Friday, January 29, 2010

A Whole Lot to Say about Nothing…

I am just not good at journaling or blogging…I'm not consistent.  I didn't realize, though, that it had been two whole weeks since I've been on here.  So, first thing this morning, I'm going to write something.

Nothing much exciting has been happening around our house.  The pain in my rib has been pretty intense the past couple of weeks, and last week I had the equivalent of 10 radiation treatments to help with the pain.  The dr. doesn't like to do so many treatments at once, but I told her I just couldn't drive 60 miles round trip for 10 days straight.  So, on Monday James took me at 1:00 to have x-rays and fortunately, they were able to use the tatoos from last summer.  After I went back to the waiting room for a while, they came out and said I wouldn't have my treatment until 4:30.  So I sent James on to work, and let Doug know that he would need to come get me.  After dozing off and on, I finally had the treatment, and "10 consecutive treatments" took about 30 minutes.  I think I slept through that too.  Finally, at 5:00 I was done and I was also the last patient in the clinic.  So far, I haven't felt any different and the pain hasn't subsided either.  The dr. said it would take effect the same as it would if I took the treatments separately.  It's been 12 days now, but I can't tell that it's working.  The dr. did say that there is one other kind of radiation that she can give me and it will help with pain all over and not just in my rib.  It's an I.V. and it takes a while to give too.  So I go back to the dr. next Friday and maybe I'll find out then what she's going to do.

Speaking of going to the dr., God just amazes me how He provides for me.  Doug was going to have to take off of work to take me to the dr.  He's the one, in fact, who called the dr. and re-scheduled my appointments.  I was originally scheduled to go next Wednesday on the 3rd, but that's my BSF day.  So he called and got the appointments scheduled back to back.  (They were originally three hours apart and I was going to have to find something to occupy my time.)  Well, I met a new friend at BSF and she asked me this week if she could possibly take me to the dr.  Her daughter is grown, she's new to this area, and her husband is working out of town.  Isn't that amazing?!  I called her yestereday to tell her when my appointment is and to ask if that works with her schedule, and we had a delightful visit, and what is really neat is that she wants to remain anonymous so that God gets all the glory!  Wow!  What an amazing lady!

On another note, I heard that my daughter-in-law, Whitney, shattered a bowl and cut BOTH hands and had to have stitches!  Poor baby…  I hate having to have stitches, especially in hands.  To this day, I have two horrible scars on my right hand because I wouldn't let Doug take me to the ER when I broke a glass with my hand swishing the dish rag in it, when we were first married.  Talk about pain…I can't imagine how Whitney can do her hair or put on make-up or anything.  I'm just so thankful this happened this year rather than last year when Eric was in Kuwait.  Eric seems to stay calm in emergencies and he was home to take her to ER and calm the kids at the same time!  Thank you Lord!

My mother-in-law, Peggy, came home yesterday from the hospital after breaking her hip and having surgery.  My sister-in-law, Regina, was able to make it to Peggy's home before the ice storm hit that's gripping Oklahoma right now.  And the hospital released Peggy at leasts 24 hours earlier than she had expected because they wanted to make sure she was safe and snug at home before the ice made her house-bound.

My mood is better than it was…both of my oncologists want me to find a psychiatrist that can regulate all my meds.  After having to change the cancer meds, it messed with my anti-depressants and now we can't seem to find the right combination.  But I can't seem to find a Christian psychiatrist who will see me that I can afford.  So, until if or when I find a dr., at least my mood is back closer to where it should be.

One of the things that has really bothered me lately is our house.  We've lived here almost eight years and haven't done any maintenance on it, other than painting about five years ago.  The carpet is shot, especially thanks to Gracie and Dixie, our Yorkie and cat.  This morning, Jared agreed to help me begin to work on the house, beginning with our bedroom and bathroom.  We're going to paint ─ a Tiffany-type blue and we're going to put down peel-and-stick tile.  We can't afford ceramic tile or laminate and definitely not hard woods.  But our neighbor put down peel-and-stick tile that looks like slate (even I couldn't tell the difference!), so that's what I want to do.  Doing it room by room or maybe a room a month won't kill us financially.  Doug and I bought a new comforter last weekend that already has blue in it, so wha-la!

Well, this has been an awful lot of writing for nothing going on in our lives….

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Man's in San Antone…

Doug drove the school bus for the Beta Club as they went to their annual convention this year in San Antonio.  This is the third year he's been asked to go, but the first that he's actually been able to make the trip.  I think he was excited about going; as he told me, I'm usually the one who leaves to take a trip, rarely is he the one to go.  But they left at 5:30 a.m. this morning.  And it makes me feel good that mothers of Beta students are happy that Doug is the one driving the bus.  As one mom told me at MIT today, "One of my prayers has already been answered [that Doug was the bus driver]."

When I talked to him earlier, he had walked around the River Walk, but since it's drizzly and cool, there wasn't anybody down there.  They are all staying at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and it sits right down at the River Walk and the Alamo.  Tomorrow he thinks he'll venture over to the Alamo.

The convention wraps up Sunday, and he'll be home Sunday afternoon/evening.

I'm glad he's had this opportunity to get away, and I haven't dreaded this trip the way I normally dread his going away.  I would love for Doug to be refreshed and come home with a new wind in his sail.

I've wondered why it is that I dread for him to go away on trips.  It hasn't happened very often in our 36 years of marriage that he's gone away, but I know that I enjoy getting away every so often.  I don't begrudge his getting away.  I guess I just feel safer when he's here.  I'm not used to being the sole responsibility bearer.  I've been spoiled; I've not had to be a single mom very often in our married life.  And I hope that when Doug comes home, I will remember to share with him that I am glad that he's had this opportunity to go and see something new (it's kind of pathetic that we've lived in Texas for 10 years and yet, we've never been to the state capitol [Austin], Houston, or San Antonio).  And I need to also tell him that I love and appreciate his protection of us and not leaving me to shoulder the burden of raising our children by myself.

So, Doug, enjoy yourself!  Eat out, see the sights, have fun but come home to us and remember that even though I'm glad you've had this opportunity, don't make traveling by yourself a habit or enjoy it too much!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Little Catch Up

Well, it didn't quite soon as I walked in the door last Sunday night, a huge wave of depression hit me smack dab in the face.  Monday and Tuesday were pretty bad.  I stayed in bed those days and to be honest, I did need the sleep, especially Monday.  But after getting up to go to BSF on Wedndesday, I felt like I should stop complaining and get on with life.  But now I have what feels liike another broken rib, and I've been bed ridden most of today.

Tomorrow I think we are going up to Ada to see Granny in the hospital.  Julie's baby shower is also tomorrow, and I'd love to go, but I don't think I'll be able to.  I'm so happy I already finished the yellow blanket I crocheted for her, and I'll be happy to finish the green blanket I'm crocheting.  I had promised to make her a baby quilt like Jesse's, but I just can't right now.  I didn't have the energy to make one for Brandon, and so I just have to accept the fact, that I most likely will not be able to make a baby quilt for Julie's baby.

Doug and Shane have been gone all day today to a practice UIL performance in Princeton.  I think they should probably be home shortly.  As I type, I hear the "back-up bells" on the bus…they're home!

Friday, January 1, 2010

My New Year's Resolution?

It's been quite a while since I wrote.  I went through quite a depressing time before Christmas.  It seems all I could do was cry.  I called the cancer center twice, and Debbie, Dr. Roque's nurse, ended up telling me that Dr. Roque wanted me to see a psychologist.  At the time I agreed, but I felt an uneasiness about it.

Christmas Day we came to Oklahoma, and I have had a wonderful trip.  I've felt loved and accepted by those whose homes I've stayed in.  And my pain level has been tolerable.

Last Sunday Doug and I went to Unity MBC.  We had spent the night with Doug's mother thinking, that although she's been sick with the shingles,  she would gladly go to church with her son.  We were wrong.  She said she wouldn't go because of the walker.  We didn't question her, but I wonder if it was a pride issue.  Anyway, when she said she wouldn't go, Doug and I planned to attend Trinity BC, the church Scott attended when he went to ECU.

Granny told me that morning that she wanted us to put her offering in the plate at Unity, so Unity is where we went.  I now know that I was supposed to hear the sermon the pastor preached that day.  He spoke on temptation and how satan knows our weak spot and he will try every single time at that area to tear us down.  My weak area is depression, and I know that if I spend time in God's Word and pray, I won't be depressed…well, that's a bit over simplified, but I also know that I haven't been spending time praying and reading my Bible as I should.  Bottom line is that I'm not going to go to the psychologist.  I've tried secular counselors twice before with a negative result.  But I'm also scared about going back home.  When I'm at someone else's house, I don't have to worry or think about my problems.  At home, that's all I do.  So I'm scared.

I don't believe in New Year's resolutions, but I must try to be more faithful in reading God's Word and talking to Him.  I do love the Lord with all my heart, but I get so wrapped up in the material things that I can see, touch, smell, and taste that God drifts far from my thoughts.  And I've got to get better at depending on Him moment by moment and talking to Him more often.  And I most definitely have to read His Word more faithfully.

So hopefully, next time I'm on, I won't be down in the dumps or crying.  Let's see what happens.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Besetting Sin

It's been a tough three days the first part of this week.  It all started Sunday.  First, I lost our tithe, and then that afternoon, while putting a few ornaments on the tree, I almost caught the house on fire.  I had lit a couple of candles and one was on the coffee table with the big cardboard box that held the ornaments.  Somehow, the lid scooted over the flame on the candle, and voila!  flames were leaping in the air when I turned around!  I tried to beat the flames out with a dust rag, to no avail.  I ran, and I mean ran, to the kitchen and grabbed a pitcher, filled it with some water and threw it on the flames.  The fire still wasn't out completely, so I repeated that action and finally, it was out.  But…there was water all over the place and what I thought was soot on the carpet.  Turns out, that I actually burned the carpet.  The nylon melted.  And to top that off, Gracie found a seam and loose thread, and has actually ripped out a rectangle, about 2" by 3" long.  Our homeowners insurance has a $1,000 deductible, so that's out of the question, especially here at Christmas!

The stress has caused my pain level to go back up.  I had been feeling so good, and yesterday I ended calling my oncologist's nurse.  She assured me that stress at this time of year is common, and that stress increases pain.

And today at BSF, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart again!  We're up to John chapter 8.  The religious Jews and Jesus were on completely different pages and their words (the Jews) were always aimed at trying to trip Jesus up.  Lori, our teaching leader, really zeroed in on the fact that you must first be convicted of sin before you will ever go to God for forgiveness.  And the Holy Spirit zinged my heart…I know something is SIN in my life when I don't tell Doug what I've done.

I have a BIG problem with spending money.  I love to bargain shop, but as Doug as told me repeatedly -- it's not a bargain if you have no money!  I have a tendency to think that Doug's money is our money and my disability check is my money.  I cashed my disability check and took cash to pay for my new glasses and tithe.  That was my first mistake.

Second, I went Christmas shopping and ended up spending more than I intended.  And that's what started the past three-day slump I've been in.  It wasn't the actual Christmas gifts that caused the problem; it was those extra little bargains that I came home with.  I'm not going to lie and say that I should probably take those items back to the store.  I love them and I won't take them back.  But in the future, I am going to have to exercise discipline when it comes to shopping.  I am going to have to be deliberate and limit myself as to what I spend.  And I'm going to have to start looking at all income as our income.  And the way I'm going to know if I've over-stepped my bounds is if I tell Doug what I've spent and show him the items I purchase.

I am going to have to be accountable.  Any accountability partners available?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thank You Lord for Answering Prayer

I love the Christmas season.  I couldn't always say this because I used to get so stressed out at the thought of having to buy presents with little or no extra money.  But as I've grown in my spiritual walk, I've found that Jesus meant exactly what He said, "My God shall supply all your need . . . ."  And Christmas isn't about the presents anyway.  We get to celebrate the fact that Jesus willingly took off His crown in glory and clothed Himself in human flesh.  Imagine that . . . .

And although I don't think the cancer is going to take my life anytime soon, this year has also caused me to think about going Home and seeing Jesus face-to-face.  And BSF had caused me to fall deeper and deeper in love with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I think about how good He is  . . .  He not only saved my soul from sin and hell, He provides everything I need to live this life.

And He answers prayer!!!  I've been thinking of all the prayers He's answered just this year.  Probably the biggest prayer He has answered this year concerns my son Eric.  This time last year Eric was only barely speaking to us.  When he came home for R&R from Kuwait, the only way we got to see him was to go to his Granny's house and see him along with the rest of the extended family.  But Eric told me recently that since he has become daddy to Jesse, he now realizes the importance of family.  He not only facilitated the recent family meeting we had concerning my homegoing, he invited us to his home for Christmas!  We are planning to go up to Oklahoma City Christmas morning and then spend that night at his and Whitney's home!

As I sat at Eric's college graduation yesterday morning, I thought about the long journey Eric's been on since he graduated from high school.  I feel like Eric was in a far country and since he married Whitney, she has helped him to return from that far place.  A friend of Eric's that I'd never had the privilege of meeting, named Tim, came for the graduation celebration.  He and Eric carpooled back when Eric lived in Ada and worked at the Pauls Valley Wal-Mart Distribution Center.  I said to Tim, "You've seen a BIG change in Eric since you met him."

"Yes," he said, "this [meaning going back to ECU] and Whitney . . . . "

Even an outsider noticed the difference Whitney has made in Eric's life.  As I've said before, Whitney is the best thing that's ever happened to Eric (excluding his salvation).  So as I think about my prayers that have been answered, Whitney plays a BIG part in not only bringing Eric back to us, she IS a direct answer to my prayer.  I haven't always been faithful in continually praying for my sons to marry godly women, but when I have, Whitney is the consumate answer to a godly wife for Eric.

So, Lord, thank You this year especially for Whitney.  Thank you for Katie and Jesse, and the privilege of being Mimi.  Father, help me to be a good mother-in-law and never forget Your faithfulness.  Lord, as I think of other prayer requests, help me to remember that You are a God who is faithful, never changes, delights in His children, loves to give good gifts to His children, and is more concerned with our character than our momentary "happiness."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I really don't want to talk about this, but . . .

It's been a while since I've posted.  Last Wednesday I came home from BSF to Scott and Brandon and James at my house.  It was so good to see them, but what pleased me even more was that Eric had picked Scott and Brandon up at Dallas Love Field.  In fact, Eric arranged their coming.  That night all four of our older sons came together to discuss my funeral plans, but what they mainly wanted to do was to discuss how we all were going to pay for it.  It just warmed my heart to think that my children wanted to help me in that way.  I was so proud of them.  Eric facilitated the meeting, but each present spoke their feelings.  I have just never had anything to touch me like their willingness to even discuss something as uncomfortable as a funeral.

Eric assigned each of us tasks that we are to accomplish by February 1, 2010.   That's when we are going to come together again--probably by way of Skype.  Doug has already started on his assignment; one of the women who works in the school administration building (I think she handles employee benefits) is also a licensed funeral director and she is giving him some guidance.  I had just assumed we would use the mortuary here in Celina, but she told Doug of one in McKinney that is about $3,000 less expensive!  WOW!  (And Vicki, as I was typing "McKinney", do you realize that McKinney is where Grandma Pevehouse [Clara] was born?!  It just always amazes me that Doug lives so close to the area where his grandmother was born and we also live near Aubrey which is where her father [your and Doug's great-grandfather is buried]).  Excuse that aside note if you're not Vicki.  Anyway back to "the plans".  We'll wait until after Christmas to do the rest of our assignment.  We are to make an appointment with the funeral home and get a bottom line price.  Then I am to call either AARP or the insurance company that Alec Trebec advertises and see about getting an insurance policy to cover funeral expenses.

Now even though we had this meeting and are making plans, I informed the boys the other night that I don't believe that I am going to die in the near future!  I still believe that God touched my body at the Arise! Cry Out! prayer meeting I went to a few weeks ago.  And my oncologist confirmed what I shared with her about that day.  At my check-up last week she agreed that there is a large knot on my rib cage, but she said that that could mean healing.  When calcium forms over a fracture it makes a large knot.  We won't know for sure until next month when I actually have a PET scan.  But I felt a strange pain after the prayer meeting in my back.  It was at the location of the original metastasis in my spine, and I pictured God sucking the cancer right out of my body at that spot!  I think that the PET scan will show a marked improvement over the last time.  And even if the cancer isn't gone, a person can live years with cancer still in their body.  And that's what I'm counting on!

It was so sweet the way the boys kept reassuring me that they wanted things done just the way I wanted them to be done.  I had looked on the Internet at the Casket Store here in Dallas.  They actually showed a casket that is pale pink.  I loved it!  That's what I would like to be buried in, since pink is my sig-na-cha cou-lah!  Seriously though, I told them that I want my homegoing celebration to be just that . . .  a celebration!  At the moment I die physically, I will be more alive spiritually than I've ever been before!  I'll be reunited with family members that have gone on before me, I'll be singing in a sweet-sounding voice, worshiping my King, and I'll be able to see Jesus face-to-face!  And although I long for that day, I just don't feel it is going to happen as quickly as I did a couple of months ago.  I want Jared and Whitney to sing Wonderful, Merciful Savior, and Jared is going to sing a couple of solos.  I told them I want 3 - 5 songs.  I love music and I know that Jesus inhabits our praise, so I know He will be present at that service.

Eric is checking into what all is involved in burying me in Oklahoma, next to Papaw and Big Grandma.  Scott is checking into the cost of tombstones.  I don't really have any big desires on tombstones, but we all agreed that it would be a double one.  Between our names I'd like there to be a heart and our wedding date, and somehow I'd like it to also read, "Mother of Scott, James, Eric, Jared, Alyssa, Shane, Dylan, and Trent."  I'd also like it to say, "She loved Jesus and being a mother."

And all that talk really made me think about the dash that will be written someday.  November 2, 1955 - whatever date.  The first date is my birth and the last date will be my death, but that dash represents my LIFE!  What will be my legacy?  What will people remember about me?  What words sum up my life?  

Although our family meeting was about a morbid subject, and it wasn't the most comfortable subject to talk about, we had it and it was done just the way I always picture our family to be:  together as a unit, united, each part of that three-fold chord, loving each other.  It was a sweet time, a poignant memory.  Thanks, Eric, for having the courage and foresight to pull us together.