Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mario

Mario is getting bigger and more beautiful as time goes on. He is a strange little cat but that is what makes cats interesting. They each have their own personality just like people. This picture was taken in his backyard. Notice I said "his" backyard. He never went outside until he moved in with Laurie. It is fenced in and the cats get to go out everyday, several times a day. They love the backyard. Laurie and/or Craig watch all three cats while they are out there.

I sure do miss him but he pays little attention to me when I am there. He has a new home and he is very happy there.

Last Saturday I went to Laurie's (they were out of town) to give Mo his pills (he has cancer). There are only about three of us that feel comfortable giving Mo his medications. Jan was there to feed the cats and she was still there and had the three cats out in the backyard (Mo, Noir, Mario). I saw Mario stalking something and then he finally pounced. It looked like a snake but it was weird looking and it kept curling around. It was only about 3-4 inches long, had little tiny black beady eyes, and it looked like it had been chopped off. It was about the size of a nickel in diameter. Mario kept putting his paw on it but I was afraid that he would try to pick it up in his mouth. I finally got a pine cone and pushed it under the fence. When I got home I looked it up on the Internet and yes, there is such a snake that is known as a blind snake. It has no teeth so it can't hurt the cats. Laurie and Craig have found their den but no one knows how many there are - just where there is one, there are more.

"How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures." Psalm 104:24

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Do you need washing?

(I have a friend whose sister has terminal breast cancer. She has been on chemo or radiation for over two years now. She has two teenage sons. I saw this story on her blog and borrowed it for my blog. I know that she would not mind if I share such a touching story.)

A little girl had been shopping with her mom in WalMart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence.

It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there, under the awning, just inside the door of the WalMart. We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.

I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day. Her little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in, “Mom let’s run through the rain”, she said.

“What”, mom asked. “Let’s run through the rain”, she repeated. No honey, we’ll wait until it slows down a bit”, mom replied. This young child waited a minute and repeated, “Mom, let’s run through the rain!” “We’ll get soaked if we do”, mom said. “No we won’t mom. That’s not what you said this morning”, the young girl said as she tugged on her mom’s arm. “This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet”, the mother asked? “Don’t you remember”, said the little girl? “When you were talking to daddy about his cancer, you said, if God can get us through this, He can get us through anything!” The entire crowd stopped dead silent…I swear you couldn’t hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one left. The mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

‘Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If GOD let’s us get wet, well maybe we just need washing’, mom said. Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They got soaked.

They were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories. So, don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday. To everything there is a season and time to every purpose under heaven.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.

"I HOPE YOU STILL TAKE THE TIME TO RUN THROUGH THE RAIN!"


Speak of God, for God, with God. 
~C. McAuley

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I am a 10 on the scale 1-10

Today I had my last appointment with my surgeon. The very day I have been waiting for - it has been over two years since I have not had a doctor's appointment and this is going to be a much needed reprieve. Only God knows if/when this will all start up again so I will continue to take it one day at a time. I also will continue to get my blood markers done, and PET scans only if my oncologist feels it is necessary.

When I went to her office I knew that the seroma was gone and there was no more accumulation of fluid. She said she wanted to see for herself and after careful examination she admitted I was right. She once again gave me the "pep" talk about chemo and radiation therapy and requested that I go talk with the radiologist. My answer was - "no"!

I have full range of motion with my arm so she put "excellent" in my chart with lots of exclamation points. She then asked if I wanted to continue visits or did I want to call her if I needed something. I bet you can guess which option I chose. She gave me a hug and said that she hoped not to see me again under these circumstances.

I give all the glory to my God. Praising God will renew and rejuvenate you. Psalms 59 "I will sing of your strength in the morning and I will sing of your love for you are my refuge in times of trouble."

Friday, September 3, 2010

Seroma

"There are extraordinary moments in our lives when we are certain a Divine Hand has brushed our cheek, wiped our tears, and graced our hearts with a glimpse of eternity." ~Susan Duke


When I returned from Omaha I had an appointment with my surgeon. The seroma, this time, was only a third of what it has been so I feel that it is starting to slow down. I choose not to do another procedure with Interventional Radiology. My surgeon confirmed that I know my body better than she does and will respect my decisions. Although, she does get her little dig in each time about doing chemotherapy and radiation therapy. I told her that "if" the cancer comes back I will deal with it. I just want to live as pain free and productive life as possible. When God is ready to take me home - He will!

Since there will not be a lot to report on my health at this time. I think I am going to write about my many blessings starting with my move to Denver in 1996 and the reason I moved. It will be in segments and one at a time because it probably will turn into a book. But this is my journal of my journey and it is the only one I have, so I will keep writing.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A friend who cares

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.  The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. 
                                                                        ~Henri Nouwen

Johanna's Jubilee

The week of August 21st until the 28th I was in Omaha for my aunts Jubilee. Sister Johanna Burnell, RSM has been a nun for 50 years. What an exciting day starting with Mass on Sunday, the 22nd, said by Father Charlie O'Rourke, Sister Jeanne's brother. After Mass dinner followed in the auditorium at Mercy High School where Johanna had been President for 21 years. (She retired last year.) There were four other sisters celebrating so I am not sure how many people were present for the entire event. Lots of friends and families for all of the sisters.

The sad part of the trip was that Johanna was diagnosed with pneumonia the week before. It was really hard for her to work and to do the preparation for the event. We worked at the school a couple of hours on Saturday getting tables, etc. set up and there were a lot of people there to help.  On Tuesday the doctor diagnosed her with severe bronchitis and put her on heavy doses of medication. 

Then on Thursday the 26th, Sister Jeanne's brother-in-law died from a massive heart attack. He lived in Council Bluffs. His wife is in a wheel chair, a polio recipient, and depended on her husband for help.

Sister Jeanne and Sister Johanna share an apartment and are best friends. Jeanne is part of our family and comes to all of our events and Johanna is part of Jeanne's family and goes to all of their events. It was a very sad and tragic loss for both of them.

On Saturday night, before the big event, we had a family picnic at Mercy Acres. We had a wonderful prayer time and lots of memories of childhood flowing. There were only 20 of us there plus Sister Jeanne. One of my highlights was getting to ride on my cousins Harley Tri Bike. I had to borrow shoes and socks and a helmet but at least I was able to ride. I might just make a good biker-chick.

All in all it was one of those very exciting weeks and a very sad week. Like good news, bad news. However, I will be going back to spend Christmas in Omaha. Hopefully there will be no blizzard this time.

Speak of God, for God, with God. ~C. McAuley