Monday, November 27, 2006

It's hard; really hard, but it will make us stronger.

I thought I heard a gunshot a few minutes before the pager went off. My husband had fallen asleep, yet again, in front of the television in the basement. I called to him that there had been an accident a few blocks from our home. As he got dressed and left I quietly prayed as I do every time that pager goes off. "Dear Lord, be with the rescuers to do your will Lord." I heard the ambulance a short time later and prayed again. The sirens stopped singing. An hour passed and I heard the door sliding open. My husband was pale and as he came into the bedroom he only said, "It's not good, honey." My brain started racing, "Was it a kid?" He shook his head. Dumbfounded I hugged him and we sat together for the next few hours just trying to understand it.

It is impossible to completely understand the will of God. Faith will help us through the pain. Though things may seem hopeless, "God, who had called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful"(I Corinthians 1:9) No trial is so great that God cannot deliver us. No pain is so great that he does not bring us comfort and no situation is ever without God's presence.

This is what the Lord says...
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:1-2

Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Whether we face death, discouragement, loss or pain, we can take great comfort in knowing that no sorrow is too deep that God cannot feel it with us. And God wants to help deliver us from it. He wants to bring us into his divine comfort.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

We will see you in heaven, AJO. Keep the light on for us.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Chemotherapy Round 10, (only 2 more to go!)

It used to be that I wanted to take in the whole experience, see the people, talk to them, get to know them. I love to socialize. That's why this is kind of hard for me to admit. Confession. The last 3 sessions or so I have really kept to myself. I find myself choosing the chair that doesn't have a neighbor. The quietest corner so I can curl up and listen to Jeremy Camp on the shuffle. I feel bad about not being social with the other patients and the nurses. I feel guilty. But for the most part my body craves rest and comfort during infusion and I have to listen to my body. Today I reclined back and closed my eyes and listened to awesome worship songs, I didn't bring any yarn, books, not even a magazine. I spent most of the few hours just listening to how other people worship and praise God and thanking him for my blessings. I did have a few visitors, my baby brother and my hubby and I had to get up and pee 3 times; other than that it was a pretty quiet treatment. Which is why I was surprised when the nurse told me my blood pressure is kind of low along with my white blood cell count and my hemoglobin. Sometimes I wonder why they share that info. with me because I was sort of lost as to how to improve it and she went about her business pumping me with poison, so I guess it was just a warning?!?!
I hope everyone has a blessed thanksgiving. I will leave you with my marketing mother's words, "Remember; Thanksgiving is an attitude, not just a day!"

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Holiday Dressy" what is that about?

I am scrambling.

First of all my summer 'refill the closet' garage sale bonanza was replaced with surgery and hospital stays and then chemotherapy sessions. Normally I hit the pavement once a week for the entire summer, this year I think I hit two sales total. I have a complex about the kids clothes, I don't know why. I want to always have at least a couple sizes on hand in case my kids grow an inch or two overnight. I usually have summer clothes already by now and at least one or two items for next winter, like snow pants, boots or a nice coat. Thrifty living and shopping demands that you are flexible and always thinking ahead. I have always shopped that way, even for myself.

This past year I was lucky and got a few suits for my ds on eBay for pennies even with shipping. He begged to wear one of the jackets on Sunday to church and I caved even though he looked the the Hulk with his 3/4 sleeves. My dd was set for the holidays last year, too. My brother got married and she had a flower girl dress. I added a little sequin sash and made a matching headband, bought some long gloves on clearance and she was good to go. She wore it 4 times for Christmas programs and church. This year, however, I am really far behind. Neither of my kids have dress clothes that fit. They are hurting even in the regular clothes category both of them being in between sizes when nothing fits 'just right'. I finally convinced myself that since clothes are not going to materialize out of thin air I needed to get shopping for a holiday outfit. Normally I might have a dress or a sweater that might pass for the special event, but not this year. So I fill my coffee mug up to the brim, grab my purse and head downstairs to the computer. I have a budget and I am going to stick to it. Surely I can find a nice little dress and a shirt and slacks for my precious children.

Old Navy starts my search and I cannot believe that they do not have any clearance holiday clothing, sigh, I guess I did budget for buying off the rack clothes so I go to the main page and look for dresses. You will not believe what I found. A page and a half of short tiny mini skirts and three, count them, three dresses. A hooded dress, a uniform jumper and a polo dress; everything cotton. Where's the satin? Where's the corny red and green plaid and the soft velvet? Who replaced the dresses section with boring khaki and blue uniform dresses? Upon further investigation I find the "holiday dressy" link. Here I find a faux fur vest, one velvet mini skirt and some pin tuck cotton shirts and shrugs. WHAT? I haven't been in the store in months so I think maybe it's just online that is suffering from the lack of holiday sparkle. I check the Gap, the Children's Place. NOTHING! Not one thing that I think says "holiday" for my 3 year old or 5 year old. I am disgusted. I check Target and Walmart and find some very cheap looking clothes that are at least red, green, or black and involve a little sparkle.

So last night and this morning I am back at my old habits on eBay searching for the perfect little girl dress and boy suit for my kids. I hate calculating the shipping and reading feedback on sellers so that I can be sure I get my purchase and even harder yet by Christmas, but I guess I'll have to deal with it this year and remember to hit the summer restocking hard this summer. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

getting in the mood

Yesterday was a beautiful, crisp day. After dark, mom and I took the kids to Falls Park in Sioux Falls to see the lights. We were going to just drive through, but the lights were so 'sparkly', in my daughter's words, we had to get out and walk around. The music was playing loud and the water was changing colors and, well, you would have to be pretty much a Scrooge to not be persuaded into the holiday mood. As I listened to Santa Baby and Ave Maria, my kids ran up and down the sidewalks and begged to go into the tower. They were so excited, it was like they had never seen lights before. It was quite romantic; we saw couples holding hands, familes pushing strollers, peiple of all ages were enjoying the park.

After returning home and putting the sleepy heads to bed, I checked my email. It seems while I was getting into the holiday spirit one of my dear friends was packing up for a trip they had been dreading. Her father in law has been sick for months now. Still it chilled my heart when she said he was expected to pass last night.I stared blankly at the computer screen. For some moments in life there are no words.

Dearest CLM, may the concern and sympathy of those who care help you through this difficult time.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

It's perfectly logical.... if your THREE.

6:58 am (pitter patter pitter patter, window blinds moving, pitter patter pitter patter;warm breath in my face)
in an audible whisper,"Mom,the light is outside, it's time to get up(cough, rattle, cough)I think I need medicine."

inaudible voice of overtired me,"I know I heard you coughing last night, let me feel your forehead are you warm?"

"I am sick like you mom, I need to take my bitamins and some orange medicine."

"Buddy, you aren't warm so you don't need the orange medicine. Do you want some cough syrup or a chewy Triaminic?"

"What color is the cough and the chewy?

"Red or purple."

"I think (cough, rattle, cough) I just need my bitamin and some cereal."

"What about your cough?"

"I think I will just stop (cough) coughing."

"Honey, you don't control the coughing, the medicine will help... do you want red or purple?"

"No, in a little while I will stop, I promise. I will just cover my mouth and it will not come out, see?"

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Here we go again...

Last night after watching a family movie together we were sitting in the living room discussing Christmas. Dad was asking the kids what they wanted. My son was naming things like a four-wheeler and a motorcycle, but my daughter was thinking really hard. She was sitting so quietly, I leaned over and told her that she must be a really lucky little girl because she must have everything she needs and wants if she can't think of anything. "Except a real baby and a real car like the van or the blazer." She pointed out. Later while we were getting ready for bed she told me she would like a new pair of shoes and a toy, too. I was just thinking of how lucky she is and how blessed we are when she whispered..."Do you think Santa heard me?"
No matter how hard I try to avoid the topic of that guy he keeps coming up in conversation. I am not a Scrooge or anything I just don't want to encourage any outright fantasy only to have her crushed when she finds out I lied to her. I reread my post last year about Santa and I still feel the same way. Only now I realize that when she goes to school she will be learning a whole lot of new words and traditions and I have no control over what her little brain decides to keep or trash.
I subbed yesterday and there was a high school assembly. It was this man who had a "story" to tell about his choices. He started making the wrong decisions when he was 12 and according to him his bad choices affected his life, his son's life and the life of his tiny grandson, too. He used feats of strength to get the kids attention; like ripping a phone book in half and bending a frying pan and an iron rod. It was pretty amazing. He really emphasized that we need to make good choices now, because our bad ones follow us for a long time. He also talked about forgiveness and how anyone can start over at any time. I hope that the students in the bleachers heard him. I know I did, loud and clear. My job is to get my daughter to understand the differences between good and bad choices and then let her make them and learn from them. Surely we will need a lot of prayers and forgiveness along the way.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Now I know why God created eyelashes.

Every morning I look at myself in the mirror and wonder whose body I have inhabited. This is not my white puffy face, not my burnt tongue, not my thin and straggly hair. This is not my dry and flaky skin, raw and swollen fingers and plump sore body.
I have learned too much from this cancer; too much about how my body is not my own and only a vessel to get me through my earthly travels. I have learned that it is not important what I have but WHO I am and who the people are around me. I have learned that God made every last tiny part of us for a very special reason. Eyelashes keep the soap out of your eyes and you don't know how important they really are until they are gone.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Chemotherapy Round 9, (only 3 more to go!)

I only have to visit with the oncologist every other time now. So today was the day. It means more waiting room and a longer day. Instead of Dr.K I got to meet the nurse practitioner who was extremely thorough and very nice. She enlightened me about my anxiety and my :( weight gain. I have a script now for anxiety and I need to walk a little bit a couple times a day. I got my flu shot and my poison, too. The anti-anxiety stuff pretty much knocked me out so I napped the whole time again. It was after 2 by the time we got out of there and I was ready to leave. Even thinking about it now, as I am typing makes me feel nauseous. Next chemo. is scheduled for Wed., November 22, the day before Thanksgiving.
Dh will be taking the kids with him to the Scotland game tomorrow with his uncle. I don't think I am going to risk it. A nice quiet day of rest might be just what the doctor ordered, of course I have to squeeze in a short walk or two.
Sam gave us quite a scare last night. He escaped, twice, and the second time was after dark and I just couldn't find him. I called for him and called for him and dh looked,too. We eventually gave up and crawled into bed after 11 where I dreamt of speeding cars and smashed kitties. I woke up early and called again for him to no avail. I talked to dh about how Sam maybe wants to be an outdoor cat and we should take him to mom's. We stopped at Petco after chemo and picked up a reflective collar with a bell ('to save the bird population' was how the package read). When we got the kids and came home my daughter found him sleeping on the front deck, but he was hungry. We put the collar on him and hope to try and keep him indoors. I don't think he will be as likely to run out when the colder weather comes.
I really wanted to snap a few photos of the kids in this awesome weather, but I just don't have it in me tonight. I have to go and do the dishes and reheat some awesome leftovers.
"A truffle a day keeps the blues away" I just can't put my finger on why I am gaining wieght?!?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

1st Annual Birthday Girls Weekend a Success!

It has become increasingly more obvious how fast the time goes by now that I am older. But, the birthdays keep getting better and better. Last year, I had a purse party on my birthday and I thought it could not get any better than that until this year when my girlfriend decided to take me to the 'cabin' (it's more like a house by the lake). There was absolutely no agenda and we took advantage of that by going to bed early and sleeping late. We made our own meals and watched movies and enjoyed the view. I had an awesome time. I know that before I know it, next year will be here and I hope we can enjoy the same sort of celebration. Good company, good food, good location = good time.Thanks KW!

Ryan's co-workers have been planning a 'project' to help us. They sent paint samples and border selections home with Ryan and Gavin and I picked out the exact scheme we wanted for his bedroom. Yesterday was THE day. Ds was so excited he put himself to bed. We are so blessed to have these amazing people in our lives. Ds called them the paint ladies all last night and everyone that came to the door had to see his NEW room. Thanks Paint Ladies! Do you hire out? Because my bedroom could use a makeover...

I have a pile of dishes counter top high to return to all the meal makers who have nourished our bodies and warmed our hearts in the past couple of weeks. If you are missing your favorite dish you may want to call me first!?! I plan on returning them as soon as I can:)

Dh's baby brother made it to the DOME! Scotland plays at 11 am on Thursday in Vermillion. We are so excited for the game. Ds is going to be in heaven with all the orange he will see on Thursday. I hope to make the game, but I have chemo on Wednesday so dad might be taking both kids by himself. Go HIGHLANDERS!

It's going to be a beautiful day in the 70's here. THIS IS THE DAY THAT THE LORD HAS MADE, LET US REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT.

Don't forget to vote!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

If we don't take him you are going to what?

Tomorrow is Friday. I typically like Fridays. Fridays are good. Fridays are fun. But,the past two Fridays have brought new members into our family and now I am scared because tomorrow is Friday and I don't have anymore room. It started with Sampson. A friend of a friend needed to find him a home or her husband was going to hire a hit man to...well you know. So, I HAD to save him. Then, while I was at my sisters last Friday, my dh finds this adorable 4 month old chocolate lab mix of a pup named Shiloh that NEEDS a home because he was rescued by this family but they already have two dogs so we HAD to take her. So now in two short weeks we went from petless to petfull. It's the animal rescue family and yes I already called the vet and the the city to get the paperwork on them. But I am not taking anymore - so all you people out there with your gerbils and your lizards and your fish DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! I am not typically a pet person, I grew up on a farm and we had our share of animals. We raised 4 different kinds of dogs, Old English Sheep dogs, Samoyeds, Keeshounds, and we had a couple of Brittany Spaniels. I was never attached very closely to any one of them because the broker came out in his white van and took them away and I was used to that. We also had chickens, sheep, a pig, some cows, a goat, way too many cats and a peacock or two. It was sort of a zoo. My parents had the same length of hair, too, if you catch my drift... BUT, until Sadie I was never really a pet person so I am still wondering how and why we have a dog and a cat right now. I am definitely getting soft in my old age.

speaking of pee...

Made plans to help a friend with her move in this week. It was a long week and things didn't go as planned but I finally squeezed out a couple of hours when me and my ds could drive out. The little stinker has been trying to potty train for months now (feels like years actually) and I am sure he never gets confused since I decide each morning after I wake up what kind of day it is; a patient day means underwear(this day also requires that the 5 pairs of underwear he owns are clean, a crabby day means diapers and, an undecided day means pull ups with a splash of either diapers or undies in between. The joys of parenthood with mommy on medication...anyhow...get to the point potty pants had a bm and went pee on the potty already this morning and it just felt like a patient day so I threw all caution to the wind and put him in underwear,Bob the builder ones, and we went on our merry little way. Not an hour after we were at the brand, spanking, new, still smells new, beautiful, gorgeous, fabulous, new, did I say new, house ds comes into the kitchen asking for his 'backpack'. "Why do you need your backpack?" I ask (at this point I am still clueless to the whole thing) "I need new panties" (don't knock him he has a sister who wears them and that's what I call them half the time) HORROR, TERROR, THE THEME TO PSYCHO IS POUNDING IN MY HEAD,"Did you pee your pants?" I choke the words out. I am down on my hands and knees feeling the carpet surveying the floor, praying that it happened on the pergo or the tile, PLEASE PLEASE PLEEEEAAAASSSEEE! "Where were you when this happened, buddy?" I say as kindly as I can, hoping that my friend is not freaking out like I am...I crawled 20 yards of carpet but I found it; with my knee first and then I tried with all my might to soak it up with a rag. My kind and wonderful friend was remarkably calm as I was contemplating if Stanley Steamer made emergency house calls. I swallowed every ounce of my motherly pride and headed back to town to pick my preschooler up. While at home I whipped up a peace offering of chocolate and butterscotch topped peanut butter rice krispy bars, begged the daycare to take my kids for the afternoon and grabbed the oxy clean carpet cleaner and Febreeze. The funniest part is, my dd did the exact same thing at a friends house when she was potty training, only she managed to keep it on the pergo.
Thanks for understanding TK and bring the kids over when they are starting to wear panties my carpet is waiting for you...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Our House is a very, very, very...

Satisfaction is hard to come by these days. I always want more. A bigger closet, new carpet, a nicer van. I wish I could just be content with what I have. I know that I am influencing my children, too, and it drives me nutty. Just last night my son said, "it's okay if it's broken, mom, daddy can just buy a new one..." to which my daughter answered, "daddy doesn't have any money..." which is what we have been brainwashing her with because she also has been bitten by the 'un'satisfaction spider and wants bunk beds for her room "NOW, because I can't wait for a long time".
Blaming money for this feeling is the easy way out, I believe we live extremely well for the amount of money we bring home each month. The blame would better be placed on the pressures from the world that make us 'feel' like we need more and better things to make us happy. I know people who are much better off than me and are not very happy. I know people who don't have as much as I do who are satisfied and content with their lives.This past week has been another reminder that I don't need much in this life to be happy. Life is so precious. It is so fragile. We can be taken at any moment.
My birthday is on Saturday and as I was thinking of the things I wanted (it has been a sort of tradition that I get a home improvement for my special day...a new floor, door and even a coat closet one year, I love my handy man)I noticed that the list did not include what I need the most; a family who is healthy and safe, a roof over our heads, some food on the table, and faith and hope that this life is only temporary and we will all be completely satisfied one day in heaven.

***inspiration for this post provided by Sam, our supposed litter box trained cat who decided to pee all over my daughters bed during the massive trick or treat fest last night and make me so disgusted with him that I stewed over it all night only to realize that I am so blessed to have him in our lives for my daughter to love. Thank you Sampson.