Monday, June 28, 2010


Had round #10 of chemo yesterday..still "Fighting Like a Girl" and killing those cancer cells..YAY! I usually have a little dread about going, because I am just beginning to start to feel better....but once I get back to the chemo room and get settled in my chair, I look around the room at the other patients...some are there for their very first chemo, some old timers like me, and always one or two that look like they are giving up hope...I quickly give a prayer of thanks for how well I am doing and how far I have come since this second diagnosis given to me on December 21,2009! I am very grateful and it sure puts into perspective that having a week of not feeling well, is a small price to pay for a week's worth of killing those cancer cells! I am extremely grateful that the new chemo cocktail along with the steroids, is getting rid of the swelling and pain in my feet and leg...I still have to use the cane or walker most of the time...don't want to keep falling..still a little unbalanced at times...but it is 100% better than not being able to walk without pain. As I have said before, first thing in the morning, I try on my yellow box flip flops to measure my success in the swelling department...I am happy to say that I have been able to wear them everyday! God is soooo good! This round of cancer seems so much different than my first one ten years ago....or maybe I just don't remember it...but I know I didn't lose my fingernails last time and don't remember the swelling and not being able to walk...I am sure that it is because it came back in my bone this time and that would have to be part of the reason...just so happy that God's plan for me was to get my "new hip" before this battle began...I know that had I still had all that back and hip pain, this would have been alot more difficult to endure....but you see, it is all in God's time plan..I am very grateful!

When I came home from chemo yesterday, I brought the dogs out and sat on the swing as I always do. After a bit, a big, gorgeous yellow dog walked upon the deck. I can't remember ever seeing this dog before. When a stray dog comes down the hill into our yard, my dogs usually go crazy barking and try to run it off...not today...they hardly even looked at it, much less bark! I got up and went to the door to let the dogs in and was going in behind them..."Old Yeller", as I called him/her...went on into the house too! I tried to coax him back out...nothing worked..this was about 2:00 in the afternoon...He would lie in the kitchen floor or get under my feet at the craft sound at all from any of the three dogs..very strange to me! I would go outside again with Jazzabelle and Emma Grace, but "Old Yeller" wouldn't get up to come...very well groomed dog..very sweet...would put his paw on my knee wanting me to pet him! Emma Grace did get a little jealous about this and wanted to be petted at the same time. During this time, the chemo was starting to kick in and I was already having that "out of body" feeling and that horrible taste in my mouth! My precious sister, Kimberly, said maybe the dog wasn't really there...I just thought it was LOL! When hubby got home from work, he informed Kimberly that the dog was indeed here! He thinks he had seen the dog in a yard up on the hill...the dog wouldn't get in his he slowly drove down the street while the dog followed him...the house where he thought he might live had a locked gate, so he petted "Old Yeller" and quickly drove away..we are hoping that he and his family are now together again....if he comes back to us, I will continue the "Old Yeller" Saga......


Lisa is one of the sweetest people I have ever known...she is caring, compassionate, creative, giving, encouraging and inspiring! Since I began this second battle with cancer last December, she has not missed one week without sending me an encouraging card...I cherish her friendship! When I discovered that her birthday was during my chemo week and I wouldn't be able to come to Little Rock to help her celebrate, I was sad. Yesterday, Kimberly and I took her to Bone Fish Grill to have some Bang Bang Shrimp and dinner under the premise of celebrating her birthday...she was truly surprised to find over 20 friends waitng to surprise her....she even jumped LOL! Angel, our friend and cake maker extraordinaire, made the perfect cake with the inscription "Queen of Everything"!..which she truly is! I was a little worried that the surprise would leak out since she is with most of these people everyday..just goes to show you that secrets can be kept! An added bonus to the day...I got to see and visit with friends that I haven't seen since I have been off work...makes me miss ACH even more. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LISA....hope you have a wonderful year!

Friday, June 25, 2010


I am so looking forward to this weekend. I am so very grateful that my swelling is so much better and that this week I am recovering from the side effects of the chemo. I even got out for a bit yesterday...went to Wal-Mart...which I haven't been to in months..haven't been out shopping at all..just have been going to doctor's visits, church and a little ya ya'ing at Kimberly's once in awhile. Sometimes on the weekend, I would ride with hubby doing a few errands. Yesterday, I even drove one of the electric buggies and didn't even knock anything over...can remember my sweet Mom running into a couple of displays over the years LOL!

Tomorrow, Kimberly and I are going to take a copic marker class at the Scrapbook Corner, where we will learn to blend and shade. These are such awesome markers and I will be happy to learn how to color better! After the class, they are having a crop at the store...that should be fun and hopefully, I will get alot of cards made. On Sunday, I will go to church and then a little ya ya fun at Kimberly's! Due to chemo, I wasn't able to celebrate Lisa's birthday on her birthday weekend, so after ya ya'ing, Kimberly and I are taking her out to dinner at Bone Fish Grill! I can hardly wait for some Bang Bang Shrimp! Yum! This will be the perfect "pre chemo" meal, before starting chemo again on Monday! Next week when the nausea hits and I don't want to eat, all I will have to do is remember the awesome Bang Bang Shrimp!

Looking forward to starting the next round of chemo...each one down, means the end is getting closer! With the new chemo, I am already getting hair fuzz...looks like this time, my hair is going to be pretty white! That is okay...whatever color God chooses for me, will be just fine! I am hoping that the moustache stays at bay though!

I have so many friends going through personal and family health trials right now. I am praying for all and praying God will give them peace, comfort and strength during these difficult days! Prayer is so powerful!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I sometimes think that insomnia can be a good it allows you to have quiet time with no interruptions to focus on your thoughts...time for prayer, praise, making mental lists of things to do, giving thanks, recalling fond memories of loved ones that have passed and thinking of your dreams and goals.....I can usually throw in a little card making or addressing in there somewhere! I think insomnia from steroids has a special meaning because you are not consumed by fatigue, you have all this energy (wish mine had the physical ability to use...but it is getting better...swelling is better everyday) , in which you can put to good being either mentally or physically productive!

May seem like a crazy concept...but I have learned to be grateful for what I have, even if it is called insomnia! Yesterday after having not much sleep, I had a wonderful day...going to NLR for lab appointment, then lunch with two very special people who both have been friends for over 30 years...they are just now getting to know each other and we were all able to have a very good visit recalling our losses of Jennifer, Mica's husband and Charlotte's brother! Some may not think that this was a very uplifting lunch, but it actually was....making us realize that our loved ones are no longer struggling and are healthy and that we do have the promise of seeing them again. Mica and I had lost touch for a few years, were reconnected due to fb (love it) is just like we have not gone a week, much less, years without talking to each that is a special friendship. When we got back in contact with each other, I invited her to come to church with me at Fellowship North.....she has found her new "home".....just as I did when Joanna invited me and Jennifer over ten years ago! Each time I am with Mica, she tells me that she has never been happier with a church, ever! Praise God!

I don't wish insomnia on anyone..just saying that sometimes, it doesn't have to be all bad....sometimes giving us time to focus without interruptions and distractions!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I miss my Daddy everyday....but the holidays always seem to magnify those feelings. If he were still here, we would be coming over here to see him, not living here! This house and land is so filled with wonderful memories and dreams of him! I can still see him sitting down by the pond or "well shed" talking with my hubby...Mom and I would be looking out the window at them and saying "Don't you wish we were a fly on the wall to hear what they were talking about"? Always planning the garden or other many dreams. When I got married, not only did my husband inherit a great father-in-law, but I truly believe he received the gift of him becoming his "best friend"...sharing fishing and camping trips, buliding projects and gardens! My Dad taught him many lessons....My family always treated him like their own son....I will always be grateful for that and so happy that they were so close....Hubby still tells me all the time that he can "feel" my Dad with him! If he were here today, we would bring him gifts and chocolate (I will have a Snicker bar in his honor today)...cionvince him to go out to eat or cook his favorite meal...perhaps pork chicken, for sure! He was so very kind, funny, showed his wife that he loved her, and would do anything for his children and grandchildren...His great grand daughter, Abbi, brought him so much joy! He was always the encourager, wanting us fulfill our dreams and proud when we did...He was so very proud of Kimberly's academic achievements and her career..he was proud of me becoming a Respiratory Therapist (even though he always called me a nurse LOL!) He was there encouraging us while we dealt with the trials of Jennifer's illness and she knew how much her PaPa loved her. Ten years ago, when I was fighting my first battle with cancer, he was always there for me....helping me in anyway he could...I was able to spend quite a bit of time over here during that time! He was the best nurse he knew how to be, when Mom was ill....I think that he did a great job! She had always taken care of him, but he really stepped up to the plate when he had to!

As a child, he took us fishing and camping alot.....Model A car riding etc. His work schedule, having his own business open seven days a week, didn't allow him to go on very many family vacations that were far away, but he made sure that Mom ,my sisters and I, were able to do those things. I will always miss him and love him and will welcome the day I am able to see him again.

My father-in-law passed away this past year....he was a big tall man, but so gentle, kind and funny...he fathered nine children and will always be missed! His sense of humor and gentle spirit will always be remembered. We have been married forty years now, and I don't ever recall hearing him say a bad word about anyone....ever! Now that is something!

Thirty-two years ago, the man I married, finally became a father...something we both had wanted since the day we were married, eight years before! That was the happiest day of our lives..March 28, 1978! He was a good Dad, and am very grateful that Jennifer knew how much she was loved. We were able to be blessed with her for the best 28 years of our marriage. She went through so much in those years, being diagnosed with CF, having open heart surgery, learning to make CF a part of everyday life, many, many hospitalizaions, surgeries, diabetes...alot of CF families fall apart during this time, but by the love and grace of God, I think that it strengthened our relationship and made it stronger....I know one thing is that she taught us alot about strength, compassion, will, determination and not judging people! She truly made us proud to be her Mom and Dad! Losing Jennifer is still the hardest thing that we have ever done or will ever have to do, but somehow we get through it day by day. It still doesn't seem real at times and our lives have been changed forever. One thing I do know is that she knew how very much we loved her and we know how much she loved us......In those short 28 years that she was with us, I know there was never a day that I didn't tell her at least once, that I loved her! I thank God everyday for choosing us to be her parents!

Happy Father's Day to all....if you are fortunate enough to still have your Dad, tell him how much you love just never know when that opportunity will be taken away!

Friday, June 18, 2010


Since having chemo on Monday and being put on steroids, I have been really having a hard time with insomnia...have tried counting sheep, counting backwards, using the letters of the alphabet to name an attritube of God (suggested by a friend)...even trying to count the snores from the dogs and hubby LOL! Seems like every other night, Ambien ties and I get about four or five hours of sleep....nights like tonight, I just have to get up! This steroid energy isn't all bad...I can get a few cards made or addressed! If I didn't have the problem with my feet hurting and swelling, I could probably be really productive! I don't mind that the steroids are winning...swelling is getting better....the nausea, achiness, "out of body" feeling, and fatigue just reassure me that the chemo is killing those cancer cells! I need proof that it is doing its job...if I felt all hunky dory, I would be worried that it wasn't working! It may sound silly, but that is how I feel! I know that God is in control of all this and it will turn out the way He wants it too! He has the plan and I have complete faith and trust in Him! He is on my side as well as my family and many prayer warrior friends!

My friend, Anita, is fighting this battle with me...we are now almost on the same chemo, every two weeks on Monday, she, every two weeks on Tuesday! Like she said today, she is okay...just tired and aching....needing to rest! She inspires me with her courage, strength, determination and especially her humor...can't be around her without laughing! She is one tough lady....we are in this together and I am thankful that we have each other to talk to and encourage!

I read an article in a magazine yesterday about all the advances they have made in cancer treatment....I can see changes since I went through this the first time ten years ago! The article was saying that more and more cancers of all types are having better outcomes and allowing patients to return to living a normal life....I believe that is in the near future for Anita and me!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


After such a wonderful week with a house full of five precious little princesses, the house is too quiet...almost feels giggling, stamping, craft making and begging to go to the go carts etc! It was a wonderful time for us being with such adorable little girls. It brought back so many wonderful memories of times with Jennifer at that age....all the slumber parties...I could almost see Jennifer, Kristi and Ashley here when I saw these girls...filled with all the laughter, jokes, music and dancing...such energy and gave us so much joy! I always had a house full of kids...loved every minute of it! I am so grateful that I have these precious memories to cherish! I get sad at times that I don't have grandchildren, but somehow God knew this void in my life, and we feel very blessed to have such adorable great nieces and nephews in our lives. They sure have been good for us....wish that we lived closer to them, but am glad that Princess Breanna and her brothers live close. It is funny how over the past four years since losing Jennifer, these special children have come into our I always say, God is always in control and He has the plan and He knows and answers our needs....He is good all the time and give thanks to Him for bringing us such joy with these children! The girls were planning their next trip to "Camp Debbie" on their Spring Break, even before they left....."Camp Debbie" will always be open for all of them.....hoping we will see them again before Spring Break...we all had such a great was certainly a good diversion from this cancer!

Monday, June 14, 2010


My wonderful sister and chemo buddy, Kimberly, were partners again at Round #9! We arrived at 10:00 and were out about 1:15. I am still having terrible neuropathy in hands and feet. Dr. Sneed starting me on steroids for a month to see if this will solve the swelling and neuropathy. I can't tell you how hard it is to not be able to walk and when you do, to feel like you are walking on crates...horrible! I can handle the nausea and fatigue, but not being able to walk is terrible...Trying not to complain...I know that God is in control and He is taking care of me and that this will get resolved. I have also been having alot of tears running down from my eyes..Dr. Sneed said this is caused from the chemo...if it doesn't clear up, may have to have tubes put in my tear ducts..ten years ago, Dr. Sternberg told me that we got rid of the cancer, but sure made a train wreck out of me....looks like this is the case now too,,inability to walk and fingernails falling off! I know there is a reason and that God, "The Great Physician" has the plan! I trust Him!

After chemo, Kimberly treated me to a wonderful lunch of grilled salmon, baked sweet potato and salad...delicious! We then went for manicure and feet felt sooooo much better. Asked adviced of what to do to make my fallen off nails presentable for Todd and Ashley's wedding. Good news is I am having some hair growth...wonder if it will be curly this time...whatever color it comes back in this time, that will be the color it more spending money having it colored!

I guess the steroids overpowered the Ambien tonight...but that's okay, I can catch up later! Very grateful the chemo seems to be working!


The house is still and quiet....the washer and dishwasher are resting...the craft table looks lonely! It is amazing how much life and laughter (only a few fights or misunderstandings) five precious little girls can bring to a home called "Camp Debbie"! What a joyful, fun filled week...singing, laughing, giggling, riding the go carts, riding the bumper cars, riding the go carts, swimming in the lake, picnics, riding the go carts...can you guess they loved riding the go carts? We are so blessed to get to know these wonderful great nieces and so honored that they love us in return. Wish we lived closer to them and could see them more...they are already planning their return trip on Spring Break....hope we don't have to wait that long to see them again! We have really only gotten to know them the past four years through funerals of the family..,,but they have truly won our hearts...we miss them terribly already! I have been re-living so many of the wonderful memories of Jennifer at that age and always having a house full of little girls...good medicine for us old folks....cherished memories! Children can divert you so easily from your aches, pain, worries...just wish that I had some of that energy!

Friday, June 11, 2010


We celebrated our 40th Anniversary by going to Bloomington, Illinois to celebrate with my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephews and their wives, and our great nieces and nephews! They gave us a wonderful party....we had such a good time and then celebrated our great niece's graduation. It was wonderful being able to see everyone and visit. They are so blessed to have such a wonderful and big family!

We brought four of our great nieces home with us. They are so sweet and adorable. They call my house "Camp Debbie"! Two of them were able to come last summer for a week. It certainly brings back happy memories of when Jennifer used to have sleep overs and a house full of girls. Breanna came over Tuesday and is enjoying getting to know her Illinois cousins! They sure have kept us entertained. We will certainly miss them. Bill and Judy, their grandparents ,will come and take them home on Monday...the day of my next chemo!,

We will enjoy the rest of our time with them and look forward to when we can see them again! They sure have been good medicine for us both.

Kenzie's birthday is Monday. She will be eight. They will go to church with us on Sunday and then we will have a ya ya birthday for Kenzie!