Friday, September 12, 2014

Hello friends of Mary Jo!

My mom passed away last Tuesday while on her trip to TN for her class reunion.  I'm so sorry for the late notice.  I was unable to access this blog from home, just got to her computer today.

Thank you so much for being her faithful readers and friends.  She enjoyed this blog and it made her feel so good to know that you enjoyed it, too.

And thank you all so much for your love and prayers for all of us.  We miss her terribly.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rugged Day

Most days are good and some just are not.  This was a rough.  I'll be okay.  I'm only going to the scheduled events; nothing extra   I thank God for letting me make this trip.

I'm taking  some time off from the blog.  Until I have the energy.  Don't worry.  Just know I'm doing my best to take care of me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

RIP, Sweet Prissy!

Tom and Linda's precious Prissy passed away after  we left this afternoon. I got this pic of her two days ago.  We knew she was in her final hours, but it's still so hard of them.  Tom had dug her grave this morning and last week he built her a little casket.  She was their baby darling even if she was 16 years old..

We are settled in our condo in Nashville.  It's very nice.  I hope I can get rested before our crowd begins to gather.  I'm fine it's just that chemo is so fatiguing!

I'm headed to a hot bath and bed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fun, Relaxing, Fun, Relaxing . . .

Linda took this pic of Lee and I resting in Tom's big chair.  We've been wearing ourselves out playing cards, but it's been so much fun.  Women:  3, men:  3, so, we're tied.  We've got to leave in the morning, though, so we'll pick up where we left off when we meet in Branson in November. Fun, fun times!  I thank God for wonderful friends (more like family) and the opportunity to share good times.

It's late and we're all headed to bed.  The report from here is good.  I'm not swelling or having any problems.  i do get awfully tired, but it could be a lot worse; my lasts trip to Tennessee proved that! PTL!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Happy Anniversary!

What a wonderful anniversary it's been.  We had a great visit with great food all day; even homemade peach ice cream.  We played 2 games of canasta and the guys won one and we won one.  It was way fun!

I'm exhausted, but I'm not swelling anywhere.  The burning in my hands and feet is very tolerable.  I feel blessed and thank God for this great trip.

Sorry to be so late posting; having too much fun to post!  Love you all!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Feeling SO much better today! PTL!

I have gotten steadily better today.  As the day wore on I was able to walk better and use my hands more.  Praise the Lord!  I have one more option for taking this Xeloda.  The next time (a week from tomorrow) I will take 2 pills each morning and 3 each night.  Just maybe my body can tolerate that better and the oncologist suggested it.

We had a wonderful visit with Lee's Aunt Leona today and I got this pic of them.  She is such a sweetheart and so glad to have a visit.  She's 92 and lives alone in a huge house.  Her daughter, Patty helps her so much and oversees her care.  She is diabetic and has COPD, so her problems are not small.

We made it on to Tom and Linda's house tonight and I could even play cards!  Linda and I won, so that made it even better.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Okay.  I've taken all of this cycle I can stand.  I'm not taking tonight's dose or either of tomorrow's doses.  So I was supposed to have 42 pills this week and I've taken 33.  These pix don't show the pain I have,  You can see the red on my hands and feet.  My feet also look like they have blisters on them; especially at the heal.  It all feels blistered.  I can barely walk and I can't do much of anything with my hands.  Zipping and buttoning are horribly painful and take forever.  I didn't even comb my hair this morning.  I took the pic of me in the parking lot while Lee went in to get me some Boost.  He was saving me the steps.  I'm fine except for the pain in my hands and feet.  It sure helped to have all our stuff in the bed of the truck so I could sit in the back seat and keep my feet up on the console.

We made it to where we had a hotel reservation, so I'm grateful for that.  We had no problems with anything except my pain.  I'm taking it as a clue that we need to either reduce the dose, again, or look for another drug.  God will direct us.  I thank Him that I'm not retaining any fluids.  That was absolutely horrible.

I'm getting a message that this post isn't going to post, so if it does, hallelujah!  I'm going to take as hot a bath as I can stand and go to bed.  Tomorrow is a new day!  It'll take a few days for these feet and hands to recover, I'm afraid, but we're going to get started on it!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Forgot to Wear my Red Shirt!

We're just about ready to start putting stuff into the truck.  My feet and hands are really hurting today, so it makes everything hard to do.  Only two more days on this cycle, though, so I can make it.  Then I get a week off and we'll be seeing friends and family, so that will help to distract me from my hurts.

I am so grateful to God for getting me through that last swelling crisis and pray that I won't swell up, again, on this trip. At least I know how to better cope with it if I do!

Off we go with our new bed cover on the truck, so we'll have a spacious cab.  I'm grateful for that, too! Woo hoo!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bags are Getting too Full!

It's so fun to be able to fit into anything I have.  I've read about ascites (the fluid that collects in the abdomen) today and learned that they eventually return.  Ugh.  I'm going to hate when that happens.  I didn't have any 'tents' packed, but I just went and stuck in one in case I have to go someplace and buy another tent in the event that they come back while we're gone. This pic was taken the day before I turned 66 and I've felt good ever since.  That was the last day of my last cycle of Xeloda and I could hardly walk because my feet hurt so badly.  This cycle my feet are no worse than they were when I started this cycle, but my fingers and hands are really sore.  That's okay; I don't have to walk on my hands.  We're leaving town, so I won't be cooking until we get to the condo. It's amazing that I'm able to type, but I'm glad I can.  This Xeloda is a weird thing.  I guess it's different for everyone and it's even different each time for me.  As long as it's working on the cancer, I can cope with it.

Lee washed the truck today and it's all ready to pack tomorrow.  I'm excited to have the bed cover on it, so that I can have the back seat if I want to lay down or if I want to sit back there and prop my feet up on the console.  We're excited about this trip.  We'll be seeing friends and family along the way as well as enjoying my Itazuke High School reunion. I thank God that I'm so much better and can make this trip.  We serve an awesome God!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Getting Ready to Travel, Again.

I got this pic yesterday; what a difference from 6 weeks ago when I was carrying 30 pounds of water around my waist and on my legs.  Praise God that we seem to have found the right mix of drugs and nutrition to keep those fluids off me!

We're getting ready to make our trip back to Tennessee for my reunion with school from Japan.  It's nice for me that it's in my hometown, so that we can visit family and old sentimental places to me.  I'm so grateful that I'm able to make this trip!  Whatever went awry with my body in June, has completely corrected.  I feel great.  I don't have much energy or stamina for very long, but as long as I can get rest, I'm okay.  Fatigue is a common side effect of chemo, so it's just something I have to learn how to tolerate since it looks like I'll be taking chemo for the rest of my life.

We're blessed to have great folks here who will look after the house and yard for us!  That's a big relief!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Today's Report is Good!

I got this pic tonight after we got home from a long day to OKC.  We got up at 5 so we could get to the City in time for my 8:30 labs.  After the labs I had the follow up with my oncologist and then an infusion to strengthen my bones.  The doc was very pleased with all my lab work.  He said everything was better than when I was there 2 weeks ago and at that time those were better than they were the last time I was in Houston.  He's pleased that we're making a trip to Tennessee and doesn't want to see me for a month! We're very pleased with the report!  You can tell by these smiles!  I thank God for so many reasons to smile!

After my appointments I went with Sadie to her appointment with the oral surgeon.  Her wisdom teeth have to be cut out before they push her other teeth out of alignment.  While I did that Lee took the truck to have the cover put on the bed, so we can travel and put all our stuff in the bed rather than in the cab with us.  Yay! I'm so glad to have that bed cover!

Thanks to God for so many blessings and a safe trip!  I wear a jacket all the time anymore because I freeze everywhere.  It's plenty hot here, but people use their AC and I'm so grateful to get outside into the warm sun!  Hospitals and doctors offices seem to be the coldest!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Sweet Dorothy!

I had lots of paper work to do today and had to hang close to the phone to wait on various calls, so I didn't get to get out and see Dorothy.  She's had a great day, though.  I did visit with her on the phone and she sounded awesome!  I got this pic of us on June 1 and 23 had dressed in the same colors without realizing it. She is always so much fun to be with and we've missed her this last week that she was in the City visiting family.  It feels better to have her home even if we didn't see her; just knowing she's here makes life sweeter. I always stand in awe of her.  She doesn't look or act 91 at all, but today was her 91st birthday.  She's one of the best treasures of my life!

We go to OKC tomorrow to follow up with my oncologist.  Then I have an infusion of Zometa, which is to strengthen my bones.  I'm taking Sadie to see her oral surgeon while Lee goes to have the top put on the bed of the truck.  I'll be so glad to have that so we can travel more freely!

When I went to bed last night my feet were swollen and it really shook me; I thought, "Oh, no; it's happening, again!"  When I got up this morning my skinny feet were back.  I guess I sat too long last night sewing and letting my feet hang.  Anyway, when I woke up this morning I felt all bloated and thought, "Uh oh, the swelling is starting!"  I guess I'm paranoid.  I went right back to bed with my feet propped up higher than my heart.  At 1:00 I woke up feeling fine.  I'm sure I'm just paranoid.  I never want to go through all that swelling, again!  I felt like a lazy bum going back to bed, but Lee insisted I should lay down; he said, "You're not lazy, you're sick."  Most of the time I feel so good that I don't consider myself to be sick, but I guess if I have stage 4 breast cancer that makes me sick.  I'm sure glad I've got him to keep me on the straight and narrow!  God is so good to give us who and what we need in our lives!  Have you counted your blessings lately; be careful, if you're writing them down, you'll need a lot of paper!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tomato Vines are Producing!

Just when I thought I'd only have vines, I found more tomatoes than I can count.  You can see a couple in this pic.  Joan will take good care of them while we're gone and they should be ready to eat when we get back or not too long after.  That blue that you see is one of the many tourniquets they've used in getting my IVs started.  They're great for tying up tomatoes, opening bottles, jars, etc.  I have quite a collection of them.

Dorothy made it home from the City.  She had a great week visiting with her sister and her nieces, but it's sure good to have her at home!  Thank God for safe travels for her!

We go to the City for my infusion on Tuesday and also my visit with the oncologist.  I hope he'll have a clue from my lab work as to whether the Xeloda is working.  I think it is because I feel no head pains.  Usually when whatever I'm taking isn't working my head gets sore spots from the cancer in the bones (skull).  I'm taking that as a good sign.  We're supposed to get the bed cover for the truck bed on Tuesday, too.  I'll be so glad to have that because that will free up space in the cab for us.  As much as we travel, I think it will mean a lot to us.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Iris Thinning Report.

This is the iris patch in the back yard bed.  The first pic is one taken in April.  I took the other one yesterday. I really need to thin out the irises on this side of the bricks; maybe I'll get to it one day next week.  All those on the right of the bricks are blue and white and I've got them spread all over the place, now.  I sure hope they come up good next year!  They look kind of naked right now, but it's like a haircut; they'll look good before long.  I thinned irises out front and in the back, so the beds look a little barren now, but they needed to be thinned or they would choke each other out and not bloom well.

I've had a good day today.  I got some paperwork and details done.  Took some time to visit my good neighbor, Hazel tonight, too.  I'm going to give Lee a haircut and then we're off to shower/bath and bed. Tomorrow is our fellowship meal after church and I'm ready for that, too.  I made tabouli yesterday for it and I'm making a corn casserole in the morning.

Dorothy is in the City this week, visiting with her sister and her niece.  I have not been able to contact her because her phone goes right to voice mail and she can't check that.  I just miss her, but I'm glad she's having a good time with her family.  I'm sure she'll be home soon but I hate for her to miss the fellowship dinner tomorrow.  It's wonderful that she's healthy and spry enough to go visit!  I thank God for the gift of our friendship.

This is the same spot when the irises were blooming.  Those green things on the left are larkspur.  I put irises in there, so I'm not sure how they will work together; we'll see.

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Lot Can Happen in Two Months!

Here are pix of the flower box out front.  The top one was taken on June 10th and I took the bottom one today.  I love the sweet potato vine!  And the live forever will bloom this fall.  I'll get another pic then.  The live forever is the dark green one; it all came from one plant in the back flower bed:

The 'mother' live forever is behind the bird bath and the rabbits.  It just keeps being that size even after I take parts to plant elsewhere.  I love it!

Another day I'll put on pix of the irises and how they've changed as we've thinned and replanted.  We had a bumper crop year, but they had to be thinned to keep up that kind of blooming.

My tomato vines are finally producing.  I've had 4 tomatoes off of two vines so far, but there are more green tomatoes on there than I can count, now.  I'm so grateful for them because tomatoes are my favorite thing  to eat in the summer!  I thank God for giving me the strength to keep this yard going.  I've had some good help with Nate and Lee; I could not have done it by myself!  I sprayed all the weeds above, but I just did it yesterday; it'll take about a week or 10 days for them to die.  Then it'll be time to spray again because they will have sent for reinforcements by then.  Ugh.  Weeds make me tired!

I'm enjoying my off week from chemo, but I'll have to be on it again next week.  I really pray that this kind of cycling (one week on and one week off) will do the job and that my body can continue to accept it.)  Time will tell.  I see the oncologist in OKC next Tuesday, so maybe he'll be able to tell by the numbers from my lab work how it's working.  My body is tolerating it pretty well.  My feet and hands burn and hurt, but I can live with that as long as they don't start swelling, again!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Celebrating Every Day!

This is a pic I took yesterday with my birthday flowers, a magnolia bloom and a basket full of tomatoes and bell peppers that my awesome neighbor sent from their garden.  I am in heaven when I have home grown tomatoes and flowers.  Who could ask for more?  Throw in bell peppers and I'm so, so happy!

Today I spent a couple of hours outside replanting irises I'd thinned out in the back flower bed last week.  I thank God for the ability to do that!  It was wonderful to be outside and I love it that I've got everything planted.

I'm plenty tired, though.  There's nothing wrong with tired; it assures me of a good night of sleep!  I also had a good nap.  It's been a great day.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Family is so Precious!

This is the best pic I got of Bryce yesterday.  He was constantly on the move, but here he was pretty much mesmerized by Peyton's new doll house.  He's such a fun little guy.  He chatters all the time, now.  It's amazing how fast they grow.  Note his height relative to the cabinet doors.  I don't know how Krissy keeps up with him.  He can reach the door handles on the doors in the house, too.  He goes wherever he wants, so she's got her hands full!  Two big sisters help a lot.  Maddy wasn't there yesterday (she has a nannying job for the summer) so we missed seeing her.

Today was our water rationing day to get to water flowers, so Lee watered all  the irises I've replanted.  I followed him with the weed killer.  This had better work!  I used 6 gallons!  Lots of flower beds!  Oh, I need to get pix of the flower beds to post, too.  Maybe I'll remember to do that tomorrow.

I sure thank God for the ability to work in the yard.  Even more I thank him for precious family; we are richly blessed!  When we left, Krissy was holding Bryce and we were waving goodbye to him.  He waved and said, "Bye, Papa."  Then he said, "Bye Mawmaw" and melted my heart.  That was so sweet; he'd never called us by any name, so we were tickled.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A House for Peyton.

Peyton had asked Papa Lee if he could build her a house.  We found one at a sale and bought it for her and she was really tickled to get it today.  They had fun putting the furniture in it.  It was great to see Peyton and Bryce and their mother, Krissy today.  We hadn't seen them since Christmas so it seemed like forever. Bryce has really grown a bunch and really started talking.  I'll post a pic of him tomorrow.  His all have red eyes that I can't always fix so it's hard to get a good one of him.  He's always on the move, too, but I'll post what I can.

We had a good trip to the dentist and Lee's in good shape, again, until he has another tooth give out on him. This aging is a whole new trip, but I thank God that we are repairable.  I thank Him for another safe trip for us, too.  It was a good test trip for me.  I did fine; no swelling anywhere!

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Wonderful Birthday. Thank You for Your Contribution to it!

My good friend, Joan, who house sits for us, brought over these flowers yesterday.  The zinnias are all from her garden.  I mixed them in with some artemisia and daisies from my garden and made this arrangement. She also brought me 3 tomatoes from her yard!  We used to live across the street from her and we made these arrangements and took them to everyone we could think of.  It was fun.  Now, we enjoy them, ourselves and enjoy recalling our old days of adventures.

My feet have been so much better today!  Last night I could hardly walk on them, but they are way better than I thought they could get in one day.  I sure thank God for the quick relief.  It's a fun week to get to take 7 days off from the Xeloda!

It's been a sweet day started by a beautiful card from Lee and then lots of cards and facebook messages and phone calls to wish me a happy birthday.  Before we make our next trip we're going to get a cover for the bed of the pickup, so we don't have to cram everything into the back seat.  That's going to be my birthday present!

The bad thing about today is that Lee chipped one of his very front teeth.  The good thing is that he can get in to see a dentist to fix it tomorrow.  So, off we go to OKC, again, tomorrow.  Hopefully we'll get to see one of his daughters and her family who we haven't seen since Christmas.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Last Day of this Chemo Cycle.

Note to self:  Xeloda is TOUGH on the feet.  Don't plan to be on them much until the off Xeloda weeks. My feet already peeled completely clean in earlier cycles, but my baby soft feet feel blistered.  It feels like I've been walking on hot coals.  But, I give thanks that I HAVE two feet and I CAN walk on them.  (Barely)  If today wasn't my last day of the ON week, I'd have to quit or at least give in to the wheel chair.  It's hard to believe they hurt so bad.  The great thing is they are NOT swelling.  This is a side effect I can live with. More good news is that Ibuprofen helps.

We had lunch with Dorothy at the Mexican restaurant after church today, so she and I are already celebrating our birthdays.  Hers is the 11th and she'll be 91!  Now, that's worth a celebration.  Mine is tomorrow and I'll be 66, but considering that I've had breast cancer since 2006, I think it's pretty worthy of celebration, too!  I thank God for giving us both life and a friendship to treasure!

I take one more dose of Xeloda tonight and then I get a week of rest from it.  Yahoo!  Now, THAT is a great birthday present (to take off Xeloda for a week!).

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Happy August!

This is another pic from yesterday.  Today I have slept most of the day.  I think I'm sleeping off the drugs they gave me yesterday.  Otherwise, I feel good.

My feet are on fire from the chemo; I'm sure glad there is only one more day of it.  Then I'll have a week to rest and recover from it.  My feet are not swelling or cracking or peeling.  All the bottom of my feet  have already peeled off with previous treatments.  They look like a baby's feet.  So, nothing is peeling or cracking, it just feels like I've been walking on a bed of hot coals.   It makes it hard to walk, so it was a good day to sleep.  I'm hoping the feet won't do this every time, but if they do, I can take it.  I keep reminding myself that lots of people don't have 2 feet and can't walk at all for some reason.  I'm so grateful the swelling is not tormenting me!  I praise God for that and thank Him for the use of my feet.

Friday, August 1, 2014

More Good News; PTL!

We got up at 5 to be in OKC in time for my angiogram at 10 today.  They delayed it until 1:00, then. Typical hurry up and wait kind of deal.  But the angiogram went smoothly. They found no blockages, and they determined that my heart is strong. The doc said to go home and take a couple of off days and then have some fun.  For a couple of days I'm not supposed to bend over to pick up anything, nor push, pull, or pick up anything that weighs more that 5 pounds.  That means I get to spend a couple of days at real rest.  I'm getting pretty good at it.

The chaplain of the hospital came by my room before surgery and said as he left, "You're in good hands; God's"  I so love that and appreciate God for taking good care of me!  Thanks for all your support, too!  Life is good!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

I'm Ready.

Here's one of my favorite 'guys.'  I love watching them fish around our lake!  I thank God that they stay here or come back every year.  We go away in the winters, so they might, too!  All I know is that they make me smile every time I see them.

We've had several inches of rain over the last few days so my garden soil was nice and soft and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to dig and thin out my irises.  I'm taking a bunch to Trish tomorrow.  I took Kathy a bunch earlier this week.  While the ground is soft, it's sure easier to dig them!  I'm grateful that I can do it!

I completed my 4th day of this 7 day cycle today.  My feet and hands feel blistered, but they're not.  They just look red.  They're not swelling, so I can deal with the hot feeling, I think.  I just have 3 more days to go and then I can take a week off the Xeloda.

Tomorrow we leave at 7 to get to OKC in plenty of time for my angiogram at 10.  I'm ready.  We're not planning to spend the night, so I just have to be well rested and go.  I trimmed my hair today, so what else could need to be done?  When we get this finished tomorrow, I don't have to see another doctor until the 12th of August unless I have problems.  I've had my quota of problems, so I don't expect to have any more.  I see the Oncologist on the 12th and the cardiologist on the 13th.  Then on the 16th we leave for Tennessee for a couple of weeks.  Yay!  I'm ready for this trip and to get all the doctor appointments out of the way.  I thank God for seeing me through to this point.  It was a rough few weeks during June, but I'm in good shape, now.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

God is So Count-on-able!

Here's another pic from last night.  I love feeling good!  Today I got some paperwork done and rested.  I'm learning to appreciate my resting times a whole lot.  It's a challenge for me because I'm wired to go until I drop.  I'm finding that it's better to drop and rest before I HAVE to drop.  It's amazing that some things take a lifetime to learn!  I thank God for His patience with me!

I want to rest good tomorrow, too, so that I can be rested when they the procedure checking for blockages in my heart on Friday.  Surely it will be better to go in rested than to go in with my tongue hanging out, which is my normal mode of operation.  Ugh!  I'm working on cleaning up these bad habits!  God will help me.

Tonight before church the phone rang and it was our preacher and next door neighbor.  He had pulled pork sandwiches he'd smoked on the smoker and french fries for our dinner.  What a blessing.  I had absolutely no plan for dinner, so it was a delicious treat and the timing was perfect.  For so many reasons I thank God for our precious neighbors!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Doc is Pleased; Me, Too!

This is a pic Lee got of me a few minutes ago.  The oncologist was pleased with all my tests and said all my numbers have improved.  It's not like I'm cancer free or anything that wonderful, but I'm doing really well and am STABLE, again.  Whew!  We will continue with the current treatment and drug adjustments we've made. Praise God for directing us in the path we needed to take!

We got home from OKC today and it's good to be home.  Friday I have the angiogram, but, hopefully, we'll be coming home right after that.  God has been with us all the way, so I'm sure He will be Friday, too.  The smile you see in this pic is natural.  I didn't have to work to get a smile going.  I feel really good; feel like myself, again!  PTL!  Thank you all for your prayers to help me get to this stable position!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Precious Memories and More to Come!

This pic was taken at Big Cedar, near Branson, last winter when Sissy joined us there,  We're planning another trip this November.  Sissy will go with us and Ruthie and Phil will meet us there as well as Tom and Linda.  Tom and Linda are as close to family as anyone can be, so it will be like a family reunion. We're so looking forward to it!

Today's testing all went smoothly.  Tomorrow we see the oncologist and get his analysis of the situation and his plan for the near future.  I feel really good and don't see any swelling happening.  I started another week of Xeloda today, so I'm hoping that continues to go smoothly!

Our plan is to leave the 16th of this month and head toward a couple of nights with Tom and Linda in Tennessee.  Then we'll head on to a week in Nashville and a high school reunion with my Itazuke group.  I'm praying that God will help me to stay stable enough to make these trips.  I'm planning like I believe He will!  What better way to approach the future:  trust God to take care of things.  Works for me!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Those Foxy Women!

I missed a great photo op today, so I'll have to pull out an older pic.  Today we were dressed for church and ate sandwiches and birthday cake at Dorothy's house after church.  I had the camera and just never thought to take pix!  I was having too good a time visiting with Dorothy and Lee.  So, I pull out this pic from the Fox family reunion in Nashville last month.  That is me in the middle and my sister, Ruthie on my left.  Then next to her is my baby daughter, Gretta.  On the left is Ruthie's daughter, Deanna.  Suzanne is min and Ruthie's first cousin.  She's just like a sister to me.  We spent as much of every summer as possible together and then we were roommates in college.  These are special folks!  This was one of Gretta's last days with hair; chemo took it the following week.

Gretta is doing very well with her chemo.  She is able to continue work, so that's good.  She got moved and that's good.  She has awesome friends who did so much for her in that move.  It wasn't the ideal time to move by any means, but the house she was renting was sold out from under her, so she had to move and her friends really stepped up to the plate!

This was after my first ER visit where they drained some fluid off my abdomen.  I was still pretty miserable, but I had 4 more ER visits to go in the following 3 weeks and lots of misery.  But, today is 5 weeks later and I feel great.  I thank God for precious times, people, and memories and for the opportunity to heal.  Gretta and I are  putting one foot in front of the other and continue to do better and better.  Praise God!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Nate's Work.

These irises were starting to look burnt and they were too crowded as well as too weedy.  My awesome husband hoed out most of the weeds from the garage up to this little redbud tree.  Then my awesome neighbor got out there and finished up the weeds clear to the street the last time we were in Oklahoma City!
Nate came home with us a couple of weeks ago and trimmed all the irises, plus thinned out the ones that were choking themselves out.  It looks a little bare right now, but the weeds are already coming back.  I've been out there with the hoe after them twice and sprayed them twice.  I'm not letting these weeds win!  Next year we'll have awesome irises, too! I've thinned out a bunch in the back and have some more to do.  I just do a little at a time so I don't wear myself out to quickly!

I got another bloom off the magnolia tree tonight, too.  MMMMMM, it smells so good!  I thank God for the sweet smell of His flowers!  It's a joy for me.

I am feeling like myself.  It's so wonderful to be my right size and hot have huge legs and feet!  I can wear all my shoes and clothes.  That seems like a small thing, but it was stressful finding something to wear when I was so swollen.  I really thank God for turning me around to get back to this point from the swollen state I was in a couple of weeks ago! We serve an awesome God!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Floor Installed; Cabinets in Place; Coming Right Along!

This first shot lets you see the floor and cabinets are in place!  The appliances weren't in when we were there, so I stood in for the stove and microwave.  At least you can see I have my skinny legs and ankles back and it feels so good to be pretty much back to 'normal.'

Diana is about to burst with excitement to be this close to ready to move into this little mansion.  I'm so happy for her.  Bob does such a great job.  This little house is going to be such a great getaway.  They'll move into this house as soon as possible and then Bob will start on remodeling the house where they live right now.  It's so fun to watch it all come together for them after so much hard work.

I've been filing and planning some travel today.  Yay!  It's wonderful to even think of traveling!  I thank God for another run at life!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Something is Fishy . . .

I fully intended to get a pic of the whole floor done and the kitchen cabinets and appliances installed, but, suspiciously, I couldn't find anyone there all day.  Actually, Bob had to have a routine check up so his doctor could sign off on his next job, so I imagine he got hung up sitting around waiting on the doc.  This pic I got the other day, but was there later that day (without the camera) and the whole floor was done and the kitchen cabinets were sitting in their places.  Bob was going to take over the appliances and I was going to get pix today.  I never was able to connect with him.  Maybe tomorrow.  Notice the light fixtures are installed.  Those people in the pic are Bob on the left and his sons, Marshall and Forrest.  Those guys have been a tremendous help; they're great guys and do awesome work like their dad taught them!  I don't have any better friends anywhere than these folks, so I post their progress because they're just like family.  This winter when we were snowed in, Bob and Marshall showed up at our front door and shovelled out a walk to our door.  They're just like that!  Marshall lives near Dallas, so he's not always here, but it's always good to see him.  Forrest lives in Weatherford and is still in college there.  We see him a little more because he's only about an hour from us.

I separated and replanted a bunch of irises today.  I'm amazed at how I continue to gain strength. Praise God!  I thank Him so much for getting me past that last crisis.  It may have all been His way of leading me to an awesome oncologist in OKC.  I trust Him and thank Him!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Each Day I'm Better and Better.

The old me is on it's way here, I think.  Each day I feel stronger and stronger and I do things I didn't think I could do.  I'm not back to normal by any means, but I'm sure going the right direction!  It feels so good to look down and see the feet and legs that belong to me!  There are still some tests to do, but I feel so good about every day.  It's amazing how easy it is to move my legs after dragging those heavy tree trunks around for weeks.  Really, that's what they felt like and it's so much easier to have them be the right size and weight. Dropping 30 pounds of liquid sure makes life a lot easier for me!  Thank you, God, for giving me this relief!

Today I was able to fix the sound on my computer and message machine, so I got some messages that have been hidden from me for a few weeks.  I'm still not able to get them all, but I'm working on it.  Sharon, I've called a time or two, but get your voice mail.  Hope I can catch you while you're still in the state!

Praise God for all our blessings; we are all rich with blessings in my opinion!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Precious Memories, How They Linger . . . Thank You, God!

We got this pic Sunday morning before church.  I keep reveling in the joy of having Garrett here this week and Nate last week.  These are memories I will always treasure.  By the way, I have on 3 inch heals here; Garrett is lots taller than me when I'm not wearing my big girl shoes!

I feel so blessed that I can get my shoes on, as well as any of my clothes.  Whatever threw my body out of control, I hope to never run into, again!  It was unreal to look down and my body looked like someone else from the breastbone down.   I'm so grateful that all the swelling is gone and my energy is coming back little by little.

This is my second day of rest from chemo and all is well.  The only side effect I have going is the bottoms of my feet are sore and feel blistered like I've been walking on hot coals.  I can put them into the bath water, though, so it's not so bad.

I'm watching like a hawk for swelling; I do NOT want that to start anywhere, again, so I want to do all I can to prevent it.  I nap each day with my feet higher than my heart.  Maybe that helps, but it can't hurt and I'm bushed enough to sleep like that. Naps are a must do, I think.

I thank God for Grandsons who will come and visit and for healing from this recent out of control trip that my body took.  God is Great everyday!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Felt Like Going Somewhere I Didn't Have to Go!

We went over to see what Bob and his sons have accomplished on the house.  Check out the new flooring and the walls, light fixtures and even the washer and dryer!  Things are moving right along and they'll be in that house soon!

I am so grateful to be feeling so good!  Garrett had to go home today, so our visit came to an end, but it's full of great memories.  I changed his sheets and washed a load of laundry.  That required time to lay down, but at least I could do it!  I don't have any swelling that I see.  Today was my first day of rest from the chemo, so it's been a nice day.  I got through this cycle with no problems; just sore feet that feel like I've been walking on hot coals.  I'm so grateful!  God is seeing me through this crisis and has me headed back in the right direction!  Praise Him!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Better and Better Each Day! PTL!!!

Each day I gain strength.  I"m absolutely amazed!  I can fit all my clothes, again, and I think all the swelling has gone.  I am SO GRATEFUL!

This pic was taken on our way to church this morning.  It felt so good to be out among people.  Of course I couldn't sit through the whole service because of the diuretics, but, I'll get to where I won't need them soon, I think.

Garrett and I went fishing twice today.  He didn't catch a thing and I didn't even have a pole, but we enjoyed being out on a beautiful day.  Special times and I thank God for the special times and for the healing!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

How to Put a Smile on a Little Ole Grammy? Send a Grandkid!

Garrett surprised us today when he called and asked if he could come for the night!  There was a mix up at work, so he had the weekend off at the last minute and we got to be the beneficiaries of that piece of luck! We had pizza for supper and then played Rumikub.  His mom is the world champ of Rumikub, so we had lots of fun wishing she was here to tell us what to play.

I'm feeling a little stronger each day.  I am being careful to not do too much, but I want to push a little each day so I can get back up to par.  The swelling is mostly all gone, so I praise God for that!  This was my 6th day in a run of  7 days for this cycle of Xeloda (the chemo).  Thankfully, I have not had a single side effect, yet.  I sure hope I'm getting enough to do it's number on the cancer!

I'm a happy camper with a grandson here.  And I'm a happy camper to feel so much better.  PTL!!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Lucky Lady 'Fesses Up'

When we went to see the oncologist the other day I had on the compression stockings he wanted me to wear.  I had on the only pair of shoes that had fit me for a month, but they were much to big, now with the swelling way down..  I had my arms full of notebook with papers, jacket to keep warm because they keep everyplace so cold, etc. Anyway, my arms were loaded, so when I stumbled on their shiny (hard) floor, down I went right on my cheek bone.  They got all excited and brought me an ice pack to hold on it.  I thought sure I'd have a black eye because all the bones around the bottom hurt like everything.  They still do if I touch them, but they didn't turn black!  You can see a little bruising right where it looks like I have high cheek bones, but that's all I've gotten.  I consider myself to be very lucky that I didn't break any bones and that nothing turned real black or swollen.  Needless to say Trish and Kathy carried all my stuff from then on and I had to hold onto Lee everywhere we went.  That's a better plan, so we're sticking with it.

Tonight I'm really tired because I did more today than I've done in a long time.  I even went outside and worked in the iris patch!  I divided lots of irises that were way too thick.  I stopped after just thinning out one patch in the back yard, so I'll have some more to do while the ground is soft from this rain.  It's not hard work, it's just hard for someone who hasn't done anything for a month.  I'm hoping to do a little more each day.  I still needed my naps today.  I'm thinking whoever I got this blood from was a tired old lady, too.  :)  I sure had more energy today than I've had in a month, though.  God is good and I think He's bringing me back gently.  I'm good with that.  Tomorrow I'm doing laundry and changing two beds.  That's a full day for me and will require naps along the way.  But, I'll get a little done each day!  Woo hoo!  Praise God for better days and tough bones that don't break when I fall on them!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Fresh" Blood.

Today went very well; it just started awfully early!  We had to get up at 5 to be in Altus at 7 to get this transfusion.  I had never had a transfusion before today, so it was a learning experience for me.  They gave me Benadryl and Tylenol before the blood, so I went right to sleep and slept most of the day.  I guess that's a good thing.  I did manage to get a new book on Lee's Kindle, so that was a good thing.  I love his Kindle, but I get stuck every time I attempt to put a book onto it, so it was a happy time when I got a new book on there!

I had no problems with the transfusion.  We were surprised that it took about 8 hours, but we both needed a day of rest, so it was a good day for us.  We don't have a thing on our calendar for tomorrow, so we're hoping to rest some more.  So far, I'm not noticing any more energy, but I think maybe after a good night's rest I'll feel a little more energetic tomorrow.  Starting the day getting up at 5 asks a whole lot of the day!Don and I used to give blood every 8 weeks.  I thought about that today when I was on the receiving end of someone's gift of blood.  It was a thing I always felt good about doing, but after today I feel even better about it.  I'm grateful there are still folks out there who are willing to give blood.

More good news from Gretta!  She had lost her kitty cat in her move and today they found her!  She's so pleased and I'm so happy for them!  She continues to do beautifully with her chemo treatments.  She's getting more and more tired, but she's nearing the end of her treatments, too.  She's hanging in there and doing a wonderful job.  People are being so good to her!  Her job is being a dispatcher for the Frankfort Police Department and the policemen have started a signup sheet to keep her grass cut for her all summer!  Wow, what a huge relief to her and what a wonderful gift!  God shows up again and again!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Three Good Days in a Row.

This is a pic we got tonight after we got home from church!  It was so nice to go to church.  We are having VBS this week and I'd love to be helping during the days, but I don't have the energy for that, yet. Tomorrow we have to be in Altus for the blood transfusion at 7 a.m.  I'm so hoping that this will be a burst of energy for me!  I'm feeling good, but I'm still really dragging.

The meeting with the cardiologist was interesting this morning.  He showed us pix that they got during my stress test and there is a dark area in the bottom of my heart which indicates there may be some blockage there.  We have scheduled me for an angiogram on August 1.  It seems like once you get started with doctors, they keep on going and going and going.  I guess that makes sense at my age, but it's hard to adjust to it!

I'm thinking that with a transfusion and then a stint if there is a blockage, I should be feeling pretty good real soon.  I'm praying for that.  God has taken good care of me so far, so I know He will continue to do so.

We spent the day in Altus getting all the prior papers done so that we can go right in for the transfusion tomorrow.  This was after the appointment with the cardiologist.  I'm glad I left my calendar open for this month!  Before this all started I weighed 119.  I got up to 143 last week and was down to 112 this morning. All this in 3 weeks!  It's amazing what all that water weight can do.  It's very smothering and I sure never want to go there, again, if I can help it.  I still have fluid collecting in my abdomen, but it is not out of control or smothering.  Praise God!  I love having my own feet and legs, again, instead of those huge clubs I was dragging with me everywhere!  There are wrinkles, but wrinkles don't hurt so, I'm so grateful!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thanks is Not a Big Enough Word.

This is Kathy and James, who have made us feel so at home in their home the last few weeks.  It's one thing to have company, but to have sick people come is a whole other thing.  Kathy and Jim have been so hospitable to us, but also very caring and took such good care of us.  Last night was Lee's birthday and they took us to one of his favorite restaurants, Charleston's.  James is Lee's son and Kathy has been just like a daughter to us.  She's gone to all our appointments with us, asked great questions, etc. Trish came with us to all the appointments, too.  It was almost a party each time.  We can never thank them enough; it's wonderful to have kids on both sides who are so good to us!

We are home tonight and ready for bed.  Home is so sweet, but it was sure sweet to have 'home' instead of a hotel while we were seeing the docs so much, too.

Tomorrow I will see the cardiologist here and he will go over with me the meaning of my stress test, etc.  Today the appointment with the oncologist was great.   He did lab work and then called me this afternoon to go over all of it with me.  We have 3 major concerns right now:

1)  I am very anemic and will have a transfusion as soon as we can arrange it.  He thinks this will be a good time to do a transfusion since everything else seems to be going in the right direction.

2)  Thyroid function is not good, so I will be adding synthroid to my meds.

3)  Liver function.  While the results of the analysis of the fluid removed from my abdomen last week showed no cancer cells, the liver is still producing all that fluid.  That indicates the liver is stressed at least and we're going to work to get it's functioning better.

It feels so good to me to have some specific plans that I understand.  I began the Xeloda on Monday, so I've had 2 days of it.  I'm doing a one week on and one week off schedule, so we're hoping this will be the right schedule for my body to accept.  So, I have 2 days out of 7 done and no issues so far.

My weight is just about down to normal and I will weigh every day and take the diuretics based on how much my weight is.  I love how we are fine tuning the treatment to me and my size.  I am very grateful for this doctor who really seems to care.

For the second day in a row I feel better than I've felt in a month.  Praise God for giving me this turn toward the positive.  Thank you all for your love and prayers!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Happy 70th Birthday, Lee!

Today was the first day since June 21 that I even felt like putting on any make up.  The edema seems to be under control.  I think the doctor will think so tomorrow, but we'll see what he says about the whole picture.  This picture the waitress got for us.  Zachary, Lee's great grandson, was helping him blow out his birthday candle.  Zachary will be 4 on his birthday and he has a baby brother on the way, who is due the 26th of August and a cousin who is due within a couple of days of that date.  The family grows!  We thank God for healthy, happy families!  They were sweet to take us out to dinner to celebrate Lee's 70th birthday.

Today I did the stress test, but I have no idea what any of it means.  The cardiologist will be in Hobart on Wednesday and I'll see him then for an explanation of the stress test.

I resumed the Xeloda today and the way we're adjusting the dosage is to do the same dosage but only for 1 week and then take a week off for a rest for my body.  I really think this will work.  We would like to use the Xeloda because it seems to be working on the cancer; we just need to find a dosage that my body can tolerate without getting totally out of control.  I'm looking forward to the appointment with the oncologist tomorrow.  I think he will be pleased that the swelling has gone down so much. My feet and legs look like they belong to me and I'm so happy to have my own feet and legs!  I am wearing compression stockings and I'm sure they help because yesterday when I had them off long enough to wash and dry and my feet and ankles were already starting to  swell.   It's an ongoing issue and I just have to learn to cope with it and not let it get out of control.

Our hope is to get a good report tomorrow and head home.  It's been so wonderful to be staying with James and Kathy.  Their support has been awesome.  We are richly blessed.  Tomorrow Trish will meet us at the appointment with the oncologist, too.  I love that the kids are so good to us!  It's wonderful that they will share even the tricky times with us.  The burdens don't seem so heavy when there is wonderful help to carry them!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Back to OKC

Lee got this pic of Nate and I today.  Nate has on the last of the Shnell Region t-shirts; that's an OLD shirt!  More old memories of good times and good people.

Nate worked hard, and so did Lee.  When we get home I'll get pix of the flower beds they've perfected!  I'm really proud to have those beds looking so good.

My weight was down to 117 today, so my legs and feet are doing great.  My belly is still bloating, though.  If I could ever get all the swelling down at one time, I'd look and feel so right.  I'm super grateful for the relief I've had though.

We are in OKC at James and Kathy's house.  I have a stress test first thing tomorrow morning.  Then on Tuesday I see the oncologist, again.  I hope he'll be pleased with the 22 pounds of water I lost this week; I sure am!  I resume the Xeloda tomorrow, too.  I'm going to take a regular dose, but only for a week.  We're going to do one week on and one week off and see if my body tolerates that schedule better than the schedules we've done previously.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Most of the Retained Fluids are Gone! Whew!

This is the flower bed out front with only irises in it.  I should have taken a pic of all the weeds.  Nate has it looking so good, now.  I'll get pix tomorrow and post them.  Nate and Lee have really worked hard, all the while wanting to throw out the flowers and put in grass, but someone would have had to die over such a blunder as that.  I appreciate their work, but I'm not crazy about their attitude of wanting to trash the flowers. When I'm dead and gone they can ruin the yard if they want, but as long as I live, I love these flowers.

Today I was down to 121 and I was at 119 when this all began, so maybe most of the fluid is gone!  I just hope I can keep it gone!  Fluids collecting in the body are sure no fun.  So often I feel like I'm smothering. I'm grateful that I have an oxygen generator; it's been a big help!