Monday, September 12, 2016

Tough Weekend.... still processing through....

We had a tough weekend. This one more so than others. Let me tell you our story....

Middle of August we took our dear Marley for her shots and checkup. She got 4 shots, and given a clean bill of health. A couple days later she quit eating. Still active, but refused to eat. Hubby takes her back to vet hospital (where we have taken her since we got her). They suggested a canned dogfood that might entice her to eat. We buy six, then get a case because she did start to eat again. The Dr also gave us 5 prednisone pills to give her. She started eating again. I am sure by now I'm getting my story mixed up - but she quit eating again. Can't remember now if hubby took her back again - or not - but he did go back on his own I think last Wednesday.... and talked with the doctor because the only thing we could get her to eat was a chicken breast if I handfed her.

The vet hospital doctor suggested we do blood work $$. Hubby said we'd think about it.

I come home from work on Friday and hubby tells me to pet Marley and feel her neck. She has two golf-ball size nodules at her throat. Still won't eat. Not even chicken from my hand. We take her to another vet by us. They had to give her a shot to paralyze her because she started snapping at them. I'm guessing she's tired of doctors! The assistant found the nodules - and a few others. The doctor exams her and tells us her tonsils are totally swollen (who knew dogs had tonsils?) but that with the huge nodules in her throat (lymph glands) and the ones the found behind her rear legs and her front legs, they were confident it is lymphoma.

Yes. Lymphona. Marley is only 4 years old. We were shocked and didn't know how to even respond. The Vet gave us options of he could remove a nodule and examine it; he could send us to another specialist who could do chemo, which would probably kill her or give her one year (seriously?), we could give her prednisone to reduce the swelling and see how that goes. All in all - the $$ kept adding up.

Still in shock and disbelief, hubby wasn't saying anything. I finally said that because we hadn't had time to talk about it or even process, for now we would opt to do prednisone to get the swelling to go down, and get her eating again (she has lost 6 pounds in the 2-3 weeks). He said fine, and gave us pills to last a couple months. Nothing was said about "how long", or "bring her back in xx months so we can see how she is doing".... nothing. So we are at a loss as to how long she will be with us. It could be a year or more or ?? We have no idea. We don't want them doing anything to her to give us a lesser quality of life, and it doesn't matter what "stage" the lymphoma is - it isn't going to change the prognosis.

So after a couple hours of waiting to see if the drug would wear off, we brought her home in a blanket because she still couldn't raise up. I kid you not - I don't know what they gave her, but she was paralyzed until nearly 10:30 PM and she got the shot around 3PM! We finally coaxed her all the way up about 10:30 and got her outside to pee and everytime she would try to walk, she would collapse. By morning she was much better.

Sunday when we came home from church she had had one pill, so she ate chicken from my hand. By her evening meal - of cooked egg, rice, and chicken - she inhaled it. Every single rice particle. Ok, she left a couple. But she ate the entire meal.

We have decided we will give her the prednisone for as long as we can to keep her eating and moving. When the time comes, whenever the time comes, I guess it will happen. Right now she doesn't appear sick; the swelling has gone down on one nodule. Quality of life - that's more important at this stage.

One day at a time takes on a new meaning.

Blessings.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Saying 'see ya later'....

Yesterday was a fun and interesting day. Grandpa and I had the honor of moving one of our granddaughters into her college dorm. Mom and dad were in Prescott moving the son into his college so we got to help our granddaughter. The day started out very early - and she was so excited (I think) about moving into her "dorm home" that she was ready by 5:15AM! So we headed out the door and was in line fairly quick - in fact, I think we were in the first group of 10 cars to be unloaded. They didn't wait until the 7AM schedule - once they moved us up to the dorm line we were to go to, it took less than two minutes for the students helping to unload my van and get it moving towards the dorm on the 4th floor.

Grandpa and I continued on until we could park the van, then walked part way back before being asked if we wanted to ride (students driving carts around) and answered 'yes!" for we weren't sure where we were going. Our granddaughter met us in the lobby then it was climbing 8 flights of stairs (4th floor) to her dorm room. We helped move things around a little. One roommate had moved in the day before because she was in band. Another arrived while we were there. Looks like our granddaughter will have her room to herself since her previous roommate wanted to room with another friend. So we stayed until there was nothing else for us to do. Taking our granddaughter back to our house to get her car, it didn't take long for her to head out again to get more of her things and back to the dorm. She was so excited to be back "on her own" and with her friends.

Picture her as climbing on her bed, smiling real big, and with a big sigh say.... "Home". She was definitely very happy when we left. And it seems her hives have started going away. Imagine that.

I'm back at work today and it's only Wednesday but a long week. My boss is in California yesterday and today, and then flies to Florida for Thursday and Friday. It's all work. Then she's gone a few days in September, then does the 'Dad Tour' in October where she and her hubby fly back east to visit both dads.

We don't have any more trips planned. I was to go to the 'Yellow Ribbon' with a daughter-in-law in September - but it got postponed. I don't have that many vacation days left - if I use them all before it's scheduled, I won't be able to go. Trying to save one of my two left.

Need to plan a grandma day.... missing my princess who lives out of town. Maybe soon.

Blessings!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Healthy and Wise.... maybe...

I had a doctor's appointment this morning. Nothing crazy; just a yearly physical. Of course we didn't talk about results - I have to go back in two weeks to get that information. No, today was going in, weighing in (gasp!!), and getting the EKG, vein check, breathing check, eye coordination, etc. - all that fun stuff. And, cause the insurance decided that the doctor's office can not take my blood in the office anymore - I had to get a prescription to go to the lab to get blood drawn. Won't be doing that today. The lab work, I mean. I hadn't eaten before - wanting to be in 'fasting' mode... but with coming to work after the doctor visit, I ate pasta and salad for lunch... and bread... which I need to quit eating.... so will wait until next week to run to the lab to get my blood taken out.

Overall, at first glance anyway, the doctor said I was healthy. I don't have any major complaints and I'm not on heavy doses of medication. I am "proud" that I only have to take a thyroid pill and forced to take a statin for cholesterol.

Of course I can never get rid of the thyroid pill, but if I will get my act together and eat like I should, and exercise as I should, I could get off the statin. And that should be incentive enough for me. I detest taking medication. And I hate it that - really hate it - that he says I have a chronic cholesterol problem because I take a .40MG pill. I do NOT have a chronic condition! Yet, because of that little pill, he says I do.

And we also discussed my weight. I told him of my plan, that hasn't materialized yet, but I am working on it. I want to get down to xxx by January. He told me it was being unrealistic as it meant 33 pounds. So? The doctor says I should lose only 1 pound a week so that it would stay off. I know I can lose more than 1 pound a week if I applied myself.

I should just show him! I should! If I start watching what I eat, and start exercising, I bet I CAN lose the weight and be at my goal by January! Time will tell.

But over all, I am grateful to God, for He has taken good care of me and I'm healthy - and wise, I like to think. I have some osteopenia - cause I've gotten older - but I can still walk and move and breathe. I need to walk more; I need to move more. And by His grace, I can.

Stay tuned! One thing the doctor did say to me.... when were discussing shots and some tests he thinks I should get - because of my age, basically. :-p "You are in charge of your body and what goes in it, and what you allow to be done to it - whether to help it or harm it. It's up to you."

I told him I'd 'think about it'.

Hang in there - we're all getting old...

Blessings!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Today is MY day!

I love celebrating birthdays - whether they be my own or someone else's! Ironically, the person who sits directionally from me - a new person - today is also her birthday. Her desk got decorated up but mine did not. And you know what -it's ok. Oh they did sprinkle a few "balloon" glitter on my desk, but nothing else. And I'm ok with that. I've had my share of decorated desks. It doesn't change how I'm celebrating ME, and celebrating my day.

I've already gotten lots of texts from family wishing me happy birthday - and to me, that is the most important of all. Friends and coworkers come and go, but my family is always with me. I treasure each 'happy birthday'. It isn't about gifts at my age - I prefer the 1:1 time I can get from each one.

Hubby screwed up and thought my birthday was tomorrow - so he still has his men's group meeting tonight. In his place, two of my grandchildren have stepped up to take me out to dinner. It is either that or I sit in my room as I usually do on Tuesday nights when he has his meetings. NOT on MY birthday!! I'm going out to dinner tonight!

We will be getting away for a few days this weekend - it will be nice to have cool air to walk in. I'm actually looking forward to it.

My heart is heavy for some family members.... Lord, please be their peace and comfort for today. I don't know all the problems or issues they are up against, but You do. I ask that you bring them peace in the midst of their storm. Thank you, Lord. I know You will be with them, and I entrust them to You. Amen.



Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Feeling Heavy Hearted

I'll be so glad when these elections are over. I don't care for either one running for President, but one of them really disturbs me and although I knew it was going to happen, my heart is so heavy because of the possibility this person could actually win. I don't believe it will be honest, if this person does, for everything about them is deceit and wrong. I don't like what they stand for, I don't agree with their politics. I fear mostly for our country and last night I felt so overwhelmed with the devastation of our future as a country that I could not keep my tears from falling. My heart feels so heavy that even with praying and crying out to God for our country, that whomever gets elected, God will bring people alongside them to give them wisdom and the ability to make wise choices, and my tears would come unbidden.

I don't know why my heart is broken like it is for my country, but it is. I want to just spend the day crying out to God to rescue us and redeem us as a nation. But it won't happen with just my prayers. We all need to be praying for God's intervention. Everyone seems to think they are right in their political decision. I have no decision; I keep praying, as I have all along, that God will guide me in my vote, that I will vote for whom He plans to use to turn our country around.

I've read where one person says that Donald J. Trump will be our "Moses". I don't know. Could, I guess. Another person thinks Hillary Clinton walks on water, and that she should be president because she is a woman. That is the lamest excuse to vote for someone. Personally, I feel neither are qualified. I'm sorry that no one stepped up who WAS qualified to be President. I feel whoever leads our country should have a military background, that they understand what our soldiers go through on the battlefield. I barely remember Ike Eisenhower, but I think he was a General and I've heard people say he was our last great president.

I fear for where our country is heading. Unfortunately, the way it is heading not only affects those who involve themselves in these activities and sins, it affects all of us. It affects you, and it affects me. Our rights have been taken from us. We no longer are any value to some people because we disagree with their lifestyles. If they want to live in sin, that is their business, but do not cause me to suffer the results of your sin.

So my heart is heavy this morning and I have spent time crying out to God for His intervention, that the right person will be elected. Maybe if a 'bad' person is elected, it will turn everyone to God. I don't know. I only know I can pray - and continue to pray - that God will rescue us. Will you join me in that? Will you let things just happen - or will you also cry out to God for His intervention to save our country from those who want only power and money and will destroy everyone who gets in their way. People have died for exposing others. May God forgive us for allowing these people to govern us. Please pray with me for our nation.

Blessings!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Gratefulness

Gratefulness. One word, and yet, powerful word. The dictionary describes it as:

grate-ful - [greyt-fuh l] adjective

1. warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful:
I am grateful to you for your help.

2. expressing or actuated by gratitude: a grateful letter.

3. pleasing to the mind or senses; agreeable or welcome; refreshing:
a grateful breeze.

And I guess that does apply. I am grateful for many things. I am grateful for my job. For one thing, it gets me out of the house and keeps me busy doing productive things. I'm also grateful I get paid for doing this job so that our bills get paid.

I'm grateful my husband makes my coffee and brings to me every morning. This morning a coworker was sharing that she gets her coffee ready, then puts the travel mug under the spout(?) and then will wait until she's ready to leave before making the coffee so that it will hot. This morning her husband came in to where she was getting ready and told her, "Don't make me coffee this morning". So when she is ready to leave, she goes in and pushes the button for her coffee - only to find it overflowing all over the cabinet and floor. Her husband had pushed the button for her - but didn't tell her the coffee was already in the cup - which he left under the coffee spout! They had a little discussion about it this morning. He claimed he 'always' made her coffee in the mornings and she said 'no, you sometimes make the coffee, but you did NOT tell me you had pushed the button this morning!" I was cracking up at this dialog.

I'm grateful for God, who loves me unconditionally. Even when I screw up. Even when I get angry, or when I do really, really, stupid things. I'm grateful for His forgiveness, for His kindness, for His blessings.

So many times we forget to notice the blessings we have. If we have a job, God has blessed us with it. If we are being paid to do that job, that is an additional blessing. If we are healthy, it is a blessing - so many people have many medical issues.

If we wake up in the morning, we are blessed. There are so many things that we can be grateful for, things that we take for granted.

Take some time and think about all the good things you have. And think about the 'bad' things that you have gone through - and come out smarter and wiser for. Be grateful.

Blessings!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Convicted by a blog....

Yes. I am convicted by a blog. A granddaughter's blog, no less. A granddaughter who I have probably only seen three times in the past 20 years. She is my husband's granddaughter, actually. But her blog, of which I have recently found out about, is very touching. Convicting. Full of passion. Filled with Commitment.

This granddaughter is currently serving as an intern (4th mission trip) in Haiti. She has fallen in love with the children there and has signed on this year as an intern for six weeks, helping the children and the people. Here are some of her comments over the past three weeks....

Week one - The children’s home is on campus and it holds 11 children who are orphaned or have families that are unable to care for them. It is not an orphanage and the children cannot be adopted. This summer here will be hard, there is no doubt in my mind, but every day I have felt reassurance that this is exactly where I need to be.

Week two - I had three of the kiddos who I have loved for four years now tell me their stories. In broken English they told me stories about the day of the earthquake and the days they became orphans. They all told me very casually as if they knew I was in for a longer haul with them and they figured it was simply something I should know before proceeding with our friendship. However, as I spend more time with the little ones and they realize I have a different role, they realize that they can seek me for comfort. It feels good to build trust with them as they see that I am not leaving as fast as usual, even if it is just reaching out for a hug after they scrape their knee. Beauty and deep pain seem to go hand in hand here. The work is hard and seems very menial to me, and I need prayers for a servant’s heart even when I have cuts on my arms from carrying cinder blocks and an aching body from lugging bags of cement around or when I am not sure how I can help.

Week three - It is Jesus we are chasing and He is found on the path He laid out for us. Joy is just a really nice side effect that I could use more of. I know after this is all over I will look back and realize I have been re-aimed to launch toward Him and nothing else. I know that. This is a mess, but it is a glorious one. Hard days followed by afternoons where my heart could burst from joy because I hear laughter from one of the children I love. I know that this is where I am supposed to be this summer. Even as I envy my friends who are hanging out by the lake and eating anything but rice and beans, I know that God sees me and He sees this ministry in Haiti and He needed the two to collide right at this time.

I am blown away by her passion for Jesus, and her compassion for others. I feel like I have kind of withered away from what my passion was.... and I have. I don't get involved like I used to. I don't teach anymore. Yes, I do still "preach" from November to March, but it isn't the same. I want my passion for Jesus to 'rise up' and serve others with love and compassion. I thought over the past few years that God put me in a holding position.... because I had so much to learn. And I have learned. But I also long for days where I am busy serving others and compassionately meeting their needs.

I would give up my job if I could serve others (and not have to worry about the bills being paid)with compassion and commitment. I used to think that God had a place for me as paid staff at a church where I could be involved in His work and give myself to it. But apparently that was not in His plan. I continue to work and see no chance of achieving my dream. Not that I feel sorry for myself, I don't. God has been gracious to me and has given me a good job which I enjoy. And I can serve Him here as well. But it wasn't my dream.

But then, God never said He would give us our dreams. We fulfill what he has for us. In His time. In His place.

Convicted by our granddaughter's blog, I still wait for assignment. Surely God has something for me that I can serve Him passionately. Are you still waiting as well?

Blessings!