Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Jesus is the same yesterday, and today and forever..."

This verse is Hebrews 13:8 and I depend on this truth...

A horrible weekend, lots of throwing up and just on the couch or in bed...I do not know what is going on and why I am so sick! I have never done all this before. That is all I have to say, just that I wonder if my liver is failing and causing the extreme nausea. Whatever it is, I cannot function like this. Please God, ease me................

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Fear not for I am with you..."

I realize I have not written in several days, but I have been too "sick" to say anything except negative stuff!Mon, Tues, Wed were for the most part on the bed or couch..just too weak and nauseous to function hardly. Today was Dr day and we had a good discussion, regarding where I am and what to do. First I had lots of blood drawn, then a thyroid function test to determine how the chemo is affecting my thyroid then the Dr. thought I needed some fluids so I got that with some steroid and another something ( I failed to write that one down) and he agreed with us that the amount of chemo was affecting my quality of life, (besides I get a CT before we start back on April 12). So if that shows that the chemo is working, I can stand most anything! But we also agreed the dosage needed to be adjusted down some. The side effects are just too much to handle. Just think---in one month, I start into my 9Th year of all this!!!God has kept me alive for whatever wondrous reason, but I surely am thankful!

As I was leaving there was a small older lady (my age) whom I had never seen before--said she had been there 4 years--who was sitting waiting for chemo and reading her Bible. I spoke to her and she said "God bless you" I asked her how long, etc...then I said we are only here through God's grace and she again said "God bless you"
Was she an angel sent to encourage me? I have never seen her in the 6 years I have been at SC but I felt especially blessed to have talked to her.

I very slowly drove to art tonight and sat and talked to everyone for an hour then came home--did not try to paint. They were all so loving and welcoming and oh, how I miss them! I don't know when I will be able to go back, since chemo is always on Thursdays, but they are saving my "place" for me! I love them all so much and really miss our fellowship! They are indeed like a "care group".

"Fear not for I am with not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. Yes, I will hold you up with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Be merciful to me , O God, be merciful to me..."

When John graduated from high school, his mother suggested she and John take a train trip to California and back. John's Dad said "no way, and he certainly was not going"...(Remember Grandad worked for the rail road for 60 years) at that time he of course was not that old...well so Gertie (John's mother) and John planned their trip including going to see one of her girl friends from growing up, and two cousins who lived in Nevada and they got all excited. After a few weeks, Grandad took over and got ticket, planned the entire itinerary, bunks for sleeping, dining cars and the whole bit!

The route included going northern from Nashville, to St Louise to Salt Lake City , Nevada and on into California, then coming back thru El Pa so Texas, New Orleans and back to Nashville. They were gone at least two weeks. There are some great old pictures and Grandad looked like he was having fun!

When they were in Nevada they went to La's Vegas, and at that time, it had maybe 3 cassino's, and was just getting started but they really enjoyed themselves. Just think--that was 65 years ago!

Well, my legs are still swollen, and "weep", which is distressing...I guess the wraps and stockings will be a comfort. I am going to ask Thursday "just how bad a shape am I in?" Last night's pain was pretty bad but today has been good and I think I can sleep without a pain pill. I cannot figure it out! I have always told my doctor to be honest with me and I am not sure lately if he is or not.

We did yard work today and it felt so good to be outside and doing gardening, painting the porch furniture, etc. I may pay for it tomorrow! I have to move very slowly and I certainly am not my usual self in doing things like that.

"Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge, until the destroying storms pass by. I cry to God most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me. Psalm 57:1-2

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him..."

" the one who seeks Him; It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord..." Lamentations 3:25-26 Yesterday was a "draw blood and see the doctor" day..less than 2 hours ...I love that kind of day.
Well I have been diagnosed with lymphodema, in my lower legs and will have to wear stockings...forever...The abdominal cancer pressing against the upper legs has shut down the lymph nodes from draining properly...and if left untreated, would cause infection known as cellulitus, which is really bad. I am really upset over this. Also, a cause could be the radiation I had in December-February, or the repeated surgeries, and the lower cancer. Anyway...I really need to know---if this chemo works, and the cancer goes away (dream) wouldn't that let the lymph nodes drain properly? No one seems to really know. I am so totally in God's hands and in His care. There are only 90+ of us in this STUDY all over the US and I think 3-4 there at Sara Cannon..No one knows the side effects, long term effects, etc of this chemo. I know that I was so glad to be on "vacation" for 3 weeks! After this 3 weeks, and the CT, I will have the next cycle of 3 chemo, 2 days (weeks) off, 3 chemo, 2 "days" off and another CT, making it about June by then. No one knows what to expect after that. I guess by then, there should be a definitive answer as to whether it is working or not!
Meantime, I am up and down, feel good part of the day, then nauseous and in pain the next hours or so.
So, "guide me, O Lord, as I hope, pray, make it through the sometime sleepless nights," ...I have (in between pain bouts) dug in my flowers, planted a few things, cautiously because it is bound to have a freeze between now and May 1! God is good!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"May your hand be ready to help me..."

"...for I have chosen your precepts...Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me..." Psalm 119:173,175...

I have had terrible 3-4 days and nights...cannot sleep, pain enough to take the strong pain meds at night...nausea and cannot eat, I am so thankful this is an "off" week and two more to follow!!!I know my body could not stand one more chemo this week! We tried to go to Sunday night Care group and had to come home, I felt so bad.Well, things will be better this week, I KNOW!!!

I have told you about our cat (gray, Johny called him "mouse") and he was a much loved cat, when I had flu every quarter in college, the cat would lie on the foot of the bed all day, even though he really was not a house cat, but I could tell he felt sorry for me. I was working, going to college at night, etc...and got sick very easily; I guess I was exhausted, but a different kind from now!

Well one day, I made a lemon meringue pie, and Mouse got in the house and was on the cabinet, eating all the meringue! I opened the door and threw him across the yard to the neighbors, but he just picked himself up and eventually came back home! I was so mad at him! Grandad was over one day (they lived 2 houses away) and Mouse wound himself around Granddad's legs once too often, and he kicked Mouse over to the same driveway! Poor thing, he must have gotten used to "sailing"!Eventually some dogs got hold of him and we had to take him to the vet and put him to sleep. I cried so hard, I could hardly see to drive.We really loved Mouse!

Well these sleepless nights, lots of praying gets done, lots of thinking of God's precepts,lots of asking the Spirit to help me...thank you God for always being there..

Friday, March 16, 2012

"...the present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that ....[awaits us]..."

In Romans, this precedes a favorite verse that I depend upon, in fact this week, I was sad, downhearted (in the middle of the night) and prayed this verse..."...the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts....intercedes accordance with God's will." Romans 8:18,26-27....

This is so powerful and gives a peace beyond any other.

I had the fourth chemo yesterday and did OK, all day again, and got home about 4:30 in a raging storm. I have three weeks with only blood draws each week and that will be a VACATION and hopefully regain strength, eat better and all that good stuff.

In the sleepless nights, I was remembering (why? who knows what memories come out) From about 12 or so on to teens, I would walk the half mile to the main highway, catch a bus and go into Nashville and meet friends for lunch and a movie. Of course, going to 5 and Dime stores, walking around town, just having a fun day. This day out could be done for $1.00....unbelievable at today's prices. The bus was 10 cents each way, the movie was 12 cents, a Krystal was 10 cents, a coke probably 10 of 52 cents, leaving me about 48 cents for "spending! Town was safe, streets were the same, and what fun we had! Life was so simple then... Town no longer has movies, and stores like then, as all in moved to malls. But that was a school memory from about 1946-52....

Tomorrow should be less rain and I hope to feel like digging in my flowers..always fun! Thank you God for each day John and I have, each fun thing we get to do.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"The Lord will guide you always;..."

"...He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthened your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden,like a spring whose water never fails."Isaiah 58:11

Don't you love the Lord's analogies! He knew what would sooth us and appeal to one can resist a garden with a stream, and flowers. I have a bad day, total exhaustion-- then today was good and I had more energy for which I was thankful. Tomorrow is chemo #4 then I have 3 weeks "off" without the chemo. I am really looking forward to that and hopefully less nausea and tiredness.

A friend responded to my blog about "Doc Cummings" and she remembered her coming to their family restaurant in this area from 50's to early 60's. She drove the same touring Model T Ford--there could not have been two alike! Interesting to find that out.

John remembers the Gypsies coming through this area (I do also) and they would camp below where John grew up in a creek area. They came through every year and would hit all the stores and any house not locked...sorry to say, they made a living by taking what was not theirs. They were all good looking and beautiful children. I believe they came from eastern Europe originally. I guess they are no longer a "group" or a "people".

Our friend, Gene, was laid to rest in the ocean today, and our hearts are still sad for their family.

I pray for God to strengthen my frame and I already KNOW He satisfies all my needs!

Monday, March 12, 2012

"Cast all your anxiety on Him..."

Sunday our preacher used this passage for a "stress release" Bible verse and it occurred to me I really need this...I Peter 5:6-7 "Humble yourselves,therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."..........A key here might me to be "humble" because how can you cast all anxiety if you are still in charge? I really try to not be in charge, because frankly there is not much of me left to take charge of anything!!!

Walking down memory lane, John reminded me of his Mother's friend, "Old Doc". When Gertie (John's mother) worked at Loveman as a milliner, she would walk up to the YWCA and eat lunch at their cafeteria. One day she shared a tale with a very genteel older lady who was Doctor Cummings, or Old Doc. This lady drove a touring Model T (this was in the late 40's and early 50's) and she and Gertie became good friends. Doc claimed she had been to China and studied Chinese Massage for sinus problems and since Gertie and John both had sinus, she would come to the house and treat them. Grandad thought she was a fraud, but who knows! For the massage, she would seat you in a darkened room, and massage your head and neck, then have you drink a cup of hot tea. John claims it would work for about 2-3 days. Doc and Gertie stayed friends until Doc died in the late 50's. Another of life's strange little occurrences! John claims she taught him how to do this...I don't have sinus trouble so I would not know!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

"I will sing to the Lord all my life;..."

I had the Doppler on my legs yesterday and the girl who did it could not tell me anything but she said "I don't think you have to worry..." in other words, there were no blood clots..for which I am thankful. The swelling is down some today, so maybe it will get better each we Pray it away!!!

When Grandma and Grandpa moved to their country house in the depression, she did their laundry on a wash board, on the porch...sheets, his shirts, everything, to save money and then she bought chickens and sold eggs for years. When we wanted chicken to eat, she would wring that neck in a minute! Every morning she would get up and make Grandpa homemade biscuits, then when he went to work, she would do her morning chores, washing, work in the vegetable garden, or mow the back yard with a push mower..the old kind. She did this until she was about well as keeping boarders after Grandpa died. Then about 10 or 11 she would come in take her bath and PUT ON HER CORSET! This was like a ritual, with her lying on the bed, and lacing it up tightly, then dressing for the day, and she was ready to do whatever! We grandchildren were in awe of "the corset". Every few years a lady would come to the house, measure her and make her a new one. Grandma's afternoons comprised of hand sewing on the porch (in the good weather) or in the house, calling Grandpa about 2:00 to ask what he wanted for supper, and always taking a short afternoon nap. She always said if she "could just lose consciousness for about 5 minutes, she was rested!" I never saw her "stressed" or really unhappy even though she had plenty of heartbreaks in her life. She always sang church hymns as she cleaned or went about the day.
"I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing unto Him, as I rejoice in the Lord." Psalm 104:33-34

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow..."

"..for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. " Matthew 6:34

Well it seems I go one step forward and two backwards. The pain is relatively gone, and I am going to sleep without pain pills tonight. My feet and legs are very swollen and I am to have a dopler tomorrow, to rule out blood clots. He does not think there are any but wants to be sure. My oncologist believes the cancer in the lower pelvis is pressing on the lymph nodes in my abdomen and legs and closing them up, causing the swelling. In about 10 days I am to see a lymph doctor...I hate getting involved with another doctor! I may have to wear "stockings" ...that will be fun! Maybe this is short lived, I pray it is...I had chemo #3 today, one more in this series, then 3 weeks "off" and I will have a CT around April 1 and see what is happening. When I come home from all day chemo, I am really wiped out! I sure do hate missing art class, but maybe the three weeks of "off" I can go.

Our grandaughter 's family is raising chickens and a cat ate one of them! First catastrophy in the chicken business. The boys were devastated. John got our potatoes planted yesterday and today has rained like crazy. John found our "grandog" lying in the middle of the potato patch--in the rain--and when John scolded her, she could not find her way out and messed it up even more! I guess we will have to find them and re-plant them!

Well I just pray for God to guide us through another small "whatever" and pray for the chemo to have a chance to work!

Monday, March 5, 2012

"Praise the Lord, O my soul;"

I am looking at my desk, with memories of "treasures" there. I love the "Willow Tree" angels, and have collected over a dozen in the past few years. We also have the Nativity set of Willow Tree. I have told about the friend of Daddy's in Belgium who painted the "Ardene Forest", which hangs in our living room. I have a plaster model of a scene in "relief" that Daddy did at some time, painted green, showing a house setting in the Ardene woods. It is very heavy, and can hang on the wall or set on a shelf. Another memory of 60 years ago! I have a set of bronze/gold lions head book ends, a gift from Mama and Daddy one Christmas. They especially give wonderful memories. When John and I travel I usually find a Willow Tree angel. I have a small wooden box that holds says " Salzburg" on the bottom and is painted with tulips on the top. I remember the day I went shopping all by myself in Salzburg and felt so adventurous.

I am feeling more like eating but not normally, just barely tolerating food. I am having a time with swollen feet and ankles, and wonder if it is the Aleve? I will leave it off tonight and see if there is any difference...Every day is a challenge. I sew awhile and sleep a while. I read some and do X stitch...I hate to just sit.

"..all my inmost being, praise His holy Name. Praise the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits..." Psalm 103:1-2

Friday, March 2, 2012

"but godliness with contenment 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 Timothy 6:6-8

Well the chemo on Thursday, was not bad, I was still in lots of pain and had been for weeks. There is a really Practical-sense PA whom I see and she suggest a simple over the counter pill after each meal and save the strong meds for bedtime. That way I am pain free (relatively) and not as sleepy all day. It is working very well. Also another PA is a nurse and also preacher and we know many of the same people and just enjoy talking to each other. God just gives me all these wonderful helps . Care group has provided dinner for several nights and that really helps John especially appetite is still not very good, but a little better. I think I told our daughter in law came one day and it was so good to be with her. Her mother is very ill and needs prayers. Also our friend, Gene in Florida, passed away this week and we are so sad...He leaves two teens and a wonderful wife. Our prayers go out to them.

A year or so ago I gave a jello recipe and several friends wanted this again..very easy and so good any time of year.
Dissolve jello in boiling water, cool slightly. Add cranberry sauce and mix well. Add nuts and sour cream. Blend but leave sour cream streaked. Pour into mold and chill. A good dressing is half mayonnaise and half whipping cream.

Food is beginning to sound if it starts to taste good!!!I pray for contentment...and peace...and thank God for blessings!