Saturday, December 29, 2007

Problems, Problems, Problems

Yesterday morning, I went in to have my blood drawn and to get my injection of Interferon. First, they take my vitals-blood pressure, pulse and my temp. The blood pressure cuff is usually put on my left arm. The nurse put the bigger cuff around my upper arm. The bottom number of my blood pressure and my pulse were 30 something. Not good. She took it again, but this time the cuff went around my lower arm. About the same again. She then took my pulse on my left wrist, the same as the machine. Then, she took my pulse on my right wrist, and it was much better. So, the cuff was put on my right arm, and it was much better.

Next, it was time to draw blood. I was given my usual glove full of ice to numb the area where my port is. The nurse went to insert the needle, but it didn't work properly, because she couldn't draw any blood. She called for another nurse to come over and to bring another needle. They took out the first needle and put in the second needle. That one hurt, because the area on my chest wasn't very numb anymore. After getting the needle in, they had to play with it. It wasn't working. After putting my feet and the foot rest down, so I was sitting up, not leaning back, they were able to draw blood.

I got my injection. The band aids don't stay very well on either of my arms. I take turns getting my injections in my arms. One day, the left arm is used, then the next, I receive the injection in my right arm. Hopefully, come next week, it won't be as difficult.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Wondering...

I was awake in the middle of the night for a bit, and was thinking. Are there any furniture still out there that Jesus made when he worked as a carpenter? After Jesus started his ministry, did he still work as a carpenter? Are there people today, who can go back in their family history, and are related to Jesus, because they are in the line of one of his brothers or sisters? I was just wondering about that.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

More Snow










The snow lasted for a few hours yesterday afternoon. I went to church this morning, the roads were fine, and it was just raining. When I left church three hours later, it was starting to snow. I spent almost an hour with my brother, and during that time, it really came down, the roads weren't very good. These pics I took this afternoon, from the same place as I did yesterday, standing at the front door, and in the back of house, from the porch. Looks gorgeous. My favorite part of winter is the morning after a snowfall. I am enjoying the pretty scence the snow has made.

Issue of Vanity

Tomorrow, if the weather doesn't keep us stuck at home, I am supposed to see my Onc, then go and get my injection. Tomorrow, will be my 12th injection and marks the end of my second month of Interferon. I have heard that starting around the third month, is when your hair starts thin and fall out. I will complete my third month in the middle of January. I love having long hair, even if I do complain about it at different times. I like putting it up in a ponytail, having my mom french braid it, even wearing it down. I do not want to loose my hair.

I have been thinking about this off and on since the summer. At one point, I thought about getting it cut, and just getting it over with. I haven't done that. I have decided, that the first time I see hair just sitting on my pillow, it will be time to get it cut short. That way, I can start getting used to the fact of short hair or no hair on my terms, not on cancer terms.

Yes, I have talked to God about this. I know it is vain to like my hair, and not wanting to loose it. I have asked the Lord not to have me loose it. If God's will is that I loose it, then after I get over it, I will thank him for it.

Again, I thank all of you who are praying for me. It is for your prayers that I have not had that many problems dealing with the side effects of the Interferon. God has answered all of our prayers. I really do appreciate all of your prayers. Thank you again.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Winter Wonderland









This afternoon and evening, we have recieved our second good snowfall of the season. I took pictures. My friends in TX, enjoy the beauty of snow.

Me and Santa

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Interesting Morning

This morning, I had an appointment to see my surgeon, Dr. Lewis. I walk in a little after 9 am, and the waiting room was basically empty, except for two ladies. I was shocked, I haven't ever seen it empty at that time before. I didn't have to wait too long to see the doctor and both of his residents. The first resident I saw, I haven't seen since July. The hole has healed nicely. The incision in my right groin has healed nicely. Here is the best part, I was able to witness to this resident, by giving God the glory for the why I am doing so well. I told him, that I have a lot of people praying for me. This guy is not a believer, but believes in positive thinking. It felt good to give God the glory for what he is doing to a non-christian.

I went to get my injection. When I was leaving, I dropped my parking ticket and didn't realize it until I got to the car. I called up to the OP Onc room, and my ticket was found. We bypassed each other in me getting the ticket back. The whole incident made me chuckle, and praise God that the ticket wasn't completely lost.

I see my onc next Monday. I do not see my surgeon again, until next March. They are going to schedule an appointment for me to see the lmyphodema specialist over at rehab.

I am waiting for the call, that my stocking is in again. I sent it back two weeks ago, it was too big. We'll see. I have been cutting back on sweets, and number of portions. I have been loosing weight. Before Thanksgiving, I was at 275 lbs. I am wanting to be under 270 when I see the onc on Monday. My weight hasn't been this low in years.

I am working tomorrow. The best thing about it is, I was requested by the teacher. I subbed for this third grade teacher last Friday. I enjoyed her kids, and left her my info, and she called into subfinder and requested me. She might still be out on Friday, she has the flu.

My brother is back home at the group home. He was finally discharged from the nursing home this afternoon.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Tree



Here is a picture of our Christmas tree. The other pic is a pic of one of the Pittsburgh Steelers ornament I bought yesterday and snuck onto the tree.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Back to Work

Yesterday, the first time in about five weeks, I worked. Yeah!!! I did P.E. (gym). I had five classes. I was the pitcher for kickball for two classes, and the other three I watched them play "Chicken and the Fox". I was tired come the end of the day. There were stairs to get down into and out of the gym at this school. I asked the Lord to let me be on the first floor every day this week. After school, I went to get my injection. My blood counts are good. My white count is up. Thank your for your prayers in this area. I took a nap after a got home.

I didn't work today. I had an interview this afternoon, to be a tutor at one of the elementary schools. It is for 24 hours a week, four days. Should find out next week, the result of the interview.

Saw my brother Sunday after church. When I got there, my parents, grandma, Todd and one of the workers from the group home were there. As usual, Timmy had to wear my coat and my watch. I purposely wore my jingle bell on Sunday, and I put that on my brother. He is doing good.

I went to the mall on Saturday, and did a bit of shopping.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving




Have a Happy Turkey everybody. Think of something you are thankful for. Psalm 100

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Low Dose: Injections

I started the low dose of my treatment this morning. I will get the injections 3times a week for the next 48 weeks (11 months). This week, I am getting it in the morning, and starting next week, afternoons, unless I don't sub, or have a doctor's appointment. Fridays, my port will be accessed, so that blood could be drawn to check my blood counts.

When I get my injection, my vitals are taken first, then I am given two Tylenol, then I decide where I want the injection, an arm or my stomach.

I took a short nap this afternoon, and my stomach bothered me a lot. I think part of that was because I was hungry come supper time, I skipped lunch.

My brother was discharged from the hospital this morning and taken over to the nursing home. He will be there, until his right index finger has closed on its own. When his finger has healed, then he will go back to the group home. He is getting his anti-biotics through his feeding tube. I will see him this Friday after getting my treatment.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Onc Visit

This morning, I had a appointment to see my onc. He had blood drawn this morning, because my white blood count was at 1.9 Friday morning. This morning, my white blood count was down to 1.8. I was supposed to start the injections this morning, but I received a reprieve, no injection. Over at OP Oncology, they weren't expecting me for the injections. The pharmacist has to order the interferon, so I will start my injections Wednesday morning. Next week, or the week after, I will get them in the afternoon, instead of in the morning. I will receive injections Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; and have blood drawn on Fridays. A needle will be inserted into my port, so blood can be drawn, on Fridays, and removed afterwards.

My onc, said it was okay to go and see my brother at the hospital. I haven't seen him in 2 1/2 months. He was sleeping, so we woke him up. It was so good to see my brother. We gave each other hugs and kisses. I read two books to him. I sang "Jesus Loves Me" to him, and took him for a short walk. The sitter, said after my parents left yesterday, Timmy had tears running down his face. He was quiet today. I know, he was glad to see me, because he has missed me.

My brother is still in the hospital. The people in charge of the group home, don't want him at the group home, as long as his finger is open. It is healing, and is in the process of closing up on its own. They are waiting for some paper from the state to show up. When it does, then he will go to the nursing home. But, because this paper is coming from the state, my mom is hoping it takes a long time for it arrive, so that by that time, his finger will be healed, and he won't go to the nursing home, but back to the group home where he lives.

I didn't go to church again yesterday. My stomach bothered me all weekend. I took a anti-nausea pill Friday night after supper, yesterday morning after breakfast and again last night before bed. I went back to bed yesterday morning about 8:30 and slept til after 1 pm. I hope to go to church Wednesday night, but we will see.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Finished

I finished the high dose of Interferon this morning!!!!!!!!!!!! No more IV treatment!!!!!!!!!!! I will start the injections on Monday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Good Days

I have had two good days. I did take a nap yesterday and two today, but I've been awake both days. It is good to be awake, not sleeping for hours on end. I was able to work on my Beth Moore Bible study both days. I did take an anti-nausea pill this morning after eating breakfast. Even Timmy had a good day today. He was sleeping naturally this afternoon when Dad went to see him. He wasn't sleeping because of drugs.

My blood counts are good again. I have two more days of the high dose! Yeah!!!
I will see my onc next Monday, and I start the injections that day. I saw my surgeon this morning. The resident felt my thigh and she said it felt warm, and looks red. She told me if the redness increases on my thigh in the next couple of days, then I am to fill the prescription for anti-biotic.

Yesterday, I went to see one of the fitters of my stocking, and she kept it to send it back, to have a silicone strip added to it. She thinks hopefully this will help keep it up, and not fall down. I go back to see the surgeon in a month.

My brother left ICU on Monday. He is getting over pneumonia. He is going to a nursing home in the next couple of days, because his finger is still open, and visiting nurse won't go to the group home to change the bandage 3x a day. I guess it is draining. He is going to be able to get the antibiotics through his feeding tube.

Every time my parents go to see him, he is sleeping. I keep telling them he is protesting, because they won't let me go see him. He would be awake if I was to go and see him. I'm saying that. It would be funny, if it was true.

Friday, November 09, 2007

More on Timmy

The phone rang around 7am this morning, to let my mom know that Timmy didn't have a good night. He is running a fever, and having a hard time breathing. He was put on oxygen. By the time, mom got to the hospital later this morning, Timmy had been moved to ICU, and they didn't tell mom. My baby brother is not doing well at all. Dad went by this afternoon, and Timmy had to be given something make him sleep, so they could take his blood pressure. He was kicking about and not co-operating.

I told the Lord, that if he was going to take my baby home, to please allow me to go and see him and tell him bye in person. I am not ready to give him up. I still need him in my life.

The doctors are not sure what caused Timmy to get a fever and have problems breathing. Please keep him in your prayers.

I took an anti-nausea pill this morning, and it made me sleepy, where I slept off and on from 9:30-3:30. I have one week left of the high dose. I am so looking forward to that. On Monday afternoon, going to the place where I got my stocking to see if they can look at it, and let me know if I put it on correctly or not, and how to keep it from falling down.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Day #14 and Timmy

Today was a good day for me. I did not need to take any anti-nausea medicine. I did take a pain pill this afternoon, because of my headache. I was awake all afternoon, even though I did take a nap late this afternoon. My mom thinks I caught a bug of some sort, that is why I slept all afternoon, and I had a fever Tuesday night. I also did take anti-nausea pills all of those days, too. I have a new one, and this one can make me drowsy.

We picked up my stocking yesterday afternoon. Didn't put it on, until this morning, because of there being less swelling in the morning. The stocking is hard to put on. There is a belt that goes around my waist. It doesn't feel too bad, except for on upper thigh. My thigh hurts, and the stocking doesn't help matters. The stocking doesn't want to stay up on my inner/upper thigh. I am constantly having to pull it back up. I do not have to wear the stocking at night, but for now I will, because of needing help to pull it on. The stocking helps with keeping the swelling down.

I have another update on my precious baby brother. (My mom hates it when I call him baby. he is the youngest of us three kids, so he is the baby.) Timmy has a non-contagious staph infection in his right index finger, and it went into his tendon, but not the bone. That is good news. That is why he has to have six weeks of IV antibiotic. He will receive the antibiotic every eight hours. For now, he is staying in the hospital. Next Wednesday, we have an appointment to go check out a nursing home, to see if we like that place, and to make sure they will have somebody one on one with him 24/7. They said that they are willing to do so. Mom is going to see if Tim can still go to the workshop during the day, since he gets the medicine every 8 hours. His hours at school (workshop) is from 10-4. He can't go back to the group home, because they do not have a nurse who can give Tim his IV. Once this treatment is finished, and the doctor gives his okay, then Timmy will go back to the group home that he lives in. Hopefully, I will be able to go see him in a couple of weeks.

Father, thank you for allowing me to write some good things tonight, not just bad things. Thank you for the good day I had. Thank you that Timmy's infection didn't go into his bone, but stopped at the tendon. Please wrap your arms of comfort around him, and let him know that you are there. You know how much I still need him in my life.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Timmy and Interferon

First, I watn to talk about my brother. If you scroll down my blog, there is a pic on the side of me and my brother. My brother is the baby of the three of us kids, and he means teh world to me. Because of my cancer, I havne't seen him as much as I would. We recieved a few phone calls Monday night about Timmy. The first one around 7pm, was to let my mom know that Timmy had been taken to the hospital and was being admitted to the hospital. When Timmy came home from the workshop (school) in the afternoon, his right index finger was swollen about 4x its normal size. (Timmy sucks his fingers from either hand, and has all of his life. He has a couple of fingers, a little swollen, a littl yellow and gross looking.) Turns out, he has an infection in his right index finger. Timmy had surgery late Monday night, like around midnight.

Mom stopped by the hospital yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon to see him. My heart goes out to him. His arm and hand are wrapped up, and his arm was elevated and hanging from some chain. The surgeon, cut open his finger and went down to his palm, to clean and scrape out the infection, and pour antibiotics through it. His finger is still cut open.

Timmy doesn't keep IVs in, so somebody called the house today, to get permission to put a PICC line or a port into Timmy so they can do a six week treatment of antibiotics through the IV. During this time, Timmy will be in the hospital. That is right, he will stay in the hospital for six weeks. As of now, I am not allowed to go see him. They supposed to tell my mom tomorrow, what type of infection he has. With my immune system being compromised by the Interferon, and with him having an infection, mom doesn't want me to catch anything.

Please keep him in your prayers. My mom did take a bag full of books to the hospital yesterday, so they have something to read to him. He does have a sitter, who is in the room 24/7, so he doesn't get out of bed, try to pull anything out, etc.

I now have 7 days of the high dose left to recieve. I am taking an antibiotic this week, one per day, and recieved more anti-nausea pills. The new anti-nausea pills makes me sleepy. I have been extremely fatigued this week. I sleep most of the afternoon. Twice so far, I've had the shakes. Yesterday morning, I took my temp and it was 100.2 F. I didn't go to Biblestudy last night, I couldn't keep my head up during supper. I couldn't get any more sleep after supper, even though I did try. I ended up running a fever. Like around 7 pm, I took my temp, because I was so warm. My temp was 101.1F. I called the doctor, like I was told to. My onc was paged, and he called me back. He asked me some questions, and I answered no to them. My onc said to take Tylenol, and my fever was due to the Interferon. Two hours later, it was at 99.5 F. This morning, it was at 99.4 F. I had to have blood drawn and send to the lab to check my blood count, and everything was fine, so thye started my treatment after 10:30 am. I am slightly warm now. Now you can see, as to why my mom said I can't go see my brother.

Thank you for your prayers.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Day #11

The nurse didn't start to get me ready for treatment today until a little before 10 am. She waited so long, because she called my onc, and had to talk to him first. I told the nurse, I saw a bit of blood in my urine on Saturday, and that it hurt at different times when I went to the bathroom. My onc told the nurse for me to give a urine sample, to have it tested to see if I might have an infection. Then when I was finished, I was supposed to stop by his office to pick up some more anti-nausea pills, and a prescription. I was given a different type of anti-nausea pills, and five samples of an antibiotic to take, one a day for five days. This is precaution, in case I did come down with an infection.

I received results from my blood work. My white blood count is still low, but it did go from 1.9 to 2.0. The two word one, that begins with a "n" and a "p" went up 10 points from 22 to 32. They also look at my live enzymes, and they seemed high, but still within level to receive my treatment. I still received 49 million units of Interferon.

I will find out tomorrow the results of the urine test, and I will ask for a copy of my blood tests.

I spent most of the afternoon sleeping. First in the car, because mom had some jobs to do, and we didn't get home till almost 3 pm. Then I slept off and on till almost 5:30 pm. I became cold, and needed a second blanket to cover up with. I even started to shake a bit this afternoon.

Yesterday, I bought some Crystal Light Hydration to go packets, with lemon flavoring. I have used two of them today, and I like the taste it gives the water. They are for my bottles of water. But, what really needs them are the glasses of water I drink here at home.

Mom is making soup tonight. I love our homemade soup. I am still tired, probably will go to bed early, or pull one of my dad's tricks and fall asleep while watching tv.

Friday, November 02, 2007

End of Week 2

Today, I finished week 2, which marks the halfway point in receiving the high dose of Interferon. I have been tired all week. I have taken a nap just about every day. My naps are between 30-60 minutes in length only. I was in bed early at the beginning of the week. I still have had headaches, but nothing like last week's. My stomach has been bothering me all week. The nurse told me to go ahead and start taking the anti-nausea pills I have. They can only be taken 1 every 12 hours as needed. At different times, I feel like I could possible throw up. Everyday, I get closer and closer to throwing up.

I had blood drawn this morning. I will find out on Monday, what my blood count levels say. If they dropped anymore, then the amount of Interferon I receive will change for next week. I spend the majority of the afternoons in my dad's recliner resting, before I get onto the computer.

I saw my onc yesterday. I saw the surgeon this morning, after my treatment. He said the hardness I feel is normal, it is scar tissue. It will take up to a year, for it to soften and get smaller. They didn't make me feel stupid about wanting to come in and see them. I will see the surgeon again on the 14th. It has now been a week, since I was measured for my custom made stocking. Should be getting it soon.

I saw 4 people from my past this week, and three back in September. Those are little gifts from God.

I truly believe that the reason my side effects haven't been worse than what they are, are due to all the people across the country who are praying for me. This is God listening to their prayers and answering them. Lord, thank you for listening and answering all of their prayers.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Blood Work

I had a good weekend, with very little side effects. Stomach did bother me, nurse today, told me to go ahead and take an anti-nauseous medicine, that way it can work, before I let it go too far and I do get sick to my stomach.

Got my blood work back and there is only two things they really look at, when deciding the amount of interferon I can receive. That is my white blood count, which is at 1.9. Back in July it was at 6.1. It is low. They also look at my Seg Neutrophil. It is at 22, and back in July it was 20.5. I guess that one is also low, but I am still receiving 49 million units of Interferon everyday this week.

Mom has to buy a thermometer tomorrow, because she has to take my temperature 2-3 times a day. If my temp hits 100.5 or greater, then we have to call the doctor.

I have had a headache today, but not bad as last week. I still took a pain pill this afternoon. I got an hour nap this afternoon. Last night, I had lights out before 11 pm, and didn't' want to get up when my alarm went off at 7 am.

God allowed me to see two people I haven't seen in years this week. Yesterday, at church, I was able to see a childhood friend. Last time we saw each other was 7 years ago. It was really nice to see him again. Today, I saw somebody from high school, who I recognized, but couldn't remember his name. He remembered my name. In an email to a friend, I said, I wonder who else God will allow me to see this week, I haven't seen in a long time.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

End of Week 1

One week down of high dose and three weeks to go. Thank you Father, for letting yesterday be and easy day for me. I was cold all afternoon, and I did have a headache. I did take a pain pill in the afternoon. Last night went to my niece's open house at her school. I saw my best friend and her family. I took pics of my niece's work that was being shown. Who else did I see? The p.e. teacher, music teacher, and sixth grade teacher. Why do I mention them? Because I had them when I was a student at that school back in the early 80's.

Last night, my high school and played my mom's high school. We went to arch rival high schools. They play for bragging rights and a bell. We drove past the game on the way home, my team was winning at the time, but alas, my team couldn't keep the lead.

I slept in my bed last night, first time in a month. I can't sleep on my right side, but can on my left side and most of the night on my back. During the week, I will sleep in the recliner, because of the needle connected to the port.

I drove today, and went to Wal-mart and the grocery store. I took my time. Tomorrow, I am going to church in the morning, and will probably go to my parent's church for the evening service. I had a small headache this morning. I haven't been cold, no shakes. I have felt great today. My stomach has bothered me a bit today. Father, thank you for allowing me to have a great weekend, and not feeling any of the side effects.

In the past week, the colors have really been changing. I was driving up the driveway this afternoon, and the tree behind the house, just looked gorgeous. This is what I have missed the whole time I lived in TX. Fall is my favorite season.

I had sent out a mass email before coming to my blog asking people to pray, because I found a hard area in my upper thigh going towards the groin. I felt in the same area on my left thigh, nothing is hard, just soft. This could be nothing, but I am going to ask the nurse at the hospital Monday morning, when I go in for my treatment. If the nurse thinks I should get it checked out, I will see if I can get in to see my surgeon Wednesday morning. I don't have to see him until November 14. I do see my onc this next Thursday morning. I do not want any new problems. Lord, I give this to you, and please help me not to worry about it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

God's Autumn Palate









We got home around noon today. I had my camera in the car, so I walked up the driveway, so I could take more pictures of the trees. They have changed more since Saturday. These are all from my parents yeard.

Receiving my Treatment







The top pic was taken on Monday, the rest were taken today. *Note*: My mom took most of the pictures. There is a couple of pics showing the bag of Interferon. That bag is holding 49 million units. My mom thought I was weird in wanting to have these pictures taken.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Week 1: Day 3

Today is day 3 of the high dose. I woke up with a headache, basically had one all day, still do. I get Tylenol before the treatment starts to help my temperature not go up. Today I started at 97.7 and went up to 98.7. The Tylenol I took this afternoon hasn't helped my headache, it is finally not has bad has it was earlier this afternoon.

I couldn't take a nap this afternoon, because of the headache and I was cold and shaking. I talked to God about it, and tried to sing mentally, but that didn't help either. God answered my prayer, by not stopping them both when I wanted them to stop. Hot water in the shower does help the headache for the time you are in it. At one point, I was covered up with three blankets this afternoon.

Going to talk to the nurse if there is something stronger I can take for the headache, tomorrow. She will call over to the onc to ask him. I have been warm off and on again since supper time.

We are now leaving a blanket in the car, for when I need it. I am tired right now.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

HD: Day 1 & 2

This week is the first week of the high dose. I have had two treatments so far. I am getting 49 million units of Interferon. First a needle was inserted into my port yesterday morning, and it will stay in till Friday morning. I am supposed to keep that area dry when I bathe, but the saran wrap and tape doesn't want to stay very well.

I am given fluids (saline) to flush my port, then the Interferon takes 30 minutes to run through the IV. Then I am given a shot of saline and a shot of hepron (for anticlotting).

Before the Interferon was done yesterday, I felt tired, but after I got home, I couldn't really sleep, though I did try. I get the shakes, I don't always feel cold, but I shake like crazy, with teeth chattering. I finally stopped last night after supper, when I covered up with a heavier blanket. I also have had a headache. I take Tyneol, but the headache is still there. It does become a dull ache, but it is still there.

Today, I didn't get tired, but I did take a short nap this afternoon. I have had a headache and my lower back has hurt. I was shaking with teeth chattering this morning, before I even left the hospital. I came home, and covered up with two blankets. The shaking stopped, and started up a tiny bit before I fell asleep this afternoon. I spent a good part of the day in my dad's recliner today, covered up with two blankets, the viberator and heat on. That has helped my back.

I am going to Biblestudy tonight, will have a blanket with him, to wrap up with. I will get more side effects as time goes along. I will have these side effects for the next year. Please keep me in your prayers about the side effects.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Colors of Autumn










As you have been able to see, different trees showing how their leaves have changed colors. Many trees' leaves are still green. We haven't had a frost yet, has been warm. This is usually a very beautiful time of the year. My friends down in TX, this is the one season, you basically don't get, and the one I had missed the most, the 8 1/2 years I lived in TX. Enjoy the awesome creation of God.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Less Pain, More Swelling

I was called this morning, but turned it down, didn't like the assignment. Was called again later, this time around 6:30 am. This job was for elementary art, at one school. Better than yesterday, which was two different schools. Mom said last night that she would drive me today. I got mom up after 7 am, so we could leave by 7:30 am. I had five classes of art, plus 15 minutes of recess duty. I did a lot of sitting, but also some walking around.

Mom picked me close to 3 pm, and we went to the pharmacy I got my stockings from, because the doctor wants me to start wearing it, and it doesn't fit. We can only return one, the one not opened. My leg was measured, and given a different one to put on, and it didn't fit. I had to make an appointment for next week to be measured for a stocking to be special ordered-made to fit my leg. We looked at my leg to measure it and to try the stocking, and saw how swollen my foot, ankle, and lower leg was. I have done more the past 3 days than I did the past 3 weeks. After we came home, mom wrapped my lower leg, ankle, and foot with the two ace bandages we have. I sat in mom's recliner,except for supper and now sitting here at the computer.

Earlier today, mom and dad moved one of the old recliners out of the living room upstairs to my bedroom. I will be sleeping upstairs again, but I am not going to use my bed just yet.

Less pain today. Still hurts though. I take it easy sitting down and standing up.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I worked today

I haven't worked in little more than 3 weeks. I haven't driven since I worked, both were the day before my LND. I got called this morning to do middle school music and called a bit later to do fifth grade in the afternoon. Middle school music was only for the am. I do not do middle school, but this music teacher also does elementary music. The special teachers for Akron schools, travel between at least two different schools.

I have a hard time getting the name of the teacher correct from the system. I drove to the middle school, and said the name, they said no, maybe I should've been at a different school. I go there, and they said no, so I got in my car, and called the first school I went to and found out, I had the wrong name and this teacher put in the wrong school into the system. Thankfully, this teacher had first period free. It was seventh grade music-three classes. I had 20 minutes to get to the second school and eat lunch in the car. I finished my lunch in the classroom. I did fifth grade reading in the afternoon.

Driving hurt my leg, and so did walking. If I get called for tomorrow, then mom will drive me. I want to go to church on Sunday. My leg did swell some, especially in the thigh. I sat most of the day.

After tomorrow, I will work again until after Thanksgiving, after I have started the low dose.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

They are out!

The drain tubes came out this morning. I didn't think they would, but they did. The seepage had tremoudously decreased in the past week. I think that was the deciding factor with the resident for them to come out. I took a pain pill first, and waited about 15 minutes to let it start to take effect first. A different doctor took out the one of the left first, didn't hurt, but it sure did squirt out fluid, more than he was expecting. The one on the right (the one that hurts) hurt a lot! It didn't seem to want to come out at first. I really felt that one! It is good to have them out. It still hurts a bit to walk, and still fights a bit tight, but that will now start to go away.

The resident wants me to wear the stocking now. She said to put the ointment and a gauze pad over the blisters before putting on the stocking. The stocking doesn't fit. Mom and I have to take it back over where we got it from on Friday, so I can be resized/meaasured again for it.

I start my treatment on Monday. The high dose for interferon. I will write more about that next week.

Indians won again last night, 7-3. They have now won 3 games in a row. If they win tomorrow night, then they will go to the World Series and play the Colorado Rockies. I hope they will win. I do hope C.C. is on his game tomorrow night.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning, I have an appointment to see Dr. Lewis and his resident. My mom thinks the drains are coming out tomorrow, but I don't think they will. I think they will stay in for another week. I am still draining more than 30cc for them both per day. I read on the MPIP board that the longer they are in, least likely they one will get lymphodema. I do hope that is true. I did have swelling in my foot right after the surgery, and I have some in my right thigh due to having surgery. I do hope Dr. Lewis is not has busy as he was last week. Because I am planning on going upstairs afterwards, to Dr. Patel's office. I need to let him know if the drain is still in or has come out. I also have to pick up my anti-nausous medicine (samples). I am going to ask both doctors to write me a note saying that it is okay to sit down periodically when I sub for medical reasons. I want to sub, but if I do sit down, and administrators come in to check on me, or to observe, thy might not like it seeing me sitting down.

I have now walked down to the mailbox and back twice, yesterday and today. Wore me out a bit. I sit in the recliner as much as possible, but do walk around the house.

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LAST NIGHT

Last night was game 3 in the ALCS. Indians won 4-2. Boston was shut out until the 7th inning, when Jake Westbrook gave up a 2 run home run. He was pulled from the game after that. Jake was on his game last night. Lewis pitched a 1/3 of an inning, then Bentacourt pitched the 8th, and Browoski pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning. Kenny Lofton hit his first home run in about 3 months in the 2nd to get us on the board last night. Tonight is game 4. I do hope we can win it tonight and again Thursday. The Rockies are going to the World Series.

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LEAVES

I was walking down the driveway this afternoon, and there was this one pretty tree. The leaves on this tree are changing to a pretty red. Some leaves were half red and half green. There are trees that have leaves on the ground. There is still a lot of green. The trees that have started changing, are mostly changing at the top and working its way down. Spring came late to NE Ohio this year. We haven't even had our first frost yet. Are we going to wait until Thanksgiving, like TX does to have its first frost?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What a game!

The last two nights, the Indians played in Boston. C.C. was not in top form Friday night, and they lost 10-3. Last night, it was Carmon vs. Schilling. Both of them were pulled during the 5th inning. It was a see-saw of a game. Each team hit 2 home runs. Carmona came out in the 5th, let a guy get on base, was pulled. Perez came out, and got 1 out and gave up 2 HR back to back, then he was pulled. Lewis came out and ended the inning. I am not sure who pitched the 6th and 7th innings or even part of the 8th. Bennetacourt came out during the 8th and pitched the 9th inning. By this time the score was tied 6-6.

Third out of the top of the 9th, I fell asleep and woke up at the top of the 11th. I heard that Mastney pitched the 10th, and was 1, 2, 3 up and 1, 2, 3 down. Casey Blake started the 11th and got the first out. We got 7 runs and one out. Three of those runs came by Guiterrez 3 run HR. We batted around. Casey Blake was the 10th batter and got the third out. Casey got both the first and third outs of the 11th inning.

Browoski pitched in the bottom of the 11th. He did allow a couple of guys get on base, but gave up no runs. Boston ended the game by making a double play. Final score 13-6. The series is now tied at 1-1.

Because the Indians won last night, they will definitely play 3 games at home. They will be played Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday night. If Boston wins at least one of the those three games, we will head back to Boston. I hope we win all three games at home. If we do, then we will go to the World Series. It has been 10 years since we were in the World Series. I want to play the Rockies in the World Series.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Drain Tubes

I had a doctors appointment this morning. My appointment was for 10:45 am. They were running behind. I wasn't called back until a little after twelve. I saw the resident. She stripped the tubes. She said the tubes need to stay in for at least another week. We are ready for them to come out. I read on the MPIP board, that the longer they stay in, the less likely of getting lyphodema. The only swelling I have is in my thigh, and that is due to having surgery.

I am having seepage from the two drain sites. I have more seepage with the one on the left, and that is the one that doesn't hurt. The one on the right, have less seepage and that one hurts, stings, bothers me. I do feel a tightness in my leg.

My mom wants me sleeping upstairs. I tell, I am not ready to try to sleep in my bed. Going up a step bothers me. She talked to dad about taking one of the recliners upstairs to my room, so that I can sleep in the recliner. They would love for me to be working. I would too, but I'm not going to with drain tubes coming out of me.

Dr. Lewis said to keep my leg elevated, which I do. I am supposed to become more active, but when I do, there is more seepage. Mom had to do a load of laundary on Monday, because of the seepage.

Lord, thank you that I do not have much swelling. Please let me not have a problem with swelling later on in my life. You have a plan for all of this. I still do not see how having cancer is part of your plan for my life.

Interesting Tidbits

The following I got from reading the Bible, from doing a Beth Moore Bible study, and from Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible.

1. In I Samuel, David was hiding in a cave from Saul. It says that Saul went into the cave to relieve himself. Do you know what that means? It means, Saul went to the bathroom.

2. In the book of Acts, Paul got a haircut.

3. Peter denied Jesus 3 times. John 21:15-17, Jesus asked Peter 3 times if he loved him, and told him 3 times to feed his sheep. Acts 10 (?) Peter is praying, and around noon, he saw a vision, a sheet was brought down from heaven full of animals and 3 times, Peter was told to get up and kill to eat.

4. Hagar was the first single Mother. Hagar's son, Ishmael, was the first name of a baby given by God.

5. God spoke directly to Hagar, then later again as an angel of the Lord.

6. God spoke to Hagar and Rebekah about their pregnancies.

7. Isaac was the only patriarch who was monogamous.

I recommend all of you to read the following three books by Liz Curtis Higgs: Bad Girls of the Bible, Really Bad Girls of the Bible, Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible. The last one I am currently reading, and it is a brand new book.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Boston Here We Come!

There are a lot of happy and a lot of unhappy people. If you are an Indian fan you are in the happy group, an Enemy fan, in the unhappy group. Some people wanted Wedge to have C.C. pitch on a three days rest. Wedge stuck to his plan, Paul Byrd pitched last night, Kelly was the catcher, making Victor the first baseman. That meant Garko had the night off.

For the fifth time this season, Grady Seizemore started off the game with a home run. The Enemy used their game one pitcher, who was removed in the 2nd inning, Mussina came in relief. He stymied our guys for a few innings, but we came around. We scored 6 runs. Paul only gave up 1 run in the first 5 innings. In the sixth, he gave up a home run, and that was the time for him to go. Perez came in for the third time, but sad to say, he also gave up a hit and a run. That made the score 6-3. Perez pitched 2 innings. The other Rafael pitched in the 8, one, two, three up, and one, two , three down. Our closer came in the 9th, gave up a home run, but still saved the game. The Indians won!!!!!!!!!!!!! They were jumping on top of each other! They were excited about winning the game!

Friday, starts the American League Conference Series in Boston. The Indians need to win at least one game in Boston. If they can, then they will play all three games in Cleveland next week. The first two games will be in Boston-Friday and Saturday. Monday of next week, we will be back in Cleveland.

In the NLCS, are Diamondbacks and the Rockies. This is the first time since 1995, that the Rockies will be in the playoffs.

Regis Philbin says that winter started last night, because his team lost and are no longer in the playoffs. He gave his prediction for the World Series: Colorado Rockies vs. Cleveland Indians. I go for that. Go! Tribe! Go!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sarcoid and Indians

I called my onc this morning and left a message. A nurse called me back, later, to let me know that the blood test for sarcoid came back negative. That is good news. If they think they see it in the pathology report, and I test negative for it, what did they actually see? Some other tests on the blood hasn't come back yet. The next time I see him, he should have the lab reports with the answers that he wants.

I have had the drains in for almost two weeks now. I seem to be changing my shorts at least twice a day. Mom did laudary on Friday. Today is Monday, and we had to do a small load this morning. Where are the holes are in my thigh, where the drains come out, there is leakage there. Gauze pads protect the holes and the tubes. One stings and hurts a bit. One hurts more than the other one, when mom strips the tubes. I leak through the guaze pads onto my shorts like crazy.

The Indians lost last night. They still have the lead in the series, 2-1. Jake Westbrook didn't do his job last night. I hope Paul Bryd does a better job tonight. It was not all Jake's fault. The bats weren't completely awake. Nixon could've done better in right field. If we loose tonight, they come home and will play Wednesday night. They need to win. The winner plays Red Sox starting Thursday or Friday night. Go Tribe!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Go Tribe Go!

Wednesday the baseball playoffs started. The Cleveland Indians played Thursday and yesterday. The Indians have home-field advantage for the first round. They have to play The Enemy (NY Yankees). Two great games. Thursday night, C.C. Sabithia pitched. It wasn't his best outing, but he was in the lead come middle of the fifth, when he was done pitching. We scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth. We won that game with a score of 12-3. We hit four home runs, did really well with men in scoring position. We were hot!

Last night was a completely different game. It was kinda a pitcher's duel. We got men on base, we just couldn't bring them home. The pitchers were Petite and Carmona. Carmona made one mistake, and a home run was hit in the top of the third. The Enemy lead 1-0 until the 8th inning. All of a sudden these bugs, called midges come out of nowhere. (They are around in June til the beginning of July.) They were a problem for the other pitcher. A wild pitch, got Grady on base. Grady was able to move around the bases and was able to score and tie up the game. The bugs didn't seem to a problem for the Tribe just for The Enemy. Carmona was on the money! He pitched a three hit, one run game. He pitched 9 innings, and ended up with a no decision. Rafael Perez pitched two innings last night and got the win. Perez also pitched two innings Thursday night. The game was 11 innings long. We tried to win in the 10th, but couldn't do anything. The bottom of the 11th, we load the bases again, Hafner comes up to bat and hits the ball into the outfield and Lofton scores the winning run. We won 2-1.

The Enemy took all six regular season games this year. They were the only team to sweep us. We swept a lot of series this year. All of the announcers think The Enemy should just be handed win, like they have already won the World Series. They do not like Cleveland. We are up 2-0 games. We will play the next (two) game in NY. We just need one more win. It would be so sweet if we can sweep in three. Let's go Tribe!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

To Cut or Not To Cut That is the Question

I read the MPIP board numerous times while I am on the computer every day. I just recently found out about a side effect of Interferon from reading the posts. It is hair falling out-thinning. Becoming bald is a side effect. The thinning of the hair can vary in how bad it is from person to person. From the posts I have been reading, the thinning starts around month 3 of the treatment. I called to ask the nurse of onc about it.

I love having my long hair. I have had long hair for over 20 years. From kindergarten to fourth grade, my hair was short. When I was in the fourth grade, I started to letting it grown long. My hair goes to my mid back/bra strap area of my back. Last weekend, it was difficult to brush my hair. It took me awhile.

I will not know how the side effects will be for me until I start the treatments later this month. If I am feeling crappy for a long period of time, having short hair would be easier to take care of. I do not know what to do.

Lord, should I cut my hair? What is it you want me to do? Please give me wisdome in knowing what to do. Amen. If I do cut it, I want to cut enough to donate it to Locks of Love.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Pathology Report

I had two doctor appointments this morning, one at 9 am and the other at 9:45 am. I was late to the second one. Which is okay, since I have to wait longer in the waiting room to see the doctor. I saw the onc first. He shared some good news with us. He'd thought we had already heard the news. My lymph nodes came back clear! No cancer was found in them. The pathologist did see some bengin stuff looking like sarcoid. (The doctor I saw for second opinion back in August said I might have sarcoid.) The onc wanted blood drawn to be tested for sarcoid. I will find out in a couple of days if I have sarcoid. I am not completely sure what it is. Sarcoid can be found anywhere in the body. By doing immunotherapy, the sarcoid can become active, and that is something to watch for. One symptom of sarcoid is a nagging cough, which I have had since I was a kid. As of now, the high dose of the interferon (immunotherapy) is scheduleded to start Monday, October 22. Each treatment will last about 3 hours. I will go to the 7th floor of City Hospital to recieve my treatment. The nurse went over the side effects with us this morning. She is going to fax us the schedule for treatments and office visits tomorrow.

My second appointment was to see the surgeon and the resident. My incision is looking good. Both of my parents have seen it. It is normal to have redness arond the drain sites. I showed both the surgeon and the resident my blisters. Once I have healed from the blisters, I have to try the stocking again, and if it is still way too tight and causing problems, then I have to be remeasured for it. I saw some redness above my right heal this afternoon. So that means all of the ace bandages are off of my leg. My leg is supposed to be wrapped, but if I want the sores to heal, I can't have them wrapped.

The resident decided to leave the drains in for at least another week. She said I am still draining too much. For the drains to come out, I am to only drain 30cc (30mL) total for both drains per day. I drain between 60cc-100+cc per day.

Mom, Dad, and myself went out to lunch at Spaghetti Warehouse today. I called it a celebration lunch.

Holy Father, thank you for answering my prayer the way I wanted it answered. You know I didnt' want this surgery, but if I didnt' have it, I'd be wondering if any lymph nodes would be cancerous or not. Thank you for no more surgeries. Lord, if I do have sarcoid, please do not let it become an issue.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Playoff Season

The first round of the Playoffs start tomorrow. The Indians will be playing the dreaded Yankees, otherewise known as The Enemy. The Enemy swept us all six games this season. We need to win, if we are going to make it to the World Series. We have home field advantage this round. Sabithia pitches on Thursday, Carmona will pitch on Friday. Westbrook will pitch on Sunday. Byrd will pitch on Monday if needed. Then on the 10th, Sabithia will pitch again, if a game 5 is needed. The Indians start on Thursday. Every game of the first round will be on TBS. Go Tribe! Go Tribe! Go Tribe!

Tired

I am so tired today. I have theories, but not sure as to why I am so tired today. I was on the computer yesterday afternoon and evening. From 4-8pm, I was not in the recliner yesterday. I took my antibiotic around 10 pm last night. I took Bendryl around 11:30 pm, and went to sleep around 12:30 am. (I took the Bendryl, because the area where the port was placed, itches.) I woke up a couple of times in the night. I woke up around 7:30 this morning, so tired, that I went back to sleep until 9 am. I even tried taking a nap before lunch today. I feel tired.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Oh, What Fun We Had!

The fun started Tuesday morning. (If you haven't figured it out yet, I am being sarcastic.) I was taken back before 8 am. The nurse started pre-op vitals and stuff. She had to draw blood this time, and glory be! my veins co-operated and she got 3 vials of blood. I was praising God. Then she goes to start an IV in the back of my left hand. She got the needle in, but my vein decided to roll. She stopped right there and then. The nurse called down to the operating room to tell them they would have to start an IV. God chose to answer that prayer, but saying no, to my veins not co-operating.

I was taken down to the operating room a little before 9 am. I hugged my parents bye. In the operating room, I was given warm blankets and warm towels. These two nurses tried, right elbow, left hand, right hand, left foot. The anthesologist came in, he tried the right side of my neck. Before trying to start an IV, they would give me a shot of numbing medicine. He got an iv started on the left side of my neck. You never want an iv in your neck! It hurts! You can not hold up your head very well. Six days later, I am still sore.

I was taken to recovery around 1 pm. The surgeon took out the superfluous lymph nodes, just underneath the skin. I was given 2 drains. My mom has to dump the drain bulbs 3 times a day. They do not drain much.

Taken up to my hospital room around 8pm, little later. That bed was so uncomfortable! My back hurt! I couldn't move very well to get comfortable. I couldn't even move the bed up or down by the buttons until Thursday. I was admitted to the hospital, because the surgeon wanted to try to get my port placement moved up. I was originally scheduled for the port placement, October 3.

Had quite a few visitors on Wednesday. I kept asking the nurses Wednesday evening, for the Indians score, they didn't know. We didn't' pay to turn on the tv.

I got my port placed Thursday afternoon, the last one, by Special Procedures. The port is on my right side, in the upper chest area. That area is sore, do have a bit of pain there.

What else hurts? My neck is still sore. I have blisters just behind my right knee, due to the ace bandages wrapped too tightly around my knee. Thursday, my stocking was put on my leg, not completely or correctly, so that no pressure would be put onto my incision in the groin. The stocking caused blisters in two more areas. Those areas are a little below my two drains. It hurts to stand up, sit down. Sometimes it is uncomfortable in the recliner due to the blisters. By one of the drain areas, I feel a pulling sensation.

I see both of my doctors Wednesday morning. But it feels so good to be home! Thank you Lord, the surgery went well.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Prayer

This morning's sermon was from John 17. The setting was the Mount of Olives, before He was betrayed by Judas Iscariot. In between praying that God would take away the cup and praying that God's will be done, not his, Jesus prayed for his disciples (that were actually praying for him) and for his future disciples. That is actually a comfort, knowing that Jesus is praying for us.

I have people praying for me here in OH, in TX, FL, ID, WA, CA, MI, and a few other states that I do not know about. God has answered prayers, and there a few that he hasn't answered yet. God doesn't always answer our prayers. He doesn't always answer them according to the way we want them to be answered. What I can say, is that Jesus is walking beside me, during this whole thing. When we are in pain, it is hard to remember that Jesus had been in physical pain, when He was here on this Earth.

Someday, God will reveal to us, why He answered our prayers the way He did. I so do appreciate all the prayers that have been sent up to our Heavenly Father so far, and will continue to be sent up on my behalf. God is answering them in his way, and according to his glory. I have been praying that all of this can be used by God and that He will be glorified through all of this.

God is good, even though we do not see the goodness in the hardship. I do not see the goodness in having cancer. I do not see the goodness in not teaching full-time. I am anxious about Tuesday. I do not know what to expect. I keep thinking about the worse, and that is why I have not wanted this procedure. I pray that the side effects are very minimal.

Father, you are the healing Physician. I know you will heal me in your time, and according to your will. Your will be done here on Earth as it is in heaven. Right now, I can not thank you for allowing me to go through this, but someday in the future, I will be able to look back and see all the good that has come out of this and say Thank you. You are my God and I am your child. Please continue to hold me in your hands and to give me the strength that I need. I love you Father. Amen.

Playoffs Here We Come




The Cleveland Indians magic number before the start of today's game was 1. They had to play their final game of the year against Oakland Athletics. At the end of the game, Cleveland 6, Oakland 2; the Indians were Central Division Champs. The Indians were the first team to clinch and qualify for the playoffs this year. Today, was also, game 155. The last time the Indians, were the first team to clinch, was back in 1999, also on game 155. Their record is now 92-63.

They will find out later this week, who they will play in round 1 of the playoffs. They will play either The Angels, Red Sox, or The Enemy. They are still fighting with Angels and Red Sox for the best record in the American League and all of baseball. Before today's game, Angels and Indians were tied with the same record, while Red Sox had the same wins, but one more loss. The Enemy has the fourth best record.

My family wants to try and buy tickets for one playoff game. I want to go. We'll see how I am doing come that time. The worse part is, we have to buy tickets in advance. Come game time, I will be about 10 days out from my LND, with still having the drain in me. I have never been to a playoff game before.

Friday, September 21, 2007

LND/Port/Venting

My LND (lymph node disection) is next Tuesday, September 25 at 9am. I will not be having the port implanted that day. I will now be getting the port on Wednesday, October 3 in the morning. I have to have a blood test either on October 1 or 2. I had to end up going through my onc. to get my port.

I worked 4 days this week, with a total of 9 days for this two week pay period that ends today. I hope to work on Monday of next week. I will then go into the system to make myself unavailable for the rest of the week. Somehow, my mom has it stuck in her head, that I will be able to work the following week. I keep telling her that I won't be able to, as long as I have a drain in me. She will not listen. She thinks I will only have the drain for a week. I say I will have it for at least 2 weeks. I keep telling her, she is stuck at the house with me for two weeks, because I will need her help in the changing and cleaning of whatever needs to be done, because of the drain.

We'll see.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Its Starting...

I was driving this morning to school, and I saw a few trees with leaves starting to change colors. I am so excited! I haven't experienced a real fall in 10 years. I have been so looking forward to this. When the leaves are done changing, I will take pictures and post them here on the blog. My friends in TX, you will then see what you are missing come fall.

Monday, September 17, 2007

What time is it?

I found out this afternoon, that my surgery will take place at 9am on the 25th. I have to be there by 7 am, so that I can check in, register, etc. I was supposed to do that tomorrow morning, but it now as been changed.

I am now working the next two days.

Friends

This weekend, God revealed to me another reason why he brought me. I shared it with the ladies at the retreat. God brought me home, so that I could be around people, my age, who are in remission from cancer, and somebody who is battling cancer (but now in remission). He wanted to surround me with people who knew what I was going through and who understand. I thank the Lord for that.

Retreat

Friday, was my last day for my two week stint of teaching fourth grade. I left the school about 3:15 pm to head down to the cabin where the retreat was taking place. My directions I got on Google Maps, the directions were out of the way and I had to retrace my steps at the end. I was told to turn off of Rt 39, which I didn't completely realize I was on it, but only briefly. (This was only supposed to take me 90 minutes.) I stopped to eat at a Dairy Queen around 5 pm. I left again about 15 minutes later, about another 15 minutes later, I arrived at the intersection of rt 62 and rt 60. Now where do I go. I called, and found out I had to retrace my steps. I did, and showed up about 6 pm, almost 3 hours after I left school. (Took me 90 minutes to come home yesterday.)

The theme of the weekend was Encouragement. There is a book of the Bible that is mostly about encouragement-Hebrews. I didn't know that. There were about 24 ladies there. The area was beautiful. I took pics of nature and of the ladies. We each had a box, and over the weekend, we were to write notes of encouragement to every lady and put it into their box. We weren't allowed to read them until after we got home. My box is sitting on the floor next to the green chair in my room. I haven't read any yet. But will soon.

Had a nice weekend. We were to go on two prayer walks, one by ourselves Saturday morning. I didn't do the morning one, but I did go on the group one in the evening. That was different, and I did like it. That evening, we roasted hot dogs over a bonfire and we had smores for dessert.

Yesterday afternoon, after I got home, we celebrated my sissy's birthday. Had a nice afternoon.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

LND-Surgery date

I called over to the surgeon's office this afternoon after school. They called me back. Surgery has been scheduled for Tuesday, September 25. I do not know what time. I am expected to spend one night in the hospital.

What will be done that day. I will have lymph nodes removed from my right groin area. A port will be implanted into my chest. The port is for the high dose part of my treatment that will start sometime in October.

Last Day

This Friday, the 14th, is my last day to teach fourth grade where I have been teaching. The regular teacher also starts on Friday. I will let this teacher know what I have done, what I have had copied for her, and my opinion/take on the kids, to prepare her for next week. This afternoon was bad! I still have to be at Open House tomorrow night.

Hopefully I can sub next week.

Football

The Steelers are 1-0, while the Browns are 0-1. Why are the Browns 0-1? They were trashed, creamed, shut-down, stopped by the Steelers. The final score was 34-7. Guess what happened? Charlie Frye was traded to the Seahawks. Go Steelers!!!!!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Quiet is Short Lived

I think the title of this post summarizes up my week. At times it seems like they do not know what it means to be quiet. In my opinion, I think they think quiet means to talk. Don't get me wrong, they can be quiet, but they just don't like to be. One thing, I have been doing is making them wait, until they are quiet in line, before proceeding to restroom, lunch, leaving the building. From my time in TX, I could keep them after school as long as necessary (usually til 4 pm to make them practice being quiet-we were done at 3:45 pm). We have been the last ones out, and they have to be outside no later than 2:40. School gets out at 2:30 pm. I do not know what to do to get them to stay quiet, for the lesson. When it comes time to work on independent work, they like to talk, get up, not work, play, etc. I warn them that when it is time to turn in their work, whatever is not finished, I will count wrong. Doesn't seem to phase them. What will?

I have to spend the most of the time on reading, which includes reading, spelling, grammar, language, and writing. 45 minutes is not enough for math. 8 chapters is supposed to be taught in math during this grading period. For science, plants is supposed to be taught. What aspect of plants? I don't know, I'm not told. I decide for myself. I am working on pacing myself. I've been trying to give them a bit of study hall time.

They seem to have to use the restroom every hour or less. They do not like to accept the answer no. Today, the principal said on the morning announcements, nobody is allowed to use the restroom by themselves, only has a large group, go as a class. I had a few who about had a conniption. I said we would go around 10 am, maybe before lunch, around 1 pm. They need to go before school starts.

They are messy. Brand new school, floor looks terrible. I have them clean, doesn't last long. Floor is all marked up. Putting names on papers, a crime. Currently, I am taking 5 points off, soon, a 0 and being thrown away. I tell them to head notebook paper a certain way, do not want to do it. Show their work in, a few no way. As usual, there are some who thinks they are perfect, refuse to accept responsibility for the choices they make. I moved two to face the wall, away from other people. It was a crime. One chose to chunk the rest of the day. Lord, I need to wisdom, on what to do.

If I do no spend time seating during the day, my ankle is swollen, and the back, at the hole is also badly swollen.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Lake Erie




We went up to Geneva on the Lake yesterday to attend a wedding. I took a couple pics of Lake Erie.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Yellow Watermelon


My dad came home with a watermelon. When he cut into it, he found it wasn't red, but yellow. I never knew there were yellow watermelons. I think the red ones taste better than yellow.

Friday, August 31, 2007

My First Day of School

I was suppose to be at school by 8 am. I was there by quarter till. The school day is from 8:15 am to 2:30 pm. I didn't' leave until about 5:15 pm. I had a very long and tiring day. My feet hurt. Besides adding a 4th grade class, they also added 3 kindergarten classes. The other two 4th classes had like 34 or 35 students in each room.

I was given 11 and 12 students from the other two rooms, which gives me 23 students. We didn't move the kids until after lunch. I spent the morning, getting manuals, finding some supplies, making notes and lists. By noon, I was tired. I put my students into alphabetical order and made up a seating chart. By 12:30, all the students were in the classroom. I tried to introduce myself, talk about rules, etc. Do you know how hard that was? They would not shut-up. My students in TX talked, but not like this. I talk, they talk. I wait for them to get quiet, they still talk. Lining up, they talk. Standing in the hallway, they talk. I am hoping you can see the picture, I am making. Almost, non-stop talking. They wanted to go to the bathroom, I kept putting them off, because I couldn't get through anything, because of the NOISE.

After restroom break, we did a getting to know you worksheet. I saw to whisper, they do not know what that means. They were loud. After about 5-10 minutes, I said, by the time I count to 10, you will be sitting down, quietly. Were they? No way! I had to yell, raise my voice. In about 2-21/2 hours, I raised it about 5 times. We finish that activity, and I pass out a reading packet on the Oregon Trail.

We start reading it out loud. Get through about half of the paragraphs. Some were talking, not paying attention, had no idea where they were, etc. I stopped, and told them they were on silence and would work on the packet by themselves in silence. No talking. There is about 30 minutes left in the school day. Were they quiet? NO! The principal even came into the room, before school was out, they still talked while working, even though I said no talking.

On Tuesday, I will assign them numbers, and they will line up in number order. When they want to be rude and disrespectful, they will sit with heads down, and practice being quiet. They will also practice standing quiet in a vertical line. I told them they are in the 4th grade and know how to do it properly. Since they don't seem to, then they will practice.

After school, I had to get textbooks, short on heath books, talk to teammates, and think about for next week. I will do lesson plans over the weekend. I copied pages for Tuesday only. I will do the rest of the week on Tuesday.

This is very interesting, the principal is a year older than me, and we went to the same elementary school. She has a daughter in the first grade, who is going to the same school we went to; which is where my niece goes to school. Her daughter and my niece has been going to the same summer camp. This principal knows my niece. A small world.

The next few weeks will be a challenge. I feel for the kids, in knowing they will have a new teacher in a few weeks. I am not going to decorate the classroom. I will be taking as little stuff from home as possible. It is a nice school. I pray and hope things go better next week.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Teaching Job

I will be teaching 4th grade for 2-3 weeks starting tomorrow. Yeah!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited.

Akron Public Schools opened two new schools yesterday. One was a rebuilt (old building torn down for a new one to be built), and the other was an actual brand new school. Both schools had extra students show up yesterday than they were expecting. So they need extra teachers. In about three weeks, they turn in the number of students for each school, and that tells them how many teachers they can have, if any need to be moved or what. This school I will be at, they are adding classes of the different grades. I will teach fourth grade until they time of turning in numbers and deciding from where they will get the teachers they need. Who knows, maybe they might actually need to add positions and hire new teachers. It will be great to be making money.

Update on Surgery and PT

I called over to my surgeon's office this afternoon to speak to Deidra. The two current residents are rotating out on Saturday, with two more rotating in. One of the two rotating in, I saw back in May and he did my surgery at the end of June. The doctors are only in the office on Wednesday mornings. She will talk to the two residents next week, and find out which one wants to do my surgery. From there it will be scheduled. I hope to know come next week.

I have two more PT visits, then I will be finished. I went because I was off my right leg for 10 days, and the doctor wanted me to get some help in stregthening my leg. I talked to the PT, and I have decided that after I have surgery and the high dose of my treatment, for him to recommend me to go back to PT for the lyphodema. I will wear the stocking every day, but I think having some type of exercises might help also. That is my opinion.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Indians vs Twins

What an awesome game last night! I went to the Indians game last night. I had been bugging my mom all summer about going to a game. Last Wednesday, on the way home from church, I heard on the radio, that Monday's game will be military appreciation night. I called the Indians Team Shop at Summit Mall twice on Thursday making sure I had the details I needed. Friday evening, dad, stopped at the mall to show his military I.D., he is a vet, to pick up two free tickets. Our tickets were in section 178 there at the left field. We were next door to the bleachers section, with Home Run Porch above and behind us. We had to turn to the side to see the big screen.

Grady Seizemore walked to start the bottom half of the game, and scored that inning as well. Paul Byrd was the starting pitcher for the Indians. He was great the first four innings. In the bottom of the 4th, we scored 4 runs, so Byrd had to sit a little too long. Kelly Shoppach is Byrd's personal catcher, so Victor Martinez played first, giving Ryan Garko a night off. Victor hit a 2 run home run in the third inning. Kelly hit a 2 run double in the 4th. I was so happy for him, since his previous at bats, he mostly struck out. He was due some good at-bats. I think Kelly is a good player. The score is now 5-0. Kelly and Grady are on base. Travis Hafner hits a 2 run single and the score is now 7-0. The guys had some good at-bats with men on base and in scoring position.

Paul Byrd came out the top of the fifth and was a bit rusty. He allowed 2 runs to score. The top of the sixth, he allowed a in the park home run-the ball hit the yellow line at the top of the wall in left field. At the end of the sixth, mom went to the restroom. Byrd comes back out at the top of the seventh. I wasn't expecting him to come back out. Byrd couldn't get an out. Rafael Perez warms up in the bullpen, and comes out to replace Paul Byrd. At this time, mom comes back and I head to the restroom. What I am going to share next, I missed, because I was in the restroom.

There were to men on base with no outs in the top of the seventh. The Twins players were on first and second base. Perez throws the ball, the Twins player (don't remember his name) hits the ball, and it travels towards third base. Casey Blake, third basemen, gloves the ball, steps onto third base, throws it to Cabrera, who is standing on second base, who then throws it Victor Martinez at first base. They completed an infield triple play! That was the first American League triple play made this season.

When was the last time, Indians completed a triple play? 1992, in August, in Baltimore. That time, Kenny Lofton playing in center field, gloved the ball and threw to Sandy Alamor, the catcher who then threw it to complete the triple play. The last time the Indians completed a triple play in Cleveland, was in 1976.

Cleveland Indians won the game last night with the final score of 8-3. Paul Byrd's record is now 13-5. The Indians have three pitchers with records close to 15 wins. They won 3 games in a row. The Detroit Tigers also won last night, 16-0 against "The Enemy", aka: New York Yankees. So we are still 2 1/2 games above the Detroit Tigers. We are in first place, while the Tigers are in second place.

There were times last night, when I said the pitcher needed to throw a strike, and guess what, he did. It was a great game last night! I just loved it! Can't you tell?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Victory One Step at a Time

"And the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, least the beasts of the field become too numerous for you." Deuteronomy 7:22

When God led His people into the Promised Land, He did so step by step. If he had allowed them to annihilate their enemies at once, the land would be have been too difficult to manage. So He allowed some of the enemies to remain for a time in order to maintain the land and suppress the wildlife. In doing so, God taught His people to trust Him step by step. He gave them only as much responsibility as they could handle at one time.

As God leads you in your Christian growth, he will allow challenges that match your character and relationship to Him, God will not totally change your character at once when you become a Christian. Rather, He will lead you through a process to become more life His Son. He will keep working in an area in your life until it is controlled by the Holy Spirit. You may eagerly desire maturity in every area of your character, but steady, gradual growth is more lasting. God will not take shortcuts in His process of making you like Christ. He see your life from eternity and will take as long as necessary to produce lasting spiritual growth in you.

Do not become impatient while God is producing Christlikeness in you. Do not seek more responsibilities than those He has given you. Obey all that you know He has asked, and He will lead you at peace that fits your present character and His purposes for you.

This as today's devotional written by Henry T. and Richard Blackaby, from the following: Experiencing God Day-by Day, the devotional and journal. I have been using this book since October 2000 with my devotions.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Car Title Problems

Back in 1999, when I was living in Houston, and working in New Caney ISD, I wanted a new car. In October, my dad picked up a car and my loan papers, and drove to TN to meet me. My parents and I exchanged cars. I paid sales tax. Within the month, I got what I needed so I could go and register my car in TX and get license plates. I didn't need to pay sales tax, so that was refunded back to me.

Spring forward three years to 2002, I bought a car, and traded in my other car. I wasn't charged sales tax. Spring forward five more years to the present. My tags expired at the end of last month. We found out what I needed to do. But, I wasn't given all of the info. My dad did e-check, and got my sales paper from the dealer and did something else there for my car. I went to the title bureau, got the memorandum title, and could only get the 30 day tags. My car was paid off this month and received my title.

I went down to the Title bureau this morning, to have my address changed on my title. (I was told I had to do that last month in order to get new license plates.) An old TX address is on my title. The only way they would do it, is if I could show proof that I had pay sales tax on my car. I can't show proof, because I didn't'. The only good thing, is that I am going to pay the sales tax from 2002 not what it is now. The 2002 sales tax is 5.75%. It is higher now. Now I have to go back with the money for the sales tax, then they will change my address, so I can go across the hall and get my license plates. Such frustration.

Here is another piece of frustrating news, I was turned down for disability, because the department is under suspension. Why tell people to apply for disability when they know it is under suspension and nobody will be okayed. I need to call them and ask them this question. I need it to help me get medicare. About 3 weeks ago, I went to apply for SS, and was turned down, because when asked if I had a 401K, I said no, but did have a 403B. I now have to close that out so I can reapply for SS. I can't have more than $2,000 in savings. They don't want you to have savings for retirement, but you aren't' supposed to rely on SS for retirement. They just don't' make sense.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Giants

"Then David said to the Philistine, 'You come to me with a sword, a spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.'" I Samuel 17:45 (NASB)

Imagine you were a member of the Israelite army the day young David arrived to take on the Philistine giant. You would have considered David a fool to take on this menacing monster with no armor and only a slingshot for a weapon. No doubt the fight would be a short one!

David wasn't as naive as everyone thought. Nor was he blind. he could see Goliath towering over all the other soldiers. Even from a distance, he noticed his enemy's enormous weapons-his sow rd, his spear, and h is javelin. He saw how huge the giant's shield was. Yet David could see other things that the rest of the crowd missed. He could see God's strength, which was far superior to any giant or his weapons. It's interesting that even David may have underestimated how quickly God would give him victory. He took five stones with him to hurl at Goliath; God needed only one.

For you,a giant is anything you are facing that seems beyond your power to handle. It may be a tuition payment, an illness, or a broken relationship you need to mend. What giant you facing right now? Does it seem enormous? Unbeatable? Don't underestimate how powerful your God is! If you will trust him, as David did, you'll see that God is more powerful than any giant you'll ever face.

This was yesterday's devotion in The Experience. It is a devotional and journal. It is written by Henry Blackaby and Richard Blackaby. Blackaby wrote Experiencing God. I have two devotional books by Blackaby. I love them both. They are two of my favorite books. One, I have been using since October 2000. My other favorite devotional book author is Vicki Caruana. Carauna writes devotions for teachers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nothing is Wasted

Read: Mark 2:30-44

"They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish." Mark 6:42-43

In Mark 6 we read the heart-warming story of how Jesus took the loaves, broke them, multiplied the fish, and gave everybody lots to eat with lots left over. They gathered baskets full of leftover bread so nothing would be thrown away.

I think about that story when I watch a Christian go through tough times yet hang on to God's grade. Maybe you're such a person. Day-to-day heartache is your routine, and problems seem to have a permanent place in God's plan for your. What god is doing with you is like what he did with the barley loaves and fish. Jesus broke the bread. And out of the broken loaves of bread, he multiplied the blessing so thousands would be nourished. Yes, it hurts to be broken. But sometimes that's part of God's plan, especially if he wants you feed others. Out of your brokenness, the blessing can be bestowed on more people than you ever dreamed possible-and your can be certain nothing will be wasted. God will gather up and use all the hurt; not a bit of it will be discarded our cast aside.

Joni Eareckson Tada

Path to Prayer
Bread of Life, Lord of all, I pray that you take the hurt and the brokenness of my life and multiply it as you multiplied the loaves and fish. My suffering will be easier for me to bear if I know that you have used me to feed others and heal them. Thank you for blessing me and blessing others through me.

The above is today's devotional from the following book: 365 Days of Hope Encouragement for those facing loss, pain, and disappointment The authors of this book are as follows: Joni Eareckson Tada, Dave & Jan Dravecky.

My Decision

Saw a Melanoma Doctor up at Cleveland Hospitals this afternoon. He agrees that I should do the recommended treatment. So, I am. I am going to have more surgery. I will be having the lymph node disection. I should hopefully find out next week when. Mom and I are going to go a certain pharmacy tomorrow, so I can be measured for a pressurized stocking. I will have to wear this stocking for the rest of my life. I will have problems with swelling for the rest of my life.

I also want to have a port implanted into me as well. I am going to call Dr. Patel's office tomorrow, to ask about a general surgeon to see about him putting into me. I would prefer it to be done the same time, the lymph node disection is going on, so that I won't have to heal from two separate surgeries.

Once the lymph nodes are taken out, then they will be tested for cancer. If they come back positive, then I would be at Stage 3b, instead of Stage 3a. I might even have to do radiation or something like that before doing immunotherapy.

Another thing found either on the scans or from pathology were granulomas. That has something to do with Sarcoid. I will have to see a pulmonary doctor next year about that. If I have Sarcoid, that would explain the cough I have had since I was a kid. The immunotherapy can cause havic on the sarcoid, and if that would become worse, then the immunotherapy would be stopped.

As of right now, I have a 30% chance of a new case of melanoma within the next three years. If there is cancer in my other lymph nodes, then that percentage goes up.

I was told that there was at least two pockets of microscopic cancer in the lymph node that was taken out in June. My melanoma was ulcerated, because it was bleeding off and on since January of this year. Dr. Burns removed 3.25 mm of the melanoma tumor in May. Another 1.2 mm was removed back in June.

I am also going to have to start seeing a dermatologist, and will be seeing this person for the rest of my life.

How do I feel about this? I can't really say. I have been feeling a little detached from this all. I'm glad the decision has been made. I appreciate how this doctor really explained things to us. I am praying that God will use all that I am going through to feed somebody else.