Praising God Even When It’s Not Easy

I am so very blessed and it is so easy to Praise God when things are going great. My treatments have not been horrible. I had heard the horror stories– vomiting, blood transfusions, etc. so I am thrilled that it hasn’t been that bad.
Monday we had our first hiccup. It was just a small hiccup and these things happen. My catheter came out of my port undetected during treatment. Alicia (my nurse) found it when my treatment was done. Fortunately it didn’t totally come out where the chemo was running down my chest, but did get into my body. Just not into the vein. Where did it go? Under my skin. My chest was swollen. Alicia contacted my oncologist for instructions. He had her flush the port again to be sure it was clear, then he had me do heat on the area for 20 min, ice for 20, and then nothing for 20.This will help the chemo absorb into my body. I did that for about 4 hours and the swelling came down. The itching did not. They do put Benadryl into my drip but I still had an allergic reaction. The area is really red and itches/burns like a sunburn. I only got 3 hours of sleep so I’m hoping the oncologist will let me take a Benadryl to help with that.
It has been hard not to whine and cry (I admit I’ve done my share), but then I read a post from my sister from another mister on FB. Her sister is laying in a hospital bed in the last stages of her life here on earth, waiting to go home to see her Lord. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when someone you love is going through that. I can’t imagine losing any of my sisters. It is not something I want to even think about.
I have been up since 1:00 am since I cannot sleep due to the itching and hot flashes I usually get after chemo. Whenever I start thinking about whining I start praying. Oh sure I am still whining a bit– part of it has to do with being tired. But it helps me focus on something other than my problems. Our own problem are never a bad as we think and never as bad as someone else’s.

Dana Do Right- if you read this please know that I love you with all my heart. I wish I could be with you right now. Sending love and hugs.

Thanksgiving Challenge

Halloween is over and Christmas has taken over the stores. Wait a second… isn’t there another holiday in there…. Ummmm I think it’s called Thanksgiving?? YES! Thanksgiving! Some people think of it as Black Thursday. Why do we think we can skip over Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving should be everyday since we should be thankful every day.

Since being diagnosed with the little c, I am learning to be thankful for the little things in my life and not just the big things.

I am thankful that I accepted God into my heart years ago. Having Him as my Lord and Savior has helped me take on whatever comes my way. Knowing God is with me gives me an awesome sense of peace. There is nothing like it.

I am thankful for Jarl. We have had our problems, but I believe we are stronger because of them. He has my back and I hope he knows I’ve got his. Jarl doesn’t smother me as I’m going through cancer, but he’s there to pick me up when I need him to. He does an awesome job of taking care of my needs. I love him so much.

I am thankful for that 6’2″ son of mine! He’s has grown into such a sweet young man and I can’t believe he is 21. Chris says it like it is- black and white. Oh sure, there’s many times when I want to strangle him (what parent doesn’t sometimes?) but I don’t know what I’d do without him.

I am thankful for my best friend Mary. I can’t think of anything better than having your sister for your best friend. I am lost if I don’t either talk to her or email her every day. She makes me laugh and says I make her laugh. She knows just what to say and if she doesn’t, oh well. I can’t believe that my having cancer has brought us even closer. Sometimes I don’t know where I end and she begins– we are that close.

I am thankful for my pets– Max the cat and our two dogs Suzy and Miley. Crazy thing about pets- they get under your skin! Their love is so unconditional.

I am thankful we caught my cancer early. I am thankful I have wonderful friends and family that support me in many ways. I am thankful I have a job I really love and co-workers that are awesome. I am thankful that each day is a new day that I can be thankful for!!!

There is much more that I am thankful for that I could go on for days. My challange to my readers is this– each day find something you’re thankful for may it be big or small.

Feeling Almost Normal

I just completed my 2nd chemo treatment with the new drug. I’m going every week now for 12 weeks. Last week was a bit rough but I think I found the key–remembering to drink LOTS of water. I drank 2 quarts on Monday and yesterday I felt almost normal! What an awesome feeling!! I woke up feeling refreshed, went to work for part of the day and even when I got home I still felt good! I was able to pick up the living room a little and unload and reload the dishwasher without having to sit down and take a breath… or two. I had Chris run his clothes hamper to the basement and I did a load for him. The stairs didn’t wear me out! This morning I ran a load of dishes, washed towels and cleaned the cat litter. I think Max appreciated that! I am a bit more tired than I was yesterday but still going strong. I even dropped money off to Chris at Genesis so he could eat lunch. I would hate for him to starve! I usually would have had him come to the car but since his cell wasn’t on, I went in. I think my wig sort of took the staff and client by surprise as they all just sort of stared at me instead of saying “hi Chris’s mom”. As I walked out, I heard Chris say that yes it’s a wig. She’s got the big C. LOL Gotta love how he just says it like it is.

Speaking of my chemo treatment… I got a surprise vistor. Jarl picked Chris up from Genesis and instead of taking him home, Chris came to see me!! His first time. Imagine my surprise when I opened my eyes (yes, I was dozing) and saw his beautiful face. This was a big deal for him as he has not wanted to come with me– which is understandable– who does? He liked how bright and cheerful the room is and told me it wasn’t what he imagined. He thought I was being tortured. Well- usually not during chemo, that comes later! He asked some questions about the IV and my port. My boy is really growing up. I don’t expect him to go again but at least he faced a fear head on. I’m a proud mama!!

God Is Good All The Time

And all the time God is Good!!

He is amazing!! He answers prayers in His own time and at the time we really need it. Chris isn’t able to express his emotions easily but I know when something is bothering him. I let him get it out and then I ask him what is bothering him and then he is able to tell me. Two weeks ago we went through some angry nights and when I was finally able to talk to him about it, he told me he didn’t think there was a God. He believed God gave me cancer and that I was going to die. It broke my heart. I tried to tell him that God didn’t not give it to me but Chris didn’t want to talk about it. How do you explain something to someone who needs to see something to believe in it? That has been a problem for us all along.

Then God did His thing. I went in for a mammogram and ultrasound to see how things were progressing. Long story short-they had a hard time finding it!!!! The techs, the radiologist could barely see it!!!! The lump has shrunk to more than half its original size!! Praise God, Praise God!! The first person I called was Jarl of course. And then I called Chris. He started crying and said “Mama, God did this!! He is curing you!” Hallelujah!! Is this the reason I’m going through this, to show Chris what God can do so Chris can see it? Then this is so worth it!! I want God to use me to bring people to Christ. He is using me!!!

I started my new chemo yesterday. It is every week for 12 weeks or just in time for New Year’s and my b’day!! It shouldn’t be as rough on me and has less side effects to worry about. They put Benadryl in my IV for allergic reactions. They must put in a large dose as I got very sleepy. It also gives me some awesome hot flashes!! Dr. H was pleased with the results of the imagings. When I am done with chemo, he will send me back to my surgeon in Des Moines and we will see what the next step is. I don’t quite see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the LIGHT is shining on me!!!

Just a Little Poop Between Friends

Spoiler alert– this might have a little too much TMI (too much information) for some of my followers.
Today we’re gonna talk about chemo and pooping. LOL! Chemotherapy can give you diarrhea and it can give you constipation. When my brother in law Ron was going through chemo, a good day for him was when he would fill the little bowl in the toilet. I feel a kind of kinship with him now when I go to the bathroom. I asked Mary how she felt about me thinking about Ron while in the bathroom. She thought it was sweet. Really?
Diarrhea usually hits the week of chemo but soon the constipation sets in and when I mean sets in, I mean like concrete! Hard as rocks! After talking to my oncologist he suggested Milk of Magnesia or Miralax. I have used MOM when I had Chris and had success with it. Chris tried Miralax and didn’t care for the gritty taste. So I decided to go with MOM.
The directions recommends adults take 2 to 4 TBSP- preferably at bedtime with a 8 oz glass of water.
Ok- first of all what 52 year old woman wants to drink 8 oz of water at bedtime?? That alone has me getting up every hour through the night!
Second- the directions do not indicate that MOM could kick in within an hour!!!
So not only would a person be getting up to go pee several times a night, now a person would be getting up to poo. Well- actually your stomach starts gurgling and cramping so you really won’t be going to sleep. I’ll just say it was a late night.
Now, how to end a blog on poop? Gotta go!

Hot or Cold- Hot Flashes Second Time Around

Didn’t I have to go through hot flashes when I had my hysterectomy? Seriously? At least then I had a hormone replacement drug to keep them under control. Not this time. Nooooo. One minute I’m freezing and the next hotter than Matthew McConaughy. Yeah that hot!! One minute I’m putting on layers and the next I’m Kojak the stripper. I work up more of a sweat just sitting than I do when I’m exercising. Yes, people I have exercised. More than once. Last week someone had BO and it wasn’t the other two people that live here. Well-maybe one of them had it too… We have two ceiling fans- one in the living room and one over our bed. They have seen more action since chemo started than ever. I really need a remote to operate them!
I really worried that I’m gonna start stripping in public. You know–at work, at church, at Walmart. OH NO I’m gonna be in those pictures of Walmart people!! I hope that they at least blur my face.

Dad’s Desk

Anyone who knows me knows I love to scrapbook. Like most scrapbookers I am always looking for ways to organize my stuff. This past couple weeks I’ve looked at some of my old scrapbooking magazines and when I mean old I mean from 2005!! There’s some great ideas that I would love to be able to create. If I could I would paint everything white, have white shelves, desk, and maybe paint one wall my favorite color- red. I already have a six foot table and the most incredible desk. It was my Dad’s desk!

Dad had had this desk as long as I can remember. He bought it at a college sale. It is 3 ft 2 in deep, 5 ft wide and 3 ft tall. Empty it would take four guys to lift it. Fortunately, it comes apart into three pieces. Dad made a big box with cubbyholes that sat on the back. He put things like sales books, phone books, mail and much more.

From the mid 50s until the early 70s Dad was a milkman. I have great memories of the milk route. Dad delivered more than just milk. He also delivered bread, pizza, and ice cream. It was at his desk that he kept his books, wrote out bills, and whatever dads do. Dad also had a phone extension on his desk which his daughters used when they had a very important call–you know– talking to girlfriends about boys, talking to boys…you know!! I loved to sit at his desk while talking on the phone. Dad’s desk was usually covered with his work but he seemed to know where everything was. The desk had wooden trays (I don’t know what they were called) on each side right above the top drawers that you pulled out to use for more surface. They were covered with green fabric like a pool table. Dad kept little notes on the cubbies as reminders. One such note sticks in my memory as a testament to Dad’s faith. “The Holy One is more important than a hole in one.” Dad didn’t golf and you better be truly sick to miss mass on Sunday.

Dad’s office was in the southwest corner of our basement growing up. My bedroom was right above and I could hear Dad opening and shutting the drawers and it gave me a sense of comfort. It was under the desk where we would take shelter in tornado warnings. It was where we were the night before Mary’s wedding and I’m sure I would have been there when the tornado of 79 hit south of town– if I would have been home.

When Dad moved into an apartment we cleaned out the house and I got the desk. At the time, I thought I just wanted it because it would be a great scrapbooking desk. I now know that it is more than just a desk. It is a part of my dad.

Dad’s desk was big and strong as I always thought Dad was. I am so glad I have his desk. It’s like he’s still with me reminding me to be strong.

No, I won’t be painting this desk white, red or any other color. It is perfect the way it is.

Dad had his desk

Dad had his desk