Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday, I love Sundays

It does not matter that I am in the hospital I love Sundays.  I particulary love that while I was watching church being live streamed, I chatted with the tech guy.  I kept looking at the number of online viewers and just this morning at 9:00, 700 people were watching. God works on line- pretty cool.

So as you guessed, still in the hospital, so bored.  I walked a mile today.  I only had to walk 22 laps around the floor.  It actually is kind of funny.  Sadly, it probably took me 22 minutes.  My day consisted of eating walking sleeping and eating again.  I love that I have a partner, he is about 6'4".   Don't get excited, it is my IV stand.  Still on antibiotics and better yet- no answers.  Maybe tomorrow.

bumps:  no answers and I have not seen Johnathan in 2 days
battles:  see above. I still don't feel very good. 

 The nurses believe me when I say "fevers coming".  Has this happened to anyone else.  Hands and feet drop about 30 degrees (only in you mind)  Doug says mine are the same but if I lay them on my leg there is a clear difference.  Then in 15 to 20 minutes...fever.  Now they give me acetomenaphen right when I hands are cold.
I felt good enough (in the morning) to walk.  That is the first time in a long time.
Got lesson plans done
Got some sweet emails from students and has a nice visit with Jason Kimack
My husband just sits beside me while I sleep.
The blessing of feeling like I was at church despite the fact that I was not
Great nurses today

so my little preachy moment

 I have an aloe plant.  I can’t kill this thing.  I saw it on the beach years ago and ripped of a little portion of it and thought- I will try to plant it.  If it takes great, if it doesn't well, at least I tried.  The thing is, this plant is now growing out of control.  It is trying to break through the flower pot barrier.  The sides of the pot are barely containing this thing.  I definitely need to transfer this plant somewhere where the boundaries are more open.  Maybe I should divide the plant and set in many different planters so that it can continue to flourish.  It is ironic isn’t it.
Here is the irony.  Yesterday, I said, I am going to be praying Hebrews 13: 20-21 so that I would be renewed, refreshed and energized.   Before I really woke up, I had the old hymn “what a friend we have in Jesus going through my brain”.  Before I could even utter the words,” Now put you together, provide you with everything you need to please him,” was reminded that Christ is in me.  I cannot contain Him.  I am like the flower pot.  He is what comes out of me.  All of the off-shoots that have been taken from the vessel and being replanted somewhere else are going to grow and grow and grow.  Like that aloe plant, it can’t be killed.  He will be glorified. 

We wear ourselves out chasing what we already have.  And our obedience to Him is never wasted.

enjoy the song called walk on water by Britt Nicole

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pulling my hair out!

No, really I am pulling my hair out and it doesn't hurt.  My goal was to shave my head (al estillo Brittany Spears) before  the prom and show up with a 3guard burr cut. with some phenomenal earning I found on clearance.  Well, that did not happen.  Let me catch up up with what I do know (because Doctors are cryptic).  I know that Friday I was admitted to the hospital.  They did not know what was wrong but I had run a fever for 5 days (bad when on chemo). So no broad spectrum antibiotics for me lets jump to Vacomyacin for starters while we try to determine what the heck is going on.  I got a new member on my team, his name is Dr. Wang and he is an infectious disease specialist. so right now I have a cutter, druggie,plastics,and now a germ on my team (surgeon, oncologist,contour specialist, and infectious disease).  I should be honored but I would really rather not.  Blood cultures were taken, and nothing is growing in the blood so that is good.  Cat scan showed a lot of fluid under part of the incision scar and at the site where my drain was.  Started a new antibiotic drip. This one is called Piperacilin and Tazobactam.  With all my newly acquired medical expertise I know that the longer it takes to drip the more caustic it is.  Good thing this one only take 6 hours for this tiny vial.  The surgery group got called in and I had another little minor procedure done today to remove the fluid.  It was amazing how much lighter my arm felt after fluid was pulled from my chest.   The surgeon who came in today to do my work- about 34 and for you grays anatomy people very McDreamy.  He was actually kind-of taken back when I watched the whole thing (needle going in and all).  The fun part of today.  My hair is officially falling out.  Not little stands. If you were to walk into my room (805 ORMC) and you would think I had a long haired German shepherd under the bed.  yep- that about should catch you up.

bumps:  Prom was tonight, and I missed it.  I missed being a chaperon.  I said it. I like chaperoning  prom.Not to mention, Steven looked so handsome when he came to see me before.  Pinstriped dark gray suit, burgundy notes..a very bold statement. (I refuse to wear the standard black boring tux).  It is however just a moment in time.  But a moment I won't get back.  On a slightly more cynical side.  Since when is 3 oz of protein a serving size.  Dear hospital nutritionist.  I am a woman of girth who follows a very paleo diet.  GIVE ME MORE PROTEIN. I feed my dog more protein than that and he weighs 17 pounds.

battles:  I am 100% dependent on drugs that I can't pronounce to quite literally keep me alive. I am 100% dependent on the people (dr. nurses, techs) to administer them correctly or- yep I could die.  Even though you they are going slowly going through an IV- I still taste and smell them.  
Story:  I remember things based on smell.  I have always had a strong but sensitive olfactory system.  Today,  I kept inhaling knowing that the sent was not in my room but I could taste it..weird. For the longest time I could not place it- then it hit me.  Seriously, I could not have been more that 5 when I went with mom and dad to a medical clinic on the coast in Honduras right after huracan FIFI.  My job, because I was young was to count pills and put them in bags.  It has to be antibiotic related, but I can smell it.  I bet the people in the pharmacy wearing hazmat suits putting this IV solution together for me would call CPS for letting such a young child handle drugs.

blessings:  I managed to get a set of papers graded today (hahahaha).  Funny when I see the stack. very disproportional.
Despite the fact that I woke up in a foul mood (really it was bad), God turned it around once Doug got to the hospital.  
coconut water...
The immediate relief felt in my arm when some of the fluid was removed.  amazing
I took a shower-I realize that is not a big deal.  But, it is when you are in the hospital and you have NO DRAINS- praise God!
Steven and friends came to see me before prom and besides looking amazing- you made my evening!

My brain was lazy today.  I don't think it is "drug" related but it may be.  Tomorrow. I am praying Hebrews 13:20 and 21.  I need refocus, direction and strength.  I need to fuel up.  I really have nothing today, not over thinking anything just going to bed.  Going to bed.  tomorrow will be a new day.

The song I include is one of my favorites.  General meaning:  Be humble enough to be used by God.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Viernes, Viernes

So tomorrow they decide to keep me or not.  So I am thinking- do I pack a bag or not. I would rather quite honestly be there.  I can't see things that need to be done nor do I have to remember to take medication.  They do that for me. 
Today I had 3 big accomplishment- I showered, cooked dinner and got myself connected to the school.  To which I promptly sent out emails to parents with a misspelled word.  Crazy.  That is it.  I feel asleep outside in the sun, under a blanket in Florida.  Yes to most it would be hot but to me it was wonderful.  I soaked up a lot of vitamin D.  May I recommend that everyone get some.  Not the kind you get in a bottle, or a jug a milk.  No the real stuff- from the sun!  My day was really uneventful.

Bumps: Really going to miss seeing my boys play baseball tomorrow night, but even more I am going to miss serving them their pregame meal.  Fajitas. I really enjoy that.

Battles:  I have no thermometer it seems.  I have seating and chills.  No in between. Still the whole weakness thing.

Blessings:  I was able to sleep a lot today.
God provided just enough energy to get things I wanted to do done.  Dinner and a shower- not high expectations but more than I though I could do.
My chicken and dumplings was really good tonight if I do say so myself.  I never use recipes so you never know.
I had a lot of very encouraging words today.  
I am so incredibly at peace and not nervous today- it definitely is a God thing.

This is what I ponder- I don't know what the future holds and it is OK.  I know I am getting weaker everyday and that is OK because I will never be to weak to pray.  This bothers some people.  I have had friends/students/unknown people say- How would a God so full of love like you say let this happen to you.  You are a good person..WHY?  
My response today is a little more in- your face (more like me).  It is easy, maybe, juuuuusttt maybe, it is because of you.  Maybe you are supposed to see God through me.  Maybe I am a reflection of Him.  Maybe I go through this- so you will see the wonderful characteristics of my God through me.  Crazy thought right.  God did not pick or single me out to have breast cancer, but he did trust me to bring him glory.  For all my nay-sayers----this is for you.  God loves you so much that he trusted me to show you His characteristics.  You see it is not about me.  hopefully you will take notice.

quote of the day- stolen from a status (I will not tell a lie)

Lo que no puedas resolver hablando hazlo orando, lo que no puedas solucionar de pie hazlo de rodillas, porque Dios hará por tí lo que tu no puedas hacer.

What you can't resolve for yourself, resolve it by praying, what you can't resolve standing, do it by kneeling because God will do for you what you are not able to.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


If you have been following you know that I have run a low grade fever for a few days. I have not been at work, I did however make it to the boys baseball game for a little- but that is all I had.  For the past 2 days my drain output doubled and  I had a lump under my arm about the size of a lemon, so doing what you do, I called the doctor. I know these are not good things- hence the call.  Saw him today.  We did the small talk- how you feeling to which today I said- I feel crappy.  This caught him by surprise because generally I am pretty upbeat. Then he did the check- He opens my robe (remember modesty means absolutely nothing to me now) and I saw panic on his face.   Doctors, particularly surgeons are good at disguising this- no today buddy-I think I heard an expletive come out of his mouth. His words were- that red mark?  since this morning I said. There was what seemed like an eternity of silence (probably 30 seconds)- that is staff infection, we have 24 hours to treat you and if you are not receptive to the antibiotic I give you within that time we are admitting you.  He turned and left the room.  I could hear him on the phone with my oncologist (who is across the hall) along with the words- Cipro won't touch that. I can only assume he was upset that on Friday when I called with a fever, she called something in, not insisted on seeing me and prescribing Cipro.  So Long story short, I am officially immuno suppressed and have a staff infection.  If I am not better by Friday morning I will be admitted (to the hospital not the psyche ward).  
I am glad that it is being address quickly but- I saw panic.  Now I realize I have pretty good people skills and I pick up on things pretty quickly but panic is not what I expected.  Now I am panicked...thanks a lot.  I was told not to do anything (1 step short of bed rest).  Great, lesson plans for two days.  For those of you who are not teachers, let me assure you that the last thing teachers want to do is be absent- it is twice as much work.   This is just another bump- hahaha- I have a bump where my bumps used to be.

bumps:  I am sick. Really sick and I have lesson plans to write..
battles:  Did you know that 1:5 people that have surgery end up getting a staff infection and generally the only place to infect yourself is the hospital.  I think my biggest battle right now is that I am weak and having to admit that is difficult.  

blessing: I got the most beautiful gerber daises from Janell today.  My most favorite flower of all time.  I took a most excellent trip with her through yellowstone (miserably cold) but such a great trip.
I have a doctor with urgency.  He is making me panic, but it is better than a lackadaisical attitude. 
I was going to drive myself to the doctor today and I just could do it- so Doug did.  He is pretty awesome that way.  On Monday, I got a beautiful chain that had the word "brave" on it from friends in the office and it makes me feel that way.  
I know to most of you this would not seem like a blessing but I was in and out of SAMS in 20 minutes and under 150.

Well folks- I am going to write some lesson plans
I love you all

Monday, April 23, 2012

been awhile

I have had a few thoughts stirring in my cerebro for a few days; trying to put them all in order and I have a jumbled mess of really good thoughts that make no sense together.  I wonder where God is going with this.  Let me put some of them out there.  

So prom is Saturday (I am chaperoning and making my husband go).  I am so playing the cancer card on that one.  "Honey, I will be so tired- you will need to drive me home- it is a safety thing you know".  But, the girls  are excited and antsy.  They are worried about the "right dress" and the "right shoes".  What they want their hair to be like.  Funny- that is not my concern- by that day I should be completely bald.  I may even rock the bald look just for the occasion. Anyway, it concerns me.  Don't get me wrong  They should want to look their best.  On this night,they should shine.  My concern is what is driving them.  Who   is the judge of pretty vs not?  And why would their opinion matter?  I teach strong girlies.  Girls with intelligence and poise, girls with sass and charisma.  Why on this day, do they cave into societal norms?  Why one this day, does the slutty dress win over the classy dress?  Why does dance become grinding?  So my words, not that they are listening is:  be confident in who you are not what you look like. DO NOT SETTLE for anything that does not appreciate that!
God defines beauty. Now my criticism to the boys is even more harsh.  Seriously guys,  you only want to go with the ones that look good in the picture.  Remember that the words you say do two things.  They edify or the destroy.  Choose wisely!  Remember that you are called to be the head of your household one day and they way you treat girls today will leave an impact.  Appreciate the beauty of Gods handiwork- that includes characteristics more than physical appearance- that will fade.   Whew- I feel better now.

Another is the idea of being in constant communication with God.  As in it should appear that I am talking to myself, constant communication.  Dedicated prayer time should be 24-7.  Not the OOOOhhh Lord Jesus, Maker of heaven and earth, be with your humble servant type prayer; the type of prayer that says -sure could use a nap right now but I am at this job, you know the one you gave me, not sure I am going to be any good for the next class, any ideas? Every captive thought- What I am realizing is....that is more difficult than saying from 5:30 -6:00 I am praying.  I am also realizing that my brain is so easily distracted.   The doctor says there is no such thing but I believe that Chemo brain is real.  I feel like I am in high school again.  Never focus, just managing to get things submitted(most of the time) but hey.I was happy. Just like now.

ohhh I digress-

bumps:  district playoffs are this week and I am a bundle of nerves for my boy.  A lot of pressure on him, team captain, best batting ave in the league, and best on base percentage in the league. He knows the pitchers are coming for him.  Those of us that know baseball know that baseball is a cruel sport.  I must say though his calmness something to be admired.  I am praying for no injuries (like the ones you get from a curve ball at your head to back you off the plate).

battles:  chemo brain- which they say is not real- bologna!  If I am not writing it down- I am not remembering it.  Foggy brain- a note to not take advantage.  Thank you notes, I know I have to but I am overwhelmed by everyone's help.  I don't know where to start.

41 kids in Spanish II and Spanish III received National Spanish Awards. There are roughly 130 kids took the test.  For a small christian school- that is a big number.  Very proud of them.  Evidence that higher standards are effective.  Kelly Raines, you rock.
I am feeling much better.  Energy up a little, but stomach is for the most part settled.  
I HAD A CUP OF COFFEE!!!!! so good.
It is getting easier to say no, I am not able to do that.  Funny how when you really can't-it is very easy to say.
I have been praying my friend Heather's prayer over me and God's power is evident.  Something I will definitely put into practice.  Writing and sending prayers to people.  The gift that keeps on giving.  God's word never comes back empty. 
Understanding that going to bed at 8 or 9 is a good thing for me.
Understanding that God supplies all my needs- priceless.
For people that make good walls.  Everyone has a few of these people.  The one you day- just stand there, listen, do not respond, do not give counsel, just be a wall.  They listen, and then say- done?  good have a great afternoon.

I spoke to a friend today.  Our husbands were in the same unit,and have been close friends for over  20 years.  We became friends becuase they were.  After time in the Air Force we each went different ways and we have been in contact (christmas card, graduation Ohio state vs Penn football, Browns vs. the yellow flag waving people from that town across the river) but today we called and actually spoke.  Life takes us different places but , Jill, my friend, I admire you!  You served our country well!  You deployed too many times, leaving your children behind.  You raised beautiful children.  It is OK that life is now taking you somewhere different.  God has ordained each path and has directed your ways.  May His gentle hand lead you through the "new".  LOVE you and always praying for you and yours.

Thought for the day:  try to for a 12 hour day, hold yourself accountable to being in communion with God.  Every thought captive, not one moment is spent without you reminding yourself that God is with you.  It is harder than you think, and yet it is a command- with a promise (that will be tomorrow)

song of the day:

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Alright so last nights blog, even if truthful was sad and depressing and that is not what I want to show you. Agreed those of you who know me know that a simple pleasure is a great cup of coffee and to not handle the smell of coffee is poetic justice.  Today i am feeling much better, the bone ache is down tremendously (hips still hurt) but everything else is tolerable.  Nausea- well lets say I tried peppermint tea today and that seemed to keep me "settled".  I planted some peppermint earlier this year so, I see me using this plant ferociously.  

Your words of encouragement on facebook last night were amazing.  I truly do not stand alone.  I can feel each of you holding my hand through this trip.  I have true pray warriors on my side as well.  Thank you!

It is Thursday- so if I can make it through one more day I will have worked the entire week!  OK- that may not be impressive for you, but I think it is, and I am going to take my victories where I can get them.  I feel bad for my dog though, he has not left my side and I just can't make myself take him for a walk.  I feel asleep at 4:30.  slept till 7 and I am pretty sure I will be out by 9.

bumps:  I am going to fall behind on grading.  Us teachers generally spend a good 2 hours everyday grading but mine is spent in bed.  Maybe, we will be doing more in class assignments.

Battles;  I know this is repetitive but you poster child for ADHD has NO ENERGY.

Blessings:  If we dig, really dig, it is in our weakness that God not only showers us with grace  but provides EXACTLY what we need.  Make it clear, not what we want but what we NEED.  I cannot tell you enough how ridicously awesome my students are.  They have not skipped a beat, still rambunctious and fun but they know where there line is and they are not crossing it.  Such a blessing to know that I can leave the class, yack, come back and they are still working.  (many dont even notice).  I don't know if you are aware but I had to change rooms this last summer and I was kind of upset that I got put on the backburner (corner) of the campus but now- so happy- I am right next to the bathroom.

Steven hit a home run tonight-deep center field- of course I missed it but- he has worked so incredibly hard and it just shows that perseverance and hard work pay off.

Some friends  gave me a drink called FRS-  provides just the right balance for energy, just have to time them right.  

I will close with a quote that I am stealing off of my aunts facebook post and a song that I have been singing all day.  I do think that if I continually praise that is where my heart will be.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. ― Lao Tzu

I know that I am being changed.  Sometimes that is incredibly painful, sometimes it is not. I love how God is gentle, even when the change is drastic even violent,  May I be changed!  It is your will not mine.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

oh it is for real!

I just wanted to update everyone because it has been a few days.
Yes, I am still here, I am not sure I have all my mental facilities but I am here none the less.
Chemo is for real.  And it for real is kicking my butt.  There are certain smells that I can't handle (coffee being one of them) and certain foods I can't begin to stomach (pills are giving me a run for my money).  The Nuelasta shot (the one that raises your counts) yeah, that one- HURTS.  I swear I can feel cellular respiration in my bones.  Imagine shin splints in every bone.  Bones you didn't know exist hurt.  So you can say I feel pretty crappy.  
I have made it to work everyday.  I have sat in a very quiet, dark room during my preps but I have taught.  I did send a student out of my class today(clearly had a fever).  We have begun the process of cleaning desk before the day starts and when the day ends.  I have not lost my temper yet, but it was close today.  The sad part is you feel it happening and you have such little control.  

Pretty sure the doc is not going to be happy with me- lost 7 pounds in 3 days..but I am drinking my water.  Fortunately, that is one thing that stays down  
Fatigue- oh yes- I have that too.  Seriously, do not have any energy.  This is difficult for me, because I am a pretty active teacher.

Well negative nancy--  lets make this better

bumps-please see above.  I will not repeat them- they are on auto play in my mind.
battles:  need some energy- no amount of B vitamins, quercitin,- can't handle caffeine is working but I have to work so I am going to need something.

blessings:  I have lost 7 solid pounds (no need, I know, I will gain them back as soon as I can eat solid foods)
I am able to work.  I hope, if not in just a little part, kids see, that it would be easy to give up, even stop teaching and it may be excused but, that is not what my job is.  I will teach until I simply cannot do it (and then you will have a sub).  Got my hair cut again.  Almost a buzz cut, think I may go back tomorrow and have her buzz it off.  
Got my wig and received a purple wig (very cool) one from a student.  
I have still been able to make lunch and breakfast for the boys (something I like to do).  Sadly though I think they are realizing that momma is pretty sick.

Through it all, I still remain steadfast.  God's provision will be on me.  I have nothing less than to trust.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day of rest

That is what Sunday is for and I pretty much did it today.  Aside from general cleaning, yep I moved in slow motion.  Even, walking the dog was at a much different pace.  Sunday service, always good.  Dinner was fabulous.  My family loved it.  I am kind of shocked that I don't feel worse.  I was expecting much, much worse.  And I am trusting that I will stay steady for this illness is doable.  It is so good to have my family around.  
Tomorrow, I see the physical therapist and to deal with some coiling in my right arm and then I get a nuelasta shot.  This is the one that is supposed to make your long bones hurt.  Really, what kind of side effect is that.  Couldn't come up with a better ailment.  How about, lets make your right pinky finger twitch along with some ear canal drip.  

Bumps:  Still tired
Battles:  still tired
Blessings:  Church with mom, dad, Doug, and Steven and John. Going to bed early.  I have great boys. Lysol spray has been strategically placed all around the house.  Wow, it was a very slow day.  I have so many good things to say about service today but, I am still processing so that will have to wait till tomorrow.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

It is possible to grieve and rejoice at the same time.

Today folks was a normal Saturday, you know the day we like to catch up on the things we were unable to do during the week.  So I did just that, or at least as much as I could.  Dog groomed, groceries, and laundry started before 10:00.  Not to bad.  I had an memorial service to go to at 11:00, got home around 1:00- mom and I fixed some lunch, and then it hit me- I was done for the day.  I went to bed and didn't get up till 7:00.  The crappy stomach is setting in- Doug had pizza and the smell alone-did me in.  Of course, a food aversion to pizza might not be a bad thing. Now, I sit watching a little Cleveland baseball and blogging.  

Bumps:  No one mentioned that smells were going to set me off. Sure hoping that the smell of coffee is one I enjoy in the morning.

Battles:  fatigue, heck, I am not sure how this works but how can medicine zap you dry.  Took the dog for a walk and 1 mile in I was done.  I read that it is the Herceptin that does drains you and in a demonic twist it is also the one that messes with your heart so- take the drug to kill the cancer, and put you at risk for a heart attack.  I got cleared of all my heart issues however Those are some test I do not want to do again.  Yes, to all- I am drinking 100 ounces of water a day.

Blessings:  I got to take my dog on a walk.  tired or not I am just happy that I can go for a little stroll and enjoy the outdoors.  My mother, helped me so much today. Doug is amazed at what she can get done in such a short amount of time (and that he did not have to do dishes).  What I am most grateful for is that I take after her.  What a great example she has been for me. 

The memorial service for Steven Phillips was today, such a beautiful service, and even in this time of deep sorrow for the family, there was a very clear evidence of peace. God is so good. They showed a few clips of him while in the hospital before his passing.  The question was:  How does it fell knowing that you are next to heavens doors (paraphrase)? His response was a gentle reminder we should honor and how unworthy we are to be in Jesus presence, that Jesus is so much more than a good man, or a noble man.  He is the reason we have hope in an eternal life.  The second thing that I thought was incredible special today, was that Steve delivered his girl (the first hands to hold them) and they were the last to hold his as he passed into heaven.  What a special memory that those girls will have. 

I think my biggest blessing today is realizing how incredible of a support system I have.  I have my immediate family.  My husband, Steven and John.  If I could brag on my boys without embarrassing them I would, but know they are jewels.  They are blessed to have the daddy they do, he did a good job.  Then my extended family.  My parents, my aunt who lives in Orlando, my siblings are all such inspirations.  Then my other extended family tios y tias de Honduras who are considered the real deal.  I also have my work family.  I have had the privilege of teaching at some phenomenal schools.  I believe it with all my heart because the people I work with are not just teachers but ministers as well.  

This I learned today:  Grieving, whether it be a death or an illness, does not happen alone, nor does it have to take hold of your every thought.  Yes, I am sad I have cancer, I am sad that I feel somehow "not complete" but at the same time I am happy that I am learning so much about myself.  More importantly I am learning about how special I am to God, and that my dear friend is a great thing.  

"It is in the quiet crucible of personal sufferings, that your noblest dreams are born and God's greatest gifts are given in compensation for what you have been through".  Whitley Phipps

It is well with my soul.
No matter the language-

Friday, April 13, 2012

this one will be quick

I survived the first chemo session today only 5 to go. I am super tired so I just wanted to update you all and let you know that I am OK.  Mom sat with me while I slept.  Seriously, I slept.  Of course, I had a little help from a narcotic but, hey since I have not slept for the last 2 nights- it was exactly what I needed.   The nurse was fabulous!  Mom got feed cookies all day.  I was there for 6 hours.  I am OK.

Bumps:  They were not kidding about fatigue.  I guess my body is kicking itself to figure out what are these caustic things in my body.  I am really going to bed in 20 minutes.  Hoping that I actually get to see Steven  before I go to sleep.

Battles:.  not sick yet, but they tell me it will not happen till Sunday or Monday.  I am believing that I will not be sick at all.  But, I am so tired and I don't want to be sick as well.

I slept- enough said
mom and dad to help
a hubby who is a rock, and was anxious for me while he was at work
a chaplain that came by to pray with me before I started
did I mention rest- sweet rest
dinner cooked by Lindsey and Mia- thanks

I did go up to the school for the white.  I am so proud of the family that is created and the support they show for each other.   I am so moved  by the caring good hearts. Such a special moment for a special girl.  She is a young lady that is so full of poise and settled in to the game like no other.   

I did get to see Steven so now I officially am going to bed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"hora latina" will not apply while on chemo

April 11, 2012 was a good day.

Let me just start off by saying today is Heather's birthday.  This is the woman who got every friend, bible study compadre, family member and I think people she did not know to write me a birthday card.  This woman has gifts but one of the most incredible is her ability to string words together in prayer.  Her spirit is so connected to God's and she is so steeped in His word that you feel God's power when she breathes your name.  I am blessed to be called your friend.   

Today was a really hard day.  I have not slept much the passed few nights and I knew when I woke up that I was going  to have to temper my temper all day.  You guys know those days.  The day the continuous click of the pen, pencil tapping and my favorite- the "green" water bottle crinkle were going to drive me up the wall.  I must say that it was not in my strength that I did not let the sharp tongue of sarcasm take over.  I did remind one of my classes that everyone was equally eligible for the opportunity to be ridiculed (parents- totally a joke- all the kids knew it to).  I have an equal opportunity classroom.  Unfortunately that also refers to me since I was having a difficult time getting out :" this and these have "t"s that and those don't."  Para mis amigos estamos hablando de- este-estos and ese and esos.  Hopefully the gift of insomnia does not grace me with its friendship tonight.

Bumps:  I start drugs tomorrow.  You know the ones that are supposed squelch the side effects of chemo..yeah! (there is the sarcasm you all long for) I see the plastics guy again and re-discuss my options since the reconstruction I wanted to get done doesn't look like it is going to happen. A quick shout out to radiation for that. I tell you what- the number of appointments that I have to go to is kind of crazy.  They were not kidding when they said that cancer was going to take over your life for a while.  2 today, 3 tomorrow and then 2 on monday- CRAZINESS.

Battle:  See above.  The craziness of scheduling.  It makes planning in the classroom tedious and quite honestly one 50 minute prep is not nearly enough, then throw on the baseball schedules, and the whole parenting thing doesn't stop.  So, I feel like I am always playing catch up.  I don't like the idea that I am slacking somewhere.  For example, there was a change in the JV schedule and I totally missed it.  Since I am the team mom-it is my responsibility to get people to work gate and concession and feed the team before the game.  Totally missed the boat. Of course, things work out- sent out the emergency email message and a family stepped up immediately- so blessed to have families that do this.  I ordered pizza for the team meal... boring.  however, I have not ever seen any of those boys turn down pizza or food for that matter.

Blessings:  I had a wonderful birthday dinner with my Doug tonight.  We went to our favorite spot "sushi pop".  A trendy little sushi place that we love.  While on chemo I was told to not eat sushi so that was my last hurrah with sushi for a while.  I was great to be on date with my hubby.  
 Hey- the output in my drain was down about 40 percent-  I believe that God answers prayer.  
Sleep- I believe that will be a blessing tonight

I kept focusing on the verse:  Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.   Proverbs 31:25 (actually that whole chapter but for this season this verse)

This is the legacy I want.  That I would be known for being that type of woman, that is my desire.  I know that it can only happen if my faith rest only in Christ.  I know that I can't without Him.  I know I am strong willed.  I know I can do some things intrinsically that other's can't.  I know I am independent and an independent thinker.  You would think that those would be great characteristics in order to become that kind of woman but it is quite the opposite.  What is required is that I be flexible to God's desires, that I be humble, totally dependent in God and trust that He knows more than I do.  I must submit!  It is not a bad word nor does it imply weakness.  It is quite the opposite.  It is freeing.  This journey is really not about me. It is just the trip I get to tell you all about.  I hope you have enjoyed the ride so far.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Today was fabulously splendid.  So many well wishers, gifts, treats and just an overall chill day.  I knew was going to be great because of the showering of birthday cards I received from perfect strangers over the last 5 or six days.  I have never in my life received so many birthday cards.  Heather- you are the BOMB.  Thank you for being such a godly woman who makes things happen.
I wish I could be descriptive enough to give you a clear picture of my day.  It started with cake.  Yes, cake is for breakfast.  It was a delicious carrot cake.  Along with that I was showered with gifts and cards.   The students actually let me teach  The future perfect is not that fun.  "Para el proximo agosto habre venicido el cancer."  Whether they understood it or not, they made me believe the did.  Johnathan, hit an in the park home run.  Alright sports fans.....that is big.  In the park home run- no over through, no errors just a pop to left center fence.  Easter was fantastic.  I love to see the church at capacity and once again the sermon was dead on.  i love when  a salvation message is preached on Easter.  Seriously, why would you preach anything else. It had been a long time since I had recited the Apostles Creed and concentrated on what I was reciting.---love---love--love,

 Alrighty-then, lets get on with the 3 b's

bumps: so frustrated that my left arm does not have full mobility and I still have spots of numbness surrounded by spots of pins and needles.  It is awkwardly painful, especially when clothing or anything for that matter touches it.  I have an appointment with a physical therapist with lymphatic specialties next Monday.  Also, I still have a drain.  The output does not seem to be going down.  Alright prayer warriors here is my request.  Pray that both of these things will be removed before chemo starts.  Drain removed and arm in good condition by Friday 9:00- I believe God can make it happen.

Battles:  Nerves, nerves, and nerves-  I am starting to get nervous about how my body will react to all the chemo drugs and all the ones I have to take to treat the side effects of chemo.  My lymphatic system is going to be on overdrive.  My stomach is already in knots.  Another is to stay focused in the classroom.  Talk about having to run the race through the finish line.  whew- I gotta teach!

Blessings.  I am going to mention a particular student.  I had this student 3 years ago.  Quiet, sat in the back of the room, only speaks when spoken too.  We shared a love of good paella.  His Spanish was beautiful when he spoke.  He sent me a birthday message that said -cumpleanos feliz hermosa. - those 3 words made my day.  I am not feeling so pretty and he called me beautiful- not in a creepy way.  He may never know what he did  for me. It is amazing how God will use one word from an unexpected person to remind you of His sovereignty.  I love my job. I get paid to teach but I get to love on kids everyday and surprisingly enough they love me back. 
I spoke to a friend for a very long time last night.  Well, we texted, but it is pretty much the same thing.  Friendship, true friendship is never wasted.  My only hope is that they feel as blessed as I do to have such a wonderful friendship.
It is my birthday- that is blessing enough.  But, I had so many facebook messages.  No way I can respond to all.
Did I mention my students (victoria and mom), brought me a carrot cake for breakfast.  again, cake is for breakfast.

In all seriousness, the atmosphere on campus was festive for my birthday but, somber.  One of my dear ones, lost her father last night.  This man fought.  He was a devoted father and godly man.  He will be missed by all, but especially his wife and girls.  Prayer warriors- change gears- Pray heavenly comfort over this family.  por favor

I am going to leave you with a parting though I got from one of those "shepherds"  I spoke about.  It said.  In suffering we should not ask why but to what purpose.  So what has God has ordained my purpose to be in all of this- may it be fulfilled.  At the end of the day.  I will choose to be purposeful and not question.  

Bring it on!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saturdays were made for fighting-

Well there were no fights this weekend except for against myself.  I had to force myself to go to the grocery store, do laundry, clean house, and pretty much everything today.  All I really wanted to go was channel surf in my nice comfy bed.  But, that will never happen.

I did get all of those things done and a few more.  I am just working at a much slower pace than normal.  But the cheese cake is in the oven, the table is set for lunch tomorrow and I am just settling in for the night.  I thought I would write a little while the cake is baking.

bumps:  chemo class was scary- nothing like pumping up before you begin.  Nice nurse (Lynda) reminded us that we will never be able to lift anything over 20 pounds with our lymphless side again (not going to happen), that we would have a metallic taste in our mouths for the entirety of the chemo sessions (mine was the longest despite being the lesser of the stages), and that we would be nauseousness and tired even after it was over.  Did I mention the Neublasta makes your long bones hurt?  Yeah- I can't wait! Seriously, I know not everyone is a teacher and even I don't sugar coat everything but we need to work on her presentation skills.  "it is what it is" is Not acceptable in a chemo for dummies class.  The presentation was on a power-point (that was also handed out) with out animation or sound effects and never in full screen (I guess she might forget which slide she was on).  May- be my calling will be to do a more entertaining class set up.   I am a terrible student.

Battle:  Although I joke about it, working in slow motion is not my cup of tea.  I have never strolled through a mall, why would I want to saunter through my days.  But, they were not kidding about being tired.  I guess my battle will be that I must slow down and that is hard for me.  I have always been frustrated with lazy.  I had very little compassion with people who are not busy all the time, and even less grace for those who cannot manage their time.  Now, I feel like I am one of them.  Doug assures me however that I am still managing to get done more in a day than most do in a week.  It just doesn't feel like it.  And I hate having to ask for help.

Blessings:  THIS ONE IS HUGE.  YES, I am yelling.  I remember posting back when I first was diagnosed that my birthday this year would be horrible.  Well, I assure you it will not.  My mailbox has been filled with "well wishers for the last 4 days.  My friend Heather, and all of her shenanigans, got all of her friends and what seems to be her friends, friends to send me birthday wishes.  Let me remind you that her birthday is one day after mine. But, she has blessed me-SO MUCH!  I will never be able to repay or even express how loved you made me feel.  One particular note got me today.  It was from Makyla- she made me the most beautiful card.  All of the Disney princess were hidden behind stars and hearts that I had to lift to find. I feel like a child trying to make sure I saw them all.  Makyla, a cancer survivor wanted me to have a good birthday.  Not that the others are not a blessing but yeah- that one got me.

I met- for the first time, my cousins children and husband.  I have met Terri, at the standard family events, funerals and weddings, but never her spouse or children.  It was very nice to meet my "blood relatives:.  There were so many strange coincidences.  Her children's paths and our crossed several times.  The world is indeed very very small.

I got a referral from the surgeon to see a lymphatic therapist so maybe the sensations I am feeling in my left arm will get worked on- also suggested Reiki (Antonio- I see you posting here all the time) anyone know about this? Now my insurance will cover it.

The biggest blessing though is that tomorrow is Sunday- it's comin- EASTER SUNDAY and I can't wait.  I wonder what the apostles were thinking on this day so many years ago.  I wonder what Mary was feeling.  Desperation, loneliness, sorrow.  If I were a betting woman I would guess all of the above.   Not me,  Tomorrow is the reminder of just how great my Savior is- It is such a simple story- no wonder it is difficult for the heavy thinkers to get.  
He was born into a lowly family
He lived a normal life
He died a criminals death
He was buried not in his own tomb
He arose three days later
He lives forever 
--------and because of this- I am saved.

I want to encourage everyone to go worship tomorrow.  Go with the attitude that Mary or the apostles might have had- desperate, lonely and broken-  trust me HE will met you there.

Be blessed- I know I am.

John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble, but take heart,  I have overcome the world.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ritzy Wigs

So chemo will start on the 13th now.  I know, I know that is Friday the 13th. it is a good thing I believe in a sovereign God and am not very superstitious.  Otherwise. I would be freaking out.  Let me catch everyone up. Monday, good day at school- so was Tuesday.  I must take a little time to brag on the student body at Master's Academy.  I said it before and I will continue to have faith in our future because of the quality kids I teach. They laugh with me, allow me to share myself with them and lift my spirits everyday.  I am continually encouraged by them.  Sweet encouraging notes and gifts, a sixth sense to when I am hurting and a willingness to help.  They do this not because they have to but because the want to.  I am so blessed and humbled by them.  Thank you guys for being willing to walk this road with me.  I have posted a little example of the goodness.  I took two of them with me to try on wigs today and the result was this:

You guys should vote as well.

Bumps:  I went on-line when I was feeling a lot more pain than I though I should.  MISTAKE.  I have now self diagnosed myself with 10 other ailments and have convinced myself that I will have a numb, 20 pound arm with pins and needles rushing from my fingertips to my triceps for the rest of my life.

Battles:  Anxiety slips into my subconscious and creeps into my day.  It is a constant prayer battle that I must fight.  I know that when the body is weak, tired, and in pain your mind starts doing condemning things.  I must rest, rest , rest in God's healing.  

I have a friend.  I don't know who it is but, my birthday is going to be great!  Someone, has given my address to friends, and friends of friends and I have been getting birthday cards (even a starbucks card).   I don't know who you are but you bless me in a ridiculous undeserving way.  
2 weeks of meals was what was on the "meal tree", So why am I still getting meals..delicious ones.
Heart shaped pillows- this things are wonderful.  since I don't want any pressure on my side and arm, this little accessories fit right in the arm pit and take all the pressure off.  
Steak!  I was meant to be a carnivore.  Johnathan, you rock for suggesting that last night!

So, to close- 
Have I mentioned that Easter is my favorite.  Although the immensity of this fight is just beginning and I feel overwhelmed at times I was reminded in chapel today that "Christ was burdened even unto death".  What  a realization that Christ himself cared so much for me that it weighed heavy on His heart- so heavy.  I am only carrying my selfish burden-He carried the burden of every sin, every broken heart, every pain we all would have.  I am left speechless with that thought.  Friday- instead of feeling sorry for myself that I am in a "how to take all your cancer medication appropriately "class, I am going to be humbled by the price my God paid.    I am going to remember that when he turned the vinegar and wine down, called out to the Father and  the moment that the curtain was torn.  I am going to remember that there is a direct line to the most Holy. The ultimate sacrifice was made.  Then I am going to start the count down to Sunday.  That is the day that Satan lost and I was given the option of redemption.  He loves us, oh how he loves us.  I hope you will find a place on Friday night and Sunday morning to worship.

Be good to one another!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

great service today!

Oh my church was great today.  I went by myself since Doug and the boys were at a spring training game.  I then went to stock up on food at Sams.  I then spent the entire afternoon working in the yard and I am pooped!  The sun felt so good on my skin but that darn drain needs to come out, still way to much fluid coming out for them to remove it. It felt good to be in the sun.  I swear I am a lizard.  I have to blog early tonight because I know I will shower and then crash.  OHH which brings me to a huge blessing.  Last night I slept on my right side.  now I generally sleep on my left side but the whole pins and needles thing still- that is not going to happen but I am off my back and it feels wonderful.  

Yesterday, I went to the school to get trained on how to submit all forms having to do with college enrollment.  Then I slept for most of the afternoon.  I did get most of my chores done, watched the buckeyes lose and then went back to bed.

SO you see my daily life is still daily and mundane.

bumps:  oh I get tired so fast

battles:  I will not be beach bound this summer- I love the ocean.  I would give my left breast to take a walk at ponto, swami's,moonlight, cardiff or any of those beaches about now.  Oh wait-I can't do that because it is gone- still.   A nice walk on the beach always put things into perceptive.

I had some delicious soup and salad for lunch provided by Mrs. Gordon and Mrs. Woodall
The word wallow-  I wallowed in God's warm sunshine and His word-  It feels good.
My cat and dog:  they just hung out with me in the back yard today.  They are funny to watch. 

 It is palm Sunday. more than any season in the year this by far is my favorite.  Easter is the culmination of the most epic story.   He knew what was coming, and still he rode in on the donkey, and told the naysayers "nope"- "Even if I were to tell the people to stop honoring me and praising (and he could have made them)- Creation would cry out because He was, is and forever will be God.  The pastor today said something very interesting today which I have been thinking about.  We tend to always follow the loudest voice.  The person that yells the loudest or has the biggest crowd but the people who waved the branches and honored Christ-got it right.  They worshiped, not the leaders on their soap boxes, but the King on the donkey.  Ironically , they would get it all wrong the following week but, there is the frailty of the human mind.

I personally related this to the voices screaming in my head.  The one that says- "you are not strong enough". "you will fail" and the one that says "you have lived a good life and this is how God repays you".  I must remember to say Hosanna (O save me) to they only one who can and already has.  I must silence those voices long enough to hear the quiet voice of my savior that says- "you are strong enough because I am your strength you are not going to fail because I have already won, I did not make this happen to you but I love you enough to trust that everything you do will be for my glory, and child you are NEVER alone".  

Note it is in red  because that is what Jesus said for all of you KJ version people

We all worship something,  Sometimes it is money, sometimes it is notoriety, and sometimes we just worship ourselves.  I hope and pray that I am a reflection of Christ.  I pray that my life be so transparent that God must be seen because He is "my all in all".  I challenge you this week to in a time of crises- you cry out to the Savior on the Donkey and say "hosanna" and praise the one who can help you.

I really am blessed, so blessed to have such great friends!