Thursday, December 14, 2017

11 Days Til Christmas

I don't have my Christmas tree up and it's not looking good that I will get it put up.  The jury is still out but every day that goes by makes it a little easier to NOT put it up.  But who knows . . . I may get energetic this weekend.  Heaven knows my house could use some Christmas cheer. 

I have purchased a few gifts but none are wrapped.

I haven't even ordered Christmas cards so for the first time in years it doesn't look like anyone will get a Christmas card from me. Again, there's still this weekend for my interest level in Christmas cards to kick in.  I'll let you know.

I did set out my little glass Christmas tree collection on my mantle. . . does that count for anything?

Seriously . . . InstaGram makes me feel so inadequate, especially at Christmas time.
 
 My mom has had a tough time.  We did get the two remaining compression fractures fixed last week (yes there were two instead of one . . . again) and her back is feeling better.  But she is really struggling to eat.  She has no energy.  She just sits and watches television and naps.

I have prayed, I have bound, I have rebuked.

I have pled the blood of Jesus.  I have quoted Scripture.  I have called and asked for prayer from every reputable Christian ministry I can think of.

We have some big decisions to make where her treatment is concerned.

She needs your prayers.

My hope is in Jesus, and I trust Him completely.

But I wouldn't be honest if I didn't admit that there are days I just don't understand.

Psalm 27: 13-14
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!




Monday, December 4, 2017

You Might Be A Farm Wife

IF YOU'VE EVER SHOVELED

COW POOP

OUT OF YOUR YARD . . . 

YOU MIGHT BE A FARM WIFE!!! 

 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Rollercoaster

When I posted about my mom last week the news wasn't very good .  My mom had a really tough weekend before last.  But this past weekend, Thanksgiving weekend, I'm happy to report was a completely different story.

My mom is better.  Much better than weekend before last.  She is eating and drinking more than she had been, and has regained a couple of the few pounds she lost (praise the Lord!).  In fact when she went Monday morning for her maintenance chemo the doctor and nurses were amazed at the difference just one week had made.

Her doctor has decided to let mom build up some strength before we proceed with the vertebroplasty (to fix the compression fracture in her back) and with pulling any teeth.  She did take her maintenance chemo Monday, and the side effects were minimal and we praise God for that.  We want her to have another week of eating and feeling better before we do anything else.

She does have an issue with her blood thinner and she needs your prayers for that.  She will get her blood tested again today and we're believing for a good report in Jesus name.

She does still have some pain from her back, but after they changed her pain meds it is better.  And her mouth is better too which has made it easier for her to eat.

So that said, PLEASE keep praying for her.  This is a long road and we still trust that God is in control.  It really is a rollercoaster ride, physically and mentally, for my mom and for our family.  We continue to stand upon God's Word that says by His stripes SHE IS HEALED.  We pray for that daily.   Mom feels better, but she never really feels "good."  Her strength has improved from weekend before last, but she is still weak.  Next week we hope to do the vertebroplasty for the compression fracture so we can get her off the pain medicine which will make her feel even better!  The teeth, well, the doctor is looking for another type of medicine to strengthen mom's bones so we don't have to get her teeth pulled anytime soon.  Our concern is the pain from the extractions will set her back a few days by making it painful to eat, and we're not at a point where she can afford to go several days without eating.

I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who is praying for my mom.  And I'm sure there are some of you reading this blog who say "prayer doesn't seem to be helping 'cause your mom is still sick."  We fix our eyes on Jesus.  Faith means trusting in what we don't yet see.  We don't see her complete healing, but we are trusting Jesus.  We believe He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Yes, we have days of being discouraged.  Just being honest.  But when the devil whispers his lies we CHOOSE TO STAND UPON THE WORD OF GOD.  WE ARE BLESSED BY THOSE WHO STAND WITH US AND REFUSE TO STOP PRAYING AND BELIEVING WITH US
FOR HER ABSOLUTE AND COMPLETE HEALING IN JESUS NAME.

May God bless you all. 




Monday, November 20, 2017

Updating Again

Mom had a doctor's appointment this morning.

It was decided that she is too weak to take maintenance chemo today, too weak to have oral surgery tomorrow to remove her teeth, and too weak to do the additional vertebroplasty to fix the remaining compression fracture.

So everything is on "hold" for right now.

She is in a lot of pain from getting the impressions done in her mouth, which has caused her to not be able to eat, which has caused her to lose weight she can't afford to lose.

So they sent her back home with some new pain medicine, some new medicine to try to heal her mouth, and instructed her to eat and gain weight.

Eating is very difficult for my mom.

She needs your effectual fervent prayer.
 The Word tells us that is the type of prayer that avails MUCH.

That is what my mom needs right now.
So please pray as if this was your mother, your sister, your daughter, your friend.

Pray with faith trusting our Lord Jesus that He is in control.
We stand upon His Word.

I thank you for your continued prayers.  They mean ever so much.
 

 




Thursday, November 9, 2017

Update

During the procedure Monday on mom's back, they discovered she has another compressed vertebra.  So 3 compression fractures instead of 2.  Sometime in the last 3 weeks another vertebrae became compressed.  They were only able to fix 2 of the fractures since, as the doctor explained, they can only do 2 at a time so instead of coming out of the procedure pain free . . . she's still hurting.

They have put her on a stronger pain medicine which helps a little, but of course doesn't take the pain away. She will have to go back in a couple of weeks for the same procedure to get the third compression fracture fixed. 

The only way to keep the compression fractures from continuing is to start giving her injections every six months to strengthen the bones.  But she has to have some teeth pulled before they can give her the injection, since the injection will make pulling any teeth nearly impossible, and my mom's teeth are not good.

In the middle of everything, my mom is trying to take maintenance chemo every week.

As you can imagine all of this is very discouraging to my mom, and to our entire family. 

I feel like a broken record, but I need you all to join me in speaking healing over my mother.  The issues just keep piling on and she needs a touch from Jesus.

We continue to put our trust in Him. 

He is our Strength.

He is our Healer.

Please agree with me in prayer for my beautiful mom.

And thanks to everyone who has stuck with me this past year and a half.

I know it's been a long time since I wrote anything that wasn't about my mom.

But our world pretty much revolves around my mom's health these days.

Thank you all for praying.  It is appreciated more than you can imagine.




Monday, November 6, 2017

Please Pray Today

Today at 1:00 p.m. my mom is having a procedure called "vertebroplasty" to fix the two compression fractures she has in her back.  She has been in nearly constant pain for 3 weeks since the fractures occurred.  So I ask all of you prayer warriors to PLEASE AGREE WITH US IN PRAYER FOR A ROUTINE PROCEDURE, NO COMPLICATIONS, AND COMPLETE RELIEF FROM THIS PAIN!!!!

The good news is, the first dose of maintenance chemo last week had no side effects!!!  So I know once mom has this procedure today and her pain ends, she can get back to building up some strength, putting on some weight, and FEEL BETTER!!!!  She is so tired of feeling bad.  She takes her second dose tomorrow, and then a maintenance chemo dose each week through January.  At that time we head back to MD Anderson in Texas for new scans and we are BELIEVING FOR COMPLETE HEALING IN HIS NAME!

Our hope is in Jesus.  He is our Source and our Strength.

Our hearts are broken for those in Texas affected by the evil that occurred yesterday.  Our prayers continue.

THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR PRAYING!!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Great Faith Is Hard

Do you know how hard it is to have great faith??  I mean, really.  I read about some of those Old Testament folks, and I'm absolutely AMAZED at the unbelievable leaps of faith they took.  They left the land of their forefathers.  Noah built a boat, and it had never rained before on the earth.  But he built a boat anyway.  Abraham tied up his only son and lifted the knife above his body, moments away from offering him as a sacrifice.  But he had faith that somehow God was in control and he trusted Him no matter what.  Elijah told the heathens to pour water on the altar just a few moments before he prayed, asking God to send fire from heaven.  I wonder if he ever doubted?? I wonder if it ever crossed his mind what would happen if God didn't come through??  

These men had GREAT FAITH.

And in the New Testament, too.  Fishermen left their nets to follow a Man walking by who said "follow Me."  A tax collector left his job to become a disciple.  Two men who were already followers of John the Baptist left him to follow Jesus.  Paul abandoned his entire life's work and belief system to follow Jesus and preach the Gospel to the Gentiles.  And he endured persecution, stoning, beatings, and yet he clung to Jesus and he had GREAT FAITH that no matter what, Jesus was with him.

They all had GREAT FAITH.  And I know that while the pages of the Bible don't go into much detail of what those men were feeling during those moments of decision, I can only imagine the faith it must have taken to do what they did.

I will admit my faith has been far from great recently.

My beautiful mother took 4 chemo treatments this fall . . . but was just too tired and weak to take the 5th and final dose.  So the doctors decided to give her a break for a few weeks to build up some strength before "maintenance chemo" begins.  And just when she was beginning to feel better, just when she had started to drive again and go to the grocery store by herself and putter around in the yard, she bent over to take off her shoe last week and her back started hurting.  After several hours at the Emergency Room Sunday morning they discovered a compression fracture at L3 in her lower back.  My mom has osteoporosis and arthritis and her bones are weak and brittle.  

There's really nothing they can do to fix the break, it will just take time to heal.  So they sent her home with pain medicine and muscle relaxers.  The muscle relaxers make her very sleepy and loopy so she isn't taking them at all.  She takes 1/2 dose of the liquid pain medicine, but it has some side effects as well.  My mom is tiny and frail and weak and struggles to eat enough just to maintain her tiny weight.  She desperately wants to feel better.  She wants to be normal.  She wants her old life back.  We all do.

I'm being brutally honest here, so if want a light cheery blog post you should probably leave now.  But if you trust in Jesus, I urge you to stick with me . . . just for a few minutes.  
Cause I'm gonna be real.

These days I look at my mom, and I look at the situation, and my faith feels so tiny it's almost non-existent.  Negativity and doubt have crept in.  Those emotions, and other situations in my life, have robbed me of joy and peace.  I had begun to accept the lies of the enemy.  Lies that said my Jesus wasn't going to come through.  Lies that said I was on my own in the midst of this raging, relentless storm.  Lies that told me to give up.

But today I saw a post on Instagram that was exactly what I needed to read today.  Stephen Furtick of Elevation Church said this --

WHEN YOU RUN FROM THE BATTLE, YOU RUN FROM THE BLESSING!!

I have been trying desperately to run from this battle.  I want to take my toys and go home.  I am tired of praying.  Tired of trying to praise in the middle of a storm so ferocious I see no way out.  I am tired of watching my mother's health deteriorate.   And so I've tried to run from it all.  But in the moment I read that quote from Stephen Furtick, I realized that I can't run.  God never rewarded a quitter.  He never rewarded doubters.  He always asked His people to do something.  They had to take the first step, and then He took care of the rest.  He told those Old Testament guys to go fight, and then he would take care of the battle.  But they couldn't sit around in their tents while God did battle for them.  He said do all you can do and then stand.

He never said run.

HE NEVER SAID RUN.

And I have spent a lot of time desperately wanting to run from this battle.  The most difficult battle of my life.  I'm tired, and I just want God to fix everything.  Today.  

Fixing everything today would be awesome.

I don't want to run anymore.  Because I know that God is in the midst of the battle.  If I can't endure the battle, if I'm running from the battle, then there is no blessing.  I can't have both.  Because running means I don't trust my Jesus.  I have to stay in this, and I have to pray, and I have to trust Him.  

No more running.  

What testimony do I have if I run when things don't go my way?

What am I showing other Christians if I can't say with all my heart "no matter what happens, I'm gonna have GREAT FAITH in Jesus."

God isn't in the midst of my negativity.

God isn't in the midst of my pity party.

Stephen Furtick also said "the enemy can't prevent God from blessing you, but he might be able to prevent you from receiving it." 

I will not allow the enemy to rob me of God's blessing.  The blessing of His peace and His joy and His comfort. I want to receive everything God has for me.

I'm still praying for my mother.  Praying for complete and total healing.  Praying for a miracle.

I'm not running from the battle anymore. I want to be fully present no matter what.
I want to stand before Him one day and hear "well done."
I want others to see my Jesus in me, even in the midst of the storm.

Great faith is hard.  But it's not impossible.
Not when you trust in Jesus.

NO MORE RUNNING . . . . . . . 

Hebrews 6:19 - We have this HOPE as an anchor for our souls, firm and secure.

Jesus is my Hope.  I'm running to Him.




Monday, September 18, 2017

It's Been Awhile

Have you all missed me???  It's been awhile since I've posted.  It seems as if my days just FLY BY.  Can anybody else relate to this???  I used to think that as I got older life would slow down . . . . boy was I mistaken!!!  It seems to go faster and faster each day!!!

First of all I'm happy to report that MY DAUGHTER IS HOME!!!!!  They've been back nearly 3 weeks, they're moved into their house, and they are painting and putting in a new shower and decorating.   Unless you've had a child live far away you can't imagine how GREAT it feels to know that I can go see her anytime I want to (and no, I don't stop in every night te-he!)  Alex passed her real estate exam last week (WAHOO!) and will get her license next week.  So if you're in the Central Missouri area and you need a realtor just let me know!!!!

Speaking of my beautiful daughter, I'd like to ask for your prayers for her and our son-in-law.  They left last night on a 7 night Southern Caribbean cruise from San Juan, Puerto Rico.  And I know you're thinking what I'm thinking . . . . Hurricane Maria.  They cruise line has adjusted their itinerary to keep them safe, but you know this mama is just a tiny bit worried.  So, I would ask you to agree with me that hurricane maria just falls apart to NOTHING and doesn't impact their honeymoon in any way!!! 

Yes, I said honeymoon, and yes I know they've been married for over 2 years, but since our son-in-law was in the Marine Corps when they got married, he wasn't able to take enough leave for them to go on a cruise right after their wedding.  So they planned and saved and this trip has been booked for a LONG TIME!!  As I said, they've already had 3 of the ports of call changed, so the cruise really doesn't look much like the cruise they originally booked several months ago.  Please pray God's protection on them and all who are in that area.  And again, I'm praying that hurricane fizzles out to just a little old thunderstorm!!!

My mom has taken 3 chemo treatments since we got back from Houston, and she takes #4 tomorrow morning.  This will be her last dose of chemo until we go BACK to Houston the first week of October for new scans and to meet with her oncologist at MD Anderson.  We are praying and believing that the chemo has completely ANNIHILATED that tumor in the name of Jesus, never to return!!!  My mom is feeling pretty good considering she is on chemo.  She continues to struggle with her lack of appetite and maintaining her weight (she is so tiny), but we KNOW that God is working and we trust Him!!

So please join me in praising God for His goodness, asking Him for safe travels for our daughter and son-in-law, and healing for my mama in the name of Jesus!!

GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME!!!!


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Isaiah 53:1-5

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
 
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

AMEN!!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

PRAY BIG PRAYERS WITH FAITH!!!


As someone said, if your prayers don't scare you, then they certainly don't scare the devil.  That is true!!!  

PRAY BIG PRAYERS!!!

If you don't really believe what you're praying for will come to pass, then the devil has you fooled!  The Word is TRUTH.  God's promises are TRUTH. 

SO STAND ON THE TRUTH OF HIS WORD.  

Whatever is going on in your life today, GOD has already given you everything you need.  So pray, and then trust Him!!! 

GOD IS BIGGER THAN ANYTHING YOU ARE FACING!!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Greatest Tragedy

I BELIEVE THIS WITH ALL MY HEART . . .





Wednesday, August 9, 2017

It's Been A Long Wait . . .

On Monday my mom received her 8th chemotherapy treatment.  As with her prior 7 treatments, she went home with a "pump" that gives her additional chemo over the next 48 hours.  She goes back to the doctor today to have that pump removed.  She will go back to the doctor on Monday for blood work to check her white count, and if it's low, then she will get shots in the back of her upper arm to increase the white count so she can take the next chemo treatment. This "pattern" will continue four more times until my mom has taken a total of 12 chemo treatments.  Then we'll head back to her doctor in Houston for new scans and a new plan for where we go from here.

I can say with a big smile on my face that my mom is feeling great.  She is two days into her chemo treatment and she has had no nausea.  Praise the Lord.  She is a little tired, and she is starting to develop some sensitivity to cold (which she experienced during the first 7 treatments), but other than that she is doing wonderfully.

We continue to pray for COMPLETE HEALING for her in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.    Jeremiah 32:37 says  "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?"  And we are praising God for healing.  We know that He hears our prayer!!

In other news, I've been waiting for the month of August for a long time.  Our daughter and son-in-law will be home two weeks from today!!!  We are so very excited.  They've bought a house about 10 minutes from us and they'll be doing some painting and installing new flooring.  I can't wait to see them make the house a home!!  Our son-in-law will be starting school (actually the school starts 2 days before they get home but there's nothing he can do!) and Alex will be getting her real estate license.  We are counting the days until we see their faces!!!  It's been a long two years!!!

If you're looking for a song of encouragement, then check this out:


As always, please let me know if I can pray for you about something!!  Nothing is too small, or too big, for our God.  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Are You Who You Say You Are??

This is the story of two very famous athletes.  Both men claim to be Christians.  But are they who they say they are???

Steph Curry's latest Instagram post is quoting Scripture thanking God for his wife . . . they celebrated their 6th anniversary just a few days ago.  This past weekend Steph attended a wedding and after the wedding things got a little crazy.  Today the headlines say:  "Steph Curry Crashes House Party, Chugs Bud Light."  And it's 2017, so there's video of Steph, star player for the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, chugging a Bud Light, and pictures of him with beer all over his shirt.


Tim Tebow's latest Instagram post is a video of a speech he gave, asking people if what they are fighting for in this life is worth it.  His video shows Tim at an event for special needs individuals, and at an orphanage.  No party crashing, no beer chugging, just a man trying to live his faith to the full.

So which man is truly living a life that brings glory and honor to God?  You can call yourself a Christian all day long and twice on Sundays.  But if your life doesn't line up with the Word of God, well, are you who you say you are?? 

Which of these men would you want praying for you?  Which of these men do you prefer as a role model for our children?

Really disappointed in you Steph Curry.  You talk the talk but you sure don't walk the walk.

Really proud of you Tim Tebow.  I'm certain you're not perfect, but it sure looks like you actually live the Christian life you talk about. We need more young men like you. 


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Even When You Don't

The doctor called today. The final results of the test show cancer cells in the fluid. They are very sorry that they shared preliminary results that were incorrect.

Sunday afternoon  as I mowed the yard I prayed, asking God for no cancer in the fluid. In my heart He said  "if you don't get the news you want will you still trust Me?" I said yes Lord, I will trust You, even though I don't understand. I will still trust You.

And today I can say I trust Him, even though I don't understand.

I will appreciate your prayers. He is in control.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Can I Get An Amen???

THERE WAS NO CANCER IN THE FLUID!!!

REPEAT!!!

THERE WAS NO CANCER IN THE FLUID!!!

THANK YOU JESUS!!!!!! 

 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Houston Was HOT

We are home from Houston, Texas and boy was it HOT.  I mean, it is hot in Missouri.  We have high temperatures . . . over 100 degrees . . . and we have high humidity . . . . but Houston is just a sauna.  Always happy to see it in my rear view mirror!



Mom's appointments at MD Anderson went well.  The scan shows NO NEW TUMORS!!! HOORAY!!!!!  But, the one remaining tumor has started to grow again.  Which, while not surprising, is a reminder of the long road we are on.  So, the plan is for mom to take another 3 or 4 chemotherapy treatments beginning in a couple of weeks so she can continue to get stronger (she is better every day!!!!!), and then after those treatments we will go back to Houston (maybe it will be cooler by then) for new scans, and then they will use radiation to kill that tumor.  They had originally planned to do an ablation, but the risk of infection is relatively high and they aren't willing to take the risk, so radiation it is.  We aren't sure if they will give her 5 fairly high doses of radiation, or 25 small doses of radiation given over 5 weeks, which would mean 5 weeks in Houston, Texas.

Mom did have some fluid around her right lung, and they drained that fluid off Thursday morning.  The doctor did not seem overly concerned, but the fluid is being tested right now to see if there are any cancer cells in the fluid.  I ASK THAT YOU AGREE WITH US IN PRAYER FOR NO CANCER CELLS IN THAT FLUID!!!  We should get a call tomorrow with the results and we are expecting a good report.

My cousin Cammi had her surgery (bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction) a week ago today and everything went GREAT.  Thank you all so very much for praying for her.  We continue to pray for her complete healing in Jesus name!!! Have I mentioned lately how much I hate cancer??

Thank you all so much for all the prayers.  I know they reach our Lord.  And while I don't understand why any of this is happening, I trust Him.  Please pray for my mom, Donna, anytime the Lord brings her to your mind.  As I've said before, this is a long road, and we are weary travelers.  

Blessings to you all!!  He is Lord, Lord of all. 


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Blackberry Time

This weekend I made 30 half pints of homemade blackberry jam.  My sweet cousin and his wife have some blackberries that are very easy to pick -- which is another way of saying they are tame blackberries, they mow right up to the bushes and mulch underneath them so no chiggers!!  

Blackberry jam is so easy to make!!!  Just "mush" up some blackberries, add sugar and pectin, and voila!!!



And I have to say that this Ball FreshTech Jam & Jelly Maker takes all the hard work out of it!!!  You can get the details HERE.  You just follow the instructions and let this handy dandy machine do all the hard work of stirring for you!!  I've had mine for years and highly recommend it!! **



 I'm sorry the picture is a little dark, but this is the finished blackberry jam right before I put it in jars.  I follow the recipe that is included with the FreshTech and each batch made 5 half pint jars.  You work in small batches which takes a little bit of time, but the good news is while the jam is "cooking" you can be doing something else.  You don't have to stand there and stir!!!!!


I made 6 batches, 30 half pint jars in all, and canned them using a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, 10 half pint jars at a time.  


The jam is just delicious, and so much better than what you can buy at the store.  And if you're new to "canning" and looking to get started this is truly the simplest way!!!  You DO NOT have to have the Ball FreshTech machine to make jam or jelly, but it sure makes it easier!!

On Sunday I celebrated my 53rd birthday!!!  I seriously do not know where the last 53 years have gone?  I feel about 25 or 26 years old and I'm not kidding!  My birthday was a very busy day!!  I got up and walked 3 miles before I headed to church.  After church I went to my parents house and cleaned house, changed the sheets, did laundry and fixed them lunch.  Then I headed to Wal-Mart and the grocery store for them and for me.  Once I got home I made two more batches of blackberry jam, then went outside and mowed the yard and walked 3 more miles (I'm trying to get in better shape . . . I also started a HIIT class which I go to 3 times per week), then jumped in the shower and got ready for my family to come over for a fish fry at our house.  My husband fries the best fish and potatoes and onions this side of the Mississippi River!!!!  All in all it was a great birthday spent with family.  I have my family and my health and I know Jesus as my Savior.  Nothing else really matters!!

My mom is doing well.  We continue to try and get her to eat more, but it is hard for her.  She is walking farther each day (hooray!) and still doing her exercises and drinking her Ensure shakes.  We go back to MD Anderson next week for blood work and a new CT scan of her liver, and to meet with her surgeon and oncologist.  Then the first week in August we go back down for an ablation of the one remaining tumor in her liver.  We are praying that when we get there next week the tumor is GONE and the ablation isn't necessary.  Seriously, that is our prayer.  I know that is a big prayer, but I serve a big God!!  If you believe, as we do, that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, then please agree with us in prayer for complete healing for my mom!!

I hope you can tell from reading my blog that I am a very positive person.  I am an encourager.  I try hard to always see the "bright side" of things and to look for the silver lining in every cloud.  I love Jesus and I trust Him that all things work together for our good and His glory!   But I have to be completely transparent with you all and share that I have moments of being very discouraged and very overwhelmed.  Being a caregiver is exhausting and while my two sisters help, the responsibility and most of the day to day going and doing for my parents falls to me.  Next week I will take them to Houston for the 7th time since last September, and in August I will make the 8th trip for the ablation if it is needed.  My mom gets a Lovenox shot in her stomach every evening, 7 nights a week, and will need those shots for several more months, and I give those shots nearly every night.  I go to the store for them and try to keep their house clean.  My mom gets pretty discouraged sometimes and I try HARD to keep her focused on being thankful and encouraged.  I call her every morning and I see her nearly every evening.  And I still work full-time and try to take care of my own home and family.  So if I sound like I'm feeling a little bit sorry for myself, I guess I am.  I'm tired.  As I said in a post a couple of months ago, I just want my life back.  I want normal back.

I really don't say all this to make you feel sorry for me.  Please don't feel sorry for me!!!  I AM OK!!!!!  I said all this so that if you are going through a rough patch in your life, I want you to know that it is OK to feel sorry for yourself once in awhile.  It is OK to feel overwhelmed some days.  Just because we trust in the Lord, it doesn't mean that we aren't still human and have all these emotions that can change daily, sometimes even hourly.  I have great days, and some not so great days.  I have days of being full of faith and confident that God is going to heal my mother and this cancer we see before us we will NEVER SEE AGAIN!!!  And then I read about someone dying from cancer, or I hear about someone losing a loved one, and I am faced with the reality that while God hears and answers our prayers, He does not always answer in the way we would want.  That doesn't mean we didn't have faith, it just means that He is God and we are not.  MOST OF ALL IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE STOP PRAYING FOR THE MIRACLE!!  I will pray for my mother to be healed until God heals her or He calls her home.  And on those days when my faith is weak and I just want to run away (yes, I have days of wanting to absolutely RUN AWAY) I will pray and ask God to wrap His loving arms around me and remind me that this is His burden to carry, not mine.  And He always reminds me that He loves me, even on the days when my faith is weak. His joy is my strength.  Even though some days I am more joyful than others.

I can't thank you all enough for sticking with me here at Down On The Farm.  I know the past year there haven't been many light and happy posts, and I will continue to share what's going on with my mom and I will continue to be transparent about my feelings.  But I am trying to be very intentional about moving on with my life while continuing to do all I can for my parents.  I've given this horrible disease the past year of my life, as I feel as if my life has been on hold since July 29, 2016, the date of my mom's diagnosis.  And I'm going to try HARD to not keep putting off LIVING AND ENJOYING MY LIFE.  That doesn't help my mom, it doesn't help me, and it certainly doesn't glorify God.

So in the midst of updates on trips to MD Anderson, you're gonna see me update my laundry room, so stay tuned!  And keep those prayers for my mom, Donna, coming.  God is good!

 **And just as a disclaimer Ball has NEVER heard of me.  I bought this FreshTech Jam & Jelly maker years ago and I'm just sharing my thoughts on it. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Prayers for Cammi

My beautiful cousin, Cammi, was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer back in January.  She is 34 years old, a daughter, sister, wife and mother of four children.  

Cammi completed 6 doses of chemotherapy a few weeks ago.  She has tested positive for the "gene" that makes her cancer very aggressive, and very likely to return and spread.  She is having a bilateral mastectomy next month, and her oncologist has recommend that she have a hysterectomy next year.  

I would ask that you add this beautiful young woman to your prayer list.  And if you feel led, visit her Go Fund Me page HERE to make a donation. 

I believe we are to pray for healing.  In the Book of James, 
Chapter 5, it is written: 

 "Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

That tells me that while we always seek God's will, it is OK to ask our God to heal those that are sick.

I've just finished reading "Forgotten God -
Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit" by
Francis Chan.  Let me tell you it is eye opening.  I'll expand on this in another post, but seriously, if you haven't read this book GET A COPY AND READ IT.  It will change your life as a Christian.

And in case you're wondering, my sweet mama is BETTER!  She is back home and still drinking those shakes and walking and exercising.  Praise the Lord!!  We continue to pray for complete healing in Jesus name and ask that you agree with us in prayer!!  Remember, the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (or woman) availeth much!!!

Blessings to you all!!!


Friday, June 23, 2017

Better, But Not Well

My mom has been at my sister's since last Saturday.

And she's better, but a long way from well.

She is able to get the protein shakes down, but continues to struggle with eating.

She can eat "real" food, but doesn't eat nearly enough.
Without the protein shakes we would be right back where we started.   We've tried appetite stimulants but honestly can't tell any difference at all.

She is still pretty weak and she still needs to gain several pounds just to be back to where she was post-chemo, which is still thin.

I don't believe there is any way my mom is ready to be back home and on her own.  She is too weak.  She has a long way to go.

We have prayed and prayed and prayed.

We need Jesus to heal her.

She needs your prayers.

Thank you so much.  




Thursday, June 15, 2017

Homeward Bound

After being admitted to the hospital on Tuesday, May 30th, my mom is being released today. Thank you Jesus!!!! She is drinking the protein shakes every day, and she has improved a lot.  She still struggles with nausea.  We really don't know where that comes from.  The doctors don't seem to know, so prayers about that are appreciated.

She has done physical therapy and occupational therapy every day, trying to build up some strength and get her up and moving again.  All of the excess fluid is gone from her body which has helped tremendously!!! 

She will be heading home from the hospital today, and on Saturday she and my dad are going to my sister's house.  My sister does medical billing and she works from home.  So mom being there for the next couple of weeks just makes sense.  My sister will take excellent care of my mom!!  She can make sure she drinks the shakes.  Make sure she continues doing the exercises and gets up and walks several times per day.  My sister is an excellent cook, so hopefully some great tasting food (sorry, but hospital food is  NOT GOOD) will encourage my mom to start eating again, so the mainstay of her diet isn't protein shakes.  We desperately need my mom to gain weight (I won't even tell you how much she weighs) and to regain her strength.

My mom is better than she was on May 30th when she was admitted to the hospital.  Just being honest, I was VERY CONCERNED about her that day.  And even though she is better, she has a long way to go before she's ready to be at home on her own.

Since April 6th, the day of my mom's liver surgery, she has been in the hospital more days than she has been out of the hospital.  The recovery from the surgery has been extremely slow.  Much slower than we would have expected, and she is very discouraged by this.  She worries about herself a lot.  

So, again, I come asking for your prayers.  I'm so thankful that even though sometimes I get tired of praying, God never gets tired of listening.  Please continue praying for my mom to regain her appetite and her strength.  My mom is tired of feeling bad.  Tired of not having any energy.  

Just tired of being tired.

She needs a touch from the Healer, Jesus Christ.

Thank you for your prayers.  


Monday, June 5, 2017

So You Know How To Pray

I'll start off by saying that I can't thank you enough for sticking with me these past few months.  Cause if you're still reading this blog you're either desperate for something to pass the time, or you are a prayer warrior.  And if you're a prayer warrior, then I need your help.

My mom was admitted to the hospital last Tuesday, May 30th.  She was given two units of blood and her hemoglobin is back to normal.  Thank you, Lord.  They made her drink 5-6 Ensure protein drinks per day since Wednesday, and the excess fluid they had been draining is DRAMATICALLY BETTER.  Her feet and legs are almost back to normal!!!  They had been so swollen mom was just miserable.  

They kept her in the hospital until Friday when they transferred her to the rehabilitation unit to try to build up her strength with some physical therapy and occupational therapy.  She will stay there 10 to 14 days and she actually started PT and OT today.

The bottom line is this, my mom has to drink 5 or 6 Ensure protein drinks per day, every day.   She has zero appetite and is nauseous most of the time, so drinking those is a real struggle for her.  They are 8 ounces apiece, which for me is no big deal, but for her, well, getting down 5 or 6 of them over the course of a day is very difficult.  She can eat "real food" but she only eats a few bites here and there, so the protein drinks are a MUST for her to get better.  Without them she doesn't get NEARLY ENOUGH protein or vitamins or minerals or calories.  If she doesn't drink 5 or 6 shakes per day, then the fluid will come back, what LITTLE strength she has regained she will lose, and we're right back where we were last Tuesday when she was admitted.

I need you to pray for an increased appetite for my mother.  The doctor has put her on an appetite stimulant, but it can take several days for that to begin working.  We need her WANTING to drink those shakes and WANTING to eat regular food.  Cause for right now, we really have to push her to get her to drink them which, as you can imagine, is no fun for her, or for us.

As I said, she has been losing weight and strength and muscle tone the past couple of months,  and she is very weak.  The physical therapy WEARS HER OUT and makes her want to sleep, which makes it hard for her to get the 5 or 6 protein shakes down cause you can't drink while you're napping, but without the shakes she has zero energy and she will go backwards and we can't have that.  As you can see it's a vicious cycle. 

My mother would be very upset with me if she knew I was posting this about her.  She doesn't want anyone to know she is struggling.  But if you don't know what's going on with her, then how do you know how to pray??  So,  there it is.  My mother needs a major increase in her appetite.  She needs a lot of encouragement.   She needs a WILL to get better.  The doctor has told us it is totally up to her.  If she can drink the shakes, get her strength back, and then transition over to "real food" she will be fine.  If she won't, well, the exact words of the doctor to my mother were "this ends badly for you."

I know that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond ANYTHING we can ask.  So I continue to ask that you agree with us for COMPLETE AND TOTAL HEALING IN JESUS NAME.

I've said it before, I can't thank you enough for the prayers you have lifted for my mother.  While I may never be able to thank you in person here on this earth, what a time we will have in heaven together one day!!  I love you all, and I pray God's blessings upon you and yours as you read this and respond in prayer.  I love my mother so very much.  I just want her back and healthy and whole. 



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I Want Normal Back

There was no Memorial Day BBQ for our family this year.  I gave my mother IV antibiotics through her Medi-Port every evening Tuesday through Sunday (and no, I'm not a nurse).

My mother is at the Emergency Room as I'm typing this post.  She is beyond weak.  She can't eat and drink enough to even maintain her strength, let alone gain any ground. Her hemoglobin is low, and she needs a blood transfusion.  She can barely get herself in and out of bed.  She needs a healing touch from Jesus.

As I very quickly scrolled through Facebook and Instagram this morning, I saw loads of pictures of people at the river/lake/ocean.  Lots of pictures of BBQs and celebrations.  And there's nothing wrong with that.  Just because our family is going through a struggle doesn't mean everyone else is.

And it makes me wonder what I was doing while someone else's life was falling apart?  Did my friends look at me in the midst of their fear and worry and think "wow, she's so lucky, her life is normal."  Did I think about all the times someone else was hurting, and my life was normal?

It is so easy to get wrapped up in our own lives, that we forget not everyone is happy.

I want normal back.   

I'm reading The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp.

It is a reminder that everyone has times of hurting in their life.  And our job, our responsibility, as Christians is to be the hands and feet of Jesus to others when they are hurting.  And ESPECIALLY during times when we are  hurting.  That is how we take the focus off of our "valley" and we do our best to bless others.  That is how we show our love.

So, in the midst of feeling absolutely overwhelmed, and desperately wanting my mother to get better so I can have "normal" back . . . how can I pray for you today??

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Rough Patch

We've hit a rough patch with my mom.  Her body continues to make way too much fluid.  The doctor drained nearly 2 liters of fluid from her abdomen on Monday, and nearly all of that fluid is back already.  Her feet and legs are so swollen, as is her abdomen.

They are working her in early tomorrow morning to drain the fluid off again, and they are going to put in a drain that will stay in and continually drain the fluid out of her body while they try to figure out why she's still producing so much fluid 6 weeks post surgery.

My mom feels lousy due to all the excess fluid (her weight is up 15 pounds, and believe me it isn't fat or muscle).  This makes it even harder for her to eat and drink, which means she just can't gain any strength.  She is pretty frail and weak.

She needs healing in the name of Jesus Christ.  We just can't seem to get her over the hump.  She is very discouraged, and tired of feeling bad.  Her surgery was April 6th.  She just wants to be well. 

Please pray for my beautiful mom. 
Her name is Donna. 
 

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Graduate

So in the midst of everything that's been going on, OUR DAUGHTER GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE!!!

We could NOT be more proud!!!














In case you are wondering, she has a Bachelors of Science in Business Management with a Major in Finance!  She is going to get her real estate license and will be selling real estate with my sister when they get back home in August. Yes, we are about 3 months away from their moving home for good!!  They have a contract on a house about 7 minutes away from me.  I can't wait!!!

Friday, May 5, 2017

HOME

After 33 days in Houston, Texas, my mom woke up in her own bed yesterday morning.

Her surgery (where they removed 70% of her liver) was four weeks ago yesterday.

As you can imagine, my mom has some recovering to do.  She needs to get her strength built back up.  She needs to eat, and drink, and rest, and walk.

God has been with her EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.  Mom's original diagnosis was not good.  But God has performed miracle after miracle, and we are trusting Him to complete what He started.  We pray daily for mom's complete healing in the name of Jesus.  

If you have a mountain in your life, I urge you to give it to God.  There is absolutely NOTHING too difficult for Him.  He is able to do MORE than you can even imagine.

Thank you all so much for your prayers for my mother.  Please continue praying and agreeing with us for complete restoration of my mother's health.

We go back to Houston in 4 weeks for a checkup, and we think they will want her to complete her chemotherapy (she took 7 out of 12 doses this past winter).  She has one small tumor in her liver that they didn't remove during the surgery, so she will have an ablation treatment post-chemo.  At that point she will be CANCER FREE.

Why has God allowed this trial to come into our lives?  I honestly can't answer that.  We prayed for no cancer, and yet my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer that had spread to her liver.  7 tumors that were inoperable.  That was not what we prayed for.  My mother has been a faithful follower of our Lord Jesus Christ our entire life.  She is a licensed minister.  She has prayed for so many people and led so many people to the Lord.  What an incredible testimony she is going to have!!  How many MORE people will come to know Jesus because of what God has done for my mom!!!

HE IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER!!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Pray Specifically

Here's where we are with my mom.  Her body is still making a LOT of fluid as it heals from the surgery, which is normal.  The problem is, more fluid is draining out of her body through the drain tube than she can replace by eating and drinking.  My mom is a VERY TINY lady, and she doesn't drink in a WEEK what they want her to drink in a DAY.  So, the doctor has decided to cap the drain and see if he can get her body to absorb the fluid instead of her body taking the "easy route" and just passing it out through the drain.  Somehow we need to get mom over this "hump" so she can gain some strength, get out of the hospital, and eventually GET BACK HOME!!

So I'm asking my awesome PRAYER WARRIORS TO PRAY SPECIFICALLY FOR MY MOTHER:

We need her body to absorb this excess fluid and NOT just accumulate in her abdomen like it did the last time.

We do NOT want the fluid to grow bacteria, so pray against infection.

We want mom's appetite to INCREASE so she can begin to build up some strength.

We need her to be able to easily take her medicine.

We need the JOY of the LORD to fill her soul.  This has been a long process and frankly she gets very discouraged sometimes.  She is sick and tired of being sick and tired.  She needs the Holy Spirit to come upon her like a mighty rushing wind!!!

I know that our God is able to do ALL THIS AND MORE and
I ask you to agree with me for these things.

We need to get mom stable, which is the first step to getting her OUT OF THE HOSPITAL, which is the first step to 
GETTING HER HOME.

Prayers appreciated for safe travels for my dad and brother-in-law, as they are headed back to Houston tomorrow.  Hopefully by the first of the week mom can be out of the hospital and in the hotel, and then after a few days we can bring her home.  I'll head down there the first of the week and stay until I can bring her home.

Your prayers are appreciated beyond words.  My heart is so full of love for all of you that have prayed continually for my mother.  God is good, and He answers prayer. 

 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Still In Houston

My mom is still in Houston, Texas.  Nothing super serious, but some "hiccups" as the surgeon calls them that have prevented her from coming home.

Last Wednesday she had to be re-admitted to the hospital to have the drain put back in.  The fluid was accumulating faster than her little body could get rid of it, and her white count was a little elevated, so they put the drain back in, got her started on IV antibiotics, and kept her overnight for observation.  They released her to go back to the hotel Thursday afternoon.  We had a "changing of the guard" on Friday.  One sister and my dad headed home.  My other sister arrived to take care of mom.  Friday and Saturday weren't the best days as mom just couldn't seem to get over the hump from having the drain reinserted.  She had no appetite, very weak, and in pain.  So, by Saturday evening she was dehydrated and my sister took her to the Emergency Room.  They readmitted her and she's been in the hospital ever since.  

Yesterday the chaplain of MD Anderson came to see mom on his day off and prayed with her.  Since then, I can tell you that we've had a BIG TURNAROUND!!!  Mom has eaten better.  She has got up and walked.  She has been able to take her oral meds and keep them down and that is HUGE for mom as swallowing any kind of medicine is a struggle for her.

My mom has been in Houston, Texas for 22 days.  She had surgery on April 6th.

So here I go again, asking you to PRAISE THE LORD WITH US FOR ALL OF THE MIRACLES HE HAS PERFORMED.  Mom's liver is back to 100% of the size it was before they removed 70% of it on April 6th!!!  While she has had some minor setbacks, NO MAJOR COMPLICATIONS!!!  Mom is tired and weak and she wants to go home, but the surgeon wants to make ABSOLUTELY SURE she is stable before she makes the 750 mile trip back home.

If you've been praying for my mom, I ask you to continue.  We aren't settling for 1/2 of a miracle, we want it all!!  We want complete healing and we will keep praying for it.  

Please pray for strength for my mom, both physical and mental.  As you can imagine this surgery, and 22 days away from home, have taken their toll.  Pray for no infection, and for the fluids to be reabsorbed so they can remove the drain.  Pray for her appetite to be strong, and her stomach to be settled.  Pray for ease of taking the medications.  Pray for her to do lots of walking.

And pray for my sister that is down there with mom.  It is exhausting being a care giver.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart  for your continued prayers.  Please know that I am a "pray-er" and if you need prayer for something I am honored to lift your need before the Lord.  He never fails!!!

I hope to be able to tell you SOON that she is headed home.  In the meantime, I pick up my beautiful daughter from the airport later this week, and she graduates from college on Saturday!   Pictures to come!!!

May the Lord bless each and every one of you.  He is good.




Monday, April 17, 2017

The Resurrected King is Resurrecting Me!!!

I'm so sorry I'm just now updating you on my mom's big surgery.  Everything went VERY WELL!!!  The surgeon was pleased with the outcome and mom is doing great.  They removed 70% of her liver during the surgery and there were no complications.  Mom is still in Houston, as the surgeon wanted her to stay a couple weeks after the surgery just to make certain everything is good.  She has an appointment Wednesday morning, and if everything is good, which we expect it to be, they will head home.  PLEASE KEEP MY MOM IN YOUR PRAYERS!!!  Her body is working hard to regrow her liver, and it makes her feel very tired and weak.  As you can imagine, it is very discouraging to not feel good for a long time.  So please lift my mom in prayer for complete physical healing, and also prayer for God to encourage her through the coming weeks . The tiredness will last for several weeks, which is a good thing because it means her liver is healing, but that's a long time to not feel very well, so keep those prayers coming!!!

Happy Easter to everyone.  What a day.  What a reminder of my Savior's love!!  I'm sharing my Facebook post from yesterday:

Because He died for me knowing every sin I would commit. Because even though I have failed Him many times, He has never failed me. Because He promised to never leave me or forsake me. Because death and the grave could not hold Him. Because He is seated at the right hand of God interceding for me today. Because His final breath now lives in me. Because His grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in my weakness. Because my hope, in this world and for eternity, is found in Him alone. This is why I am a follower of Jesus Christ. "I am He who lives and was dead and BEHOLD I AM ALIVE FOREVERMORE! And I have the keys of hell and of death." Revelation 1:18

My new favorite song:

Please turn up your speakers and let your Spirit come alive as you realize what a gift the love of Jesus is!!!

I can't thank you all enough for lifting my family in prayer these past 9 months.  Yes, it's been 9 months since my mom's diagnosis.  We've had good days and bad.   Days of feeling strong in our faith, and days where we wondered where God was in all of this.  But we KNOW that He is with us.  We trust Him!!!

THE RESURRECTED KING IS ON THE THRONE!!!!!
 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Prayers Needed

It's finally here.  The day we have waited for since last fall.  On Thursday morning, April 6th, my mother will have her "big" surgery at MD Anderson in Houston.  The surgeon will remove approximately 70% of her liver where the remaining cancerous tumors are located.    

My folks are already in Houston, and she had blood drawn and a CT scan yesterday.  Today mom has no appointments, so they are hanging out enjoying the beautiful weather down there.  Tomorrow they meet with the surgeon and the anesthesiologist, and the surgery will be Thursday morning.
 
Since this journey began we have asked God for complete healing for mom.  I know that no one lives forever, and neither will my mom.  But we do not in any way believe that God brings sickness upon His children.  His Word says the prayer of faith SHALL heal the sick, and that is what we stand upon.  

Today I ask once again that you pray with faith, confident that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, asking for my mom's healing in Jesus name.  We are praying for God to guide the surgeon, the nurses, the anesthesiologist, everyone that will come in contact with my mother during the surgery and her recovery.  We are asking for a completely routine surgery.  We are praying for NO COMPLICATIONS AND NO INFECTION!!  We are praying for a SPEEDY and COMPLETE RECOVERY.  And we are praying that the cancer will be TOTALLY GONE, NEVER TO RETURN AGAIN.

Before my mom's surgery in February I believe that God gave me the verse Exodus 14:13  "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever."  I have taken that verse to heart, and truly believe that after the surgery on Thursday, there will be no cancer in my mother's body and IT WILL NEVER RETURN.

If God has another plan for my mother, then I will accept it.  I trust Him.  But until He shows me differently, that is my prayer for my mother, that the cancer BE GONE FOREVER IN JESUS NAME and I am asking for you to agree with me.

I fly to Houston Wednesday afternoon to be there for the surgery on Thursday, so prayers for a safe trip will be appreciated.  Mom has to stay in the hospital for 5-7 days post surgery, then she will be in a hotel in Houston for another week, just so the doctor's can keep an eye on things.  I'll be staying there for the first week, and then my sister will come down to stay the week mom is in the hotel recovering.  Please keep my mom, Donna, in your prayers over the next few weeks.  This is a big surgery and the doctors say the recovery will take some time.  We are praying God shows off in a big way, and mom recovers completely and much faster than they think!!!

Please remember to pray for my cousin, Cami, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in January.  She has 3 chemo treatments behind her, 3 more to go before she has surgery.  And just yesterday I found out that the mother of a blogging friend of mine, Shelly Wildman, was diagnosed with cancer last month.  Shelly's mom is having surgery on Wednesday, April 5th, and I know she would appreciate your prayers as well.  You can check out Shelly's newsletter HERE.

So many need a touch from Jesus.  So many need healing and encouragement.  So many need comfort.  This road called life is not easy.  But a life lived with Jesus as your guide is a life lived well.  He never promised it would be easy, but He promised to never leave us or forsake us.  These past few months have been extremely difficult for our family, but we know that He is in control.  I fail him many times, but my heart's desire is to serve Him.  One day I want to hear those words . . . "well done, good and faithful servant."

Thank you all so very, very much for your prayers.  They are appreciated beyond words.  And if you have a few minutes, click on the video below and check out my new favorite song.