Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Digging in my sneaker heels

Well, last week was difficult.  I was admitted tonthevHospital where they did something like a plural sac cardiac sac window to drain fluid out of the sac around my my heart and lung. They got a disgusting amount. Almost 2 liters. I was in the icu for a bit then moved to thebHrart Center which was pretty comfortable.
Anyway, bad news is that is t is possible cancer has spread to these sacs and I may continue to produce fluid.  I haven't been able to breath for a while but we chalked that up to asthma and allergies.
Today I go for a cat scan so they can get a better look at my chest.  If it is cancer that means more chemo, not sure what type.
I was not sure I was up to it yesterday, but I have to fight with everything I've got.  I'm pretty sad and run down.
Things that I thought where important or essential to me seems fuzzy and frivolous now.  Not really tolerant of some things so I am a bit moody. Visit if you dare.
Dr did not give the best prognosis but , hey, I have been hearing that for a while.
Please add my kids to you prayer list for strength,
Pray for grace and peace for me and Rick
My Mom and Mom and Dad in law
And for healing
Thanks so much


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Just a quick update
I was admitted to Holmes because I was having increased problems breathing. Both of us thought this was due to my asthma. Well it was a cardiac issue. That night at 6 u had a window cut in my pericardial sac( heart bag) and one in my lung bag. Nice phraseology. Any about 1 1-2 liters were drained and a chat rube put in to keep it draining. I will be in the hospital for a week. M super weak and very overwhelmed about what to make of everything. I see Dr Scheinbart today when he does his rounds here. Not sure what the next plan is since it was to go on a new drug, but we thought my heart was ok. I guess not. I think this is going to be a long winding road. I would appreciate prayers for strength and perseverance for me ,Rick, my kids and mom and inlaws and other friends I lean heavily  on
Thanks for everyone wanted to come and visit but right now I'm just worn out and not too pleasant to be around. Poor Rock has taken the brunt if my frustration but get, that's his job and he doesn't complain. He brings me tea. My sweetheart. My kids are being taken care of by Ricks parents. They are all ok.
Hopefully next week I'll be home or will be feeling better to have visitors. Right nuw I'm keeping the number low because aside from crankiness, I'm pretty tired. Thank you for prayers.
Much love

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

PETScan Boat Ride

So I had my test yesterday. I do have Scanxiety as you may have read.
Betty said to pictures myself with Jesus in a flower field (I wish Betty would blog on here again).
Well, when I get on those tables, I get a rocking feeling.  The machine starts up (this one is very quiet), but I squeeze my eyes shut, because it can be tight in there. There's also a bright light.  I don't know what for.
So I started to picture the flower field, but it didn't work, so I thought ,"I'm in a boat, yeah, that's it"( said in a Jon Lovitz voice." I'm in a boat and Jesus has the rudder and the ropes, and the sail is full, and we are on the Sea of Galilee, going slow."  "Keep your eyes on me, pretend the light is the warm sun".  This was fine for the first ten minutes, then I get anxious,"20 mins to go ma'am"  The technician says through the microphone.
Thinking"Ho, Boy, I hate this stuff, what is that machine seeing?  How am I going to wait for results, what do I do if it's lousy, my nose is really itchy and my leg is cramped....should I shift my hip?'

Here comes His voice "keep your eyes on me"over and over, "Get back in the boat, I'm showing you around the Sea that I calmed in the storm, the Sea that I walked on", "I have a full sail and we are moving, you sit there and enjoy sunshine, and keep focused on me"  I do, I couldn't picture Christ but I knew he was there, I did picture the boat, and I still had that rocking motion, and then it was over.
Sweet.  Thank you Lord.
I thought about that a lot after.  The boat imagery didn't sink in .  I have been to Israel and know what the Sea of Galilee looks and feels like, so that part was easy, but the boat part, keeps me thinking.  Me and Him in a boat just big enough for the two of us.
Well, that was cool.
I ate lunch with Rick and my Mom, Betty painted my fingernails because my hands are wonky feeling, then I got sick from something and stayed in bed for the rest of the day and night and woke up this am.
So that was a bummer.
But I have another test in a few hours.
I know how to get through it.
Get Back in the Boat

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Scanxiety sinking in

Hi friends.  I've enjoyed a month of no tests and not too many Dr. appts, but tomorrow and Tues. I have a PET scan and CAT scan to see how new medicines are working.  Therefore, dealing with a bad case of Scanxiety. I'm sure a lot of you may face it too, and know what I'm talking about.
I'll admit it's ben a tough 8 months on chemo.  I've lost a lot of weight and had many side effects from chemo. Too many to list without sounding like a huge baby.
I wish I could say my resolve is strong but I am worn out.  Probably most of it is self-induced.  Pretty depressing and pretty depressed, makes me not want to do much and hermit-ise myself.
As much as I am thankful for still being here after 11 yrs of a tough diagnosis, it's been a totally different life than I thought it would be.  I continue to think of myself as a healthy person but I'm not.  Before cancer I was very strong and fairly fit. Hardly ever had a cold.   I miss that. The hardest thing to deal with right now is my weak voice and neuropathy in hands and feet.
It's humbling to be that woman or Mom or friend that is sick.  I was different before, and I wonder, sometimes, how different things would be, with my kids, friends, marriage, if it weren't for stink in' cancer. Pretty much since we've moved back to Florida, I've had cancer.  My dearest friends have only known me since I've been smacked with it.  That makes me sort of sad. But they have all helped me get through and taught me so much about The Lord and what life is really about.  Thanks, you know who you all are. Especially You!
Feeling bad for myself, you may ask?  Why, yes I am.
Feeling bad for family too? You bet!  My husband, who handles everything, my precious children who see me cry and have to deal with this too.  My Mom, who I see cry because she can't make me feel better. Rick's parents who sacrifice so much for us, and for my dear friends who try so hard to help me and don't know what to say.
Am I thankful?  Yes, for all the above mentioned, and so much more.
Would I be relying on my Savior as heavily as I am, if at all?  I don't know. Probably not.  I hope so, but trials are a way God uses to focus us.  Kind of like the way you focus a magnifying glass into a fine point to set a leave on fire.
I don't know how much more chemo I will need, or can handle.  It's poison for the sake of Pete. I sort of realize I'll always have to stay on something.        
I also understand it might just not work at all.  How much do I do?  What do I do?
I'm listening to Bob Dylan as I write... probably not the most uplifting, Tangled up in Blue I suppose?
Don't think twice, I suppose? Knocking on Heaven's Door?  not yet..
How about something totally cool?
Well, I've got a lot of things rattling around in my head, clearly, but I am thankful. I do have remind myself. There are  notes around my home reminding me to be. T he one in the bathroom mirror usually is the most difficult one to deal with. I see a lot of scars on my body and sadness in my eyes, but I am reminded of the one who has taken my scars and sins, and someday all my sadness. Here's a little more Bob Dylan, although I changed "she" to "He", obviously meaning My Lord and Savior. 

 "Shelter From The Storm"
 I was in another lifetime one of toil and blood When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud I came in from the wilderness a creature void of form "Come in" He said "I'll give you shelter from the storm". 
Ok, well I will update you with test results when I see my Doc.  
Honestly, besides the effects from chemo, I feel ok, so I think it'll be ok.I do appreciate prayers as always, for my family and me (or is it I). Feel free to correct me. Also, I don't know when to use "who" or "whom".

Bottom line, I take no credit for still being here after 11  yrs.  I realize God has a plan in light of this stuff.  Don't say I'm an inspiration, because, obviously I am struggling and I don't do this without the help of the Lord.
I feel strongly, lately, about the term " Survivor" as it relates to cancer.  Call me ungrateful, but a sweet young lady (35 yrs old, with three young kids) just died from her cancer this week.  Did she do something wrong as far as treatment that did not allow her to survive  or be deemed a "survivor"and other women have done something right  to survive? No, she did everything she could, more than you could imagine, but still the Lord took her home.  That's ok. She was a "Fighter"  I think that's a better term.  I am not a breast cancer survivor,  I'm a Bible believing , follower of Christ who is fighting a nasty  disease, so was she. Sounds snarky, sorry.

Don't even get me started on Saving the Ta-Tas, or I love Boobies or even thinking Pink in October.  That's for another post.
Listen, I am relieved and happy so many women are doing well, I know they should all be called fighters.  You don't just sit around and survive diseases, you fight them.  Some differently than others, most I know with the strength of God.  I don't know how some women do it without Him, and I don't mean a god, I mean The God. The Three in One God.
I shall step off my virtual soap-box.
Please pray for 
-good results
-my family that takes such good care of me
-thankfulness for a Good God that loves you, no matter what you think

ps, again I do not feel ike spell checknig

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Psalm 42:7-12 New International Version (NIV) 7 Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. 8 By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” 10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 11 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

This is how I feel lately.  Life is a roller coaster ride.  I can be so up and positive one day, then down in the dumps the next.
This mostly has to do with how I feel physically, but also how I look.  I can't really explain  it  very well, I'm not vain, but the effects of this cancer and treatment on my body, outwardly , is shocking.  Especially lately.
I won't list my complaints or the things that are ailing me, I am just asking for prayer for strength.  Something about listing things makes me feel ungrateful, but asking for your prayers, and the Lord knowing what I need seems right.
My heart is aching for my family that have  to listen to me complain or see me cry. PLease lift them up also.
I  am on a chemo right now that is oral, so no trips to infusion room.  PET and CAT scans in a month to see how things are going.  My cancer reacts well to chemo so I am thinking things will be ok, but the thought of always staying on chemo is quite difficult.

On a happier note, my kids seem to be adjusting back in school well.  Sarah Jane started middle school, and is going to play the trombone in the school band, how cute!  Charlie is in 11th grade and hopefully will take this year a bit more seriously, he is also in band and loves it, and Jimmy started college classes at BCC.  My sweet husband is a steady as they come.  He's such a good man, taking care of everything.  I love him so much. Best move I ever made, marrying him.
That's all for now.
Love Joann

Friday, August 10, 2012

Doin' Well

Finally a post to say I am doing well. Breathing better, on a new chemo that is hopefully kicking cancer butt, and eating more.
 A bit of drama this month in the House of Rootsey, but we are all staying tight. (whatever that means, it sounds cool, right) Kiddos, minus one back to school and doing well, I think. Oldest kid, sleeping a lot, but starts college classes soon. That will be interesting.

Me=Tired of feeling down. Trying to always look up.

Well, I had another prayer time that I was hesitant to write about. I did not know how to phrase it.
Just going to ramble and hopefully make a point.

I was in the shower having some prayer time. A bit overwhelmed. I have been studying (listening to on Audible)1st and 2nd Samuel and a bit of 1 Kings. There's an awful lot of tough stuff to understand. I'll admit, it's hard to make sense of. All of the death and judgement, sacrifices and warfare. Heavy stuff.
During prayer, I felt so overwhelmed and discouraged. I was thinking God was pretty mean and angry.

I think it was not too long after the shooting in Colorado. I didn't know how to pray. Just tears. Emotions were a little piled up.
God can be so hard to understand, but then the Lord's rebuke to Job came to mind.
  “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand".
Nope, don't understand.
I stopped whining. Well, I stopped whining for a bit.
But, "I am The Lord's beloved, so why so much struggling?Whaa-whaa".
Then a "Shush", (seriously, am I weird? These conversations happen in my shower!)

 I starting thinking about what I would look like standing before him. Humble, meek, but healthy and restored. Then I started to see a crown, and picturing it beautiful and sparkling. I thought,
 "How awesome to stand before you, Savior, with this crown and be able to take it off and place it at your feet. You deserve a much larger crown, Lord. Let me lay a bigger one down."
No answer, just a feeling that I need to think about what He laid down for me.
For a moment, just a moment, I thought, "I really would love to lay a bigger crown at your feet", "but wait, wait, I don't think I can go any bigger...forget I said that, God., this one is a good."
  My Grace is sufficient, My Grace is sufficient.
That's all that went through my mind. Whatever the size of my crown, or the length of this trial,or
questions I have about His judgement, He is sufficient, and He is always just, and He is Oh so mighty.
I still have doubts, fear, and questions, but I also know that promise is true.
His sufficiency.
I'm trying to wind this up poetically, or make a big point.
It's not coming to me, so I will just end it with this bit of Scripture

Job 42 Then Job replied to the Lord: 2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

Good night. I will try to remember what I have learned. PLease let me know what you think of my ramblings. Good or bad. It's all good. Here's a cute video for you, just to lighten things up.

Love, Joann

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Back To School!

Next week, two kiddos head back to school.
The other to start his AA.  Wow, it's been a tough 8 months for us but I am doing ok.  Kids and husband are doing terrific.  I'm on a new regimen of Tykerb and Xeloda.  We will see how that works in a month or so..praying
I've got a fair amount of neuropathy in one hand and both feet.  It's very irritating, especially when trying to fill out all those registration forms for kids.  ARRGGH.  I was also diagnosed with a pretty severe form of asthma, which the pulmonologist says I have probably had all along, just got used to breathing difficulties.
Brighter days are coming!  I know it!
I'm looking forward to settling into a schedule again, as I am not an early riser, and we all need a bit of structure.
Short Post.
Learning from the Lord as always, but very tired of this.   Learning to surrender, but so hard to let go of control.

Love you,

PS. This is the first selection that I have ever read from AW Tozer. I wish I wrote this! How perfectly stated and wonderfully beautiful.

Father, I want to know Thee, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival. Then shalt Thou make the place of Thy feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall be no night there. In Jesus Name, Amen. 

A. W. Tozer
The Works Of A. W. Tozer