Greetings from Bocas del Toro in Western Panama. Yesterday Graciela and I flew to Changuinola in Bocas de Toro province so that she can visit her family at her home for 4 days. Her mom and brother Roberto were at the airport to meet her and after exchanging greetings they went off to shop for the food she needs - and the rest of the family can enjoy. I will meet her in the airport Friday about 2 and we will fly back to Panama and her dialysis machine. Right now I am on Isla Colon in Bocas Town staying at an historic hotel and enjoying having time to do different things. I will leave by boat for Changinola abot noon on Friday.
This week and next the kids are on school vacation. School is half over for the year (March to December) so many are visiting family and some are staying at the home.
I have recovered almost completely from my breast Cancer operation and treatment. I still have to have followup appointment (rest of my life) and am taking tomoxifen for the next 2 or 3 years - with very few side effects. Dry eye is one and I use artificial tears for that. I occasionally have a hot flash.
At the beginning of June I had a new experience. On Monday morning my heart started to beat very hard and I had pain in my jaw, neck and shoulders. I drove to the Diocesian office and the Bishop and a very nice young man -Oscar - took me to the emergency room and ultimately I was in the semi intenisve car unit ar Hospital Santo Tomas (a hospital for people with few resources and one that has very up to date heart equipment) I only stayed in the SICU for 12 hours and was moved to the cardiac floor and ward at 4 AM! I then stayed 4 days, stopped taking a lot of the medicine I have been taking and getting some new ones. I am doing very well and have most of my energy back.
At the home I continue doing primarily two things besides being a general backup help. Those are taking the girls who are sick to their appointments and taking accutely sick kids to a nearby clinic. Most of our appointments are at Children's Hospital, Cerro Batea Health Center and occasional others. Graciela has a monthly appointment at Childrens for follow up of her chronic kidney failure and one of our new girls this year has had a lot of appointments with various disciplines since she came to us with a LOT of untreated medical problems. At Cerro Batea, one of the Ministry of Health centers 3 young adolescents see a Psychiatrist once a month and several have been tested by the psycholgist. Getting up early is a part of some of these appointment as it waiting. I always take something for me to do and also something for the girls.
The home is doing well but along with the rest of the world we are experiencing higher prices and therefor less spending power. If you feel like supporting our work get in touch with me by leaving a comment or writing to me.
In August I am going to Phildelphia for two weeks and looking forward to it. I shall enjoy the bookstores, museums, seeing my grandchildren and son, watching the olimpics on TV.
Recently I added to our library (kids library) by buying a nice lot of books on sale (10% to 70% with a few doller books thrown in) at my favorite chain of books stores here Hombre de la Mancha. We have a inpressive but messy library and the kids do a lot of reading.