Saturday, January 1, 2011

Brand New Year

Well, here we are.  8-)  Brand New Year and a brand new attitude.  Ok, maybe the same attitude but a new year

Tom has been working on making me a happy woman today.  He has gotten energetic and cleaned the house.  I piddled with little stuff that I felt like I could do like dusting the living room and cleaning kitchen counters and he tackled all the stuff that hits the body so hard like cleaning the floors and bathrooms.  Yeah, three bathrooms seemed like a good idea when we bought the house...not so much now...8-)

One thing I did today, since he was helping me with the house, was to clean some knick knack items that only get really deep cleaned about once every six months.  (I'm embarrassed to say it isn't more often than that for the deep cleaning but ah well...we do what we can, when we can.)  Anyway, there are three pieces of crystal items that are cool geometric shapes (circles that hold fluid inside of altered rectangles) that Tom got me for an anniversary years ago.  (No...I don't remember which one...sorry)  They are supposed to have oil in them and they have wicks that you can burn.  Well..I never used them for burning and got rid of the oil years ago because it was messy.  My alternative to that was to fill them with colored water.  They used to be an evergreen color but I dumped that today and cleaned them out good and then realized I didn't have any food coloring left to color the water with.  Sigh.  (That never would have happened during the Play-doh making years.)  Now I had to decide what I was going to do with them because they are a boring crystal 'clear' without color (as you can imagine).  Must have color!

I looked under the sink and BOY AM I CONSISTENT...I found some apple cinnnamon red colored liquid potpourri under the sink that I had never used.  It went perfectly with the burgandy colors in the living room so I filled them with that.  I am always attracted to the 'burgandies' and I must have bought this stuff years ago and never used it.  I am such an impulse shopper...I probably saw it in the store and thought of the crystal thingies but, when it came time to clean them, then I didn't remember it.  Yeah...that sounds like me.  Here is a picture of the finished product. No, it's not a blurry picture, there are two sides of glass on either side of the circle area that holds the fluid. 

Not much else going on around here now that we're totally beat after cleaning house.  (Even Shadow is laying here exhausted from being chased out of rooms by the vacuum cleaner.  HA!)  We have a 'Shrek' movie to watch and will probably order pizza tonight for supper since we haven't gotten any groceries yet.  There is always tomorrow for that.  8-)

Friday, December 31, 2010

The End of 2010

The end of 2010...

It is always bittersweet when the year ends.  This year, I have to admit, I am a bit glad that it is over.  We have all suffered enough.  It is time to look to the new year with new beginnings and new hope.

Last year, brought an increased healing of my mother (who has been fighting some liver disease for quite a while), the death of my father, a biopsy, the introduction of cancer into our immediate lives, two surgeries, 7 doses of chemotherapy, the closer knitting of my family, and the realization that no one lives forever.  Through all this, God held us in His loving arms and comforted us all through the suffering.  We have come out on the other side with our sense of humor intact and our spirits lifted.

I don't know what next year brings but I believe that my mother will continue to heal, I am ever hopeful that the words 'remission' are included in our vocabulary, our family will become even closer, and death will not enter into our lives during these future 365 days.  No matter what comes in 2011, I know God will continue to hold us in His loving arms.  8-)

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Despair, Grace, and Conversion

Each day after chemo has it's own challenges.  This is day 4 and it is always one of the hardest.  It is a bit like slogging through molasses.  It was very difficult to wake up but I knew I had to because my temp was up because I was dehydrated.  I'm not quite sure how to avoid this because I have to sleep and don't drink while I'm doing that so, of course, the body gets dehydrated.  

Tom and I are connected with a messaging tool when he is on the other side of the house (on his computer) and I sent him a 'help' message this morning so he could get me kick started.  (My computer is back here in the master bedroom on a bedside tray table so all I have to do is reach over and roll it to me.)  He gets me Tylenol and water and then works on getting me some toast for breakfast.  He got his shower and then the dentist called to say they had a cancellation and asked if he could come early.  So, he is off to his dental and I am trying to stay awake so I figured blogging was a good way to do that. 

The past three days have been normal for this type of chemo.  No surprises...which is always good.  We only have one more treatment to go and then (I believe) the worst of this is over. 

I was touched profoundly by the Max Lucado reading today.  I have felt the despair and I have felt the Grace that saved me from despair.  Max captured it perfectly.   I'll share it with you.

"Meet the God of Encouragement

By Max Lucado

Has it been a while since you stared at the heavens in speechless amazement? 

Has it been a while since you realized God’s divinity and your carnality?

If it has, then you need to know something. He is still there. He hasn’t left. Under all those papers and books and reports and years. In the midst of all those voices and faces and memories and pictures, he is still there.

Do yourself a favor. Stand before him again. Or, better, allow him to stand before you. Go into your upper room and wait. Wait until he comes. And when he appears, don’t leave. Run your fingers over his feet. Place your hand in the pierced side. And look into those eyes. Those same eyes that melted the gates of hell and sent the demons scurrying and Satan running. Look at them as they look at you. You’ll never be the same.

A man is never the same after he simultaneously sees his utter despair and Christ’s unbending grace. To see the despair without the grace is suicidal. To see the grace without the despair is upper room futility.  But to see them both is conversion.

Come meet the God of encouragement. He loves you. He never gives up on you, especially when life is hard, because he has been there. The hand that reaches out to comfort you is a pierced one."

I have seen despair through these trials but I have also seen the Grace that God has given to carry me through them.  How amazing is it that He loves me?!

By Grace Alone - 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This...

For all who have been following this blog and thinking, "Wow, this girl is really brave.", I am here to confess something today.

I asked my husband to let me talk to the doctor alone today.  (He normally comes to the room with me and talks to the doctor with me.)  I had some 'personal' things to talk to the doctor about (some things I don't even want to share with Tom...TMI and all, you know) and I wanted to see if I could talk him out of the last two chemo treatments.  I couldn't talk him out of them...and not only could I not talk him out of it, but there was something in the blood work that sent him pinging and asking about lumps again.  He wanted to know what they did about the lump I found about a month ago in my other breast...I told him that it was fluid filled and I had opted not to go to the surgeon over it.  He wanted to see it and then he also checked the other breast and found the lump I hadn't told him about.  (This lump is in the same breast that the cancer lump was in.)  I found this new lump last week but figured since we were getting radiation, there wasn't much use (nor energy on my part) to stir anyone up over it.  He agreed to wait until the chemo is over but then assures me that we will be checking out this new lump vigorously. 

So, I'm not so brave after all...I cried so much in the chemo chair today that the nurse asked me if I needed a minute alone before starting the AC chemo.  She had already given me the Benedryl, anti-nausea medicine, and steroids.  I just caved before the chemo started.  I don't know why except I just didn't want it and felt pushed into it.  Yeah....wah, wah, wah...I am totally disgusted with myself for not being stronger.

I did have a really neat nurse today for the treatments.  We had a lot in common, both kill plants, both have curly hair that makes it hard to find a good beautician.  You have to be a very talented beautician to give someone with curly hair a great haircut.  She goes all the way to Jackson, MS to get hers done every month.  She had a GREAT haircut which is what started that conversation.  Believe it or not, we were joking around while she was infusing the medications.  I fell apart when she left while the anti-nausea meds were going in. 

Tom was very patient through all of it, as usual.  I can tell he is concerned even more than usual because all this is out of character for me.  It is probably all drug induced, Tom, please don't know I have days like this.  8-} isn't such a good day, but as the old song goes..."Mama said there'd be days like this..."

Love you all bunches...glad you are out there for encouragement.  I can really use some today.