Sunday, December 21, 2008

Santa and Sarah




Santa and Sarah

Three years ago, a little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at the Mayfair Mall in Wisconsin. The child climbed up on his lap, holding a picture of a little girl.

"Who is this?" asked Santa, smiling. "Your friend? Your sister?'"

"Yes, Santa,' he replied. "My sister, Sarah, who is very sick," he said sadly.
Santa glanced over at the grandmother who was waiting nearby, and saw her dabbing her eyes with a tissue."She wanted to come with me to see you, oh, so very much, Santa!" the child exclaimed. "She misses you," he added softly.
Santa tried to be cheerful and encouraged a smile to the boy's face, asking him what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas.

When they finished their visit, the Grandmother came over to help the child off his lap, and started to say something to Santa, but halted.
"What is it?" Santa asked warmly.
"Well, I know it's really too much to ask you, Santa, but.." the old woman began, shooing her grandson over to one of Santa's elves to collect the little gift which Santa gave all his young visitors.
"The girl in the photograph... my granddaughter well, you see ... she has leukemia and isn't expected to make it even through the holidays," she said through tear-filled eyes. "Is there any way, Santa, any possible way that you could come see Sarah? That's all she's asked for, for Christmas, is to see Santa."
Santa blinked and swallowed hard and told the woman to leave information with his elves as to where Sarah was, and he would see what he could do. Santa thought of little else the rest of that afternoon. He knew what he had to do. "What if it were MY child lying in that hospital bed, dying," he thought with a sinking heart, "This is the least I can do."
When Santa finished visiting with all the boys and girls that evening, he retrieved from his helper the name of the hospital where Sarah was staying. He asked the assistant location manager how to get to Children's Hospital.
"Why?" Rick asked, with a puzzled look on his face.

Santa relayed to him the conversation with Sarah's grandmother earlier that day.

"C'mon.....I'll take you there." Rick said softly. Rick drove them to the hospital and came inside with Santa..
They found out which room Sarah was in. A pale Rick said he would wait out in the hall.
Santa quietly peeked into the room through the half-closed door and saw little Sarah on the bed.
The room was full of what appeared to be her family; there was the Grandmother and the girl's brother he had met earlier that day. A woman whom he guessed was Sarah's mother stood by the bed, gently pushing Sarah's thin hair off her forehead. And another woman who he discovered later was Sarah's aunt, sat in a chair near the bed with a weary, sad look on her face. They were talking quietly, and Santa could sense the warmth and closeness of the family, and their love and concern for Sarah.

Taking a deep breath, and forcing a smile on his face, Santa entered the room, bellowing a hearty, "Ho, ho, ho!"

"Santa!" shrieked little Sarah weakly, as she tried to escape her bed to run to him, IV tubes intact.

Santa rushed to her side and gave her a warm hug. A child the tender age of his own son -- 9 years old -- gazed up at him with wonder and excitement. Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore telltale bald patches from the effects of chemotherapy. But all he saw when he looked at her was a pair of huge, blue eyes. His heart melted, and he had to force himself to choke back tears. Though his eyes were riveted upon Sarah's face, he could hear the gasps and quiet sobbing of the women in the room.
As he and Sarah began talking, the family crept quietly to the bedside one by one, squeezing Santa's shoulder or his hand gratefully, whispering "Thank you" as they gazed sincerely at him with shining eyes. Santa and Sarah talked and talked, and she told him excitedly all the toys she wanted for Christmas, assuring him she'd been a very good girl that year.
As their time together dwindled, Santa felt led in his spirit to pray for Sarah, and asked for permission from the girl's mother. She nodded in agreement and the entire family circled around Sarah's bed, holding hands. Santa looked intensely at Sarah and asked her if she believed in angels.

"Oh, yes, Santa... I do!" she exclaimed.

"Well, I'm going to ask that angels watch over you." he said. Laying one hand on the child's head, Santa closed his eyes and prayed. He asked that God touch little Sarah, and heal her body from this disease. He asked that angels minister to her, watch and keep her. And when he finished praying, still with eyes closed, he started singing, softly, "Silent Night, Holy Night.... all is calm, all is bright..."
"The family joined in, still holding hands, smiling at Sarah, and crying tears of hope, tears of joy for this moment, as Sarah beamed at them all.
When the song ended, Santa sat on the side of the bed again and held Sarah's frail, small hands in his own. "Now, Sarah," he said authoritatively, "you have a job to do, and that is to concentrate on getting well. I want you to have fun playing with your friends this summer, and I expect to see you at my house at Mayfair Mall this time next year!"
He knew it was risky proclaiming that to this little girl who had terminal cancer, but he "had" to. He had to give her the greatest gift he could -- not dolls or games or toys -- but the gift of HOPE.
"Yes, Santa!" Sarah exclaimed, her eyes bright. He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead and left the room.
Out in the hall, the minute Santa's eyes met Rick's, a look passed between them and they wept unashamed.
Sarah's mother and grandmother slipped out of the room quickly and rushed to Santa's side to thank him.

"My only child is the same age as Sarah," he explained quietly. "This is the least I could do." They nodded with understanding and hugged him.
One year later, Santa Mark was again back on the set in Milwaukee for his six-week, seasonal job which he so loves to do. Several weeks went by and then one day a child came up to sit on his lap.

"Hi, Santa! Remember me?!"

"Of course, I do," Santa proclaimed (as he always does), smiling down at her. After all, the secret to being a "good" Santa is to always make each child feel as if they are the "only" child in the world at that moment.
"You came to see me in the hospital last year!"

Santa's jaw dropped. Tears immediately sprang in his eyes, and he grabbed this little miracle and held her to his chest. "Sarah!" he exclaimed. He scarcely recognized her, for her hair was long and silky and her cheeks were rosy -- much different from the little girl he had visited just a year before. He looked over and saw Sarah's mother and grandmother in the sidelines smiling and waving and wiping their eyes.
That was the best Christmas ever for Santa Claus.

He had witnessed --and been blessed to be instrumental in bringing about -- this miracle of hope.. This precious little child was healed. Cancer-free. Alive and well. He silently looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered, "Thank you, Father. 'Tis a very, Merry Christmas!"

If you believe in miracles you will pass this on...I did!


Why Me? Uggg!




The last couple of days I've been going thru the 'why me' stage. I have been wondering why I have been blessed to have cancer and especially a rare one. Why not one that has a cure, or one where they can operate have chemo and radiation and it's gone. But no I've got one that has no cure and comes back.
It's tough to 'Oh well' this.
I've been reading again the Mitford series by Jan Karon where the main character is an Episcopalian priest. I love this series. Something that Father Tim says in the book I'm reading is, 'Like it or lump it, nothing happened to a Child of God by accident, and scripture inarguably proved that out.' Father Timothy, These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon.
So this all wasn't an accident. God knew this would happen. I feel it was to deepen my faith in God and depend on him. Which both have happened. Also to affect the lives of the people around us.
Also, a friend of ours stopped by to see us. His wife has MS and now her right arm is the only thing she can move. She is home bound in her bed. So sad for one so intelligent and active to have this happen to.
So when I think of her, my pity parties don't last long.
And my positive attitude gets back into place. :-)
I know dwelling on the negative is going to get me no where. So I read God's promises and believe that this cancer will not come back and that it will go away and stay away. It will be for the Glory of God!
I thought I would explain some of the pictures that I have on here this time.
This first is of Bobbie getting blessed this year by Pastor Kirk. Just a month or so before we put him to sleep. The 2nd one is of the bridge, I really think this depicts everyone's life journey because we don't know what the future holds. That's why we need to depend on God. The 3rd is a gift that Pastor Michelle sent me very recently of a prayer shawl. Isn't it pretty.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Friday, December 19, 2008

Day after Surgery



My laser surgery went pretty well. I don't know if I would like to do it again but if it gets rid of a tumor I really don't have any choice.
We were able to take a shuttle back and forth from the hotel to Rush so that was nice.
Things seemed to go really fast.
I guess my main complaint after surgery is that my mouth was really dry and I couldn't really talk to tell them that I would like to have ice chips.
My chest hurt too but that probably was combination of me coughing and the laser surgery.
We were able to leave the same day so we missed driving in the snow and sleet. We left about 3 and got home about 4:40. I slept most of the way home that was after we got on Rt 88. Woke up outside Waterman. I also had a really bad headache when I got home so took some ibuporfen and slept for about an hour. Woke up without the headache.
I can say that I'm feel like I'm breathing better. At least I think I am. I'll have to see when I go up and down the stairs in a few days.
I did eat a popsicle last night and I'm sipping tea this morning.
The thing that hurts today is my throat and my chest and that really isn't that bad. My throat hurt worse yesterday. I've been taking ibuprofen so that helps. They gave me a prescription for pain pills but we didn't fill it. I don't think it's necessary.
Right now I'm kind of tired but that's ok.
There were some differences between Kish and Rush. When I had the bronchoscopy at Kish they numbed the back of the throat. They didn't at Rush. At least I don't think so. I was out before I got to the operating room. I was alone during recovery, they told me that would be for 45 minutes but it may have been longer. At Kish they let Buddy come back when I got back.
The one thing I remember was during recovery there was a little boy crying. I felt badly for him. They had all the beds facing the wall so you couldn't look at anyone. The little one was gone by the time I was able to sit up.
If I had to choose between the 2 I liked Kish better. I had a better experience. The people at both places were nice and compassionate but I just didn't like being separated from Buddy that long. But I probably shouldn't compare.
So that's how I am. Not really that bad. I've felt worse having bronchitus.

Have fun in the snow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8HgAVenbUU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIFOPWHjA6c
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
~All Animals are God's angels, they give to us their unconditional love~.
~A dog has one aim in life...to bestow his heart. J.R. Ackerley~

Wednesday, December 17, 2008





Ok, today I'm impatiently waiting on my phone call. You know the one's you get to confirm your appointment. They said that they would call to tell me what to bring and not to bring. I have looked at the website I have the list of things to bring all packed and ready to go. I just wish they would call!
There is so much riding on tomorrow. More than they have said. I feel he is going to be able to do more than just burning the tumor off/down.
At least that is my prayer. I'm also praying that he will get in and see that it's all gone! That I have no more cancer. Prayers are needed for today and tomorrow.
Today we are driving into Chicago which may be fun. :-)
Tomorrow for me and Buddy but also my parents and everyone else. Mom and Daddy are going to try to come up tomorrow if the weather is ok.
My one sister in law wants the cancer taken out and to fix me. Buddy's told her that there is only one person that can do that.
God is our healer. He can do anything exceedingly abundantly! He is omnipresent and omnipotent!
He is the one I trust and love!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rush University Hospital


We yesterday Buddy, Mom, Daddy and I went to Rush for my appointment. We were hopeful that we would get some kind of new information and hopefully surgery.
We saw quite a few doctors the first was Dr. Mohamed Farhat. We think he was a physician's assistant but he was a MD. He took looked at my medical history and asked me when all my symptoms started. Fortunately I had things all written down, Buddy suggested this which I thank him for, so I wouldn't need to talk so much.
We then saw Dr. Warren who we discovered was the surgeon. Up till this point we had never met with a surgeon. He told us that we had some options but surgery wasn't possible. But....there are some options. He told us that he could go in with a bronchoscope and burn the tumor down in the windpipe. This will not get rid of the cancer but, it would get airflow back into the right lung. They are afraid that if we don't get movement back into the right lung, secretions could build up. The right lung could get infected. I could develop pneumonia and possibly die.
He also said he may do some other things maybe not this time but another time. He doesn't know exactly what he'll find. He said the scans, CT and Pet are like an aerial view of the area.
So next Thursday,the 18th, we will be going to Rush and I'll be having my tumor burned off.
He did say that with my voice that the tumor or something was pinching the nerve to the vocal cords. He said there were things they could do to strengthen it. I won't be able to sing in the choir and it may never be the same tone. But it would help it a lot. But who knows, with God all things are possible. :-)
He was very nice, very informative and we really liked him.
We then saw Dr. Bonomi the medical oncologist. He agreed with burning the tumor. He talked of a C Kit mutation and a drug called cleevec to control the windpipe, nodules. I'm not certain about all that. I'll have to research that more.
Oh, and we saw a Dr. Kazi the psychologist. She was very nice. Asked about how I was feeling and doing with all of this. She was happy that I had a strong faith and such a strong network of support. She said not many people were as upbeat and positive as I have been at this stage of the process. She told us if we needed any help to contact her.
All 4 doctors were very nice, informative and gave very positive encouragement.
They said since I was so young being diagnosed that my prognosis is very good and that I could live a long a healthy life. The surgeon asked me what grade I taught and I said 1st and he said God bless you. Then Mom said that I was an assistant with special needs child and then he said that we need to get you back to work.
Also they all said I didn't look my age and that I couldn't have kids 28 and 24. So that helped my ego a lot. But Mom and Daddy have never looked their age either.
Please e-mail me if you would like. I love getting e-mails. I always did love getting mail. :-)
God is such a good God. He has sent us so many wonderful doctors and staff. He really is with us and he really does love all of us. This is all for his glory!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


It's been a month ago today that I've been diagnosed with ACC. It's been a rollercoaster ride so far, or maybe bumper cars would be a better carnival ride to describe this. But thru all of this I've depended on God for my everything. I'm still here, he's brought us wonderful doctors and people to help us. We are going to Rush today. There is a doctor who thinks he can do surgery. At first I didn't want this because I was afraid to lose my voice. Although I still don't want to lose my voice, I don't want to lose my life more. So if surgery is possible that's the route I will want to go. I'll still need to do Chemotherapy and Radiation but surgery is something else I want.
God is in control, he knows whats going on and he loves me.

I recently got an e-mail from a friend of mine who now lives in the state of Washington. I thought it was so good I would post it here too. Oh and the picture is of my littlest great nephew Jacob. Isn't he cute.

Baby's Hug ~
> We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik

> in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking.

> Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat
> baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter

> and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and
> giggled with merriment.
>
> I looked around and saw the source of his merri ment. It was a man
> whose pants were baggy with a zipper at hal f-mast and his toes poked

> out of would-be shoes His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed
> and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his

> nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.
>
> We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His
> hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. 'Hi there, baby; hi there,
> big boy. I see ya, buster,' the man said to Erik.
>
> My husband and I exchanged looks, 'What do we do?'
>
> Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.'
>
> Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the
> man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby.
> Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya

> patty cake ? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo.'
>
> Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.
>
> My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for

> Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row

> bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.
>
> We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband
> went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The

> old man sat poised between me and the door. 'Lord, just let me out of

> here before he speaks to me or Erik,' I prayed. As I drew closer to
> the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he

> might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with
> both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him,

> Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.
>
> Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated
> their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and
> submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The
> man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged

> hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom
> and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so
> short a time.
>
> I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms
> and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm
> commanding voice, 'You take care of this baby.'
>
> Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone.
>
> He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he
> were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, 'God bless you,
> ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.'
>
> I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I
> ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding

> Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.'
>
> I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a
> tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a
> soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who
> was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, 'Are

> you willing to share your son for a moment?' when He shared His for
> all eternity.
>
> The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, 'To enter the
> Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.'
>
> If this has blessed you, please bless others by sending it on.
> Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important.

> We must always remember who we are, where we came from and, most
> importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on your back or the

> car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you
> at all; it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you
> are.
>
> This one is a keeper.
>
> 'It is better to be liked for the true you, than to be loved for who

> people think you are......

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas


Christmas is a magical time of year. It was also my Grandmother's favorite holiday. She always made Christmas Special for me. We always went Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve for that last present for either Uncle John or Bruce. Later when everyone arrived we would go to the Candle Light service. I have found out that if I don't go to this service Christmas just isn't Christmas for me. We come back eat and then open presents. In later years we made home made ice cream with Grandma's home made chocolate sauce. She made the Jesus' Birthday cake Which was a round chocolate cake with white icing. 12 red candles and evergreens that surrounded it. We would tell what each thing stood for. Chocolate cake stands for our sins, White icing is Christ's purity that covers our sins. The cake is round because a circle is never-ending. 12 candles for 12 months of the year they were red for Jesus' blood that was shed for us. Evergreens stand for everlasting life. We would lite the candles and we sang happy birthday to Jesus. The next day was Christmas and we would go to my other Grandparents and celebrate all over again. Playing out on the farm, taking walks with the aunts and cousins. Having Grandma's home made rolls and lets not forget the scalloped oysters. :-)
I've realized a long time ago it was family that made things special. I guess if I was spoiled in anyway growing up was the fact that I always saw my grandparents and aunts and uncles every week. Most of my aunts and uncles were still in school when I was a baby. So I got a lot of attention and they always made me feel special and every holiday was extra special.
Family, after God, is the most important thing to me. It's God and my family that I run to when I'm hurting. I've thanked God over and over so I want to thank my family for all their love, support and prayers.
I love you!
Dawn

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Change in Plans


Ok I waited until today to send this because I didn't have an appointment. Yesterday I got a phone call from Dr. Bhate, the radiology oncologist. She was talking to one of her colleagues about me from Rush University Hospital and thought he might be able to do surgery on my trachea. This would mean, I think, less radiation and less chemo. Anything I've read if surgery is possible to go for it.
So next Thurs. the 11th Buddy, I, Mom and Daddy are going to Rush. I'm kind of excited and more hopeful. But if they can't operate that's ok, we'll go back to square one. I know God is here and his plan is there, I'm just going along for the ride. :-)
So pray for a beautiful day, no snow, not much traffic, good directions etc. and that God leads the doctors to where they need to go.
Love to you all,
Buddy and Dawn

~Sometimes God brings things to you because you have the strength thru him to deal with it. ~
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
~All Animals are God's angels, they give to us their unconditional love~.
~A dog has one aim in life...to bestow his heart. J.R. Ackerley~

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Plan


We saw my oncologist today and we have a game plan. The doctor's feel that this did not originate in my salivary glands but in my trachea. It's still rare and still no cure. I'll be having chemotherapy treatments along with radiation treatments. Chemotherapy drug that he wants to try doesn't have the strong side effects like some of the others. We read some research online and he also knew that combining chemo and radiation therapy together is a good way to start. He doesn't just want to temporarily get rid of it, he wants to cure it. He also talked of proton or nutron therapy but I would need to go out of state for it and plus the money involved would be huge. So that right now that isn't really an option I want to try. I'm done with work until this is all over with. I'm becoming more and more out of breath. Just finishing making my bed yesterday I got a little bit winded, very frustrating. I'm scared to start this and anxious to get it started. It's the reality...I've been able to hide from it up till now. Now it's hitting me square in the face. I'll be depending on my faith in God more so now than ever. Depending on friends and family also. Some people have asked what they can do for me. I've just said pray, I know it seems so little but it does so much good and really prayer is the best thing for us. I will keep you all informed on what is going on.
~Sometimes God brings things to you because you have the strength thru him to deal with it. ~
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
~All Animals are God's angels, they give to us their unconditional love~.
~A dog has one aim in life...to bestow his heart. J.R. Ackerley~

Friday, November 28, 2008

What we found out at Mayo Clinic

We learned a lot from going to the Mayo Clinic but I need to back track to Tuesday. On Tuesday we left the clinic with heavy hearts. We were told of 2 options that could happen. One that the "hot spots" in my back could be that my cancer had gone down into my back. Which meant they would send me home and they would throw anything they could at me. I had remembered that my ex-father in law had bone cancer. He was in terrible pain. That was something that I didn't want to go thru and scared of it.
The second thing was if the cancer hadn't traveled down my back then for the best chance at saving my life was to stay there, have a re-sectioning of my trachea and have powerful radiation. Over the course of 7 weeks. We could stay at the Mayo Clinic for free. Wasn't the best option but if they could save my life..... but it would take us totally away from our support system.
They needed an MRI done of my back so they could see what was going on there. I had that done Tuesday night.
The MRI went well. I found out that I'm not claustrophobic. :-) The background sound, sounded like an antique engine so that made me feel relaxed. Buddy's family collects antique engines so it was a sound I was familiar with. I concentrated on that noise as much as I could, prayed and thought of uplifting songs that I know.
Yesterday our appointment was with another oncologist. We found out what they felt was needed.
We really liked the doctor. He was very through all in his exam and took a lot of time with us explaining things and going thru everything.
He told us that in my back I have a benign stress fracture. It will need to be monitored. There is no need of a biopsy. When he showed us on the scan the section in question. It wasn't shaped in the nice square shape like it's suppose to.
Because there is so much of my esophagus involved surgery isn't an option. Your esophagus/windpipe goes down and splits into 2. One side goes to the right lung the other the left lung. My esophagus as you go down there is a lining that grows thicker and thicker to the point at when it gets to the right lung it's almost closed. So I've been operating on almost 1 lung. So I will need to undergo not chemotherapy but very strong radiation. They need to be careful because my spine is directly behind the esophagus and won't take a lot of radiation. So they will angle is out slightly. Radiation will be everyday for 6 weeks or longer. They may take a break in between in case I need a break. The side effects of radiation are esophagealtitus (sp?) sore throat, and fatigue. The other thing the oncologist told us is that the cancer may come back.
So although this wasn't the best news it was much better news.
I don't need to be concerned right now about my back. I am losing weight, my choice, on my own, with no medication. I've lost 32 pounds so far. I'm going to start doing yoga exercises and tai chi to strengthen my stomach muscles. That will help my back.
I won't have surgery, nor will I be having my treatments at Mayo Clinic. That was the other thing he told us. That my treatments can be done down here. So we'll be home with family and friends. That sounded wonderful to Buddy and I.
Thru all this time we've been depending on God to get us thru. Even tho we know that there are worse things I'll need to endure we know that God is with us holding our hands. We were showed that Tuesday with all the signs that we saw.
We go to see my oncologist Monday and will probably will start the radiation soon.
Thank you for all the support and prayers. We have really needed them and continue to need them.
We will stay in touch.
Love to you all,
Dawn and Buddy
~Sometimes God brings things to you because you have the strength thru him to deal with it. ~
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
~All Animals are God's angels, they give to us their unconditional love~.
~A dog has one aim in life...to bestow his heart. J.R. Ackerley~

Monday, November 24, 2008

One down and three to go

Well, we went to our 1st appoinment at Mayo's. We found out a few things that we didn't know before.
One is that they think I've had this cancer for awhile two, there are 2 hot spots that showed the PET scan. They need to find out if these two places are cancerous if so that means the cancer has grown past my chest cavity. How does that affect me? They can find this out by either a MRI or a bone marrow biopsy. I'll be doing that in DeKalb. Also my lymph nodes have enlarged to the point that my right side isn't getting much air. Gee no wonder I've been getting winded.
I have registered for research, so that they can learn more about my type of cancer and help someone else.
We will be here tomorrow, and Wednesday. I have a breathing treatment and see a radiation onocologist tomorrow. Weds. we see a medical onocologist. They say that I will need radiation along with chemotherapy.
Buddy has said that we are leaving on Weds. no matter what. We won't be here for Thanksgiving! We want to be with family.
I saw a pulmonary doctor today, we had wondered about that. Instead of sending me directly to an onocologist. We thought that probably we had to go thru the channels and needed to see the pulmonary doctor first. Get this doctor on board.
Anyway, this what we know so far. This wasn't the best news we could have gotten. It's still a slow growing cancer, but now how long have I had it?
I still trust God. He is in control of all of this. He will never leave me and my family. I firmly believe this. I'll stay in touch.
~hugs~,
Dawn and Buddy

~Sometimes God brings things to you because you have the strength thru him to deal with it. ~
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
~All Animals are God's angels, they give to us their unconditional love~.
~A dog has one aim in life...to bestow his heart. J.R. Ackerley~

The setting in of reality.

It's 1:30 in the morning and I couldn't go back to sleep. I've been up a couple of times but just to go to the bathroom and go back to bed but, this time I just couldn't go back to sleep.
I guess it's just the unknown. I'm apprehensive. I don't know what this looks like, Mayo Clinic. But I can remedy that with a couple of clicks of the mouse. I've always been one that if I had a "new" place to go to I'd go there first and then I'd feel secure. I know I'm secure because God has sent me here.
No, lets be honest. I know that after this appointment I'll start chemotherapy. It doesn't scare me but once again it's an unknown. I know what it did to my grandmother, the bad, and the good. The fact that she went into remission at least 3 times. So we had her for awhile longer. I'm consentrating on the good. I've been concentrating on the good since the very beginning. I guess also when the chemo starts reality of all this will set in for me.
Everything has been about the same except with going to different doctors. Now there will be another change.
I think that's what is bothering me the most....reality...it's setting in. I said I was in for the fight of my life. Now the fighting starts. God please give me your strength to do this.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A bit of good news!

It's so nice to write a bit of good news for a change. :-)
The results of the PET scan were somewhat positive. My onocologist, Dr Siddiqui originally felt that my cancer was a fast grade cancer. In possibly stage 4 with a 38% survival rate this is what I figured out. He did not tell me this. After getting the results he feels that it may a slow grade cancer in a much lower stage. The only negative was the fact that I have metal fillings in my mouth so, on the PET scan my mouth glowed. :-)
That is also the area he really wanted to see. So going to Mayo is even more important.
So far the treatment that we discussed was chemotherapy with an alternative medicine.
So things look a lot rosier than before. He did say that fast grade cancers can also look like this, but rarely. So I'm keeping that fact in the back of my mind but focusing on slow- grade and a longer life.
We, my family left the doctors office smiling instead of crying and that was a good thing.
Now I'm looking at catalogs for wigs and other things I will probably need.
I'll start some kind of treatment when we return from Mayo Clinic. So far I got poked twice today, for a flu and pneumonia shots.
I also walked out with some catalogs for wigs and all that. Because with chemotherapy I will lose my hair. I told Mom that it would probably grow back in white and straight! :-) I do have a couple that I like and the catalog with from the American Cancer Society.
I am very hopeful that I'll be able to sing and talk normally yet!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I then shall live

I then shall live as one who's been forgiven.
I'll walk with joy to know my debts are paid.
I know my name is clear before my Father;
I am His child and I am not afraid.
So, greatly pardoned, I'll forgive my brother;
The law of love I gladly will obey.

I then shall live as one who's learned compassion.
I've been so loved, that I'll risk loving too.
I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges;
I'll dare to see another's point of view.
And when relationships demand commitment,
Then I'll be there to care and follow through.

Your Kingdom come around and through and in me;
Your power and glory, let them shine through me.
Your Hallowed Name, O may I bear with honor,
And may Your living Kingdom come in me.
The Bread of Life, O may I share with honor,
And may You feed a hungry world through me.

Amen, Amen, Amen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxyBMQJuTuc


Correct this lyrics - View history
Video Ernie Haase & SSQ + Gaither Vocal Band - I Then Shall Live

Ernie Haase & SSQ + Gaither Vocal Band - I Then Shall Live

Cancer



You know in my life I knew that I would need to deal with my heart problems and asthma problems. I have high blood pressure that I have inherited from my Dad's side of the family and also caused by being overweight. I felt that, that was all I would be dealing with and fighting. Cancer, well that is a foreign disease that maybe I would need to deal with later in life.
So, having a diagnosis of "adenoid cystic carcinoma" and possible life time left of 4 years, come on, get real.
But....I have been given diagnosis. I needed to regroup and refocus.
No way am I going to live just 4 more years! I have sons that are not married yet. I want to see them get married. I want to see my Grandkids be born and be Grandma.
I want to grow old with my husband. I want to see the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. I know I have a lot of "I wants" but more than anything I want to live and grow old.
I have grown up believing that God is bigger than anything here on Earth and I believe that. So...in my mind I will see all the things and more that I have listed because, Jesus said, "By my stripes you are healed." And I believe that. So bring on the rain because it's going to bring God the Glory!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jesus Loves Me




You know when I was little I sang this song in front of the residents at a nursing home. I'm not sure if this was a dream or if it's true. But I sure remember it as if it was the truth. I just needed to post the words and the song sang by the Gaither Vocal Band.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMCR4p5mSjQ
You will need to copy and paste. I've got to figure out how to put a video on here.
Jesus, He loves me
This I know
And Jesus, He loves me
For the Bible tells me so

Son of God
A Savior and King
You've taken away the sins of the world
So I raise my voice and sing

Jesus, He loves me
This I know
And Jesus, He loves me
For the Bible tells me so

Now I've held the hand of the devil
At the crossroads of my faith
And my Lord He came to rescue me
By His saving grace

And Jesus, He loves me
And this, I know
Jesus, He loves me
And you know He saved my soul

Jesus, He loves me
Jesus, He loves me
Jesus, He loves me

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jesus, Bring The Rain

"Bring The Rain" By Mercy Me

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8HgAVenbUU&feature=related


~Sometimes God brings things to you because you have the strength thru him to deal with it. ~
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
~All Animals are God's angels, they give to us their unconditional love~.
~A dog has one aim in life...to bestow his heart. J.R. Ackerley~

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Find you Waiting

DecembeRadio has a song called "Find you waiting" I find it running thru my mind quite a bit this past weekend. These are the lyrics to this wonderful song.

I've heard the angels and I've seen the devil
Fought with the lion, sent through the fire
I've been in the valley when it was dry
Walked through the desert to the other side

I'm not a preacher and I'm not a hero
My life has never been that kind
But there is one thing that I hold onto
I am yours, and Lord you are mine

CHORUS
And through all these years You have been there
Dried all my tears and answered my prayers
I just want to feel your presence again
I'm down on my knees in need a friend
And I find you waiting there for me

I've seen a widow cry through her sorrow
And still raise her hands in the midst of it all
And Lord I'm reminded what I was weary
You carried me, yes you carried me

CHORUS
And through all these years You have been there
Dried all my tears and answered my prayers
I just want to feel your presence again
I'm down on my knees in need of a friend
And I find you waiting there.....

BRIDGE
In the midst of a struggle
There is one thing I know
You'll never leave me, no never alone

I've heard the angels and I've seen the devil
Fought with the lion, sent straight through the fire

CHORUS
And through all these years You have been there
Dried all my tears and answered my prayers
I just want to feel your presence again
I'm down on my knees in need of a friend
And I find you waiting
And I find you waiting there for me

Waiting, I find you waiting there
I've heard the angels and I've seen the devil
Fought with the lion, sent through the fire
I've been in the valley when it was dry
Walked through the desert to the other side

I'm not a preacher and I'm not a hero
My life has never been that kind
But there is one thing that I hold onto
I am yours, and Lord you are mine

CHORUS
And through all these years You have been there
Dried all my tears and answered my prayers
I just want to feel your presence again
I'm down on my knees in need a friend
And I find you waiting there for me

I've seen a widow cry through her sorrow
And still raise her hands in the midst of it all
And Lord I'm reminded what I was weary
You carried me, yes you carried me

CHORUS
And through all these years You have been there
Dried all my tears and answered my prayers
I just want to feel your presence again
I'm down on my knees in need of a friend
And I find you waiting there.....

BRIDGE
In the midst of a struggle
There is one thing I know
You'll never leave me, no never alone

I've heard the angels and I've seen the devil
Fought with the lion, sent straight through the fire

CHORUS
And through all these years You have been there
Dried all my tears and answered my prayers
I just want to feel your presence again
I'm down on my knees in need of a friend
And I find you waiting
And I find you waiting there for me

Waiting, I find you waiting there

In the middle of trouble I always know God is there with me and that I have a lot of comfort in.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Getting healthy



I guess getting healthy can take on all kinds of views and opinions. Today I saw many people I haven't seen in a long time. It made me happy to see people and that they recognized me. Maybe because I was with my Mom or maybe because I was with Buddy. You see sometimes people don't know me unless I'm with Buddy. It's never bothered me because I've always enjoyed being Buddy's wife.
I'm also need to take a healthy look at what I'm dealing with. Lately I've had a lot of upper back pain. At times to the point where I cry. Then I ask God to give me strength to get thru. And sometimes the pain lessens. It doesn't always but I still believe God has given me strength and is always there for me.
My pastor apologized to me that he misunderstood my diagnosis. But later on in the day I thought, I really don't know what my diagnosis is really. I have a tentative diagnosis of a tumor that could be carcinoid cancer but it's could be benign. So what does that really mean?
I guess that I'll find out on Tuesday. When I have a definite diagnosis.
Several weeks ago, or maybe a month ago, I found out a teacher and friend of mine was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She had a hysterectomy and is undergoing chemo/radiation. I had gone out and bought cards right away. But got sidetracked with spending time with Bobbie, having him put to sleep and then my surgery, and possible diagnosis. I had remembered about the cards. Do you think I could find them? Nope. So I sent her an e-mail telling her that she and her family were in my prayers. I did find another card to send her but I didn't want to send her just a card.
I have a book of bible verses for encouragement, faith, peace, etc. So I have written several of these verses on index cards. I felt what better encouragement to give her than God's perfect word.
I guess getting healthy has many faces. I just need to stay positive.....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Weeks getting harder and harder



I still miss my Bobbie especially now. He always took care of me when I was sick or hurting. It's funny how a dog can sense when you don't feel good or are low. I really wish he was here but I know that he so much more happier up in heaven with all my loved ones who have already past.
I continue to keep my positive attitude about having a diagnosis of cancer. I really don't know how else to be. Getting depressed just doesn't seem to help much. I just didn't think I would be dealing with this at this time in my life. In fact re-reading this and seeing the words cancer and me together just seems foreign. But I know it's true.
My upper back has been bothering me. It has for the past 2 weeks now, and I wonder if it's connected. Another question on my list of things to ask.
I've become a member of a carcinoid group. It has good information but I feel like I did when Rick was first dx. with MS. It all sounds so foreign. I'll know more Tuesday when we get the results back from Mayo Clinic.
All I know and I keep reminding myself is that God is in Control. None of this is news to him. He still loves me and is there for me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hard week, hard time





Today I'm giving Bobbie his last bath. The one thing I know he hates. Sorry Bob but I want you soft and nice looking for Friday. Last times for a lot of things I don't want to think about. In about 3 days and he will be gone.
I knew this time was coming but really didn't think I was ready. But there really isn't a "good" time to put a family pet to sleep or even be ready for it. I used to pray for God to take Bobbie in his sleep so we wouldn't have to do that. But I guess this is something we need to do and I know God will be there for us. I know that I'm not the only one in this position. I know that I need to give Bobbie up and let God take care of him. I know we have taken good care of Bobbie. He's been a happy dog. He's our 3rd son. :-)
We've been taken loads of pictures and taken Bob to his favorite places, forest preserve, state park our parents homes. Bought him his favorite foods, he had ice cream yesterday. Today I have a doctors appointment and I'll be bringing him back a plain McDonalds hamburger or maybe a cheeseburger. When he's wanted a treat we've given it to him.
I just don't know what we'll do without him.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Illness

This past I got a probable diagnosis of sarcoidosis. Even though I haven't had a biopsy yet, I've kind of resigned myself to the fact that I probably have this. I have read on the mayo clinic website that one possible cause could be genetic. Since my Mom has this and my aunt on my Dad's side also has it, I feel it's a given that I probably do too.
This unknown disease that I don't know much about, that is rare, usually hits African-American's. How in the world did I get it? Or any of my relatives for that manner.
Could it be that I don't really have asthma but sarcoidosis all these years? What about my bronchitis that I've had off and on too? Did it affect it? Was it in a dormant state and now just decided to pop up?
The past few months I've been trying to eat healthily, so I could get off some of the medications I've been on. So now what, will I be trading one set of drugs for another? But I will continue to lose weight, 18 pounds so far, because it's more important than ever.
Then I think about how God may be preparing me for all this. First Rick get MS then Mom with leukemia. Am I being sifted? Am I being tested? Because I really feel that I am.
Thenwe have a situation in my family where people are upset and angry. I just wish they would all except people for what they are and go on.
The past is the past, let stay in the past. And go on with life. Be grateful for the relationships that you have.
Then we have our presidential election, where Obama is for socialized medicine. You know Obama and socialized medicine scare me. I have never liked Obama. He doesn't stand for many things that I hold important. Quite frankly the man scares me.
Sigh.....and after all the questions and going thru this thick fog there is God. Knowing what is happening, knowing what I'm going through. Knowing how I feel . Knowing he'll lead me in the right direction and send the right doctors my way. I'll know I'll be safe because.... God is still in Control.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Waiting


Well, I'm sitting back in the computer room biding my time. Staying away from the kitchen because I can't have anything to eat or drink at least not until 11 or hopefully before that. My cat scan is scheduled for 9:30. At least I'll be leaving in 30 minutes.
Waiting....maybe this is why God has hooked me up with kids that tested my patience. Because I'm going to need patience in the next several days, at least until I find out my results.
But in all honesty, I really don't believe that I have cancer. When all this mess started I had gone on a field trip and got soaked. The doctor believes its viral but to be certain a CT scan has to be done. And with my family's history I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Changes


Today seems very strange. I have a doctors appointment and will not be going to school/work today. I feel very relieved because finally after 4 months I will be on the road to getting my "normal" voice back. This has been very frustrating especially at work. Trying to get the kids attention with my voice, they just don't hear me. My only concern is that what if this is more serious than I think. Cancer is on both sides of my family so it's a niggling thought in the back of my mind.
Justin my student asked me when I told him I wouldn't be there today said," But who's going to take care of me?" and "Are you coming back?" He is so cute, but trying sometimes. I'm hoping he'll be good for the sub and not try her patience too much.

Also I have lost 11 pounds in almost 6 weeks. So the next 10 pounds is my next goal. I needed to cancel my dietitian appointment because my insurance won't cover and I can't afford to continue to go to her. My doctor knows so I'm pretty sure he'll understand.
I've gone to weight watchers for many years and have put those ideals into practice. I might return, but not right now. I think that I've gone for so many years that I just want to say hey I did it but with a little more help. So maybe this will take the place of the dietitian but, I have 3 online support groups that I belong to so...
Also, another change is that after bowling with my in laws for 17 years we have quit. They raised the bowling fees $10 a week to establish a bigger pot at the end of the year. We just can't afford that so we quit. It wasn't a nice situation. I'm actually looking forward to my Sunday's free. When we go to visit my parents we won't need to hurry back. So that will be nice.
Bobbie will be the next big change. He isn't a happy dogger so eventually we will need to put him asleep. We'll miss him terribly but we have given him alot of love that was returned.
Changes some good, some bad and painful but they are a part of life.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sadness




As I read some my past e-mails some have filled me with a great sadness. Most if not all my sadness is over the fact that my 2 uncles are at odds along with my cousin.
My Mom's youngest brother got sort of married last Sunday. What I mean by sort of is his fiance's divorce was not final so even though they exchanged vows, they were not officially married. So I've dubbed it "the wedding that wasn't." The ceremony was very beautiful the minister talked about salt and by blending the 2 together you can not tell who's salt was who's, and for the first time in my memory I have seen my uncle happy. They also dedicated the day to my parents who were also married there almost 49 years ago.
It was very emotional when my uncle realized that his brother wasn't there. He had cried, which in turn made both me and my mother cry.
My cousin, my uncle's son was there but he really didn't want to be. And you could tell...he didn't sit with his family. Instead he sat apart. At first I was happy that he was there, but as things progressed I had really wished he had stayed home along with his sister. His attitude and that of his wife made me upset and actually angry.
I am also concerned about my 2 uncle's relationship. I am very afraid this could do permanent damage.
I remember all the past Christmas' and all the happy times we all had...it seems like they are dying.
My grandmother would have gone, she might not of liked the way it was being done but she still would have been there and had a happy joyous spirit.
My Grandmother was the peacekeeper. She always wanted people to be happy, sometimes at the expense of herself. She wouldn't like this.
I want to speak out and say you only have 1 life. You only have 1 brother left and only 1 father. Life is way too short.....But instead I stay silent...
You know I don't agree to the way this all happened, I do wish that they had delayed it until the divorce was final. I don't like the way my uncle has lived his life in the past, but I still love him and try not to judge.
Why can't the rest of the family do this, not judge.
I just pray the God intervenes in all this.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bobbie Scare




Today we had a "Bobbie Scare." It started off typically except we had Evan stay overnight with us. Bob went outside did his thing and came in slurped some water and went into the kitchen. When he came out he had his mouth open trying to breathe. He also had all this phlegm. We wiped his face, thumped on his chest, back and called the vet. Couldn't see him until 2:15. Thought we were going to lose him. Buddy with Evan to load engines to the engine show. I stayed back with Bob. He eventually calmed down, started breathing better. By the time Buddy came back to go with me to Bob's appointment, Bobbie was breathing ok and sleeping.
The vet said Bobbie did a reverse sneeze which would explain the gagging and phlegm.
Bobbie has an upper respiratory infection and a heart murmur. Buddy said he told us about the heart murmur last time. I didn't remember that. So, $130 later we had antibiotics, thyroid medicine and shampoo. Bobbie's doing better, sleeping and still snorting around. But acting somewhat normal. Poor Dog.
Some that was my day today. Fun, fun...but at least we still have Bobbie. :-)