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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