Monday, September 28, 2009

Wendell with an update

I see my wife has not blogged in several days so I thought I would jot a line or two to let you know what is going on.

I guess we were expecting to be like brand new the day our radiation was over and it just has not happened. Debbie just does not seem to have very much energy and she is still not eating very much. I am beginning to think, due to her inability to eat very well, she is not getting the nutrients she needs to get her energy back. Her diet as of right now pretty much consist of pinto bean juice, mashed tators, tator soup or ice cream. I don't think that is going to cut it.

I don't want it to sound all bad, but I am not the best blogger. We are very thankful the radiation is over and we do not have to make that trip daily. Also we are so thankful for all our friends and family for all you have done. We are amazed and challenged by your kindness and generosity. We love you all.

By the way, we are in revival this week and the message was entitled "How to Handle Hard Times." God never ceases to amaze me.

Done With Radiation

I'm sorry I haven't blogged in awhile. I have been nauseous off and on for the last week or so and when I felt well I was planning a 16th birthday party for Kiah. We had her party here at the house Saturday, it went pretty good despite all the rain!!!
I finished my radiation treatments last Wednesday!!!!! It has been wonderful not having to drive to Knoxville everyday!!!!! I haven't noticed any real improvement in my health yet, but I know it will take time. They have told me the radiation has built up in my body for the last seven weeks and will take a year for it to be gone. I just Praise the Lord He led me through it. I praise God for His precious grace to finish the treatments. The last couple of weeks have been pretty hard but God saw me through!!!! Now that I am finished I find myself reflecting over the last year. I have thought about when I first discovered the lump and the uneasy feeling it brought to me. I have thought about Wendell and I sitting in the waiting room at Dr. Sewall's office, after being told it didn't look good, and just praying God would give me grace to deal with whatever this meant. I have reflected over our many trips to Nashville. Losing my Mom the night before my first surgery, not understanding. The first surgery when we thought we were free and clear, only to find out the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes and I needed another surgery. All the unexpected physical challenges of that second surgery. The radiation treatments, the chemo, the hospital stays.... All the sadness my kids and Wendell have felt as they watched me go through this. But through it all the Lord has been faithful. When we were down He lifted us up. His grace HAS BEEN SUFFICIENT.
I want to write more but the nausea still rules!!! So I will try to update again soon.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Three To Go

Well it's Sunday evening and I have finally came out of my coma!!! I was so nauseous and sick yesterday I slept all day long. Today I have not been nauseous but I have had no energy and have slept all day. I woke up starving and once again my mother in law had came to my rescue!! She had already made and brought pinto bean "juice" over and left it for me!!!! I enjoyed two bowls of Wendell's delicious mashed potato's with her pinto bean juice!!! Ahhh so good!!!

Kathy and Allen saved the day for me Friday. We had picked Kiah up from school and went to radiation and then to the mall to shop for her birthday. I wasn't feeling very well so we went to eat first thing. Chick Fillet was out of chicken soup so I bought it at another restaurant. It was about three noodles in a bowl of broth, not very filling. By the time we got home I was pretty hungry. You see my mouth and throat are pretty deformed inside there now!!! I can't just eat a cracker or chips or just anything to "tide me over" I pretty much have to have something cooked with a lot of juice to get it to go down. Allen showed up about ten minutes after we got home with a big bowl of homemade Chicken Soup!!! It was soooo good and right on time!!!Haha!!! Once again I am amazed at the kindness every one has shown me. I am so blessed!!! I know I say that a lot but I just can't get over God's goodness to me in sending me such great friends and family!!!

I am starting to see "the light at the end of the tunnel"!!!! I should finish my radiation treatments this Wednesday. Only three more to go!!! I will have had 37 treatments once I am finished. It has been a long road, and rough at times. These last couple of weeks have been pretty hard physically and emotionally, but God's grace has been sufficient. I will meet with the Chemo doctor in two weeks to decide about more chemo treatments. He wanted to give me time to heal a little before continuing.

Two of my girls had birthdays this past week. Stephanie turned 26 on Sept. 17, and Kiah turned Sweet 16 on Sept. 17. Happy birthday girls!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Update

Debbie has been very nauseous today, even to the point of vomiting. She has slept much of the day with just no energy. We had a nice supper and she was able to eat mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. Please pray for her as we have three scheduled treatments left.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wendell here going to post for a change......

Since Debbie has felt like posting, I have just left the communication up to her, however it appears she hasn't posted since she started back on radiation so I thought I would drop a line or two.

As of tonight, she is still able to eat some and her mouth doesn't appear to be getting sore inside but her jaw is sore. She is fairly tired and rest quite of bit but that is probably the best thing for her. Please continue to pray as we only have 5 radiations left. Might I add, tonight after we got back from radiation, she rested until around 7:30 now she is up baking cupcakes for Stephanie's class at school to celebrate Steph's 26th birthday tomorrow. Happy Birthday Steph! (bet I'm the first to say it)

I was thinking today about how good God has truly been to us through all of this and it amazes me at His mercy and grace. There are so many sicknesses going around in all of the schools, three of us in our house work in a store where we see anywhere from 300 to 550 people everyday, handle the most contaminated thing in the world (money), Kiah goes to school everyday and there has been some sickness there, swine flu is raging, and I could go on and on but thus far our God has been merciful to us and none of us have been sick. Debbie with her blood count going so low, was very vulnerable to catch any and all sickness going but God has proven very faithful to us. We can set and complain (as I have caught myself doing) but we have much to praise God for.

I, like my wife want to thank all of you for your prayers, calls, cards, notes and gifts during this time. I do believe we have the best friends in the world. We are amazed at how deeply concerned people are and how willing you are to carry our burdens. We love you all and thank you for praying for us.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Great Is The Lord

"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable."
Psalm 145:3

I can not go to sleep tonight without writing another blog to say THANK YOU!!!!
I spent the day yesterday in a deep valley. I awoke this morning to the same. My heart was so heavy. The journey seemed almost more than I could continue to bear. I felt so worn down. My tears came easily. I don't like to cry, crying seems as if I'm feeling sorry for myself. I have been given so many blessings in this life that spending even a moment having a pity party and crying is so selfish. I had prayed and searched the scriptures and came asking for you to pray on my behalf. Once again our God was faithful. I know when I ask, through this blog, for people to help me pray, so many are so faithful to take my name to the Lord. I can not begin to tell you the difference your prayers have made in my life. I am soooo unworthy of such friendship. I am so humbled by such friendship. Once again God's loving kindness and grace has shown through in my life today. What began as a dark valley became a wonderful sunny day for me. God's grace has been sufficient.
Wendell, Punky and I left for the trip to Knoxville for my radiation treatment. We picked Kiah up from school a little early. I was in and out of the treatment in less than 10 minutes. We then went to dinner at TGI Friday's. I didn't think I could handle there "soup of the day", so instead, I had ice cream for dinner:) We then went to Krispy Kreme and on to UT Hospital to visit with three different families. After leaving the hospital we stopped at Sam's Club to pick up some things for the store and then headed for home. All of this probably sounds like a pretty boring evening, but to me it was a wonderful blessing!!! I felt well and had the strength to function. It was so nice to once again be out with my family. We were able to talk and just enjoy being together. I was able to stay awake and felt better than I have felt in days, mentally and physically!!! Just feeling well enough to enjoy being out with Wendell and the girls is something I haven't felt in a long, long time. I know the Lord answered our prayers and allowed me to have such a wonderful, simple evening!!!
Thank you for your prayers, uplifting comments, phone calls and emails. I still cannot understand how people face the "valleys" in this life without God, family, and wonderful Christian friends.

Please Help Me Pray

I'm reaching out this morning, asking once again for prayer I'm so undeserving of. I'm going to speak from my heart in this blog, which sometimes is not easy for me to do. Most of the time I consider myself a fairly strong person. If I have something to do I set my sights on it and get it done. I've never been a quitter. I get it from my Mom. But I have came to a point where I just don't know if I can go on. I have feared this point from the beginning. I have eight radiation treatments left. I think they intend to hold the chemo until after the radiation is finished, I will find out about that this week. I am scheduled to resume the radiation today. I just don't know if I have the strength of body or mind to continue. I must admit I find myself in a very low valley this morning. I have been searching the scriptures and asking the Lord for answers. Please help me to pray.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Bald Debut

Well, I see I have made my bald debut on the Internet!!! Thanks Steph, Teresa and Punky :)

It's Wednesday morning and I just found out I will be spending another night here at Baptist West. Not what I consider exciting news:(

As Stephanie has said, I woke up about 3:00 am Saturday morning freezing, with a fever of 101*. The Doctors had told us, at the beginning of this Radiation/Chemo trip, that if I developed a fever of 100.5* or greater I would have to be admitted into the hospital. My mouth and throat were so sore I did not have a voice. So off we went to the hospital and have been here since. I'm going to be honest, this past weekend I reached my lowest point so far, on this journey. My mouth, tongue and throat are covered in blisters. I have had one blister on my tongue before that has made me miserable, but a mouth full of them is a whole new ball game!!! The pain was pretty intense, and it took quite a while for the doctors to get it to a manageable level. My voice was pretty much inaudible and swallowing was almost unbearable!!! I did not eat anything from Thursday until Tuesday night. I have to admit I have done a lot of crying this weekend, so much for being strong!!! I can't say I understand all the "whys?" but I do know my God has a purpose. Please continue to pray that my eyes will be open to anything the Lord intends for me to learn. It is still my desire to walk this path in His will. Even through my tears His grace has shown through.
I have eight more radiation treatments to go. I don't know when they will resume them. The Radiation doctors do not like to skip treatments and I know they will be anxious for me to continue as soon as I get out of here. On the other hand the other doctors feel the need for me to recover more. Please pray the Lord will give Wendell and I and the doctors wisdom in making these decisions. The radiation doctors have stressed the importance of not missing or delaying any treatments, especially the ones near the end. We sure do not want to make a decision that would set us backwards or make the treatments already endured, less effective.
I hope to get out of here tomorrow. The reason he wouldn't let me go today was because I had ate and drunk very little. Once again my Mother in Law has came to the rescue and sent me potato soup today. After numbing my throat I was able to eat one and a half cups!!!!
Well, some things haven't changed, like my nap times!!! Please continue to ask the Lord for His will in my life.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back in the Hospital

Hello family and friends. This is Stephanie posting for mom. She asked me to update her blog.

Friday while enjoying camping in Townsend, Mom started feeling weak and was unable to eat. Saturday morning she work up at 5:00am with a fever. After talking to the doctors on the phone, Wendell took mom to the emergency room. Her white blood cell count was too low to fight off infection. She was hospitalized.

This time has been really rough on her. She's felt rough and hasn't had much comfort until a little today. She might get to go home tomorrow. As of now, chemo and radiation are on hold until her system can rebuild itself.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's Been A long Journey, But I Am So Blessed

Today was suppose to be chemo day, but because of blisters in my mouth, they held the treatment. Yesterday and today has been the worse reactions to the radiation I have had. My throat, jaws, mouth and tongue are blistered. I have felt pretty miserable because of this. I just thank the Lord for the magic mouthwash the doctors had prescribed for me. Without it eating and drinking would be impossible and breathing, at times, hurts!!! Wendell and I were having a pretty emotional day today after leaving chemo. We went to the yogurt shop to get me some ice cream since I had not ate all day, but I just couldn't eat it (My mouthwash was at home) :( If and when I get through this I have forewarned Wendell I will weigh between 600 and 900 pounds!!! I intend to eat everything in sight!!! I haven't been able to eat anything but broth yesterday and today. Anyway, when we got back home, my Mother in Law was at the house. She had made me potato soup. The potato soup sounded wonderful, but I knew if it was not real runny I wouldn't be able to eat it. IT WAS PERFECT!!!! I feel like a new woman!!!! My stomach is full!!! She put cream of chicken soup and onions in it and I could actually taste some of the flavor!!! I miss my Mom so much now, but Jean has been so good to me and such a blessing to me during this time. She worries over me not being able to eat much and does everything she can to find something I can eat. I am soooo blessed!!! Karen made me champagne salad (a cool whip, fruit desert) this past weekend that was wonderful too. I don't know how people make it through the tough times in this life without God, good friends and family!!! I am sooo blessed.
I saw the radiation doctor yesterday. He has decided to give me 4 additional boost treatments. So, instead of five days left, I now have 9:(
As I have said before, Thank You sounds so inadequate for the prayers you have been so faithful in praying for me. But at this point that is all I know to say. Thank you for keeping me in your prayers. The past few days have been a little emotional, because of the pain and because the journey seems to be getting long. But our God is faithful and I know He will see me through.
Every time I get down the Lord sends something or someone to brighten my day. Who would have ever thought I would have been as excited over a bowl of potato soup as much as I would a trip to the beach!!!!