Monday, December 29, 2008

It's a beautiful day!

Yesterday was such a wonderful sermon! It was about how we might go into Egypt but God already has a plan to get us out!! We have to learn to lean on HIM and have faith that what he says he is going to do...that he does!! It was so encouraging but of course....the sermons are always encouraging or self-seeking (this is meant for the congregation to seek within themselves to align with the WORD, it was not to mean that the Pastor is self-seeking). I have nothing but wonderful things to say about my Pastor. :-)

Today is beautiful and sunny. Oh, I cannot wait until the New Year with chemo behind me so I can again enjoy the normalcy of life. My chemo treatments are not officially over until February, if my body is able to handle it. They already gave me a week off to get my counts up so I'm hoping they stay up and I can handle the rest of them without delay. More delay....just means more time I have to be off work and out of a normal routine.

My routine now is getting a bath, changing my pjs and laying or sitting in my chair or on the couch....oh, how boring is that? ha. However, I'm glad to be able to do that some days so I won't complain. :-)

The holidays have been such a joyous time. I always enjoy them but I've enjoyed them a little more this year since I've been home and have been able to enjoy my decorations. The kids already dread the taking down of the decorations. In fact, Angela suggested we leave them up. How white trash is that? ha.

I have two more days until my next chemo treatment. It makes me wonder with having off an extra week how my body will respond. I pray the extra time helps.

Steve has had a very sharp pain in his shoulder. He was in so much pain....I shared my pain meds with him to get relief. As he lay in bed, I reached over to help him and just by pushing a little on his arm, he was in pain. I told him that is exactly how I've felt with my back for 6 months since I've gotten this herniated disc from the surgery. It is always so painful but what do you do? My spine specialist told me that it would just get worse with chemo. Oh thank you for the encouraging words. ha. You realize until God heals you, that you have to adjust to always having pain. I never had any pain before but is a constant part of my life. I felt really bad that Steve was hurting so bad since he has to go to work.

I stayed in all day Friday and Saturday and slept alot. Now I want to go and see if there are really any bargains out there since it is so beautiful and I know in another day, I'll be laying on the couch. Steve went into work, although technically he is off and is on his way home. I hope I can talk him into going.

I really hate having to wear a hat everywhere you go. I usually wear them at home also because what little I have left looks like Beetlejuice Steve said and I'm always cold. By the way, the Beetlejuice statement had us all laughing so hard!! I have very little hair compared to him but it sticks straight out the sides of my head. It is pretty funny. The only good part is that I can get dressed as quickly as a man because all I have to do is pull the strays up into my hat and pronto...ready to go!! My pastor said with all the hats that I'm accumulating that I may start a new fashion around the church. My first thought is, how horrible I look in them so I doubt anyone would want to emulate my new fashionable style.

My pastor and wife are always so wonderful when I attend church. They make sure to come and speak everytime I'm there. For those in smaller churches, this might not mean much but our service in the morning is packed out and we run 600-700 people. It is alot of effort to get past that many people to speak to someone because someone is always stopping you. My church family has been awesome with bringing dinners and prayers, my work family bringing all the paper goods along with money for my trips to the hospital and family and friends sending cards, flowers, letter, blog comments, words of encouragement and most of prayer.

It makes a beautiful day more beautiful and feels me with that much more gratitude!! It is the season to be jolly but I want to be jolly everyday without the Santa belly. ha. No, honestly...if we all went out of our way to laugh, share a kind word and do a small deed for someone else, just think about how wonderful our world would really be? "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you". If we all made this conscious effort, it makes me wonder if we would have the crime and so much discontent/

Many times, my mom and I have talked about people who are invisible to others. Someone who irrates you for some reason or another so you just avoid them. They may act a little strange or talk too much or not talk at all so we tend to bypass them to talk to those who are in our comfort zone or our circle of friends. These people feel rejected and alone. Many people who do the most heinous crimes will point back to how they were left alone or not shown any love or nuturing so they take it out on someone else. It is a very sad society. People looking for answers, joy and peace. They will not find it in material things but peace is something inside that happens when you continue to make right choices. It brings you peace and through the peace and calm, you begin to feel joy about your life. It is truly JOY unspeakable when you live right, do right and have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I find so much peace and calm through my storm. Even in my agony, I have comfort.

God's love has shone through all of YOU in this journey. For that, I could never thank you but I hope what you receive from me is the reassurance that Christ is always in control! HE sees our needs before we ask and is always willing and able to do above what we even ask. HE wants our path to be HIS path and way to salvation and then to eternal peace, joy and hope someday. I pray that through this journey that my life means something to someone and that HIS life shines through me. I am not perfect but I strive to live like I should and to share his grace and mercy with others. This is my prayer each day. I hope you find it to be true.

May your day be filled with hope, peace and joy and given all the grace and mercy to endure this journey to the end.

May God bless all of YOU!
Love to all,

Friday, December 26, 2008

Belated Merry Christmas!

Wow, my system has been down the past day or so and I've felt a little isolated. It is amazing how a computer connects you to so many things without leaving home and without it....I feel very disconnected! :-)

It has been a wonderful Christmas. Not because of all the gifts but just the time to relax and enjoy our families. Of course, that is after the days of shopping and wrapping and exhausting ourselves. Oh my, I stayed up until 1:30 a.m. one night just trying to get it all together. I love to have everything cleaned, all the gifts wrapped and food prepared the night before the holiday. This makes it so nice to get up and have breakfast together and then enjoy the gift sharing, etc. I probably stress over it too much because I like things to be clean and in order but nonetheless, it does make for a less stress free day.

We had Christmas with my parents and siblings on Christmas Eve, Christmas morning was shared with just my children and then Christmas Day, we went to my Aunt's house where all the family and friends got together. A very busy two days. We pulled out old movies of when our kids were toddlers. My youngest is now 18 so it has been many years. Everyone enjoyed the movies and wanted copies. So my next chemo is coming up on New Year's Eve so Steve promised to make copies while I'm laying around. Oh joy....something to look forward to again...CHEMO.....the dreaded poison!ha.

Anyway, my aunt pulled out Super 8 movies (the kind that is on a movie reel) from the 50s and 60s. She is going to have them put on a DVD. It is hard to find places that transfer the reels to DVD. If anyone has any good ideas, please let us know. I think it costs about $40-$50 dollars for each one but because they are so old but in very good condition, we want a reputable place that does a good job.

Today, I feel very lazy and worn out. I know my grandpa, who is 90, said he was very tired and worn out from the festivities. Unfortunately, I know how he feels. I understand it now when someone older talks about how tired they are...he finally had to leave the party because he was so tired.

Well, we just got a message that someone in our church's father passed away so I need to pray for them and see what we can do to help them.

I'll sign off and say again, Happy Belated Christmas! Let's not forget that the reason for this season, Jesus should stay with us all year long. So although we just celebrated his birthday, we must continue to celebrate his life through each breath we breathe every day. God is faithful to us, we must in turn be faithful to him.

So having said all safe if you are out shopping and take time to relax in your day.

As always, love to all,

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve and Love to all!

Well, it is with a full heart that I sit down today to express the wonderous love of God, family, friends and those that I've not met that have been there through this journey. You have given us hope beyond measure with your kindness, love and support so many times when you didn't even know we needed it.

Today is the eve before we celebrate Jesus' birth. I can only imagine the anxiety Mary and Joseph must have felt trying to find a place for Mary to give birth. As we scramble around trying to find the last gift, tie the last bow, bake the last pie or cake, let's not forget the celebration of Jesus' birthday. Without Jesus, there is no salvation. Without Jesus, there is no heaven. Without Jesus, there is no forgiveness of sin. Without Jesus, we are nothing.

With Jesus, we are everything. He is all Power, all seeing and knows our needs even before we ask. How many times have we sat by our children's bed when they've been so sick just wishing we knew what to do to make it all better? These are the simple things to God. He can reach down and erase a fever, cold or any type of illness we have. Such as mine....nothing is too hard for HIM. It is us who fear, have anxiety or question the wonders of God.

I feel so blessed today. If I didn't make it another day, I've been blessed more than I deserve! God has been so great to our family. I just can't thank him enough.

It makes me sad this time of year when so many don't have family or they have fragmented families who don't get together or get along. We always have so many family and friend invitations that we have to sort through what we can or cannot do. However, they are all Christian based get togethers and we always reflect on the real reason for the season by reading the birth of Jesus in the Bible.

Mom will always have dollar coins and ask questions of all the kids about the Christmas story. Last year it was so cute, my nephew who was 4 at the time answered my mom's question of "what was Jesus wrapped in?" He was very proud of himself as he threw up his hand and answered, "He was wapped in waddling clothes!" It was close enough to swaddling and gave us all a good laugh so this year, we'll find out if he's figurered out that it is swaddling. I think he knew last year but couldn't quite pronounce.

I really don't care if my time were up, I just feel so wonderfully blessed that I couldn't wish for another thing. I believe we should all feel like that. Live each day as if it were our last. Don't wait for someone else to talk to you, talk to them...don't wait for someone else to make your day pleasant, find the, joy in your day...don't wait until you are dying to reach out and find the Comforter, find him today. If all lived like this, there would be no regrets, we would love each other and find the best in each situation. We all long for these things but can't find the time to do them because we are so busy with our jobs, our families or other things that seem to make up our days...we become too tired to realize that time is ekkking past us and can't be made up.

I must say this is the reason I'm so grateful to so many through this journey, because you have taken the time to listen, to pray, to uplift with your blog comments, cards, calls, dinners, and encouraging words to the family. We are living by faith but we also live day to day through this and the smallest of deeds mean so much! I know I say this all the time but I think about it all the time because it is what gets me through. It is my comfort and joy! I truly have joy even though I feel that I'm facing a giant. I do not despair, I do not question, I do not fear, grow anxious or wonder why me? I just wonder what is in store for my life, my family.....where do I go from here?

So on this Christmas Eve, as we journey to my parents for Christmas, I pray that all feel comforted through a season that causes anxiety/discontentment for some and glee for others. There truly is comfort in the midst of your agony and sorrow. I know, I go through that everyday with the symptons of chemo. I may be in agony but my soul is comforted. You have to reach to the Comforter and find it. It says in the Bible, "seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened"......but you must take the first step. God is omnipresent, always seeing and always knowing what is in our hearts but just waiting for our hand to reach out to his and take hold. It was the best thing I ever did and I know it will be the best thing for you too!

Sorry, I just can't help but talking about God, HE has been so good to me and my family.

Have a safe and happy day! The happiest people don't have everything, they just make the best of what they have. So no matter what you have to share this holiday season, give it from the heart....there is no better gift!
Love to all,

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pop-A-Lock spells Merry Christmas for Angela this week!

As many might have already seen, Pop-A-Lock responded to my blog with such graciousness that I was speechless. I was only referring to my experience of being out so long on Friday waiting for someone to open Angela's car, not to disrespect Pop-a-Lock's reputation. We have used them many times and have had a great experience. They are usually faster and better than getting a locksmith or anyone else.

The President of Pop-a-lock has e-mailed me several times and they are refunding Angela's money. We did not expect any of that or even ask for it, however they wanted to do it because of the wait time. I felt sorry for the poor guy with the fender bender. Anyway, the most encouraging part about the whole thing is that they are Christian based, open cars for free with children or pets inside and feel that this is a ministry to help other people. Isn't that wonderful? The President not only sent me an e-mail about the car situation but she also said that she would be praying for me and she knew that miracles still happen. It is very refreshing and makes you want to give anyone with that kind of attitude if you lock your keys in the car (which we hope doesn't happen), all you have to do is call, 1-800-POP-A-LOCK. Easy to remember. I can always remember their number, even with my chemo brain. Mom asked me how I knew the number because I just started dialing on Friday and I told her how easy it all you out there....if you happen to have a night like we did....just remember is very easy.

This brings me to the most important thought of the day and that is we should remember during this season and all seasons, not to lock God out of your heart. Only you can let him in and only you can lock him out. God has sustained me throughout this journey and I can't imagine anyone going through life without him. Through your prayers, I've had so much comfort even in the midst of my agony, God always comforts my heart and gives me peace. I do not fear any of this journey. I know it has slowed me down and that has been the worst of it besides the pain. I see so many things more clearly in life. The small things that people say or do, mean so much.

I've always had a hard time of receiving. I've always felt it was more blessed to give but God gives us seasons that we have to receive and that is the one thing I've learned through this....I didn't accept it very easy but God has given me acceptance through so many people to receive from others and allow others to help. It has been very difficult for me to do that but God has a way of tempering us to see the big picture. The most important thing for me right now is to get through this journey, get back to work and let God show me what and how I'm supposed to reach out to people to show my appreciation and to shine HIS light.

Some will say, I'm thinking positive thoughts for you. Believe ME, that is not enough. I think I would have quit the journey without the LORD.....and of course, without all the support of YOU!

I recently got an e-mail from someone with brain cancer. I felt so bad because at first this person was feeling anxiety and that the Lord did not love them. I prayed for them but I couldn't wrap my brain around the feelings they were having...of course, I also know with brain cancer that depending on where the tumor is that is could be causing pressure on emotions and can also cause some of those feelings. However, at the beginning of this journey when God spoke to me and referenced back to another time in my life and said, "I knew then what you know now and I protected you then and I'm protecting you now"......I've had so much peace. I can't explain it. God has been so good. I know if he protects me the way I've tried to protect my family that I'm going to be okay. God ways are not our ways but I know HIS protecting hand is sure and right. I just have to be pliable for his making me into what he wants me to be.

Thank you Jesus! We are so close to the day of Jesus' birth and all the family celebrations. I'm so thankful that my family all has the Lord and we can celebrate this day with HIM.

As always, thank you for listening and thank each of you for being such great friends that I can converse through this blog. Your blog comments are read everyday and are such a pick up for me. Those that I see and say encouraging words....I just hold onto those words and they just bless me.

I have 2 months of chemo before they start testing me to see if they cleared the kidney/lung spots, etc. so as I near the end, please pray that this journey does not get harder, as they say. I know the Lord is able to do all things so in HIM will I trust.

Thank you Jesus for your love to all mankind!
Love to all,

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oh, thank you Jesus....I've had better days!

Yesterday I was able to go to Angela's Christmas skating party. I was only able to sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else...but hey, I was able to get out...and I was excited.

Mom came over to take "care" of me and I talked her into Christmas shopping. She has used her time taking care of me and didn't have anything done. She was so worried about me but as soon as my legs are able to stand on their own....I want out of my hole! ha. Besides that, moving around when I'm able is actually better for you....even though you have to do it in doses.

We were able to go to the mall and she was able to find quite a bit of Christmas. There are so many sales, it is kinda sad because you wonder how many stores are going to make it into the New Year.

Well....we only had one more stop before going home. Kimberly was working and Angela was at the mall shopping. We went across the street to Ross (only to get some frames). Kimberly got off work at the same time and Angela decided to meet us. We told them to meet up with us and we would stop by somewhere real fast to eat before we went home. They made it to Ross, mom was able to get what she needed and we were on our way home.....or so we thought.

Angela had not only locked her keys in the car but they were in the ignition and her radio was still playing. We still do not know how this happened but it did. We called the police and they eventually came but couldn't get the door opened. We had to call Pop-a-lock. They were supposed to be there in 50 minutes. We had already waited 30 but it was our only option so we told the dispatcher we were going to run to a fast food place but to have the driver call us before he got to the car. It was an hour Pop-a-lock. We called to check.....the driver had gotten into a fender bender in Atlanta so we would have to wait but it should only be another 25 minutes. We continued to make a long story short or maybe longer....we ended up waiting 3 hrs. for someone. We called local locksmiths who referred us to each other because they were 2-3 hrs. into other calls before they could make it.

The driver said that the reason it took so long for him to get to us is not only did they have a fender bender but they also had a drug bust at the same time.......

The sad or really funny part is that we were so relieved to finally get home and mom who had been driving my car thought she locked her own keys into the trunk. She had one key locked inside the car and one key in the trunk. She was so upset. She sent Angela back out to check to see if possibly she might have left the doors unlocked and sure enough, one of them was open!! Thank the made for an interesting day. This was Angela's second time doing this so we made her pay it herself. $69.95 is alot of money to a teenager who only works about 10 hrs. a week....but no lesson. :-(

Today, Steve and I went to Brandsmart. It was the first time I had ever been in there. It is very busy but a neat place to find this and that....and that is what we found....this and that but nothing exciting. It was the only store we went was so busy out and people are just rude this time of year. They walk past you and run into you and don't say, "excuse me" or anything....we had that happen to us several sad that people are in such a hurry that they miss out on all the real fun! We just figured it wasn't meant for us to be in such places today.

Well.....going to take a break. Please be careful out...for those in winter wonderlands full of snow...enjoy....I wish we had some right now. It would keep all the crazy people off the roads and keep them bundled inside with their families. Tis the season to be jolly...and my family is what makes me jolly. I miss those that are to far to spend the holiday with physically but mentally they are here with us! Keep up the prayers.....we all could use a little of Jesus this season.

Love to all,

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wow, cancer has no preferences, does it?

I happened to find a friend that I've not talked to in 25 yrs. from Indiana. I was checking my blog comments and for whatever reason decided to search for Pastors in Indiana. For those that don't know, that is where I was raised but moved here when I was 15.

I found my uncle and decided to search more....not sure why but I came across the website of the church my grandfather started many, many years ago. I saw an old friend and got her married last name and did a google search. I found her number and decided to call.

She was as happy to hear from me, as I was her. We shared the losses we've had....most recently her mother from ovarian cancer.

She went on to tell me that a guy that was my cousin's best friend has throat cancer and is not expected to make it. He has 2 small children and I think is actually younger than I he is in his early 30s. He has been serving God for years!!

She also told me about a friend that we've had for years that has breast cancer and has just gone through a double mascteomy (sp). She is getting ready to start chemo. She left the church a few years ago and is raising two children on her own. Oh my Lord, I can't believe it.

I got an e-mail today about a child that just died from cancer. I do not know this person and I wish I didn't know about it.

However, this all makes me realize how easy I have it compared to so many! My 180 days laying on the couch is nothing compared to so many. Oh my, my heart has been heavy all night just thinking about what they are going through or are going to go through. There is not a nicer word to use than chemo is hell on earth but thank the Lord, we have options and have the medicine.

Each of my chemo treatments are $40,000 so when this is all over, my body will be worth over a half million dollars. I was telling my friend how I get whatever I need at the hospital because they consider us rich! Do you know why? We both have insurance. No matter how much it pays, they know they are going to get something so they just tell me to name what I need....because it will be taken care of.....well, according to bills, I'm not so sure about that but that is how the medical field determines what they give you.

I think yeah for me.....maybe it won't be too bad but what about so many who don't have insurance at all? It makes me very sad to think that others may suffer needlessly. I don't know what I would have done without the pain meds, etc. It gets so bad, sometimes I just sit and cry. I hate when I do that but typically it is because I'm trying not to take so much pain medicine and I will let it build up for hours. So, it is my own fault, I guess.....but thank the Lord.

Oh, I just feel for those about to go through chemo. No one can really know what you go through. I try so hard to keep things to a minimum because I don't want my family to suffer but you really do suffer. The Lord sustains your spirit and the chemo just wracks your body with so much pain.....there are no words to describe.

Please keep these people in your prayers. The Lord is willing and able to do all we ask and I know that God will give them mercy and grace just like he has me. Believe me, it is a very long, long road....undescribable! It is just you and the Lord! Even a few treatments is month's long.

As always, thank you for my comments. I don't deserve any of the nice things said about me. It is all through God's grace, mercy and power that I've made it this far. I plan to make it the rest of my God-given life, which I believe is a very long time!!! God's grace is sufficient for all.

Love in Christ and love to all,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I hate to blog and say the same thing again!

This time has really taken my energy. I know I keep saying that but I keep thinking it will soon go away. I'll be walking and just lose my energy and I start to fall over. I'm a little too young to be toppling over at whim. ha.

I keep praying that tomorrow is going to be a better day. Although I'm so thankful for everyday the good Lord gives me, some days are just better than others.

I was in alot of pain tonight and finally had to take Vicodein again. I try not to take pain meds but sometimes I just can't take it anymore.

I'm so thankful for those of you that keep up with our journey. Your words and blog comments keep me motivated during the day.

I'm not going to say much more than how much I enjoy this season but I'm already looking toward the spring. I was thinking tonight about the plans I already have for next year. I just cannot wait until life gets back to "normal". I have so many people to thank that I'll probably be going to place after place for a year just thanking all of you who have been so gracious, kind and loving to our family. How I can't wait until that day.....the Lord has been so wonderful, only he really knows what we go through. I'm so thankful for his grace and mercy.

My finger tips are very sore, which make it hard to type so I'll leave with the only words I know, thank you for your prayers, love and support! I can't imagine this road without all of YOU!!

Love to all,

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm just so tired....not a time to be so lazy! ha.

I don't know why I've been so tired today. I finally talked Kimberly into getting up and going out for about an hour. I was so weak, I almost toppled over several times so I decided I must be pushing it too much. I guess I try to do that so I'm not always sitting around....although I know I may not be able to do it...I push myself anyway.

We finally came home after an hour or so. Steve talked me into laying down for a few minutes and I think I fell asleep for a couple of hours. I'm not sure.

I just hope to have more energy for Christmas. I have alot more shopping and wrapping to do but no energy. Kimberly, who helps me alot, told me today that she has to work this week so I will be by myself. Not sure how much I can get done but somehow, I will make it.

My office called today and said they had a ham they wanted to give us. It sounded so good. We have to try to get to the office to get it. However, now that Kimberly is working, I'll have to have help. I've had so many volunteer, I just hate to ask anyone.

Well....again, I feel very tired so I'm going to bathe, drink some tea and lay around. I hate feeling so lazy but these treatments just take it out of you.

As always,
Love to all,

P.S. I added a couple of new pictures.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I went to church today. It was the first time I've been able to go on my chemo week!!

Today was the children's Christmas play/musical. They did a fantastic job! I was so glad to be able to get up and go. Although now I'm so tired, I just want to sleep.

I slept most of the day yesterday and I'm so glad because I guess it gave me enough energy to get up and go to church today. I just can't stop thinking about the fact that I only have 4 treatments left. Thank you Jesus! I just pray for his continuous staying power.

My hands, feet, nose, eyes have hurt so bad this time. However, there is always something so it is just another thing I have to work through. Just tears in my eyes are so painful. I'm unable to put my contacts in and my breathing has been more labored. We were told it was going to get worse. I don't know if worse is the word but the chemo effects just keep changing.

Well, I'm going to lay down....I'll blog more later..just too tired to say much more.

Love to all,

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I have so many things to do but no energy to do them!

Tis the season to be jolly! Oh, how I love this season. I just hope I can get out of my chair to enjoy the last few days. I'd already had 2 baths by noon, am currently drinking peppermint tea, had my lemon drops for nausea and I'm layed out in my chair just wasting the day away! ha.

However, I'm giving up the weekend hoping that my weekdays are going to be much more promising to finish up my shopping, wrapping, etc. If not, I'll just do what I can. I'm so thankful that others understand, even though it is frustating to me. I've had so many surround our family with your love, support and understanding. It makes the season so much more meaniful!

Today my youngest brother, Matthew is having a Christmas/homewarming party they had scheduled around my chemo week. However, with the delay, I'm unable to attend as they live in Alabama and I could never make the drive. It makes me feel bad because I sure wanted to go to see the new house and spread some cheer...but it just wasn't to be.

My nephew called from Indiana last night and they are expecting. My neice right here in Georgia is expecting and due any day. So many reasons to be happy!

I only have 4 more treatments (2 months if I make it). They are supposed to be the worst of the worst but God continues to sustain me. I'm just ready to move on. Although to most, 4 treatments doesn't seem long...when you are fighting the effects, it does seem forever but now I know that the light at the end of the tunnel, isn't a was God all the time shining the light to the end of my struggle. I know I have all types of testing at the end to make sure they have cleared any additional cancer cells and the spots on my lungs/kidneys are gone or are what they expect the spots to look like....but I'm not worried, I just believe that God has already taken care of everything. I can't imagine it any other way. If it were to turn out any other way, I'm not sure how I would respond because I just know that God is in control!!

Thank you so much for the continuous cards, love and support and most importantly the prayers! I read all the blog comments every day, no matter how low I am, it always encourages me. You all have just been the best! I received this poem today and found it fitting for the holiday. Read and enjoy! Enjoy the season for what it was meant to be and have a wonderous day!

Love to all,
With only 2 weeks before Christmas,
REMEMBER: Jesus is Better than Santa
Santa lives at the North Pole.
JESUS is everywhere.
Santa rides in a sleigh
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year
JESUS is an ever- present help.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies
JESUS supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited
JESUS stands at your door and knocks.. and then enters your heart.
You have to stand in line to see Santa
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.
Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is "Hi little boy or girl, What's your name?"
JESUS knew our name before we did.
Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too . He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.
JESUS has a heart full of love. JESUS offers health, help and hope.
Santa says "You better not cry"
JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.
Santa's little helpers make toys
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.
Santa may make you chuckle but
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree,
JESUS became our gift and died on the tree. It's obvious there is really no comparison.
We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about. We need to put Christ back in Christmas. Jesus is still the reason for the season.May the Lord Bless and Watch over you and your loved ones this Christmas 2008 And may He prosper and bless the work of your hands in the New Year.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Today has been an iffy day but not so bad!

I got up this morning around 6 am., strapped my chemo bag over me and exercised. I became very sleepy and layed down and next thing I know my mom is calling me around 9 am. I didn't realize I had fallen asleep. So after I got off the phone with her I made some business phone calls, exercised again and then became very nauseous! It is crazy how your body responds.

I realized that I had not eaten so I ate left over chicken soup brought over the other night. I felt better after I had that and a lemon drop. I did not know until one of the nurses down at Emory told me that lemon drops are excellent when you have nausea. I thought mint would be better but she said that it might make me more nauseated and to try the lemon drops. They have really worked so for anyone with that issue, try might be surprised.

I realized last night that they did not leave my lines from my chest very long for sleeping. So, I only had one way to sleep. However, I went to bed really late so I was pretty tired and only got up once in the night. I think I will make it. My appt or should I say, suggested appt. at Emory is 11 am. so I only have one more night with my chemo. They changed some of the medicine I was taking and told me the opposite of what I should be doing from doctor to doctor so at times, it gets frustrating because you aren't sure who to listen to. I tend to listen to the one who has been with the patients through chemo vs. only telling them what to do. The nurse practictioner (spelling is wrong) worked with chemo patients as a nurse for 15 years before any additional studies. I tend to listen to her more than the actual doctor only because of her actual experience.

I had hoped to finish my Christmas cards but feeling a little sleepy again. I think my red blood cells being low is what is causing me to feel more tired this time. So, as I always say, do whatever you do to the best of your I think I will lay down and have the best snooze. Aren't you jealous???

Oh, I got some good news yesterday. My cousin from Indiana has become engaged and is getting married on my birthday (which I will be turning 40). She is having her wedding on a beach in Ft. Lauderdale. How exciting?? If we go, then I can celebrate with my family from Indiana too!! How fun will that be? Now I have to be worried about time away from work since I've been off so long. However, I have a wonderful boss who would understand so I'm sure I can work out a few days.

Anyhoo-Saturday always seems to be my worst day when this bag of chemo is please pray for a better time, even though they say it is supposed to be getting realllllly bad. Dekota, my dog wanted to sleep right upon my chest this morning and I had to move him so he doesn't get nauseated by the chemo again! ha. Silly dog....he wants to get as close as he can when he knows I'm sick but the poor little devil gets sick from the chemo. It makes me feel bad so I try to keep him away, which is impossible because then he sits and cries.

Well, think I will take my nap. As always, I pray for you and am thankful for those that pray for me. God's love has a way of reaching all of us no matter where we are. What comfort he gives us!
Love to all,

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 wasn't so bad but not so great either!

I was up all night sick and wasn't sure if I was going to make it to Emory this morning for my infusion. Steve kept coaxing me knowing I needed it done but I was unsure we would make it if I needed to pull over and besides that I did not sleep the whole night. I was pretty miserable.

I jumped into a hot bath (my other home), prayed, and got dressed and we made it. I slept the whole way.

For some reason when they were taking my vials of blood this morning.... the nurse somehow spilled the blood she was taking out all over me, my chair, the floor and the nurse!! It was pretty disgusting. They cleaned and cleaned all the blood and there was still alot of blood on the floor when I left. They even tried to clean me up but I still have blood stains all down the side of me. Grose!! I wondered if she was going to get anymore blood since she had taken so much to begin with! :-(.......but she did.

My white blood cell counts were fine, my red blood cells counts were low. The nurse told me I was on the low end of things but not enough to hold chemo this time. We hope with an extra week that we would have adequate counts and I won't have to get the dreaded shot on my New Year's chemo treatment.

Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers. Here's to a wonderful treatment this time, a joyous and healthy holiday season to all!

Love to all,

P.S. I did finally purchase a few hats yesterday so I don't always look like I'm going out to play in the snow!! ha.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The day before chemo again....I'm going to make the most of it!!

Last night, I stayed up until 2 am. working on Christmas cards. I have alot of gifts wrapped underneath the tree but it is like snow. As you shovel, it just keeps pouring down!! ha.

I had Kimberly visit my office yesterday and take some candy for the holidays. I bought the ingredients but I can't take claim for any of the candy. I was so tired, I sat down and then fell asleep. My poor mother and Kimberly did the cooking. Although mom didn't want to claim the candy either because she said the weather was not cooperating! ha. Bless her heart, she still made the candy. My job was to put together to share. I'm such a loser some days. ha. I think I have all this energy and I do right at that particular moment and then all of a sudden, I become so tired that I can't make it another minute without a nap. Yes, I've turned into a granny grump!

As I've said before, if you have to do something, do it to the best of your ability!! Well, I take really good naps throughout the day. ha.

Since I've had an extra week, I've actually started tasting food again. Last night, we received 2 meals and I had to have some of both. My dentist even sent me something from Edible creations (they make fruit arrangements). I felt really special getting all this at the same time and I even had company to talk too!

God has been so awesome! I was telling someone last night about how I've gone 10 days without food, water or even an ice chip and didn't lose 1 lb. but everyone else doing the same thing will drop, drop, drop weight. It is crazy! I know the Lord is sustaining me because your body does so much better with weight. Otherwise, it will decimate you. It really is a small thing to worry about considering everything else I have to worry about but I have to have something minor on my mind. ha. It makes me feel more in control of the situation. Now how dumb does that sound? ha.

I still have many more Christmas cards, Christmas shopping and wrapping to do! I was able to go out today and buy some hats. I'm not totally bald, as I do have some hair but my head is bald!

I'm going to take a nap! Happy holidays to all who read this. Off to my dreaded day tomorrow. Please pray they don't give me the dreaded shot. Oh Lord, it is constantly on my mind. I just want to have carefree and happy days through the holidays. I know the Lord is able to give me that......

Love to all,

Sunday, December 7, 2008

If I had to die, I would die living! :-)

Last night we went to our Christmas party where there was probably 450 people or so. Steve was concerned about me going and being around people because my counts are so low. They even wanted me to wear a mask!! NO, no, no!! Until I have to wear that thing all the time, I am not going to do it! I told Steve, "if I am going to die, I'm going to die can't keep me holed up at home!" He is such a good caretaker, I know he is just trying to look out for me but I'm too much of a people person.....let me out of my cave!! ha.

I was just so excited to be out of the house, enjoying the season with everyone else! I love this time of the year so much (except for the cold). Since I've had this break, I can even taste food a little bit now so of course, I've been able to eat more vs. a couple of spoon fulls. I hope that my counts are up, my protein and iron has increased and I don't have to have the expensive and very excruciating shot!!! Please pray that I don't need this shot or have to have a blood transfusion. I realize if my counts are low and I don't have the shot that I will be very very sick but I still don't want the makes your bones ache, ache, ache for days!! I don't want to go through that with the holidays upon us!

I have been so excited just being able to get out and letting my body get more revved up with the break!! I can't help it....I'm just so happy! The Lord has been so good to us through all the prayers that are going up for us. :-) Thank you so I always say and mean, you don't know how much it means to the family.

I was also able to go to church today. The sermon was how God sees and knows everything we are doing and what we need. He knows what we need before we ask. He used the illustration of the GPS systems that are used to track people within 30 feet, can be programmed to notify you if the person with the GPS exceeds certain speed limits, etc. He mentioned that this would be a great gift for parents with teenagers. He first asked the teenagers if they wanted a GPS and then as he told about the tracking devices, asked the teenagers again if they were interested in having a GPS like that. Very few hands were raised. ha. However, it is very comforting to know that the Lord sees and knows all our needs and cares without us ever muttering a word. I'm thankful for that type of relationship. Anyone who wouldn't want that....well, you have look inside your heart and figure out what you are hiding.

The days have been so wonderful. I only have 2 days left before I'm headed to chemo again. I hope that I can maintain my energy levels because I'm going to get things done!! I've wrapped alot of my gifts and have helped others wrap theirs. The funny thing is that I've never enjoyed the wrapping, however I do enjoy the shopping. This year, I turned up my Christmas music, turned the lights on the tree, had my peppermint tea (which I drink daily) and just enjoyed the fact that we were able to afford gifts and have something to wrap. So many this year will not be able to enjoy Christmas as they have in the past....but Christmas is not about what is under our tree is too commerialized. We have forgotten about the true meaning. Through our hardships we are better able to understand the true meaning of Jesus' life and benefits, our family, our health and ourselves. God has given us abilities to do things we've never tried because we are the hamster on the wheel of life...too busy to take time for what is really important or too busy to get off the wheel.

Okay, so much for my rambling....I'm just thankful for the Lord, this beautiful holiday season, my family, friends, co-workers, those that I don't know that encourage and pray for makes me pray that there is truly, "Joy to the world"

As always, love to all,

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Okay...maybe I shouldn't be so happy but I am!

I've already had 350 hours of chemo and getting an extra week to recover, I just can't help it. I know I heard from those off-line that I shouldn't be so happy because of the wreck my body is in but I am......"-)

I'm not ever giving up or giving in, I'm just taking a little break. Everyone needs a break, huh?

Imagine getting hooked up to your chest and trying to sleep hooked up to this heavy bag, wake up in the middle of the night groggy and want to go to the bathroom and forget you are hooked up to your chest. It hurts when you move and your chemo lines hanging out of your chest don't move. After you have 50 hrs. of this stuff, you are in excruciating pain and all the awful chemo symptons kick in.....not a joy ride, I can tell you but I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm getting giddy about getting this over and moving onto the next chapter of my life.

I'm 39 and will turn 40 in March. My chemo ends the first of February. I've had those ask if I was worried about turning makes me laugh, I am a cancer patient, do you honestly think I'm worried?...I'm elated to see another year. I'm not at all worried about the number, I am just ready to live life each and every day to the fullest. If my day is on the couch...well, I'm going to have the best snoozes of my life! ha. However, I hope to have more time doing things that glorify Christ, help others and have some normalcy. Going to the hospital all the time is not normal.

We are having our large Christmas dinner at the church this Saturday. All are welcome. We will have our Christmas program the 2nd week of December and for those who love the singing from our choir would be amazed at the programs we have! Anyway, I didn't think it was possible for us to attend the Christmas dinner this week since I would be on chemo....well, as it works out....yes we are...although I must admit that I would love to watch the SCC Championship football game this Saturday as well. Yes, I'm a football fan. It is what Steve and I love to do. Since I've been sick, all I've done is watch football with Steve. I'm usually dozing in and out but I do love it. So, having said all that...I would always choose a church function over football so off to a beautiful Christmas dinner and entertainment.

Oh how I love the holidays. Every night before I go to bed, I like to have a fire going, lights turned down, all the Christmas lights lit up, Christmas music playing and hot tea or hot chocolate in a special cup I is just heaven for me. This time of year is so beautiful and joyful that it has a weird way of comforting the weary ridden soul. :-)

So, I rattled on enough today. Make today a great day. Every day is a day that we have life that can be used to speak a kind word, help someone or just to appreciate our families. No day is wasted in the sight of God, it is only wasted if we allow ourselves to make the lesser priorities get us down. As always, I pray for all of you who pray for me and pray that blessings are bountiful, sickness/pain is removed from those who also struggle (this isn't just about me), and for those that are less fortunate this holiday season. May everyone have a peaceful day, no matter what you are doing.

Make it a great day!
Love to all,

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm free, I'm free......well, until next week!!

Yes folks I'm giddy can't even imagine how happy I am. "-)

I went today for chemo in the wee hours of the morning, went to the lab and had my blood drawn and my chemo lines hooked up to my chest and went to the doctor prior to starting my chemo......well......

My blood cell counts were down, my protein is low and I'm dangerously low for any bacterial infection but I'm so happy, I'm so happy, I'm just happy, happy, happy, happy!!! I can't do chemo because my body is not able to handle it this week! I'm so excited...I get another week to recover.

I know I shouldn't be happy about what shape my body is in but mentally I'm psyched because I was dreading this treatment so much!!

I have to go back next week for my treatment but they are reducing the dosage because my body can't handle the dosage they are giving me any longer! It doesn't change my survival rate but it will make my symptons so much better! Hopefully my pain won't be as bad. Thank the Lord...I'm so excited. Steve tells me that I shouldn't be so excited because they said that they need to watch me because it's getting dangerous with my levels being low. I can't help it, I am still excited!! YEAH!!

Oh, they want me to eat red meat to get my protein levels up. They are way to low. Honestly, I don't feel like eating at all. I lost 10 lbs. in a week....I didn't want to lose weight because your body handles the chemo better but hey, I could stand to shed some of my fluffy! ha. I will quit jumping for joy! However, I will mention that instead of 3 treatments in December, I will only have two because they are letting me off Christmas week. My treatments will be December 10th and December 31st. Okay, I'm jumping for joy again at the thought!! ha.

Well, I will sign off since I'm so giddy I have to expend some of this energy....or maybe, I'll just take a nap to get the energy to go to the mall. ha. Another week means I may get Christmas shopping done.

Joy to the World....
Love to all,

Chemo Treatment #8 in the morning!

Oh how I dread thinking about going back to the hospital, thus the reason I'm blogging at almost 1 am. My first appt. is supposed to be at 7 am. so I have to be up in less than 4 hrs. to get ready and on the road. I don't care though....I wait until the last minute before going to bed and wait until the last minute to get up on my chemo mornings. Other days, I keep a regular schedule so I don't get my body so whacked out.....but chemo days are dreadful! I honestly feel like I'm going to have a gun put to my head, I hate it so much! I'm glad it is available and I have options but I know the symptons that come with all this and I abhor it!

The doctor and nurse told me that it is going to get so much worse and it makes me hate going even more. I've lost 25 lbs., even though you can't tell because I'm so jacked up on steroids! I won't go into all the other things but I thought it was as bad as it was going to get?? However, I have the Lord on my side and all the prayers so although the process is dreadful, I know that I'm going to get through it.

Please pray for easy treatments for the next 10 weeks. If I'm able to get through this without having cell count issues, etc. I will be over this in February!! Oh, how I long for that day! What a celebration that will be!

My day starts very early and ends very late. We are at the hospital all day with lab appts, doctor appt. and then they start my infusion. Although my infusion is only about 4 hrs. in the hospital once it gets started, it stays hooked up to my chest through Friday. Oh....the first chemo they give me in the hospital gives me havoc immediately and then the other rounds that run through my body after I come home take affect a week later. So, therefore I have a week and half journey with this stuff and then I'm right back for more..........did I say how much I hate this stuff?

I know things could be so much worse so I say, "Thank you Lord for your awesome blessings and please bless those who bless us.

Love to all,

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving with a grateful heart!

I so enjoyed Thanksgiving. I was able to go to my family and my husband's family on different days. :-)

On Thanksgiving, I wasn't really feeling very well and wasn't sure I was going to make it through the day but just being around people really cheered me up!

Today I was able to go to church....although wearing a winter hat with a suit looked horrid, I was so happy to be in service. I've not been in service for 3 weeks!! For those who do not attend church, I can't even imagine. There is so much gratefulness and joy that I get every time I go to church!

Today's service was of course about our blessings and how we often forget the benefits of serving God. As our Pastor stated, Thanksgiving is not just a holiday but should be the condition of our hearts everyday. Everyday is a day of Thanksgiving. It is our attitude. We need an attitude of gratitude! I've always felt that fact, I get a little upset sometimes at our children/teens in our society and their ungratefulness. Yes, it is because we spoiled them.

We've become a disposable society. If we don't want it, just toss it. Adults are often at fault for the same thing. Relationships which should be meant for life are disposed of easily. It is because we have so much abundance of things, that we overlook how blessed we really are! It is often said that the poorest family in America is wealthy compared to those in Third world countries. Yet we often hear grumbling and complaining because we were not able to find the latest and greatest toy for our child or how we live on a hamburger and beans budget! Thank the Lord we even have enough money to budget.

I recently read about a man in China whose hand was cut off because he stole a chicken for his starving family. He was imprisoned and was sentenced to death...all because of a chicken he stole for his family. Stealing is never correct but think of Black Friday when someone was trampled to death inside a Walmart all because someone wanted to be the first in line for a bargain. It still blows me away. How could so many people rush through the doors in such a hurry that someone could be trampled to death in America???

Our lives have become so easy and simple compared to our ancestors. We have remotes for everything, dishwashers, microwaves, garage door openers, water heaters....on and on and we complain when our efficiencies do not work. Well, they do need to be fixed but it is a time for reflection on how much easier our lives really are. Yet again, the poorest family here will have most of the same efficiences.

We are just so blessed! I have always said that God has blessed me more than I deserve. It is always the way that I will start praying. "Thank you so much for all my blessings". At a time like this when I'm trying to be normal and go through the Holidays...I realize even more how much we take for granted. Our health to start with...we take for granted that we are going to get up and be able to do whatever it is in the day that we've planned. It can be taken away just in a blink of time. I certainly never considered it in my days of planning. I took it for granted. I knew I had not abused my body, therefore why would I need to worry. Well, life has a way of reminding us of our blessings and making us realize the important things in life. It certainly is not things.

I would give every material thing up not to go through chemo. However, this is one time it is not my choice. Clinically I must do it to survive. However, I'm so grateful to know that I have a Savior who continues to bless me and my family through this hardship. It is through all of YOU who pray, encourage, and let us know that this journey is not forever and when it is is finished. I have a church family that prays for me every single service, along with so many other people that my family realizes we are not traveling this journey alone. I cannot express how much that means in my times of sheer agony when I just want to go away. I think of all the people that are praying and lifting our family up and it comforts me. The pain doesn't go away in my body but my spirit is lifted up into the comforting hands of Jesus Christ. My heart is so grateful!

May the Lord continue to bless all of you and may his reason for my journey be revealed! As always, love to all for your kindness to my family. We are forever grateful to you! :-)
Love to all,

Monday, November 24, 2008

A little bit of Peppermint tea and a whole lot of Jesus makes my morning! :-)

Yesterday was not a good day at all. I was in so much pain. I don't know why that happens all of a sudden.

Today, our middle daughter turns 20!! I can't believe it! I hope I'm at least able to take her out for dinner tonight. I don't feel well but I made some peppermint tea and made time for the Lord and it always gives me such comfort when starting out my matter how bad!

The Lord has been so good to me. Even with the incredible pain and things I've had to go through, I just keep thanking him. I know it could get even worse but I know that with all your prayers, that I'm getting through this.

Friday night I had company from work. I'm usually sitting around in my pjs but knowing they were coming, I left my clothes on from my visit from the hospital. It was so exciting to get to see them! Of course, they bestowed so many wonderful things/gifts upon us from the office, that I just don't know what to say anymore except the ususal, "thank you, thank you, thank you". Everyone has done so much to help me but more importantly my family who has to go through all this too! I thank you so much for the gifts and most importantly, the prayers. Steve was concerned that I kept them too long talking. I was just so excited to have them come over for company!

There isn't a day that goes by that someone doesn't do something for us...whether it be a kind word, card, dinner, some sort of gift....I feel on the days that I just want to melt away that I owe so much to so many that it keeps me going and helps me mentally to get through the pain.

This week, which we all know is Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. God has always blessed us so much that I love this time of the year to reflect on HIS goodness. I hope you feel the same way. No matter what we go through, there is always someone in a worse condition or has so many more needs that we have.

I know so many will be going out of town and on the roads. Please be careful and have a good week! I just pray that I can keep up enough energy to spend time with my family, which I enjoy so much. During this time, let's all be prayiful for those that don't have the blessings of family, food, and love during this time.

As always, love to all!! I truly mean it....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Back to Emory to remove my pump!

Good morning! I thought I would blog before the day gets to busy!

I'm headed back to Emory to remove my pump. I woke up very sick and nauseated! After having a nice evening with my parents and kids, the chemo always seems to backfire on me. Steve got me a piece of toast and I took some pain meds and I'm feeling ok right now. So frustrating....

I'm can't believe my oldest daughter is turning 20 on Monday. My how time flies. I had hoped once I leave Emory I could at least stop and pick up a card. We are celebrating her birthday with all the family on Thanksgiving.

I just want to say again how much I appreciate my blog comments. So many of you, I've not talked to in years and it just warms my heart to hear from you!!! :-) You learn to appreciate the small things in life, which I already thought I did, but more so when you are down and cyberspace is your keep those thoughts rolling.. I appreciate them so much!!

This Wednesday when I went in for chemo it was unbelievable how many people were there!!!! I've never seen so many people. I was thinking to myself, "has this many more people been diagnosed?" but realized that most were wearing masks and they looked really sick. I knew then that they had been having chemo for awhile. I asked the nurses why it was so busy. Apparently they are all trying to get in before the holidays. Emory closes for 2 days for the holiday, which was very surprising to me. This is when you pray that you really don't need them.

Today I'm going to start wearing scarves. My head has so many bald spots that it is frustrating to try to constantly comb-over and then I get out and my hair keeps falling down because there isn't enough to clip onto....I'm not going to wear a wig because this will make my hair fall out and won't grow back. I tried hats on this week because my head gets so cold but oh my....I look horrible! It was quite funny. I will have to find something to keep my head warm but it isn't going to be an easy task I don't think.

I've lost about 15-20 lbs but with all the steriods, you can't tell it. I wonder when this is all over if all of a sudden, I'll just drop the weight or I'll retain it. I really don't care one way or the other, I'm just glad my cell counts haven't been so low yet that I have to have shots and other means that make the chemo worse. My red blood counts were down and my white blood cells were slightly down but not enough to do anything....please pray that my body maintains the cell counts!

My mom massaged my feet alot yesterday which has seemed to help with the neuropathy. I'm so grateful for that. My feet and hands have pins and needles in them no matter what I do but with the massage and the lotion, it really seemed to help this morning.

Well....I'll quit blogging about nothing. I just thought I would give a little update on some of the symptons that I don't usually talk about....I could go on and on but I know God is in control so I don't usually make it the topic of the day. However, anytime something gets better, I always want to give God praise!!

By the way, I heard that an elf from my office is bringing over more paper goods, drinks, etc. tonight! I'm just so blessed in so many ways...the tears and the pain that I go through are made so much better by all of I always say, words are inadequate to tell all how much me and my family appreciate each of you!! You can't even imagine how much!

I even have someone from my office today who insisted they give my family a break and is taking me to Emory. They may be sorry if I'm nauseated all the way as I am usually on this day! ha. However, I so appreciate the help.

Everyone have a very safe and wonderful day!
Love to all,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Blessings, Blessings, Count them one by one! :-)

Yesterday our day started around 6 a.m. in the frigid 20 degree weather to get to Emory for my chemo appointment. Steve warmed up the car but it still didn't feel like it. Wow, the weather really changed quickly this year. It just puts us all into the Holiday spirit. :-) Or should I say it does for me. I love this time of the beautiful and joyful. I hope you feel that way too!

Although we didn't arrive home until about 5:30p.m. (very long day at Emory), it was very exciting to walk up to see my Christmas tree set up and lit up with my lights turned down and Christmas music playing. It sounds so silly but laying and watching a lit Christmas tree, fire place blazing, Christmas music and hot chocolate is one of the blessings God gives me for comfort. I do it year after year. I have to pay special tribute to the elves who came over and worked on it all day as a surprise (my sister, Lisa and nephews, Andrew and Nathaniel and my daughter, Kimberly).

Of course, to top all that off....another elf had brought dinner. These elves have been coming for the past 3 months on my chemo weeks. This is my church family. I appreciate all of them so much. I pray that God is blessing their families in so many ways! They pray for me every single church service. I appreciate the prayer so much. I don't like the attention at all but love the prayer and support.

My work family has supported us through paper goods. They brought over so much at the beginning and we've just now have run out. Mom just mentioned that they want to bring over more on Saturday. They also left American Express cards to use for expenses. They constantly support me by filling in my position while I'm gone, cards, calls, gifts, and most importantly prayer! No words to express gratitude! I love and miss them!

I use my blanket every single day. I also take it to Emory. It is by far the most comfortable blanket and I do feel that I'm wrapped in your prayers every time I use it! I really do get alot of comfort from the blanket because it is just soft enough and definitely warm. I tend to freeze most of the time so it is perfect. I caught Kimberly under it the other night and I had to be selfish and let her know that she had to fork it over....this was one thing that only had one owner! ha. Another one of the blessings from all of you.

I was in pain in the night but I didn't wake up with nausea this morning, which is a real blessing. I've had it the whole time I've been sick and it is supposed to increase so the fact that it didn't happen this morning...almost alarmed me. ha. I had to sit and think about whether I was really awake and whether I was really feeling what I thought I was feeling. Another blessing...thanks to your prayers.

Another exciting thing is that we may have pinpointed a reason for some of the excruicating pain I've been having. They sent me for more x-rays yesterday and feel they may have located the reason. We are going to see over the next few days with new medicine and process to see if it can be alleviated. My day to day quality of life would greatly improve!! It pays to keep telling your doctor over and over. This would be a great blessing!

So many things to be grateful for that I don't ever want to let my few little issues seem greater than the blessings God bestows on us everyday. All of you alone have blessed me and my family's life so much....I wouldn't even be able to start but you all know who YOU are.

I give thanksgiving first and foremost to my Creator, Jesus Christ and secondly to all of you.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!
Love, joy and peace to all!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanksgiving may not be in my body but it sure is in my HEART!!

Oh my....I've not blogged in so much to say....

This past treatment had my body down physically for about 11 of the 14 days. Now I have treatment again tomorrow. Unbelievable is the best way to describe it!!! Every day in my mind, I say, "today is a good day and I'm going to make the best of it".....even though my body lay on the couch, my mind would drift to so many other places.

I went back to my Surgeon yesterday for a follow-up from my colon resection surgery. He was so sympathetic to how bad my symptons were so he was trying to give me suggestions on what to do. Unfortunately every suggestion he made...we've already tried. He told me of medicine he takes to avoid surgery and he is a Surgeon!!

Although he was unable to give me any real advice to make things better, he told me that I had to go through chemo all the way. He stated my suffering was going to get much worse but because my cancer is so aggressive that it wasn't worth a re-occurence. My case puzzles the doctors because of not having a history or any of the other risk factors so they are genuinely concerned about my condition. Clinically without chemo they think there is a very good chance of re-occurence even though chemo isn't an absolute deterrant either. So, I left there without knowing much more than I already knew but knowing without the Lord, things are about to get unbearable even though I already feel it is unbearable most times.

I try to keep my head up and keep positive when I know the cards are stacked against me. However, I'm not going to lie.....laying day after day does affect me. Everytime the pain gets out of control, I just keep asking my family to pray for me right then. It comforts my soul even when my body is wracked with pain.

I haven't blogged because I don't want to talk about how bad I feel. I want to stay on top of this mentally and some days, I just don't have the energy except to get through the day.

I'm so glad that I have such a wonderful support of all those that read my blog, bring supper, send cards, say words of encouragement and most importantly, just pray, pray, pray. I know words are inadequate to say how much this means....but believe me, it does. My life will never be the same, I know so I accept whatever comes my way but I don't do it without prayer.

Steve keeps telling me it is almost over. I know for others that 12 weeks doesn't seem long but for me, it seems like eternity!

I covet your prayers tomorrow as I go back for chemo treatment #7!! I have chemo treatment on Wednesday, back on Friday to remove my chemo bag and a spinal appt. next Monday. I really want God to intervene so I can go to my daughter's Thanksgiving luncheon at school next Tuesday. I was unable to see our choir win the National People's Choice Award (congratulations to them)!!!

Although I feel a little low, I know in the big scheme of things....God is in control and everything IS going to be okay.....In HIM do I trust!

Thank you again! I was finally able to get out today and do grocery shopping for Thanksgiving. I knew this would be my last chance to get it all together and I plan to enjoy Thanksgiving, whether on my couch or with my family. Whatever God allows me to do, thanksgiving will be in my heart!
Love to all,

Up and Down

An update to let you know Leah is getting prepared for her next treatment. This time has been more difficult and not as many good days. It is up and down. You can never predict what will happen next. When she starts feeling better she tries to do normal things as much as she can and then she has to rest. I pray that it won't get worse like they say it will. I know God can take care of her and protect her as he already has.

We all have ups and downs in our life and at some point we will all have some kind of crisis. Build your relationships now. Don't wait until you are in a crisis. Keep your family close. Have a network of friends. Be sure and let them know how much you love them. And the most important thing is to have a relationship with your "Heavenly Father". I don't know how anyone can go through life without him. He is there 24/7. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13: 5. When you feel you are all alone he will be there in the midnight hour. All you have to do is call his name, "Jesus". You will find that he is as close as the mention of his name. If you don't know him, I urge you to find him today. You will wonder why you waited so long.

As this journey continues, we know that we can count on God to see her through. We are thankful for all the prayer and support from our family and friends and people we have never met who show their concern by their words of encouragement and lift her up in prayer. Thanks to everyone.

May God Bless you,

Friday, November 14, 2008

Praise the Lord! Prayer is my weapon!

I woke up this morning for the first time without excruciating pain! Thank you for the prayers!

God is always so good and knows what we need just when we need it. I went to bed in so much pain and I just thought to myself, "how can this get worse, the pain is too intense now"!

Steve prayed for me and then I just began praying. I soon fell asleep but kept waking up in pain, thus is my life these days.....

However, I got up this morning and couldn't believe the difference I feel in my body. I think I'm going to try to exercise and maybe get out for a couple of hours! :-)

Thank you for hanging with me...your constant encouragement. I know I say it all the time but it really helps me mentally to get through.
Praise the Lord for victory today!!
Love to all,

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Who would have thought Skippy, the house dog and I would have the same life?

I realized this morning as Steve left for work that I was living the life of a house dog. Not trying to be funny but really....

As soon as our bedroom door opened, our beloved dog Dekota immediately tries to get in to see me. He doesn't care what time it is, he just wants to be seen and petted. He jumps up on the sideboard of the bed, peers over the mattress hoping to be seen by me and as soon as he knows I see him, gets excited and begins wagging his tail. People scurrying around the house is the highlight of his day.

The remainder of his day consists of finding the most comfortable spot in the house and laying around. He only gets up to eat, go the bathroom or to alert us that someone is in the area of the house. Otherwise, he lays around.

He is dependent upon us to make sure he gets to the bathroom and has something to eat. Such is my existence. I am able to lay around, someone will usually ask if I need my blanket re-arranged or something to eat and the only energy I use is to get to the bathroom.

The highlight of my day is when my family gets home. It is probably the time of the day they dread most. They come home from exciting things happening, exciting things still to do and they come in.....there I lay in pain. My mind used to fill with so many possibilities, to-do lists, future events, etc. Now I just accept that I physically can't do any of them and there with the dog I lay. He follows me around from couch to chair, etc. He and I are on the same narrow path of existence. I guess God made their minds to accept that existence because my dogs seem to be happiest when they are laying around. I suppose if we allow ourselves, we can become very narrow in our thoughts, just like a dog.

I still dream of the day of when this is all over. I am still thinking of future events that I want to do with the family. My body is down but my mind can't help but wonder.....what about this? what about that?

Honestly, I would like to ask the doctor if half-way with chemo is sufficient. I really believe the Lord has taken care of me. I know my family wants me to continue but for me, I feel it is a waste of time.

My days are often filled with tears of frustration from the pain and not being able to do anything. However, I know the doctors have told me that I only have a 50-60% survival rate without doing anything at all but with chemo, they thought they could raise it 20-25% more. However, they did admit that they really didn't have any data on my case. I don't fit into any of the clinical trial buckets. I'm under 50, never had problems with my colon, no family history, no high risk effects, no drinking or smoking, etc. However, my cancer was very aggressive. As they stated before, by Christmas I would have been dead. It is very hard for me to comprehend that information. It sounds surreal......that it makes it hard to believe.

I just wonder how much 1/2 way with chemo raises my survival rate, clinically vs. going all the way? I just feel like the Lord has already taken care of me so I'm not afraid to quit the madness. I will admit that I hate the chemo. The nurse told me this time that it was going to get much worse from here on out and it did. One of the chemos I take is very toxic and the side effects atrocious. They start worrying about my breathing, etc. So, I know that I've not totally faced the giant of chemo yet.......However, I still think the Lord has taken care of it all and I wonder if I really need all this? It is not by fear that I is truly by my faith!!!

So many questions dealing with this....I just don't know what to do??? I'm just thankful that I have the Lord to turn to in time of question. I wonder what others do or who they turn to?

Thank you all for the blog comments, etc. This time was a very bad treatment and I would keep my computer logged in just to see comments for encouragement. I think you all for your prayers. I'm still not totally up and ready to go but not so down that I don't even want to talk or be touched. My spine epidural didn't help the pain so please keep praying that this unbelievable pain eases up.

As always, thanks for listening and your prayers. It is what keeps me going!
Love to all,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Still not up to blog...only on here for a few minutes to garner strength. Thank you for your continued prayer!

Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.” ~ Author Unknown

Leah didn’t get to go to the choir competition, nor to church Sunday. She spent her whole weekend on the couch wrapped in your love and prayers with the blanket you gave her . Bouncing back from chemo is taking longer and longer. In the beginning it would take only about a week and then Leah would be her spunky
ol’ self, now it is taking 10 + days… and then it is time again for chemo. She is trying to stay positive, but it is difficult at times. Facing chemo treatments until February isn’t a pleasant thought. Chemo literally takes you to the edge. How could something that is suppose to be so good and lifesaving …be so bad?
Question marks are beginning to form in her mind. I remember in the very beginning she told me,
“Mom, there is going to come a time in this journey that you will have to push me to go on.”
I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be so sick for weeks and weeks. My heart goes out to every cancer patient. It is hard to say, “Keep going, you can make it” when you see the side effects wrecking havoc on your child’s body. But with your unrelenting prayers for Leah I know the Lord will take her through. We have felt those prayers and the comfort of the Lord. It is what keeps us going!!

Diagnosis Day seems like a long, long time ago. We are marching forward to Leah’s graduation day from treatment. We are half way there. And we look forward to Leah’s advanced degree (masters of survival) five years from now. Both of those days will be a time for great joy.

No matter what happens we know His grace is sufficient. His power is made perfect in our weakness. God is good all the time.

Leah, today I pray that God takes the pain away and gives you an extra dose of grace and strength so you can keep pushing on................................
How many times have I heard you say these words…………… “struggle is the proof you have not yet been conquered.”

Love you bunches,

To all of our family and friends ..... thank you again for praying and caring. And thanks in advance for your prayers as Leah begins her 7th. treatment.

This is an old story … but such a great message.

A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with
light, and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and
showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man
was to push against the rock with all his might. So, this the man did, day
after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down; his shoulders set
squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with
all of his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out,
feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

Since the man was showing discouragement, the Adversary (Satan) decided to enter
the picture by placing thoughts into the weary mind: "you have been pushing
against that rock for a long time, and it hasn't moved." Thus, giving the man
the impression that the task was impossible and the he was a failure. These
thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. "Why kill myself over this?" he
thought. "I'll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good

And that is what he planned to do, until one day he decided to make it a
Matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.

"Lord," he said, "I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my
strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have
not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?"

The Lord responded compassionately, "My friend, when I asked you to serve
Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of
your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to
move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me with your
strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so?

Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown,
your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive
and hard. Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now
surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven't moved the rock. But your
calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in
My wisdom. This you have done. Now I, My friend, will now move the rock."

At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to
decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is just a simple obedience and faith in Him.
By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God who moves mountains.
P= Pray
U= Until
H= Happens

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My pump died last night so I was back at Emory today!!

It was about 10 p.m. and I was asleep on the couch and this horrible loud beeping was going off on my infusion pump. I immediately took it to Steve to see what was wrong. It kept giving us error codes and the shrill beeping wouldn't stop! Steve changed the batteries and we messed around with it for a little while and then decided to call the actual owners of the infusion pump for help around 10:30 pm.

By the way for those who are wondering.....I have 50 hrs. of chemo each time I go. I have the really bad chemo while I'm all day at the hospital but then leave with an infusion pump and chemo bag that lasts for another 46 hrs. This is supposed to run concurrently.

So we called the help desk who had to page someone. They called me from North Carolina and all they could offer was that the error code was a malfunction (ummmm, yeah got that) and kept telling us to change the batteries over and over. It would never erase the error codes and the on-call help person said that was all they knew to do so I would have to go back to the hospital and get another pump. I asked if there was another option with a closer office. She said, "can't you just drive over and get a pump?" I said, "my drive is an hour to an hour and a half and I'm on chemo and alot of pain meds/ just don't get in a car and drive"......she said, "oh really, I'm sorry about that but that is the only option".....It made me wonder if this person even knew what she was is an infusion pump for chemo.....why would she think it would be so easy to jump in a car and go pick up a pump? If we could have picked it up last night, Steve could have jumped in the car and taken me....but you can't just call in to work all the time because of malfunctioning equipment. Steve already takes off alot of time with me.

Anyway, it was so late in the evening so there wasn't anything I could do because she said emergency rooms do not have these pumps and they have to be picked up from an actual infusion Kimberly, I and a friend went down this morning to Emory to get another pump. This just adds another day to my chemo. I now go to Emory on Saturday to be unhooked vs. Friday.

The good news about this is that I may not feel as bad getting it off on Saturday vs. Friday and might be able to go hear the choirs sing....however, I must admit that the spinal epidural has only slightly removed pain in my back and the chemo is already taking a toll on me. I'm not sure how I'm going to feel. As I always say, chemo has its own mind.

The neuropathy is really really bad this time. I washed my hands in the bathroom and thought they had injected thousands of needles into the tips of my fingers. All I could do was stand there and shake my hands and run them under warm water to try to stop the pain. The nurse told me they could give me another medicine (oh joy) for it. Every medicine has another side effect and it gets really hard trying to manage all of them. However, it is the only way to live through this. Believe me, prayer first and foremost but then I have to take medicine to manage nausea, etc. etc.

So, having the pump break down could be a really great thing. Who knows? We were able to get in and out within an hour so it wasn't bad. It is just alot of time and gas to do these things especially when they are the other side of town. This is the 3rd time this week I've been to the hospital, doctor, etc. and I still have to go Saturday. Ever think your life is boring???? Oh my.....I can't tell you how boring this is.

The day was bright and beautiful so getting out, even to go to Emory gave me something in my day to look forward no real complaining here.

As always, love your cards, thoughts, e-mails, blog comments etc. and I covet your prayers. I have enjoyed the comments from co-workers and friends I've not talked to in years. Oh my, how exciting to hear from you guys!! I just love to hear from anyone.....some days, all I do is read e-mail, cards and that is my energy for the day so I really appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Gonna lay back down,
Love to all,

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm officially 50% completed after Friday!

As soon as this bag of chemo that is attached to my chest is removed, I will be officially half way over!!!! YIPPPEEEE.......I can't tell you how happy I am. :-)

I was really dreading this treatment. I'm not sure why except my last treatment didn't go as well. However the chain of events with the spinal epidural being done the day before, really helped. It didn't give me alot of time to worry about today. I don't sit around and worry but I have to mentally gear up for the challenge.

This time my fingers are very very sensitive to anything cold....they hurt over the smallest of things (more so than normal). The nurse told me today that she wanted me to really watch my symptons because this is when it starts to get really bad. She wanted me to alert them if I started having problems breathing, (whole list of things), etc. However, I did not have any of those things the whole time they put on the bad chemo, in fact, I was able to sleep......that is a really big deal for me, as I don't sleep much at a time because the pain keeps me awake.

I just know it is the Lord through your prayers. As soon as Steve downloads pictures from today's will see that I was wrapped up in your prayers! God is soo good all the time. I would just love not to be so nauseated that I'm able to attend the Nationals, "How Sweet the Sound" choir competition at Philips Arena this week. Saturday is usually my really bad day so I'm praying that I'm going to have a turnaround this time and be able to be there.

Well, I'm tired....chemo always wears me out. I want my pjs, blankie, and couch. :-)
Love to all,

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Spinal Epidural today, Chemo tomorrow!

Today was a pretty good day! Greg, my sweet, bro-in-law took me for my spinal epidural today. This was the only time since I've been going to the hospital/doctors, etc. that they have not only been on time but ahead of time!! I was supposed to be there at 9:15 a.m. and go into "surgery" at 10:15 a.m. We got there at 9 a.m. and they immediately took me back.

After they put in my IV, off to the surgical room. I was amazed at how fast they were. By the way, this was not done at the hospital but by Emory Doctors at a Spinal Clinic off Druid Hills. Man, I wish everything was done there.

I asked for sedation and even with sedation the actual procedure was very painful. I was not expecting it to hurt that much. However, they were inserting the needles into my lower back and shooting the steriods into my nerves. I thought they had put about 15 needles into my back but they were actually moving 1 needle around. They asked me if I have high blood pressure since my blood pressure went up to 200......uh, is the needles you have stuck in my back. :-)

So far my back feels no differently and I'm back on my pain meds but they said that I should feel a difference in a few days. Praise the Lord, I cannot wait. The doctor said the chemo makes it worse so since I'm going to chemo this week, it will be interesting to see how the epidural works. All in all, I'm still very greatful for the quick turnaround and the ride with Greg. He kept me talking about so many other things that I didn't have time to think about my pain until later.

My sister-in-law, Rosa had to go back in for an ultasound for a lump they found but today they determined that she is okay too! God is awesome!

The whole day turned about to be a really good day......

Sunday, November 2, 2008

God is so good!

Today I was able to attend church and have lunch with my family!

I'm so thankful to the Lord for the strength. There is never a day that goes by that I ever think my own strength is what gets me through. I think alot about all the prayers that others are sending up for me and I know that is what makes my days bearable.

The church service was so uplifting. The worship and praise and then the preaching are always so uplifting. Today's message was "Peace in a Perfect Storm".

Most people today are in some sort of storm in their life. It could financial, sickness, trouble with the family, job related stress, lack of a job, too much work, marital problems, and the list goes on.....

One of the most important things I learned very early in life is to keep God first always, keep working hard, keep the right spirit and attitude and seek wise counsel. Sometimes we are in the situation because we got ourselves there. Other times, it just happens. Such as I feel in my just happened. It wasn't planned or expected. So what do you do? We have to make up in our mind that giving up or giving in is not an option.

First, we need to pray for knowledge and then make a plan to get ourselves out of the storm and allow God to lead us. God is not the author of fear, therefore we should not choose to allow fear into our lives. We have to embrace change around us and pray for the right fit into our lives. Sometimes because things are changing around us, rather than going to the Master for his help, we start changing ourselves to accomodate the change. In some ways we have to but never compromising our beliefs, character or ultimate relationship with the Lord. Once we do that, we are on downward spiral. He may be the one who created our storm, as was illustrated in the message today to get our attention. We have to learn to pay attention and look to him for our calm.

This is what I'm trying to do knowing I'm facing my spinal epidural and my 6th chemo this week. The week of my chemo becomes mentally challenging. I must confess, at times it brings me to tears. Not because I know I'm not going to make it in the big scheme of things but I know how hard it is and I have to do it anyway. It is not fact, I believe it is one of the hardest things I've ever done (besides worrying about my kids). It is the unknown of what it is going to do this is the knowing that pain that comes with this journey is many times almost unbearable. I keep my chin up and face the challenge anyway because I know my strength lies in prayer.

This is why I don't ever want to write a blog one time and not thank every person that says a prayer for me. It is not by my strength but by the strength I receive through prayer by each of you. I thank you for that....for I do not want to walk this journey alone.

On a very positive note: Our church choir was on the front of the Atlanta Journal Constitution today and in the Metro section. They won a regional choir competition, "How sweet the sound" and are going to the National Competition this Saturday, November 8th at Philips Arena. This competition is supported by Verizon. You can buy tickets on The choir already won $10,000 and are going for $25,000 but most importantly they hope to reach out to people. This is what our choir does every service. They reach out to people through music and God's annointing does the rest. This is a nationwide competition and in today's newspaper, it was quoted that they think our choir is going to go all the way and be the National winner!! Pretty awesome!

If you want to view the choirs, you can on howsweetthesound. com. You would need to click on Atlanta to view our choir. We are the large choir winner and People's choice award. Go Atlanta West Pentecostal Choir! I hope I'm able to be there and root for you! We have tickets but it is all according to how my chemo treatment works......either way, we will pray that you not only win the competition but win the hearts of those who may not believe or go to church. I know that is the ultimate purpose of the choir. :-)

I think that is a wrap for today. I love my blanket....slept with it last night. It is very warm and comfy!
Love to all,

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Did I get the beautiful coat of many colors?

I feel like Joseph today with his beautiful coat of many colors that made his brothers envious!! Oh my!!! Mom gave me this beautiful blanket last night and said it was from all of you....I typically do not ever single out all the great things everyone does because everyone does so much ( I'm so afraid I'm going to miss someone) but because this blanket represents the prayers of so many, I couldn't resist. It is overwhelming awesome!!!!!! Even those who are not on this blanket, I know through your e-mails, flowers, cards, words, etc. that you are part of this. This blanket represents every single person who reads my blog, says a nice word, prays for my family and right now, prays for my healing.

When I first saw the blanket, my first thought was....probably should have gotten another color because I will use this blanket so much, it will become so dirty!! Secondly, as I begin turning this blanket over and over and saw all the prayers, thoughts, etc.....I felt overwhelmed inside just thinking how many people are pulling, pushing and most importantly praying for me.

For those reading this and maybe do not know what it is.....the blanket is filled with embroidered prayers, well wishes, etc. all around the edges of the you can see in the picture. Apparently this project has been in the works for awhile.

I can't thank all of you enough! I will cherish this blanket long after I'm healed. I will use it everyday and then I will use it to show others how the support of all of you got me through and how they can too!! :-) Even though it is twin size (larger than a throw), I'm so proud of it that I might have to take it to Emory to show it off. Would that be wrong to brag? I can use it to demonstrate God's goodness and how wonderful it is to be part of a special family, friends, church family, co-workers and the list goes on....

Honestly, I'm a little speechless on what to say because everyday I'm blown away by the support of cards, comments, blog comments, encouragement. Not a day goes by that I'm amazed and still leaves me wondering how in the world will I ever repay all of you?
I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart! Until you walk this mile, there is no way to really understand what your support gets me through!

I will wrap myself in the prayers and thoughts of this blanket and pray that God sends his blessings back to each of you!
Love to all,
Click on the picture to enlarge!

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