Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:13, 14 NKJV

Friday, January 31, 2014

Another Reveal

So today - I shared a photo of myself in one of my hats on Facebook.
 
When my Mother first saw me in a hat she was a bit startled. It was the week end that I began to lose my hair and so since we were going to go walking I thought I would wear one of my hats so that I would not be out in the wind and maybe all my hair blow away...lol...truthfully I was a bit scared it might happen. Anyway so I wore the hat. And like I said when my Mom first saw me she was a bit startled- she told me that it jarred her memory and she was reminded that I had cancer.

And truthfully, I totally got where she was coming from. I will be going about my life and then something will remind me and it is something that kind of startles you. She warned me that people might react kind of weird when they saw me - without hair - wearing hats- not because I looked bad or anything like that but because I don't usually wear hats so it is very different.
 
So that is why I shared my photo. I was going to have to get out and go to a couple of places that I had not been to without hair yet and it was a little scary and when I took the photo I decided it was a good time to share it on Facebook so that others could get used to seeing me like this. And that way make it easier on them and me.
 
 
You can see on my neck in the shadow the spot that is really red because of where the bandaid had been. It does not hurt so it's all good.

I am still hurting in my calves and my feet today but I am doing better overall and that is good. I was able to get to my Block of the Month meetings- where I won the door prize and was able to pick out a pattern.

 
I also got gas - for 3.05 - every where else was running 3.19 and then on my GasBuddy app. for my phone said that there was an increase coming. So I was thrilled when HEB gas station still had their gas at 3.05.
 
I went by Aldi's and got groceries. They have some really great prices. If you have one in your area and have not checked it out yet- it is worth the effort. And no I don't get paid to advertise for them - I am just so thrilled to have this option of a place to shop and get some really good deals.
 
Ok - I better get off of here and get things done around here.
Hope you all have a great week end!! :O)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Starting the Upswing .. I think

Ok - Just wanted to check in and let you all know that I am doing a bit better. I am still kind of sore but not any where near where I was on Monday or Tuesday. I am so very thankful that it has calmed down some. Had to take a pain pill before bed last night and don't know how tonight will go yet- I am thinking if I do have to it would only be a half of one. The pain pills I have are where I could take them every 4 hours - so like I have said before I try to take the least amount possible. But I have to say I am so thankful for them on those super hard days. And have to be more willing to take them before I get in too bad of shape. Monday - after a hot bath at about 5-6pm- I was so miserable - I almost just went to bed. Glad my husband suggested a pain pill. And after an hour it took the edge off.

Tomorrow evening our son will be picking up his daughter. This will be the first time that we have seen her since my husband and I shaved our heads. I am hoping that since I wore a hat around her last time she was here that there will not be much questioning - I get a little emotional just thinking about it. I am praying that it goes smoothly and that it can be explained without any added stress on her.

I had to reschedule my genetic testing till the last of Feb. I just knew I would not be up for the appointment this morning- and sure enough - I was just waking up when my appointment would have been. I had called earlier in the week and rescheduled. They are all so understanding - they realize that we just don't feel good sometimes and we have to listen to our bodies.

I try to plan things now - at least a week from a chemo session - that first week is rough. I have been lucky and the next two weeks are not as rough on me. So those are the weeks I plan things. Next week I have a "Look Good Feel Better" class that the American Cancer Society puts on - since a persons skin tends to change it's chemistry and since many people in chemo - not only lose their hair on their heads but all the other hair - they put this class on that helps teach people how to do their make up and all - and if I have heard correctly they give free hypoallergenic make to the cancer patients. That is so nice of them.

I have already noticed that my skin is more sensitive to things than it used to. I have told you how I have a red spot on my neck where a bandaid was - over a week ago. Well it is still there.

Tomorrow morning I have Block of the Month. I have not been here since before my hysterectomy. I missed two meetings due to dr appointments and chemo. I will be getting groceries afterwards. It will be the first time to get groceries since I have lost my hair -without wearing a wig. I just can not wear the wig for long periods of time and trying to save it for going to church and stuff like that. Anyway so I am a little nervous about going to these two places but it should go fine. It is just a part of life and I need to be able to continue to take care of these types of things.

Well I think I will get off of here and get my clothes and stuff ready for tomorrow and then I think it will be time for a hot bath and getting myself ready for bed. I think I will read a chapter in my "Chicken Every Sunday" book and try to get to bed early. Hoping you all have a good evening. :O)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

In Training for...Perseverance


1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 
            2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 
            3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
             4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
             5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5:1-5
 
This is a passage that really stood out to me in this week's sermon. And I am going to be getting my Bible Commentary out and doing some more studying about this passage.

I can so relate to this passage.
 
Last night was pretty rough- I was hurting. I took a nice hot bath and that soothes my aches and pains some but I ended up having to take some pain meds. I really don't like taking pain meds.

When I have my hysterectomy - I did not even take half of my 15 pills that were prescribed to me. I was thankful I still had some of them left over - when I had the port put in. I used some more of them. And then once I started hurting on my 1st Chemo - I was thankful to have a couple of those same pills left over. The Dr called in a prescription for me - so I have more now. And I am just going to have to realize that sometimes during this journey - I will have to take some pain meds.

Last night I was in such bad shape- I had really wanted to just go crawl into bed- but it was only 6pm and had I done that - I would have been waking up super early and thrown my schedule off. It took about an hour or so but the edge was taking off of the pain and it was more bearable.
 
I had to take half of a pill earlier - I am trying to go with the lowest amount possible. I am glad that my pills are a really low dosage so that makes me feel a little better.
 
This morning I had a bout with constipation- took me about an hour to be able to use the bathroom. I am really trying to make choices to help with all of these side effects. And trying to keep note of what I am doing that has worked and what does not work. And researching what can help in the future. So far this time has been a bit easier in that respect.

God has used people to share helpful information with me - that at the time I was not sure if it was helpful but am so thankful for the info now.
 
I wanted to share a cute photo of me and my sister. I am the baby.

Aren't we adorable?
 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Honesty Through the Journey

Some have said how much they appreciate how honest I am through this journey with cancer and I wanted to write a little back ground as to why I have taken this approach.

When I started my blog almost 4 years ago - I started it because my husband had been diagnosed with early onset of Parkinson's. I have hoped that by sharing on a blog - that I would be able to meet up with other people in the same boat as I was in. I thought it would be helpful to find others that were going through the same things and find encouragement in the stories and experiences of other people.

 Well it did not work like that at all. But I can see God's hand on the progression of my blog. He has led me to be honest and to be an encourager. These things are needed. I am hoping that by sharing my story, that I will be able to help others along the way. Either through cancer - or through what ever they may be going through. I have been through some very painful, hurtful things - that I am not able to openly share here on my blog- but this cancer journey- I can share this journey. I am trying to be as honest as I can without sharing too much information. There are things that I don't share. There are something that I have had a hard time figuring out how to share it without seeming to complain too much. But I really want to give you all a true sense of what this journey is like - so that if you end up knowing someone going through this kind of thing or going through something like this yourself - you will be better able to understand their journey.

Life is hard and we do well to do what we can to encourage those around us. And I have to say that I am so encouraged by all of your thoughtful comments and encouragement. You have helped to uplift me when I am down. Your prayers and love have done my heart a lot of good. And I am thankful for each and everyone of you. I hope you all have a wonderful day! God bless each of you in a special way. :O)
 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Checkin' In

 

Just wanted to check in and let you know how things are going. This week end we have been blessed with really nice weather. I was also blessed to have my Mom come pick me up and take me to the park to go walking. I am trying to keep my energy up and also help combat constipation- which at least once of my chemo meds and my meds for nausea - cause for me. And last chemo - I was miserable on two different days - just don't want that again. So I am doing what I can to keep from getting that bad.

I have noticed that this time I am having the aches and pains throughout my body sooner. I thought last time that I did not start having them till after the first three days after chemo. Anyway some of the pain comes and stays for a while - some of it hits sharp and hangs with me a bit and then lets up. You never know where it will hit or for how long it will hit.

I have also noticed this time that I am becoming more sensitive to things - had a rash on both of my arms- I had noticed that my elbows were dry and had used some Neutrogena stuff - that I have used for a LONG time- well it seems that it caused a rash this time. So my husband bought me some hypoallergenic stuff. I am disappointed about that. I love lotions that smell good. That is just me- I like products that smell good. That is part of the enjoyable part of using what ever product it is.

Remember last week when I had the stitch coming out? Well I had put a bandaid over it - over night cause we did not know what it was and I did not want to accidently pull it. Anyway yesterday where the adhesive had been got really red and is still red. I have not had a bandaid on it since Wed morning. Anyway so that is another way I can tell that I am getting sensitive to a lot of things that I had not been sensitive to before.

There are so man elements about cancer and chemo that I had not realized before my journey through it. It is so much more complicated than I had even thought that it was.

I was able to get my block of the month finished for this up coming meeting on Friday morning. I missed the last two month's meetings because of a dr apt. and Chemo. But I will make it to this one- most likely. I have one more block to finish up to get caught up - just have not gotten it done yet.
Photo: What I'm working on ~ on this Saturday night :0)
I will post a photo of it when I get done. I think it will be a another cool block.

Well I am tired and I think I will go rest a bit more.

I hope you all are having a good week end.

Our beautiful weather is leaving tonight and the next two days or so will be quite chilly. Ya'll stay warm. :O)
 
 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

"a very present help in trouble."

Devotional from "Streams in the Desert" :
 
 
Why standeth thou afar off, O Lord? Psalms 10:1

God is "a very present help in trouble." But He permits trouble to pursue us, as though He were indifferent to its overwhelming pressure, that we may be brought to the end of ourselves, and led to discover the treasure of darkness, the unmeasurable gains of tribulation.

We may be sure that He who permits the suffering is with us in it. It may be that we shall see Him only when the trial is passing; but we must dare to believe that He never leaves the crucible. Our eyes are holden; and we cannot behold Him whom our soul loveth. It is dark--the bandages blind us so that we cannot see the form of our High Priest; but He is there, deeply touched. Let us not rely on feeling, but on faith in His unswerving fidelity; and though we see Him not, let us talk to Him. Directly we begin to speak to Jesus, as being literally present, though His presence is veiled, there comes an answering voice which shows that He is in the shadow, keeping watch upon His own. Your Father is as near when you journey through the dark tunnel as when under the open heaven!
--Daily Devotional Commentary

What though the path be all unknown?
What though the way be drear?
Its shades I traverse not alone
When steps of Thine are near.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Chemo Today- part 3

I really want to give you guys a true sense about what my chemo day is like - just in case someone reading this ends up having chemo - or someone coming across this page - will get an accurate idea of how my day is.
 
My last post Chemo Today. Gives a very good idea- but there is something that I needed to add. Before they start my Chemo drugs- I actually get two small bags- first one is a steroid- and then I get a bag with Benadryl and something else for nausea and the like. My husband says it an upper bag and then a downer bag. The nurse said, "Yeah- that is kind of what it is." Each of these bags take about 15 minutes. Then it is time to start the 1st Chemo bag. Not everyone has two chemo's to take at one time.
 
I also wanted to share a couple of photos of the view that I had today. I ended up on the end row- that just has 4 chairs- facing this wall. It is very relaxing there-since most of the action is behind you on the other rows.
 

This is what I had told you all about in another post. How a lady named Holly had chemo there and just did not like how sterile it looked with all plain white walls. So she paid for someone to come and paint these beautiful murals on the walls. It is all the way around.
Under this quote is a place pained telling who the lady that paid to have all of this work done. I will try to get a photo of it later and share.
 
Anyway I am home and doing well. I am tired but that is no surprise. My voice has been kind of raspy off and on. Gonna gargle with warm salt water - just in case I am trying to get sick.
I hope you all have a happy Sabbath and a great week end!
Love to you all and thank you for the prayers!  :O)

Checking In - chemo day part 2

Just checking in, using my sons ipad. He is so sweet to let me use this thing.  I got done with my first bag at 2:10pm and they started the last bag at 2:45pm. It should be done at 3:00pm. Then they have to flush it and then they should be able to unhook me and release me. Yeah! I was hoping to get out of here at a decent time. Last time we did not leave till 5pm.

Today I worn one of my hats. This is the first tome to wear just a hat in public. I've handled it pretty we'll. of course I am around a lot of people in the similar situation. Not everyone doing chemo lose there hair . Wishing one of those chemo treatments would have worked for me, but that is not the path that I was called to walk. So I continue to walk in faith. God is in control and He is giving me the strength and courageous needed.

Good news is that I have not had any bad reactions. I was told that the taxol(my long chemical) tends to cause reactions in the first few treatments( can cause anytime throughout the treatments). The Carbo- it tends to have reactions the more treatments that you have. Good thing us the nurses up here now that and keep an eye on us.

Today I was able to snooze some after the first chemo was started. It takes 3 hours, so there is plenty of time to rest. I am still tired, but I can rest later, or/and go to bed early tonight. I really think I will.

Hoping you all are doing well. Have a. Great weekend!! :0)

Chemo Today

Ok - So today is a Chemo day. We have to be at the Oncology place by 8:30am. We check in and then I wait to have my blood work done. Then I wait to see the Dr. Once the Dr has my blood results back - and my numbers are alright and I am cleared to have chemo - then I am sent back across the hallway to wait to be called back to the infusion room.

That's when I get hooked up to the IV's - so thankful for the port each time. It is still a little sore- but so much better than them having to dig to find a vein each and every time.

First I get the concoction of several things to keep me from being nauseous, keep me from an allergic reaction, and a steroid to give me some energy - since the chemo kind of knocks a lot of energy out.

Once this is all done- it is time to begin the first chemo drug - which takes about 3 hours or so. Once that one is done it is time for chemo drug number 2. This one only takes about 45 minutes to an hour.

Then it is time to flush the port and unhook me. And then it is time to go home. Last time all this took us till 5pm because they were so busy. I am sure hoping that today goes a lot smoother and that we can get out of there at a decent time and hopefully by pass rush hour traffic.

It is a little discouraging sometimes to be sitting there through all this and have others come and go. Their treatments being just one short one. But I will get through all of this. God is going to give me the strength needed. Just like it says in Deut. 33:25b

"As your days, so shall your strength be."
 
He has proved faithful so far and I will continue to trust Him!
 
Please keep me in prayer-
I probably mentioned this before but last time there was a lady that was having her 2nd treatment and she had an allergic reaction. So I am a little concerned about that. I know that God is in control- but I am still a little concerned.
 
I have my list of questions for the Dr. I usually have at least 5 questions each time. What better time to get those questions answered.
 
I hope you all have a great day and stay warm. :O)    

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My Psalms 66:16 Scrap Book

Ever since I was diagnosed with cancer- the outpouring of love from my friends and family have been so wonderful. It has truly been something that has helped me face this difficult journey - with more courage and happiness.

God has brought some wonderful people into my life, above what I ever even would have imagined. And I am so grateful. All of the acts of kindness - are just "I love you's" from God.
There have been blessings- like the good deals I found on the clothes that I told you guys about this week. I also found a brand new purse made out of jean fabric for only $3.00- I absolutely LOVE it!!
 
It is a little darker than the photo shows it. It's a dark blue jean fabric purse.
 
There are times along this journey that I get discouraged or sad and I wanted to have something tangible that I could look at to remind myself of all of the blessings that I have received. And that is when I thought of making a scrap book.
 
I asked my good friend Susan- for some verses about What God has done for us in the past - and she shared a lot of great verses - but one of them was so uniquely special that I just had to name my scrap book Psalms 66:16.
 

"Come and hear, all you who fear God, And I will declare what He has done for my soul."
 
Isn't that just beautiful?!
 
Well I already had this 11X14 scrap book - so this is what I am using.
 Do you remember these stickers? I found them probabaly a year ago or so and knew I loved them but just had no idea what I was going to do with them. Well they are being used in my scrap book.
Friends have shared songs with me that have made them think of me. For example - the song - "Overcomer" by Mandisa - so I copied the lyrics and placed them in my scrap book.
 
A song that has really blessed my soul has been Matt Redman's "10,000 Reasons" song - and so I am memorized the chorus and when I become discouraged - I am trying instead to sing this chorus out loud. That way I change my focus from the problem to the solution.
 
 
So there you have it - I want something that I can go back and be reminded of how God has been leading me and how He is always encouraging me - and in all sorts of ways. One of these days I might take a photo of a page or two and show you. I already have 6-7 pages about done. There are 2-3 of those pages that are not quite finished.

God is Good All the Time - Sometimes We just need to be reminded.
 
May God bless each of you in a special way and may you see God's handiwork in your life.
 

Problems with a Naked Scalp

Ok - So today I wanted to share one of the main problems that I have with having a naked scalp. It's something that I had not even thought of before all of this, now I know.

The problem I find is that when you choose to wear hats and/or scarves - you have to keep in mind - does it match/ go with what I am wearing. Your hair matches what ever you wear - no need to even think about that, but when you have to use hats and scarves - you have to take that into account.

One of the shirts I got yesterday - is a really cute white top with black flowers. Sorry for the blurriness of this photo - but it gives you an idea. I only paid $2.72 for this cute top.

So I have a comfortable pair of black pants that I am wearing with this top. So the problem comes up - what do I do for a head covering for my naked scalp? I don't want something that will clash. Anyway I have one black do rag type thing - I am not real thrilled with the results of how it looks. I will need to get black hat -in a style that looks good on me.

That is the other problem - not all styles of hats look good on every person. So you have to figure out what styles look good on you.

This is the website that I have ordered most of my things from - The American Cancer Society TLC.

This will be the web site that the following photos came from.

Navy

The first one - I already have and have enjoyed it! I want to order a plan jean one - to wear with things that the flowers might clash with.

The middle hat - I have ordered in mocha/brown. And it comes with the scarf.

The right one I ordered it in navy.

There are a few other ones in the catalog that I am wanting to order. But have to wait to have money to order more.

Oh - one more thing to consider- so some of the things might be comfortable for winter use - but not everything will carry over to summer usage.

Anyway - so basically - my whole point to this post is that there ends up being so many more problems other than just trying to figure out how to cover your naked scalp. But slowly I am figuring it all out.

Hope you are all enjoying your day. It is quite chilly here today. Woke up to temps about 38 degrees and it has fallen to 32 degrees already - here at 1:27pm and will continue to fall.  Ya'll stay warm! :O)

**********************Edited to say***************
 - that the middle hat did not look good on my - and so I had to send it back. But I was able to pick out another hate that will be very useful. Will show photos of the ones I picked out once I get the package and find out if they look good on me or not.

Godly Woman vs. the Counterfeit

Was trying to set this up for tomorrow but it went ahead and posted it - so this is second one posted today- Wed.

This post has been the most popular post (332 views)  and I am happy about that. This is very important information for us.

****************************************************************************

This morning a friend shared the below "wall photo" and as I read it, I thought wow - this is me. This is who I used to be and who God is creating me to be. Read through it and see which title you fall under. Up until just several years ago - maybe even a couple of years ago - I fell mostly - if not totally- yep - totally under being a Super Woman. Even now sometimes I find myself falling back into some of that old way of thinking and it is no fun. God has an excellent plan for our lives and if we will only allow Him - He will guide us every step of the way. :o)


(Photo above is from the "Teach Them Diligently Convention" Facebook page) 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Holding Your Plans Loosely

Ok - So yesterday I ran a lot of errands and had every intention of staying home till Friday - when I have to go for Chemo. But plans change.

When I got my port - I have 2 incisions- the smaller one is up on my neck on the right side. It is only about 1/2 inch or a bit smaller than that. For the past week there has been, what looked like maybe a piece of dried skin poking up. Jason had felt it and said it felt kind of hard and did not really think it was just skin. On Friday we looked at it under a magnifying glass - and he said it looked different and for us to keep an eye on it. Last night before bed - I used my pinky finger nail to kind of move it back and forth hoping that by moving it like that - if it was skin or what ever - it would come off. Well what happened is that it did move it and it ended up being a string looking thing - about a centimeter or so long- still poking out of my incision. I was a little worried but did not want to pull it just in case it was connected to something and would cause problems. So I put  band aid over it because I was worried about accidentally picking at it or something. So first thing this morning - I called my Drs. nurse and told her about it. She said it would probably be a good idea for me to come in and let them check it out. So come to find out it was a stitch coming out. When she used the tweezers - I did not even feel it coming out - thank goodness. I had been a little worried about that. Apparently the stitches are suppose to be dissoluble but sometimes they work themselves out. She said that - that happened quite a bit.
Anyway while I was in a much larger city nearby - I decided to stop by a favorite thrift store there. I lucked out. I found 1 skirt, 3 - 3/4 sleeved tops and 5 short sleeved tops. The skirt and one of the short sleeved tops- still had tags on them- and guess what? They actually are the same brand and go together nicely! I was thrilled. - And all of this stuff came to just under $35.00! $6.56 was the most expensive thing that I got and that was the skirt- brand new - from Avenue. Anyway I was happy that even though the day did not go how I had planned it - that it worked out well. That is why it is good to hold your plans loosely. Sometimes God has been plans in store for you.

Ok - I better get working on my post about my scrap book. Hope to be able to post it tomorrow or Friday. Take care! :O)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's the BIG Reveal

It's time for the big reveal!!
Today I went and had my wig trimmed to better fit me. Here it is!
 
 
We are having a windy day here in Texas today. And let me tell you - that wind blew this hair all around. So I might have to wear a scarf when it is windy - at least while I am outside so it will look nice once I get inside. It will take some getting used to for sure. It is kind of itchy. I ordered a wig liner and I am hoping it will help- right now all I have is a nylon liner. Anyway this will be pretty hot during the summer - but by then I will have a decent amount of scarves and such to wear instead and hoping that it will be cooler.
 
I am SO thankful for the American Cancer Society - and the service that they do for cancer patients. It is nice to be able to have a wig- for free. I have had to spend enough money on other type things.
 
 
Later in the week it is suppose to get cold so I took advantage of being out and about and ran some errands and even stopped by Aldi's to get groceries(so I don't have to do that later this week.) I washed my car and vacuumed it - it really needed to be vacuumed. I am a little tired now but want to get a few things done around here this afternoon. I will rest for a bit and then I will work on the rest of my list.
 
I also need to work on my Psalms 66:16 scrap book - which reminds me - I need to do a post on it. I will try to do that this week.

Till next time -take care! :O) 

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Reading Corner Edition

Today I wanted to share with you all a quote from the newest book that I am reading. It amazes me how God leads me to just the right book - at just the right time. This book has a copyright date of 1973. And I only paid - fifty cents for it. It has been a real blessing so far.
Here is a quote that I thought was great!



"Three primary objectives prevail throughout the book(of Job).
One refutes a basic theology error that trouble is a direct expression of divine disfavor.
 Second, men are being prepared for eternal life under circumstances involving severe trial and conflict. Finally, the good man triumphs, though many rough deserts must be crossed."
 From the book I am reading "The Grandeur of Job" by George T. Dickinson
 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ready for The Amazing Race....

So now I know that if my husband and I were to be on The Amazing Race - that I would be willing to shave my head for a million dollars!

As you know on Friday I started to lose my hair. This morning when I took my shower - I gently washed my hair with baby shampoo. Each time I would get done with each of my hands- I would have to pull of a lot of hair off of my hand - and then put it on the wall of the shower(trying to keep as much from going down the drain as I could) then as I was just making sure I had all the shampoo out of my hair - I swiped my hand down across the side of my head - and when I looked at my hand - I gasped! I was very used to seeing lots of hair - but that time - there was even more hair. I finished my shower and brushed my hair as gently as I could and let it air dry. I had to make it through the day - we would be spending the afternoon with the grandbaby.

I pulled all the bedding off of our bed and washed the sheets, blanket, and quilt. There was so much hair all over the place. It was so bad last night that there was two times I had to pull a piece of hair out of my mouth. So now you know why I had to wash everything today.

Anyway after she left at about 5pm- it was time. Time to take care of my hair- or the increasing lack of hair. I still had about half of my hair. My sweet husband took his hair clippers and shaved my head. Then we went to the bathroom and he got his razor out and shaved it. He wanted to get as much hair off of my head - cause I will continue to lose the hair - it would be uncomfortable to lose a lot of small pieces of hair. I did not see it in the in between stage at all. Once I was done - he put a small towel over my head and moved the towel off of the mirror. And I was able to move the towel off of my head when I was ready. It was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I think the time that I have grieved about this over the last couple of weeks helped me deal with it all. Plus the alarming rate in which I was losing my hair.

Oh - I have to share some blessings with you all. So we took care of our grandbaby for a while today - and then when her Daddy got here- I was surprised to see him BALD! Yep! He had shaved his head for me. As did my husband!!! And my other son is thinking about doing it as well. I am SO tempted to go to JCPenny's and get a family photo done! And am so thinking of doing the photo - bald. Do I want to go around bald all the time - don't think I can - but we will see. But there is something about the love that I feel from my family that makes me think that this photo my be my favorite one ever! You find out there are things in live so much more important than your hair- and that is your family!! And I am SO grateful for mine!! God has really blessed me!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Just like clock work

Well just like clockwork- two weeks after my 1st chemo treatment - my hair began to fall out. I first noticed it when I took a shower and as I ran my hands around my hair to wash it - and then looked at my hands - I noticed a lot of hair. Someone had described losing globs of their hair - now I understand what they meant. It is not that there are like holes in my hair where a glob came out; no, it's more like lots of random hair coming out. I had noticed a couple of days ago that my hair had lost its shine. It looked like it was kind of dull. My scalp is also tender and sore- just as they said it would be. This morning - when I took a shower - I lost so much hair just getting it wet that I didn't even do anything but get it wet. My son has his daughter this week end and I am trying to get through the week end - and after she leave - we will probably shave my head. Today my hair was very flat. And when I went out to go walking with my Mom - I wore one of my new hats. It was a real surprise for my Mom to see me in the hat. I don't usually wear hats, ever. So she took a double take. She experienced something I have been experiencing. And that is going about your business and then having something remind you that you have cancer. She and I had this conversation just the day before. And she told me that - that is what she experienced when she saw me in the hat - it was like - Oh yeah- she has cancer. It takes you by surprise. Just like this afternoon after I got back from the walk- the hat had made what I have left of my hair - flat. So I just kept the hat on. Well when my sweet granddaughter came over- she asked why I was wearing a hat. How do you answer that kind of question? I had already known and was trying to prepare how to answer - Why Grammie does not have any hair? I had thought about explaining that one of the meds that Grammie takes caused it but I am afraid if I am not careful as to how I explain it to her- that it might scare her the next time she has to take meds. Anyway that is why I am trying to make it till tomorrow evening before we shave my head. Just praying I can make it. Anyway I wanted to check in and let you all know how things are going. I am feeling pretty good- other than being pretty tired. Have not been able to get as much rest the last couple of nights - not sure why - having some problems with hot flashes at night - while I am trying to sleep. Might be my the heat from my cat, or maybe the heat from my husband but I have been waking up very, very warm.
Well I probably ought to get off of here - I am extremely tired and going to go to bed soon. And I plan on sleeping in- in the morning - hoping to get a little extra rest. I hope you all are having a good week end. A big thank you to everyone for your love, support and prayers - I really appreciate them! :O)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Planned by God

Remember how yesterday I shared that my good friend had suggested that I look at this cancer journey as an adventure? Well it is quite interesting to me - not a surprise at all- that a local Christian radio station posted the following as their status on Facebook today:

"This year I am trying to view each day as an adventure,
carefully planned by God and no matter the path before me,
 to willingly follow His lead."
 
Wow- when I read it to my husband, He said you need to share that on your blog.
It was a wonderful reminder that God is in control of this "Adventure."
I am so thankful for His reassurance of that.
 
This evening I am really tired - in fact, I think that when I get done with this post. I will be heading to bed. Might read a devotional first, been a little low this evening. Today I am at the day 14 - which is when my immune system is at it's lowest, so that is what I figure is the problem. Anyway I found a Corrie Ten Boom book and it has some short devotions - That she had in a scrap book. I may share some of them with you guys. Especially if they are encouraging and uplifting.
 
 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

It's an Adventure!

Today - was the day - the day that I went to the American Cancer Society and tried on wigs. I had one my best friends go with me - she is such an encourager. God blessed me when he brought her into my life.
 
When she picked me up - she had on a cute - Rainbow striped wig on over her hair! We both got a good laugh out of that. I ended up trying on about 5-6 wigs and I am hoping that I picked out the best one. I am going to share one of the wigs that I did not choose. I love the photo! The wig was great while it sat there on the white Styrofoam head- but once it was on me - I figure out right quick this was not the wig for me. Too much width across for me. The back was cute, and if they had have made the sides calmer - I would have thought it was adorable. Anyway I ended up going with a longer wig. It has highlights - which is new to me. I have never had my hair colored or had highlights or anything kind of coloring. But it seemed like it was the most flattering wig that I tried on. There is a chance that I will need to take the wig to the lady that cutes my hair and have her trim the bangs on it - but I don't want to do anything until I lose my hair and can try it on like that. I would hate to get it cut and it end up being cut too short. So I will wait. It will take some to get used to the wig, but I am praying that God will help me with that as well.

Not only did I get a free wig - but I also got a free hat- that I got to pick out. If you, or anyone you know has cancer- be sure and tell them to call the American Cancer Society and see what they offer. It is such a great thing for those of us going through this. There is enough expense with all the other stuff - so it is nice to be able to get a few things for this journey - free.
 
There is also a make up class that they provide. There is a chance that the chemo changes your skin and what you can handle -so even though you have been wearing the same make up for years, chemo can cause you to become sensitive to it. So they offer this class and also give you make up. So this is also something I will be signing up for.
 
This whole journey has stretched me outside of my comfort zone- but I have learned so much and I have grown as a person. And I continue along this journey and wonder what adventure is next for me.
The word Adventure - is an interesting one to put along with a diagnosis of cancer- but today - my friend said something about this adventure of mine - and it just struck me. At the beginning of the year when everyone is talking about a fresh new start and all their goals and aspirations for the year. I had felt kind of bad- kind of sorry for myself to be truthful, I mean I don't have a fresh new start or anything to look forward to - I have chemo and radiation to look forward to and those along with all the side affects are no fun, but just maybe if I keep an open mind - there will be adventure along the way. Fun activities, fun times, new things to learn, new people to meet, and new opportunities to share the love of Jesus with those that are hurting. And that is adventure. So I will continue to walk along this journey that is before me and I will look for the adventure along the way.

Answered Prayers

As I have shared - there is a 90% chance that I will be losing my hair - and there is a good chance that I will be losing it at the end of this week. So yesterday as I was talking with God - I shared with Him that even though I had put in an order for a couple of hats and a scarf- that it would probably be 7-10 days before I would get them - which means probably not until next week. So I was sharing with Him that I really needed a call back from the American Cancer Society - or somehow come up with something to cover my head by this week-end - so I would have something to wear to church and while our grandbaby was with her Daddy. Anyway about an hour - I got my call back from the American Cancer Society for a wig fitting- and was able to set up an appointment for today- this morning at 10:30am. What an answer to prayer! I had called there on Friday and had really thought I would hear something back on Monday, but had not. Anyway I have a good friend who is going to be going with me and I am so thankful. She is such an encourager!

Then I got another answer to my prayer- I got an e-mail from the place that I had ordered my stuff from and guess what - it looks like the stuff will get here on Thursday- THIS Thursday! What a blessing from God! I am so thankful for answers to prayers. Not all prayers get the answers that I want and even in those times I need to trust that God knows what He is doing. God is in control- ALL the time!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Even the Small Details

Sometimes I think we seem to think that God does not care about the small things in life, but every so often I am lucky enough to be reminded that - that is just not true. And today was one of those times.

Way back in July I saw a book at a thrift store that looked very interesting to me. But I was in a hurry and was a bit short on money so did not buy the book. Well just a day or two later - I read a blog or two and saw some people talking about how much they had enjoyed this book- "Chicken Every Sunday." Well it just happened to work out for me to swing back by the same thrift store a day or two later - and so I went to the book section to see if maybe, just maybe the book was still there. And it was not. I was so disappointed. After that I kind of kept an eye out for that book for a while. Then I kind of gave up- until today.

Today I was at my favorite little thrift store in a town near my house, and I was looking through the books. I had already found 4-5 great books and that is when I saw it- out of these hundreds and hundreds of books - I just happened to notice a mustard yellow hard covered book and the name on the end of the book was..... you guessed it! "Chicken Every Sunday" I picked it up and I looked it over and I opened it up and sure enough it was the book I was looking for. In fact, it was better - this was a hard back cover book dated 1946. What a blessing from God! I had not even been looking for this book and God brought it to me and made sure that I found it. What a blessing!

At this same store - I found this lovely scarf- for 50 cents!! Isn't it beautiful! I have not really been into scarves until lately. This scarf is big enough I will be able to use it as a head covering. It was exactly what I was looking for and I could not beat 50 cents any where else. I am so thankful when God brings these kinds of blessings into my life. It reminds me that He cares even about the small details. :O)

Monday, January 13, 2014

When Your Numbers are Good!!!

Well today I got a great phone call. I finally found out what my CA125 number was. I was suppose to find out last Monday, but somehow there was some miscommunication. Anyway the good news is that my number was very good!! And this was from blood taken before my first chemo treatment. Normal blood results are from 0-30. And my number was.....wait for it.....6.9!!! Yeah! I was thrilled.
It is hard to explain what the CA125 is- so you may want to google it if you are wondering what it is. I don't know a whole lot about it - I just know that my number was great. And hoping that it will continue to be that way. They will keeping an eye on this number for awhile.

Today our weather was very nice- our highs were in the mid-60's. I took advantage of it and I went to a local park and went walking. My Mom drove by half way in the middle of my walk and she came and finished the walk with me- which helped me walk a little longer than I had the other day. It is easier to walk more when you have someone to talk to.

Oh - be watching for my post coming up about my Psalms 66:16 Scrap Book.

Come and hear, all you who fear God, And I will declare what He has done for my soul.
 Psalm 66:16 NKJV
 
    Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.
 Psalm 66:16 NIV
 
Come, and hear, all ye that fear God, And I will declare what he hath done for my soul.   
Psalm 66:16 ASV
 
Hope you are all doing well. :O)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

We are having beautiful weather!

Dallas 7 day Forecast

Today I felt good enough to go to Sabbath School and Church. And then this afternoon, since the temps were in the upper 60's - I talked my husband into going walking with me. We only walked a mile but that was a good start. I am really going to try to start walking again and it looks like the weather will cooperate this week. We have not had this nice of temps in a while. I am sure looking forward to it.
 

I just love when I get a gem from Sabbath School or Church - well that happened today and I wanted to share with you all. We have an older gentleman in our class that is in his 70's; anyway, last Sabbath morning - his wife passed away peacefully in her sleep.
 
This gentleman shared a verse with us that he said was a goal for his life.
 
 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John,
and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled.
And they realized that they had been with Jesus.   
Acts 4:13
 
Isn't that a great goal to have for ones life? For people to realize that you have been with Jesus.
 
 
 
 


Friday, January 10, 2014

Our Saviour Never Fails

Another thoughtful friend said she had just heard this song and it made her think of me. I had never heard it before - so I looked it up and was happy to find another great song.
I hope it blesses you all!
I am doing much better mentally today- God reminded me to take my eyes off of the temporal things of here and now and to keep my focus on the unseen - like Him and eternity. It brings much joy and hope to keep those things in mind. I am thankful for the reminder.



Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Showers of Blessings

My devotional from "Streams in the Desert" for today - wanted to share: 
 
 
I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing 
 Ezekiel 34:26
 
What is your season today? Are you experiencing a season of drought? If so then it is the season for showers. Are you going through a season of great heaviness with dark clouds? Then that too is the season for showers. "Your strength will equal your days" (Deut. 33:25). "I will send... showers of blessing." Notice that the word 'showers' is plural.
God will send all kinds of blessings. And all His blessings go together like links in a golden chain. If He gives you saving grace, He will also give you comforting grace. God will send "showers of blessings." Look up today, you who are dried and withered plants. Open your leaves and flowers and receive God's heavenly watering.
--Charles H. Spurgeon

Let but your heart become a valley low,
And God will rain on it till it will overflow.


You, O Lord, can transform my thorn into a flower. And I do want my thorn transformed into a flower. Job received sunshine after the rain, but was the rain all wasted? Job wants to know, and I want to know, if the rain is related to the sunshine. Only You can tell me - Your cross can tell me. You have crowned Your sorrow. Let this be my crown, O Lord. I will only triumph in You once I have learned the radiance of the rain.
--George Matheson

The fruitful life seeks rain as well as sunshine.
The landscape, brown and dry beneath the sun,
Needs but the cloud to life it into life;
The dews may dampen the tree and flower,
But it requires the cloud-distilled shower
To bring rich greenness to the lifeless life.
Ah, how like this, the landscape of a life:
Dews of trial fall like incense, rich and sweet;
But meaning little in the crystal tray --
Like moths of night, dews lift at break of day
And fleeting impressions leave, like lips that meet.
But clouds of trials, bearing burdens rare,
Leave in the soul, a moisture settled deep:
Life stirs by the powerful law of God;
And where before the thirsty camel trod,
There richest beauties to life's landscape leap.
Then read you in each cloud that comes to you
The words of Paul, in letters large and clear:
So will those clouds your soul with blessing feed,
And with a constant trust as you do read,
All things together work for good. Fret not, nor fear!

He wants You to know



Here is the song lyrics that a sweet friend sent to me yesterday. I had not heard the song before and it was so encouraging to me. There are a lot of people going through really tough things and it is so good to know that God is there for each and every one of us.

I am so thankful for all of your love and support. It really means a lot to me. And please know that I am praying for each and every one of you. Because even if you have not shared what you are going through- I know that everyone has hurts and challenges and I pray that God can meet you where you are. He loves you and He will not forsake you...never. And you can take that to the bank. :O)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

"They remind me of Your Faithfulness"



Someone sent me the lyrics to a song - it was such an encouragement to me. And I will be sharing it tomorrow. But when I saw the title of this song - I knew I needed to listen to it. I have 6 new scars on the trunk of my body and so I knew that this song would have an important message for me. And sure enough! I hope it blesses each of you as it blessed me. :O)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Achy and Sore

Just thought I would check in and let you guys know how I am doing. I am having to take Zofran for nausea - for at least the first 3 days after chemo. And this med - causes constipation. They had warned me but I did not realize how quickly I would. Sunday I was pretty miserable- needing to use the bathroom but couldn't. I had some stool softeners and had taken one each day - had not realized I could peel the label and see that I could take up to 3 and preferably at night before bed time. Anyway - so last night when we finally realized this - I took 2 and by this morning- things were running a lot better. I had thought that I would try to pass on the Zofran today - but woke up feeling a little nauseous and I had been told by a couple of people that it is better to keep ahead of it - rather than trying to get it under control once it gets bad. So I took one this morning and then at my 2pm dose- I halved the pill and will try to do that tonight as well.

Another thing that I have been experiencing is joint and bone pain. Some of it is nagging pain in an area for a while- and other times I will have sharp pains hit an area and then calm down. So far - I am able to handle it. I am hoping that I will be able to control it with Tylenol or motrin. Dr said they would call in something stronger - if needed. I am hoping not though. I am thinking I see a lot of hot baths in my future. Walmart carries some stuff - that you add to your bath - that helps with different things- and they have one for aches and pains and that will also be one that will be helpful. They have congestion, allergy, and stuff like that too. It has been a year or so since we have bought the stuff- so I am hoping they still have it. I will probably do a post on them later- so that you all will be able to take advantage of this great stuff. It really is helpful to have around.

Anyway I am doing fairly well considering. I was able to actually vacuum my house today. It has been about 7 weeks- since I have vacuumed. I could not vacuum during my 6 weeks of recovery after my surgery. My husband did a good job of keeping it done up - but I really like to vacuum a couple of times a week - not just once. It felt good to be able to do it. And contribute a bit to getting things done around here.

Well I better close- I need to finish up making our supper. My sweet husband went by the grocery store on his way home today. I am thankful he is willing to do that.

Hope you all are doing well. :O)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Can't Pick Just One

Around the first of the year there seems to be a lot of talk about what a persons Motto will be for that new year. I have had a hard time with figuring out what my motto will be in the past. But last night - while I was not being able to sleep- I think I figured out what mine will be.

It all started when I remembered a verse that will be very important to me this year.

"As your days, so shall your strength be."   
Deuteronomy 33:25b
 
I have seen this be true over the past month for sure. Strength shows up just when I need it. Sometimes I think I needed it a little sooner- but I think sometimes we need those moments of weakness in order to really appreciate the strength that God gives us. If we had strength all the time - we might begin to believe that the strength came from ourselves.
 
And when I thought, "Hey this verse should be my motto this year!" But then I started thinking but I can't forget another favorite verse that has been such an encouragement to me over the past couple of years.
 
    "Be still, and know that I am God."
Psalms 46:10a
 
And the last verse that will be added to my motto for this year is another great one- especially for what I am going through.
 
    "The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."   
Exodus 14:14
 
I know you all have seen these verses many time, which is a good thing. I think these verse are important for us all to learn.

So know you know what my motto will be for this year- and probably for the rest of my life. I look forward to this new year and the new gems in the Bible that I am sure I will find and new verses that will strengthen my heart.
 
I would be interested in hearing from you - what is your motto for the new year?

Friday, January 3, 2014

1 down- 5 to go...

Well today has been a very long day. Had to be at the Oncology place at 8:30am. Waited to have blood drawn. Then went across the hall and waited for my appointment to see the Dr. Got to ask all my questions. Dr. was impressed that I had so many good questions. Found out some good answers and some not so good answers- like after all my treatments- I will have to go in for a pap smear every 3 months for a year, then every 6 months for the next year or so. And then go from there.

Blood work came back good so it was then it was time to go wait to have the chemo. About 45 minutes later or so - I was called back to the infusion room. They were very backed up with New Years Day falling this week and trying to fit everyone in that did not get to have their treatments done on Wed. So I waited back there and did not actually start treatment till like noon or after. Had to have the Benadryl, zanax and steroids to help me get through the treatment feeling the best.

1st Chemo med started at 1pm and took about 3 hours. Then the 2nd med was started and it took about 45 minutes. It was about at 5pm by the time I was done. And that made for a long day. So far I am feeling alright. I am really tired. Did not sleep there - just couldn't.

I am thankful to be home - and praying that my body will be protected from the negative affects of chemo. Trusting that God is in control. I am so thankful for having my 1st of 6 treatments done.

3 weeks till the next treatment. I hope you all have a great week end- don't know if I will be back on this week end or not. I just wanted to make sure and let you all know how things went. :O)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Guess Where We Spent Part of Our Day?

Another holiday and guess where we spent part of our day? If you guessed the ER, you are right. Yesterday our oldest son went to the dr and tested positive for the flu. As I shared yesterday - SweetPea spent the night with us - for the first time. She did great! Anyway at about 7:30am or so she started coughing - a lot. Then about 1 hour later - she went back to the play room and was acting like she had gotten her feelings hurt, but she hadn't. Next thing I know she threw up a couple of times.

Well we were thinking maybe it's cause of all of the coughing and she had a lot of drainage. Anyway we gave her a little apple sauce - we were wanting to know if she was sick or not. We had a family Christmas get together to go to and we needed to see if she was sick or not. Well sure enough she threw up a few more times. And she was very hot. And she started fussing. She was miserable. We decided the best thing would be to have her seen. Well we ended up taking her to the ER. Several hours later( they were packed) we were leaving there. They tested her for the flu - but it came back negative.

Later we stopped by CVS to get her meds and we ran into a sister in law of mine. And she said that the week or so before she tested negative for the flu but when they did a blood test- it was positive. So the testing is not always accurate. Since a couple other family members have tested positive for the flu, we along with the dr think that it is the flu. We are going to take care of her again tonight - so that maybe our son can get some rest. He had to go with us to the ER so that they would treat her. Anyway so he was up for like 4 hours - when he should have been at home resting.

I am tired. I did not sleep good last night - hoping to sleep better today. We have had a very busy couple of days for sure. And tomorrow looks like it will be the same. On Friday morning -early - I have to go to the Oncology place - have lab work done and see the Dr and see if my blood work comes back ok. Everyone around me has been sick this past week. Everyone. And so far I seem to be doing ok. But who knows. I really would like a little bit of down time to get prepared for Friday but just don't see that happening any time soon. Please keep our sweet grandbaby in your prayers- she is miserable. I am so thankful that my husband has a lot of patience and is really being a good help.

Everyone is talking about a new year and all the possibilities and all -but with what I am facing for the first half of the year - I am having a hard time seeing it that way. I am praying that after a good nights sleep I will have a much better out look on life. Thanks so much for listening to me and for caring - I really appreciate it. :o)

2014

Happy New Year!!

Photo

(Courtesy of Facebook! :o)