I continue to think about this subject. Unforgiveness is one of the major hindrances that can hinder your healing. Listen to what Jesus says in Mark 11:25-26. "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and [let it drop](leave it, let it go), in order that your Father who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings." Happy New Year 2011, I still think this an important message! A quote by Author: Tami Hoag 2007... What purpose does it serve to hold that anger? What good does it do? Hatred is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die of it."

An Opinion... Isn't it amazing that almost everyone has an opinion to offer about the bible (as well as other subjects), and yet so few have studied it (or the subject)? R. C. Sproul, If only one would read before speaking, they would not look so foolish. Yet, I don't want to get in anyone's face... so I keep dropping hints. Does it help? I hope so...)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow anyone?

Good morning, and brrrrr it's cold outside (16 degrees, but feels like 0 degrees with wind chill according to weather channel).  Gloria and Allen braved the cold.  Gloria made me refrain from shoveling due to my recent procedure and my asthma.  Next time... I will get to play outside too.  Of course most of this is from drifting snow, but it is still cold and has to be shoveled.
Today I was supposed to drive to Tri Cities for three doctor appointments.  Short Stay at the hospital for a blood draw and flush from the port; the Intervention Radiologist was to come and check the blisters and bruises that formed around the incision.  The tape, I think, is what caused the blisters, and the bruises are large and colorful.  It is strange though, as I have never reacted this way before.  After that, I was to go to the Oncologist for test results and chemo schedule.   The genetic test results are in, I called yesterday.  Now, the weather won't cooperate!

Since my son is on duty today, I really would hate to risk the trip and have him have to respond to an accident I was in.  I am sure that I would receive a lecture, especially since he warned me of the roads last night.   The news said that Tri Cities had hundreds of accidents yesterday.  The first snow, people careless or caught unprepared and without snow tires, create lots of work for emergency services.  Texted my daughter in San Jose to ask her if she missed this weather... a resounding NO was her answer. 

I asked if the doctor would call me during the time I was scheduled to come in.  Time runs slow when you are waiting.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thursday, 11/18/10

Thursday, November 18, 4:00 a.m.,  I am up getting ready to leave for Tri Cities for installation of my implantable port.  Since the clocks have been changed, it was very dark on the country roads.  I notice that more when I am alone on the trip.  (My sister has to take her husband in the opposite direction for an all day chemo treatment)  While driving along I really took notice of the small city lights making the communities look larger; the train moving along side the highway making its clanging and tooting sounds; large trucks filling up the early morning roads, animal eyes (deer, cows, cats, etc.) reflecting in the headlights... then, the sunrise as I was entering Kennewick.  At this time in my life sights, sounds, experiences... nothing is taken for granted.  I have been given the gift of more time on this earth and I am going to use it wisely!

A friend from Kennewick went with me to the hospital.  The staff at the hospital were in great spirits, and did a good job of bantering with me to keep my spirits lifted.  The procedure took little time, and by noon was out of the hospital on the way to my son's home to rest.  There I slept the rest of the day, visited a little in the evening, and slept that night.  Awake bright and early the next morning, I dressed and left to run errands and head back to Royal City. 

Since the pharmacy did not open until 9:00 a.m., and my car windows were really dirty from the country roads, went to the car wash.  As I was scrubbing the car with the brush, the "port" area was hurting.  Duh...  I kept thinking as the scrubbing continued, "Hmmm, wonder why it is hurting so much this morning?"  Where were my brains!?!?  I went back to the pharmacy and picked up Tylenol rapid release, a jar of juice and drank down two pills.  That's like my going out and weed eating the lawn edges the afternoon I came home from having my bladder removed.  It is not like I am trying to be stupid, it's just that I have been alone so long and when something needs done... well, to procrastinate does no good when I know that I am it!  Okay, I don't think.. just do.  My daughter cringes, and says I am in denial.  Her theory is that whenever I am told "no" that "I do" to prove I am not a ninny, a whiner or have a pity party to gain attention.  Maybe so, I am not aware of it though.  Oh no, after I read that and thought of the defination of denial...hmmm.  I just hate it when my children are right! 

My blood pressure was quite high this morning, and now with my body being upset with the morning exercise, I felt like resting.  But... my friend told me that a new sewing and craft store opened in town.  I just couldn't bring myself to leave Tri Cities until I checked this place out!  By the time I finished that, I was hungry and needed to let another couple of Tylenol begin working.  So, called another friend and had lunch with her before heading out. 

By late afternoon I was back in Royal City, and the port area was burning like fire.  The bandages were due to come off within a day anyway, so took them off.  Red, rash, blisters... who knew I reacted like that to tape.  It is not like I can scratch the area, the incisions are still too fresh.  The blisters are surrounding and between the two incisions.  What to do with my hands to keep them from automatically reaching up to scratch!?!?

Yeah... I got through all of this and still no snow.  It was reported that snow would hit before now, but by tonight and the next few days chances of sporatic snow is in sight.  I am ready... my new snow tires are on and my new battery will ensure quick starts.  I still take my "box" of stuff, blanket, water, munchie, etc.  One never knows when they will be stranded. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Some news today, and yet I still wait for a definate diagnosis!

My mind is still collecting itself from my trip to the doctor today.  Is it natural to leave the doctor office with your thoughts whirling around in your head?  Okay, let's back up... I went into the doctor office with my sister and waited, waited, and waited for the doctor to come into the room.  I turned to Gloria and said, "You will probably have to visit me in the hospital later today.  I will be the one heavily medicated, so that I will not go ballistic, when the doctor finally gets into this room and tells me that my results are not in."  After a few more minutes both she and I were nervously laughing, thinking "no way" would that happen again. 

The doctor came in... keep in mind this is the doctor who is really trying to get things in motion for me.   I really don't want to be rude to him, so I keep telling myself to be patient.  Yes, I am still a work in progress regarding patience.

After reviewing news he has already given me, the doctor says he is still waiting for the pathology report on my genetic testing.  It should be in by the end of the week.  Did I hear that right?  Then to put a positive spin on the visit, he again theorized that once he knows exactly what type of B Cell Lymphoma I have, he can plan the proper Chemo treatment.  Most likely it will be one of three or four cancers he is considering.  If the report comes back as he thinks, the treatment will probably be Chemo once every three weeks, for a total of six treatments.  The day after each Chemo treatment I will be going in for a shot, this is to help keep my white cell count up.

After returning home today, I started reading on about this shot for my WBC (white blood cell count).  Even though it wasn't great news, I am one who wants to know what is going on.  Going in mentally prepared helps me. 

I am now waiting for a call confirming an appointment for later this week to install a port ( or portacath).   On Tuesday, 11/23 I have to go in for a port blood draw and see the doctor.  At that time I am supposed to find out my Chemo schedule, which is supposed to begin right after Thanksgiving.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:  A port (or portacath) is a small medical applicance that is installed beneath the skin.  A catheter connects the port to a vein.  Under the skin, the port has a septum through which drugs can be injected and blood samples can be drawn many times, usually with less discomfort for the patient than a more typical "needle stick"...  ...The port is usually inserted in the upper chest, just below the clavicle or collar bone, leaving the patient's hands free.

Images from 
My brother-in-law says that having a port is really helpful for him.  Less pokes for me is always a nice thing.  He also told me there is a trick to breathing in and out when poking the needle into the port.  If he does it right, no pain is felt.  Yes, I am for that!

Tonight I am thinking how blessed I am.  This news of cancer could be so much worse than it is.  Yes, I will always have it; have to watch over it; do treatments for it; take medication; feel side effects; but, I will learn to live with it and the emotional baggage it carries.  Did you note that word live?

I point blank asked the doctor today what I was looking at in longetivity.  He, of course can't give me exacts, but said with low grade lymphoma worst case five years.  Or... ten+ years!  I am looking at the ten plus years for me.  I will need that much time to finish all of my quilting projects I have begun!

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  NIV

Friday, November 12, 2010

Prayers for Monday, 11/15...

Here we go again.  I just received a call from my Oncologist office reminding me of my appointment on Monday.  It was so tempting to say... "please, give me a hint... will you be able to tell me anything this time?" 

The first biopsy from the renal artery mass, labs not able to give a definate diagnosis; John Hopkins not being able to give a definate report; second biopsy from the kidney, still no diagnosis of the type of cancer; and finally the last biopsy, pending. 

So, prayers needed for some definate news, treatment plan, and may it be the best possible news considering the situation.  I'm for believing... with God, all things are possible.

Insurance.... ugh!

Insurance gets to be overwhelming and confusing.  I have been under a Medicare Advantage plan.  As I said in a previous post, understanding the difference between Advantage, Supplemental, Medigap, Individual, Medicare as itself, and others is difficult.  I did not understand or choose wisely to begin with, as a result I was ready to go with a change to a Supplemental plan during my window of opportunity this year.  Wrong! 

My Advantage plan had to stop selling in Eastern Washington beginning 2011.  So, the decision to leave that plan December 31, 2010 was a good one, except...  From what my insurance agent told me closure of the Advantage plan that I was on is leaving 12,000 or more senior citizens in my area without their current coverage.  This plan was affordable, it was of financial help to people in my financial standing, and position in life.  Now, so many people are scrambling to find insurance protection before the window closes.  What happens to the person who is not able to research, drive to insurance agent appointments, understand what is going on?  I am not sure I actually understand what is happening.

Unique is what my situation is.  I am on Social Security Disability, age 61, qualifying after two years on disability for Medicare and a member of AARP; this still does not qualify me for Supplemental insurance.  In Washington there is legal talk for why I do not qualify.  I am not sure of it all, and am researching more.  The state I live in does not require insurance companies to sell Supplemental to those under 65 years of age, even if they qualify with all of the other requirements.  Yes, I am confused!  My window was rapidly closing, so a decision had to be made or I would be without coverage.  Also, no luck for an individual policy as I have pre-existing conditions. 

My insurance agent found an Advantage plan that would take me.  No, it isn't a great plan, but better than nothing!  I count my blessings that I am able to make the calls, drive to the insurance appointments, and research on the computer.  What about those who cannot, and have nobody to help them?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Not hearing what we want to hear?

 Feeling Blue Recently I have encountered some of my acquaintances with stubborn attitudes.  No... really?   Yes, and with closed minds they are hurting themselves.  I had hoped that some of my research would help those individuals help themselves.

No, I don't expect anyone to take my word alone for what I have been researching.  I did hope that the information would trigger an interest into reading up on information that may help one's future health.  Let's take one example:  Question:  "Have you read on aspartame, and it's effects on a persons health?"  Answer:  "Oh, that is ridiculous...the FDA wouldn't permit it to be sold if it was not okay to consume!" What a common response... even one I had for a while.  Now, after reading what I have and having one of my doctor's point blank ask me if I have had a large consumption of artificial sweeteners over the past ten years... that, among other information, woke me up! 

Sometimes I think (from my own experience) that people know what you are saying has some truth to it, but that doesn't mean they want to hear it.  Rambling along in one's comfortable daily life is what all of us would prefer to do.  Unfortunately, we cannot!  I can wish with all of my might that I had listened years ago, but I didn't.  Again, it hasn't been one thing that has led me to this path in my life, rather a combination of numerous things that I ignored as an overreaction to the "bearer of  bad news." 

We all have freedom of choice in what we consume, expose ourselves to, etc.  I just pray that you don't have to look back and wish like I do, why didn't I listen?

A little humor, thought of my son... Washington State Patrol Trooper, when I saw this. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Difficulties... an email I received, and would like to share.

I received this message, unknown author...

Difficulties are the most essential part of our life.  Many of us feel cheated when we face difficulties.  We feel that God is giving us more than our share of difficulties.  This is wrong.  Isn't it?  The opposite is true.  God gives more difficulties to those who he loves.  Don't get surprised.  Only when we know how to face difficulties with a brave face and faith, we come out as a better person.  Only after we come out fighting all out, we feel proud of ourselves. 

I know that you are facing difficulties.  Please face them bravely and courageously.  Have faith.  You will win.


On Wednesday my sister and I got up very early, dressed and hit the road.  Again, leaving early in case we met a convoy of farm equipment.  If you have ever been behind a long line of slow moving farm equipment, you know that driving down one long road could add thirty or more minutes to the trip.  My check-in time was for 8:30 a.m.

My Oncologist and the new Intervention Radiologist spent quite a bit of time going over all of the other tests and results.  Then, I was taken in for another Needle Guided CT scan biopsy.  This time my doctor did not want to take any chances the samples would not be enough in quantity or quality specimens.  Right next to the table I was on, the lab set up a microscope and a person to look and make sure all samples were good. 

I found out later that the biopsy samples were not taken from the renal artery mass.  Everyone seems to be afraid to mess with that one!    The tissue was removed from the kidney.  Pro's and Con's on that hit my brain.  In the beginning, it was explained to me why that procedure should only be a last result test.  From what I remember, when removing the needle from the body cancer cells can drop from the needle.  This action can leave damaged cells along the path of the retreating needle.  Okay, the doctors are getting frustrated so maybe this was a last resort to diagnosis the type of cancer.  Again, there are approximately 70 types of lymphoma and the exact type must be determined.  In addition to the cancer information, was told there was not cancer growth in the chest area, but there is a nodule on my thyroid. 

The hospital decided to keep me longer than I anticipated.  I was not released until 6:00 p.m.  Gloria took me to my son's house to spend the night rather than drive back to Royal City. 

Through the night I was in a lot of pain, as well as bleeding from the uretha again.  This has been on and off since the second biopsy, stent implant, etc.   Before my sister left to go home to tend to her husband (who has cancer) she handed me the discharge paperwork.  Oh yeah, middle of the night, reach for the phone to call the hospital and remember I gave it to Gloria for her trip home in the dark.  Decided to read the discharge paperwork and found that she had given me her current crochet project pattern by mistake.  Ha ha...

Through the evening/night I kept passing blood and clots thru the uretha.  My son offered to drive me to emergency.  I looked at the clock and realized the doctor's office would be opening in just a few hours, so didn't go to ER. 

Thursday afternoon the Urologist removed the stent.  It was completed in the doctor's office.  Quite honestly, with the medicine inserted into the bladder the procedure was not painful.  A bit uncomfortable, but hey... I'll take that over pain any day.    From what I was told by the Urologist, bleeding and clots are common.  Why wasn't I told?  The clots were blocking the uretha passage, and the end result was not pleasant!  Still today (Saturday) having a bit of problem with that.  Think my body is just cleaning out "stuff" from when the stent was in. 

Waiting now,  for the report to tell me what type of cancer I have.  After that is determined, the Oncologist will decide the treatment.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Thank you everyone who continues to pray for me.  It has given me such a sense of peace to know that I am covered with prayer, good wishes, and receive comforting comments.

"Another" biopsy planned for tomorrow, Wednesday, 11/3...

Ugh . . . . . . . what next!

2:00 p.m. received a phone call from the oncologist's assistant.  They have received a response from John Hopkins Cancer Center...  again, NO INFORMATION or firm diagnosis!  Why? Due to the information/specimen provided.  Remember, this is the biopsy of the mass on my renal artery that I had on 09/30.  For whatever reason, it did not make it to John Hopkins Cancer Center for an opinion until 10/22.   My oncologist, who is attempting to correct this mess (that was created somewhere else), is arranging for a new biopsy right away. 

2:30 p.m.  a second call from the oncologist's assistant, advising me that she was able to get a intervention radiologist within their medical building to put me on tomorrow's schedule. 

 310 p.m.  third call from the intervention radiologist office. 
Note:  The interventional radiologist is a medical doctor who has completed four years of study in radiology.  They treat a multiple of conditions inside the body from outside the body by inserting various small instruments or tools, such as catheters or wires, with the use of various x-ray and imaging techniques (i.e., CT scanners, MRI scanners, ultrasound scanners). Interventional radiology offers an alternative to the surgical treatment of many conditions and can eliminate the need for overnight hospitalization, in some cases.

Check into the hospital at 8:00 a.m., visit with doctor, get prepped, and the procedure at 10:30 a.m.  After the procedure I have to stay for observation for 2 - 3 hours.  This is the same procedure that I was previously told how dangerous it is because of the location to the renal artery. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Too much time on your hands... plan ahead for it...

Managing my time...
 I have found that empty time while waiting for doctor appointments can be stressful.

Rather than sit around and count the hours until my next appointment, I am always looking for projects to occupy my mind and time. Keep a list of what I call "brain flashes" so that they can be used when having a difficult time thinking of something to do. In a rural community, there is only so much activity a person can do.

For myself, it is important to keep my mind occupied with reading, projects, research, etc.  If I did not have my "brain flash" list of to do's, anxiety could take over.  I am fighting that with prayer and keeping busy. 

 As much as I am on the road to the Tri Cities with doctoring, I have grown to dislike driving back and forth as well as the gas expense . . . but, decided that I would go this weekend anyway.

First stop... was cold, drizzle fell, but the football game went on. I really have to get out winter clothing. I went in flip flop sandals, capri short pants... but, I did take a blanket and coat. This was the play-off game. Good game on the teams part, as well as my grandson making interceptions, yards, two touchdowns. Yet, in the end the team lost. As a result, they are not going to super bowl; that saddens me since it is the last year my grandson can play on this team due to age/size. It has been a few years of good football, now it is time for freshman football. As a grandmother, I have been happy to watch him play, and proud of his growing abilities. Okay, I am a bit prejudiced...

Again I hear that my granddaughter, in California, made another soccer goal! Haven't received the details yet.  Congratulations !

Second stop... I found that there was a church event on Saturday evening. Arrangements were made to spend the night with a friend so that I could go Saturday evening, as well as Sunday morning. It was so nice to see people that haven’t been seen for a while, as well as music and the message.

Sunday morning passed too quickly. I missed the "trunk or treat" get together later in the afternoon at church. People gathered, decorated their vehicle trunks and children went from trunk to trunk to collect candy. Not wanting to drive home on the country roads after dark, my trip back had to begin before the fun began. The pictures were great on facebook.

Again, the car trip triggered my bladder walls to vibrate. It is not painful, but it is distracting and leaves me feeling as if I have to find a bathroom every few minutes. The question becomes, do I ignore this feeling? Or, do I live to regret driving past a rest area. I hope this will stop when the stent is removed from my bladder/ureter/kidney.

Two days until I head back to Tri Cities for my oncologist appointment on Wednesday. I am praying for news from John Hopkins Cancer Center. Thursday I make the three hour round trip again for the stent removal.

Tomorrow is Tuesday... please don’t forget to vote! I am not promoting how you vote, just that you do vote. Don’t take voting for granted. One never knows (for whatever reason) when it may be their last opportunity to exercise that right.