Sunday, January 31, 2016

In The Up Days

 Joe is feeling good and eating everything in sight, Drank close to 36 ounces of water today, (says he's building up for Chemo Wednesday) we went to church then to lunch with a dear friend. I love the UP days. It makes the DOWN days more tolerable because you know the UP days are coming about a week after that.
Relaxing and enjoying his Jets from different countries, coloring book.  He uses colored pencils.
Taking advantage of another UP day.

Because Joe is enjoying the UP days, I wasn't going to post tonight, then I saw the following post on Facebook with "share" at the bottom. So I decided to "share" it on here too and my facebook friends will see it on the FB page too.
A tired, new mother wears her baby through the aisles of Target, hair in a messy bun and eyes burning from sleep deprivation. She pauses briefly to pull a stylish dress from a discount rack, wondering if the flowy ruffles would conceal her post-partum pudge. “$25 is a lot of money,” she ponders aloud, placing the dress back with a frown. Then, she hears the giggles of two women. She watches as they mindlessly shop the same section with fresh makeup and smiles. Their carts are loaded up as they turn to the dressing room, hot lattes in hand. A pang of envy sneaks into her gut.
“I really miss that,” she whispers, pushing her cart toward the diaper aisle, kissing the hair of her snoozing infant.
The woman found herself walking through the sale racks, grabbing items and tossing them into the shopping cart. As grateful as she was that her best friend flew in from out of state, all she really wanted was to be home beneath the covers. This was supposed to be an outing to “get her mind off the pain”. But everywhere she looked, there were mamas with babies or growing bellies. She took a sip of her chesnut latte and threw a beige leather purse in her cart, pushing back tears. Her hand wandered down to the place a baby once grew. Oh, how she longed for a kick in her belly, or any proof of the growing life that once existed inside. Her eyes wandered toward a tired new mama, kissing her baby’s head and strolling toward the diaper aisle.
“I really miss that,” she thinks, heading to the dressing room with her friend.
A teenager rolls her eyes and huffs loudly. “Mom, they wouldn’t sell it in the JUNIORS section if it was inappropriate for my age. I don’t know why you are so ridiculous about this. I can’t wear anything that’s cool!” Her mother hesitantly eyes the floral halter top, inspecting it’s spaghetti straps and short-length waist. “Honey, if it was just a little bit longer…” her voice trails off as her daughter storms away. She pushes the cart after her, throwing the flowery halter into the basket. As she makes her way after the angry teen, she hears a toddler squeal with delight. She smiles and watches as the toddler’s mother lifts him out of the shopping cart and nuzzles him close for a hug.
“I really miss that,” she thinks to herself.
Toddler mama nuzzles her little man with a hug. After months of teething and sleep-deprivation, she was beginning to feel defeated. But last night Little Man slept 7 hours. Seven. Whole. Hours. She felt somewhat human after a ginormous coffee and a frantic, 2-minute shower. One good day almost wiped out the memory of 100 bad ones. Maybe, just maybe, they were turning a corner. She placed her son back in the cart with a kiss, and headed toward check-out.
“Thank God for one. good. day.” she thinks with a smile.
The little old lady with powder-gray hair fumbles for the Target dog sticker when she sees a young mom approaching. 60 years of hard work, and Miss Betsy still couldn’t find it in her heart to retire. Her joints ache from standing and scanning, but she still finds joy in the interactions she would otherwise not receive in her quiet, dusky apartment.
She offers a receipt and a sticker to the mom with a toddler. She blows kisses to the bouncy boy. He giggles in return.
She smiles at the woman with a full cart at checkout. “What a lovely purse you found! It will work with every season!”
She gives a knowing wink to the mother with a teenager, whose daughter has her arms crossed with a pout. (Mom decided against the floral halter, after all). The sweet old lady hands the receipt to mom, then addresses her daughter.
“Thank God for every day you have your mother. I lost mine twenty years ago, and not a day goes by that I don't miss the chance to argue with her.”
And as the teenager rolls her eyes and mumbles “yes ma’am”, Miss Betsy closes her checkout lane and clocks out for break. With tears gathering in her eyes, and memories flooding her mind, she quietly whispers:
“I really miss that.”

Life moves so quickly.. Love what you have while you still have it!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

It Seems We Might Be Developing A Pattern Here

Chemo on Wednesdays, Pump disconnect on Friday, Saturday he starts a down hill slide and by Monday night he has reached his lowest.... Tuesday he goes in for a re hydration IV, Wednesday he's feeling a little better, his food doesn't taste quite so bad,  Thursday (today) another IV and his appetite is coming back a little more. Now six days of feeling pretty good again until next Wednesday then it starts all over again.  That's just the way it is. So today was some good news. Dr. Hu, his oncologist told him the tumor is shrinking. Just a little but it is shrinking. We'll take it!! Tomorrow it's back to the hospital again for a dye study on his port and catheter coming from it. Doctor just wants to make sure all is well in that area.  He saw the surgeon today and all looks well there and he doesn't have to return for two months. It was a long week and this weekend he plans on just enjoying the finals of the Australian Opens (tennis) and continuing getting his strength back in preparation for next Wednesday.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Well, Did It Have To Hit Us All At Once?

No pictures today and just a short post. 
Just so you know, I'm not complaining and it is rare Joe ever complains.  This morning he woke up with sores in his mouth, and when I asked him if he was nauseated he told me no. There were some other issues, but I'll just leave it at that.  He ate his usual breakfast, but I noticed it took him longer. So on a hunch I called the nurse line at Knight Cancer Institute and was fortunate to get Nurse Hope, his nurse last Wed for chemo. So I told her what he was dealing with, that he wasn't nauseous  but he felt like he had a "gaggy" throat. Right away she said give him, and she named the drug, for nausea. So I did that while I was on the phone and then she gave me a recipe for a mouth wash until I could get to Fred Meyers and pick up a prescription for "Magic Mouthwash"  It numbs the inside of his mouth. Her recipe was a small amount of baking soda and salt mixed with warm water.  Within a half hour, he was feeling a little better and slept for a couple hours which made him feel even better. While I was on the phone with the nurse, she also scheduled an appointment for him tomorrow morning at 10:45 to come in for another re hydration IV
So that's it for now except Nurse Hope also told me that after the third chemo session is usually when the side effects start rearing their ugly heads.....This past Friday he finished his third one. 
 Well this is a nice development... he just got up from his chair and told me he's going to go for a 15 minute walk and enjoy the sunshine. I went outside to check on him after 20 minutes and look what I found..
You Go Joe !!

 You go Joe!! 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

No Energy Today

This journey we are on isn't always a smooth road and those of you that have been or are currently on the same journey already know what I'm talking about. We didn't have a clue. I find myself being crabby and short tempered sometimes and that's not who I am. It breaks my heart when words fly out of my mouth in frustration.   I'm tired and yet there's laundry to be done, dishes to put in the dishwasher and floors that need to be mopped. I am a "fixer" and I can't fix this. I want Joe to be happy "behind the wheel" and playing pickleball and pitching horseshoes. Not sitting in a black leather recliner for hours in the infusion lounge waiting for the four different IV bags to empty.  I want him to be able to sleep all night, rested in the morning ready to go out and do whatever he enjoys doing.... like raking the leaves, cleaning the car and the motor home. None of this is happening for now. But what IS happening is I'm constantly going before the Lord, asking Him to help me think before I speak and to put a guard before my tongue. We are thankful the Lord has given wisdom to Doctors and Nurses how to care for cancer patients. We spend time in God's Word together. We pray together and we keep reminding ourselves to just take care of today, yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn't here yet. I'm thankful the Australian Opens (tennis) are on  right now so when he doesn't feel like doing anything but sitting in his chair he can watch that and also a couple of football games tomorrow.
So again today, my blog is All About Joe, My Hero, Full of Courage and Strength to keep on fighting, feeling God's Comfort and Peace.

Yesterday was disconnect day....when they disconnect the portable infusion pump that goes home with him after each chemo day and continues the drip for two more days.  But while he was there this time, he had to be re-hydrated via an IV drip that took about an hour and a half. No matter how hard he tries, he still isn't getting enough fluids down to thoroughly flush out his kidneys. That chemo is nasty stuff!!!! It was interesting that there were three other people that day being re hydrated.....
It was a long day because before we ever got to the cancer institute, he made four stops looking for the perfect lavender combination paint samples to paint the guest room.
Check out his "new" blanket. We picked it up at Costco on our way to chemo. As we unwrapped it, and  unfolded it, little fuzzies were flying everywhere. We both had black pants on so they were on our pants as well as all over the floor. His nurse was laughing as she had bought one the night before and it happened to her too. 
He hardly slept at all last night so he woke up very tired this morning and little to no energy. I always smile when I see pictures like this.  He can nap with a toothpick in his mouth!! The little pillow he is holding is a corn pack. Put it in the microwave and it heats up and stays warm for quite a while.  He gets cold so easy. 

After a short nap he was back up, working on putting a LED light that turns off and on by a remote control in the hall closet. While he was at it, he rearranged all the shelves, filling a laundry basket with things for Goodwill. More downsizing.
The aroma coming from my crock pot in the kitchen smells so good.  Great Northern Beans with a ham bone for flavoring for supper.
I hope everyone that could go had a great time at the Bloggerfest  this year.

Monday, January 18, 2016

A Mistake On Yesterday's Post

It seems as if you saw my post yesterday via your phone or some other devices, it  showed the new great grand daughter's birth announcement but not her pictures.  I have learned that on I can't cut and paste. I have to go through the regular format.  So here are the pictures her mommy and daddy sent me of Araina Leeli White born Wednesday, January 13th at 9:15pm.
She was 7lbs 8 oz. and 20 inches long. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

This Makes Ten

Hello to our blogger family. Look what showed up in our email box this week.


Hi Family and Friends!

Look who decided to come 2 weeks early. . . 

Araina Leeli White was born Wednesday, January 13th at 9:15pm! :) 

She was 7 lbs. 8 oz. and 20 inches long.

Everything went really well, and the three of us are now back home and resting.

We are so thankful to the Lord for the very kind hospital staff, a quick delivery, and a healthy baby!

Blessings and love to you all!

~Joshua and Kaitlin White

Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Psalm 117, Colossians 1:13-23


Araina is our great grand baby number 10 and my oldest son's first grandchild.

Now for an update on us. Joe completed chemo #2 on January 8th and didn't really start feeling good until about the 14th. He struggles with just sitting and doing nothing during his down times,
 so little by little he is putting a primer on the walls of the guest room and slowly will be painting it. He felt well enough to go with me when I had a routine endoscopy/colonoscopy with good results Friday the 15th. Dr. told me I had "graduated" and won't have to have any more.

Another project Joe works on when he isn't feeling well is going through many, many old home videos and preparing them to be put on DVDS at Costco. Among them was one of a talent show at Lake Tamerisk RV Resort. Spending so much time in the house we were beginning to have a touch of cabin fever. So Joe suggested we take a drive to Veneta, Oregon west of Eugene, and visit our friends Ken and Sharon Brown. We communicated with them to make sure there were no colds or fevers and off we went. Until a few years ago, they spent time each winter at their winter home at Lake Tamerisk where  Sharon headed up a very funny talent show. They were delighted when we handed them the video. They know someone who can copy the talent show to a DVD and return the video to us. ( there were other videos of our family on there also)  
We had lunch  and watched the talent show with them. Sharon is a very talented lady. She is also a great cook. She served us a banana cream pie she made ( not knowing it was one of Joe's favorites). She also has a beautiful voice.  She has made many CD's and I think I have most of them. Her husband Ken is a retired pastor but still preaches when needed in the area when  a pastor is ill, or a church is in transition between pastors.

Ken sat a wooden block with one nail in it and ten more nails on the counter in front of Joe and told him to put all the nails on the head of the one nail in the block............

It's like a great balancing act.....

 For years Ken and Sharon have been involved in Samaritan's Purse, Operation Christmas Child and I suspect many of you have too. I love filling those shoe boxes. They volunteer at the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center in Southern California every year.

So I almost forgot another connection we have with each other.  Her brother and sister in law, Pastor Bill and Bea Griggs, were my pastors for many years while I lived in Estacada and he is the one who married Joe and I.  

2nd Annual Blogger - Fest
Before I close my blog this evening, I want to say how much we wish we could be at the Bloggerfest next Saturday. We waited all year for it to happen. But as most of you know,  Joe is getting chemo now and traveling isn't in the near future.  The Dr. did give Joe encouraging news though, that if is treatments go as planned, we could possibly come to the desert for a couple of months,(January and February) of next year.  In the mean time I encourage any of you reading this that are near  Quartzsite, to hook up with my blogger friends that will be at the Bloggerfest Saturday. I know you will have a great time. I look forward to all the blogs I'm going to be reading about what fun you had there.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Last of the Holiday Celebrations

The picture of this little sweetheart was taken in December of 1953. 

 This is the same little sweetheart taken December 2015. She is my sister Jan.  She was making coffee on her wood burning stove in the family room in the coffee pot used by her mother in law for years. It made great coffee too.
We came to spend the New Year's weekend with her. She invited her neighbors across the street to join us. We played Fast Track until five minutes til midnight, then we stopped long enough to watch the fire works fired off from the Space Needle in Seattle. Then it was back to the game table where we played until 2 in the morning.  I can't remember when I've stayed up that late to play games, and  I payed for it New Years day. I was so tired! I went to bed at seven that night and slept until seven the next morning.  

Jan left her Christmas Decorations up after Christmas so we could enjoy them.  Every room in the house had some type of Christmas Decoration. It was so pretty. We had a really hard time getting this picture though because...........

The little Elf On The Shelf kept photo bombing us. Isn't she a cutie!!

Saturday we took  Jan to lunch then went for a ride around a portion of Bonney Lake and Lake Tapps.  It goes on and on for ever.  Look closely and you will see ice forming on the water.

If we are friends on Facebook, you have probably already seen these next few pictures.  We left Bonney Lake about 8:30 this morning and about five miles South of Chehalis we started encountering snow and the further South we went the worse it got. But some people thought it was OK to go the regular speed limit. We saw probably close to seven accidents, spin outs and cars zooming off into the ditch.

We gave thanks to the Lord for the safe journey home and except for having to go out for chemo and Dr. appointments I'd just be happy to stay in my cozy little home until..............

Valentine's Day!!!!