It Is Great to be Two!

“A good laugh is as good as a prayer sometimes.” L.M. Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables books, 1874-1942   The hospice nurse was here yesterday and my phosphorous level is very low now. This may account for some of the severe fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, etc. I’m waiting on an order from the doctor about how much to increase my medication. I’ve developed numbness in two fingers on my left hand due to one of the tumors pressing on my spinal cord which in turn is pressing on a nerve to my hand. I’m continuing to work on my book, Hands and Hearts—Making Prayer Visible. It is slow going since I have to rest a lot. A hospice volunteer is helping me once a week for a couple of hours—a BIG help! My “Dream Team,” is the best! These six people read...

Blessing One Another

It has been a rough few weeks. I have not gotten much done except fall out of one resting place into another. Very weak, worse brain fog than usual, some bone pain, yada yada. My phosphorous levels have done a 180 on me. The level is so high now that there is concern for kidney issues.  High normal for phos is 4.2 and mine is 15.4. All phos meds are stopped. More labs tomorrow. I never cease to be amazed at the wonder of our bodies—for good or for ill. I had a cataract removed on Monday and that went very well. I am excited to get new glasses soon. All the better to read you with, my dear! Terry is going to River’s Edge for a week for his consulting group retreat and to help with the estate sale at my Mom’s house next weekend. I will be staying with Heather and...

My Journey Through Cancer Treatments

“…breathe hope in us. Again and again. Help us keep it alive by how we think, feel, and live.” Joyce Rupp, 2016 I feel like I haven’t written a post for a year. Two months have disappeared into a black hole. Where do the days and weeks go? I made it through the first cycle of this second clinical trial and have moved into the next cycle. The dosage of the trial chemo that I receive at the Cancer Center has been increased thereby increasing the side-effects. I’ve only had one day the past couple weeks that I just couldn’t get out of bed. A good thing is that I go every other week now for the infusion. Gives me a little reprieve! We go to Duke this coming Tuesday for labs, doctor visit, and another infusion. Next week (August 9) I have a CT scan to see if there are...

Books and Words

“God utters me like a word containing a partial thought of himself.” Thomas Merton   As I wend my way through yet another thorny thicket on my “journey” through cancer, it probably won’t surprise you that I have been reading, reading, reading. No theological tomes, quantum physics, or other good stuff that requires comprehension and close attention. I’m enjoying Mary Higgins Clark’s mysteries, Jan Karon’s Mitford Series-type-books, Maeve Binchey’s and Patrick Taylor’s stories of Ireland. If I get lost in these books, I can quickly reread a couple of pages and get back on board with the story! I was lollygagging in bed with my books one day this past week and began to reminisce about getting my first library card. The community library was in the basement of...

Stress Relief!

Last week was a very stressful week on a number of levels. I missed Sunday worship because I barely had energy enough to get out of bed and worship helps set the tone for my whole week. My blood phosphorous levels dropped below normal again, usually a sign of tumor activity. And, we met with a realtor to see about getting our house on the market in preparation for a move closer to our kids and the Duke Cancer Institute. The old Stress-o-meter was in the red zone! Breathe, Donna! Breathe in God’s love for me! Breathe out God’s love for others! The realtor really freaked me out when he suggested we have the house ready to go by March 1! Looking around our cozy home, he kindly suggested we get rid of the clutter! CLUTTER? My Teacup collection? My Nativity Set...

A Special Poem for Your Pocket Today

In 1993 Esther Stoll Jarratt was a gifted, loving woman, wife, mother, grandmother and teacher. Then she was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease. The disease moved rapidly and she almost immediately became a quadriplegic. Loss of speech quickly followed. Writing was always important to Esther and it became her way of coping with being a prisoner in her own body. With the help of someone to hold her hand over her laptop keyboard, she painstakingly pecked out her lines letter by letter. She wrote about her family’s pain, her own anger and fears, glimpses of joy, moments of hope and wonder. In less than a year after her diagnosis, Esther died at the young age of 59. As a tribute to Esther’s courage and love, her family published Quackings, A Collection of...