Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lung Cancer Awareness

My Grandpa Howard was an amazing man.  He had a small farm near the town of St. Elizabeth.  He also did construction work on the side trying to provide for my Grandma Flo and their eight kids.  He sold a few hogs every year, and had a few acres of crop ground.  My Grandpa loved to laugh and joke.  He loved to bowl, and I think could have bowled professionally.  He also loved to play pinochle.  Back in World War II he worked in a bomb factory in 
St. Louis.

I have the most wonderful memories of my Grandpa Howard.  Even though I was one of 17 grandchildren, he always took time for me.  When I was a kid we would spend the night with him and my Grandma and he would take us up to the chicken house in the mornings and let us gather the eggs.  And then my Grandma would fix the eggs we gathered for us for breakfast. Every year my Grandpa would cut a huge (at least it seemed huge to me) cedar tree to decorate for Christmas.  And even though my Grandpa and Grandpa had limited means, there was always a gift for everyone of us under that tree.

My Grandpa Howard smoked Camel non-filtered cigarettes from the time he was just a boy.  My Grandpa died in 1991 at the age of 77 after a year long battle with lung cancer.

Mesothelioma is a specific type of lung cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos.  Sadly, I know two people who have recently passed away from Mesothelioma.  The first was the father of a young lady our son graduated from high school with.  He developed a cough that just wouldn't go away.  He went to the doctor and they treated him for bronchitis.  The cough didn't get any better, and he began to feel worse.  They sent him for further testing and he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.  He had surgery to remove one lung and the surrounding tissue.  He never truly recovered, and passed away about a year and a half after he was diagnosed.  He was 60 years old.  He never got to see either of his daughters graduate from college.  His eldest daughter got married this summer and her dad's friends walked her down the aisles.

The mother of a co-worked was also diagnosed with mesothelioma about a year and a half ago.  She only lived two months after she was diagnosed.  She had worked in a factory all of her life. She was 62 years old.

Treatment for mesothelioma is different from the treatment of other types of lung cancer. Please click HERE for more information on the treatment for mesothelioma!

Smoking is the leading cause of cancer among both men and women in the United States.  Men who smoke are TWENTY-THREE TIMES more likely to develop lung cancer than men who don't smoke.  Women and THIRTEEN TIMES more likely to develop lung cancer than women who don't smoke.   And people who smoke are MUCH more susceptible to developing mesothelioma.  You can click HERE to find out more about the effects of smoking on your lungs, lung cancer and specifically mesothelioma.

Please, DO NOT SMOKE.  I wonder how many more years I would have had with my Grandpa Howard if he hadn't smoked??  How many wonderful memories we could have made??  Sadly, my Grandpa smoked up until the day he was diagnosed with lung cancer.  I wish he had never smoked the first cigarette.  

If you smoke, quit.  And don't say "I can't."  Yes, you can.  You can do anything you put your mind to.  If you can't quit on your own, get help.  There are support groups, medication, lots of options.  My dad smoked for over 30 years.  He quit the day they buried his uncle who died of lung cancer.  Don't make an excuse.  Don't smoke even one more cigarette.  You're worth it.  Your family and friends and the memories you make are worth it. And if you don't smoke, FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE DON'T START.  It is a nasty habit.  If you smoke, YOU STINK.  Your clothes stink.  I've been around lots of smokers in my lifetime and they all stink.  Cigarettes kill.  It is amazing to me that in 2014 it is even LEGAL for stores to sell cigarettes.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Early November Snow & Knitting

Oh my it has been cold this past week here in Central Missouri.  Now if it were January, this would not be unusual.  But it is NOVEMBER.  Last Monday it was 72 degrees.  Today the high is 22, and tomorrow's low temperature -- 12 degrees.  That is JANUARY weather, not November.

This is what my world looks like this morning.  Isn't it beautiful??

We rarely have snow in Missouri in November.  But we got a couple of inches yesterday.

I feel bad, because my husband is working outside in this weather.  He is busy making sure all the cows are fed.  Making sure the turkeys are fed.  He hates wintertime.  It makes a lot of extra work in very uncomfortable working conditions.  There is no rest for a farmer.  But he loves farming anyway!

And for all you knitters out there, I need some advice. My beautiful daughter (who is doing GREAT post appendectomy in case you were wondering) wants me to knit a hand band for her to keep her ears warm.  I've been doing some looking around online, and I've found a couple of fairly simple patterns.  I am really a beginning knitter.  That means I can make scarfs, and I can make little baby hats (knitting in the round!), but I don't know a lot of the fancy stitches so I'm looking for something pretty basic.  If you have any suggestions, I'd LOVE to hear from you!

These are a couple of patterns I've found so far.  The top one is a little more difficult, but very pretty.

Image by Craftsy

This second image looks very simple, even for a beginning knitter like me.

Image by Ratchadawan Chambers

So if you have any suggestions on an easy headband to make, PLEASE share!!

So whatever the weather is in your neck of the woods, I pray that you are blessed.  I pray that you are warm.  I pray that today you take a few moments to thank God for all of the blessings in your life.  And that, like me, today you will strive to be obedient to the verse below.  The world is full of evil, full of sin.  We are called to keep ourselves from this. 

Philippians 4:8   "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Stay warm!!!

Monday, November 10, 2014


Last Tuesday our phone rang very early in the morning.  It was our beautiful daughter, and she was crying.  She said her stomach had been hurting for about an hour.

We threw our clothes on and began the two hour drive to where she attends college.

Thankfully my cousin and his wife live in the same town where Alex goes to college.  Alex tutors their oldest son, and babysits for them.  My cousin's wife is an ER doctor.

She went WAAYYY above and beyond and picked up Alex from her dorm and took her to the emergency room.  By the time we got there they had already put in an IV, drawn some blood and were waiting on test results.

Very long story short, they determined it was her appendix, and Alex had surgery about 1:30 Tuesday afternoon.  Her appendix had not ruptured (Praise the Lord) so they were able to do the surgery laparoscopically, so she just has three tiny incisions.

Amazingly, by 4:30 p.m. we left the hospital, and, after a quick trip to her dorm room to pick up some clothing and homework we were on the road home by 5:00 p.m.  We walked into our house at 7:00 p.m. that same day.

Alex spent the rest of the week, and weekend, recovering at home and yesterday afternoon I drove her back to school. While I hate that she had to have surgery, we sure enjoyed having her home for an extended stay.

She is feeling great.  She still has a little soreness, and I'm sure she will be tired by the time she is finished with her four classes today.  But she definitely has the worst behind her.

We are thankful for so many things.  Thankful that her appendix hadn't ruptured.  Thankful for no infection.  Thankful for my cousin's wife and all of the other doctors and nurses who took such great care of Alex.  And we are praying for complete healing, in Jesus name. 

We do not understand why Alex had to go through this, but we trust that nothing surprises our God.  And we know that He works all things together for our good.