Wednesday, April 8, 2015

John's Adventures 3 Weeks Later.....

When I last updated you on John's condition, he had just arrived back at St Mary's Hospital for a resumption of physical therapy. Since then, each day he gets better and better because of the intense therapy and his strong will.


John has been able to transfer himself from his bed to the chair for a few weeks now. He can stand for a very short moment, but his left leg isn't able to support him yet. His core is getting stronger by the day and there are hopes his lower body will soon follow.


The hospital is talking about releasing him to home on or about 4/21. The house will need modifications (it's multi-story) and John and Ann will need assistance, but Ann says "Whatever it takes". They both are looking forward to, once again, being at home together.


If you're on Facebook, John's family has been posting pictures. I can no longer post pictures to this blog, and I'm not sure why, tho I'm in touch with Google to see what we can do about this.


Anyhow, please continue with the e-mails and cards. And please keep up the good thoughts and prayers --- they are the magic bullet to recovery.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Update on John

My last report on John had him awaiting transfer back to the rehab hospital. Well, that's been accomplished and he's having some 3 hours + of therapy per day. The staph infection is "gone", tho he will remain on antibiotics for the foreseeable future. The doctors anticipate a stay of at least 5 more weeks in rehab at which time he'll be reevaluated and a decision about future therapy will be reached.


As of now, John has left-sided deficits, mostly in his leg, tho his body seems to be responding well to the intense therapy. His right side (leg, mostly) has some weakness but is also responding well to the PT.


I spoke with him yesterday; his spirits are high, and he's thrilled with the messages he has received from our classmates. So please continue to send e-mails and/or cards --- and please continue praying for him; as Ann says "we believe in the power of prayer, so keep them coming".


I'll try to keep you informed, but if you have any questions or comments, please let me know.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Another Loss for our Class

It is with profound sadness that I write this post. A note from Barney Biestman yesterday informed us of the passing of his wife, Judie Walker Biestman, on February 26 after a 20-year battle with cancer. I last saw Judie at the 50th reunion and thought she looked almost the same as she had in high school.
Our deepest sympathy goes out to Barney and his and Judie's family. I hope it helps him to know we share his grief.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Current News about John

It seems wrong somehow to try and make John Spencer's medical issues humorous anymore.  I say this because his most recent back surgeries have made a bad situation so much worse and have caused him much pain. And there's nothing funny about that.


As you read in the e-mail I sent, John's original surgery was 1/26; it was intended to repair an impingement in his neck. Due to post-op complications, John was back in surgery 1/28 to repair bone perforations of the spinal sheath; this resulted in the fusing of C3, C4, C5, C6, C7, and T1. After a time post-op, John was transferred to a rehab hospital some 100 miles away, BUT when he developed a staph infection in the incision, he was transferred back to the hospital where he underwent more surgery to clean out the wound and incision and rid John of the infection. And that's where things are now. He's waiting to get the go-ahead for a transfer back to the rehab hospital so he can begin/continue with his recovery.


As I said in the e-mail, cards and/or e-mails would certainly cheer him up. But please don't call him because he is having difficulty managing his phone. He appreciates the thoughts but for now, it's too hard for him to deal with.


I'll try to keep this updated as best I can. It sounds like John is out of the woods but has a great deal of work ahead of him. Please keep him and Ann and the rest of the family in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Another Exciting Chapter of "Bionic Man from 1957"

We haven't heard the last of 57's own bionic man. A recent e-mail from John Spencer told of a forthcoming (January 26) "cervical laminoplasty", neck surgery to correct poorly located calcium deposits that are, no doubt, encroaching on the spinal cord. Though we make light of the situation, we're all pulling for you, John; good thoughts and prayers are headed your way. Keep us posted.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Sad Farewell to Two More Classmates

Perhaps I've been remiss in not posting these in a more timely manner, but please know it's getting harder and harder for me to write obits for our classmates. We seem to be losing more and much more frequently than in the past. I guess that's the hazard of aging, but the sadness it evokes in me makes it difficult to write and post these announcements. That said........


Dorothy Spletter Yackley e-mailed John with the news she had heard from one of Virginia Maller Hartmann's kids telling her that Virginia had passed away August 4 from cancer. She was living in Vacaville, CA, at the time.


Two months later, John received an e-mail from Becky Daly, Dave Amundson's daughter. She was notifying us of Dave's passing in  his sleep on November 17 from congestive heart failure. He was at his home in Holiday, FL, at the time. Further information regarding a memorial may be forthcoming.


It goes without saying our sympathy goes out to both these families. Perhaps it will help them to know we share their grief.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Another Classmate Reaches 50 Years of Wedded Bliss

We received an e-mail from Al Panek telling us of the 50th wedding anniversary celebrations enjoyed by he and his wife Marguerite along with their kids  Brian and David; their daughters-in-law Chris and Kendra; and their grandkids Sara, Meghan, and Gabrielle. A gathering was held in September at Al's home in Naperville for 50 friends and family members. And Al, Marguerite, and their kids and grandkids enjoyed cruises to Hawaii and Alaska earlier in the year.
Al sends his best to all members of our class --- and we send our heartiest congrats to Al and his wife for this achievement.