Monday, November 30, 2009

Trying Day

How do I begin? .....

My mother has not been feeling well. She hates to admit it, but fortunately, she had an appt with the oncologist today for a 3 month checkup. She also had an ultrasound scheduled at 9:30 to check her kidneys. My sister and I took her to UAMS for her first appt, then out to Garden Ridge, Hobby Lobby, and IHOP. Then we ran back to UAMS to meet with the oncologist. We though she might possibly have a urinary tract infection. That is what we hoped. Not so. A CT was worked into an already tight schedule in the radiology department, and it was after 5:00 before we left the hospital. We ran out to Sonic to get her a burger, then home. By the time I finally got back to Sheridan, it was only a little while before the doctor called with the results.

Her cancer has returned. It is rather spread out, and the CT didn't show whether it is in the lymph nodes. There is also something going on with her bowels, but I don't know if it's inflammation or cancer. One good piece of news is that the CT showed her kidneys to be fine. Don't know yet what the ultrasound shows. I'll need to call the renal doctor and talk to him about everything.

The treatment will be chemo, and we will find out tomorrow when it starts. The plan is for every 28 days, but considering her blood counts always got really low last go round, it's anyone's guess at this point. I understood the doctor to say she would lose her hair, but Mom understood her to say she wouldn't. I'll have to ask the nurse when she calls tomorrow.

Mom took the news as she takes everything. Just sort of shrugged her shoulders and basically said, "Bring on the chemo!" She is a real trouper and is always optimistic about this. Bottom line is, God will work His will. He is in control. I'm very glad too, cause I'd just mess everything up if I was the boss.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ode to Joy

Check  this out.

I just had to share, and didn't know how to add video from you tube to my posts.


Thanksgiving Pics 2009

We ate too much, laughed too hard, and worked on Mom's house a little this Thanksgiving. It's what we do. Brother was here from Chicago with his daughter and new grandson. We all held the baby as much as possible. Poor little guy didn't get to rest in a bed much.

Little K Man.

Grandpa and K

Great Grandma and K Man

K in the cradle Papa made for his last grandchild.


More of the K man.

Grandma's 2009 Decorations.

Fun in the kitchen.

Isaac's favorite place to be is in the floor.

Some of the grandkids.

Too full to move.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thankful Four

Ok, I found this at Supah's blog and decided not to wait till Monday.

1. I've been washed in the blood of Jesus Christ.  That fact intitles me to a personal relationship with the Father and I can go boldly to His throne, thanking Him for His blessings and asking for His help. Amen and Amen.

2. My family. My husband has been loyal and supportive for 32 years. God bless the poor man. My children are the joy and light of my life. My extended family is disfunctional, (isn't everyone's?) but they are a comfort to me.

3. My church family. Eventhough I have struggled with joining in, there are people there who consistently try to draw me in, and support me.

4. My day to day life right now is just about what I always wanted. I can stay home and do homey things, craft and sew and cook for my husband. I don't have to get up at a certain hour, be someplace at a certain time, and stay there until I am allowed to leave. What a blessing!!

There are countless other things to be thankful for, but the title was Thankful Four. I can always list more later.... The awesome Thanksgiving food is coming to mind at this point.....I can't wait!

Friday, November 20, 2009

On My Mind

Check out Seam Rippers to see what I've been up to.

There aren't enough hours in the day to get everything I want to do done. I find that by mid afternoon, I'm so tired my middle back is achy. What is up with that? All kinds of projects go through my head and I just want to do them all at once. I can't remember ever being this on fire for sewing and painting before. Once when the kids were little, I painted almost every day, but I didn't lay in the bed at night thinking of things to do. Maybe after Christmas is over, I'll settle some, because a big part of all this is making Christmas gifts. But then, I'll be consumed with making baby gifts. And you know what? That is ok. I LIKE being this way. It gives me something positive to focus on. I haven't had that in a long time.

In fact, I believe God is answering my prayers with gusto these days. I think I was in the valley of the shadow for a long time, but I'm climbing out day by day. I am more involved in church activities and women's ministry. That was hard for me, as I tend to stand back and only halfway commit to anything. I look forward to our Sunday night Bible studies now, when before I couldn't make myself go to church on Sunday night. I'm enjoying our Sunday school class and the women there. I've been helping with Operation Christmas Child and have tried to be an active helper, not someone who stands on the sidelines wishing there was something I could do to help. It is really amazing how God will bless your efforts, and change your attitude when you are willing to do your part. He can only do what you allow Him to do.

He is also answering some medical issue prayers for me. Nothing major, just little aggravations that He had agreed to lessen for me. I'm still working out, but have come to grips with the inability to lose weight. If I can keep from gaining, I'm going to focus on that and just try to relax about it.

I'm so pumped about Lele and Mabe's baby. I wish she felt better, as she is dealing with constant headaches. Please help me pray about that for her. They are renovating her office at work, and we believe all the dust and debris she is breathing may be playing a role.  She is taking a much needed break this weekend and I hope she enjoys her time with Erin.

All this has been swimming around in my head, so that's a load off my mind....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mom's Visit to the Renal Doctor

A while back, Mom's rheumatologist did routine lab, and it showed Mom was anemic. She didn't know why, and she suggested we check with the oncologist. Her office faxed the lab results, but the oncologist never responded, so we visited Mom's PCP. She did more labs, and they came back with wacky levels, so she made an appointment for us with a nephrologist at UAMS.

Today we saw a Dr. Shukla. First off, let me say his staff was extremely pleasant and polite. That in itself is unusual. We didn't have to wait long at all for the doctor to come into the exam room. Another nice thing. He was very personable, young, friendly and fun. He read her chart and looked at the faxed labs, before he came to speak with us. I can't say I've ever experienced that with a doctor. Anytime we've/I've been to see a new doctor, they haven't looked at the chart until they enter the exam room. Another point to Dr. S.

He told us that Mom has level three kidney disease. The anemia was an indicator, and she has half the normal kidney function. He was not terribly concerned at this point. But he scheduled an ultrasound of her kidneys and drew more labs and will see what the results of those two are, before deciding how to treat. He told us there are five levels, and she is middle of the road.

I looked online for information and found the first two levels have no real symptoms and are not treated. He also mentioned that to us. Level four begins dialysis. Level five is kidney failure. We are not going to borrow trouble right now, and take it as it comes. He did tell her to discontinue any pain med other than tylenol. The anti-inflammatory meds and pain meds are not good for kidneys and are a real no-no for kidney patients. That is good to know, considering I was born with only one kidney. So, I will try to stop any pain med I might take, and stick with the tylenol.

Her ultrasound is scheduled for November 30. She also has a regularly scheduled appointment with her oncologist for that day, so we will see what her opinion of it all is. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Before I go any further, let me state firmly that what I am about to post, is NOT a ploy for kudos, pats on the back, or atta girls. So, please don't make it about that....

Today is the Friday of the month that I help get food ready for our church pantry. There is a serious need with the economy like it is. This morning, I went as usual, but was only able to stay for a short while, because J was coming into town and I didn't want to miss getting to see him. He was running through on his way to the deer camp. (Deer season starts tomorrow in case you didn't know that) If I didn't stop and come home, he would have gone on, and I never know when I'll get to grab a hug, so I left. I felt guilty, but I wanted to see my boy.

After he left, I ran errands, and went to the gym to work out. For the first time ever, there was only me in there. All the men must be on their way to the deer camp too... Anyway, when I got home, I had a message on my voicemail about OCC boxes needing to be wrapped. So, I ran down to the church to grab about 20 of them. I feel better now, knowing I was able to deflect my guilt by helping out with this. So, I find myself tired from all the running around, but sitting at the kitchen table wrapping box after box for some poor child who has nothing.

The reason I tell you this, is because it reminds me of what it really means to "die to self" as we are supposed to do. I recently came to realize what that really was, after years of reading it, being preached to about it, but never really understanding. It means you do something you are too tired to do. You do something you don't really want to do. You do it when you would rather be doing what you want to do. That is picking up your cross. I would much rather be sitting on the couch resting with a good book. Or sewing. But these children have NOTHING. How much trouble is it really to me, to wrap boxes?

I don't know why I felt that I had to post this. Maybe God was prompting me, but I had to stop wrapping and type this out. I just had a need. So, today while the weather is beautiful, and I am free to do whatever I want, and have whatever I need, I am sitting at the kitchen table wrapping shoe boxes. Wrapping.....wrapping.....for a child who will be overjoyed to receive a shoebox filled with God's love.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What Not Wednesday

Time for another rendition of

What I am not.

1. A Brainiac.
Oh, I'm smart enough to function and I'm not stupid, but the older I get, the less I know, understand and remember. I would really love to be super intelligent. Enough so that I was able early on, to start an exciting career I loved. But, I think I have enough common sense to realize that maybe that wouldn't have made me happy. And God made me like He wanted me.

2. An Early Riser.
I don't do caffeine any longer due to the side effects, but I can understand some folks not being able to function before their first cup in the morning. I have to drag myself out of bed and sit in a stupor for a little while before my body and mind come fully awake. I think that is the biggest reason I don't like working. If I could go in at 10:00 and leave at 4:00 or 5:00, I might be able to deal with it a lot better.

3. Perfect.
I've tried all my life to be perfect. And all my life I've known you can't be. Only our Lord is perfect. But for some strange reason, I still tried so hard that I was miserable a lot of the time. It finally sunk in the other day when I was reading my daily devotional that God doesn't need me to be. He loves me however I am, whoever I am, whatever I am. Yes, I'm to strive to live up to His expectations, but he doesn't expect perfection. What a relief! Now, if I can just keep remembering that....

4. Passionate.
Nothing really moves the earth for me. Many people are passionate about their work, their hobby, their ministry...I'm not. For the longest I have feared there was something wrong with me because of that. But, I'm beginning to understand that I don't have to be passionate. I can be content, I can enjoy things, I can be committed, but I don't have to be so involved, so driven that it's all I focus on. There is nothing wrong with that, and I kinda wish there was something I was passionate about, but I'm ok with it now. And, I have a sneaky suspicion that I will become passionate about a little person who is yet nameless and away from us just now, but loved already.....

5. Entertaining
No, don't place me in the center of attention. I freak. My face, neck and chest get blotchy red. I used to be able to sing at church. I sang in a quartet and duets with my mother-in-law. I can't even stomach the thought now. Stage fright incapacitates me. And in a group setting, if I say much, if everyone is looking at me and listening, I get all flustered and the blotchy plague appears again. At home, if someone is coming over for a visit or to eat with us, unless it's the kids, I feel I have to entertain folks, and am at a loss. I have no idea how to be a hostess. I'm constantly worrying that my guests are uncomfortable or bored. My mind tells me to be myself and just let it flow, but my heart frets. I guess it's because for so many years, SR worked the evening shift and we never had guests unless it was friends of the kids. I got out of practice and never recovered.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Other Stuffs

Check out The Seam Rippers..... I've been busy. I've been on a mission to get some sewing done. And as I go, I am experimenting and learning. I've also been working on Christmas gifts and am still pumped about all of them. Makes me happy to know I have projects for folks, and the time to actually enjoy getting them done. No pressure trying to get to it after work...:)

SR was on vacation last week and we spent a lot of time just running around. As I posted, we visited the Hot Springs area, we spent some time at the deer camp in Rison, and went to Little Rock one day. It was hard to see him go back to work this morning.

I have an appointment with a new doctor tomorrow. Since my personal nurse practitioner left town, I felt that I just wanted to start over with someone new. It's just a regular medication refill visit, I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fall Day Trip to Hot Springs

SR and I spent the day in Hot Springs and the surrounding area today. We were in search of fall colors and needed to do a little Christmas shopping. We first visited Hobby Lobby, then the mall, and made a little detour through one of the larger antique malls. We intended to eat at Outback Steakhouse, because I never have and wanted to. But alas, it was closed, so we wound up at Applebees. And it was really good food!

I created a slideshow of some places we drove through. A lot of the leaves that were still on the trees were brown, but periodically, we spotted a nice area with more color. We drove up the mountain behind the bath houses, up highway 7, and then explored Glazypeau road.

As we headed out of Hot Springs, we stopped at DeSoto Park and I took pictures of a really beautiful bridge and waterfall. We also stopped at a very small, run down junk store. The owner was extremely friendly, and pointed out a spring that was rocked in, right inside his store. He then showed me the spring in the mountain, behind his store. As we were leaving, he was offering to show others where he dug up a bucket full of arrow heads. I suppose his main objective wasn't to make a dollar. You don't see that often.

We then headed back toward home, via highway 5 and Benton. It was a really beautiful day and we enjoyed it so much.