Friday, December 30, 2011

"Remember your creator in the days of your youth..."

"However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all......There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven...." (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11:8, 12:1)

As another year comes along (and they go faster and faster) I remember how we used to spend New Years Eve. For many years, my two sisters and their husbands, and John and I would go to a really nice restaurant, then back to one of our homes, and "hang out" until the midnight, ball drop in New York City. We would eat more and play games, just being together. We never thought that would end. The last December 31 with Beth, she was not able to eat much but we had hopes for a cure, as we always do. She passed away that January, ten years ago. Also since then my other sister's husband has passed away. As I have said before, nothing ever stays the same. But we sure do miss the ordinary, fun times of family that we thought would "go on forever"!

I am at the half way mark with the radiation and my radiologist said today that "I am tough". He feels the cancer is responding very well to this treatment. He also said I need to eat snacks and gain back some of the weight loss. (did I ever in my life expect to hear those words?) I am excited and often repeat my excitement. I see the oncologist next week, and meantime have three days off! That is enough to kind of recoup!

Ecclesiastes 3:13..."That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil--this is the gift of God."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"I the Lord have called you......"

Well all is over except the De-decking...gifts have been give and received, songs have been sung, food has been fixed, cooked, parties have been given and attended and shopping has been done and re-done! All you hear for a month is Christmas songs and the day after (the 26Th)it is like it never happened. But we know it did. Whether the 25Th is actually Jesus' birthday or not, I find it wonderful that the world recognizes, argues over the date, but KNOWS our Saviour was born, sometime, somewhere around that date around 04 AD, more or less by our calendars. Scholars think it might have been a little later in the spring. To simplify, they settled on the Roman calendar (I think) to establish this day.
I love the realization of Jesus all over the world. God is still in control, and He will determine our everything!

Two more radiations this week and I will be just about half way. I think I can make it. John and I were to leave next week on a wonderful cruise, to parts of the southern Caribbean we had not seen.This was not to be! I could be really sad, but I think of the pain several weeks ago, and realize how God prepared this radiation to heal that part (whether temporary or not) and give this relief. I could not have gone, as bad off as I was the first of December. I lie in the bed while the machine goes around me and marvel at God's goodness and knowledge He gives the doctors and praise Him for this goodness.

Isaiah 42:6 "I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you........"

Monday, December 26, 2011

"Jesus grew..."

Don't you love the Bible and how it tells us just what we need to know about Jesus. Luke 2:52 says "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men."

Years ago I read a wonderful fictionalized historical book regarding maybe Jesus early life growing up. I would love to read it again. In this book, It supposed that Jesus as a boy, sailed with Joseph of Arimathea (a family friend, who later gave a tomb for Jesus). This Joseph was a business man who traded up and down the coast of Europe to England and back along the Mediterranean coast. Would that not be exciting for any boy! And we suppose Jesus grew up as any boy and had adventures. Anyway, wish I could find that book again. What a wonderful Christmas, with our seeing all but one segment of family between Thanksgiving and now. We will see those others in January sometime.

Any time we are alive and (as Grandma put it) "able to sit up and take nourishment", we are blessed. A few times I have not really enjoyed the "nourishment" but here we are!

Blessed days ahead and life is exciting! I guess I will never lose my enthusiasm for life...I hope not! Happy day after Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

"Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you..."

Well, something happened to the first part, so here I go again...It is Christmas Eve, what used to be the most exciting part of the holiday. We always were at Grandma's (and Grandpa before he died.) She lived and stayed in her home for about 25 more years, then went to Mama's and finally a nursing home, passing at age 98. All the family was there, cousins, uncle and aunt, sister, eventually our husbands and children. One of my very favorite memories was a huge snow (and we could use snow tires then, so we could go anywhere) and we came around her driveway, seeing everyone through the windows, like a Norman Rockwell moment! I will always have that memory! Then for a few years we were at Mama and Daddy's but they only outlived Grandma by 4 years, then we three sisters took turns having the family. Nothing ever stays the same--you think it will-- but when Beth died (middle sister) we tried to keep all of us together, but we straggle along, doing pretty good, and really do keep in touch, if not actual being together.

This was a fairly good week, lunch with friends but not much good to me. Sue calls me "bouncing Bev" because she says I keep bouncing back after bad things happen. I sure hope and pray I can bounce back this time! We were with friends with whom we have had Christmas Eve breakfast every year for 53 years. We did miss one year when a really big snow was too much for even the snow tires. Our children grew up together and we camped alot over the years. Today was also at my sister's for lunch and seeing all her grandchildren and extended family on her side.

When I had radiation yesterday, I saw the PA and she showed me the MRI before the radiation started, and there was and tumor large as a big orange sitting up against my lower backbone. NO WONDER I was in PAIN! I have not had the lower back pain since the radiation started, so this tumor is very receptive to the radiation. I thank God for technology, for doctors, for their knowledge. She suggested I take an anti-nausea pill each morning to PREVENT the nausea. I did today and I really had a better day.

I pray for a blessed Christmas, remembering Jesus' birth, life and crucifixion, all planed from the beginning of this world for our salvation! "Luke 2:11-14..."you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to
God in the highest and on earth peace to men..."..." Merry Christmas!

"Today in the town of David, a avior has been born to you..."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Behold, I will create a new heavens and a new earth..."

The former things will not be remembered....I will... take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and crying will be heard no more..." Isaiah 65:17, 19

How wonderful to never weep or be sad every again! New things are so special, all crisp and fresh, unused, nearly like opening a Christmas present, something special just for you! God will give us a new place to live and it will be like opening a gift from Him, and we will be healthy and whole again. That is what appeals to me!

At the risk of being redundant, tomorrow is radiation #8, a third of the way through. Can I do another 17? I am not sure. I am so tired, no appetite, and I know I must eat. Food just sticks in my throat and turns my stomach. I will see the radiation doctor tomorrow and see what he thinks about my progress. I KNOW the radiation is working, but the price I am paying??? Can I hold out long enough to get through it?

After tomorrow, I get three days off, Christmas time and being with family, my sister and her family Saturday, our family Saturday and Sunday, then Monday a day off. I made cookies tonight, tried to, anyway. My idea of cookies is to mix it up and put spoon fulls on a pan, nothing fancy. I tried to make some cut out and "ice" them. Let's just say, no magazine would want me for its' cover! But I wanted to take something to my nurses, who are so special. It is the effort that counts?
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Shout for joy....for the Lord comforts His people..."

I have now had 5 of the 25 radiation treatments. I am tired and weak, but not really sick. Food still is not very interesting and I really need to eat. Never in my life did I ever, ever think I would worry about eating. I always wanted to be slim...be careful what you wish for!

Only a few days until Christmas. We will be with our local family of 9 (counting us) and the rest will be at Jim and Cindy's..actually their three children, spouses and 8 grandchildren, together for the first time. I pray for good and warm weather for them. That is 8 children age 7 and under. They will be so blessed with their being together and cousins bond ind.

Sometimes I feel hopeful and think I can do this, then I wonder if I really have the energy for fighting much longer. Only with God's help can I do anything. He alone has kept me alive this long and He alone will determine the rest.

Isaiah 49:13...."Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts His people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones." Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"I...will accomplish what I desire..and achieve the purpose..."

What a week! I have been so sick and so stomach upset, and nothing makes you feel so terrible...In the middle of this I finally finished taking the antibiotic that I believe was part of the ill feelings, and made it to radiation every day. Tomorrow starts number 4-8 and besides the weakness, maybe that will be the worst part behind me..

Our son Jim and Cindy were here Friday and Saturday and it was so good to have our two living children together and their spouses. There will always be a hole in my heart and in any family gathering without our Johny. I have told how Cathy always puts his stocking up with theirs. Friday night we attended the Schemerhorn Symphony House and the MESSIAH by the Nashville Symphony and the Symphony Chorus. The MESSIAH comes mainly from Isaiah and the entire production was like being next to heaven. It just makes Christmas for me (and John). It was a real effort for me to go but I had to just do it!Mainly while they were here we talked and just were family together. Cathy did food for us and had meals planed and Cindy did a lot so I just laid around. It is so against my nature to be like that! It all goes against the grain! I long to be myself and be active and cooking and baking and energetic!Maybe next year!

If there was no hope in this world I guess we would be a pitiful people. God tells us over and over that He plans and carries out His directives for us. I live in this plan He has for me. Will this be my last Christmas? I do not know. I know I have tried to live within what that plan might be.

Isaiah 55:10-11 "As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth, and making it bud and flourish...so my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

I pray what is written, will accomplish what God has left me here to do. I pray He shows that a cancer (so far) survivor can depend upon Him and be content with whatever is happening . Merry Christmas to all. Our God reigns!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Your God reigns!"

"How beautiful on the mounmtains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"" Isaiah 52:7

The last three days have been misery, could not eat, severe nausea, just slept on the couch when I was not going for the radiation. The culprit is the antibiotic I have to take because of the stint surgery last Monday. If I can get through taking that, I think I will feel better.

I made myself go to our art party tonight. These are the most wonderful friends..just think we never knew each other a few years ago and our particular group of 10 who meets on Thursday night, has become so close, I call us a "care group". They are all wonderful , believing christians, praying for each other, and how terrific that God brought us together in this group. We played "musical paintings, everyone painted on every canvas for 6 minutes, then we switched...so everyone painted on every person's. Then we all signed each. Of course there was food, which I could not eat. It all looked good though. What a shame to never get out and do something like this class, and miss out on blessings of these friendships.

I pray for strength, to be more normal. I wonder if I can not get this back? Am I nearing the end? I will get through this radiation, 22 to go, and see how I am then. Meanwhile, Christmas blessings to each...Our God reigns!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. ..."

I seek God's comfort... I am in constant pain unless I manage to sleep a while. I was X-ray ed and marked again today, and have the first radiation tomorrow. This time is different from the other treatments I had 3 years ago. I believe this one will be less harsh, because of having 25 times. The tough part is driving to town nearly every day (not on weekends). This pain has taken my eyes off Jesus...I am trying to focus, but the pain interferes. I try to pray and the pain is just there. Yesterday I was put to sleep and the stint replaced. The process is not bad, put to sleep and take a while to wake up. I came home and went right back to sleep until 2 AM then woke up in pain, but it was a good sleep!

Our son and his wife will be here part of this week and that will be so good, always good to be with family at Christmas. Also, I love having my two (living) children together. Our daughter (Cathy) always puts Johny's stocking up with the rest of the family's in his memory. Sadness like that---you learn to live with it. You wonder what he would have been like as an older man, being retarded, how self sufficient would he have been.This is when we see the blessings of his early death. He was very happy, but he did not have to live through a difficult life style.

Next week, will be nearly Christmas and we will be with the local family--two grandchildren, their mates and one great, and Cathy and Ronnie of course.

Isaiah 40 continues..."A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. ..."And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it..." ( part of verses 1-5)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign..."

"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel...Isaiah 7:14 "For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given..." 9:6

Lights on houses, trees in windows, cards coming in the mail, caroling heard on the radio, presents wrap ed, emails from friends and family and wonderful messages at church about Jesus our savior.

I am praying and waiting, trying to be patient, wondering at God's will, why nothing is working out so far. Is this His plan for me? what next? I must be patient and focus on the important...the birth of Jesus!

Friday, December 9, 2011

"Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth..."

I have not written, I am tired and hurting and tired of hurting!!! I am tired of doctors who do not call when they say they will. I am tired of treatments that are promised to start at a certain time that do not. I am tired of waiting to feel better because that treatment should make me feel better, etc.....

I am trying to eat and not loose weight. I can see how one becomes anorexic. Some days, I make myself eat because I realize that is necessary. I could just do without. I seldom really get hungry.

The possibility of radiation having healing properties is very appealing and I am clinging to that possibility. I have pushed myself and finished Christmas shopping. I am tired of talking about me! John is so excited thinking about going to Florida sometime in January. He is so sweet to gladly give up our planed cruise, because he knows I need to stay here for treatment. I hate to not do things he wants to do.He is still my sweetheart even after 59 years. (really 60 because of our dating over a year before we married)

Isaiah 49: 13 reads..."Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts His people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones." When we go to the MESSIAH, we will hear some of these words..."comfort His people" and singing of the " Lord's compassion..." What joy to hear Isaiah sung! "shout for joy!"

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"...let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation."

I have been so tired and unable to think about what to write. One day I am depressed and the next feel uplifted. We have been to about 2-3 doctors every day lately (either /or) and that is exhaustive. I saw the radiation doctor yesterday. He gave me much hope that he can radiate very small amounts five days a week for 25 treatments and kill most of the large abdominal tumor. He feels this will stop the pain and some other abdominal problems. I pray this is so! The pain doctor's treatment did not do much for the pain so far. Maybe it takes more that one treatment. This has nothing to do with the liver...that has to be taken care of by chemo. My oncologist today said about 1/4 of the liver is involved. He thinks by February we can attack the liver tumors.

John and I had planed to go on a cruise in January but that is out. I am not able to leave home and be away from medical care. So we got a letter from my doctor to send to the insurance company to return our money. We can use the airline tickets later. I praise God for sending me to Godly doctors, who are believers and know my care is in God's hands.

As we get into Christmas season, I love to read many passages from Isaiah. This is Isaiah 15:9 "Surely this is our God; we trust in Him, and He saved us; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation."

Next week John and I are going to the Nashville Symphony "MESSIAH" and that just makes Christmas for me! "Let us rejoice..."

Saturday, December 3, 2011

"For in Him we live..."

Acts 17:28 says "For in Him we live and move and have our being." Isn't this beautiful! Absolute and no worries about tomorrow or what ifs of anything that we think we control.

John and I went down the street tonight to an early American fort replica that was having open house and re-enactments. We tend to romanticize anything early American as being so wonderful and back to nature. It is back, OK! Fires and dirt floors, candles, bed at dark, animal skins for blankets. The re-actors had lots of singing and what has become country music with the Irish and English 1600's music the settlers brought over with them. We heard and sang along with Christmas songs and that was really fun. John has spent lots of time lately researching his ancestors and they would have been in the band perhaps who came here in 1768 to this fort, then headed south to Mississippi territory (now Alabama).

I am still not back to normal after the "tranquilizer" from Thursday for the pain block. I can just go to sleep anytime! The pain is better, not gone. I will find out Tuesday if there is another possible chemo. If not, then we will just let it all be in God's hands. I have had a wonderful nearly 8 years and I will never complain at God's care for me. "For in Him we live!"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"This is the confidence we have..."

"This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will , He will hear us. And if we know that He hears us--whatever we ask--We know that we have what we asked of Him." 1 John 5:14-15

The key to all this is "His will"..and I do not doubt that His will has kept me alive this long, and what goes now, is again in His will. I had the "put to sleep, needles in the L5 spine " today. It was not bad, they were all very supportive, informative, and hopeful. I was scared some to think of the needles in the spine, but I came home (with my ice pack) and slept most the rest of the day. There will be a repeat in 3 weeks. I know I am winding down somewhat. My energy level is much lower. I do not see how I can go back to the energizer bunny I have always been. But again, with God all things are possible. I still wear that bracelet that says that--every day!

God is so good to me and us. We have had more fun and trips and love in our family, more friends, more church support, than most anyone ever has. I am eternally thankful for blessings overflowing. Blessings to each as Christmas approaches. I LOVE every minute of this season. I really hate I don't feel like doing all I used to do. But there is a season for everything. Thank you, Father.

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerorsthrough Him who loved us."

Monday, November 28, 2011

"May your unfailing love come to me, O Lord..."

I know I have missed nearly a week of writing. We spent four days with our son and his wife, also with two of our grandchildren and their families. That made 12 of us, family -wise. This was so fun and we got to see one of our great grandaughters for the first time, the three boys again and what is fun is they "know" us now, even the two year old. When we got home last night, after driving much longer than usual in a driving rain, we were nearly "comatose," and went straight to bed and slept 11 hours!

Today were doctor's visits and John's heart doctor thinks he is doing very well...always good to hear. I saw my oncologist and we are still searching for a chemo that will match my cells and cancer. When he finds it we will try one more time! I don't think I can do much more chemo. It is so debilitating! And, I will have to do some radiation and pain blocks the next month. I guess this is my life as I try to live it! I pray and always try to give it all to God. In Psalm 119, we are told "your word, O Lord, is eternal..." and finally "Look upon my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law." I know God will hear and stay in control. Following is just difficult sometimes!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"You will go out in joy..."

A friend suggested this verse from Isaiah 55:12 today on this rainy November day. I have been very busy getting ready for Thanksgiving, and also decorating for Christmas. We will be with our son and his family Thursday so I like to have the Christmas decorating ready for that weekend! What fun getting out the old decorations and thinking of when they were given to us or bought or how they have been used over the years. In our small apartment, I have 6 small trees instead of the the SEVEN LARGE trees I used to have. I love every minute of Christmas.

I have had very little pain the last week and wonder why am I having this pain block done? But the pain is so sporadic, you never know when it will pop up. My oncologists nurse called yesterday, and he is trying to find a second tissue sample to test for some sort of chemo (They found one sample) These were done seven years ago when the cancer first appeared and things have a way of not being where they need to be. I hope they can find these samples.!!! With the holidays, I really don't expect to hear anything until next week. Waiting is so difficult! I get a little depressed this week, waiting, and thought, "maybe he has given up on me, and thinks nothing else will work"... but I know still, I am in God's hands, always...and I will always be "in joy"...

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

"Now 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 in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever..."Ephesians 3:20-21

This is another "favorite" verse that I use often because of the comfort it affords. I have nothing really but Jesus. After talking to the doctor on Thursday, I lay awake that night and thought and prayed-- another pain-filled night-- that I am not going to "hound" God with prayer after prayer, because He knows my needs and knows His plans so Once is enough. He will do what is best. My oncologist should call me tomorrow with a "PLAN" of his, so maybe we will know what is next. I have had no real pain since Thursday except one night so I don't understand all that!

John is working on family genealogy and found out that his family probably came through the Cumberland Gap from Virginia into Kentucky then Tennessee and on down to Alabama. They probably came with the Roberson's and Donelson's who founded Nashville. We think that this "Grayson" grandfather left his wife in east Tennessee while he went to find land near what is now Huntsville, Alabama. She had twins boys born that winter and also a child to die while she waited for her husband. They were so tough! They eventually ended up at Big Cove near Huntsville, and altogether had 13 children. The family cemetery is still there and is being restored with a fence and eventually a historical marker. They gave the land for a Presbyterian church nearby, which is still there today.

I pray for fortitude and grace to live as God wants me to.

Today is my birthday and it has been so wonderful. First of all, I really wondered for the past 7 years if I would reach 77 and also, I have received about 50 FB "happy Birthday" greetings, plus loads of cards. I am indeed blessed!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Encourage one another daily..."

I did it again...I was not through! but anyway, I lost half my posting! the bad news is that I have worse cancer. The good news is my oncologist has a plan! He will use a cell culture from several years ago to plan a chemo just for my body! Is this not wonderful! It is experimental but most of what has kept me alive nearly 8 years has been experimental. The worst things right now is still tired, nauseous, could be from the cancer growth. I just know I am more tired than I have ever been. I may have to start telling friends "sorry I cannot do that" whatever it is. Anyway, I love all my friends and family and appreciate your prayers more than you know. The prayers and your cards are such a boost.

As you may know Cathy Messecar (friend and author) is editing my blog into a book, and she is working hard on this. I am praying this will succeed because I pray other cancer patients can gain insight from someone who is, and has, gone thru all this.

If you just get this blog posting, go back one and see the rest of what I started..it is somewhere in nether land! Blessings!

"Encourage one another daily..."

The past two weeks, there have been multiple tests, doctors, consisting of MRI, CT, PET, pain management doctor and oncologist, and urologist. After all this analyzing the news is not good. The cancer has grown and is spreading. There are three tumors in my lower abdomen, one behind my bladder, nearly twice as many in my liver and all of these much larger than last May. I have been tempted to do my scream- in-the- shower -routine tonight. Then I decided my God is larger than that. He tells me in Hebrews 3:13-14..."Encourage one another daily...so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly til the end the confidence we had at first."

Monday, November 14, 2011

"..you are precious--in my sight..."

I received three emails today and they all referred to Isaiah 43:4....I had picked that passage to have tonight! I believe this is a real SIGN that God wants me to focus on this passage! "Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, ....do not be afraid...for I am with you." Isaiah 43:4-5

I have to believe this and trust that God plans from here on as He always has. The pain doctor was very nice and has a good idea for my pain control. He will inject pain killer (like lidocaine) into my lower abdomen and hopefully hit the nerves that cause the pain. If this works the first time, he will repeat it a second time about two weeks later. I will find out tomorrow when this "surgery" will be done. It will be like a same day surgery in the hospital. I surely am losing brain power fast with all these "surgeries" and being put to sleep! I hope I can still keep myself going without these brain cells!

I cannot believe it is nearly Thanksgiving time. Another year nearly gone. Several of our really good friends lost children this past year. Other friends are losing the cancer battle. Some family members have very serious problems or ilnesses. Continually I realize the precious value of life. I realize more and more the value of love among us as family and as friends, and especially as fellow Believers. I send love and prayers for our fellow warriors in life!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"...do not fear, I will help you..."

Maybe tomorrow we will find out about the pain and how to either get rid of it or manage it. I would love to get rid of it rather than a cover-up and more medication.

We had our care group Thanksgiving FEAST tonight. Lots of prayers, lots of thankfulness for the love we share and good things God has done for each of us this year. Several have had loved ones to pass away this year. Several more in our church family are sick, really bad. We feel so blessed for God's goodness and for the wealth we have compared to the world. We are able to withstand pain, sorrow, anything that this world can throw at us because we have God to help us and be there, "holding our hand".

More tomorrow when I know more. I did sleep last night, but have had mild pain all day today.

Isaiah 41:13...."For I am the Lord, your God,who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you."

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Do not be afraid...stand firm..."

A friend sent me this passage from Exodus 14:13-14."Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. ...the Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

I have a "still time" usually about midnight, when the pain hits. I get up take the oxycodone, then wait for about 30 minutes for it to "kick in" and that is a prayer time, and a still time. I will see Monday, when I go to the pain doctor, what can be done about this nightly pain. When I lie down, apparently the tumor spreads out and presses on nerves. I read "Caring Bridge" and other blogs, people who have cancer, wondering from others if " they feel anger toward God?" I find few who do. When you walk through such a time as we do, we are beyond anger, we feel sadness for life changed and times taken away, but not anger. God is too good and too sovereign, the given of blessings too numerous to list. He is our "deliverer".

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"I trust in your unfailing love..."

"...my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord for He has been good to me." Psalm 13:5-6

Last night I wrote this blog, using part of the same Bible verses and when I "sent" it, the entire writing disappeared except for the Bible verse at the top. I wish I knew something about computers!!!

The MRI was not very good. The lower abdominal cancer is growing and causing this intense pain, especially when I lie down at night. Apparently this chemo did not work. I will have a PET next week and see what it did for the cancer in my liver. So all that nausea and inability to eat, throat soreness, was for nothing! I have been very tired and wonder where that is from? Cancer? Age? Chemo? I may never know since I am on one thing or another all the time.

A daily devotional we get had as part of it that God gives us His grace and salvation so how can we ask for more? We ask for cures and easy paths of life? Is there any greater gift than His love and grace? This is why I can sing and praise, even in the midst of pain and cancer...God has given me so much!

Next week I will also go to a pain management doctor to see if he can "cut" nerves to relieve the pain in my abdomen. I cannot imagine how this would be done but guess I will find out. I also removed myself from a Bible class I was taking. It made Wednesdays just too much and was more than I can handle right now.

This blog tonight is not very happy but this is where I am at this moment. I still praise God for His care and ask for relief from pain, and maybe find another chemo to keep me going a little longer, so I can take care of John! Blessings to each of you!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I..."

More pain today, nearly all day...lying in bed for a nap and watching the leaves fall, I was thinking of an autumn 54 years ago...I was lying in bed, watching the leaves fall and grieving over the loss of our third baby. I was only about three months along but so excited about another child. The loss was sudden and unexpected. We were blessed the next year by the birth of our daughter, and what a blessing she is and always has been. If that child had not been lost, we would not have our
Cathy. So life goes on and good times follow hard times.

I had the MRI today and will find out the results tomorrow. I know the Bible says to not be anxious but I really am anxious to see what all this pain is caused by and what can be done about it. I am afraid I cannot stop the chemo. We shall see. Lying in the MRI machine (thank you God for the open kind!) today, I prayed for family and for God's hand to be on all of us. Regardless of how this turns out, I am totally in His care.

"From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe." Psalm 61:2-3

Saturday, November 5, 2011

"the law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul...the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever."

This has been a rough week. I have been nearly continually in pain. I have never had this much pain all together in all these years, so the MRI should be very interesting. The pain hits every night about 12:00 and continues until I take several pain pills. The past 3 days, it has been off and on all day also, but I do not take pain pills in the day time, just get busy and try to not think about it.

A friend came by today and brought me a quilt, made by a group called "SEWN IN LOVE"...Quilts wrapping cancer patients and their families in the warmth of God's love...www.sewn-n-love.org "
This was such a wonderful surprise and the quilt is just right for wrapping up on the couch, and in lovely autumn colors, but great for all the time.

I pray for next week to be more up-beat and less pain, for getting totally off the chemo side effects and getting rid of the pain, so I pray for God's blessings in all this.

Psalm 19:7-8 talks about God's law, statues, precepts, commands, fear and ordinances and the perfection of all these, and how precious they are...Verse 10, "more precious than gold".

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"And what does the Lord require of you?"

Today is our anniversary. John and I married 59 years ago today. It was a lovely Sunday afternoon, with weather about like today, warm, with leaves still colorful. So today, we had a very good day out, and lunch at one of our favorite restaurants.
On the way home, the pain struck me again, same as the past three days/nights. I had gone for a month pain-free, then it has started again. I surly will be glad to find out WHAT is going on. I am back on the pain meds, hoping to sleep tonight. It usually hits about 1:00 AM and keeps me awake most of the night. The pain med will eventually kick in but the side effects include insomnia. Like I said the other day, there is lots of time at night for praying.

Micah 6:6-8 ( part of these verses) "With what small I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God?---and what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

I feel more humble, as I get somewhat more ill. I ask John today if he thought I was "going down" and he said he thought so, maybe very slowly (he hopes) but definitely not as strong as a year ago. I have lots of questions for next week at the oncologist. I still want to do everything I ever could do, but there is a weakness of spirit that is new. It is a little scary, but I know my life and all I do is in God's hands. and I just want to "walk humbly with Him."

Monday, October 31, 2011

"Do not be anxious about anything..."

I know I quote this verse often. There are some truths in the Bible that we just need to remind ourselves of very often. ( is that good English?) anyway, I found a list of items labeled "WHAT TROUBLES YOUR HEART?" I do not know when I wrote this as I was cleaning out papers, pictures, etc in my closet. Here is my list of "troubles", obviously many things on this list not at all applicable any more.
Not measuring up
elderly parents
children and grandchildren
things I cannot control
people who know, but reject Jesus
bad things in the world
Well some things never change, but other things---life just takes care of and they cease being important or time takes care of them. I don't think I have worried about "not measuring up" for 20-30 years. WHEN did I write this? My parents died 25 years ago. We worried about how we would care for them and their health problems and God just took care of all that. They died 3 days apart and there was no issue with how one would make it without the other. I think as long as you live, any parent always prays for and thinks of his/her children and grandchildren..human nature and lots of love for them. I do not worry about any of them but I sure do a lot of "middle of the night" praying!

I found a list of some of what we felt were most special antique glassware, that Mama and I sat and wrote down one of the Sunday's I sat with her. I find several things they brought back from Canada (where they loved to go) and Mama dearly loved to go antiquing and bring us "girls" back some pretty things. How special these memories are.

Philippians 4:6-7 says "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"...I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you..."

This passage was written to Ephesians but we can claim it for ourselves...Ephesians 3:16-17 "I pray that out of His glorious riches, He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being So that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith. " Oh how I need this strength and especially need it filling my "inner being"!

I mentioned the book I am reading by Randy Harris, and in one passage regarding prayer, he says to "picture the person for whom you are praying, being held in the arms of Jesus." this is such an awesome thought! Just think if you had issues with someone and you pray for that person in this manner...you could never think of them in a bad way again. I love this idea.

I am going down memory lane again thinking about a great aunt, my grandpa's sister in law. She was named Pearl and her sister was Diamond. (grandiose in their parent's eyes?)Anyway, to go to her house for lunch with Mama and Grandma was such a treat. She and my uncle considered themselves a "cut above". As a child I "knew this". Their home was elegant, with the silk lampshades with fringe of the 20's. We would eat lunch at a breakfast room built in table and booth and we did not know anyone who had that. Her china was lovely, and she always had some kind of jello salad. Their son went to a private boy's school and in the depression times, we did not know anyone else who could afford that. These are memories of 70 years ago, so maybe a little fuzzy? But she would always let me play with her stereoscopic viewer and she had lots of cards to put in it and view the 3-D of that era.

My uncle was one of Grandpa's brother and ironically he was the one who made the paint and got messy every day! Whatever, the three of the brothers were happy with their role in the paint business and kept it going for many years.

I love family memories. I wonder if any cousins are still around from this branch of the family?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"I'm asking God for one thing...to live with Him..."

Each week just flies, and I wonder where the days go. I feel like my life is flying away and I want to just hold onto it and slow down the days. This has been the most beautiful fall, with leaves more colorful every day and flowers just continuing to bloom! My zinnias and marigolds are just larger and more full of blooms than all summer....but as of today, the rain and cool weather may end all that. Would you believe, John got his veggie bed (the 6x8bed) ready for spring, and let me plant pansies there for the winter. There are two potatoes coming up in the middle of this bed! Left over from spring! So we might have early potatoes!!!How funny!

We only had two doctors this week but it seems the day is consumed. I have still been nauseous, and my throat is still raw in the back of it. This makes everything I swallow hurt. It kind of discourages eating! Other than nausea and arthritis pain, I am just tired, and make myself do most everything I do. I stay fairly busy with the commercial sewing and did have fun making three of the greats dresses. I pray to live long enough for the greats to remember me. Our primary doctor did tell me "I am amazing". That was nice to hear! After seeing the ultrasound last week and how many cancer tumors there are in my liver, this doctor said "you can live with 10
% of your liver" that was very comforting.

I love the Message and its' straightforward approach to the Bible. In Psalm 27, it says..."I'm asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with Him in His house my life long. I'll contemplate His beauty, I'll study at His feet."
Calmness from a stress filled life!

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Give us aid against the enemy..."

well I just lost 2/3 of my post...only the first paragraph came thru. I really have a tough time with this computer some days. I could never remember what all I had written but it was a lot and I hate I lost it. Psalm 108:12 was my verse for today, "Give us aid against the enemy for the help of man is worthless."

I think I was telling how I am putting the first year and a half of the blog into a book . A friend who has several books is helping me by editing and then I am rewriting some of it, making it more readable hopefully. Any reader of this blog who can sign up as a follower, might help make the book more readable. I think to get to the blog, you sign into Google then http//johns-wife.blogspot.com to get into the blog.

I don't want to repeat but I was also telling how after nearly 8 years of that many chemos, 5 surgeries, lots of medicines, pain, I can really see God's blessings in our lives, see how He is with us, and know I am alive only by Him. I am not a
"pollyanna", I scream and cry and would kick the floor if I could get back up. I had one of those scream/cry sesions last week (I do this in the shower so John does not hear me) and when I was in bed, praying, I heard God say, "I have been with you always and I will not leave you now." This was a very defining moment in my life. I knew this but I really felt and heard these words inside my soul. I have so much wrong with me and each day of life is a gift from God for His reasons. Thank you friends and family for following this blog and praying for us, thank you for care and love. Blessings and love to you all.
Lately several new friends are saying they are getting into this blog. I wish I knew how to get into it better and especially How to sign up as a "follower". Most of you may not know I am in the process of putting the first year and a half of the blog into a book. A friend who has authored several books is helping me, editing, etc. So many people have cancer or family members who do so, and we feel there would be a need for this type of book. I feel an urgency to get it out there, to let anyone know that your life does not end with a diagnosis of cancer, you can cope and your Father in Heaven is with you always!!! I have transitioned through many days of pain, surgeries, chemos, medicines, and I can assuridly say I feel God's presence more each day. I think of family and friends and things they deal with and I trulyfully say, I would not swap places with any of them. I am not a pollyanna! I scream and cry sometimes.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"...whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me..."

This 10 days has been mostly bad, bad...I am still exhausted, weak, feeling like I am going to fall if I am not careful....not normal, for sure. John wants to go and do things and act like always. I am trying! We went to a movie yesterday which was really wonderful, "Courageous" made by the Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany , Georgia. It took such a stand for christian fatherhood and living. This is the 4Th film they have made.

Today we went to TPAC here in Nashville and saw the play "Wicked". It was very good and beautiful music, not a single curse word! That was great, but tonight I cannot wait to go to bed! I am almost beyond going. Each day I pray for the next day to be good, back to normal (whatever that is now)and not being so tired. I have got to have an answer in November as to my status. If things are BAD, I want to know!If they are now bad, this chemo has got to go!

Our granddaughter had a FB note about kids shooting through their yard. The back door was shattered, and just think if the children had been out!The boys play out all the time. What a shame to have this fear now!

I hope to go to church tomorrow...Ephesians 6:19 (Paul talking) says "Pray for me also that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given to me so I will fearlessly make known---the gospel---." This is a way I pray to live and witness. Thank God for life and strength.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Our Father in heaven..."

"...hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:9-10

On the rare occasion I have a difficult time going to sleep, I go through this prayer, and try to really analyze each phrase. Needless to say, I hardly ever go all the way thru. It is comforting and gives confidence in God's being in control.

My doctor called tonight and said the ultrasound of the stint was just perfect. So we are set to replace it December 12. I asked him about the pain under my ribs--another story (could be gall stones) and he said, as long as I stay away from very fatty foods, I should be OK, and the creature will "stay at bay".

I am making the 3 greats in Bartlett dresses for a family picture later this year. I feel so privileged to , first of all have been asked to make them is an honor, then to be able to sew them is so fun and more privileged.

I wrote 2 days ago that I am getting weary with the chemo and fighting this cancer. I know at some point, since I will never be off the chemo, that I will have to decide that "enough is enough". I don't feel this is giving up but accepting the obvious. My body is weaker than a year ago. I dread the chemo each time so achingly. If I thought keeping on chemo would be a cure, then I would keep on forever, but my good days are becoming less than the bad days. I have been blessed with 7 1/2 years so far, and we shall see what the mri shows and decide then what to do next. Prayers from family and friends have prolonged my life, there is no doubt! And I believe God is keeping me alive for His purposes. So He might provide a new chemo that would be just perfect. Hope is not gone! Blessings to all............

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"I know that my Rdeemer lives..."

This was a long day, waiting at first on the doctor and then another place. The joy in it was meeting a sister, a Believer, and we just "connected". God places us in the right place at the right time. What a blessing! I have been so sick, not to be redundant, but more than usual, and the pain caused by maybe gall stones? or the cancer? or whatever, I have been very miserable for 3 days. I had an ultrasound today and the nurse/tech was very helpful and showed me the cancers in my liver (which are larger than I thought they are.) I pictured little lumps, but it is more spread around. I asked John to night if he thought I was "losing ground" and he said maybe a little. I think so, maybe from the chemo, which is so debilitating, or maybe I am finally not able to fight so hard any more.

I dug in the yard last week, and used the grubbing hoe, and had lots of energy, but after the rat poison, I feel so helpless. I am taking alot of meds for the pain, which I hate to do! This makes me more mauseous. Maybe in a few days things will even out.

I pass around my "cards" which talk about my art, and blog and if anyone sees this, you should go back 2 years and start at the beginning of my blog, which would give a good time line.

I heard of another cancer patient today, and although I don't say alot about him, my friend Gene, in Florida, is having a tough time. We would love prayers for friends who are going thru this deep valley.

Job 19: 25 and 27..."I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth....I myself will see Him with my own eyes..."
Blessings for all...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"We trust in the name of the Lord our God..."

This is the worst reaction in a year. I am so sick! After church, we came home and I have slept all day, cold, chills, trying to throw up, finally drank some Sprite, and worst of all, had to miss our care group annual weiner roast! This may be the last of this chemo, as I do not think I want to go thru this again...sick, sick, sick!

"May the Lord answer you when you are distressed; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you." Psalm 20:1 and verse 7, "we trust in the name of the Lord our God..."

Saturday, October 15, 2011

"He bore the sin for many..."

Lots going on this week...Chemo on Thursday and the steroid makes me crazy for a few days. We stayed busy Friday going to see greats out of town for the day---a really wonderful, fun time and seeing one of them for the first time...she is 2 months old. Also seeing how they grow in the two months since we saw the others. Also being with our oldest grandson and his precious wife, seeing what a blessing they are in their relationship with each other and their children. Then today we spent with Cathy and Ronnie and more family working on the cabin they are building. We got home and the bottom has fallen out. The chemo usually waits a couple of days to really kick in with the bad side effects. I am shaky and weak tonight, and know I will be nauseous tomorrow. I am to have the MRI on November 6 so then I will know just what is going on, and what is growing where. Meanwhile, I will try to get thru each day, and be normal as I can. I hate these chemo effects more each time I take it.

As I usually do, after I say I hate this chemo and cancer, then I know how blessed I am to be alive and enjoy the family and friends I do. So I look forward to holidays, being with everyone, plans, thinking of gifts for all of them, hoping for strength. God is so good. Isaiah 53 ( one of my favorite passages) and part of verse 12, "For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressor."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"....praises from the lips of children and infants..."

"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praises..." Psalm 8:1-2

We look at our children and babies and think how innocent they are...I guess this is why God says praises come from their lips. We will get to see part of our greats this Friday and especially one of the newest ones, whom we have not seen. I hear she has red hair. Red hair runs through our families...one of my great-great grandmothers had bright red hair. It showed up as sandy hair in several of Grandma's sisters, then mine was auburn. John's family had red hair in his mother's father . Another great grandfather was red headed. John was called "red" as a child, with fiery red hair. Two of our three children, and one of our grandchildren have red hair (or used to). Red hair is strange and it turns dark early , or in our family's case, kind of goes away! Bald headed men run in our families also! It really hurts to see our grandsons with the receeding hairline! So we will be excited to see our much loved children and our newest "great".

Tomorrow is chemo day, much dreaded, with the pain this month, we probably will make some changes, and probably have a CT soon to see what is going on--probably not much good! But I am so blessed. I have more good days than bad, and stay so busy, which is good! I add my praises to God...

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Seek the Lord while He may be found..."

I have hated to blog, because I have been in pain every night. I just do not like to be negative, and repetitious. About 11:00 or midnight, after I have gotten good and asleep, the pain will hit and I lie there, thinking (why?) it might go away, but finally get up, take the strongest pain pill and go to the couch. For some reason, the couch lets my back go down in the middle and this must relieve the whatever is mashing on whatever and causing the pain. I can go back to sleep and usually sleep all night. The other scenario is when the pain meds keep me awake most of the night. I will never figure this one out. I do get lots of prayer time during these nights!

I was going thru some old photos, seeing pictures of many who are deceased (younger than me, and this was in the 90's), my sister, uncles, aunts, friends, cousins....it surely is good to not know what is going to happen. We all were so happy in these pictures.

A few of family "girls" were here for brunch today..Isn't family wonderful!

John has had a terrible crick in his neck for several days, and he is just miserable!
We got the gardening done just before this hit both of us. Maybe that is why it did??? Oh well, we will get over it. This is funny---John has his veggie garden ready for the spring, fresh good dirt in it...and a potato coming up in the middle of it!

I know tonight is going to be a bad night so I will take a pill before I go to bed.
I pray all will "Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near." Isaiah 55:6

Friday, October 7, 2011

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth..."

"...give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever." Psalm 86:11-12

John and I took a few days to be away in the mountains, partly to celebrate his birthday, partly to just be away before the next chemo. The chemo next week is #5 and that is usually the most I can stand, before quiting and finding another. I hope being half dose, I can stand it longer. I think we will do a CT before #6 and see what is happening. I am still nauseous a lot and stomach upset. The rash on my legs has returned. I do have nails, and hair (such as it is), just slow growing! The scenery and trees on our trip were beautiful even though not in full color yet. We had fun, shopping and some walking and doing nothing. We do our best plans "for what we want to do later", when on a trip.

We were remembering this strange little dog that used to live up our street ( about 20 years ago). He just appeared one day and hung around and we really wanted him to just go away. Someone told me if we gave him raw meat with hot peppers in it, he would leave. So I got the raw meat and LOADED it with hot stuff. He gobbled that up and was ours forever! He LOVED that meat! He would walk with us every day and he was our protector from then on! One day two huge dogs came after us and he was so fierce and ran them off! What a friend we had because of the hot meat! Eventually he left and we never knew why, but he was ours for a long time, because of the red hot peppers!

So I am dreading the chemo again, dreading the nausea, even though I am not totally nausea free but at least it is better than last month. We are looking forward to planting fall/winter pansies and chrysanthemums, then decorating for Christmas. We just have to wait for the 80 degrees to be over! Every day is a blessing and every day I wonder how things will be next year! I can't go there! I am thankful for each day! Blessings!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"...your renown , O Lord, thru all generations..."

In case anyone wondered how my doctor called at 5 am....the last post...I started that early and finished it that night.
This was quite a weekend. the Ladies Day at church involved lunch, speakers, door prizes and lots of gorgeous clothes, to see modeled, and available to buy at great discount. Just to be with that many women(over 100)to have fun is FUN! If you go to FB you can see all the models and clothes, etc. I was praying I could do this without my colostomy getting in my "way" of modeling but all went well! Last night was a pain night again, then today was fine. GO FIGURE!

Friends and doctors tell me I am tough. Well look at my heritage---they lived thru many wars (Revolutionary, Civil, World War I and II) then they made it through the great depression, lost homes, businesses, husbands died, leaving widows to raise children. They went out west in a covered wagon, they had children to die, moved to find work, were innovative in their endeavors. They got education, found work where they could, but nearly all trusted God for their sustenance, and somehow they stayed busy and productive.

These are my grandmothers, the women from whom I am descended. One was Cherokee, the rest were mostly Scotch-Irish or English, but one grandmother was mostly Dutch. I say I am a Heinz 57... So I thank God for these wonderful women, and wish I could have known all of them. I pray to pass these characteristics on to our grandchildren!

"Your name, O Lord, endures forever, your renown, O Lord thru all generations." Psalm 135:13

Friday, September 30, 2011

"Be joyful in hope..."

Will I ever learn to not second-guess this cancer!!! Here I was saying " no pain in a month, maybe it is gone" and it hit me again this night. Two of the strong pain pills helped me sleep. Now I think about what is going on! Actually, the pills kill the pain but I do not sleep well. So I will be dragging all day. Now at 5 am I am awake and ready for the day.

Yesterday was one of the great days (sunshine and breezy) to remember when it gets gray and gloomy. I am super busy with sewing, but I sat on the porch a while and read, just to be outside. I finished the outfit for one of the new greats and now am starting 3 dresses for sisters (greats) but I love the being busy. I am so anxious to get the outside gardening done, but can't rush this. I need to pull up summer flowers but they are still blooming so well, I just cannot pull them up yet. When I do, I want to put out pansies and violas for the winter. I have several more plants to move to different places in the flower beds. John is planning what he will put in his vegetable garden space.

My kidney doctor called me today and told me what the ultrasound (last Monday) showed and I can wait three more months to get the stint replaced. I sure am glad for the wait. He also said I have a bunch of gall stones, but we won't bother that until we HAVE to! so I feel good about that right now. I hope for no pain tonight. I also love this verse in Romans 12:12..."Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"...let all the earth be silent before Him."

One day follows another, sewing, working in our flower garden, every so often, a tiny thought creeps in..."will I be here doing this next year?" Is that terrible to think that? Is that depressing? I know no one knows day by day what can happen, but when you live in a terminal condition...(are we all terminal?)it makes for a strange "bedfellow".

I have tried two new recipes this week, one is Apricot Squares in the "Cake Doctor Cookbook" and it is decadent, kind of like chess squares. The other was a banana bread recipe ( a new one that contains cream cheese) and I think it will be very good. I love winter cooking. There is nothing like a crock pot of stew or vegetable soup or chili, along with a pan of cornbread and there is a meal. I have had several friends ask for my cornbread recipe...which is regular cornbread. The secret is in the skillet or pan and the oil heated in the oven, then adding that hot grease to the cornbread mix. Then pour all back in the hot pan. It kind of "pre-cooks" it.

I am reading a wonderful book by Randy Harris (teacher/preacher/speaker) called "Soul Work" (confessions of a part time monk)...It is great and I can hardly put it down. I started the BSF class on Wednesdays (the book of ACTS) and that requires lots of Bible study. On Sundays in Sunday School we are studying the book of JOHN so I feel I am reading more Bible and studying more that ever.

One of the points in this book by Randy Harris, regards prayer. We pray, asking, seeking, begging, praising, doing all the things we feel/ have learned/ necessary in praying , but what if we just sit and wait on God. Habakkuk 2:20 is a verse learned long ago, indeed I have seen this verse written on the wall of churches. "The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him." Can you imagine walking, sitting, lying in bed, your mind drained of all thought, waiting on God and His thoughts? I want to try this and see if I can empty my mind, and truly wait "on Him".

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"...you will fill me with joy in your presence..."

This passage in Psalm 16 is among my "favorites", and I love the song that uses the last part of this verse.
I might be feeling a little better as to food. I still feel nauseous when I think of eating but manage to eat better the last few days. I still have a raw feeling in the back of my throat. My fingers are cracked open again. I take a step forward and another backwards! I have to go for an ultrasound of my kidneys tomorrow and see if the stint is still OK.

Yesterday was our art league big day and it involved most of our local town, booths, food, things for sale, antique roadshow, and it was a beautiful day and great success. I helped with that, but came home part of the day and took a nap then went back to help close up. Today has been a lack of energy day as a result of yesterday. I am trying to learn to not do too much , too many days in a row. I have lots of sewing to do and will be busy the rest of the week. John will say, "why don't you rest" and I say, "I will rest when that is all I am able to do". I still have lots of outdoor plants to move and replace but need to wait another week or so until the weather changes and we get more rains. I started going to a Bible class on Wednesday mornings and that is very good.

Psalm 16:11 says..."You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, and eternal pleasures at your right hand." I always want to sing this when I read it!

Friday, September 23, 2011

"..He will wipe every tear from their eyes..."

Revelation 21:4 continues..."There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain ,for the old order of things has passed away." And yet we do all we can to stay on this earth---to be with family!

I have had about 2-3 degrees of fever nearly every night, which makes you feel bad, no energy, ready for bed early, going to sleep when I try to read. I have done all that HAD to be done this week, by sheer willpower. Now that I have passed the one week mark, (since chemo) I pray for the next week to get better. I did dig some in the flower beds and moved a big bunch of "ornamental grass". I have two more bunches to move. They grew more than I realized they would and need to be out of the walking path. I am still getting yellow squash and red peppers from my tiny patch. We pulled up the green tomatoes and wrapped each one in newspaper, put them in the basement, and they will turn red in a few weeks.

I have gone to two classes (Bible classes--the BSF class) and they will be really inspirational. I hope I can make it to most of the classes. Tomorrow is our art studio/Festival along with part of Goodlettsville. I have 10 paintings in the show. Our theme is "100 for $100" letting the public realize that original art does not have to be expensive. As last year, 25% or all proceeds go to charity. There will also be restaurant "tastings" and antique appraisals. (But you know I think the art show is the best part!) I am so proud of all the people I paint with and we have so much talent there. I will love it if anyone sells paintings!

So, praying for family, friends, especially my Florida friends for whom I am very worried, and heading for bed, rest, praying for no pain, for appetite to return, and God's in-dwelling Spirit to keep us safe.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"...my God in whom I trust..."

I am so thankful I cut the chemo in half...I am so nauseated, so just imagine how sick I WOULD have been on full dose! Yesterday was a blur, but I was busy. Today, I sat in a doctor office for 3 hours ( a sign of things to come) The urologist told me there is a government mandate for doctors to put everything on a computer that is between doctor and patient and send it to Washington for a government data base. He was running slow since he was not used to doing this extra computer work. So I waited all that time for him ...probably not the last time this will happen. He said I could wait three more months before we do the stint replacement, depending on an ultra sound to be done next week. If it is still clear we will wait until December to do the switch.

I had a temperature today and feel like it. I am just wiped out! My blood count is not that low but just a feeling of want to lie down all the time. This doctor was pleased that the MRI showed the main tumor was receding but it is still causing lots of problems.

I had a minor melt down a couple of nights ago. This does not happen very often, but some times I just want to scream! I want to cry and holler and tell the world how vicious this cancer is! It is truly of the devil! I try to handle it with God's help and I usually do but sometimes I just have a difficult time not letting go!
This is when I find Bible verses that are calming and speak to my soul....John 16:33 says "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." When I get upset, John will rub my face and calm me, telling my how good I do! Sometimes I am not sure!

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

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Do not let your heart be troubled..."

Chemo is never fun or trouble-free, even in a lower dosages. I had 1/2 dose on Thursday and of course, the decatron (steroid) gives me a "high" for two days and nights. I did not sleep well until Saturday night (last night). Catching up on FB and email at 4 am is not sleeping well, at all! I really get lots done during these times, but then the let-down is rough! I sat on Thursday watching the various people waiting anxiously for their chemo and one older lady nervously wondering how her new port would work! The nurses are so wonderful and showed the older lady pictures of the port and how it would be used and gave her much re-assurance. I did not have any bad side effects other than the nerves until today. The nausea set in and thank goodness for nausea med! The bad rash on my body and still some cracked fingers and the throat that feels raw---these are the worst things right now (along with the nausea). I totally came out of my wig this week and lots of people at church were amazed I had been wearing a wig for a year! Anyway, it feels so good to be out of that!

I go to the urologist this week and get the surgery set up for the stint exchange. I hate the idea of being put to sleep again. I know ,as always, my life is in God's
hands and He controls everything that is done. People ask me how I keep going and have so much energy. I don't know except it has to be all from God. I could not do anything alone! When I had to heart echo last week, it showed a little bit of fluid in my heart...never had that before. The doctor said the chemo can do that. that chemo is a real "killer" Let me see--- do I want to die of cancer or chemo??? I will continue to be led by the Spirit...and go as long as God leads me.

John 14:27-28, Jesus tells us "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"I will lift up the cup of salvation..."

One day follows another and I do not write. I am not depressed. I am tired. I am tired of being "sick" and wondering how to think ahead. I realize none of us knows the future, but the average person does think ahead and "plan" for next year, wonder about next Christmas, think about birthdays, etc...I find myself wondering if "I will be here by then" for certain times. That is realism. I had a heart echo test this week and I have a small amount of fluid around my heart, which the nurse says follows chemo. Do I die of cancer or chemo? Do I have a choice? Tomorrow is chemo day and I never look forward to that except for the fact that (bad as it is) it keeps me alive! Sorry for the morbid thoughts. So those are my dark thoughts.

Good things: I have finger nails, my hair is enough that I "came out" of my wig and am just me now. Mu hair is pretty short but a year of the wig was enough! So hair and nails...enough to make me happy! I "talk" to my granddaughters on FB often and for that I am thankful. I call my in laws my granddaughters...I love them all and don't count "in-laws"! I get to have coffee and sew with another granddaughter and share flowers. That is fun. We had birthday dinner for another this last week and that was fun. God is so good and family is wonderful. So many things to be thankful for that I will just not worry about the other stuff!!!

"How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord." Psalms 116:12-13

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"If my people who are called by my name...I will hear from heaven..."

On this 9-11 I think about the young men who die to protect our freedom. Many of them so young and how blessed our family is that our grandsons are not over in the war. I think about the brave ones who died in that attack. I remember our country as it was when I grew up and we never thought about terrorists or plane bombs or car bombs or anything like we have now. I pray there are enough who trust God in this country that He will return us to the way it used to be, where He is honored.

"If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." II Chronicles 7:14

The past several days have been good, just easily tired. I have enjoyed food! The rash is more, but I now have wonderful fingernails! So I win some, I lose some! I just want to pull on my hair to lengthen it ! It is growing so slow! This week I have a heart echo test and chemo and next week see a urologist for getting ready to change the stint. Not fun stuff! But each day is a blessing! We spent time with our great this weekend and that is always fun. Thank you God for each day!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"...do not worry about tomorrow..."

Matthew 6:34 says "Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Isn't that the truth!..We sure do have enough each day.

I talked to my oncologist today and he agreed readily to cut the chemo dose in half next week. He also said he would set up an appointment with a urologist for the stint to be replaced. He got that done and I go see this doctor in 2 weeks. I hate going from doctor to doctor. I would love to be going to just one, once a year, just for a check up. Wouldn't that be great! Well anyway, John is getting sick and thinking he is beginning a really bad cold. I think I shall sleep on the couch tonight, even though he probably was contagious last night. We worked in the yard this afternoon and I dug up and moved several plants that "were not happy" and put them in a different place. He always asked how I know plants are not happy...I tell him "you just know". Things we moved over here last year, we did not know how the sun was situated in the summer and it baked a few things. The veggie garden is about gone except for the peppers coming in and the squash still doing well. The green beans gave up in the 100 degree heat.

I am beginning to eat well, and it took three weeks this time. That only gives one week for good eating. An acne type rash is all over and that is agravating! I hope the cut back will help that go away. I went to art tonight and I am working on a painting for our friends in Florida. Each day is a blessing and God alone knows our days. So I thank Him for each day!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"..Your love, O Lord, endures forever..."

Our local "great" spent the night with Cathy and Ronnie and as usual came over here for breakfast. Her first comment was "your hair is growing! You can almost go without your wig!" She is like an adult. She helped me make biscuits and made a "kitty cat biscuit" which turned out very cat-like and was enjoyed along with the others. We looked at old pictures and I gave her some of her Daddy as a child. She thinks he was so cute!

I bought a white knit cloche type cap for the youngest great and cannot find a white 1800's dress to go with it ANYWHERE so I need to make that. The concept should be really pretty--white dress with no lace, just ruffles on neck and sleeves. We hope (if I feel like it) to go to west TN to see her and that family. We hope to see the Augusta bunch in November. I just wonder what it will be like when I "wind down" and cannot do anything any more. I love being busy. I love doing more than the day has time for. I love taking care of John. His eyes are about the same but he gets exasperated and says "I just cannot see this!!!" so often!

I ate today, somewhat. I pray for better eating this week. I usually lose about 5 pounds week 1 and 2 then gain it back week 3 and 4, but not sure this week. I am still relatively pain free since 2 weeks ago. I am so thankful!!!

"The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever--do not abandon the works of your hands." Psalm 138:8

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"From the fullness of His grace..."

I am sorry to have not written the past three days. I am just tired! At night I just fall in bed and cannot think of anything else, except rest! I have not gotten over the nausea this month since chemo. I have prayed about what to do regarding chemo and asked for prayer from our Prayer Care ( a group of elders hold prayers in the mall area between services). Today I stopped there for prayer and I am going to ask my doctor to lower the dose to 1/2 on the chemo. If there is not equal amount of good days, then it is not worth it! I pray I can do this and have a better quality of days next month and there after. I pray the energy level will improve and the nausea decrease. I finally have nails mostly (two are still not good) and it is so good! I almost have enough hair to go wig less but not yet. I still have acne like places on my back and face. I still have to be put to sleep and have the kidney stint replaced, in September. There is no end to "stuff" and this is part of the fatigue! Oh how I long for normalcy! I probably will never have it in this life!
That is alright, as I am blessed beyond measure with love and friendship all around me. John 1:16 says "From the fullness of His grace, we have received one blessing after another." I still need to see those two new "greats"...thank you Father!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

"...if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us..."

Our lesson Wednesday night at church was about "If I should die before I wake" and it dealt with the loss of children, especially David and Bathsheba. A profound statement was concerning our response to God's answering "No" when we pray for a specific answer. "Can man, a fallen and sinful human judge the legitimacy and divine rationale/judgement of a divine God?" We only see the "Now" and God sees the forever. I can see the wonderful blessings of our Johny and how his death was not the end of good things that came from his life and death. It was not a depressing lesson but emphasized the forever that only God know and we only imagine.

John and I, and friends and family, pray for my life and I think most days, how God is allowing our prayers to be answered "yes" but some day, He will say "no" and I will still, I hope, be thankful for all these days He has given me. Every day is a blessing, even a day like today when my stomach never felt ok and I could not feel really good. Everyone asks if I just "push myself" to keep going. To a large extent, I do, but life is such fun, and there is so much to do, and I really hate to miss any of it. I know some day, when God wills, I will say enough is enough...but not yet I hope. I still need to see those new greats!

My main problems this week are my eating/non eating. Food is just not good. My throat is still yucky feeling.

I John 5:14 says "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us." And if it is not His will, then?......can man a fallen and sinful........? Thank you God for this day!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"...the word of our God stands forever."

I am working so hard (and my sister more than I am) and we are pushed by deadlines. The movie producer wants everything yesterday! We are working with 50 yards of silver velvet for the living room. Made up with lining/interlining it weighs a TON. It is going to be pretty though. I am about at my limit and hope tomorrow is the last day for this part of the project. My main trouble right now is that my throat feels raw way down past where I swallow. It has done this before with another chemo but I did not think that was in this protocol. The pain is manageable, and the nausea is not too bad. I still have the stint replacement hanging over my head.

Isaiah 40:7-8 "The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever." We are simply grass and some days I feel like it! However no worry, because of God's unfailing strength, forever!

"...the word of our od stands forever..."

Sunday, August 28, 2011

".Peace I leave with you.....do not be afraid..."

This is another time Jesus tells us to not be afraid...so many places He tells us this...This time is in John 14:27..."Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

My heart could be troubled very easily, if I did not try to keep my focus on Jesus. I will have one or two very good days then nausea sets in, or the pain returns. I am trying to do without the nighttime pain med if possible. I do NOT want to be hooked on anything, regardless of the doctor (surgeon) saying "why not?" He sees me as a cancer patient. My oncologist sees me as a christian who lives on hope and prayers.

The past week has been very "crazy". Our daughter Cathy has the shop and she has a job decorating a house for a movie, so we all (the three workrooms) are in overtime. The movie people send the fabric from NY and when it gets here, we jump and sew. Details: I don't know the movie name yet, but it stars Nicole Kiddman and Hugh Jackman (?) , anyway, she refused to leave home (here in Nashville) or travel with her two children so it is being made here. The house is a lovely 1920ish mansion belonging to a family in Belle Meade and they are not using it so it is perfect for this movie. We are thrilled to be involved but we are working very hard. I go to my sister's to sew because she has a large worktable. Mine is small because I normally make just pillows.

One thing I am noticing is that I need to only plan one thing in a day/night. I used to could run,run all the time, but age/cancer/chemo is catching up with me. But that is OK, as I still have lots of energy, as long as the nausea stays away. I do have God's peace nearly all the time. This is week two after chemo so it should be better than last week, and I will not be afraid!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Do not put out the Spirit's fire."

I think I must be so SLOW of mind!... Our Sunday lesson was on the Holy Spirit and suddenly (wonderful how God opens our eyes!) I connected the "fruits of the spirit" with the "in-dwelling Holy Spirit". This was such a "wow-moment" and I am sure, I could find many, many connections like this. I realized how the characteristics found therein give us strength and lead us to be more accessible with God. The verse I Thessalonians 5:19 "Do not put out the Spirit's fire" follows the difficult passage verses 16-18 " Be joyful always. pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus". I talk about this quite often because I struggle with this.

I quote from the " Message" some because I think this example of the Bible clarifies some difficult passages. My granddaughter, talking with friends, mostly said they would not use this version for children memorizing the Bible. I agree with them because the beauty of the NIV or KJ is just not there.

I have had several good days. I am still very sleepy at nap time and usually sleep 2-3 hours in the afternoon. I have (facing me in September) to have the ureter stint replaced and I dread that! I hate being put to sleep again! I am very busy sewing with my sister for the movie set we are decorating! i will tell more about that tomorrow.

I am thankful for God's blessings, for friends who are supportive, for family and for John, my Rock!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"We will serve the Lord"

Joshua 24:14-15 "Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness. .....choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, ....But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."

I love this faith statement from Joshua. Part of this was on our kitchen wall at our last house. I wanted to have it here but really do not have a space for it. I will have to work on that!

This is day 6 of this chemo and I really do not feel much better than day 2 when it kicked in. Exhaustion is the main problem, and arthritis really got my hands the last two days. Also fingers are cracked open again. My hair started growing back about March and should be long enough to be wig less but it is not growing back as usual. I think this is all that is wrong with me that I talk about. I don't dwell on the cancers and choose to mostly ignore them. I take great delight and praise to God for just being alive! Nothing in my list can take away this joy of life! John had a good eye doctor visit this week and he is no worse. That is something to be very thankful for.

I look at our two new little girls (on facebook) every day and thank God for them, their perfection and beauty. We are so proud of all the "greats" and how well they are growing up.

So we, and all our family, chooses to serve our Lord.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

"I am the good shepherd..."

John 10:14..."I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me..." there is little more helpless than a sheep or lamb. This analogy tells us how weak we are in this world and how dependent on Jesus we are for our shepherd.

I am even more dependent this week. The chemo has kicked in and I am so tired and sleepy, exhaustion is here, no appetite, I just want to sleep and be quiet. I might ask the doctor to lower the dosage next time. He said he could and I do feel pretty bad. I am in pain tonight. I am weak as a lamb and really need my shepherd.

Friday, August 19, 2011

"Behold, I am coming soon..."

I do not know why we fear death or regard dying as something terrible. Why do we do all we can to prolong this life.? I believe we have a built in love for family that makes us do all we can to remain close to them as long as possible. I believe this is a God-given attribute of being like God in that we love each other so very much., family and friends also.

I had the MRI this week and I used to think that was the worst possible thing to go thru. It is not bad at all. I use that time to pray and meditate. I was surprised when the nurse said it was over. I prayed for all my family starting with John, then each child, grandchild, and inlaws, and great grandchild. Then I begged God to give me more time to be with this much loved family. I also said that I knew the cancer is what it is and that I know God is in control of this and all aspects of my life. I said that I would abide with His will no matter what was to be. Then I felt very much at peace that there would be no worrying.

Jesus said in Revelations 22:12-13 "Behold I am coming soon...I am the Alphe and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." later in verse 16 "the Bright Morning Star." Meditating on these verses, how can we lose!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"...Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns!"

"Praise our God, all you His servants, you who fear Him, both small and great...Hallelujah! For our Lord God, Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!" Revelations 19:5-7

I have been numb today, the MRI was good and I am still hardly believing it. Every so often, I will say, "Thank you, God" then I will think "really?" The MRI did not concentrate on the liver and the doctor just ignores it mostly since the pelvic tumor seems to be the most invasive. That is where the pain is coming from. It had grown and was pressing against the colon and major arteries. This tumor has shrunk about 10% ( I am not sure with centimeters) but the oncologist feels this chemo is really working well. I just pray I can stand the side effects. This was the 3rd round today. I guess each month will tell how it is working and if I can make it with the nausea, fatigue, rash, pain and all. We are adjusting the pain meds so maybe I can sleep more at night.

Our #9 Great was born the 15th and she is just beautiful like the other little girls, and #8 born six weeks ago. I think all our family is through having babies for a while. We pray for them and their parents, for God's grace to help them grown and be filled with His Spirit.

Again I thank God for another time of healing, for giving John and me more time together, for more days to be with family and friends. I am just in awe!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"...out of His glorious riches, He may strengthen you..."

Well our newest baby girl arrived yesterday, and we finally have a red headed great grandchild. John was very red headed, in fact his nick name (growing up) was "red". I was a strawberry blond, nearly red, and two of our three children are (were) red headed. Boys tend to go bald in this family!...even the grand sons. We have one red headed grandchild, and now we have one red headed great. One of my great grandmothers was red headed, and it keeps popping up... Same with John. We are so very blessed with all these babies. We pray daily for their health and well being and God's blessings on them.

Tomorrow is my big day with the MRI and with all these painful nights, I am so ready to find out what is going on. I think about 5 nights of the last 2 weeks have been very pain filled (about a 10 on the chart). I don't sleep much but pray lots...beg God for strength, for better days, pray for lists of friends and family, for John and his sight. I see the oncologist on Thursday and have chemo and leave my worries at Jesus' feet. ..."so that Christ may dwell in your heart thru faith." verse 17 in Ephesians 3

"I pray that out of His glorious riches, He may strengthen you with power thru His Spirit in your inner being." Ephesians 3:16 I pray that if the news is not good Thursday, we can leave our troubles with God.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

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

If all goes according to plan, we will have Great #9 tomorrow. I can't wait. We have been with so much family this past month. Cousins from Missouri were here this week and we met another cousin close to here. Dinner with our family also, our local Great here to see if I found the marshmallows she loves (the pink ones). These tid-bits are what makes life so fun. John and I wanted to take a trip somewhere this late summer but I really do not have the energy for a long drive in the heat. This afternoon, a cool spell came thru and it feels so wonderful. A special email message came from friends about how you should never put off haveing fun or seeing friends or telling family you love them. I always say "you never regret trips you take, only the ones you don't"... but this nasty little pain keeps turning up about 1:00 every morning. I have a long list for the Doctor on Wednesday and Thursday this week. I sure hope the MRI shows what is causing this pain...then again, I may be sad to see what is there. Really I handle things better if I know what it is!

Romans 8...several verses: "Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are Sons of God...You receive the Spirit of Sonship...the Spirit helps us in our weakness...if God is for us who can be against us..."

In my pain starting up about bedtime, I have the comfort of these verses. The pain meds I take a little later (for some reason) keeps me half awake, so there is lots of prayer time all night.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"...he know what we have, Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God..."

I have been so tired this week, and not down-hearted, but just "word-less" and nothing to say. I read back about how I felt almost four weeks ago and think how I am going to go through this again in a few days. Can I do chemo again? Do I dare not do it? I have an MRI on Wednesday so the next day, I will hear how I am doing and supposedly receive the chemo again, unless it is doing no good. The mind can take one into lots of dark places. ..into lots of "what ifs" . I think I told how I quit the time release pain med I was taking twice a day. It was messing with my mind. John said I was becoming "crazy" and I certainly don't want that. So I quit it and mostly I have little pain, maybe a "2" or "3" on that little frown-smile chart at the doctor's. I can handle that. But at night, three times, the pain has just grabbed me with a #10 about 1:00 am and only the strongest pain med will work. So I have done that those three times. That is still better than daily strong stuff.

Today was good, I weeded the flower beds, found several green beans handing on in this heat, some tomatoes ready to bring in, a few squash nearly ready, fun stuff. I went to art tonight, and that is the only place I am going without the wig. They think I could just go anywhere, but I am not ready yet, every where. I am in prayer for myself, which I do not do enough.Is it selfish to pray for oneself? I kind of feel like it is, but I feel the need for this. John prays for me continually, and I do for him. He is my rock! And what would I do without my savior, Jesus, our ultimate Rock and High Priest, our God our Father, who knows our every need.

"Now that we know what we have--Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God--let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all--all but the sin. So let's walk right up to Him and get what He is so ready to give. Take the mercy , accept the help." Hebrews 4:14-16 The Message

Sunday, August 7, 2011

"...to Him who is able..."

Ephesians 3:20-21..."Now 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 in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations, for ever and ever, Amen."

Oh what riches and grace from God for all our needs!!! I am still having good days mostly, a little nausea, the one night with pain last week, and eating a little better.

Thinking about the Depression in the 30's I remembered about where we lived when I was 4-5 years old. There was a chicken house behind my grandparents that had 3 large rooms. I guess Mama and Daddy wanted to live separately because we sometimes lived in Grandma's house, but they fixed the inside of that chicken house and painted, put in doors, new roof and we lived there a year or so. Daddy was teaching school and I think I remember he made $35 a month. This was a U shaped house with a living room going into a bedroom then into a kitchen. We had an outhouse and took baths in a galvanized tub. In the summer, I always played in that tub outside. Several things happened while we lived there that were memorable. A huge storm tore down a tremendous tree over our house and it came through the roof in the night...I remember that happening. When Daddy was painting the floors and told me to stay off, I decided to run around the edge---guess who slipped and slid across the wet shellac? I had to take a bath in mineral spirits! The front door had a large rock as a door lintel. I ran in the door once, fell into the rock and cut across my forehead. When Mama saw me, my face was full of blood and of course I had to go for stitches. I still have that scar. Does it sound like I was a handful? ( I really was generally good!)The next year, we lived in a house in another area of town (much nicer and with a bathroom)and soon I started first grade. Daddy had a better job and we were living better when the war started.

Throughout all my life, God has taken care of me..He is indeed able to do more than we ever thought possible!

Friday, August 5, 2011

"...godliness with contentment is great gain..."

I was just looking at the picture of our youngest "great" who is a month old today. I look at that sweet face and wonder what her world will be like, indeed wonder that for all the "greats". By this time next week, the 9Th (who is due any day) may be here. These wonderful children are certainly God's gift to us and we treasure any time with each of them.

I am almost ready to go "wig less" , maybe in one more month. I have enough fingernails that I am no longer ashamed to show my hands. They just look like I have very short nails. This chemo, so far, is just the nausea and fatigue mainly as side effects; also very thin skin, which bruises or breaks open if I hit something.. I keep waiting for the "bottom to fall out" and really, really bad side effects to occur. I don't need to lose any more weight, but food is just so yucky! The chemo I take was told on TV as being in short supply so I hope I can get it on the 18Th.

I am so blessed, so thankful each day, especially when John prays for my recovery.
1 Timothy 6:6-8 describes what I hope to remain as my attitude..."But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing we will be content with that." I pray for always having contentment, and for living a godly life.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

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

I have switched to writing in the day instead of night, because it seems I am too tired at night lately. Maybe it is the summer heat, or maybe lots of things going on, but I have been more tired. I refuse to think I am "worse" or anything like that!. This is the longest time I have ever worn a wig. Before (the other two times) I wore it maybe for 6-8 months. but this time, it has been about a year I think. and I am really tire of it! Wigs are really hot in the summer and strangely, cold in the winter. The cold air blows thru in the winter, so why does this not help in the summer? I am still pain free and pray this is meaningful!!!

Still thinking about the depression, when John was about 5 years old and his brother was 10 and his parents went to Alabama to live with family. Because the brother was in school, 5Th grade, they decided for him to stay here with an aunt and uncle and cousins and stay in school. John and his parents lived in Alabama for 2 years and he started first grade when they returned. This put him in high school in the war and helped prevent his being called up. We never know when our lives take a little different path, how this will affect an outcome many years later.

Now, we are in this battle and God leads us in our daily lives. "Therefore put on the full armor of God..." "Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power..."Ephesians 6: 10, 13

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"From everlasting to everlasting, you are God..."

This past weekend, we were with 2/3 of our family...how wonderful it was! We saw the west Tennessee family on Friday and then Jim and Cindy (son and D_I_L) came Sunday with two oldest great grandson's from Augusta and we just had such a great time. Great granddaughter who lives close was here and Cathy and Ronnie and we celebrated our son's birthday. It does not seem that long since our first son was born! Where do the years go? I am so glad my body held together for all this celebrating. I have had no pain lately and quit taking the pain pills so that is such a blessing!!!I am so thankful!

While driving over Tennessee this week, John and I have talked about the past--we do that a lot--and how a REAL depression can affect a family. His parents and my uncle who lived next to them built (really a shanty) in the back of their houses and lived there and rented out each of their homes for several years. No one could or would do that today. (Zoning laws would prohibit). But the sacrifices made in the 30's was beyond what we know today. My parents did similar as we lived with my grandparents several times and our home was rented out. We never lived continuously there until Daddy came home from WWII. They built it when I was a baby but waited until I was 11 to really get to live there.

I have fingernails, kind of, anyway, several times lately, someone has said "oh you have nails" so I guess I do! It only took 8 months for them to grow back! Anyway, another thing to be thankful for!!!! God is so good, and I am so thankful to be able to enjoy family and friends, go places and live fairly normally.

"Lord, you have been our dwelling place through all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God." Psalm 90:1-2 ( a prayer of Moses)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

"Let the earth open wide...let salvation spring up..."

Day 9 and day 10 of this chemo and I am better but not feeling good. We went to west Tennessee to see three of our "greats", and their parents, of course! It was birthday time for several of the family and we really enjoy being part of that. This little family will welcome another "great" in a few weeks and be so busy! I always wanted four but never realized that. Well, the 3 /12 year old grandson prayed our blessing for lunch. Isn't it wonderful when children are raised in the Lord. The birthday girl who is five, loves aprons and will be a kitchen helper soon.

All the fields and trees are pretty and green even with the intense heat,We always say there is no place much prettier than middle Tennessee. We saw boys jumping off ropes into creeks, in a swimming hole. I used to love to do that. I think I would still do that if I had a chance. I just have to get WELL so I can do some things again!

"The heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the Lord, have created it." Isaiah 45:8 This just sounds like a wonderful summer day with God's blessings showering down!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Message says "Get out of bed and get dressed!"

And on, "Don't loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourself in Christ and be up and about!" Romans 13:14...that speaks well if one was inclined to be lazy! This week I guess it spoke to me as I stayed in bed one day most all day. Yesterday and today were more productive days. I sewed quite a bit and cooked and acted rather nice to John. I know he gets so tired of my being "snippy" (is that a word?) but some days I just cannot help myself.

Several friends comment on my cornbread and say it is so good and how do I make it? I have several old pans that are wonderful. One was my great grandmothers in Kentucky. It is a cast iron corn stick pan. I have three rectangle pans that are "steel" or metal. They are about 6x8 inches.
They were John's Mother's and are black from about 100 years of use. These are my favorites. I use self rising white corn meal and this is a general recipe that can be made into more or less.
1 cup self rising white corn meal
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg beaten
3 TSP Crisco or liquid oil
Beat the meal, milk and egg. Heat the pan with the oil or Crisco in 450 oven until the pan is good and hot (watch it!) If a bit of water on the pan "hisses" then it is hot enough. Pour the grease into the cornbread mix and stir it, then pour all back into the hot pan. Bake, 450 for 20 minutes. turn it out onto a board and cut into squares.

One cup of meal would make about 12 corn sticks.

It has been a week since chemo and this has been a tough week. Besides the nausea, pain, weight loss, sleeping problems, I have bruises and cuts all over my arms. If I hit any thing, it opens my skin. It is so tender! I look like I have been in a dog fight.Well God says to get out of bed! Get dressed! In other words, not being lazy. I certainly hope next week will be an improvement.