Attitude of Gratitude

On March 7, 2018, Roger and I visited my neurosurgeon  for the first time.  He was matter of fact, and calm, he laid it out evenly for us.  You have brain cancer, we can operate, you may have left side weakness, or your brain may fool you into thinking you do.  You will have chemo, and radiation.  We will not get all of the tumor.  60% removal is good.  You have 7-20 years of life.  

Well, that last one I knew already.  In fact, I can go you one better.  I have just as much life left as the Lord allows me!

My intention is to live vividly, to live with purpose, to live with Gratitude.  I am grateful for every moment of those days or weeks, months or years.  I may have one day; I may have 20 years.  At the end of that arbitrary time, the very second I step into eternity I know where I will be.  I will be with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

God offered the awesome gift of salvation to me when I was 11 years old, and I accepted it so gladly.  That was 52 years ago, and ever since I have known where my future home would be: heaven.  I am grateful.

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‘But God’ – What I am Reading.

When I was a little girl in love with books, I thought nothing would be better than to read whenever I wanted for as long as I wanted.  I’m pretty sure my family thought I did, I tried to bring books to the table while we ate, (Kathy!  Our that book away!).  I propped books up inside my textbooks, another no-no.  I took flashlights to bed and read under the covers, and maybe that’s why I’m not much of a morning person!

Now, dealing with the effects of chemo-radiation and my other meds, I am an tired in a way that is new to me.  So, hence I read.  I am a pretty eclectic reader, enjoying a variety of authors, genres, and time periods.  Stories draw me in, they have always been an escape for me since I had to take long drawn out painful allergy shots for honeybee stings.  The patient nurse would wait til I was absorbed in reading before sticking the stinging needle in my arm for several minutes, and it didn’t hurt so bad when my mind was somewhere else.

I find that is working for cancer too.  I can get lost in a good book or story and the fears and tiredness and worry fade for awhile.

The best book for me is the Bible, full of comfort, grace and wisdom.  The best story ever told, and every word is true.   God’s amazing plan for the people He created in the world He made is as fabulous each time I encounter it in the Bible and in life.

This morning I began reading a book called “But God”.  I haven’t gotten very far, (Noah), but I know I’m gonna love it.

There are two sides to the But God statement, the before, where chaos, not good things are happening; BUT then GOD steps in!  Here was Noah and his family and the animals rocking along in a boat adrift in the water covered earth.

But God remembered Noah and He dried the earth.  God chose Noah, and Noah chose God back.

The highlight of Noahs story comes then, in the middle, in the end of Noahs life things kind of go downhill.  It does for all  of us, we sicken, age, die.

 

But  God gives us the choice to choose Him!!  And like Noah, when you do, it is the best decision of your whole life!

(Working title) – A Little Battle With Cancer

On a visit to a specialist about my ongoing sinus problems, I was made aware of nodules growing on my thyroid gland.  Next followed a ultrasound, a guided needle biopsy and a diagnosis of cancer.

The good news was that if you have to have cancer, thyroid cancer is a good one to have.  The cure rate is very good!

I am 62 years old, I have two children in heaven and two on earth.  I believe in and trust Jesus with my life.  My first thoughts, when faced with a problem is “What is the worst that could happen?”  The answer was easy this time.  I could die and go to heaven; be with Jesus and God and our son Jeff.

The harder path is to go on living.

So I have surgery to have my thyroid gland removed, I recovered.  I began thyroid replacement medication that will be life long.  I began the next step of finding an oncologist to do the cancer treatment.

All these things came together, a rather unpleasant process, but bearable.  Everything I experience is affected by Fibromyalgia, and this was no different.  Pain is magnified more, energy is sapped more, low spirits and mental fatigue lurk close by, waiting for me to over do it just a little.

Now, several months, several out of town trips and a week at the farm later, and I am tired.

Update May 2018.

My ‘little battle with cancer has taken on a new life.  When I began having issues with numbness and tingling in my face and right arm, my caregiver told me I had just bought myself an MRI.

I don’t like MRI’S, that long tube makes me cold just to think of being in there, and maybe the power going out, or a fire, and everyone runs away, except me!  Stuck in that cylinder!

Well, I had the MRI, it showed a brain tumor right where it would cause my symptoms.  Within a week we were at University Hospital in Denver, and within days I was scheduled for brain surgery.

Things happened so fast, and now I am home on Chemo|Radiation treatment, struggling with some left side spatial issues, balance problems, fatigue, fibro-fog  AND Chemo Brain!

I’d say life couldn’t get any better, but that would be such a lie.  It can, and I hope and pray that it will.

But if it doesn’t, still I am grateful for all that I have had and that I have.  I choose to trust in my Good heavenly Father and His Good plans for me and those that I love.

Sacrifice Of Praise

Monday morning often finds me singing or humming the worship songs we sang in church the day before.  It is a lovely way to begin the week, reminded of the God who loves me and made me and all around me.

This week I am reminded that God loves, lives, and saves.  Kind of the whole story there; minus any of those three He wouldn’t be the God I worship.

I believe I have written of the ‘Sacrifice of praise’ before.  To me it is a sacred concept, praising God when I don’t feel like praising is a sacrifice with immense benefits.  

It changes my heart.  

It changes my outlook.   

It changes my focus.

God IS good, all the time.  If He is good in the good times, He is good in the bad times.  He doesn’t change, He doesn’t have too, He is already more and more and more.

Stories Part 1

Due to my very active imagination, stories have always played a big part in my life. My mom read children’s’ books ‘to me  about gingerbread men, kittens and places like the farm, and “Puffs Garden Patch”.  Each night she read a chapter of a book to my brother and I; books like Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm, and Just David.  There came a time when I just couldn’t wait to see what happened next and would surreptitiously read ahead.

The library in Columbus was on the same block as our doctor.  When I was in grade school my brother fell ill with a chronic condition that required hospitalization for an extended amount of time and frequent doctor visits for a considerable amount of time.  I also was diagnosed with severe allergies to bee stings and required twice weekly injections for the first year.  I spent a lot of time down in hospital waiting rooms in the evenings, unless you were over 12, you could not go upstairs to patients rooms.  During those evening I read biographies of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.  These men became heroes to me and those books were the impetus for a life-long love of history ad historical characters.

Mom allowed me be go to the library to choose four books every two weeks.  Four books was the maximum amount allowed per check out.  I read my way through dog books, horse books, biographies.  Little Women led to all of Louisa May Alcott’s books.  I read Dr. Doolittle and his various sequels, Mary Poppins, Anne of Green Gables, The Jungle Book, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn and so many more.

These stories expanded my world from the farm I  grew up on in northern Platte County to the Mississippi River to the Jungles of India.   I searched for ‘kindred spirits’ with Anne, whitewashed fences with Tom’s friends, traveled the northern trails with Silver
Chief, and wept over Black Beauty’s woes.   I was fired with the desire to write my own stories after reading Little Women and all about Meg and Jo, (author), Beth and Amy.

These are just a few of the books that entered my memory as I write here, there were many, many more.  Over the years I searched library sales, and summer street sales for these titles and added them to my ever growing library.

 

 

Reading “Dorothy Dunnett”

I  have to admit right away that I borrowed the title Reading “Dunnett” from a Facebook group that I belong to.  For fans of Dorothy Dunnett’s books it is a place to gather and read a chosen book together and discuss all the questions and observations that have plagued her readers over the years.

Dorothy Dunnett is the author of several fascinating historical fiction books.  I first checked out “The Game Of Kings” from my library  mainly because it was a fat book which was the beginning of a rather long series.  I was deep in grief at the time, and looking for escapism.  Well, I found it!  At first I didn’t know if I was reading about a hero, a villain, or something in between, however the fantastic use of language by this author kept me reading.  I finished ‘Kings’, and moved on to “Queens Play”.  I still wasn’t sure about her main character, Francis Crawford, but he was growing on me.  Even when I didn’t like how he acted, I found him endlessly fascinating.  So did many of the characters in the books, and I found out years later that many readers of DD did also.

On one of my many re-reads of the Lymond Chronicles I began to notice that she was using words that I didn’t always know the meanings of, and I thought I was pretty literate!  In fact, I found out that there was at least one word every few pages that I wasn’t always sure about. This says something about her writing ability that I was so absorbed in the plots and characters  of her novels that I didn’t even notice all those words at first.  I tried keeping a dictionary at hand to look up all the words that I wasn’t sure of, because her writing is so nuanced that literally every word matters!  However that soon gave away to just indulging in a good read.

When I got my Kindle and began reading Dorothy Dunnett on it, it was exciting to be able to record my comments and questions for future reads, and to look up obscure historical figures and events and All Those Words!