Saturday, February 18, 2017

The 2nd Chemo Day

Mom came with me this time, and I was armed with a super soft and warm hoodie and an equally soft and warm blanket.  I brought cozy slippers, but didn't use them.  Mom got to meet Dr. Ikhlaque(I'm considering calling him Dr. SmellGood on the blog, in the tradition of using nicknames for everyone, also, you can read and pronounce Dr. SmellGood) she agreed he is very nice, though she was close to chewing her wrists by the time he got to us, she was supposed to be working remote.  Once we were in our corner, nothing much else happened, because they gave me Benadryl first thing, and I passed out shortly thereafter.  Good thing Mom wasn't looking  for a chatty person, because I only woke up when the nurse needed to scan my wristband to switch meds.  I was out of it too fast to ask if I'd gotten Benadryl the time before, and wasn't thinking about it as I came out of it, so I'll have to call and ask.  Bry-D doesn't remember it, and so far he's impressed everyone with his mental data collection and recall.  Have to ask why I got it, and tell them I don't want it again, I have needlepoint, coloring, and Bible Study to do!! Goals people!  No laundry, or cleaning to call me away, I'm literally chair bound for hours, and I'm not wasting it on sleep!   
  That's a funny statement for me to make, since sleep has been so elusive.  But I had slept well the night before, so I didn't need no stinkin' nap!!  If you notice the time on this post, you'll see that I will want a nap today.  However, I will not get one.  Another run around weekend awaits.  Lex has a Robotics Competition, and we have our first 4H 'thang' on Sunday.  
  Busy busy!  Well, even the rest of Friday was busy- we went to Michaels and got some 50% off decor, Mom had a 20% off entire purchase coupon, and the girl scanned another coupon.  So, spent very little and I'm so excited to place these new pieces!  Pictures coming soon!  We also went to the grocery store, and yes, we picked up the kids.  We actually weren't done with chemo until 1:30ish, so I asked if the next one could start earlier, I was sooo hungry, and after all the errands, we weren't home until 4ish.   When we got home, Eliz got to do one her fave things - work with Grandma! Ok, so in these pictures, they aren't all giggly, but trust me, they were having a good time!  

They cooked a Del-icious beef stew and pecan tarts.  Bry-D had gotten home and was hanging with Lex outside.  As Mom was leaving, The Teacher was coming in with Tatertot.  While people were greeting at the door, I ran my overgrown bangs to the side and came away with an amount of hair that was concerning.  All I could do was stand there and stare at it.  I looked up at The Teacher, she looked at my hand and teared up.  I looked at Mom, who was standing there with her arms full.  I looked back at the hair that splayed from my fingers.  All I could think to say was,

"It didn't even hurt."

Mom said, "I'm think I'll set these down."  The Teacher and I embraced, and crying, I said, 

"It really doesn't matter how much you prepare yourself for it, when it happens, you're not ready." 

Mom joined us and after that, what I remember is them holding me.  They did try to reassure me that maybe not all of it would come out, maybe I wouldn't lose my eyelashes and eyebrows. No. I don't think complete hair loss is something Jesus is going to spare me from. There is a lot of opportunity for growth in this for me, and even though He's made this rough road as easy as He can, I believe this is something we have to go through.  

When The Teacher & I were put together Mom left, and we went to check on what was going on with the kids.  Eliz and Tater were ready to go, and after they had left, I told Bryan about my hair.  We have talked and discussed what we would do when the time came.  The Team Purple came about because The Quilter asked if I wanted to go short with my hair so that when it started falling out, it wouldn't be such a dramatic change.  Then she asked if I wanted to try all over purple.  And as with The Quilter, she thought of having everyone show support by going purple, whether it was hair or clothes or nails.  We had all agreed I would shave it when it started, and now that the time has come, I had to decide when I 'd be ready.  I talked with my bestie Valerie, who I will call The Cosplayer on here.  The Cosplayer had Hodgkin's, and has been so wonderful and helpful with the emotional turmoil that comes with cancer.  She was about to go on a date with her husband, Tom, who will be The Stats Guy on here, because statistician isn't something I want to try and remember how to spell.  We cried a little, we talked about getting through it; mourning the loss, preparing for shaving, and she recommended I wear a head wrap (which she had sewn and given me one, conveniently)to bed,because if I lost hair in my sleep, as she put it,
  "It will be everywhere and that's not a mess you want to clean up.' 
 So, Bryan and I have made plans, which I'll share with you all later, and we're moving forward.  After we had talked, the doorbell rang.  I knew who it was- they had taken time out of their date so The Cosplayer could come hug me.  and The Stats Guy had the idea to buy me a giant cookie, so I had to run out to the car and hug him.  I sat at the kitchen table and ate the whole thing and never offered to share, because it had been that kind of evening.
  In the interest of choosing laughter and such, I will let you know that while Eliz and Mom were cooking, I fell in love with another wig.  Which is good, given the situation, don't you think?

I SWEAR, I didn't go looking for it!  I just went on Instagram, and there it was, waiting for me!  I don't know why I can't seem to love a single color wig.  Ahh, soon my darling, soon!  Remember, I didn't chuck all my ability to be a responsible adult out the window.  Next month, you and I will be together!  

Choose laughter!

Monday, July 21, 2014

She believed she could, so she did

Eliz & Treasure's first barrel run

 They had walked and trotted the pattern several times, both were familiar with it, Treasure more so than Eliz. This was evident by the way that Eliz kept trying to turn the wrong direction on the last barrel. It was almost comical watching Treasure fight with her to go the correct way and then giving in to Her Little Human(that's what Eliz has decided Treasure calls her), knowing it wasn't right. It was just after midnight when they did their run; Eliz was exhausted after a week of riding hard. She seemed so tired I broke my rules and gave her a Mt. Dew just before her turn. The thing most concerning to Eliz going into the arena was that Treasure was obviously ready to run hard and fast; she had been occasionally breaking into a canter from a trot without Lizzie telling her to. Earlier in the night, she galloped.  Eliz knew she couldn't handle Treasure's jets. My advice was to do her best to trust Treasure, & hold the horn of the saddle if she had to. They went into the ring, Eliz obviously nervous, and Treasure ready to go. They did the first barrel, and then Treasure started to canter on the second barrel, and they went too wide and crossed the timer again. 
At this point the run was officially over, but they finished the pattern, Eliz trying to keep Treasure slowed down. When they finished, Treasure began to run large circles. Eliz told me she was “Holding the horn for dear life and thinking, 'I need to stop her!'”
Treasure came up to the fence and started a sharp turn, however, Eliz didn't turn.  Eliz came off the front of Treasure and landed, quite literally, at her Aunt's feet. 

By The Teacher's recounting, Eliz had a big smile on her face while on the ground, and as The Teacher tried to grab Treasure's reins, Eliz jumped up smiling and said,
  “I'm fine!” and took Treasure's reins.

As soon as Eliz came off, Treasure came to a stop, and looked at Eliz if to say,     
   “What are you doing on the ground? You're supposed to be up here with me!”

Of course, everyone watching had gotten quiet and was watching to see if Eliz was okay. I had started to run out, and when Eliz jumped up, Vaughn(we board our horse at their ranch) told me to calm down, she was fine. The announcer said over the loud speaker,
   “Way to cowgirl up.”. People all around were clapping as Eliz started to walk Treasure out, but then Vaughn started hollering,
   “Get on that horse! You're not walking, you're riding her out!” Once Eliz heard Vaughn, she stopped and started to try to throw Treasure's reins over her neck. As she was struggling, Vaughn walked into the arena saying,
  “I'm comin'.” But Eliz got them on before he reached her, and so he paused and watched.  Then Eliz put her knee into her stirrup, pulled herself into her saddle, and rode out of the arena to all around applause and whoops of congratulations. 

People were saying, “That's a lot of horse for that girl” and “That horse has a motor!” Since Eliz hasn't been ready to really run, we'd never seen Treasure go all out, and I don't think we have yet. As much as Treasure loves Eliz, I think she still held back, even though she probably wanted to run into the moonlight.

 Eliz is young enough that even though she knows something great happened in those few minutes, she doesn't understand how much meaning there is in the experience. People came up and told her good job, and she had to give out high fives-well, low fives for her on the horse, high fives for those on the ground- to people. So she knows other people think she did something extraordinary. 
I told her that people were more proud of her for getting back on than they would ever be of her running a good time; that even if she had run barrels in 10 seconds, people would always be more proud that she got up on her horse-especially by herself.

While we untacked Treasure I asked her how it felt to come off her horse like that. Her response?

“Kind of awesome.” Once we were in the car and on the way home, we talked about what had happened. She asked me,

“Mama, why do I feel so amazing?!” I explained to her all the possible negative ways a person could respond to coming off their horse, and that she hadn't done any of those things. I tried to help her understand that getting back on after a fall like that was something that some adults wouldn't do, so being 9, her first time ever coming off this horse at her first barrel race with a horse she's only been riding a few months, was a very big deal. Some people would have said, 'Never again. I won't ever ride again.'  She told me,

“She's my gift from God, I have to treat her like the gift she is. I have to learn her heartbeat, and the motor in her legs. So we can go fast together, because that's what she wants. That's what I want us to do together.” Can I just say, I have never wanted to pull over and squeeze my daughter while sobbing tears of joy and pride more in my life.

She fell asleep for the rest of the ride home, leaving me to consider the events of the evening. My little girl has proven that she's meant to be on a horse. She's a cowgirl, through and through. Her recently deceased Great-Grandmother would have been proud of her determination and adventurous spirit.  That's the Grandma that wanted to drive her son's racecar, mind you.
 There was also Treasure to consider. She didn't do anything wrong, just ran fast. The moment Eliz came off, she stopped. She didn't move, stamp her feet or toss her head. She waited for Eliz, and never gave any sign that she was going anywhere without her. She stood still while Eliz climbed her way back on and walked out and went straight to her stall. I've always known that Treasure loved Eliz & vise versa, but I think I saw the beginning of a beautiful partnership. Some of that definitely comes from Treasure having had a wonderful previous owner, and I will always be grateful for that. My Dad and I were talking about it, and he made the observation,

“Treasure and her the girl that owned her obviously had a great relationship. They probably got to run full speed down a dirt road, and in a field, and she wants to do that with Eliz. She remembers and wants to do it again.” So now we have to find a dirt road in Indiana. Shouldn't have a problem with the field, though.

 And here is the sad part of this story. Bry-D and Lex weren't there. At midnight, Bry-D & I put Lex into Bry-D's truck, because Bry-D had to work first thing in the morning, and Lex needed to sleep. Oh. My. That boy needed a good night's rest. So five or so minutes after they drove out of the Fairgrounds, I had to call and tell him about his daughter's amazing feat. He was, of course, very upset. He exclaimed,

“I missed that?!” I can't rewind time & give him the joy of seeing his daughter prove herself a cowgirl, but maybe writing it for both of them to go back to will help.  Just as getting Treasure is a reminder that God answers prayer, getting back into the saddle will be a reminder that Eliz can do whatever she decides to do.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pinterest March Madness Challenge

  Today didn't go quite the way I planned; neither did yesterday. Yesterday was worse though.  And it all made me even more determined to get this post done today like I planned.
The Pinterest March Madness Challenge Post.  I didn't do it last year because I had just had surgery, & was still close friends with Percocet.  If the light from your bedside lamp is awfully pretty, do not blog.  Or engage in social media.  Just go to sleep.  You won't regret sleeping, I promise.

 Off the rabbit trail and back to the main thing.  We're going to get crazy & try to do 30 things we've pinned on Pinterest in 30 days.  There aren't any other guidelines really.  I will say to remember, this is a crazy idea; practically impossible, really.  Don't get down on yourself if you don't get anywhere near 30, just have fun, & brag if you get any of them done!  Because at the end of March, you'll be able to say, look at all the cool stuff I did from Pinterest!  

Getting started: First, join the board.  Comment on Pinterest, or make a request through Facebook.  Then start pinning to the board.  I'll be pinning things I already plan on doing, especially at first, to keep it easy.  I want to get back in the habit of blogging, so that will be on there.  You can put on your pins which day of the challenge you intend on doing them, or leave it to whatever works that day.

Keeping in touch- There is a Facebook page for this, which I'll pin a link to on the March Madness Board.  If you want to pin links to blog posts of what you're doing, that's great!  

One week to pin & prepare, let's do this!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2014 the year to transform

It's been a year since my last post.  Well, longer than that, really, because I've kept track of the time.  It was a few weeks, then a month, a few months.  Then longer.  It wasn't a planned hiatus, no, not like I sat, saw the direction I was going and knew blogging was something I would be giving up for 2013.  I mentally composed so many posts, took so many pictures, and yearned to be here.  Yearned to share, but I was so busy spinning my wheels.  Running and running and never going anywhere.

I picked my One Word for 2013, FINISH, because that's all I've wanted for so long.  To finish what I've started.  To finish anything, a book, a personal devotional, on some days just my own thoughts, a project.  Ah, to be finished, a sense of accomplishment from a job done.  Yes, I was at the point that things didn't need to be done well anymore, they just needed to be done, gone, away from me. So FINISH was my mantra.  It was June 2013 when I started to feel it.  The little niggling in the back of my mind.  A hint, a teensy tiny feeling, slowly blooming into a realization.  A realization that, apparently, God knew about 20 years ago.  Funny how He does that, eh?  20 years ago(yeesh I'm getting old) at the ripe old age of 15, I gave my life to Christ, and felt dirty.  There was no, I feel so great, Jesus has washed me clean.  I felt vile.  I felt horrifying.  I was such a sinner, so much more than anyone else.  I was a silly girl, I know that now.  But then I felt dark and ugly and disgusting. 

In His abounding love, God provides. 
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new has come!

I held on to that for dear life.  As I struggled, as I fought my way through the mire of Satan's lies that I was vile, and always would be.  That I would never change, could never change.  I was going to be the same failure, forever.  But God, He changed me, He grew me.  And it was 20 years later, I had a tattoo of a butterfly as a symbol of how God's changed me, made me new.  But something was off, I realized.  I didn't believe it.  I didn't live it.  It was a slow realization.  I saw more and more of how often I beat myself near to death, near daily with the statements
"Still the SAME"  "NEVER Different"  "No Change" 

It took me awhile, months, actually to further dig into this realization.  That it was a lie. A lie that had prevented me from moving forward for years.  When did I start hearing it?  I don't know, it has been a part of me for so long, I can feel its absence. No wonder I couldn't reach any goal I set; I sabotaged myself with my own thoughts!   But its over, done, FINISHED.  I won't believe it anymore.  That doesn't happen instantly though.  I'm going to need more than a conviction.  In the last month, I've been searching for the word for 2014, the year that I stop believing Satan's #1 lie for me. 
After much prayer and some discussion with Bry-D, I picked Transform.  I've been in conference with God these last few weeks more than ever.  He's been so great, gently leading me, showing me exactly what must be done for me to stop believing Satan over Him. 
Romans 12:2
A renewed mind, one that immediately dismisses the false belief that I will always fail. A mind set on Christ, on things that are Christ-like.

2 Corinthians 10:5
...we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 

I must be in charge of my thoughts.  I must take the initiative to STOP the cycle of belief, or unbelief. Belief of lies, unbelief of the truth.  I must renew my mind, literally.  I have to stop those negative demeaning thoughts from even happening.  But how? 
Ephesians 4:22-24
But you were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Put off, put on.  I have to replace the un-Godly thoughts with Godly thoughts.  Again, how? 
Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things

Take the lies, find the truth, but don't stop there!  If I tell myself I'm a failure in a situation, don't stop with telling myself I'm not a failure, find something noble, something right, something pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy to remove any leanings towards my enemy.   
Incidentally, when I'm angry at Bry-D, I use this verse.  I have to find something true & noble about him, and then each word following.  It's very hard to hold a grudge against a guy when you've just told yourself 7-8 things that make him wonderful.
And so, my plan for this year, 2014, the year for me to transform, is very simple.  Not because I want it to be, I actually pushed God really hard to give me more, something more complex.  But He, like Bry-D, subscribes to the KISS method. 

Everyday, I must PRAY for the Holy Spirit to renew my mind.  Everyday, I must make statements to myself about myself that counter the lies I've been telling myself.  And, daily, I must memorize His Word to combat those lies as well. 
So, three things.  That's it.  And none of them are even that hard to remember or do!  What's up with the simplicity?  Isn't a great work of God supposed to be all flashy and intricate?  Or at least more difficult?  No, I guess not.
I want to say I'll be back soon, and I'll tell you all about 2013, because that's what I want, to be here.  But I don't know what will happen, so I'll just say, thanks for being here, hope I get to share this year with you!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A sisters wine & painting party

I come from a long line of backwoods people.  I tell you this to explain why there won't be any pictures with low lighting, and an instructor, or a beautiful painting.  A wine and painting party with my sisters meant drinking decent wine for awhile, then heading down to the basement to paint the yellow walls white.
The Teacher is living in my Grandma's house, helping to fix it up so it can be sold.  And a few days ago, she took the ancient iron patio table and chairs to the basement, and sprayed them purple.  They look GREAT!  But the basement floor, well, as you can see, not only is it filthy, but now it's purple in a few spots.  And the Teacher is going to have to clean the entire floor, b/c if she just cleans that one area, Dad and Mom are going to figure out something happened, and she'll get in trouble.  She'll be scoring Pinterest looking for "Paint Removal" after we leave tonight. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Sentinel

Kaya is a jumper, and anything next to the fence that's over 18 inches gives her just enough boost to get over the fence.  She always comes back after going who-knows-where for who-knows-what-reason.  I've come to the conclusion that it's all part of her maternal need to oversee.  I think she goes around and makes sure everything in the neighborhood is to her liking, then comes home.
 However, when there is nothing to help her over the fence, she sits, like this, for hours.  Just watching, observing, overseeing.  Like a sentinel, she stands guard over her little world, and barks incessantly when things change.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Check this out!

Yep, once he gets going, he gets it done!
We had  to get this 'stuff' to put on the grout that sealed it and turned it a really dark black.
I'm pretty pleased with it.