Why the Redwood Forest slideshow?

Judy had always loved trees, and in 2008 we spent some time among the California Redwoods. Some of the ingredients in Judy's chemo cocktail were derived from trees (not Redwoods but Yews). We always knew that Judy loved the trees, and the trees got their chance to repay her affection.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Three weeks later ...

For the past three weeks, I have been intending to write this post but simply could not get myself to do so. The memories are so acute, the wound still has no signs of scabs, the pain is just so real.

Little time goes by that I don't think of Judy, in some way. It is still so unfathomable that she is gone forever. Surely, so convince me my emotions, she will just come around the corner in the empty hallway. That ringing phone at 6:30 p.m, that must be she telling me she is going to be late from work, again, because of an unexpected crisis. The sound of the door to the dining room that I left slightly ajar when I went to sit in the yard, that must be Judy coming out with a mojito for me, right?

Those are my emotions whispering. My intellect, however, tells me loud and clear that all this will never happen. Never, never, never again. And that is what is so hard to deal with. The finality of it all. Oh, how I h-a-t-e it!

Three weeks ago tomorrow, we had Judy's beautiful service and her unforgettable Celebration of Life in the park. I was humbled by the huge number of friends who showed up—some of whom had started the long drive to Lubbock in the early wee hours. Others flew in to not only pay their last respects but also support me. Dear friends, I cannot tell you how much this meant to me. I had no idea how many people Judy had affected in her life, and I had no idea of the profound impact that she had on so many of them. Actually, I do not think that Judy herself ever had any idea. She would have been embarrassed and would have wanted to brush the attention aside, but, knowing her, privately she would have been proud to have had a positive impact on not just one but so many.

If anything, these past few weeks have shown me even more how, well, good it is to be a good person. Judy was a good person. She lived a good life. She did good deeds. She was "good" incarnate, indeed.

I believe all of us who knew Judy have learned immensely from all this, in various ways. She touched us all, and in that sense her life continues even in her death. In her own way she made sure that we'd be better ourselves because she taught us so well in ways we can't forget. What a truly remarkable human being Judy was.

This blog will stay open to serve as an inspiration to those who may seek it. In the weeks to come I will add more photos and other mementos to celebrate Judy's time with us, but I do not think there will be too many more posts like this. If anything, I hope you will guide others to this blog, people who might benefit from some of the material that can be found here. I may add a small area that allows you to keep up with my future path, if you so choose—or maybe I'll start a blog for myself or use Facebook or some such tool. We'll see. No hurry now. The healing needs to start, and that will take time, lots of time.

Thank you for partaking in our long and arduous journey. Judy and I love you all.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Farewell to Judy

Dearest friends around the world,

This morning at 7:50, Judy finished the valiant fight that she had fought for the past two years. I was at her side—holding her hand and telling her how much I loved her and thanking her for everything she had brought into my life—when her breathing became lighter and lighter and she finally slipped away. The sun had just risen over the horizon and touched the room.

Judy's last few days in the hospital had been filled with her fiercely fighting the cancer. It was not a pretty battle, and I don't intend to belabor the issue. Those of you who saw her in those last few days know how hard she fought, how much resistance she put up, how exhausted she must have been. The nurses kept telling me that they could not believe her strength, physically and spiritually. Well, those of you who had the great fortune to know her and be touched by her know what a tough little package she was.

When Dr. Phillips told me about her failing kidneys and liver on Tuesday afternoon, it became clear that nothing was going to stop the inevitable, and it was easy to decide to not try to prolong her agony but make her as comfortable as possible. Nevertheless, her tremors and fight continued as never was a quitter.

On my request, Tuesday night our friend Andy Y. offered Judy and about 15 of our closest friends communion, something that I felt was important for Judy at this final juncture of her life. Even though she could no longer speak, all of us saw how much comfort she drew from this act. All of us witnessed how she accepted that the fight was over. The speed of her final path seems to be testimony that with that acceptance came a way for her to let go and leave us.

Judy was always worried about others, and she was worried about how I would fare. Well, I don't know about the future, but today I was OK. I did not feel the haze and helplessness that I experienced when we were given the first diagnosis of cancer two years ago. Her final ten hours with us gave me closure, too, and even though I shed hard, hard tears in our last private moments in the same room this morning, I felt surprisingly at peace with everything that had happened.

I would like to ask all those of you who have traveled with us on this long journey to do something for yourselves and for all of us—and many of you may believe for Judy as well: Would you please share how Judy affected you and your life through who she was? We will be having a Celebration of Her Life this Saturday, October 2, at 12:00 noon in Chas. A Guy park (87th Street and Memphis Avenue) here in Lubbock, and we would like to share your comments with all of our friends who we hope will show up. Please send your comments to Liza who has graciously taken over the task of compiling it all. Her e-mail is l.muse@sbcglobal.net. Please send whatever fits into an e-mail!

We will have a memorial service at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday morning at Judy's church, St. Paul's on the Plains Episcopal, 1510 Ave. X. With the celebration at noon everybody should be able to slip into attire fitting for the kind of get-together that our archetypal party-lady Judy would have been at the forefront of organizing. There will be food, and there will be neutral plastic cups if you'd like to bring your own beverage. Bring your kids, because Judy loved them as you know.

And finally, since so many of our friends have already asked: Please do not send any flowers. Judy enjoyed them, but she enjoyed even more feeding the homeless on Thursday mornings at her church. So, if you would like to support that ongoing effort (and I know they were always short on funds), please feel free to direct any donations in her memory to St. Paul's Neighbor-to-Neighbor Ministry, c/o St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1510 Avenue X, Lubbock, TX 79401.

Dear friends, I hope you will be able to join us on Saturday. Nothing would make me more happy than to share my sorrow and my joy, my tears and my laughter with you at both the service and our celebration of the one that we all loved: my beloved friend, partner, buddy, and wife, JuJu.

In love,


Monday, September 27, 2010

Judy continues her hospital stay

I wish I could give you better news, but that's unfortunately not the case. Judy remains hospitalized, and her current condition is worrisome. Late last week, Judy started to become confused and anxious, and the truth of the matter right now is that she doesn't respond very well. She sleeps very lightly for a few minutes at a time, then wakes up and looks around for a few seconds, and then sleeps again. Only occasionally does she respond to verbal stimuli. She says a few words, but not much makes sense. She is having a tough time with severe leg cramping that sets in when she gets agitated. A CT scan of the brain has not shown any abnormalities or any spreading of the cancer, so we have to assume that this is an aftereffect of some of the massive drugs that she was given last week.

Whether it was my coming back to her last night from Augusta or whether it is a natural improvement, last night was Judy's best in several. She was much calmer and less agitated than before. One of us has to be constantly at her side to prevent her from removing her tubes or getting out of bed. Lorane and I took shifts last night staying with her.

I have talked to Dr. Phillips and Dr. Howell, and both hope that Judy will make a turn for the better in the next few days. I am very worried. Actually, I am devastated by how fast things went so far south. Right now, all I can do is support her and hope that she will pull through. She is still fighting, and as long as she is, so will I.

I will try to update when we see new developments.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday morning update

Just briefly: Judy spent a better night than the past few, and it appears as if the antibiotics are finally starting to kick in as her fever seems to be much, much better. Dr. Phillips is putting her some other pain meds that we hope will avoid some of her tremors and other side effects. Candice is with her right now. Things are looking a bit better than they have over the past few days.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Time for an update

Apologies, but the past 2 1/2 days since coming back from Syracuse have been unpleasant and not conducive to updating the blog. I've been scrambling for good news. Here it is:

That's the beautiful birthday "cake" that our dear Martha cooked up for Judy. Isn't it pretty? Even now, close to a week after her b'day, the flowers are in the best shape.

Otherwise, there isn't much good stuff to report. Judy has been hit big and hard: A blood infection; what appears to be a urinary tract infection; and what we hope is c. difficile, a rather nasty bacterial infection that is treatable, while its impostor is worse news. Our hopes lie with Alan's black magic as far as cooking up the most effective antibiotics cocktails is concerned.

Judy is having a rough go at it. Ever the fighter, she cons the nurses (hell, even Alan!) into allowing her to indulge in a tiny piece of Popsicle. You should see the glee in her eyes and the pleasure on her face when she sucks on that precious little bit of taste.

I hope to see Dr. Phillips in the morning and get a better idea of where we stand. For those of you who like to press your thumbs (as most Germans do in a situation like this), this is a good time to exercise your digits; if you put more credence into the power of prayer, Judy will know that you are with her; and if you subscribe to neither, well, think about how nice it will be when she comes home and resumes spreading love and more love by being the JudyAustin we all know.


Here This was the beautiful birthday

Friday, September 17, 2010

No way to spend your 55th birthday

Well, folks, instead of bringing you hoped-for happy news I have to tell you that Judy had to check herself in to Covenant once again tonight. On the eve of her 55th birthday, Dr. Phillips decided that her continuing abdominal cramps and vomiting indicate another partial obstruction of the bowel, and that means back to the hospital. I had left yesterday for Syracuse, and Judy was supposed to be in Palo Duro tomorrow for the TMBRA race—alas, Amarillo got hit big time by remnants of whatver the last hurricane was called, and the race was canceled. And now she's at Covenant, back on the 5th floor. Damn!

I just got off the phone with Alan, who will look in on her tonight in his capacity as attending ID physician. If it weren't for having him (and Martha) as close friends as well as professional sounding boards, I don't know how my head would be able to handle all this.

Once I know more about the expected treatment, etc. I'll post more info. In the meantime, Happy Birthday to my dear Judy tomorrow!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Slowly and, we hope, surely ...

Well, I'd be lying if I were to say that it was a great week. After getting home Monday evening and a wonderful reunion with Judy, things took another turn for the worse when cramps and nausea made Judy's life damn miserable on Tuesday and Wednesday. She said that the pain was as bad as any since coming back from the hospital, and all I could do was just be there. We have no idea what was/still is wrong. On Wednesday she had an X-ray taken and blood work done: nada. Thankfully, Thursday the tide turned and she started to feel better, and today there were just occasional cramps and no vomiting. You need to understand that she didn't eat anything for the better part of a week, and I am worried about that, obviously. Coaxing her into trying a bite of water melon or the like is just not much fun when you know it's going to be brought back up in a retching fit of nausea.

This cancer thing is just not much fun anymore, and I think it is time to quit. I think, Judy concurs.

As you can see from the pic, times have changed a tiny bit. Today (Friday) Judy felt the best since I've come back from Canada. Susan and the girls came by, and the giggles were big during the Popsicle session. Later, Judy and I went to the mall and bought a few blouses and some pants for Judy to wear at work, reflecting the new physical realities. We walked back after Susan had dropped us off at Dillards. Judy was pleasantly tuckered afterward.

That's where we are right now. Let's hope that things continue to look up.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Many improvements, and I'm going home!

Usually I don't post photos of myself on Judy's blog, but tonight is different: I just finished my longest officiating stint ever—one week at the Windham World Cup, one week at the Mountain Bike World Championships in Quebec (in the photo I am controlling the tech/feed zone in the cross-country while an Austrian rider comes through and a Russian soigneur waits for her rider), two weeks total—and I am ready to go home to see my sweet wife! I've been in twice- or thrice-daily contact with Judy via Skype, and it seems as if she's on the right trajectory after this menses horribilis that we've lived through.

I am going to leave Mont Sainte-Anne with a 5:45 a.m. shuttle and will board my first flight (of three) at Quebec City shortly after 9 a.m. Man, I'm ready. Two weeks of non-stop cycling competition do have an effect. I can't imagine doing three weeks at the Tour de France, either as a commissaire or a Doping Control Officer. You may think it's all glorious, but there's a lot of grunt work, too. But, then just think: Judy did five weeks in the hospital!

So, let's hope that things will be happy for the days to come (which is not to say that I didn't thoroughly enjoy the experience of the past two weeks—but the circumstance could have been better, obviously).

Here's to the future!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Problems still linger

Here's a quick update on Judy, written while I am at the Mountain Bike World Championships in Mont Sainte-Anne, Quebec: After two great days at home Judy started having cramps (and diarrhea) during the weekend, and things aren't all cleared up yet. Alan did some lab work on her and is treating her with antibiotics, and he is hopeful that this will take care of it. It seems to be an endless roller coaster, but Judy is tough and hanging in there. Even though I obviously find everything here at the race extremely interesting and educational in my development as a commissaire, I am counting the days when I am finally back in Lubbock next Monday.

So long,


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Judy is finally back home!

After exactly five weeks in the hospital, Judy was released yesterday afternoon and she is continuing her recovery at home. I talked to her yesterday right after she made it home, and she was incredibly stoked to be at the house. Emily is staying with her for a few days, and friends and neighbors will be looking in on her while I am here in new York at the World Cup and next week in Quebec at the World Championships.

Thanks for all thse vistis and phone calls while she was at Covenant! You guys were a big, big help!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thanks to all

(Judy ate only a bit of this fine pizza pie, but it's a start!)

I am finally getting to think about really going home, and boy am I ready. When the drain in my surgical wound finally slows down (which should be in the next day or so) I have to wait for two more days of antibiotics. I continue to thank each of you for your thoughts, prayers, and good wishes. This has been a difficult journey, but it is made easier with the incredible support I receive from each of you.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Catheter gone, NG tube out, bag a-fillin'

The past few days have brought a lot of improvement for Judy. Even though she is still in room 555, things are looking up. Without the catheter and the NG tube, getting in and out of the bed is much easier. Also, Judy has started to consume clear liquids (jello, broth, popsicles), and that in turn is adding to the bowel activity that started a few days ago. She is still in the learning curve regarding the colostomy bag, but there is great help and advice from the nurses. We don't have any idea yet when she can finally leave, but I think we're getting closer.

Dr. Phillips just made his rounds and was happy with Judy's progress, and she will start some more solid foods soon. Stay tunedJudy is ready to start the real fight, against the damn cancer, soon again.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Every day brings some improvement

Here we are, three full days after surgery, and Judy is getting better by the day. She manages to get out of the bed, despite all the tubes that still siphon off ugly-looking fluids from various parts of the body. Amazing what medicine can do. But it's still her body (and her spirit) that complete the healing, and that does take time.

In the photo you see her enjoying her "hair wash" during our "shower" session this morning. This shower cap has shampoo and cream rinse in it, and, like those disinfectant fluids, there's no need for rinsing or drying. Pretty cool. She enjoyed the feel of it all, and you see her smile.

We still can't tell too many funny things around her because the tummy still hurts, and she just can't laugh. But things are looking up, and the docs appear happy. The blood infection that she's been carrying for a while now has been identified and the treatment seems to do the trick as the fever is very slight now.

I am running off to Seattle in a few minutes, but we have friends who will drop in on her and stay with her over the weekend. Things look much better than just a few days ago, and we're both OK with the thought (and reality) of the colostomy.

Thank you all for your comments and e-mails, which I have read (and in the case of our German friends) translated to her. You mean so much to her!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

24 hours later

Judy spent a rather good night after yesterday's surgery. She said that my being her made her feel comfortable. In the photo above you see Candice (who arrived this morning) fanning her with the little memento that Emily brought back for Judy from Spain. Judy is still running a slight fever, and one moment she's hot, one moment cold. Dr. Phillips came through in the morning, and he was very positive and upbeat about both the surgery as well as Judy's looks this morning. Obviously, we have a long road ahead of us, but Judy's spirits and attitude were strong today, and even though we can expect more set-backs, we're ready to tackle recovery.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Second surgery

I wish I could tell you that we're on the way home. Well, not just yet.

Judy developed complications over the past few days, and a scan yesterday revealed some bowel leakage. We assumed that it was the area that Dr. Phillips had bypassed, but, as it turned out, it was an area close to the rectum. Dr. Phillips was totally surprised by this location and ordered a second scan this morning. This afternoon, Judy had her second surgery in two days.

She has successfuly made it through this surgery. I just debriefed with Dr. Phillips, and here's what he found: In the colon area close to the rectum Judy had developed since the first surgery a fairly large abscess, in area at least 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter. There was a tiny tear or hole in the colon, and Dr. Phillips is not sure about the origin—could have been a result of the first operation and all the handling of the bowel, could have been something else. There were no problems with the bypass of the small intestine. Unfortunately, as is pretty much standard procedure in a scenario like this, Dr. Phillips had to perform a colostomy.

We knew going into this surgery today that this was a distinct possibility, and Dr. Phillips told me that he had a long, serious talk with Judy before operating on her. He repeated to me that the true enemy is the cancer, and that that's the big battle. I agree. Chemo made Judy lose her hair, and then it came back, only to be thinned again by chemo. We will adjust to the colostomy, and who knows, once we have gotten rid of the cancer it may be reversed.

Judy is still in recovery, and I know that when she comes back she will want to know what happened. I am not looking forward to having to tell her, but the news will eventually become just another twist in our new reality. We will meet this head-on, and we won't give in. She's my Judy, whatever they have to do with her.

I want to thank Donna S. for being with me in the waiting room this afternoon. Tonight I will be here in the hospital room, and I hope that poor lil' ol' Jude is not going to be in too much pain and misery. Tomorrow morning, Candice will come up from Midland for the day, and I am sure that her presence will help Judy heal physically and psychologically.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Another weekend in the hospital

It would have been much nicer to be at home and enjoy one of the last "free" weekends of the summer with a mojito and the smell of BBQ, but instead we're here in room 555, with still no real estimate on when Judy may come home.

The past three days have seen ups and downs. Yesterday was a really crappy day when first the damn NG tube came loose and slipped out and Judy later had to deal with a blood transfusion. Fortunately, her bowels have started to work (barely) enough so that the NG tube did not have to be re-inserted, but she battled nausea all day because the bile was just building up and that poor lil' ol' colon of hers could barely keep up. The blood transfusion caused Judy some tremendous pain: Since she is still on the liquid nutrition (TPN), which is routed through her port (together with the regular IV), the blood transfusion went through a vein in her left hand. Judging from her silent suffering, it must have been bloody painful, and after an hour and a half of very slow flow she couldn't take the pain any longer. The nurse then decided to suspend the TPN and continue the transfusion through the port, and that was a huge relief. Judy described the pain as a constant 8.5 on the 10 scale. And we all know she's a tough cookie. It was pretty gruesome sitting there with her for those 90 minutes.

Today things were much better, at least initially. The nausea was mostly gone in the morning. Unfortunately, Judy has been running a fever that has been going up and down, as high as 101.7. She had a chest X-ray and a urinalysis, but we haven't heard anything about the results. We're just hoping that we don't get into another infection situation as we did after her surgery in 2008. Oh man, that'd be pretty devastating, and Alan is still on vacation.

Judy is now allowed to consume liquids, including popsicles. But she has to be careful about the nausea, so it's all a balancing act. (The nurse just took her temperature, and we're a bit down at exactly 101.) Also, the staples that were keeping her very well-healed incision together were removed this morning.

As you can see from the picture, some beautiful flowers have arrived here at the hospital. Yesterday, a huge arrangement was delivered, coming from our friends at TMBRA, the Texas Mountain Bike Racing Association. The other, very beautiful arrangement came from the Amarillo-based parents of our neighbor across the street, Megan. Thank you so much, folks! There have been other arrangements and gifts over these past two weeks, and we want to thank all of you who have thought of Judy and brightened her hospital room and spirits.

So, the situation on this hot Saturday afternoon here in Lubbock is better than a few days ago. Things are getting better. But overall, it's a bit like the Dow Jones: There are those positive days, and then there are those losses that wipe out a bunch of capital; and then there are gains again. Overall, the trend is up, and we can't let the micro movements get too much to us.

So, let's see whether we can get the fever under control, cut out the nausea, and start consuming more and more "real" nourishment. Let's hope that the day when Judy can go home comes soon.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Nausea, NG tubes, and friends

Cancer is not a good thing, and cancer surgery isn't a walk in the park. Here we are, six days after Doc Phillips gave Judy another "tummy tuck," and the bowels still haven't woken up. It was rough day for Judy, who battled nausea most of the time. The damn NG tube sometimes works, and sometimes it just doesn't seem to be doing what it's supposed to do. (Kinda like some of the nurses....) As a result, that green bile accumulates and Judy feels like throwing it up—or she does.

The incision looks great—clean, no visual hint of infection, and apparently healing up a storm. Judy has a much easier time getting in and out of the bed, but the nausea is a constant that keeps her from being more active. We walked this afternoon on the oncology floor, but it sure was a struggle.

So, what makes it all bearable? The friends. Some live close-by and can make it to the hospital, just like Liz does every day. She is a tremendous comfort to Judy, and to me as well: I can leave for a while to do some of the stuff that needs to be taken care of. Our neighbor Irene stopped by today, despite the pain that any hospital visit must cause her. There were Mark, and Carol, and Jody with her dad, John. Sandi in Dallas would be here if she could, and there all those other well-wishers who post on the blog, e-mail, or leave a phone message. If I omitted someone, please forgive.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Cath's (yep, the one from Colorado's CJ Timing) e-mail today, letting us know that during this year's Tour de France her friends Judy and Cindy were remembered and showcased in a message on one of the roads where the peloton passed by:

And this is the location where this message was written on the pavement—coincidentally on the same route that Judy and I went on back in 1990 when we rode our tandem through France and Italy during Le Tour:

Thanks, Cath, for doing this for Judy. It brought tears to her eyes when I showed her your message!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I am doing well

Jürgen does such a good job keeping up with the blog, but it was my turn to thank each of you for you love and concern. I appreciate each of you so much. I am feeling better. I slept well last night. I plan to walk very soon this morning. Pain management is much better.

Thanks again for caring about me.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

The weekend update

Last night, after finally getting done with everything related to the Steelhead 70.3 triathlon for which I was the Head Referee (with a fabulous crew!), I called Judy one final time for the day. Progress has been slow, but there is progress, and from talking to Candice there's much more positive than negative. For the first time after surgery, Judy sat up yesterday and even walked to the door, pretty much exhausting her. The pain management seems to be better, too, with those spasm/cramp-like pains having been targeted by some sort of muscle relaxant. She still has a catheter because using a bed pan would not work too well yet, but let's hope that this will go in the next day or two as she progresses. The NG tube is still in place as the bowels haven't totally awakened yet.

Judy sounded tired but OK. We talked several times yesterday, and obviously we can't wait for me to get back to Lubbock late this afternoon. Her friend Lorane made it in from NM, which was a happy surprise for Judy as Lorane was not going to arrive until Sunday.

I haven't spoken to Judy this morning yet—the fact that Candi has turned off her cell phone (it's about 8:00 a.m.) is IMO a good sign since that the two are getting solid rest. After the last few days of little sleep, I, too, was able to get a healthy dose of zzzzs last night, and my final drive from Portage, IN (where I spent the night) to the O'Hare airport shouldn't be too bad.

More when I have another update.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Judy on the mend

A quick Friday morning update: Judy had some early problems last night with pain management but seems to be fairing much better now. I just talked to Candice, who spent the night with her in the hospital, and I talked to Judy as well, who sounded really good. Judy's output through the NG tube is minimal, which would indicate that "stuff" moves through her bowels. She's allowed to have some ice chips--little things, but they all make things look positive. Let's hope that by the time I get back to Lubbock on Sunday she's off the tube and her bowels have started to take over.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Surgery appears to be successful!

I just got the word from Judy's sis-in-law that it appears that this afternoon's surgery was successful! Candice (in the above photo with Judy pre-op) said that Judy was for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours in surgery this afternoon. According to her surgeon and oncologist, Dr. Phillips, there were various "adhesions" and scar tissue in the area of her small intestine. According to what I was told, Dr. Phillips bypassed some of these sections of bowel, deciding to keep them in place to help in the absorption of nutrition but also making it possible for digesting materials to pass through. I haven't seen the diagram that he drew, nor am I totally sure what exactly he did, but one thing is for sure: Judy apparently didn't lose too much blood (he didn't mention a transfusion), she is NOT in ICU but will return to her room, the doc said that she appeared to fare well during surgery, and probably one of the most dreaded things didn't happen: She will no wake up with a colostomy bag. That possibility was brought to the forefront yesterday when she signed her consent forms. So no, NO colostomy!

I am updating the blog from the Admiral's club in DFW, on the way to Chicago. Let me plug American Airlines really, really big here: The staff in Lubbock refunded Judy's ticket not only for today but also for the trip to Seattle in two weeks, without the customary fees! And not only that, they changed my return from Chicago from Monday to Sunday, no fees or hassles. I tell you, that's customer service, and that's why we've been flying this airline for more than 25 years! In a time of such great stress they did everything they could to minimize our troubles. Thanks, AA!

And thanks to Candice and Becky O., who made me feel comfortable today while waiting with Judy in the hospital for her to be wheeled into the OR. I can't express how much I appreciate their understanding and support and help.

I may or may not update once again tonight, once I get to the hotel in Chicago. To all of Judy's friends and supporters out there: Please send whatever it is that you are good at sending--thoughts, prayers, vibes, mainly love.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Surgery on Thursday

We just got the word that Judy will undergo exploratory surgery to remove possible adhesions in the small intestine. Dr. Phillips will do the surgery, most likely late in the afternoon since there are several more scheduled surgeries ahead of her.

Please keep Judy in your thoughts and prayers and wish her an "easy" surgery tomorrow and a quick recovery.

I will try to post updates when possible.


Up and down, obstructed and not, surgery or go home?

Those are the questions that keep swirling. The past few days have brought with them positives and negatives, and we're still in limbo in regard to what will happen.

As of this morning, Dr. Phillips still held out hope that the bowel obstruction (which on Sunday appeared to have been resolved but which then re-appeared and was confirmed by some major scans yesterday) will dissipate. However, he also made clear that if surgery were needed (which he really is not keen on), he will be able to do so pretty much at a moment's notice. By Friday morning, it seems, we should know which direction we are heading.

This morning, Judy's NG tube was clamped off to see how she would fare. She's walked around, and we're hoping that the bowels will show more activity than just the faint gurgling that has been detected.

The fact that I have to leave town tomorrow to be the Head Referee for the Steelhead 70.3 Ironman triathlon in benton Harbor, MI, is not helping. However, if it does come to surgery, Judy's sister-in-law Candice will come to Lubbock on short notice. At least I'll be back on Monday.... Let's hope for the best. Maybe surgery will not be needed, after all, and Judy can go home this weekend.

I will update the blog as needed, of course.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Still hospitalized, but things are improving

After a long weekend at Covenant, Judy is starting to feel better. The very good news is that the bowel obstruction, according to the last scan, has dissipated and surgery no longer appears on the radar—we had been really worried about that prospect. The NG tube, which removes all that nasty, green slimy stuff that forms in the stomach and that later gets passed on to the intestines, apparently did the trick, as did her being on an IV and not receiving any food.

Dr. Phillips came through this morning, and he appears satisfied. Tomorrow's scheduled chemo will be postponed by a week. The immediate prospect calls for removal of the NG tube today (Monday) and then getting her back to using solid foods. She may be released from the hospital on Tuesday, but I think it will more likely be Wednesday.

Judy's spirits remain positive and up-beat, but of course there were a few bummed-out moments. I know she's ready to come home, but with her the big danger is always that she overdoes things. And since I will be traveling to Michigan this weekend by myself, there won't be anyone to make sure that she rests and takes it easy. Well, maybe for once she will be a good patient!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Quick hospital update

Judy has spent the past 24 hours in the hospital. We're hopeful that we may not face surgery for the bowel obstruction. At this point, she is hooked up to an IV, and an NG tube is supposed to take relieve the stomach and whatever it produces. The idea is to let her bowels rest, settle down, and start working again to clear out whatever is sitting in there. Let's hope it is as simple as that. Dr. Phillips saw her today and was quite positive; however, he only rolled his eyes when Judy asked whether she could travel with me next week to Michigan for the Steelhead 70.3. Oh well, she wouldn't be Judy if she didn't ask, right?

Her spirits are OK, and if you want to give her a buzz, the direct line to her room is 806-725-7555.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

After a good Vineman, we're back in the hospital

There are the good times, and then there are the less-good ones.

Before things started to go a bit south, Judy and I spent a long weekend in the Bay area and the California Wine Country, working once again one of our very, very favorite races: the Vineman 70.3. The flight out and our first night in Berkeley were marred by Judy's feeling very nauseated and just down-and-out. All that changed after a good night's rest, but we knew something was up when we learned Friday that Judy's CA-125 had more than doubled from 101 to 216 in the course of three weeks. Saturday and Sunday for the race Judy felt perfectly fine, and we thought that some of the recent bowel problems were finally nipped. Judy was in charge of the Pro Women's field on Sunday, and she did her usual great job. She later worked the transition zone and even helped out at the awards ceremony, and you wouldn't have known that this is a woman who has been butting heads with cancer for almost two years now.

Monday afternoon, on the way back to San Jose, she started to once again feel constipated and bloated, and Tuesday's flight home was only made easier because we were upgraded. We had arranged for Judy to have a CT scan on Thursday morning (today), a good thing since Wednesday she had a rough day at work and a really rough evening and night.

Just a short while after today's scan she was told that she'd be admitted to Covenant Lakeside this afternoon because of an "obstruction" that the scan revealed. Being the Judy that she is, she first finished another full day at work before we checked in at 6 p.m. Right now the charge nurse is taking up a lot of info, and we will see what the doc has to say tomorrow morning.

Until then, enjoy the pictures from our trip to California. The one below shows her with race director Russ' father, Jim, at the awards. The other pics were taken at Armstrong State Park, among her beloved Redwoods.


Monday, July 12, 2010

July 4th and World Cup celebrations

Time flies when one is "retired".... The above photo shows us with Emily (plus Alan and mother-in-law Martha senior in the background) on July 4. Alan's neighbor puts on an absolutely incredible fireworks show (lasting about an hour!!!), and the rains stopped just long enough here in Lubbock for us to enjoy the pyrotechnics. Judy was just oohing and aahing—it was truly amazing.

With Lubbock experiencing its wettest July ever it's been a real challenge to ride and engage in other outdoor activities. But yesterday we were spared the downpour, and our Sunday ride ended up at the house just in time for the World Cup Soccer Final. Judy, every the party-lady, had been unsuccessful in locating much-desired vuvuzuelas for us, but in the spirit of the game she did manage to find those cute little soccer-inspired beer cozies for us at the local Dollar Tree. She's a woman of many resources, not the least of which was spoiling Alan, Carl, and me with the best muffaletta this side of New Orleans!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Back from Albuquerque; CA-125 steady

With a few days' delay, here are a two pictures from last weekend's trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Judy, Emily, and I left Lubbock on Friday morning and made the 300+ mile drive from Lubbock. We hooked up with Alan and Martha, who drove in as well, and on Saturday we went up to Sandia Peak where we hiked in the cool air and enjoyed the tremendous vistas of Albuquerque some 2,000 feet below. Emily experienced her first-ever picnic after our hike!

Alan and I enjoyed the beer at Kelly's, Il Vicino's, and Marble Brewing (and I for my part had a chance to visit the rather new Hallenbrick Brewery and Vicino's taproom on Friday, before A&M showed up). Albuquerque is definitely a hop-head's paradise!

A few days earlier we had received word that Judy's CA-125 has been holding essentially steady over the past four weeks, dropping from 103 to 101. Maybe after this current round of chemo it will finally drop into the double digits!

For this weekend we're planning nothing but the Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs here in Lubbock, where I will offer my services as bike mechanic during the expo on Friday and Saturday and then put on the head referee's shirt for the race on Sunday; Judy, of course, will referee as well. The temperatures are supposed to be soaring again, just as they have been over the past few weeks—mid to high 90s. Uff!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Monkey Cake

So here it is, unveiled two days before little Allie's birthday: the Monkey Cake that she wanted her JuJu to make for her!

Two-year-old Allie most likely is not going to surf the 'net before her party on Saturday (which we will miss because of a little bit of R&R in Albuquerque), and I'd think that her parents, Wes and Susan, won't let the monkeys out of the sack, either.

Judy loves making these cakes, and every time she spends untold hours on one I am just absolutely amazed by her talent. She worked on the icing-based monkeys for an evening or two, baked the cake this morning before work, and then iced and decorated it all after a full day at MHMR. Now it's 9:30 p.m., and we haven't even started dinner yet. But she knows that Allie will be tickled, and that's all she needs to make it through another tough day.

And Noah, just in case you see the picture, you'll be pleased that your very boy-like fashion advice of two blue candles was followed. (Of course, you also suggested that all the balloons and all the party hats be blue as well, but that seemed just a bit too, well, blue. To be four again....)


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A week off from chemo

After three straight weeks of treatments, Judy is off this week. Yeah!

The photo above came from our good old friend Lee in Dallas, who used to coach Judy during her racing days and whom we see once or twice a year either in Las Vegas when we all room together at Interbike or when a race takes us to the metroplex and we have a chance to catch up. Lee, who is still one bad dude on a racing bike, decided to put this decal on his new team bike. As he wrote in his e-mail to us: "She has given me the inspiration these past couple of years, hence the pink computer that I ride, and now I thought I would share with people who it is for!"

Needless to say, Judy got all teary-eyed when she read Lee's sweet words.

On another note, I'm finally back home for a while. Last week, right after Memorial Day, I had once again flown to Quebec, where I completed my Doping Control training for the UCI. (The picture below show me with my instructor, Louise L. from Montreal.) I made it home late last night. It was a very interesting trip, and I hope that my performance was satisfactory. For once I could make good use of my languages as in one day I conducted four doping controls in four languages. Now, that's what I call fun!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What a great Memorial Day weekend

Judy and I spent our Memorial Day weekend down south, first as part of the officiating crew for the UCI portion of the Mellow Johnnys mountain bike race, and then with part of Judy's family at a private lake close to San Saba.

Our time at the lake was definitely more memorable than the race. Judy had a chance to hold her little grand-nephews (or whatever Conner and Leslie's twin boys are in the genealogical order--she's holding Carson in the above pic), catch up with Mike and Candice, get good laughs from Mark and Anne's one-liners, and enjoy the companionship of long-time family friends Gary, Debbie, and Travis. Throw in a bit of kayaking on the lake and a lot of relaxing (even if we stayed for only 36 hours), and it was a great weekend.

Right now I am off for a week to Quebec (again) for anti-doping, and Judy is enduring another chemo treatment. Enjoy the pics as they show why we go through all this.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

CA-125 continues to slowly drop

This week's good news was that Judy's cancer markers continue their slow downward trend. After only two treatments this time (because of our trip to Jamaica) the CA-125 went from 114 to 103--or about a 10% drop. Let's hope that the next treatment cycle of three doses will give us another boost. The two treatment dates in this round that remain are on May 25 and June 1, and then Judy will have another one-week break.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Back from Jamaica

How fast vacations pass by! It seems just like yesterday that we left for Montego Bay, and already we're back. We enjoyed four days and nights at the Secrets St. James, an all-inclusive, all-adult (no rug rats screaming in the pool!) resort that is on the luxurious side. We didn't do much else but sit on the beach, take naps, drink quite a few foo-foo drinks, and enjoy the various on-site specialty restaurants that were not of the buffet style that most resorts offer but rather put emphasis on beautifully presented quality dishes. For folks our age who—let's face it—simply don't consume the same amount of food as a 20-year-old, this is definitely the way to go.

The St. James and its sister resort, the Wild Orchid, have been open for less than two months, and the property had some birthing problems that threw a few curve balls into the promised "all-luxury" experience. So, the advertised 5 stars were somewhat reduced. I had a long, frank talk with management, and to make a long story short, we will go back sometime this fall to make up for some (or all?) of the problems that we encountered—on the house. So, when you see another blog entry in September or October or whenever, please don't think we won the lottery—we just provided positive feedback and were dealing with a class-act manager who has quite some challenges on his hands opening this property.

Anyhow, we had a darn fine time, and I am sure the next time around it will not just be great the way it was but perfect, the way it was supposed to be this time around.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

After chemo, go to Jamaica ...

While Judy had another round of chemo today, I was down at TTU for my last day of classes for the semester—and forever! Yes, this is it (RETIREMENT!), and Judy commemorated it for me with this telling note that she left for me to find when I got home.

After 26 years of teaching I have decided to call it quits. I doubt that I will miss grading those papers and running my head into a brick wall semester after semester. Suffice it to say that I think that I have done my share to have some positive impact, and now I'm done. My bosses and colleagues were true class acts throughout the years, but my students only seldom were.

What a relief to be done with it!

Tomorrow afternoon we'll jet down to Jamaica for a quick 4-night R&R for lil' Judy, who's ready to lie in the sun and warm up the bones. She's the hard worker in the family, not I—at least no longer. :)


Thursday, April 29, 2010

CA-125 on the way down, once again

This morning we received excellent news from Dr. P's office. After four weekly mini-rounds of chemo and a week off, Judy's CA-125 dropped from 140 in late March to 114 on Tuesday. Of course, we hope that this trend will continue. Judy is scheduled for another mini-chemo next Tuesday before we go on our mini-vacation to Jamaica. She'll be off the following week before going to three-weeks-on, one-week-off.

We had an inkling that things were working with the current mixture of poisons as Judy's hair has once again started to fall out. The photo of Judy and Alan shows how "light" her hair has become, and next week we may have to go back to the all-bald look.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Back from New Orleans

Judy and I made it back from New Orleans Monday night and have been busy with work since. We had a great time with all the race action, super volunteers, and attentive race management. Here are a few pics, courtesy of Lucas Barrios.

The first one was taken at the VIP Party that PEM threw on Friday night. Pictured with us is my motorcycle driver, Brian.

The next one shows Judy instructing the motorcycle drivers while Wanda and Gail, two of our referees, look on.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Once again back in New Orleans

For the second year in a row, Judy and I are working the Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans half-Ironman triathlon this weekend. We arrived very late last night (OK, early this morning). We're tickled to work with some of the best in the triathlon business, with Bill as race director, Ashley as the person who runs it ALL, Dave who is the very best professional announcr in all of triathlon, Adam and Roberto making sure that transition is tight, Carl keeping the water crew in check, Brian and Phil taking care of the motos, and Scott being the ace timing dude that he is.

After PEM's fabulous VIP party at Le Phare, Judy and I strolled down Bourbon Street, and you see the spoils: That woman is shameless when it comes to begging for beads!

Tomorrow (Saturday) will bring more meetings and indoctrinations (refs and penalty tent volunteers) and an early bedtime since Sunday morning looms ominously with a 4:45 a.m. opening of transition. Still, it's fun to be head ref!!!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A new record?

When Judy had her fourth chemo treatment in four weeks yesterday morning, Dr. P.'s office staff opined that they had never had anyone get four back-to-back treatments. Oh well, who thought Judy was normal, eh? Since we will be in New Orleans this upcoming Monday and Judy will not be able to get labwork done--making chemo on Tuesday impossible--Dr. Phillips though it better to go with a four week on, one week off cycle than to have two weeks off. We'll see.

Last weekend we were in Ft. Davis, in Texas' beautiful Davis Mountains, to help officiate the Hammerfest road stage race. (The photo above shows Judy before the time trial with race director David from Midland; below, Judy and Kelly wait for racers at the turnaround of the TT.) We hadn't been down there in several years because the date always overlapped with a mountain bike race, but this year we were free. The weather was beautiful, and as "Indians" rather than "Chiefs" we had a relaxed weekend, without the usual worries when one of us is in charge of the crew.

That will change this weekend when I'll be chief for the New Orleans 70.3 half-Ironman triathlon, which last year attracted somewhere around 3,000 racers from all over the US and abroad. We will be in NO from Friday through Monday, and I am sure there will be the usual challenges. However, working with a great race director, Bill, and his right-hand help, Ashley, plus six well-trained referees will make my task much easier--and in Judy I have about the best assistant I can ask for.

Look for an update next week.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Might as well have some fun with the blog for once, despite another round of chemo today. Look at that ham: Can you smell it? Can you taste it? This baby was in the backyard smoker for hours on end, and it was just perfect.

Judy and I had a nice Easter weekend at home, and the ham dinner on Sunday night—polished off with some good Cameron Hughes wine—was the fitting finale. Of course, a huge ham like this is not eaten in one sitting, and now we (=mainly I) enjoy smoked ham sandwiches. Yummy!

Otherwise, life's rolling right along. Judy stays busy at work, I've taken on yet another freelance job (it's about time that I get done with Tech!), and next weekend we'll be in Ft. Davis to help officiate one of Texas' most spectacular road races. The treatments that Judy has to endure are no source of great enjoyment, but she never complains. Right now she is enjoying some knitting-cum-television time while I have been mopping up odds and ends.

You won't hear either one of us complain—especially as long as there's some ham left in the fridge!


Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter is almost here

Yesterday, Judy and her little friend Nicole did a little bit of prep work to make sure that the Easter Bunny is going to find its way to Nicole's place. The two worked quite diligently on coloring eggs and decorating the pictured Easter tree that will adorn Nicole's bedroom. I guess I should have found a better background for the photo than one of our trees in the backyard, but you get the drift.

It was a good weekend for Judy, who spent Friday and Saturday nights in Midland with Candice, Alli, and Griffin. When she came back yesterday, first she was "crafty" with Nicole and then Lorane came over to knit and enjoy a cup of tea. Ah, the ladies are so civilized!

Spring finally seems to have arrived, and we're looking forward to a good week.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Encouraging News Before the Weekend

Just wanted to let all of you know that Judy's CA-125 decreased a tiny bit from 142 to 140 between her last regular chemo five weeks ago and this week's start of the new regimen.

We had expected the cancer markers to start soaring since the treatment seemed to have lost its punch and the interval was so long--a full five weeks. The fact that everything esssentially stayed stable is really encouraging to us.

Let's see what this new treatment is going to do and whether we can get a better hold on that damn old cancer.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday's Chemo OK

Just a quick update after the first of the new round of chemo treatments yesterday: It took about an hour and a half to administer the new meds, and Judy said that apart from a little queasiness for a short while she felt OK. Apparently, the pace of the chemo was a bit on the slower side than what she can expect in the future, just to make sure she was OK.

So, we'll see how this new approach is going to work out; next week Tuesday will be the next treatment. Of course, Judy is at work and doing everything that she has been doing pretty much ever since all these treatments started. This was her 16th chemo, and who knows how many more there will be. Let's hope that the third round proves to be the magic bullet.


Friday, March 19, 2010

New Chemo Delayed By One Week

Just in case you were wondering how the first of Judy's "mini" chemos came along this Tuesday, well, it didn't. The approval from the insurance did not come until Monday, too late for Dr. Phillips' office to order the drugs. So, the start of this new treatment has been postponed until next Tuesday. The good thing is that we have insurance approval.

Meanwhile, Judy keeps plugging along. I was in Switzerland and Germany for the past week and returned home just last night. It sure feels good to be back home and be with Judy!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A change in strategy

The CAT scan results are in, and it looks as if the cancer continues to rear its ugly head. Without going into too much detail (which, quite frankly, I don't have since we have not seen the report proper), the almost-two major rounds of chemo have not delivered the knock-out punch that we all had been looking for.

Thus, Dr. Phillips is changing his strategy and wants to go with another round of chemo; however, instead of delivering one massive treatment every three to four weeks (which especially in the first round hit the cancer hard but also kicked Judy's blood levels very, very significantly) he wants to administer a much smaller dosis on a weekly basis. The new schedule would be three weeks on, one week off, three weeks on, etc. Right now we're waiting for approval by the insurance since the overall cost appears to be even higher than the treatment so far. (All of you out there: Don't even think of going through life without health insurance! We'd be broke forever, without hope to ever dig ourselves out of the financial hole that such a diesease will dig for those without insurance.)

Most likely, Judy will have the first of these "mini" chemos next Tuesday. Let's see whether this is finally going to do it. If you're from the US, keep your fingers crossed, and if you're German, press the thumbs until they hurt!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A new kid-sized stent for Judy

Well, Judy just made it home from the hospital, and she's grinning because she received a "Junior stent." In this morning's procedure, Dr. Aronoff installed a smaller stent in her ureter than the first time around. She already is saying that it feels more comfortable than the first one. Maybe some of the discomfort with the first one had to do with the size. Anyhow, the doc said that the first stent did not show too much calcification, and this new one may last as long as 9 months. Now, that'd be a relief!

Lorane sat with Judy while I went through my teaching moves at Tech. I blew off my office hours, and when I arrived at the hospital a few minutes after 2 p.m. Judy was about to be discharged. And now, at 3:30 p.m., the two ladies are having a civilized cup of tea.

On a completely different note, our weekend was anything but relaxing. Friday night we worked the early registration for the Texas Tech Omnium bike race, and on Saturday we put in a 12-hour day with two different races. The photo (courtesy of Derek O.) shows Judy starting the time trial. Yep, those kids had built a real TT ramp! Tim R. is the holder, and Karen T. looks on. Judy felt like crap, coming down with some respiratory crap (which now seems to be hitting me). Sunday was another tough one with the wind blowing at times up to 25 to 30 mph, but it all came off OK. The Tech kids did a very, very nice job, and the WTCA volunteers who came out seemed to have fun, too.

So, let's hope that Judy will take well to the stent and that we can get some rest in the next few days.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Paris was a hoot with Mike and Candi

This post is long overdue, but there are always so many things that need to be done, and updating the blog sometimes has to take a backseat.

Monday evening Judy and I returned from a long weekend trip to Paris with Judy's brother, Mike, and his wife, Candi. The two had never been and had asked us whether we'd mind playing tour guides. Since we make almost annual pilgrimages to the French capital, we jumped on the opportunity to show them the city that we love so much. Last year it had been Emily who was our protegée, and this time it was the in-laws.

We had a truly great time. The Paris museum pass must be one of the greatest buys of all time, and we saw lots and lots of different things. The weather cooperated so that we were able to have our traditional picnic in the Luxembourg Gardens, and in the evenings we had some outstanding meals, courtesy of Mike and Candice.

Judy was in much better shape this year than last, when she had spent more than half the time in the hotel with a bad case of bronchitis. This year she was as spunky as ever, and her energy level was 200% higher than last year.

Unfortunately, these cool trips always end much too quickly, but we took with us great memories. I am sure that Mike and Candi won't forget this vacation for a long time.

The upcoming days will bring more medical stuff for Judy (next Tuesday the stent will be changed, and there will be another CAT scan) as well as a local road race this weekend: The Texas Tech Cycling Team will host a two-day stage race, and we will be the Chief Referee and Chief Judge.

A bientôt,


Monday, February 15, 2010

(A slightly belated) Happy Valentine's Day!

I meant to write this several days ago but time, once again, slipped away. We hope that you had as nice of a Valentine's weekend as we did. On Saturday night, Wayne, Lorane, Judy, and I had a beautifully relaxed prime rib dinner at our friends' house. See for yourselves how beautiful it all looked.

On Sunday, Judy and I had a little more celebration going, and we exchanged a few gifts. Here I had been married to her for 20+ years and had just found out that she really, REALLY wanted one of those heart-shaped Russell Stover candy arrays. For once, I came through!

On the medical front, things were a little less great. After enduring chemo #15 last Tuesday Judy learned on Thursday that her CA-125 once again is on the rise. Major bummer after the good news following the last few rounds of chemo. We are at the end of this chemo cycle, and we will see how Dr. Phillips will adjust the treatment.

This week will be an exciting one: On Wednesday we will meet up in DFW with Judy's brother Mike and sis-in-law Candice—and then continue together to Paris! Mike and Candi have never been, and we love to play tour guides. Last year, when we took Emily for her graduation trip to Paris, Judy had physically a lousy time, so she is really looking forward to being able to enjoy this trip much more. I will try to update the blog in the next few days, from Paris.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January is almost behind us ...

... and life is rolling on in its more-or-less usual way. Judy is in between chemo treatments and doing rather well. I am four teaching days into the spring semester, and I am doing really fine, considering that only 26 more are left to go. :) So, what did the two of us do last weekend, feeling so good? Well, you guess. The pictures may give you a hint.

Friday, January 15, 2010

CA-125 holding steady

This morning, Judy saw Dr. Phillips after undergoing chemo #14 on Tuesday. Her CA-125 dropped by 2 points over the past five weeks, to 74, essentially the same as last time. Obviously, we would have been more excited about a significant drop, but this is certainly better than a rise. As long as the downward trend continues, we won't complain.

After coming back from Europe late last Sunday, Judy has been at work again and I started the new semester at TTU yesterday. This weekend is my 54th birthday, so once again I'll be caught up with Judy age-wise. :) As has been tradition, Wayne and Lorane will join us for dinner, and since Emily won't start back up at Tarleton until Tuesday she'll join us.

A bigger drop in the CA-125 would have been a nice birthday present....


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Judy munches a Wienerschnitzel

Judy and I are waiting for our flight back from Vienna to Berlin. we had two nice days in the Austrian capital, despite cold, snowy conditions. Last night we went a restaurant famous for its Wienerschnitzel. what you see on Judy's plate is only HALF of one of those monstrosities. Thankfully we had enough foresight to share one of those breaded, then baked veal cutlets. It was a yummy meal.

Earlier in the day we had visited the Schloss Schoenbrunn where we saw the royal chambers of the Habsburg dynasty. With a tram and metro transportation pass we were able to criss-cross Vienna and warm up in between stops.

Walking around in the evening we saw the famous Fiakers, horse-drawn carriages. Well, we had to think of our buggy ride with Carl just a few weeks ago.

We will spend another two days in Berlin before flying home on Sunday. Bis dann,