Archive | December 2008

Connections

il_430xn_47757199Wading through cancer can be frightening, but not if you’ve got someone by your side.  I feel so fortunate to have met dozens of other women facing the same issue these past months.  Most of them online, some through chat forums, some through friends of friends, some who have called me because they’ve heard about me through someone I know.  All are  precious reminders to me that God Himself is reaching down to help me in my time of trouble.  Nobody can quite relate to drainage tubes, tissue expanders, weeks of narcotics, and fears of the future like a fellow cancer patient.  Hanging on to one another, we find peace, comfort, laughter, tears, support, understanding, and a sense that we are not alone in the journey.  SO this is a thank you to all I have found a connection with.  Even to those who have provided and continue to provide meals to our family on the days when my energies are zapped beyond the edge, I say a huge thank you!  God just somehow knows when those days are, and then YOU show up on my doorstep and I am overwhelmed with gratitude of how God uses you to meet my needs. If not for this experience, I never would have met you! I am blessed for knowing you, and I am grateful for all the ways you’ve helped me get to where I am.  SO instead of thinking the negative thoughts of upcoming chemo therapy, hairloss and side affects, I am trying to focus on the many things I have to be thankful for and to reach out to others who I can help during this time also.  It helps a lot  to connect with you.  Now let’s hold on for dear life and never let go!

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This entry was posted on December 18, 2008. 1 Comment

Where Are You Christmas?

Click on the arrow over the picture or go HERE to listen and watch video .  Then get out your tissues!

Ten days ‘Til Christmas!

Are you ready?  I hear that question a lot.  Ready or not, here it comes, I say!  It’s been a little hard for me to focus on Christmas this year.  n642738267_1184323_1498Every sappy toy commercial that comes on television makes me cry.  Every mall crowded with shoppers only reminds me of the shallow life we all live in materialism.  I can’t get myself in the “spirit”.  Even watching the Santa Claus in the big mall yesterday, and all the excited little children, I saw a Santa who was tired, worn out and just doing a job.  Not the Santa I remember.  It felt meaningless.  Being with my husband, holding his hand when I felt tears coming over me just walking through the mall, now THAT has meaning to me.  We feel like we’re just wading through the motions of this season, waiting for a bomb to fall in 2 weeks when I begin chemo treatment.  Why, when I feel so good now does that have to ruin it all?  It just doesn’t feel fair.   I feel a little angry that it’s stealing what could be a wonderful holiday, but then again it reminds me of the ugly side of cancer.  I am grateful, however, for this extra week, and that I don’t have to start tomorrow as originally planned.  An extra week to make caramels, and be with my family, and to wrap gifts and make the special handmade things I love to do for my kids.  Today I am going to Let’s Dish to make up some advanced meals for future weeks, just to have on hand in the freezer.  (Thanks Carin, for taking me!) The boys will be home this week from college.  Christmas is coming, and yeah, ready or not, I’ll be here, and we will all be together!  That’s what it’s all about.

This entry was posted on December 16, 2008. 1 Comment

The Christmas Pageant – A sweet reminder – What it’s really all about this thing called Christmas

THE CHRISTMAS PAGEANT

My husband and I had been happily
married (most of the time)
for five years
but hadn’t been blessed with a baby.

I decided to do some serious
praying and promised God
that if he would give us a
 child,
I would be a perfect mother,
love it with  all my heart
and raise it with His word as my guide.

God answered my prayers
and blessed us with a son.

The next year God blessed us
with another son.

The following year,
He blessed us with
 yet another son.

The year after that we
were blessed with a daughter.

My husband thought we’d
been blessed right into poverty.
We now had four children,
and the oldest was only
four years old.

I learned never to ask God
for anything unless I meant it.
As a minister once told me,
“If you pray for rain,
make sure you carry an umbrella.”

I began reading a few verses
of the Bible to the children
 each day as they lay in their cribs.

I was off to a good start.
God had entrusted me
with four children and
I didn’t want to disappoint Him.

I tried to be patient the day
the children smashed
two dozen eggs on
the kitchen floor searching for baby chicks.

I tried to be understanding…

when they started a hotel for
homeless frogs in the spare bedroom, although it took me nearly two hours
to catch all twenty-three frogs
.


When my daughter poured
ketchup all over herself and
rolled up in a blanket to see
how it felt to be a hot dog,
I tried to see the humor
rather than the mess.

In spite of changing over
twenty-five thousand diapers,
never eating a hot meal and never sleeping for more
than thirty minutes at a time,
I still thank God daily for my children.

While I couldn’t keep my promise to be a perfect mother –
I didn’t even come close…
I did keep my promise
to raise them in the Word of God.

I knew I was missing the mark
just a little when I told
my daughter we were going to church to worship God,
and she wanted to bring
a bar of soap along to
“wash up” Jesus, too.

Something was lost
in the translation when
I explained that
God gave us everlasting life,
and my son thought it was
generous of God to give
us his “last wife.”

My proudest moment came
during the children’s
Christmas pageant.

My daughter was playing Mary,
two of my sons were shepherds and my youngest son was a wise man.
This was their moment to shine.

My five-year-old shepherd
had practiced his line,
“We found the babe wrapped
in swaddling clothes.”

But he was nervous and said, “The baby was wrapped
in wrinkled clothes.”

My four-year-old “Mary” said,
“That’s not ‘wrinkled clothes,’ silly.

That’s dirty, rotten clothes.”

A wrestling match broke out
between Mary and the shepherd
and was stopped by an angel,
who bent her halo and lost
her left wing.

I slouched a little lower
in my seat when Mary
dropped the doll representing
Baby Jesus, and it bounced
down the aisle crying, “Mama-mama.”

Mary grabbed the doll,
wrapped it back up
and held it tightly as
the wise men arrived.

My other son stepped forward
wearing a bathrobe and a paper crown,
knelt at the manger and announced,
“We are the three wise men,
and we are bringing gifts
of gold, common sense
  and fur.”

The congregation
dissolved into laughter,
and the pageant
got a standing ovation.

“I’ve never enjoyed a Christmas program as much as this one,”
laughed the pastor, wiping tears from his eyes.

“For the rest of my life,
I’ll never hear the
Christmas story without
thinking of
gold, common sense and fur.”

“My children are my pride and my joy and my greatest
blessing,” I said as I dug
through my purse for an aspirin.

Jesus had no servants,
yet they called Him Master.

Had no degree,
yet they called Him Teacher.


Had no medicines,
yet they called Him Healer.

Had no army,
yet kings feared Him.

He won no military battles,
yet He conquered the world.

He committed no crime,
yet they crucified Him.

He was buried in a tomb,
yet He lives today.

Feel honored
to serve such a Leader
who loves us.

This entry was posted on December 14, 2008. 1 Comment

I’m Free As A Bird!

birdcageI finally got my plumbing system removed today after more than 6 weeks! Yeah!  It is so freeing not to be bound my tubes and hoses and pouches at the waist, not to mention the constant record keeping for the doctors.  My lymph node incision site is not healing, though, so they have postponed my chemo therapy to December 29th.  That is fine with me, since it will actually give me an extra week to get ready for Christmas, and I don’t care so much about being laid up for New Years Eve….a few glasses of champagne on that night usually would put me under the table anyways, so it won’t really be much different!   🙂 Now we can relax for a couple of weeks, have no doctors visits all next week (wow!)  and the boys will be home from college beginning Tuesday next week….glad they can have me as my cheery self a little longer.   That’s not to say I don’t still have my “moments”.  The reality of it all still sometimes comes to bear on my shoulders and I can’t hold back the tears.  God bless the ones who get me through, like friends and neighbors who do just the right things at just the right time.  Thank you so much.  And the prayers must be what carry me through most days-so be sure and keep those up! Here’s an original song whose words touched me today – click the arrow – and by the way notice the NEW link at the  top “Prior Posts” to look up previous postings going back to the end of summer

This entry was posted on December 10, 2008. 1 Comment

Doctor Visit – Monday Dec. 8

winter-leavesWell, I made the trek to see the doc today because I feared I had an infection going on at the lymph node biopsy incision site, but luckily, all is okay and it’s just taking unusually long to heal.  So…..he ordered blood work to check white cell count and also see how this long term anti-biotic is affecting me…6 weeks is a long time to be on it since it’s the heavy duty type.  He said he will leave the other decision (of when to remove my final drain) up to the plastic surgeon whom I go back to see Wednesday this week.  The drain and the wound all have to be cleared up before chemo starts (right now scheduled to start Dec. 17 – next week) so that may get delayed until after Christmas, but before New Years.  We’ll find that out soon.  Being flexible is a must with this cancer stuff!  I am learning to roll woth the punches!  Good news is that I get free valet parking at the hospital parking garage!   The guy who brought my car to me today loved the music I happened to have in my CD player, which I apparently had on pretty loud cuz he came out of my car jammin’ and dancing and wished he could keep riding to the tunes!  Thanks for the CD, Sara!  What was the song you ask?  It has to do with our social obsession with hair, and with mine coming out soon, I love this ong! Pay close attention to the words at 2 minutes and 40 seconds into the song/video…Click HERE to listen!  Enjoy! (Printed version of words below)

Is that India.Arie? What happened to her hair?

Little girl with the press and curl
Age eight I got a “Jheri curl”
Thirteen I got a relaxer
I was a source of so much laughter
At fifteen when it all broke off
Eighteen and went all natural
February two thousand and two
I went and did
What I had to do
Because it was time to change my life
To become the women that I am inside
Ninety-seven dreadlock all gone
I looked in the mirror
For the first time and saw that HEY….

I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations no no
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am a soul that lives within

What’d she do to her hair? I don’t know it look crazy
I like it. I might do that.
Umm I wouldn’t go that far. I know

Good hair means curls and waves
Bad hair means you look like a slave
At the turn of the century
It’s time for us to redefine who we be
You can shave it off
Like a South African beauty
Or get in on lock
Like Bob Marley
You can rock it straight
Like Oprah Winfrey
If its not what’s on your head
Its what’s underneath and say HEY….

Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person?

Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend? Oooh

Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity?

I am expressing my creativity..

Breast Cancer and Chemotherapy
Took away her crown and glory
She promised God if she was to survive
She would enjoy everyday of her life ooh
On national television
Her diamond eyes are sparkling
Bald headed like a full moon shining
Singing out to the whole wide world like HEY…

If I wanna shave it close
Or if I wanna rock locks
That don’t take a bit away
From the soul that I got

If I wanna where it braided
All down my back
I don’t see what wrong with that

Is that India.Arie?
Ooh look she cut her hair!
I like that, its kinda PHAT
I don’t know if I could do it.
But it looks sharp, it looks nice on her
She got a nice shaped head
She got an apple head
I know right?
It’s perfect.

This entry was posted on December 8, 2008. 1 Comment