Friday, July 20, 2012

Sweet Sleep

"You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar."  Psalm 139:2

I admit it.  I love to sleep.  I believe that a nap can cure just about any illness or help you thwart any domestic dispute.  I fall asleep in the car even if we are just going to the mall.  I've even fallen asleep at a NASCAR race!  Now that takes talent!

The only time I cannot sleep is the night after I receive a chemo treatment.  I feel sick and would love to sleep to avoid the feeling, but sleep eludes me.  This past Monday was no exception.  The day of treatment is usually the worst time for headaches, nausea, etc.  Thankfully, I have medicine to relieve all the symptoms except insomnia.

Before bed on Monday night I took (2) pills for headache, (2) for blood pressure, (1) for nausea, (1) "happy" pill and (1) sleeping pill.  Get a load of this:  EACH of these pills have a label that reads "may cause drowsiness".  You would think with seven pills that may cause drowsiness that I would be able to slip off into a peaceful doze.  I think I need a prescription with a label that says "will knock you into next week!"

The drugs help with the illness, but they do not get me to sleep.  So I resorted to the remedies I learned as a child.  I took a census of sheep until my pasture was full and the fence was bulging.  No sleep.  I counted how many times Steve snored, but then he rolled over and left me hanging on 37.  I started counting my blessings "naming them one by one", but it started stressing me because I didn't want to forget any of them. I use to try to quote scripture verses, but if I couldn't remember I would go crazy until I got up and looked up the scripture.  I think I finally fell asleep thinking of different craft projects I would like to make.

Those sleepless nights seem to go on forever.  But they are not as bad as they once were.  At the beginning of my cancer journey those sleepless night were filled with fears, tears and worry.  I rarely experience the fear, tears and worry now.  I know that God is with me and my family every step of the way.  We rely on His strength and His mercy and that give me the peace I need for each day.

Peace to you!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Feeling a Little Crafty

I really like arts and crafts.  I can spend hours looking at the DIY section of Pinterest.  I have walked miles in Hobby Lobby looking at ribbon, flowers, fabric, woodworking kits (and I don't even wood work).  As I see it, there are two types of crafty people.  Those that are blessed with the imagination and skills to make their crafty dreams a reality and then there are the people like me.  I refer to people like me as the "cursed crafters".  In my mind I can see myself weaving rugs, stenciling artwork on all my lamps, painting murals, sewing curtains...I think you get the picture.  But in reality, I have never done any of those things.  However, when I do run across something I'm brave enough to try, I am all in.

I did teach my self counted cross-stitching when I was in my early twenties.  I even worked in a craft store a couple of Saturdays a month.  I bought so much thread and fabric that I always ended up owing the owner more than I earned working all day.  I still cross stitch and really enjoy it.  I just wish it didn't take so long to see the finished project.  I'm a little impatient!

So I have now ventured out of comfort zone.  In the past year or so I have made a couple of wreaths, not the fancy ones -  mine are very simple.  I also took a large step and started painting on canvas, not pictures - words.  I started painting because...hmm, this is going to be hard to explain.  I would wake up in the morning with a word rambling around in my head.  It was not enough for me to say the word, I needed to DO something with the word.  I didn't think Steve would appreciate me painting graffiti on the house, even though it would have been nice words, so I decided to use canvas instead.

Right about now you are probably thinking I'm a nut need to call the funny farm, I don't drive anymore so the streets are safe!

I've painted the words GLORY, JOY, of the most difficult decisions is deciding what color should go with the words.  GLORY, yellow/orange like a sunset; JOY, a deep red; FAITH, blue.
I've done some other things too. Some didn't turn out so well, so they have earned a place on my craft desk.  I like to display them: 1) when I become a famous painter I will remember my humble beginnings and 2) I will have something to throw if someone breaks in our house.

I can't believe it!  I've sat here and typed all of this (and you have sat there and read this) and it has almost nothing to do with what I really wanted to blog.  I hope you enjoyed your trip through my rambling brain.  Maybe my next blog will contain some meaningful words of wisdom.

Happy weekend!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012


With the lovely distraction of wedding plans behind us, the thoughts I had been ignoring came back into full view.  It was time to decide if I would continue chemo treatments or stop completely and let nature take it's course.  It's not a multiple choice question, I only had two options.  Growing up in the 70s watching Let's Make a Deal, I was looking for door number 3, that possibly was hiding a shiny new sports car so I could just ride off into the sunset.

I prayed that God would give me an answer as to what I should do, a very clear a billboard erected at the entrance of the hospital would have been perfect. There was no billboard, not even a Nike ad urging me to "Just Do It".  I've enjoyed these few weeks with no chemo, so there was the temptation of not subjecting my body to that misery again.  Of course, no treatment means a shorter life span.  Chemo gives me a chance of a little more earthly time, but I will be sick.  Neither option is great, but I chose chemo.  I start a new drug regimen on July 16th.

I seem to always go back and remember the beginning of my cancer (Dec 2008) when I am faced with a decision dealing with my treatment.  I wanted to give God the glory for healing me.  At that time my emphasis was more on the healing of me.  I wanted to give God the glory, but I really wanted to be healed.  The weeks passed and each doctor's report was worse than the previous and my faith began to falter.  I loved God, I worshiped Him and was longing to serve Him, so why was I being afflicted with this deadly disease.  I'm thankful that I was never angry at God, but I was confused and didn't understand the journey. "Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain."  Psalm 119:36

God didn't give me cancer, but He knew that I would face this hardship.  He set in motion the doctors and nurses.  He aligned our path with the path of supportive friends that encourage us, speak scripture over us and pray.  He also sprinkles our lives with folks that are only there for a moment.  I can't begin to tell you how many times a stranger has said something to me that was just what I needed to hear in that moment.

"It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees."  Psalm 119:71

I would love to cast cancer into the deepest ocean and never worry with it again.  But the way God has used this for His Glory is so amazing I can't get my head around it.  He has blessed me beyond measure by allowing me this time to get to know Him better!  The time I have spent in His Word has been sweet time.  Some days I am pondering the majestic power that it took to form heaven and earth and other days I am humbled knowing that His heart aches for me.  I no longer work or drive so I enjoy having a quiet time with no limits.  There is no rushing through a quiet time with God so I can go on to other things.  That is such a wonderful gift, maybe even an advantage to having cancer.

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called the children of God"  1 John 3:1

Rejoicing in Christ,


Friday, July 6, 2012

Blessed Assurance

I have recovered from the wedding, I think.  The tuxes have been returned, the flowers are wilting and we have almost finished the cakes.  For several days no one was allowed to leave our house unless they took a large plate of cake with them!

Since I was the mother of the bride, every moment of the day was special to me. The getting dressed, the hundreds of pictures, the rest time before the ceremony...and then, the ceremony.  My favorite part of the ceremony was at the beginning when the minister instructed Allie and Ryan to turn around and look at the congregation.  He prompted them to look around at the guests and to "take it all in".  After months of preparation, a week of final details and a day full of rushing around for pictures - they were able to stop and see all the folks that came to support them.  Of course, I couldn't keep my eyes off Allie and Ryan.  They were truly beaming.

As I crashed into the bed that night, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness.  I was thankful for the gift of the day.  Just being there and experiencing the day would have been enough.  But during the reception I felt a little nudge from God.  He was prompting me to look around and take it all in.  I saw Ryan, the man that has promised to love, honor and cherish my daughter for all of her days, I saw family members, young and old.  There were friends, some from years past and some new.  There were members from another family that were now a part of our family.  Then it occurred to me, these are the people that will be comforting, loving and supporting my family when I am gone.  It didn't make me sad to think of it, it actually made me very happy.  I know there are others that will also be there for Steve, Allie and Andrew, but God was giving me a glimpse, an assurance that when He calls me home they will be okay.

Isn't that the way our awesome God is?  He is almighty, creator of all good things, ruler over heaven and earth!  Then, His compassion is so deep and personal that He knows that a terminally ill wife and mom just wants to know that everything will be okay.

Love to all,