Monday, February 28, 2011

Carpe Diem

Seize the day, make the most of every opportunity that presents itself. Hold plans loosely, be willing to change plans when an opportunity presents itself. Don't be bound by routine, be sensitive to the leading of the spirit, make relationships a priority. These are things we have learned these last several months. Things that we thought were important.... not so important anymore. What does this look like in our lives...well working less, husband and I make plans to spend time together instead of just letting it happen, house is not as clean because I would rather go to lunch with a friend, grand kids welcome anytime....we adjust our schedules if needed. The days I work, well my schedule is pretty much set then, but there can still be opportunities in the work place, an opportunity to listen, to encourage, to be a light. Life for any of us can change in a moment and we need to live our life with this perspective. Don't wait for the someday...seize the day...make a difference today.

"Now listen, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes"  James 4:13-14

Thursday, February 24, 2011

There Will Be Days Like This

Today I had an appointment with my oncologist. This is my second trip there since starting on Arimidex, a little more familiar with the procedures. Figured out your appointment time isn't really  your doctors appointment time, it's your check in time. This time when they gave me my pager, I knew what to do, (sit down in the waiting room and wait to be paged to go to lab) Everything went along pretty routinely, had my blood drawn, proceeded to my doctors waiting area, checked in there, then waited to be called into the room. The wait wasn't too long, the nurse soon called my name, did the vitals, updated meds, made a list of the various "problems" I was having, then left me to wait for the nurse practitioner to come in. Walls are pretty thin, you can hear muffled voices. Sitting there waiting I heard people in the next room, then a women sobbing, it was heartbreaking, hard to hear, I could feel the grief. Did not know if she was alone, if she was the patient or the spouse, daughter, sister...reminded of what this place is all about, everyone here has or has had cancer or is/was effected by someone who does, it was pretty sobering. I felt so bad for the women, what was she being told, who in her life was going to be effected by this news. I wish I could say my first response was to pray for that person, it wasn't, I just sat there feeling kind of ill, sad. I thought about the women a lot during the drive home , what were the circumstances, did they know the Lord? I did eventually pray for the woman that I only heard, prayed that the Lord would comfort her, draw her to him. Gave me a different perspective on my complaints of the day, pretty minor in comparison.
When I came home I opened up a card I had received from a dear friend the night before, I had put it in my bible and forgotten about it until I came home this afternoon. It had a little poem in it that was perfect for a day like today.

"The Lord is your faithful Shepherd; Your times are in His hands.
Take the path He's chosen as you walk upon this land.
Before you are His mercies, ahead are better things.....
Beside you are His Blessings, and the joy His presence brings" 

---Roy Lessin---

Monday, February 21, 2011


Back from Williamsburg today, the weather was perfect and we came back rested and refreshed. Had a couple of emotional moments, wondering when, if ever that will end. I don't get emotional often, but it happens. We were walking down the street of the historic section of Williamsburg and I was remembering the last time we were there, just so happens it was right after my surgery last fall. Got kind of teary, hesitated to talk to my husband about it because, after all, enough is enough, right, but it was ok because he was right there with me.....(also remembering) I am sure this coming year, as certain dates pass, we will have many more moments like this and we have decided that it's ok, we can still talk about the cancer, we are changed because of it, in a good way. We were able to have a conversation about what emotions we were both experiencing and move on, it was a moment, we were able to use it to remind each other on how faithful God has been, how he has sustained us, so it wasn't wasted. The next couple of weeks are going to be harder because of the surgery coming up. More doctors appointments again (still have to see oncologist and general surgeon) so its harder to push it into the background. Husband has been encouraging me, reminding me that this surgery not like the other, should be a "piece of cake" compared to last time. Will be glad when I am on the other side of it.

"The Lord is faithful to ALL his promises and loving toward all he has made"  Psalm 145:13b

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Got The Fever

That would be spring fever. Gorgeous weather outside, yesterday near 80, but it is after all February and I know this will not last. We have at least another two months of cold/cool weather ahead so I am trying not to get too excited. We are in Williamsburg, one of our favorite places to stay when we want to get away. This is our Christmas present to ourselves...albeit a little late. Little shopping, went to York River State Park, walked a little...took some pictures, then went back to the hotel to nap... perfect day Anxiety level better, the Lord lead me to a passage the very morning after my surgeons appointment... it was Philippians 4:6-7. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." The answer God gave me for my anxiety was to pray...Ok I knew that but I needed the fresh reminder. I was focusing on what was ahead, not on how the Lord has carried me through thus far. His word says he will guard my heart and mind. I looked up the word guard and it means to watch over, protect, defend, shield from harm. My prayer is I will shift my focus off the "what ifs" ahead and instead focus on the Lord who is my great protector... who provides whatever I need...which right now is peace....he has been faithful thus far.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Be Still my Soul

I had my preop visit with my plastic surgeon today and things are beginning to fall in place. Told me what to expect, preop instructions given, consents signed and anxiety level going up. I was told this surgery will be much easier than the last, no drains this time...that was the best news. They had not received any of the paperwork or lab results from my PCP, they called her office while I was there hoping they would fax everything before I left but it didn't happen. Told me they would call me when they got the paperwork and lab results. Thinking since I have not heard from my PCP that I won't need the iron transfusion. The other minor glitch was blood pressure up again, not as bad as before, but still high, hoping it's "white coat syndrome" doctor made mention of it and asked if I was working on getting it down, not sure what I was supposed to do but I said yes I was working on it. I suppose I will start taking my blood pressure daily again, I was doing it for awhile then just didn't think about doing it anymore because it had been doing fine...oh well. Thankful to all the friends who having been encouraging me along the way, speaking truth of God's word, reminding me of his promises. I am amazed at how I will get a text or a phone call at just the right moment. Knowing someone is praying for you....such a blessing. It is going to be a battle the next couple of weeks, fear and anxiety the enemies. You would think by now this would no longer be a problem, I have seen God at work, he has been so faithful, yet I still struggle. I know he is with me, he is the shade at my right hand, my prayer is I will remember that.

"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul"  Psalm 94:19

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tapestry of Life

The Weaver

My life is just a weaving
Between my Lord and me
I cannot choose the colors
He weaves so skillfully

Sometimes he weaves sorrow
And I in foolish pride
Forget that he sees the upper
And I the underside

Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And explain the reasons why

The dark threads are as needed
In the Weavers skillful hands
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern he has planned

Written by B. M. Franklin

This poem really spoke to my heart, I loved the analogy of our life to a tapestry.  Often we see the ugly part of the tapestry (the underside) not understanding what God is doing. We just have to trust him, that the dark threads (trials) are as needed as the gold and silver to make that beautiful tapestry.

"For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purposes"  Romans 8:28

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Searching for Signs of Spring

I am getting kind of weary of winter, for those of you in the Northeast and Midwest I know my complaint is laughable, our winters are generally mild in comparison, so I apologize for my whining. Today was sunny and in the 50's so we decided to head out to Botanical Gardens to see if we could find any evidences of spring. There was still patches of snow scattered here and there (we had 4 inches on Thursday) but there were also plenty of signs that spring could be close at hand. Several trees were budding and the daffodils were up about three inches. The gardens should be beautiful in another month. Spring is my favorite time of year, for me it has always represented new beginnings, even more than New Years. Everything comes back to life, it's a new start. I have a lot of hopes for spring this year.


Friday, February 11, 2011


Started the process of getting ready for my upcoming surgery yesterday. Went to see my PCP, with "laundry list" of issues that I wanted to discuss with her in hand. First, I don't sleep...her advice..take the sleeping pills....second, joint pain...no easy solution for that, but she was very supportive of going gluten free. (said 80% of her patients who go gluten free have a reduction in joint pain)Wasn't a fan of the Ultram long term, or the large doses of tylenol I was taking (lot of tylenol without a lot of relief...not much bang for your buck)I wasn't crazy about taking all that tylenol anyway. Maybe try Celebrex again after surgery if oncologist gives the OK. Lots of blood work done,  told me if my iron level not improved from the last time it was drawn (back in Nov.) I will have to have an iron transfusion before she will give me clearance for the surgery. (frankly I have never heard of an iron transfusion, is it like a blood transfusion?) Praying that the levels will be fine....really don't want to have to do that...just doesn't fit in my schedule. Getting a little anxious as I start to think about surgery again....not looking forward to it. Praying that I will be able to rest in the Lord and trust in him as I walk through these next couple of weeks.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Lone Cypress

This is a picture of a cypress tree located in Pebble Beach, California. They say the tree is 250 years old. I remember when I first saw it, I was fascinated by it. The tree sits out on a point exposed to all the elements, no protection. Think of the winds and storms that have battered this poor tree and yet here it stands, still green, still growing...alive. The roots have had to be deep for this tree to survive all the pounding through the years, yet here it stands, green....alive. When I first saw the tree, I felt it had a spiritual connection and looking at it again reminded me. We sould be like this tree, with our roots down deep, so when the storms of life come, and they will come, we can stand firm like this tree, green, growing...alive.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

In it For the Long Haul

Woke up this morning, tired, weary, another night of not sleeping well.  Missing my "old life" the one before BC, started off the morning kind of weepy. Did not want to go to church this morning, just tired, achy, but felt the Lord's prompting to get going. (most of the time I don't want to go to church is the time I should be there) Thought while we were driving....I had faith for the initial "crisis" of diagnosis, surgery...now we are in for the long haul....dealing with long term effects of treatment on a day to day basis. Can I still see the Lord's purposes in all of this? Finding it harder and harder as my body refuses to cooperate...sleep so elusive, joints feeling older than they should. No quick end in sight.
One of my favorite Psalms (Psalm 121) was read during worship. One that has given me much comfort and was such a help to hear it read again. The title of the sermon..."Strong to the End"... teaching on how to find strength for the journey that can be tiresome and weary. Lots of good points but for me, the come away was that for this journey I need to remember the character of God and his promises. He has not abandon me...I am not alone...he is there for me to call on any time of the day or night...he never slumbers or sleeps

Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip, he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed he who watches over Israel will nether slumber or sleep.
The Lord watches over you, the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Going Gluten Free

I decided to try going Gluten Free last week to see if it would help the increased joint pain I was experiencing while taking Arimidex. Joint pain has been a problem for years, Arimidex just makes it worse. I have been reading that a Gluten sensitivity can cause inflammation, which can increase joint pain in some people. I had noted earlier the nurse practitioner for my oncologist said eliminating Gluten would not help joint pain...but I wanted to at least give it a try...if it doesn't help...I haven't lost anything. What has surprised me was how easily it was to find Gluten Free items. I knew Trader Joe's market had a lot of Gluten Free items but I have easily found many items in the store that I shop at. Several types of pasta, snacks (my favorite being "Sticks and Twigs" which my little grand daughter also loves) frozen waffles, baking mix just to mention a few things. Went online to search for Gluten Free pizza and came up with YNot Pizza (which just happens to be done the street from us... would be nice for Superbowl) Also found another site which listed several restaurants in our area which have Gluten Free offerings including Five Guys, Red Robin, PF Chang and Carrabbas. I am just beginning, eliminating the obvious stuff first...I know many products contain gluten that you wouldn't think...I am still in the process of discovering those. Hoping the diet change won't be too difficult to maintain..if it helps it will be worth it figured I'd give it at least a month. On another note called my oncologist today to give an update on how I was doing without Arimidex..they never called back... (hugely busy office)... really doesn't matter....I already knew I was supposed to go back on something, either the Arimidex or the Aromasin (which they had given me a script for) So tomorrow it's back to the Arimidex....holiday is over.