Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Praise the Lord, Oh My Soul

Thank You Party

Who’s invited:

Everyone who brought us meals…or meant to.

Everyone who prayed for us…or thought about it.

Everyone who sent cards or ones who had the idea but couldn’t find a card,

or stamp or….

Everyone who cared. That means YOU!!

Place: Our house, Michael and Debbi Rayl, 23 Chinquapin Trail, Fairview

Date/Time 5:30 p.m. Sunday July 13

What’s happening: Celebration and Thanksgiving which means food and fun.

We’ll supply the food, fajitas. You bring the fun. We have a large pasture so

there is room for outdoor games. If it rains between now and then we can

have a bonfire, also there are fireflies. Bring musical instruments if you play

and lawn chairs or a blanket. I would LOVE to have a drum circle so bring

drums of you have them. ( p.s. I need someone to lead it)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


A few weeks ago I got a call from Michael's little sister Susan. She lives in south Georgia with her husband Joe and a bulldog named Skeeter, and no, deet will not work on him. They and their two sons, Glenn And Jarrell, farm cotton, soybeans, wheat and peanuts. Every year they walk the tight rope prayin' for rain while the crops are growing and prayin' it won't when it time for harvest. Small farms are on the decline and have been for years but this ship is sailed by a very smart and savy captian and crew and they have done well.

Now, back to the phone call. Susan is a good talker so once the hey's were over she held the floor for about 30 minutes when she said, " Now I'm gone tell you why I called." I guessed that she wanted to talk about Allison since she was going to be working for her this summer. I was wrong. Here's what she said, " Me and Joe think you and Michael need to step away for awhile so I want you to find some place to go and we're gonna pay for it. I was completely shocked. It's a good that I was lying down when she said it.

Michael and I got busy finding someplace to go. We wanted to go to a place where we could rest and also see a bit of God's creativeness that we had not seen before. We found it and have just come home from a week on the coast of Maine. Oh my good golly Miss Molly!! It was beautiful. There is too much to tell. I'll have to show you a few pictures.

Here is a summation of the whole thing. God's love is extravagant.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Did you ever have something happen to you that was so sad that you were sure your heart would never recover? That maybe you would never laugh or be lighthearted again? Mama's cancer has made my heart heavy.

When Trevor laughs, it is innocent and care free. I smile and wonder if the wounded places in my heart will ever heal enough to laugh like that? Or maybe just be forgotten for for a minute. It happened that day on the mountain when I saw the iris garden. I was ready for it to happen again. I needed it to happen again. I said to God, " I just want to laugh, can I please just laugh."

We were on our way to Mobile to see Whitney in a play. We stopped at
Priesters Pecans, a shop kinda like Cracker Barrel but the main thing is the pecans. They even have free samples. I always go and look at the Life Is Good stuff and see if they have just the right shirt for me. Then I saw it, and my heart relaxed and I went to a sweet place of summer fun and belly laughs, of sunburned cheeks and swimsuit that I looked just fine in. A place where sleep came easy as I whispered secrets in the night to my best friend, my sister.

The shirt is blue, of course, and it has a stick figure of Jake jumping off a dock. All my young summers were spent near or in water. It was me. $25 for a T-shirt hurt my feelings a little so I left it there, but I thought about it several times over the weekend and every time I smiled all the way to my toes. On the way home we stopped at the same store again. The shirt was still there and the cotton
pickin' thing was still $25. I left it there again.

I kept thinking about that shirt and what I felt when I saw Jake sailing off that dock. My skinny, mischievous little Debbi, of way back then, smiled every time and suddenly I had an idea. Trevor and I had an art project the next day.

Now I see Jake every time I take a shower, or sometimes I go in there just to look. Maybe I should have painted "him" in a bikini.

Here is another thing that makes me smile. My hidden bag of
Oreos. So if I need just one after a meal or something like that, there is always one there. You might wonder how I keep it secret in a house of lots of people. We'll I can't tell you, cause then it wouldn't be a secret.

I'm gonna go now. I'm gonna go put some finishing touches on my art project. I think there needs to be some friendly rays on the sun, just like little Debbi used to draw when summers were long and fireflies were everywhere. When she played mermaid underwater at the lake and sometimes....she flew, like Jake.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Flower Beds

Hi everybody,

The weather here in the mountains  of North Carolina has just gotten warm enough to really get in the yard, so in case you've missed me, that's where I have been. I have been weeding flower beds, spreading mulch, fertilizing, pruning, and planting flowers that I brought home frome Daddy's He gave me zinnas, marigolds, mexican petunias, a trumpet flower and some other kind that I can't remember the name of. So far they are still alive. I have dirt under my fingernails and in my shoes and, the day Allison "helped" me, I had dirt ground in from head to toe. She thought that we should look like we had been working. We did.

I would love to send you pics of me in the dirt but there are some things  that need to remain a secret, like how I look one work days.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Free Again!!

I am cancer free!!

I promise to write more later. Right now I have to get out in the yard and do some diggin' in the dirt.

This has been a long road. Thanks for traveling with me.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I Have Loved You

Last week I was " just not right". I knew I needed a walk up the mountain to challenge my body and lift my spirits. Besides, I knew where there were wild iris blooming. They bloom in a secret hiding place every year. I walked up kinda dragging my heart behind me. I passed my mother-in-laws house, went off Chinquapin Trail and onto a little used path the goes right on up the mountain . I crossed the stream getting my toes just a little bit wet. I didn't even care.Up the path a ways a tree had fallen across the path. I crawled over it and walked on. I was on a quest for wild iris' and Jesus.

I got to the place where the iris bed is. It is a wild bed planted by the One who plants all woodland beds. It wasn't there. I walked onward and upward because, even without the flowers, God speaks peace to me in this wood. As I walked I cried out, "My password to all my accounts is soaring (now clearly I have to change it). My heart has now soared in a very long time. Please, speak truth to me."

Immediately a voice inside my heart said, "I have loved you with an everlasting love."

My response was. " I know that but...."

That was as far as I got because at that second my gaze dropped and there was a whole garden of wild iris.

He really does

I am speechless,

and soaring!

Thursday, May 1, 2008
















Jesus I am resting, resting,

In the joy of what thou art.

I am finding out he greatness

Of thy loving heart.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Finally updated

Let’s see now. Where shall I begin? Okay, I think I’ll tell you about the beginning, race through the middle then slow down again near what is the end so far. Let’s see how that works.

Trevor and I headed to Florida to visit Mama and Daddy plus both my sisters for what has become an annual spring sojourn. Somehow I just have to be in Keystone Heights at that time of year. Trevor drove a lot of the way and he didn’t even scare me….much. Danita knew that I wanted to go to the beach so, she and (her) Michael got us all a room on the beach at Jekkyll Island, Georgia. The idea was great, killed two birds with one stone. Got to the beach and didn’t have to drive all the way in one day. Who knew a cold front was coming. I sure was glad that I grabbed a flannel shirt.

Our room was right on the beach with a great view of whitecaps and sea oats blown over by the wind.

We ate at a seafood place right on the water. It only had seating outside, but we were warmed with the excitement of seeing each other again, the sun was still up and the hostess said we could light the gas heater and move it near out table, so we stayed. After we ordered we asked someone to light he heater, only it wouldn’t, it was out of gas. Ooops. Michael got a picnic blanket out of the trunk and chivalrously gave it to Danita and me. We wrapped our legs and scooched closer together.

Laughing, talking and ever on the lookout for some other way to get warmer we noticed, on a cart nearby, a bunch of candles, kinda barrel shaped like one sees on patio tables. Again, Michael, ever at the ready to aide damsels in distress, gathered up a bunch of them and put them on the table. The waitress brought a lighter and soon we were warming up over our own personal heaters. As the sun dropped so did the temp. Then suddenly our food came out and we forgot everything except the taste of fresh steamed crab. Mmmmmm. To top it all off, on the way back to the hotel, we got ice cream!

Next day Danita and I went one way and the boys (Trevor and Danita’s Michael) went another. Funny thing was we kept being at the same place at the same time, same restaurant, same gas station, it was weird. Finally they headed to the Clay County Fair and Danita and I headed to Mama’s. Daddy was in Idaho for a few days. She had steak for us for dinner. What a great Mama.

I really did walk right back into the door through which I have gone in and out my whole life,sometimes slamming it,and spent the rest of the week doing all the things I’d wanted to do, reliving old memories and making more. The time was full of laughing and eating, kayaking, raking under the oaks, weeding flower beds, walking, watching Jeopardy, visiting Mrs. Bailey, working on a jigsaw puzzle, playing cribbage, going to church, getting a massage from my sister Donna,washing dishes side by side and much more. All with my wonderful family. I am a very rich woman.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I had my last chemo today!!!!

I have more to tell but for now, thanks for everything. More on that later too.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Going home

Tomorrow, Monday, Trevor and I are heading to Florida. He will be in the drivers seat logging in his highway miles and I will be sitting next to him logging in prayer time. Actually he is a good driver and I sure do need his help. We will be meeting Danita at the beach somewhere north of Jacksonville. Don't you wish you were coming? On Tuesday we will head on to Keystone Heights, to the house Mama and Daddy moved into when I was four years old. That was a long time ago and that is all you need to know...okay...49 years ago. Mama and Daddy still live there and both my sisters live in the area. I am so excited!! I am looking forward to being in my home where all the memories are and making more. I am looking forward to sitting next to Mama in church, and I can't wait to hear her laugh. I am looking forward to holding Daddy's hand while he shows me his garden, maybe going fishing, walking the field road with my sister, looking at the stars and having a weenie roast. I can't wait to help Mama in the kitchen and wash dishes with her, by hand. I am looking forward to watching Daddy's garden grow while I sit next to him on the swing in the shade and listen to him tell stories, like the one where he put a snake in Mrs.Peevie's strawberry basket. The whippin' he got was worth it, he says, and I believe him cause he still giggles every time he tells it. I'm going home tomorrow and I can hardly wait.

p.s. the front door in the photo is the same front door I'll be walking in tomorrow.
p.s. some more- I am the middle sister, that is to say the middle sized sister.

Friday, April 4, 2008


Maybe you can tell by now that I am a pretty good starter but not a very good finisher. Lots of days I think about telling you things that I never really get written. Like when someone gave me a gift certificate for an hour long massage. I had not told them or anyone else that my back has hurt every day since I stared treatments, but God knew.

I meant to tell you about the evening I was tired and just a little hungry. I has just decided to eat some oatmeal cereal when the doorbell rang. The pusher of the doorbell was a friend with a gift, for me, hot oatmeal cookies. God knows the desires of our hearts even before we do. See, while I was running around getting tired that day, this friend was at home making cookies. When I was riding home, they were driving over to my house. When I was putting on my pj's, they were driving up in the driveway. When I thought of what I wanted for a snack, cold oatmeal cereal,the doorbell rang and God showed up with exceedingly more that I had even imagined.

There are more things that I hope to get around to telling you but for now this will have to do. It is Saturday and Michael is home. Goodbye for today and thanks for caring.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

come see me

I'll be in the chair today, all cozy and warm from 9am to about 1pm. So if your free, come see me. Call me at 713-5169 and i'll tell you how to get here.


I am heading in for #5. The there is only one left. Yippee!! And...I am assigned to Kristiana today. She is my favorite nurse that makes me smile. I'm off for a day of resting, reading and writing; being pampered, warm balnkets and a comfee chair - I'm sorry for the rest of you guys. My best friend, Jesus, is coming with me, and we're going to talk about all kinds of things. Whoops gotta go he's waiting. See ya,


Monday, March 24, 2008

CT Results

It is cold outside, even snowing a little but the sun is shining. I was tired, from a morning of resting with Jesus then going to Wal-Mart get a little marked down Easter candy to send to Whitney and to the library to get a book to read aloud to Michael and Trevor tonight. After a little shrimp bisque for lunch I took a book and went upstairs to the windowseat so I could read a bit until, like a cat I fell asleep in the sunshine. I was sound asleep when the phone rang. It was the nurse from my doctors office with results from the CT I had last week. She said, " Everything looks just like we hoped it would. There is only one teeny tiny spot that showed up and even it is smaller that it was to begin with." When I breathed out did I realize how long I had been holding my breath.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


This is how I spent my day today. Wish you could have been there. It was quite educational.

Michael says I look beautiful inside and out.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Track Race

For those of you who are keeping track, and I'm glad I did...take track that is, because I need the training to keep up with all that is going on here. Today I went to have blood work and passed the test again. Even though I am feeling droopy my numbers are high enough to keep on keeping on. Wednesday (19) I will have my first CT scan since treatment started, I guess I'll probably get results the following Wednesday (26) when I see the doctor. This time I will wait to have treatment the following day (27) because I have a certain nurse that I love that doesn't work on Wednesday, so I'll wait until Thursday when she does work. I am also taking a Beth Moore Bible study class at church on Wednesday nights that I have been missing on treatment day. This way I can go to class more often. Pant... pant... pant... pant. Did y'all keep up? I'm tired.

Thanks to all of you who are reading and keeping up with the goings on here. Thanks for the prayers and the encouragement.There is more to tell but that is for the next leg of the race. I'll tell you later.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Okay, so, I had a birthday, the children got sick, I had my 4th chemo, I got sick, Alvin the partriarch of our mountain died, Michael got sick, the daffodils are blooming,the sun is out and I am out in the yard in the sunshine.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My Birthday

Trevor and I spent the better(?) part of yesterday, March 4th, my birthday, in the Sister of Mercy Urgent Care Center. It really was better than you might think. I was so thankful that I have a wonderful son, that we live in an age and in an area where we can get medical help, we were only there for re-hydration and not something more serious, also we have insurance.

Because Trevor and I were gone for the day it gave Whitney and Allison some time alone. I had presents and cards to open when I got home, all of which made me smile. Thanks. Later we scavenged the house looking for things that Whitney could use in her apartment in Mobile. We didn't find much due to the fact that I have been excavating and eliminating every thing that I have tripped over in the last year.Then we ate supper that someone brought us. (Trevor and Allison had broth and applesauce) Michael brought flowers which I can smell VERY well. (chemo enhances your olfactory sense) After supper we piled up (Michael, Whitney, Hillary and I on one couch, Allison and Trevor in their own germy seats) and watched "No Reservations" All in all, the day was good and I am thankful for 50 years. I am 53 years old but there were a few years I could have done without. Looking forward to being 54 and then some.

I wanted a puppy for my birthday. What I got was Trevor, sick as a dog.

Monday, March 3, 2008


We taught the children to share and it took. Allison shared what she had with Trevor. He Fell about 10p.m. last night. The worst is over for them it seems. Now Allison is lying around recovering, she still hasn't eaten but is drinking. Trevor has hardly moved. He has a little fever, about 100 degrees.

So far the rest of us are still standing. Whitney and I shopped for her apartment today. Every little while we'd look at each other and proclaim...."We are not throwing up!!!" It was a good day.

Before Whitney and I left I was visited by two birthday fairies. Also, I got a bunch of cards in the mail and a package which I will not open until tomorrow.I am always amazed that people care about me. Thanks

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Not flu/stomach bug

Turns out Hillary did not have the flu after all. Thanks for the prayers. But don't get up off your knees quite yet. Allison has a really yucky stomach bug. We are all trying only to breathe out and washing our hands A LOT!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Run Down

I don't like to write things that are not kinda funny but Michael says that I need to tell you more about how tired I am. So here I go. I am tired. Some days more than others the spring is gone from my step, the energizer bunny finally runs down, and Tigger stops bouncing, my curls even droop. Yesterday was one of those days. I stayed in bed most of the day. Okay, all day then had a terrible night of tossing and turning except when I was asleep having nightmares. Today though I am up again. Not really bouncing but definitely up. I am packing to go to Atlanta with my Knight to visit Edward (Michael's brother) and Tia. Only the two of us are going. I am looking forward to the time with them. And they have a comfy couch.

p.s. we think that someone living here might have the flu (Hillary) Please pray for her and for the rest of us to stay well. Thanks

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Clean Feet

Last weekend we had the honor of a visit from a beautiful princess and two warrior kings. They are from the land called "Gator Nation." This people group, while originating in North Central Florida has spread to all 50 states and beyond. There is a fairly small and quite unstable group right here in western North Carolina. These dignitaries brought with them strength of character and body, humility and purpose, healing and hope, besides that we laughed a lot.

Thank you Danita, Michael and John for "washing our feet" last weekend. No kiddin' my feet are so clean that my toenails are shiny.
( John 13:1-17)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Chicken Soup

Here I am one week out (from chemo) and feeling fine. Actually I have a cold or allergies or something. I feel like a chinchilla has taken up residence in my face. I chased him out yesterday with a couple tylenol and about a gallon of water but the little bugger moved back in during the night. I am up and at it again this morning. Today for school we are having "health and wellness" and "home-ec" . Trevor is learning the physical and emotional healing properties of chicken soup and how to make it. Can't wait 'till lunch!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Short and Sweet?

Hey, I just figured out that I can do this in COLOR!!!

Seriously, Mom was way too excited about the color.

Okay, sorry. You should know that little things are sometimes big to me and another thing you may or may not know...underneath this silver crown of mine there are very blonde roots.

What I started to say before I was distracted by "color" ( it's too hard to change after every letter) is that tomorrow is my next chemo day. It's hard to believe that I am on #3 already. Thanks for all the prayers and food and for sometimes posting on my blog. All of those things make my life shinier.
You are the best and I love you all!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

New Do

Once upon a time there was a little girl with fair curly hair who loved many things. She loved her sisters, though not every minute. She loved her parents, though she couldn't quite obey them all the time. She loved animals, and they had a lot of them, chickens, cows, rabbits, goats and dogs, but no kitty cats. She loved the out doors and to run. She loved to go fishing and to sit in her Daddy's lap. She love to go to the fair and eat strawberries in the spring, to go swimming and eat cold watermelon in the summer, to roll in piles of leaves in fall and open Christmas presents in winter. Of all the things that this little girl loved , more than anything else she loved babies. She dreamed of the day when she would have one of her very own, actually she wanted four.

(p.s. the one in the front is me, my hair got curlier later, Donna is in back and the beautiful princess is Mama)

As her hair grew darker this little girls grew taller until one day she was taller than her mother. Upon closer inspection she realized that her height was not the only thing that had changed and that she really was a woman. Since she was now all grown up she got married and before long she held in her hands a real live baby boy that was hers to keep. That's when she found out that her heart too had grown, otherwise it could not have held all the love that she had for her son.

As the son grew so did his hair. It was not curly like hers but thin and straight. It was so thin that the girl thought that the best thing to do would be to let it grow to all one length so that the hair would look thick, that all the hairs would stand side by side and create an army of blonde soldiers. Instead it looked more like bits of string hanging. A wise woman told her something, that to this little Mama sounded very not quite right, she said "Cut it".

This is Ians first haircut and the wise woman was right. He looked better with a little "shaping".

I guess you figured out by now that the little girl that loved babies was me. I told that you story to say that what the wise woman said back then is still true. If you have thin hair it is best to cut it. Mine was starting to look like a possum that lost a fight with a hedge trimmer, so I have had a haircut myself. I don't look as cute as Ian did but you cannot see my pink little noggin unless you really look. I told my Daddy that if I have to cut it shorter that would be okay because then I would look just like him, which is something the little girl with curly hair always wanted.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ya Comin?

Hey everyone,

It has been a whole week since my last treatment and I am feeling pretty darned good. Okay, pretty good for an almost 53 year old woman who has been lying around the house doing much of nothin' for the last few months. I've walked up the mountain a few times lately and hope to go again today. Anyone who wants to walk/stroll/meander up this hill should come on over. It is cold ,but the sun is shining. The wind is blowing so we'll have to cling together for warmth and to keep from being blown away and just because we want to. We'll wear scarves around our heads and mittens on our hands and drink hot chocolate when we get back. If by chance it decides to rain, come anyway and we'll stay inside and talk about the wonder of a God answers the prayers of ordinary people, who knows before we do that what we are really hungry for is hot oatmeal cookies and a glass of milk, and who loves the heck of us no matter what. Whew!! I'm going to get my jacket on. Ya comin'?

p.s. If you really want to come over post on the blog or write me at

Friday, January 25, 2008


I walked up the mountain today all the while composing a poem called "Ode to Curly Hair". Now that I am home I have forgotten most if it, or at least I have lost the rhythm of it. It was all about hatin' on this hair of mine all my life. About frizzies in Florida, about orange juice cans and lots of hair spray, about the long straight hair era that I lived, make that survived, through. It was about large round brushes and blow dryers. It was about Honduras,100% humidity, riding in the back of a pickup truck and finally letting go. About loving this crown of filigreed silver that I now wear on my head. It was about the ones that have now fallen 'in the line of duty' and how the others have closed ranks, become closer. So far you cannot tell that I am loosing my hair, it just looks shorter because the ones that are left are standing in the gap for the ones that haven't made it. I love curly hair.

Keeping Count

Trevor left for Honduras today. I cried. Not because he is gone but because I am not on the plane too.

It is easier to get in 4 shakes a day if you get up at 3:30 a.m.

If God keeps count of the hairs of our heads he's getting a lot of practice at subtraction lately keeping up with mine.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"C" day

Today is the 2nd of 6 chemotherapy treatments. As of 1:00pm, things are going well, however Debbi is just a little apprehensive about this treatment. The first treatment pretty much knocked her off her feet. She felt very little change the first and second day after the first treatment, but by the third day her energy bottomed out. While she has felt good (no nausea or pain) her energy reserves are just about nonexistent. She is wondering if this energy drain will be cumulative, and will this second treatment knock her even further down. Please continue to pray for us as we make new discoveries about the wonderful world of chemo each day.

Friday, January 18, 2008

What Do You Think?

Trevor asked for a snow day. All I wanted was a nap. It was 10:30 yesterday morning. I promised that after I rested we would go out. . Outside the window I heard snow melting off the house. Drip................Drip..............Drip. The feather pillow cradled my head like I was lying in my mama's lap. Drip.......Drip.......Drip. I had pulled up the down comforter hearing Jesus say "I will cover you with my feathers and under my wings you will find refuge." Drip....Drip....Drip. I was surrounded with warmth and peace like sunlight and water. I lay in bed melting in to the sheets. Drip.Drip.Drip. I wasn't the only thing melting, so was the snow. I was called out of that bed, like Lazurus from the grave. In a few minutes I was wearing snow boots, snow pants,scarf, gloves, little warmy things that go inside your boots and a hat, besides all the layers that go underneath.

Instead of a nap, this is how I spent the next hour.

I think I made a wise decision, how 'bout you?

p.s. I rested the rest of the day and all night.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Yesterday I went to the doc's for blood work. It is the halfway mark between treatments, the day when blood counts will be at their lowest. The results are pretty immediate which surprised me. I was standing beside the nurse when out printed a page with all my "test scores" from every time they had said "There is going to be a little prick." It seems there really is a "permanent record." She looked at me and started speaking. What she actually said was, " All your counts are within the normal range so there is no problem with continuing with are schedule. I'll see you back here on the 23 for your next course of treatment." What I heard was, " Woman! Stop acting sick, 'cause you're not. Stop watchin' Oprah and eatin' bon-bons. Git up off that couch. I hear the toilets in your house need cleanin'. Now git up and git to work you lazy thang."

The treatment center is next to the hospital so I took the results to show Michael. ( For those of you who don't know, Michael works at Mission Hospital in Radiation Oncology.) As I was walking in I saw one of the oncologist that he works with. I explained what I had heard the nurse say, all about working and stuff. He said, "Oh no that will never do." , snatched out his prescription pad and wrote this 'script:

Last night Michael cleaned the bathroom and was happy.

Monday, January 7, 2008

4 Days Later

It is Monday and I am kinda worn out. Friday, after chemo on Thursday I felt GREAT! We all piled up and went to Brevard to knock around for the day. I even ate fried shrimp for lunch and barbecue for supper. On Saturday Whitney needed to go to Black Mountain to learn how to tune the hammered dulcilmer that she got for graduation so off we all went again. On both days I kept saying to myself, "You just had chemo??"

Whitney left from Black Mountain to go back to Mobile. She graduated from the University of South Alabama in December and wasn't sure if she would move back up here or stay in Mobile. She decided to stay. I am sure that saying good-bye to her is part of the reason I feel "little" today.

I was in Camelot while Danita was here. She took care of me like a lady in waiting takes care of her queen. John, an "adopted" brother cooked the whole time and Michael, her husband, played video games with Trevor (so he wouldn't feel left out). They left on Sunday, so now the house is quiet. I went to church yesterday then rested the whole afternoon and evening and right on through he night.

Today I thought I would get up and finish the undecorating of the house , but no...that job is too big. I did a little. I'll do it a bit at a time or...if you are not doing anything and would like to help a grey haired old lady do some spring cleaning during these warm days of January then call up and come over this week. I would love the company and work is always more fun with a friend.

Now I am going to sit in the sun and maybe rest a little more.

Thanks for your continued prayers , notes and support. It is working. My body is tired but my spirit is singing.


Thursday, January 3, 2008

The First Cycle

8:30am Debbi and Danita arrive at the Cancer Care Center. For the next hour they get information about side effects, and the care and feeding of the chemotherapy patient. After a quick CBC to make sure the blood is happy, the chemo started dripping. The treatment room is very large and spacious. There is fountain and a grand piano at one end. Debbi pulled her chair over by the fountain and settled in for the duration.
About an hour into the treatment, a retired oncologist came in to cheer the troops with his piano skills. He managed to play about 4 songs in row that were the very songs Debbi was wondering if she could get him to play. After playing he came over and talked with Debbi - He said she had a calm and peace about her that was very unusual in that setting. She was very encouraged.
Around noon, when the increased the drip of rituximab, she had an allergic reaction. Her chest starting hurting and she began shallow breathing. She created quite a stir in the chemo room. She stabilized quickly and was able to continue. Whitney and Allison, with their usual impeccable timing were just coming to visit when all the excitement broke out. After about five minutes, when the nurses had her stabilized, the girls were pleased to be able to have lunch with their Mama, as by then all were looking forward to their Hardee burgers.
Patients came and went throughout the day with the only constant ones being Debbi, Danita and the nurses. About 6:00pm, without further incident, she was finally done, unplugged and shown the door.
Tonight she is feeling a little puny and is going to rest watching an old Cary Grant comedy. We don't really know what tomorrow will bring. She was sent home with some powerful anti-nausea/vomiting medicine, and some steroids. So I guess she's prepared for whatever, but will just have to wait and see what develops.
Thanks for those of you who have kept Debbi in your thoughts and prayers, we can sure feel it.


Well, tomorrow is the big day. I am trying not to be nervous but I'm not doing very well. I need a long bath, a glass of wine and some quiet time with the One who loves me most.

Here is a great answered prayer. Because of some things we discovered about our insurance coverage and the very generous gift of a friend I will not have to go to that treatment center that I visited but instead will be able to be treated in the Cancer Care Center. It is newer and brighter and bigger and YAY! It even has a grand piano. Can you play?

Danita, my sister, said that I could not wear my flannels because I wanted to go in (and come out ) looking not sick. We bought some black yoga pants and are going to wear red shirts with a very snazzy red scarf.

Today was a really great day. We had several inches of snow. It was the first snow of the season. Michael, my brother-in-law, had never seen snow before. We all bundled up and played. We all sledded. Whitney and Trevor built a "Calvin Snowman" He had two heads. Allison came in and made chocolate chip cookies. When everyone came in there were hot cookies and milk. It was perfect.

Thanks for all your messages and e-mails and especially prayers. It is some great to know that we are not in this by ourselves.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008