Monday, March 30, 2015

Stomach Pain

If you have never suffered through severe stomach pain very long, I probably can't communicate what I am talking about very well.  I hope you haven't because it is not fun to go through at all.  Maybe cancer victims are the only people who can really appreciate this, I don't know.

I got through another night but not without moderate to severe stomach pain.  This has kicked up in the past two weeks or so and I really need to find some relief.  An hour after eating causes pain through digestion and I can't find a happy medium to it yet.  It looks like we are headed in the right direction though so I just have to give it time to work.

I am feeling better today though, just trying to balance the new medicine regime with some still missing is like starting over again.  I think what they have planned though will answer a lot of pain questions I had and get me back to more of a normal.  The cancer is changing daily with the radiation so the medicine program must change with it also.

We have had a good day with three grand children and their parents.  I guess it's really four grand children with one "baby on board."    Mom has not had a good day though so that takes away some of the joy.  I am glad my brother and sister are available to help her though because LuAnn and I are barely able to take care of me with all of these changes.  Linda called and gave me an update on her way home this evening.  She sure needs our prayers.

Richard was able to start my day off right from church this morning so that helped get things rolling.  The air is still pretty cold though and it never got as warm as they predicted it would.  The sun never got out much to warm it up like they predicted at the various weather stations.

We did enjoy watching the much abashed Big Ten get two teams in the final four so that helped, too!  Tom Izzo struck again and his team really came up to show off their training this year.  I don't think Gonzaga has enough guns against the Blue Devils as I thought they would.

April is almost here and the weather finally feels like it.  It has been a very hard 3 months for LuAnn and I.  I hate to see her spend so much time away from her job as she is very good at it.  She has done so much for others through her work.  She has given so much to me as my wife and care giver I can't ever repay her but that's OK.  That's just the way it is.

I hope you had a good weekend.  It's that time of the year you know you are going to have to get the mower out soon.  You don't want to start because after you do, you won't stop until October.  I haven't figured out how we are going to keep this big yard mowed and manicured yet all summer but we will figure out a way.  I think a lot of my good will gestures to help will be called in to get us through.

Right now it is just to get better one day at a time.

Ed Winkle

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Another 10 Days in the Hospital

I sure was ready to come home today.  That was half as long as the first stay in December.  We got a lot of things addressed and we think the radiation may be working already.

It is a proton device and only takes 10 minutes but I have difficulty holding still that long but I think I can do it.  It is not as envasive as other forms of radiation but five times stronger than most forms.  It is aimed at cancer cells only.

Unlike other types of radiation therapy that use x-rays to destroy cancer cells, proton therapy uses a beam of special particles called protons. Doctors can better aim proton beams onto a tumor, so there is less damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. This allows doctors to use a higher dose of radiation with proton therapy than they can use with x-rays.
Proton therapy is used to treat cancers that have not spread. Because it causes less damage to healthy tissue, proton therapy is often used for cancers that are very close to critical parts of the body.
Doctors may use proton therapy to treat the following types of cancer:

I go back every day next week and the following Monday and then I have equal to 60 treatments completed.  I have hopes this is going to give me more quality time at home and make it easier on me and my caregivers, mainly LuAnn.

I met some more mighty fine people serving those of us in need.  They really know what they are doing at this this hospital so I think I am getting the best care I can get in the region.

They have changed my medicine for regularity but the pains are much more severe.  I was beginning to wonder if I could even come home today at 10 AM this morning but here I am.  LuAnn is cooking up some dinner though I am back to tiny bites of specific foods to keep my regularity.

Thanks again for the thoughts and prayers, they were surely needed and much appreciated.  My troubles seem small compared to mom's right now.  She was doing so well and now she has had the rug pulled out from under her, too.

The blue sky is a welcome sight but it's supposed to get down to 19 degrees F again tonight.  It was cold today but forecast near 55 tomorrow which would be great.

I hope I can get some sleep tonight and can post this in the morning.

Ed

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mom Fell

Today my brother and his wife visited with the news we have kind of expected the past many years, mom fell.  It's the words no one wants to hear about their elderly parents and the TV ads prey on our emotions about these events.

Our mother has fought for her independence all her life.  For anyone wanting an example of what a person can do if they want it badly enough,it  is our mother.

Mom was raised in Vanceburg, Kentucky and ended up in Higginsport, Ohio when dad met her during WWII.  She worked at the shoe factory and dad farmed in Sardinia.  They were married in 1949 and I was born just before 1950.

Grandpa moved to the farm she owns in 1918 and dad officially took over when he and mom where married.  Mom always planned to own that farm and saw her dream come true in 1990, the same year dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The farm might not meet the rules for Ohio's 100 year ownership but I figure that in 2018 it deserves that recognition.  It really doesn't matter now, all we care for is that mom is comfortable and does not suffer.

I wish they had brought her to the hospital I am in but they stopped a few miles short.  I just hope she gets good care wherever she is.  Our family sure didn't need this right now but no family ever does.

If you could muster up a prayer for Lorena Winkle,  I sure would appreciate it and know she would too.

Ed

Friday, March 27, 2015

Hospital

LuAnn here.....We are still in the hospital.  We are anxious to get a few health issues taken care of and get home to Sable.

This cancer challenge has really made us reach deeper into our faith beliefs and rely on the power of God to reveal his plan for us.  We find ourselves living our vows to love "for better or worse" in a most poignant way.

Through it all we try to maintain a sense of humor and keep everything in perspective.  Despite a pretty miserable situation, we realize that we have so many blessings.

Our children and grandchildren are a wonderful reminder of our blessings.  Last night Shannon brought granddaughter Brynn to visit briefly.  She took Ed for a walk around the unit, holding his hand and encouraging him every step.  It melted the hearts of everyone who saw them.

Thank you for the prayers and good thoughts.  We feel them.  LuAnn





Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ileus

The last x-ray showed the ileus is slowly going away.  They are very mysterious the way they come and slowly leave gut.

I've had a lot of pain this round.  A week quickly evaporated in this stay at the hospital.  This is eating up my life's time and quite troublesome and pain full but it's all I have right now.   We need to improve my plan.  We do keep refining it.

I am sorry I missed some days but this one caught me off guard a week ago.

I think I will go check around and see what I've missed and add to this later.

Thank you dear friends,

Ed

Monday, March 23, 2015

Humic Acid

Humic substances, such as those listed in the above title, play a vital role in soil fertility and
plant nutrition. Plants grown on soils which contain adequate humin, humic adds (HAs), and
fulvic adds (FAs) are less subject to stress, are healthier, produce higher yields; and the
nutritional quality of harvested foods and feeds are superior. The value of humic substances in
soil fertility and plant nutrition relates to the many functions these complex organic compounds
perform as a part of the life cycle on earth. The life death cycle involves a recycling of the
carbon containing structural components of plants and animals through the soil and air and
back into the living plant.

Man became distracted from the importance of organic compound cycling when it was
discovered that soluble acidic based N P K "fertilizers" could stimulate plant growth. Large
industrial concerns took advantage of the N P K discovery to market industrially processed
"fertilizers" from mineral deposit. Continued use of these acidic fertilizers in the absence of
adequate humic substances (in the soil) has caused many serious sociological and ecological
problems. Man needs to reconsider his approach to fertilization techniques by giving higher
priority to soil humus.

The urgency to emphasize the importance of humic substances and their value as fertilizer
ingredients has never been more important than it is today. All those concerned about the
ability of soils to support plant growth need to assist in educating the public. Humic substances
are recognized by most soil scientists and agronomists as the most important component of a
healthy fertile soil. To illustrate how humic substances function, the following summary, based
on published scientific data, has been prepared as a guide for an educational program. In
addition, by understanding how these carbon containing substances function, professionals will
have a solid foundation on which to design environmentally acceptable sustainable agriculture
programs.

My friend Leon Bird wants me to apply his humic acid product on my crops this year.  I am not sure I can get this done but I would like to.

There are so many products available farmers are wary of them and mnay consider them uneeded or even "snake oil."  You know how I hate the term "snake oil" because all of those products probably have a place, they are not understood and often misplaced.  Just like the second paragraph where it says "man became distracted" and forgot about basic biology for then cheaper NPK fertilizers.

About all of the contest winners use humic acid as well as a lot of other "snake oils" but they understand enough to tweek their yields.  I heard an interview with the corn champ in Georgia and was impressed with his take on all of these things.  It made sense.

The economics of 2015 has farmers turn back to the basics.  What are your basics?  Removal rates of NPK fertilizer?  Are you still going to try some other things that interest you or has worked for you in the past?

Ed Winkle

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Nutrient Loss By Erosion

The loss of organic matter and its nutrient value by erosion has significant effect on both the long-term sustainability of the soil nutrient pool and soil productivity. Nutrient availability in the soil to plants is inherently linked to the soil organic matter pool that is replenished through plant-animal-soil-atmosphere interactions, creating different pools of organic matter.

These different carbon pools play a significant role in providing nutrients to plants through the decomposition process by the soil microbial community over time (Fig. 1). Thus, loss in soil productivity cannot be decoupled from the loss of organic matter. The removal of soil organic matter through erosion and its associated economic cost far exceeds the estimated cost of the primary nutrient components of the soil: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.

Soil organic matter lost to soil erosion contains not only these three primary nutrients, but also other macro and micro nutrients that need to be factored into the calculation of determining the cost of organic matter loss as a nutrient source. Therefore, any attempt to determine the value of nutrient loss, has to take into consideration the long-term impact on soil productivity.

  1. Let’s assume there are two soils types with organic matter contents of 3% and 5%.
  2. Let’s also assume the organic matter nutrient value is $0.10/lb (based on the nutrient value of a manure source, which can be higher depending on the hauling distance, application cost, etc.). We chose manure as a reference rather than commercial fertilizer, because liquid or dry manure contains the primary nutrients and other macro as well as micro nutrients. In addition, manure possesses properties that enhance the building of soil quality and improves soil organic matter.
  3. To calculate the cost of nutrient loss by soil erosion based on the above assumptions, the following example is provided:
    1. One ton of soil=2,000 lb of soil minerals and organic matter.
    2. Amount of organic matter per/one ton or 2000 lb of soil:
      for 3% O.M.= 0.03 x 2000 = 60 lb of organic matter
      for 5% O.M.= 0.05 x 2000=100 lb of organic matter
    3. The value for 3% OM =60lb x $0.10 = $6 per ton of soil loss for 5% OM=100lb x $0.10 =$10 per ton of soil loss
    4. If the soil loss is 5 tons/acre, then the total nutrient loss per acre for each of the two soil types:
      for 3% and 5% organic matter content, respectively, will be equivalent to $30 and $50 per acre ($6 x5 tons/acre or $10 x 5 tons/acre).
These calculations are an estimate of the nutrient loss, which highlight the economic loss in the short as well as in the long-term of soil productivity. However, the economic value of nutrient loss from soil erosion needs to be coupled with the loss of soil productivity at least in the near term, but it can be permanent from long-term perspectives. The reason for loss of soil productivity stems from the changes and degradation that occur in the physical, biological and chemical properties of the soil, which affect long-term productivity, and impact crop production regardless of how much chemical fertilizer is applied. Also, the loss of organic matter will lead to an increase in input cost of nutrients applied as chemical fertilizer to mitigate or manage the loss of soil productivity.

The economic value of nutrients lost due to soil erosion is only a small indicator of the problem with far reaching effects on soil productivity. Thus, there is continued need and an on-going effort for comprehensive soil conservation measures to improve and sustain soil health and productivity. In addition to the immediate cost of fertility loss from soil erosion, the long-term cost to society in terms water quality and other environmental risks can be significant.

These figures are conservative.  Long term damage and rebuilding time is not considered.  It took thousands of years to build what we can destroy in one year.  Even one ton loss in no-till is significant to me.

Let's do a better job of keeping soil where it belongs.

Ed