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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Surgery Date Set!

I ended up going to meet with the surgeon yesterday. It was supposed to be today, but they called to see if I could come in yesterday afternoon, so I rushed through the shower, got dressed and ran! Sis went with me --- poor soul, she hasn't missed a single appointment since all this started back in June. Ain't she the greatest???!!!!

Anyway, it went very smooth. Nice guy, very quiet and matter of fact about it all. He examined me, squished around a lot, then said, "I think I can close this up!"

I was thinking to myself, "You THINK????" What if you CAN'T???? Since his specialty is Colon-Rectal surgery, and I'm getting a mastectomy, I was also wondering what it is going to look like when he's done with me!!!!!!

He asked if I had any questions, and I felt stupid since I had no idea what to ask him. I did ask him how long I would be in the hospital, and he said it would just be overnight, like this was just nothing!!!! I'll be coming home the next day with drains hanging out.

So it was a very short visit. I go on Friday for pre-surgery blood work, etc., and surgery is set for next Wednesday.

Again, Sis and I came out of there and just looked at each other. Why do I get the strangest of doctors all the time? I know I'm not that chatty, but it gets a little strange in the Dr.'s office when the doctor doesn't say much either! The only good thing was that I knew my cancer Dr. knew these guys and said they were good. I kind of trust him, knowing that he is on their list of surgeons.

I'll be so glad when this is all behind me. I've been waiting for this surgery since June, and now I dread it all! It isn't the surgery, it's the after "stuff!" Drains, pain, stiff arm, running back and forth to the Dr. --- you know the drill! and I'm sure the cancer guy will be hounding me to get back in there to start radiation right after the surgery, too!! He waits for nothing!

Thanks again, all of you who have been praying for me. I know it is only because of your prayers that I've come this far, believe me! I'm usually a "giver-upper" when it comes to this kind of stuff. You've all been the greatest!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Daybook Entry for December 29, 2008

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FOR TODAY (December 22, 2008)...



Outside My WindowVery blue skies and nice and warm. Supposed to be in the 80's today. As much as I've loved all the photos on everyone's blogs with snow, etc., I'm very thankful NOT to have to shovel, drive, and bundle up in that stuff. The squirrels are checking the feeder for food --- I have to get out there and fill it up!



I am thinking. . . About tomorrow! I go to the surgeon to set up a schedule for the mastectomy. It's strange --- back in July I was all gung-ho on having it done with no fears or anything. Now, I feel a little like NOT!!!!! It isn't the fear of being operated on. It's all the before testing, and the after stuff that seems like a big hassle! I just want it all over with and get on with life!



I am thankful forAngel Food Ministries! Last Saturday, I picked up my first order from them, as they opened up a host site just down the street from me. I wasn't sure what to expect, but the quality of the food was #1, and I got so much for my money. What a great ministry this is! If you are interested in finding out more about this, you can check it out HERE!



From the kitchen... Potatoes augratin and ham, green veggies, cold pea salad, homemade oatmeal cookies.



I am wearing... Still in my nightgown!!!!


I am creating... Lots of cut outs for angels. Trying to get ahead on cutting stuff, as I'm not sure how long it will take to heal from surgery. Not knowing how soon it will be, I want to be prepared ahead of time to have stuff to stitch on when I get home.



I am going... Probably nowhere today, except out to the bird feeder.


I am reading... Way too many good recipes. I found a wonderful site hosted by Kraft foods. It has a million great recipes and also a great community site where you can share recipes, ask questions, etc. You can find it HERE! If you click on the "community" button on the upper right hand side of the page, you can join in the yahoo group!



I am hoping... Everything goes smoothly with the surgeon tomorrow. I never know what questions to ask, etc. I wish I could fast forward time and just have it all over with.



I am hearing... Buster snoring under my feet. His head is propped up on my feet. He's sooooo good when he's sleeping. When he's awake. . . .?????



Around the house... Cleaning floors today, a little laundry, take out trash --- all the usual stuff.



A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week. . . No plans until after tomorrow. I'm sure I'll be running around getting all the pre surgery testing done.



A Scripture Thought. . . Jer. 29:11 --"For I know the plans I have for you, saith the Lord, a plan for good and not for evil, a plan with a future and a hope!" Isn't it wonderful to know that God not only KNOWS the future, but that He has planned it all out for us with only the best for us! And yet, we continue to worry! I wonder why. . .????

Here is picture thought I am sharing. . . I'm so glad to have my younger sister living so close to me! Just wish I could have seen my older sister this Christmas and had our pictures taken again like this! Time flies, doesn't it? Seems like such a short time ago this was taken. . . . but there's been a whole lifetime in between!




I'm so glad to be able to participate with the others in this Notebook entry. You can visit The Simple Woman's blog
HERE!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Daybook Entry for December 22, 2008

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FOR TODAY (December 22, 2008)...



Outside My Window A beautiful sunny, breezy, Florida morning! Brown oak leaves are still falling, leaving a blaket of leaves scurrying across the yard as the wind blows. Birds are at the feeder, and the titmice, chicadees, and wrens are fussing at something in the jasmine vines. Hope it isn't a snake!!!!!



I am thinking. . . Of all the tings I want to do today. So glad I feel stronger again to be able to do it!



I am thankful forGod's provisions! A full freezer, full refridgerator, a full food cabinet, lots of good recipes to choose from!!!!



From the kitchen... Waldorf salad, potato salad, chicken wings with blue cheese dip, hot sauce, etc.! Can't wait!



I am wearing... A snuggly, knit nightgown, warm bathrobe, a HAT!!!!
Here it is, mid morning, and I'm not dressed yet. Too comfy this way!


I am creating... Taking a break from creating! But I need to get back to some new ideas. I have a HUGE bag of hand-dyed, felted wool that is begging to be made into penny rugs!!!



I am going... Probably nowhere today, except out to the bird feeder.


I am reading... Way too many good recipes. So many blogs out there with wonderful, Christmas recipes and I want to try them all. I even have this craving for a pimento cheese dip that we used to have years ago. Wouldn't you know, I found a perfect recipe for that!



I am hoping... The abscessed tooth is gone for a while. Took the antibiotics and they seemed to have worked in getting rid o the abscess. I know I need a dentist, but will wait until after this cancer thing is all done and over with. Hope the tooth hangs in there til then!



I am hearing... A telemarketer on my answering machine!!!!! I did the "do not call" thingy, but there are still some hanging in there and calling. I feel sorry for these poor people trying to make a buck this way. But they are soooooo annoying! And Buster thinks these phone calls are for him, jumps up, and listens so carefully to every word! I wonder if he's waiting to hear his name or something?????



Around the house... I make more messes than what gets cleaned up! But as I'm feeling better, I do seem to get a little more done each day. I think I'll focus on the floors today. I see that Buster has gotten into the trash and ripped up some paper plates, licked a butter wrapper clean, pulled out the bread wrapper, etc., etc. LOTS of picking up to do as I try to talk sternly to him about being bad again. Will he ever learn????



A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week. . .Nothing much! Looking forward to a quiet Christmas, good music, good eats, etc. Just wish we could get one good snow storm here in Florida.



Here is picture thought I am sharing. . .



My family on both sides were from Holland, so there were some very traditional recipes in our home that I loved so much. One of my all time favorites were the oliebollen!!!! "Fat balls" is the literal translation. Better than any donut you ever had. Full of apple chunks, raisins, etc. You can bet I'm making these for Christmas this year, and as I'm stuffing them in my mouth, I'll be remembering my childhood and all the wonderful memories of my Dutch heritage!!!!! Here's the recipe if you would like to try! But I'm warning you ---- you can't eat just one!


OLIE BOLLEN

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2 pkg. yeast
3/4 c. warm water
6 c. milk, scalded
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon juice or extract
6 c. flour or more
3 c. raisins
3 c. peeled and chopped apples

Soften yeast in warm water. To cooled milk, add the eggs, sugar, salt, and flavoring. Add yeast mixture and then gradually beat in 6 or more cups of flour and raisins and apples. Dough should be stiff.
Let rise until double in bulk (covered with dough cloth). Stir down and let rise again until double. Fry in deep fat at 375-400 degrees. (Use ice cream scoop to drop dough into hot oil.) Drain on absorbent paper. Dip or serve with powdered sugar. (Bollen will usually turn over by themselves while in hot oil.)
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I'm so glad to be able to participate with the others in this Notebook entry. You can visit The Simple Woman's blog
HERE!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Visitors For Christmas!!!???

The sun was just going down in the western sky, casting beautiful shadows through the trees. There was a little bit of a breeze blowing, and I could hear that annoying sound of flapping wings as the buzzards fought for the best place in the tallest pine tree on the empty lot next door. I HATE those things!!!!!

But my attention switched immediately when I heard the flutter of wings go "swoosh" past my bald head. Buster looked up ----



So I knew where those wings landed. I have an old wire flower pot hanging on the post of my porch. No flowers in there now -- just the dirt and the moss lining that came with the pot. Last year, I had a family of wrens dig a nest in that pot and they raised their family there and moved on. I wondered if they were back!!!



Then. . . . another flutter past my head, and YES!!! This time that little bird sat on the edge of the flower pot and looked down at Buster and me, decided we were alright there, and went on down into the pot. As I turned towards to the door to go inside, I noticed PeeWee, our cat, had also spotted our Christmas guests!!!!



This morning, I couldn't help but grab my camera, as I wanted to share with you the Christmas guest house on my porch. I'm amazed at all the junk they have brought with them, the nice, cozy hole they dug out to sleep in ---- all without me ever noticing a thing until last night!!!



Looks like supplies for a major renovation job, doesn't it????

Here it is, December, and not the time for nest building or to be thinking about eggs and babies, so maybe this is just a winter home for now. I'm hoping they stay for a while, as they are one of my favorite guests to have around. Sure beats watching buzzards! Isn't this guy just beautiful???


Friday, December 12, 2008

Need your Help!!!!

During the holidays, so many of our boys in uniform don't get to be with family and friends! Many of us would love to help, but don't know a name and address to send to. . . . so here's one! This friend posted this note about her son, and I thought many of you could respond with a card, a note, or maybe even a little gift! Put a smile on this young man's face this year and thank him for what he is giving up for us!!! Here is her note:

Dear Sisters,
I am one who does not like to ask for help and I am really torn on this subject but if any of you would like to send a Christmas card to my son it would be so appreciated by me (and I know by him as well). My son is on his second deployment in Iraq. He has been in the U.S. Marine Corps for the last 2 1/2 years. This is the first Christmas we are not together for the holidays and it makes my heart sad, yet I am so proud of him. I thought it would be wonderful if he could receive holiday greetings from all over the United States and am asking my "sisters" to help with this. It would mean more than you know to send a greeting card, especially at this special time of year.

If you are interested in doing this his name and address are below:

Any Soldier
2dBn, 9th Mar
E Co
Unit 74120
FPO AE 09509-4120

I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have really struggled this holiday season, especially with my son's absence, and I am looking forward to the spring and my son's return from Iraq.

My thanks for considering this request.

Sincerely,
Margo

I'm sure Margo would love hearing from you, too and her email address is:
moosemom@comcast.net

UPDATE!


I just heard from Margo, and she has requested (with many regrets, believe me!) that I remove her son's name from the address. It seems that there are those rotten apples out there that want to spoil everything and search for these names and send hate mail, etc. Please contact her through her email address for her son's name if you wuld like it to go directly to him, or better yet, send a few cards off to this address and cheer up his whole company of guys!!!!! Sorry about that!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Daybook Entry for December 8, 2008

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FOR TODAY (December 8, 2008)...



Outside My Window It's COLD for Florida!!!!! There's a breeze blowing, the big, brown Sycamore leaves are chasing each other across the driveway. The sun is shining brightly, and the birds are scratching under the bird feeder for whatever might be left for them.



I am thinking. . . LOTS of thoughts. The past few days were hard ones after Chemo #6 on Wednesday. It's so easy to feel sorry for yourself when you go through this, but I realized Wednesday that there are so many others that go through so much more with little or no results. I've had a very strong dose, it's done it's job, so I'll take the side affects this last time and get through it.



I am thankful for A million things. But the most simple thing I'm thankful for is Carnation Insant Breakfast Drink. It's the only thing I seem to be able to swallow and keep down right now.



From the kitchen... Nothing! I can't even stand the smell of stuff cooking. Patsy is on her own for a few more days.



I am wearing... A snuggly, knit nightgown, warm bathrobe, a HAT!!!!


I am creating... Nothing. But I saw some great ideas on a craft segment of the news today for a window dressing for Christmas. Pine garland at the top of the window, wide ribbon coming down the two sides to about the middle of the window, a branch tied to the ribbon (picture a swing here!), some cardinals on the branch, and snowflakes hanging from the pine garland. It was just beautiful and so simple to do.



I am going... To the post office to mail packages, if I can make it. Otherwise, my sister will do it for me.


I am reading... Nothing right now.



I am hoping... For a great report on Thursday when I go back to the Dr. Also hoping that surgery is stalled until after the holidays. I'm not up to it.



I am hearing... The hum of the computer mixed with the hum of the heater blowing. There's a wren outside my window chirping away!!!! Is he happy or begging for seed?????



Around the house... Wash is piling up. And I must do something about "stuff." Way too much stuff around!!!!



A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week. . .Nothing except getting my strength back before Thursday's Dr. visit and catching up on friends' blogs, etc. So sorry I haven't been to each of your blogs lately. It's just been so hard!



Here is picture thought I am sharing. . .





When we were children, one of the most exciting days of the year was when we celebrated the Dutch Christmas with Sintra Clas, Swarta Pete, etc. My uncle had the whole costume, and it was enough to scare any child into nightmares, believe me. But we would sit on his lap, receive a present, and we always put our shoes outside the door and hope we did not receive a piece of coal in the morning. It was always an orange or something like that. The memories are sweet for me. The Dutch traditions were important to my family, even though they wanted each one of us to be as "American" as we could be. I wish I had learned more from my Mother and Grandmother. They didn't know how rich they were with wisdom, abilities, talents --- all of which I wish I had now.

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I'm so glad to be able to participate with the others in this Notebook entry. You can visit The Simple Woman's blog
HERE!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Daybook Entry - December 1, 2008

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FOR TODAY (December 1, 2008)...



Outside My Window It's sunny and there is a breeze blowing the leaves around the driveway. It rained yesterday with strong winds at times, so most of the oak leaves, etc., came falling down. It was fun to watch Buster chasing those wet leaves. The birds are pushing the huge sycamore leaves around the ground at the feeder looking for seed. I need to get out there and feed them.



I am thinking. . . Wednesday is coming much to quickly. My last chemo session. A while back, I stated I just couldn't understand how people just kept coming back for that awful stuff, willing to get so sick time after time. But here I am, going for number 6. Sometimes during the worst parts, it doesn't feel like it, but looking back at it all, I know that the Lord has walked with me through those times.



I am thankful for HATS! Having a bald head is a whole new ball game for me, believe me. Since we have had some chilly weather lately, I've learned that bald heads get VERY cold! My sister was so kind to give me the softest, warmest hat that she knitted! I just love it!



From the kitchen... All done with turkey left overs! Tonight is a Mexican casserole!



I am wearing... My usual --- black slacks, tee shirt, no shoes!


I am creating... A list of all the stuff I need to do before Wednesday.



I am going... To the post office to mail packages.


I am reading... Very little. My eyes have gotten a lot worse since starting chemo, but I want to wait until all this is over before getting another eye exam.



I am hoping... To get laundry all done before Wednesday. I also need to get some angels cut out ahead of time so I can just sit and stitch next week.



I am hearing... Buster snoring behind me. Ever since he was a puppy, he has claimed that spot behind my computer chair. It's where he sleeps the best. I hate to move as a sleeping dog gets into NO trouble!



Around the house... So much to do. Don't even know where to start.



A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week. . . Tie up loose ends before Chemo on Wednesday. Go back Thursday for the Neulasta shot. Then it's all downhill from there.



Here is picture thought I am sharing. . .




Guess who???? That's right -- it's me!!! You know, when you are a kid, time seems to stand still. People who are 60 years old seem older than the earth itself when you are young! Now???? It seems like yesterday when that picture was taken. I've often thought about the roads I've traveled, people I've met, decisions I've made, etc., and how any one of those done differently could have changed the direction of my life totally. I've often wondered, when we get to Heaven, will the Lord show us the "could have been's", and all the ways our lives could have turned out had we made different choices??? Like that old song says, I do have some regrets. But mostly, I'm thankful for the ways the Lord has taken me. He's always been there, always cleaned up my mistakes, always forgave me, always loved me, and always gave me second, even third chances. Isn't He great?
______________

I'm so glad to be able to participate with the others in this Notebook entry. You can visit The Simple Woman's blog

HERE!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mini Pumpkin Date Breads -- Great Gifts!!!



These cute and spicy little breads, wrapped festively, are a great solution for a low-key holiday gift exchange at work.



Mini Pumpkin Date Breads

1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
3 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chopped dates

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottoms only of 11 miniature loaf pans, 4 1/2x2 3/4x1 1/4 inches.

2. Mix sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs and pumpkin in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except dates. Stir in dates. Divide batter among pans.

3. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up 10 days.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Holiday Snickerdoodle Recipe

I always love Holiday recipes! And this one is so simple as it uses the cookie mix you buy in the packet! LOVE those!

I'll be sharing more recipes during the coming weeks, and hope you do the same ---- sort of like a recipe exchange!!!!



Holiday Snickerdoodles

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
2 tablespoons Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Betty Crocker® red and green decorating icings
1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, flour, butter and egg until dough forms.
2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. In small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Roll balls in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 11 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute. Remove from cookie sheets. If desired, roll tops of warm cookies in additional sugar-cinnamon mixture. Cool completely, about 20 minutes. Decorate as desired using icing.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Daybook Entry For November 24, 2008

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FOR TODAY (November 24, 2008)...



Outside My Window It's a beautiful, Florida, sunny day today. It's been cold (at least for us Floridians!) the last few days, but today, it was in the 70's! The squirrels are gathering acorns, birds are scratching for seed under the Sycamore tree, and the huge leaves from that tree are scattered on the ground now, all brown and shrivelled up!



I am thinking. . . About how much better I feel! I seemed to bounce back after this #5 chemo treatment much sooner and better than I did with the others. I'll be so glad when #6 is done -- the last one. I am a little anxious about surgery. Don't know why. I was all gung-ho about it in June and July when I thought it was the first thing I'd have done. I'm wondering how long they will give me after chemo before scheduling it???



I am thankful for One million things. Things take on a different perspective and I see things from a different point of view this year as Thanksgiving approaches. I used to take for granted things like. . . .getting my mail, taking out the garbage, walking to my sister's house, making my bed, doing the laundry, cooking a meal, etc. Now???? I thank God for every good day I have when I can do some of these things, and I thank Him for my sister and brother-in-law who help me with what I can't do. I'm thankful for those who pray for me. I'm thankful for Buster who keeps me warm at night and who thinks I'm beautiful bald! I'm thankful for my sister-in-law's beautiful quilt that I snuggle in.



From the kitchen... Left over pot roast, egg noodles, corn.



I am wearing... LOTS of clothing. I've been cold for days!


I am creating... A grocery list for tomorrow.



I am going... Nowhere today.


I am reading... Cookbooks!!!! Don't know why. Guess I'm hungry again and with the holidays coming, I think I'd like a few special things. Chemo is Dec. 3, so I won't be wanting much for a few weeks after that, but then. . . .!!!!!



I am hoping... To get some cleaning done before next Wednesday. It's slow going as I lose steam pretty quickly.



I am hearing... Nice, quiet hymns playing in the background on my computer. Buster snoring behind me. Acorns rolling off the roof.



Around the house... Gathering up bags of garbage from my "cutting room!" Scraps of quilts, fleece, fabric, etc., have piled up to the ceiling and I need room in there. I filled one large bag and didn't make a dent!



A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week. . . Visiting with my sister and her son who is here from NJ. Cooking a turkey on Thursday with all the trimmings. Haven't thought past that.



Here is picture thought I am sharing...



I think I will never get tired of turkey and all the good foods that go with it. It's comfort food for me with lots of memories of childhood, places I've been, homes I've been privileged to share Thanksgiving in, family, friends, etc. Thank you, Lord, for all you've blessed me with over the years!

______________

I'm so glad to be able to participate with the others in this Notebook entry. You can visit The Simple Woman's blog

HERE!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Where Am I, Lord?





Where am I, Lord?
Is there no name
For this forsaken place?
A place where things no longer are that were,
And things that are, I just can't seem to face?
In between --
That's how I feel,
Just -- in between!
Standing tall,
Yet --- wanting so to lean.

They say I'm doing good and look so well.
Walking on; yet, crawling in my shell!
I sing -- and smile -
And say, "I'm doing fine!"
Fine?
Oh Lord, I'm doing great
At hiding all these gnawing thoughts of mine!
Where am I, Lord,
Just tell me where I am!
Am I lost,
Or found,
Please help your little lamb!

Just when I think
You've put me back together,
I fall apart,
I'm laughing with a friend at noon,
And then
The broken heart!
All I dealt with yesterday
And sorted out with You,
Today is just a mess
With doubts
So fresh and new!
I'm here,
Then there,
And oh, dear Lord,
Sometimes I know I'm nowhere!
And all the things
That yesterday I did,
Today I would not dare!

Where am I Lord,
Please, tell me where I am.
I've never walked alone before,
And I'm not sure I can!
It's not that I don't trust
That You will lead me on my way;
I just need some roadsigns
As I struggle day by day.
They say they like my smile
And to keep my eyes on you!
But all I see is clouds
And rain --
Oh, if they only knew!
I can't explain that I still hurt,
They'd never understand.
Oh Father,
Tell me where I am,
Please,
Grab my grasping hand!

Oh child, I am still your peace,
Oh, little lamb of mine,
I've never been so close to you,
I've been there
All the time!
I know the place seems new to you,
But you've been there before.
It's just that now you're here
Alone,
And oh, you need it more!
Take the time
To just be still --
Take all the time you need.
Get to know this unknown place,
As here in prayer you plead.
Where are you?
Oh my child,
Please come to understand,
You've never left the safety of
The hollow of My hand!

--Cora Eelman


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jesus Loves Me!



92 YEAR OLD PREACHER............


A Church in Atlanta was honoring one of its senior pastors who had been retired many years. He was 92 at that time and I wondered why the Church even bothered to ask the old gentleman to preach at that age.
After a warm welcome, introduction of this speaker, and as the applause quieted down he rose from his high back chair and walked slowly, with great effort and a sliding gate to the podium. Without a note or written paper of any kind he placed both hands on the pulpit to steady himself and then quietly and slowly he began to speak....
'When I was asked to come here today and talk to you, your pastor asked me to tell you what was the greatest lesson ever learned in my 50 odd years of preaching. I thought about it for a few days and boiled it down to just one thing that made the most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials. The one thing that I could always rely on when tears and heartbreak and pain and fear and sorrow paralyzed me... the only thing that would comfort was this verse.........
'Jesus loves me this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
we are weak but He is strong.....
Yes, Jesus loves me...
The Bible tells me so.'
When he finished, the church was quiet. You actually could hear his foot steps as he shuffled back to his chair. I don't believe I will ever forget it.
A pastor once stated, 'I always noticed that it was the adults who chose the children's hymn 'Jesus Loves Me' (for the children of course) during a hymn sing, and it was the adults who sang the loudest because I could see they knew it the best.'
'Senior version of Jesus Loves Me'
Here is a new version just for us who have white hair or no hair at all. For us over middle age (or even those almost there) and all you others check out this newest version of Jesus Loves Me.
JESUS LOVES ME
Jesus loves me, this I know,
Though my hair is white as snow
Though my sight is growing dim,
Still He bids me trust in Him.
(CHORUS)
YES, JESUS LOVES ME.. YES, JESUS LOVES ME..
YES, JESUS LOVES ME FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO.
Though my steps are oh, so slow,
With my hand in His I'll go
On through life, let come what may,
He'll be there to lead the way.
(CHORUS)
When the nights are dark and long,
In my heart He puts a song.
Telling me in words so clear,
'Have no fear, for I am near.'
(CHORUS)
When my work on earth is done,
And life's victories have been won.
He will take me home above,
Then I'll understand His love
(CHORUS)
I love Jesus, does He know?
Have I ever told Him so?
Jesus loves to hear me say,
That I love Him every day.
(CHORUS)

You know, "Jesus Loves Me" became MY all time favorite song years back for some of the same reasons as this 92 year old preacher. Somehow, the simplicity of this song that I probably learned while in the Nursery Department of our Sunday School never lost it's grip on me. Yes, I went through lots of Bible Studies, went to Bible School, went through all the digging into my past, why I became what I was, looked for all the junk I needed to deal with, read all the Christian psychology type books and went to work on fixing me and everyone else around me. But when all was said and done, it all boiled down to one thing: Jesus Loves ME, and just because HE said so! Isn't it just great that it's all so simple????? Yet, the world stumbles on it's simplicity, looks for ways to earn His love, blames Him for NOT loving them, or just plain old think they they are too good for Him.

Wrap your arms around Him today and hum that little tune into His ears!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How to Give a Cat a Bath!

For all you cat lovers, please read all the way down to the end!!!!! I just couldn't help but post this!!!!! I needed a good laugh today!


Toilet Cleaning Instructions


1. Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the water in the bowl.

2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.

3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids. You may need to stand on the lid.

4. The cat will self agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from the toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this.

5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a "power-wash and rinse."

6. Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there are no people between the bathroom and the front door.

7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift both lids.

8. The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom, and run outside where he will dry himself off.

9. Both the commode and the cat will be sparkling clean.



Sincerely,
The Dog

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's Been Way Too Long!

Please forgive me, all of you, for my lack of posting during the last week or so. Sometimes I feel like I whine a lot about the effects of chemo, or that I'm just repeating the same story as the last time. I couldn't think of one new thing to say -- in fact, I have hardly been on the computer to check in on all of you. Just didn't feel all that good.

I must say, though, that this chemo #5 went better than the last one. Perhaps it was because the Dr. took me off the steroids, or because I armed myself with Ensure and Instant Breakfast Drinks so I would have more nutrition than Cream of Wheat!!!!! And since I knew some of the other bodily function affects of chemo from the other times, I was armed and ready before hand for all of that. No breathlessness this time at all.

I had my Dr. appointment today, and once again, all my whining complaints of aches and pains, etc., got lost in his tunnel vision of "it's simply amazing that the tumor is almost gone and I can't feel any lymph nodes under your arm at all!!!!" That is what matters to him. The other stuff I can wade through and get over, as far as he is concerned.

It's hard to explain, but it seems when you go through this as the patient, you get tunnel vision also. In the moment of feeling like road kill, there is no tomorrow, no "I'll get through this," no "pain is a good thing," etc. It's all about ME, all about the moment, and all about wanting the world to know that I'm a miserable wretch!!!! And then, the next day, all that is past like a miracle, and some other pain or flu like symptom comes up and you start focusing on that one!

In light of the doctor visit today, though, I must say, I have a lot to be thankful for. I know there are many cancer patients who do NOT respond well to chemo, and I could have been one of them. And. . . it is true that all the whining complaints do seem to disappear into the past as I come on the upside of the chemo. . . . and somehow, I go back for more. I remember thinking after the second one, how in the world does anyone get back in the car and drive back WILLINGLY to that place and let them pump that stuff into your veins????? But, you just do, because it is your only alternative.

Yes, there are the darkest of days when I wonder if God is there or even aware of the misery, and then there are days when I think I must be one of His biggest whiners and complainers on earth. But then, as the light begins to shine again and I can raise my head, I realize that He has been there through it all, listened to my heart, and carried me through.

Poor Buster! Sometimes he is soooooo bad. But he has a heart that seems to know I don't feel well, and when the day is ended and we go to bed together, that guy just lies there against me, sighs a big sigh, lets me pet him as he falls asleep, and we just know that tomorrow will surely come. How can a dog that is so bad wrap himself so tightly around your heart???????

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted!!!!

I was so glad I got to vote today! I knew if I had done the chemo thing last week that I probably wouldn't be able to make it. Then I saw that ad on TV where that girl in the wheel chair went through sooooooo much just to get to the voting place and I felt guilty that I thought I might not make it. But today, I felt better than I have in a long, long time, no lines, no waiting, good parking! Thank you, Lord!!!!!

I hope everyone casts their vote today! It's not only your right. . . . it's your duty.

Monday, November 3, 2008

When Challenger Flies!

I have a thing for eagles ---- always have. Occasionally, we see them soaring here in Florida, and every time I have seen one, it has been at a time when I needed the encouragement to remember that God will give me the strength to go on, to fly like an eagle, etc.

With Election Day tomorrow, I thought this was so fitting!

This video is so special!!!!! Please remember to turn off my music at the bottom of the page first.

Daybook Entry for November 3, 2008

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FOR TODAY (November 3, 2008)...



Outside My Window It's a sunny, fall day, not like you get up north, but what we call "Fall" here in Florida! I really miss the vibrant colors of the trees in the northern states. I can remember as a kid bringing red, yellow, and orange leaves to school, putting them between wax paper, and ironing them so the wax would melt on the leaves, preserving the leaf and it's color. I had such creative teachers and we made cards with these leaves to take home for our parents! I was so proud to see mine tacked up on the door!!!! Here in Florida, oak leaves are turning brown and falling slowly, as are the acorns!



I am thinking. . . About seasons! How things change, come and go. . . how I've changed through the seasons of life, changing still. . . I hope for the better. Right now, I feel like my Sycamore tree outside my window -- leaves turning brown, shriveling up around the edges, but hanging on as long as possible!



I am thankful for This past week! An extra week to rest up, gain back some strength, eat some normal meals again. My taste has been so "off" with this chemo that my selection seems so limited!



From the kitchen... Some left over potatos augratin with broccoli, etc. Not enough left to have alone, so I'll have to come up with something to go with it.



I am wearing... Black slacks, maroon tee shirt, barefoot, bald head!


I am creating... Nothing! I saw some patterns for some primitive stitcheries that I would love to make, but right now. . . . it's all I can do to get done what I have to do.



I am going... Probably some grocery shopping, drug store, post office.


I am reading... Nothing. Can't focus or concentrate on anything. I think the name for it is "Chemo Brain Fog!"



I am hoping... I do ok with Chemo #5 this Wednesday. I made the decision to go ahead with at least one more. I'm feeling better, the breathlessness seems to be gone for now, and I worry more about the "what if's" if I DIDN'T get it than the "what if's" if I DID! So the scale tips towards getting the chemo!



I am hearing... Nice, quiet hymns playing in the background on my computer. Buster snoring behind me. Acorns rolling off the roof.



Around the house... Making a mental list of what I need to do before Wednesday. Wash bedding and clothing, make sure ebay stuff is taken care of, and any other housework I feel I can still do.



A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week. . . Haven't really thought past Wednesday and chemo. I'll be so glad when all this is over with and life gets some sort of "normality" back to it. I feel like everything revolves around these chemo treatments. Not that I'm not thankful ---- I truly am, as the alternative seems very black and hopeless. These miracle chemos have saved so many lives (and probably mine, too), but going through it is sooooo hard. Strange how I've come to DREAD it, yet, don't want to give it up for fear it has not done it's complete job yet.



Here is picture thought I am sharing...



I've always admired the people who have participated in these walks to raise money for a cure for breast cancer. But you know, until you go through this yourself, you just don't know what it means. I used to wonder at the emotions shown at these events, but until you have gone through this yourself, or had a loved one or friend who has gone through it. . . . you just don't know. This past weekend, I watched as the news showed the 3 day walk in Tampa, FL. I have no idea how they walked that far, as I can hardly make it across my yard to my sister's house! I can only say a big THANK YOU to anyone out there who has given of their time, money, emotions, blisters, and tears for those of us who go through this thing. PLEASE, for your own sake, get your mammograms!!!!!
______________

I'm so glad to be able to participate with the others in this Notebook entry. You can visit The Simple Woman's blog

HERE!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

An Extra Week!

Yesterday, I was supposed to get my 5th round of chemo. I've had such a hard time the past week or so, and I really wondered if I would make it through another session!
I kept getting so short of breath, and I seemed to go down hill instead of getting better as the days went by.

I told the Dr. how I felt, and surprisingly, he took me seriously! I got an extra week off. I felt like a kid who got an extension on her term paper because the dog ate it!

He did examine the tumor site, dug into my armpits again, and the word he used was "Amazing!" He felt nothing there at all. He also gave me some options: Quit all together (NOT an option for ME), take a week off, or stop the chemo and go see the surgeon and see if he would do the mastectomy now. I have a week to consider the last two options. I'll see how I feel next Wednesday morning.

It's strange how my emotions play games with me. As much as I HATE this chemo journey and as hard as it has been, and even though I have said I'm NOT going back for another one ----------- all the Dr. had to say was, "I would rather you get more chemo!" and it was like a panic came over me ---- what would happen if I DIDN'T get more???? Would it come back again later because I chose NOT to have #5?????? It's stange how you don't want it, but you DO!

I HATE the waiting room! It seems that every time I go there, someone has a story that just replays over and over in my mind. Yesterday, a older lady (that is, older than ME) was sitting by me, and asked if I was there for chemo and how many I had had already. I told her I was having a hard time with it and about the breathing, etc., and she said that she had had that, too, and it was just anxiety attacks and panic, etc. I tried to analyze myself quickly to find an answer, and didn't think I had been anxious or panicked about anything when this happened. Can a shower really cause a panic attack????? Then she said that she had been given two years to live, but now was in her 10th year since her Breast Cancer and was there for a check up, etc. When I told her what stage my cancer was, she just said, "Well, good luck to you!" It was the tone of voice that stuck with me and made me feel like she thought I wouldn't make it! I just said, thank you!

But then, across from me, sat a man who looked so miserable --- more miserable than I felt, for sure. His wife was "Mrs. Cheerful" --- talked with everyone and very bubbly! I had met her before and she asked how I was doing, etc., etc. As the conversation went on, I asked about her husband, and she said that this was his 17th chemo and he would be on it the rest of his life! Suddenly, my problems seems VERY small in comparison. I don't know what type of chemo he was getting or the dosage, but I KNEW I would NEVER live through that on what I was getting! He didn't look so good himself and wondered what he was thinking about it all, but he said nothing. I don't think I'll ever forget his face, nor the face of the 10 year survivor who offered me little hope! In fact, during the night that seemed to bring no sleep at all, I thought about both of them and prayed that the Lord would be with them as they journeyed through this horrible thing called Cancer!

No, I never got my Reubens! But I did get my steak, and tonight I get my pizza. And I've had this horrible craving for ----- of all things ----- hot dogs! I was so humiliated yesterday when they weighed me! After losing 7 pounds the last time I was there, that stinking scale shot up, and I had gained 10 back!!!!! Now, you tell me, how in the world can you gain 10 pounds on Cream of Wheat cereal and Chicken Noodle soup?????

Saturday, October 25, 2008

No Words Necessary!

Just remember to turn off my playlist at the bottom of the page before enjoying this!
It meant so much to me!


A Hard Week!

I'm really wondering about this whole chemo thing! In four days, I'm supposed to go back for chemo treatment #5, and right now, with the way I feel, I don't think it's possible. I have never been so tired and out of strength as I have been this week! I just can't do anything without feeling that I've been moving mountains. And this new thing with going totally breathless and gasping for air --- where's this coming from now???? This is a new "side affect" or whatever! Scarey, too! Seems like even taking a shower now is a great big event in my life, wondering if I'll drop to the floor.

After the last "attack" of breathlessness, I called the Dr. and he told me to go to the Emergency Room and get an EKG. It just seemed a little odd, as it had passed, I wasn't in any distress at the moment, breathing fine, etc. I know when I go on Wednesday, he will be totally irritated with me because I didn't go, slam my chart shut, and send me across the street to the hospital for the EKG. That's fine. I'll do that!

I really HATE this "sick, but not sick", tired, feeling lazy all the time. Can't go anywhere, feel crabby and cooped up, wondering if I carry the laundry basket will I keel over with a heart attack. I feel like "it's all about ME" constantly! My blog is going to pot because I can't think of one other thing to write about. I go nowhere, and when I talk to anyone, again, "it's all about ME!"

I made a decision!!!! Tomorrow, no matter how I feel, I'm getting in the car, going to Arby's, and bringing home a BIG sack of those delicious corned beef Rueben sandwiches and just pig out! I'm tired of Cream of Wheat, chicken noodle soup, pudding cups, etc. And if I live through that, I want a pizza! And Tuesday night before chemo day, I'm having the biggest, juciest steak I can find! It might be my last supper, but it's going to be a good one!!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Honesty!

Sometimes it is so hard to sit down here in front of the computer and be REALLY really honest about my feelings, my dreams (if there are any left at all), aches and pains, etc. I start typing away, and it seems those parts just don't come out. They seem so protected and secure in a locked room somewhere in my heart, knowing that unless they are first filtered through some sugar coated chocolate icing, they are not allowed to "hit the streets." It's not that I intentionally do this. Are we not all taught from day one of our lives to always answer the question, "How are you doing?" with "Fine! Thank you for asking! And how about yourself?" as we smile and reach out our hand for a hand shake or give a nice warm hug? Doesn't matter that in your heart you are carrying a burden bigger than the size of a dump truck, or that someone sunk a dagger in your heart that is still hanging in there, or that you just found out that you have breast cancer and your chances of making it through with some kind of sane normalcy left in your life are probably 50/50.

I'm not saying I haven't been honest here concerning my journey with breast cancer. In fact, I'm only just beginning this journey. But I'm already I'm finding I want to leave out the "Incredible Hulk" parts, not mention the wanting to give up -- to say nothing of all the whining, snibbling complaints that just seem to go on day after day after endless day. I, MYSELF, am tired of hearing my own thoughts complain about them, no less wonder what anyone around me thinks of it all!

You are wondering by now where all this yuk is coming from!

I found this blogger who also went through the breast cancer curse and who wrote an open letter to Deena from Can I Be Pretty in Pink. I read her letter twice now, and couldn't help but feel empowered by her courage to just be honest and open as she faces the end results of this long journey through. Some people believe you go through all this chemo, radiation, surgery, and who knows what else and come out the other end an pick up where life left you off a few years back. Not so! All these treatments are so hard on your body. I was warned of that when I started -- that these chemo treatments would be VERY hard on me. And when you are feeling like road kill, hit for the fourth time and left lying for days trying to find out if you still have all the vital pieces of your body, you wonder if ANY of you will still be normal when all is said and done!

I decided at the beginning of all this that, with God's help, I would be as honest as I could be. One thing I do have to say that I know for sure, He has been there for me. I've gone back today and reread all my posts since the beginning, and I don't think I have embellished or been dishonest. But I do feel, after reading this open letter to Deena, that I wish I had more spunk in me and more spouts that would allow some of that. .. . . whatever it is . . . .to come pouring out, too. It seems that I let the bad days go by, go through all the "yuk" and crap, and loneliness, and wondering if God is there, etc., etc., and then, AFTER THE FACT, write my blog with the happier ending of victory, and never write DURING the battle! I can't say I have felt disappointment, fear, or even anger . . . . . yet! Failure???? Yes! Maybe that is one that I have not been honest about! Failure because there are a million things that are expected of me that I just can't seem to do. I can't even throw Buster's ball for him when he drops it in my lap --- my arms are just getting too weak! Ok, I know you are going to tell me that THIS particular job is NOT expected of me right now. Doesn't change the feeling, though.

This turned into a rambling of a post, didn't it. And all I wanted was for you to go read this open, frank, and honest letter from a gal who finished it all, and just wants people to know that "this is the way it is!"

Click Here To Visit Amy's Post About Breast Cancer

Monday, October 20, 2008

Daybook Entry for October 20, 2008

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FOR TODAY (October 20, 2008)...



Outside My Window It's a sunny, cool, breezy day. Oak leaves are turning brown and falling, as are the acorns (which seem so small this year)! I sure hate stepping on them in my bare feet!!!!! I'm wishing I had enough strength to take Buster for a long walk!



I am thinking. . . I love these few days that we Floridians can call "Fall" and actually open our windows and air things out. I am also thinking whether I should or should not call the Cancer center about my breathing. I seem to be breathless with the slightest activity anymore and it's not going away. A new symptom with this chemo thing. Maybe it's just normal, I don't know.



I am thankful for The best eggplant parmasian dinner last night with creamy alfredo noodles!



From the kitchen... Not sure yet. I have noodles left over, so will find something quick to go with those. I have some frozen cooked chicken that I might add, breadcrumbs on top, bake a little. . . . . yum! Maybe some homemade bread. My sister keeps talking about bread ---- my all time favorite thing!



I am wearing... Blue tee shirt, undershirt (I'm cold) black slacks, a flannel shirt, and a little hat to keep my bald head warm! Why am I so cold all the time lately????


I am creating... Angels as fast as I can. Seems to be selling well these days. Although I really haven't had much strength to do much cutting or stitching. I can't stand that long anymore. Bummer!



I am going... Absolutely nowhere. I can get as far as my sister's front door, and I'm thankful for that.

I am reading... Catching up on my wonderful friends' blogs! So inspiring and you all lift me up so much!



I am hoping... To somehow get a little stronger before the next chemo next Wednesday. This one really sent me for a loop. Right now, I'm wanting to call it quits on the chemo. I think I've had all I can take. Unless I feel better by next Wednesday, I'm just not going back.



I am hearing... Nice, quiet hymns playing in the background on my computer.



Around the house... So many things that need to be done that it is depressing! Right now, it will all have to wait until I feel better. Keeping up with the wash is about all I can do right now.



A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week. . . Somehow, I have to get to the post office and the grocery store! And I need to do laundry again. How can two people make so much laundry anyways?????.



Here is picture thought I am sharing...


I felt so humbled and honored when Kathie told me she was walking in a Breast Cancer event and had bought these angels from me, added the names of people she cared about, and attached them to the shirt she would be wearing in this walk! I have been so thankful, strengthened and amazed at how many people have lifted me up when I couldn't walk, prayed when I just didn't have a prayer left inside me, and gave me a song when mine was gone!!!!! Thank you, Kathie, and all of you, a million times over!
______________

I'm so glad to be able to participate with the others in this Notebook entry. You can visit The Simple Woman's blog

HERE!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Horrible, is all I can say!

I HATE posting when I'm feeling rotten, down, depressed, and . . . . .like road kill!



I feel like I will only be scaring anyone else who might have to go through this, or sound like a whimmpy, whinning, snibbling idiot who can't take a few days of not feeling good.

BUT. . . .this has just been the worst for me. Ever since last Friday, I've spent most of my time in bed with barely enough strength to get to the bathroom, and when there. . .you don't want to know that agonizing tale!

This chemo session was the worst, and what made it even more irritating was "Mr. Weed Wacker" who was in the waiting room of the Dr. yesterday who is just about done with his chemo, mows 3 acres of lawn, plays golf, Weed Wacks for himself and his neighbors and is just doing great. It was all I could do to crawl in that office on all fours and sign in!!!!! And the Dr. is no help. He seems to have the "bigger picture" always in front of him. I only see little peep holes. He sees that whatever "near death" experience I might have, if I didn't die, it justified the good end result. So all my whining, snibbling, crabby complaints of stomach, aching muscles, racing pounding heart, rotten taste, burning pee, cramps, sore boob, etc., etc., etc., etc., seemed to fall on a face that radiated back a look that said, "Yeah, but, isn't it worth it that it's killing the cancer??????" I wanted to say, NO!

I came home crabby, tired, and wishing for more sympathy than I got from him, but happy that things are still looking good. He said he could feel nothing under my armpit and that the "hole" was looking even better. I know how thankful I should be for this when there are so many patients who find NO treatment that works. But when you feel this miserable. . . . . all you can do is say, "LORD, PLEEEEEEASE give me a thankful heart!"

I turned into the Incredible Hulk after that. My poor roommate, Patsy, said one thing to me and it started. My heart was pounding soooooo hard, I lost my breath, and I lit into her like I've never done! I don't lose my temper ----- it brews and boils and steams and simmers for years sometimes, but the lid never goes. It did yesterday, and I saw green, and I knew I was in trouble!

The Dr. is taking me off the steroids for the next two treatments. I'm hoping this will help with the dark days, the emotional roller coaster, etc.

You know, sometimes it's a good thing that we are not shown in advance what what is around the next bend. We would never take those footsteps forward. I don't think I would have gone for this chemo if I had known I would end up exploding and feeling this miserable. I also found some very nasty stuff still buried in my heart that needed dealing with, too!

But you know what???? God promises us a new day, a new beginning, a clean slate, a forgiven heart, and a chance to try again. And here it is for me. So far, I feel a little better, ate a little more, walked to my Sister's house and back, and I'm still ok.

Poor Buster! Even HE bore the brunt of my Incredible Hulk act yesterday and got wacked on the rear with a slipper! I felt so guilty when he kissed me later, forgiving me before I even asked for it!

When my head was buried in my pillow, I was so aware of all of you praying for me, and I so much appreciate that, believe me. I just don't know if I would have made it even this far without all of you there cheering me on! THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Optimist's Creed

I found this wonderful Optimist's Creed at Old Grain sacks and Lavender's Blog --

http://oldgrainsacksandlavender.blogspot.com/




Hope you can read it well. If not, double click on the picture for a bigger view. I needed this this morning!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Just Got Back From Chemo #4!

I thought I would post right away, not knowing how I will feel later on when all this starts taking affect on me. Each chemo session seems to catch up with me earlier and earlier!

The oncologist seemed more than happy ---- ecstatic ---- would be the correct word, with how the "hole" where the tumor is located is progressing. "Excellent" was the word he used. So that made me really happy. In seeing how that was doing, he didn't seemed too concerned with my other whining complaints ---- like how I'm turning into a "salt lick"! I seem to be sooooo salty. My saliva, my lips, etc., is all like salt water. Even Buster seems to want to use my bald head as a salt lick!!!! All he said was, "If that's an invitation for ME to lick your head, you got another thought coming!" And dismissed that problem with, "Don't eat so much salt!"

The chemo went fine --- very boring 4 hours, really. Everyone around me getting their chemo seemed to fall asleep. Wish I could do that. But I was VERY irritated with a skinny rail of a woman across from me who did nothing but EAT the whole time we were there. First some kind of nutrition bar. Then someone came and brought her french fries, soup, a huge sandwich, etc., etc. Why is it that the skinny ones can eat so much, and I felt guilty sitting there eating my seedless grapes?????



In four hours time, you overhear a LOT of conversations, and sometimes it just makes you feel so sad for people. For instance, the nurse who called to arrange hospice care for one of the patients. You just know it's the end of the line, treatments didn't work, etc. I sat there and thanked the Lord that MY treatments seem to be doing what they are supposed to be doing at this time. But it does bring to the front of my thinking that someday. . . .it all might come back somewhere else, and I, too, will be making my end of life plans. But then again, don't we all face it sometime????? I wonder how these people can go through that without knowing for sure where they will spend eternity! The older I get, the more thankful I am for the solid, Bible-based teaching I've received down through the years. To know that in the moment of death, eternal life begins for me in the presence of my Lord. The peace that that thought brings is beyond description.

But I must say, it's the dying process that isn't the happiest to think about. And so I push that away A LOT!

Tomorrow I go back for that Neulasta shot, which is supposed to keep my blood count up and on track. Some say it is this shot that causes all the bad symptoms and sends you under the 18 wheeler for that week. I don't know ---- don't want to chance going without it to find out!

And so, here I begin my next 3 week journey of trying to find things that taste at least ok, sweating, peeing, and trying to find my bed. Poor Buster! He sits there with that look on his face that says, "Oh no, here we go again!" He does seem to understand when Mommy is under the weather.

One of the comments left for me mentioned a brand new blogger who is just starting her journey with breast cancer. I'm sure she could use all your prayers and encouragement, too. I looked at her pictures, and my heart just went out to her, knowing the road she will be travelling right behind me! Stacy's blog is located at:

Click hereFor Stacy's Blog!




Please give her your support and prayers!!!!

I keep forgetting to post my thank you list, so here we go:

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For these things, I thank you, Lord:
68. Knowing that friends are praying for me, holding me up when I can't stand upright!
69. Good reports from the Dr.!
70. Cooler weather!
71. My sister who has been so faithful in going with me to all these treatments.
72. Wonderful, soothing, comforting music when my soul is in turmoil!
73. God meeting all my needs in the midst of trials!
74. Buster growing up, acting more mature, obeying more, becoming more loving!
75. Bringing my Sister-in-Law through surgery.
76. For all the beautiful cards and gifts I've received from people I can no longer call strangers!!
--------

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Daybook Entry for October 7, 2008

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FOR TODAY (October 7, 2008)...



Outside My Window It's cloudy, a little cooler than usual -- what a blessing! I just filled my birdfeeder, so there's lots of activity there. I love the breezes blowing today!



I am thinking. . .How beautiful the rain was last night! We needed it so badly. Also thinking about my Sister in law who was operated on yesterday. So thankful that she came through it ok. It did bring to the forefront of my thinking the reality of the near approaching day of my own mastectomy. It's been easy to push that back as I deal with chemo, etc.



I am thankful for...One good day before chemo tomorrow!



From the kitchen... Not much! Bought a rotisseri cooked chicken and might have a baked potato and some veggies with that.



I am wearing... a striped cotton blouse, black loose slacks!

I am creating... Angels as fast as I can. Seems to be selling well these days.



I am going... Post Office, Walgreens, grocery store.

I am reading... Our Scars Are Beautiful To God



I am hoping... Chemo tomorrow doesn't throw me for a loop. I don't feel that I really came back from the last one. To say nothing of making things taste just horrible. There isn't much left that is worth eating for me. But each chemo session seems to have it's own peculiar set of complaints with it. So maybe this one will be different.



I am hearing... The sound of the wind in the Sycamore tree, Buster chewing on a new bone.



Around the house... I need to change my sheets and get things washed. Still sweating!!!!! Poor Patsy! She freezes at night while I'm dripping! Buster loves it nice and cool ---- sleeps with me on his back, four feet straight in the air, hogging most of my bed!



A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week. . . Chemo tomorrow, Neulasta shot on Thursday, then crawl in a hole until it takes it's course!.



Here is picture thought I am sharing...



Whenever I see this picture, I think waaaaaaay back to when my sister and I were so young, playing together on Ottawa Beach, Michigan, without a care in the world. A whole lot of life has happened to each of us since then -- some good, some not so good, some down right rotten, and some heart breakers! We each walked different pathways, but how thankful I am that the last 10 years we have been able to live so close to each other and be there for one another through the good times and the bad.
Tomorrow. . . . she will take my hand again and go with me to the Cancer Center, sit with me through the chemo, and we will do our usual people watching, eaves dropping, eyebrow raising, and grape eating when we are bored. Somehow, ten long years ago, the Lord knew we would be needing each other in times like these, and I'm so thankful He worked it all out as He did!
______________

I'm so glad to be able to participate with the others in this Notebook entry. You can visit The Simple Woman's blog
HERE!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Has it been this long????

I feel terrible that I haven't posted in so long. Over a week has gone by, and so many of you keep checking back here, emailing me to see if I'm ok, etc., etc. I'm so sorry!

I guess it just seems to me that my life has become quite boring of late. I haven't been anywhere, haven't done anything of interest ---- it's all I can do to get my daily chores done to a minimal and get myself dressed.

I'm not in any pain, nor have I been sick to my stomach, and I'm so thankful for that. It's just that I'm sooooo tired all the time. With the first two chemo treatments, I seemed to bounce back after the first week or so, but this time I'm just dragging. I'm so glad that the weather has cooled off some here as I have been sitting out on my porch, watching Buster make up new games to play by himself. He seems to have figured out his own form of "doggie baseball." I throw his squeaky ball, he runs and catches it on the run, then runs 100 miles an hour around the "bases" and bashes into his "big blue ball" -- which, I assume, is home base. And then we do it again. So that has been my life this week -- throwing squeaky for Buster!!!!

I have had the added pleasure of an abscessed tooth to deal with. Since I was terrorized and tortured as a kid by a dentist who delighted in dishing out pain, I seldom go. In fact, I think I'd rather DIE than go for this to be fixed. But. . . . pain is a great motivator, isn't it?????

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and somehow, it all has a new meaning to me. I wonder why????? A little while back, a new blogging friend purchased some little angels from me. They had the little pink breast cancer ribbon on them. Yesterday, she emailed me and asked me if she could put my name on her tee shirt as she was going to walk in one of those "Walk for the Cure" things in Texas. I just couldn't believe that she would do this for ME, as she is just getting better herself! I tell you, I had great big tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat and wish I could be there to give her a great big hug!

So many of you have sent me cards, gifts, emails, etc. I can't believe there are so many sisters out there who have committed to pray for me through all of this. Believe me, I treasure each of you as much as anyone treasures rubies, diamonds, and gold. Surely, I never knew when I started this blog and named it, "Hidden Riches in Secret Places" that it be ALL OF YOU that would become the riches that I would find!



Thank you, all of you!

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Great Day!!!!!



My sister, Juri, posted this picture recently on her blog and I just loved it! It is a picture that looks down our driveway to the back of our property, and just kind of gets lost in the distance. I don't walk that road very often anymore -- I get too tired. But I always loved all the wild flowers, trees, and birds that are back there.
Today as I looked at that picture, I thought of my own journey as I progress down the road with Breast Cancer. I feel as though I'm standing where Juri took that picture -- just a little ways off the main road --- and staring down a pathway that just seems to have no end to it.

I don't mean to sound discouraged or down. In fact, today is the day I'm wearing my big, happy face. It's just that the oncologist today reminded me that we are just starting this journey. What a thought!!!!! It's been 4 months since I saw the very first doctor, been through all kinds of tests, biopsies, scans, and 3 chemo treatments already and we are just starting?????? That's one long walk down that driveway yet, believe me!!!!

But the good news???? The doc was ECSTATIC with the progress of the tumor. In fact, his exact words were, "There is very little tumor left!" Now, you have to understand that this doc is not Mr. Happy, cheer you up, make you feel good, kind of guy. But today, you would have thought he won the lottery!!!!! And for some reason, I was having trouble getting into it with him.

When he saw the tumor site ("the hole" as I like to call it) he was just thrilled with it. Here I'm thinking all week that it is getting so horrid looking, with lumps and bumps, and getting what seemed even larger. He said, "NO, NO!!!! That is all new tissue growing in there as the tumor is dying. There's just a little tumor left around the edges and that will fall away and form all new tissue just like what's inside there." So this new tissue is what we want and it will eventually fill this hole.

His word of encouragement was that we are just starting this journey, and look how good it is working already. He has no doubt that we are going to beat this at this rate.

So. . . . Needless to say, my sister and I left that place with light hearts and hungry stomachs!!!! We shopped at Joann's for a while, then ended up at Bob Evans for one of those mountain high stacked Philly Steak and Cheese stacks!!!!! That's the most food I've eaten in weeks and weeks, but was it ever good!!!!!

It's taken a few hours for this good news to settle in and to make myself realize that the misery of the chemo treatments is only for a little while. It does take good news like this to put up with the tired, achey bones, the pounding heart, the tasteless tongue, the burning pee, the acid stomachs, and the feeling like you were just run over by an 18 wheeler. Suddenly, the hole in the breast is a GOOD thing instead of a BAD thing, and I pull myself up ready to go another round!

Maybe in a few weeks, we'll take another picture of that driveway, and it will be a few more steps down the way towards the end of this journey.

All day today for some reason, this old, old hymn has been going through my mind. Another one of those that it seems I've known since I was in the cradle!!!!! I looked all over for the music for you to hear as you read the words -- but couldn't find it to put on my list! The best I could do is this video, so if you want to sing along, stop the music at the bottom of my blog and listen and sing along!!!! That very last line to the last verse has always, always caused me to stop and think: "Those who trust Him wholly, find Him wholly true." I don't know how trusting I've been. . .nor have thought of myself much worthy of His healing and answers to my prayers. . . and at times I've thought that at best, I got what I deserved!!!!! But you know, He is so gracious, so forgiving, holds me in the hollow of His hands and looks at this poor soul with so much love. . . .in spite of my lack of trust! And believe me, He is trustworthy!!!!!




Like a river glorious, is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth, fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth, deeper all the way.

Refrain

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.

Refrain

Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do.
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm going nuts!!!!!

OK! Just tell me that it is the Chemo working on my brain. Or the steroids in the chemo. Or maybe that I'm getting old and stupid and senility is setting in or something. But what in the world would possess me to want one of these??????? I just went through over a year of terror, heartbreak, bad words, loss of temper, pulling out my hair, flunking Bad Boy School, etc., etc., etc., and still. . . . . I want one.



HELP ME!!!!!!!!

There's 10 of these heart grabbers, so. . . . You can go see the whole lot of these fur balls here:

http://puppychoo.blogspot.com/

Monday, September 22, 2008

Daybook Entry for September 22, 2008

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FOR TODAY (September 22, 2008)...



Outside My Window It's cloudy, a little cooler than usual -- what a blessing! Leaves are slowly starting to fall, berries are turning purple!



I am thinking. . .I hope it doesn't rain as my sister is getting a new roof put on her home.



I am thankful for...A SHOWER!!! Had to sit, but I did it! Loving and praying friends and family. Emails that are so encouraging! Especially thankful that this chemo treatment seems to be going ok so far. This is day #5 since I got it. I'm very tired and wear out easily, but other than that, I'm doing ok. It seems that the key is preplanning everything!



From the kitchen... Patsy made some egg salad for sandwiches. Meatloaf is on the menu for dinner. Great for left overs later in the week. I think I'd like a plate full of mashed potatoes!



I am wearing... loose tee shirt, black loose slacks!

I am creating... At least TRYING to create ---- a better plan for getting things listed on ebay during these "Chemo days" and getting them shipped when they are sold. Wouldn't you know, sales were very light duing my "up" days, and now all of a sudden I'm swamped with sales. I'm NOT complaining, believe me! I'll work around it, for sure!



I am going... Nowhere today! Can hardly make it out to the porch with Buster!

I am reading... Remember those little, daily flip calanders that were so popular in the early 90's???? I was addicted to them and still have about 40 of those things. Since my concentration level seems to only reach the span of about 1 or 2 sentences, I've dug a few of these out and reading them. So many great, encouraging verses, prayers, quotes, etc. I even have one in the bathroom to keep me company there!



I am hoping... The pills the Dr. prescribed last time are helping a lot, including the Prilocec for the awful brick in my stomach. That's two hurdles out of my way this time, making things easier. I'm hoping the rest of the week is better each day!



I am hearing... The constant sound of power nailers on my sister's roof. Buster has decided it's not for him to worry about. I just heard a BIG sigh behind me as he finally fell asleep. He thought this was something HE had to take care of!



Around the house... STILL doing laundry! Since I seem to SWEAT so badly with this chemo, I'm changing sheets, pillow cases, clothing, constantly! I need an ice bed!



A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week. . . Nothing much! Right now a plan might include how to get through taking a shower without caving in.



Here is picture thought I am sharing...



I was raised long ago in a church that sang all the "old", slow, ancient hymns of the church. As a child, I stood beside my father, sharing the hymnal, and listening to his rich, deep, base voice sing out those hymns, and sometimes he would point to the words in the book as we sang along. I learned the tunes, even the words, but it seemed the meanings were too deep for me to understand, and I got tired of standing through 4 or 5 verses of the same hymn. Later on, as I learned my Bible, what the Lord had done for me, and what it all meant, those hymns became more and more precious.

The photo above makes me think of "The Solid Rock", a song we sang so frequently. There is a verse in that song that says, "When darkness veils His loving face, I rest on His unchanging grace." There have been days of darkness for me recently. Days when I wanted to give up. Days when I thought I couldn't go through any more. Yet, even though I could not see His face, He was there, sustaining me with that unchanging grace, getting me through step by step. My Dad was a testimony to that fact -- that though he could not see Him on the darkest of days, God's Grace was there to get him through.

The version of that hymn that is playing now would raise the hairs on my Dad's neck, as he was from the old Dutch Reformed, with slow, somber heavy hymns. But the words are still the same and the meaning never changes, does it! Hope you enjoy!

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I'm so glad to be able to participate with the others in this Notebook entry. You can visit The Simple Woman's blog
HERE!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chemo Treatment #3!

All went well today. And it went faster than the other two times. This time I went prepared with some cookies, bottled water, grapes, etc. I seem to get sooooo hungry with this. And then Juri and I went to Denny's for club sandwiches and a salad. You would have thought we hadn't eaten in days!!!!!

My blood work was fine, BP was fine, etc. Got to see my oncologist again and he was in a VERY happy mood today. Called me his trouble patient!!!???? But when he looked at the "hole" at the tumor site, he did say in a very excited voice that it was looking soooooo much better ---- wonderful!!!!! That made me very happy. I pressed him for some kind of number with these chemo treatments. Just so I could have a light at the end of the tunnel, a number to cross off, etc. He rubbed his bald head, grimmiced a bit, but said he could be sure, but probably 6. So I'm half way through. That also made me feel very relieved. The chemo treatments will take me to Thanksgiving. I hope I get some break after that, but in some ways, I just want it all hurried up and over with.

So now I begin the three week journey over again. I hope it's easier this time. At least I'm more prepared for the black days, and I did get the Prilocec for that "brick" that seemed to never move from my stomach. It's already helping. If I can remove every little whiney annoyance that I can, at least I can just lay in bed in peace and count off the days! But when you have a rock lodged in your stomach, you can't eat or drink because of it, on top of feeling like flattened out road kill -- well, that was just one thing that had to be resolved.

Tommorrow I go back for that Neulasta shot (keeps the blood count up). It's usually the day after that that I start noticing the downhill slip. By Friday night, I expect to cave in. Then it's like, "See ya next week, gang!"

Thanks again for everyone who has been praying for me. I can't beleive all the support, love, prayers, emails, etc., that I've been getting!!!!!! I've tried to get back to everyone, and I will eventually!!!! Just know that it has meant everything to me to know that you are all there praying. Couldn't have come this far without you, believe me!!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Daybook entry for September 15, 2008

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FOR TODAY (September 15, 2008)...



Outside My Window It's a beautiful morning, sunny, with a little breeze. Starting to feel a little cooler in the mornings now -- a relief after a hot, muggy summer! Some leaves are starting to fall, too!



I am thinking. . . I can't believe almost three weeks have past already since my last chemo treatment and that #3 is just a few days away. I get knots in my stomach just thinking about it. It's one thing to wake up one morning and discover you are sick or something. It's another thing to KNOW that in a few days you will feel like death warmed over and have to plan for it!!!



I am thankful for... Loving and praying friends and family. My sister's chili. All the cards and gifts I've received. .



From the kitchen... Don't have a clue yet. I have a full freezer, so I'll be opening the door in a while, standing there staring, hoping something jumps out at me. Maybe meatloaf?.



I am wearing... print tee shirt, black slacks, barefoot!

I am creating... Ideas on how to get through this day, and the rest of my life of chemo treatments! If each one is worse than the next, I wonder if I'll make it through this next one. It seems that I tire out so easily lately and have to plan things out so there are breaks in between. I hope I can get some idea from the Dr. Wednesday as to how many more I'm going to have to have. I would at least like to have some idea as to how far down the road the end is.



I am going... Probably to the post office, drug store, and grocery store.

I am reading... Remember those little, daily flip calanders that were so popular in the early 90's???? I was addicted to them and still have about 40 of those things. Since my concentration level seems to only reach the span of about 1 or 2 sentences, I've dug a few of these out and reading them. So many great, encouraging verses, prayers, quotes, etc. I even have one in the bathroom to keep me company there!



I am hoping... The pills the Dr. prescribed will keep the dark days at a minimum this time. That was NOT a happy experience at all! But at least I know what caused it and am prepared this time!



I am hearing... Cardinals, Titmice, and Chickadees chirping at the feeder.



Around the house... Why is it there is ALWAYS laundry to do???? And I'll be cutting away on quilts, etc., so Patsy is well stocked up for sewing and stitching during that week I'm down for the count!



A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week. . . Stock up on what I can eat next week, Chemo on Wednesday, change sheets and have a spare set ready for changing after a night of the sweats! Make sure all orders are mailed out.



Here is picture thought I am sharing...



This morning, Buster alerted me to the fact that there were sqirrels in the backyard stealing our acorns. It's been so much fun to watch a momma sqirrel build her nest in my birdhouse and see those little heads peeking out now and then! Watching her collect acorns, eating some, burying some, and taking some home has been great. I always rattle the door a little before letting Buster chase her off ---- she knows the sound and heads up the tree with her nut, leaving Buster totally bewildered!!!!

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I'm so glad to be able to participate with the others in this Notebook entry. You can visit The Simple Woman's blog
HERE!