Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday!

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Ever since I started participating in Thankful Thursdays, I've become much more aware of things during my days that are real blessings ---- things I probably would NOT have noticed or remembered before. Nothing chases away the blues better than a thankful heart, believe me!

If you'd like to participate, write down five things you are thankful for this week.
You can find the code by clicking on the little picture above, and also read what others are thankful for this week!

Here's my list:

1. My radiation burns are almost all healed up now. Just a small spot left, and that is getting better each day. I've got to tell you, this was harder than any part of the cancer treatments so far. Maybe because it was the end and I'm tired of it all, or maybe because it was so daily! Going every single day for 6 weeks for this got really old really fast. And for some reason, it played with my emotions. It could have been the aloneness of lying on that table half naked in a dark room, or it could have been the side effects of radiation. I don't know. But I am so thankful now that it is over and behind me!

2. Help and support along the way. Nothing better than people who come along side and encourage you through all of this. Some of these "angels unaware" don't even realize how they have changed a day for someone. My primary care physician's office is like that. What a bunch of cheerful, happy, caring people in that place!!!! I went there Monday for a followup visit. The nurse practioner is nicer than any Dr. I've ever had and is always so willing to take all the time in the world with me. She also told me that I should have called her about the burns -- that SHE would have taken care of it for me. I'll know next time! But I left there feeling a bit lighter and that I had left some burdens at their doorstep. And just think --- they probably didn't even realize that they made my day!

3. Flowers! I'm not one for manicured gardens. Mind you, I love seeing these, but I don't have a green thumb and I really can't do all the work anymore to maintain it. But right now, my jasmine and my honeysuckle are in full bloom and I just love it. The honeysuckle has taken over my fence, but hey! The butterflies and the birds seem to love it, so it stays!!!!

4. Beans! Have you ever made THE most best pot of beans ever????? Maybe I haven't had beans in a while, or these were just the best --- I don't know. I used the baby limas, LOTS of carrots, onions, some seasonings, and one of those kielbasi things. Also had cornbread with it. Just toooo good! Thank you, Lord, for BEANS!

5. Birds!!!!! We seem to have an unusual amount of activity this year. And it's been so great to watch a pair of pileated woodpeckers carving out their home in a huge, old, dead pine tree. It was sad to see the pine tree go, but it didn't go to waste, believe me. My sister and I walked out to see the hole they were digging into this dead trunk that was left, and I wished I could just shimmy up there and look into that new home!!!! Here's a look at these two:

And here's their new front door:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thankful Thursday!

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Whenever I go to someone's blog who is participating in "Thankful Thursdays," I feel a little guilty! There is not a day that goes by that I'm not thankful for something that I would like to shout from the rooftops; yet, here I sit with my mouth (or blog!) shut and share with no one! Shame on me!

Here is my list of things I'm thankful for:

l. The radiation burns on my chest are showing signs of healing -- the area gets smaller each day. It's been 8 days since the last treatment, so I'm looking forward to this being over and done with. I've been pretty good through this whole journey, but I have to say this about radiation --- if I knew before hand, I probably would NOT have done this. I was NOT a happy camper. But it is still on my "thank you list" as part of the cure, that I was able to take it and go through to the end, and that all of my bloggy friends were praying for me all this time!

2. For Spring! There is nothing better than Spring!!!! New beginnings, new life, new everything! The birds are singing like never before, and I had the privilege of seeing 3 tiny, little wren's eggs in the next on my porch!!! I really thought she had abandoned that nest after I discovered her "renovations," but she snuck in there and laid her eggs. Can't wait to follow the hatching and growth of the little ones.

3. For my Sister! If you have followed my blog throughout this cancer journey, you will have noticed that my sister has faithfully gone with me to all my appointments, treatments, tests, scans, etc., no matter when or where they were, or how long they took! It was sort of a celebration to see her take off the bracelet she has worn ever since the day I was diagnosed until the last day of radiation. Thank you, Lord, for such a faithful friend who has listened to all my fears, whinings, aches and pains and understood it all and knew just what to say and NOT to say!

4. For how the Lord has supplied all of my needs. I often laid awake at night, wondering how in the world I was going to pay for this or that, what would happen if. . . ., etc. Little did I know, but God had things already worked out for me. I did not realize that my diagnosis automatically qualified me for disability and as soon as I filed the paper work, the checks started coming!!!! Now how is THAT for an answered prayer??? Wish I had filed months ago!

5. For Buster! Oh my! You know, we all need a thorn in our sides to remind us of our sinful nature and what needs to be worked on. And for me, Buster brought every bad thing up to the surface, believe me. I found out that my mouth can sometime yell things that I thought I'd never say. I found out I'm not as patient as I thought I was. I found out that my anger level can be pretty low. But he is the most forgiving dog in the world and loves me anyways! Buster has seen me at my worst, but faithfully has walked with me through this whole cancer journey, patiently waiting for me to go outside with him. He has adjusted to what hurts on me, knows when I don't feel well, and is the best sleeping companion anyone can ever ask for on a sleepless night! Thank you, Lord, for Buster!

If you'd like to participate, write down five things you are thankful for this week.
You can find the code by clicking on the little picture above, and also read what others are thankful for this week!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I think I am going on Ebay to buy this book!

Back in the 60's, I belonged to a book club and a different cookbook was sent to me every month. This was one of them. I haven't seen it in years, so I guess I don't have it anymore. But I sure wish I did!

You see, I decided tonight that I can't cook. I can do bacon and eggs, make a sandwich, make pretty good spagetti sauce, corn chowder, and a few other things. But when it comes to meat, I'm a LOSER! Twice this week my meat was NOT edible. I did a little pork loin roast the other day. You know, one of those 1 pounders that comes already seasoned, etc. Supposedly, you can't go wrong. But this was just horrible. I know I was in trouble when I opened the package as I did NOT like the smell. But I followed the directions to a tee. HORRIBLE!!!!! Ended up just eating veggies that night.

Then, today I decided to make a potroast. How can you ruin a pot roast???? I did my trusty old recipe with the cream of mushroom soup, an envelope of the onion soup, and some cut up onions. I braised the roast first, threw it in the crock pot. . . . and a couple of hours later. . . . . tough as workboots!!!!! I needed a power saw to cut it. So. . . . thought it wasn't done, and let it go for another hour. Still tough as shoe leather. I gave up. Another veggie meal.

I'm to the point where I think my safest route to go is just hamburger if I want any meat in my diet.

Do you think there are REALLY 365 ways to cook hamburger???????

Monday, April 13, 2009

Two More to Go!

I spent the weekend with as much of my chest exposed as I could! Not a pleasant sight, believe me, but ANYTHING to make this just a little more comfortable. All I could think of were those days as a teenager when it was "in" to burn to a crisp, peel, and compare with friends whose was the worst burn. I can remember mixing iodine in my baby oil and smearing that stuff all over me just so I'd burn more than the next gal. Talk about a turkey basting!

My chest is dark purple, crusty, spots have peeled and are weeping, and I'm feeling sorry for myself. Being tired, grumpy, not hungry seems to be the normal course of things, and no one seems to give much concern at the Cancer Center except an occasional, "Oh honey, it will all be over in a little while and you're doing just fine!" If this is "just fine," I would hate to be the one who WASN'T doing fine! My oncologist was right -- he told me he didn't want to see me until it was all over because he didn't want to hear me whining, moaning, and crabbing about the burns (as he had a wicked smile on his face!)

To make matters worse, the cream is also a pain! It is Silver Sulphadiazine or something like that. It is thick and white, and I feel like I'm smearing spackle or joint compound on my chest. Not an easy task when the skin is loose and tender. Why couldn't they come up with a spray or something????? I'm sure the people who formulate this stuff have never been through the process of using it. (Oh, don't I sound like the crabby one here!!!!!)

Actually, though, I'm NOT crabby. I have my moments, but basically, I have a happy heart. I'm so glad this is almost over, that I've made it through all this without any bad reactions or terrors. I've gotten to know an 84 year old lady who gets her radiation the same time as I do, and she has been through so much. Her husband had his leg amputated a few weeks ago, and died this past Friday. She faithfully came for her treatments each day, though, and we would talk, sometimes laugh, sometimes cry, but always seeming to understand what we were both going through. I can't imagine being that old, trying to drive myself for treatments, seeing my husband dying at the same time, and then facing the rest of my life alone like that. Please pray that I will have the right words to say to her. I'm just so thankful I've done so well through all this.

Somewhere, I was reading about someone who was asked the question, "What have you learned through this cancer journey?" I can't even remember what she said, but I've been asking myself that question ever since. My list will be quite long, I'm sure. Perhaps in another post I will begin my "lessons learned."

So. . . . two more treatments to go. It will all be over after Wednesday. I don't see my oncologist until the first week in May, so it will be nice to have a break from that place. By that time, the burns will be all healed up, and he won't have to listen to me whine! He had it all figured out as to when to see me again!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Almost Done!!!!

Five more trips to the Cancer Center and I'll be done with all of this. I can hardly believe it! These last 5 radiation treatments are called "boosters" and will be aimed at the scar line only. Not sure if that is a good thing, as the scar line is totally shot now, with the skin deteriorating, open, weeping, and terribly sore. The whole area is dark purple with large blisters, and I must say, this is about the most misterable and worst pain I've had through this whole cancer journey. I feel like I have hot knives in my chest constantly.

I saw the radiologist yesterday and begged for something better than the creams I've been using. He gave me a prescription for something, and I couldn't wait to get out of there to run and pick it up. He did say, though, that he was sorry, but my chest looked just like it is supposed to at this point and it would be getting better soon.
That wasn't very comforting, especially knowing that the effects of these radiation treatments are delayed by 3 or 4 days. In other words, the treatment I got yesterday won't show up until Saturday or Sunday.

The cream did seem to help some as I did get some sleep last night. Either that, or I was just so tired from so many sleepless nights. My primary care physician had given me a prescrption for zanax to help me sleep. She said it would stop the "racing thoughts", enabling me to get to sleep faster. Well, I tried one, and all I did was lay there thinking about racing thoughts and when in the world they would stop and I would fall asleep. I stared at the wall, looking at the shadows of Buster's four legs straight up in the air, as he was fast asleep, snoring away as he laid on his back. That was VERY irritating, to say the least. What a dog! Not a worry in the world! You would think BUSTER took the pill!

Otherwise, not much going on in my world right now. The weather is just beautiful, the trees are all full of leaves, flowers are blooming, birds are singing and building their nests. This flycatcher is checking out my sister's birdhouses these days and is so much fun to watch!

It's my favorite time of the year and I'm savoring every moment of it! Thank you, Lord, for Spring!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Against the Law to Plant your Garden????

I don't know much about politics. I try my best to listen, but often find my blood boiling when I do. But this just went over the edge for me. I just can't believe that ANYONE would vote in favor of this ----- telling me that I can no longer plant a tomato plant in a pot on my 5 acres of land! I feel like all my rights are being taken away from me one by one. Please read this, check it out, and make your voice heard . . . somewhere!

Here is the full text version of the bill. You may have to copy the link and paste it:

HR 875: SHORT TITLE.—This Act may be cited as the "Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009"

Full text version pdf of HR 875:

Pay special attention to

* Section 3 which is the definitions portion of the bill-read in it’s entirety.
* section 103, 206 and 207- read in its entirety.

What it Does:

* Legally binds state agriculture departments to enforce federal guidelines effectively taking away the states power to do anything other than being food police for the federal government.
* Effectively criminalizes organic farming, but doesn’t actually use the word 'organic.'
* Affects anyone growing food, even if they are not selling it but consuming it.
* Affects anyone producing meat of any kind including wild game.
* Legislation is so broad based that every aspect of growing or producing food can be made illegal. There are no specifics, which is bizarre considering how long the legislation is.
* Section 103 is almost entirely about the administrative aspect of the legislation. It will allow the appointing of officials from the factory farming corporations and lobbyists and classify them as experts and allow them to determine and interpret the legislation. Who do you think they are going to side with?
* Section 206 defines what will be considered a 'food production facility' and what will be enforced upon all food production facilities. The wording is so broad based that a backyard gardener could be fined and more.
* Section 207 requires that the state’s Agriculture department act as the food police and enforce the federal requirements. This takes away the states power and is in violation of the 10th amendment.