Saturday, April 16, 2011

Time Spent with Mom

I've been spending a lot of time on Skype with my Mom just chatting and doing Farmville together and it's really been enjoyable.  She is really funny breeding her sheep.  I can see where I acquired my analytical abilities.  She is almost 78 years old but her mind is just as sharp as can be. 

After being there for nine months, she is beginning to settle into Texas.  She has found a church that feels like 'home' to her and she and my sister seem to have settled into somewhat of a routine.  She has her favorite places to eat scoped out and she's beginning to make friends.  It's never easy when you move to a new place.  I have moved a LOT in my lifetime (I was in the military for years and then married to a military man so moving became second nature after a while) and I know that it is always a challenge to establish true friendships in new places.  Most people already have their friendships established and aren't looking for new adventures with friends.  Since I am shy, it made it doubly hard.  My mom, however, is ANYTHING but shy.  (Those of you who know her know that this is a true statement.)

Anyway, it is a bit of a relief to see her mostly happy and settled in her new environment and I thank God everyday for my sister and her husband who have gone to so much trouble to get her settled there near them.  They made the transition look easy but I know it's been a lot of work for them. 

Here is a little Max for you for today:

"Not Yet Complete

“God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure he will continue it until it is finished.”  Philippians 1:6

Not only are we ignorant about yesterday, we are ignorant about tomorrow. Dare we judge a book while chapters are yet unwritten? . . . How can you dismiss a soul until God’s work is complete?

Be careful! The Peter who denies Jesus at tonight’s fire may proclaim him with fire at tomorrow’s Pentecost . . . A stammering shepherd in this generation may be the mighty Moses of the next."

By Grace Alone -


Thursday, April 14, 2011


So my days for working at home are now numbered.  The number today is 2.  Today and tomorrow and then on Monday I go back to my office at Boeing.  It will be good to be back among people but it has also been pleasant to sleep a little later because I didn't have to commute in to work.

My mom sent me an early birthday present this week.  It was some containers from the container store in Dallas.  (Or it might have been a container store in some suburb of Dallas.)  Anyway, I got those four containers and started organizing some of my kitchen stuff.  One of them was to put tea bags in, one was for those little packets like gravy and taco mix, the other two were the Good Grips POP containers.  Those two had that special lid that seals when you press in on the top button.   Very cool containers.  I had fun organizing my oatmeal in one and my tassimmo coffee and cream in the other.

Well, needless to say, that spurred on a lot of other organizing.  I realized that I have just TONS of different shampoos, mouses, hair sprays, lotions, gels and creme rinses that I have bought, tried, didn't like for one reason or another and couldn't bring myself to throw away.  So, I gathered them all up into a box and it looked like this when I was done.

I sorted through them and ended up with a trash bag full of products that I didn't think we would ever use (most of them were almost empty...those were times when I would buy a new one because I was almost done with the other one and couldn't wait to try the new bad.).  So, here's the trash...

And here is all that is left.

Then of course, I couldn't stop I dove under the bathroom sinks in the master bath.  Okay, not literally but figuratively.  When we moved to Huntsville in 2007, I was here working when they packed up the house in Florida (Tom stayed behind to get it all packed up by the movers) and everything got packed whether it should have been or not.  I probably would have weeded through stuff before the move but that's just the way I am.  Anyway, things were hectic when we were moving into the house so that stuff just got unpacked and put somewhere.  I found medicine under the sink that dated back to 1997.  So I proceeded to through all the outdated stuff out and other stuff that I had no idea what it even was.  It is totally amazing the junk that we hang onto.  Under Tom's sink there was this cardboard box with stuff in plastic bags from trips that we have taken over the years.  (You know how you have to have 2 oz liquids to take on airplanes and for security reasons you can't have more than that....we had all kinds of baggies of that kind of stuff.) 

I don't have before pictures (thank goodness because they were BAD) but here are some after pictures.  I had been given this really neat basket from my coworkers filled with care packages when I was first diagnosed with cancer and I used it to replace the cardboard box that he had under his sink.

 Under my sink after the purging...and no...that isn't really a box of cheese under there...I turned that box into a holder for tubes of stuff like hydrocortisone creme, etc.

I still haven't found a place to put the old shampoos, creme rinses, or lotions.  I know that pantry in the master bathroom will have to be my next purge (muwha wha...evil laugh) and they will probably end up there.  I have two more days to get that kind of stuff done.  As I said, my days are numbered...8-)  Thanks, Mom, for motivating me to organize and clean up the hidden clutter.  8-)

By Grace Alone -


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Effexor is your FRIEND

I had the first good night's sleep last night that I've had since September.  I didn't have one single hot flash.  I took my first effexor yesterday and it really was amazing.  I figured it would take 30 days for it to start working but nooooooooo, immediate relief.  So if any of you out there are having hot flashes, go directly to your doctor and tell him what you need.  Low dosage effexor does the trick.

Now the bad thing was that I woke up after 4 hours of sleep and realized that I had been sleeping for 4 hours (I haven't slept more than an hour at a time since September because I would wake up hot every hour on the hour.) and I was so giddy with excitement that I woke myself up to a fully awake state of mind.  I couldn't believe it and kept thinking, "This must be a fluke" and "Will I be able to get back to sleep?" and threw myself into a mini-anxiety attack over it.  So I pulled out my iPad and read for a while (about an hour) and finally turned over and realized how wonderful the bed felt (it usually feels like a torture chamber) and drifted back off to sleep and slept for four and a half more hours.  I really could grow to like this sleep thing.  8-)

Don't ever underestimate the healing power of sleep.  It is required to heal your body and mind.  I hunger for sleep the way a starving man hungers for food.  Now it looks like I am finally going to get some.  8-)

Hope everyone is having a GREAT day.

By Grace Alone -


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Can you say REMISSION?

Well, one more post in this continuing cancer saga.  8-)  I don't want to leave anything out in case someone could use the information from the process but we are heading towards the end here, I promise.  8-)

I saw my oncologist today and he told me that I can consider myself in 'Remission'.  Yes, I capitalize that word because it is an important word.  I am considered cancer free for the moment.  Isn't that just the greatest news?  Praise God for such a great and gracious gift!

I am now on a medication called "Femara" which is used to block the estrogen and progesterone in my body.  We want to block them because I had the type of cancer that feeds on those hormones.  Don't want to feed any bad cells.  No No NO.  He also put me on a low dosage of Effexor to help with the hot flashes.  Vitamin E helped a little but considering that I am waking up every hour with hot flashes during the night, we needed something more effective to take care of that. 

Because the Femara also causes bone loss (Osteoporosis), I will be getting an infusion every six months to help with that.  I have forgotten the name of the drug they will be infusing but will try to post that at a later time.  I will have to take the infusions for the next 5 years (as long as I am on the Femara).  That's only 10 infusions...that won't be so bad.  I still have my port so I will probably keep it until that is over.

I did get a cute happy dance video from my sister.  (She tried to send me a still picture but as far as I was concerned, that wasn't a real happy dance so she sent me a video. HA!!)  I am going to try to attach it to the blog so you can share in her joy!  (And No...she isn't driving while she's doing this dance...big grin)  She has such a sweet and tender heart!

Speaking of my sister, her son (Daniel J Bennett) has just published his new book called "A Passion for the Fatherless" and I can't wait to get my hands on it.  I am really proud of all that he has accomplished in just 33 years.  He is an amazing young man!  I am so thankful to have lived to see his life shape in the way that it has.  He is also the pastor of a church in Illinois.  Wow...this is all making me feel ancient and as though I have wasted a lot of my  I'll have to work on that.  8-)

By Grace Alone -