Monday, December 31, 2007
Today has been a roller coaster ride. I got to bed at 1 after struggling to get us connected online last night. Then at 2 Trish came in to ask me to come watch Raynie as she had to take Nate to the ER with chest pains! At 5 they came home announcing that he didn’t have pneumonia, but he did have viral bronchitis. So, we quarantined my room and started even MORE efficient hand washing. We went to Wal-Mart and bought a digital thermometer so we could keep a close watch on my temp. So far, so good. Also last night when I was up with Raynie, my feet and hands started with the neuropathy pains; I realized I had forgotten the medicine for that! Man! I never, ever want to do THAT, again! Wal-Mart sold me a week’s supply to get me through on that count.
Nate has done fine all day and me, too. God is taking care of us. PTL!
Tomorrow afternoon we will move to the other resort, anyway. We will still spend the days here, but we’ll just do like we did today and keep up the vigilant hand washing. The pharmacist told me that was the best thing we could do and if my temp spikes, I have to go to the ER immediately.
Besides all that we are having a GREAT time! The kids are something else. I love the babies so much, but the big kids are so much fun, too. I didn’t get pictures of the big kids to compare with last night’s pictures, but we’ll do it before the week is out.
The pictures on the blog are Raynie having a giggling fit when I was feeding her once last night. Trish said that must have been really funny milk! There is also one of Grace wearing my hats. They all think my hats are funny and they love my ‘hair.’ They’re calling me ‘Chia Grammy.’ I love it!
God is blessing us and I thank Him so much. I pray for all the best for us and for you in 2008! Trust in God and make 2008 awesome!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
What a funny day this is. I thought I’d be at the bottom of the barrel, so I had everything ready yesterday. I got up feeling fine! So, I’ve got the car packed and I’m ready to GO!
Don wanted to watch football all day on TV, so he’s asleep in front of the TV. How funny is that?
I can’t believe I got everything done and have time on my hands, now! I’d better get busy with some packing for going to Houston. When they call us from the apartments we only have 2 days to get there or they’ll give the apartment to someone else. So, we have to be READY when we get home.
I don’t have new pictures of me for the blog, so I put on a couple of Elena and Raynie. I hate that I’ve missed so much of their first year, so I’m so looking forward to being with them in Branson. Of course I’m excited about seeing the others, too. I’m taking puzzles, cards, games and markers (so they can decorate my bald head) to play with all of them.
I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve; just too excited. I know this is going to be such a celebration! I hope I can sleep tonight. Again, I’m afraid I’m going to be like a kid on Christmas Eve! I’ll bounce right up in the morning when it’s time to go. Yee Haw!
I’m thanking God for his opportunity to be with family! I wish and pray for a great new year for all of you and for us. I want to spend this year seeing all the kids and as many friends as possible. Woo hoo! 2008, here I come!
Friday, December 28, 2007
I even finished Raynie’s blanket today. I’m sure I can finish whatever we have to do tomorrow to be ready to pull out of here early Sunday morning. I’m so excited about this trip! I’ve got lists made for food, even. Yee Haw! I’m ready!
Thank God for a good night’s rest! I thank God for all of your attention, too. It makes this journey so much easier to know that I’m not making it all by myself. I love you all.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
My plan is to be all packed for Branson by tomorrow, so I can take Saturday off. I do a little at a time. I’ve been freezing, but I’m doing better tonight with that, too. I’ve got to go heat the buddies to warm up the bed before I forget.
The picture tonight is me with a gob of hats and the scarf sweet Terri sent. I guess all that get up is keeping me warm. Plus I’ve folded two loads of warm cloths. A hot bath helped, too. It’ll be so good to have my warm body back. This has all be very interesting, but I’m ready to move onto the next learning experience. I thank God for the opportunity to heal. I thank Him for the opportunity to get to be with some of the kids for a late Christmas; a week of fun will be awesome. It’ll be great to have Ruthie and Phil join us, too. I feel so blessed!
Enjoy the holiday season and remember to tell all the people you love that you love them, and thank God for them.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I was so thrilled when they told me my numbers were good this morning! It’s been a celebration all day. Ha! Actually, we didn’t get to celebrate because all our friends are either sick or out of town. So, we celebrated at home with the last of a batch of chili. That was good because the chemo has started the inward freeze going for me.
The picture on the blog is me resting awhile ago as I work on a blanket for Raynie. It’s her rainbow blanket. I don’t want her to grow up feeling like rain to us, although rain around Oklahoma is a real blessing. This is primarily an agricultural state, so we desperately need the rain. With rain comes a precious rainbow, though, so I want this blanket for Raynie. I think I can get it done before we get to Branson. I haven’t been able to sew anything too difficult with the neuropathy, but this isn’t too difficult. I had other fabric to make a quilt for her, but quilting requires more nimble fingers that neuropathy affords. That quilt can become Sadie’s replacement quilt; somehow her baby blanket got lost. She’s 10, so she won’t mind waiting until my fingers are better. It’s a keepsake, now and something she can share with her babies.
I’m very tired and cold, so I’m headed to bed. I thank God for rice buddies who are warming my bed as I type. I thank Him for a safe trip today and for the easiest vein find, EVER! The treatment went so well. I slept through an hour and a half of it! God is treating me so gently and generously and I so appreciate it. Turn your troubles over to Him! Thank you for caring for. Things look good from here.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
I decided to take another picture of the picture Jane sent. It’s a little better. It says: “When I see the miracle of a gentle bird I know God and nature must surely touch hands.”
The rest of the pictures on the blog are my ugly toes and fingernails. My fingernails look longer than they are. They are cut right to the quick. My toenails are so ugly, and you can see that I’ve cut the big ones way back. They are so THICK; they were catching on everything, so I cut them as short as I could to keep them from catching on the covers, socks, etc. It’s much more comfortable, now, but they are really creepy looking. I still don’t wear shoes, but I wear a couple of pair of Crocks I bought that don’t have toes (Niles). With socks they work great for winter.
I include these in case anyone reading this blog ever has the chemo journey to take you will be braced for this. Of course there are many different chemo ‘trips’ and everyone’s body reacts differently, but it did help me to see some other experiences posted online. I hope I haven’t grossed your Christmas.
I’m thanking God that these toes and fingers don’t hurt as badly as they did. It’s amazing to me that they felt like they’d been shut in a car door, and they LOOKED like it, but the chemo did this from the inside. They used to hurt (on a scale of 1-10) an 8, but they are down to 3 for my toes and 4 for my fingers. I’m so grateful for that relief!
The really amazing thing is that the chemo has shrunken the tumor so much; 98% at the last measure, and I’ve had 2 chemo treatments since then, and one tomorrow. God gives me lots of hope even through these doctors. Besides that I know He holds me in His hands. This time next year I will have toenails, fingernails and HAIR! Woo Hoo!
This has been a quiet Christmas for us with no family and no friends (many have called and emailed). Usually if we don’t have family coming for Christmas then we get a group together we call the orphans, and we eat dinner and play cards. The orphans are the folks whose kids are seeing the other side of the family, or who have no family left. One of the orphans brought by a sack of goodies yesterday: homemade banana bread, cranberry bread, cinnamon rolls and a cheese ball! Last week one of them gave us a loaf of pumpkin bread when we took a book to her. So, we’ve been blessed with a warm and cozy Christmas with touches of family even though none has BEEN here. We look forward to celebrating big time next week in Branson!
Merry Christmas and happy undecorating to you.
Monday, December 24, 2007
This year Christmas started yesterday when a package came from Dot and Frazier’s daughter. You met Dot and Frazier on the blog a couple of months ago. They are folks who live near my sister and Dot posts encouraging words from time to time on the blog. Frazier has the biggest smile in the world because he has Dot to brighten his life, I think. Jane, their daughter has recently moved from Indiana and she brightens both their lives. Now, she’s brightening MINE! She recalled Dot telling her about me enjoying the birds nesting in the wreath on our door, so when she saw a picture of a bird watching over a nest full of eggs at a pretty cottage window, she bought the picture and sent it to me! Can you believe it? She wrote a wonderful letter, too. I think special people just can’t stop with themselves; they have to keep breeding special! I think Jane must be as special as her mom and dad! Anyway, I had the perfect place for the picture. It’s right above my laptop. I wish the picture would show up better, but you get the idea. It looks great in my little corner as you see it on the blog tonight.
"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" - which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:23 (NIV). While we were not in Bethlehem that night, He is with us today - and always. I believe that and it keeps me going. I believe that God is with us through people like Jane and Dot and Frazier, as well as doctors and family. God can be with us in any way that He chooses. I don’t care how He does it; I just thank Him for being with me no matter where I go and I pray that He will use me to give Him glory as He has others in my life.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Seven more days until we leave for Branson. We are so excited about it. I’ve got to be ready to go to Branson and also ready to leave for Houston as soon as we get back, so I’ll be packing this week.
We are on a waiting list for an apartment in Houston for patients at MD Anderson. They want us to check in within 2 days of when they call us, so we’ve got to be ready to go as soon as they call us. This week I am scheduled for my last chemo treatment on Wednesday. If my blood is good enough to do it, then we’ll be on schedule for surgery on the 28th and I’ll call and check to see where we are on the waiting list. If my blood is not good enough and we have to delay the surgery, then I’ll have to call them and have them move us back on the waiting list. We’re getting down to ‘crunch’ time on this Houston thing. If we are able to move as planned and not delay, then I’ll have pre-op tests starting on the 22nd of January, so we do need to get on down there and get settled as soon as possible.
I’ve got to take clothes for winter and spring, but I don’t want to take much. The apartments are completely furnished, so all we really need to take is clothes, books, laptop, etc. We’ll buy groceries when we get there.
I’m going to pretend that we’re on an extended vacation. The great thing is that Don’s sister and her family live there and also my close forever friend, Judy, and another Itazuke buddy and fellow breast cancer survivor, Pam Lyden. Also, my treasured spouse of an Itazuke buddy and fellow cancer survivor, Ann Nelson, will be there some of the time we are there. She was doing radiation when we were there in the summer and started this process. She’ll be back for check ups, so we’ll share some together time. These fun expectations keep me from having any negative vibes about this time in Houston. Also, we start the radiation they want me to walk and do everything I do at home. That sounds good to me, except I don’t do much anymore. I hope they mean all I USED to do. Mostly I’m looking forward to walking! When we come home from Houston I can visit with people and go to ballgames again! Woo Hoo! The good times light is shining at the end of the tunnel! I thank God for the opportunity to have the best care and to have all this support in Houston as well as all over the world. Thank you so much for being part of my support team! I thank God for YOU.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
She was such a hoot. We had the best time having her here for a day on Tuesday. It was sure a wonderful Christmas present!
Today Don has patiently worked with me to get nearly done with the taxes for the business. Bless his heart. He is so patient with me. I don’t get why everything has to be like it has to be for bookkeeping any more than he gets how computers work. We both roll our eyes and shake our heads at each other. Patience is such a virtue, though! I thank God for Don and his patience. I love his sense of humor and that he loves me even though I laugh when I should be serious. I think I made an I in Bookkeeping in high school, but this is real life and I’m sure not making an A!!!
Love all your family as you see them during this holiday season. Today we got a Christmas card from a friend’s son who is in Afghanistan. He has a wife and 2 little boys at home, but he is proud to be representing our country in Afghanistan. Read what he wrote:
“We cleared out a major Taliban stronghold and captured over $500 million worth of drugs (opium and heroin) that the Talib use to fund their insurgency. This should inhibit operations in the near term for them somewhat.”
We are all warm, at home enjoying the holidays. I thank God for men like this one, and I wear a red shirt every Friday to remind myself even if nobody else notices. God bless.
Friday, December 21, 2007
The pictures on the blog today are from Tuesday when Gretta and Elena visited. The first one is the three of us taking a nap in the loveseat. Elena is in there under the quilts Gretta is holding. We started out reading, but she dropped her magazine and I dropped my book. Rest is good. The second one is Dolly Elena playing the napkin game at lunch. We had so much fun. I can hardly wait until we get together in Branson with Trish and all her kids.
My big toenails are about half gone. I keep cutting them back to keep them from catching on the covers, socks, etc. They look really goofy, but I can see the healthy nail bed sticking out about halfway; this is a new thing for me. I’ve never lost a nail. I’ve trimmed all my fingernails back so short I can’t believe it. The doctor said I won’t lose any of them, but I wonder about 3 on each hand that look so suspicious. I guess he knows. Anyway, this is a new experience for me having nubs for fingers. I can’t even pick up a fork. I rake things off the counter or table and catch them with the other hand. I wonder how people who bite their fingernails function! I feel disabled. However, it is kind of fun to type and play the piano with no nails clicking. I wonder if I’ll wear calluses on the ends of my fingers? I think I’ll never wear them very long, again. I like short, but I need some nail for tools! This is part of the interesting journey I’m making. My fingers and toes still hurt from the neuropathy, but it is much better. They used to hurt at level 8 on a scale of 1-10 and they are down to 4. That’s great!
I thank God for relieving the neuropathy pain and for the healing of my toenails and fingernails. I thank Him for so many blessings in our lives.
I haven’t sent a single Christmas card. The last several years we have traveled for Christmas and sending out Christmas cards was too big a job to attempt. We were home this year, but it was still too big a job to undertake because it was too hard to write. Plus I’ve been too confused with the chemo brain to take on such a project. I hope most people we love are reading the blog and will read right here that we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! God bless you all; give Him all the Glory!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Today I got some of my work done for the business taxes. I think it’s coming along pretty well. It’s frustrating because I hate these kinds of details. Don keeps working with me to help me be better organized; what a job he has! I’m getting better at it, though. He took a picture today and that’s the first one on the blog.
I’ve got lots of hair coming back, but it’s not enough to warm me, yet. I thought it was all white, but I think there is some that is light brown. It’s hard to see very well. Soon I’ll do another picture so you can see the hair better, I hope. For now you see that I was wearing 5 hats today; two little sleep caps, a baseball cap and two more. I feel so silly, but then I don’t care because the hats really help. Then I have a hot flash and have to peel them off. What a hoot. I could never manage pulling a wig off and on!
The second picture on the blog is Elena having fun at the table after we got through eating. She loved peek-a-boo with the napkin. I thought how funny it is that kids never tire of pee-a-boo, and then I realized neither do us old folks! What a cool game.
God is great to teach us to enjoy simple things; I wish we would be satisfied with simple joys and not need so many complicated entertainments. The simple things are great to me! Elena and I had the most fun just swinging. I’d swing her around and she didn’t want to stop. We sat down and read a book to distract her and she loved that, too. I didn’t want to stop swinging, either, but my knees insisted!
I say I like simple joys, but I need the digital camera and this computer and an Internet connection. Ha! Past that and it’s too complicated for me.
I thank God for all the joys in life. I pray that I can give Him glory with my life. Thank you for keeping an eye on me. I feel good.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
The next one is Elena looking at Don saying, “I thought you were on my side, but there you sit with no food on your face and none on your shirt. You bought into these rules, didn’t you?”
The last picture is Elena looking at me with all her charm, saying, “Grammy, I know you have a lot of stroke with these two. I love how you wear all those hats, a vest and a scarf! Anybody as goofy as you surely is not buying into these straight laced rules; want to throw some carrots?”
We’ve talked to Gretta and she and Elena made it home, safely. It was sure good to have them visit. Time flew, but it was joyous! I thank God for the visit and for their safe trip.
We’re looking forward to Branson and getting to see them again as well as Garrett and Trish and her bunch. Good times to come! Join me in giving thanks for a great season already!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Today was a breathtaking day all day. We woke up and started breakfast in expectation of Gretta and Elena arriving. I sweated some because I had agreed to call her cell phone when I got up so I’d know where she was and when to expect her. I kept calling and got no answer, so at first I thought she was in the ‘black hole’ (no coverage area) on I-40 between here and OKC. Then, when I still didn’t get an answer, I thought, “Well, she slept in and hasn’t turned her phone on yet. So I was thrilled when Don said, “They’re here!” It was so thrilling to have them really in our driveway! Elena was asleep, so Gretta got her out and handed her to me. She slept until I got into the house with her and started waking her. The picture on the blog is her waking up to the rattle of the Brighton bracelet that Pam-Pam sent; she loves it, too!
We got lots of pictures, but most of them are very similar. I keep taking pictures and then I'd put the camera down and forget it. I’ll show you one here and there from day to day. This day is way worth remembering; better than new shots of the same old me every day.
Gretta and I were marveling that I have hair growing on my head when I showed her that my arms don’t have any hair. She said, “But you DO have hair there!” No lie, the hair is coming back on my arms; I hadn't even seen it! My eyebrows are coming back, too. This is unreal, that I have hair coming back when I am right in the middle of the FAC! Well, I’ve had 3 of the 4 FAC treatments, so I’m nearly done, now. It’s amazing that hair is coming back, though. I’m grateful for whatever happens.
The doctor’s office called today because they had gotten the fax of my low numbers yesterday. They wanted to remind me to take my temperature from time to time to make sure I don’t have an infection starting and to be sure to wash my hands like a fiend. I never knew I could stop that, so I’m still doing it. They warned me not to eat any raw meat; ha! Like I would DO that? I appreciate their concern and their good care of me. I told them that one of my toenails appears to be infected, still, so they called a prescription in for that. My left big toenail is really ugly, but it seems to be better. The right one is the one that appears to be infected. I’ll be really happy to have these toenails gone and new ones coming. Toenails and fingernails are such small problems, so I give thanks that nothing worse has happened to me! I could have had a car accident and never had a hope of recovery!
Thank you all for reading the blog. Thank you for your concern and prayers for me. Thank you for sharing in our joy over our family. Okay, I can’t stand it. I put on two more pictures. One is Poppy telling Elena a secret and the other is Gretta holding Elena, asleep. We thank God for their visit!
Monday, December 17, 2007
I can hardly post a picture to compete with last night’s video! The best I can do is post a picture of Elena until she gets here so I can make a new picture. The one I posted is from some time back. Gretta called last night to ask if it was okay with us if they come and spend the day tomorrow instead of come tonight after the funeral and leave tomorrow after lunch. I’m so agreeable to ANY time they can come! I hated to wait longer, but I’m just happy to have them come when it’s best for them. This way she will have less to pack up and move since they won’t be staying the night. I understand that, because taking ME anywhere these days is like traveling with a baby!
We can hardly wait for morning to come, since they are coming for breakfast! We’ll take lots of pictures and get some new shots on here tomorrow night.
Today my blood test showed that my blood is still low. That’s not a surprise; this is about the same time in the cycle that we’ve taken it before and been rejected for chemo because it was so low. I’m not scheduled for chemo until the 26th, so this is not a surprise. I just hoped it would be better. I still have 9 days to build it up before the chemo, so I’m good. Even if I don’t get it up by then, we’ll just delay it and I’ll still be okay with it. I get in such a hurry to get DONE with all this, but God’s timing is good for me.
I’m feeling really good. I wish how I felt was an indicator of how my blood is doing. The great thing is that I feel good, though! I give so many thanks for that blessing. I take it as a clue from God that He is answering our prayers and taking care of me. The doctor has been very impressed, saying, “You are tolerating the chemo very well.” I agree and thank God for holding me in His hands.
I thank Him for safe travels for Gretta and Garrett and Elena, too. We give thanks for two healthy, beautiful NEW granddaughters after already having 6 beautiful, healthy and happy granddaughters and 7 handsome, healthy and happy grandsons! What a blessed family. PTL!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I don't know how this will work for you people with dial up. Trish put a video of Raynie and Elena playing together on the blog! I LOVE it, of course! Raynie is the one with the mop of hair. If you turn your volume up really high you'll hear Rob in the background with his comments through the video. Have fun. If you can't get this; I'm sorry. It's so awesome!
God bless and and I thank You, God, for this blessing!
The picture on the blog tonight is a recent one of Elena at bath time. Enjoying bath time is genetic with us; we all love it!
Tomorrow is a busy day for us. We’ll start the day at the hospital getting my blood drawn to find out the status of my blood numbers. Then we’ll come home and wait for Gretta and Elena to get here. They are coming after the funeral, which is at 2. I don’t expect them until late suppertime, but I hope they’ll make it for supper. It’ll be fun to share supper. They’ll spend the night and go home the next day after lunch. It’ll be a quick visit, but we can hardly wait for them to get here.
God has blessed us with cold buy dry weather, so Gretta doesn’t have dangerous roads to travel. They had a hairy trip with flight delays, but they made it safely. I’m so glad that Gretta came with Garrett and he didn’t have all those delays to face by himself! God is good.
Join me in thanking God for all our blessings! We ask Him for a lot; let’s be sure to give many thanks!
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Our snow turned out to only be about a half inch and it was melted by dark. I thank God that we weren’t snowed up to our ankles like they predicted. So many people in OKC are still out of power; they sure didn’t need snow on top of the cold they already have. It’s still cold, but no snow at least. They had about the same snow as we did, I think. Gretta will be able to drive around with no problems, so that’s good.
Don and I worked on taxes today and I’ve got some more to do for the business tonight. I hate these kinds of details, but it’s good to get it done ahead of time so that we don’t have so much to do from Houston. Who knows how I’ll feel then. I hope I’ll do really well, but it’s best to be as prepared as possible. Right now my right thumb is splitting for some reason. It’s very sore and I’m glad I don’t have much writing to do. With the neuropathy writing was already hard, but now this splitting thumb makes me really clumsy with a pen. I’m glad that I’ve already got a lot of the work done, so that what I have to do now is mostly keeping current. A sore thumb is about as handy as a sore toe!
Mostly I’m glad to have a both thumbs and both toes! There is so much for which to give thanks. I’m so glad to have Jilly and Elena coming home for a quick visit. I’m so sorry for the death in the family, but the good thing in it for us is this wonderful visit. God blesses and I thank Him.
The picture on the blog is me waiting to hear that Jilly and Garrett and Elena have arrived, safely. I’ll go to bed before midnight, but I was waiting earlier, thinking they were on schedule. God has them in His hands.
Friday, December 14, 2007
We have some good news due to a sad event. That sounds like an oxymoron. The sad thing is that Gretta’s ex-husband’s father died suddenly yesterday. Garrett was scheduled to come to spend Christmas with his dad next Friday, so she has spent today rescheduling his trip so that he’s coming tomorrow to be here in time for his Pawpaw’s funeral on Monday. She didn’t want to give him this sad news and then put him on an airplane to make the trip alone, so she’s coming WITH him! That makes it a BONUS for us. She wanted to come to the funeral because he was a great father-in-law to her. I’m glad that she can come and hope that the family can all enjoy the time together in spite of the sadness of the cause for the gathering. Of course she will be bringing Elena, so we get to see them early! We weren’t expecting to see them until we meet them in Branson, so this is exciting for us. I’m very sad for the family to face this loss, though. I pray that the snow we expect this weekend will not hinder the family coming for the funeral.
For those of you who thought I was getting close to talking dirty with my sign last night, I want to share this bit of information sent by a good friend:
The American term 'snit' for a fit of rather childish temper can be traced back to the editor, playwright, politician, journalist and diplomat Clare Boothe ...
Please join me in counting blessings and giving thanks. Remember that in every cloud there is a silver lining; look for it! God bless!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
The other day I was talking to Trish about what we’ll be doing in Branson and she was concerned that I would get all upset over something and I said, “Oh, no, I won’t get into a snit over that.” She said, “Are you sure?” I said, “Oh, yeah! I’ve totally sworn off of snits.” So that very night Don and I went to bed and he was quietly laying there with the covers all in a tangle and, of course, I couldn’t have the covers in a tangle. So I was huffing and puffing and struggling with the covers when he said, “WHAT are you DOING?” I said, “I’m all in a dither over these covers because I told Trish I wasn’t doing snits anymore.” He said, “And she BELIEVED you???” It was a good laugh for us and I told Trish about it so she could get a good laugh too. She wrote back the following: “ I'm going to be keeping you honest about the snits while we're in Branson. No snits allowed! You'll have to keep me out of my snits, too. Maybe I'll bring a sign that says "Snit Free Zone". “
I got a good laugh out of that, but I thought a sign might help me, NOW! With my hair coming back I figured I’d better have some fun with my bald head, plus I needed a picture for the blog. The kids should have fun writing/drawing on my head in Branson. Gabe is quite the artist, so maybe he’ll draw something. I’m sure Grace and Mason can cover my head. Meantime, here’s my sign. Don't forget to notice the hair!
God be with us when it snows tomorrow; especially those many folks who still have no power. We sure need Your help and You have ALL THE POWER! Amen.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Today has been a good day for me. I’ve been up all day except for a while that I lay down to rest a bit. I love it when I’m able to feel good for all day. Well, actually, I dusted around the computer (I dust that because we have so many loose papers that we don’t dare let anyone move) and the piano (I dust that because we’ve had it since I was 9 and the keys are still white because we don’t put ANYTHING on them, so it’s a kink I have.). I cleaned those two areas and felt like I’d worked all day. I had to lie down! I told Don that Angela comes and CLEANS the whole house in 5 hours and I clean two little areas and crash. She’s so amazing and such a lifesaver to me!
I thank God that I could get up and dust even those two areas. I thank Him for the piano because Don would love for it to live somewhere else. (He’s scared he’ll have to move it again, and I never play when he can hear so he thinks it’s not used. I play around on it when he goes to get the mail or when he mows or something. I don’t really play; I just fool with it, so I never play when anyone can hear, but I love it.) I thank Him for the computer and the Internet because it allows me to keep in touch with you all. If I had to depend on snail mail I know that I’d lose a lot of you and that’s a terrible thought. We have been so blessed in so many ways and I thank God for those blessings.
About 700,000 homes in Oklahoma have been without power this week and most still are without it! I pray for these people to have strength and find a warm place to be. I feel guilty to have a whole warm house; I’d love to share it but everyone around here has power. We have had 15 deaths in the state due to the ice storm. I know that Missouri and Kansas are in similar shape from this same storm. I don’t know how to deal with these kinds of traumas except to count the good that we can see and give thanks for it. Look around for all the good in our lives and join me in thanks and praise.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
We went to have my blood tested today and it was lower than it’s ever been. I think that’s normal, though. It’s what chemo does, besides kill cancer. This is where I will be in my cycle after my next treatment when we are in Branson with the kids. So, I’m taking my mask and sending Don to buy some for the kids tomorrow. If anyone is sniffling or sneezing then they’ll get to play doctor with me that week. I’ll be careful, but I’m so looking forward to seeing them! I am scheduled to have it tested again next week, so we’ll be able to tell if it’s going in the right direction. I think I may ask the doctor to write a prescription for me for an antibiotic in case I get something while I’m gone. Then I will be ready. I didn’t ask the doctor why he wanted me to have my blood tested this week and next; I’m just following instructions. I think he’s just keeping an eye on me.
Enjoy this season and time with your families. Travel safely, stay healthy and thank our Father! I love you.
Monday, December 10, 2007
The picture on the blog today is a shot out our back door of my little bridge with icicles and the redbuds and crepe myrtles with icicles. Of course there is the ally in the background where you can see the ice on the ‘road.’ It could sure have been worse; we think the danger is gone for us, now. Northwestern Oklahoma still has more freezing weather to come; I pray for them. They are tough folk up there; they get lots of nasty weather!
I’ve been sweating for Trish and Rob and their family all day, but they still have power, which is such a blessing! I thank God, again! A quarter of the people in OKC are without power, so they are really blessed.
I am reveling in my new hair. Several people have emailed me that they really see it, so I’m encouraged. HA! I never thought I’d be so excited about hair. The most exciting thing is it’s really barely there and God knows how many there are; He’s the guy in control of everything and He knows how many hairs are on my head. That’s an exciting and encouraging concept to me. This cancer is no big deal at all to Him. I thank Him and thank you for caring to keep up with me.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Today we are frozen in the house; it’s just as well because we weren’t going anywhere anyway. We’re avoiding cooties until the 26th, my next chemo date. I pray that we can keep our power. If we lose power we’ll go out to Dorothy and David’s house; they have a couple of gas heaters, so we won’t freeze.
I’m wearing a thick cotton (like a towel) nightshirt and this red blanket wrap that I wear most days, and I’m still freezing. It’s warm in the house, but I can’t convince my body of that. My Natural Habitat cap and a baseball cap do a pretty good job on my head. If it really got cold for real I’d be in trouble. I’m going to heat up a couple of rice buddies and see if I can’t convince my body that it’s warm. It’s so very nice not to have to fool with the PICC Line! God is so good to me. He knew just how much of that I could take and then He relieved me of it. It’s so nice to be able to take a nice warm bath. I couldn’t wear this thick nightshirt with the PICC Line, either. It’s so nice to not be babying that thing. I’m ready to baby a baby and can hardly wait until we can get together with our two newest babies in Branson! God has a treat in store for us! Branson is wonderful in the winter and we’ll have the best time because we’ll have over half our grandkids and two of the girls with us! Woo Hoo! I thank God for blessing us so richly!
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Today I put a dried flower arrangement beside Elena’s picture and replaced one with her blue eyes and bow picture. I put out a picture of her big brother Garrett and Gabe to enjoy the sink with me. Garrett and Gabe are an inseparable pair to have 3 states between them. These pictures sit on the bar just above my kitchen sink so I see them a lot. I don’t have room for all 15 grandkids there, but it’s a favorite spot. Now that I have an angel dusting for me, I’m putting more pictures out to enjoy! I put some more in the living room, today. I’m going to get some good pictures of Nate when we get to Branson, and I’m on the hunt for more of the others!
The picture on the blog today is me snuggling up to the pictures on the bar. Those old dried flowers will get us by through Christmas. Then we’ll be leaving for Branson and soon after that we’ll be leaving for Houston. THEN there will be flowers galore in the yard that I can cut and bring inside. Time flies; I don’t want to wish life away, but I’ll enjoy the flowers. I’ll enjoy the summer with the kids, too! God has blessed us with precious and healthy and happy grandkids! Thank you, God!
Friday, December 7, 2007
Today has been so much better. Yesterday I woke up feeling like I’d been run over by a train, but today I woke up fine. I’ve felt draggy, but able to hold a book. I even did some laundry and made some phone calls to arrange for housing in Houston. I even did the deep bubble bath again and had Don take pictures, hoping we’d do a better job this time. He’s so silly, I was telling him to be careful that the bubbles were covering me and he said, “Who cares?” So, I was cracking up in the pictures. It’s the best we could do today. Otherwise, I could take pictures of my toenails hanging by the cuticles. ICK. Dana, this is probably as good as the bath pictures will get. One was very out of focus; one cut off the top of my head and one had a boob and my hip hanging out. UGH! I tried the Whoopie Goldberg stance and that was the one that had too many parts revealed. I can only be so much of a sport about this.
This the 4th day after treatment and I’m doing well. The 4th day after my next treatment we should be driving to Branson. I thank God that the 4th day seems to be a good day! I’ll pack early and be ready to go early on that day on the 30th. I can hardly wait for that treat!
Yesterday was such a fun day as far as notes on the blog go. I got more emails, too. I never realized how inspiring bath pictures would be. You people are so encouraging! I thank God for you and the way you’ve blessed my life and this challenging journey. Thanks so much for going with us and holding our hands.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
The picture on the blog is me all set for Red shirt Friday. I’ve had my bath (Woohoo! Love that bath!), and I’m ready for bed. I was so tired today that I didn’t even feel like holding up a book to read. I don’t ever recall being so tired. I’m glad I walked yesterday, because I sure couldn’t have done it today!
The great thing today was that we found out that Trish and the kids can go with us to Branson. It’s a trip we’ve planned for several months, but it had looked like they couldn’t go and we got it arranged today! They will have to leave Robert at home, but he’s my hero today because he’s willing to stay home and let them go with us. That’s sure hero material in my book. He’s my hero a lot, though. We have great sons-in-laws and great daughters-in-laws. We couldn’t be more proud of all of them, but Robert is standing especially tall today.
Lots of great things happen. Everyday God makes my day. We have such a wonderful family and great things happening. I am so grateful and give God all the glory. Tomorrow I’ll have more energy! PTL!
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
The pictures on the blog today are my debut into X-rated photos. I had to share the joy of a deep bath after so many months with having to take baths in a few inches of water with my arm wrapped in Saran wrap and still holding it out of the water. A bath with one hand is so not fun, whereas a nice deep bath is so nice!
I thought Don wouldn’t want to walk today because it was really windy. So, I went into our ‘work out room’ and did some work. Then Don came in and asked if I wanted to walk! I was up for it, so I bundled up and we walked and I did the whole 2 miles with him. The last half mile I was dragging my feet, but he held my hand, so I made it. I thawed a quick barbeque sandwich for him and I had a quick jello salad before I fell into bed for a great nap. Now, don’t be concerned that I’m not eating well. There is a super food called Salba, (google it) which I’m putting into everything I eat, including the jello salad. I’m getting plenty of nutrition. Tonight we had a roast that I’d made over the weekend and we hadn’t had a chance to eat it. We had roast and gravy tonight and I put the rest in the freezer for several more days.
After my nap, I woke up, but was too fatigued to get out of bed. I called Don and told him I was going to take a deep bath and I might need his help when I got out of the tub. (He’s in the living room and I call him on the house phone from my cell phone.) Then I thought of taking the bubble bath pictures, so I called him back and asked him to bring the camera. I made it out of the tub by myself, but I’m still really dragging. I’m sure the fatigue has hit for this round of chemo, but the walking probably got it off to a good start. It’s okay; it’s the name of the game: fatigue.
Normally, when I’ve had an FAC treatment I’ve finished it with part of the chemo being given to my on a pump which I wore for 3 days. When they disconnected me from the pump they’d give me a 15-minute push of a chemo called 5FU. So, with that push of chemo on Thursday after my main treatment on Monday, then in 3 weeks from Monday I had never been able to build my blood back and we delayed each treatment. Since I don’t have the PICC anymore I can’t have the pump, so they gave me the whole treatment on Monday. They talked to the oncologist in Houston and she said I could skip the 5FU push that I’ve had before. We’re hoping that since we did the whole treatment on Monday, that I’ll have a full three weeks and maybe my blood will build back in time for the next treatment. In fact, since 3 weeks falls on Christmas Eve, they have me scheduled for treatment on Wednesday the 26th. That means instead of the 2 ½ weeks that I’ve had between treatments (and failed to build my blood, so had to do another week, which made it actually 3 ½ weeks) then I will really have almost 3 ½ weeks and maybe I can make it this time. Maybe that’s confusing to all of you, but the bottom line is that things look good for me to be able to finish my chemo on the 26th. If I can do that I might be able to stay on schedule for surgery on the 28th of January. It’s all in God’s hands, so we’ll accept His timing. He has blessed us so richly and so taken care of me through this challenge. The doctor says I’m tolerating the chemo really well; I think so, too. I believe God’s hand is in it; I believe I’m in His hands and I thank Him.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Last night was so nice to just go to bed and sleep, not being bothered with repositioning my arm to accommodate the PICC from time to time all night. Today was so much fun! We got up early and went to join Dorothy and David for breakfast at the Kozy Diner. It was great to see lots of other folks from town in there, too, besides the owner and the waitresses. We came home and I went right back to bed for a great nap. After my nap we went for a walk! It was a beautiful day and I made it all around the park. That’s probably a mile and a half, so that’s pretty good since I’ve had so little exercise. I could have walked more, but I had to get home to the bathroom. I forgot that all the water I drink wouldn’t let me go very far. Ugh. The water is so important to get the chemo distributed all through my body, though. It’s also important for all the side effects; water seems to help all the evils of chemo. After our walk we had lunch and then I worked outside for a long time. It was WONDERFUL. I never managed to work up a sweat because I guess the chemo freeze has started, but I had the freedom to sweat and that was fun!
Tonight we met Dorothy and David and Frank and Jo Ann at the Mexican restaurant for supper. Another couple joined us, too, so we had a really fun time. I guess I’m pretty much through celebrating because my numbers will be going down and I’ll be too much at risk to be around people. I can get out in the air and walk, though. It’s likely to be too cool to work in the yard. I got a good bit done today, so I’m happy with it.
God is so good. I sure thank Him for the freedom, for a day out with friends and the opportunity to heal. PTL!
Monday, December 3, 2007
What a big day! The bottom line is this. I got the chemo treatment! The rest is that the PICC line is GONE! It had a blood clot in it, so it wasn’t flushing right. They didn’t know it had the blood clot until they took it out, but they knew they couldn’t do the chemo with the PICC not flushing right. They did the first part at the hospital, but they couldn’t hook me up to the pump with the PICC not working right. It’s a good thing; I sure didn’t need a blood clot running loose in my body! I am so thrilled to have it GONE! I only have one more treatment, so we can dig for veins for that one. It’ll save me a month of putting up with the PICC! I am so thanking God for seeing to these details and taking care of me by having that blood clot hang onto the line and not break loose!
I am so tired! We just got home about an hour ago and I’ve had some phone calls to make and everything to put away from our Wal-Mart trip. While my blood is good we’re going to breakfast at the Kozy Diner in the morning.
The doctor looked at my toes and fingernails today and said that my fingernails will survive, because they have new ones about half way grown out. He said I will lose the two big toe nails and they are both infected underneath. I thought maybe it was a fungal infection, but he said, “No, it’s an infection the chemo causes.” That explains why my toes have hurt so badly. He gave me a prescription for Cipro and I started taking it tonight. I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, Gene!
I get to take a bath tonight without wrapping my arm, and holding it up out of the water, and I get to walk with Don tomorrow and SWEAT! How un-lady-like, but I can’t wait! I may only have the energy to make it 3 blocks, but I’ll love it! He can drag me home, or I’ll sit and wait while he goes to get the car. Whatever, I’m walking tomorrow! I might even hoe some weeds! Ye Haw! I feel free! PTL!
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Today is my “Magazine Boy’s” birthday and also his step-dad, Joe’s birthday. Joe's picture was on the blog yesterday with Garrett’s mother, Jilly. Garrett is 11 years old today, and his picture leads the blog today. How time flies! How blessed we are to have these two guys in our lives!
The other pictures on the blog are pictures Don took of me today. In the one, I’m working on some paperwork. ICK; I hate paperwork details, but I survived it. The other one is the picture of me with Elena’s last flowers of the year. I thought the yellow one would be open, but it looks like it will wait until tomorrow. That’s good; one more day of flowers. These last ones of the year are kind of skimpy, but I’m not complaining. I’m so pleased to have them.
I sure hope my blood is ‘rich’ enough to take the chemo tomorrow! If it’s not, I guess we’ll just have another delay. If it is, then I’ll be celebrating. If my blood is good enough for chemo, then it’ll be good enough to let us go out to eat on Tuesday with Dorothy and David. It’ll take a few days for the chemo to knock my blood down so low, so it should be safe to go have a celebration dinner.
I’ll post a report tomorrow night about my blood tests and chemo or not! I thank God that you care; it helps to keep me going strong. God is great and always provides for the best! To Him be the glory!
Saturday, December 1, 2007
I have already pulled dressing, turkey and gravy out of the freezer for tomorrow’s lunch. We’re going to celebrate Thanksgiving, again! I may start off my ‘thanksliving’ prayer with thanks for the freezer! That freezer is another wonderful gift in my world! God is so good to us. We have the freezer full of plenty to keep us fed, so I rarely have to do more than warm a meal. The microwave is high on my list of wonderful gifts, too. Those are things. The best gifts are the people in my world. You have all really stepped up to the plate to support me through this breast cancer challenge, too. I thank God and I thank you!
The picture on the blog today is our daughter, Gretta Jill (I call her Jilly a lot) and her husband, Joe. These are Elena and Garrett’s parents. This is a good picture except they both have blue eyes and they don’t look blue in this picture. It’s no wonder that Elena has beautiful blue eyes. Tomorrow I’ll have Don take a picture of me with the very last of this year’s flowers. That bundle of blooms that I cut before our freeze is just about gone. Tomorrow will be the last day, I imagine.
God Blesses America!
Friday, November 30, 2007
If you don’t always read the comments, by all means read the comments from yesterday. Trish said the sweetest thing in response to my frustration over looking so tired. She is certainly the perfect lady to be the mom of 6 kids. She should be MY mom; she sure sets me straight, sometimes. I love her!
Today has been a good day. I got some detailed paperwork done, so I feel accomplished. I hate details, so it feels so good to have won over the details!
I did the wig thing yesterday, so I never have to go to the wig chore, again. Today I put on a scarf and had Don take a picture, so I never have to go to the scarf chore again. I have some scarves that I love, but they just aren’t me. I had the scarf on, but it wasn’t warm enough, so I stuffed the hat you see in the picture on top of it. We hadn’t gotten around to pictures, yet, but I started sweating with a hot flash, so I asked Don to hurry and take my picture so I could peel off the layers. It was so funny! When I took off the hat, the scarf came all undone! That’s how wearing a scarf would be. I’d have a hot flash and the scarf would come undone when I took it off. Scarves won’t work for me. Scarves are for someone with elegance or some special touch. I’m good with hats I can stuff and cram. No way a scarf would keep me warm, anyway.
I should get my last treatment on January 7th. I figure my hair will start growing back around the middle of February. My hair used to grow about ¼ inch per month, so by June I should have nearly an inch of hair. That’s plenty of hair for me! I’ll be so excited to have hair, again and I can go back to visors at the ballgames and pass all my hats, scarves and wigs on to someone else who is bald. I’ll love the graduation back to hair!
Thanks for letting me be me. If I wasn’t freezing, I’d be so glad to be bald. I am claustrophobic, but freezing overcomes the claustrophobia. I sleep at night and nap with the covers over my head with just a gap for my nose to breath. I could never have done that before this freezing experience. God has a way of teaching us what He wants us to know and shows us strengths we had no idea we had. I thank Him for all I’m learning. Mostly I thank Him for revealing the love of so many people; what a gift!