Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fourth Round Is Finished.

(View of the sky from my hospital room window).

Finally got out of the hospital around noon today. This cycle of chemo was a unit of Rituxan, then 4 units of Ara-C, each taking 3 hours, with 12 hours in between units. So they didn't finish the last unit until early this morning from 4 to 7 AM. I tolerated it well, but have a new side effect I hadn't expected. My feet get cold and achy. I didn't connect it to the chemo, but looked on-line just now, and see that it is sometimes a side effect. So weird.

The great news is that my PET and CT scans look, in my doctor's words, "...really, really good, actually." :o) He showed them to me yesterday--the ones taken in April, and the ones taken this month, side by side. I could see how the lymph nodes have shrunk back to normal. My doctor said that looking at the scans he couldn't see any cancer. But I will still have to go through the whole chemotherapy regimen in order to be as sure as possible that all of the renegade cells are killed before going on to the stem cell transplant.

Just to recap, after the sixth round of chemo, they will harvest my hopefully healthy bone marrow (stem cells), then I'll be in the hospital for 6 days while they give me more very strong chemo treatments. Then right away they will give me back my healthy stem cells, which we hope will start producing strong, healthy cells right away and I'll be cured.

I spoke with one of the transplant team doctors yesterday, though, and he was not quite as upbeat and confident about a cure as my doctor. He said they can't call it a cure because mantle cell lymphoma is notorious for coming back. As I understand it, sometimes the cancerous mantle cells are so slow growing that they stay hidden and are hard to kill. So a few years down the road, they may start to grow quickly and I'll be right back where I started.

But that is the reason they are giving me the very strong 6 day chemo treatments just before the transplant--to go deep and kill as much as they can (without killing me). So I am holding onto my faith and praying that it is God's will that this be cured.

I'm sure the reason I felt so good last week is because the cancer cells are mostly gone, so my body was returning to normal. It makes it hard to go back for more chemo, knowing that it will make me sick again, but I'll continue my treatments hoping for a complete cure. I don't want it to come back!

Ron and I stopped at Mom's on the way home from the hospital, then came on home where I got to see our visiting grandchildren and get big hugs from all of them. They had fun swimming in the pool, despite the cloudy weather we're having from Hurricane Alex. They may not get a chance to swim again if we get the expected rain from the outer bands.

Sister and Katy were happy to see me. I played frisbee with them for awhile, and they couldn't get enough!

I'm happy to be home, grateful that I feel as well as I do, and so very thankful for all of your prayers and support!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Blue Monday

I'll be in the hospital on Monday and Tuesday for my fourth round of chemotherapy. Really dreading it this time. I think it's because I've felt so normal this week. I just hate the thought that I'll feel yucky again after the chemo.

But Jason and his family will be here when I get home, so I am looking forward to that!

Prayers much appreciated!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Reece, playing with my knitted hat and the photo booth on my computer. The camera flashed and the picture is way overexposed, but I still think it looks cute.

I told Reece to come and put his shoes on today. I was sitting on the floor, and he walked over to me and rubbed my head with both hands, then flipped my ears forward, looked at me and said, "You wook wike a monkey." :o) Oh my gosh, he makes me laugh so hard!

He loves watching Peter and the Wolf on YouTube, even though he's kind of scared of the wolf. He likes to act part of it out, particularly the part where Peter is upset because his Grandpapa won't let him go out in search of the wolf. Reece pretends to kick the toy wolf, then leans his cheek on his hand and looks grumpy. It's so cute.

He came into the kitchen Friday night and said to me, "I can't find my whammer hammer." :o)

He got potato chip crumbs all over the couch and floor. I got out the vacuum cleaner and cleaned everything up. Later he was sitting on the couch and looked down at the floor and saw two little crumbs. He said, "Gramma, you need to use the vacuneenah and clean up that mess!"

I asked him if he had to go potty, and he answered, "No, thank you," and went right on playing with his cars.

Friday, June 25, 2010

My Laugh For The Day

Y'all, I knitted myself some hair!

I found instructions for a "chemo cap" called a No Hair Day Hat.

I had some balls of yarn that are brown and white and fuzzy, so I decided to give it a try, just for fun.

It was pretty easy, but I hated working with the fuzzy yarn. It turned out too small for my big old head, but I had to put it on anyway and show you my knitted hair.

Everytime I'd look at myself I would laugh out loud and startle the puppies.

Maybe I'll try making a bigger one in red or purple or something.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday Chitchat

The week is flying by and I haven't accomplished much.

I had the PET and CT scans yesterday and am wondering about the results. Maybe my doctor will call me to let me know what he sees. We are hoping for diminished cancer cells.

I'll have labs tomorrow to get ready for the 4th chemo on Monday and Tuesday. It seems like I just had a round of chemo. Twenty-one days sure went quickly!

I've been watching the news a lot, keeping an eye on what is happening in the gulf, on the border and what was happening with General McChyrstal. Sorry to say, my disdain for the commander in chief has not changed. I should start a blog called What I Would Do If I Were President. :o) Ha!

Gotta run. It's time to go to Mom's.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...
Sunny, gorgeous day. Blue skies, fluffy clouds. We haven't reached 100° yet this year, but 90s are hot enough!

I am thankful...

that I don't feel sick and that the AC is repaired. The motor on the blower went out Sunday evening. Some nice young men came and replaced it Monday morning. Beaucoup $$$$.

I am wearing...
Dark blue denim capris, purple tee shirt, bare feet and bald head. :o)

I am remembering...
St. Peters and St. Charles, Missouri, 1981-1986.

I am going...
I've been to the airport this morning to drop Ron off. Next stop will be Mom's.

I am reading...

Theology And Sanity by Frank Sheed. I keep starting and stopping. This time I hope to finally finish it! It's a wonderful book.

On my mind...
missing my grandchildren in Houston, but happy that their daddy is coming for a visit next week. They always spend some time with us in the summer, and I'm hoping for more good weeks so that they can come for a week or so.

From the learning rooms...
I've been looking at some homeschool sites for kindergarten, and also looking into Handwriting Without Tears. This cancer has slowed our homeschool efforts to almost nothing since I don't see Reece as often now.

Pondering these words...
"Therefore a sacrament is a sign that commemorates what precedes it--Christ's Passion; demonstrates what is accomplished in us through Christ's Passion--grace; and prefigures what that Passion pledges to us--future glory." St. Thomas Aquinas

From the kitchen....
Josh and Cyrise have shared a pork tenderloin and kalbi ribs with us lately. It's so nice to a main dish already made, so all I have to do is add a starch and some veggies to make a complete meal. Thanks, sweeties!

This morning (and yesterday morning) I've had frozen waffles with a tiny bit of syrup and a lot of raspberries (frozen, also). Yum!

Around the house...
I'm going room to room and making lists of things that need to be done. Loooong list.

One of my favorite things...

A picture to share...

I may have shared this picture before.

Sister and Kate, behind the gate.

They are so good about going to their yard. However, I'm able to leave them in the "big yard" longer now, because they aren't so destructive. And since it's been so hot, they spend quite a bit of time indoors, just snoozing in the coolness. :o)

As always, check out Peggy's daybook site to read more daybook entries.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Quiet Father's Day Here.

(God the Father, St. Peter Catholic Church, St. Charles, Missouri).

I hope everyone has had a lovely Father's Day. It was a low-key day around here.

We went to Mass at noon. I got to meet one of my dear readers and two of her children in person after Mass today, which was so nice!

In the afternoon, Josh and Reece came over and we went shopping. Josh got some shorts and shirts (more a belated birthday present than Father's Day gift). Reece and I dropped him off at home and went shopping for a Father's Day gift for Reece and the girls to give their daddy.

We went to Dollar Tree and got a blue bucket and filled it with lots of little things daddies might need or like. We got things like a level, duct tape, some nylon rope, bungee cords, Goo Gone, a car washing sponge, a shammy, work gloves, a barbecue lighter, some beef jerky, some Red Hot Tamale candies, and I can't recall what else. Reece had fun helping pick out the gifts and put them in the bucket. When we got home, I told him to give the bucket of gifts to his daddy and say, "Happy Father's Day!" It was so sweet. He said, "Happy Father's Day" in a shy, soft little voice as he handed the gifts to his daddy.

His mommy wasn't feeling well and stayed home with the baby girls, so they didn't stay long after that.

Kelly took her dad out for brunch yesterday, just the two of them, and Jason called him this evening to tell him "happy father's day," and chat. Jason is planning to come visit the week after next. He had planned to come a few weeks ago, but it didn't work out. We are looking forward to seeing him.

I'm praying for God's blessing on all the fathers and grandfathers of my readers. Thank God for them!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Feeling Grrrrreat!

Guess who spent the night. If you guessed Reece you are right! It was so good to have him here. We played and played, he went to the grocery store with Papa, we made cookies, and watched some videos. He talked, and talked, and talked. This morning when we woke up, he didn't want to get up. He wanted to stay in bed and talk some more. :o) So we did.

He went with me to Great-Gran's and was bouncing off the walls over there he was so wound up. Gran was delighted to see him so excited and happy.

I made her lunch while they played in her bedroom. Later when I went in there to get his toys, I saw that she had taken down her Hummel figurines and they were on the bed. Reece always wants to play with them, but is not allowed. But if I'm not around, he will talk her into getting them down.

I am so glad that I had the blood transfusion on Wednesday. It has made me feel so much better. I have energy again! I started feeling better by Wednesday evening, and felt good all day Thursday. I had to go back for more labs Friday morning. All my counts are up, and I should be feeling good for the next week. Then I have to go back for the fourth round of chemo. At least I get a week or so in between treatments when I feel like myself again.

I am so grateful for the prayers of all my family and friends, and for those I don't even know. There are church congregations, religious communities, and co-workers of family and friends praying for me. It gives me strength and hope to know that God is hearing all those prayers. You are all helping me get through this. Thank you so much!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Long Day

What a day. I got to the hospital at 10 AM this morning for lab work and found out I was supposed to be there at 7:45 for two units of blood. No one had told me to come early, though. On Monday they told me to come in for lab work and wait to see if I would need a transfusion. So I went at my regular time, causing everyone to have to rush around.

I did
not want the transfusion. I feel weird about having other people's blood in my body. I don't like the idea. At all. They sent my vials of blood to the lab and the red blood count was 7.6. The doctor had said that if it was below 8 I'd need a transfusion, but I thought maybe since 7.6 is pretty close to 8, he might let me skip the transfusion.

The nurse said I could go downstairs and get something to eat since it would take about an hour to cross and match my blood. I stopped and called my doctor, hoping he would say the transfusion wasn't necessary. No such luck. He said that I had been symptomatic (dizziness and fatigue) on Monday, and that he had been fairly certain then that I'd need it. He said that I didn't
have to have it, but that it would make me feel much better. He reassured me about the safety of receiving blood, about the low chances of reactions, etc. He gently reminded me that we had talked about this at the beginning, that I might need blood transfusions at times during the treatment.

What I didn't tell
him is that I dismissed the idea of transfusions from my mind, thinking that I would not need them. I think part of the reason I hate the idea is that when my dad had leukemia, it was after he started having to have blood transfusions so often that his condition worsened. I know my situation is not quite the same, but it's a bad association for me.

I went downstairs with only $2 in my purse, thinking I'd get something from the vending machines, but once I got there I didn't want any of that. So I went to the chapel. I opened the doors and there was a Mass in progress! I got there right at the end and stayed to pray after everyone left. Took a picture of the altar and crucifix with my Iphone and then started to leave.

As I was leaving, I saw a bowl of hosts on a table near the door! I was so startled! Surely they are unconsecrated hosts, but it made me feel very distressed to see them there. What is the point of leaving out a dish of unconsecrated hosts? I wish there had been someone there to ask about it, but the priest had already left (walking out right past the dish of hosts), and no one was in the chaplain's office.

I went back upstairs to the treatment room, and a few minutes later my sweet doctor came in just to reassure me and give me some comfort. I told him that I felt better about the transfusion after talking with him. He showed me the consent form I'd signed with the risks outlined, and how unlikely it would be for anything negative to happen. I've never had a doctor who cares for his patients the way this doctor does. He is a blessing.

I called Kelly to see if she would bring me something to eat as I hadn't taken my debit card or much cash with me, and the transfusion was going to take four hours. She lives not too far from the hospital and was happy to come. She had lunch with me in the treatment room and we made everyone hungry because she brought chicken fajita nachos and they smelled so good. Kelly also took Gran's pills to her, and did the things I usually do when I am there. She is such a sweetheart and will do anything to help me out.

The transfusion went well, no problems at all. I left the hospital around 4 PM and went to Kel's to pick up Mom's pillbox and see Kelly's new puppy, Hunter. Oh what a cute little puppy she is! She's 3 months old and so playful and sweet.

Drove home in rush hour traffic and got here just in time to let the puppies in before it started pouring rain. It only lasted about 10 minutes, and now it's as steamy as a Brazilian jungle outside.

Ron is grilling steaks for dinner, and I have to make the baked potatoes and veggie, so guess I'd better get a move on.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Platelet Transfusion

I went in this morning for my routine lab tests. As I was leaving the hospital, I saw my doctor in the hallway. We stopped and visited for a few minutes, and he told me that he would call me later with the results of the lab tests.

I had just gotten home and had lunch when the phone rang. It was my doctor telling me he wanted me to go back to the hospital for a platelet transfusion. Josh had taken my truck because he had a dentist appointment, so I was without wheels. I called Ron and he came home and took me to Wilford Hall. Fortunately, it was a slow day at his office.

When platelets drop below the 10,000 range, a transfusion is needed. My count was 8,000. Not that bad, but low enough that my doctor was a bit concerned. He said that I may need a blood transfusion on Wednesday, but we'll see. I was hoping to get through all this without transfusions. I am anemic now, though, and get dizzy and tired when I move too fast or do too much.

My white counts are quite low, too, meaning I'm in a neutropenic state (immunosuppressed). I have to stay away from crowds, flowers, dirt and germs. I can't eat yogurt or fresh fruits and vegetables and have to wear a mask if I go around people. They really recommended just staying home and being a hermit. That's okay. I can do that for a week. Hopefully by next week my white count will rebound.

But in spite of it all, I'm really doing okay. I'll do whatever it takes to get well without any objection!

"You are a child's plaything!"-- Woody to Buzz

A few pics from Reece's birthday yesterday.

He chose his birthday cake--another Cars cake with Lightning McQueen and 'Mater. He had one of those last year, too. :o)

We got him Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story. He liked them a lot.

Gran got him Toy Story 2 (the movie).

His mommy is planning to take him to see Toy Story 3 when it comes out.

He also got a Toy Story lego toy. Yeah, it was a Toy Story birthday year, I guess. :o)

"I am Buzz Lightyear. I come in peace."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Reece!

Today Reece is five years old!

Happy Birthday, Reece!

Now it is your turn to blow out candles, eat cake and ice cream and open presents!

Reece is grandchild number 5, and he is such a joy! He is thoughtful and imaginative, he loves his family, cars, trucks, Legos, PlayDoh and cookies. He loves to laugh. And he loves Gramma's house.

Both of his little sisters had birthdays last month. Here he is celebrating their birthdays, with a piece of cake and a candle. He loves cake and candles, too.

He's been eagerly awaiting his own birthday, and now it's here.

Happy, happy birthday my Reece!

I love you with all my heart.

Hugs and Kisses,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Happy Birthday, Lily!

This is Lily. She is our third grandchild and is eight years old today!

I love this picture of her because it captures her attitude about life. She is a joyful little girl, easy-going and with a huge heart for others.

Lily, I hope your birthday is filled with all the fun things you like--cake, ice cream, candles, gifts, people who love you, friends and family.

I love you with all my heart, my Lily Sharon.

Hugs and Kisses,

Friday, June 11, 2010

Feast Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus

What is it?

From The Roman Missal, 1962:

The Feast of the Sacred Heart was established in order that the faithful might honour with more devotion and zeal, under the symbol of the Sacred Heart, the love of Jesus Christ, which induced Him not only to suffer and to die for the redemption of mankind, but also to institute the Sacrament of His Body and Blood in commemoration of His death.

Though the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is of great antiquity in the Church, yet it was reserved to the holy Margaret Mary Alacoque, of the Order of the Visitation, to make this devotion public. During the Octave of Corpus Christi, in the year 1690, our Blessed Lord appeared to His devoted handmaid, and disclosing to her His heart, said: "Behold this Heart, which, not withstanding the burning love for man with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets with no other return from the generality of Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude." But what will it avail us to have listened to these so just complaints of our Saviour, if we are not moved with compassion, and generously resolved to testify our sorrow for our past indifference by honouring His Sacred Heart, and by repairing, as far as lies in our power, the insults to which His ardent desire to dwell with the children of men daily eposes Him in the august Sacrament of His love? If gratitude to the God who suffered such torments for our salvation does not incline us to accept His gracious invitation, and to rank ourselves among the number of His adorers, at least let the recollection of the many spiritual advantages to be derived from devotion to the Sacred Heart, induce us to pray fervently and humbly, that He, who has Himself declared that it was a last effort of His love for man that induced Him to discover to them the treasures of His Heart, may infuse into our souls the great gift of true compassion for His Most Sacred Heart.

An Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

I give myself and consecrate to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, my person and my life, my actions, pains and sufferings, so that I may be unwilling to make use of any part of my being other than to honor, love and glorify the Sacred Heart. This is my unchanging purpose, namely, to be all His, and to do all things for the love of Him, at the same time renouncing with all my heart whatever is displeasing to Him.

I therefore take You, O Sacred heart, to be the only object of my love, the guardian of my life, my assurance of salvation, the remedy of my weakness and inconstancy, the atonement for all the faults of my life and my sure refuge at the hour of death.

Be then, O Heart of goodness, my justification before God the Father, and turn away from me the strokes of his righteous anger. O Heart of love, I put all my confidence in You, for I fear everything from my own wickedness and frailty, but I hope for all things from Your goodness and bounty.

Remove from me all that can displease You or resist Your holy will; let your pure love imprint Your image so deeply upon my heart, that I shall never be able to forget You or to be separated from You.

May I obtain from all Your loving kindness the grace of having my name written in Your Heart, for in You I desire to place all my happiness and glory, living and dying in bondage to You.


Stinky, Stinky, Stinky!

One rather unsettling thing that has happened during the days following my chemo treatments is that my senses of taste and smell have changed.

My theory about the change in taste is that my body is filled with dying cells which are being expelled through every part of my body, including saliva. There is a yucky, nasty taste in my mouth and throat for about a week after chemo that gets better as time goes by. Meanwhile, food just doesn't taste very good. I prefer stronger tastes, salty or spicy, than sweet or bland, and yet salty things taste almost too salty, and spicy too spicy.

I don't know what causes the change in my sense of smell. Things that I usually enjoy don't smell good to me now--bath soap, detergents and softeners, flowers. And I seem to be hypersensitive to "stinky" odors--the puppies, the litter box, body odor, dirty laundry. I find I'm avoiding getting too close to people.

The aroma of Mom's coffee when I make it for her still smells good, though. And fresh cut grass, mint toothpaste and mouthwash, melted chocolate, toast and lemon all smell good to me. I never know what is going to smell good and what will smell stinky. It's just so weird, but I suppose it is not uncommon while going through this?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday Chitchat

Physically, I'm having a much better day today than I had yesterday, thank goodness!

I've done a couple loads of laundry, cleaned up the kitchen, entertained the puppies, saw my youngest son for a little while, and talked for awhile by phone with my oldest son. They lift my spirits just by being Josh and Jason.

I need to stop watching the news, though. It is so depressing. I know we can't just stick our heads in the sand and pretend none of the stuff that's happening is happening, but that's what I want to do. The economy, the oil spill, the inability to do much about it, the border brouhaha and all the dissension about what should be done, Jooran van der Sloot the monster who got away with murder, enabling him to do it again, a man in California using a 1 year old as a hostage in a shoot-out with police. Good grief! Dear God, I put it all in your most capable hands. Amen.

Ron went in to work late today, so he took Mom's meds to her, along with a few groceries and things, giving me a little break from having to go out. Her apartment is on the way to his work. Thanks, Ron! :o)

Signing off from my spot on the couch.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I Am Heartbroken.

I just found out that my favorite priest, Fr. Donald Kloster, has been asked to leave the archdiocese. I am just sick about it.

Father was going to celebrate Mass on Ascension Thursday (May 13), and Ron and I went. But Father didn't show up. There were a lot of the TLM regulars there, and no one knew what had happened. A lady led us in the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and we went home.

The next Sunday, May 16, I was in the hospital for my second round of chemo, so we missed Mass that week. The following week (May 23) Ron was sick and I didn't feel well, and we missed Mass again. So we had no idea what had happened at those Masses.

We went to Mass on May 30, and Fr. Schorp was there for a low Mass. He was there again for another low Mass on June 6. I was looking at the bulletin and saw that Fr. Kloster's name was no longer on the list for the Latin Mass.

It seems that on May 16 the parish priest, Fr. McHugh, told the Latin Mass congregation that Fr. Kloster had been asked to leave the Archdiocese and would no longer be at St. Pius X. But he said that the Latin Mass would continue there. (I thank God for that).

I don't know what happened, but I do know we've lost one of our best, most faithful priests. Fr. Kloster is unafraid to tell the truth. That often rubs people the wrong way--they don't want to hear the truth. Please watch his videos here.

Please pray for Father Kloster, and pray for our Archdiocese. There is something terribly wrong when a good priest is not allowed to proclaim the Catholic faith.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Third Chemo Cycle Is Done

I feel pretty yucky. But at least I am at home. This cycle was done at the hospital, but on an out-patient basis. I had to be there at 7:45 AM. I had been told that I'd probably be there all day, but I was finished by about 1:30 PM. Ron and Josh came to pick me up, since I had some meds that made me really spacey and sleepy, so I couldn't drive. I didn't have a reaction to the Rituxin this time; thank you, Lord! Ron took the car and went to Mom's for me, and Josh drove me home where I crashed for most of the afternoon.

At the hospital, I was in a little treatment room where there were about 5 or 6 very comfortable recliner-type chairs. There were two other women in there with me, and a nurse stayed with us the whole time. It was pleasant to be able to chat with them now and then. One lady was crocheting a pretty pink baby blanket for her friend's baby due in October. Everyone was so nice.

Kelly brought me some lunch at noon, but she couldn't stay because of the toxic chemicals being administered in there. And they are paranoid about germs, which is a good thing. :o)

Johnnie, I took my prayer blanket with me. The nurse also gave us big blankets that had been heated. Oh my, they felt wonderful!

Hoping that I'll feel better tomorrow. Prayers appreciated! Thank you. :o)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hot Pink

Wow, it is hot here! I have not planted anything in my yard this year, and yet a little walkabout found some pretty pink flowers blooming.

Crepe Myrtle.


Rock Rose. You can tell it is related to the Hibiscus.



Yellow Pixie Lily. Hey, how did you get in here?

Friday, June 4, 2010

James Dupre

I was listening to old songs tonight, and looked up Gene Watson on YouTube. I found his song I Never Go Around Mirrors, then clicked on what I thought was Keith Whitley's version of the same song. It turned out to be a cover of Whitley's version by a young Louisiana man named James Dupre. Oh. My. Goodness. He's wonderful!

James has been posting videos of himself singing on YouTube since 2007. The man can sing anything from Hootie and the Blowfish to Merle Haggard, but his old-fasioned country music is what I like best. He has the kind of deep, smooth voice that I love.

His YouTube videos are made in his home, and sometimes you can hear his children playing or crying in the background. It's very endearing.

It was inevitable that such a gifted singer would be "discovered," and James has been. Someone brought his videos to the attention of Ellen Degeneres, and he was recently featured on her TV show. He has also made an album in Nashville, and a couple of the songs were written by him. I hope that he isn't spoiled by the fame I'm certain is in his future.

James has a website where you can read his bio, listen to a song from his album, see his calendar and order the CD. Go to YouTube and watch and listen to his videos there, too. If you like Don Williams or Vince Gill, George Strait or Dwight Yoakum, you're sure to like James Dupre.

Turn off my Playlist to listen:

And one more (I want to post all 122 of them; they are that good):

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thursday Chitchat

We had storms last night, with lots of thunder, lightning and wind. One of our patio umbrellas blew into the pool, wrought iron stand and all. When Sister and Katy went outside this morning they both stopped short when they saw something strange in the water. Their ears perked up and they turned their heads this way and that, wondering what on earth.... Then Sister barked at it. :o) It kept her out of the pool for awhile, but she loves the water too much to stay out for long.

(Internet photo of lightning).

Reece spent the night with me. We had a quiet evening (except for the storm). He enjoyed going to see Great-Gran this morning. I dropped him off at home around 1 PM. He had a dentist appointment today. Something in his mouth was hurting, and we thought he might need his spacer adjusted, but it turns out he had a couple of little sores on the inside of his lip, like cold sores. He didn't complain of pain when he was here, and was eating with no problem, so I hope they have begun to heal already.

I slept a lot this afternoon. I have a cold--runny nose and chest cough--but my doctor didn't seem to be concerned about it and said it won't delay the chemo unless it gets worse by Monday. I'm hoping it will be gone by then!

I had a grilled havarti cheese on oatmeal bread sandwich for supper, talked to Ron on the phone for a bit, and watched some TV while surfing the web. And now I'm going to bed and trying to decide which book to read until I fall asleep.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Consecration and Penance

A few years ago I was in the Adoration Chapel at our old church. My hour was from midnight to 1 AM, and I treasured that hour. On the bookshelf was a little basket where people left things like rosaries, medals, prayer cards and prayer books, free for the taking. That night there was an old silver Sacred Heart medal in the basket, worn smooth from years of wear. It immediately touched my heart and I took it home with me and put it on a chain with my little silver crucifix.

Sometime last fall I came across the prayer of consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. At the time I remember thinking it was a very serious prayer, and that one shouldn't pray it unless she was really ready for what was to come and committed to the promises it made. I read it through and thought about it. Overwhelmed with the desire to be as close as I can possibly be to Christ, I prayed the prayer sincerely.

An Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

I give myself and consecrate to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, my person and my life, my actions, pains and sufferings, so that I may be unwilling to make use of any part of my being other than to honor, love and glorify the Sacred Heart. This is my unchanging purpose, namely, to be all His, and to do all things for the love of Him, at the same time renouncing with all my heart whatever is displeasing to Him.

I therefore take You, O Sacred heart, to be the only object of my love, the guardian of my life, my assurance of salvation, the remedy of my weakness and inconstancy, the atonement for all the faults of my life and my sure refuge at the hour of death.

Be then, O Heart of goodness, my justification before God the Father, and turn away from me the strokes of his righteous anger. O Heart of love, I put all my confidence in You, for I fear everything from my own wickedness and frailty, but I hope for all things from Your goodness and bounty.

Remove from me all that can displease You or resist Your holy will; let your pure love imprint Your image so deeply upon my heart, that I shall never be able to forget You or to be separated from You.

May I obtain from all Your loving kindness the grace of having my name written in Your Heart, for in You I desire to place all my happiness and glory, living and dying in bondage to You.


Months later I remember praying that prayer, and I see that He has given me a gift, an opportunity to show Him that I meant what I said to Him, a way to expiate my sins which He has forgiven, but for which I have not made amends. This cancer is bringing me closer and closer to Jesus as I unite my life, actions, pain and suffering with His passion. People think that I am doing so well, enduring the chemo and after effects, but it is because He is with me, helping me to carry my cross, that makes it easier. Not a day goes by that I am not so thankful for my Catholic faith.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1459 Many sins wrong our neighbor. One must do what is possible in order to repair the harm (e.g., return stolen goods, restore the reputation of someone slandered, pay compensation for injuries). Simple justice requires as much. But sin also injures and weakens the sinner himself, as well as his relationships with God and neighbor. Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused. Raised up from sin,
the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the the sin: he must "make satisfaction for" or "expiate" his sins. This satisfaction is also called "penance."

1460 The penance the confessor imposes must take into account the penitent's personal situation and must seek his spiritual good. It must correspond as far as possible with the gravity and nature of the sins committed. It can consist of prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service of neighbor, voluntary self-denial, sacrifices, and above all the patient acceptance of the cross we must bear. Such penances help configure us to Christ, who alone expiated our sins once for all.
They allow us to become co-heirs with the risen Christ, "provided we suffer with him."

A Simple Woman's Daybook

It's been a long time since I have written a daybook entry, so I think I'll write one today.

Outside my window...

It may not be officially summer, but it is summer here in South Central Texas. Trees and grass are lush and green, flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and it is hot.

I am thankful...

for the life I've lived and the life I'm living. I am blessed.

I am wearing...
denim capris, a dark brown smock top with little pleats in front, a black cap on my bald head, bare feet.

I am remembering...
summer when I was a kid:

playing in the field behind our duplex where they had torn out all of the old two-story four-plexes. We would flatten down the tall ragweed and make rooms connected by hallways and play house or school all day long.

Or we would climb the "airplane tree," which had a big horizontal branch to sit on and daydream.

We might walk or ride our bikes to the school and play on the empty playground.

Sometimes we would walk to another school, farther away, where there was a summer recreation program. There were lots of kids there, and we could play games, walk on stilts, jump on a trampoline.

We would run through the sprinkler in the backyard when it got too hot.

In the evening we would play kick the can or hide and seek or catch fireflies with all the neighborhood kids while our parents sat outside on the front porches. We would play until well after dark, when moms would start calling their children inside for baths and bed.

We had no air conditioner; the windows were open and a breeze would blow through the bedroom bringing in the scent of the honeysuckle on the back fence.

We didn't know we lived in what some people called a slum. It was home, and we were happy.

I am going...
I've been to the airport twice today. Ron had a flight out at 6:30, so had to be there at 5 AM. I dropped him off, came home and went back to bed. Just as I fell asleep the phone rang. There had been some sort of problem about his ticket, so I had to go back and get him. He got it all straightened out and left at 2:30 PM instead. Josh took him the next time, while I went to my mom's.

I am reading...
"Send Me Your Guardian Angel"--Padre Pio, by Fr Alessio Parente O.F.M CAP. The dear ladies from my Catholic board have been sending me cards, notes and gifts ever since they learned about my cancer. This book was sent by "Gracie," who has had cancer and knows first-hand the path I am traveling right now. She said that Padre Pio helped her through her chemo and recovery, and hopes he will do the same for me. She also sent a DVD about him, and some other wonderful things. I have been so blessed by the support and prayers of the DCF ladies! Thank you dear friends!

On my mind...
the last time I wrote a daybook entry was in March, just before we went to the coast on vacation with the family, and before I knew about the cancer. It was while we were there, the first week of April, that my glands began to swell and I knew that something was very wrong. When we returned home the following week, my whole world was turned upside down.

From the learning rooms...
we haven't had a chance to do much, although the last time Reece was here to spend the night (Friday) we did use the little pre-school workbook I got him a lot. He was very interested in it, for the first time.

Pondering these words...
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. Helen Keller
(From the Foreword of the Padre Pio book I mentioned above).

From the kitchen....
since Ron will be gone, I'll probably not cook much. Mostly grazing from whatever is in the fridge, pantry and cabinets.

Around the house...
the pool looks sparkling and inviting, the patio is shady, my hibiscus is blooming. The outdoors is calling my name.

One of my favorite things...
babies at Mass.

A picture to share...
To read more daybooks please visit Peggy's site.