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...)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29...

Going to the Columbia River, at Vantage, WA yesterday.
Requel says... "Are we there yet?"

Looking at the river from where we are at...
It was a nice day, relaxing and nice to get out.  Glad that
I am feeling better and can enjoy outings again!


Oh look!  Grandma Gloria found pollywogs!  She was the
champion at catching them when we were kids.  The only reason
Grandma is in the water here is because this shallow area is warm!

Grandpa Allen back at the picnic site.  It is safer there for him...
 we women can be daring, or mean...  Face it, he is afraid of us
 getting him with the cold Columbia River water!  We couldn't
convince him we would never to that....

It is so good to feel good enough to go on outings!  I waded
in the water, yeah it was cold... but fun.  Except for when I
gracefully fell down, with my sweet sister behind me...
watching.  She says she grabbed my blouse, did I
hear a chuckle when she said that?  Hmmmmmmm

Hey buddy!  Are you checking out my legs?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June, 2011 blood test results...

On 06/23, I went to pick up my latest blood test results.  Wow!  It was great to see that my kidney function was greater than >60.  The number range for normal function is greater than >60.  This is the first time since last year that my numbers have been normal.  Also, my WBC and RBC (white and red blood cell count) are now in the normal range.  All of these months with my numbers being abnormal, this is just wonderful news.

June 27, I made another trip into Kennewick.  My tooth/teeth are still in pain.  Found that my teeth which are soft anyway, are somewhat brittle from the chemo.  I clinch my teeth... yeah, I cracked three molars.  They are now in the process of being repaired, but the expense!  It seems that I need to win the lotto to be financially free again.  Ha ha.

Driving back to Royal City yesterday I really thought about all I have to be thankful for.  In those thoughts were my surroundings.  As on past trips, I have tried to appreciate what I am able to view, experience, and appreciate.  This time I noticed the acres and acres of lush green fields, filled with mint, hay, alfalfa, baby corn coming up, yellow mustard, orchards of fruit trees, fields of berries, and feed lots filled with cows.  Every since I found out that I have cancer, appreciation of the world I am in has been important.  The fact I have my eyesight, can drive, can smell and hear... all becomes valuable.  It may sound sappy as I tell about my trips and all that I experience, but... think about not being healthy enough to be out and about.  I do not take the health I have for granted.

Passing the auction yard on Hwy 395 was a sad representation of the poor economic times we are in now.  The property was filled to the brim with farm equipment, as well as vehicles both business and private.  Most of the time these are for sale due to repossession, foreclosure, loss of farm or property.  It was so sad to see all of these items, knowing that they represented so many business' , individuals and families. 

Ah, but there is the rest of the story.  As I approached Hwy 26 on my trip to Royal City there was a lot of dust in the air.  Road construction!  (Of course I just washed the car)  Earlier in the trip I figured that I didn't need to make a potty stop, as the road construction should be finished for the day at 6:30 p.m.  With that in mind I continued on, figuring I would make it home in time for my business.  Wrong!  Don't ever assume.  Road crew still working, holding up traffic every so often, took what seems "forever" to get down the highway to Royal City.  You just don't do that to a 62 year old woman.  Maybe the female astronaut who wore adult pamper's a few years ago had a good idea, ha ha. 

Cranky women alert...
Where's the porta potty guys?
You know we are going to be asked!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday 06/20/11... Great News!

Today was hot for a change, no wind, and tomorrow it is offiicially summer (06/21).

The sun / Son is smiling on a new day

It is also a time to remember mom, Josephine Alice (Hopper) Roach... June 21st was/is her birthday.  In memory of mom I will quote, "This is the day the Lord hath made, rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24.  Every, and I mean every morning she would loudly knock on the bedroom door that all of us kids shared and repeat this verse.  It was her way of waking us up.

Today I had an appointment with my Oncologist.  Good News!  The MRI scan results were reviewed by my doctor, and two in-house radiologists.  These three have reviewed and discussed my case from the beginning.  All seem to be in agreement the right kidney scan shows NO active cancer.  The scan does have scar tissue which appears in the picture.  This information, along with a prior MRI scan showing the right renal artery free of active cancer too, is wonderful news.  Both growths now inactive!  Whoo hoo.

No, I am not free, but there are no active growths that we know of.  The doctor wants to do a MRI scan every three months for a while.  He says it is possible that I may go a long time before chemo treatment is needed again.  At $37,000.00 each treatment, it is a good thing to be done.

It has been almost a month since my last chemo.  I am looking forward to my body healing, as well as my other health issues improving.  The biggest ongoing problem I have had is with my diabetes.  Without the regular infusion of chemo steroids, I invision my glucose numbers going down.  Yes!  I hope the amount of insulin needed will go down too.  Right now, even with the Chia seeds (which are continuing to work for me) it is, 50 units Humulin N in the morning and again at night.  It is better than that plus Humulin R, before each meal too.  Is is greedy for me to want better results, less insulin?  Maybe I could go back to the oral medication (Metformin) I took before all of this CLL/chemo.  One can hope.  Also, how long does it take to say goodbye to "chemo brain?" 

Tonight I have so much to be thankful for... and I am.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Monday, 06/13

Up early and going to Kennewick for a MRI/contrast scan. I am so sore and drug out from the yard sale my sister and I had this weekend. Did I make a bunch of money? Well, comparing it to zero the amount was better than nothing if I hadn’t done the sale. Every little bit helps, and this week it was a "little" bit of money. You never know, sometimes it can be $100.00 or more.

Gloria taking the money...

Me, Marie...  putting stuff out.

The rain has really helped everything grow, including the weeds. But, the new growth is so welcome and wonderful to look at. Flowers are blooming, seedlings are coming up, berries are beginning to develop. Fresh cut grass smells so good, along with the clean air after a rain. Then the sun comes out and gives us a treat. I enjoy the wonders and beauty of it all.

In addition to going in for the MRI today, I went into Urgent Care. My primary doctor was full, and since I was already in Kennewick... ran over to Urgent Care to be seen. I would have put it off, but my sister, Gloria, is persistent. Glad she was... it seems I have an infection in my sinus’. And I thought it was allergies or asthma. From my low WBC, and all symptoms, the infection has been around for a couple of months or more. My Oncologist had my lungs x-ray a couple of months ago due to the cough, but said there was nothing. My primary doctor has listened to my lungs and said they were good. Neither considered it was an infection dripping down, rather than a problem coming up from the lungs. I am on medicine for that, hopefully the coughing, slight temp which keeps me worn down, etc. will go away now.

I have to get a copy of my birth certificate made for my apartment application. While doing this, I will be making a copy for something I never thought would happen during my lifetime. Several states have passed laws, as well a counties within states... regarding proof of citizenship. With all of the security problems in the country right now, I understand the laws, but it is so sad to think we (America) has come to this. I also understand that officers must ask everyone for the same information, or else they will be charged with profiling! The new laws being passed, state by state, allow an officer to ask for proof of citizenship "when" contacted for other reasons. So, if I go on a trip and a county in the state I visit has this law... and I am asked for proof...where are the authorities going to place me if I don’t have it? Hmmmmmmmm


          Thursday, 06/16

Still have not heard anything from my Oncologist regarding the MRI/contrast scan. Part of "wait and watch" I guess.

Okay, I am going to admit this only one time, but in hindsight I have to laugh at what my sister and I almost did. Do you remember this past week, in the news, there was information about a solar storm? Gloria looked it up, and came to me a bit worried. We talked about the results of a solar storm and what was rumored it could do to electronic stuff. So, (mainly Gloria, ha ha) and I thought that maybe we should cover our computer towers and my lap top ... etc. with aluminum foil. We were going to ask the advice of our children, but figured that they would just add this to the information file to have us committed (ha ha), so didn’t call. Also, we did not use up the foil supply covering the electronic equipment. Gloria and I decided to take a risk and not be made fun of if all turned out okay, and if not, well..... and, no we are not making paperclip necklaces to protect us either, we are not that bad off. Really!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday... June 5, 2011

It is amazing how the time passes by so quickly.  Part of it is that since starting chemo, I have been in a daze.  It has been difficult for me to concentrate, let alone have the energy to complete any task put before me.  I know this is part of the process, I accept it, but do not like it.  I would much rather be the Type A personality, multi tasking and driving everyone nuts (around me) person that I have always been.  Working under pressure always put me into overdrive, now it overwhelms me.  But... that may be coming to an end soon!

I am not sure if the latest chemo cocktail was harder, or if the accumulation of all of the chemo's caught up with me.  The past few months I have had a lot of discomfort and being tired after my treatments.  As said in a prior post, I discussed a break in chemo with my Oncologist.  The insurance and Medicare may take that decision out of our hands.  After quite an approval process (from Medicare and my insurance), on June 13th I have another MRI/contrast dye scan.  If this scan does not show more improvement in my kidney, the remaining chemo which was previously approved will be declined.  Before beginning the new chemical (Treanda) a six month chemo was approved for the second cocktail, this is only the three month mark.  Even with the doctor explaining that the remaining three months is needed to show a result, approval probably will not take place.

The silver lining in the cloud is that without chemo, maybe I will begin to feel more like myself.  I am looking forward to having more energy, being alert, clearing the cobwebs, body aches gone, etc. etc.  The thought of being able to plan ahead, work on a sewing project or keeping what hair I have left is a positive thing.  For now, I am looking forward to this tradeoff. 

The tradeoff is the Watch & Wait plan, that is what my doctor calls it.  Does this mean no ill effects during this time?  No, some conditions continue.  I understand why the doctor recommends not to remove my right kidney.  In short, if the affected kidney is removed, the remaining kidney as to do the work of two.  Being a diabetic, it is a pretty sure bet that my remaining kidney would have issues on its own.  Compound that with the early onset stress and dialysis comes into view.  Also, removing the kidney only addresses that issue, the cancer continues within my bloodstream waiting for a new location to take over.

So, watch & wait, but this does not mean that I do nothing.  Gloria has been researching and referring to me many options I can help myself with.  During chemo many of my other health issues have become worse.  This is why I discussed stopping chemo with my doctor.  The cancer is not going to get me before my diabetes.  Glucose numbers have gone up into the 400's and droppig into the 100's.  Not only is this doing damage to vital organs, but emotional issues, and stress on my body is affecting blood pressure, etc. 

Just this week I discovered that "none" of my chemo treatments have been paid on by either insurance or medicare.  The amounts astonished me, approximately $37,000.00 each month for my chemo!  After discussions with the Billing Department of the hospital, it is obvious that I am a customer to the actual business, and a patient to the doctor treating me. 

My last visit to the Oncologist office, I watched as the patients came in.  I found myself being thankful that my issues were less than most; at least from what I viewed.  I do not take for granted being able to drive to my doctor appointment most of the time, have clear vision off and on, ability to have more than one thought at a time during parts of the month, energy enough to run the errands I have to, and have an appetite.  

"It is the quality not the quantity that matters."
(Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD)