Friday, January 30, 2009

Loving with a grateful heart!

I really look forward to time with my family. I really hate sitting at home if I'm feeling okay. This is the first day in a long time that I'm not in alot of pain. I can't feel my finger tips or my feet from the neurophathy but who cares??? Those are just minor things.

I am so exited that it is the weekend and most of the time, my family will be home! Yeah!

My aunt and uncle are coming in today from Indiana. I think we may go to dinner with them. They want to come over and see me but I want to get out of here, even if it is only a couple of hours. When I'm sick, I have no desire to go out and am quite comfortable staying in but as soon as the feel good bell rings, I'm ready to rush out the door. Of course, after I'm out for awhile, I start to get run down pretty quickly. Little doses at a time I find, works for me. -)

This has been on my mind all day and that is the support, love, care and prayers that everyone has given my family through this journey. I know I have a long way to go before it is finished but I'm so grateful!! Every time I think of all the blessings and prayers that have been sent up for us, it always brings tears to my eyes. If that isn't love, I guess I just don't know what love is......I just don't think it can get any better than that.

With Valentine's day approaching I thought about all the cards, flowers, gifts and dinners that will be on this day. How many of these will be bought or given without much thought but out of obligation because we take love for granted? We take love from God, our spouses, our children as an expection rather than an opportunity.

Love is there when everyone else has picked up and moved on. Love is multi-faceted but in its truest form it is committed when the turbulence comes. It holds you together and becomes stronger when faced with difficulties rather than weaker. Love learns to agree to disagree and never expects its way to always be right. Love tries harder when faced with complications. Love is not physical lust rather it sees the beauty of the person, inside out. Love is constant. Love is forever. We all make a choice to love. It is not something that happens to you rather it is you who make the choice to love and be loved.

I've felt so much love and support from my family, church family, work family, friends and those I've never met that I'm constantly wondering how I can return the thanks? I do find it easier to give than to receive and I guess that is what eats at me because without the prayer and support, honestly I don't know if I would have made it; but how do I give back?

So today is another day I want to say from the bottom of my heart, "thank you!!!!" It is inconceivable to think of the support our family has received. It has certainly taught me a valuable lesson in giving. It is very important not to get so busy that we have intentions of reaching out to others but find ourselves so busy that we forget. Sometimes someone's life could be on the line...I know mine has been. However, I find so much encouragement from the constant blog comments, words of encouragement, cards, etc. etc. that even in my times of agony; I'm always thinking of the support and prayers. On days I wake up with extreme pain and wish the day would go away, I always think of the support and prayers. I've never given up. I will not be denied of my healing or blessing. Other than God's protection, You all have been my life support.

Hope you enjoy the poem:
MY DEAR FRIEND (Philippians 1:3)
One day Christ came to my heart,
He told me to close my eyes,
He said He had something for me,
A wonderful, splendid surprise.
Wrapped up in a friendly smile,
Christ lay His gift in my hand.
I accepted it with a curious look,
I didn't quite understand.
I felt a soft nudge from the Lord, I didn't know what to do.
When I opened my eyes what was my gift?
My dear friend, it was YOU!

Love always,

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Well, I'm back....NO Hat and NO Chemo for me! Yeah!

Well, we went very early as we usually do to Emory for my 3 appts. I dread this day so much that I didn't even think about the hat. I get up the last possible minute. All night I did not sleep. I'm always restless. I guess knowing you've just gotten over being so sick and going back to have to do it all over again mentally challenges me. I know I have to do it so I always go in dressed in nice clothes and try to be upbeat as possible. It really does work too! Other people notice and it spreads. My lab nurses all know me and as soon as I go in they all start talking to me even though they are working on other patients. I told them that I was on my last treatments. They were so happy but sad because they say working on sick patients all day sometimes becomes very depressing and it is nice when someone comes in and is happy. I'm not necessarily happy to be there but I'm thankful that God gives me grace and mercy to do the things I'm assigned to do.

As I already stated, I always go to the Lab first for them to take my blood and hook up my lines for chemo and then off to the doctor (well, it isn't quite that fast but that is the order) ha.

As soon as my doctor walked in, she immediately came over and hugged me. I had not been out of the house since my last treatment and because of some of the side effects we had to call Emory a few times (not counting that I was sent to the ER too). She said that my body is so pure that everything has an extreme effect on me. She said that if I were a drinker that I would go through this without as much misery. She said a drinker has already killed their nerve receptors, therefore they do not feel the effects. She said it is almost scary when some of the drinkers come in and say, "bring it on". So I teased and said that Steve and I were immediately going to have a drink. ha. Not in a million years! YUK! It stinks and tastes horrible too! It is not my idea of a way to get through this. The Lord is doing a fine job. :-)

Steve and I stopped at Arby's and I got a salad. I was sick all evening and through the night so I'm not sure if the salad made me sick or I was still having effects from the chemo. It is very hard to decide what is what with chemo.

After they thought my esophagus was having spasms in the ER (which caused unbelievable pain....oh my), they decided to send me to a GI doctor to have a scope put down my throat. So, I have that doctor's appt. on Monday. So far through this journey, I have had my regular doctor (who initially referred me), 2 Colon Surgeons, 5 Resident Doctors, Spine Specialist, Oncology Doctor and now I'm going to see a GI specialist. I just decided through this journey that I wanted to see as many specialists as I could. I didn't want to leave any stone unturned. Ha. Whatever...I'm so over having to go to Medical facilities!!!

Oh, and they told me that as soon as my chemo was finished that they don't usually release the patient for a couple of months. What???? As soon as she said that.....she looked at me and said, "you looked shocked." Well, yes I thought I was going right we are going to work it out and maybe start part-time or something like that but I have to ask my HR, my boss so on and so forth. Just pray I get it all worked out. My doctors are concerned about my body from all the chemo....and I'm thinking....let me out!! ha.

So after all the chatter about my effects, I asked my doctor if the chemo was going to make these things worse and she said, "You aren't going to have chemo today, your counts are too low and if we give chemo to you, we are afraid you might get a bacterial infection". They have told me numerous times if you have low counts and you get a bacterial infection, you have no resistance and there isn't anything they can do. So, although I'm sorta happy that I'm not going right back to get sick, it does put my schedule off another week. She did give me the option of getting an expensive shot but it causes unbelievable pain for at least a week and then I would be right back getting chemo on top of the pain. I would rather wait a week and let my body do what it should naturally.

So all in all, I'm very happy about feeling better. My last treatment was pretty intensive with pain but guess what......I made it through!! I was just talking to my brother and I told him that I know that I've made it this far by faith and all the prayers. I don't say this lightheartedly, as I know I say it everytime but it is because I know that it is holding me up. I need all the prayer I can get and I'm not ashamed to ask for is the one thing I'll ask of others. Anything else, forget it...I would make a horrible salesperson. I do not like asking people for help, things, or otherwise. Although in a career management class a long time ago, they said I have a persuasive personality and I could make alot of money in sales. Go figure.....

Hope you enjoy the poem...Love to all, Leah

I have in my hands two boxes, Which God gave me to hold.
He said, "Put all your sorrows in the black box, And all your joys in the gold."
I heeded His words, and in the two boxes, Both my joys and sorrows I stored,
But though the gold became heavier each day, The black was as light as before.
With curiosity, I opened the black, I wanted to find out why, And I saw, in the base of the box, a hole, Which my sorrows had fallen out by.
I showed the hole to God, and mused, "I wonder where my sorrows could be!"
He smiled a gentle smile and said, "My child, they're all here with me."
I asked God, why He gave me the boxes, Why the gold and the black with the hole?
"My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings,
The black is for you to let go."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lazy day but lots of laughter!!

Well, I did start night and day sweats. Go figure!! I can't ever get warm but I woke up with my body and hair wet. Doctor said it is probably just another side effect I hadn't experienced before....Yeah for me, I get to try all the effects so that way when I talk to others...I can really relate. :-) This really wasn't my plan but I learned at the beginning of this journey, it wasn't about MY way but HIS way. So my faith and trust is in HIM.

I layed around all day. I just feel like I can't get enough sleep these days. Lisa, my sister came over and somehow we started on funny shows, skits, etc. and we were both laughing. My sister is much wittier than I am and can tell a story so much better. I'm terrible at trying to tell a joke. I'm trying so hard to make sure that I get all the pieces in the joke by the time I get to the end...everyone just stares at me. Well, it was funny until I took so long trying to tell it. I just think it is a talent for some people. Have you ever met someone that can tell a joke that isn't funny but everyone is laughing? I'm always amazed at those people. My husband Steve is one of those people. He just doesn't show it much but I'm sure you've gotten a sampling by looking at the pictures throughout my chemo sessions.

Well, tomorrow will be my last day before I'm back for my treatment. I've been feeling like I might be getting earaches so I pray that I don't have anything and they can continue the treatments . I don't want to get off schedule. I just want to get them done!!! I'm excited at the thought but knowing how bad this last treatment was and the next (according to another cancer survivor) are like a tsunami hit you. She told me it was the worst she could have ever imagined to the point, she wanted to quit. So please say an extra prayer for these next 2 treatments.

I know a month of treatments doesn't sound like much to some until you are confined to your bed in extreme pain for a month. It seems like eternity.

I've come to enjoy my pjs so much, I'm not sure I'll be able to wear regular clothes to work. Maybe I'll show up the first day in my pjs and tell them that I want to make up for all the lost holidays I wasn't there. So the first holiday was Labor Day so I would wear red, white and blue pjs. Next comes Halloween, so I would wear fall colored pjs....on and on. ha. What a crazy thought! Mom, this time I'm not on my pain meds at the moment so you can't blame them for your brainless child. ha

Just a reminder to get your votes in so we can get these over to the Accounting firm to count. You only have one day left and this could be the start of your future as a judge. You just never know who is watching.

Love you all,

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sorry I couldn't blog today, I'm still trying to figure out which hat I should wear. ha.

I was feeling quite low until I found these amazing hats and thought by wearing these that my chemo day could be quite cheerful.

However, I can only wear one and I just can't decide. The Christmas bow or the garden variety.....hmmmmmmmm, it is just too difficult to pick just one.

Please cast your votes as quickly as possible. It is 2 days until my debut. Many of you are probably jealous about not having a hat, such as mine but I promise I'll share! :-) This will probably be my chance to show that cancer can wrack havoc on your body but what sunshine we can share to others. Please cast your votes in my blog comments where Ernst and Young, Accounting Firm will count the votes and announce the winner!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The devil sees my future and he won't let me go!

I truly believe that as I've rounded the curve that the devil is mad because he hasn't gotten any victory through this journey and that he is doing everything he can to make it twice as hard on me.

I've had this unbelievable pain in my chest. It feels like I swallowed a pitchfork and the pitchfork is sideways in my chest. It hurts to eat or drink. The pain is totally unbearable.

Emory sent us to the ER and they thought it might an erosion of my esphogus. Well, it has continued to hurt with all the pains meds and medicine they put me on. Let me tell you, they put me on the granddaddy of all pain meds. It worked in my IV but didn't work at again, I was in more pain than my body could tolerate.

I've continued with the pain and started running fever. My body temperature usually stays around 97.5 but it went up to 101, which is high for me. Emory wanted me to go to the ER again because of the pain and have a scope run down my throat. Well.....first of all, the scope idea I could have done without but they won't continue my chemo unless I get it done. The sorry part about it is that they want me to go to another hospital's ER because they can't get me in. It is a vicious cycle.

I've not gone back to the ER yet. Last night we were in a delimna around midnight whether we should go to the ER that late and just get it all over with. It was cold outside and in the Cobb Wellstar ER you are sitting right in fron of the doors. We decided to give me the pain meds and see if my fever would break. It did finally break about 4 a.m........but (you always know this is the good part) the pain in my chest, which feels like a pitchfork has not gone away.

I still can't eat or drink with it without unbelievable pain. I'm wondering if it has anything to do with my port-a-catheter. The line to my artery goes to the same area. The hospital did a chest x-ray and a CT scan and didn't say anything so we are thinking it isn't that. Emory said they haven't had anyone with this sort of pain so they are shooting in the dark, therefore they want me to have the scope. For some reason, going to a hospital that I really don't like with ER people who don't know you and having a scope run down your throat somehow just doesn't get it for me!! As I always say, I'm not afraid of the outcome, I just hate the process!

However, I want the pain to go away too so I know we have to do something, as this is my chemo week....Yeah for me....then I will only 1 treatment to go. I feel like we are on the first one trying to figure out what meds to take for what sympton, etc. It is very frustrating!!!

I have to believe that Satan thinks he has our back against the wall and we are going to cower down! I guess he doesn't know me or the ARMY of people that are praying for me and that this will only challenge me to pray more and therefore he is useless.

Mom, Dad, the girls and Tim all prayed for me the other night when my fever kept going up and I began to feel really bad. I know God was watching over me because 2 nights in a row, I woke up and was sweating through my clothes. Everyone knows how cold blooded I am. Well, I knew that my fever had broken. It keeps trying to creep up but I'm taking pain meds so it gets back under control but I know it is an indicator of some sort of infection. I really don't have a primary doctor in my area, which I need to get because I could call them and ask them questions about sickness, etc. Any suggestions from anyone in the area, let me know.

So tonight my prayer request is that I keep my fever under control and the pain in my chest goes away so I don't have to go to the ER to have a scope run down my throat. The thought of more than I want to think of. I know to some it will sound minor, however for me, it is major....I have to mentally wrap my brain around another procedure....especially being soooooo claustrophobic.

Other than that, I continued to enjoy my time in my chair. My parents came and visited. Mom stayed 2 days because she thought we might be going to the hospital. My sister came and warmed some soup up for me. My bro and sis-in-law fixed us a pot roast. :-) Such are the days....however, I choose life! I was teasing my sister in law and told her that the doctor's prognosis was that I had eaten too much pot roast. ha. She knows I could eat very little but it was still funny.

Hopefully I have the strength to make it to Sunday school in the morning . :-0 If not, God will nourish us through the DVDs of every service made by our awesome video team.

Well, I just took more pain medicine and my dog is spread out in my chair. I need to go and get settled before I start drifting away.....wahoo! I will celebrate the day I don't have to take anything

Friday, January 23, 2009

Too many people in this battle!

First of all, thanks to mom and Lisa for keeping my blog up to date when I don't feel like writing or typing. Secondly, adding my family for their wonderful care giving and to Jesus Christ for his wonderous working/healng power and to all of YOU.....just because of all the things you do!

Yesterday, Steve had someone come to give us an estimate on changing out of the liner of our pool (got it out of the "what to do if you are bored" dummies book ha.). The man came in the house and I was immediately self-conscious of my hair and pjs. I immediately let him know that I was home sick and that I did not always dress like that. He said, "no problem" but then he started asking about my hair. After our initial response, he said, "I understand, I just got through my chemo from colon cancer." I haven't blogged since I've been in the emergency room but my nurse there was about my age and said his dad had just died of colon cancer a couple of years ago and he had colon cancer (we talked about our love of colonscopies) ha.. Now how coincidential is that? I don't believe it was a coincidence! We were able to share our stories and what helped/didn't help, etc. and the ultimate staying power of Jesus Christ.

So, God not only gives you protection...HE provides protection through people we do not even know so they can share their testimony. I'll be able to pay it foward pretty soon!!!. God is just good like that.

As Lisa and Mom already stated, I've not done very well the past couple of treatments. I keep getting symptons I've not gotten before and they don't seem normal. However, the doctors have sent me for all kinds of test and whatever it is doesn't seem to have affected my other organs. Praise God for that.....however, pray that whatever is causing the pain go away so I'm able to live without pain ane without narcotics!!!

I heard we had wonderful Revival services with Bro. Hernandez. My dad was really touched and felt that God was going to give him complete healing. For those that don't know my dad, he died on the operating table several times because of a bad heart and he walks with a cane because of his post polio condition. These are all areas that are very stressful for him. I pray through all this that God gives dad a healing too!!

Well, my chair and nap are missing me again. Today is the first day that I've even felt like getting on and blogging so I must be feeling better, huh? Your prayers are still greatly appreciated and greatly needed!
However, I know I can always count on YOU!!
Love always,

Standing on the Promises

Hello Everyone! You have not heard from me in awhile but I try to let Leah blog if she is up to it. I did tell her I would when she couldn't. Here is an update. Leah is slowly improving. As chemo. always does the condition can change from minute to minute. One fine the next not feeling well. The last 2 treatments have been very difficult and it is taking longer for her to start feeling better. She has been in lots of pain and as mom mentioned earlier she ended up in the ER. She is taking some new meds. to try and help. As with all medications it is trial and error. Some meds. over time have to have the dosage changed or the medication is not as effective and you have to try and figure out what is going to work best. There are side effects that the medication causes and the side effects of chemo. It all make one very sick and weak. Also, as the chemo. continues the symptoms get worse.

I can say through it all God has still protected her. She has not had to have any shots and they thought she would have to. That is usually the normal thing. If that were to happen it would get very bad. That is something to be thankful for.

I have been helping her with the medication and trying to figure out what is working and going to relieve the pain and get her on the road to recovery. She is starting to improve. She is still in pain but it seems to be under control more than it was. Thank you Jesus. I know that you will continue to lift her up in prayer.

Here is a song I thought I would share. It has been on my mind the past few days.

Jesus is the Answer

If You Have Some Questions In The Corners Of Your Mind
And Traces Of Discouragement And Peace You Cannot Find
Reflections Of The Past, They Seem To Face You Everyday
There's One Thing I Know For Sure That Jesus Is The Way

Jesus Is The Answer For The World Today
Above Him There's No Other Jesus Is The Way
Jesus Is The Answer For The World Today
Above Him There's No Other Jesus Is The Way

I Know You Got Mountains That You Think You Cannot Climb
I Know That Your Skies Have Been Dark, You Think The Sun Won't Shine
In Case You Don't Know
The Word Of God Is True
And Everything That He Promised
He will Do It For You

Jesus Is The Answer For The World Today
Above Him There's No Other Jesus Is The Way
Jesus Is The Answer For The World Today
Above Him There's No Other Jesus Is The Way


No matter what your situation, be encouraged. Keep standing on his promises.
Thank you for all your prayers.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


It has been a rough week!! We had to take Leah to the emergency room Tuesday night.
Chemo can damage the heart so they wanted to make sure that the severe chest pain is not caused from heart damage. From test the heart doesn't show any damage,
but the cause of pain has not yet been resolved.
Thank you for your continual prayers.

Monday, January 19, 2009

No Matter What, God always has our back!

This chemo trip has been....quite a treatment. I've not felt good from the very first day. I'm not going to let it get me down. I may feel bad but God still has me under his divine protection.

Three more prayer requests: Debra Coker, the wife of one of the men Steve works with did go back to the doctor. She just finished with chemo and her lungs are full of spots. They are meeting with the oncologist. They initially gave her a 50/50 chance of survival with her breast cancer and now this....please pray for her.

Corey, the 31 yr. old father of two small toddlers just found out that his entire colon must be removed. Please pray for his family as well.

Thirdly, we just got a call tonight of someone else who works with Steve and his 47 yr. old wife has Alzheimer's. He was crying and asked about our support group. So sad, it seems every corner we turn, someone we know is coming down with a life and death survival situation.

God is able to supply and meet all our needs!! None of this is too big for our God. We must pray and be ready to meet him should our time come sooner than what we expect. It is the most important thing we can do. Someone sent this e-mail to me today. It is an e-mail from Rick Warren. I thought you would enjoy it.

You will enjoy the new insights that Rick Warren has, with
his wife now having cancer and him having 'wealth' from the
book sales.
This is an absolutely incredible short interview
with Rick Warren,'Purpose Driven Life ' author and pastorof Saddleback Church in CaliforniaIn the interview by Paul Bradshaw withRick Warren, Rick said:People ask me, What is the purpose oflife?And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity.

We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be
with Him in Heaven.One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end
of my body-- but not the end of me.I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, butI am going to spend trillions of years in eternity.
This is thewarm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice onearth what we will do forever in eternity. We were made by God and for God,and until you figure that out, life isn't going to makesense.
Life is a series of problems:Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, oryou're getting ready to go into another one.The reason for this is that God is moreinterested in your character than your comfort; God is moreinterested in making your life holy than He is in making yourlife happy.We can be reasonably happy here onearth, but that's not the goal of life.

The goal is to grow incharacter, in Christ likeness.This past year has been the greatestyear of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay,getting cancer.I used to think that life was hills andvalleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to themountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe thatanymore.Rather than life being hills andvalleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on arailroad track, and at all times you have something good andsomething bad in your life.No matter how good things are in yourlife, there is always something bad that needs to be workedon.And no matter how bad things are in yourlife, there is always something good you can thank Godfor..
You can focus on your purposes, or youcan focus on your problems:If you focus on your problems, you'regoing into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, mypain.' But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to getyour focus off yourself and onto God and others.We discovered quickly that in spite ofthe prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was notgoing to heal Kay or make it easy for her-

It has been verydifficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character,given her a ministry of helping other people, given her atestimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.You have to learn to deal with both thegood and the bad of life.Actually, sometimes learning to dealwith the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of asudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made meinstantly very wealthy.It also brought a lot of notoriety thatI had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives youmoney or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life ofease..

So I began to ask God what He wanted meto do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me twodifferent passages that helped me decide what to do, IICorinthians 9 and Psalm 72.First, in spite of all the money comingin, we would not change our lifestyle one bit.. We made no majorpurchases.Second, about midway through last year,I stopped taking a salary from the church.Third, we set up foundations to fund aninitiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equipleaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate thenext generation.Fourth, I added up all that the churchhad paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and Igave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God forfree.We need to ask ourselves: Am I going tolive for possessions? Popularity?Am I going to be driven by pressures?Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven byGod's purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit onthe side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything elsedone today, I want to know You more and love You better. Goddidn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's moreinterested in what I am than what I do.That's why we're called human beings,not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEKGOD.Quiet moments,
WORSHIPGOD.Painful moments,
TRUSTGOD.Every moment,

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I got sacked last night but I'm still looking toward the goal line!

The chemo has hit me really hard this time and right away. Typically I'm able to get my chemo bag removed before it starts taking me down. This time it has appeared immediately and has taken me by surprise. Again, I refuse to let one battle win my war. I'm going to fight, fight, fight this stuff all the way to my touchdown of Victory.

I just got a call this morning of a friend that we are in touch with through others who was just diagnosed with colon cancer. Corey is in his late 20s and has 2 small children (you might know him as one of the Livingston singers....they have CDs out). They weren't lying when the cancer special on TV said that every other person would have some type of cancer by the time they die if we don't find a cure. 1 in every 2 men and 1 in every 3 women. It is heartwrenching to hear these stories but we know WHO holds our future, so I do not get just makes me want to fight more. Please pray for this family. The word I hear is they are devestated, however we know a God much bigger than our circumstance.

I'm not going to blog much more right now, as I've been sick all last evening, through the night and this morning. I'm headed back to my recliner for the day.

Just wanted to get out the prayer request and thank all of you for YOUR prayers for me. As you bless others, God is going to honor each of you. God is truly an awesome God. How does anyone in this crazy world not live with the ulimate peace, joy, hope and love that you get from the Heavenly Father? Hard to imagine but we just have to continue to pray for each other and pray that this ray of sunshine shines upon those that are in need.

As always, love to all,

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Well...Today was #10 Chemo treatment-God is still good!

Disclaimer: I have really bad chemo brain and this format does not provide spell check, grammatical errors, etc. I know I've gotten really bad remembering things and writing, "leave" for "live" or other variations of that. I try to find mistakes myself but my writing critiqueing skills have progressively gotten worse. It will come back but I apologize in advance. :-)

Please pray for our Missionaries, Steve and Barbara Willoughby from Singapore. They both received devastating news in 2008 that they are both battling cancer. He with brain cancer and I'm not totally sure about hers. However, the last update I've received is that they are in the United States trying to get treatment and their 3 children are still in Singapore. I really relate to them because when the effects of their chemos etc have been mentioned, they are the same as mine. How can they lead their church in that shape? God has a plan! We just have to pray for them physically and then spiritially on what direction God wants them to go in. It seems they have an awesome church family in Singapore. Hmmmmm.....maybe it is time for me to go.

I always felt led to be a Medical Missionary and go to the Philippines as a child and teenager but then I adopted my children and felt my Mission was home raising them to have a heart for God. Thus my mission field became Douglasville, Georgia at the Boyd home. Lord knows, we've done everything in my power to live and do right. I tell my kids, you have been raised right so if you choose to go to would be sad but I've decided that no matter what happens, that is not where I'm going. Kids get too big for their britches and think they might be doing something to hurt you and I remind them as young adults they ultimately hurt themselves. Thank the Lord all 3 of my children are living for the Lord!!! ;-0 It hasn't always been that way but I'm telling you, I know PRAYER works!!

I've been home a couple of hours and honestly I'm already starting to feel the effects of the chemo!! I don't feel well but I wanted to blog before I get to where I don't feel like moving at all.

Today started off as most days....they insisted that we be there at 6:45 a.m. for my appt. However, they do not open up until 7:00 am with one nurse who has to sanitize the area. They will never take patients in before 7:30 am. and then they take patients in first come first served. So, as we the patients were asking each other our appts after we had sat for a little while, we realized that everyone had the same story. Appt. at 7 am. but you may get in an hour later always. In fact, I had a 6:45 appt. and one of the other guys I was speaking to have a 7:40 appt., he was called back before me because he signed in right before me (6:50 am. signin vs. 6:55 am) . This is another area that I just accept that it is the way that it is and we are going to be there all day so as long as I get good service, I don't even say anything.

It made for a very interesting day as I met Dee, who works at Emory and she was getting some treatment also and just so happened to come to the LAB while we were all sharing our stories. She was concerned for all of us and decided to take it upon herself to figure out why it takes so long. The nurses explained after they get there at 7 a.m. (which is only 1 nurse) she begins cleaning the area. So we've learned that they don't typically begin before 7:30 am. and sometimes 8:00 a.m. so although it messes up all your other appts., which are also just wait and that is what we did. You wait over an hour to get in and then the process takes about 15 minutes to get you all hooked up and then you have to wait an hour on your lab for your next appt. and so they keep putting you further and further behind.

However, you know what the great thing is.....I only have 2 more treatments, however I do think the details are important in the journey because it gives me more to be thankful for when I don't have to go through the long days at the hospital. The nurses are so wonderful too! I will miss them. They all recognize me when I'm coming in and that is a good feeling and somewhat of a not good feeling because I realize that I've been down there tooooo long! There are lots of nurses because they see 100-150 a day and I believe that I have had every single one of them at some point.

I watched a young woman about my age across from me give 50 vials of blood today. She kept poking her from one arm to another. I never minded it before but I'm way over it today. No needless pain. She said she, her mother and sister all have the same issue. They produce too much iron and Dee, the friend that I met today is anemic and needs more iron. If we could all just find a way to hook up to one another so we could receive the benefits from another's body that you aren't getting and they yours! ha. Let's just pray for these ladies.

Dee asked for my blog address so I gave it to her so we can stay in contact. I love meeting people and sharing stories. So she told Steve that the new children's hospital across the street has the best cafeteria and also has Chic-fil-A. So those of you who have to visit Emory and want other options, it is on the first floor.

She also spoke about a friend who was given 3 months to live. She decided she had too much to do and starting doing the things she wanted to do. Unfortunately after 13 or maybe it was 18 years, she did eventually die but it was because she was hit by a bus in Madagascar!! She was out living was something unfortunate but she was doing the things she had a passion for. Too bad it wasn't going to reach out to the hurting, dying and lost but because I don't know her, I can't say.

However, I plan to leave to be a ripe old codger living for the Lord recklessly repeating my story over and over until everyone is just tired of it. God is good......all the time.

God and I are on the same carpet riding the big slide and we are almost to the bottom. I can't wait until I'm close enough to see your praying, cheering supporting faces at the end. I hear you but don't see you. Once we are at the end, I plan to see all of YOU! God is the most powerful gift that I can share, which most of all of you have, however we have to use that power or ......remember, "your eternal value will be just a waste".
We don't have to do a lot if we are all doing it together, "many hands make light work". We can work but still make a difference. We'll just have to figure it out.

Anyway, I think I'm going to retreat to a warm bath (shhh, I'm not supposed to with my chemo bag), put on my warm pjs, drink some peppermint and sack out.

Please pray over the next 2 weeks that my blood counts get better. They were low but not low enough they stopped my chemo. Any low counts make me feel worse and I'm feeling the effects already, which is unusual so if you don't hear from me, just know I'm thinking and praying for you and I will blog as soon as I can.

Yeah.....almost done! Please continue praying for the requests we see and don't forget to put yours on here.
Love to all,

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ms. Muffet on her Tuffet the day before Chemo #10

Another prayer request I just got this morning. Debra Coker was diagnosed with a very aggressive breast cancer in 2008 (just months before I was diagnosed with cancer). Our husbands have worked together for years so it was ironic that the two of us ended up with cancer just months apart.

She just went to the doctor yesterday and they are pretty sure it has now spread to her lungs. The doctor said he wasn't sure but with her cancer being so aggressive, he was pretty sure it is cancer. However, they would start her on chemo again....this time for her lungs. Please pray for her. They have just been through surgery and chemo, like me and now are having to go through it again.

I'm starting the last of my treatments (3 more to go, Yahoo). However, they will do testing at the end of my treatments also. I have 3 lesions on my lungs and kidneys that they are monitoring, along with the colon. So, please pray that these lesions will be gone through the chemotherapy that I've done and I won't be put through any more chemo regimens nor will I move to the last stage of cancer.

Honestly, I'm expecting a full recovery. I've had faith throughout this journey that God has it all in control and I won't be going through more than I've already been through. However strong my faith is....I know that I must still pray, learn to listen and obey God. He is my fortress and help in my storm. In HIM do I trust!!

The last couple of days I've felt more normal than the past week and half. I tend to get up and go straight to my recliner, turn up the heat on the heating pad, turn on my massager and there Ms. Muffet lays. I have learned to be content in my condition. I've learned that it isn't the worst thing to be suspended to my home. Home is actually quite nice. I have a wonderful family that dwells with me. I have so many things to look forward to. So, I don't worry as much about getting out. I do like to get out as soon as I'm able because it is better for my body physically to build up strength but my mind is okay no matter where I'm at. My mind was a real struggle at the start of this journey. It made me feel as if I weren't moving, I wasn't doing something. My life has always been about schedules and to-do lists. Too much to do, so little time. Now my motto is....I'll do what I can, when I can and life will still go on. Not everything has to be done immediately..some things just have to wait. If I didn't have such a great family, I'm sure I wouldn't be so content at home, day in and day out.

I was able to go to church Sunday. I haven't been able to go in the past couple of weeks so it was very refreshing! At the start of the service, there were motorcycles and 4 wheelers parked in front of the sanctuary. So, of makes you wonder what the message is going to be. Our Pastor said one of the small children's eye lit up at the sight and remarked to his mother that there was possibly going to be a drawing at the end of church much to the chagrin of those who owned the Harleys', etc. :-)

The theme for this year is, "Wide Open", which was our sermon. Our Pastor stated how you might purchase a vehicle with so much power but yet are unable to use it because of the law limit restrictions, etc. Therefore having something with alot of power and no use is such a waste. He showed pictures of a farm in Portugal purchased by a couple going into retirement. They did not enter the barn at the back of the home prior to purchasing. This building was huge. When the building was opened, they were amazed because stacked as close as you could get them were vintage cars of all types (they were beautiful and unbelievable). There were Astons, all sorts of European and American vintage vehicles!! As you looked at all the dust and thought of the years these cars had been sitting in this barn, your first thought would be, "what a waste". However, this couples $50,000 investment turned into $35Million dollars!!!

If we take this and align our lives, you see potential in our lives that go without use. What a waste of our talents! He spoke of how we are young Christians or even small children who are not afraid to try anything or will go the extra mile to do anything but then we become restricted. We talk ourselves out of it or we find other things to do with our time. The same thing happens to a talent, just as a muscle that go becomes out of shape. If everyone just used one of their talents (skills) to help the Community, our Communities and families would be strengthened. We would all have some sort of testimony in our lives because we would all be doing for each other. People would feel the love of Christ through us and I wonder how that would effect crime rates?

Anyhoo-I know that my purpose has not been fulfilled. I know that I have talents (skills) unused to help others. I'm just working through this process so that I'm physically and mentally able to help others going through crisis'. I've always had a heart for people that hurt but sometimes until you go through a battle yourself, others can't always relate to you. I'm not sure in what form or format that I will be used but I'm listening to the heart of God. He will ultimately open the door, I just have to be willing and not look for a window to crawl out. We have to be willing, able and ready.

I've got my armour on through this battle and through your prayers, I've been able to make obstacles into stepping stones. YOUR prayers have been my strength. There is no way to put into words what it has meant. I know I'm about to go through the hardest treatments (per the doctor/nurses) but with your prayers, I'm going to win this battle too! God has claimed the war through HIS ultimate protection but I still have to win each battle until I reach the victory line. This is a marathon that will be won with YOUR cheering, praise and again, prayers!

Isn't life great? I love every day! God is so good!
Until then,
love to all,

Monday, January 12, 2009

Things to ponder and pray about.....

First of all, let's remember Christy's dad, Tam Wilson as he undergoes open heart surgery this week. She left a blog comment that her dad is still in the hospital and needs our prayers.

I may blog later but I'm having a hard time putting my thoughts together. I did receive this via e-mail and I thought it was good food for thought.

Until later, love to all!

Happy New Year!

A Great Recipe for a peace-filled life in 2009

1. Take a 10 to 30 min. walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Talk to God about what is going on in your life. 3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today. I am thankful for______________'
4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wildAlaskan sal mon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts
.6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment
.8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
9. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
11. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
12. You are not so important that you have to win every argument.Agree to disagree.
13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
14. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five y ears, will this matter?'
17. Forgive everyone for everything.
18. What other people think of you is none of your business.
19. GOD heals everything - but you have to ask Him.
20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
21. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick (this doesn't apply to me because my work family has been awesome!!!!) . Your friends will stay in touch.
22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________
.24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
25. When you are feeling down, start listing your many blessings.You'll be smiling before you know it. :-)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Tigger lost his bounce yesterday but not the battle "-)

Yesterday I was so excited because I finally felt that I could get out of the house for a few hours. I had not been out since Christmas, except to the hospital.

It was such a beautiful day and just getting into the car....oh, I thought in my mind, "I am free today!" Kimberly, a friend and I went and grabbed a quick lunch and went to 2 different stores so Kimberly could exchange some Christmas. I was feeling so good and energetic. My feet were hurting from the neuropathy but then again, pain has become constant so it didn't keep me from bouncing from place to place. "-)

I had such a good time and was thinking....finally I'm over this last round of chemo.....until last night. I became so sick. I was trying to be quiet because Steve had already gone to bed and I didn't want to wake him. Poor thing, he goes to work and then has to spend the evening and night comforting me all the time!! Never a breath of complaint from him but I wanted to give him one evening he could go to bed early and not have to worry about me. So, I lay in bed silently moaning so he wouldn't hear; praying the pain would go away and not awaken him. He finally awoke around 3 am. and asked how I was.....

I have to admit just having him to comfort me just made me feel better. However, it didn't remove the pain. I was freezing, yet my body was so hot that I thought I might be running a fever. He finally got me a pain med., as I realized that I had gone hours with pain and couldn't stand it for another minute and at 3ish am. ....back to my recliner. I immediately put on the massager and the heat. By the time he showered and got dressed for work, the pain med had set in and I was feeling better again. It is so frustrating to feel one minute you could pass out from all the pain and then hours later, tolerate the pain and move on to do what you need to do. However, thank the Lord for those hours of moving on!! :-)

Today, I have stayed in my recliner and decided that I won't go out again. It has taken me longer to get over this chemo treatment. By now, I can at least get around with less pain. The doctor told me these last treatments were going to be the worst but I just mentally challenged that thought....and prayed it not to be true. So far, I think they were right....I'm living with the effects and the cumulative effects!

So, Tigger turned into Eeyore today. Bouncy, bouncy to slow moving but hey I'm moving so there is a bright side. I did get a few hours of normalcy.

Interestingly enough there are all kinds of sales going on at this time of year. 75%-80% off of so many things but yet, I think to myself...."we don't need anything." The gift of contentment to be walking and having somewhat of a normal day was satisfaction enough.

I, of course always read my blog comments. I've noticed that some of you are somewhat shy to share your needs. This journey is not just about my sickness but about sharing and caring for each other. Please share your needs so we can all pray for you. Tammy, I'm praying for your healing with lupus and that your bronchitis goes away, In Jesus Name. This is a perfect forum for letting each other know what we need so we can all be praying for each other.

Yes, I have/had cancer but my need is no greater than anyone else'. I'm going through a battle but so are so many others. I want to help you pray for your needs, it is why the Lord has brought us together. He is in charge of the war but we have battles that we must go through. As it says in the Bible, where 2 or 3 are gathered praying....that is what we can all do. There are approximately 400 people that get on my blog....that is alot of people praying. We also have churches that we can take our prayer requests let's journey together by praying for each other as we have but let's share our requests, okay? I look forward to praying for all of you as you have for me.

I thank each of you for all your encouragement, blog comments, cards, letters, etc. but as I grow stronger in my body....I want to pay it all forward for someone else. Let's continue to reach out to one another and grow stronger in our families, faith, health, is what God designed. I want to be a part of it, don't you?

I am so excited....can't wait to hear from you.
Love to all,

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

The beast has certainly rained on my baby girl’s parade, but
the parade must go on . I know with her awesome spirit and
attitude she will continue to dance in the rain, until the suns
shines again
Yes, she is dancing to a different beat. But she is so
determined. Every day is a different tune, different step.
Even though they are few and far between on the good days
lifts are high, emotions are soaring which makes her waltz
through the day. On difficult days we feel like we do
cartwheels and head spins, just trying to figure out what the
next step should be to end the pain and sickness.
Christmas lifted her spirits and made her tap dance to the
But Wednesday’s chemo treatment ended all of that and now
she is battling another round of sickness. This has been a very
difficult chemo treatment. With her blood count very low she
is very weak and unsteady on her feet. Her days are spent in
bed or in her recliner.

As a mother, for her sake I smile and try to stay
upbeat. But I will admit it is the most helpless, depressing
feeling a mother can experience. It is so difficult to watch
your child suffer and to know you can't do anything about it
but pray. The tears stay in my pillow... but I arise each day with hope again that God is in control and he has her in His hands. If you are a mother I am sure that you understand my feelings.

Many people have told me to keep her fighting. Believe me she is a
fighter, but the journey has been long and the weariness sets in.
Leah's faith and attitude amazes me. No matter what happens or how bad she feels she never wavers in her faith.

With her trust and faith in the Lord she will continue to dance
in the rain knowing that every rain cloud we see today will
bring a rainbow of hope for tomorrow.

It is your prayers, cards, emails, food, acts of kindness that
gives us strength each day to keep going.
In most cases when you become ill and must take time off from
work in the beginning you may get flowers, and a few cards
and then you never hear from your coworkers again. This has
not been the case with Leah's work family. I am amazed how
they have supported her every step of the way. You all are
angels~~~ I thank you!
After 7 months Steve and Leah are still receiving food from the
church family. In the evening you hear the door bell ring and
there stands some precious lady with their whole evening
meal prepared. How awesome is that??
And Vernie, Leah's #1 fan ~~~a phantom friend because we
have never met. All of your prayers and encouraging
comments that you have posted daily for Leah have been
awesome!! Leah and I must meet you sometime for lunch
after she is feeling better.
To my Lathem family who checks on me daily and gives large doses of love and encouragement... I thank you!
I can't even begin to name names because there are so many people that have touched our lives in so many awesome ways.
We could never repay the kindness shown to us. The only thing we can do is to pay it forward after Leah's journey is done.
Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude. Thank you ~~ Thank You!!

As my father always said," And it came to pass" and it will.
Much love,
Leah posted today...see below.

I feel better today! :-)

My legs aren't as weak as they were yesterday. I was in so much pain and could hardely walk. This chemo stuff is crazy. One minute it has you crying from the pain and the next, you can deal with the pain. I'm so glad I'm on the home stretch!!

Today is rainy outside. I'm wondering when I can get out again. I'm not sure if I will know what normal will feel like again.....although I know the Lord has things in control, I'll still know that this "thing" is lurking inside of me, just waiting till I'm unaware. I don't ever want to be unaware again. I'm a planner and I didn't plan for this so it has made me realize how important it is to lean on Jesus. We cannot always know what is ahead but we can know who the planner of our universe is!!

I'm not afraid, I'm just aware. If you've not had exams or yearly physicals, I would highly suggest you do. I've always kept mine up and still I'm dealing with the unknown....however, most times, you can find out if you are diligent.

Cancer is not of God. God can cure cancer, or any disease. He has given us our bodies to serve HIM. We have to do our part to honor him with our bodies. This is why he said to serve him with our soul, mind and body. How can we be a witness to others if we are broken down and not taking care of ourselves? Have you ever seen a teenager with a new car? They polish, clean, and make sure that it stays as nice as possible. This is the way we should be with our bodies. We should cherish the earthly vessel God has given us by using it to help others.

How do we do that? We can do things for others in times of need or just a helping hand but we must use our bodies to honor God. This we do by being an example of HIM. We do not need to be vain but we must maintain what we have in order to continue to fulfill his mission. If we are not here, what use are we?

I think of the homeless. Many of them are where they are because of mental illness. Some of the homeless may have been born with the illness but I would bet that most acquired this because of their inaction to life. Life brought them so much abuse or heartache at their own hands that they do not have a mind that can reason. Or yet, they were abused to the point that they cannot reason or logically sort out things. This is where God steps into our lives, if we allow. He can remove the pain, the shame and replace it with victory.

My bro-in-law's family and church family visit the homeless every week to feed and clothe them. What an awesome blessing to those people. It seems like every week is just a repeat from the last but God has things in store for those that hurt and are weak. My bro-in-law told us about 1 man that has totally changed his life. He works a full time job (a job my bro-in-law helped him acquire), is never late, hard worker and doesn't want to be known as the "former homeless person". This is all because someone cared enough to get up early every Saturday morning and take a meal to someone less fortunate!

Make today a great day and do something for someone else. Just a smile, pat on the back, let someone sneak in front of you on the ride home....some sort of gesture that gives someone else a reason to smile back or pay it forward! Don't let today be just another day....make it a great day!

As always, it is because of all of you that I smile each day! Today is another day God has blessed us with breath. Make today your day!

Love to all,

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I've never felt so bad!

I have obsolutely no strength in my legs at all. I can hardly walk and have been in alot of pain. I will try to blog tomorrow. I've sat in my recliner since 6 am. this morning and was so happy to see Steve walk in the door. He always massages my legs and today.....well, I really needed the massage and support.

God is always good and I know he is going to get me through this. Thank you for the prayers!

Please pray for the 3 young ladies that lost their fight this month to cancer. They were all younger than me. Very sad!

Love to all,

Friday, January 2, 2009

So, let's play Ketchup!! ha. (I do know how to spell)

So, it has been a few days since I've blogged so let's see how much I can catch you up without boring you to tears!

First of all, as you know this is my chemo week. I went and had chemo on Wednesday. Having off the extra week had me mentally more charged than prior treatments. Well.....I always start out in the lab to get all my lines hooked up and my blood taken so they can insure I'm ready for treatment.

They could not get any blood. My port had finger like blood clots all around it. They had me stand up, wave my arms, jump in place, hold my arms above my head, you name it for about 30 extra minutes than blood return. I had to be stuck in my arm. I always ask for the best sticker because I always seem to get the person in training. I was assured I was getting the best and the funniest of all. It turns out the man beside me was having a birthday so they all decided to start singing.

Let me remind you a couple of weeks ago, the nurse who spilled all the blood all over me was singing the Flinstone song to me. I asked her if they would hold the singing until she stuck me (I've turned into a wimp). She said that she was so good that she could sing and stick me. Well, let's just say that it was needless pain for me. She did not do a good job and it was obvious she was more interested in all the surroundings than she was digging in my vein. I guess these are things that I dread the most!!

Anyway, the rest of my doctor's visit and the actual chemo infusion went fine. I was fine until last night. I had sat in my recliner all day. I just didn't have energy but I felt okay. All of a sudden, my body just started with the worst pain everywhere. Whenever I get into this much pain, tears immediately start flowing. I do not even try to cry but it is a automatic reaction. However, the worst of that is my eyes are very sensitive since I started chemo and as soon as the tears flow, it induces more pain. My eyes feel like they have hot sauce in them and the tears just make the rest of my head burn! Steve gave me pain meds, which I had tried not to take all day and it helped but didn't really get rid of all the pain. He and I both went to bed in pain. I ended up waking up and getting him pain meds in the night.

I woke up nauseated so he got up and got my steriods and all the other medicine I take. I think we are turning into 2 old granny and grandpa grumps in our late 30s, early 40s....who would have guessed? However, thank God we have each other. So many do not have what we have, I thank God every day for my blessings, which of course, always includes my family. God is surely good all the time.

Oh, we had one very exciting addition to the family. The day I had chemo, my neice went into labor and gave us a beautiful baby girl. Her name is Nevaeh (heaven spelled backwards). I've been unable to visit her but they gave us pictures and others who have visited said he is a beautiful baby. I'm just so happy that she is healthy. Cuteness is just beside the point! :-)

I'm headed back to Emory this morning to get my bag removed. I'm hoping that it will not be too busy and we can get in and get out. Our parking each time we go, costs $10. It is hard to believe that it is so costly, especially when you go so often. However, they do not have much parking and do not offer anything special for their chemo patients so you just do with what you have.

Well, I'm going to go and lay down again before I have to leave in an hour. As always, thank you for your constant support. It is a wonderful feeling to know you have those standing in the gap for you every step of the way. It makes all the little things seem so insignificant in the big scheme of life.

Hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's. Mine was spent on the couch but hey, it just makes me one step closer to the end. I'm willing to give up many things to make it to the end. I hope you feel the same way in your walk of life.

As always,
Love to all,