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,