Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"The Lord is my portion..."

Continuing from Lamentations (3:24-24)..."I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him."The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him..."...there is a song we sing that follows these verses.

I was looking around at special objects I have on a shelf...more than a few are things Daddy sent when he was in Europe in WWII. He sent three clear blue vases from Paris..and he painted our initials on them (B for me and my next sister--baby sister was not here yet--and M for Mama--her name was Mary) He sent a huge crate once and these vases were in there and also a beautiful china bowl and five dinner plates he had found in the middle of war torn streets, sitting on a shelf of a former shop and he took these six pieces and sent them to us.I have told about the Ardenne Forrest painting a friend there in Belgium painted and sent to Mama and I have that. Also, a demi-Tass cup with a family crest that I think came from Scotland. I have a pencil box that some little boy let Daddy have (probably in return for chocolate) and he sent it to me. Daddy made a small doll size corner cupboard from packing crates, painted it red and blue and I have had it all these years, playing with it then and using it for collectibles these past 50+ years. He also made me a jewelry box and carved my initials in the top. As with all these things he made them with love and I have always treasured them. If Daddy was not doing his army job (he was in the post office) then he was always doing something for us, or writing poems and letters to Mama. Sometime, I will have to tell about his letters to Mama.

This has been a good day, I got lots done, but I have been tired today for some reason and back ache...wonder if the gall stone is moving around??Maybe I will have more energy tomorrow.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Lord's great love...

I have talked to various family members(even cousins calling from out of state, as well as family here) and they all worry as I am trying to decide about the chemo. I am praying for wisdom from God and think maybe I should not try the patupalone "remake". It was so harsh last time and I do not have the reserves I had then. I still need to talk to my doctor...see what other possibilities he has for me.

I am constantly thinking of past happenings to put in this blog and leave for my family--things that they would not know. I have a monopoly board I received for Christmas when I was about 10. It is all there except the top lid. We have not played it in years--no one ever wants to play that!
I also have two books, one of poems from about 8 years old and one about "three little kittens" that I probably had at about 5-6 years old. I had my doll high chair until last year when I gave it to our 4 year old "great". That high chair no longer has the "apron" across the front. I have told about my cat Jerry. I would dress him in doll clothes and he would sit in that high chair. He would do anything I wanted him to do...boy ,he was patient! He would also allow himself to be dressed and rolled around in my doll buggy. I have a picture of him in that high chair.
At those ages, you want to be older, and the years do go fast , especially later on.

I have still had nausea, and take my zofran. I would think by now the chemo would have worn off and I would not have any side effects. Food still is not that good. My family is concerned by how "thin" I am.
Well I have another 6 days of no rat poison so I am enjoying this "freedom".

These verses from Lamentations are so wondrous---3:22-23, "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassion's never fail. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness." I know this is why we can get up each day with renewed courage, energy and optimism. Please pray with us that the right chemo will be offered next Tuesday.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

"Choose you this day whom you will serve..."

I think I have heard (my mind does not always get things just right) that in the book of Joshua ,in the Old Testament, that Joshua says more than any place else in the Bible "do not be afraid". He also says over and over to "be strong and courageous". We have been to the ruins of Jericho and to the Jordan River where they crossed over in the flood (that stopped for them). How exciting seeing how Joshua, with God's strength, takes over after Moses died.
Our nephew and his wife came to visit us and our daughter and son-in-law. He is the son of my sister who died and he and his wife live in Florida. Seeing him is like a little piece of my sister and it was so good to be with them and feel the family connection.
Today has been a good day; our great was here part of the day and that is always fun--to be with her. I am really wondering about more chemo. It is not that I don't want to live, but I am so tired of the side effects. Maybe another experimental would not be so harsh...I am not sure I can stand the repeat chemo. My mind just keeps going in circles. I want to be strong, and I know, really know, that God is in control of me and my life! I pray for clear direction and wisdom in deciding on a chemo.

Joshua 24:15 (part of this was on our kitchen wall at our other house and I am going to get it on this wall also) "But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Jars of clay

"We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us..." 2 Corinthians 4:7
This week I have certainly felt like a "jar of clay" with weird pains, nausea, and thinking "can I really start that chemo again (patupalone-like chemo)?" I really know God showed me so plainly that this last one was not the right one, with the tumors growing as I took it. So, I am praying that if this next one is not the right one, the insurance company will not approve it, then we will find another one and know this was also not right!
We had young friends come to see us tonight. His job (company) is a Chimney Sweep. We met them about 23 years ago. Our Johny died 25 years ago this last weekend. We met this couple a year and a half later...and they were born the same year as Johny!Her parents were deceased very young and his parents live in Seattle. We just instantly became good friends and almost child/parent relationship. We have traveled together, gone to craft fairs, eaten out many times, enjoyed each other's gardens, and just visited lots over the years. One time (when we had the B&B) she came by and I introduced her as our daughter, then in the conversation it came up how we met, and I had to do lots of explaning! Actually we met, when we had a chimney fire and he was the one we called to repair our chimney. God does wondrous things in putting us in the right place at the right time to meet friends. So when God had Johny to be in heaven, he gave us two new friends who have been such a blessing .

Friday, August 27, 2010

"..I pray to you, O Lord..."

Psalm 69:13 "But I pray to you, O Lord, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation."

Today was good until this afternoon, then the fever and nausea came back. I have not had chemo for 3 weeks but my body just still has after effects from the last one. I have had some precious comments from friends thinking of me and praying for me.

One of Grandma's sister's was renowned for her "boiled custard". Now this is not egg nog but the old fashioned cook- in- the -double- boiler- kind. I use the same recipe but make it in the microwave, cooking it about 2 minutes at a time and stirring well, for about 8 minutes or so. I usually double the recipe and use a large glass bowl. This is a single recipe

1 quart milk
4 eggs (can use egg beaters)
3/4 cup sugar
a pinch of salt

beat thoroughly, cook as above, when slightly thickened, add a little vanilla flavoring and chill

All the aunts put a little (vinegar) in theirs...most of the children in the family did not know what was in the "vinegar pitcher" until they were grown! This is wonderful with coconut cake!
Blessings to each

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Future glory...

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us...In the same way, 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..." Romans 8:18, 26.....not to compare mortal suffering with what the saints went through but this is comforting to consider that no matter what we go through, God is there and the Spirit is praying for us and THAT is definitely what is comforting!
I did not write last night because I was in intense pain from midnight Tuesday until bedtime Wednesday and the doctor sent me a pain killer and I finally got relief and slept and today has been fine. This is so weird, have no idea what the pain is..Hope it is the gall stone moving around! But whatever it is, it is a "10" on that little scale the doctor asks you about regarding pain!
A few more thoughts on our girl's trip---St Simon Island is quite historic, and Eugenia Price , a prolific writer did a trilogy about this island. Reading these three books then going there makes the island and its history really come alive. You see the houses where people lived then you read about them...you go to the cemetery and see the graves of those she writes about and you read about in history.
During the middle 1800's to the early 1900's the families who came to these island off the Georgia coast (Jekyll, St. Simon, Cumberland, etc..) possessed 1/5 of the world's wealth!!!This is hard to believe. They spent a month here, another "season" in New York, another in New England, then on to Palm Beach and where ever they wanted to go. They had cottages in some cases at these vacation spots but the ones up north were more elegant (several million dollar homes). We really had fun seeing what remains of this rich life style.
I have thought and pondered of what is next for me. I know I repeat some Bible verses but there are some that are so needed, like "the Spirit praying for us" and I don't know how to ask and what to pray for...God has so wondrously given me going on 7 years more of life and I am so grateful, so do I ask for more? I can only ask for His taking care of me and John and thank God for each day.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"He gives strength to the weary..."

"...and increases the power of the weak....but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary. they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:29-31
well my CT was not good...I have two new tumors and two of the older ones have increased in size. Obviously the chemo did not work for me. We will try plan "x" or whatever the next one is. I took the chemo "patupelone" several years ago and quit it because it was so harsh, but it did get rid of the cancer for a year. It has been taken off the market as an experimental but is back on as an approved drug with some changes, under another name. My doctor is going to see if my insurance will approve it for me and we will try it and see if I can take it and not have too many side effects. I don't know how I feel...I told the doctor I will not do any chemo that makes me sick more than half the time. I have to have good quality of life at least half the time or it is not worth it. I think I am "blue" but then I think, God really sent a message that this is not the chemo for me! So I will try this old/new one and see how bad the side effects are. There are still two or more experimentals we could try. I still KNOW God is in charge of my life and I will abide in His will.

Monday, August 23, 2010

"O, Lord, you preserve both man and beast...."

While on our trip, we talked about family stories...and what we remembered about various family members. I have told that Grandma was one of 11 children, and one sister was really not a very lovable person, although she could laugh and really be most enjoyable. Her fault was her bluntness! She told my daughter every time she say her that she was fat (that does not go over very well with a young girl/teenager) especially when the one saying it was pretty round! Also, this aunt told another cousin who really had gained weight "Child, you have ruined yourself!!" This aunt was really pretty as a young girl, married her love and had a baby and her husband died of the flu epidemic in the early 1900's, so maybe that soured her on life. They had been married only two years. She remarried and had another son but never seemed happy.
Another one of Grandma's sisters started out with "everything"! She married a fine young doctor, had money, house, silver and china, all the good things of life, they had three sons and the husband died (don't know of what) leaving her penniless. She opened a boarding house and all my life as long as she could this is what she did, raised those boys and then when a daughter in law died young, raised two grandchildren. It seems people back then died young a lot! Eventually this aunt lived with Grandma until she was failing in health. During this time, she would ride bikes with my sister!
Families are amazing--we love each other --anyway---
Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O Lord, you preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing love!"
Thank you Lord for loving us and keeping us! I pray the report from today's CT will be a good one!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

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

"...and everything in it, the world, and all who dwell in it; for He founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters." Psalm 24:1-2...and we have seen the wonderful waters this week! Well I have had enough experiences, talking and things done to write about a long time. My sister, my daughter, her best friend and me...we flew to Jacksonville and rented a convertible, all put on our sunclasses and our head scarves (got to look the Thelma and Louise part!) and drove to St. Simon Island (Georgia) and stayed in the most fabulous B&B for three nights, nearly four days. It was the one year anniversary of my brother-in-law's death and my sister felt, we could be together and she could get through this tough first year anniversary . We ate wonderful sea food, took trolley tours of St Simon and drove to Jekyll Island and toured there. We had breakfast overlooking the water each day, rode bicycles (yes, I did also!) shopped, did I mention we ate? We played cards at night and just enjoyed being there talking about family things. This also happened to be the days our Johny died , 25 years ago today. We flew home today, and for some reason the security picked me to run through the new "picture machine" and do a pat-down on me! The security girl did not know what a colostomy is and did not know what the extra padding was on my abdomen! Another guard told her and she let me go! Not fun!
Health-wise, I did very well, had some more of those abdominal pains (gall stone?) but tylenol controlled this. I sure hope the CT tomorrow will show what this pain is caused by. I sure pray the chemo has cut back on the tumors.
Well lots to tell for the rest of this week--family memories sister and I remembered...more about where we went and above all, what the CT shows tomorrow! We also go to John's eye doctor, so lots going on this week. If nothing changed, I will also have next round of chemo Tuesday. We are praying extra prayers for all this stuff going on! God is close and He will take care of all this --just like it is supposed to be taken care of!!!Blessings!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Mark 5:36, says, "Don't be afaid, just believe..."

Today was a weird day, full of things to do, and off and on nausea and fever. I am praying for tomorrow to be a really good day (and the next three) Four of us family "girls" are taking a trip and I am so excited! I will tell all about it when we get back.

As promised tonight I am telling about one of John's great-great grandfathers. He and his family came to this "new world" from Ireland. When he got to West Virginia, he got into trouble and killed someone. His wife wanted to protect him and she urgd him to move on to Tennessee and hide-out. This would have been prior to the Civil War. This grandfather changed his name and joined the Union Army and fought around norther middle Tennessee and Gallatin. He made another family . Some of John's relatives have traced his line back to Scotland and Ireland. So this part of the family was good and bad. They had a castle in Ireland. He was a murderer but a good soldier. He was a biggamist but a good family man. His family was successful in their business endeavors. When we were young I was always interested in family history and John's mother was always very vague and did not know much about her grandparents. I thought this was strange but later found out the secrets of the grandparents.

I will catch up on
Sunday when we return...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Praising God

"Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Blessed are those whose strength is in you..." Psalm 84:4-5
This a day of mixed feelings, of many blessings and some worrisome happenings. Our older friend I have told you about (a veteran who is in his 90's) has to use a walker now. That made me very sad! He is still such a vibrant personality, but life does take it's toll! Another friend has family problems of some sort. She is such an encourager to me, and I hope I can encourage her! I know there is very little sins not committed in our family and I will tell about some of them soon---no names!
(and I know we all sin every day, but these are MAJOR things, a long time ago)
Today was lab day, my red cells were very, very low and I got a "red cell shot" which should make me have more energy. The nurse thinks the vague pains are probably the gall stone moving around!
Now, my story for the day: We have a cherry sugar chest, which looks to be at least 150 years old, in fact an antique dealer once believed it was old! On one of our trips to Missouri about 20 years ago, visiting the cousins, Anna and both her grown "children" have/had cherry sugar chests. John and I were says how we had always wanted one. In five minutes she had us in the car, flying over the Missouri hills (as only she could drive) to a neighbor who made furniture. He had some old seasoned cherry wood, and yes, he could copy hers. So the next year when we went up to Missouri, the sugar chest was waiting for us. It has the lock and is totally authentic. (You know sugar used to be kept locked because it was so expensive--this was 200 years ago) We have loved this piece of furniture, for the circumstances, and for the look of it. When we had the B&B I kept my flour and sugar in the two sides and made my muffins and breads using this. Now I keep linens in it.
My friend tells me we will praise God especially next week when I have a great CT and the cancer is going away. I pray for that. But regardless, may I always praise and glorify our Father and Maker, who will give me the years He means for me to have!

Monday, August 16, 2010

"You will go out in joy..."

John and I went to visit his cousin who has moved to an assisted living home. She just got tired of trying to maintain her home. We laughed and talked about hers and John's grandparents. You know, when your cousins are gone you have no one to ask or talk about your family history. The second cousins only know what the older ones told them before they died. Anna who died in the spring was the last except for John on his dad's side. This cousin is one of the last on his mother's side and one of two we have contact with.
John (and this cousin) share the same grandfather and he had four wives,(they kept having babies and dying) so these two are really half first cousins. Two of the wives (and two sons who went to Texas) died of TB...we don't realize what a scourge that used to be. I doubt if they knew any of them had it until it was too late.
This is the part of the family that lived up and down the highway, close to each other.
I visited a family yesterday that has several generations who live close on farms and the children grew up running from home to the grandparents (like we all did). This life style sure does make good growing up for children.
Isaiah 55:12 says, "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; and mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."
Today was pretty good and I was really busy...I am caught up on shop sewing and so I am sewing for us, making pillows for our apartment. I also need to do some grandchildren sewing..they keep placing "orders".....maybe next week. I go for labs tomorrow, and thinking aboaut the CT on Monday...I pray for the "trees to clap their hands"!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Rejoice in the Lord always...."

"...Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God..."Philippians 4:4-6
So, I am anxious and I should not be. I have aches and nausea, seems longer than before. This was the fourth and each time is a little longer,I think, to get past the side effects. When we pray, I think of John and his eyes and his heart, and I don't pray for myself, and I know I should. I think I am counting on God to know my thoughts and prayers are also for me. Is that selfish? I will go for labs in two days and talk to the doctor about aches and pains, hoping the CT next week will pick up anything that should NOT be there. I have fever again tonight, which is always "off and on", so I just wonder if I can ever get off chemo?
This is life as a cancer patient...so I grab the good days and enjoy them, and endure the bad days. I get tired of being seen as "being sick" and long to be normal again, which I may not ever be. I long for friends to talk to me as I used to be...I ache to just be "ME", not a "cancer patient". But this is my place in life and I will "do the best I can with what I've got"...and thank God for every day and every blessing.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Worship the Lord with gladness..."

"...come before Him with joyful song. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us and we are His; We are His people, the sheep of His pasture." Psalm 100:2-3
Today was not a real good day...this is day 5 of this cycle and usually when the bad stuff hits. I probably will not feel very good for the next several days. We went to a wedding today and I could not wait to leave because I felt bad and everyone asks how I am feeling and I say "terrible" because some days, I just cannot say "fine" like I usually do.
Tomorrow is Sunday and I hope I can go to church. John says I have a fever tonight.

I was thinking of my Grandpa. He died when he was about 81...out mowing the yard with a push lawn mower. He had a sprig of hawthorn in his lapel. That was significant, because he really was a "romantic"!. He told Grandma every day she "was the most beautiful woman in the world". They fished every weekend in a rowboat and two cane poles. She knew what made him happy. Just a few meandering thoughts and a feeling of melancholy, missing them still even though it has been over 50 years since he dies and Grandma lived on another 26 years (she was 8 years younger than he was).

Friday, August 13, 2010

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

"The Lord your 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..." Zephaniah 3:17 a verse I use often because I love the sound and idea of God taking care of us and "singing" over us!!
We were with family tonight and got to talking about "do you believe in ghosts". I never thought about this as I grew up but about 20 years ago, we were living in a house we build near the site of an OLD house. John and I noticed a "presence" occasionally passing through the hall way, not threatening, just something there. We would laugh about our "ghost", not really believing it. A friend came by one evening and asked where I was and before John could say, she said "Oh I see her upstairs" but I was not upstairs. As I came out of the kitchen my friend asked who was upstairs, I said that must be our ghost. This was strange, and I had never totally believed in such but it was something!
When John was about 14, he was milking the cows in his grandfather's barn and a man came in the barn, and went into a stall, but no one was there. Needless to say, John never milked after dark again if he could help it! Strange things can happen. Our grandson said he was helping repair an old 1840 house and the locked doors kept opening and closing.
I guess we will never know for sure about such as this.
Our "great" did not seem scared with the idea of ghosts, just thought it was funny.
Anyway, fun being with family, talking about strange things. This particular great started first grade this week, and has lost two teeth. I haven't heard if the "great" in Augusta has lost any more teeth.He will home school and be in first grade when they start next week or so.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

O Lord, my God, you are very great;"

"you are clothed with splendor and majesty..." Psalm 104:1
Today was a fairly good day, lots going on, several friends came by, art class tonight, so armed with my zofran, I made it through this day. Our art class is having a huge art show September 18-19 and having an economical ("100 for $100) sale which means all the art shown will selling for $100 or less and we will donate 1/4 of all proceeds to flood victims. It should be lots of fun and we are busy painting like crazy so each of us has at least 3-4 paintings to sell. Food is being donated and it should be great.
A friend gave me a wonderful "stress release cookie" recipe. If you feel stressed, you eat one!!! Doesn't this sound like fun!
Linda's Almond Cookies
1 cup butter 3/4 cup sugar 1 egg yolk
1 tsp almond ext 2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt.......
combine first 3 ingredients,(butter, sugar and egg) beat on medium speed until creamy., reduce speed and add remaining ingredients. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten balls to 1/4 inch with a buttered glass bottom, dipped in sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Cool and remove to rack.
Glaze: 1 1/2 Cup powered sugar, 1 tsp. almond ext. and 4-5 tsp. water. mix well and drizzle on cookie, then add a slice of almond on top of each cookie.
Yes, this does sound like it could relieve any stress you might have! Blessings to each...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"whatever you do, in word or deed..."

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossi ans 3:17 This day did not turn out exactly as we thought it would. John went for a maybe routine heart doctor visit, and ended up being set up for surgery, minor of course (minor if it is someone else?). He has to have his pacemaker battery replaced. The worst part is the 10 day recovery in which he cannot go outside and sweat or get the incision wet at all...he will be housebound for those ten days. John is a gardener, he likes to piddle outside and this will be really hard on him. He had all the tests, heart echo, EKG, etc. and so we are set for this in about two weeks.
I was still on my usual post chemo feeling pretty good until tonight, still fired up on the Dexadron, but now it will be pretty much downhill for the next few days. That is OK, I made it though the four cycles and now we can find out if it is working.
We are both thankful for our doctors and our medical care. We are thankful for the sale of our house. We are thankful for our apartment. We are thankful for family and friends. Especially we are thankful for our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ and His care for us.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Be joyful always..."

"pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."I Thessalonians 5:16-18
This is a tough commandment, giving thanks in circumstances like cancer! I have wrestled with this, and come up with the feelings that I can give thanks for this because it makes me closer to God, I pray more,and friends say they are praying for me. So I guess I can be thankful that many of us are being better , more inspired as Jesus followers and more dependent on living in God's way.
This was chemo day, my oncologist was very positive as to his feelings that this is working. He said "you look too good for it to not be working" which made me feel very good. I have slept a lot today from the benedril they give first. This is not a bad day and the bad days come maybe tomorrow and the next 5-6 days. That is when the nausea and fevers and sweats come. Well, I am alive and thankful for that, and trying to "be joyful" every day.
John and I go to his heart doctor tomorrow and schedule a new battery for his pacemaker. Needless to say, John is not too thrilled about this. We will find out tomorrow! Praise be to God in all things.

Monday, August 9, 2010

"I delight greatly in the Lord..."

Well this computer is driving me crazy! It works some days and other days, I turn the entire thing off for a while and maybe it comes back, maybe not. We have spent so much on it and family has worked on it...we are not efficient enough to really fix anything. If it asks me a question I don't know whether to say "yes" or "no". Well anyway, today , right now, it is working!
This has been a pretty good weekend, care group Sunday night, I sewed today, but this afternoon, my fever came up and nausea and I have been on the couch all evening. I am to have chemo tomorrow. I really dread it because I am so tired of being sick and feeling bad and a lot will depend on the CT on August 23.
I have been thinking a lot about the medical missionaries who were killed this week. We have several friends who do this annually, but to be dedicated to a life style of mission work, and to be gunned down like this is unthinkable! I grieve for their families.
One of our "greats" came in and ate breakfast with us Sunday morning. She was spending the day with our daughter and son-in-law (their grandchild) but she loves to come over in our apartment and have breakfast. We love this special treat!
Well I pray I can get through tomorrow.Isaiah 61:10 praises God in a special way---"I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in the robe of righteousness..

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"The Lord said, "I will give you every see-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth..."

"...and every tree that has fruit with seeds in it. They will be yours for food." Genesis 1:29
Every one in our family (children, grandchildren) desire to have land and a garden. John and I grew up with parents who had gardens and also grandparents the same. We have always had one, with the gardens growing progressively smaller as we get older and have less family to feed. There seems to be an inherent need to get in the soil and see vegetables grow. At one time, when we had the B&B, we grew lots of fruit (about 5 kinds) and I made the preserves for a year for us and guests. When our children were small, Daddy gave us a large chest freezer and we grew and froze enough vegetables for the year. There is such satisfaction in having such produce and being blessed from your labor.
Before we had this apartment finished, John had his tiny garden started and now his green beans are showing the first beans, and his tomatoes are blooming. It is not much, but still the satisfaction of growing something. Our flowers are starting to flower and next years hopefully we will have lots of flowers and veggies.
I always have hope for next year--even with the cancer, I find it hard to believe I will get worse and get in bad shape and die. I guess the optimism is still there because I am not that "sick" enough to lose hope.Two more good days!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

"One thing I ask of the Lord..."

This Psalm 27 is a song now and I cannot read it without singing the song.."One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life...." verse 4...
All my life I have loved chickens! Growing up I played in the hen house, even took my dolls out there..I never thought it was nasty but it must have been. We always put fresh straw under foot, but still??? Anyway, when John and I married, one of the first things we did was buy chickens and build a chicken house. When our daughter was in high school she was in Agriculture class, and Future Farmers and chickens was her project. One time a neighbor's dogs got into the chicken yard and killed some of them and traumatized them terribly...so we decided to just quit chickens and so we killed the rest and put them in the freezer. Those chickens were so traumatized from the dogs, the meat was too tough to hardly eat!We did not know that would happen!
When I first got cancer and they did my first CT (and subsequent ones) the doctor was very concerned and said "we don't know about these little "bb" things in your lungs"...I laughed and said oh that is just histoplasmosis from playing in the chicken house all my life!...since nothing ever came of the "bb"s the Doctor decided this must be what it is.
I have read that because of farming and the lay of the land in middle Tennessee, that lots of residents here have the same histoplasmosis.
This has been a good day, was with friends part of the day, and no nausea. I only have three more hopefully good days until chemo. Just when I feel good, it is time to start over again!This is when I hate it the worst! Praying for healing and blessings for all us cancer victims!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

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

I am so thankful for being well enough to pretty much do what I want to do...I went to art tonight and got not really sick, but not feeling very well so I stayed a while and came home. My back aches a lot and I wonder if the gall stone is moving around. I hate, hate this thinking about me all the time. I know this blog is all about having cancer and how it affects me, but wouldn't it be wonderful if all I had to do was tell about just what I am doing each day, being well, and I would have no followers and I would not really be very pleasing to God. I am convinced in my heart that He is letting me live to tell about this cancer and how He blesses me anyway. I know with each day in this blog, I can tell all about how I meet new people, how friends tell me my ability to do things is an inspiration, but, I still hate being "all about me". I always tended to be pretty reticent and kind of "came out" of my self as I got older, but I still would rather know about another one rather than me.
I have several friends with cancer, and God is blessing them so much. Gene (in Florida) is home and feeling better, long way to go but no cancer in the biopsy after the surgery. A friend in my Sunday school class has melanoma and she is improving and will not have to have further surgery. Two more friends/acquaintances with breast cancer are doing well and for this time, have no cancer. God is good. I would pray that I can be at that point again. I have been cancer free several times, but not recently so I pray for that blessing.
"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 new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God." Psalm 40: 1-3

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Do everything in love..."

When we moved here to this apartment , as I was going though my "Memory box" which has things from 50+ years ago, I found a little cedar wood carved "gun". I was such a tom boy...I loved the woods and climbing trees and playing cowboys, and all that. My grandparents lived next door ( I have told that) and they had a long driveway that went up to their house and continued around and cross the creek, and up the hill in the fields behind their house.
There was a small rental cabin there, only about three rooms and a porch. When I was about 12-13 there was a couple from Texas who moved there, as a retirement/getaway/outdoor-health place. They were so interesting! She, the intellectual, cultured teacher had fallen in love with her cowboy/outdoors man 18 year old young man and they had been married for probably 50 years by then. I, as a child, did not really know any details but they were fascinating, and I would visit them, she was always reading and he would roam the woods with me, and carved me the little "gun" at one point---one of my childhood treasures. Their daughter and her husband would visit and make sure their parents were OK. It seems they lived there for two years or so. They also had a son in Texas and his daughter visited the first summer they were there and she and I became friends. Every time she came to Nashville, we would go to her aunts and swim in the river and I introduces her to friends and to this day the Texas friend and another friend here in Nashville, and I have kept up with each other and still call and write. We both ended up being teachers!
Life has been good to my Texas friend...she also has had hardships , being widowed, and surviving cancer, but we still have lots of fun memories and we both love art...she is a very accomplished artist in a Texas Watercolor Society.
I was very blessed to have her granddaddy's companionship for those several years. I wish I could tell more about him, but my childhood memory of that time is slim! Maybe my Texas friend will email me with some more facts about both her grandparents.
I Corinthians 16:13-14 tells us to "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love."
My friend's grandfather was a man of courage, strong in faith and such a gentleman.
This has been a good day, I got lots done, went to church and friends tell me I look tired. I think I look tired all the time now, chemo does that to you! Maybe my body is tired of all this rat poison! Anyway, John and others tell me to rest...I don't want to rest---I will do that when I am no longer able to do anything Else!!! I do rest when I don't feel well (like on chemo week) but on an average day, there is just too many things to do to lie around!!!!! Blessings, prayers and Faith to all................

Monday, August 2, 2010

..."in heaven and on earth..."

August is here. When we used to camp and the children were hone until Labor Day, we would cram lots of camping trips into August! This will probably be the hottest August in years, with 100 degrees today and tomorrow , maybe more days. BUT, when you get up, the atmosphere is changed! Isn't that strange? Looking out through the yard, there is a softness that is not there in July. AND, when you count the morning "fogs", each one means a snow this winter! So count your fogs, especially in Tennessee.
There used to be a lady who did forecasting, she lived in Crab Orchard, TN and she would look at lots of nature things to determine the winter weather. She was was really very accurate. She is deceased and we hoped her daughter would carry on the tradition but she did not. I am trying to see if I can remember some of the "signs" for the winter. 1. August fogs mean snow 2.Hornet's nest up high means a big snow 3. Woolly worms with a thick coat and a black strip means a cold winter 4. Used to when people had fireplaces, the smoke going toward the ground meant a cold spell 5. Thick Corn shucks meant a bad winter . 6. When The cicadas start chirping sometime is the summer, that means 3 months until the first frost. 7. I cannot think of any more but maybe they will come to me.
Don't you love how God has everything in order? Philippians 2:10 professes that "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth."
All the crickets, hornets, woolly worms, weather is under His control.
So am I as I go for labs tomorrow. I am having more fever, even on the strong antibiotic. I Don't know why. But today was better than last week, so I can hope for about 6 more good days before the chemo!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

"A crown to the aged..."

Proverbs 17:6 says "Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children." I certainly know our grandchildren and children and even the "greats" are a crown to us (and I guess we are aged) and I hope we are the pride of our children!
We spent this weekend with lots of family...our son was here one day, we drove to close to Memphis on Saturday for 3 family birthdays (son, great granddaughter and grandson--all within 3 days). We had such fun being with that much of the family, laughing and telling jokes with the little ones, birthday cupcakes, seeing "who does this one favor?" Of course we think they favor OUR side of the family and I am sure the others think just the opposite. Lots of fun!
We went there and back in one day and spent about six hours there, so when we got home, I was about to fall apart, going straight to bed, with no supper. Today has been a little better, and I went to Sunday School and church. We had another birthday tonight (another great granddaughter) and that was also fun. We have been with about half of our grands and greats this weekend. Tomorrow should be less nausea and maybe my appetite will come back. I have lost too much weight (never thought I would say that). I have struggled with my weight all my life, wanting to be thin ( be careful what you wish for). The great is here, spending the night with our daughter (it is her grandchild) and the great asked me tonight if I could make her a quilt in the morning???I said I don't think I can do that in the morning, maybe soon!!!When asked what she want to do when she is grown, she said she wants to be an artist with me! Oh that I could live long enough to see her grown!!!and what fun to be "an artist with her" Each day is a blessing, God knows. I decided when I get "down" a little (which I do during the worse week of chemo each time,) and think "Why as I doing this chemo?" that that is satan trying to interfere with God's plan for my life. I must not let this "down" period take away from the joy of God's benefits.