Friday, July 30, 2010

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

Jeremiah 29:11 is one of the most comforting verses, I think..."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." Does this not give you such a sense of peace???Knowing that the God of the universe has plans for our lives and He wants only the best for each of us!
Another not so good day, kind of shaky, nauseous, a little wobbly when I walk. I slept several hours, got up and cooked and did some sewing. We will be with some family tomorrow for birthdays and the same on Sunday. It seems our family tends to clump together the birthdays! Such fun to be with several generations! We will have four generations together each day.
I always think of how much joy I received from my grandparents and hope our grandchildren remember and think back with the pleasure of all our good times together.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Praise be to the Lord..."

"...for He has heard my cry for mrecy. The Lord is my strength and my shield..." Psalm 28:6-7
I get so tired of thinking about having cancer! I sometimes think there is nothing there, and it is just a bad dream. Today was the third day from chemo #3 and the third day is about when it "kicks in". I felt normal yesterday but today I have been shakey, did not care about food, just wanted to lie down and sleep but I did not! There is too much to do to just sleep, so I keep going as much as possible. And now I wonder when the "stone" will act up again. But meantime, I hope to be just normal. I am extra tired tonight. That is part of it also. But, as I have said earlier, this chemo is still not the worst at all--sure hope it is working because it is one I can live with!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Praise the Lord..."

"Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to the Lord as long as I live." Psalm 146:1-2
When we came to Capernaum, it felt "familiar"...the old tile was there in a temple floor from the time of the disciple's and Jesus. The foundation of Peter's home was still there next to the Sea of Galilee. All this was just below the hills that surrounds the Sea there and the site of the sermon on the mount. The acoustics there are perfect and you can be anywhere in the town and hear what is said on the hills. We crossed the Sea in a boat not much larger than the disciple's boats. We went over to "the other side" near where the "crazy young many" was healed and the pigs ran off into the sea. The Bible does so come alive even more when you can see the places you read about!
I think my favorite place in all of Jerusalem was sitting on the worn steps of the remains of the old temple and running my hands over the steps and knowing Jesus walked up those steps!
Of course every time I think of another location, I think that is my favorite memory also!
Today was a good day, the chemo will hit in a day or so. We worked in the yard, planting bushes, flowers and making the landscaping come back to being pretty. The builders really tore up the yard! I hope the gall stone holds off for a long time before it acts up again!I went in to the clinic for blood draws, EKG and ran into one of my doctors. This one is fairly new there and she is very young and attentive. All the staff there is so special. Anyway, she was concerned about the gall stone and hoping it will "lay low" for a while.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Praise the Lord O my soul..."

"...all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits--who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases..." Psalm 103 1-3.
I can barely remember riding on a Nashville street car. It would go through town and pull in to the "station" at the end, which was next to what is now 3rd avenue, across from the Court House. It was pulled by wires overhead and long cables pulling through the wires. When it left town to go into a small adjoining town, it was called the "interurban" and ran along tracks beside the major highway. There was one that went from Nashville to Gallatin, along an elevated roadway across from John's parents. It was torn down when I was a child but I can remember the roadway for it and the rock "house" to sit and wait still there for several years. At that time, Gallatin Road was two lanes wide!
There was also one that ran from Nashville to Franklin, same sort. There was a park out Gale Lane, that was a walking park, a small zoo, and children rides. This interurban would go to there also. I believe it was call Glendale Park.
Going back to the trip up the Kings Highway in Jordan. I may not have all my facts straight, but seems we went up to Meggido, where Solomon had his stables and horses. This is where we saw the carved stone mangers...Jesus may have slept in one of these stone mangers instead of a wooden one. There were the same basic shape, just carved instead of built.
I wish I had kept a diary as we went along, but if I can think of where we have been then I see it in my mind.
Today, the doctor said he was so glad to know what was the problem, since the ultrasound showed the gall stone. The only problem is removal in the location of the stone would necessitate, removal of the gall bladder and he does not want to get into surgery now. If the stone shifts down a little, it can be removed thru the throat/stomach. We decided to wait a few weeks, see if I have another attack. Meanwhile I had chemo #3 today, as usual slept for three hours because of the benedrill they give me first. It was an 11 hour day, not too bad, just long.
Meanwhile each day I am thankful for God's providence, His giving us lots of good days. I try to not complain-- there are many friends who care and family to be with, lots of blessings!

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Shout for joy to the Lord..."

worship the Lord with gladness....Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise...The Lord is good and His love endures forever..."Psalm 100 parts of verses.......God is so good and He does take such good care of us. We are so blessed and all our needs are met. When I got to the Sara
cannon Center today, my BP was 61/50, dangerously low, and I did not realize this . The nurse immediately gave me a large bag of fluids, then they canceled the chemo, listened to how I felt, the doctor came in and sent me over to the hospital for an ultrasound. They found a large gallstone, which will probably be pulled out through the throat/stomach...I WILL be asleep!This will be less invasive than the removal of the gallbladder even thru the 3 "buttonholes" in the abdomen. I am also on a strong antibiotic for 10 days for the whatever caused the fever. The third chemo will be before or after when ever this is done. I never know what is doing when!
Back to Israel, when we crossed the area from Jordan into the Jericho area (Is this the West Bank now?) and we crossed the Jordan River, there were soldiers with machine guns escorting us over the river. We also went through similar soldiers going from Bethlehem to Palestine. These areas are only a few miles but very intensely held as property.
We went up the "Kings Highway" from Jerusalem to Petra, the city made of carved stone!In Matthew 19, this may be the area Jesus went into. I have found this passage in times past but cannot find it now. The entire city, all the buildings were carved from the outside in, looking like Greek or Roman temples, from the rocks...incredible!This was a major trading post in early days because you could only get into here through narrow rocks! We went into here on horses, only one horse wide in places. I am not sure all my facts are correct---too many years ago, but the memories are fun, even if not totally right. More on this tomorrow...

Sunday, July 25, 2010


"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see...Hebrews 11:1
I have had three days of pain around my mid chest and fever from 99 to 101 (My normal is 97.6) so I have felt pretty rotten. It hurts when I take a deep breath. I have friend's and WEB MD telling me it is pancreatic stones, gall bladder, my stomach...who knows. I know I am anxious to see my doctor tomorrow and find out just what this is, and see if I can take the #3 chemo. Lots riding on tomorrow.
I realize I have lived longer than most cancer patients who start out with a stage 4 cancer, but I don't normally feel that bad and feel like I can go on a long time. But then I realize that eventually, all this will catch up with me.
Well, no wild tales tonight...just prayers and hope for sleep and an early morning..

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Out of Egypt...

The Holy Land trip we took and also took our two oldest grandsons, and our daughter, was to Rome, Italy, Cairo,Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, climbed Mt Sinai, Jordan, Petra, the Sea of Galilee, Meggido, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and more to tell about later.
Rome was incredible, seeing the famous buildings I had studied about in Art History...the fountains--the two boys just were awed at all the ancient walls, and roads, aqueducts, and the Coliseum. I guess my favorite was the is in every art book and the perfection of the architecture.
In Egypt, we went to the Egyptian Museum, and to several pyramids. This month, I just read James Patterson's latest book (a true murder mystery) and it tells so much about what the early 1900's incessant search for these tombs and their treasures. They brought King Tut's treasures here a few years ago but we had seen them in Cairo.
The funniest things happened in Cairo: There are at least eight lanes of traffic on the major roads, but who is counting???If you see a lane, you take it!!!There are no lines and it is the wildest driving I have every seen. We were on a bus, and a truck next to us full of workers, and a little donkey pulling a cart, all trying to make a curve...the donkey "held his own!" and made his own lane like everyone else did.
As in all Middle Eastern countries, the people eat a flat bread, baked in an outdoor oven. People have this three times a day, and sell it from card tables by the road side..not very sanitary!
Fun to remember us riding a camel, can't believe we stooped way down and climbed down into a tomb (pyramid) about claustrophobia!
Wish I felt like doing all this now!
Matthew 2:15 , the Lord says, "Out of Egypt I have called my son.."
To be where Bible characters walked is just incredible. On the first trip to Europe, we went swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, and I thought, how many of the disciples had boats, here, and walked in the edge of this same water, and assuming Jesus was in that water, maybe
I had the worst abdomen pain last night, and fever has been up to 101, but I did not call them...I will see the doctor on Monday. I slept much of today and feel like I wasted my entire day! There is always tomorrow.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Love your neighbor...

James 2: "If you really keep the royal law found in scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself" you are doing right."
It is difficult to love your relatives sometimes, let alone your neighbor! But this simple idea would surely change a lot of neighborhoods.
I have had fever and chills, aches and nausea for the past 4-5 days. I surely hope this does not increase as I take chemo #3 on Monday.
We have been very busy and I just HAVE to keep going. If I quit, I am afraid I won't start up again. Friends from Florida have been in Nashville and we have had more fun with this family.
We met them 20 years ago when they were newlyweds and they stayed at our B&B. Their two teenagers are so smart and lively. The daughter , visiting the Ryman, made some demo Cd's and it gave me chills, it was so beautiful! She sang "Amazing Grace" and she was going back today to sing another song on a CD...Listen up, your talent scouts!
Our other friends from Florida, Gene and family...his surgery came through wonderfully and I cannot wait to hear more! His wife said "We have an awesome God!"
I was looking around our bedroom and I placed an old quilt on top of a cabinet (EVERYTHING is on top of something since we don/t have a lot of storage) This quilt is a very old red, cream, and blue, it has to be at least 100 years old. My great-great grandmother made it, the story tells, as she rode in a covered wagon going to Texas. I think the pattern is "churns". When we had the B&B, this quilt hung on the cabin wall. I love to think of her going through these adventures. She is the one who (after her husband died in the Civil War), married the one remaining brother. This is like in the Bible, and all the brothers died except one. One of their children was my great grandmother who lived in the dog-trot cabin and died when I was 6 years old.
Family and neighbors and friends, lots of people to love!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

" strong in the Lord and in His mighty power..."

I have had a fever for three days and the ache like a fever can bring. I know this is part of the chemo but it makes me tired and not able to do as much as I would like to do.Praise God, our friend Gene came through the surgery just fine and we will hear more I hope tomorrow.
One year John and I drove to Greenfield Village near Detroit. It is a multi acre museum comprised of lots of old houses, arranged by time period. Then the museum itself, has technical and household items from all the years. It is really interesting! Then we drove around Lake Huron, really beautiful and wild, natural and farms all around it with the land "running" down to the Great Lake. When we came around the western end where Lake Huron connects with Lake Michigan at Mackinac Island, we took a ferry over there and spent several days there. There is a wonderful old hotel there called the "Grand Hotel"..The movie, "Somewhere In Time" was filmed there. Anyone could stay there or have lunch or Tea there at that time. We hear now, you must be a registered guest to have Tea or lunch there.You cannot take your car there, so you walk or rent bikes.
This area of the great lakes totally freezes over in the winter,and the people find a totally solid "path" and drive back and forth from the island to the mainland. They use their Christmas trees to line the "Path" and keep this road open all winter. When you see the tremendous waves of the great lakes, it seems impossible that they could freeze!
Just more evidence of God's great power. I trust in His power for every need.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Praise be to {our} God and Father..."

I was reading my grand daughter's blog and she was talking about raising three boys, with lots of hollering going on...Boy do I remember that! She is wanting to quit and be more of an example for them. I used to scream at my children. One day I had "an epiphefamy" and decided I would not do that again. I won't say I was cured but I did slow down on the way I approached the things that kids do!...I was much older than my grand daughter is, and my three were older than hers so she is further along than I was at this decision. She is much more dedicated than I was ...I hope my "children" only remember the good things!!!
I have been thinking about Grandma's biscuit board. She had a wooden kitchen cabinet with the door you open at the top and a sifter that slid out. She kept a "starter" of biscuits in the refrigerator and the flour in that sifter. She would get out the starter, add more flour, more lard and buttermilk and they had these just about every day for breakfast. When she came to live at Mama's I got the board that came off the cabinet and treasured this. I guess you know I let this biscuit board go in the sale. I could cry---but it was one more thing and I really did not need it. I have a butcher block and use it every day for something. I make biscuits and pie crusts on it. So it was the sentiment, one more thing to find room for, and I have more than enough of these "one more things"...I hope whoever has it treasures it and maybe their biscuits will turn out like hers.
II Corinthians 1:3-4 ..."Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort., who comforts us in our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God..."

Monday, July 19, 2010

"...His works are perfect..."

One of the nicest things about living here is getting to see one of our greats very often. She is the only one living in our city. The other six are out of town and out of state and we only see them about three times a year...which is sad!!! We keep up with them but it is not the same as hugs and kisses, story time and playing. This one runs in, hugs and says "I love you"...tonight she "designed" a pillow for her room and she even helped sew a little. She really wants to learn to sew and probably will be sewing by age seven. Cathy (our daughter) was sewing by age eight. Little did we know how "prophetic" it was when I told her she might need to know how to sew some day. I stay busy sewing for her shop and she even still sews occasionally, but usually she is too busy keeping the shop going and customers' needs met.
Today was a good day, just blood draws, and my blood counts were good, nothing lower than last week (still not up to normal, but not dropping either)and I felt good until afternoon then had to take a zofran for nausea. Still, so far, I feel better than any other chemo. Next Monday is #3 so we will see how it is then.
Tonight John and I were talking about how people used to say, "You have outdone yourself" or "You really put the big kettle in the little one" . Both mean that the cooking was just the BEST.
One trip to Europe, we and two friends flew to England, rented a flat in London for 10 days. We got Brit rail passes, and each day they and we went all over England and Scotland. Most of the time we went separately then back for dinner at night in our flat. British TV is nothing like ours and hilarious in its "nothingness"... One night we went to see Agatha Christie's "The Mouse Trap", in an old theatre where it had been playing for over 20 years (cannot remember how long). At the time she died, Agatha left that play to one of her nephews and who is laughing now? I believe it is the longest running play ever. We even rode the train to Edinburgh and saw the castle and lots of other places , spent the night there and came back to London in two days. We saw Stone Henge (at that time you could get close to it but now I see where it is fenced off. I had read Edward Rutherfurd's books about this area (especially Sarum and London)and it really made it come to life. The underground there enables you to go EVERYWHERE and just switch trains, according to color and go all over the countryside. I wish we had something like that in this country. But then, we are so spread out, it would not be feasible. Fun trips, fun to remember...lots of other things we did and thankful we could do all this.
"I will proclaim the name of our Lord. O, praise the greatness of our God!He is the Rock!..." Deuteronomy 32:3-4

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"...the Spirit helps us in our weakness."

"We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself interceded for us with groans that words cannot express." Romans 8:26 If you have ever been so sick or "down" that you just cannot see how to get through it, this is when the Holy Spirit intercedes for Christians and prays for us, giving word to our groans that we cannot express. I have been there, not recently, but know too well, the agony and despair of serious illness. Right now, I feel amazingly good, just the usual nausea. I go for labs and blood tomorrow. Please pray for our friend ,Gene, as he has his surgery this week.
Most old, old European towns were built around castles with or without moats, walls and castles in the middle of town. The city walls would be built up around the castle and shops, smaller homes and even pastureland. There are gate houses, wonderful huge gates that a bus can barely go through. Nearly every city has a government building that looks like a castle and a clock, especially in Switzerland. There are wonderful old stone roads, flowers everywhere--the climate is perfect for flowers- and mountains everywhere. Everything is so close together and you can go from one country into another in just a few hours.
When we had our B&B back in the 80's, we would have people stay with us from Europe and they would say, "I want to see Texas and California, New York and....." They could not understand how large this country is, and not the trains, to get around so easily.
A special city was Saltzburg--where "The Sound of Music" was made and besides, it is a perfect small city-town. You can walk around much of it, the castle sits at the top of the town and there is the ever present lake/river. All so quaint and beautiful. We would love to go back, but doubt we ever will. There is too much walking and just the logistics of that much travel prevents that long a trip. Bermuda, probably!!!Meanwhile, we are thankful for health we have.

Friday, July 16, 2010

"The Lord--is my strength and my song..."

Pulling up these trip memories really brings back things I have not thought about in years. Remember the old song "White Cliffs of Dover", well we saw these cliffs as you left England on the way to Belgium and they are white chalk rock. We also went to the casino at Monaco and had dinner in an outdoor cafe there. We did not attempt to gamble, besides the money was the language "thing". Several years later, we went on a tour of Europe with a group of some people we knew and saw many of the same countries but different areas. We went to Dachau and the prison camp and ovens, unbelievable that mankind can do this to other humans. Our tour guide was a really wonderful German young lady and she did not want to take us there but we insisted and she would not go into the camp. I talked to her and told her, "both our Dads were in the army and that was a war time, and it has nothing to do with now" but she was clearly uncomfortable. The entire concept defies reality.
At that time, the cold war was still going on and we went into Yugoslavia and spent a night there in a "government hotel". We felt as if someone was watching us all night! They even took our passports away! You NEVER let anyone have your passport but they insisted and we had no choice! We were so glad to leave there and get into a free country. We went from there to Venice and rode in a gondola and saw all the wonderful sights of this "watery" city.The buildings get lower in the water every year. That year we attended the Passion Play, in Oberammergau, Germany. It is held every 10 years and has been for almost 400 years. It is in German but you have no trouble following the play as it tells of Jesus life and
crucifixion/ rising from the dead and ascension.
Isaiah 12:2 "Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Give thanks... the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever." and the last sentence of this Psalm 107 " ...and consider the great love of the Lord." I feel like the most blessed person there is!
Today has been better, mainly because I took a zofran soon as I got up and another about 5 this afternoon. We had a really busy day--John had two doctor's appointments and his eye doctor said John's "good" eye was no worse and the "bad" eye is not better, but John could see a glimmer in the eye chart. We are thankful for this being no worse. I sure could not have done yard work today so I am glad I did all that on Wednesday. I have kind of a "floating" feeling and nothing feels normal. I am trying the 6 small meals a day they recommend to prevent nausea but don't know how that is doing yet. I went to art tonight and felt better once I got involved in painting and talking to friends there. We are having a big art show in September and a tent, music, and all that and selling "100 for $100", or art works that are extra affordable . We are working hard to paint canvasses that one might afford on a limited budget, and yet have original art for their home.
In 1984 (about) I went to Japan on a cultural/mission tour.(John did not go) We represented a sister-city aspect to a small town there with another town near here. There were about 40 or us and we also taught conversational English in several schools in Tokyo and Yokohama. We handed out Bibles to any who wanted one. Part of the time we stayed in homes and then in a mountain resort and in hotels. We rode the Bullet train, experienced a minor earthquake while on the top of the tallest hotel in Tokyo one day, and were treated like royalty! The Japanese people are so very honest,hospitable and kind.
The strangest feeling of all was seeing that flag when the plane landed! (I can remember World War II). But that was long ago and those enmities are long gone.
My sister (who is deceased) and her family were also on this trip. One day she and I were walking down a mountain path halfway around the world and that was a really, really strange realization! Lots of wonders in this world! I pray tomorrow is a better day for all us cancer patients. God bless!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth..."

Genesis 1:1 and all this earth was begun. We have seen much and then we think of all the places we have not been..friends tell me I have drug John all over the world! He loves the traveling as much as I do! We camped with the children and grandchildren (collectively) in 47 states. We finally got into the other three in the last couple of years. We have been to five of the seven continents. For the twelve years our son and his family lived in Texas, we were out there about twice a year and now that they have been in Georgia for the past 18 years we are there several times a year. When I finally got to see the Grand Canyon about five years ago, I was so touched I cried! John had been there as a young man and so he has been there twice. We would love to go back and ride the train out there.
One of our favorite trips was going to Winnipeg Canada, leaving the car there, riding the train for about 10 days across Canada (they don't do this any more). We got off at Calgary, Vancouver, Banff stayed at each place a couple of days then rode the train more. It was a fabulous way to see the country, wheat fields, plains, mountains (sitting in a club car going around the rushing mountain rivers), riding a huge "machine vehicle" onto the ice fields and glaciers. We stood on ice that was thousands of years old! In Banff a moose came walking down the street. We had high tea in an elegant "railroad hotel" built in the early 1900's. We wondered if our car would be there when we got back , and it was! Now we are wondering where we can go that we have not been. How about an African safari???
Today started out very good and lots of yard work, digging, feeling great, then late afternoon, the nausea set in. So back to the zofran, my best friend. I slept a while and laid on the couch alot this evening. No food to speak of to eat...just a can of soup.I knew the day without any side effects would not last. So I guess I will take the meds and try to keep going. And think of what trip is next between chemo's! And be so thankful for God's blessings and our being able to see this wonderful world.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The fruits of the Spirit...

Several blogs I read emphasize these verses, and a friend at church and my thoughts turning to this passage, must mean something...maybe I need to be aware of having more of these characteristics. Galatians 5:22-23..."But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control..." God knows that if we have these, there would not be need of much else... When I am on chemo, I am afraid I am not very much all of these..John handles it very well though.
Today I was the "energizer bunny"!!! I woke up at 4 am, watched TV, read, cooked a big breakfast about 7, made banana bread, went to the basement and opened 6 more boxes from moving..then ran errands, here at 11:30 at night, I really need to go to sleep! These steroids do this number on me!Maybe tomorrow I will be back to normal.
Back to the first trip to Europe, we rode the cable car up to the mountain across from the Matterhorn and rode the cog train down. The cable car swung hundreds of feet out from the mountain and we felt like we were in a James Bond movie. It was very cold up there and Mama was so funny in her thick yellow knee socks and red coat! She and Daddy were about 10 years younger than I am now, but they seemed much older, from my perspective then. As we carried all we had everywhere we went, they really did very well. Of course Mama only carried a small case and Daddy had three suitcases, we laughed when we got home about his having one in each hand and another around his neck! As we came off the mountain, we saw people hang gliding (never had seen that before) and it was foggy up high and they just stepped out into space and could not see anything except the fog. As we got lower, we could see them sailing in circles going toward the ground. What fun! But very scary!
As I pray for my friends who have cancer, and other situations that I think are worse than cancer, I pray for patience, and kindness especially.

Monday, July 12, 2010

"The earth is the Lord's..."

"...and everything in it, the world and all who live in it; for He founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters." Psalms 24:1-2
In the 70's, our older son and his wife were in the army and living in Ansbach, Germany. John and I, our daughter and my parents went to see them flying into Frankfurt where they met us. We stayed with them a few days, then Mama and Daddy went to France, England and Scotland. John, Cathy and I went all through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and France, Belgium and back to Germany. Our plan was to all meet at the Rhine River in Hamburg Germany on a certain day. Incredibly, coming from all these places, on trains and ferries, and cars, we met at the time we had planned, and no one had a cell phone then!!!
We had Euro rail passes and just without reservations, got on the off the train and found hotels and places to stay. It was a very special trip. A few highlights were going to see the Matterhorn and Salsburg, Austria and riding the Orient Express from Paris to Vienna.(I saw in a book, this is one of the things you ought to do before you die). Our son went a few days with us to Italy and the French Rivera, even getting to swim in the Mediterranean Sea.
The places we have seen on this earth are incredible, many more to tell about!
Today was a 13 hour day from start to finish. The meds they gave me first were to protect my body from the chemo (cannot remember what it is) and they make me sleep much of the next four hours. The blood work was good, My oncologist thinks this is going to do very well. I guess over all the few side effects I have are not that bad--nausea and diarrhea--no pain anywhere, just tired more than usual.
I hear such horror stories of others who suffer so much. I feel very blessed to be doing this well.
Please pray for our friend Gene in Florida. He has gone through radiation and chemo that has nearly killed him and hopefully his surgery (finally) will be the 21st. He has the esophageal cancer and oh now we pray the surgery will remove it all! Prayers for all our friends who suffer from this epidemic of cancer!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"...what is unseen is eternal..."

I just read a blog from a friend of our son and daughter in law in Augusta. This lovely and wonderful lady has colon cancer and is handling her passage with such grace! She is refreshing even in the throes of pain and illness and horrible side effects! God does that for each of us. II Corinthians 4:16-18 says "Therefore we do not lose heart. Although 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....For what is see is temporary but what is unseen is eternal."
One of our friends at church, a coach, has melanoma, hopefully all is gone, but today, he had tears during songs..touched in his heart, aware of his mortality!
I hope when I tell about what I am doing and/or going through, I might seem like I am whining...I pray I am not! I hate whining! I am trying to factually tell what it is like to have cancer, take chemo, be stuck for blood work, and all the "joys" of being not well.
So tomorrow is my second chemo of this cycle of four. John does not go with me on these long days...I am there for 12 hours usually and he is just sitting there! I take embroidery, books, watch TV a little, take naps, and all that good stuff. Since John cannot read well anymore, he really is bored just sitting all that time. He is enjoying his reading machine we got last week. He can place a book or magazine under it and read at various strengths of reading power. How wonderful to give him back his ability to see better!
As always we pray for all the sick and for God to help us each day, keeping us alive for His purposes.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

"We wait in hope for the Lord..."

Today, seven of our old "camping" friends came over for lunch. We used to be 12 (counting us) and years ago, I bought these beautiful Caribbean looking glasses to use when we are together here. You notice I said "seven" (plus us, equals nine). We are missing three friends and it hurts so much. Nothing can ever replace these old friends. One friend who has about 70 photo albums is taking them apart and giving some pictures away if they apply to each of us. She is down to having only about 50 now!! I think she is wondering what she would do with all these if they went to a condo.Some of the ones she gave me are from the 50's on up to whenever. Wow we looked young back then!
I visited my 93 year old friend yesterday (who lived next to us a year or so ago) and she was telling me how two of her oldest and best friends died in the last several months. She misses them so much and no one can replace the friends you made "across the garden fence watching your children playing together.
I have told you about the oldest friend in the "camping bunch", he is 93 also. Oh how we love our friends. We "know where all the bones are buried" and love each other anyway!
Psalms 33:20-22 comforts us when we are lonely, "We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you."
This afternoon, I got nauseated again -for no reason - and had a fever tonight! This chemo may not be for me! But what if it is "working"? I have just got to try it if it's doing what it should. As always, I am totally in God's hands!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

"Since my youth, O God, you have taught me..."

"...and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come." Psalms 71:17-18
Aren't these the perfect verses? Here I am, "old and gray", well not exactly gray...but anyway, the old part fits! This has been a better day, not much nausea. I started learning to may take a while. It has no relationship to sewing or weaving, or even knitting that I used to do. I will have to practice a bunch! I want to get out in the garden, but it is way too hot to try to plant anything...103 today. Garden centers have big sales but I would not try to move anything right now. This yard has several areas that are like "blank canvasses" and I want so badly to "paint" on them! Several friends and family I have given plants to are offering cuttings back and that will be so nice to get back some of my favorite plants. Our son and daughter in law will bring lots this fall also. So I just can't wait for lots to do--just bide my time.
Our care group from church will meet in the park Sunday night and if it is not too hot that will be a good time. Two more groups are meeting with us. Then Monday is the chemo day. If I can learn the basic stitch of crocheting by then, that will help fill that 12 hour day. "do not forsake me, O God..."

"search me, O God..."

"...and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalms 139: 23-24
As you know this is one of my favorite Bible chapters. I love the part when God says "He knows us before we are born."
A friend is coming tomorrow to teach me how to crochet! I used to do a little but have forgotten how. When I sold my loom, the precious lady who bought it, sent me a "prayer shawl" made by someone is New England (where this particular idea was started). You crochet this shawl and you cannot sell it--you give it to someone with cancer and pray for them. This is such a wonderfully caring idea and it seemed like something I could do when I am at a 12-14 hour chemo day. So I will learn tomorrow how to do this. I always thought I would learn to knit and crochet when I got old...maybe it is time??? Today was less nausea so finally some relief from that! I have three days before the chemo on next Monday so three days beats none!!! The extreme heat is keeping us from gardening so I am looking forward to this fall and getting back into flowers! I have an area I can use in our son-in-law's yard and I can't wait! I miss my flowers and will enjoy that again.
So many people with illnesses and so many to pray for.Please God, bless those who are sick.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

:Therefore God exhaulted Him to the highest place..."

"and gave the name that is above all names, That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow..."Philippians 2:9-10
We sing this Bible passage as a song and it is beautiful when sung.
You know how you have different special groups of friends? Well, in 1978 My first year teaching at a christian school, at a banquet, four of us and husbands ended up at a table together. We are all ages. Well 32 years later, we are still close friends and still get together once a month for eating out and dessert at each other's homes. We used to cook, but quit that a number of years ago. Our collective lives are like a soap opera, and we are great support for each other . One couple moved out of state for a few years,and we would meet halfway several times a year to keep our companionship going. We have raised children, gone through parents' loss, bought and sold houses, helped to move furniture, changed jobs, retired, going through illnesses, depressions, always maintaining the close tie among the 8 of us, and always knowing our prayers are for each other. One of the couples (the wife) turned out to be my cousin. They were expecting a baby boy and she told me his name-to-be and I said that was the name for my newest grandson. She said that was her great grandmother's name, and I said, me too!!! So she asked her Dad for family records and we found out we are indeed cousins.
I had the fourth MRI today, not so bad, I still took the atavan but really think I could do it without the meds if I have to do another one. Nausea still--and I have realized I have lost about 10 pounds since spring. When you are sick, nothing appeals and nothing tastes good. Next Monday is the second of four chemo's in this cycle. I pray I can do it!

Monday, July 5, 2010

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

I have been reading my grand daughter's blog and what the boys are doing...I miss them so much when we are not there (and we are not there most of the time). This family has boys 5 1/2, 2 1/2 and nearly 1. They are about the ages ours were. Somehow I did it all, had a garden, took care of the children, kept house and all the things all that involves. I surely could not do that now, and don't have the energy for it. Gran used to say, "God knew to give children to the young" and I did not understand that saying. I do now. And I do love to be with the greats! Another grandson has two girls and a boy, one girl turns 4 this month, the boy is 2 1/2 and the other girl is 6 months. Another grandson has our oldest great who will be six this month. What I would give to have them all together at once!!!! But we have to see them in "sections".
Well, still side effects from the chemo and one week to go until we do it again...I really thought I would have it under control by now but I don't. I don't know what the doctor will want to do! I don't want to give up, even with side effects, until the CT in august.
John's eyes are no very good and we bought a "magnifying machine" (simple word) that he can put books, magazines, papers, pictures, anything under and read at any magnification he want to. It will change his ability to stay informed and enjoy the books he has missed out on.
I need this verse I use often, Zephaniah 3:17 "...He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

Sunday, July 4, 2010

..."so great is His love..."

Psalms 103:11 says "For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him..."
This seems surreal to already be July 4Th. Just think, summer is half over! When we used to camp, we would feel the urgency to camp a few more times before school starts!
On this fourth, we talked in Sunday School today about how we are so blessed with our freedoms, and how things have changed in many of our lifetimes. Within the war going on now and the stress the men feel, is different from the other wars. Especially World War II, we knew who our enemy was and we knew our country was supportive of the soldiers. They did not come home with such psychological problems as they do today. I pray God will give our country another chance to come back to Him and be a christian nation again!
Another day of some nausea, not as bad as the past few days, so maybe this will be my pattern, and now I can have a week of no nausea before the next chemo...I sure hope so! The next MRI is Tuesday, so not looking forward to that! I pray God will love and protect us.

Friday, July 2, 2010

"Therefore...clothe youself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience..."

Can we be patient, gentle, compassionate and kind???Colossians 3 says we should. John says I am not so gentle and kind when I don't feel good. I have been nauseated for three days now and this was not supposed to happen...this is the "chemo without many side effects" so to speak! Well, I guess I am just the one to go against the odds!
Our daughter and son-in-law are on a much needed and much deserved trip and John and I are house and grand-dog sitting. Fudge, the old chocolate lab, is missing them so much. She comes and gets between me and the cabinets or under the sewing machine if I am sewing. Part of it is the Fourth fireworks going off and they really upset her.
I pray we can really appreciate our independence and what the Fourth of July really means to us as christians and as Americans. No where else in the world has the freedom and advantages we have in this country and I pray we never lose that.
Maybe tomorrow will be a better day...Where would we be without hope?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

..."The Lord is my strength and my song..."

More about Edenwold....with such a rich name, and such a tiny community...By the early 1900's, this land joined what had been Andrew Jackson's, the area boasted a "swinging bridge" and people and cars went over to go to another small town called "Old Hickory". (You know this is Jackson's nickname) When Old Hickory became the site for Du Pont's powder plant in World War I, a real bridge was built with guard towers and the swinging bridge fell into disrepair. A tornado came through this area and many houses in Edenwold either were taken by the winds or several burned down at one time or another. John's grandfather's house was one that burned in Edenwold. John's parents and several relatives lived there also in early days.
Back to the time of the house being first built, during the Civil War, a regiment of Northern soldiers stayed in the original house built on the land grant. Many years later, a very old lady attended her granddaughter's wedding and met an older gentleman. He told about staying in a lovely house in Edenwold during the war. The elderly lady said icily, "You must be the ones who stole our silver!"
Many tales can be told about this area and the old houses that used to be there!
Well, the nausea that started last night continued today, and thank goodness for Zofran! I don't know if this is the main side effect I will have and if it will continue?
Isaiah 12:2 and 5 tell "The Lord, the Lord is my strength and my song....Sing to the Lord for He has done glorious things..."