We were ready for a quiet fourteen days of R&R...
but it didn't turn out to be "Rest & Relaxation," but "Return and Repair." We returned to Mayo Clinic to repair...well there must be a better word for "repair" that starts with an "r." (Any one have a suggestion?)
Walt has many keratoses on his face and scalp. He has had three previous ones removed that on biopsy showed they had become malignant.
On August 21 he went to a dermatologist here to have one on the top of his head biopsied. (We had sent a photo of it to Dr. Jerry Brewer at Mayo Clinic. You will remember that Jerry is our son-in-law, married to our youngest daughter Jennifer...who now goes by "Jen.")
Jerry had confirmed Walt's suspicion that it could be malignant.
We received the results of the biopsy on Aug 28: "Malignant squamous cell carcinoma."
The first impression of the skin specialist here in San Salvador was to freeze it off. However, we are hoping that he had not seen the closer results of the biopsy that showed it deeper than at first thought.
When Dr. Brewer saw the photos of the biopsy results, he felt that MOHs surgery was needed to be able to get all the margins removed.
Back to the start of September...
September 1 - Monday
Beginning of our two-week temple closure for the semi-annual maintenance, painting, and deep cleaning.
Elder y Hna. Udall finish their six-month temple mission here and fly back to their home in Eager, Arizona.
Some of us gathered at 4:00 a.m. to help them take their luggage down and give them a final good-bye: Los Alas, Caballero, and us, plus Presidente López drove them to the airport.
We and the Haroldsen's went to lunch at Shaw's.
Here are Elder y Hna. Haroldsen, temple missionaries have extended there 18 month mission to 21 months. DeVar and Sharon will return to Idaho Falls in March. The photo is outside by Shaw's where we had lunch.
We didn't do any shopping that day because we were working out plans with Dr. Brewer to see if we needed to go to Mayo Clinic.
And during the temple closure we don't have Family Home Evening as a group since everyone is going different places.
September 2 - Tuesday
We worked out plans with the Temple Department and Dr. Brewer about having the surgery done and our flights to go to Minnesota.
Then we packed.
September 3 - Wednesday
Up at 3:15 a.m., left for the airport at 4:30 a.m.
Arrived in Minneapolis at 4:00 p.m. and got to Rochester by
6:00 that evening. It is always great to be with Jen & and Jerry and their six children (plus a baby girl due on Oct. 3).
September 4 - Thursday
Bright and early Jen drove us over to Mayo Clinic and we went up to the Dermatology floor 17 for the morning surgery.
Walt was surprised that he had no pain after the deadening wore off. As we were leaving the Clinic he asked: "Do I look funny?"
"Kinda like Frankenstein," I honestly answered.
This next photo shows more of the white dressing on the surgery spots.
We did take it pretty easy the day after his surgery. That evening we "double dated" with Jerry and Jen. They took us out to a delicious dinner at "Prescott's" a family restaurant that not only has great food but specializes in fresh vegetables grown in a huge garden they plant each spring.
Our custom is to order a fish and a steak, then we share. Walt got red snapper and I got a filet. I should have taken a photo of Jerry's spinach.
September 6 - Saturday
Seth and Sarah, age 12, auditioned for the Rochester Symphony and will now be violin players in this community cultural organization.
Then after a bar-b-que lunch, we had dessert at Flapdoodles.
Jerry brought home chips 'n other yummy treats (well the "Sour Patch Kids weren't too yummy) to snack on while we watched the BYU game. The pre-game broadcast had us revved up to watch the Cougars and then the BYU channel switched to golf or something bizzare. That's when we found out that Texas had not given permission for BYU to broadcast the game, nor to re-broadcast it.
(That made me extra glad that the Cougars whooped them 41-7.)
(Reminded Walt and me of the 'olden days' growing up in the 1930s, 1940s and first half of the 1950s before we got TV in 1955 in our little town of Wendell, Idaho.)
On the way home from their 1:00-4:00 Church block, Lizzy, 4, wanted to run the last several blocks. It seems she was born running.
Then we got a family photo on their front porch. It was hard for those boys to keep their ties on that long after Church, but they made their grandmother happy by doing so.
The Jerry and Jen Brewer Family
Jerry, Jen, Seth, 12; Sarah, 12; Benjamin, 9; Joshua, 7; Elizabeth/Lizzy, 5 in Nov; Adam, 2 in Nov;
and Baby Girl due Oct. 3.
Then it was time for the traditional
Mormon Sunday Roast Beef Dinner.
China and goblets make for a
beautiful table setting for the Sabbath.
An added treat was fresh veggies
from their super garden, and
nothing beats hot-from-the-oven
We ended this special few days with our family
by watching the wonderful DVD
Jerry made for
Jen's 40th birthday of August 26.
We were up early for Jen to drive us to the five o'clock shuttle for the hour and a half drive to the Minneapolis Airport.
The clouds seemed extra fluffy and pretty during the flight.We had quite a crazy 2-layover flight back: East to Newark, New Jersey.
Across from the New Jersey airport we could
see the skyline of New York City.
From there we flew back west and south to Houston, Texas, with only a 59 minute layover at this second stop. And by the time we were off the plane, it was only 20 minutes to get from Terminal C to Terminal E. As we hopped off the indoor airport vehicle at our gate--well more like hobbled off--they had us board immediately.I didn't get any photos of us at the airport, but as President y Hna. Majano were driving us away from the airport, I hurried and snapped the wheel chair that Walt had been pushed through the airport in. We can no longer stand in those long lines to get through immigration, nor hurry fast enough. And I use my walker to keep up with Walt's wheelchair.
We're "older than dirt" and feeling our 80 and 75 years.
It's always great to see the temple after we've been
"out of the country."
And we thank our dear friends, Rafael y Aida Majano
for picking us up again at the airport.
A piano had been delivered for the Temple President's apartment. Since we weren't there, they had put it in the Haroldsen's apartment, which is right next to ours.
Elder y Hna. Haroldsen had hot, homemade soup,
salad, and rolls waiting for us.
It tasted so good after our leaving early that morning and
arriving at our apartment after nine o'clock that night.
DeVar and Sharon are also good friends.
All those we've worked with during our
four missions we consider
And that's our first eight days of September.
I'm worn out now, so hope to post the next seven days
of September tomorrow or some time next week.
We pray you have had a restful and peaceful
As we said in our talks this morning
at the Cuscatlán Stake Conference,
happiness comes by
keeping the commandments,
receiving our endowments,
and being sealed in the temple
so we can be
families together forever.
We loved being with our Brewer family
for four full days, and look forward
to our eternal connection.
We are thankful for Walt's having all the
squamous cell carcinoma removed
by a priesthood blessing and by
Dr. Brewer's medical expertise.
We look forward to becoming
even "older than dirt."
Happy Birthday to
two of our sweet daughters-in-law...
last Friday, September 12
to Kathy Anderson Petersen,
to Julie Black Petersen
tomorrow, September 15.