Day 34

Day 34! Only ten treatments left. When this started, I thought nine weeks in California would be just shy of eternity! But, the time has absolutely flown by. You would think that when all you have to do is get a proton treatment weekdays at 6:45 AM, you would have lots of time on your hands, surely enough time for an afternoon nap! Only once has that happened! Actually, the only time that goes rather slowly is while I am waiting for my turn in the morning (15-30 minutes) and when I am in the pod waiting for the proto beam (2-5 minutes). I spend the first visiting with other patients and the second praying. I figure that the God that made the universe can guide the proton beam! So, I pray during the treatment that God would direct the protons to the cancer cells and spare the healthy cells.

This last week has gone extremely fast. Too fast! Saturday we picked up our good friends, the Pattersons, at the Ontario Airport. Ken had photon (X-ray) treatment of prostate cancer last winter.

Sunday we drove down to Saddleback Church to hear Rick Warren speak. The Saddleback Campus is huge! Parking lots, buildings, semi-permanent tent-like buildings, and LOTS of people! We were warmly greeted as we proceeded to the main auditorium.

Tom and Kay with Mary Jo and Ken on the way to the main auditorium.

They have at least three worship services going on simultaneously. They have the music service first and then Rick speaks. His message is simulcast to the other venues.

We sat toward the back where we could see better.

As you can see, at the front they had two large screens on either side and then three smaller screens at the top center of the auditorium. There is also a choir and a group of musicians.

We enjoyed Rick Warren’s sermon, a very practical message about Time: Use It Or Lose It! They used a lot of visuals and the last part was a time of commitment to take specific steps in 4 areas of your life to make the best use of your time and to be best used by God.

Monday, our dsl and phone went dead! No dial tone, no nothing. After several calls to Verizon, they promised to have it working by 6:00 PM Thursday! The final outcome appears to be that another resident had requested telephone service and the Verizon technician had moved our phone line from C-102 to C-201. So much for attention to detail!

About mid-morning Monday we drove north to Lake Arrowhead with the Pattersons. It is a beautiful lake and resort community up in the San Bernardino Mountains. All the property around the lake is private, and there are many beautiful homes.

Lake Arrowhead in the background.

Tuesday took the tram to the top of San Jacinto and enjoyed a .75 mile nature trail. Tall pines, peaceful meadows, and an ice cold steam running through the middle of the valley.
This will give you an idea of the size of the trees!

Later we went to the WWII Air Museum but it closed at 3:00 PM. :-( We were able to visit the gift shop but not the museum. We really want to go back!

Wednesday we went to the Mission Inn in Riverside. They give a wonderful guided tour of this beautiful old Spanish Inn and the eclectic collection of art and artifacts that Frank Miler collected during his lifetime. Many movie stars and presidents have visited including Teddy Roosevelt and/or been married there including Richard and Pat Nixon and Ronald and Nancy Reagan. The exterior walls of the mission are covered with bougainvillea vines and flowers of various pinks and reds.

The Bougainvillea flowers were gorgeous!

We returned in time to go to the Wednesday night proton radiation therapy group meeting. They serve free vegetarian sandwiches and yummy cookies. It is always fun to meet the “newbies” and see who is graduating. We even had three former proton patients who had returned to LLUMC for a visit. We sat across the table from the speaker, Bill Vancil. He was treated at LLUMC about a year ago and then wrote a book, Don’t Fear the Big Dogs, describing his experience at Loma Linda and how it became a platform that led to a wonderful experience with his 13 year old daughter.

About 150-200 attend the Proton Support Group meetings.

Thursday we said “Good-bye” to the Pattersons. We were sad to see them leave. The time passed just too fast to get all our visiting done. :-(Now it is Friday, Day 34, and we are on a plane to OKC! We are excited to see our family and friends! Tomorrow is the annual Kimray Picnic at Frontier City (with 800+ employees and family members) and then Sunday we will attend Western Hills Church in the morning and celebrate Father’s Day at the farm with all the family in the afternoon! We expect about 34 immediate family members to be there! We are excited!

These are just a few of the smiling faces that greeted us! Can you see why we love being home?

Kay holding Avery, Garman, Tom
Tate, Bridge, Jackson, Austin

Monday we return to Loma Linda with Thomas, Austin, and Jackson. More about that later!
To all the fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day!

Have a blessed weekend!

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