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)