Friday, October 31, 2008

Just curious...

Today is Halloween. Do you participate in Trick or Treating? Or do you consider today "evil" in some fashion?

Handing out candy and seeing the little ones all dressed up has always been one of my Sweet Hubby's favorite things! He would banter with the kids...act scared by the creepy costumes...ooh and ahh appropriately at the many little "princesses."

Tonight my Sweet Hubby lay in our family room, in the hospital bed that was delivered this morning, while I did "door duty." I would have gladly left our porch light off this year and just spent my time with him, but he wouldn't hear of it. Can't not pass out the treats! But I'll be honest, I was glad when 8:00 rolled around!

What did you do tonight? Just curious...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thank you Beth Moore!

My Sweet Hubby and I just finished watching the Beth Moore segment on Life Today with James Robison. She had such a powerful message today and it was one I needed to hear.

It was all about praising...no matter what our circumstance, no matter what our mood. If our mouths begin, our minds and hearts follow.

We have been studying the Book of Acts all year in church. Beth's talk today was based on the following Scripture:
"Having received these orders, he put them into the inner cell and fastened their feet in leg irons. Around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them." Acts 16:24-25
Now prior to being imprisoned, Paul and Silas had been severely beaten. Yet they still offered praise and worship to the Lord! Imagine! I loved this part of Acts when our Pastor taught on it earlier this year...SO powerful.

And today's lesson by Beth gave me a new perspective on it as well. Isn't that the beauty of God's Word? Always something to learn! Thanks Beth!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The mediport is in the building

It was bound to happen eventually...During my Sweet Hubby's appointment on Friday, Dr. Lee mentioned that it was probably time to get a mediport placed. Up until a month or so ago, my Sweet Hubby's veins were thick and rope-like. Ahh...a nurse's dream stick!

But they're not like that anymore. In fact, they're basically non-existent from all the poking and prodding, especially since this last hospitalization. After today, peripheral needle sticks are a thing of the past as everything can now be done via the port.

For those of you unfamiliar with mediports, I'm attaching a link...

Check out my Sweet Hubby's new port here

He's sleeping like a baby now and I'm thankful. It was a rough morning for him as they had a bit of trouble getting the guidewire in at the right angle. He's gonna have one HECK of a bruise...

Tomorrow it's back to the lymphedema clinic for an 8 a.m. appointment. Ugh...no rest for the very weary.
"But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm feeling...

Too tired to do a full post - I'm sorry...

Let's just say today's Music Monday song sums it up perfectly.

I'm feeling...










Sweetly Broken ~ Jeremy Riddle

**Remember to scroll down and pause my player first!**

Saturday, October 25, 2008

10 days and counting...

I hear the countdown in my head. 10 * 9 * 8 * 7...

10 days remain between now and election day on November 4th. Are you praying?

Here's today's prayer from James Robison's website The Soul of a Nation:

God, You set a standard of holiness for us in Your Word that includes a respect for life, marriage, family, and freedom. Those of us in America who love and follow You want to keep these values central to our society. But there is a strong pull on us to abandon morality and embrace depravity. Lord, keep our hearts strong as we resist the constant pressure. Allow us to be a light to those choosing darkness. Do not let us be led astray by the voices of worldly logic. Hold us true to Your path.

In Jesus' name...Amen.

Friday, October 24, 2008

One word...WOW

I have no words (other than WOW!) for just how well our appointment with Dr. Mike Lee went this morning. Thank you Jesus!! From start to finish, we were blown away. Really.

It would appear that a lot will be happening in the next few weeks...As Dr. Lee said, "We need to strike NOW because our window of opportunity is so small with this disease..." Yes. NOW!

So for all of you who prayed about our "doctor situation" - THANK YOU! Today, if you would, send up a quick prayer of thanksgiving for Dr. Lee. This man is a Godsend ~ truly an answer to prayer!

My Sweet Hubby's new oncologist ~ Dr. Mike Lee

"Then Jesus said, 'Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?'" John 11:40

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The best of friends

My Sweet Hubby and I are richly blessed in the friendship department. Our best friends are J and T. In fact, J and I just celebrated the 25th anniversary of our friendship, which was brought about via a small group New Testament study we had both signed up for through the Catholic church we attended in upstate New York. It was a nice group of people, but there was something "special" about J...still is! I tell her she is the sister that God forgot to give me. We can't choose our family, but we sure can choose our friends and I am fortunate indeed that a quarter century ago God saw fit to have our paths intersect.

And of course, because we are friends our hubbies had to come along for the ride, right?! But as much as J and I enjoy spending time together, our guys feel the same way about each other. They are best buddies.

Last week, J and T traveled the 6 hours that now separates us to spend the week with us. Now while they have a standing invitation to stay here, and in fact we refer to that guest room as J and T's room, they made reservations to stay just a few minutes away. They felt that given the circumstances, we needed a little privacy. That's the thing with best friends...no explanations are necessary. They just intrinsically "know" what to do and when to do it. I am so thankful that while they were here, my Sweet Hubby had one really good day. We all remarked how it seemed "just like old times."

While they were here, T and Matthew dismantled my studio. No easy task. Lots of heavy furniture and cabinetry up and down stairs. Another morning, T arrived to help me bring my Sweet Hubby downstairs (there's safety in numbers!) and then he carried my Sweet Hubby's recliner downstairs from our sitting room to our family room as at the time, that was the only comfortable way he could sleep. My Sweet Hubby and I drove away shortly thereafter for an appointment. As a surprise while we were gone, T weeded our flower beds and planted some sunshine in the form of yellow pansies. What a treat to see when we pulled into the driveway! They still make us smile every time we look at them...

And J? She was my emotional support. She listened. She held my hand as I cried and she cried with me. She made me laugh...it wasn't all sadness!! She spent hours alone at the resort while T did the various and sundry things he did for us - including that all day move of my studio. Ugh. She was available and present. A perfect best friend.

Long, long ago this couple passed from the realm of "friendship" and crossed over into the world of "family." Like I said...my Sweet Hubby and I are richly blessed.

"J" and I...25 years and going strong!

"T" and my Sweet Hubby...best buddies!
"He replied to him, 'Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?' Pointing to his disciples, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.'" Matthew 12:48-50

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Into the looking glass

As I was studying God's Word today, I saw myself. It wasn't pretty or flattering; some of it was downright hard to own. But it was honest and true.
"Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant--I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do." Psalm 73:21-28
But in my reading, I took such great comfort from the fact that even though I felt out of control, God was very much in control! He was holding my right hand!! Patiently waiting for me to come back to my senses!

Here I am Lord!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

1930 was a very good year!

Quite a few notable events happened in 1930...among them:
  • January 13th ~ Mickey Mouse comic strip made its first appearance.
  • January 31st ~ 3M markets Scotch tape.
  • May 1st ~ the planet Pluto is officially named as such.
  • July 7th ~ construction began on the Boulder Dam (now known as the Hoover dam).
  • August 8th ~ Betty Boop premieres in the animated film "Dizzy Dishes."
And most importantly, to me...
  • October 19th ~ my Dad was born!
Oh wow - what do I say about my Dad? Well, he's awesome, for starters! He's kind, generous, loving, thoughtful, wise, handsome, loyal, and hysterically funny! He can make me laugh like nobody's business! My Dad...how I love him...

Check out my Mom's "Sassy" sweatshirt...I cracked up when I saw that!

Happy Birthday Daddy from your daughter who just loves you sooooo much....
"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you." Exodus 20:12

Monday, October 20, 2008

Deep cleansing breath

OK - confession time. I have been in a deep, dark place for the past few days. I really feel that I have been waging war and am sadly beaten down. BUT...

My God has equipped me with every good thing that I need; every piece of armament to don to protect me. So, this morning I am renewing myself in the Lord. I have asked His forgiveness for falling away rather than drawing nearer. I have drawn in a deep cleansing breath!

I have been looking forward to Music Monday and wondering what song I would choose as none had come to mind. Until today. The words of this song mean something to me...especially the word "sacrifice." There is much sacrifice in my home right now. My Sweet Hubby has sacrificed all to this terrible disease called pancreatic cancer. I am sacrificing my life as I care for him 24/7. Even still, both of our sacrifices amount to nothing when laid at the foot of the Cross. That is the standard and none of us will ever come close.

Still, there is much that can be done...by all of us.
"...From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more."
Luke 12:48
This will be a very busy week for us. I hope to post daily, but please forgive me if I don't!

And now ~ here's today's music selection...one of our favorite artists. Such a humble man as well; truly loves the Lord and hates the limelight. What a predicament to be in given his profession! **Remember to scroll down and pause my player before listening!**











Mercy In Me ~ Todd Agnew

And because this video didn't have lyrics, here they are:

A poor man on the corner
I could give to You by buying him lunch
But I rarely think about it
‘Cause I got a little but it’s not that much

And I pray Lord won’t You help me
Give me a little bit more for myself
And You say Child won’t you let me
Take all that you got and give you a little real wealth

CHORUS
And I don’t know what You want, what You see in my life
And I don’t know what You mean, how You could be glorified
I’m not too sure about this idea of sacrifice
What You mean by mercy, mercy in me
Your mercy in me

A young girl in an old house
Three kids and another on the way
She’s in desperate need of some new clothes
But I keep my old ones and tell her I’ll pray for her

But Your heart breaks for those kids
And that child of a mom who’s one of Your own
When a few gifts and a little time
Is another crown I could lay at the feet of Your throne

CHORUS
And I don’t know what You want, what You see in my life
And I don’t know what You mean, how You could be glorified
I’m not too sure about this idea of sacrifice
What You mean by mercy, mercy in me
Your mercy in me

CHORUS
And I don’t know what You want, what You see in my life
And I don’t know what You mean, how You could be glorified
And I’m not too sure about this idea of sacrifice
What You mean by mercy, mercy, mercy in me
Your mercy in me

Please Lord, today let all that I do glorify You. In Jesus' precious name. Amen.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Encouraging news!

Today my Sweet Hubby had an appointment at a local hospital's lymphedema clinic. His physical therapist was a wonderfully kind woman. During the course of the evaluation, we disclosed that we had an appointment with another oncologist next Friday. She asked who we would be seeing. We told her "Dr. Mike Lee." When she heard the name, her face lit up, she threw her hands up in the air and said "yessssssss!"

Seems Dr. Lee had been her mother's oncologist some years ago and that he is just wonderful. And yes, as we had been told by Dr. Jansen, he's a Christian. Hallelujah!!

She said, "He FIGHTS for his patients."

Yesssssss! We are encouraged!
"In the day that I called, you answered me. You encouraged me with strength in my soul." Psalm 138:3

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

And then he smiled at me...

Oh what a night we had! Mixed feelings to some extent because it involved my Sweet Hubby starting on morphine last night...

BUT! My Sweet Hubby SLEPT all night long. And I do mean ALL night long. 10 hours of blessed, restorative sleep for him. (Me? Not so much! I kept popping up wondering why HE wasn't up!!)

And at 7:01 this morning (that's right!) as I tiptoed over to check on him, he opened his beautiful eyes and then he smiled at me! Oh, my heart...how I have missed that smile. And not only that, he was full of spirit - laughing and chatting! What a wonderful day it's been! Our best friends were over and it was like old times, sitting and reminiscing - albeit in our bedroom!

Tomorrow is the appointment at the lymphedema clinic. Please pray that they are able to provide some relief!

Thank you Lord for the lovely day...oh thank you!
"Strength and self-respect are her clothing; she is facing the future with a smile." Proverbs 31:25

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I get by with a little help from my friends

What would I do, where would I be, without all the wonderful friends I have in my life?

People I know...our best friends J & T - who are here so lovingly to support us this week. My girlfriends who call, text, im, email every day just to "check in and see if you need anything." Our church friends who support us spiritually and emotionally. The people I have met via online pancreatic cancer support groups who "walk the walk" with me and understand exactly...

I know God has a plan for me and my Sweet Hubby and all of them factor into it. Thank you Lord for tending to our every need.
"Two sparrows are sold for a penny, aren't they? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's permission. Indeed, even the hairs on your head have all been counted! So stop being afraid. You are worth more than a bunch of sparrows." Matthew 10:29-31

Monday, October 13, 2008

Not much to say today...

It's been quite a day following a rough night. Here's hoping for a better night tonight...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The end of Blue Willow, for now...


Today was a sad day...I started packing up my studio for closure. Our best friends arrive from out of state tomorrow afternoon. On Monday, Matthew and T will empty out the rest of my furniture and equipment and Blue Willow Skin Care will be no more.

My lease is up at the end of the month and with circumstances what they are, I am not able to see clients at this time. So I made the oh-so-hard decision to close...for now.

Today was a sad day.





Friday, October 10, 2008

Not quite Siskel and Ebert, but...



Well, we made it to the movie yesterday!! My Sweet Hubby wanted to get out for a little bit yesterday, so we used the opportunity to see the movie Fireproof.

Now, as I confessed in my last post, I'm no movie fan and I'm certainly not Siskel and Ebert! But I know what I like and I LOVED this movie!

If you've seen it, I'd be willing to bet you're like me and want to see it again! If you haven't seen it - what are you waiting for?? Go NOW!!

It's got something for everyone's tastes...humor, drama, romance and it's all wrapped up in the love of God! Some great music too!

It's rated PG, and totally appropriate for your "tweens" and up...One of my friends told me it opened a dialogue between she and her young daughter as to God's plan for marriage! How awesome is that?

It was just a special day...we were able to witness a tender moment as a son helped his elderly, wheelchair bound mother into their car - such great compassion... When we commented to him on his love and care for her he said, "It's nothing but the Lord!" Oh amen! Isn't it so?!

I'll close today as the movie closed yesterday...
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
"That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A little late...

On Friday, September 26th, the movie Fireproof premiered at several local theaters. Our church had bought out one of the premiere showings so that we could all attend together. My Sweet Hubby and I had our tickets weeks in advance and were eagerly looking forward to this film.

Now - a little history...I do not like movies. Hard to believe, I know, but it's the truth! Something about sitting still that long, usually in a too-cold theater. Not for me. And my enjoyment factor does not go up with a DVD for home viewing. Movies just aren't my "thing." But, this movie was different and I was actually counting down the days!

Finally, the BIG day arrived! September 26th...my Sweet Hubby had an oncology appointment in the morning. And by noon, he was hospitalized. We offered our tickets to friends, who thankfully were able to go and enjoy the movie in our place.

But we were so sad to have to miss the premiere and the opportunity to watch it with our church family. We have talked often about going to the theater and seeing this film as soon as my Sweet Hubby felt up to it.

Well, it looks like we'll be going either today or tomorrow! I'll let you know what we think of it! For now, here's a sneak peek for you - enjoy!! (**Remember to scroll down and pause my player first!)

video

Have a Blessed day!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A whole new ballgame

Please keep my Sweet Hubby extra close in prayer, if you would...He began his new chemo regimen today. The meeting with the oncologist was, hmmmmm, shall we say - futile?

On October 24th, my Sweet Hubby has an appointment to meet with a new oncologist. This is the one originally recommended to us by the GI doc back in July. He is a Christian. We hope he's an aggressive, go to the wall for his patients, won't roll over to cancer kind of oncologist. We're prayerful.

We have church tonight...looks like we might miss it. They medicated my Sweet Hubby pretty heavily today as this chemo regimen causes nausea. He slept through most of the infusion and is passed out now. Sleep is good. Restorative. Tomorrow will be a better day.
"The disciples therefore said, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover." John 11:12

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Blessed beyond measure

That's how my Sweet Hubby and I are feeling right now.

You see, only a handful of my Sweet Hubby's coworkers knew of his illness. And they've obviously been doing a darn fine job of keeping the info on the QT! Yesterday, we sent out an email to all of his coworkers letting them know why he is no longer at work...

This evening, my Sweet Hubby turned on his work laptop and there waiting for him was email after email...offering prayers, blood donations, vacation time donations and anything else he might need. I kid you not when I say we sat there in tears as we read them. It's no surprise to me that my Sweet Hubby is well loved by all who know him...he's such a wonderful, kind, caring man. But it sure touched his heart to see the outpouring of affection for him! Wonderful medicine, I can tell you that!

His office is trying to coordinate an on-site blood drive utilizing the Red Cross bloodmobile with all donations being made in my Sweet Hubby's name. How awesome!

The best part is that my Sweet Hubby is now on so many more prayer chains! Hallelujah! Because we all know that the Lord is always listening...

We are blessed.
"Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be given to you. For with the same measure you measure it will be measured back to you." Luke 6:38

Monday, October 6, 2008

Strength for today, bright hope for tomorrow

The past few Mondays have gotten away from me due to my Sweet Hubby's hospitalizations. But I'm here today with a selection for Music Monday! I've missed this...

Did the title of today's post give it away? I love today's song...I know - surprise, surprise! I'll get to it in a minute, but first I want to share what a wonderful Sunday School class we have!

This great group has been keeping us close in prayer. Asking healing for my Sweet Hubby and strength and comfort for me. Cards, visits and offers of help flow our way. But by far, the best and most powerful "thing" they do for us is pray.

Yesterday, at the end of our Sunday School lesson, everyone gathered around my Sweet Hubby and laying our hands on him everyone prayed as they felt led. What an incredible blessing to us...Even now I'm so moved by their words and compassion. We are so thankful to God for bringing these people into our lives...
"Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." James 5:16
And now for today's song! I hope you enjoy it...remember to scroll down and pause my player first!!










Great is Thy Faithfulness ~ Selah

I usually like to post videos that have the lyrics, but I really like Selah and Todd sings this song with such feeling. I'm posting the lyrics separately below...powerful, wonderful words!

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Refrain

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Refrain

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Refrain

All I have needed, thy hand hath provided!! Thank you Lord!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Saturday that "got away"

Sorry for the late post today...neither one of us slept well last night. So it's been a rather lazy, try to catch up on some rest kind of day. But I didn't want to let the day get away from me without taking the opportunity to wish you all a most blessed Sunday!

My Sweet Hubby and I are so looking forward to church and Sunday School tomorrow...we've missed the past two weeks due to hospitalizations. We did our SS lesson this evening, so we're prepared - it should be a great class! Tomorrow's lesson focuses on King Saul and the topic is "obeying the Lord completely." It never hurts to be reminded of that!
"And Samuel said, 'Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of the rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.'" 1 Samuel 15:22-23
Let me know how your church service and SS class went..."See ya" Monday!

Friday, October 3, 2008

When hope is ripped away

Today my Sweet Hubby had a follow up appointment with his oncologist. He was also supposed to begin his next round of chemotherapy.

Instead, the oncologist said there would be no chemo today. And he recommended that my Sweet Hubby stop treatment. Altogether.

Earlier in the week while my Sweet Hubby was in the hospital, they repeated his CT scan. It showed that some lesions had increased in size and there were possibly some new lesions as well. Which would indicate that the chemo had been ineffective.

We questioned another regimen. He was not at all encouraging. But here's the thing...my Sweet Hubby wants to fight this beast called pancreatic cancer. He wants aggressive therapy. And it is his right to want to continue treatment.

At the end of the appointment, the doctor agreed (in his own words) to "reluctantly" begin another regimen with different drugs next week.

Which means I have a week to find a new oncologist for my Sweet Hubby. One who will fight with us, not against us.

Why is this so hard?
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
A little hope right about now would be most welcome...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Liberty

The debate between the Vice Presidential candidates is tonight. I don't know about you, but I'm about "politicked out." Still, I feel an obligation to watch, listen and learn. We have much to be thankful for in this great nation of ours. And the fact that we have the liberty to hold such events is a good place to start.

Last October, my Sweet Hubby and I spent a few days in Philadelphia. We had a wonderful time taking in the history of that city...

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
2 Corinthians 3:17
May it always be so. Amen.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Taking stock...

As I sit here this morning, in my own home, with my Sweet Hubby sleeping on the sofa next to me I feel the need to take a moment and count the blessings of the past week. Indulge me?

These are in no particular order, just noted as they come to mind...

I am grateful for blood donors. Unknown faces who truly give the gift of life. My Sweet Hubby was a blood donor. Full circle.

I am grateful for a hospital that allows family to stay 24/7 with their loved one.

I am grateful for a nurse named Catherine who made sure my Sweet Hubby got his blood transfusions quickly and efficiently. And who showed such great compassion...truly above and beyond.

I am grateful that my Sweet Hubby was assigned room 316. It was a hug from above!
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
John 3:16
I am grateful for my friends who brought me coffee, green tea, food...because they knew I was not leaving my Sweet Hubby's side.

I am grateful to our church...we had wonderful pastoral support and we appreciated the visits and prayers so much.

I am grateful to our Sunday School teacher, Bruce, and his wife Sandy for their visit, prayers and daily emails.

I am grateful to our Sunday School class for keeping us in prayer.

I am grateful to friends who are willing to drive hundreds of miles just to spend 5 minutes with my Sweet Hubby.

I am grateful to our youngest son who as he was preparing to leave on vacation, changed plans upon receiving my phone call Friday morning, drove 2 hours and met us at the oncologist's office. Then spent the weekend in the hospital with us.

I am grateful to my parents for loving us so well and so deeply.

I am grateful for wi-fi in the hospital that allowed me to stay somewhat connected.

I am grateful that we live in a country where my Sweet Hubby and I could continue our daily Bible study even while in the hospital. And could speak to others about our faith in God.

And last but certainly not least...I am beyond grateful that I can gaze upon the face of my Sweet Hubby right this very minute. Thank you Lord, for prayers answered.