Sunday, October 31, 2010

"His good purpose..."

Yesterday, our "great" was here and we raked leaves and she jumped in them...what fun! (I remembered how Daddy would rake big piles of leaves and we would swing really high in our rope swing and jump out into the leaves! )As usual she ate breakfast with us this morning...she always does then goes to church with her grandparents (our daughter and son in law) we were talking about family kin and it is difficult for a 6 year old to be able to know who is what kin in the family. She got most of it right, except my sister (her great aunt)...she did not know that is my sister. We found an old picture of us as children and "great" was amazed at us being little, etc.

I had to get a repairman come to work on the sewing machines yesterday. He lives in Westmoreland. I told about my aunt and uncle who (he was a stationmaster for the railroad in Westmoreland)used to lived next door and part of the time would live in Westmoreland. A few years ago the town moved the old train station and part of it ended up built onto this repairman's house. What a coincidence!!!Actually his parents lived there then he bought the house and has lived those 40 years. Where in the world would I meet someone who lived in that train station!!! Now, we have got to go there and see that house. It is sad when old buildings are torn down. There is a parking lot there now where the train station used to be.

Our preacher today talked about contentment, and how we can look for "God's good" in every situation. Philippians 2:13 says "for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose."

Friday, October 29, 2010

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

John and I drove to Franklin and Leepers Fork today, and came back through part of the Natchez Trace. The leaves were prettier there than anywhere we have been. This is south of Nashville. The original Natchez Trace went from Nashville to Natchez, Miss.and was used by settlers who would carry goods down the Mississippi River and come back up the Trace. It was a wild and dangerous place back in the 1800's. Gradually the trace fell into disuse and was just about gone, but then was "found again" and today's Trace follows part of the original walkway. You can get off the road and see the old trace in various places. The waggon ruts are three feet deep in some places. When I was small there was a huge tree in Centennial Park that had a spring next to it, and at one time there was an Inn there and it was the beginning of the Natchez Trace. Now the tree is gone, no part of the spring or inn remains (I guess it is long covered in roads) and a historical sign tells about this old road. There is a city street called Natchez Trace here in Nashville but it ends after a couple of miles, then there is no trace until you get about 15 miles out past the county line then the new Trace starts and a bridge is a unique double arched bridge It is unbelievably tall and goes through a deep valley close to Leepers Fork.

We met two special people today..part of my recognizing special happenings each day! While shopping in Franklin (got to shop) the lady who helped me shared that she had lost her husband to leukemia 15 years ago. She has now married a minister and moved here from Birmingham. She was so special and said she would pray for me. What a blessing to meet someone you do not know and have a sharing like that. Then when we stopped at the bridge we met a family who has moved here from Wisconsin and they have five children, one of whom nearly died from leukemia and one of the sisters gave her bone marrow and saved her life. This family shared this with us, and told how they love being in Tennessee and what prayer meant to their family. Another blessing today to meet such a family!

So this was a special day, in people we met and beauty of landscape we saw. My knees are still sore and swollen and my fingers are incredibly sore but we still had a good day.

Psalm 24:1 says "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;..."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"You are forgiving and good, O God..."

A friend wrote me to tell how she handles problems and troubles. She has a notebook and tries to list any GOOD happening during a day...not all the time, but much of it. Example, when a car lets you in front, when a stranger smiles and says "hello", when a rainbow appears, just beautiful happenings through a day. What a neat idea!!!

When I list my bad things, I hope you don't think I am being negative all the time. I am telling what is going on and what the cancer or chemo is doing to me. BUT, I
DO focus on the negative mostly, and I need to also tell about the good things along the way. SO, my friend gave me a lovely idea ,to list good along with the bad .

So, today, besides the bad, the swelling in my feet and legs, the sore knees, the cracked fingers, and no hair---The trees are lovely red, gold and orange. John and I drove into the country and saw these trees, several log cabins rebuilt by homes, streams, and decorations. We were in a store and talked to a couple who had decided to retire here (from Chicago). Last week we got to talking to some who had retired here from California. So, it seems we live in a much admired area. We think there is not much better place than middle Tennessee. And my number one nice/good things of today is having my husband who loves me bald or with hair. He says he is "married to two women".

God loves us no matter what He is "abounding in love to all who call on [Him]. Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy." Psalm 86: 5-6

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Be joyful always; pray continually;..."

"...give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I got my head shaved knees are stiff and fingers are still cracked open...all of this is side effects of chemo.

I can pray but it is difficult to give thanks, but I am trying.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"if God is for us, who can be against us?"

" And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him. who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. .....What then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:28-29, 31

I opened my Bible and this is where it fell open, and I had already marked this passage and read it it seemed to be my verses for tonight. Today was doctor day, blood is up some, almost to the point of receiving chemo, white cell count at 1.1 (normal starts at 2) and I can receive chemo at 1.5 so next week should be the time to start back. I do not have to be as careful and we ate out today!!! They will reduce the dosage amount next week (and for others also) as it seems to be too strong. That is why they call this "experimental". I really think it is exciting to be part of this experimenting...what if a great cure is discovered? What if my cure is discovered??? My fingers are cracked open but getting better, my skin has blood spots, like bruises, caused by the low white cells. Most of my hair is gone and will be gone after next weeks chemo. I am so thankful for cards from friends, for phone calls and for caring shown to us.

My friend Gene (in Florida) called today and he is feeling so good, he got to go fishing last week, and is going back to work some ,and is feeling so good. He is able to eat more, not normally yet, but enough to gain some. He, like I, thank God every day for life, for family and for friends. We thank God for wonderful doctors, for things we take for granted. And, being human, live from "scan to scan".

Monday, October 25, 2010

"What does the Lord require ..."

"And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8
Another day of just doing busy things getting ready for tomorrow. Our grandson came by, back from his honeymoon, and was shocked to see me with almost no hair. I don't wear a wig around the house. I seem to have many sentence prayers all though the day. I feel so "living because God is permitting me to" each day--as if this time is so special and I need to do something special but don't know what that would be. I want to hold on to each day but they slip away so fast.

More memories---Occasionally Daddy would buy unclaimed boxes or luggage from some storage business. Once ,he got a box full of old pictures, letters and embroidery, pieces of fabric and thread, all really old. He gave me part of this and I tried to trace any relative using the family name and calling post offices from the area. The town in the letters no longer exists and I tried to call all those family names listed in the phone directory. I called museums from that area but never found anyone who had any relative by those names. How sad! Someone loved those family members and treasured that embroidery. The one special piece,I had framed and now I treasure this. Back about 150 or even 200 years ago all girls learned to sew and embroidery by making a "sampler", using many creative ways to sew the alphabet and numbers and often a poem, and their name and date. This sampler I have has three rows of alphabets, one unfinished. There is a row of numbers , a few unfinished pictures around the sides, maybe trees or flowers. The fabric is very fine, small thread count linen. A few letters at the lower edge are possibly her name, not finished.

The poem is: "O I must remember that I am born to die for lifetime is not forever for beauty must decay and my poor body lie moldering in the clay"
Isn't that morbid? Those years ago so many children died young, I guess they expected such. I would date this sampler at about 200 years ago because at that time, our alphabet had no "J", only 25 letters, and this alphabet shows that. Some history books say that "I" and "J" were used interchangeably then.

Christmas is two months away---I am not ready!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

" God will hear me."

" for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me." Micah 7:7

Almost all my hair has fallen out. The other times, I have gone and had my head shaved before this stage. I just pull on it each day and more falls out and I put it in the trash, so it is nearly gone. The worst part is waking up in the morning with hair on the pillow and in my mouth...ptouey.....(or whatever).

We went to church today, went late and left just before it was over so I did not have much chance to talk or shake hands, and no hugging. I feel so isolated and out of the bunch of friends at church, I miss Sunday School and friends there. I miss talking to everyone walking through the halls and atrium. I miss hugs and seeing how everyone is. I just miss life as it normally is. Will I ever have a normal life anymore? Sorry for my "pity party" but I do have to think about these things sometimes. Also, my fingers have cracked open in 5 places...they really hurt, especially if I hit them against something.

As I go to sleep, naps or night, I say the "Lord's Prayer", sometimes falling asleep as I say it. It has become my comfort zone for me. I put the Prayer Shawl over me that the friend made for me. I wish I could learn to crochet and make those. I tried but did not do very well. I need to try again.

I am not much good tonight, just rambling, counting days until Tuesday and FINALLY some decision may be made about do we or don't we do this chemo!!!

So, God, please hear me, I "wait for God, my Savior".

Friday, October 22, 2010

"Sing to the Lord..."

Grandma's sister and her husband lived next door to John and he grew up always knowing them. This is the aunt my cousin and I visited often and how John and I a got to know each other the summer I was 16. Uncle Frank was a railroad man and he worked part time in a small town about 40 miles away, Westmoreland. He was the stationmaster there and they would live there part time. My cousin and I would ride the Trailways bus up there and stay for a week in the summer. We had such fun--Aunt Clara had no children and she would let us rearrange her kitchen, and play like her apartment was our play house. When she was "home" here, we would visit there.
Uncle Frank's parents were from Scotland and he also had a Scottish brogue, which made him very unique. When they died, my mother inherited some pieces of furniture from them, some of which I still have and love to think these things came from Scotland. There is an oval mirror with gold flowers and leaves all around the sides, and a 2 drawer low chest that looks like it possible had a top half, like a desk top. We had one of Uncle Frank's rail road chairs which one of our grandson's has now.
They played croquet all summer (rook in the winter) like all the "sisters" did. I have talked about the sisters before. Uncle Frank had one of the short mallets that "pro"'s would use and he always "played for blood". He and John were great partners. They had lights in the yard and would play til midnight. If they played on a Saturday night, Aunt Clara would not play past midnight, because it was the "Lord's day". They never had children but loved all us cousins. They helped raise another cousin and really wanted John to marry her, but he had other ideas!
John and I lived in a small house behind his parents before we built our house. When our oldest son was little, "Clara" was one of his first words.
Aunt Clara had a way of "saying what was on her mind" as did several of the sisters. John and his best friend were seeing them and the friend had a great tan, and she said "Jack, you look sick". She once said she though visiting the sick was her gift. She did so once and said, "I know someone who had what you do and they died" . I am not so sure about that gift!
But, they were very special part of the family and we always enjoyed being with them, and living close to them.

Well today was another blood draw day, and my white cells are inching up, way below normal but going the right direction. I can leave the house with caution now. I went to art class last night and wore a mask. My hair is falling fast and is about half gone (thin) and I got another wig today. My old one was five years old and getting kind of sad looking.

Isaiah 12:2 and 5 says, "The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation." and "Sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things...:
He truly is my strength. I honestly feel very good most of the time, not sick or weak. That is a miracle!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"...the Spirit helps us..."

Same song, second verse...daughter is still sick. John fixed his famous oatmeal for her breakfast today. He only cooks one thing and oatmeal is it! I still cannot eat out, etc, etc...More blood test Friday morning so hopefully I will be better. Meantime, hair is falling out more. I got my wig out. When you lose hair, your head gets really sore. When a little more comes out I will go get a crew cut. When winter gets here, your head gets really cold at night. Then I feel sorry for bald headed men (like John) and how their heads must be cold all winter! I do not feel sick, and have a lot of energy. It is hard to believe my blood is that low.

I went to church tonight and sat in a corner in our class, so I would not touch anyone..we had a visiting guest speaker who talked (among a lot of other things) about the indwelling Holy Spirit, and how the Spirit prays for us when we do not know what to pray for. I am at that stage now in which I continue to know God is in control and I feel in such a quandary about this off-again-on-again chemo. Is this one not the right one for me? I know God will not let me get into a harmful situation so what is waiting for me? I don't know what to pray for so I trust the Holy Spirit is praying for the perfect chemo for me, a healing chemo for me. Selfishly I ask God for more days on this earth to be with John and family .

"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 8:26

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

" refuge and my fortress..."

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust." " Psalm 91:1-2

When I got to the oncologist today, they told me I had to get a heart Echo, because someone in this study had a serious heart problem and they are testing people to see if this shows up anywhere else. There is something between the lines here because I asked if I would get to resume this chemo next week (because my white cells are still too low for this week) and the nurse said "not sure". She said the doctor would talk to me about it next week. So I had the first infusion October 5, and took 6 of the daily pills then had to stop and here we are---in limbo. AND, my hair is falling out, started yesterday! I don't know what we will do next, and is the cancer growing while we do nothing? and can my body not stand any more chemo? I just have no blood defense for infection. I am very frustrated and trying to KNOW this must not be what I need. God is my refuge! Meantime, still no eating out, no salads, no fresh fruits, only cooked food. I want an apple so bad!!! And I have to go get blood checked again in three days--sure wish the white cells would get better!

Adding to all of this, our daughter is very sick, with bronchitus (she wore herself out preparing for the wedding) and is in bed with fever and I cannot take care of her. I have to stay in our apartment, away from her! I did fix her some soup and John took it to her.

I feel like we are living in a soap opera!
Please God, empty my soul of despair and fill it with your hope and goodness.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"The Lord is good..."

Lamentations 3:25-26 " The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."

Yesterday morning at 7 we went to the hospital for my blood drawing and did not stay for results. At noon, we left for the wedding at a park an hour from here. Everything was so family-oriented, and just wonderfully sweet. Our grandson and his wife wrote their vows and both were in tears as they said them. John did such a great job as being their minister and we were all proud that he could see his papers well enough to not falter on the ceremony. I had typed what he was to say in very, very large font and he taped this to sheets of paper and it worked very well.
There were 75 here for food and just being together. The chefs did a great job and all was so good with an outdoor elegance in the deep blue skies, golden leaves and all the pumpkins and flowers everywhere--the reds, golds, and greens of flowers and ribbons was perfect. I was very careful to not touch anyone, and have my food come from the kitchen and not off the buffet.

My nurse called this morning and said the white count was up slightly (going the right direction) and that I could go to the grocery. I felt like I was in "house arrest" for the last three days. Tomorrow is day for the oncologist and see what he has decided to do next... maybe give me a lower dose of chemo and continue this treatment. In one week (at three weeks from the first dose) I can get a "white cell shot". A friend says I sound more positive "talking" than on this blog. I do not want to act like I am depressed because I am not, but I maybe tell more of my feelings here than when talking to someone. I really hate to talk about me so much, but I know friends want to know what is going on. So maybe tomorrow we will find out more---I say this alot, don't I?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

We have been getting ready for the wedding all day. My sister and daughter's friend did the cupcakes---strawberry with white cream icing, and chocolate with chocolate icing, and tiny pearl beads hand-sprinkled over the top of each cupcake...just elegant! The groom's cake is chocolate with strawberry filling and chocolate icing. The chefs came tonight and put four pork roasts in our over for overnight cooking...they smell wonderful. They will be here preparing the food from about 11 tomorrow and dinner is at 4:00.

John and I ironed about a dozen large tablecloths for the outdoor tables and the buffet tables. A friend was here ALL day doing the flowers-- rust colored calla lilies, deep orange roses, white hydrangeas and ivy for all to carry ,decorate the tables, the gate to the back and the front mailbox... all of these have ivy green ribbons.

John is going with me for the blood test at 7:30 in the morning, then we leave for the wedding about noon. I felt pretty good today but got weak this afternoon. We will know on Tuesday what is next.

This is again one of my favorite psalms...." 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, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." Psalm I pray and trust for God to heal and take care of me.

Friday, October 15, 2010

"...In the day of my troubles I will call on You..."

I went to Sarah Cannon this morning for blood work and my white cell level was even lower. The nurse said it was "deathly low" and that I could not withstand any infection. I cannot eat out, go in crowds, eat any raw foods (salads, fruits) even those fixed at home. I cannot go to church Sunday but I can go to the wedding which is outdoors. I cannot eat the buffet dinner here...because someone could have breathed on the food. I will have the chef fix me a plate before putting the food out. I go to Centennial Hospital Sunday morning early for blood work to see what the level is by then. I am to wear a mask in the hospital Sunday morning. If it is still low, they can lower the experimental chemo to lesser strength on Tuesday when I go for regular blood draw. I personally think this is "Custer's last stand" because I think my body is worn out with the chemo... not my mind, but my body. So I pray I can take a lower dose and it will work and kill the cancer cells just like it is killing my good cells!

I know I am repeating myself about all the happenings, sorry about that...I am kind of in shock about being this "sick".

"You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my troubles, I will call on you, for you will answer me." Psalm 86:5-7

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"...His love endures forever..."

Day 10 (or not) since I have not had the chemo pill since Monday, but today food tasted pretty good again. I go tomorrow for blood work and see if everything came back up toward normal, I guess I will start back on the pill. I am still on the antibiotic, which so far has not been any bad side effects. Antibiotics do not like me and I have a difficult time finding one that my body can tolerate. My mouth is still sore, lips tender, teeth sore from the chemo. I have such mixed feelings about all of this. If I feel this bad, will there ever be any days to feel good in between the "every three weeks port infusion"? I know I have to either do this or give up. I am not ready to give up.

Gene, my friend in Florida called today. He is the one who had the esophageal cancer. He is eating again, not totally normal but much better. He is gaining a little weight and really sounds good. He like me, lives from "scan to scan" to see if there is any cancer there. His doctor says he is cancer free for which everyone is so thankful and so elated. Those are words every cancer patient longs to hear.
Tonight we got to go hear the Nashville Symphony play Gershwin. The grand finale was "Rhapsody in Blue" and the chance to hear this was just tremendous. I was told to avoid crowds and not to touch anyone. We had wonderful seats in a box and "no one coughed around us" so I think I was safe. I really wanted to go and so we did! Today was another wonderful gift from God, as every day is!

"Give thanks to the Lord ,for He is good; His love endures forever." Psalm 118:1

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"He is my fortress..."

I had not thought about sweet potato pie in ages...the Southern Living magazine for November has a recipe for that...It is much like sweet potatoes you put in a casserole only in a pie shell with meringue on top.
Grandma used to make fried sweet potatoes and she cut them into thin long slices, and let them fry in a skillet of Lard? or Crisco? and when they were crisp, drain them on a paper towel and sprinkle sugar on top. They were so good. and then she would use partly this same type of potatoes in a pie shell, bake it with the slices of potatoes and later meringue on top. Either way, sweet potato pie is so good.

This is day 9 but no chemo on day 8 or 9, and none tomorrow...Friday we will see how my blood is.They were sure correct when they said days 7-10 would be my worst days for low blood counts. So far, no temperature yesterday or today. My gums and teeth are sore. I remember that from the first chemo (cisplatin). I think being on the antibiotic kept me from being worse and/or having a deep infection. I really don't feel that bad, kind of tired. And the same, food tastes awful syndrome!
Maybe tomorrow will be better! Of course, I did not go out of the house today.

Psalm 62:1-2 "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken,"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

" and night I cry out before you..."

Well, I did see "how it goes"!!! My white cell level is lower than low...I am now on a broad spectrum antibiotic to prevent pneumonia and worse. My red blood was very low also and I got a red cell shot. I am to stay away from anyone sick, not eat out at restaurants, call if I have any fever at all, and generally avoid everyone, especially anyone who is sick. This is going to be tough with the wedding this weekend, so I will be in a corner somewhere. I did not think I felt this bad???Maybe I do. I know I push always to do and not just sit around so I really don't know if I am sick or not!!! Anyway, I go back Friday for more blood tests and see if there is any improvement. I have lost another pound, going the wrong direction! I had a crock pot of vegetable soup waiting for us tonight and that really did taste of the few things that has. I am in such hope for this chemo to work, but I have to be able to take it---for it to work!

Psalm 88:1-2 "O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry."

Monday, October 11, 2010

" Him be glory..."

I noticed, the blog title says (during my fourth cancer episode)...since I started this blog, there have been two more episodes at least. We counted up and this is #6 chemo (or #7) if you count the start by itself. I have been at Sarah Cannon Center since fall of 2006 and had four major surgeries since fall of 2006. We did our usual "every 4-5 months" seeing our primary physician, Dr. He thinks I am doing great and said I am "tough". Dr. G. thinks the fact that I have not had the tumor fevers since this chemo started might mean that this chemo is working! He and I agreed that we are on this earth doing God's will and he as well as all my doctors is a christian. I would have a tough time with a doctor who was not a "believer in Jesus and trusting God for daily sustenance". Yesterday day 6 and today day 7 were and are similar days, some nausea, some dizzy spells, little desire for food and the horrible taste of water. I really need to drink but oh my that taste! Yet with all this, I still thought it would be worse than this. It may yet be worse. At church yesterday, I was at arm's length not hugging anyone, I am in the neutropenia time period when I am the most vulnerable for infection. I go for labs tomorrow and see how it is all going.

"How to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory..." Ephesians 3:20-21

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"...I've run for dear life to you..."

"Keep me safe, O God. I've run for dear life to you. I say to God, 'be my Lord!' Without you , nothing makes sense." The Message, Psalm 16:1

When Daddy came home from the war, I was almost 11 years old. One of the first things he did, was buy me my first bicycle! I don't remember begging for one but I must have wanted one very much. That was so exciting! Another wonderful happening was that we moved back next door to our house to live. The two years he was gone, Mama, and my next sister lived with Grandma and Grandpa (next door to our house) and our house was rented out. We stayed in our house the rest of my time until I married and until Mama and Daddy built another house about 25 years later.

A good friend and I were talking about Christmas dinners---it won't be long---and we and this couple have spent Christmas Eve morning together for 53 years (except one year when snow prevented anyone going anywhere). Actually she and I started first grade together and have been friends all these years. There are about a dozen of us who went through high school together and still see each other--what a blessing to have friends like this!

This is day has been good, just the strange food tastes, and some dizziness, sometimes difficult to feel balanced. The first chemo 6 years ago did that, also. But not much nausea today, and that is very good! I feel so blessed, especially when John prays for me throughout the day.

Friday, October 8, 2010

" soul waits..."

Could these "bright blue days of October" be any prettier? That is what Grandma used to call these days with endless blue skies, no clouds, and alas, no rain! We do need some rain so badly. Isn't it funny how memories of 60-70 years ago will just rush through your mind...where did that come from? I can see myself playing in the rain in Grandma's yard, jumping off a rock that seemed so large (I looked at it years later--about 6 inches high). There were little "creeks" that ran down through the yard in the rain, and down to the big creek. I would run down these streams, loving the never seemed to be thunder or lightening, no danger...just fun. One of these summer days, the cow had a calf born in the front yard. I never knew how she came to be out in the front , but can remember that baby calf being born there.

Grandma had a long driveway around the house. I suppose the yard comprised of almost two acres, front and back, two creeks and all. Mama drove pretty fast around that driveway and one day, she "tore" around the driveway to the back, pushed it into park, except she hit reverse , and drove back smack into and through the smokehouse! It tore up the smokehouse that had stood there all those years! The car was not in too bad a condition, but had to be pulled out of that building!

Oh these memories...

Today was a better day, kind of. I was a little nauseous and took zofran twice, and slept some but really not a bad day. Each day, I wonder if this is as bad as it will get? I know days 7-10 will be the lowest point as far as blood levels go, and I need to be careful about hugging others...had not worried about that the past two chemo's but need to now. I am so vulnerable to infection with low white cell count. Each day is an adventure. I am thankful for each day of life! "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits and in His word I put my hope." Psalm 130:5

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Look to the birds of the air..."

Day 3 of new chemo....water tastes like a fish pond! No kidding, really yucky! Food tastes pretty bad also, even crackers are like cardboard ( and I usually can tolerate nuts, crackers and chips). We ate out tonight for John's birthday --still celebrating!-- and the french fries were standby in case of nausea.

So how am I going to gain weight if food is so terrible?
Tonight we are getting excited and making plans for the wedding, and it will be really nice, with the chef using our kitchen as well as our daughter's and the food out on the porches. The wedding is at 2:00 and the "dinner" will be about 4:00 so the time of day should be really pleasant, out in the yard.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important that clothes? Look to the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
Matthew 6:25-27

This time of year makes me want to go camping again. The crisp mornings reminds me of our being in our tent and building a fire to cut the early morning chill, sitting there seeing the sun come up and planning the day hiking and eating picnics at the falls. Even if we never do these things again, the memories are there.

Wednesday, October 6, 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." The Message, this reads..."God doesn't want us to be shy with His gifts, but bold and loving and sensible."

Day 2..of new chemo. I am still "hyped up" on the pre-dose of benedrill, or the daily pill is making me nervous and kind of really hyper inside. I really am not hungry but trying to eat since I need to gain weight. (Never thought I would hear those words)

Church tonight, busy sewing today, friend who cleans house for me was here today, my sister came over, so it was like open house all day. We are trying to get ready for the wedding in 10 days. One of our grandson's is marrying and we are all doing various things to get ready. John is performing the ceremony, the reception is here afterwards, with part of the family involved in helping in that.

Our lesson is our class tonight was from the verse in Timothy and it struck me how little I use the power God gives me to ask Him for help each day..I do but not enough. We need to be really bold in seeking strengh each day to fight this evil cancer! Some days I feel the strength He gives and other times I feel like just giving up. But when I write this, I know I will not give up, with His power and strength given to me.

John had a very good birthday today, I cooked his favorite waffles with fresh peaches and whipped cream for breakfast. So "Happy birthday" to my love!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

" we are the people of His pasture..."

First day for the new chemo...I even have an "ID card" to carry with me. When I jokingly told the nurse--"ah, the new rat poison!"--- and she said "oh, I don't know" and I said "it would kill a rat, wouldn't it?" and she agreed. Anyway, it started with the benedrill to protect organs, then the new stuff (an everyday pill followed by the infusion every 3 weeks), then the one hour liquid through the port . That was it...out of there in 3 hours. I go every week to check blood levels (this weeks were pretty good--being off for 2 months helped) and get another weeks supply of the pill chemo ( and show my diary of taking it and hours, etc.). The third week I have a long 8 hour day and lots of blood work and everything all over again, and heart ECHO test again. In between, lots of possible side effects so we are praying for little of these.

A friend gave me this saying: "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the places and moments that take our breath away."

Tomorrow is John's birthday--cannot believe where the years have gone...there will never be enough years to be together! We are blessed to be doing as well as we are.

"Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care..." Psalm 95:6-7

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ministering spirits...

"Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" Hebrews 1:14 Still thinking about my visiting angel on Saturday!

I saw another doctor today...and she also said this chemo is the most wonderful opportunity for me so that is four doctors who think I can really, hopefully, maybe, knock down some of this cancer...I dare not say "cure" but I did have a year without cancer with part of this drug 5 years ago. Oh, how wonderful that would be if possible to have that again!!! That is the dream of every cancer patient. And, yes, I know God can and He is faithful and Yes, I Believe! So we can see how it goes.

For some reason, I thought about some chickens we had when we first married. John built the hen house off the ground a little and had wire on the ground, and during the night something came under the wire and ate off their feet and legs! That was horrible! He rebuilt the house with a FLOOR and the new chickens were very happy there. Isn't that awful!

Another thought, at the grocery today I saw "hominy"...does anyone ever eat that anymore? (evidently they do) Does anyone remember grandparents making it? Corn soaked in LYE in a kettle, and then washing it over and over and then it is OK to eat. I remember it being rather tasteless, unless you put meat grease with it. This is another old-timey recipe.

Speaking of recipes, when Johny was alive he loved to eat at a local mom-and-pop restaurant and we ate there so much the owner gave me her recipe for rolls. They are so good and so easy, and will keep for a week in the fridge. If they turn a little "gray" just stir them up and they are still good. Be sure and keep it in an airtight container.

Drop Rolls
2 cups warm water , 1 pkg dry yeast , 1/2 cup sugar,
1/2 cup melted butter , 2 beaten eggs , 4 cups self rising flour

Mix the yeast in the warm water, add all the rest, flour last. Fill muffin pans 1/2 full (greased) and bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Ask and it shall be given to you..."

We ,and some good friends, had a great three days in the mountains...Virginia...and went to two good plays at the Barter Theatre Playhouse in Abingdon, VA...I have talked about the Barter Theatre before. We drove through the winding mountain roads, and just rambled. The golden rod and wild purple asters were everywhere! My grandmother's birthday was October 1 and she always loved the autumn flowers, especially the golden rod. We went to the White's Mill which was built about 1790 and is slowly being restored. They still make cornmeal there. We also ended up down a mountain road with a wonderful flowing stream and a really large log house. The house had little candle lights in the windows. A lady in the yard came over to the car and talked to us. She was so interesting! She and her sister live there and the grounds were formerly their home place. Beside the house was what looked like a storage building...they love cats and it has ended up being a "cat house"---about 10 right now. The racoons got so bad after the cat food, she has started trapping the coons, and taking then to a "Coon Club" over the mountain...where the coons are released and become "bait" for the hunters!

The days were perfect, about 70 degrees and great blue skies... I could not eat much. I don't know why I have no appetite. I will ask tomorrow at the doctor's. I was so glad to have a few days of almost being normal. But at the play last night, I got very nauseous at the up and ran to the bathroom. My friend went with me, I was leaning over the sink with a damp cloth on my head and sudderly a lady (who,I promise you, was not there before) was beside us and said "here is a lemon drop--they are good for nausea, I will pray for you" and she left. That was a "wow, this is an angel" moment!!!!! Today was ok, still not much appetite but I am used to that. Just thankfulness for every moment of every day!

"Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and ye shall find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks received; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened ." Matthew 7:7-8