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."