Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

The blog isn’t letting me put on pictures, so we’re going with imagination tonight. And, I had the perfect pictures for Halloween! I was going to put on the latest pictures of my fingers and toes, and they’re really ugly. I guess you are being protected.

Today was a good day, though. The housekeeping angel, Angela called today and they called her to come get her daughter from school because she was sick. She didn’t have a sitter, so she said she has an opening and can come tomorrow afternoon if that’s okay with us. I told her that her daughter always comes before our house cleaning, so to just come clean whenever she can. It’s not like the house is nasty; most of it we haven’t even touched since the last time she cleaned! I so look forward to the day she comes, so waiting until tomorrow or whenever she comes just gives me more time to look forward to it. My biggest thrill is that I don’t have to do it! She is a blessing and I thank God for her!

The other good thing is that we only had 16 trick or treaters. Don had to take care of them, and he wasn’t crazy about doing it, so it’s a good thing he didn’t have to go to the door much. We have a ton of candy left over, but I guess that will fill up Christmas stockings really well. I don’t know why more people didn’t come; probably because it’s Wednesday night. Usually we have lots of church kids and I think we only had the preacher’s kids tonight; they came before church. We would have had more than 16 kids just from church alone. I thank God for them, too. Maybe I’ll send the candy to them to church on Sunday since they missed us. I doubt their parents will be thrilled with that, so maybe I won’t.

Another good thing is that I have stalks up for more rebloomers. I’ve been watching them and I think they’ll open tomorrow. I can’t wait to bring them in. I have two getting ready to bloom that I just planted last year, so I’m excited to see what color they are. I thank God for them. What a thrill to have beautiful flowers blooming at this time of year! God gives us such beauty year ‘round; this is just another example of His abundant goodness to us.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thanks for warm scarves!

Today I’ve felt much better than yesterday. I guess getting up so early and then making the trip to Lawton and back is a bigger deal than I thought. Anyway, today was better even though I had lots of computer work to do.

My fingers and toes are not getting better quickly. I’d sure like for that to be different, but the fact is they still hurt. I can live with it, though. They say it takes months to heal those nerves, so I’m willing to wait and I can live with it if it never gets better. God knows what I can handle. I’m still freezing. I think that will pretty much stop as soon as the chemo is out of my system, as long as I can wear my hats. For now, though, I wear 3 or more hats all the time, and a scarf most of the time, now, too.

The picture on the blog tonight is me with my 3 hats and a scarf as I work on the books. Of the three pictures Don took, this is the only one with my eyes open. It’s the best we could do; either that or I needed my nap!

I thank God for ways to keep warm beyond household heat and the sunshine! I hope I don’t burn the microwave up heating rice buddies all day! I’m off to heat them, right now! Thanks for keeping up with us!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Set back a week.

The picture on the blog today is sweet Elena. You can see her hair growing in really well. I’m really keen on hair these days. Ha! Elena is standing in for me because I was in no shape for time for a picture today. Isn’t she precious; I’m so proud of her!

We got up at 6:30 to get to Lawton early for my treatment. Starting out that early is the first bad thing in a day. The next bad thing was that when they took my blood, the numbers were WAY down. They look at 4 in particular and they were all about half what they should be, plus another one was way down. They said that it’s normal for numbers to be that far off, but we just can’t do the chemo with them down that much. They said it will just take another week for my body to build back to where it should be. Of course I was disappointed because I don’t like to delay the treatment. They sent me home with these instructions:

1) Avoid crowds.
2) Wash my hands every time I go past a sink.
3) Take my temperature 3 times a day.

I am so at risk for infection because my numbers are so far down. They want me to take my temperature 3 times a day so that I’ll know the moment I have an infection and they can get me on antibiotics ASAP. I have to avoid crowds and wash my hands to avoid getting any bug. It all makes sense to me, so I’m good with it.

I came home and fixed lunch and then crashed. I had slept all the way home, too. I guess I need a lot of rest. Don is good to let me get lots. God will help me to build immunity this week so that we can continue; He knows the right speed for us to move. It was good that when I checked email today I had a thought for the day that was so appropriate:

There is more to life than increasing its speed.~Mahatma Ghandi~

Let’s all enjoy life to it’s fullest and trust God’s timing. Thanks for your support!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ready for treatment tomorrow.

Today I got all my chores done so that I’m ready for Angela to come on Wednesday. I got the t-shirt sheets on the bed, so it was so nice when I took my nap this afternoon. I love those snuggly sheets! I got all the laundry done. It feels good to be caught up on things.

We almost forgot to do pictures for the blog. So I went rushing to the bathroom to get my earrings in and Don thought that was so funny, that I would put them in just for the picture. I know it’s silly; you can’t even see them in the second picture. That first one is funny, though because it shows the hats I have on the wall in the bathroom. Those aren’t good hats for wearing; I TRIED them on, but they are really itchy. I use the one on top to hold the ribbons and bands I put on my hats. The other one holds pins and needles. Anyone with a sewing machine keeps pins and needles handy! (The sewing machines are in the basement; I know, it doesn’t make any sense, but it tells you how I keep Don entertained. He’s always shaking his head in an effort to figure out what I’m thinking.) The second picture is me relaxing for a picture. See, you can’t even see the earrings. Oh, well; I did my best.

Tonight the World Series is back. I’m glad. Bruce hooked me on baseball. I love the World Series! It’s already started, so I’d better cut this short. God bless you all; don’t forget to give Him thanks as we count the blessings!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Elena Dolly.

Today was good until I started working on planning an Alaska cruise. Man! There are so many options. I am so confused. Don really wants to do this and if he does it I want to go with him. I guess if either of us goes, I have to make the plan. If any of you have been on an Alaska cruise and have suggestions to make, please let me know! I need all the help I can get. Like, do we want to do a 2-week cruise or a 1-week cruise? Do we want to do the inside passage? There are so many questions. I don’t even know the questions, let alone the answers! We have our jackets already bought, though, so we’re that much ready! We have the airline tickets we had for Hawaii that we can use to get up there, so we’re that much ahead.

The other good thing that happened today was that pictures of Elena arrived. We are missing precious time with her! They are coming to meet us in Branson for a few days after New Year’s, though, so we’ve got the knowledge of that to keep us going, as well as the pictures that Gretta is sweet to send. The picture on the blog today is Elena wearing her baseball cap backwards, like Grammy. She has more hair than me, though, plus I don’t have a purple hat!

I have my 2nd of the FAC treatments this coming Monday. If I am able to stay on schedule with my treatments, I’ll begin my last treatment on December 10th and they’ll disconnect the pump on the 13th. Those treatments make me lose hair, so I guess I’ll be bald until the first week in January. Maybe my hair will start to grow back, then? I wonder. Anyway, I should have surgery around the middle of January and then will start on radiation around the first week in February. Hopefully, I’ll be done with it all by the middle of March. Maybe I’ll have some sprigs of hair by then. My hair usually grows fast and I like it short, so maybe by June I can go without a hat? I’ll miss the hats, though; it’s okay. I’ll be glad to have hair, so I can go with visors and still wear hats if I want.

Whatever God gives me I will be pleased to have. It’s interesting. I still have eyebrows, eyelashes, and hairs on my arms. I don’t get it, but I don’t have to get it. I just have to like it. Whatever I have is good. Actually, I still have hair GROWING on my head. I have to shave it a couple of times a week. It’s all white, though. I imagine my hair is going to come back white. I think this hair is the hair that came back after I lost some hair from the chemo I had in Mexico; it just won’t quit. It’s not enough to comb, just enough to shave. It’s interesting: looking back, I think my mom turned gray when she started growing the breast cancer. I think I did, too. I should have read the clues, but it’s easier to look back and see the picture: like Monday morning quarterbacking! It matters, not. God knows all the answers, so I’m glad He’s in charge of everything. Just planning a cruise is too much for me! I’m so glad He’s driving the boat of life! I thank Him for doing that and taking care of us while we fumble around thinking we’re doing it!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Boise shirt and my fall flowers.

Today has been another good day. It sure started out right. I slept until 9! I love that! Then I took a nap this afternoon, too. A day full of rest works great for me! I worked on the books for a while and that all went smoothly for me. I had to make lots of copies and the printer even worked. My flowers in the house were all ready for the trash, so I went outside and found more! God must have thought I needed a boost! Cut flowers from the yard sure do that for me; I guess that means I have to keep them an not dig them and let the grass grow. (Shame on me for even considering it.)

The first picture on the blog today is me showing you my Boise shirt. I’ve been wearing it all week like a jacket, but the Boise part is usually in a wrinkle and you can’t see it. About 4 years ago I went to a FAM tour in Boise and they were so wonderful to us. This shirt is one of the many gifts they gave to us. That trip was so much fun and I found Boise to be one of our country’s best kept secrets. If my family wasn’t so far away from Boise, I’d love to live there. It’s sure a great place to visit and I look forward to taking Don back there one day. The shirt is fun to wear because it brings great memories to mind, but it’s also been perfect to keep me warm and yet mobile all week.

The second picture is flowers from my yard that I have in a little vase suction cupped to my mirror in the bathroom. Can you see how that brightens my day every time I go in there? (I go in there lots, drinking 3 liters of water a day!)

I wish fresh cut flowers for real or in spirit in your life. Look for them! God is everywhere and He blesses! Have a wonderful weekend; thanks for sharing it with me by looking a this blog.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Buddy on the head!

Today has been a warmer day, but I was still freezing. Don even turned the heat on a couple of days ago, even though it wasn’t November 1 breaking a Shnell rule (Heat goes on November 1 and Air goes on May 1.). Ha! I still think I’m cold. Today’s picture on the blog shows me with a rice buddy on my head; sometimes even 3 hats won’t get the job done. I had time to do some work on the company books, so I’m getting it done little at a time each day. It’s not so bad and it’ll be lots better to be ready when the year is done.

I wish I could report that my fingers and toes are better, but they aren’t. I think I have to be patient with that. Even if it never gets better, I can live with it. God is good to give me the opportunity to heal from the breast cancer. I trust His judgment and His timing. He has been so good to me to protect me from the nausea and vomiting. My next treatment is this coming Monday. It’ll be interesting to see how they do it differently in Oklahoma than in Houston. I’m just sure God will take care of us no matter where we are. Count your blessings with me as I count mine! God bless.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Computer challenges.

Today I’ve worked on the computer. I had email that was missing, and I found it in the spam folder. It took me a long time but I finally figured out how to tell the server that it wasn’t spam. Then I had some emails I needed to send using Adobe Reader and I didn’t have the Adobe Writer. I had to learn how to download a writer and then figure out how to use it. That didn’t kill me and it felt kind of good to accomplish something. I sat here with TWO rice buddies draped around me all day. It worked. Those buddies are great!

The first picture on the blog tonight is me wearing two buddies and what must be my favorite hat. I guess this hat works with jeans, which I like to wear, so I guess the jeans and the hat are favorites.

The second picture is a shot of my fingers. You can see the dark part is growing out. I hope that the pain grows out with the dark part. I’m not sure they are related, but it’s interesting to watch. If you have trouble seeing it, remember you can click on the pictures and you’ll get a bigger picture for more details.

Today our sweet Grace had an accident and cut a couple of gashes in her head and Trish had to take her to the ER for 3 stitches. She said she was really brave. I talked to her a while ago and she sounds like her chipper little self. As Don says, “She’s tough.” She’s had training from 3 big brothers and a tough big sister, so she’ll handle it beautifully. God takes care of us. I thank God for her strength and for Trish and Rob’s skills as parents. They have a blessed family and I thank God for His blessings on them and all of us.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rice buddy.

Today has been another cold day for me. I’ve been took a bath to get warm this afternoon. That worked for a few hours. Then after supper I heated the rice buddy and I’ve been wearing him around all evening. I’m going to heat him again and take him to bed with me. Don is jealous of the rice buddy, but I’m sure he doesn’t want me to drag him around to warm my freezing body!

The picture on the blog today is me with my rice buddy hanging over my shoulder. I move it around to talk myself into feeling warm. Chemo keeps my body so confused; then this cool weather isn’t helping my confused body! (I’m so thankful that we aren’t running from forest fires or floods, though!) Can you tell I love this hat? For some reason I wear it lots of days; go figure.

I should explain the rice buddy for you who don’t know. It’s a white tub sock filled with white rice and sewed closed. Then I put it into a half pillow case (I cut pillow cases in half and sew them into two long, skinny halves.). I heat the buddy in the microwave for 5 minutes and it stays warm for hours. In the winter it’s too fun to take one to church with me; everyone smells it and thinks it’s fellowship dinner day. I’m not going to church anymore, since I have to avoid crowds, so I guess I won’t be doing that this winter.

All is going well here. I am praying for the folks in California near all those fires. My goodness; it’s a horrible situation. Gretta was there 3 or 4 years ago when they had those horrible fires and her friends lost their home. We’re praying they don’t lose it again! There are so many folks who need God’s help. He’s big enough and able to do it, so let’s ask Him. God blesses and we thank Him! Thanks for caring enough to keep up with us!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Chili day!

Today I nearly froze. I don’t know what the temperature was, but I think it was in the 50’s. It’s supposed to get down to 39 tonight. I’m glad we’re spending the really cold months in Houston! I’m not good at this cold at all!

We didn’t make a picture today; this picture on the blog is one from Friday. I’ve been wearing the same heavy robe all day to stay warm; same hats, too. I’m still freezing. I got into the tub a while ago and that warmed me for a while, but the freeze is taking me over, again. UGH. I think I need to go to bed with a rice buddy. Don has several TV shows he’s watching.

Don had me busy with the company books all day. You’d think that would warm me, but it didn’t. It makes me tired. I hate details! We’re getting things together so that we can do our taxes from Houston without the problems we had last year with the mess I had made. He’s so smart to get us in shape ahead like this. He’s extremely patient, too. How blessed I am to have him be the brains around here, as well as the doctor of the house!

The good thing I did today is make chili. I’ve wanted to do that for weeks and it was finally cold enough to be the perfect time. It felt good to sit down to a hot bowl of chili!

I go for my next chemo treatment next Monday, so I’ll be getting everything done this week that I can. I can’t expect to be so lucky to feel good with this next treatment, so I want to be ready to take it easy. I thank God that I made it so well after this last treatment and I thank Him for the direction to be braced for whatever next week brings. I really thank Him for the opportunity to do all this chemo from home.

When we go to Houston for the surgery and radiation our plan is to get an apartment for approximately 3 months. We’ll need to be close to MD Anderson because we’ll have to be going nearly daily for treatments, check ups, etc. We can take enough of our stuff to feel at home, but I’ll have to be very organized since we won’t be home for a while. I thank God for the opportunity to plan ahead, for the opportunity to have these treatments, for the hope of recovery, and for friends and family who are so supportive!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Today I was all ready to go to church, but decided to not go. I am right in the middle of my cycle between treatments and my immune system is supposed to be at it’s lowest. I knew of one friend who is sick and then another called this morning to say she was sick and hoped I hadn’t caught anything from her. I’m supposed to avoid crowds, so I figured I’d better play it safe and stay home because lots of people go to church even when they are sick. Since I wasn’t going to church I drank a bottle of water; that’s the picture on today’s post. Drinking water is one of my hardest jobs. I have to drink at least 2 liters, but I usually drink 3. It wears me out when it gets heavy and I have to get rid of it; I have to be careful and drink when I know there is a bathroom handy. It also makes me feel so full all the time. Maybe I’ll eat less and lose some weight; ha! I wish.

I spent the day and evening throwing and packaging herbs and vitamins for 2 months for Don. We were down to enough to get him through this month, but we need enough to get him through March, since we’ll be leaving in January for Houston for my surgery and radiation. We’ll leave here the last week in December to go to Branson for a week and we’ll go straight to Houston from there. In March we hope to go back to Branson for spring break week, so I need to have March covered. I’m not doing any herbs or vitamins while I’m doing chemo. I wonder if they’ll let me start them again after the chemo is done. I need to learn that because if I can, then I need to throw a bunch for me, too. UGH! I have a bunch thrown that they wouldn’t let me take. Probably that’s enough to get me through March. I’ll have to throw 3 more months for Don this week before I have treatment next week. I may not do as well this time as I did last time, so I have to be braced for that.

I’m still feeling good except for being so fatigued. I can deal with that. I’m so grateful to not be nauseated; what a blessing. Everyone keeps asking me if I’m sick, so I guess you might be wondering, too. I’m not. I’m being very careful to not catch any bugs. I wash my hands like a doctor, and they say that’s the number one thing to do to avoid getting sick. The next is to avoid crowds. It’s working, so far.

Thanks for checking on me. God is taking care of me, and you, too! PTL!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Winky brings a treasured memory.

If you keep reading the blog you’ll find out a lot about my family and history. My mom was VERY frugal. She used to say that for every nickel she saved Daddy spent a quarter. That’s the worst thing she ever said about my dad who left her for many years. (Daddy came home once to try to talk Mom into a divorce and she seduced him; I was the result of that seduction. They were separated before that and until I was 6, so they were separated over 7 years.), and all those years he didn’t contribute to her income to rear 3 children so if she hadn’t already known how to be frugal she sure learned it. Having said that, when we were at Itazuke it was all the rage among all the 12 and 13 year olds to have a Winky. My Winky is pictured on the blog today. I found him a few months ago and told Ruthie about finding him yesterday and she didn’t remember him. I didn’t usually have what was all the rage to have because it usually didn’t fit into Mom’s budget; if it was something I needed and then she always found a way for me to have it. How could anyone NEED a Winky, though? I rode my bicycle to the base pool almost daily. One day on my way home I let my front wheel drop off a sidewalk that stood about 3 inches above the ground and lost control and crashed. I skinned the outside of my ankle on that sidewalk and came home pale and bleeding. Daddy was touched that I was so hurt but not crying; he cleaned up my ankle and then went off base and brought home my Winky. That’s one of my sweet memories of my dad.

I used to take the Winky to all our Itazuke reunions, but several years ago I couldn’t find him to take. I figured I’d taken him to a reunion and he’d gotten thrown away with the packing of our memorabilia. I hated that, but I still had my treasured memories. A couple of months ago, when we were looking for a suitcase to take to Houston I dug out one we hadn’t used for years and there was Winky in one of the side pockets! You can imagine how thrilled I was. I put him on the blog, thinking he might nudge the memories of some of the Itazuke girls and to nudge Ruthie’s memory, especially. Maybe Phil will remember the Winkie’s too.

The other picture on the blog today is me headed to breakfast this morning. We met the Rules and the Meiers at the Kozy Diner, as has become our habit. I take my prunes with me. 15 a day keep the chemo from constipating me. I’m tired of prunes, but so glad something so simple works.

Today has been a better day. I had more energy than yesterday and the neuropathy is about 7 today. I had gotten down to 6, but I think wearing tennis shoes irritated my toes today. (It was 50 degrees this morning, so I wore the shoes.) I’m just going to have to give up on closed toed shoes for a while. Maybe I’ll have to stay at home; that’s probably a good idea to avoid germs, too. I did 3 loads of laundry today and got some clothes altered and repaired. My fingers weren’t happy about that, but I got it done.

I’m thanking God for better days and precious memories. There is so much more for which to be grateful and I am, but those are uppermost in my mind as I write. I hope you are having good days and will take a moment to think of a treasured memory to relish.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Red shirt/robe Friday.

Today has been a mostly lollygag day. I’ve been too tired to do much. David and Dorothy fixed breakfast for us this morning and I came right home and went right to bed. I spent the afternoon troubleshooting with sbcglobal about a bunch of email that we’ve been getting for other people. It wasn’t any good mail, so nobody was missing good mail, but their spam was coming to us. We get plenty of our own spam, so I was glad to finally get someone at sbcglobal to help me. Dealing with computer tech people is always draining, but I was tired already, so I thought it was a good way to spend the afternoon.

It is red shirt day, but we didn’t get a picture when I was dressed. We settled for the red robe in the picture on today’s blog. It’s my red white and blue drag around the house picture. It’s how it is. I thank God that I’m only tired and not sick! We are so blessed to be able to be at home and still be treated. God is so good. This time next year I’ll be tired from having fun and being busy. That’ll be a really good tired. I’ll be stronger for this experience and I thank God for that, too.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Today was another good day! I’m fading, though! I cut David and Dorothy’s hair because I felt like I should do it while I feel like it. I cut Don’s because he needed it; I guess they needed it, too, but they would have gladly waited or gone somewhere else if I hadn’t felt like it. I told them that I need to cut THEIR hair since I can’t cut mine! I have to feel like I can control SOMETHING! Us control freaks have to be fed, you know!

Don took my picture as we were headed out to the Kozy Diner for breakfast this morning. I haven’t looked to see if it’s okay, but it’s what will go onto the blog tonight. The other one is rebloomers from MY yard; God is so good to give us great beauty like this to make our days brighter. What a gift!

This is Survivor night; it’s a show I like to watch. I think I’ll be ready for bed as soon as it’s over. Maybe 3 heads of hair is a big day for me.

God is so good to give us abilities and friends who appreciate them! I hated it when Don wanted a flat top and I had no idea how to do it, so we went to the barbershop twice for me to watch. Going to the barbershop was bad enough, but doing that haircut was worse. A flat top takes precision and expertise I don’t have! I’m glad he gave up on that haircut!

Look around and count the many blessings we have, and thank God! He’s so generous with us.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another good day!

Today was another good day for me. The best thing about it was that Angela, the housekeeping angel, came. She is such a treat! I took my nap in the basement and then sewed. I love it when she comes! I can only give thanks! My neuropathy is holding at 6, so that is so good. I’m so glad it’s going in the right direction!

I’ve got to tell you a funny thing. Last night when we went to bed I was going on about how happy I was that my fingers and toes are better. Don said, “What makes you say that?” I said, “Well, if they weren’t better I couldn’t have fixed that chair today.” He said, “That’s not about your fingers and toes at all; that’s all about your hard head! You just wanted that chair fixed TODAY!” He’s such a hoot. I can never say anything serious that he doesn’t make something funny out of it. Here I was winding down to go to sleep and he threw me into a laughing fit.

Pictures on the blog today are two of my sweet cousins. The first is Evelyn. She is so awesome. She is the person really holding our family together right now, I think. My cousin Frank does the family reunion every year, so that’s probably the BIG thing that holds us together, but between reunions Evelyn keeps us all in touch and informed by email. She retired from Kroger several years ago and instead of only relaxing and enjoying retirement, she learned how to work a personal computer and got on the Internet and started keeping up with all of us. It would have been easy to never bother, but she never took the easy route in her life. We all call her Eb; likely because Evelyn was too hard to say and she answered to Eb.

The second picture is Alice. She is Evelyn’s (little bit) older sister. Alice is the oldest of all our cousins on my Mom’s side of the family. She had a son who was a year old when my mom delivered me. My mom and dad were separated when I was born and she had my sister, who was 5 and my brother who was 8. Alice (being an angel in real life) brought her little one-year-old Jere and came to stay with Mom and help her with the new baby and two bigger kids. This was nearly 60 years ago, so my Mom was in a very uncomfortable position, I’m sure. Maybe I always loved Alice because of early bonding. It’s cool that she is the oldest of us 11 cousins and I’m the youngest.

Everybody has special people in their lives and these two sisters are two of the special people in my life. I count them among my blessings and thank God for them. Evelyn made a nice long post on the blog a day or two ago, and she mentioned Alice, so I thought it was a good time to introduce them. I did good to keep it this brief. I could have written long and pretty books about both of them!

One of our nephews (David Petr) prayed to God over a meal once when we were visiting and he thanked God for placing us into families. I had never thought of that blessing until he said that prayer and I’ve repeated it often since. We are so blessed by our families. Join me in thanking God for our families!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Feeling better!

Praise God! Today I think this treatment has turned the other direction! I didn’t feel great, but I felt so much better than I’ve felt since Friday. I didn’t get around to napping this morning, but I went to bed right after lunch because I was afraid of crashing later. I never slept. I was reading my book and never got sleepy. The phone rang 3 times, so it would have waked me even if I had slept, but I was so amazed that I wasn’t tired enough to sleep! After I got up I cleaned out a chest in our bathroom that has make up and hair stuff in it. I won’t need those things for a while, so I got them out of the bathroom and filled those drawers with bandage equipment. Things sure do change, don’t they? After that I repaired a shelf in our closet and a chair in there! I was just little miss fix it today and it was so fun to be doing some things sort of normal. (Don is the brains in our house; I’m the fix it person. Last week when I broke that chair he told me to throw it in the trash. My mother wouldn’t let me throw anything in the trash; my dad would want me to fix it!) All that fixing required lots of using my fingers and I was really surprised that I could do it! My neuropathy pain has been a 7 and I’m ranking it at 6 today. It was at 9 last week when I went to Houston and I carried my hands like they were burned. This is so much better and I’m so giving thanks!

You can look at today’s picture and tell I’m feeling better. I really couldn’t whip out a better picture since Saturday. This FAC stuff just whips me, but I think I’m on my way back to feeling good. I thank God for keeping me whole and for all the support He’s given me through my whole life.

Count the blessings with me. We don’t have to get the numbers right; they’re too big. What matters is that we recognize how much God gives us; how great He is and how gracious He is. Wow!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Still tired, but NOT sick!!! PTL!!!

Today has been a simple but tired day. I’m almost ready for the angel housekeeper to come on Wednesday. I start on Sunday and do a little at a time until I get all the dust making things done. (Change sheets; do laundry.) Tomorrow I just have to get all the suitcases out of the floor from our trip. That shouldn’t take so long, so I’m doing well.

I am so tired that I can’t believe it. It seems like I should have done something to get this tired. I guess I did; I took this new chemo treatment. That’s okay. I’m so glad it’s available to me! I’m so thankful that I only got one of the three bad side effects! (It’s notorious for nausea, vomiting and fatigue; I got the best of all three, so PTL!!! I can see me hanging onto the toilet for dear life and I give thanks for my angel housekeeper, who keeps it spotless!) Trish reminded me today that the effects might be cumulative like the neuropathy was, so I should be bracing for the last 3 treatments. I can take 3 more of anything, surely! She gave birth to 6 kids at home with a midwife and NO epidural or anything other than what nature provides, so I’m not going to complain to her, for sure! People do such tougher things than I’m doing. Don is so good to not expect a thing from me. Bless his heart; he encourages me to nap a lot. If I didn’t feel like such a bum this could be sort of a spa sort of thing. Don’t anybody get excited; it’s really no fun so cut out that sugar right now. Sugar feeds cancer; so don’t give it a jump-start.

I was wearing a scarf around my neck to help to keep me warm when my hat doesn’t cover enough. Then I’d have a hot flash and pull the hat off and get cold somewhere without my hat. So, I was fixing dinner tonight when Don came in and said, “So, is this a new hat?” HA! I told him he should take a picture for the blog so you see what fun he has every day. Dana, you wanted some cool scarf action; I’m afraid this might be it! I have a blue one, too, so it may get a little cooler! Ha!

Thank God for everything we have. Life is so good for us!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tired Sunday, but storms!

This has been a very tired day for me. When I went to bed last night there was a dog barking right behind us. Those people don’t have a dog, but I think they keep someone’s dog sometimes because I’ve heard that dog before but not often. I’d just get to sleep and he’d, “Woof! Woof!” Don was watching football, so I don’t know when the dog finally quit. He said he was quiet when he came to bed around 11:00. I woke up at 7 with him barking, again. Ugh! I have a collection of bunnies, which I am getting ready to give to a friend. I thought about taking one of the bunnies over to them and telling them that ‘some bunny’ that lives behind them really needs some rest, so could they please do something with the dog. He didn’t disturb my nap today, so maybe they took him home. I hope so; I don’t think they’d appreciate my bunny. I think I would have been dragging all day from the chemo, but the dog sure didn’t help! Ruthie is having trouble with a neighbor’s dog barking and costing her sleep, too, so I’m really open to any suggestions you all might have!

We went to church this morning and then went to the Mexican restaurant with Dorothy and David. Jo Ann and Frank went to Mangum to be with their kids. Sidney is HOME and doing great! Frank is going to ‘teenage sit’ with him tomorrow. He still has lots of therapy to do, but he’s doing so well. Thanks so much for all your loving prayers! A perk of being from a little town: this weekend was Mangum’s homecoming and one of the girls from school came and asked if she could take Sidney to the parade. They said he could go if he’d remain seated in the truck. It turns out she took him by where a bunch of kids came out and put signs all over the truck saying “WELCOME HOME, SIDNEY,” and he was IN the parade! How cool is that? This morning at church we talked to the nurse who flew with Sidney to OKC and he said that he never thought Sidney would live until they got to the City; God is so great and gracious!

The picture on the blog today is the best I could muster today. I’ve been even more tired than I looked. I fell right into bed as soon as we got home from dinner. We’ve had storms around this evening, so I thought I’d better do the blog before I have to shut down again. We’ve been to the basement twice tonight and the siren went off once. This is interesting; usually we have storms in the spring. What a weather year! God is good, and taking care of us, though! We give thanks for so many rich blessings. Family and friends are the very best! God bless!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Home sweet home!

We made it home safe and sound. We were able to stop in College Station and see Mom for a while and then Terri and Mike for a bit when they got there. It was a quick visit, but it was worth lots to us.

The rest of our trip was not remarkable. We were on the road from 7 this morning until 6 this evening, so we’re exhausted. I slept a lot of the way, but I’m going straight to bed as soon as I get my bath, which will be right after I post this entry.

I’m not sick at all, so that is such a blessing. I am so tired, though! Tired is okay; I’m so happy to lie down and my bed is so happy to see me!

We stopped on the way home and bought vegetables for salad, so I had to wash all those as soon as we came inside. We stopped and got barbeque for Don’s supper. I had a few bites of that and some no sugar added ice cream. What a nice cool thing! I’ll make up for it with a salad tomorrow. Oh, I started the broccoli sprouts, too. I believe Dr. Oz when he says green leafy veggies are good for us and I know that broccoli sprouts are about 10 times better for you than even broccoli. We’re on our way with the veggies.

The pictures on the blog tonight are:

1) The good fairy left a beautiful flower arrangement and homegrown fall tomatoes! God sends angels, and I didn’t even have to entertain her!
2) A picture from yesterday afternoon of Luke and I; what a precious boy.
3) The only picture Don could get of Terri and I today because the batteries died as soon as we got that one. God was so good to give us a good one. It was a blessing that we could see each other!
Thanks so much for keeping up with us and for keeping us in your prayers as we travel and as we fight this cancer. God has us all in His hands; what a comfort!

Friday, October 12, 2007


I am SO disconnected from the pump! The pump is great, but when it’s gone it’s ever better! It’s so freeing to be disconnected! They gave me another 15 minutes of chemo before we left, so I have to take an anti-nausea pill before I go to bed, but I’m feeling fine! Yee Haw!

We’re planning to get up early in the morning and head for home. We’re going through College Bryan Station to see Terri and Mike Lamb and Mom if we can. Mom is in critical condition and not expected to live, so we may not get there in time to see her. You friends from Itazuke know that Terri’s Mom is special to all of us and she’s been like a mom to Don and I since the Branson reunion. She’s just reached the end of her road and we want to be there for Mike and Terri if we can.

If all goes well we’ll have a little visit and then continue on home. It’ll be good to get home before dark and then find our own bed. It’s wonderful here, but there is no place like home!

The pictures on the blog tonight are Luke and I with our ‘bald’ pictures. Luke really has hair, but it’s so light that it looks like he’s as bald as me. This bald club is a great place; some of the best people are in this club. I’m still giving thanks for hair, though. It’s been a real awakening to me how much warmth it gives! God knows who needs it and who is tough enough to do without it. I have the utmost respect for bald guys, now!

I thank God for Mom in our lives and ask Him to give her relief and bless Terri and Mike as they let her go home. I thank God for good treatment and for good friends and family to support us!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

View the pump and nephews

Today has been a great day, but I’ve been really tired. That’s par for the course, I think, with chemo. The treat was that Luke and Colter were here. Luke was here all day and Colter came by for a visit. It was good to get my nephew fix!

The first picture is one of me this morning showing my pump. I have it open so you can see inside it. If you look at the third picture you can see it closed and laying under my elbow.

The second picture is me holding Colter. I was asleep when Colter came, so I probably was as sleepy as I look in the picture. Colter is 4 months old.

The third picture is me holding Luke. Luke is 6 months old. This is the one where you can see the pump below my left elbow.

I’ve continued to feel good today except for being tired. I finish one of my nausea pills tonight at midnight. I sure hope the feeling good holds. I have another prescription of different nausea pills if I need them.

God is so good to take care of us. Tomorrow we go to have the pump disconnected. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to use the pump because it decreases the chance of nausea and also decreases the chance of damage to the heart. It’s because I have the PICC line that I can use the pump. God is taking care of me and I thank Him for that! I thank Him for the blessing of your support, too. I thank you, too!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

All set to continue treatments in Lawton!

Today was such a nice, easy day! My fingers and toes didn’t even hurt as bad. Maybe they’re getting better already? Maybe it’s because I’m not lifting a finger to do anything? Whatever, I’m grateful that the pain is easing!

I did call Lawton today to make arrangements and make sure they can do the treatments with the pump as they are here. I really like this. I’m not crazy about being tied to the pump, but I’m crazy about not being sick and the idea that it is minimizing the chance of damage to my heart. Those are good things!

I thank God that we have these treatment options here and close to home, too. This is wonderful, but home is always the best place to be!

The pictures on the blog look like repeats of yesterday, but these are the pictures that Don took with Judy’s camera. She sent them to me today. You can tell we are having the best time together. I still shake my head in disbelief that we could be together after all these years. She and I were at Itazuke together in 1960 and 61, then she found me in 1989; I didn’t dream any of us would ever get together again, but we have a reunion every 2 years and many of us get together between those reunions. It’s awesome! How wonderful it is for me to have her in my life and in this place at this time in my life!

Thanks for being a part of my support group. I thank God for you and for all the people close in Houston and at home, family and friends all over the world. I thank Him for the computer and the Internet to keep us all connected, too.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Big day at MD Anderson! Results are in!

Today was a big day for sure! We started out with getting my bandage changed and getting my stitch repaired. It was way easier than I thought it would be. So, I’m in good shape as far as the stitch goes. We’re using another bandage in hopes that it won’t eat up my skin, but it’s burning, so I’m afraid it’s not going to do well. We’ll hope to hold on with it until Friday and then figure out what to do about it.

The good news came with the ultrasound. My tumor has shrunk 96%! That’s awesome! I tried to talk them into doing the surgery sooner and skipping this next round of chemo, but they weren’t having that. They said it’s important to take the whole thing to enhance the chances of it not recurring. I’m in favor of that, so we’ll do it all.

The next surprise was that because I have the PICC line they could do part of the chemo at the hospital and send me home with the rest to be given with pump (which I wear) over the next 72 hours. That lets out our going home on Thursday, so we’re staying until Saturday morning. We’ll go home then if I feel like it. The pros to doing it with the pump is that it enhances my ability to not have nausea and it also enhances my ability to not have heart damage caused by the large doses of chemo. I’m in favor of BOTH of those, so we’re doing it.

It’s all new stuff to us, though, so we’re in unfamiliar territory. God knows all about it, though. He’ll take care of the details and us. What do people who don’t believe do???

The pictures on the blog tonight are:

1) Me waiting to get my stitch replaced in the PICC line.
2) Judy and I enjoying a hug after we’d seen the doctor and got her good news.

I am so tired. I’m headed right to bed. I’ve already given this to God. He’ll take care of us and have it His way. He’ll take care of this pump for us; it’s a new thing for us! You turn everything over to Him, too. He’s the best ever; we all know it; don’t forget to tell Him thanks!

Monday, October 8, 2007

All ready to see the doctor tomorrow.

Today has been such a relaxing day! We slept late this morning and I didn’t even dress until it was time to fix lunch! It was fun to have a lazy day. Then after lunch I took a good nap. Between naps and being lazy in general I read my book. It was such a dream of a day.

A good friend of mine who has really bad neuropathy wrote and told me about how she put on some socks that have loose threads inside them and caught her toenail in the threads. Her neuropathy is so bad that she has no feeling in her toes, so she didn’t know her toenail was caught at all. Then she heard a loud pop and looked to find that the threads caught on her toenail had popped off her toenail. I went immediately and got the clippers and cut my toenails and my fingernails! I’d been afraid to cut them because I was afraid the pressure would hurt too much, but her loss sold me! It didn’t hurt too bad at all, and, in fact, it relieved some pressure to have the length gone. It’s amazing how the length makes them catch on so much and run into everything else.

We are all ready to go to see the doctor tomorrow. I can hardly wait to see Judy; she’s going to meet us there. I’ve got fresh batteries in the camera and it packed, so we should surely get good pictures for the blog tomorrow.

The pictures on the blog today are a couple Don took of me this afternoon after I trimmed my nails. You can tell I was relaxed and rested compared to last night’s pictures!

Tomorrow I’ll give you the full report from what we learn tomorrow. I am so grateful that we could come here for treatments; I’m confident that we are getting the best care available. I thank God for our safe travels and for wonderful family and friends to support us here and all over the world. God is great; count our rich blessings with me!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Arrived in Houston.

The trip to Houston went fine today. We got here in time to rest and visit a little before Doris and Jerry’s life group came for Sunday night study at their house. That was a good experience and then several of us went out to east supper together. Now I’m exhausted! I slept nearly all the way to Dallas this morning, so the trip wasn’t too hard on me. Don is the one who had the hard day.

We’ll sleep late tomorrow and get plenty of rest getting braced For Tuesday.

The pictures on the blog tonight are:

1) The one Don took Friday night before we left for canasta. I was so tired when we got home that I forgot we even had that picture!

2) This one Don took just a few minutes ago. You can tell my right eye is a bit ahead of my left eye. Maybe it’s the left eye that’s ahead; it looks like it’s already gone to bed!

Tonight we’re thanking God for a safe trip and a warm welcome here! Judy welcomed us to her house, too, but we opted to stay here this time. We’re so lucky to have two people who are so welcoming to us! It’s great to feel at home even when you aren’t at home!

God bless you and thank you for checking on us!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Ready to head to Houston.

Today has been football day for Don. Thankfully, Oklahoma beat Texas, so it’s been a good day for him. I’ve been packing so that we could leave for Houston tomorrow. I’m exhausted, and so ready for bed. I just picked out the pictures for the blog and then lost them. That’s how tired I am; just really fumbling. I got the pictures chosen, again, so here’s the explanation of them:

1) The first one I found where I didn’t look as tired as I feel tonight. It may have been on before; I didn’t feel like looking back to see if it’s been on here before. Please pardon me if it’s a repeat.
2) This one could be a repeat, too. It’s a favorite of mine because I was in my glory feeding Raynie! She’s getting to be such a big girl these days. I wish I had a more current picture. I have one on my phone, but I don’t know how to get it onto the computer. Ugh!
3) This one is a real treasure! This is Elena with her Daddy, Joe. He’s the president of our bald club and he’s the big pea in the pod that Elena must have come from. Is this a precious picture or what? I love it!

Tomorrow we’ll be on the road to Houston, so I don’t know if I’ll come up with pictures for the blog tomorrow night or not. I’m not making any promises. I’ll surely be able to make a post and there are probably pictures on the laptop that I can use. This reminds me to take the cable to use for the camera and the laptop.

The Sidney report is great! He’s out of the hospital!!! He’s gone to rehab and doing very well except for a headache. He’ll stay a week at rehab and then they’ll evaluate him and see if he needs to stay longer or if he can go home. This is so awesome! God has certainly saved his life, and we thank Him! Sidney has short-term memory loss, but they’re working to correct that and time will help, too.

I am so crashing, so I’m going to go to bed. I thank God for your support and His!

Friday, October 5, 2007

One day past Taxol!

We’ve decided to go on to Houston on Sunday instead of Monday. That will give us Monday to rest from the trip and brace for the onslaught on Tuesday. That will be a hairy drive into MD Anderson in rush hour to get there and start with all the appointments at 8:00 a.m. Judy will meet us there as soon as she finishes her workout, then we’ll have lunch together and she’ll hold our hands through the rest of the day. I started all this with her and I’ve missed her since we’ve come home. I’m ready to see her!

I must tell you this. Another side effect of the chemo is mouth sores. I’ve had only a few so far and they’ve gone away quickly with using a soda mouthwash. However, instead of the mouth sores I’ve had mucousitis in my nose. That means the lining of my nose has felt raw and whenever I blew it there was lots of blood. Also when I blew it I never seemed to be able to get it clean. They recommended I use a saline spray in my nose, which I did, but that didn’t help much. So I tried a Neti pot and the nurse said that was good. I love that Neti pot! I think everyone should use one to prevent sinus and other infections. The nose has to really work hard to filter all the pollution out there. I sleep so much better and start the day with a clear head with this Neti pot. I use it first thing each morning and before going to bed. Check it out here if you are interested. This site will tell you where you can get a Neti pot. This is the kind I have (got it at Wal-Mart):;jsessionid=ac112b801f43a9e7ebfa207b4982931db57910726f4f.e3eTaxiPc3mTe34Pa38Ta38Pb3b0?sc=2&category=6

This video will show you how to use the Neti pot:

A good information site about the Neti pot is at this location:

The pictures on tonight’s blog:

1) My favorite of the hats Susan sent yesterday. I’m going to have some fun with this one; it’s kind of dressy, so it’ll be good for church and going out special.
2) I really love this pink one, too. It’s a snug warm one and has the little breast cancer ribbon knitted into it. It’s so soft!
3) Me in the Gina wig! I bought this wig at a yard sale once because it reminded me of Gina. She wore her hair like this wig (not so wild) for lots of years. We’ve had fun with it. All the kids have had their picture made in it and lots of the big people. It’s a fun family thing. Now, I’ve even had my picture made in it. This is the Grace pose that makes Garrett think my face is always itching. How cute is that? Grandkids are the BEST, and I thank God!!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Taxol is HISTORY for me!

Everything is good today. When I told them my fingers and toes are hurting a lot they said they could delay the Taxol treatment and give the fingers and toes a chance to have a break from it. HA! No way; and give the cancer a chance to take a break from it, too? So I’m not even going to mention it again! I was reading something (don’t even remember where) that the fingers and toes will begin to feel better in about 3 weeks from the last Taxol. I can live with that. I have a lot to distract me for the next 3 weeks. So, that’s a done issue; I’m not going to give it any more energy; please don’t worry about it for me. God doesn’t like worry; He likes us to turn everything over to Him because He’s up all night anyway!

I did just fine with my last treatment and we went to the Mexican Restaurant for supper to celebrate. Dorothy and David joined us, so it was fun.

Sidney is doing better and better. Of course he still has a headache, but with a cracked skull that’s no surprise. We’re all impatient, but he needs some time to heal. Jo Ann and Frank took Sidney’s little brother (he’s in pre-K, so it won’t hurt him to miss a few days) to Oklahoma City to be with his family, today. He’s been staying with friends, but he was starting to wonder what happened to everyone. Three weeks ago his granddad died and is gone forever and now last week his Mom and Dad and big brother disappeared. He needed to see them! So, they took him to the hospital to see everyone and he’ll be staying with their other daughter and his favorite aunt and he can see his family whenever he needs to see them. Things are working for them.

Jo Ann and Frank are having us all out to their house to play cards tomorrow night. They need a distraction! It’ll be good for all of us.

The night after chemo I usually have a hard time sleeping. I got up at 4:30 this morning to go to chemo, so maybe I’ll be tired enough to sleep. I hope so. If not I’ll catch up on some emails.

We came home and checked the snail mail. Those of you from Itazuke will remember Susan Parks (Tarter), class of ’64. She is the last of the big spoilers. She sent a package with 3 winter hats AND some BANGS. No, not a loaded gun, but bangs to wear under my hats. I’ve put the bangs onto the blog tonight. I’ve got a picture of me with the straw hat and no bangs and then one with the bangs. Then there’s a picture of a nice warm hat she sent with the bangs. That's a mug with lady bugs that Susan sent after visiting here and we took her up to see the lady bugs on Mount Scott. I’ll have to work with the bangs to get them to look natural, but I think they’ll be fun to wear sometimes. Susan, said, I know you said not to send hats, but, I never listen. What a hoot! {{{{{SUSAN}}}}} Here are hugs, for you!

God never stops! He’s so good and picks us up when we need it. I know that. At the lowest times in my life (this cancer is probably in the top 10 but it’s at least 4th down on the list) He has never let me down. He’s always there; He takes His time because He knows what He’s doing. I’m so thankful for that and I turn it all over to Him. I thank Him for YOU, and thank you for reading this and loving us.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Toenails turning black. Ulp.

This is the eve of my last Taxol treatment. Yippee! The housekeeping angel came today; Yippee!!! Linda, I so agree with you that hiring her is the best thing I’ve done! It was so nice to just nap in the recliner in the basement and then wake up and sew while she did all the hard work. She is so industrious; she is awesome! She got the step stool and even cleaned the ceiling fans! I didn’t ask her to do that; she just did it. She’s amazing! Thank you, Linda, for encouraging me so strongly!

This morning was hard for me. I was hurting a lot and had a queasy stomach. I think the queasy stomach was from drinking so much water at once. I was trying to get as much water down and deleted before the housekeeper got here, so I wouldn’t be constantly running to the bathroom while she was here. I finally got to sleep right before she got here; then I heard her ring the bell and remembered I needed to get the mop for her. After getting the mop for her I went right back down for a good nap. I felt much better when I woke up and smelled all the cleaning stuff up here. It’s sure the way to clean! I spent the rest of the afternoon making hats and sleeves. It also feels good to get that task done.

This morning I noticed my right big toenail is turning black. That’s a side effect of the chemo. It kind of makes me feel better that at least there is something to look at for all the pain. I keep looking and see NOTHING and think I must be crazy; then this morning there it was: a darkening toenail. That’s the first picture on the blog. The left one is darkening, too, but not so much. I also took a picture of my left hand. The nails are darkening, but I hadn’t noticed it until I noticed the toenail. You can see how they are whiter toward the cuticles; that’s the new nail growing. Interesting. These are not beautiful pictures for the blog, but it’s how it looks here, today.

It sure could be worse, so I am so thanking God! I am SO grateful for the housekeeping angel; her name is Angela; how appropriate! Don was so impressed that she moved the loveseat out and vacuumed under it! He said, “I sure never did that when I vacuumed!” Neither did I! Once a year I may have pulled it out, but surely never more than that (I don’t even think that often!). I am grateful for the Taxol that is doing its work to kill this cancer. I’m grateful for the doctors who know to use it. I’m grateful for a husband, family and friends who support me through this. Thank you for being one of those! I thank God for all of it.

By the way, Sidney is in his own room, now! He got to take a shower and he’s doing really well. We’ll know in time about how much damage was done to his brain. Please keep praying; I’ll keep you posted. For now, he can walk with help and he recognizes everyone he should recognize. God is so great and awesome!