Monday, January 31, 2011

"He heard my cry.."

"I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God."
A dear friend reminded me of this Psalm today. I am not patient enough and God did give me a better day today, a better outlook. As usual I rush ahead and do it myself. I am so blessed and I know He will take care of me. Today was better than yesterday, not "well" but better.

Grandma had a fairly nice little table that somehow ended up on the back porch and had been painted several times. She always put her boiled custard on that table to cool and set on the porch in the cold. Our daughter in law and son have that table, which has been refinished and is very pretty, but we still call it "Grandma's boiled custard table". When we visit family homes, and see all the family furniture, pictures and dishes, I am not sure whose home we are in! There are so many treasures from all parts of the family and it is a delight to see them being used in a third and fourth generation.

Two of our grandchildren are expecting #4 greats and wondering what to name the baby. I went through family names and wrote many down, not for them to name but to see what they are. "Mary" is among the most used girl name, eight times among 6-7 generations. "John" and "James" are the major family boy names and they have already been used. It will be fun to see who the new ones will be and be named.
On my Daddy's side, there are two times that cousins married---our tree does not split as much as it should! ( I have seen that as being "red-neck") oh well!

I pray for a good day tomorrow!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

" your great mercy, turn to me..."

I have not written the past 2-3 days...I just could not pull myself out of my blues and think of anything constructive to say. I have been so "not really depressed" but sad I guess that this promising chemo is so destructive to my body that I just cannot continue it. My legs are "strutted" and swollen and terribly broken out and my feet have cracks that are very sore.My hands and arms kind of the same way. I am taking 3-4 diuretics daily. My finger nails are discolored and I may lose one nail. My food is still not too good. I eat because I am hungry but then the taste is bad. The diarrhea is barely controllable, taking 6-8 pills daily for that. I go back to the oncologist in 8 days and obviously I will tell him I cannot be on this chemo any longer. I have been off of it for 4 weeks already and still have these side effects.
I am sad; yet, I do not feel "sick". I have no pain and if I was not doing chemo, I would not know I had cancer. (except for the colostomy of course)

"But I pray to you, O Lord, in the time of your favor; in your great love o, not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me. Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me." Psalm 69: parts of verses 13-16....This is how I feel right now, totally dependent on God's love and mercy, as to whether I can do more chemo or just let it all rest with Him...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

" The Lord is my light..."

Several friends asked me to send my Jam Cake recipe again...this was Daddy's mother's recupe and I have in the last few years kind of changed it and joined it in to a jam cake in the Nashville Cookbook. They are almost the same, with a few minor changes. So here it is again......rmember you need to make it in November and let it sit and "soak" with a wine soaked cloth around it in a "lard stand" for a month before you ice it with caramel icing.

1/2 cup shortning or butter
2 cups sugar
4 cups flour (mix 3 cups into mixture and dredge raisins & nuts with the other cup)
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups blackberry jam (I use the seedless)
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup watermelon rind preserves OR 1/2 cup pear preserves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
6 eggs
2 tsp soda (sifted with flour)
1 tsp salt
1 rounded tsp cinnamon, 1 rounded tsp cloves, 1 rounded tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Mix as usual but the egg whites are beaten and folded in at the last before putting the mixture into the pans.
This makes 3 (9 inch) layers....350 until done
Caramel Buttermilk Icing
2 cups white sugar, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tsp soda, 1/2 cup butter
Cook until forms a soft ball then add 1 tsp vanilla and beat until nearly ready, then pour over cake... it will harden more later.
This cake brings back so many memories, and after Mama could no longer make her cakes, she always wanted me to make them a small jam cake.

This chemo is lingering really bad! I shall have to call tomorrow and see what I do next! My feet and legs and hands are still so swollen! I know I will not go back on it! No more wondering!

"The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear?" Psalm 27:1

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Be joyful always..."

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

This has always been a very difficult passage, to be joyful and thankful for EVERYTHING? I believe we have to be joyful that God is watching over us and is in control of our lives ,thanking Him for that and this allows us to, in that regard, become thankful for not so good situations.

Growing up, I have told about the creek that ran all though Grandma and Grandpa's land and through ours also. This was mostly a wet weather creek but had some "deep" places which held water when it did not rain. I called one of these "the swimming hole" was about 2 feet deep but I could float in it. No telling what creatures were in it but I loved that place and spent many a summer day in that creek. There were willow trees and I could make bows and arrows out of those and play "Indian". When it rained a lot, trash and mud would come down the creek from upper land. I was not supposed to get in then when it was running fast. Well of course I did and there was a broken jar that cut my foot and I did not tell. After about a week, I had a pone on the side of my foot about half an egg size and I HAD to tell. Our Doctor came out to the house then and he lanced my foot, and gave me some medicine and said I was nearly into lockjaw! I was more careful after that to obey!

We always loved to play in creeks. There was one up the ridge from us that was just a country creek and Daddy would take us there to play in the water. He loved to do that also. Once when I was a teenager and had a bunch of girls spending the night, he took us up there and shined the car lights on the water and we played and swam in that creek in the dark. It was more fun! I wonder how many snakes we displaced that night!

This is the second day without the chemo and so far, I am still swollen and broken out. I sure am praying for this all to subside and be back to normal! And I am joyful to be off chemo for 2 weeks!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"...the Lord is my rock..."

Today was supposed to be chemo day. My body could not stand any more rat poison right now. The doctor said we would wait two weeks and see how I am then. I am so thankful for this reprieve! I feel like a "bird out of a cage"! My legs, feet, arms and hands have about 10 pounds of fluid on them (that is how much extra weight was on me today)and I am to take extra meds for a few days to get that off. Also, we can see if the sores on my legs go away. I talked to the doctor about possibly changing to another chemo because this one is just so damaging. My nails look like they have been beaten up. Fingers and toes are cracked open.

I re-told the doctor that if any of this does irreparable damage to my body, I will not do extraordinary things just to stay alive. Anyway, I am looking forward to eating for two weeks and hope it tastes good.

When John and I moved to Aiken, SC we assumed we would be there many years, as he got a job with a major company there. When we had been married nearly five years, our second son, Johny, was born and he was tiny and had medical problems early on and we thought these would be solved but we did not have very good doctors there and eventually we moved back here to be close to family and doctors we knew. Our daughter was born and we were able to build a home on some family land next to John's parents and we stayed there for 20 years and our children grew up being with grandparents as John and I both had. This was and is such a blessing to be close to family always.

Psalm 18:1-2 speaks of being thankful for daily blessings I feel God is giving me. Even if my body is breaking down He is letting me live and be with family and friends. "I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation , my stronghold."

Monday, January 24, 2011

" make me dwell in safety..."

Psalm 4:6-8 "Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when thy grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."

I pray God does not lose patience with me and my petty grumbling and "wishing things were like they used to be"...well wouldn't we all wish that! Like wishing I were back younger and healthier and appreciating my size and not always wishing I were skinny, and on and on! Well, thankfully God gives us a break and knows our frailties! And sleeping well is definitely a blessing!

Well when John and I were at our second Christmas, we had our oldest son and we had moved to a little house behind his parents. It was about 400 square feet, three rooms but we have always been happy no matter where we lived. Our baby was 5 months old and we had a little tree, decorated and bows and greenery on all the windows. John even went in the woods and found some mistletoe to hang at the door. We had our garden which we have nearly always had, no matter where we live. John built a chicken house for our chickens (which I have always loved but have not had for a long time now--zoning). That first chicken house was up off the ground with chicken wire at the bottom and we thought that would be good to keep their feet off the ground--well something came under the wire and ate their feet off and killed them! Obviously, a plan had to be changed for the chicken house! It was and we had good chickens and eggs as long as we lived there. We lived there about a year and a half and moved for John's job change to another state when our son was about 15 months old. So the third Christmas was away from home! Another story!

Thank you Father in heaven, our Lord, for patience and blessings in our trials. Tomorrow is Doctor day...Today was heart test and it was fine...a blessing there!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

".....Stand firm in the faith..."

A dear friend found this verse that she wondered if I was seeking..! 1 Corinthians 16:13 "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong..."
I really think it was another and almost word for word...I will find it. This friend also found a wonderful book mark that says "I am your strength..." Psalm 46:1 and the lady who produces these bookmarks signed one to blessed I am!

When I was thinking about the snows back when, and I remembered how Grandma and I had tin cans from their house to ours (across the creek and through the yards) and a string attached very tightly to the two cans. You could actually talk (like a telephone) on these tin cans! Has anyone tried that in YEARS? Also, I think how much trouble it was for someone (Daddy?) to run that string that far and run it into two houses? It is amazing what family will do for a small child! I guess I was 8 or so at that time.

Then I was thinking about John and I on our first Christmas after we married. I had always received a doll, a small "character doll" after I got too big for baby dolls, each Christmas and John gave me one of those the first year. The next year we had a Live Doll, our oldest son. We lived in a small apartment at first and I can remember having Grandma and Grandpa for dinner and I don't remember what I cooked but he bragged, even if it was not very good. I do remember his saying "You have good Maxwell House coffee"...We had a small Christmas tree and we went uptown to Woolworths and got ornaments for that tree. Those are called "vintage" ornaments now, and they are actually 58 years old. I had some of Mama's and Grandma's special ornaments and those along with our oldest ones, have been given to a grandson and his wife as the "keeper of the ornaments". I think they will appreciate and treasure these keepsakes.

I will keep searching for the verse I think I found. It is a good way to look through lots of Bible passages. Please pray for me and my doctor for good decisions this week, and for God's guidance in those decisions.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"...stand firm in your faith..."

Isaiah 7:9 says "If you do not stand firm in your faith you will not stand at all." Is this not a marvelous way to approach your faith! Some time in the past week, I found this same quote in a totally different place (like in the New Testament) and while traveling, I lost the marker in my Bible...I found a near quote but this was such a surprise to find this, now cannot find it! I thought it was in Romans---I will find it later.
John and I went to Naples, FL where we try to go nearly every January for about 2 weeks. We left two days after chemo and came back today(Sat) and I see the Dr. on Tuesday . i think this round of chemo was the worst yet in the past several years. I never did enjoy any meal we had and John just loves to eat out, especially there, on the sidewalks, and all the good fish. My legs have been swollen and a bad rash on them and on my arms. My eyes "tear" constantly and my nose runs, nails are discolored and sore, my feet are cracked, and my toes are sore. I am really sick of being "sick". I think "will I die of cancer or die of chemo?" I have tried to be very strong and feel this is aiming for a cut back of the cancer, but I do not think it is a "cure". I am just not a "quitter" but my body is tired of being chemo-sick and I really miss eating!
We missed three good snows while we were gone but I think another is coming this week. We are having a big winter, but still not the amount at one time we used to have. I have pictures showing about 6 inches of snow usually. Also, remember eating snow cream? We had a garage set in a hill and we could stand next to the roof and pile big bowls of snow and Mama would mix this with vanilla flavoring and milk and it was like ice cream! I don't think anyone would dare eat our polluted snow now. We would also break off big icicles where ever we could reach them and eat those...usually off anything in the yard that was holding frozen water!
I must not let anything reflect off my faith, I also, need to let God lead me in what to do. I pray my doctor will use good judgment given him by God in what to do next.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"O Lord, you have searched me..."

"O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. ---For you created my inmost being;---your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.---How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!" Psalm 139:1-3,13,16,17.

This Psalm is probably the most comforting of all..I have read it so many times, starting when my sister died and I found solace for her early dying. Then along the way in this cancer, I began to realize how God holds our lives so richly and He sees each day and His plan is for us each day. I never thought about this when I was young--the plans God has for us.

Well, we are going to have ANOTHER "great" next summer---that makes 8 and how exciting!
The CT today was hopeful. The two pelvic tumors (I usually don't talk about these two) are shrinking and the 10 or so in the liver are no larger, maybe a tiny bit smaller on the two "markers" they measure. There are no new tumors any where. I thank

God for this blessing. John and I will have more time to be together and hopefully more time for these babies.

I really am having a tough time with the side effects but pray the trip we are going on will help. John and I are going to Naples, Florida for a little while and hope the sun and warmth will ease the cracked hands and feet and the leg and arm rash. I had the infusion chemo today and will get a white cell shot tomorrow then we will leave. I will write about our trip when we return. Blessings!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

"I lift up my eyes unto the hills--"

" where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2 No where else is there any help, not really. Only earthly contributions to our being.THE DAY is nearly here, and the CT is tomorrow. I had a lot of wonderful support today at church and many praying for me. I feel so honored and lifted up by these prayers. Today has been a repeat with the swelling of hand and legs/feet , sore hands and feet, food is bad again.

There are several friends who are struggling and more names added every week from church or acquaintances, as cancer is everywhere. A friend called tonight and her niece is to have cancer surgery tomorrow. My friend in Florida is waiting to see what is next for him in this struggle. A former teacher friend has a recurrence and not much hope except from the Lord! So here we are, starting a new year, and by May I will start my 8Th year for having cancer. God is so magnificent and holds me in His hands.

I cannot wait to see what He wants me to do next. He allows me to sew (commercially) and I am able to help support wells in various parts of the world. (A very small amount) But I feel very passionate about people having clean water. We take this for granted! So I pray I can continue to do this. I hope your desires continue this new year. Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

"...what is man that you are mindful of him..."

I just read the new blog our son is starting and he was quoting Phil. 4:6 about not being anxious...I should quote that verse every day, but I quote that a lot, so here is another of many "favorite" verses...Psalm 8:3-5 "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for Him? You made Him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned Him with glory and honor." I need to just look at nature and what God has made and not worry about the CT on Monday---(that is foremost in my mind) fingers are so cracked I can hardly hands, feet and legs are very swollen, and have lots of sore rash on them. I just am hanging on to see if this chemo is working! And then, I see the Philippians' quote and I think, in May I will start my 8Th year of survival only by God's grace and then I worry and complain...I pray for forgiveness for my humanness!

When 2000 arrived, everyone thought the world would crash and here we are 11 years later and everything is just going along as usual. Many things have happened in those 11 years, lots of "greats" that we are so proud of. All our grandchildren have wonderful homes of their own. Our two "children" are happy in their home and family, which is indeed a blessing. So as this new year starts John and I are thankful for our apartment, our family and what God has done and will do for us this year. Happy New Year to all!