Thursday, September 28, 2006

this stinks . . .

I just lost the entire post I was typing, which I had said before, as a rule of thumb, that I would do it as a word document and then cut and paste - but I didn't. It is now off in the ethernet heaven somewhere.
The past few days were very tough, today shows some slight improvement, thank goodness.
I am hanging on to Jesus. I need to go lay down a while and then I want to write more. I have a lot to say. You know me.
God bless. GW

Monday, September 25, 2006

Incredibly beautiful ..

Today was "camping weather" as my in-laws would say. I made several errands - Clerk of Court, CVT (a friends cooked some food for us - thanks Ken from CVT , and also Missy from SICU) and God gave me the grace to hit two different Post offices to mail one book. You got to know when to walk away, sometimes that is the best wisdom of all. It wore me out, but since I started out not thinking anything productive would happen today, praise God I got it all checked off of the list.
This was the last dose of chemo pills for cycle two tonight. I now have 1 week off of pills and about 2 weeks off of the IV. I am ready to get some taste back, I know that. And my attitude, too. Thank God for a gracious family.
The New Orleans Saints beat the Atlanta Falcons tonight. The Superdome was packed and I know that it was good for the City of N.O. , the weather was increadible today and I even had the food someone cooked for us with the family gathered around - does it get any better? Yes, my friend, it does. 2,000 years ago a man hung on a cruel Cross between two thieves and said "It is Finished" - the debt has been paid. Now that trumps everything and anything that could have happened to me, in me or for me today. Because in that sacrifice, I have it all - a packaged deal, Salvation - forgiveness of sins, healing - of body soul and mind and hope of Life Eternal in the presence of Almighty God and the Lamb Who sits on the Throne. This is stuff applies to me today, wisdom and understanding given through the Word and by God's Spirit to help me walk out the walk of faith, not just "pie in the sky here's where I go if I die" type of thing. It ain't religion (the world has plenty of that) it's relationship. To know Him and to be known by Him. That is where true life begins - and no, you know for sure it ain't always easy.
That is where the trust comes into play.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says,
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
lean not on your own understanding,
in all you ways acknowledge Him
and He shall direct your paths".
We acknowledge You Lord. We trust you Lord, we love you Lord. And may our lives bring Glory to You in some way each and every day.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Preach it Nick !

Awesome message Nick Callaway! I would highly recommend it to everyone if you didn't get a chance to hear the message. True compassion isn't just feeling the need of another but reaching out to help relieve the need in some way that may or may not be convenient for you. You can get a CD from the Church CD counter. Nick and Becky Callaway are Chi Alpha Campus Pastors at LSU and have been for about 5 years. They are doing a great work on the Campus and reaching students from all over the world for Christ right here in our own backyard.
The weather has cooled down a good bit - times of refreshing, meteorologically speaking, are on the way according to the news guys. It was very breezy over here in Central at nightfall.
My mother-in-law's sister passed away a few days ago from unknown causes. They suspect she died in her sleep. We still do not have all the details as of yet. She is still in the process of making dozens of phone calls to catch up with all of the family from out of town and see who and who does not know as of yet.
One more day of Xeloda and Decadron - the second week of Cycle 2 ends Monday. The symptoms are (on a scale of 1 - 10 with ten being the worst) about a 3 when it comes to the 'throne room' and the taste / texture tongue thing is about a 6. But only one very small mouth sore that is not really a problem. These pale in comparison to the last time. The constant burning is not an issue, thank you Lord. I know the family is ready for this cycle to be over, because I have had to personally deal with a snappy attitude due to the Decadron over the past few days. I really don't like to make excuses, but I honestly am trying to control it, but stuff just 'pops' out of my mouth before I can stop it - frequently. I told Robin it is like there is a 6 lane highway running through my brain full of rush hour traffic - and everyone is speeding! We have discussed it and my family is trying to understand and I know they are loving me through it. They are a blessing from God.
Psalm 116: 1-19 was my prayer/meditation verse today - it was beautiful for the book to open to 116 this morning in the prayer room at Church and for these words to meet my eyes. The Bible was a King James version that was just liying on the chair. I was by myself the whole time and it was sweet time with Jesus. And what is really neat is that I know Jesus Himself had at one time read that very same Psalm during His life here on Earth. Wow. Double Wow.
This is going to a great week ahead. I hope and pray you will all be blessed and also be a blessing. You are lights in a darkened world. Give'm Jesus.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The sticks are in . . .

Well, there it is. A little bright on the exposure I know, but when you bring a camera from low humidity to high, it takes a while to adjust and 'de-fog' so to speak - but you get the picture. I drove the sticks in early as I could, knowing that the sun had already been up about 30 minutes, but I could not get a perfectly straight line on it and had to wait. The Autumal Equinox has come and gone. It will be interesting to wait for the Winter Solstice (around Dec 22nd) and see the change. It was fun. While I was waiting I sprayed down some of the vehicles to get the loose dirt and funk that has softened because of the dew and then sprayed some windex on the outer kitchen window, let it soak and then sprayed it off. I was going to spray the living room triple window set, but then I notice my little "tree frog battalion" that tirelessly mans the porch lights for bugs every night were still perched around this area. Windex and frog skin do not go together well, so I just sprayed it with water - and can you believe they sat there and must have thought it was raining! They seemd to love the spray. Then I drove my sticks.
While looking up the spelling of equinox to be sure I was correct, I came across "exult". Now we rarely use this word, but I love the definition - "to leap for joy - to be extremely joyful: REJOICE".
Then my eyes catch the next one - which has a dairy/agricultural root meaning - could not pass this one up - "exuberant" to be abundant - from ex - + uber - more at 'udder' - get the picture. Can you imagine the joy a baby calf (who is hungry) feels when he see moma's udder full of milk? "Joyessly unrestrained and enthusiastic - produced in exteme abundance: PLENTIFUL
So, we can exult exuberantly due to the fact that God has provided everything we need for life and Godliness through Christ Jesus our Lord. Regardless of appearances, the way has been made for us who call upon His name. So we rejoice over that fact.
Today is our 17th wedding anniversary. I can still remember carrying her across the threshold of our first home - which I had been working on for months to get ready. Her cousin Barbara was our photographer and she had asked me to hold her at the top step and turn towards the camera and pause for a shot or two. Well, back then I was a little 'stouter' than I am today. It was a fun memory to make and is a great one to hold onto. We have had many great memories we have made together. We are blessed! We ate out last night at Semolina's and afterwards perused through the bookstore while the oldest was at a birthday party for a few hours. We had fun. Today is looking to be a good one, too.
Go about your day exuberantly knowing that God loves you.
P.S. LSU plays tonight. Go Tigers!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Is the lid on tight ?

We are living in a world today that could quite possibly be at the craziest point it has ever been in our known civilized history. We have captured the power of the sun (nuclear energy), we have the most efficient food growing/production and distribution systems ever known to man and our medical advancements have extended and enhanced human life to a degree that others only 100, no even 50 years ago could dream about. All of these things would make an alien think that we humans were living in a 'utopian' type world. But there is a catch – the alien would have to take into account man's fallen nature. There in lies the proverbial ‘rock and a hard spot’. We have been given so much and yet we constantly seem to miss the mark. I only need to look at my own life as a microcosm of the larger world in which I live to prove the point. Think of the missed opportunities, whether intentional or out of ignorance – ignorance is also a large part of the human dilemma. Think of selfishness - ? the “What’s in it for me mentality”. The lust for more, which is never satisfied as we all know and I could go on and on. My point is that without the direction and unction of God Almighty this will never stop – at least until He returns. I have to daily depend on Him, not just on occasion, but routinely. Sure, more often than not, I go to the store without ‘seeking God’ to see if it is His will for me to go. I am referring to small questions as well as the larger more broad things life presents us with. Such as business decisions that affect not only us, but others lives as well. The education of our children, what part will I play in the advancement of the Gospel through my Church body? Where am I supposed to live? What to do with free time with my family? And so many other questions. Now multiply the above by approximately 6 billion people – the vast majority of whom are at a level of need that I have never suffered personally. Then add in diverse political, cultural, religious and ethnic differences and wow, has God got His hands full or what?
That is what makes God, God. Yet I firmly trust that He is a loving God that constantly reaches towards us with a purity of love and intention that we can only partially understand. The Word says that we now only know in part, but that one day we will understand. I, like you, wish I could make everyone healthy, wealthy and wise. Free of suffering and pain and the confusion that plaques humanity. God can use us in ways to help, but only as a vessel of His glory and His will. I continue to search and to pray as to what He wants me to do now. I do have limitations, as we all do, but Lord, what about right now? Can I be used by You, right now? And also long term, where is this whole thing going - one year, 5 years or 10 years from now? Only He knows, but the Word does say that He directs our paths. I am going to continue to seek, knock and ask.
Today was a mild to moderate roller coaster ride, more towards the mild side – weakness and shakes, indigestion, the likes. I did, however, get a prescription for Nystatin oral rinse. It appears to be helping my throat already. I got home and found that the lid was not screwed down tight and some had leaked out into the bag. A word to the wise, open and confirm the meds you purchased and also check the lid to see if it is tight as soon as you can. Be an aware patient and do not be afraid to call the Doctor with any problems. “Unnecessary suffering is suffering unnecessarily”, a great historical thinker once said. I wonder how long he was sick before he figured that one out.
I have pulled on your ear (eyes, actually) long enough. We can be a part of the solution – the Jesus solution – each and every day by following His commandment, “This is my commandment, that you love one another that your joy may be full”. The world needs Jesus – not more problems. You are 'children of light in a dark world'. May your joy be so full that you spill out all over those around you as you go about your Friday responsibilites. Thank you for praying for us. Please also pray for those in need with various physical/mental health challenges as the Lord brings them to your mind through out the day. God bless. George

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Cool morning ...

This was a very pleasant morning indeed. The Autumnal equinox is this Saturday (i think) when the Sun will rise directly East and set directly West - an even 12 hours of light and dark. So if you want to drop some lines like the cultures of thousands of years ago, get some sticks and hammer one into the ground at first light, step back across the yard in the evening and line up another stick with the setting sun and hammer it in - and there you have it - your very own "Stonehenge". Or, you could just use a hand held GPS, that might be easier.

I have nothing profound today in the area of crazy stories, but I did sit out on the deck with my parents early this morning and enjoyed the unusual coolness. That was memorable. That is the kind of stuff you like to hold onto and remember. Nothing like being around the ones you love.

My throat is at it again, I spoke with a pharmacist about it and he recommended a mix of Benedryl and peroxide gargle. He said it can be related to a lowered immunity which then allows a yeast type growth in the back of the throat - kind of like 'thrush' I guess. can also feel it up into the eustachian tubes leading to my ears. So I am staying diligently on top of this so as not to encourage any progression. Please pray for this to stop if you will, thanks.

Today was much more sluggish, on and off activity wise. Took a long nap after lunch which seems to help temporarily, but you still feel like something is 'on you' like a ball and chain holding your body back. I did have a delicious lunch and supper with my family, however, that I could for the most part taste. That is another one of those thankful moments I am learning to grasp and appreciate.

This will all pass soon and I will be back at life with new vim and vigor in the Name of Jesus, serving in whatever capacity He sees fit to place me. I look forward to the day, but only if He is with me since without Christ, there is no future hope.

I'll speak you tomorrow. God Bless.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

let me continue ...

(I apologize for the length of this post, but I condensed it as much as I could with amount of brainpower I have at this time.)
Well, the rest of Monday gets better!(If you can believe it). [But first, I am going to give God the glory for great things He has done - put first things first]. I finally had to take a Benedryl to help me get to sleep around 2:30 am. Woke up at 6:45 am to get the kids lunches ready and kiss the three of them out the door. I then spent 30 minutes washing and cutting and juicing and drinking the juice while cleaning the kitchen. My throat was a little on the dry/sore feeling side, so I opted for C.O.W. (Creme of Wheat). I just finished a round of antibiotics Monday - shoot! I was at the bottom of the box, so I made the whole thing - which worked out to be 4 servings. No biggy, I like it and it's warm going down.
I watched some news while eating the first bowl, go to my parents trailer (which they stay in while visiting/helping us) which is right next to my driveway and eat the second bowl. Go back in the house to get another refill and as I was using a 'whisk' to empty the COW into the bowl from the hot pot. I made the big mistake of resting the whisk on the side of the bowl which was now full of COW. You got it, the whisk flipped out of the bowl carrying with it a glob of COW which landed on my left pants leg and the floor. I assessed the situation, grabbed some paper towels and started on the pants and then worked on the floor cleanup - then I realized it was also on the bottom of both of my boots. Unknowingly I had spread it over about 4 square feet now. Took the boots off, cleaned the floor, only to now have it all over both socks. Grabbed the bucket of Mr. Clean (which I had yet to empty from yesterdays mop job) and mopped the area. Good, now that was over. Re-shoed myself and went back to my parents to finish breakfast and tell them what took so long. We had a good laugh.
Now, for the rest of the story...
We decided to go to WalMart for a few things. I had to make a deposit, put my new 'proof of insurance card' in my car, mail a letter and of course the grocery list. I did remember to gather all of the recycle stuff and put it in my dad's truck bed (we live 700 feet from the steet) for curb pick up tomorrow - but then realized I had forgotten the list, mail, checks, etc. inside the house. We back up, I get it, get back in the truck, head to the street. My mother in law is at the mailbox, so I get out and unload the recycle while she chats with my parents. My mom reminded me about the mail - good - I am needing a manager at about this time. We go to do the deposit at the Credit Union, I get out of the truck and reach into my infamous always with me fanny pack(man purse) and guess what falls out? My digital camera - a good 4 ft off the ground (concrete) and now the lense cover will not open - but that can be fixed. Praise God, I'm not losing the victory. We are backing out of the parking lot and here comes the teller running out of the door - with my drivers license! I left it on the counter. Where is my manager?
We make it to WalMart - and believe it or not I got everything on the list - even cat food. One thing left to do, get home, put the proof of insurance card in the glove box of my Corolla and unload some groceries. I had the card in my hand, set it in my lap while I was buckling up. The weather was so nice we were riding with the windows down. I look down for the card and do not see it. Maybe it fell here or there, we even stopped to look for it - we were still in the parking lot - that's how fast this thing disappeared. I must be losing my mind! So we decided to go home and unload. Maybe it blew into one of the bags in the back seat. Get home, unload, no card. I prayed for God to help me find it if at all possible.
So, we decided to drive back and see if we could find it. I grabbed a few more recycle items, put them in a bag to put with the other stuff already at the street. We get in the truck, stop at the street, I get out to put the bag in the box and I can hear something flicking at my ankle against my pants while I was walking. I looked down and guess what was stuck in my shoe in the little gap below the ankle bone and the arch? My insurance card was not just sitting there, it stuck in there as if on purpose. I pulled my leg up to show my parents and we had a big laugh on this one. The card was there the whole time. I wanted to lose it at one point, but I have learned so many times in the recent past that "the anger of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God". Wanting to lose it and doing so are two different things. I gave God the glory - finding this to be a type of test of sorts just to show me that He is in control - of the Universe and even my little piece of it. How does He do it? I cannot answer that, but He does. What's neat too is that while waiting in line, I was able to talk to a lady about the chemo drug she is going to be starting this Thursday - it's one I am taking - Xeloda. She has Colon cancer. This conversation came about since I was buying a lot of food bars - "I can actually taste them". I told the check lady, "since the chemo knocks your taste buds out of whack". She told me she would be praying for George.
The day was still just as beautiful and complete. I am worn down today, maybe from yesterday or just because of this part of the cycle does this - the roller coaster they call it. I did nap for about 3 hours which helped, the family came home at 7:30 pm again - another game which they won (all 3). Oh, I did get to almost completely finish the bedroom clean up from yesterday.
This story of mine reminds me of Jack Ortego's car ordeal he recently shared with us in the Hosanna newsletter. You've got to read it if you have not yet. To quote him, we have to become practitioners of joy. What a way to look at it. Practice leads to perfection - or at least really close.
Be blessed my friends and thankyou for all of the prayers spoken on our behalf. We love ya'll.

"I am out of control" ....

"I am out of control", to qoute Regis Philbin. I think this Decadron I am now taking effects the blood sugar cause I have been cleaning house from 10 am to 10 pm. Ladies, it is spelled 'd e c a d r o n', in case you would like to see if your Dr. can prescribe some for your husband. I hit the master bathroom, my closet, vacuumed/mopped the floor, baseboards and windows, recycled old magazines, re-organized old books (how about that David Rainey, I have kept all of my old books, I might even read some of them one day). Robin commented that she is going to talk to my Dr. about taking me off of this stuff. I had her half of the bed full of things for her to sort through when she got home. That way she has to at least touch it to get into the bed! Pretty smart, huh?
They had a very long day too. They got in about 7:30 pm from school! Practice, report card work and the like. I did over do it a bit I must say. But you got to while you can.

God is my sustainer. No doubt it is He that gives us the ability to make it every day. May His Grace cover you and me each and every day so we can be in the center of His will. Amen.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Going good ...

"This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice in be glad in it".

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord"

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your Name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night".

Good scriptures to start the day with. You know how I love those sky shots with interesting patterns and colors. It just seems that the camera (or maybe the camera operator) doesn't capture the awesomeness of the moment. This little independent 'whisp' of a cloud caught my eye this particular day. I hope today that God can capture for you a special moment that will show you how much you are worth to Him and how improtant you are to those around you and how you play a part in the bigger picture. You and I are just like that tiny 'whisp' of a cloud, the sky would not have been the same without out it.

Symptoms are at bay so far and were are doing all we know to keep it that way. I have increased the juicing (double) and I also am taking a new med for 5 days around the IV chemo which is designed to prevent inflammation. As for the juicing, I'll do about 2.5 lbs. of carrots, 1/2 a head of broccoli and 1 red delicious apple. Of course, I scrub the vegis really well first and let them sit in ice water a bit. Broccoli is tough enough to drink cold, don't try it warm. The carrots and the apple offer a good flavor cover. If you have never tried juicing, carrots are delicious by themselves, some like to add an apple for the flavor and it also thins out the juice. Wash and peel the apple first - the wax they use to keep the apple's shiny remains on the skin even after scrubbing with hot soapy water. It usually works out to about 16 oz. of liquid. I believe it is good to do regardless of your present health.

Something else I learned today, our cats will eat puppy chow just as quickly as kitten chow. We ran out of cat food and so I gave the kitties some of Kenny's food and they gobbled it down. I like to see them eat good. And yes, I will be getting them some kitty food for soon.

It is raining over here in Central - on and off fairly hard. My yard has already started to hold water in some spots. We could use it, I guess. It will freshen up things up around here.

I am going to get busy around the house doing something productive. I again hope you have a great day in Jesus Name. GW

Friday, September 15, 2006

Treatment . . .

Treatment went well today especially with the port being so easy to access. My father in law brought me and then while I was infusing he was garage sale-ing. Afterwards he took me and my mother inlaw to Albashas Lebanese Rest. on Bluebonnet. I had quite the appetite. The only thing I notice now is that I feel really warm. No fever though, just 'feel' warm.
Central has some large subdivisions lined up for the near future. We are talking multiple hundreds of houses in three new areas. Is that going to mess up the Central charm? I don't know yet. You can read about it in the Central newspaper. Woody Jenkins is the editor.
Thank God for the cooler weather this A.M.
Thank God treatment went well.
and thank God for you.
Here they are. I had trouble getting these on the previous post.

These are awesome - without any photomagic - this is the real deal and a testimony of God's handywork. GW

More Rainbows ...

Another beautiful day, cooler this A.M., but Friday should be even better (cooler). I took the dog outside, pulled out one of the folding canvas chairs and just sat in the shade of our big oak and took in the smells the sounds and enjoyed the presence of God all at the same time for about an hour. I really liked C.J.'s e-mail earlier today about taking time away to be with the Lord - at the Cross. That is where true spiritual and mental refreshing can happen. It was lengthy, so if you did not get it, let me know and we can send you a copy if you wish.
I wound up having swollen and tender tonsils but no fever? for the past 2 days. Called the Doc and he prescribed a 'Z-pack' (antibiotic). So I will be on this one 5 days total - 2 the first day and one pill per day for the next 4 days. That beats 10 or 14 days at 2 or 3 pills per day for sure. I also added to my arsenal of pills 'Decadron' as a pre-chemo medication to help with side effects. My stomach is not liking these two new additions, but we are watching what we eat and also adding probiotics a couple of times a day to help keep the good bacterial balalnce. Again, thank God for such a good medical care system that we all can benefit from.
Beware of Spinach - In case you have not heard, one person has died and dozens of others have been hospitalized with severe E-Coli infections. So, we are going to avoid that particular vegi for the time being. Our State has had no documented cases - better safe than sorry. As for other fruits and vegis, just wash the heck out of it and cooking/steaming is probably advisable, too.
I am in the 2nd cycle of chemo with IV infusion tomorrow. This should go easier and quicker with the new port and also I will not be taking the Avastin since you have to wait 28 days following surgery before taking it. It prevents/inhibits the growth of new blood vessels to tumors as well as tissue trying to heal following surgery, hence the waiting time.
I was out done by my brother in laws son. He took one of the most awesome set of rainbow pics I have ever seen. The name of this Church is 'New Hope'. So in closing, here is another reminder of God's promise. He has given us so many wonderful promises through the Word. We should never let things around us cause us to lose hope. Like the song says, "I'm standing on the promises of God". God be with you through your Friday and weekend. Continue being a blessing.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The rainbow ...

Here's the rainbow that was supposed to be on the last post, but it would not load for some reason. We know what the rainbow represents to the believer. This one was remarkable in that it was complete from end to end with only my big tree blocking the view of the middle. Bryan saw it first and came inside to get us. It was one of those awe inspiring moments we all shared.
Like the song says, "I didn't sleep at all last night". It's just the night owl in me I guess. I still got up with the kids and cooked breakfast, took my meds, cleaned up and headed to Target to pick up the Xeloda for cycle #2 along with some other meds. Mr. Neely (hope I spelled it right) was there at the pharmacy doing his pharmacy thing. He has been very helpful through all of this. It is good to know someone with that type of knowledge when you need it.
I was finishing up my purchase at the register and my 'Brazillian' wallet broke (i.e. 'rubber band'). So I gathered the contents back together and put it all back in the pouch I use to hold that kind of stuff - I guess you could call it a 'man purse'. The whole time I am thinking to myself, 'I wish I had a rubberband'. Well, God being God, I got to my car and loaded the groceries into the back seat. I then went to return the cart to the buggy area and noticed a big, thick new rubberband in the bottom of my grocery cart. Now, I know that is a coincidence to some, but not to me. God sees all the little details - the thing I needed was already in my possession - I just didn't 'see' it until I needed it. You could really go deep on this one.
The anger/mad thing from yesterday is cool. I think it was med. related. Sometimes those things agitate when there is no other apparent reason to get nervous or upset. Thanks for the
e-mails and the prayer support - I know it helped.
We had so much rain in Central around 2 -pm that I thought we were going to float away! Remember I watered my yard not too long ago and it has rained 3 times since then.
Please continue to be in prayer for:
Wil's dad, Mr. Howell - he is taking chemo treatments for a recurrence.
Robin's cousin Barbara - small bowel transplant - that she would progressively get better.
Jill Hymel - my friend from work, also taking chemo following surgery, with some good reports recently.
Dr. Hackler - also from my work, he is undergoing treatments and has some good reports the last I heard.
And of course, yours truly. We are believing for 100% healing in Jesus name to the glory of God.
May God give all of us courage to live life daily regardless of our circumstances.
"In Him we live and move and have our being" (Apostle Paul)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Monday ...Rainbow

Today was really good. There was some mix up as to when my treatment was to start. Then my port was accessed only to find out that it was not necessary to do so until this Friday. I then had to have it flushed, un-accessed and re-bandaged. It was an inconvenience at most. I felt a little lost, but remembered that this has rarely happened to me and that I have decided to live a life of peace in the midst of a world full of chaos. So I am cool.
I found that today I was battling anger on and off - not that I was mad, just that there was a temptation to want to get mad - about anything. The weather, the family or the dog. I think it was medicine induced or something like that. Whatever the reason, God's Word is the only way to deal with anger or any other of life's numerous challenges. Trust me. The only life worth living is a life of Faith - Faith in Christ and what he accomplished on the Cross.
I got a call from a friend today, Ricky, who has had goats (for milk and meat) for the past 5 years. He and his wife do the whole organic thing with the garden, chickens and all. What's funny is that I was reading some more in the 'Goat Handbook' when he called. It was great to hear from him and we are going to try and get together and play catch up.
Today was full of 9/11 coverage. I agree, we must not forget - and our children who were too young to know need to be told what happened. We need to continue to pray for the U.S. to remain, "one Nation, under God"...
May God shed His grace on thee. In Jesus name.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Rain! Yes!

Thank God it rained today. We got a good soaking and needed every bit of it.
Church was wonderful today. A great message about repentence by Pastor Don. We got the CD. Did you know that you can get a CD of the messages at the Church if you miss that service or if you want to have it to listen to again? The one catch is that you have to pass it on to someone else. Now that is cool.
Today was good. I had to take a Lortab before the service due to the old bone pain problem. I get these spasms and pains that make me jump - I didn't want anyone to think I was "in the Spirit" when I was really in pain. It helped me to focus on the message instead of trying to get comfortable. Thank goodness for meds like this - especially when you really need them.
I hate to sound like I am gushing with thankfulness, but I am so thankful for my Church family. They have been such a blessing and prayer support to me and my family. Today I was once again overwhelmed as I looked around the congregation at all of the people who have meant so much to us over the years. I just felt so full - kind of like at Thanksgiving when you have eaten almost too much? Like that, but spiritually speaking. I wish that for everyone.
Tomorrow is the start of my 2nd cycle with the new port of course. We will make some adjustments to the meds and keep this thing going. I am believing for a 100% healing, nothing short of it. However God cares to make that happen, then so be it.
I finished reading "The Goat Handbook" - Robin thinks we should get some baby goats from a friend of her mothers. After reading the book, I don't know if I want that challenge or not. We shall see.
I need to go for the time being. More goodies later. This is going to be a great week.
God Bless. GW

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Port is in ...

All is well. The procedure started this morning about 7:30 a.m. and I was home by 1 or 2 pm today. I was able to eat lunch and supper. The site is located in the upper right chest. The line itself is visible under the skin crossing over the clavicle, leading to the internal jugular vein. This location is the most ideal as far as limited complications are concerned. I believe I am one of the first recipients of this name brand port. I stand to be corrected if I am wrong. I am pleased with my experience at the hospital, including nurses and surgeon. I am thankful for God’s hand in all of this along with so much encouragement and prayerful support from friends and family. My buddies from CVT Vascular lab came by before and after to visit. They had to kick me out of my room and make me go home – I was talking too much. Blame it on the sedation. The site is sore but tolerable so far, and I don’t know how I am going to get the betadine solution stains off of my skin. Any home brew remedies ladies? No, I am not going to try finger nail polish remover.
Mom and dad did the driving and waiting. Bob and Gladys came by after taking big boy to school for me. We got home and ate lunch. Mom and I started watering the fruit trees since they are showing signs of drought. I figure about 20 to 30 minutes per tree at full flow is enough to do the job. Just set the timer and go back inside. She won’t let me do anything just yet because of the port.
My second 3 week cycle starts this coming Tuesday. We have backed off of the Xeloda pills until the Dr. sees me Tuesday. This will be the first time we get to use the new port.
I guess after all this is done and they take the port out you could consider me “deported”.
(You can laugh now).
I feel so alive today it is surprising even me. I don’t know if it is the meds I was given, the Dr.Pepper (1can) and Coke (1/2 can) I drank after the procedure, all of the prayer support directed at me today – or all of it combined - I just know I felt more “alive” today than I have in weeks. I cannot define what I mean by alive other than just alive.
I was very inspired also by all of the medical stuff involved, too. It just makes you want to be the best you can be at whatever you do.
It is time to hit the hay and see how it is to sleep with this thing. Thank God for His mercy and grace.
God Bless and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

In need of rain...

We could use a good rain and soon. I am trying out the principle of "if you want rain, just water your yard or wash your car - it will come".
I went to the store, but on the way I stopped by a friend of the family's who has two baby goats she wants to give away. They are about knee high and cute. I'll have to think it over. If it has a heart beat it requires attention - think it over.
I am going to include in this post something I read on another blog site that really impressed me. I hope this is okay. It is a little longer than most of my posts, but check it out...
Latest Updates from raising_eagles
It's quite ironic that Joy is the topic...because I could use a good dose of it! Hopefully by the time I finish writing this, I'll have blogged myself happy again...
So, the next 3 things that cause God to have joy came to me through a revelation of my own experience with my children:
1. when His children believe Him!
There's nothing more dumbfounding than when your child corrects you on something you know you were right about...or when she just doesn't believe you. I can't recall ever lying to my children...and I've made it a priority to always stick to my word. There's really no reason for them to not believe me! So, when they don't, I'm dumbfounded. I think, "What?!? You think I'm lying to you? Why would I? I have no reason to lie to you!" I think God must feel the same way...when we, as His children, do things our own way...or when we just don't believe what His Word says. It really must break His heart. He has no reason to lie to us! And He is faithful to keep His Word. So...when we believe Him, I think it causes Him great joy! Just like when my girls believe me, it causes me great joy!
2. when His children understand Him! (you know, have an "Ah Ha!" moment and really "get it"!)
I love it when my girls finally "get" something that I've been teaching them. Since they're so young, the moral lessons are still being learned. But as a homeschooler, I see it more often. Like when they understood how letters made words and how reading those words worked. Each of them, when they learned to read, had a moment that was golden...they got it...they'd received a key to unlock all other words in our language. And that excited them because now they could read on their own!!! Oh joy!!! So, not only did it bring them joy, it brought me joy, too!!
3. when His children apply their belief and understanding!
When I hear my girls repeating to their friends some of the things that we believe and why, it gives me joy! And, oh, to see them applying that to their friendships is amazing.
Jesus did this in Luke 10:20. He had sent out 72 witnesses two by two to every town and place where Jesus was about to prepare the way for Him. Verse 17 says they returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." In other words, they said, "Lord, you were right! Everything you said was true! We believed you and it worked!"
Jesus replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. [I saw the victory in the heavenlies!]...At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you,Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure."
Jesus, full of Joy...this word joy means that He jumped up and down with excitement! He was ecstatic...His children believed Him, they understood the message, and then applied it by living out their belief and telling others! They came back victorious...and this gave Jesus great joy!!
When I believe, joy comes! when I understand truth, joy comes! And when I apply that truth to my life, joy comes! Because that's where victory the believing! And who doesn't have joy when they're winning, right?!
I think I see it coming my way

That is it. Hope that blessed you like it did me. George

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New surgery date . . .

I am scheduled for this Friday at 7 am to have the medi-port 'installed'. One of my CVT Dr.'s will be doing the procedure. My parents are coming in to help out. Looking forward to getting this thing in and over with. Just another step towards the goal. I am also awaiting a return call from the Oncologist concerning adjusting the chemo meds so I don't have another case of the runs. I am all for running for a cause, but I want to lessen or eliminate whatever was causing me to run.
This is a shot taken out of my front door facing East. >
This morning for very cool - 68 degrees is a nice change for our area. I sat out earlier and watched Entergy cut a tree down. It hit with a huge thud. When you are sitting under a tree, you don't realize how much weight is hanging just over your head.
I picked some more of the okra from okra alley along with some eggplant and gave it to Wil and Sonja. The pests are moving in - ants, green and brown stink bugs, various worms and I did see one huge grass hopper. It is time for a fall garden - but what to plant?

"And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written". (John 21:25)

And for Deans sake, I am almost glad, cause Carole would never get finished reading all of those books. Just kidding. It would be neat to have more stories of all that Jesus did.

Monday, September 04, 2006

"Crikey" is dead

The Croc Hunter ( Steve Irwin) is dead due to a fatal blow from a sting ray's barb into his chest - dead at 44 yrs of age. He died while filming a documentary.

Our condolences go out to his wife and two young children (8 and 3 years old). As for me and mine, he brought alot of knowledge and entertainment into my life about nature and all things reptile. He died doing what he loved to do. I believe he left a good footprint in this world. He will be missed by many who see God's creation as a beautiful thing which is to be respected and cared for.

May God be with his family. GW

Happy Labor Day ...

Was this a beautiful day or what? I thought I woke up in Colorado or some place like that - it was so cool I opened several windows. I slept later than expected, but I didn't have anything waking me up during the night. The big "D" has left the building as of yesterday, thank God, and I had a normal 'you know what' today. My tongue/throat are uncomfortable, but swallowing is much better. The little things in life - yeah.

Today, the Turners and Gardanas came over for some grillin'. Don't let the picture fool you>, Tony did all the work. This is just a photo op for me. We didn't know what condition I was going to be in, but it all worked out. Chicken, burgers and pork chops, baked beans, etc. Smelled so good. I tried to eat, but it took me close to an hour to get some beans and chicken pieces down, so I settled for a couple of bowls of cold, homemade icecream in the end. Much easier - no chewing required.
Now I feel the feet and fingers numbness thing - that is another side effect. It's not bad at all compared to last week. But just like in the picture, you notice how we look for/seek out the shady areas on hot days? In the same way, we need to seek the shelter and shadow of the Almighty, especially when life's trials get too hot. It is not always easy, but He is faithful to us even when we are weak and don't have all the right words to say in prayer. He provides it to all who believe in and seek Him.
I hope you all had a great Labor Day as well.
Praise be to God, from Whom all blessings flow.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

"Behold, the power of Cheese ...."

Thank God for mac and cheese - the one thing I have not eaten in a long time (other than home made, that is). I have been racking my brain for some kind of food I could eat but not have to chew too much, that tasted good and would have some nutritional value. Behold, the power of cheese. So, Robin was on her way home and I called her - good wife that she is, she stopped and bought me some mac in the box. Made it, ate it and loved it. I did add some real mild cheddar to the mix. It's one of those 'slippery' foods. Not on the same level as okra, though. Still uncomfortable at best, the chewing has to take place in the front at the level of the incsors. Then, as the food is processed, it is shipped to the back dock for loading into the pie hole. This mix was a blessing today. Jello is cool, but it has its limitations.
Today was better than any of the last week. Improvement in side effects is happening and I think I am back on the track for now. I may be scheduling the mediport for this Friday, we shall see.
I have to shave the dome tonight, it's getting way too long. Praise God.

Crossed over ....

I believe I have crossed over the worst of this cycle. Hopefully wiser and more humble. I went outside and sat in the shade early this am after the family went to Church. It felt cool to me, low humidity is probably why. It is so nice to get some fresh air in this neck of the woods. They act like the major heat of the year is gone except for maybe one more last time.
I am nursing a bowl of 'Creme of Wheat' (COW) instead of my new dish 'egg drop grits' (EDG). (The letters are for my military friends, it makes them feel at home). The COW is much finer, especially after I pulverize it even more in the mini-food processor. Even after that, I wish the COW meal were even smaller. The littlest bit of graininess gets inbetween the gums/cheeks and under the tongue. You would think that it wouldn't be a problem, but it hurts. The EDG is much worse when it comes to grittiness, so I opt for the COW now. Today the pain is present but not as intense. I still cannot open my mouth more than a spoonful (you know the family's got to love that!). I have a prescription for a product 'Miracle Mouth' - its like the stuff the Dentist gives you - I'm serious. You had better keep track of where your tongue is - 'cause you might be chewing it and not even know it. It is once every 3 hours and I alternate inbetween with Chloraseptic. I was almost a Lortab level, but chose to try this stuff first. ..................
Sorry for the pause, I had to go and re-heat the rest of the COW.

So, where was I ?
The LSU Tigers won last night against ULL. It was expected. 45 to 3.
The family was killing me last night - they were eating hamburgers (!), chips and dip, drinking cokes and yelling. I could watch, but that was about the level of my participation. I came prepared with ear plugs, Lortab (in case the Tigers were to lose) and my own bag of grits which I tried to eat, but opted for a smoothie of milk, home made icecreme. some ice and a peach - all blended really smooth. It was still difficult to swallow, but tasted good with no grit. Cold goes down easier, as does really warm. Look out, cause after my bowels get staight and my heals up, there is going to be a burger killin' somewhere in this town!

I am going to lay down for a while and get some HT - that's 'horizontal time'.
'Grace for today, bright hope tomorrow, blessings all mine and ten thousand besides'. (from an old hymn)
Thank you for praying. GW.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Tough week ...

This has been one week I would like to not remember. I thought about titling this heading as the week from hell, but that does not bring any glory to God. Forgive me for typing slow, but that is the only speed I have - unless I am heading for the restroom. After my treatment at the clinic Monday, I was okay, but then the big "D" started on and off through Tuesday. By Wed. and Thurs. it was 12 times a day easily into the early am. I was in touch with my Dr. and we stopped the chemo pills Wed. which helped a little, but the ball had already started rolling and it has not stopped yet. Immodium AD was started along with some of the pink stuff we all loved to hate as a kid. The fatigue was unlike any I have experienced during any segment of my past treatments. My lips, entire mouth and tongue are so sore it is a chore to swallow even saliva. I do use a baking soda/salt gargle which helps. I sneezed yesterday and found my tonsils were in my lap (just kidding) but it sure felt like they left the premises. I'm 42 years old - I really think about some of our older friends who are having to go through something like this, my God it pushes you to the edge mentally, physically and spiritually. Friday brought some relief, Saturday is a little better. I touched 'terra ferma' today for the first time since Tues. The weather is really nice.
I share these things for several reasons: If it were me wanting to know how you were doing, I would want a non-sugar coated version. I am of course leaving out many details that are not necessary, but you know what to pray about. Secondly, this serves as a record for me and Robin, sort of a documentation of events. And lastly, it makes me think that I have to get back to doing something productive.
My mom and dad have been super! They have been a great help to us - especially me. I got to see my big brother and his wife for a little while yesterday. But after they left it was back to the bed, this thing comes in waves. Thanks to my aunts and other family and friends who are keeping us in prayer. I need to get horizontal for a while.
As always, hiding in the Shadow of the Almighty - the only safe place to be.