Saturday, August 31, 2013


OK, by now I think you know that I only write when I'm inspired.  And though I have a tad more energy than the days before, I must really be inspired to blog again so soon.  Many of you don't know that I posted an update on my blog just a few days ago.  That's because I only had enough oomph to write it.  Didn't have enough oomph to send it.

But yesterday it hit me.  I am overwhelmed.
By you.

Yesterday morning I opened an email from a stranger.  She told me she had been reading some decorating blogs and eventually landed on mine for the first time.  She read a few posts and decided to write to me.  This beautiful stranger told me she was praying for me.  She told her Bible study group about me.  They lifted me up in prayer.

A few hours later, a knock at my front door.  A friend delivering muffins for my family.

A few hours later, my son tells me, "Mom, someone left a gift for you on the front porch."

A few hours later, I listen to my voicemail.  A sweet friend from my daughter's old school leaves me a message telling me she and another friend of mine decided to run to some thrift stores.  They had asked the Lord to direct them to items they thought I would buy for myself.  They each made up "wacky gift baskets" for me.  

I am overwhelmed.

For the last three plus years, this has become "normal" in my life.  Surrounded by kindness.  Thoughtfulness.  Selflessness.  Love.

But it really hit me yesterday.  As I listened to my friend's voicemail message, tears burned my eyes.  I replayed it for my Mom and Donna.  They had tears in their eyes.  I read every email I receive from  friends and strangers who remind me they are praying for me.  My Mom chokes up every time.  She said yesterday, "I never knew there was this much kindness in the world."  Neither did I.

What is amazing to me is that you keep loving on me.  Your love never ends.  It hasn't ended in three years.  No one forgets about me.  Your actions and words continue to remind me that God is love.  He is showing me His love through each and every one of you.

A girl who reads my blog is sending me weekly large puzzle pieces with words on them that read, "Hope you feel joy all the way down to your toes.  The joy of God is your strength!"  I've never met her.


Another girl who reads my blog is on her knees for me in prayer.  She is my prayer warrior in New Mexico.  She emails me the most lovely words I've ever read.  I've never met her either.


My friend who opened her home with me on the spring tour this year took one of my blogs with her to Uganda.  She wanted to read it to the women she was ministering to.   She sent me pictures of the women listening to my words.  One woman even asked her how to spell my name so she could keep me in her prayers.  


One friend of mine often wakes up at 3 a.m.  That's her "Ruthie" time of prayer.


How much time do you have?  I could go on and on.  And on.

I am overwhelmed.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ground Hog Day...

Hi, everyone.

I've received many emails wondering how I'm doing.   So I think it's time for a quick update.

My doctor is "very pleased" with how things are going.  My tumor marker is stable and since being put on a 24-hour feeding infusion, I've gained about seven pounds.  I've always had a love-hate relationship with food, so being fed intravenously is kind of up my alley.   

I titled this post "Ground Hog Day" because for the last month or so, that's been my life.  (Remember the movie in which every day was the same?)  Well, that's what it's been like over here.  

I wake up, feel yucky, my mom tries to entice me to eat, I usually say I can't, I watch lots of tv with our new cat Smeow by my side, usually can't talk to anyone because I have this gag reflex in my mouth for some strange reason, watch my mom bring my kids home from school, listen to everyone having dinner in the kitchen and then fall asleep.  My doctor gave me one week off of chemo and I have another break from it this Friday.  I thought during the break I would want to run to Disneyland.  Yeah, no.  I still stayed on the couch trying to rebound.  Guessing that may happen again next week.

I can get pretty upset about how I'm spending my days.  And believe me, I have.  I allow myself to feel sorry for myself and then I do my best to remember my blessings.  Oh, so many!!!  

If you are so inclined to pray for me, you can ask the Lord to restore my appetite.  A new found love for food and the ability to eat it.  Also, for this "chemo fog" to lift from my brain.  It feels as if I'm depressed.  Not a fun feeling to experience.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tootsie Pop Knees...

Well, have you ever heard of the old saying, "You can never be too rich or too thin?"  Well, I can't vouch for being too rich, but I can vouch for being too thin.  In just five days after starting this new treatment with this new doctor, my abdominal bloat almost completely vanished.  "God is at work!" was my response.  Only a week earlier, I was so distended I could hardly breathe.  Now, the pain pills that accompanied me home from the hospital are tucked away in the drawer and I could enter a bathing suit contest.  Albeit, for blind men, but still.

Unfortunately, after two partially obstructed bowels, too many soft food diets, a few hospitalizations, a brand new chemo regimen that knocked me to the ground, I've eaten very little.  And it shows.  My knees look like two Tootsie Pops with the wrappers off.  I only wish they were that brown as I didn't find the time or energy to tan this summer.  My bum looks like two paper plates taped to my protruding, sharp tailbone.   And now there's no question where my blush goes -- on my cheek bones, of course.  Somebody needs a Big Mac!  Or twelve.

Though I came home on a 24-hour continuous chemo pump (with no side effects), I'm also treated with two big-boy chemos every Thursday -- with big-boy side effects.  The first week, I was terribly sick and the shade of a sand dollar.  Thus the doctor had ordered a daily five-hour hydration drip that would infuse me with anti-nausea meds and fluids.  I slowly turned back into the girl I remembered looking like in the mirror.  Well, minus the eyelashes and the hair, although they are beginning to grow back.  But just in time to fall out again as one of the new big-boy chemos doesn't like hair either.  Oh, well.   

This second week of treatment also proved to be somewhat of a nightmare.  I realized that not only did these drugs take away my physical well being, they take my emotional well being away too.  When this "chemo funk" comes over me, I just want to be put into the trunk of a car with an air hole.  I don't want to think, talk, listen, eat, drink, or be.   (I felt the same way three years ago with my very first treatment).  By day 4 or maybe 6, I can begin feeling the chemo funk fading away.  And to think each week, it starts all over again -- that's a tough one.

So imagine my delight this morning, when I saw my doctor and he told me he wanted to give me the week off.  Already!  I had told him what I had just told you, and he said, "So let's take a break.  Focus on eating, getting out of the house, and enjoying life.  What do you like to do?  Then go antique shopping!"  

So, doctor's orders:  I need to go antique shopping while eating a sandwich.  All with the help of my Tootsie Pop knees!  

I again thank so many of you who have reached out to me over these past two weeks.  Just yesterday, (the beginning of one of my good days), a friend came over and rubbed my feet after not showering for two days (me, not her!) and another friend blessed us with homemade meatballs and sauce.  I was thrilled to be the recipient of their gifts -- caring hands and caring hearts.  

And before I close, a big shout out to my Mom who's been living with us for about two months now.  If it were't for her, I'd be down to 70 pounds by now.  Guaranteed. 

"Here, try a little of this.  Here, just drink a sip of this. Here, I thought you might like this."   She's doing her best to get calories into this resistant body.  Like only a mother can.

And while at the doctor today, he asked me a few questions to go along with all the others.
"Feel any anxiety?" 
"Do you feel peaceful?"  

I have the right prescription for those questions.

"Be still and know that I am God."