Saturday, May 31, 2014

Big Ouch! Spurs Beat the Thunder.

It sure hurts to see the Thunder get beat out of the finals.  It was a great season and we're still proud of them. I'm sure they hate it even worse than we do.

This pic we took this evening BEFORE we lost the game, so our smiles were big.  Good thing we got the pic then because neither of us are smiling so big, now.  We'll do the best we can; we're still very proud of the Oklahoma City Thunder!  We like their basketball and we like their kind of people.  They're good guys and we're proud to support them!

Today was an odd day for me.  I got up earlier than usual and that might have been the problem.  I went across the street to visit with Hazel and Joan, when I saw Joan's car over there.  We had a great visit and then I went out to Dorothy's house to give her a haircut.  Giving her a haircut is NOT a big deal!  She has a wonderful head of hair, so it's really an easy thing to do and I love to do it.  I had to stop once during the haircut to sit down; I just felt like I was going to pass out.  I finished the haircut and then sat down again and visited awhile before I left.  All the way home it was all I could do to push on the accelerator to get home. Usually I have a heavy foot and have to work to stay within the speed limits.  I came in and dropped my stuff in the kitchen and told Lee I was going to bed.  He came in and sat with me for about a half hour.  I wasn't sleeping, so I figured I must be better.  I got up and reheated some chicken pot pie (one of our favorites) for lunch and then I went back to bed and took my hour nap.  I was fine when I got up, so I'm thinking I was just short some sleep?  It was different for me.  I really have passed out FEW times in my life, so I'm not sure what it feels like.  It could be that the fatigue side effect from this chemo is finally getting a hold on me.

Anyway, I thank God for getting me safely home today.  I felt like I should take my blood sugar or something, but I'm not diabetic.  I really felt like my camera acts when the battery is running out; it just won't do anything!  So, maybe my 'battery' was done.  Anyway, one of God's wonder naps fixed me.  I made dinner for tomorrow this evening before the Thunder/Spurs game.  So, we've got a good dinner for tomorrow.  My hands and feet are much better today.  I think this is day 4 of my rest from chemo, so my hands and feet are much better today.  I figure I'd better do the things I need to do with my hands and feet while I'm on this rest because they don't work so well when I go back on the chemo.  That's why I wanted to cook dinner for tomorrow.  I had to do it today so that we can eat quickly after church and get down for a good nap.

Sorry this was so long, but for someone who may follow me I want to be fully honest in case they can relate to my experience.  God is driving and what a relief that is for me!  Praise Him!  I thank Him for all I'm learning and for the health that I'm able to maintain.  I thank Him for Lee, who is such a great support!  I thank Him for all of you who care enough to read this every day and keep me in your thoughts and prayers! God bless us all!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Attitude is Everything.

Here is a pic of Gretta and Elena and one of the fish they caught Monday.  This is my baby and  her baby and I'm so proud of them.  3 weeks ago Gretta had just had major surgery and gotten the news that she had stage 2b tubal cancer and would be facing chemo in the near future.  She got up as quickly as humanly possible and started walking the halls at the hospital; no way she wanted to be immobile!  She's doing great and learning to pace herself, I hope. (That's a real challenge.)  She usually runs on GO like Elena does. Elena was born with Turner Syndrome and she gets a shot every day of her life to help her to grow to be 4'8".  She plays soccer and reads just like bigger kids her age because her Mommy and Daddy have taught her to do her best and stand tall, no matter how tall she measures.  Elena is on GO all the time; if she's not then we know she's sick.  She's on top of the world right now because her Bubba is there to spend a month with them.  No doubt Gretta is on top of the world, too.  She's a proud, proud mommy!

It's all about attitude.  Gretta could be down in the dumps over the challenges she's facing, but she's looking on the bright side and making the best of every moment.  Garrett is a wonderful big brother to Elena and he'll always be Bubba to her.  She'll always greet him with that huge smile, too!  He's taking a month off from work to go be with his Mom and Elena and I'm so proud of him for that show of his love.

I thank God for all the blessings we have to count.  Certainly this has been a month of challenges, but attitude is everything and we're not letting the challenges get us down.

I've been working today to get our 'vacation' schedule worked out.  It's really too late to be making plans so it's been frustrating.  We've had to keep flexible because I couldn't make plans until I was stable; I'm still working on stable and really won't know much until we go to MDA next week.  They'll do tests to determine if this current treatment plan is working on the cancer.  If it is, then we'll plow on ahead and do the best we can with it.  I'm thinking my body will tolerate it better and better. If it's not doing the job it's supposed to then we'll pull another 'trick' out of the bag and see if it will work.  We're just hanging loose and will do the best we can with what we have and give thanks and praise to God.  What we have is health and hope and time and family and friends to love and visit.  We look forward to seeing lots of family and friends this summer.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Day 2 of the Rest Week.

I'm feeling great except for the hurting feet and hands.  I can wear shoes, though.  I'm happy to have a week to let these feet and hands heal.  I sure pray that this chemo is working because I think I can cope with the side effects and it's pretty simple to remember to take 3 pills in the morning and 3 more at night.

Tonight is game 5 with the Thunder and the Spurs in San Antonio.  Right now the two teams are tied with 2 wins each.  I know our guys can win this; I just hope they can get their chemistry going and get some hot hands going tonight as well as some great defense.   The Spurs are a great team, too, so it's good basketball.

I'm still enjoying the magnolia blooms, plus my echinaceas are starting to bloom.  The larkspur will be finished soon and I'll need to pull them all up; that'll be a job, but I can do it.  Soon the iris greens will have to be cut off, too.  Plus, I need to divide some irises so they won't be too crowded to bloom next year.  Plus, I'll share them with Trish and Gretta.

I talked to Gretta a little while ago and she continues to do well.  She says she feels great for about 3 days and then it catches up with her and she needs a day of rest.  That sounds about right to me.  If we were any good at resting as we go, we could probably avoid the down days.  Neither of is us wired to sit for long, though; we go like gang busters and then crash.  Lee is good to remind me and insist that I lay down and nap every day.  That's a big help.  Sometimes, it's just not possible because we are not at home for nap time.  I do the best I can.

I took pix of my feet and Lee said, "You're not going to put that online are you?"  I've debated it and think I will put a couple on because if someone reading this is ever faced with this, they will be glad to see what we're talking about when we say hand and foot syndrome.  All the really pink parts are what has peeled off. It's all very tender and opening a can or jar is tricky (I call for help).  I can wear shoes, but my feet like it best when there is nothing touching them.  When I go to bed they throb, but taking an ibuprofen helps to lessen the sensitivity.  The red splotches on the side of my feet are just old lady spider veins; the bottom of the feet and the palms of my hands are where it's sensitive.  On my hand you can tell where it's really pink: the tips of my fingers and the calluses on the palms of my hands have peeled.

Might as well go ahead and show you the tops of my feet.  They aren't swelling as bad this time as they did with the first round.  The 'buttons' on the tops of my second toes have really showed up since I've been on this chemo, but they haven't peeled or hurt.  The ugly toe nails are what Taxol left me with in 2007.  Those nails were infected and the nails never came back right.  The tops don't hurt; they're just ugly.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

So Blessed!

This pic was taken about 3 weeks ago just a day or two after Gretta's surgery.  She looked beautiful then and she always will.  She took Elena fishing Monday and they caught 4 fish!  Most people who had the same surgery she had would be still in bed needing help to walk!  I'm so proud of her strength and courage.

Today was day one of my 7 days off of chemo.  It's called a rest and the purpose is to keep the chemo from doing too much damage to my body.  Really, it wasn't so bad this last round.  My feet took a real beating, but I'm able to walk in most of my shoes, so that's better than the last time.  Plus, I was able to complete it this time..  Most of the bottom of my feet peeled off; it was mostly callouses. If they peel next time, we'll get into some live skin.  I just hope my body says, "Oh, you again," and smiles back at it.  It's interesting to see how my body responds.  I did have some dermatitis on my thighs the last 3 days.  Last time it was from my waist up to the top of my head.  This time it was just on the tops of my thighs.   I'm so grateful that I can find it interesting and not debilitating!  I pray that it is doing it's job on the cancer; that's the most important thing. I can cope with the side effects so far.  We leave for Houston on the 6th of June and they will do tests to see how this chemo is working.  I will report to you as soon as I know anything!

What I know now is that Gretta is doing great and I am doing great.  We both have challenges ahead of us, but we can do this.  I am so grateful for the tools we have to help us beat the challenges that we face.  I am grateful for all the support we both have, too.  Friends and family are absolutely awesome.  God provides and I thank Him!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day 14: DONE! PTL!

Look!  I found this guy at the cemetery and he was ALIVE!  So, I brought him home with me.  He's a keeper!  Seriously, Lee was getting the flowers ready to put on the grave of his mom and dad and brother. I'm serious about keeping him, too!

Today we went to Lawton and I got a zometa treatment; that's what I have every 28 days to strengthen my bones.  We ate a late lunch at the Olive Garden and it was delicious and a fun day.  Tonight we're going to watch the Thunder beat the Spurs, so they can even out the series.  Thunder up!  That's what we say in OK!

This is day 14 of this cycle of chemo.  I've MADE it!  My hands and feet are so ready for the 7 day break and it will start tomorrow!!  Woo hoo!  I'm so grateful that it hasn't been as bad this cycle as it was the last cycle!  I had no side effects except for the hand and foot syndrome.  I'm hoping my body is toughening up and will tolerate this chemo better and better.  God is good and He'll get me through this.  It doesn't have to be easy; it just has to work.  Easy sure helps, but I'm willing to be tough.

I'm headed to my bath so I can watch every minute of the game and then fall into bed!  Woo hoo!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

Yesterday Lee and I went to Roosevelt to put these flowers by the grave of his mom, dad and brother.  I've never been one to decorate graves, but I can only respect people who do.  This meant a lot to Lee.  He also has flowers we will take to his wife's grave in OKC as soon as we have a chance to go there.  It makes him feel good to do this, so I can only respect that.  I love the cemetery in Roosevelt; it's so beautiful with the wheat fields and mountains in the background.

I've made it through day 13.  Tomorrow is the last day of this cycle of chemo.  I just hope that the next time will be as easy as this one has been.  Don't get me wrong; my feet and hands are sure hurting, but it's not nearly as bad as it was the last time.  I'm really eager to get to MDA to learn if this chemo is doing it's job on the cancer!  I can take this, so I sure hope it is working!  The only clues I had that the cancer was growing was the knots on my neck and my forehead being so sore.  My head is not sore at all and the knots on my neck are as small as they've ever been.  If they get any smaller, they'll be gone; wouldn't that be awesome!

I've learned that if I do food preparation before my hands get so sore, it's a lot easier to take these sensitive hands.  This time we've eaten out a lot and that worked, but I'll be better prepared next time.  I feel so blessed that it's so much easier this time than it was the last time!  I can do my best to stay off my feet as much as possible, and that helps, too.

We've been watching lots of war related films today and it's heart breaking what our soldiers have endured. Cancer us really not a big deal compared to the trauma they endured.  I thank God for our Veterans.  My dad, my brother and my brother-in-law are all veterans and I respect and thank them so much.  I'm proud to be a military kid and treasure our reunions that we have every other year.  Don reminded me that the guys who weren't veterans financed the veterans; I'm sure that's worth a lot, but it's still not the same trauma-wise. God bless our veterans and those of us who supported them.

Oh!  The Thunder WON their game last night so they are back into this series.  Yahoo!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Hand and Foot Syndrome

This pic is from last week when I was so enjoying the magnolia blooms.  I still am enjoying them!  They are messy to bring inside because they drop pollen and little pieces off the seeds.  It's worth the mess to me, though.  I love the fragrance and their beauty.  I thank God for my blooming tree!

The hand and foot syndrome is the only side effect that I'm having this time and it's not as bad as it was the last time.  I can still wear most shoes and my feet just aren't as sensitive. My feet and hands can stand to be in the warm water of a bath, too and that's a big relief!  My hands are more sensitive than the last time, but I can still handle it.  Lee took us out to lunch today, so I didn't have to prepare meals.  He's still full and not eating supper; if he does get hungry he'll eat cereal.  I ate leftovers from my lunch.  I have just two more days to go in this cycle and I feel sure I can do it.  My feet are peeling and they didn't last time. It's pretty interesting to note the differences with each cycle.  The main thing is that over all it's easier this time.  If it gets easier each time, that will sure be good!

The Thunder is playing the Spurs in OKC tonight.  They've lost the first two games, but they've played without one of their starters.  Tonight he's starting, so we're sure hoping they can get their momentum going and get back into this series.   The Spurs are a really good team, so they've sure got their work cut out for them, but they can do it.  It starts in a minute, so I'm off to cheer!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Beautiful Place.

Is this beautiful or what?  It looked like this last week when we were in Kentucky with Gretta.  This is the approach to the house where Joe lives.  (Actually this is taken leaving his house and approaching the gated entrance.)   Joe is Gretta's ex-husband, and she is staying at his house to recuperate.  Every time we leave we come away shaking our heads in wonder that they are such good friends and in wonder that they aren't married.  I think they want to save a great friendship by not messing it up with a marriage?  Anyway, Joe is a wonderful guy and a good friend.  He'll always be my son-in-law, just like he'll always be Elena's daddy.  These maples turn a beautiful gold and orange in the fall.  I think Gretta is blessed to have such a wonderful place to recover.  She had a tough day Friday when a UTI hit her; she got meds for it and is back to normal, now.  Praise God!  Gretta is supposed to move June 1, but she got an extension to June 15.  The farm where she was living was sold and she had her house all packed up to move when this surgery moved into the front of the picture of her life.  I'm so grateful that Joe said for her to come and stay there until and after her surgery.  Lee and I even stayed there when we were there.

Gretta's follow up with her oncologist is June, 2.  I imagine they will begin her chemo shortly after that. We're going to Tennessee for a family reunion in the middle of June and we'll go to Gretta's either before or after that reunion; whenever we can be the most help.

This is day 11 of my 14 days of this round of chemo.  The last round I had mouth and nose sores as well as dermatitis that drove me distracted and I have NONE of that this time.  The last time I had the hand and foot syndrome and I have it, again, this time.  Today it started being difficult; the last time it started being difficult at day 7, so I'm counting my blessings.  It just feels like I walked over a bed of hot coals on my feet and hands.  Lee is being very gracious and we're eating most meals out or really easily around here, so I don't have to do much with my hands.  I'm taking Ibuprofen to be able to stand the pain in my feet and it's working.  The last round I had to throw in the towel after day 13, but I think I can make it the full 14 days this time.  I really want to complete it.  If I can complete it once, then it will encourage me to believe I can continue it time after time.  I like that it seems to get easier for my body to handle each time.  Soon, I can be an old hand at this stuff.  I just pray that it's working against the cancer.  All the signs that I have of the cancer are much improved (knots in my neck are very small, and I have no pain in my head from the metastasis to the bone [skull]).  It's almost bedtime, so I've got 3 more days to complete this cycle.  God will see me through it; I just know it.

Friday, May 23, 2014


We finally got a real rain today!.  Praise God for that, too!  I'm so enjoying my magnolia blooms, but the leaves have been so spotted and battered looking because it's been so dry.  I've watered it, but it's not God's water.  God's water is way better for the plants!

I saw the oncologist in Lawton today.  We did the happy dance over the results of my spinal tap.  She brought up some interesting ideas about changing the medicine I take every 28 days to strengthen my bones and also wants to talk to the radiologist about doing radiation on the lesion on the dura layer of the covering of my brain.  I will see the oncologist at MDA before I make any changes or do any radiation. Also, I think I'd rather do any radiation that's done there instead of in Oklahoma.  I'm open, but any changes at this point are serious and I have a lot of faith in the MDA crew, whereas I'm not so sure about the folks here.  It's just a lot to consider and pray for God's guideance.  I am a patient at MD Anderson and the docs here are supposed to work with the doctors at MDA.  It feels like this doctor here wants to take over and I'm not sure I want to allow that.  God will guide me.

This is a big weekend in Hobart. It's our 6th annual celebration of freedom.  We're adding a celebration of rain to that, so it's a happy weekend in Hobart.  I hope it's a happy weekend where you are, too!  Thank a Veteran for our freedom!


I was playing cards last night and forgot that I hadn't done the blog!  Ruthie just called to make sure I'm okay and I'm fine, just can't count.  See, Diana's mom and dad are here from New Orleans and they are staying at Bob and Di's 'new' little house.  Bob has been working to get this house in shape so that they could have a bedroom and bathroom working.  He made it!  They invited us and Dorothy over for a delicious spaghetti dinner and Hand and Foot Canasta!  Bob is taking this weekend off since his construction site is occupied, so he asked me to hold down the Facebook front for him.  So I took the above pix and came home and put them onto Facebook.  That felt to me like I'd done the blog, so when Lee asked if I'd done my blog, yet, I said, "Yes!"  I didn't realize until Ruthie called today that I really never did the blog!  Every night I do the blog and my journal with MD Anderson.  Last night I did Facebook and my journal and it felt like I'd done my thing!  I am so sorry if I made anyone worry besides Ruthie.  I'm doing just fine!  Obviously I'm challenged when it comes to counting (I did two things and a third thing would be out of the question!)

The top pic has Dorothy talking to Diana's sister-in-law, who has also moved to Hobart!  Where they are standing you can see behind them the little hallway; on both ends of the hallway is a guest bedroom and a bathroom is right in the middle of the hall.  There will be a bar just this side of Dorothy and Carol that will separate the kitchen from the living room.  That's Diana sitting at the end of the table in the dining nook.  In the third pic, you'll see Di, still sitting at the end of the table.  Lee is standing in what will be the kitchen talking to Di's brother, Dan.  In the middle pic, is a rare site of Bob and Di, both seated.  Usually they are both working.  To the right of the picture you can see the laundry room and back door.  Di's mom was laying down in the master bedroom, so the door was closed, but there is a spacious master bedroom, bathroom and office nook for Diana back there.  It's going to be such a cute little house!  I am almost as excited about it as Diana is.

Again, I so apologize if I left  you worried about me last night.  This is my 10th day on this second round of this chemo and I'm doing very well with it this time.  My feet and hands are peeling, but I can stand to have them in water and I can wear any shoes.  I really believe I'll be able to take the whole cycle this time.  I saw the oncologist today and she's very pleased with my progress.

Besides all that, we got much needed rain in Hobart, today!  PTL!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Abundant Blessings!

Check out the abundance of magnolia blooms.  My little tree is just blooming it's heart out for me!  I love it and thank God for these blooms!  There is a big arrangement on the table, one behind me to the left and one behind me to the right.  I'm holding a single bloom that stays on the bar right by the sink.  These are so fragrant and beautiful and I love them!

The best news of the day, though, is that the doctor's office called with the news that there are NO CANCER  CELLS in my spinal fluid.  Woo Hoo!!!  That is sure awesome news and I sure give thanks to God for that abundant blessing!

Now, it's time to go watch the Thunder/Spurs game.  I'm greedy and looking for more abundant blessings; I'd sure like to see the Thunder win this one so we can be tied at one win each and start, again!

God's taking care of the important stuff, though.  He's taken care of Gretta and He's taking care of me when we were both in precarious positions.  PTL, PTL, PTL!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Precious Memories

Gretta's friend, Lisa, came from Louisville to spend the day with her and Elena.  She even brought a deck of cards so they could play 'Go Fish."  Lisa went with Gretta to see the doctor the day she had the ultrasound and the scheduled her surgery.  She texted me every step of the way.  Then, after Gretta's surgery, she came and spend a night sleeping on the couch in Gretta's room.  She's an AWESOME friend and we all love her!. We won't forget these treasured memories!

Today I've taken it really easy.  My back has been sore where they did the tap, so it was easy to just be pretty lazy all day.  I got some paperwork done, but I let a lot slide that I should have done (like clean house), but it will be there tomorrow and I can do it then.

Lee has felt droopy, again, today.  He's made an appointment with his doctor that he sees for diabetes, thinking that is the problem.  Bless his heart; he might be just tired from the pace we keep!

I thank God for friends like Lisa.  I believe he sends such people into our lives when we need them most.

Kids Are Special!

This is the poster/card that Elena came marching into Mommy's room the first day she visited Gretta at the hospital.  She'd had all the kids in her class sign it for Gretta.  It was certainly a precious time.  Elena was so proud of it!

I'm so sorry about yesterday's post.  It's just the best I could do from laying flat on my back in the hospital. They had me lay there until 10:15 and then I had to quickly dress, be wheel chaired down to the truck and then lay flat in the back seat all the way home.  Then I was supposed to go straight to bed and lay flat until morning.  I guess it worked fine because I feel fine this morning.  (I felt fine through the whole procedure, too.)  They had not prepared us for this at all or I would have done the blog earlier in the day. In fact they had told us it would take just a few minutes and then we could go out to eat afterwards.  That was really an impossibility.  We checked in at the hospital at 6 and the doctor showed up at 8.  He finished the tap at 8:15. I had to lay there for 2 hours and then lay down until morning to the very best of my ability.  It was a good lesson for me to learn how to post from my phone, so if I can't get to the computer sometime, I can always post from my phone.  Necessity is the mother of invention!

The spinal tap went simply.  Laying flat was the worst!  I should have the results of this tap by Friday.  I have a follow up appointment with my oncologist, who ordered the spinal tap, on that day, too;  I sure hope they don't find cancer cells in the spinal fluid!  They wanted to check the spinal fluid since the MRI to the brain revealed a lesion on one of the protective linings of the brain.    This was just a precaution to hope to stay ahead of the disease.

Today I'm thanking God that the procedure went well yesterday and for Elena's sweet class of kids who all Love Gretta so much.  She helps in the lunchroom a lot, and she eats with Elena real often, so the kids have the opportunity to know and love her.  She was supposed to go to work for the first day today; sure pray that she has a great day!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spinal Tap Day.

Sorry no pic tonight.  I am in bed . . . flat on my back for two hours.  I am posting from my phone.  A new trick for me!  I'm watching the Thunder/Spurs and that's worse than the spinal was.  

I'll report better tomorrow.  All is good.  God is in charge!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Gretta Continues to Heal; Lee Scares Us.

I talked to Gretta tonight and she continues to heal.  Real life is tough, but she's getting better and better.  As she approaches the reality of chemo she is apprehensive about being sick, losing her hair, etc.  This is all typical and she will face it well, but she has to go through this stage of wondering.  These pix are some I got of her with Elena in the hospital.  Elena will keep her bouncing.  She is sunshine in everyone's life who she touches!  She is a gift from God in so many ways and we give thanks for her!

This morning Lee gave us quite a scare at church.  He had a diabetic 'spell.'  I always carry glucose tabs in my purse for him, but I took them out when I was going to Kentucky and I didn't think to replace them.  So, I dug in my purse for something that might give him a lift; nothing.  He kept thinking it would pass and he'd be okay, but it didn't pass.  I wrote him a note that if he could make it to the truck I could drive us home and he took me up on it.  So, here we are way down front so that Dorothy can see, so we had to walk out the whole distance of the auditorium.  Bill (the preacher) could see that Lee was white as a ghost and barely staggering, so he paused the sermon and had a prayer for Lee.  Lonnie Olson followed us and helped Lee get out to the truck and into it.  Then he and Dee Max Corbin followed  us home to be sure we got him into the house okay.  He got inside and I immediately gave him a bowl of fruit.  Our dinner was ready, so he ate dinner and then slept in his recliner all afternoon.  He was fine, but it was scary for a while.  I think I'll never be without glucose tabs, again!  I had some in the truck, but I was so rattled I forgot about them!  We were about half way home when I remembered those and gave him a couple.  If I had thought of those in the beginning I could have gotten him some and I think he would have been fine.  Of course there are lots of people in church who are diabetic and they carry hard candy, etc.  I should have just raised my hand and asked Bill to ask if anyone had such a thing.  I mean we caused a disturbance, anyway, so maybe that would have been better?  Anyway, we made it fine; just shook up everyone for a while.  Thank goodness is was not more serious.  Lee was afraid he was having a stroke (his older brother had several strokes and finally had one that killed him).  I just need to never let a diabetic spell go that far, again!  It was a precious experience in that it was so nice to see so many people care so deeply.  I thank God for a wonderful church family!

Tomorrow I have the spinal tap at 6 p.m.  We'll be hurrying home as quickly as possible because the Thunder plays the Spurs in their first game in this series at 8 p.m.  I'll report as soon as possible.  I don't expect to have results very soon, but I will let you know that it's been done.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

She Wraps Everyone Around Her Little Finger.

Elena is magic.  She automatically wraps everyone around her little finger.  She loves Lee and he love her. We took her to Applebee's to eat and she didn't even offer to sit with me.  She jumped right in and moved over for Lee to sit down.  She must like his beard, because when they're talking every now and then she'll reach up and stroke it.  She's about to do that in this pic.  I don't think she consciously does it, it just happens.  She's always been really into textures and that beard is a whole new dimension for her.  We sure miss her!  We miss being there with Gretta and Joe, too.  I'm so grateful for the time that I got to go and be with them and glad that Lee came to join us, too.  More precious memories for us.

Today I worked in the flower beds and got them all weeded before they took over.  It sure feels good to be ahead of the weeds.  I've got magnolia blooms galore, too.  Tomorrow I'll have one open that I can reach and bring it inside.  I thank God for a perfect day for working in the yard and for the ability to do it.

This was day 4 of this round of chemo and I'm doing okay.  Yay!  My right thumb is really sore and my hands and feet are peeling, but they aren't hurting.  So far, so good.  I'm grateful for each day that I can take the chemo and take swings at this cancer!

Friday, May 16, 2014

More Cut Flowers From the Yard.

I think the pink larkspur look anemic out there with the purple ones, so I always cut or pull them up before the go to seed.  So, I put them in this arrangement of odds and ends I got from the yard.  There was one last iris bloom and a couple more buds.  We'll see if they'll bloom.  I cut off suckers from the crepe myrtles and stuck them in there, too.  They look pretty good, so I'll use them for filler when I have them, again.  The bright yellow is yarrow which is blooming beautifully with the larkspur.  The larkspur isn't really great to cut and bring in because those little tiny petals fall and make a mess, but it won't hurt to bring them in this one time.

We slept late this morning and then went to Lawton for what I thought was to be my spinal tap.  It was just an appointment to let the neurosurgeon examine me.  We scheduled the spinal tap for this coming Monday at 6 p.m.  He sees patients in his office all day and then will meet me at the hospital for the spinal tap.  He said they will have some results the next day, but they'll do more tests that take up to two weeks.  So, I'm just doing what they tell me to do, now.

When we got home from Lawton I cut off all the dead iris stalks.  The greens are still out there and I'll leave them until they start looking ragged.  They store up energy for next year, so I'll leave those greens as long as I can.  My magnolia tree is just full of buds.  They should be blooming very soon.  I'll LOVE that!

I thank God for the flowers that I enjoy so much.  Tomorrow I plan to get out in the flower beds and hoe weeds; those rascals would sure like to take over, but I'll not have it!  I thank God for the ability to work in the yard, too.  It's good for me and helps me to keep my head clear.  I love being out there with God's creations; it's a good time for us to visit!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Home, Sweet Home!

We're home!  It's so good to be home.  My irises are done until the rebloomers bloom, again, but the larkspur are in full bloom.  I put the camera on the bridge in the back yard and got this pic.  See those skinny poles to my left?  Those are on one of the crepe myrtles.  They are all showing foliage, so they will be beautiful this year, too.  That one pink larkspur right  in the very front, just a little to the right of the center will be pulled up tomorrow.  There are about 5 other pink ones back behind me and I'll pull those, too.  They reseed themselves, so I don't want them to go to seed; I don't like the pink ones because I think they look anemic.  I love the white ones (those are behind me, too) and the hummingbirds love the purple ones.  This is a really good crop.

It's so good to be home.  I've got to get unpacked and get a bath and dinner.  The Thunder/Clippers game 6 is tonight at 9:30.  We can sleep late, so we'll stay up and watch the game.  My appointment is in Lawton tomorrow at 2.  I'm going to have what they call a lumbar punch.  That's where they go into my back with a needle and draw out some spinal fluid.  They want to test it to be sure there are no cells in my spinal fluid.  If there is none, that's a great thing.  If there is some, then they will do some radiation treatments.  I have some issues with my hands trembling, so that's why they are checking.  I think the trembling of my hands is because I'm always so cold and also from fatigue.  I hope I'm right.  Whatever the case, we are on top of it and doing all we can do.  I thank God for good docs who keep an eye on me and Gretta!  I resumed my chemo pills again yesterday, so this is day 2.  So far, so good; no problems with side effects!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New Times!

This was the bridge I crossed every day to get from the parking garage to where Gretta was.  I couldn't believe it the first time when I spotted this robot!  I asked what it is for and they told me it takes information from one building to another in the hospital.  I thought it was so cool and called it R2D2, but Lee said it probably put 5 people out of work.  I'd say it's part of the new times!

We left Gretta this morning.  I made her some potato soup this morning, so she's got that to get her through a day or two.  Bless her heart, she's in quite a bit of pain because she won't take anything stronger than Ibuprofen.  She wants her head to be clear to drive if she needs to.  Yes, she's hard headed like that; a chip off the old block!  She'll be fine, though.  She's a survivor for sure.  I thank God for her wonderful pathology report.  This time next year, this will all be a thing of the past and we'll all be talking about 'remember when' regarding anything about her cancer.  I guess she and I are carrying some pretty cancer ridden genes, so my granddaughters sure need to be very self aware!  My mother and her mother had breast cancer, as I do.  Gretta's grandmother on her dad's side had colon cancer and she has this ovarian/fallopian tube cancer.  It's enough to make a person stop and think!  God has a plan, though, and we thank Him for being in control!

Lee and I made it to Rolla, MO today.  We've stopped for the night in a motel, had supper and are ready to go to bed early so we can get up and leave early in the morning.  I resumed my chemo pills today.  So far, so good.  I'm so praying that I can tolerate the whole round this time!  I won't be subbing, so I can lay in bed if I have to do that.

It's 44 degrees and raining here!  We're freezing!  It's 66 and sunny in Hobart; I'm so ready to be home! We'll be there tomorrow if all goes well.  Yahoo!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

She's Home; She's Home!!!

This pic I got yesterday when Lisa came to the hospital and was playing Go Fish with Elena and Gretta.  Lisa is Gretta's long time really good friend.  She came bringing cards to play!  She lives in Louisville and Gretta has stayed with her so much when she was working in Louisville.  Lisa went with Gretta when she went to have her ultrasound prior to surgery, etc.  She came and spent the night in the hospital with Gretta the first night after surgery.  She kept me updated all along the way.  She's absolutely a blessing in our lives!  Actually, Gretta has so many wonderful friends.  It's been fun to be here and meet many who I've known by name, but not in person.  It's great to meet them.  What a blessing they've been to Gretta, too!

Today we got to bring Gretta home.  Holding her down is going to be another thing.  Bless her heart; she's a BEAST, all right!  Nothing slows her down.  Even a huge hysterectomy is no big deal to her. I'm hoping she will follow her body's lead and rest some at least when Elena is at school.  Her house is all packed up to move June 1 or thereabouts, so she's staying with Joe until then.  What an awesome friend (and ex husband) he is!  I expect she will go back to work next week.  The doctor encouraged her to do that because it will occupy her mind and keep her from worrying about herself.  Her job is one where she sits, so she should be okay to do that.  (She is a 911 dispatcher for the city of Frankfort, KY.)

Lee and I are leaving in the morning to head for home.  We won't drive straight through like he did coming.  We'll stop along the way.  I have an appointment in Lawton to make on Friday.  I resume my chemo in the morning.  I need to be working my way home so I'll be there if and when the side effects hit.  I'm praying that my body will say, "Oh, that; okay," and tolerate the chemo better this time.  We'll see.

Tonight the Thunder plays the Clippers, again.  Those rascals had better win this game!  They had the last game won and let it slip through their fingers in the last couple of minutes!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Awesome Pathology Report for Gretta!

I forget what day this pic was made.  I'm about frazzled.  Today was awesome news day, though!  The pathology report came back and the cancer was not in the lymph nodes or the lining of her stomach or the lining of her abdomen.  It was only in the lower part of her abdomen, none above her waist.  So her stage is 2b.  She will have 6 rounds of chemo, that is one treatment every 3 weeks.  She can actually do that in 5 months if she doesn't have to delay any while her body builds up from the onslaught of the chemo.  The docs are very optimistic about her recovery because of her youth, her strength and health, and the fact that this had not spread past her lower abdomen.  Praise God!!!  We were all so very thrilled!  Today she was eating cream soups and tomorrow she's going to real food.  She will probably get to come home tomorrow!  We are all dancing the happy dance!

I talked to my docs and I am to resume my chemo this week at the same dosage I had last time.  I have an appointment in Lawton this Friday for a procedure to check for cells in my spinal fluid.  We will do our best to make that appointment and get back to normal at home.  There won't be any more days for me to sub, so I'm through working for this school year.  I can just bum around the house and do my best to tolerate the chemo and put this cancer back into it's place.  I will make every effort to do that.  I didn't have any problems with side effects last time until day 7, so I think I'll be okay until I get home. Maybe my body will say, "Oh, that again," and just put up with the chemo better this time.  I'm hoping for that.  I made it until day 13 the last time, so maybe I can make it just one more day this time.  I'll do the best and can and with God as my partner, we'll get this done one way or another.  He sure brought us through this crisis with Gretta.

Lee got in last night around 8, having driven all the way without stopping to sleep.  What a dear he is and I thank God for keeping him safe!

I'm really exhausted, so I'm closing this out with a huge thanks to all of your for your love and prayers and praise, praise, praises to God for getting us through this so well!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mothers' Day!

We got this pic yesterday before the liquid diet got there.  Today Gretta called before I left the house and asked me to bring her curlers.  She had washed her hair again and she wanted to curl it.  You know she's feeling better when she wants curlers!

Today she graduated to mush from liquid diet.  So far that only means she has some cloudy stuff, like tomato soup, apple sauce and chocolate pudding.  She's happy to have it all, though.  She's really doing great.  I'm so proud of her great attitude!   She's trusting God and that's all that really matters.

Elena and I are going to leave in a little bit so that Gretta can get some rest (they get her up around 5 this morning) so she's ready for a nap.  Elena needs to spend some time running off some energy because a couple of days up here in the hospital is pretty tough on a 7 year old.  She's done great, but she needs to run and play.  I'm going to catch the Thunder/Clippers game if I can and maybe get a nap!

Lee is on his way; I just talked to him and he's 100 miles from St. Louis.  We're all looking forward to seeing him, and I'm sure he'll be glad to get here and get off the road!  Bless his heart; he's a dear!

Saturday, May 10, 2014


I was here yesterday when her doctor assured her that as soon as she passed gas she could graduate from chipped ice to a liquid diet.  They said the best way for her to break wind would be to walk.  We walked this floor for miles yesterday and no wind.  Finally this morning she broke wind and called to tell them and ask for food, and she was told that the doctor on duty for the weekend wanted her to wait. WAIT???  This was her 5th day without food and she was starving.  I went into Shirley MaClaine mode (from Terms of Endearment).  I told them that she has been through a LOT and this blow was just too much.  I flew out here from Oklahoma to support her through surgery and recovery, but NOT to witness her STARVING!  They patiently explained to me why she wasn't approved for eating; it boiled down to the resident didn't know his ABC's and he wanted to wait and let her doctor okay it. Her doctor had okayed it in my presence, so I marched into the visitor lounge and got her a cup of coffee.  Then I took off for the cafeteria and asked for chicken broth.  They didn't have any, so I bought a cup of cheddar, broccoli, potato soup.  I was storming back into her room when I bumped into her nurse who was asking her if she was ready for her liquid diet.  I think Jesus had a little talk with someone; a life was saved.  Maybe it was mine, maybe it was the resident's; all I know is someone was going down if Gretta didn't get food!  She got it, so I'm relaxing, now and she has a full tummy.

I left the house this morning and got 7 miles down the road before I realized I'd left my purse at home. Ugh!  Then I got to town and got lost for about an hour.  No lie.  I'd look at the map and see a way to get here and then run into a one way street going the wrong way.  That meant I had to go around a block and get back going the opposite direction.  I finally got so turned around that I didn't know which direction I was going.  Gretta was calling me, but it was all I could do to drive.  She wanted me to stop and ask for directions, but you can't just stop on a busy street and yell, "Help!  I need directions!"  I finally found Enterprise rent a car and got out to get directions and they were closed. Back into the car and back to driving in circles around town.  This was evidently graduation at the University of Kentucky, so there were millions of people clamoring around town and none of them knew where they were going, either.  Gretta would call me, but she wanted to know where I was and I never knew where I was when she called.  I can't talk on the phone and drive, but there was nowhere to pull over.  Finally I just didn't answer when the phone rang.  As soon as we got here I had to make a quick trip to the bathroom, so, of course I was in the bathroom when the phone rang next.  When we (I had Elena with me) finally got into her room, she was livid because I hadn't answered the phone.  I was livid because they hadn't fed her.  I just stormed out of the room and went right to the nurse's station, and the rest I've told you.  Anyway, she's eaten and I've calmed.  I thank God for fixing this day.  Did I say I forgot to put in earrings?  This day was just tricky from the word go, but I've survived it.  Gretta is eating and I'm happy.

I'm so proud of the Thunder for beating the Clippers last night!  That's a good thing!  That's all for today.  Hopefully, I'll be more graceful when I report next.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ooops; Lost a Whole Post!

I posted a whole post awhile ago, but it's not showing, so I'll write it, again.  Gretta is doing great today.  There have been some tough times, but she takes them right in stride.  Overnight her IV got plugged and it wasn't delivering the pain meds to her, so when she woke up she was in a lot of pain. They gave her a new IV and some big pain meds to give her some relief.  They also made her rather loopy, but she takes all that in stride and goes right ahead to put one foot in front of the other.  I'm so proud of her.

It's really wonderful to be here to meet so many of her friends as they come in to see her!  Indeed she is blessed with some wonderful people in her life.  I thank God that she has made these wonderful friends.

Since they took out 8" of her colon and then reattached what was left they are being very careful about how she eats.  She still has not had even a liquid diet; she will so welcome a cup of coffee and a bowl of chicken broth!  It's a difficult wait for her.

I met her doctor this morning, so he explained everything to both of us.  He is very optimistic that she can totally be cured of this cancer.  He will know more about her staging when the results of the pathology comes in Monday or Tuesday.  He suspects that she is at stage 2, but if a couple of things are positive then she'll be a stage 3.  Either way, he believes she can beat this.  She will begin chemo in 3 - 4 weeks, once her body has healed from the surgery.  She'll have 6 rounds of chemo; one every 3 weeks, so she may be able to be done with it in 5 months.  She's ready.  She's braced for whatever, now!  I thank God for holding her in His arms as He does all of us who are willing to be held!

I'm doing fine.  I hope I can stay up to watch the Thunder/Clippers game tonight.  Thunder up!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

All is Good!

I'm sorry that I can't post pix; you all will just have to use your imaginations.  I checked out of the hotel this morning and will spend the rest of my time here at Joe's house.  He doesn't have WIFI so that I can't use my computed that has pix on it, but I can use his computer and keep you informed

Gretta is doing absolutely great!  She is quite the trooper and she is braced for all she is facing.  Of course there will be surprises, but she'll handle them well.  For example, she was talking today about losing her hair and she wants to cut it off before she starts losing it so that she can donate it.  She thinks she will wear hats, but maybe get a wig in case she wants to go somewhere and look normal.  I'll have to remind her that not only the hairdo goes, but so do the eyelashes and eyebrows.  The good thing is so does all the leg and arm hairs, too, so that's a nice blessing.  Anyway, she'll deal with the surprises well.  She's amazing!

Joe had a bite of some sort under his arm on his side and it was making a huge red spot.  Yesterday he went to Urgent Care and they gave him an antibiotic to take and told him if it wasn't better today to go to the ER.  It wasn't better and he was running a fever of 101 and having dry heaves.  At the ER they lanced it, drained it, packed it with gauze and gave him a new antibiotic.  He felt much better after a couple of hours, so I think we've got him mending, too.  He has to go Monday to have it drained and cleaned, again.

I took Elena to her soccer practice today and we got lost, but I finally got her there.  It's so fun to watch her play because she's really good and she loves it so much.

I am doing fine.  My feet and hands continue to improve.  The dermatitis is about the same, but I forgot to rub down in hydrocortisone this morning and I've survived with out it, so  it must be better, too.  I've talked to the specialty pharmacy in Orlando who sends me my chemo and there is some kind of snag there.  They told me to have my doctor call them and when I called they said they just went over it with them 45 minutes ago.  I called the pharmacy back and told them that, and they said they had no record of such a call.  I told them I didn't like being in the middle and I felt like they should work out the wrinkles and not involve me.  Just get me the chemo so I can resume it next Tuesday.  So, there are little issues like that, but we work through them.  Lee is holding the fort at home and will probably come here next Monday if not sooner.  I thank God for His control in our lives!  We are blessed!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Gretta is Doing Great!

I couldn't write all I was feeling last night because Gretta hadn't told all the family she wanted to tell. When I got the call that her hysterectomy was way more complicated that we suspected I went to pieces.  I had to be here asap!  Lee was so supportive.  He was behind me flying out here this morning and he will follow in a few days and take me home.  I thank God for him!  I got here today and Gretta was walking around dragging her IV pole!  She gets up every now and then and stretches and walks around a little bit just to keep from getting stiff.  She was able to use the bathroom by herself  so no more catheters!  Oh, I guess I should fully explain.  When they got in to do the hysterectomy they found 2 huge tumors and some had gone into the colon.  They did a complete hysterectomy, took 8 inches of her colon and the lining of her stomach.  They have sent it all to pathology to determine what the original cancer is so they will know which chemo cocktail to start her on in about a month.  She amazes me; her attitude is wonderful and she is so grateful for so many loving friends.  I thank God for them, too.

The pic tonight is one I got of her with Elena snuggled up in the bed with her.  Elena came in with a scroll which when opened showed all the kids in her class at school had made a huge poster for her with positive notes and pix!

I only slept about 20 minutes last night and an hour on the plane today, so I'm so ready for bed!  Gretta was resting peacefully when we left her room.  Two of her friends who had brought Elena up to see her took me to the hotel, so I'd get here and not get lost or anything.  One rode with me to show me the way along with Elena.  The other one met us here and then took them all home after they saw I was checking in fine.

It's been a blessing to witness so much love for my daughter and to witness her terrific strength, too. God has a plan and we're honored to be living it the best we can to give Him the glory!  So sorry I had to be vague last night, but I'll be back to my spill all the beans self, now!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

We Get to See Gretta!

We get to see Gretta!  Her surgery went well today, but it took longer than they expected.  They'll have to do pathology on all they removed, so we won't know much more until next week probably.  It was all I could do to wait for someone to call me and tell me the surgery was over and she was okay.  When the call finally came, she had been in surgery for 4 hours and would have to be in recovery for at least 2 more.  I knew then I had to go there.  I've been working all evening to get a flight scheduled.  I've got a one way ticket and my wonderful husband will come and get me.  I just know I need to be there with her and help with Elena while she is in the hospital for the next 4 or 5 days.

I will do my best to post to the blog everyday, but if I miss a day, please cut me some slack to spend every moment I can with Gretta and Elena.  I've talked with my doc's nurse and they decided to keep me on my break from the chemo for another 7 days.  I will then resume the chemo at a reduced rate.  I didn't start feeling side effects for 7 days the last time, so I'm hoping I'll be in pretty good shape for the next 2 weeks and then I should be headed for home. Hopefully, taking the lower dose will be more tolerable to my body and I won't have issues at all.  Everyone is working with me to make this trip possible and I thank God for that.  We know that God has a plan and Gretta and I are pleased to be a part of it and give Him all the glory.

Thank you all for your love and prayers!

Lee's Through with the Dentist, We Hope!

This is a pic I got of  us before church on Sunday.  Lee's smiling really big today because he has finished up all his dental work.

We came home and watched the Clippers slice up the Thunder, so our smiles are not so big when we think of that.  Hopefully, they can come back for the next game and make up for tonight's catastrophe!

Tomorrow is my 7th day of rest from this chemo.  I'll call the doc and explain to her how I'm doing and see if she wants me to start the next round.  I'm much better, but I still have all the side effects, just about half as bad as they were at the worst.  It will be interesting to see what I'm supposed to do and see how my body reacts if she wants me to resume the chemo.  This is all so interesting.  It's more interesting when the side effects aren't so bad.  My feet still hurt, but I can wear all my shoes.  The sores in my mouth are much better, but still very much there.  The rash is still there, but it responds well to hydrocortisone.  I'll report tomorrow. I thank God for the opportunity to fight this cancer and for all of you who are so supportive.

Gretta has not wanted her son to know this, so I haven't said anything.  She put it on facebook tonight, so I guess I can mention it here.  She has a huge mass in her abdomen which will be removed tomorrow at the University of Kentucky Cancer Center.  They are optimistic that it is NOT cancer due to her youth, but they aren't taking any chances.  Please join me in prayers for her.  She's a mighty, mighty woman, so she will face this well, but I sure pray that she will only have to recover from the surgery and not have to face cancer also. God bless Gretta and all of us!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Keeping it Short Today.

I got this pic this morning before church.  After church we went to the Mexican restaurant with Dorothy and another lady from church.  The Mexican restaurant used to be opened on Sunday, but they stopped  for about 3 years.  Just recently they opened again for Sunday lunch.  It was way more food than I needed, so I still feel stuffed!

Today I've been able to wear my crocs around the house.  That's an improvement.  My feet still hurt, but there were days that there was no way I could stand anything but an absolutely smooth surface.  That's improvement and I thank God for it.  Lee wanted to go buy me more shoes, but I couldn't even stand the thought of trying on shoes!  I have plenty of shoes and I'm glad that I can get improvement on the days that I take off from the chemo.  This is day 5 of my 7 day rest, so I get two more days to improve before I hit the chemo, again.

Tomorrow we go to OKC for Lee's root canal and to get his new partial plate.  I hope this will be the end of his dental work for a while!

The irises are still beautiful, but the wind is sure giving them a beating.  I deadheaded them, again, today. They look so much prettier when all the dead ones are gone.  My sweet mother-in-law's miniature rose bush is blooming it's heart out, too.  I'll post a pic of it probably tomorrow.  Another blessing from God and these flowers all bring back precious memories of an awesome, awesome lady!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Woo Hoo! Thunder Wins!!!

This is the arrangement that sits on the bar.  I am so enjoying these flowers; the kitchen sink is right there on the other side of the bar, so I get to see these flowers and the ones in the dining room a lot!  I was so enjoying the ballgame tonight, too!  It's wonderful to have a great win!

My sweet sister wrote me an email today because she couldn't figure out when is a good time to call me. She doesn't want to wake me from my nap or interrupt a Thunder game.  She decided to send an email to be sure I knew she's watching and cares.  Never worry about waking me from a nap; I can go right back to sleep.  Sleep is still one of the things I do the very best!

I have to quote her:  "I watch for your blog every night in hope and dread."  Bless her heart!  I don't want her or any of you to worry about me.  I appreciate so much that you care and will pray for me, but leave it in God's hands and He will have it as He finds it works best for His glory and purpose.  I know that I don't understand His plan, but I totally trust it.

I'm being totally honest on this blog, but maybe it sounds worse than it is.  I really hope that by sharing what is happening with me someone can gain strength when they are faced with a similar situation.  I am in an online support group of breast cancer metastasis survivors.  It is so encouraging to me to read of someone who has been on the drug I'm on for 11 years, or find that someone else is coping with the hand and foot syndrome or mouth sores, etc.  I don't write this so that you will worry about me or to frighten anyone.  This is not the toughest thing that's ever happened in my life.  It's wonderful to have so many people who love and support me and even pray for me.  I believe all that works.  I also believe that God is so in control of my life as well as everyone else's.  If He feels that I can serve Him best with side effects or even death, then I'm okay with that. My greatest joy is that He will use me in His plan.

Now, today I was able to plant a couple of tomato plants, a rosemary plant, about 3 basil plants and 15 sweet potato vines. Lee was right there beside me the whole way and that was precious to me.  He also finished up the trim on a new door we had put in the garage over a year ago; the guy who did it never came back to finish it, so Lee did it.  I got all the irises dead headed and they look so awesome!  I also got the sheets on our bed changed. We also ran some errands.  It was a great day.  My hands and feet still hurt, but not as bad as they did.  I could even put my feet into the bath water tonight, so my bath was much more enjoyable.  I'm thinking this 7 days of rest from the chemo just may work for me; I'll build my strength and be ready for another 14 days of chemo.  I'm hoping that I can get stronger and the side effects won't bother me so much each time.  I missed church Wednesday night (Wednesday was my worst day.), but I've been able to keep up with everything else that we normally do.  On Wednesday night we meet in the fellowship hall to eat, which is a wonderful fellowship time.  Then we move into the auditorium for a devotional and our class stays in there while the others go to their classrooms.  It would have meant an awful lot of walking for me and I just didn't feel like it. Lee had just had 3 teeth pulled on Monday, so he couldn't eat anything that required any chewing.  We thought it was a good time to miss.  We've both gotten better each day since then.

Lee is such a gift to me.  He is such a brick to insist that I get my naps and eat.  He is super supportive and so kind and loving.  I've thought so many times how different this journey would be if I were facing it alone.  I know that you would all be there for me, but when there was nobody but me in the house, it was so grim! Lee lost his wife to complications of breast cancer, so this has got to be difficult for him to face, again.  He's a dear, and I thank God for bringing him to me; He knew I'd need someone to help me through this bump in the road.

Don used to say so often, "I've had a wonderful life and if it were to end today I could only be content and grateful."  That gave me a lot of comfort when his life ended so suddenly.  I know exactly what he meant, though, and I feel the same way.  So, please come back and read the blog often because there might be something there that will mean something to you someday, but don't worry about me.  I'm really in good spirits and in good shape physically.  This cancer is trying to swing me around by the toes, but there's a lot of life left in me, yet.  Rejoice with me that I have wonderful doctors and awesome family and friends to support me.  Together we can do this and give God the glory!  I apologize for this being so long, but, my cup runneth over.  :)

Friday, May 2, 2014

More Fresh Flowers!

I deadheaded all the irises today and cut some more to bring inside.  They make me feel so blessed, and I thank God for them.

Today was my 3rd day of the 7 day rest period.  Each day my side effects are a little better.  My feet still feel like they have blisters on them.  I keep looking expecting to find blisters, but there are none.  The hardest thing is taking a bath because my feet can't take the heat and the rest of me can't take the cool water.  I have a little stool in the tub to put my feet out of the water, but that is so uncomfortable, too.  I just have to rush through the bath.  Then it's really tricky standing up to get out of the tub.  I'm so glad we have gripper bars to help me balance.

I have a new side effect, I think.  My tongue has been sore for about 4 days; I thought it was because I was using so many cough drops to keep from coughing my head off at school.  Today I haven't used a single cough drop and my tongue is more sore than ever.  Also the inside of my lips are raw.  It's a common side effect of this chemo and I can't really blame the cough drops anymore.  I've used cough drops over the years and never got a sore tongue or lips.  It's not something I can't accept, though.  It could be worse.

I'm sure happy that this chemo gives me a 7 day rest off the chemo to allow my body to rebuild and repair from all the damage that the chemo does to the good cells.  I sure hope it's getting after those cancer cells!

Happy May, everyone!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Feet and Hands are so Much Better Today!

Here is another shot of the heron fishing below the tree that has the nests in it.  My feet are not good enough to walk over there, yet, but I'll be able to do that soon at the rate they are improving.  I'm so glad they are here to watch.

I'm so enjoying the irises!  The wind has broken off a couple of stalks, but I just bring them inside an add them to my arrangements.  My feet were better enough today that I could go out and deadhead all the irises and they are so pretty in the yard!  I love them inside, too. 

My feet and hands have improved so much!  I could walk like normal today.  I even darned 3 pairs of socks tonight as we watched the Thunder/Grizzlies game.  I was able to walk around and deadhead all the irises today, too.  They decided to do some make up testing tomorrow and I felt good enough to agree to monitor. I was looking forward to not working when my feet hurt so bad, but they felt good enough that I was glad to accept the offer to monitor.  I so thank God for giving me relief quickly.  I pray that the reduced dosage will be more tolerable for my body and still mighty enough to kick the cancer!

God blesses and I thank Him and give Him praise and glory!  Counting my blessings would be impossible.  If I attempted to count the blooms on my irises it would be impossible and God has blessed me in so many other ways on top of all these flowers. We are so richly blessed; I'm grateful that we aren't required to count our blessings, because it would be beyond my ability to count them!  They all surely count in my life, though!