Friday, April 30, 2010

..."I lift up my soul..."

Today we gardened more, cleaning up our own gardens, clearing out some, as it seems no one wants to buy a house with lots of gardens! That is such a shame. I look at my pictures of all my flowers from last year and see how lush everything was, and now we have torn out half of all that, and turned it into grass. But if we can get moved, I will have flowers there.
As our grandchildren got older, they one-by-one dropped out of the month in Tennessee as they got jobs, or had sports or whatever when they got to be about 14 or 15. However, we had a very special trip with each one before he or she quit the summer vacation. When our oldest grandson was 14 and the next oldest grandson was 10, we took them with us to Israel, Egypt, Rome, Jordan, the Holy Land Trip with our preacher. Our daughter went also and we had a wonderful trip, never to be forgotten! We did so many memorable things, like a boat across the Sea of Galilee, crossing the Jordan River, riding a camel in Cairo, seeing the pyramids, standing on the hillside near Capernaum where Jesus delivered the sermon of the mount. We stopped for a devotional, near there and a small fisherman's boat came slowly by, almost exactly like the disciples would have been in, and we all just gasped, it was so "real"!
We were gone two weeks, and to this day, my most wonderful mental image is sitting on the "old Temple steps" and thinking, "Jesus walked right here!" This was indeed a time to never be forgotten and I know those two grandsons still hold those memories.
Psalm 25:1 says "To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God..."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

May I be pleasing in thy sight....

I was looking through my one attempt at scrap booking...the one I did of all our grand children's summer times here and trips we took. Three of our grandchildren have always lived away, in Texas and Georgia. Each summer as they were growing up we would go get them and the other grandparents would take them back and while they were here (usually the month of August) John and I would take them (and our other who lives here) on a trip. We started this when they were young, and the youngest came in with us when he was four. By then the others were seven, seven and eleven. Our fifth grandchild came into the family later. We took some great trips, usually to Falls Creek, but also to the Zoo, and to Pensacola, FL. One year we went to the Fort Worth Zoo while we were in Texas, and that year to Destin, FL. We usually camped once in parks , then got a cabin or house in Florida. One year we went to South Carolina and saw, Fort Sumpter, Tybee Island, old plantation houses, and stayed on the beach.We went to the naval base and went into a sub! One year we went up to the Cumberland Gap, and saw where Daniel Boone came thru the gap...One year, we took the three, who then lived in Georgia, to the Warm Springs, GA "white house" where President Roosevelt vacationed. We also visited Juliette, GA, the scene of the movie, "Fried Green Tomatoes", then rented the movie that night and enjoyed seeing where we had been and how the movie was depicted.
You can visit the Whistle Stop Cafe, eat barbeque...remember the barbeque pit out back???
Usually when we camped, we would take bikes...about seven...and bike or hike all over the park, usually ending up at the "swimming hole".I have told you about that...I don't think John and I will ever go down that bluff again, but it was fun while it lasted.
More about trips another time.
John and I did more garden- moving- flowers and rocks over to Cathy's today and feel really good to be able to do this. I go back to the oncologist next Thursday so I have one more week to feel good. I guess he and I will have to decide what I can and am willing to do, med-wise. I cannot take as heavy a dose as I was taking, so we shall see.
I have done lots of praying as I dig and garden this week. Being out in nature is a great time to meditate.
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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

Today was a very good work in the yard day, as we moved flowers over to Cathy's flower beds. Tomorrow we plan to start moving a few small pieces of furniture. I have decided I cannot go back on the chemo I have been on. It is so caustic to me. I hope my doctor does not think I am being a difficult patient, and I don't think he will. I just know when I cannot do something (I have felt this way several times) and I know I had rather die of cancer than of chemo!!! But I know he will find another drug that will maybe work better.
My granddaughter-in-law was describing a difficult cake she had made, (with 19 egg whites) and with three very young children, I am so impressed! It reminded me of the "bowl cake" I made once for a party.
I made this wonderful cake from Southern Living, for a Christmas party. I even used fat-free cream cheese to cut down on the calories! When I put the four layers together, it seemed rather soft so I put it in the refrigerator to "get hard". When I checked it an hour later, the entire cake slid out the door! I pushed it back in the refrigerator, slammed the door and thought, "what to do, what to do". I got a big bowl, opened the door again and the entire cake slid out into the bowl! I served it in fancy saucers, and called it my "bowl cake"...everyone loved it! I later found out, that fat free cream cheese will never get hard in an icing, so now I know. Of course, I never tried that cake again!
May we all, cancer or not, depend upon God to encourage us, give us hope and fill us with job. Romans 15:13 gives this encouragement..."May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"He put a new song in my mouth..."

I feel better than yesterday so apparently the Z Pac is working...I still am under the influence of the chemo and not "back to normal" whatever that is! We are hoping to do yard work tomorrow and maybe start moving some small things over to the apartment, I really need to feel good!

Another story about our camping days: A group of us had gone to Falls Creek, and were going up to the fire tower and climb up it, and had several vehicles full of all of us. Johny begged to ride in the open tail of the station waggon, and hang his feet off, with the big kids. We finally said, "OK, but you DO_NOT_MOVE!" he promised he would sit very still. So we drove up this long winging dusty road, and when we got there, he had not moved. Every inch of his body was covered with dust, even each eyelash! We laughed so hard---he really had not even blinked! We had such fun and he enjoyed all the camping tips so much.
The other trips Johny enjoyed were going to Florida, or to Texas when our oldest lived there. We got to go see where JR lived at Southfork and that was lots of fun.
On one trip, we had driven awhile and I said "do you think we should stop and eat or drive further? Then I said, "why don't we stop and eat..." Johny said "Good thinking, Mother"...he was so near normal, but just not there, but we had fun always.
We were blessed in his life and blessed in his being taken early, even though at the time, it was hard to see. But he did not have to grow old and get sick or anything like that, and we have not had to worry about "who will take care of him"
Psalm 40 :1-3 is a comfort..."I waited patiently for the Lord ; He turned to me and heard my cry.He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock, and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God."

Monday, April 26, 2010

"Sing to the Lord a new song;"

This has been a tough time since Friday's chemo. I have gotten worse and worse, just KNEW it was no red cells. Well I was wrong. I went to the Dr today and had blood work, just knew they would give me a transfusion of platelets, but my red cells were actually up. An X Ray even though it showed no infection, there was an idea that I have a lung infection, so I am taking a Z Pac and I already feel better even after today's first two pills. They also think maybe I just cannot take this chemo. That it is too harsh on me. The Dr said most people tolerate it very well, but there are a few like me that their body just cannot do it. So if I don't really feel better by 2 days from now, we will re-think the transfusion. Otherwise, I have 10 days off and go back May 6, and we will talk about what is next. Probably a new drug, something that maybe my body can stand. In the meantime we may take a few weeks rest to re-coup. That would be very nice!!!
A few weeks of feeling normal would give us time to move maybe, since our apartment is nearly finished. We still have no house selling prospects but know God will provide when the time comes.
So back to bed, maybe tomorrow will be a better day!
Psalms 149:1, 4 says "Praise the Lord, Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise in the assembly of the saints....For the Lord takes delight in His people, He crowns the humble with salvation.."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord..."

Another difficult day, hard to breathe, slept a lot, but we did go to church this morning. I did ok as long as I walked slowly, so I could breathe. I am calling the doctor tomorrow and find out if I can get the shot one day this week. I never realized just how frightening it is to not be able to breathe deeply. You get a panicky feeling.
I have one more good story about grandma and grandpa. When they built their "dream home", it was just after their baby boy had died and Mama was about four years old. The house was a yellow brick, big front porch, (1916) and the brick posts with columns on the front porch. The doors inside had wonderful mirrors and woodwork. They built a "preacher's bedroom" upstairs for visiting preachers and evangelists. Grandpa was very involved with the evangelists of that era and there would be large tent meetings in town and some preachers would stay for a month or more. In fact, one stayed so long, Grandpa had to ask him to leave! Grandma had had all the company she could stand.
One day, Grandma found Mama (age 4) looking at herself in the mirror and saying "I just could not be any prettier!" This is the house they had to sell in the depression that came soon, and built the cedar slab cottage in the country that I have told you about , with the chickens, garden, etc.
Just more memories and family tales; also a heritage of grandparents who loved the Lord and gave of themselves for His work.
Well I hope and pray tomorrow will be a better breathing day, because this hard to breathe is very exhaustive. Meantime, I will continually "praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens...Let everything that has breath praise the Lord." Psalm 150: 1,8

Saturday, April 24, 2010

II Cor 4:16-17 "...we are being renewed day by day"

No I did not write last night...I had chemo #6 yesterday, finishing half of a "round", with two weeks off then a repeat. My trouble, is I have too few platelets and red blood cells, and insurance won't pay for a "red cell shot" for another week. I could hardly breathe yesterday and last night it got worse. It is exhaustive to try to breathe and I have a new sympathy for those with lung problems. Today John and I went to town and walked about two miles total from where we parked, over to the stadium to see our son and grandson-in-law come in from the marathon. I made it, by stopping every so often to rest so I am better today. Then we had 18 family members here today/tonight and what fun!Many of these grandchildren and their families, or our son and our daughter-in-law , we don't see but every four months or so. Others, we see often but all being together was so fun. I do love my family!
I think I will ask the doctor if we can cut the chemo back to half strength when we start up again, or at least maybe the last two doses. These seemed to be the hardest on me. The Ct about the end of May will determine if it is working. If I KNEW it was being VERY effective, I might gather the strength to endure the full doses of chemo. Like I have said when I have a good day, I feel normal, but the bad days are really bad! I asked the nurse if my body was not responding as well to the chemo as before and she said "well you have had a LOT in a few years." But we know God knows my days and He is in control and I will not worry about that!
"II Corinthians 4 is one of my favorite chapters and I have quoted this verse before, but it is so appropriate..."Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"they will become one flesh.."

Today was the long, dreaded day...I sat (mostly) in a lounge chair for eight hours. I said it was a 12 hour day, but there as only one blood draw after the first one, so it shortened the day some. Of course, I add two hours getting there and back, so it is a long day. I am having shortness of breath, caused the doctor thinks, by the steroids given at the first. I am nauseous, just don't feel good.
I went to art class for an hour and enjoyed that fellowship and even painted a little. Everyone there is like family and we are so close! There are about eight in our class, sometimes fill=in from another class.
I was questioned about my saying several nights ago that John asked me if I was ready to give up...He was saying this in the most honest, loving way, giving me permission to do what I felt like at any time. We have been totally open with each other about our physical ailments and maybe shortened life span. We both lovingly agree, that each of us has the right to stop treatment anytime, if it becomes too harsh, being a "killer" in itself.
By all means, I love life and want to live as long as I can, I love physical labor in the yard, love being with family, John and I have such a great life together even if I have some bad days; but if I ever reach the point that none of this is possible, chemo would not be of much use, I think.
So much for that sort of thing, just wanted to clear up that I HAVE NO DEATH WISH!
I am always, every day thankful for John and his support for me in every way. I am thankful God made this creation of man and wife and that we are bound together.
Genesis 2:24 says, "For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Let the land produce vegetation..."

Genesis 1:11 tells of our earth's creation: "Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: see-bearing plants and trees on the land that bears fruit with seed in it..."
In the south we have spring then we have several "winters". An acquaintance (new to this area) was talking about planting annual flowers last week. Several of us native to here said "no, you have to wait until after blackberry winter!" She was very perplexed and we explained that about Easter, we have dogwood winter, then about the middle of April (right now this year) we have locust winter, when the locust trees bloom. About the early part of May, whenever they bloom, we have blackberry winter. It can get cold enough for a "freeze" and even has snowed during one of these winters. But after blackberry winter, it will be hot and you can plant anything you want to!
An elderly lady told me years ago there are really NINE winters but I failed to ask her to write them down and now don't know but these three main ones. I think "strawberry" and "redbud" are two of them.
God planned and created such a wonderful world. John and I have spent two great days "playing" ourside, moving flowers to our daughter's yard, moving rocks there and building up her flower beds. When I feel good I really feel good, such as these two days. But you know how "low" I can get on bad days. Tomorrow is my 12 hour day, so I dread it. But if it can accomplish the riddance of this cancer, it will be worth it. Please pray...not only for me but for my friend Gene who is having a rough time!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Be strong in the Lord"

Today was a good day, I had energy, no fever, just a little short of breath. We worked on flower beds at Cathy's and are moving lots of my flowers over there. It seems all my "English garden" flower beds I have worked so hard on are not an asset toward selling our house. No one really wants to work in flower beds. So far, we have heard: our house is too small, it is too large, we have too little yard, we have too much yard, we have too many flowers, we are too close to the road, we are too far from town, we have get the idea. Meantime, the apartment is getting closer to being finished and we are kind of panicking, but trying to remain faithful to knowing God will provide all our needs. I have one more good day until chemo again Thursday and Friday. These will be two long days, one being a 12 hour day. I don't look forward to that but I read, take X stitch and sleep so the days goes by. The worst part as I have said is the blood draws.
I am filled with sadness about friends with cancer and a friend's daughter who is very seriously ill. I told that John wants me to consider coming off this chemo--I would not consider it unless it shows no improvement when the Ct is taken in June. I just cannot give up, at least not yet. I love my family so much and this is my main consideration as to how much I fight this cancer. I want to live so badly to be with all of them. So much rambling of mind tonight! I must "Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.." Ephesians 6:10

Monday, April 19, 2010

God can do more than we ask...

We have a dear friend, married and has two teen agers, just diagnosed with esophageal cancer, starting chemo and radiation and facing surgery in about a month. He was not a smoker, just one of those things. Please pray for our friend ,Gene, and his family! I hurt so badly when I hear of anyone facing this cancer! I just hurt to know what all they will go through. I have had another feeling lousy day, no energy, short of breath, in fact John asked me if I wanted to go on with this chemo. This was supposed to be an "easy" one!!!There is NO easy chemo; they are all rat poison and designed to kill! Obviously the purpose is to kill the cancer without killing the patient! Twice I have nearly died from the chemo, so I don't think I will let it go that far this time.
So back to the memories of the old Falls Creek Falls---In the mid 1980's, they revamped the park into a lovely, golf course, Inn, cabins on the lake resort, etc. that appeals to many but we still preferred the old part of the park. Usually several families would camp together, kids everywhere, hunting firewood. One night we got there late, found our camp site and lots of pine boards left for fire wood. The kids drug up lots of wood...can you imagine now many snakes there had to be in that wood???I guess we scared them off!
We would climb to the foot of the Falls, on an old cable attached to the top of the bluff, extending to the foot of the falls. John would tie Johny to himself with a rope and they would climb down, Cathy would be tied to me and Jimmy would climb down by himself. We started doing this when they were about 4,7 and 9 years old. At the bottom of the falls was a huge rock and we would climp up on that rock for lunch. We did this alot until the park build the new area and also removed the cable, building steps down to the bottom. It is just not the same!
Of course, we will never climb down to the bottom again, either way. but it sure was fun doing this! We never fell, or had an accident. What a spot of heaven on earth.
"Now to Him who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations, for ever and ever, amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"I kneel before the Father..."

Yesterday was such a great-work-in-the-yard-day, and today was a go to church and come home and sleep three-four hours! I did not have fever today, just was nauseous and extremely tired. The Doctor said this chemo would be a milder one, but I don't know now. If it is working, I can stand it but if it is not pulling the cancer out of my liver, then I could not take it, I don't think. Do I sound picky or like a baby, "all about me", sorry, sometimes I feel sick of being sick!
So, back to the camping days, I have been talking about. Even if we did not take all three of our children on long trips together, we still went on many, many camping trips (all the Tennessee parks are about one-three hours away.) Since we would go on weekends, we would take "church" with us, and have a devotional, take communion and sing. Johny would go around and ask other campers to come to church with us! He was such a social being!Usually friends and their children would go also.
Our all time favorite park was and still is, Falls Creek Falls State Park. It was very primitive 45 years ago, nothing like the "country club" atmosphere it is today. To get there, we would go up many country roads, many hairpin curves, and always stop at an old timey grocery in Spencer, TN. The owner would take a basket and go pick out what groceries off the shelves that you needed...Then we would go through this narrow lane, and there was an old ESSO station, and it had one pump. The old man there would come out of his farm house and fill up your can. He kept turkeys and other farm animals. One year, another man on that road had just robbed a bee tree and was walking up the road with two hands full of honey comb and honey just dripping. We followed him home and bought some honey he put up in a jar for us. Does anyone have adventures like this today? We had more fun for less money than anyone!
So I am thankful for the days we had, the memories and for this reason, "I kneel before the Father from whom His whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name..." Ephesians 3:14

Saturday, April 17, 2010

We are God's children...

Romans 8:16-17..."The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, them we are heirs-heirs with God and co-heirs with Christ"... Today was good most of the day, and I felt like working in the yard, sewing, looking for lights for our new apartment. Then later, I kind of fell apart, weak, feverish and not feeling so good. So it will be early to bed tonight. This chemo is different from any other I have taken, not as harsh, but still these side effects, mainly weakness, a little short of breath, fever, lack of appetite, and the bad days of the chemo itself. But still I have fairly good five days without the chemo. I am so thankful I am God's child and that He takes care of me, otherwise, I could not handle this on-going illness!
Yesterday I talked about a family trip that almost did us in...the year before that one was really good, different ages of the children being one difference.
We had a big blue station waggon the kind in the 60's that had a big storage space under the back. There were John and I, our three children and my youngest sister (age 14). We each had a space about 12"x20" for all of our clothes in each of these storage spaces. The back held all our camping supplies, tent, food,, where did the children go??We did not have seat belts, so Johny (age 7)was on one back seat on top of camp stuff, my sister on the other side, Jimmy (oldest son, age 9) laid across the back seat on top of the camping things facing the front. Cathy, age 4, sat up from and took naps every day on a pillow in the front floorboard. We went to the Finger Lakes in NY state, through the Adirondack Mountains, through Vermont, New Hampshire, Santa Clause Land, Massachusetts, started to Maine, but it got so cold we turned south back down to New Jersey and Virginia, and back home.
This was a great trip, we saw lots of animals, found creeks to play in, good camping sites, even though we were foot to foot in the tent at night! This was such a great way to take vacations since Johny was retarded and could not relate to every place you might go. As he got older and Cathy passed him up mentally and emotionally, he would get so mad at things, but as this stage passed, they were extremely close and adored each other. Jimmy being older and off to college before this time, did not stay as close to Johny as Cathy did. On this trip, we went by West Point Military Academy. Eight years later, Jimmy was a cadet there, and we often wondered if going by there influenced his desire to go there. He wrote lots of letters, and was able to gain an appointment there from one of our Congressmen. This was a wonderful opportunity and led to many excellent educational openings later. It is fun to think back on so many camping trips..there is more to come!

Friday, April 16, 2010

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him..."

"...who have been called according to His purpose..." Romans 8:28
Today finished my second chemo of this week and I was so tired, because the steroid pill kept me from sleeping last night--only slept about 4 hours totally.. so I dozed thru the whole time, about five hours today. Accessing my port really hurt today, maybe because it was two straight days. I got that panicking feeling again, about "why am I doing this?" But it soon passed.I got another steroid pill today but I think I am so tired and feel pretty low on energy tonight so I might sleep anyway!Several people are looking at our house but so far, no sales. Our apartment we are building at our daughter and son in law's will be finished in a month, so we sure do need to sell!
I have been thinking about how we camped so much when our children were growing up, I guess because this is the time of year when we would start for the "season"... and we made several long trips as well and going locally very often. One of our trips was up the "Great River Road" and we crossed this Mississippi River last week going to Missouri. We thought back about that trip. The road followed up the Mississippi from about St Louis getting smaller and more clear colored as you go north. You go along Mark Twain lands and see areas where many stories were written. Through Iowa, there are many Indian Mounds, state parts and curious shapes of mounds (snakes, circles, cones, etc) which were large ceremonial and burial mounds. Then heading into Minnesota, the headwaters of this tremendous river which at this point, our children jumped across the "river" at its beginning, coming out of a lake. A good trip, except they fought like "cats and dogs" and our daughter got really sick one night, way out in the woods. A fellow camper gave us a heater for our camper and she was ok the next day. The fighting did not go away! and I said, I will never take all Three of these children on another trip together!...and we did not!. We took them by two's or one at a time, but no more threes (on a long trip)
Fun memories and fun times...where did the years go???????

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"Be merciful to me O Lord, for I am in distress; life is consumed by anguish, and my bones grow weak...But I trust in you, O, Lord; I say, "you are my God". My times are in your hands..." Psalms 31: 9,10,14.
I could not decide if this is something I should discuss. After prayerful thought, I decided that there is bound to be many who either have colon cancer, or are facing the idea of a colostomy and fear the idea of such. I have had four major abdominal surgeries, always called "a mixed mullerian" and ovarian sarcoma. ( for brevity, you can look these up on Web,MD). No matter where it spreads to, your original cancer will remain the same name unless it is definitely another cancer. So each time, mine has been the ovarian sarcoma. Each time, I have come out of surgery, first words to John , "did I have to have a colostomy?" The first three times were "no" and I was so thankful! The fourth time last October, was a "yes" and I entered another world and another "sub-culture". The cancers had wrapped around my colon in two places, necessitating a colostomy, which you can also look up on Web,MD.
I have cried, screamed, asked God why I have to go through such loss of privacy, such loss of "normal" life. This tends to be embarrassing and I worry that someone will "see" my colostomy bag through my clothes. As always John is such a wonderful support and just gives me all the courage to face this, another obstacle in this cancer fight.
Today was my chemo, and the doctor doubled the strength of the drug, since I did so well last week ...fever? nausea? this is good??? and as I sat there in the chair for five hours today, I thought again, "this is the rest of my life, doing this?" Then my courage and strength from God kicked in and I realized how blessed I am, that I can do so much more than I would have dreamed, and five days a week, are "my days"..."And I trust in you, O, God..." I pray this helps someone. If anyone wants to talk to me, my email is

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"The Lord lives"

Well I am ready (sort of) for the second set of chemo for this round. I have had increased temperature nearly every day. I really hope this won't keep me from getting the treatment. I am getting nervous wondering if the chemo is working!I wish I did not wonder about this. I will have the usual blood draws, and about a five to eight hour day, both tomorrow and the next day. At church tonight everyone asks "how are you feeling?"..I really feel pretty normal, just a little nauseous, a little tired. I have been doing yard work, and sewing so I am not too badly incapacitated.
Two of my friends have fallen and each has broken her arm. As we get older, it is so hard to quit doing what we have always done and something like this is so unexpected. If any of my readers has cancer, do you feel really "up" one day and then think, "I won't live long" the next day? I am a normally optimistic person but these thoughts creep in, maybe because of the time I have been involved in this...going on six years. I want to be so totally dependent on God's word, His timing, His plan for me but I guess human nature just can creep in occasionally. Please pray I can stay positive and strong in faith.
Psalms 18:46 says, "The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"The heavens declare the glory of God..."

I hope you have missed me...I certainly missed writing this blog and I guess I am "hooked" now and I never thought I was a writer! I have so much to tell, I have "days" of things to write about! Last week, I completed my first set of chemo on Thursday and Friday then we drove to another state for Anna's funeral. I found out she was 91 not 93, but I think remarkable, regardless of whatever age! I also found out she (on one of her nightly treks to the hamburger joint) asked a young man to give her a ride on his motorcycle which he did and he told her to be sure and not "get fresh with him" when she asked if she could put her arms around him to hang on! What a woman and what a absolute fantastic gift of God to her family! We also found out that during World War II, the tank guys would go out at night (in North Africa) on runs to attack the enemy offences, sometimes they would take the nurses with them (obviously not approved!) but she did some of these runs! Part of her funeral service, included grandchildren speaking, for Anna's two surviving children and for all the grandchildren. They told how she survived and grew in what would have crushed a lesser person. So her family has a wonderful legacy.
After the two days of chemo and our 8 hour drive on Friday night I had a few side effects from the chemo---not unexpected--fever up to 100 each night, hip aches, nausea and loss of appetite. These sound bad, but they (unless they get worse) are less than I have had before in the other three kinds of chemo. I had a "red cell shot" before we left on Friday so I was surprised at the temperature. I sure do hope I can take chemo this week.
When I write this each night, I pray for the "right" Bible verse to come to mind and for the thoughts I have to be just what someone needs to hear. I pray for whoever is reading this blog, if you do, or don't have cancer, maybe you can share in my rambling thoughts.
Tonight, when I sat down, this Bible passage just popped into my mind so I knew it had to be the one! The flowers and trees this weekend had to be the most beautiful spring in many a year. "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the works of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge..." Psalm 19:1-2

Friday, April 9, 2010

may we .."find grace to help us in our time of need..."

Hebrews 4:10 "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace in our time of need."
Another day---I did not sleep very well, due to the steroids I was given..this is routine before chemo to protect the body's organs from dangerous effects of the chemo (or "rat poison" as I like to call it).but if it works....
We will get to be with family tomorrow at Anna's funeral service and it will be a sad/joyful time. We will remember the fun times, the special times, and her children and grandchildren will be comfort to each other.
I hope my chemo goes well today, that the side effects are not too combative and that I won't dread next week too badly!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Praying for God's mercy

First of all,I apologise for the errors in writing brain/eye coordination is still not perfect. I don't see what my mind says, like using t for k or y for s, or just things like that. I still have to read slowly, and I was not a speed reader, but faster than average. I have to re-read even with the word-check on the computer, to see if I used the word I meant to use. Such is the aftermath of brain surgery!
Well today was a nine hour day, very tiring and slow for protocol, signing lots of papers, for the "free" chemo that some company is doing on this experimental idea,,,, checking urine sample, blood samples, accessing the port for the chemo, and my arm for the blood work. They cannot use the same place for blood drawing and for chemo. At one point, I thought (just for a second) "is this the rest of my life???doing this twice a week? forever??)...then I said to myself, "it is only two days a week and that leaves five days a week for being normal!" So I guess that is not a bad trade-off, to be alive...such is the reality of having cancer.
Tomorrow will be a shorter day, about four hours. On Day #1 of each four week cycle, they draw blood every 10 minutes, then 20 minutes, then 30 and so on, to see how my body uses the chemical, or what it does to me and that makes such a long day. Each day of each cycle is really two days (Thursday-Friday). After day #3, there is a week off. After two sets of cycles there is a CT to see if this is working. If is complicated, but there is method in their madness!!!
We are praying that God has sent just the correct chemo at just the correct time. I pray every time I write this blog, that someone will find comfort in that someone else is going through the same as I am or that it leads them to the grace of prayer for someone they know who has cancer. This is done in love and strength for God/s mercy.
I love Romans 8:26 and quote it more than once, for its promise and comfort.. "...The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"...the gift of God is eternal life..."

Isn't God wonderful to save us and take care of us in every way! I had to go back to Sara Cannon again today then I will be there the next two days, so I feel like I have moved in (four days) this week. I asked them if I could just work there! I had to have blood draw again, collect 24 hours urine again, and hopefully start the chemo tomorrow, the reduced one. If the two together was dangerous to kidneys, then I am thankful I could not take the two together, since this one, which is also experimental, may be just the right one for me, and less dangerous.
When I read emails today, a friend had sent me one about "flour sacks" from the 30's and 40's. It brought back memories of the fabric sacks that lots of items came in--flour, chicken feed, cow and horse feed, and other animal feeds. Grandma bought it in chicken feed and we would try to get several sacks of the same pattern so we would have enough to make a skirt, dress, curtains, etc. I still have napkins and place mats Grandma made made from the feed sacks. I treasure them for her ingenuity, thrift and being able to use such products. I remember her kitchen curtains made from these bags. John says his mother also made lots of skirts and dresses from these. This was a depression way to get by. As RomansThere was a back porch and various furniture out there, since it was kind of the place to sit and hand sew, wash vegetables, my play area when I was young, place for boiled custard to set in the cold during get the picture? Grandma would paint the porch furniture every spring, usually white. When she died and we divided up household goods, I had several of these pieces of furniture refinished. There was a pie safe, beautiful (under all that paint) and a friend who refinished it, said it was hand made, apparently by whoever did it, just using all the wood around. It had about 20 kinds of wood in it...maple, apple, ash, oak ,cherry, chestnut, and so on. It is one of the prettiest pieces of furniture in the family.
As Romans 6:23 says, "...the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"See I have engraved you..."

Isaiah 49:16 says, "See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands," and in 54:10 , God says to us," unfailing love for you will not be shaken..."
I need this comfort after starting thru the "routine" again. I did the usual, urine sample (in this case a 24 hour sample") and the blood draw, heart EKG and I thought all was well for the experimental I was signed up for. I got home and the nurse called and said my urine test was not "good enough" to do that experimental chemo. I was upset at first and she said it's just that my kidneys are not "young" anymore... but there is nothing wrong, they just have a protocol so that one of the two test meds might damage kidneys if they are not young and perfect. I see this as God protecting me from some med that might be damaging to me. I will still be on the same second chemo of the test and it is a test trial by itself. They have lots of trials going on...lots of ideas hopeing for that wonderful cure! So as I went in the door (after 4 months away)... with lots of lounge chairs filled with people filled with hopes and prayers for a cure, some sleeping, some reading, most with a family member accompaning them, all with an IV running the hoped-for-cure into their veins. So here we go again.

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Precious in the sight of the Lord "

Well we received the news this morning that our cousin, Anna passed away. We were so privileged to know her and her family (especially me by marrying into this wonderful family). She was 93, strong of faith, filled with courage, eternal believer in Christ, best mother, grandmother , wife and sister (and cousin). Until 3 months ago, she was still driving herself and her friends to the local hamburger joint every night for supper! She was quite a super woman. John is now the only cousin left in their family of that generation.
We will get to go to the services after I finish chemo on Friday, so we are thankful for that!

The Psalmist says "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." (116:15)

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Church service today was so special, not only because it was Easter but the depiction of the passover was so moving! There was a "doorway" on the stage, and a "family" came in to paint the door with the blood of the lamb they had slaughtered for that first passover feast. In the darkness of the night as they huddled by the door, you could hear the cries and moans of those who had lost their first born. It was so impressive showing Christ the perfect lamb whose blood was shed for our salvation.
I cannot express ideas like other gifted people, but in my feeble way, this was so wonderful, maybe the most lovely Easter service ever.
Family came by and my great (the six year old) wanted me to see the dress I made her. If is a "Marsha Brady" style, pink with long sleeves, looks so much like the 60's TV shows. She loves it and wants another in a different color. She loves "designing" her dresses, picking out the patterns and the fabric to go with the pattern. I would love to be close to the other Six "greats" but they live in other cities, and we see them about four times a year.
Our granddaughter has three boys and we will see them in May.
Well, ignoring the "gorilla" in the corner, I start prepping for the new chemo tomorrow. We are really counting this working---both John and I and the doctors. I will have a CT after about a month and see how it is doing; but, first, getting started this week!
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." in John only way to look for the future!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us..."

This is the day before Easter, really the greatest christian day, more than Christmas, because Jesus rose from the dead and gave us eternal life. We who have serious diseases probably realize this blessing more than the average person because when things are going well, we pretty much take life for granted.
A dear friend of ours, Gene, called (from Florida) to tell us he now has esophageal cancer, and is facing surgery and chemo. He and his wife have two teenagers; they are a wonderful christian family and he asked that I tell everyone to please put him and his family on their prayer list and on their church prayers. He believes God will give him strength, and life and safety according to His will. Gene really has a testimony before he even gets into this ordeal. My heart breaks every time I hear of a new cancer "victim". I tell them and others that once you have this, you "live from scan to scan". Mine has been "cured" or in remission four times, but has come back these times. Being afraid is normal and
this is our earthly part of us. All our faith and believing cannot remove the human little bit of our brain that says "what if it comes back". I try and try to accept the Bible's word and stay faithful to promises that God will always do what is best for us. And I do believe He will always take care of us.
John 1:14 continues, "We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full or grace and truth."

Friday, April 2, 2010

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord..."

...and daughters, grandchildren and greats..."children a reward from Him.." Psalm 127:3...we had a chance to spend time with our six year old great granddaughters today, after doctors' visits. She was so spontaneous, excited seeing spring flowers, animals in the fields, just fun to be with. We had a good time with her . John had been to the eye doctor, got a second shot in his left eye, and the pictures of that eye, show he still has vision there, for which we are so thankful! My oncology nurse called, setting everything up for next week. I will go three days, then two each week thereafter.
Easter brings up lots of memories of family having Easter egg hunts, and, looking at our children pictures, thinking how quickly the years went by! Back then we would go to Mama and Daddy's usually for Easter, and if possible, we would go swimming (unless it was really, really cold, below 50), kind of a getting ready for summer! I cannot believe we did that..even on a warm Easter, the water would be so cold!
The men would not go in the water, just us girls and older kids...the men would play shuffleboard. We had a great play area at Mama and Daddy's. Standard foods were baked ham, potato salad, and either biscuit or yeast rolls. Sometimes we made ice cream but usually saved that for warmer weather.
So we have all these memories, hard to believe so many family members are gone.
Our cousin Anna, such a precious, courageous christian woman, is close to being called to heaven. Hospice did not think she would live through today. I wish I had known her earlier in her life. She is really John's first cousin but I claim that entire family as mine, they are all so special. She claimed her children as a heritage, but they will forever claim her as theirs!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Peace be with you..."

In the Bible, in John 20, some of Jesus' first words after the resurection were these, "peace be with you". I feel these words were sent to me today. I have peace because the cancer has not grown during the four months of no-chemo (except for two tiny,tiny cells added in the liver) and two others are smaller. So this is a win-win situation! As my doctor says, cancer can be like a disease you live with (with new medicines,) kind of like diabetes or other chronic diseases. The new chemo was held for me to have (not by man's doings) and I start on it next week. They say there are few side effects, mainly the bad part is going two days a week (probably forever or as long as I tolerate it and/or it does some good). Did I tell that I had to have radiation before the Hawaii trip...well, that doctor says that went well and I am ok with that today was a blessed day with joy and hope for living longer and living well. I want to take care or John and be with our family.
Tomorrow is John's second eye shot and we are praying this will keep the sight in that eye. ( He is pretty much blind for central vision in the right eye now.)
Meantime, life goes on; several friends are suffering cancer, infections, bad surgeries (are there any good ones?), just lots of diseases and maladies that interfere with normal life activities. These create sadness for them, and lots of prayers for their well being. This is a celebration weekend, Easter always seems a joyful time of newness of life and hope. Peace be with you......