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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Congress, Arizona, United States

Apr 13, 2014 - Congress, AZ - Tribute to a Beloved Friend

(Elena Writing) Life throws us curve balls every now and then. It’s been a challenge to stay positive when you receive blowing news. We’ve had a rough week after learning about 4 (yes, 4!) deaths of my classmate’s brother-in-law who succumbed to a heart attack, a childhood friend who lost his wife to a massive stroke, a former neighbor in CA who lost his battle with cancer….that’s 3. This past Thursday we learned that our friend Jim, who had a stem cell transplant in September 2012 for multiple myeloma, was told by his doctor that his MM...

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Mar 25, 2014 - Congress, AZ - Updates

(Ron Writing) I just noticed that we’ve not yet made even a single entry in this journal this month! Wow, where has the time gone. We are doing well and have really been enjoying ourselves this winter here at North Ranch. My what a difference a year makes. Last year at this time I was not at all healthy and was struggling with my induction therapy. Elena was all but overwhelmed taking care of me and most of the chores I would normally have been doing. Now we are both blessed with good health and are back into a more “new normal” routine...

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Feb 28, 2014 - Congress, AZ - More Fun At North Ranch

(Ron Writing) Earlier this month our friends Mark and Judie were here at North Ranch for several days and we had fun getting together with them on several occasions. We met Mark and Judie when we were crewing for the same balloon at the 2010 Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM. Since then our paths have crossed several times and we always enjoy getting together with them. One day we went to lunch at Nichols West Restaurant in Congress where we always enjoy excellent food. That day Judie took a photo of Elena and me and we are now using it on...

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Feb 25, 2014 - Congress, AZ - Fun at North Ranch

(Ron Writing) We have really gotten in the habit of ignoring this travel journal. The good news is that we are just really enjoying our winter here at North Ranch. This is our 7th winter at North Ranch and this year we are having the best weather ever. Almost every day has been very pleasant outdoors with temperatures in the 70’s, very little wind, and no rain. On February 6, we attended the monthly MM support group meeting at the Wellness Community in Phoenix. There were a great number of attendees since there were two speakers that day. A...

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Feb 23, 2014 - Congress AZ - A New Toy

(Elena Writing) I’ve been wanting and finally purchased a new toy, a convection oven. The winter season is a nice time to do some baking but when it gets very cold, I haven’t been able to do so. Because our regular oven operates on propane, we’ve had to ventilate the trailer by opening the roof vents, windows, and the entrance door but then it gets too cold inside. A convection oven has solved the problem. It’s been fun learning and experimenting with old/new recipes in this new oven. I’ve had to decrease the temperature by 25 degrees and...

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Feb 1, 2014 - Congress, AZ - What a Year

140201 (Ron Writing) It was one year ago yesterday that we met with Dr. Dahmer at her office and received my diagnosis. I can still remember it very clearly – she said, “The tests indicate that you have Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of the blood plasma. The bad news is that it’s not curable, but the good news is that it’s treatable.” The author of a new book to be released in April, "The Myeloma Survival Guide; Essential Advice for Patients and Their Loved Ones", is scheduled to speak at our MM Support Group meeting next Thursday. The...

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Jan 15, 2014 - Congress, AZ - Catching Up

(Elena Writing) Time flies by so fast like the wink of an eye. It’s been two weeks since our last entry and we wonder how the days just slip through our fingers. I happened to tell Ron today that we’ve been back from the AZTH about 3-1/2 months; it sure doesn't feel like it's been that long. On Thursday, 2 January, we met with a group of people who shared their experience on past trips to Alaska. Anyone can join the "Loosey Goosey" group. Although they have a schedule, you can join the group at your own pace. That makes it easier and...

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Jan 1, 2014 - Hauoli Makahiki Hou from Da Honu!

(Ron Writing) HAPPY NEW YEAR! We are starting the new year with a new Travel Journal because we optimistically look forward to resuming our travels this year after a one year hiatus to attend to my health problems. 2013 was a year of severe health challenges for me and for Elena the challenges of caring for me while also doing much of the work I normally would have done. It was a year we’ll never forget as we we’re reminded how fragile life can be and how precious good health is. I’ll remember it as a year of growth spiritually, growth in...

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Dec 25, 2013 - Congress, AZ - Christmas at North Ranch

(Elena Writing) Last evening we attended Christmas Eve service at 6:30pm. Prior to the service a delicious birthday cake was served to commemorate the birth of Christ. It was a lovely service portraying the Christmas story up to the birth of Christ through a “Lessons and Carols” format, a tradition that dates back more than a century. After the service a Christmas concert was given by the church’s own pianist, Florence McInturff. She gives a free concert annually to honor her parents. She did a marvelous job of arranging and composing the...

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Dec 20, 2013 - Congress, AZ - Updates

(Elena Writing) It’s been a while since the last entry so it’s time for updates. Ron had a follow-up appointment on Tuesday, 10 December, with Dr. K. Deleeuw. He’s on the dental team (yes, Mayo does have a dental department). A re-examination and x-rays of Ron’s jaw and mouth area revealed no problems at this time but the doctor requested a follow-up exam about two months from now. After Ron’s appointment that day we visited our friends, Jim and Kay, at AZTH. Jim had a stem cell transplant for MM about 15 months ago and has been on...

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Dec 3, 2013 - Congress AZ - Celebrate Life!

(Elena Writing) A memorial service for our friend Elaine was held in CA today. We wish we could have been there but that was not meant to be due to Ron’s health. We will visit Bob on our next trip to CA. I remember when Elaine spoke highly about Bob, their daughter and son and their families. They were a close-knit family who called each other several times daily. Elaine was especially happy when her grandchildren called. Her daughter “JP” bonded with Elaine over Labor Day weekend to give her dad a chance to return to CA for a few days. It...

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Nov 29, 2013 - Congress AZ - Life is Precious

(Elena Writing) It is with great sadness when we learned today of the passing of our dear friend, Elaine. She had a donor stem cell transplant this past July for her Myleofibrosis. However, about two months ago she and Bob learned the unwelcome news that the transplant was unsuccessful. There was a spontaneous search for a new donor. The first donor was a young male, who was a perfect match, but he backed out. The second donor was a young female, who was indecisive but after about 10-14 days, decided to donate her cells but not until...

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