Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"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." Psalm 139:23-24

Today was three doctors...a wearing out day., however they were really OK results. I could not go to the dentist while on chemo so got that done today and "no cavities" for which I was thankful! Then the eye doctor, which was done for the experimental and Sara Cannon set that up. I have never had such an eye exam! They did every exam possible, pictures of eye nerves, back of the eye, lots of seeing if my glasses are OK and they were. I had to do the field of vision (testing for glaucoma) which I hate but it was fine, and nerves were perfect. I have a couple of small cataracs which the eye doctor said "are the least of your problems". He also thinks the new chemo is my best possible chance of taking away some of the cancer. He says this is a great new drug. I sure hope everyone is right (and that I can take it)anyway, I was there three hours! Then the heart echo test which is not that bad, just another things to do! My eyes got back to normal about 7 tonight!

One day this week, our paper had an article about maintaining cancer care. The article said we need to maintain medical care, nutrition, pain management and spiritual and emotional well being. For sure, we are so blessed with the best medical care anywhere! The nutrition is a problem, because food just does not taste good much. I have a difficult time eating a balanced diet as much as I used to. (this is why some weight loss) I rarely have pain except the gall stone pain I had several weeks ago, which has not come back. As for the spiritual and emotional care, I am so totally blessed with friends and family and a church family who are all so supportive and I could call on any when I needed to.

So we are just trudging along this journey, starting a new chapter next week. Meantime, John and I are going to the mountains for a few days this weekend..Tell you all about it when we get back!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

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

I know I come back to this passage so much but this especially is what I need to read tonight. I was too emotionally drained to blog last night. I stood in the shower and cried. I prayed to be like Hezekiah who had the 15 years added to his life. I knew today's CT was not going to be good. I lack faith much of the time. I am tired of wondering what is next. I crave so badly to be normal again but I know that will never be. The CT today was really pretty good. No new tumors, two were tiny increases--2 mm. each , so my oncologist was very pleased. We counted up--I have had six sets of chemo (each set lasting from 3 months to nearly a year) in the past six 1/2 years, and starting number 7 next week. Twice the cancer has gone away but always comes back. It has not gone away for nearly four years. This experimental ( my doctor feels really good about) will be tough, some bad side effects possible. I pray I will not get the worst side effects. I realize they tell all possible things (like medicines) to cover all the bases. If I get too sick they can minimize the dosage. Tomorrow I have eye exam (swelling behind the eyes is a side effect) to get a base line on my eyes. I also have a heart echo for the base line there. So this is all the bad stuff---no secrets here. As usual, everyone will say "how are you feeling " and I will say "just fine" but tonight is the truth about how I feel.

So I am thankful, reaffirming that God has "plans to prosper you (me) and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Shout with joy to God, all the earth!"

"Sing the glory of His name; make His praise glorious! Say to God, 'how awesome are your deeds'! Psalm 66:1-3

Besides our Great having breakfast with us, our grandson and soon to be wife came over. John will perform their wedding in three weeks and we are all so excited. They are very serious approaching this wedding. We see their maturity and love for each other more than ever. The wedding will be in a park and the reception here.

I told about a cookie recipe called "Autumn Cookies" They are regular oatmeal cookies with a few added ingredients!

2 sticks softened butter, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1/3 cup white sugar. 2 large eggs
Beat all this together.

Add 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp soda, 1 1/2 pumpkin pie spice, 1 1/2 cup flour,
2 1/2 cups 1 minute oats Mix all this together with a wooden spoon .

Mix in 1 cup raisins, 10 oz. Hershey's white kisses
You can let it set in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to be easier to balls of dough on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 350 degrees for 14 minutes, place on a wire rack....makes about 5-6 dozen...really good!!!

Well the fever is back tonight.101..wish I knew what on earth this is!!!If it follows its usual pattern, tomorrow will be great!!I am totally depending upon God for His care.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Sing to the Lord a new song..."

My oldest granddaughter called today with the amazing news that she and her husband have paid off $50,000 debt in about five years. They will call Dave Ramsey next week and scream "we are debt-free!" We are so proud of them. If anyone needs to know how to scrimp and save and get by on less than you think you can, look at her blog...Hyperactive Lu... They also have three sons age one, nearly three and nearly six.

Then yesterday I ran into a grandson in a store--totally surprise--and that helped make my day. Then tomorrow, our oldest "great" will have breakfast with us, as she does lots of Sunday mornings.After yesterday's fever of 101 I felt good today...who knows what this happens! Anyway, lots of blessings on top of blessings.
We have a new "fourth cousin" in Missouri. They have lots of babies up there in that family branch!

I tried a new cookie recipe called "Autumn Cookies" and it has pumpkin spice and oatmeal in it. I will print it another day. Our friend who is a world War II veteran got to go on a special plane to see the WWII memorial in Washing DC this week. He was next to the oldest on the trip. A nurse went along to take care of several who might need help. He was so excited! They also went to Arlington.

I had to go by our house we just sold to get a package, and those who bought it have dug up and/or let all my flowers die. I had an "English Garden" all around the house and it made me heart sick to think how hard I dug and brought in good dirt and know all that is gone. At least I got to enjoy all of that for 11 years.

"Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise His name; Proclaim His salvation day after day." Psalm 96:1-2

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Heal me, O Lord...."

Fever 101 this evening and tonight...feel really bad...ache in back, so no blog...Jeremiah 17:14......."Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed...."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Do not be anxious about anything..."

"...but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."... Philippians 4:6

We wonder and worry about what might happen, what we know is going to take place, and even when praying, and trusting God for His care, our human nature worries. The past few days, there have been such evidence of God taking care of us---one of our tiny cousins in Missouri had serious surgery to re-do part of an organ and she, even in such serious surgery, is doing very well, and will most likely be in better health. Our friend, Gene, in Florida who had the surgery for esophageal cancer, is back at work and riding his bicycle (19 miles) and going fishing again---God has miraculously taken care of him and his anxious family for the past number of months. How wonderful is prayer and the resulting answers, and how thankful we are for such. We have more cousins who are missionaries in Turkey and trying to leave there to go to Thailand so we are in prayer for them and their safety.
John had his heart (battery replacement) minor surgery but it is always frightening when "they take you away". He did so well, for which we are thankful.
I got my schedule today for the next two weeks, beginning next Monday --eye exam (this new chemo can damage the eyes), heart echo, CT, see two doctors, labs two days, and finally start the drug on October 5. So I must not be anxious--I know there is a reason this was delayed for nearly a month! I am trusting in God and His care...and not being anxious!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Then God said, 'Let the land produce vegetation...'

I went to the farmer's market today, first time in a long time and all the fruits and vegetables, pumpkins of many colors and gourds of many shapes....just a feast for the eyes. I thought back when I was growing up and Daddy always had a garden. I hated having to weed that garden, especially the strawberries! But as I grew up and John and I always had a garden, the weeding and gathering became almost fun, especially when you depend on eating what you grow. When I was young we had white peaches from the market and you rarely see those anymore. I saw turban shaped squash today and remembered Daddy grew those. He also dug a hole in the ground and filled it with straw and stored potatoes and sweet potatoes in there for winter keeping. When I was playing as a young child I would pick the baby corn to play with ---I guess Daddy wondered why his corn did not have many ears on it! That was really bad, but I did not think about it!
Moving here, we do not have much room for a garden, but we have a small space and John had the usual green beans and we actually have about six bags in the freezer for winter! We have had two meals so far of OUR beans.

Genesis 1:11---"Then God said, 'Let the land produce vegetation: Seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruits with seed in it according to the various kind.' And it was so.

Grandpa had the best garden, in the place where a pig pen once was. The land was so rich and he grew lots of good vegetables there.
Grandpa's sister lived in Kentucky and they had a peach orchard. They also raised stock, including pigs. The pigs got out of their pen once and into the orchard, and ate green peaches. The peaches made the pig's stomachs swell, and burst and killed all the pigs!

I cannot think of any more garden or pig stories. But we have always enjoyed gardening, vegetables and/or flowers.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

God's plans for us...

Last night, I wrote a very long blog and lots of details about lots of things (most of which I cannot remember now) and when I hit "publish" it all disappeared! I was so frustrated and just closed it up and went to bed!
Jeremiah 29:11 is a verse I quote often for several reasons. It reaffirms us that God has plans for our lives, it also tells us that His plans are to help us do well in all areas, and He also wants us to be hopeful. Above all, God wants us to see that our future is set with Him and is taken care of--not anything we have to we afraid for.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

As you know I was all set for the new experimental chemo to start today. Yesterday the nurse told me that the drug company and Sara Cannon Research Center (where I go) could not reach some sort of agreement and the drug was called off then they got it agreed to again. But before I can start on it, I have to have an eye test, heart echo test, numerous blood tests, a CT and then (hopefully) on October 5 I will start this new one. At first I was so upset, frustrated, lost my patience, then I had to remind myself, that all I do is in God's hands. I have not lived all this extra time for nothing! I have to believe I am in His plan (or trying to be) for Him to give me this grace and blessings of these extra years.
So I will (not be anxious) wait for the CT and see what has been happening these two months with no chemo. I think I told that a new class on Wednesday night is about living "fearless in a fearful world" and it certainly can be fearful...just have to wait for God's plans!

Monday, September 20, 2010

I just wrote my post and the computer deleted it!!!!!!!!!!see tomorrow....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

[God] "who comforts us..."

This was a busy Sunday, starting with our Great coming for breakfast as she does when staying here with her grandmother. She was questioning me about my mother and how old she would be if alive, then about other relatives . The concept to a child about those who lived a long time then died is difficult for them to grasp. She asked if my mother would have been her great-great? That was correct, so I think she has it! This afternoon she wanted to go to our art show and she really did enjoy seeing the art demonstrations, and all the oil paintings in tents all around the lawn. We were sitting around yesterday and I showed her how old timey people used a nut cracker, and picked the nut meats out of the shell. We cracked some walnuts and she thought that was great fun. (not so fun if you have to do it, I am sure)

A friend gave me her great grandmother's pound cake recipe and it has become our family's very FAVORITE and most asked-for recipe for a long time now. It is called a Buttermilk Pound Cake
3 cups sugar, 1 stick butter, 1/2 cup Crisco...combine these three and beat. Then add and beat in 5 eggs, one at a time. Alternately add 3 cups flour and 1 cup buttermilk, ending with the flour. Add 1/2 tsp soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp boiling water. Add 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp almond flavoring. Grease and flour a tube pan and pour the cake mixture in. Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes and 325 degrees for 30 minutes (total of 1 hour, 15 minutes or a little less if cake is done before that time). Cool cake for about 20 minutes and carefully slip it out upside down (bundt cake) and let cool.
We use Buttermilk Caramel Icing, which is cooked but you can make a confectioners sugar icing for easier one.
Our Buttermilk Icing
2 cups white sugar, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tsp. soda, 1 stick butter...Cook in a large heavy pan until a teaspoon poured in ice water reaches a soft Ball, cool and add 1 tsp vanilla and beat until starts to get a little hard then put on top and sides of cake. don't let it get too hard as it hardens when it cools.
Even if it does not get hard pour it in the center of cake and use it as sauce. Everyone will fight over it!
Well I am ignoring the "elephant in the corner" again. I guess Tuesday is chemo day again. I sure have enjoyed being normal for two months!
[God] who comforts us in all our troubles, so we can comfort those in any trouble..."II Cor. 1:4 A friend of a friend called me this week and wanted to talk about her finding out she has cancer, and what could I tell her. God does allow us to share our experiences and hopefully comfort others. I pray I can help someone!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you..."

I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flame will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God." Isaiah 43: 1-3

This really covers everything to not fear. Have I said already that the Bible tells us to "not fear" more than any other instructions? I know I have. I am reminding myself! The art group I am a member of is having our big art show this was today and will be also tomorrow. It was fun to be there and see all our work displayed, and be so proud of all of our efforts. Each in our way, we all have talent and we do encourage each other. My oldest great is here tonight and will eat breakfast with us tomorrow. She was over here a lot today and she and I played "school" and you know she was in charge! She wants to go to the art show tomorrow so after church she and I will go there for a while. She is really eager to see what all is going on there. Today we had much snack food (we all brought stuff) and live entertainment. There were four tents out front and then all the galleries inside. Several artists were demonstrating their painting. It will be fun to see how much we sold. This was 100 for $100 (or less) so anyone could afford original art. One fourth of all proceeds go for flood victims. Whether we sell much or not, it has been fun. Tonight we had dinner with friends--!!! I have certainly enjoyed my free time with no chemo. Now I must now fear!!!and remind myself all the time that God is taking care of me!




Friday, September 17, 2010

"They praise you..."

Isaiah 38:19..." The living, the living---they praise you, as I am doing today; Fathers tell their children about your faithfulness."

John and I had a "date day" today. When we first retired and/or quit work (outside the home) we realized that day follows day and soon, we hardly did anything "fun". So we started taking most every Friday as our "date day", a day just for us, whether we did yard work, went to a movie, did antiquing, had lunch out, or explored a small town close by, this was our day just for us. It has worked for these 25 years now and we still for the most part maintain this day as ours. For the last several months, we lost out on it, with illness, moving, getting settled, etc. we had let it slip away, so today we started back with our special day.

We left home this morning about 9:30 and drove to a small town about 50 miles away, Bell Buckle, TN. We walked in all the shops (the town is about three blocks long) and ate lunch in the Cafe then drove home after going by another small remains of a town, called Christiana which is even smaller, but does have a great place to eat (we have been there before) called Miller's Grocery. Amazingly, these towns have live music on weekend nights and (we have heard) really pack people in. So our day out was fun and we somehow talk more when we are sitting across the table in a restaurant like that than we do at home. We make lists of things to do, or places to go. Anyhow, we always praise God for the times John and I have together.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"I will extend peace to her like a river..."

"...and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream." Isaiah 66:12 This verse was sent to me this morning by my daughter in law and I love the security and contentment found in it. Think how peaceful is a river flowing along!...Today was skin doctor day---not much fun, especially for a red head complexion person like me.

While going through my memory box (oh my I could spend all winter going thru this and putting papers, invitations, newspaper articles, etc into scrapbooks) I already have four scrapbooks of such and could probably fill several more ( I am pretty behind on doing this) These really are a family/friendship history of the last 100 years. I have letters and papers from the early 1900's that I have told about here (Example, the letters written to Grandma and Grandpa when their baby died)

I pulled out my baby book today, along with my book list from the 4th grade...I read 31 books that year! Thinking of all my great aunts and uncles who are long gone! When I was born, I had light "almost red" hair. All the baby gifts given for me are listed and it is sad to think of all the years gone, that my parents were young and excited about their first baby (me) and now they are dead for over 20 years. All of Mama's friends came to parties, were involved in our activities and they also are long gone. But they had good lives and much fun and love and happy times.

I sent matching aprons to one of our 4 year old greats and her mother. When she opened the box, she said "We need to cook something!" What fun to have little girls around! I must sing to my self, "Peace like a river..."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"A spirit of power..."

II Timothy 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline..." I gather strength from this verse, no matter what I am talking about on this blog. I finally got around today to read all the side effects to the new chemo, all the terrible things that can happen to me, the assurance that this combination of drugs has never been tried on humans before! So I am shaking as I read this and think, Can I really do this???Then I see this verse that says God gives us power and I know whatever He brings to me to take, I can do it, OR He will give me another chemo to take its place. I was talking to a friend who is now cancer free and he was telling how this experimental is what is giving some like him the ability to beat this cancer, if not forever, at least for a while. This is my dream! My hope! My prayer!

I was going through some of my saved "papers" and found our high school "Student Handbook" given me when I started high school at Litton High, one of the best high schools ever. We had teachers who really cared if we succeeded, and a principal who knew all our names, even years later upon seeing him, he would call me by name. He died of Parkinson's Disease and I went to see him a few times after he was bed ridden, and he never lost his zest for life. This handbook tells all the teachers names and tells about some, like our band leader, Sammy Swor, who not only taught band but played in the Nashville Symphony. We had a nationally famous band because of his leadership. Back then the worst thing a student did was chew gum, talk in class, bring cigarettes to school. Of course a few did worse but they were quietly sent elsewhere. We respected our teachers and did as told (most of the time). We all have stories to tell....oh well, we all know "where the bodies are buried". We had fun and most of the time were model citizens, and got a great education.
As we matured we developed more self discipline . Now we are the older generation and all of my friends depend upon God's love and power to guide them.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"For God so loved the world..."

Today was a good day, got lots of sewing done, and John felt good. He is counting the days until he can take a real shower ( five more days). They glued the incision closed and water will wash away the glue, so that is the reason for no showers. (there are inside stitches, of course). Our cousins in Missouri have a teen age granddaughter who was kicked by a horse and had to have 50-60 stitches in her leg--thank goodness there was no nerve damage or infection to her leg, but really will be a big scar. Day to day, we never know what will happen. Each day is a blessing in itself, and we take these days for granted. I remember Daddy and Mama says how quickly the days go by ( as they were older) and now I am older than they were before they died. In fact John and I have both lived longer than all our parents.
I am going to a new class on Wednesday night at church--called "living fearless in a fearful world". One of her key verses is one of my favorites--Isaiah 49:16..."See I have engraved you in the palm of my hand..." If God has us engraved in His hand, how can we fear anything that is coming..I have to remind myself of this and not get nervous as the new chemo is coming along in a week..I am fearful of the unknown, the side effects, and have to remind myself that God loves us and I am in His hand!

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Monday, September 13, 2010

"...Your faithfulness at night..."

Last night I was really tired and could not stay awake long enough to write. Today I have been nauseated, even with the zofran, and high fevers (101.4) but I decided if it is that high tomorrow I will go to the doctor. I have slept all afternoon and evening. I can not figure this out, no chemo in nearly two months and feeling this bad...kind of makes me not too anxious to start the new chemo next week!
Our daughter was talking to a friend who is a PHD doctor working in DNA and this doctor said they believe in five years some of cancer will be conquered! That is very encouraging. She also said that those like me who do the experimental are helping tremendously in this battle.

Psalm 92:1-2 says, "It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night..."

I would love to see the grandchildren and greats in Augusta ---really miss them very much. I think we could not drive that far right now. John is doing well, but both shoulders are very, very sore. I would assume that is from the strap down for surgery. I am hoping he will be better tomorrow, and me too.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"..parents are the pride of their children..."

I went through another box in our storage and found things I did not know I had. Among these "found" items were drawings Daddy did while he was in the army. He was always sketching whatever he saw. Daddy was a poet, a writer, a painter, none of which were anything famous, but he was very talented and artistic. One of these was a colored pencil drawing showed "view east from camp at Marseilles, France". Another was a view of mountains and fields of vegetables marked "south". One of a river with a lovely bridge,is labeled "Pont du La Concorde...23 March 1945" he drew lots of Parisian buildings (which are always so lovely and so picturesque). There is a "Belgium Home, March 29, 1945" and a really intricate drawing of a gargoyle from a Paris building.

There are several more harbors, a view of a "rainy day of 20G" (drawing of guys in their tent) and my very favorite! It is a pencil drawing of a "French Cart" sitting outside a barn (kind of a two wheeled cart) and a rooster scratching beside this.
I have lots more things from him, the V mail that lots of times contained drawings or "cartoons" he would send me. I was 9 when he left and 11 when he came home.

Proverbs 17:6 says "Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children." We are blest to have these "children's children" and John and I both also had parents in whom we took pride for their character and their honesty and the way they maintained themselves.

John did good today, not feeling the best but still weak. I am sure tomorrow will be a better stronger day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

"...the great and awesome God..."

Today was the dreaded and looked for day for John to have his pacemaker battery replaced. This was a wonderful day for the technology and the doctor and how perfectly the procedure went. The worst part was the six needle sticks for one blood draw and one IV---he has terrible veins and the nurse at first had a very hard time???Anyway, they called in an IV specialist who did it perfectly her first time on each place. Then we had to wait two hours to leave after the doctor dismissed us! Ah...see how computers speed things up!!?? We were gone 12 hours for a one hour "surgery". Anyway, thankful for all going well.

Tonight, I had to find a piece of string and I looked in our catch-all box, finding a little ball of string about 2 inches in diameter. Then I remembered how large this ball of string was when John's mother died. It was in her kitchen drawer and I knew how she like my family saved the dry cleaner's string and wrapped it into this ball and over the years of saving and using, it was still 3-4 inches large back then. Only those who lived through the "depression" would think to save STRING! We take such for granted and throw away garbage like this. I even had a wrought iron string saver way back and this ball of string sat in there and I would pull out when I needed convenient!
John's mother saved EVERYTHING! Again, the depression mentality. When she died, we threw away hundreds of cottage cheese boxes, paper sacks, old ragged clothes (unusable), oatmeal cartons...we even found a few dollar bills in the sewing machine and in some books, enough that we had to go through all her books, looking for more!
She also had saved the little glass bowls and juice glasses that came in oatmeal boxes, and also jelly jars. Today these items are quite expensive at antique shops.
When John and I first married, we bought a window fan and it was $36.00 and we had to pay for it "on time". John's Dad had a fit because we "charged" something!
Again, we are so thankful for today...Nehemiah 1:5-6 says "...O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and obey His commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night...."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"When I am afraid, I will trust in You..."

"In God,whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?" Psalm 56:3-4
If you believe God is in charge of our lives, then you also believe life offers many chances and opportunities to makes friends, talk to someone you don't know, or realize closeness with someone that does not "just happen". Have you ever sat in a doctor's office and start talking to another woman and think, "we could be really good friends if we had the opportunity"...wonder how many opportunities we pass up every day because we are too busy, or don't have time to "visit" with someone, or don't stop to talk to new members at church because we "need to get home."..

A number of years ago, John and I were attended the lectureship at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. One of the series was taught by a lovely woman from Texas. I met her afterwards, and she ended up being the speaker for our church ladies "retreat". We started emailing and have become very good friends through writing, occasionally phone calls and just being real "soul" partners. What a blessing she is in my life and what a wonderful opportunity I would have missed out on if I had not gone up and spoken to her in that class!

Her name is Cathy Messecar and she is not only a speaker, but an author with a third book coming out in March of 2011. Cathy writes a monthly article in a newspaper and on her blog.
The first book is called "The Stained Glass Pickup" and is a devotional book. The second, Cathy co-authored with several of her friends, "A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts". The new book is "A Still and Quiet Soul:Embracing Contentment" , and I am very honored to have been selected as one of the chapters of this book. Cathy tells of how our Johny was part of our lives and died so young and she also tells about my battle with God leads me through each day and gives me strength to keep He is my rock and my guide! Cathy and I would have missed out on so much..I pray I do not miss out on blessings and friendships, on chances to pray for someone, and just being the best we can in His way each day.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"...fix our eyes on Jesus..."

Each day is a surprise! I never know what that day will hold. The chemo that I could not decide and did not know what to do---insurance would not approve it so the problem was solved for me! God took care of that for me! My oncologist has a new experimental for me to try---it has some bad side effects but not everyone has these, so maybe I won't. I have to try this and not just sit and let the cancer grow. I will loose my hair again, which is no big deal, since it has happened twice already. Besides, I might get curly hair again! The side effects are reversible if they get too bad or if I quit. He assured me the liver is only involved about 10% so I can handle that! I will take a daily pill and get an injection in my port once every three weeks. I pray the side effects are not so bad that I cannot handle this.

Hebrews 12:2 gives us a goal ..."Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross..."

I pray for courage, strength and endurance...and for ability to stay fairly normal in life style. Am I asking for too much?? I pray I am not asking too much! Thank you Father for all blessings.

Monday, September 6, 2010

"To you, O Lord, I called..."

This has been quite a weekend! Saturday we got to be with our oldest grandson, his wife and their three children (our greats). Today, we were at my sister's and with three nephews, wives and another granddaughter and all their babies (four this time)...Tonight, we were with a granddaughter for her birthday, her husband, another grandson and his daughter (her mother had to work) who is our oldest great....and of course our daughter and son-in-law. (we all live here , so we have lots of family dinners now.)
We did lots more yard work today, lots more to do, since we left our "gardens" at the other house. We brought some flowers but it was too hard to bring as many as I wanted to and the flower beds needed fixing up and soil added, so this is a work in progress. I saw my ex-neighbor and he said "all your flowers are dead" which was not very nice and made me sad, I had worked on those flower beds for 11 years! Oh, well, maybe I need to be busy!
Tomorrow is the day of decision regarding the chemo so I will know more tomorrow night.
This Bible passage from Psalm 30 I have marked in my bible, that These verses were important when God healed my cancer. He did it then, He can do it again, I know. I will claim these verses tonight and claim His choosing the perfect chemo tomorrow!!!

Psalm 30: 8-10 "To you, O Lord, I called; to the Lord I called for mercy; What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O, Lord, be my help." ...and the last half of verse 12, "O, Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever."

Sunday, September 5, 2010

" His word I put my hope"

Today was a good day, no nausea, no pain, no fever. I cannot figure it out, there is no pattern! This is Sunday, and lots of prayers for me, and for John and his pacemaker battery replacement this Friday. I know I have to do something strong in the way of chemo because I believe the cancer is growing. I have a cancer close to my bladder that the radiation earlier this year was supposed to "get" but it apparently did not, so we have to do something before it gets the "better of me". I was so sure earlier last week that I just could not do the patupalone again, but now I know that if not that then something that will kick this quickly! I reaffirm every day that God is in control and then I get fearful and lose my bravery and faith and belief that He is Able! I know we don't always get what we want but I want so badly to be well and strong again, and able to do things I used to do.
Psalm 130:5 says "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope..."

Saturday, September 4, 2010

"I will see the goodness of the Lord..."

Psalm 27:13-14 " I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord."

I think I am being told to wait for God to do whatever He will do! I tend to hurry up and rush along, being sure I get it done. Maybe I better sit back and let Him do His will first. Yesterday was not a good day and I was so tired and had a fever all evening. Today some of our family was here and such fun to be with the west Tennessee greats. When they left, the fever came back. I went to a really good friend's 50th Wedding anniversary party, but came home early due to nausea and fever. I don't understand why I am having fever and nausea since I have not had chemo in about 6 weeks! Of course I wonder if the cancer is growing a lot! I wonder if the gall stone is causing this. I had decided to not do the really bad chemo but since I apparently am having lots of cancer growth, I guess I will have to do that. Maybe this is God's way of telling me to go ahead and do the stronger chemo!

Maybe this is my "wake-up-call" to be strong and do the tough stuff! I know God will be with me and I can do whatever He tells me to do! And this verse says we will see His goodness here on earth...We know that for sure!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"...don't get worked up about what may or may not happen..."

The Message reads like this for Matthew 6:34..."Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."
This is another good day, but I am tired and back ache tonight, and as always, I wonder why? So I don't need to borrow trouble!
One more day of family furniture .....we have another small cabinet or armoire that has an interesting history. John asked his mother if he could use some pieces of wood in the barn for kindling...she had a fit and said "NO" that was her Daddy's and told us how it came to be in pieces. John's Grandfather was angry with his third wife and threw this piece of furniture out the back door...John's mother went and got the pieces and saved them. ( Remember the Grandfather lived next door to John's parents) Several years after we nearly burned up the cabinet, we had a friend to put the pieces together and John made a new top and it has been in our house ever since. It is walnut and build with panels on all sides.

After John retired He used to do handy man jobs and one job was in a wealthy part of town, and he was rebuilding a closet. The owner told him he could have the scrap wood. John brought it home and built me a wonderful tall cabinet with glass doors to hold my "salts" collection. I have about 300 now. The wood in this cabinet is beaded board pine and probably about 75-100 years old...beautiful wood, and I treasure it because John made it!

We have a blanket chest that was John's Dad's and it is also walnut, and for some reason, when they made it with the "classic panels" on each side, they put the smooth side out and the panel side in. That is so strange. It is a large chest, about 2 feet X 4 feet across the top and not quite 3 feet tall, on legs. It sure comes in handy and holds lots of blankets and quilts.

So I need to not worry and not think about what might happen, God is always there ...and He will help us with the hard times when they come!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"...let your heart give you joy..."

I was sitting in our living room area tonight and looking at the various pieces of furniture. We have bought some furniture over the years but so much was given to us by parents and my grandmother that as we acquired these we gave the "new" things to grandchildren or sold them. In our area is an armoire that was John's parents. For years it sat on their back porch, the cat had kittens in the drawers, garden tools were in it, etc...When we got it, a friend refinished the "gray worn" to a wonderful honey finish. It is put together with pegs and must be close to 150 years old at least. It used to have mirrors in the doors. Now it houses our TV and Cd's and collectibles.
An old rectangle trunk serves as a coffee table (since it is smaller than our coffee tables which we gave to children). It has "Nashville Trunk and Bag" in a plaque on the front which was an old luggage/bags/trunk company here in Nashville. When I was small it was in Grandma's attic and full of various things she was saving. I used to play on top of it and now it is my treasure holder--some of Johny's favorite things, and my cross stitch. It must be about 100 years old.
Our "kitchen" table is an old walnut gate leg table that seats was my great aunt and uncle's DINING ROOM table! When they died (their only child had died young) we were able to get this table, since no one else really needed it. John refinished it and we have used it for about 50 years. This aunt and uncle would be about 140 years old if living, so the table is really old.
A wonderful gold, oval mirror (beveled) came from Mama and to her from her aunt and before that to this aunt from her in-laws who came from Scotland. We also have a low chest that was theirs, which is either maple or poplar. It has signs of having had another piece on top, like shelves or something. The history and family love involved in each piece of furniture means so much. We are so thankful to have these pieces of furniture
Ecclesiastes 11:8-9 "However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them happy young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth..."
Well we are no longer "young" but our hearts still give us joy...what a blessing!