Monthly Archives: December 2012

Ushering in 2013

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I bought a little book by Brian Morgan. It is about a man who had very little money but he wanted to give something to his friends. He pondered on these things and began to write:

“I pray for you;

Joy in abundance and laughter, for laughter cures our ills and joy makes our spirits soar.

A sigh when you need one, for a sigh clears the heart as as a cough clears the throat, and with a sigh comes acceptance of what we cannot change.

Tears when you need them, for tears clear the eyes to see the stars and cleanse the soul to let healing begin.

Serenity, for fights and wars start in individual breasts and that is where they must end.

Wisdom, for our priceless gift is the gift of choice and we should use it well every day, in word and deed.

Patience, for most troubles pass if we wait them out, and success comes with persistence.

Courage, for there may be many pitfalls and dangers ahead and problems can only be solved when they are faced.

Compassion, for we cannot help others until we understand them, and we cannot understand them until we walk in their shoes.

Willingness to work, for work turns dreams to reality-whether the dreams are ours or belong to those we can help.

Unwavering faith, for faith shapes our morals and our destiny and draws us closer to God.

A mind full of hope, for hope determines our attitudes, sets our goals, and creates our ideals.

A heart so full of love that every day you must give some away to those whose paths you cross.”

This year I have realized that real wealth cannot be measured in riches but rather in family and friends such as you. I, like the author, pray for each of you, gifts that cannot be wrapped. May you experience a rainbow after the storm, smell the sweet fragrance of a rose on a summer day and may a snowflake gently kiss your cheek during winter’s cold spell. I pray you have abundant joy and laughter, enough trials to keep your heart soft, enough failure to keep you humble, and many friends to comfort you. May your heart overflow with love and God’s blessing in 2013. Thank you for touching my heart and life this year.

A Very Merry Christmas

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Christmas 2012

We have so much to be thankful for this holiday season!  Last night, we spent Christmas Eve with Mom’s side of the family, and for the briefest of moments, time stood still.  I looked around the room at all of the loving people that I am so privileged to call my family.  It seems that with each passing year our family grows stronger.  There’s nobody I’d rather spend time with!

Progress Report

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I chose Dr. Dan as my oncologist and his practice is in Boise. The six treatments of the hard chemo were administered at MSTI downtown Boise under Dr. Dan’s care. When I expressed my concern about using up my sick leave he asked if I wanted to have some of my treatments at MSTI in Meridian. Since he does not practice at Meridian I did not think that was an option. He has been very accommodating. I have some of my chemo treatments in Meridian then every third or fourth treatment I go to Boise for a consult with him before my infusion of chemo. I had a chemo treatment last Friday and saw Dr. Dan. It was good to talk with him. I will have an echocardiogram every six months to monitor my heart. The drug Herceptin can be harmful to the heart. Overall he was pleased with my progress and gave me a Christmas hug. After my session with him I was ushered into the chemo suite for my hour drip of Herceptin.

Pat was my nurse this time. I always enjoy her. Sometimes the nurses visit with the patients and Friday Pat sat beside me for a time. She asked me what I had learned from my journey so far. I shared that my perspective on life had changed.  I told her abut praying one night after my diagnosis expressing that I did not want cancer nor did I want to go through the rigors of treating it. However, if this was my cross to bear I asked God to use my illness in a positive way. The only thing certain when we enter this world is we will someday leave it. Everyone born will one day die. We don’t know how or when but death is a certainty. I want my life more than my death to leave a good imprint. I expressed how precious all in my family are to me. How desperately I want to watch my four young grandsons grow into men. How I am doing everything within my power to see that happen and leaving the rest in God’s hands. How truly blessed I have been to have such wonderful, caring and supportive friends who are walking beside me easing the heavy burden. I shared I believe God is not done with me yet. There is something more that I am supposed to do with the remainder of my life however long that may be.  I am excited to watch the next chapters unfurl.

I reached out to hug Pat when I was leaving. I expressed what a blessing she and others had been to me. She whispered in my ear, “No, it is all of you (cancer patients) who bless us.”

Today I saw the radiologist for my follow up appointment. She examined my radiated skin and like Dr. Dan was pleased with my progress. She is always so bubbly. We chatted about a cruise she had taken with her family.  I shared our family’s plan to go on a cruise together in 2014. She wished me a Merry Christmas and said I was an inspiration to her office. My thoughts ran parallel with Pat’s, “No, it is you who encourage and inspire me.” I smiled my goodbye knowing I would see her in three months, praying the reports will continue to be good.

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I awoke later than my usual 5:15 a.m. I stayed up late the night before trying to get some decorating done before my grandsons come to spend the night with me. I partially decorated the tree placing the precious, delicate ornaments near the top. I purposely left some ornaments out for little “helping hands” to place upon the tree later.

I always admire the showcase trees. You know the ones I am referring to. They have ribbons cascading from the top of the tree in spirals with one or two colors of ornaments, perhaps feathers or small bouquets of flowers or other unusual items tucked among the branches. They are beautiful to look at but they hold no allure for me. Although I admire these types of decorated trees I have not chosen to have one in my home.

Our tree has always been adorned with the same ornaments; handmade ones given to me by my children or friends over the years. I placed several on the tree this year thinking of the individual who gave it to me. Miniature white crocheted bells, snowflakes and angels, handiwork of my stepmom and my sister-in-law’s mother. There are 3” hand knitted striped Christmas stockings; a gift from Vera. Although I have never been to Hawaii I have several ornaments from there. Barb and Dale Collins gave me a “Mrs. Claus”. Orville and Fern Groves have brought me exquisite alabaster angels from various trips to the islands. I hung upon my tree one delicate silver and gold laser cut ornament with the word, JOY spinning in its center. A gift from Betty Stark. I held in my hands a Precious Moments  girl grasping a fishing pole in her tiny hand that Glenda’s husband, Don gave me one Christmas. The fish is missing from the line at the end of the pole. It was a reminder of all the wonderful times we spent at their cabin at Owyhee Reservoir fishing and making memories with our families. There are ornaments that have my children’s pictures on them with tousled hair and toothless smiles from grade school days. Felt ornaments that my sister in law, Mary lovingly made with decorative embroidered stitches are hanging on my tree. Ruth Kane cross-stitched a tiny intricate ornament to add to my collection. An all white alabaster angel hangs near the top of my tree. Her dress is formed like a seashell. She clasps a tiny wreath in her hands and another wreath adorns her head. Dolores Gasseling sent it to our family after my husband was diagnosed with his illness in the early 90’s.

Several hundred ornaments of all shapes and sizes hang upon my Christmas tree. Its branches are heavily laden with love. Tucked deep inside its center is a thick 6” nail; a gift from my Eagle church. A card is loosely wrapped around it. The card reads, This Christmas Nail is a secret ornament. Place it in the center of your tree so that only your family knows of its presence. Others will take no notice of it, but to you the nail symbolizes the tree that Jesus decorated for us with the sacrifice of His life.”

When you look at my tree you cannot see the memories I have stored deep in the treasure-house of my heart. The cherished times I have spent with each person who gave me a memory. So many of these dear people are gone from this world now and the ornaments given speak to my heart. Every year as I place them upon my tree they remind me of the wonderful people who have graced my life over the years. How fortunate and blessed I am to have their life entwine with mine.