Archive | March 2010

Gratitude

My gratitude journal

“Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.” — Author Unknown

After the retreat I attended last week, I came home and made gratitude journals for myself and the women I roomed with at the lodge during our retreat. I had been reminded that a life lived in gratitude cannot be a depressed life. I was reminded that “God inhabits the praises of His people” – Psalms 22:3.

So with that, I have begin writing down a daily praise…a reflection of one of my life’s many blessings. The little journals I found contain 200 sheets which is more than enough to record a year’s worth of thoughts of thankfulness! I found them at the dollar store and simply printed out the words on sticker paper and there you have it!

My most recent entries included being thankful for :

1.) a warm house and a bed, 3 meals a day (I saw a homeless family living in the woods near my home)

2.) No more dripping nose from chemo (it took about 3 months for this to finally stop)

3.) The smell of baking brownies! Yum!

It doesn’t always have to be profound! Sometimes it can just be a happy thought.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights..” James 1:17

What are you thankful for today?  Write it down, share it with a friend. It will brighten their day and yours too!

This entry was posted on March 30, 2010. 1 Comment

Be Still

This swan on the pond had a broken wing. It reminded me that we are all broken but God can make something beautiful of us!

I enjoyed the weekend away with the ladies from my church (Burke Community Church) at a retreat getaway in the hills of the Shenandoahs. It was a time for reflection and “re-grouping” the different facets of my life..The theme was “Clean Sweep”, like the TV show where a family makes a complete change from their cluttered mess to an organized, crisp clean appearance. Like the show, we must clear the clutter from the rooms of our “house”, by allowing God to take out the things that don’t belong, and replacing them with what is only good, perfect and of use.

But just like the show, sometimes we (I) like to blame someone or something else in my life for the messes, when really, only I (with God’s help) can be responsible for cleaning it up. I enjoyed a long walk in the woods with two friends, and soaking up the warm sunshine we were blessed with all weekend (if not hot water! Ha ha!)

In my time alone with God, I thought about all the restless thoughts that consume my days. Worry and stress tend to overtake me and I need to release that and be still. I need to remember how far He has brought me in the last year and that He will remain faithful to me no matter what storms blow. He never changes. The video below is a song that we meditated upon as we prayed. I was blessed by it as I hope you will be too.

Peace and quiet and some good laughs too!

Soaking up the sun and resting her head on the promises of God (literally!)

This entry was posted on March 24, 2010. 2 Comments

Update

The mri and ct scan came back yesterday. My cervical and thoracic spine have “multiple hemangiomas”. These are typically benign vascular tumors. Now I am waiting for my appointment with orthopedics to find out what we can do about it. Lots of waiting these days. Still no relief from the numbness in my back.

From what I am reading these can become large enough to cause compression fractures but can be shrunken using radiation. I really have to find out more when I talk to the doctor but the good news is that my oncologist isn’t concerned about a cancer of any kind at this point.  Radiology recommended a follow up ct scan in June to see if there are any changes on a nodule that showed up in my lung (which honestly may be absolutely nothing).

Thank you for your continued prayers.

Early Morning Pin Cushion!

Today was my CT scan at the hospital. It was a rainy, dark Sunday morning drive to Walter Reed. Day Light Savings time began last night, so my 6:45 a.m. trip was a dark one. One good thing about appointments there on the weekends are that there are plenty of parking spaces in the parking garage!

This test was one using IV contrast , and true to my experience in MRI 2 weeks ago, the IV start was not easy. After 5 (count ’em, yes FIVE) tries on my left arm, the technician called for someone to come from the ER who might be more experienced with collapsed and damaged veins like mine. As  last resort, my right arm is always reserved for needle sticks because of the risk of lymphedema or infection from having had lymph nodes removed on that arm pit 18 months ago.  But today there really was no other option. The ER guy was able to get it in my right arm on the first try.

The scan only took about 15 minutes. After they were done the tech asked if I had any other tests with contrast today. I thought, hey! Let’s see if MRI could squeeze me in today rather than in 10 days when I have an appointment scheduled. So they called over to ask if I could come. They said ‘sure’,  but that I may have to wait a while. I didn’t mind waiting, especially if that meant NOT having to have another IV started for their test. So they kept the IV in my arm, and as I walked down the hall to MRI I said a little prayer. “Lord, please let them do my test today. I need results quickly, I need resolution to this problem quickly. Please God. Please.” After waiting only about 10 minutes, they brought me back! Thank you Lord!!

So now I ask for your prayers that whatever is going on in my back, causing this awkward and annoying numbness, that they find it, treat it, and I can move on without worry.

It’s still raining outside. Tomorrow maybe the sun will shine.

This entry was posted on March 15, 2010. 3 Comments

Spring visitors

These two feathered friends decided to pay me a visit this morning but Colby, our dog, quickly scared them away. Their sudden appearance must mean that spring is on its way soon! These Canadian geese are part time residents at the lake behind our home most of the year, but the lake has been covered in ice for the past 3 months. Warmer temperatures have been a welcome change this week, and a reminder that the dark days in winter, as in life, do not last.

Hope springs eternal!

I am still dealing with the numbness and tingling in my upper back and will see the oncologist  again tomorrow to discuss the next step, and possibly a CAT or PET scan to see what might be happening “inside”. I wake up to this sensation and I go to bed with this sensation. It is difficult not to let it consume my thoughts. Your prayers for a quick resolution are appreciated!

Last weekend our daughter Kelli and her boyfriend sang at a Haiti benefit concert at their high school. I hope you’ll enjoy their performance here:

This entry was posted on March 11, 2010. 1 Comment

Is it Spring yet?

March is here but it is still cold and dreary in Virginia. Seems we’ve been waiting for a warm day for months. Even as a write there is drizzle on the windows and a “wintry mix” in the forecast.  I am holed up in my basement while the contractors work on my kitchen floors replacing old tiles. It’s been a long two days without access to my kitchen or the main floor of the house.

We had ice damage from last month’s storm where ice dams were created along our windows causing leaking into three of our rooms and drywall and insulation damage.  It’s going to be weeks of repairs and construction, which we don’t look forward to, but may give us a little bit of a housing face lift. I guess in the end it will all be worth it.  Tim and I are designing a new tile kitchen back splash to work on together which should make things look new again!

Last week’s MRI revealed nothing too alarming, but concerning enough that my oncologist is sending me to the neurologist whom I will see this Friday. The numbness in my back persists and could be a result of a vascular tumor found in my spine.  He doesn’t believe it to be cancerous and more in the realm of neurology.  Stay tuned! As the old saying goes, ‘if it’s not one thing it’s another’. That certainly feels true for me these days!

This entry was posted on March 3, 2010. 2 Comments