Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Get rid of all bitterness..."

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:31-32
These verses just popped out, having nothing to do with whatever I will write. In fact, I really don't have a subject tonight. We attended a birthday party for a member of our care group and saw more friends at church than we usually do, with over a hundred there and lots of chatting and visiting with everyone. I am amazed at the love we all share. I had a chance to visit with the parents of the young man who died last week (of cancer). They through God's help are learning to get through each day. And, they also have this wonderful support team, as do each of us at church, and that was evidenced tonight.
What a blessing to have such a group who love each other, support each other, and do not have the anger, malice and slander of which the Bible speaks.
I have two days this next week to "look forward" to. I see the oncologist Tuesday, find out when my CT is, and what chemo we will start next. Wednesday is my final radiation...sure hope and pray it has worked!Fun week!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Do everything without complaining..."

As I may have said, we are trying to sell our home and build an apartment at our daughter and son in law's home. This is very traumatic---trying to decide what to take and what to sell or give away is something that should not happen this early in life! That is for "old people" and I do not feel that old! I think of my grand mother in a nursing home with her important possessions in a little basket. That was all she had left--her Bible, magazines, Kleenex, a few greeting cards--to carry with her from her room to the day sitting area. I still think of her home..spacious, with a baby grand piano, a big kitchen, and the wonderful porch I have told about. So we all have possessions to use for a while, and nothing is really OURS for very long. We are making this move because of my having cancer--the family feels we need to be settled where they can take care of me and especially John if I don't live very long. I feel an urgency to get him settled in our "apartment" and know he will be OK. Of course, God could give me many years which I pray for, but anyway, we will be OK no matter what.
Philippians 2:14-15 says "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God..." I am trying.......

Friday, February 26, 2010

"The Lord...has been good to me."

Our granddaughter and her husband and three boys (ages 5-4 months) have been sick all winter! They get over one thing and another seems to be lurking around the doorway, from stomach virus, to ear infections, to sinus infections to bronchitis. She is just about worn to a frazzle (an old saying) and exhausted. She will remember (and maybe even laugh) this winter at some point and say it was bad but we made it!. I think every family has a "winter" they remember forever!
Our "winter" came at about the same point in our marriage and children ages as this has come to her. Within a year, (I know, more than a winter) our two boys, aged 5 and 2 had to have tonsils out. John came to the hospital that morning to give me the news that he had been laid off from his job. We had bought our first home about a year earlier and of course, times were tough. I had a miscarriage, we all had flu, I got pregnant again, we sold our house and moved into John's parents' home (and they lived in a cabin behind the house). John got another job, which he kept until he retired. Our daughter was born and we lived in our in-laws' house for two years, built a house on some of their land and lived there 20 years.
Our children got to grow up running back and forth in the fields behind the grandparents and that was joy for all to be that close.
There were more "winters" as we dealt with Johny's problems but I will always remember that as the worst year of our lives. One really funny thing that happened that year...we thought Johny was allergic to regular milk and tried to keep it away from him. One day I caught him drinking the cat's milk out of a bowl in the garage...ants and all!!! I decided he must not be allergic after
Psalms 13:5-6 "But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me."
And I have felt good the last two radiation to go!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

"O Lord...[you] lift up my head..."

Are you ever in a "down" mood so that you feel like your head is hanging down, even when it is not? I can remember when Johny (our son) died that I felt like my head was connected to my abdomen and pulled down that far, even when it obviously was not. I guess that is the meaning of the expression, "bowed down with grief".
Psalms 3:3 is another of my favorite verses, to think that God can lift up my head! Just think how He is a shield about us! No matter what you are going through, God is there holding you up and forming a barrier between you and the world.
I have felt better today than last Thursday (the day after radiation) and it is exciting to know there is only one more radiation treatment. I visited some friends today and went to art class tonight. I go to oil painting class every Thursday (but I missed about two months in January and February). The buttercups and tulips are still coming up and even showing buds..not knowing they will get "cut back" by the inevitable late snow in March. A dove has built her nest as usual above our kitchen window and I tell her every day, her babies are coming way too early!
Earth and nature move on no matter what happens in our lives. "But you are a shield around me, O Lord; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,"

"..His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait on Him.'" Lamentations 3:22-24
Well, the second radiation was today. This type of radiation does not hurt, even though the doctor told me this is stronger than the kind in which you go for 25 treatments. The "pain" is in the feeling of your body being invaded, of having to lie perfectly still without moving anything but hands for two hours. I feel the ignominy of having one's body displayed , wired, radiated and the loss of self pride really makes you worn out. I came home today, as last week, and slept several times. I am having less symptoms of the cancer's growth so I believe it is working. That is very good and I am so thankful for that,so I will not complain.
I long to be well and healed. I ache to be healthy again. I am sure this is the feeling of anyone who is ill or has a disease of some kind. I was thinking during the night, how Jesus said there is nothing we go through that He has not endured. I don't believe He had cancer or any other diseases we are afflicted with but He endured worse by family who thought He was crazy and friends who turned against Him and His death on the cross-- so in essence He had gone through the same as we.
"The Lord's...compassions never fail..."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My name on His hands.....

At long last, I am able to drive again!...We take so much for granted, not only our health, eyes, hearing, and all that, but just daily living and ability to do for ourselves. I went to the grocery today ALL BY MYSELF and it felt so good. I appreciate all John does for me and with me, but I sure did miss my independence for six weeks of not driving. I was able to get haircut today, having also waited six weeks for that.
So tomorrow is the second radiation, and I do not look forward to that.
In Isaiah 49, God says "See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands..." (verse 16). I need to know this promise. I feel like I am in "limbo"...wondering how much the cancer is growing in my liver, and is it spreading anywhere else? Being off chemo for three months and knowing the cancer is there is a "first" for me. Whenever I have cancer actively growing, I am on chemo, so this is a leap of faith to believe God is protecting me as I have this "vacation" from the chemo. (even though during the vacation, I had brain surgery and radiation!)
So I guess I am longing to know my Father is seeing me through this period of fear and yet having assurance He is looking at my name on His hands!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wisdom and "sayings:

While John was in the hospital last week, I stayed with my sister and we thought of some local "sayings" that friends and family from other parts of the country find strange and funny. The Bible is full of "sayings" as in Proverbs and Psalms. Did you ever hear (especially an older person) someone say.."well I allow!", meaning "I never heard of such!"...then an old country saying is "he was battin' his eyes like a frog in a hailstorm"...which is self explanatory.
We often say we are "fixin' to go somewhere or do something" which especially northerners cannot understand what that means! We always speak of having "bowl dinners" which I think other parts of the country call "pot luck"...we just say, "come and bring a bowl"...
Usually the bowl dinners are accompanied with "Yall come and see us".
Something that is especially nice is called "finer than a gnat's hair" which is pretty fine! John's Dad, coming from an agricultural background always judged land by its growth possibilities and he would look at poor land and say "that land wouldn't grow buck bushes!"
Did anyone ever tell you "I will carry you over yonder"??? I have heard someone say "carry??you mean pick up??" not understanding the local meaning. We used to (and still do) say "hosepipe" instead of garden hose..Why? that is what Grandpa called it. A 'saying" from the Bible is:
Proverbs 27:19 says "As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man."
I feel very well after a few rough days after the first radiation, so I kind of hate to go through the second one; but I am sure it will be worth it!
Yall come to see us, now! (and bring a bowl)...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The majesty of God

"Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" Psalm 8, and Psalm 9, "The Lord is a refuge in times of trouble..."
This was another good day to go to church, then walk this afternoon, but the rain is back. Tonight, we watched Forest Gump, the movie, and marveled at the mannerisms Tom Hanks affected, that were exactly like our son, Johny, had. John and I felt almost like we were looking at Johny (who has been deceased for 25 years). The actor stood, with his hands on his waist, EXACTLY like Johny did, he walked the same way, he had mouth mannerisms the same...I felt like Tom Hanks had stood and watched our Johny before he made this movie.
None of us knows what will happen tomorrow. This movie we watched has nothing to do with anything except it brought tears of remembrance to our eyes. I look at our babies in the family and their perfection and praise God for this.
I know I am rambling, bouncing from one thing to another...God is so good to give us our blessings of each day, grace for the moment, and He is indeed our refuge. One look at each day indicates His majesty. This will be a busy week coming up. I have my second radiation, and wonder how it will affect me. I hope I don't get more tired or difficult to live with. John hopes I will be in better humor this next do I...I hate feeling "out of sorts". He says I have every right to be "out of sorts" after all I have been through...What a man!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hope and glory of God

I did not think the radiation was affecting me very much, but today I have been kind of "wiped out" so it must be doing more than I thought. The 5th chapter of Romans says we "rejoice in the hope of the glory or God" and then in verse 3 it says that "suffering produces perseverance; perseverance,character; and character, hope."
I surely pray for perseverance and character and hope!
When I think I have everything under control, I don't! I probably am trying to do it by myself, instead of letting God be in control.
I am so on edge, and no patience, not my usual "easy to get along with" self!
John is so patient with me and so ready to overlook anything I say or do.
Next week is another radiation, and I wonder how I will feel after that! I am sorry to be acting like a "baby", but when I started this blog, I said I was going to tell you how it feels to be a cancer patient.
Tomorrow is supposed to be another sunny day, and I want to walk again...maybe that will lift my mood! There is always "hope and glory in God".

Friday, February 19, 2010

John takes over....

I, John, have taken over Beverly's blog tonight.
When reading the story of Job in the Bible, I think about Beverly. In that story, Satan decides to test Job's loyalty to God. God allows the test but tells Satan he could not take Job's life.
With Beverly's cancer, Satan could be testing Beverly's faith and dependence on God. The elders of the church have prayed over, laid hands on, and anointed her with oil. Each time the cancer has been successfully removed by the surgeon (the oil) but after each successful removal of the cancer, it has come back in her body.
Beverly still praises God and gives Him the credit for removing the cancer, even though some still remained this last time. So she is still being tested by Satan to see if her faith in God will be questioned and if she will stop praising God and trusting Him.
As Job said, "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised."
God has His reasons and ways for answering prayers and they are beyond our understanding. Beverly's condition will be as God desires, as she is a child of God.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

God intercedes for us...

I have missed all of you, my friends...I feel as I write that I am chatting with a group of you, at least I hope I am.
For the past four days, John and I have been "out of pocket". He has been in the hospital, receiving medication in order to have "cardio version". Well, God stepped in and the medicine was just perfect without the shock to John's heart. He stayed in the hospital four days and took medicine and his heart is just fine, and how he is home. We are so grateful for this blessing of improved health for him!
Meantime, I still cannot drive, and I think I told that the cancer is spreading to my lower abdomen, and I had a biopsy on Monday which proved that it is the same cancer as the others. I started radiation on this Tuesday and will receive two more in the next two weeks to hopefully clear out this group of cancer cells!
My oncologist is setting up a clinical study (my third study in all, and fourth chemo in six years) and our insurance turned me down for this one I have decided it really was not the right one and God is sending the right one for me!
My sister has been my chauffeur, and cook, and provided me a place to live for four days, for which we are so grateful. February 22ND is my day to drive again!!!
So we are glad to be home and ready to face new physical requirements and new opportunities to serve God. Romans 8:26 tells us that .."the Spirit helps us in our weakness..." and when we don't know how to pray, "The Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." How marvelous are these promised blessings!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I miss all our grandchildren!

I was just looking at face book and realized how much I miss all the "grands" and the "greats"! Winter is just not a good time for traveling and visiting. John and I cannot find time without a doctor visit to go anywhere! Oh well, I shall not complain. We got to go to church today and to care group tonight. This was a good Valentine, thinking about what the holiday means and how much love is in our family. I am so thankful for our children and grandchildren and their spouses and what they each mean to us. We could not have picked any of them any more perfectly . I am constantly amazed at the love for God each displays and the love for family they all have.
A young man at church (a cancer victim) about whom I have spoken, is in hospice and will not live much longer. This is very sad, especially for his wife and sons and parents. It is so difficult to know God's plans for all of us and why things like this happen. I wonder why , so far, I can hold this cancer "at bay" but then wonder how much longer this is possible. I wonder what God's plan is for me and when I get the next CT if it is spread and how much?
Proverbs 3:3 talks about love..."Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them about your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart..."
John enters the hospital tomorrow for three days, and I pray the procedure works.I pray God allows us to have years more together, in love and faithfulness...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Praying and believing

Tonight I feel like rambling...our cousin Anna, is out of the hospital and doing much better with her newly discovered bone cancer. We hope and pray she can go back to her apartment but that is yet to be seen. Home health care does not permit one her age to drive and go to the hamburger drive in every night! What a joy to be that age and have such a zest for life!
We had dinner with old high school friends tonight, and "when did we get old"?????? We talked about who had died and who the widow or widower is dating? What newly discovered disease does everyone we know have now? And how much does your medicine cost? Does your Medicare D cover that? and so on....things we swore we would never do or talk about!!!
One thing for sure, having cancer definitely does set ones priorities on a different "plane"; so does having a sick child, or any life altering event, like the loss of a child or grandchild.
Life gets tough sometimes. People tell me I handle this so well. I do have times I cry and get really upset, but then I get over it and back to enjoying life.
Next week, I may not be able to do this blog because of John's being in the hospital and my not being here much. I will catch this up when I get a chance.
In Mark 11:24 Jesus tells us.."whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.".. my John prays for the healing of all my cancer and thanks God for this healing...I feel so blessed for a husband who is such a believer and such a support for me.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Trust in God

Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!"
My part D medical insurance called today to let me know they will not cover a very expensive chemo that my oncologist wanted to give me when we start back in April. The company that makes this drug also called to ask about our finances and there is a slim chance they would fund this through a grant. I have not found out just what they mean by "very expensive"! Strangely I am not worried. If that is the right med I am supposed to take, God will find a way for me to get it. If not, there is always "Plan B", which my oncologist is really good at finding. I hear these "horror stories about cancer patients whose doctors "put them off", like saying, "we will watch that for a few months", or treating them with first one thing then another and letting things go too far and letting the patient have no chance at survival. All you women, if you have any 1% chance at sensing that little feeling that something "Might" be wrong, run to your doctor and insist on a Ct, even if you have to pay for it yourself. Nothing is worth taking a chance over not knowing and being unaware of your health.
I hope to find out more with this new tumor next week, get John fixed up with his heart rhythm, start my three radiation treatments, and find out about this "expensive drug".
Guess what???"spellcheck" found no misspellings tonight!!! I am doing better!!! Thank you God!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Friendship and "peace"

Two days ago John and I (on our way to another doctor appointment) stopped and ate lunch at a very special tea room/restaurant, called the "Picnic". About 25 years ago, John and I did some craft shows, I did weaving, and he made bird houses and beautiful "jelly cupboards", copying antique ones. We had set up at a school out in Green Hills and a young lady at another booth, came over and asked if he could make her a hat rack. He did and next she asked if he could make picnic tables and benches. He did and we painted them blue and white with stenciling around the tops of the benches. This was the start of a beautiful friendship. Her name is Cathy and she was starting this tearoom, at that time in a corner of a drug store. Over the years, John has done several craft things for her, one was building her daughter a Victorian play house--and I did some children's sewing for her. We have stayed in touch over the years and her tea room is very successful in its own building now . A specialty there is chicken salad. Her "Momma" still works with her and they really have the best, truly southern, homemade every thing! Our precious friend treated us to lunch and is still as special as she has always been. She is another blessing added to our lives over the years.
As several noticed, I did not write yesterday. I went to a radiologist and he found two new tumors and is going to do a series of three radiations beginning next week. I was just really upset...(I know "do not be anxious") but sometimes I just cannot help being blue when it seems the cancer is getting ahead of me. I feel better today and optimistic again. "The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
I have started back in art class for two weeks now and that is a joy to be back with friends there. John has to take me--cannot wait to drive again!!! These friends there are so supportive and encouraging--I call them "my other care group"..(like our care group at church). A friend came and took me out for lunch today , and a chance to get out and talk. Another friend came by this afternoon and brought Valentine cookies. So as I often say, I am truly blessed. Thank you God for providing all I need... loving friends, wonderful doctors, blessed family.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"May the God of hope fill you with --joy..."

Today was John's turn to go to the doctor, getting him ready for a three day hospital visit and cardio-version next week. We are taking turns being "sick"...hope we don't get in bad shape at the same time!!!Tomorrow I see a radiologist and get ready for five days of radiation, hoping it will reach my pelvic area that the oncologist says has fewer blood vessels, therefore has less success with chemo. This will get me ready for the chemo starting about the first of April. So, the fight goes on, day by day and week by week... I will not complain because I feel so blessed, having energy right now and feeling almost normal.
When I think of March and April being around the corner, it reminds me of flowers and I see our buttercups up about six inches, just waiting to bloom, in spite of the snow, more than usual this winter.
Flowers have been very important all my life. Mama always, (even though she was not a "garden person"), would plant marigolds, zinnias, and morning glories. Grandma always planted a big flower bed of Cannas, and small beds of pansies. I can see her carrying buckets of water out to these flower beds every afternoon, and also to bird baths. When Daddy went to war and we went to live with the grandparents, the old cow shed was moved to that yard and became my doll/play house. I planted flowers around it. In my grown-up yards, I have always collected iris, some from older ladies when I grew up and some from Grandma's, day lilies from Gran, and from our cousins in Missouri who have a day Lilly farm, and many "starts" from our daughter in law who is a master gardener. I have also learned much about gardening from her. Flowers are such a boost of energy in our lives, giving proof that life goes on and revives the earth forever.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13
I am so encouraged by precious younger friends who , 1. did my blog when I could not read or write for a week and comes to take me out for coffee, 2. friends who have brought food, and pray for us every day, 3. a friend who gave me a wonderful "hand written story book" of pictures and sentiments that I really would love to be worthy of! 4. friends who send cards and emails and are "there" when I need cheering up. Is anyone as blessed as I am?!!! I pray for some of our friends who are facing serious illnesses, and our precious cousin, Anna, is going to a nursing home. At age 91 she has really been independent for longer than most her age! So it is my turn to pray for and take food to and hope to be of help to some of my friends.

Monday, February 8, 2010

..."the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth..."

Psalms 121: I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth." verses 1-2
I went to the neurosurgeon today, and he was so pleased with my progress, and said there was no cancer in the brain tissue (MRI after surgery). He will not let me drive for two more weeks (making six weeks without independence) and two more weeks without any hair "fixings"...So I will be white and straight in two more weeks! I really cannot complain, God has taken care of me so wonderfully and those are minor things! We are seeing more snow tonight, this is being the worse winter in a number of years.
I was thinking this afternoon about trips because John and I hope to go to Hawaii before I start chemo again. I go to the oncologist March 2 to sign all the papers for another experimental (this will be the fourth chemo in six years).
I am so glad we took trips when we did, with our children and grandchildren and just the two of us. We camped for 40 years and when our children were young, camped all over the United States except for three states. The longest trip was out west and back for three weeks, and had no trouble until we got between Memphis and Nashville and had a flat tire on our trailer. That was a really fun trip. We kind of divided the US and camped each direction for several years. Then we went to Europe twice, to England/Scotland once, to the Holy Land, and Egypt, Canada and Mexico, Bermuda, and many cruises all over the Caribbean. I went to Japan on a mission trip without John, but with my sister and her family. We have never regretted any trip taken, only the trips not take!. I am so glad we did this instead of waiting "until we had time, or could afford it"...Sometimes, we borrowed the money to go and one of these times was the Holy Land trip...we took our daughter and two grandsons, and this was such a memorable trip! Then we took each of the other grandchildren on a trip "of their own"which turned out to be very special times with all of them.
So we feel so blessed over the years, to have been able to do these trips, to be kept under God's sheltering wing each trip, and to enjoy the blessings of being with our family in so many ways.
I feel God continues to bless us and me each day and I am overwhelmed with gratitude each day.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"joy of the Lord....

"The Joy of the Lord is your strength..."Nehemiah 8:10
And we need strength tonight...We found out sadly that John's cousin, Anna, (the one who was an army nurse in World War II), is hospitalized, and seriously ill..She is 91 and her strength is waning especially since she found out about three weeks ago that she has a bone cancer. So tonight we are sad for her battle with all the things that go with cancer, and being hospitalized, and all her immediate family are gathering close to support her. All we can do, far from her, is pray.
Before we received this email tonight, I was wondering about my journal tonight. I had thought about family recipes today, about foods that family especially would cook, that was unique to us. Grandma used to fix something that I never knew anyone else to cook---cornmeal dumplings. She would start with a ham hock, use this as a gravy and drop in cornmeal "pones" and let them cook slowly. The loose cornmeal made a gravy, and this was so good! I am sure it was not healthy, probably full of salt! Does anyone who reads this know how to cook this??I would love to try it just once more.
Grandma would also cook fresh turnip greens, and top them with poached eggs...very yummy. She made hot biscuits every morning and used a batch as a starter, not yeast, but from lard. She lived to be 98 and never had any blood pressure or heart problems..but she also mowed her yard with a PUSH mower until she was near 90, so that might explain why she could eat like that and never have health problems.
I have several old cookbooks that were family ---they are very old.
Gran taught me how to cook a roast, and the best banana pudding, making (from scratch) homemade vanilla pudding for the base.
Well tomorrow I go to the neurosurgeon and hope he will release me.
I am really enjoying "being on vacation" from the chemo. It really feels like a true vacation!
Please pray for our Anna, and her peace at heart and mind and body, also health if God wills.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Happy are the people...

"Happy are the people whose God is the Lord..." Psalms 144:15
I really hate to miss a day not blogging...but last night was "cabin night"....a glorified older "girls" slumber party! Our care group women do this several times a year, taking advantage of a friend of a friend who has a wonderful "cabin" above Gallatin, by a creek, in the woods and it is like getting way from home. It is a connecting in thoughts, a worship time in spirit, a revival of sister-hood, a sharing of worries, happiness, and knowing God is there for each of us. We can have anywhere from 8 to 12 friends there. We talk, eat, play games, talk, eat, take pictures. We come away revived, and ready to tackle anything life throws at us.
We are especially concerned and in prayer for several in our care group who are facing serious illness. Women are so blessed to have built in their psyche this "sister-hood" and trust in each other.
It felt good for me to be able to get away for a day and night, and almost forget that I had brain surgery and have cancer. God is good and His mercies overflow.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"For I know the plans I have for you ..."

God knows the plans for, is this wonderful! I saw my oncologist today and he and several of the other doctors and nurses were so amazed at how my tumor just "went away"...and they too believe God took it away. My doctor is so believing that I am not growing cancer by the day...(my wondering since I am off the chemo for now). He has three possible chemos to choose from...they are new and each is special, two are experimental, one for multiple myloma, one for a sarcoma (not my kind) and another which I am not sure the specific cancer it attacks). Since my cancer is so rare ( a mixed mullerian)I will go sign papers and apply for the drug he thinks will be the best for now. He also says the side effects are minimal, worst is the time table. Each drug must be taken every Monday/Tuesday for three weeks then the fourth week is "off"...this is really not so bad, except the two days each week are long days. With no side effects, I will get 12 days "off" each four weeks, so that will be like a mini-vacation each month!
I should not have to recuperate between Mondays so that will be wonderful.
So today, back at the Sarah Cannon center, watching the patients with caps and hats, covered bald heads, forever hopeful, praying for the cure that is perfect. That is me, not bald but praying for the perfect cure. I also got to go back to art tonight...this is "healing" to be with these dear friends and to enjoy being creative after missing art for several months. This group is like another "care group" from church and they are such a praying group!
Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future..."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"...He will rejoice over you with singing."

Tonight was the first time I have felt like going to Wednesday night church in nearly two months. It feels so GOOD to feel nearly normal. It feels so good to not be on chemo! It feels so good to have an appetite and really be able to taste food. It feels so good to have more energy and pretend all is ok and I am not sick and I am not going to start over again with the chemo and all that goes with it. But that is not the truth and I cannot pretend that I am well and not going to go through this again. But as my doctor told me several years ago.."do you just want to sit down and die?"
I go to the oncologist tomorrow and we shall see what he thinks we need to do next. I really needed this rest and it is wonderful. I had done continually, since August, 2 surgeries,3 hospital stays, chemo, 2 transfusions, many, many white cell and red cell shots, and lots of CT's and MRI's, just staying alive. We beat it back again, God and I and the medical community.
So tomorrow I find out just what is our next move. I am not ready to give up and I believe God has more for me to do. So, stay tuned, for our next big move...will it be plan A or plan B???
One of my favorite and most comforting Bible verses is Zephaniah 3:17..."The Lord our God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"A woman who fears the Lord..."

"A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised..." Proverbs 31:30 Well this is my last "story" about our parents...telling about John's Mother...whom I called Gran.. Last night, I touched on how she and Grandad met and married. She was one of seven children, adored by her father. (He had four boys and three girls, but loved his girls best of all...)The family's first home was in Edenwold, near the rail road, and the old Swinging Bridge (in the early 1900's the only way to get from Nashville and Madison over to Old Hickory). This home burned and they rebuilt out on Gallatin Road, where Gran's father bought quite a few acres. This time he build a large clapboard home, similar to the Hermitage. He had Iris up a long rock path and all along the Gallatin road and another long rock wall all up the property. So this is where Gran grew a prosperous beautiful home. (Her mother had died after giving birth to her and one sister. Her father married again and had another girl and the four boys. All these were born down in Edenwold,); then he married a third time after they moved to Gallatin road.
When Gran's sister married and moved to Washington, DC, Gran lived with her awhile and dated many government officials but soon tired of this life and came back to Nashville where she met Grandad and they soon married. About this time, her father's second home burned and all goods in the house were lost! She had the two boys, and their family build a home on part of her father's land. When the depression came along, Gran went to school at Watkins and learned millinery. She became one of Nashville,s foremost milliners, working for McHenry Hats in the old Lovemans downtown. John remembers her working for 50c a day.
When the older son died, Gran was thrown into severe physical and emotional problems which she never recovered from. She functioned normally but the joy was gone from her life. She enjoyed our three children but John's cousins tell us she was a different personality after that death.
When Grandad died, part of her did also and she only lived two more years. She was a beautiful young woman and an energetic young mother and wife. I was always sorry I did not know her and the fun loving, sparkling person she had been.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Blessed is the man.....

"Blessed is the man who always fears the Lord..." Proverbs 28:14
John's father was born on a farm in Alabama, the 6th of seven children. (His ancestral family came "over the mountains" in the 1700's as part of the Robertson's who founded Nashville, except his family went south to the Tennessee River part of what became Alabama. They settled there when Alabama was still part of Indian land called Mississippi Territory.)
So this young 17 year old left home in the early 1900's leaving farm land to go to telegraphy school. After graduating he came to the Franklin area to work for the L&N Railroad. At this time, his oldest sister lived nearby.
When World War I started he joined the Navy and served as a telegrapher in the Navy. He was on a ship that went through the NEW Panama Canal in the 1917's. After the war, he came back to the railroad as before and was sent to work in the Edenwold area, now a memory of a place near Nashville. While working there, he started studying law and hoped to be a lawyer someday. He met a beautiful young lady locally and they soon married. They were both so good looking that it is said when they walked in down town Nashville, people would stop and stare at them, certain they were movie stars!
The depression came along, the couple had two boys to raise, and the law school fell by the wayside. He always kept the demeanor of solemnity and all his friends called him "Judge" all his life!
The oldest son was killed in World War II and these two never recovered from this death. I never met him until much later, as John was the younger brother and we met in 1950 and married in 1952. Family members have told me how they both changed so much after the older son's death.
I always called him "Grandad" and loved him very much. He was such a fine gentleman, such a man of his word, a "handshake" type of man!he worked for the L&N until he was 79 years old; just think working for a company for 62 years! He had worked there longer than anyone ever had there before. He also worked at the famous Union Station before it was closed as a rail road station and became a hotel. When he left there, his boss gave him a rolled up picture----it is a famous lithograph of the Union Station, drawn in 1900 by L.L. Gamble. We proudly display it in a frame made by John from some old
poplar from a grandparent's home.
Grandad only lived two years after he retired and spent those years walking over to our home and loving to be with the grandchildren.
He was very special and we all loved our "Grandad".