling of teeth, so I have little sense of what is anticipated regarding my beta HCG level. I get a slight indication that a positive marker would at this time be unexpected, but at the same time the words really and very high have been used each time the marker level has been discussed. (For the record, my beta HCG level is 290. It should be undetectable.) It turned out that the tumor size was largely irrelevant, but I do not know about marker levels. If any of you have experience with this, please give me some indication. It's a frightening thing to have a really high marker indicated. I wish this guy was a bit more informative and up-front with his information, that's for sure.

I am totally out of gas, but I am also really proud of myself, because I had a moment just after the appointment that, to use a tired sports metaphor, you might call "gut check time," and I passed it at a time that I think almost everyone would fail. This surgery has me stretched thinner than a wire (my legs are shaking as I write this), and the appointments and attached waits are much akin to repeated blows to the abdomen while stretched out on a rack, but I am going to find enough to get through all of the followup treatments, even if that means I have to go to Hopkins every day. It's just going to happen. All of you are helping me through it.

Thank you.

Posted by Andy at 06:57 PM | Comments (4)

February 16, 2006

It's Been a Week

I was able to push a little more today and walk around the yard and pier some. Everything I do involving sitting up straight and walking tires me out a ton still, but I'm trying to do a bit more each day anyway. Tomorrow is my appointment at Hopkins to have the dressing removed (it's ranch), so here's hoping I don't have to wait much before getting in for that.

If you're interested in reading the pathology file I received, click here. Maybe one of you can even explain it better, though I will likely find out everything I need to know tomorrow.

Posted by Andy at 09:18 PM | Comments (1)

February 15, 2006

Double Dose of Good News

Well, the past hour has been rather eventful. Firstly and most importantly, Dr. Rowe (my CFS doc at Hopkins) got back to me with a preliminary report that suggests that the cancer may have been limited just to the right testis, which would mean it would be gone now. This is just an early indication and not thorough like the blood testing and CT scans will be, but it's a nice start.

Secondly, the blog has been updated to the latest version. This means everything is more stable now and we should have access to some more convenient features. I will get to investigating the new stuff and updating the pictures on the help page to match the new look when I am able, which won't be just yet. You can post and comment all you like from this point on. Ooh, I just found one handy new feature - you can assign multiple categories from a dropdown list just below the "Primary Category" section on the blog posting screen. That is a lot simpler than the old method, which I doubt any of you knew about anyway. Score one for confusion! Actually, the story of this upgrade is a really good one but I can't get into it here. If you are curious, send me an email and I'll explain.

Talk to you all soon.

Posted by Andy at 06:37 PM | Comments (8)

Olympic Hockey = Great

I have never been a fan of the NHL at all, but I absolutely love hockey when it comes time for the winter Olympics. It's just a better game. The ice is wider, fighting is simply nonexistant, and the level of play is always at a fever pitch. I still wish the US team didn't always have so much contraversy surrounding it, but I'm still gonna watch.

On the health front, I'm still getting by. I'm maybe slightly better each day. Nothing crazy but it's not all that bad either. I've had visitors a lot of days and that has been great too. I go to get the dressing removed from the surgery wound on Friday, but I'm sure I'll be posting about that when the time comes. I'm worried about the wait, because it killed me the last time and now I'm having trouble sitting up for extended periods on top.

One more thing - you may not be able to post comments or full posts to the site over the next night or two. If that happens do not be surprised, and just try again the next day. It'll be back to spec, hopefully with some improvements, shortly.

Posted by Andy at 04:10 PM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2006

Ooh, Curling

I'm doing about the same today as I have been. I seem to be in some physical pain here though, almost as if I'd been through some kind of surgery or something. Hehe. I'm currently checking out curling Olympic competition on one of the NBC satellite networks. It's kind of interesting, particularly when you have no better options available.

I continue to receive a ton of support from every possible angle, and once again I thank you for it. I've been worn down so much over the past ten years that it has gotten kinda easy to think I have been on my own and without a lot of hope. This situation has cleaned that thought out of my mind and then some.

Posted by Andy at 07:34 PM | Comments (2)

February 12, 2006

Plugging Along

The last day and a half have been fairly uneventful. I'm still mainly just sitting in a recliner all day, occasionally talking to folks on the phone and eating. I hurt, but not excessively. My mind is still not entirely on track, so I have no particularly useful insights or witticisms to add today, but hopefully that will return over the course of the week.

I thank you all again for your support. Your calls and comments are really helping me feel great right now. I'd particularly like to thank my friend Mei-Ling for quietly taking off work and driving hours in order to visit on surgery day, and for outfitting me with everything I could possibly need in recovery short of scuba gear. You really know how to make a guy feel loved.

Posted by Andy at 01:55 PM | Comments (4)

February 09, 2006

Andy's surgery

Hi, Everyone,

Andy came through his surgery well, despite an episode of tachycardia. Because of that, he is staying tonight, which is a good thing for him, in #209 Marburg. Probably, he will be discharged tomorrow morning, but we are not certain at this time. The tumor was large, so the incision had to be extended a few inches, but the doctor is satisfied that it went well. The results of the 2nd tumor marker, (blood work from Wednesday),will not be available until Monday, but that is not relevant just now anyway. In summary, he has about 5 weeks to recover before a decision is made as to the next step. Your prayers are greatly appreciated and are felt most strongly by all of us. Andy's friend Mei Ling Johnson and her father spent the day with us and Mei finally got to see him for a few minutes before they had to leave, which was good medicine.

What wonderful friends/family all of you are! You cannot imagine how effective your caring has been in our lives. It certainly is more healing than any drugs or treatments and more pleasant, as well. God bless all of you as you continue to keep Andy in your prayers. He is in good spirits and full of trust in God.


Posted by Skip & Carol at 08:39 PM | Comments (3)

February 08, 2006

It's Official

We went in for blood-work and an appointment with urologist Craig Rogers today at 12:15. An hour or so later my blood was drawn and we got upstairs. After another three hours I got to see the doc, who had already scheduled me for surgery tomorrow morning. We finally got to the car at 5pm after more blood tests were completed, and I am writing this, exhausted, after basically just walking in the door.

The blood test results today confirmed that the tumor in my right testis is cancerous, though the type is yet to be determined officially. After an extremely brief examination, Dr. Rogers walked us through the steps of this process and outlined some details of the surgical procedure. An incision will be made above the affected region somewhere on the right of my groin and the cancerous testis will be removed through it. The procedure is often outpatient, but I think I'm going to be staying a day due to my CFS problems. I requested that consideration and I think it's likely to happen. If I stay over I'll probably be in the Marburg building, but I'm not certain of anything right now.

After the surgery, I'll go back in a week to have the dressing removed, and I won't know anything conclusive about whether or not the problem has spread until a month after the procedure, at which point I will have further blood-work to re-test the presence of the tumor marker(s). If my blood is clear, I'll just be observed. If not, I'll have to get chemotherapy and possibly other treatments and things unfold.

So, here's where I am...

The recovery rate for testicular cancer is about 99%, so that is good. That said, I am still extremely concerned about making a recovery from surgery, and further concerned by the prospect of treatments that, by their very nature, wear down the body even more. I am also angry that I had to go through a roughly five hour process today just to have my blood drawn and have a fairly brief consult. I feel I get absolutely no consideration as a person with CFS going through something like this, because no one at any point ever made any attempt to expedite the process, have me get the blood-work done at the same time as my other blood draws, or anything else. I further feel that this consult could have essentially taken place over the phone, legal requirements aside. The position in which I was placed today is much the same as requiring a wheelchair-bound patient to walk up 5 flights of steps to get testing done, then back down for the appointment, then back up again for more testing. I am as tired now I think as I was after the wedding I described on my blog in mid-October, and I have to go in for surgery tomorrow morning at 8:30am.

I was afraid I was going to just totally lose it coming out of Hopkins today, and I did briefly, but as I have found on countless prior occasions, God granted me just enough to get through. After my consultation I was sent back downstairs for what I assume amounts to pre-surgical blood testing, and my technician, a mostly bald, middle-aged African American man, was incredibly friendly and conversational at a time that it just had to happen. I would like to submit his name to the Hospital just to tell them how important it was, but I don't know if I can get that information or not. We talked a little about life, he brought up politics, and by the time I left I was much better equipped to handle the car ride home and the evening still ahead.

So, it's quarter of seven now as I wrap this up. Please pray for me. I am really scared about getting through the recovery from this surgery due to my energy level right now. When I get this tired I often get "regular sick" as I tend to call it, and that would be just horrendous at a time like this. Please pray that I'll get through it, and please also pray that this will be the end of it. Please also do what you can to keep me busy without a big energy requirement attached, as I have found it nigh-impossible to think about anything other than this since I received first word on Thursday. Somehow I am going to get through this surgery and come out shining. My will to live is not remotely reduced despite my physical condition, and I know I'll get just enough at each step to be ok.

I thank you all profusely for your comments over the past day or two. I have commented in return, but you might not realize that if you didn't check for yourself. You can call the house (410) 255-2308 for any information you need. Our answering machine is misleading and generic, but rest assured it is us. If you leave a number I'm sure my folks will get back to you as quickly as they are able.

Goodnight everybody.

Posted by Andy at 06:50 PM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2006

Important Health News

Before you read any further, I ask you all to read this article, written by Christine Miserandino in 2003. She has done a beautiful job of describing a vague concept to most, and hope you can get some understanding from the reading. Now to the meat of this message. It is not particularly kid-friendly, so I have provided you with the option to continue reading or not at your discretion.

As you may or may not be aware, a few weeks ago, I visited a new doctor in Reston, VA to try a new treatment approach for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Neurally Mediated Hypotension. I received a routine physical as part of my visit, and was sent for a sonogram due to an enlarged right testis. On Thursday (the 2nd of February) I learned that the sonogram showed possible signs of testicular cancer. I must see a specialist this Wednesday the 8th and in all likelihood have it removed in short order. At that point they will complete a biopsy and I will learn more about what is going on.

For those of you interested in the technical, here is the report:

The right testicle is enlarged measuring approximately 7 x 4 x 4 cm and is near completely replaced by mass with heterogeneous predominantly hypoechoic echotexture and diffuse increased vascularity. Appearance is consistent with testicular neoplasm, probably seminoma. The right epididymis, left testicle and epididymis appeared normal.

Before I found out about all of this I was exhausted. I have been struggling to research and cook healthy recipes following a particular dietary regimen, trying to learn about occupational therapy, exploring how to properly fix the little house next door so that I might move in, pursuing copyright process for my card line, rebuilding my small-weight and stationary biking routines, and attempting to start driving again as well as getting a hobby involving about eight people off the ground. It is fair to say that I have used up all of my "spoons" for the last few months and then some, and now I have to face recovery from surgery and undoubtedly a whole battery of tests to follow.

But somehow I'm going to make it. Whenever something really nasty has come up in the past, I've always instinctively tapped into a sort of "emergency energy reserve," and I have no doubt I will do the same in this situation. While I face a sort of undefined fear for the future, I have no regrets or reservations about the way I have lived to date, and that helps immensely. At present I must simply wait until a final judgment is given, but once this happens I will pursue all necessary measures relentlessly as I do with everything else in my life. Faith and self-confidence make a powerful duo even in the worst of times.

So, if you don't mind, say a prayer for me tonight that I might have enough "spoons" in-hand to get through all of this ok, and possibly another that, after more comprehensive testing is complete, everything might turn out to be not such a big deal afterall.

Thanks everybody.

Posted by Andy at 06:19 PM | Comments (6)

September 11, 2005

New Arrival

Hello all,

Meghan Marie Mosmiller was born on Thursday, September 8 at 5:50 pm... She weighed in at six pounds eight ounces and was 19 inches.. Mom and baby are both doing Great... take care everyone.

Love, Mark

Posted by Mark & Nicole at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2005

A New Mosmiller!

Meghan was born on September 8, 2005 at 5:50pm... Six pounds eight ounces...19 inches... Mom and baby are doing Great. Love to all,


Meghan Mosmiller

Posted by Andy at 09:38 PM | Comments (1)

June 27, 2005

Chris Broke His Wrist

I just learned that Chris took a fall and broke his wrist, apparently not cleanly. It can't be set till Thursday either. Let's keep him in our prayers and hope that everything turns out alright.

Posted by Andy at 09:32 PM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2005

Uncle Walter Has Passed Away

As I am certain everyone in the family is aware, Uncle Water has passed away, with viewing and services to be held over the next few days. Due to age and proximity I never really got to know Uncle Water much at all, but I think it would be nice if people would take a few minutes and post their memories here for everyone to see. I am happy to assist any of you with this, so feel free to email me with any questions you may have.

Posted by Andy at 03:43 PM | Comments (0)

March 18, 2005

Skip & Carol's Owl Trip

Have you looked at the pictures that Skip took of our recent trip? We made daring trek to Toronto just before Valentine's Day to travel with an expert birding guide, Tom Hince, observing a rare (about once every 15-20 years) "invasion" of Great Gray Owls in the Ottawa area of Ontario.

It was cold, but we were properly outfitted with many layers of clothing and did great. Honestly, this was a trip of a lifetime and will not soon be forgotten. We saw 25 different Great Grays, who had moved south from the boreal forest because their only food source, the red-backed vole, had disappeared. In Ontario, they were eating mice, (we actually observed them catching and eating them.) Unbelievable! Thousands of these giants, the largest owls in North America, died of starvation, but others were eking out an existence and would probably be able to return to their northern homes. In addition to the Great Grays, we saw 6 other owl species, Boreal, Snowy, (wow, what a sight!), Long-eared, Short-eared, Northern Hawk Owls, and Barred.

In all, I was able to add 20 new bird species to my life list! (I was hoping to get 5 new birds.) The most spectacular was the Spruce Grouse, nestled in a spruce tree (what else?), eating the needles. What a sight!

It will be difficult to top this in birding trips, but, of course, we will try. It is wonderful to feel so close to nature and to appreciate all the more, the wondrous world that God has created.

See you all soon at Michael's.

Enjoy the pictures! Carol

Posted by Skip & Carol at 10:35 PM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2005

Owl Watching

My folks just got back late last night from a birding trip to Toronto. Apparently food is scarce farther north where many breeds of owl normally live, so they've all been driven south. I'll post some pictures from their trip soon, and hopefully get one or both of them to post something about their trip on their page of the site.

Posted by Andy at 01:48 AM | Comments (1)

December 04, 2004


Dad's in the hospital - GBMC. Went in on Thursday with a diagnosis of blockages in the brain and evidence of two small strokes in the past few weeks.
Seems to be doing OK. His heart rate was very low today. They decided he needed a pace maker and installed one almost immediately.
Hopes to come home on Monday
Message came from Mike by E mail yesterday.

Posted by Skip & Carol at 06:30 PM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2004

Email Notification is Live

I didn't really get enough comments to get a sense for whether or not people wanted email notification, but the few I got all supported the idea, so I went for it.

Whenever anyone posts to the home page of the family website, everyone will receive an email to that effect. In addition, whenever someone posts to one of the family subsections of the site, everyone who is a member of that subfamily will receive an email.

If you would like to receive notification when I post to the site on the "Andy" page, please let me know via email or by leaving a comment on the site. The same holds true for those who want to be notified when people outside their section of the family posts to their section of the page. For example, if you want to receive email telling you when someone in the Wilson family posts to the "Mary, Clyde & Family" page, let me know that and I'll add you to the list.

The one minor quirk of this system is that you'll receive email when you yourself post to the site. Redundant, but unavoidable.

You should all be receiving an email about this message, so I'll repeat that a help section is now up on the site which walks through the posting process from beginning to end. Further topics will be covered in the future as I see fit, and upon request. Just let me know what you want.

Thanks everybody.

Posted by Andy at 10:57 PM | Comments (2)

November 10, 2004

Help Section is Up

As you probably noticed, there's a new button at the top of our page. You can view the help section for a step by step tutorial on posting, which will be expanded later on to include other relevant topics. As always, any questions you may have can be emailed to me directly, or left as a comment on this post.

Posted by Andy at 10:07 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2004

Clyde Home Again

Clyde came home late this afternoon and is doing as well as can be expected. He is still in pain, but the blood is finally in balance, and the incision is still closing very nicely.

Posted by Mary & Clyde at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2004

Clyde Hospital Update

Dr. Williams called tonight. Clyde has a small vein in his back by his left kidney that is bleeding. For some reason, people on cumiden or any blood thinners can get into this problem, and they don't know why. It is also very hard to detect. It's a minor procedure to correct the problem. They are stopping all the thinners, and tomorrow are putting a tube down his throat into his abdomin with a filter or an umbrella on it. This will stop any clots which might form from going through his heart and loudging into his lung, and will stay permanently. It's really a filter but Dr Williams said an umbrella, because if a clot does form the blood will still get through to the heart. As a precautionery measure, is calling in an orthopedic doctor to look at the hip. And you guys know me. Just had to start up with the bacterial infection again today.

Posted by Mary & Clyde at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2004

Mary & Andy

A happy birthday wish to Mary and Andy (9/29). You both deserve a wonderful day......

Posted by Jim & Susanne at 08:30 PM | Comments (1)

September 23, 2004


As Andy was nice enough to tell all of you Clyde is home and doing fairly well. We went to our doctor this afternoon, and he ordered the blood work the doctors from UM wanted and also blood work he wanted. Clyde keeps saying he doesn't feel good and breaking out in sweats, but the doctor said he really thinks it's from the infection in the wound. Hopefully we'll have the results tomorrow. Susanne had a historectomy yesterday and all went well. She came home today.

Posted by Mary & Clyde at 09:33 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2004

Clyde Is Home

Uncle Clyde is home as of yesterday evening. Apparently he's doing pretty well and even made an excursion up the road today. A nurse is coming twice a day to administer Heparin, an anticoagulant.

Posted by Andy at 07:15 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2004

Clyde Update

Dad seems to be doing ok. He may be released tomorrow (9/21). He's been taking medicine for several days to help with the blood clot and infection. As one would expect, he's ready to leave the hospital.

Posted by Jim & Susanne at 08:16 PM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2004

Clyde Update

Uncle Clyde had to be admitted into hospital again today. At first he was diagnosed with a "minor" heart attack, but later it was revealed he has a blood clot (I do not know where.) He also has fluid around his lungs and possible infection of the surgical wound from his kidney removal. The doctor may have to go in with a needle to extract fluid from the area, but that is yet to be determined.

Posted by Andy at 11:08 PM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2004

Clyde is now home....

After spending 4 days in the hospital, dad came home on Sunday. He appears to be doing relatively well (considering the removal of his left kidney). Thanks to all for your thoughts and prayers.

Regards - Jim

Posted by Jim & Susanne at 06:53 PM | Comments (0)