Friday, November 30, 2007

Scarves are out, too.

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!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wigs? Hate them!

Last night’s pictures were such a shocker to me that I put on the wigs today. I know I’ll never go in public wearing any of these wigs. For one thing they are itchy, but I guess that’s why I should be wearing the little wig liner the volunteers gave me. The other thing is it’s just not me. If the wind blows or I bump my head, I like to be able to reach up and check how it feels. The wigs feel icky! I’d have to constantly be running to the mirror to make sure the thing isn’t sitting crooked and then I’d be reminded that it looks so ridiculous, even at best! So, see these pictures because it’s not likely to appear again. One thing is certain; I’m not wearing the platinum one anywhere! My hair was white when I was at the shop choosing a wig, so it seemed like the most natural one. It’s not me. Of course neither of the others look right either. I’m back to hats! I’ve got scarves yet to model, too. They don’t feel right on me, either. I’m just a baby grammy, I guess. HA!

Oh! I found my special Santas; my friend who did the fish and the bamboo on the wall behind me made them all. Now my Christmas decorating is complete. Thank you, Mike!

Today I’ve been as tired as last night’s pictures looked. Don said I did a lot today, but it seemed like nothing to me. He said, “Well, you were up and around and not laying or sitting around reading.” He’s right. I guess I just don’t have the energy to do much. I’m took a good nap this afternoon and will do that every day to be sure I get plenty of rest before Monday. It’s all I can do besides eat right to get my blood built back up.

I’ll really be glad when these weak blood days are complete. I really miss my sweet friends at the nursing home, but I can’t go visit them. I REALLY miss the grandkids and we can’t go visit them! The first thing I’m going to do when my blood is good is go see the kids; then I’ll go to the nursing home. I guess I love the extremes, huh?

I thank God for healthy grandkids and kids. I thank God for the sweet people at the nursing home who don’t have health, but God keeps them alive for some reason; maybe to help me grow in character. They are all blessings to me.

Tomorrow is red shirt day; don’t forget! God bless America!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'm on my soapbox, but doing fine.

Chemo must be TOUGH on me! It's tough on the cancer, so it makes sense. I had Don take pictures of me today to compare to when I gave up on the last wisps of hair and buzzed my head. That's the picture where I'm wearing a white t-shirt. In my red 'blanket' I look a decade older! I thought it would be cool to admit I have no eyebrows or lashes. Man, pale as they were they sure helped. I'm going to look great in April or May when I have hair, eyebrows and lashes. I'm even going to wear some mascara. Poor Don is living with this old lady! It's going to be fun to look alive, again! I'll never resent the time it takes to look better!

Now, to my soapbox: I have a Japanese friend who is living in China because her husband’s work is there. She was not able to access my blog and a friend explained to her that the Chinese government doesn’t allow people to access blogs. I was astounded that my blog is censored! How dangerous could my blog be???

YIKES! It really freaks me that a thing as simple as my blog could be censored! I could never have survived when we moved to Hobart and would never have stayed this long if it weren’t for the Internet. It allows me to keep up with people I love who would never be close to Hobart, not to mention family! I so needed the support of an online support group when we were facing Alzheimer’s with Don’s dad, a whole new experience for us! I know there are so many freedoms that we take for granted and that makes me ashamed.

Today a friend sent this note about Red Fridays. I’ve been wearing red on Fridays for several years, but maybe you wonder why. The explanation is below. I thought it was so timely that it came today when I have been so reminded of the many freedoms that we take for granted. I don’t mean to be making a political statement here. I am making a statement in support of our troops. The piece below says we should wear red shirts until all our troops come home; I WILL WEAR RED ON FRIDAYS AS LONG AS I LIVE because as long as I live I will be reaping the benefits of freedoms for which my dad, my brother, my brother-in-law, my nephew and countless friends and loved ones have worked (and some have died in the pursuit thereof). Think about it.

So, I am on a soapbox today. I’m doing very well; feel pretty good and looking forward to a treatment on Monday. God bless America! I thank Him for our troops, for all of you who join me in supporting them, and for the opportunity to heal and return to good health, soon.

Red Fridays. Americans who support our troops used to be called the "silent majority." We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record-breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or overbearing.Many Americans, like me, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -- and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar, will wear something red.By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family, it will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once "silent" majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media implies.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Annual ironing experience.

Today has been mostly a rest day for me. Well, except Don shopped for groceries, so I’ve got to wash the greens and patty the burgers for the freezer. I’ll do that as soon as I finish this. Then I can get my bath before supper and be ready to watch the finale of Dancing with the Stars tonight. I’ve been so hooked on that show this time. I’ve voted for Helio and Julieanne. I think they are the BEST. However if Marie or Mel win I’ll be pleased, too. They’ve all done very well. Mel is a better dancer than Marie, but Marie is fun and she certainly has an awesome fan base; she just could pull enough votes.

The first picture on the blog today is me with Elena’s pictures and the flowers that are blooming from the last stalks I cut. God is so good to give me fresh flowers for so long! It’s nearly December and I’m still enjoying flowers from the yard! PTL!

The other picture is my little dog, Treasure, (remember, he’s a battery operated dog, so I like him a lot) with the Christmas tablecloth and my Christmas ‘arrangement.’ That will be most of the decorating that I do for Christmas. I do have a few special Santa’s that I’ll break out and a special rug for the entryway. I was ironing that tablecloth when Don came back in from getting groceries and mail. He nearly passed out; he said, “What is THAT?” It’s my annual ironing experience. Normally, if it has to be ironed it has to move in with someone else. You can tell I was really feeling good if I IRONED!

God is great; I thank Him for taking care of us. His gifts are awesome!

Monday, November 26, 2007

FAC#3 delayed, but here's Gabe and his deer!

This morning was no fun. I went to have my blood tested and it wasn’t ‘rich’ enough to do chemo, so we came home, disappointed. I spent until 3 this afternoon working on the phone with MD Anderson and the doctor’s office in Lawton and the hospital in Lawton - working to get the details in order for the next chemo treatment and the last one. By not having the chemo treatment today, that threw the last treatment onto either Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, which complicates the plan because, the doctor’s office and the hospital aren’t open for my chemo treatments on those days. That throws my last treatment to Jan. 7, which throws my surgery to sometime in February. That’s okay. It’s all okay; it’s God’s timing in my book because He could make my blood rich if He liked the schedule we had. So, I’m on the books for chemo next Monday. Then I won’t have another one until Jan. 7 and THAT should be the end of chemo for me. So that’s the report for today. I know we were all praying that my numbers would be good, but God doesn’t always say, “Yes.” Sometimes He says, “No.” Sometimes He says, “Wait.” I was disappointed this morning, but I remember that He is in charge and His plan is best. I’m good with it.

Now, the fun part of today: the picture of Gabe with his deer came! It’s on the blog and we are so happy for him. Look how proud he looks. He got that deer from 278 yards! He was using a scope, but that’s still nearly 3 football fields away! We are so impressed!

The other pictures on the blog are me before we left to have my blood tested this morning. I was all ready with my neck and head warmer! You might see my little dog between my legs, too. He’s my Treasure, names such because he’s the kind of dog I like: he’s stuffed and has a battery that makes him move and bark. I keep his button turned to OFF! We get along just great and he’s never bitten me. Sometime I’ll take a better picture of him for the blog.

Thanks to God for being in charge!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Blanket wrap!

Today has been a great day. I remembered this blanket sort of getup that I had stashed. It’s a wonderful thing for me to wear around and help me to keep warm! The pictures on the blog today are me in the blanket wrap; one showing the whole outfit and one up close so Gretta can see the dealy-bobs left from her hair days. Remember those Jilly? They are those clippies wrapped in red and white ribbons with beads hanging from them. They must be 25 years old! I’m such a pack rat!

Nothing new is happening around here. We’re ready to go to Lawton tomorrow; I sure hope my numbers are okay. We’ll get up and be at the hospital at 8 in the morning to get my blood checked. I’ll post results of the day on the blog tomorrow. I thank God for being in charge! I thank Him for recalling to my memory about this blanket wrap, too. It’s great! Only my feet, hands and head are out in the open; it surely is helping my comfort level! Too bad it's not pink so I could look my best. Ha!

God bless!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Gabe got a deer!

Today has been a good day. I feel pretty good and have rested, as well as gotten laundry half done. It’s done; just not all put where it goes. I’ll put it where it goes tomorrow. It’s been football around here all day. That Tennessee/Kentucky game was too much, but I’m proud that Tennessee finally won it in the 4th overtime!

Today was bandage change day, so that’s always an ‘event’ at this house. You know, we have to be so sterile, etc. Putting on the gloves, etc. is a big deal. The PICC line is a constant bother to me, and when we change the bandage I’m excited because the old bandage has become a burden because it is wrinkled and pulling my skin. At least I’m not allergic to this adhesive. It’s the 4th bandage we’ve used and I was allergic to the adhesive on all the others. The adhesive eats my skin and makes it blister and burn. This bandage bothers me, but it doesn’t eat the skin. I’m glad to have the PICC line so that they don’t have to dig for veins, but I’ll be really glad when it can be gone. It’s a constant probable location for infection, too, so we have to be very careful with it. I’m not complaining, but confiding one of the stress factors in my ‘de-stressed’ life. Ha! It’s kind of funny for this pack rat. We have to use a totally new kit for each bandage change and each kit comes with a little pair of scissors. So, we have over 20 pairs of scissors collected, now. Anybody need any scissors?

The greatest news today is that Gabe got his first deer today! He and Nate went hunting with Rob’s dad and Gabe got a buck. It has 6 points on his rack; he would have had 10 except he had an accident or something and broke some, evidently. I’m very happy for Gabe! Nate got sick, so he’s at the lease feeling bad. If he feels better tomorrow he’ll go out and see what he can do. Gabe’s deer will provide them with about 80 pounds of meat. Gabe will love that. He loves to cook, so he’ll be fixing some good meals for the family I imagine. I’m sure glad that Rob’s dad likes to do this stuff; what a great experience for the boys! I hope they get a picture of Gabe with the deer; if I get one, I’ll be sure to put it onto the blog.

The picture on the blog tonight is me ready for bed with my flowers that are opening. I am really enjoying them. I thank God for keeping the boys safe as they hunt. I pray that Nate is better tomorrow and that they have a safe trip home. I thank God for a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend for all our families and for health and happiness. What more could we ask? To Him be the glory!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Freezing from the inside; chemo thermostat!

I am going through a freezing state, again. Don even changed our thermostats so that it’s warmer in the house, but I’m still freezing. I’m wearing 4 hats (two pink sleep hats and a white baseball cap and a pink one); long sleeves; long pants; a flannel lined jacket and a corn buddy around my neck. I’m still freezing. It just comes from within, I think. Last night I couldn’t get warm and it continued today. When I sit or lay down I have two rice buddies I drape around me, too. It makes it possible, but I never get warm. God has a way of making me appreciate things, like a warm house and a microwave to warm my buddies.

The picture on the blog today shows the last of the rebloomers. I cut these Wednesday before we had our first freeze. Whatever stalks were out there, I cut and brought inside; I hope most of them will open. I’m patient and will wait on them. I think it’s such a blessing to have fresh cut flowers from the yard after Thanksgiving!!! God is so extravagant with His goodness and blessings to us.

Last night was a tough night for me. Nothing seemed to work right. I was freezing and couldn’t get warm. I got so inspired with eating great food yesterday that I forgot to take my Gabapentin for the neuropathy. What a mistake. I went to bed and the pains started shooting. I hadn’t had many of those in a while, so it reminded me that I hadn’t taken my pills. UGH. I paid the price. I wasn’t sleepy for some reason and the freezing and pains in my toes and fingers didn’t help. My left big toe was throbbing like I’d dropped a brick on it. The nails are getting so thick; I keep thinking the covers will pull the nails off of those big toes. Yesterday my head started feeling really sore, but it was just on top of my head. When I lay down in bed last night I realized it had moved down to my neck, so I couldn’t sleep on my back because it hurt my head. It’s not like a headache. It’s like my head is sunburned; it only hurts to touch it. It reminds me of how sore my head was when I was losing my hair. I don’t have any hair to lose, but maybe it’s the same sort of thing? It’s funny; all the hair that was left on my body is nearly gone. I have a few hanging onto my arms and a few straggling eyebrows and lashes . . . precious few! I don’t even have any peach fuzz left on my face; I’ve had peach fuzz ever since I can remember, so this is so strange! I really feel like a generic person and will be very glad to have some hair return to my body. I hope I remember to never complain about shaving or hair again! I got out of bed at 12:30 and sat up until around 4:30 when I finally fell asleep in Don’s recliner. At 6:30 I woke up and got into bed and slept until 8. I got a nap for an hour and a half today. I hope I’ll sleep like a brick tonight. I DID NOT forget my Gabapentin!

I know many of you have family with you or you are with them. Enjoy every moment and join me in thanking God for family and friends!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksliving every day!

I borrowed today’s title from a friend who writes a good lesson every week. I like the concept of Thanksliving. It means to me to be thankful every day that we live and that’s easy for me. It would be hard to limit giving thanks to one day a year or even to a season or even to meal times. I love being thankful all the time.

In case any of you were concerned about our meal today; don’t be! We had plenty. I even dug out a table cloth AND place mats for our dinner. I hope none of my home economics teachers are looking at how we set the table. I really know how to do it right, but Don is left handed, so he sets it like it works for him. I am thankful that he’ll help me set it! It looks pretty scant, but it was PLENTY for us. I packaged up dressing for 4 more meals besides what I saved for supper tonight; they went back into the freezer. I have gobs of turkey and two more pans of dressing in the freezer. I expect we’ll bake one of those pans of dressing on Christmas day to make the house smell good, again. Actually, I had made a pink salad but Don won’t eat it and I knew I couldn’t eat it with all the rest we had. I’ll have it for snacks, I guess. We enjoyed a meal with a tablecloth and we borrowed ‘Elena’s flowers.

Oh, I must tell you. Garrett called to visit with me today and Elena was in the background crying. I asked him why she was crying and he said, “Oh, Mom walked past her and didn’t pick her up; she always pitches a fit when anyone does that.” I said, “Oh; well, I guess she’s just not a ‘magazine girl, huh?’” He said, “Yeah, I think she’s a magazine girl!” I said, “Well, you were a ‘magazine boy,’ but you didn’t hardly ever cry.” He said, “Well, except for the crying, she’s a ‘magazine girl.’” See? He’s still a ‘magazine boy!’ He thinks so positively about everything. I had to agree with him, that he probably didn’t cry because someone always picked him up before he did! It’s pretty sweet of a 10-year-old boy to be that proud of a baby sister who came along, interrupting his only child world! I give thanks that he thinks she’s a ‘magazine girl.’

The other pictures on the blog are of Davy (in the OSU shirt) and Bruce (who we follow all over to watch play baseball, football and basketball). They came by for a surprise visit yesterday. How cool is that hat? They were smart to keep a tight hand on it; I had my eye on it! I’m so into hats these days; but more into hair. Two more treatments and I’m going to be growing hair and pleased to do it!

Give God the glory . . .”For thine is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory.” It’s all His and He lets us use it and enjoy it. PTL!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Birthday, Gabe!

Today is our Gabe’s 13th birthday. All day I’ve thought of the day he was born 13 years ago. That was such an exciting day! Those 13 years have flown. He was a little kid, but at 13 he’s just not a little kid anymore. The picture on the blog today is Gabe back in June of this year when we were at the Fox family reunion.

Today Don and I were watching Dr. Phil when the doorbell rang. We were surprised to find Davy and Bruce at the door! What a fun surprise. They visited for a while before they left to head on to Susan’s parent’s house for TG tomorrow. Their visit made our day!

Today I’ve felt pretty good, still. I keep hoping that it’s a sign that my numbers are moving into the position where they should be. My fingers and toes continue to feel better. I think the neuropathy is improving. Davy looked at my toenails and fingernails and he thinks they look like they’ll come off, too. He’s lost toenails before, so he’s a pro. I’m keeping them trimmed real short so they won’t get caught on something. From what I read on the Internet they’ll come off when the time is right.

I think my eyebrows and eyelashes are just about gone. This last round of chemo is getting what hair the Taxol left. It’s okay. I’m not complaining, but reporting how it is. Just two more treatments and then the hair will come back with gusto, I imagine. I haven’t missed shaving at all, so I’m going to enjoy the freedom from the razor while it lasts.

I hope only a few people have time to look at this blog tonight because they are all welcoming family or joining family. Family is such a great blessing. Let’s all give a huge thanks tomorrow for our family and our health and safe travels. God bless and Happy Birthday, Gabe!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Don't do this at home."

There is a picture on the blog today, but you’ve got to have a good humor to go there. If you don’t have a good humor, don’t go any farther. Just know that I love you for looking and caring and God bless! Now close your browser.

If you’re really brave see the rest of today’s report and then you’ll see the picture at the bottom. I was goofing off last night and had Don take a picture of me in a ribbon like Elena. It worked so well for her, but if you’re brave enough to look all the way at the bottom, you’ll see that it doesn’t work for ‘baby grammies!’ I couldn’t stick all four of my fingers in my mouth like she did; I’ve got way more teeth than she does! Plus, she didn’t think it was funny, but I couldn’t keep a straight face. “Don’t try this at home!”

Today was our last warm day for a while. Tonight it won’t freeze, but it will turn cool and not warm up for several days. Tomorrow I’ll go outside and cut all the stalks on my irises and see if the buds will open in the warmth of the house.

Don and I went out and sat on the back deck for one last time this year; likely it won’t be warm enough to sit outside again before we come home in the spring. It was sure nice.

I’ve felt good today. It’s hard to believe my numbers are so bad; maybe they’re working their way back to good. I hope so. I went out to the deck to trim my toenails; I hate them flying all over the place in the house! It really looks like I’m going to lose the two big toenails and maybe 3 fingernails on each hand. I’ve never lost a nail before, but these just don’t look ‘right.’ They are very discolored and thick; they look like they are rising up off my fingers and toes. That’s weird to me, but it’s a learning experience. I keep saying, “Things could be so much worse!” I’m happy that we have had this many warm days, even if I was freezing most of the time.

Thanksgiving is really close. If you are traveling, be safe. I pray that your families will be safe if they are coming to you. Regardless, enjoy every moment of every day and count the blessings as you go.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Flunked the blood tests.

Today I had my blood drawn for the tests. My numbers were all low. ICK. Of course it’s not unusual for them to be low at this point in the treatment. The chemo knocks my immunity down; that’s normal. I only hope that my body will be able to build back by next Monday. I called the doctor’s office and got them to fax orders here for me to have my blood drawn again next Monday before I go to Lawton for treatment. I can be at the hospital here at 8 and have the test results within 15 minutes. If the numbers are up then we can be in Lawton in time for my 9:45 appointment. If they aren’t up enough, then at least we won’t have to drive an hour there to find out that I can’t do the treatment. I have to remind myself that God’s timing is the best. He is in charge of all my care, so He’ll have it like He wants it and I’m good with that.

We didn’t take pictures today because everything here is the same. I’m snuggling under my special quilt! I’m resting all I can and eating right. It’s all I can do.

I put pictures on the blog of our little dolly Elena. The first one is her playing with a prize that I’m sure her mommy let her have in hopes she’d get a good picture. Every picture is a good one. The other picture is Elena with her Daddy. She is like him right down to her ears! I think it is such a sweet picture. I see Gretta in her sometimes, but she is so much like her Daddy, it’s unbelievable.

I keep forgetting to tell those of you who bought chances on the quilt that none of us won it. A lady from Roosevelt (about 14 miles south of here) won it. Thanks to all of you who participated. It was fun to have some chances and dream about it.

I thank God for being in charge. I thank Him for our dollies and their sweet dads. We are so blessed. I thank Him for all our families and friends. Your support means so much; I love you!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Birthday, Deanna!

Share the miracles. Jesus instructed, "Return home and tell how much God has done for you." Luke 8:39 (NIV). Somewhere, some wandering soul needs to hear the wonders of God. Tell him the good news.

This came to me today in an email and I thought it was so appropriate to think about when so many people are going home to celebrate Thanksgiving. Some of us aren’t going home, but we are staying home. Either way, it’s so good to think of how much God has done for us. Certainly it’s good to share it with anyone who will listen because someone could be uplifted by it and it may give them hope.

The pictures on the blog today are some miracles to me. The first one is Blake, who is Ruthie’s youngest grandbaby. Is he a doll or what? He has some more of those awesome blue eyes. Blue eyes are having a good run in our family this year. Our mom had beautiful blue eyes, and I’m sure there are others, but it’s sweet to me to think that maybe she passed down those blue eye genes. Blake has certainly been a gift to our family this year. Check out that beautiful hair, too!

The second picture on the blog is the view off Ruthie’s back porch. Her porch used to be our porch and we left that to come to reblooming irises. Ha! Actually, we left that to come to look after Don’s dad, who had Alzheimer’s. We wonder why things happen the way they do, but that move brought us closer to 8 of our grandkids in the grand scheme of things. It was a joy to know Don’s dad so well over the last several years of his life, too. It had many sad moments, but we grew a lot in character in wisdom through that time. I wouldn’t take anything for the experience. I sure miss this view, though and precious Blake and his older brothers. We can’t have everything in life, but the many blessings are awesome. It’s good that God is in control.

Blake’s mother is Deanna and her birthday is today. I think Blake was this year’s best birthday present to their whole family and me, too. Happy Birthday, Deanna!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Memories of hair and a wonderful visit.

Today I’ve felt good again. EXCEPT, a couple of days ago I woke up with a bloodshot eye (research tells me that fatigue can cause that and it’s not dangerous but may take 10-14 days to disappear) and a sore ankle. The ankle seems to have a spider sort of vein on the inside and is swollen. It’s very sore and feels better when I keep it up. That makes it hard to be at the computer. So, I’ll make this short.

The pictures on the blog tonight are one of me snuggling under Diana’s quilt and one of Don and I on the last day that I had wispy hair. Ruthie and Phil took this picture the day they left and I shaved my head that day. Ruthie just sent it tonight, so it’s kind of an interesting shot since I haven’t had hair for so long (nearly 3 months, now).

My flowers are still beautiful. I’m so blessed! I really feel pretty good to be 4 months into chemotherapy. I am so grateful that the tumor is shrinking (98% is awesome!). I’m very pleased to have a plan in place for the rest of my treatment. It feels good to me. I thank God for being in control and I trust Him to drive my treatments and have His will in my life.

This Monday I will go to the hospital here in town to have my blood tested to see how my numbers are going. I sure hope they look good. If how I feel means anything then I think they’ll be good. I feel good except for this ankle. So many way worse things could be happening, so I’m grateful! God blesses us all; let’s give thanks every day and not just on Thanksgiving Day. But, enjoy Thanksgiving Day with families if possible!

Friday, November 16, 2007

God's colors.

Happy Friday! Today I’m celebrating God’s colors. I love colors. I know lots of places there are beautiful leaves at this time of year. We’ve seen some as we drive from here to Houston and home, but it’s nothing like back east. We have enough to enjoy, though. Then I have these awesome irises. Can you tell I love them? The first picture on the blog tonight is Elena’s 8-month picture. Gretta had them do it in black and white, but leave her blue eyes. We can’t get over her blue eyes. Those are God’s colors!

The second picture is the vase of irises from my yard. I’m so pleased to have them. They take my breath every time I look at them. These are more of God’s colors!

The third picture is what I’ve called the black iris, but you can see it is really a very deep purple. This is more of God’s colors.

I thank Him for colors. Black and white are beautiful, too. I thank Him for the ability to see the colors.

I thank Him for our precious grandbabies and their health and happiness. I haven’t seen Elena since she was a newborn, so I can hardly wait until they meet us in Branson in January. I thank God for digital cameras, computers and the Internet so that we can keep in touch with family and friends. Thank you for checking the blog and caring to keep up with us. God bless.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Great first day home!

Today was a really good day! I’ve felt pretty good and never got a nap! I did lie down for a couple of hours this afternoon, but I just read and didn’t sleep; it was good rest and I got up feeling refreshed. I was freezing, so it was a good time to let the rice buddies warm me.

I had two guests come today. The first one was Diana Clark. She came bringing a lap quilt she made and her quilting club helped her to quilt. These are all ladies I know, so this is really a special quilt. Diana put a sweet note on the back; probably it’s my favorite part. It says: “To my brave friend Jo. A little quilt to keep you warm during your recovery. Love, Diana 2007” How cool is that? The quilt is so pretty. The pictures on the front of the quilt are a bunch of ladies in hats and scarves! Her husband, Bob (We went to school together in Japan and he is one of my bald buddies.), thought maybe she shouldn’t give it to me because it would bring back memories of a bad time. Not at all! I love this quilt and it will always remind me of the great support I’ve had during this time. This time is not a bad time; it’s a challenging time, but it’s so rewarding and I love all the love that’s being shown to me. This quilt is the perfect emblem of this time and all the great support I’m getting. It doesn’t have the guy support on it, but it’ll represent the guys to me, too. It just says support in a real special way. The quilting pattern is hearts, so that’s where the guys come in; all the guys in my life have huge hearts! Just ask their women!

The pictures on the blog tonight are of the quilt and some of the flowers from yesterday that were mostly buds. The other vase has in it the BLACK irises that Joan brought over this morning. We had a freeze here last night and she had these black irises that survived. She can’t tolerate their fragrance, so she brought them to me. I LOVE them! They aren’t really black, but so nearly. There is some real deep purple on it, but it’s nearly black. It’s so gorgeous!

I thank God for the beautiful flowers and for the wonderful friends. I’m so glad I felt like enjoying all this and I thank God for that, too! What a blessed time this is in my life; please be happy with me and join me in thanking God for all the blessings in our lives.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The wanderers are home! Home sweet home!

We had a fine trip home, but we’re both so tired. It was funny today as we drove through Texas there were several signs about some elderly people who were missing from Lubbock with the details of their vehicle, license number, etc. I told Don I should write the blog tonight and tell you all that these lost elderly folks from Hobart are FOUND and HOME! Praise God for our safe trip and I pray that they find those folks from Lubbock, safely.

The pictures on the blog tonight are of the flowers that were waiting for me when I got home. Joan is such a dear to keep me in flowers. She’s the one who gave me all my rebloomers. She also handles our mail and watches the house whenever we’re gone. She’s a dear!

The housekeeping angel, Angela came today and cleaned the house, so we came home to a fresh, clean house. PTL! How sweet it is that I didn’t have to come home and clean. I’ve got to unpack and that’s about all I can do! God is good. He provides the people we need in our lives when we need them. I think it’s one way that He appears; through others. You prove that to me when you show up on the blog comments!

God bless!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Results of last appointments before surgery!

The pictures on the blog today are last night when Heather brought Luke over to give us our grandkid fix. Heather is Doris and Jerry’s daughter-in-law and Luke is their grandson who they keep a day or two a week. Luke has been here lots when we’ve been here, so we’re so hooked on him. It was sure fun to get to see Heather and Luke for a while!

The rest of what needs to be on the blog today are the results from my appointments today. Here goes:

1) My numbers are still good, so I can get out of the car and eat on the way home. J They tend to hit the bottom on day 10 and that won’t be until Thursday.
2) My tumor is still shrinking. It had shrunken by 96% last month when we were here. It has shrunken another 50% now. That means that it has shrunken 98% since the beginning of chemo. That’s really good.
3) My surgery is scheduled for January 28th. I’ll have to be here the 24th for pre-op ‘stuff.’
4) My surgery will consist of removing both breasts.
5) Radiation will begin as soon as the drains can be removed: 3-5 weeks after the surgery.
6) I can’t do the reconstruction that I prefer (tram flap) until 6-12 months AFTER the radiation, so I will be flat chested all next year and will hope to have the reconstruction around Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’ll take me 6 weeks to recover from it, so I won’t be back to ‘normal’ as soon as I’d hoped. I can adjust; I’m getting good at adjusting. (I keep telling Don that, but he’s not convinced.)

I think that’s what came out of today’s appointments. I liked the surgeon and the radiation oncologist very much, so that’s a good thing.

I believe that God leads us, directs us, and protects us. I thank Him for all that and ask Him to continue it. I trust His will and His plan. Thank you so much for caring enough to hang tough with this blog. I know I get so wordy and it’s hard to stick with me, so THANKS! I love you for looking and love you for posting if you’re one who posts. If you don’t post, that’s okay, too; I feel you out there. God bless!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Garrett honors us!

Today has turned into a really full day. I’ve had only to relax today, so that was good. Tonight Heather and Luke came over for a visit, so that was so nice! I have pictures of that visit to put on the blog tomorrow night with news from our doctor visits tomorrow.

Tonight the biggest news is that our Magazine Boy, Garrett, was able to attain his goal of being on the honor role for this grading period. We are so proud of him! He is as sharp as any tack, but he has a learning disability, which makes transferring something from his mind to paper very difficult and a slow process. Unfortunately, teachers usually want to see work on paper, so he is very challenged by school. We are so proud of him for even setting this goal and striving for it; to attain it is very exceptional and we are honored by his success! Way to go, Garrett!

The pictures on the blog tonight are of Garrett, his sister Elena celebrating her big brother’s success, and the beautiful flowers Doris has in ‘our bathroom.’ How blessed are we? I’ve called Garrett my Magazine Boy since he was born. He was the only baby I ever knew who could stick to a schedule and even seemed to feel comforted by it. He has always been polite and done his best to comply with all rules and requests, and so I called him my Magazine Boy. He has always loved school, and he catches on to all the work, but he has been so challenged to be able to ‘give the work’ back to the teachers at the speed they wanted and in the format they wanted. We thank God for helping him to hang tough and persevere until he could attain this goal. We thank God for Garrett’s baby sister who adores her big brother. We thank God for so many blessings for our family.

Tonight I especially ask God to give us courage through our appointments tomorrow and thank Him for giving this opportunity for my healing. Tomorrow we’ll make lots of decisions and we thank Him for direction and courage. Thank you for reading about us and our family.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

More Raynie pictures from Saturday.

Oh, yeah; Dad! I think I know this game!

But, Dad? Did you realize that we're in a parking lot? I mean, are you not even a little embarrassed to be playing these silly flying games in front of all these people? I mean it's okay for me, but you're a grown up! Are you sure you want to do this?

Okay, you got me. I just can't handle you tickling my feet FOREVER! I give up: BIG GRIN! Dads and Pops are just the best, even in the parking lot!

Our trip to Houston went very well. I’ve typed this far and made 5 mistakes, so I know that I’m VERY tired. We were visiting with Doris and Jerry and I could tell I was fading fast, so I left Don visiting with them to come do this blog and get ready for bed. I did the pictures and captions last night, so that part was done already. I’m still reveling in my joy from the grandkid fix yesterday!

Tomorrow we will rest. Tonight I will rest. Tomorrow I’ll put on the blog a picture of the beautiful irises that Doris has in ‘our’ bathroom. She is such a dear!

We thank God for today’s safe travels, for precious family, and for this avenue to communicate with precious friends, too! God bless. (I thank Him for spell check, too, or you’d be reading through this like a foreign language.)

A marvelous day.

Today was wonderful because we drove to Weatherford and met Trish and Rob with our ‘junk around town van.’ Their van died last week and they had someone working on it, but then it blew a head gasket, so it’s really dead. We don’t need two cars when we are in Houston with one of them, or even when we are here, so we offered to let them use our Astro until they can make a better plan. We mostly use that Astro to get junk at yard sales and I’m not in the market for more junk, so it’s at a good place at their house. The best part is that we got to see Trish and Rob and 3 of the grandkids. The pictures on the blog are me holding Raynie, Grace, and then Gabe. There is a really pretty one of Rainie and Don, but I’ll put it on the blog tomorrow. We had to really work at getting her to smile, and then we couldn’t get the camera to snap quickly enough to get it. Grace can hold a smile, but Raynie just flashes them.

I haven’t been out in what seems like forever except to go to the doctor’s office, so it was fun for me to go somewhere. I came home and took a good nap. I’m just about ready to go to Houston tomorrow. I feel rejuvenated to have seen some of the kids. It’s amazing how big our garage is with only one van in it, too!

We thank God for a safe trip for all of us and for everyone being healthy so I could get hugs. My numbers should be okay for a few more days, too, so I should be pretty safe. God is good! It was good for Trish to drive the Astro. They had an Astro before we did and they got us hooked on ours. I think she wants to get another one, now; an Astro feels good. Too bad Chevy quit making them; they’ll have to find a good used one. God will provide; He never fails.

Friday, November 9, 2007

A precious link and a great update on Sidney!

My friend, La Moyne, who knows someone everywhere I go sent me this today. It is so precious. If you believe in God you'll sure want to listen to this. Gretta you've got to go there; If I didn't know better I'd think this was Garrett; he sounds just like this boy. I started to send this out to the folks I thought would like it and decided it would be better to put it on the blog.

A remarkable phone call from a 12-yr old boy to Houston radio station KSBJ FM 89.3. So profound, the station has it posted on their website. Click on the link below. It's short, and so worth it.

Today has been a better day for me. I’ve been incredibly tired, but I’m almost ready to go to Houston on Sunday. Tomorrow I’ll do the last minute things. All I have to do on Sunday is rest in the car; poor Don has to drive. We’ll have Monday to rest. Then on Tuesday I’ll see the radiology oncologist; the surgeon and the regular oncologist. Plus I’ll have another ultrasound and blood work done. The plan for the rest of the adventure should take some real shape on Tuesday. I’ll keep you posted as soon as I know anything

I napped off and on all day today. Between each chore I’d lay down. It’s how it has to be until I can gather some energy. I’ll gather it when God is ready for me to have it; right now He means for me to rest, I think.

The pictures on the blog today aren’t very exciting. You know I’m in dire need for picture material when I put on my scrappy old feet and fingers. I’ve cut my toe nails as short as I can get them to keep them from bumping on stuff which hurts and I fear that I’ll pull off the nails. My fingernails are cut to the quick, but they look long. If I cut them any shorter they’ll bleed. I guess my quicks are right on the end of my fingers. I saw these pictures today and realized I need to lotion these feet. I haven’t done that because that makes my feet so slippery and I’m afraid I’ll fall since they are so numb; slippery is the last thing I need. I did lotion them good tonight after my bath, though. Surely they’ll look better for the next picture. (Do you know how hard it is to take a picture with my left hand?)

Oh! There is a great update on our friend’s grandson, Sidney. Those of you who follow this blog closely know that Sidney had a 4-wheeler accident on September 26th and was flown into Oklahoma City, not expected to live. God heard our prayers and Sidney healed miraculously. This week he was able to go back to school! This is 6 weeks later and he is doing so well. He still has some swelling on the brain, but they say it will take some time for it to completely go away. His vision has cleared. He has lost his sense of smell, but he can live with that if it never returns. He leaves school about 10 minutes before the bell rings so that he’s exposed to any rough housing. What a blessing! Thank you so much for your prayers. God is so good!

Don’t we KNOW that God is good! How blessed are we to have such a wonderful Father. Our niece, Peggy would say, “Make a good weekend.” I agree with her; it’s up to us to make it happen, so let’s do it and give thanks!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I'm free of the pump, yet again!

The last 24 hours has been hairy, but it could have been so much worse. I was so tired yesterday that I kept forgetting to take my anti-nausea medicine. So, the nausea kept getting ahead of me! DUH! Finally, I SET MY PHONE to remind me to take it. Today I felt better, but I was still so dragging. We had to go back to Lawton to have my pump disconnected this afternoon, so we did that without any problems. I’m still feeling so tired. I’m not sick, though! I think I’ve learned THAT lesson. To think some people are sick like this the whole time. I have so much for which to give thanks!

The first picture on the blog is the first picture that Don took this morning. I was putting my best face forward, but I really felt as low as I hardly ever get. Then Don went and got the mail and it was so full of surprises for me! A good friend sent me his own Natural Habitat hat that he says he doesn’t need. It is the very warmest hat that I have! Thanks so much, Vereal!!! Then in yet another package was a precious breast cancer bracelet with the words “Life, a reason for Hope!” written on the card. Isn’t that SO true? Thanks, La Moyne and Travis! So, I had to have Don take another picture with me modeling the new hat and bracelet. That’s the second picture on the blog today.

After I opened the gifts, I opened a precious card from the church in Springville, where we used to live and my sister, Ruthie and her husband Phil still live. I think the whole church signed the card and some wrote notes and even drew pictures. What a sweet and fun thing to receive! Thanks so much to all of you at the Springville Church of Christ!

So, I had the lift I needed to get me through the morning. Getting the pump disconnected was the lift I needed to get me through the afternoon. Tonight, I get to get into the tub and that’ll be my lift for the night. God is so good to us! Friends and family are so awesome and the gift of healing is some more of God’s abundance for me. I thank Him and thank you for caring about me.