Sunday, July 22, 2012

Little achievements

So I have been doing a little thinking lately.  It has been 5 months since my first surgery, 3 months (roughly) since the second emergency surgery, 4 chemo sessions, too many doctors appointments to count and I am not half way done yet.  Surgery, well that is hard on the body. Having a constant open incision is not fun and chemo, well it sucks but I am not discouraged.  Everyday God gives me the exact amount of strength that I need to get just the things that need to get done.  I can feel, my body get weaker and it is OK because He has not failed me. Today, I got up and tried a new recipe (which I will not be replicating but I will be changing), cooked dinner (chili on spaghetti squash), went to church and heard a great message, lunch out provided by the Johnston family, mowed, went to Sam's and my day is complete.  I would call that a full day.  See, it would be easy to just crawl into bed and be miserable but, God gives me just enough to get the "normal" stuff to get done. 
I want things to remain as constant as I can for my boys.  Heck, who am I kidding, I want things to remain as normal as possible for me.  And that is exactly, what I get from God everyday.  It is so comforting to know that He is constant. 
Well, this may be disjointed today but the sermon was really good today. Not, over preachy.  You know the deep theological "why God let's bad things happen" that we have heard after tragedies happen.  Nope, today's sermon was so incredibly simple.  Did it address that- absolutely. It came down to this.  God, does not need for evil disappear to be glorified.  He will use the tragedies to be glorified through us.  We may not be able to change the big picture but we can change the big picture for the person next to us.  Essentially, do what you can for one and plant the seed.  That is what I am resting on at this point.  I don't have a lot to give but I can still do something for someone.  Right now, it is a season for planting.  Digging in, studying and doing only what I can.  I may never see the fruit of my growth but, I know that seeds will be sown and He will be glorified.
 I have read that last paragraph over and over again and I can't seem to get the wording right.  But, I hope the sentiment has come across.  Be Christ to the person next to you.  Whether you are young, old, sick or healthy- don't go out to change the world- change the person next to you by showing them Christ in you.

Bumps:  Well the nasty metal mouth and constant nausea is no fun.  My nails are pealing off like onions and the hot flashes.  Having my own personal summers is kind of funny.  I am constantly asking my family, am I hot or is it hot.

Battles:  I ready for my incision to be healed.  It is almost there but everything slows down due to chemo.  Even bug bits take three times as long to heal but having the constant reminder of an open chest is just frustrating.

Blessings: The precise amount of energy for the task that need to be done. A fighting spirit, it is in my nature to fight, to not give up and to be resolved.  I have witnessed many in my chemo pods that have given up, it is sad, but that is not in my nature. SEEDS- black and pink anime hair seeds.  The realization that seeds are my job and joy right now.  Friends that continue to pray.  Students who continue to pray. My boys-I could not do this with out them.  As corny as it sounds- the food network.  It has become my little haven.  Doug,  I can't say enough about his silent strength.  Over the last week he has driven over 1000 miles to make sure family comes first.  I love that about him.  He sacrifices so much for all of us.    We had a very special family give Steven something we could not have given him.  SO BLESSED!  

Song of the day:

This is the story of Esther.  For all my non Spanish speaking friends.  It speaks of knowing your purpose in Christ.  

I am a part of His eternal plan.

Verse of the day" 
10 Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Not a moment spent

As I sit in my sterile chair, I watch.
     Today I get to be in a pod room.  I like them much better.  There are four people in my pod, along with a nurse (Stephanie), a tech that comes by every few minutes or so to make sure we are all comfortable, and of course the extras (spouses and friend who come to be companions) and I love pods.  They are busy.  Much like an ant farm. Everyone moves quickly with purpose.  Those of us being infused- are like the queen.  We just sit and based on our needs everyone scrambles.  Stephanie, is constantly, checking, changing medications (I alone have 9 that must be changed in one infusion), running to get those, imputing into the computer, calling our physicians and answering our questions.  The techs, bring us drinks, snacks, blankets, pillows,chat and run errands for Stephanie because she can't do it all.  Today, Yolanda, was helping me with creole phrases- I am feeling a need to go to Haiti when this is over.  And the extras, love us and their presence alone (for some) is soothing. I particularly like to watch the ones that bicker at each other.  Even though most of them just watch us nap.  At about 10 O'clock the chaplains and counselors start to come by and at 10:30 the cookie lady makes her stops.  She gets here at 6AM makes the cookies and comes up to deliver.  She is a volunteer (actually there are 5 of them), but they are all retired survivors that want to make this day easier for us.  Impressive right, I know.  They have local artist that come in an do the same thing- something to make the time go by and I can attest that is relieves stress (in my case due to boredom).  Then I look through the glass window and see this exact thing happening in 8 different pods and 20 private rooms.  So incredibly effective.  It is amazing how incredible it is to see how efficiently things run when everyone knows their role and does them.
     I am aware of the fact the behind the picture may not be so rosy.  The scheduling nurse needs to make sure shifts are covered and that can't be easy and no not everyone can have the 4th of July off, but not once, have I seen any visible evidence of that on the floor.  In my book, that is efficient management.  Everyone has a role.  Wouldn't it be nice if life played out like that, in our homes, in our jobs and especially in our churches?
     Three of my friends commented today of facebook about joyfulness.  Whether it be the lack of or the presence of, that sense of joyfulness  is something we all strive to have. This is when I am reminded the being joyful does not necessarily mean happy and smiley all the time.  It is the feeling of contentment. It is half full instead of half empty.  I personally can only find this when my relationship with Christ is where it should be.  I find it when I check my "engine light" (see previous post) and know that I am walking rightly with God.  It is that relationship that says TRUST ME- I am faithful, I am true, I am with you always and you are important to me.  Life is hard, sometimes for a long time but knowing that my mechanic feels that way gives me contentment.  The joy of the Lord is my strength. 

Bumps:  The trip back for Fort Myers was difficult.  Let's just say that my car was very cold and I had lots of coffee.  Then the unfairness of it- Doug gets to see the good games with beautiful sunny days while I sat for two days in the rain, and rain delays.  I must say though that the rain delay against the team from Michigan was very entertaining.  We had human jousting, hunting, bowling, rowing and project runway walks. 

Battles:  The length of treatment  is wearing on me.  And I am feeling a little anxious about starting school.  Not because I have academic stuff to do, but because the first three weeks of the school year are always hectic and I will have my last two treatments in those weeks.  It makes me nervous.  One day at a time right?

Blessings:  More students visits.  I got to finally see Steven play and he was so very kind to ride out to the beach with me one afternoon, just to see the sunset.  I know he was tired and did not really want to go but, he did with a great attitude.  I am blessed to have great kids.  I have friends that pray.  And, I am so blessed to know that I am content! 

For those of you following and praying to ask you to add a few to your list.  A student of mine is having some extensive testing today to try to figure out why she is having seizures.  And Master's Academy has a mission trip heading to Costa Rica today.

Thank you all for reading to my banter

bon dieu beni


Monday, July 16, 2012

Well, I am at a baseball tournament. I am grateful that it is early because it is going to be a hot one today. We have two games today and we also get to see Nolan Gannon today play some rookie ball. It is going to be a good day. but, let's talk about yesterday. we had a three hour drive with maybe 100 words spoken. we had. A brief conversation about a huge confederate flag that was waving. I will refrain from anything negative. if I want to put up a huge cross in my yard, that means you have the right to put up your confederate flag. the baseball game was in the sun, hot, humid raining weather. Yeah! I am still realizing that really nothing changes in baseball. the boys just get older, the equipment gets more expensive,the mamas in the stands [generally complaining], and the dad are generally antisocial pacing. I think it is kind of funny. it is elite travelball. Our opinions don't matter nor do stas sometimes. most kids play one game sit the next, regardless. No it is not fair, not even good coaching in my eyes, but it is what it is. you guys know me- if there is a W and an L column I am aiming for the W colum. i am competitive but we all know that these organizations are not about that- somehow the almighty dollar has taken over. The necessary evil's of today's sport. I feel quilty sometimes. I feel like I(like many other parents) are doing nothing more than pimping their kids talent out to the highest bidder. The sad part is that because ther is so much pressure, the love of the game gets lost. Alright, that was my "complaint session since my kid is on the bench with a .417 batting average,an OBP of .600+ and top 5 on the team in RBI's. On to the cancer thing. Wigs are hot, stinking hot. So are scarves and bandanas. this afternoon I may be bald. Men have it easy. Perhaps, I will spot the bald look for women this afternoon. In the OMGosh category, High heat and chemo- not a good mix. I really do like to soak up the sun, but like a lizard. once I get my vitamin D supply, air conditioners are good, very good. So on the way to the game today, I was listening the the radio and they were joking about how many of us drive around town with our check engine light on. it made me think about how many of us walk through life with our "check yourself" light on. Meaning, we know there are things we need to address, but we are OK so we keep going without seeing a mechanic. as a Christian, I am blessed that my mechanic works 24/7 and sent me a specialist to live in me to remind me to "check myself" regularly. I know I have ignored that check engine signal in my car and it has been an something as insignificant as a gas cap off or as serious a oil issues. that is what the Holy Spirit does for us, He reminds us to pay attention. Bumps: The smell of bacon sent my nausea sensor of. god does have a sense of humor. first coffee now bacon, really. Battles: heat and hot flashes Blessings: I GET TO WATCH SOME BASEBALL. See you soon

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I am back

Yes, I know, it has been a long time since I posted last.  June 26th, I was reminded by someone special, is too long and people want to know.  The old saying, "no news is good news, pretty much sums it up.  Chemo  of course was not pleasant.  For a week after, I cannot seem to get food spicy enough to taste.  I add rooster sauce to EVERYTHING.  And the constant metal mouth during tat week is horrible but, on the upside, I feel OK.  All of the side effects, have been relatively mild.  Definitely more good than bad days.  My hair is growing back, grey, of course.  I am the 1:4 person that actually is gaining weight while on chemo.  CRAZY.  It actually is a blessing that my body is strong.  I have my 4th session on Thursday and I have not selected (I have but it is a surprise pict) what hair to wear.  All I am saying is..I need to find an outfit to match.
I have been spending a lot of time working on a quilt for Steven.  I have managed to save all of his uniform tops since peewee baseball and now I am almost done.  Every single square sent me on a emotional ride.  I remembered where we lived, a lot about each season but most of all I remember the people.  Coaches, parents teammates- we have been truly blessed to have shared some incredibly special moments with friends.  
Tomorrow, I take Steven to a tournament in Fort Myers.  I am excited a little bit, because I get to see the games.  I will also get to see an es-student play a pro game. Probably going to scoot to Sanibel for an afternoon if I can.  John and Doug will stay back.
Today, I worked in yard, early morning and mid afternoon.  It felt so good.  But the pool felt better.  Did you guys catch that, I can get into the water.  Incision still not completely closed yet (3months later) but I did get the OK to swim but only in my own pool.  We won't even discuss bathing suits-
I will be more diligent to keep everyone up-to-date on how I feel. 

Let's see:

bumps:  I don't feel so sick but, it doesn't take long for tiredness to kick in and remind me that I indeed am going through chemo.  I did not pick up one prescription for one day-that was a mistake...we will never "skip a dose" even for 8 hours again.  What amazes me is how much chemo meds have changed over the last 5 years.  They now can treat side effects with some pretty basic stuff but timing must be almost perfect. Still going on 15 pills X 2 a day but hey-it works.  I also think that my diet helps- totally eliminated anything processed and most all grains.  It is almost completely paleo with the exception that I still allow some dairy.

battles:  This is going to sound ridiculous but it is bothering me and I might just be bitter.  I have notice that very few people make eye contact with me.  not friends, I am talking about, the cashiers, attendants at stores, people in restaurants, and even customer service rep at Norstroms of all places.  First you battle to have men look at your eyes not your boobs and then when you don't have any- there is an awkward "oh heck, where do I send my eyes".   You that know me, no that I will adjust and step into their line of vision, sometimes just to make them uncomfortable. Sometimes I will even take my hair,scarf or whatever off just to make it worse for them. I have walked out of the house with no "head covering" and it is hard for others.  I am pretty comfortable in my own skin that I am not bothered my my bald head or flat chest.  It is where I am right now, it is who I am.  I can choose hair, I can choose to add "enhancements" to my chest but, I will not do it because someone else is uncomfortable with my cancer ridden body.

blessings:  Family who comes to take care of you.  Students who drop by "just because.  Yard work.  Steven pulling out the "pink bat"  for senior pictures.  Good weather.  Today I saw three huge monarch butterflies- beautiful.  I also saw a very pretty black and white spider with a unique web.  I think I will take of picture of it tomorrow.  This coming from a girl who doesn't like spiders- AT ALL.

so that about sums it up for you guys- I will check in tomorrow.