Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Food for Thought

"Whenever a man is ready to uncover his sins, God is always ready to cover them." - Unknown

"Pray as if everything depended on God, and work as if everything depended on man." - Francis J. Spellman

"Jesus can turn water into wine, but He can't turn your whining into anything." - Mark Steele
"Guilt is concerned with the past. Worry is concerned about the future. Contentment enjoys the present."
- Unknown

"I make it a rule of Christian duty never to go to a place where there is not room for my Master as well as myself." - John Newton

"Death is not a period but a comma in the story of life." - Amos J. Farver

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Best Medicine

I have a prescription for the best medicine for whatever ails you. This medicine relieves stress, brings laughter to enhance immunity, and makes the tiredest body jump out of the bed. I must warn you that insurance will not cover this medicine. And it is not accessible by everyone.

That medicine is the love and companionship of a grandchild. Lil Man and I have been together almost every week day since he was six weeks old and his Mommy had to return to her career. He is now almost two and one-half years old. What a journey this has been for me. When he naps in my arms, I stroke his curly hair and tell him that he will never know the life he has breathed into me. He will never know the laughter and joy he has given to me on days that otherwise would have been filled only with pain and suffering.

I know this will sound like a typical Grammy remark, but we stand in awe and amazement at what he says and does. In the words of Aunt "Tef" - "He has never been a Terrible Two - he is a Terrific Two!" I agree. Lil Man has a sense of humor that I have never witnessed in a two year old. His intelligence is impressive (even according to his doctor). And we have such fun together.

Everyday is a new adventure. When I pick him up in the mornings at his Mommy's office, he talks all the way home on our twenty minute drive. I told a friend that sometimes I develop "conversation fatigue" with Lil Man who knows how to chatter (that might be a genetic inheiritance from his Mother). He is really singing these days and those musical notes are precious to me. Having a grandson after three daughters has been an interesting experience. Today we took small pieces of lumber to tie on the top of his Crazy Coupe so that he could pretend he was driving home from the lumber yard. Basketball goals, T-Ball sets, four-wheelers and monster trucks have replaced the home once filled with enough Barbies to populate a small nation and girly girl clothes and trinkets.

I ask him, "How much does your Grammy love you?" And he replies, "A WHOLE BUNCH!" Then he tells me, "Grammy, me love you a whole bunch". Love of a grandchild is a unique bundle of emotions and joy that continually grows just like the child to whom that love is directed. I am grateful beyond words for living long enough to experience "Grammy-dom". I am just waiting to see if more little ones join our family and if so, how many will be added. I might have to buy a bigger vehicle if this daycare experiences a population explosion.

Love You, Lil Man!

Writer's Block Improving! An Update: April 4, 2011

I know, I know, I have been silent on the blog for over a month. A combination of a significant case of writer's block and just needing a leukemia vacation have contributed to the absence. So in the future, remember this fact: if I disappear from my blog, it usually means I am doing pretty well and just living life or I have kicked the bucket!

We are preparing for an upcoming trip to Ohio State to see my leukemia specialist. As my last post alluded, I was having significant drops in my counts and we scheduled the appointment to determine the cause of the declines. Marrow failure was in the forefront of our concerns. Amazingly, miraculously, my counts began improving through the later part of March. My hemoglobin reached 13.6 - higher than it even was at my diagnosis - almost fifteen years ago. GO BONE MARROW! That victory was short-lived because last week my counts declined again. The roller coaster ride has been relentless in 2011.

I believe the radiation was worth the risks. My lymphocytes (cancerous) always comprised about 98-99 percent of all of my white blood cells. That percentage is now running 40-50% which is a significant reduction in my tumor load.

I have officially made it over two months without ANY IV antibiotics. Of course, God deserves all the credit for this. I believe He has directed my steps down a path with many stops along the alternative medicine path. A combination of oil of oregano, olive leaf extract, grapeseed extract, elderberry and goldenseal seems to be eradicating infections via a natural pathway versus antibiotic overload. Praise God.

At last, my flu quarantine ended and I have spent the past week as free as a bird! I had been at home since Christmas Eve dinner and church services. The only exceptions being "vacations" to the hospital or the doctors' offices. Grocery shopping, receiving a hair cut and style, and running errands never had such broad appeal. I am free at last!

Another major praise is that my very wise family doctor recommended a supplement (backed with scientific research) for the long-standing, unbearable fatigue I have suffered with leukemia. I decided I would add it to my protocol and I have had an amazing few days with increased energy and stamina! Please pray this will continue as it the closest I have felt to "the old me" for a very long time. Heaven knows, as the nanny to my two year old grandson, energy is a premium commodity!

The heart monitor I wore for twenty-four hours in late March did not reveal any serious arrythmias to which we could attribute my heart palpitations. I am experimenting under the guidance of my family doctor with potassium and magnesium dose adjustments to see if the palpitations improve. There were periods of very low heart rates recorded on the monitor (down to 24 beats per minute) but I declined further testing. When God decides the old ticker should stop ticking, nothing will stop it. I am trusting Him.

Thank you for your continued prayers. I was reflecting the other day about the family, friends, churches and individuals who have literally prayed for me for almost fifteen years. Those are some faithful prayer intercessors, isn't it? I am humbled that the Holy Spirit has brought my needs to the remembrance of so many believers for so many years.

A New Favorite

Just in time for Easter, I discovered Casting Crowns' song Glorious Day. The lyrics replay over and over again in my mind and spirit. I am inspired and grateful for what my Savior has done for each of us - dying on a cross for the forgiveness of our sins.

Go to You Tube to listen: .

The lyrics are:

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises

One day when sin was as black as could be

Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin

Dwelt among men, my example is He

Word became flesh and the light shined among us

His glory revealed

Living, He loved me

Dying, He saved me

Buried, He carried my sins far away

Rising, He justified freely forever

One day He’s coming

Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain

One day they nailed Him to die on a tree

Suffering anguish, despised and rejected

Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He

Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree

And took the nails for me

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer

One day the stone rolled away from the door

Then He arose, over death He had conquered

Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore

Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him

From rising again

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming

One day the skies with His glories will shine

Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing

My Savior, Jesus, is mine