Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Deed Is Done

All done.

AC chemo number two is complete.  My blood-work looked really good.  The doctor was so excited.  I just told him, "Don't I have an amazing body for healing!"  God gets all the credit for this one.  Your all's prayers are working.  THANK YOU!

After it was over, we went to 5 Guys Burgers and Fries for a really good hamburger.  Then we went to a store in Huntsville called Lawrens that is a supplier for Crabtree and Evelyn 'stuff' that my cancer nurse suggested to get for the house.  I was looking for some good scents for the house to maybe take out the chemo smell that seems to follow me around.  I didn't like the scents by Crabtree and Evelyn that they carried (not very many and they were all flowery...ugh) but I did find a nice Christmas scent that I didn't seem to be allergic to.  It came with a beautiful bottle to put the scent and wood sticks in.   I've put it on the mantle over the fireplace.  We'll see how this goes.  Here is a picture of it.  I showed this picture to Tom and he said it looked like a hoola girl and I said...THOSE ARE it will always look like hoola girl to me.  HA.

After that trip, we went to the Madison Wal-mart.  (I am still amazed that there are four Wal-Marts within spitting distance of our we choose a different one each time so that we can see what is new in them.)  Then we made a small Publix run to get some luncheon meats and bread so Tom won't starve while I'm down for the count for the next 4 days.  It is already hitting me hard (it is four in the afternoon so it has had 5 hours to slug me.) and I am probably heading to bed after I get this done.

We took a little detour before I could get to bed.  When we got the new DSL Modem/Router the other week, the printer wasn't connecting to the network for some reason and it was just too much to deal with at the time so we had put it off.  On Monday, I got it to show up on the network but we were still unable to print a test page.  Neither could Tom.  Grrr...Finally, we reset the printer to factory settings, let it pick the IP address (Tom had put in a stable IP address previously which it was balking at.) and wala...printing again.  

I am feeling very humbled and not so positive I can do this again but like I told Tom, "it's in me now so there isn't anything I can do about it."  Oh yeah, 6 hours ago, I was all bubbly and telling the doctor, "How cool is this?  I only have 3 more treatments to go..."  Yeah, not so bubbly now.  HA  Humbled again...

Please keep the prayers coming...4 more days of really 'bad' coming.

By Grace Alone...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tomorrow Is C Day and Humble Ramblings

Tomorrow is C day.  (Chemo day)

I'm not nervous this time because I know what to expect.  There is much comfort in knowing what is around the corner.  I'm ready for the next 10 pound weight to be added to my sack.  (ref blog titled "Crisp and Cold Wintry Day" ...  I know it will be bad starting about day 2 when the steroids wear off.  I am ready for it.  I've already prepared my boss for day 5 to be a sick day because last time I couldn't even wake up on day 5.  If it isn't so bad, then all the better.  8-)

Pray for Tom, he's going to have a rough care-taking weekend...

I read today's Max Lucado and wonder if God gave me cancer to steer me towards humbleness.  I am not always as humble as I should be.  I have found having cancer to be a humbling experience.   Sometimes, I wanted to be the center of attention.  Not so much now...I find myself not wanting anyone to notice me. 

There is a girl with down's syndrome that works at our Publix.  She came right out and asked me, "Do you have breast cancer?"  At first I wanted to act like she hadn't asked but then I realized that she seemed to need to talk about it.  I said yes and asked her how she knew.  She said her mom lost all her hair too and is currently going through chemotherapy for breast cancer.  (If her mother had had cancer of the liver then I am sure she would have asked me if I had was just what she knew.)  She was very open about it all and I learned from her that it is OK to talk about it to strangers.  (I still don't think I would initiate the conversation but I won't be as embarrassed to discuss it.)  She was very concerned about her mother and wanted to discuss it with someone. When it was over, I was glad she asked me. 

Here is today's devotional: 

"God Loves a Humble Heart
God…. gives grace to the humble. 

The apostle Paul was saved through a personal visit from Jesus.  He was carried into the heavens and had the ability to raise the dead.  But when he introduced himself, he mentioned none of these.  He simply said, “I, Paul, am God’s slave” (Titus 1:1, The Message).

God loves humility."

Lord, help me to always be humble.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It Is Well With My Soul

There is an old hymn called "It is well with my soul".  I think we spend a large portion of our lives looking for that place where we can say "It is well with my soul".  I feel that way today and I was kind of singing this to myself as I showered this morning and wondered what the background to the song was.  It is very interesting, actually.

The song was written by Horatio G Spafford in 1873. (I kid you not, that was his name.)  Here is the synopsis of when and why he wrote it (taken from

"This hymn was writ­ten af­ter two ma­jor trau­mas in Spaf­ford’s life. The first was the great Chi­ca­go Fire of Oc­to­ber 1871, which ru­ined him fi­nan­cial­ly (he had been a weal­thy bus­i­ness­man). Short­ly af­ter, while cross­ing the At­lan­tic, all four of Spaf­ford’s daugh­ters died in a col­li­sion with an­o­ther ship. Spaf­ford’s wife Anna sur­vived and sent him the now fa­mous tel­e­gram, “Saved alone.” Sev­er­al weeks lat­er, as Spaf­ford’s own ship passed near the spot where his daugh­ters died, the Ho­ly Spir­it in­spired these words. They speak to the eter­nal hope that all be­liev­ers have, no mat­ter what pain and grief be­fall them on earth."

The words to the song and a midi file of the music can also be found at that site.  The part I remembered and was singing though was:

"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul."

I found myself wondering as I read the history of the creation of the song, if Horatio could lose four children and all his finances, who am I to not feel that it is well with my soul when these simple trials fall upon me?   I know that is what God has taught me and I should follow His guidance.  It IS well with my soul and I am once again ready for the next chemo treatment in two days.  It feels like my white and red cells have rejuvenated, the nausea is gone, the mouth sores are healing, and my energy is up.  It IS well with my body and soul.

By Grace Alone

Monday, December 6, 2010


So Max Lucado  had some good words for us the other day.

I worry about my preoccupation with this illness and how withdrawn (physically) I have become from all my friends but I don't think I have become totally selfish.  I'm just in survival mode.  I know this will pass and I will be able to get back out into the world and focus more on others.  But Max gives us a good definition of selfishness and a good look at what God has to say about it.

"Avoid Selfishness

By Max Lucado

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit.  Philippians 2:3, NASB

The word...for selfishness shares a root form with the words strife and contentious.  It suggest a self-preoccupation that hurts others...Selfishness is an obsession wiht self that excludes others, hurting everyone.

Looking after your personal interests is proper life management.  Doing so to the exclusion of the rest of the world is selfishness."

Such a fine line between looking after our personal interests and being selfish but I believe I understand what he is saying here.  I need to take care of business for myself and my family but I also need to step outside of self and help others when they need it.  I can't let my own personal wants take away from helping others.

Max left off the last part of that scripture that is to vital to the first though.  "Do nothing out of selfish abmition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."  To expound on this further, my Life Application Bible (NIV) talks to Philippians 2:3.  It says:

"Selfish ambition can ruin a church, but genuine humility can build it.  Being humble involves having a true perspective about ourselves (see Romans 12:3).  It does not mean that we should put ourselves down.  Before God, we are sinners, saved only by God's Grace, but we are saved and therefore have great worth in God's Kingdom.  We are to lay aside selfishness and treat others with respect and common courtesy.  Considering others' interests as more important than our own links us to Christ, who was a true example of humility."

I pray that God will keep my eyes open to my own selfishness, that He helps me to consider others' interests as more important than my own.  I know I'll never be that perfect but I continue to strive for it.  8-)

By Grace Alone ...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Moods, Moods, and More Moods

Yesterday, Tom and I were not having a particularly good day.  (I could stop right here, but know me...I can't stop there.)

In his defense, he'd had a really bad week.  They had laid off 35 people at his company and he had to take them out of the software that he is responsible for which created a lot more work for him and he had to take half of the work that one of the laid off guys used to do.  Funny how just because someone gets laid off, the work doesn't go away.  You would think they would be laying them off because there wasn't enough work.  While I know that he is thankful he didn't get laid off, more work at this time in our lives makes it even more difficult.  So, suffice it to say, by Saturday, he was beat and cranky.  I don't blame him at all.

As for me...I had been in the house for about 2 weeks straight with only a trip to the Cancer Center for chemo and then another one for Neulasta.  I'd also had a hard week because 'thinking', on this new chemo, is an increased challenge and there were lots of problem tickets to work through with the software that I am in charge of.  (Most of them were users that were idiots, but they still had to be worked.  I had to verify they were idiots before letting them know there was nothing wrong with the software.)  PLUS, depression had set in because I was exhausted all the time and I had really wanted to get out of the house yesterday.

So, suffice it to say...yesterday was not a good day for either one of us.  That being said, I didn't blog on Fri or Sat because I heeded the wisdom of my Grandmother who used to say (over and over), "If you don't have anything good to say about someone, don't say anything at all."  I also made up a new twist (in my head) on my Grandmother's saying "Things that you do, do with your might, things done by halves, are never done right."  My new saying said, "Things that you do, do them yourself, because they aren't getting done by any little elf."  I was feeling like I couldn't trust anyone to do anything right for me so I just had to do everything myself.  wah wah...I WAS in a mood.

Today, I got up and said, "Let's go to the grocery store this morning before anyone else gets there with germs."  HA!  We went at about 8 this morning and I had the best time. Of course, as always, my good mood fed his good mood which fed my good mood.  I got to pick out lots of fruit. (It is very hard to send someone else for fruit when you don't know what looks the best in the store that day.)  Plus I got to whimsy shop.  Almost 200 dollars later, we left refreshed and loaded with good healthy food. 

Next was the conquering of one of our Christmas gifts.  I KNOW, I's not Christmas yet, but we ordered this new Netgear Dual Band Wirelss-N Router with DSL Modem online for Christmas and we only had thirty days to return it and that would have fallen around Dec 23rd and since we have been having so many problems with the one we got from AT&T (piece of junk), we decided we needed to install it and test it BEFORE Christmas got here in case we needed to return it. 

When he started the job, I went off to do our Christmas Cards for the people I had addresses for and left him alone.  Well, I finished that and decided maybe he needed my support in there to help him along.  (BIG GRIN)

I won't get into a lot of Geek Speak here but suffice it to say, while the box advertised, 'Push "N" Connect' for connecting all your devices with the touch of a button...suffice it to say, there was a whole lot of entering of security encryption keys (22 characters, of which some are upper case and some are lower case, each time) for all of our devices.  (And we have a LOT of devices)  I kept saying "Can't we just push the button?"  Which I'm sure was totally annoying to Tom, bless his heart.

Now he is dolefully watching his Redskins lose to to the New York Giants.  (31 to 7 in Giants favor at the moment which has seconds left to the game)  He keeps muttering things as he looks at his computer screen (which is total entertainment for me as I write this).  I don't think this is putting him in a bad mood but I know he is always happier when the 'Skins win.

Hope everyone is having a great day...I need to start thinking about what great thing I'm going to make for supper from the food we bought.  8-)