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 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 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 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 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."