Thursday, July 29, 2010


I had energy today!

*edited: I had a long list of things I did here, but y'all don't need to read all that really boring stuff.

Discovered my home telephone wasn't working. I hadn't received any calls, and didn't miss them a bit! All my calls were going directly to call notes, so I left a message there telling people to call my cell phone. We're going to have to get a new telephone.

Called the mobile pet groomer to see how much it would cost to have them come and give Sis and Katy a bath. They said they started at $69 each for dogs their size. No way I was going to pay over $140, so I politely said my goodbye.

Finished making the beans (added ground beef, rotel, and seasonings), and made the rice. We had beans and rice for dinner.

Watched Reece, Aubrey and Camryn for about 4 hours tonight so that Josh and Cyrise could go out to dinner and a movie. Ron and I enjoyed being with them. Reece and Aubrey had some beans and rice. All three of them played so sweetly. Reece went outside with Papa for awhile. Camryn got a little fussy toward the end of the evening. She was sleepy. I held her and she went to sleep in my arms.

Their parents picked them up around 10:30. Reece didn't want to go home; he wanted to stay and make muffins. I told him we will do that tomorrow when he is here.

I'm tired now and ready for bed, but it's been a good day.

Uplifting News!

I got some wonderful news this morning. There was a new post on my Catholic board for me from the friend who sent me some Lourdes water back in the spring. Here is what it said:

Prayers will be offered for you at the Grotto in Lourdes on Sunday. I just found out! It was a surprise to me!

The chaplain of the Grotto in Lourdes, Pere Regis-Marie, maintains an American post in Syracuse, NY under the Bishop here. Since I have had the great blessing of meeting him and several of his staff, I contacted his office to send you the Lourdes water a few months ago. I sent them an update on how well you are doing, and received an enthusiastic email this morning from the woman who heads up his volunteer organization in Syracuse. She said that they are going to be landing in France on Sunday and will pray for you as soon as they arrive at the Grotto!

It was such a nice surprise that I thought I'd post it publicly. I love little happy surprises!

I replied:

Oh my goodness, D***, I am thrilled beyond words! Your post brought tears to my eyes. (Happy ones)! Thank you so much for setting this in motion.

The news comes at a perfect time for me, as I'm a bit anxious now that we are nearing the final stages of treatment. Yesterday when I saw my doctor, we discussed the upcoming stem cell harvest and transplant. I'll have my sixth chemo on August 9th, and a couple of weeks after that they will begin giving me a medicine to help increase my white cells. When they are at the optimum amount, they will harvest my stem cells. Then I'll have the very intense chemo for six days in the hospital to be as sure as we can be that all the cancer cells are killed. (That part scares me). Then they will give me back the harvested stem cells. So within a couple of months, the treatment should be complete.

My doctor thinks I am doing "extremely well," and I am certain that is because of all the prayer support I receive. You are, literally, getting me through this. Once again I want to thank all of you for praying for me, and for the love and support I've received through your cards, gifts and notes. I know that I have been blessed!

Here is my friend's reply:

I'm so glad this is a timely blessing!

It really does sound like your doctors are taking very good care of you, being thorough, and doing all they can to safeguard your health. It seems like Our Lady is keeping you close to her, too.

The thought of sending them an update on how you are doing just occurred to me when I couldn't sleep last night. I had been meaning to get in touch with them but kept forgetting, so last night when I couldn't sleep I sent E**** a hello message and an update on how you are doing.

She responded and also forwarded the email to M*****, who is getting ready to go to Lourdes, and M***** responded this morning.

It seems like Our Lady is really looking out for you, and that she and Our Lord are taking care of you at every turn.

Isn't that the most wonderful surprise?!! I'm so grateful to my friend, and to those who will pray for me at the Grotto on Sunday. And to all of you who read my blog, who are praying! Thank you.

Our Lady of Lourdes, thank you for your intercession!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday Walkabout

Had a long, busy day and I'm really tired. I was at Wilford Hall by 7:45 AM, had lab work and vitals done, waited for an hour for the lab results, then had a meeting with my doctor. After he examined me, we talked about the upcoming stem cell transplant.

After that he walked me down to the Apheresis/Cellular Therapy clinic where the nurses had me fill out paperwork, drew more blood and checked my veins to see if I'd need a tube implanted in my chest for the stem cell harvest procedure or not. They decided it would be easier to have one, so it will be done sometime in the next few weeks.

My next chemo (number six) will be August 9. About 2 weeks after that they will do the stem cell harvest using a machine that is similar to a dialysis machine. I'll explain more about the procedure as the time draws near.

I was at the hospital all morning, then drove to BAMC to pick up a prescription I'd called in over the weekend. Then I went to Mom's and did the stuff I always do over there.

Finally got home around 2 PM, just as it started raining and in time to let the dogs in before they got soaked.

I was getting something to eat when Josh called. Wednesdays are his day off. He said that Cyrise had some spotting and cramps and the doctor wanted to see her, so they brought Reece, Aubrey and Camryn over here.

They were all so sweet and good. The little girls both took naps, and Reece and I played quietly until their parents came to get them around 4:45 PM.

All is well with baby. Cyrise said she was moving her arms and legs all around during the sonogram. They brought home a sonogram picture, and of course Baby Girl is beautiful. :o)

When Ron got home, he went to Wendy's and got me some chili and fries for dinner, so no cooking tonight.

I took these pictures this evening after the rain stopped. I'm wondering if the fox that was in the pool the other day came in to feast on the Black Spanish grapes that are now ripe.

My turk's cap is blooming like crazy right now. I love how the little red blooms do look like turk's caps.

Sister and Katy were playing with a stick, tussling over who would get it. Sister won this time. :o) I had to take the stick away because I was afraid someone was going to get poked in the eye.

Hope you've had a beautiful Wednesday!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday ChitChat

I'm sitting on the patio, listening to occasional thunder in the distance. The clouds are keeping the heat at bay.

I came out to put the puppies inside, and it felt so pleasant I decided to sit outside for a bit. They, however, are inside, enjoying the cool air and their crate.

I had to go to Wilford Hall for labs and a picc dressing change this morning. I thought for sure I'd have to stay for a transfusion because of the way I've been feeling, but my doctor said I didn't need one today and that he will see me on Wednesday. I felt bad enough yesterday that I stayed home from Mass. I think I overdid on Saturday when Reece was here. I just don't have the energy and stamina that I had only a few months ago. I was glad I didn't need to stay at the hospital all day. The nurse said my red count was okay, and my white count is very low.

I stopped at Mom's and she was busy cleaning spots on her carpet and doing laundry. We wrote out a grocery list for her and I made her some lunch. We also did a little inventory of her dressy clothes. She said she needed clothes for Mass. I think most of her nice slacks were in the washer so she couldn't find them, but maybe we can go shopping this weekend. It's always fun to have something new to wear. Sandi is planning to come visit, and she likes to shop. :o)

There is a cardinal singing in our neighbor's yard. He sounds so cheery! Cardinals always remind my sisters and me of our dad, who loved them. To hear one singing is almost like hearing a "hi" from my dad.

Guess I'll go clean up my kitchen. I ignored the mess all weekend and can't stand it any longer.

Hope you're having a great Monday!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Saturday With Reece

Reece spent the night Friday, and the whole day with us Saturday. It was wonderful to have him here!

I think he is looking older.

He looks so serious in all these pictures, but he really had a good time and laughed a lot. :o)

He wanted to be outside on Saturday.

He looks like he is praying. Maybe he was. :o)

He was pretending something. I'm sure it had to do with Peter and the Wolf, which is his latest obsession. He knows all the music for each character and can repeat the lines of the video, along with sound effects! It's really amazing.

Relaxing at Great Gran's with a Coke. He is reaching around behind his head to hold his own ear. :o) Several of our grandchildren are ear holders. :o) Reece's daddy used to do the same thing with my hair when he was a child. He would feel my hair whenever I held him, and reach for it for comfort when he was distressed or just wanted to relax. I always thought it was so sweet.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Surprise In The Pool

This evening I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner and Ron was out in the backyard working on the pool. I looked out the window, and thought I saw a little dog swimming in the pool. Ron was trying to get him to get out. I went out and said, "Who is that?" And Ron said, "I think it's a fox!

Ron had a hard time getting it to go to the steps. He was trying to guide it with the pool brush, and the little guy just kept swimming around, trying to get away. He finally did get to the steps where he just sat and rested for a minute.

Here he has noticed me, taking his picture.

He finally got out of the pool. Here is where Ron told me not to let it bite me.

I went inside so that he wouldn't be afraid to move out of the yard. But instead he went running all around the yard. Ron was able to get him out of yard eventually, but later discovered him out in the street near our house. So he called the police, who called an animal control person to come and get him.

We still aren't sure what it was, but are leaning toward young coyote now, rather than fox. The police didn't know either, but thought it was a red fox. What do you think?

Sister and Katy are rather freaked out. We had them inside while the critter was in the yard, but they could see it out the door and kept whining, wanting to go outside. I let them out after it was gone, and they were so excited and smelled all over the yard, but they were also a little scared and would come to the door to look in at me now and then. They refused their dinner and wanted to come inside. :o)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday Chitchat

Happy to say that Ron is finally home from Indiana. He's glad to be home. I picked him up at the airport this afternoon, and we stopped and got Chesters hamburgers for dinner. He has been relaxing, watching TV and said that it's nice not to have to do anything. He does have to work tomorrow, though.

I got a new tire this morning when I took the flat one back to where we got it. They said I ran over a nail and then drove on the flat tire, ruining the inside of it, so it couldn't be repaired. I didn't drive that far on it, but I took the guy's word for it. Since it was still under warranty and had a road hazard clause, they sold me a new tire for a fraction of the cost of a new one.

Mom was doing well when I was at her place today. No problems at all from the dental work yesterday. We went to the store to pick up a few things for her.

I played frisbee with the puppies for awhile this evening. They are both getting good at catching it in mid-air. I feel bad because I can't play with them for as long as they would like. They wear me out, and I'm not feeling very well. (Their frisbee is like the pink one in the pic above).

Sending up a prayer for Josh, who has his first full day at his new job tomorrow. I know he will do a good job for his employer; he's a hard worker. But new jobs are always stressful while you are learning the ropes.

Hoping I'll feel much better tomorrow because I want to keep Reece overnight. He was here for a few minutes today while I typed a business letter for for Josh and Cyrise, and it was so good to spend time with him. He lifts my spirits so much.

EWTN Family Prayer For Cancer

H/T to Jean at Catholic Fire for this video.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How's Your Day Going?

It's been one of those days, but I love Texas.

I had a flat tire today on the way to pick up Mom to take her to the dentist. I pulled into the commuter parking lot not far from our house and called Josh. He said he would come ASAP. So I got out the spare donut tire, the jack and wrench, so that all he would have to do is jack up the car and put the spare on. I tried to take off the lug nuts, but I couldn't get them to budge.

While I was waiting, three different young men and their passengers pulled into the commuter lot to see if I needed help. This was within a 15 minute time frame. That's why I love Texas. Texans are always willing to help a person in distress, even on a sweltering hot day during the lunch hour. Every single one of them started out saying, "Ma'am do you need some help?" I love that. I told them that my son was on his way, but thanked them very much. They all gave me a big smile, some asked if I was sure, and they all waved as they drove away.

When Josh got there he had the tire changed in short order, with absolutely no trouble with the lug nuts. It would be nice to be so strong! I gave him a big hug and was on my way.

Mom and I were only about 5 or 10 minutes late for her appointment. She had a tooth pulled and another one got a filling. Next week when she goes back for her follow-up, the dentist will talk to us about her options for a lower plate or partial.

Now I have to take the tire back to the place where Ron bought it to see if they will fix it for me. The little donut tire also needs some air. Isn't it always something?

Hope you're having a good Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...
Hot July day, but we still haven't reached 100 degrees yet this summer. Last summer we had 100 degree days every day for a month! Our backyard is looking a bit shaggy and messy.

I am thankful...
for a home to live in, food to eat, family to love.

I am wearing...
Old denim capris with an elastic waist because the prednisone makes me swell up like a blimp, old black smock top, bare feet, bare head.

I am remembering...
being healthy.

I am going...
No where. I'm staying home.

I am reading...
A Nation of Sheep by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, loaned to me by our son Jason, and Predator by Patricia Cornwell, the novel I bought to take with me to the hospital to read during my chemo yesterday.

On my mind...
getting the house straightened up. I have piles of clean towels to put away, and sheets to put on the guest room beds.

From the learning rooms...
Nothing going on there right now.

Pondering these words...
One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you're feeling blue is that he doesn't try to find out why. ~Author Unknown

From the kitchen....
Nothing sounds good right now. I've been eating waffles with raspberries for breakfast every day. It's the only thing that appeals to me in the mornings.

Around the house...
The above mentioned laundry to put away, dog hair to sweep up, litter box to clean (don't worry, I wear a mask and don't touch the litter).

One of my favorite things...
My quiet Bosch dishwasher. Our kitchen, breakfast room and family room are all open, so it's important to have a quiet dishwasher.

A picture to share...

Pretty babies. :o)

Please visit Peggy's site to read more daybooks.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Don Williams Night

I've always loved the soothing, mellow voice of Don Williams. My favorite song by him is Good Ole Boys Like Me. I love the music, but even more, I love the lyrics of this song. As usual, turn off my playlist music to listen to the videos.

But this one, I like the music that just keeps rolling along. The pictures with this one are kind of cheesy, so just close your eyes and listen. :o)

This is one that Ron and I used to square dance to, way back in the early '80s when we lived in Kansas. I never thought I'd be a square dancer, and I swore I wouldn't wear those square dance outfits, but I did and it was fun. We belonged to a group called the Silver Spurs. They were a wild and crazy bunch. :o)

Round 5 is done.

This is yarrow. It means strength, which is what I need right now.

We are making progress, I guess.

My wonderful children were so helpful today; I didn't have to worry about a thing. Thank you, Kelly and Josh. I love you.

I feel pretty yucky and all I want to do is sleep, which is probably a good thing. The bad taste is back, along with a woozy feeling head and wobbly legs. I took a Zofran, which I haven't had to do in quite awhile.

The plan for the next few days is just to rest and recover as soon as I can.

Thank you for your prayers.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

July Sunday

(Maggie Cat).

Mom and I had lunch out
again today after Mass. We ate at Cracker Barrel. We had not been there for a long time, and both of us wanted chicken and dumplings. I just wish it wasn't always so crowded and noisy.

I wanted to get so much done this weekend while I still have energy and feel good, but my body still needs naps. I finally went to the grocery store this evening. I knew that I wouldn't feel like going shopping for awhile after the chemo tomorrow. Once again I am dreading it. It hasn't been quite 21 days, so I feel like I'm being cheated out of two days of feeling good.

I bought a Patricia Cornwall novel to read while I'm at the hospital tomorrow, and some snacks to take since I'll be there all day.

Josh and I worked on the pool a little bit today. He is going to come back tomorrow to clean the filters and brush it again. It might stay cleaner if the puppies would stay out of it! Josh will also go to Mom's for me, to take her meds to her. She will like seeing him. :o)

Talked to Ron this evening. He is still in Indiana, and said he is ready to come home. Unfortunately, he will be there until the end of the week.

Can't believe that 2010 is more than half gone! Christmas will be here before we know

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday Summary

Reece, having a cookie at Great-Gran's Thursday morning. It looks like he might be using sign language. :o)

The past week has been a good one. Except for some fatigue I've felt well, and am savoring the good days before another round of chemo on Monday.

On Thursday I met a sweet new friend for lunch at Crumpets, and so enjoyed getting to know her better. It was nice to be able to have a long, leisurely lunch and just talk, face to face. We have so much in common.

I had lunch out again on Friday with Mom. After her dentist appointment we ate at the Patio Cafe. Mom has become a real Texan. She loves warm winters and Tex-Mex. :o) She has to go back to the dentist on Wednesday to have her broken tooth pulled, and a filling replaced in another tooth.

My house is a mess. You would think with only me here, it would be as neat as a pin. But I have totally ignored it all week, even after the grandkid's visits. I'd better get on it now, while I have some energy. I also have to go to Mom's and to the grocery store.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Peas In A Pod

Angela commented in the post below that Aubrey looks like me. I've always thought she looks like my middle sister, Sandi, but when I was looking at the photos yesterday I thought there was something very familiar about them.

So I looked through my photos and found my old kindergarten photo, and sure enough I can see the resemblance.

While I was looking, I remembered this picture of Ahlyssa. I think she also somewhat resembles me as a child. So I put the three photos together, and can clearly see certain features of our faces that are the same. How cool! I love genetics. :o)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hey there, Little Red Riding Hood...

Aubrey found one of my "chemo caps" when the kids were here yesterday and put it on her head. She is such a cutie!

It was so big on her, it looked more like a hood than a cap.

Doesn't she make a darling Red Riding Hood?

But Gramma, what big eyes you have! :o)

And of course whatever big sister does, little sister wants to try, too.


Monday, July 12, 2010


Reece, Aubrey and Camryn were here for awhile this afternoon while their mommy and daddy went to the doctor.

Here is Reece, pondering.

Beautiful Camryn.

Beautiful Aubrey.

Camryn looks like she is wondering what on earth Aubrey is so happy about.

They are all so wonderful.

And I am thrilled to announce that in December, they will have another little sister! I'm so excited and happy. This baby will be our eighth grandchild, and if you've read my blog for long, you know that grandchildren make my world go round. :o)

Please pray for a healthy pregnancy for Cyrise, and a healthy baby. Thank you!

The Fourteen Holy Helpers

The Feast of the Fourteen Holy Helpers used to be on August 8, but was suppressed with the calendar changes of 1969. The Saints included were thought to be effective against various diseases, particularly during the bubonic plague.

The Fourteen Holy Helpers:

St. George, Martyr, April 23
St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, February 3
St. Pantaleon, Martyr, July 27
St. Vitus, Martyr, June 15
St. Erasmus (Elmo), Bishop and Martyr, June 2
St. Christopher, Martyr, July 25
St. Giles, Abbot, September 1
St. Cyriacus (Cyriac), Martyr, August 8
St. Achatius, Martyr, May 8
St. Dionysius (Denis), Bishop and Martyr, October 9
St. Eustachius (Eustace), Martyr, September 20
St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr, November 25
St. Margaret of Antioch, Virgin and Martyr, July 20
St. Barbara, Virgin and Martyr, December 4

I loved looking at the picture of the Holy Helpers at Mass yesterday. I especially liked seeing the objects that they are holding in their hands, which are associated with each Saint. For example, St. Blaise is holding crossed candles, St. George the head of a dragon. It made me want to learn more about each of them.

I'm grateful that I can ask this wonderful group of Saints, who are in Heaven and close to God, to intercede for me as I battle the cancer. Thank you, Holy Helpers!

By the way, I read somewhere online that the lullaby about the fourteen angels around the bed is in reference to the Fourteen Holy Helpers. I've always loved that lullaby. Turn off my playlist music to listen:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Peaceful Sunday Afternoon

This picture of the Fourteen Holy Helpers was on the back of our printed missal pages at Mass today. Do you know about them? I'll write a post about them tomorrow.

I went to get Mom for Mass this morning, but when I got there she was not ready. She had gone back to sleep after I called her to remind her that we were going. You have never seen an 83 year old woman pull it together so quickly! She was ready in 10 minutes flat. It's a good thing she wears a hat since there was no time for hair fiddling. :o)

Fr. Sanner was our priest today. We don't see him too often, and I always enjoy his clear, to the point homilies. He is a retired military priest. I very much appreciate his willingness to celebrate the TLM, especially since it is hard for him to kneel and get up and down with his bad knees.

Mom and I stopped to pick up a chicken sandwich, fries, and a fried cherry pie for her lunch, and stopped again for some items she needed from the store. When I left her place, she was enjoying her lunch and watching TV.

Kelly came over this afternoon, after I got home from Mass, and stayed until around 7 PM. It was so nice to have her here. She treated me to lunch. We picked up puffy tacos at the Las Palapas drive-through since the restaurant was crowded. She is careful to keep me away from germs. :o) We ate at my house, then went to Garden Ridge and the Dollar Tree, mostly just to get out of the house for awhile. Kel made sure I took my mask, but neither place was busy, so I didn't need it.

When we got back we watched a couple of shows on HGTV. Kelly doesn't have cable TV, so it's fun for her to watch it now and then. The puppies were so excited to see her, and when we let them go outside they ran around to the side of the house. I think they were looking for Darcy and Banzai, who usually accompany Kelly when she visits. But today they stayed home with Mike.

Kelly said her new puppy, Hunter, is doing very well. She said that Hunter eats a lot and that the house training is going great. Hunter goes to sit by the back door when she needs to go outside. Smart puppy!

Hope you've had a good Sunday, too.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Reece always says, "How 'bout five?" when he wants anything from cookies to toys in the bath tub. He must think five is the perfect number.

When he has a suggestion for a game or something else to do, he says to me, "Would you yike to do that?" How can I say no? :o)

Reece, pretending he's going to eat the Banana Boat: "Gramma, I'm gonna eat this sun scream!"

Reece, putting a toy waffle cone on his nose: "Gramma, I'm a woodpecker!" Then he proceeded to peck the arm of the couch. (This was after he put it on his head and said it was a party hat).

As we were walking down the hallway at Great-Gran's apartment complex, he said that we were in a tunnel and that he was a car. I said, "What kind of car are you?" And he said, "I'm a sedan."

He spent the night last night. He makes my heart happy.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursday Chitchat

It's been a gray day here all day long. We've had some slow, soft rain. And it doesn't seem like Thursday, but it is.

The puppies and I stayed inside most of the day. I did play with them outside for awhile this evening. They would chase and fetch until they fell exhausted if I let them. It was good for them to get some exercise after lying around inside all day, though.

I made chicken pot pie for dinner, using up the leftover rotisserie chicken Ron got at the grocery store a couple of days ago.

We drove to the main post office to drop off some bills this evening, then stopped by the grocery store again. Ron is going out of town for two weeks, and I didn't want to have to go shopping while I'm neutropenic, so he went for me while I waited in the car. I only needed a couple of things.

When we left our subdivision, we saw two mama deer and four fawns. They were so cute. The fawns were tiny, and still had their spots. It just made my day to see them running. :o)

Our youngest son, who has been unemployed for several months, got a job and will start his orientation tomorrow. I'm so happy for him! He will be working for a cable company. I'm sending up prayers of thanksgiving.

Okay, I'm all chatted out. How was your day?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Get it? Platelets? Ha!

Sorry for the slow blogging. I think I'm just sick of myself. :o)

All is well. I'm extremely neutropenic right now, so laying low. It's pretty boring.

Had a platelet transfusion and fluids today. Good thing I like my doctors and nurses; I see them too often.

Missed Mass on Sunday because I was feeling sick. Ron and Mom went, and ate at the Asian buffet afterwards. I think I slept most of that day.

I had to go to Wilford Hall for labs on Monday. It was a holiday, so the parking lot was nearly empty, very few people were at the hospital, and there was a skeleton crew working. It seemed very strange, since the place is usually bustling.

Tuesday was quiet; I went to Mom's and came home. It felt like Monday all day.

Today I was at the hospital for most of the day. Ron took me and stayed until we got the lab results to see if I'd need a transfusion. When we found out I did need one, he went to Mom's for me, taking her meds and some lunch. Then he went to work for awhile and came back for me when I was finished. They gave me benedryl and tylenol before the platelets, and the benedryl made me so sleepy! I crashed when we got home, and slept all evening.

And that has been my exciting life the past few days. :o)