Thanks for your concern about my daughter Janet. I hope you’re having a great summer. I’ve been kept busy, helping care for Janet. Here’s an update on her; please share it with COH and CTK if you’d like. Although her condition is about the same thus far, I’m doing much better. For the first two days after learning of her diagnosis and grim prognosis, I could do nothing but cry. Then, my faith once again was renewed and I’m able to be there for her, her family, and her siblings who are also having a tough time dealing with the news. However, the more I pray and spend time helping take care of her, the more I’m believing that God is going to perform a miracle and that she will somehow be cured. I am hopeful and optimistic that she will be healed. And, if not, I have peace knowing that she is a beautiful Christian woman, complete in Christ.
The day after she was diagnosed, she was given her first chemo treatment (4 times the usual dosage) and was very, very sick for about nine days. Had one serious time of not being able to breathe and ended up in the hospital. On the way to the hospital, she experienced paralysis of her face, hands and arms, legs and feet. They concluded that the paralysis was caused by some chemical reaction caused by the chemo. Thankfully, the paralysis was temporary – only lasted about 1 1/2 hours, but it sure gave us a scare. Doug (my physician son) came from Indiana and was with her for four days; that was good because she (as a nurse) and he could talk in understandable medical terms, once she could talk again.
She’s now had her second chemo treatment and had only four days of real sickness from it, all which were more mild than the time after her first treatment. She goes for a PET scan tomorrow and is planning to go to MD Anderson Hospital in Texas in July. It is a hospital that has a reputation for being best in the country. She wants to have surgery, but our local surgeons say it’s not possible. The main tumor begins at the base of her aorta and wraps around it up to her collar bone, behind her lung. She also has one at the base of her skull behind her right ear, and the cancer has metastized into her lymph system. Has had some lymph nodes removed. I just pray a lot and try to make her comfortable.
It’s funny, every time I think I’ll just spend quiet time sitting with her, holding her hand, etc., she has a "to do" list of stuff she wants me to do. Like washing windows, hemming new curtains and ironing them (it was 96 with humidity about the same and they don’t have central air), or cutting out quilt squares and ironing backing on them. She just asked her sister to repaint their master bedroom. I guess she believes she’s going to survive! She’s very positive, even when weakness takes over. Of course she’s lost her hair and is bald. Her 11 year old son shaved his head to be like mom.
Just last Saturday, we were supporting my son David’s family. His 57 year old mother-in-law died suddenly with a massive heart attack. She and her husband are also good friends of ours. David has six kids, from 17 down to 1. Emily, the 3 year old brought some joy midst the sadness. She proclaimed: "Mammy’s not coming home. Mammy went home with Jesus. Why’s there a long line of people looking at Mammy? Mammy’s going to get a new body." After acknowledging her comments and questions, I was thinking how mature this little three year old was. Then she said "What dress is Mammy going to wear? Will this one fit her new body?" Shows she is still a little girl.
Besides helping take care of Janet, my only other activity has been to finalize my second book – "God Speaks . . . Do We Listen?" It’s finally done and will be released in September. As an author, I am allowed to order advance copies and have done so. I carry a supply of them in my car, if any of you might be interested in buying a copy. It is a compilation of all my writings that have been inspired by God. Includes poems, dreams, prayers, lyrics & music for 15 hymns, a skit on the 7 deadly sins, prayers, and words of wisdom on topics like happiness, dealing with loss, family relationships, etc. I’ve also hired professional musicians (Rosanne Brown, Rachel Herman, and Mike McDermott) to cut a CD with the 15 hymns recorded. They’ve made the lyrics and melody of what I wrote come to life and sound great! We’re hoping to have the CD available by July 9th.
Here’s a sample of a poem included in my second book, "God Speaks . . Do We Listen?": Let me know if you’re interested in the book and/or CD.
I went to a nearby pumpkin patch
to buy a pumpkin that no one could match.
I cut off the top from my pumpkin so round,
made a star-shaped lid that I set on the ground.
I reached inside and scooped out the seeds;
decided there’s more that my pumpkin needs.
I carved out a nose, a mouth, and two big round eyes.
Could he compete in a contest – perhaps win a prize?
His first job was to sit on my porch that night;
I know what he needs, a bright inside light.
So, a candle I placed inside of his shell;
he lit up the sidewalk exceedingly well.
My pumpkin that had been just a pumpkin before
turned into a Jack-O-Lantern at my front door.
His light brought happiness for all to see;
his smile came to life as he looked back at me.
My Jack-O-Lantern taught me a lesson that day; I
can be a light for otheres to show them the way.
The way is Truth, it’s our Lord up above;
the glow inside me will radiate his love.
Like my Jack-O-Lantern, the light inside me
can help show others that they can be free.
May God’s light in me forever burn bright,
bringing others from darkness into the light.