Saturday, December 16, 2017

Life’s Pace Has a Purpose

Tonight I was thinking about how fast I’ve needed to move on medical, financial, automotive and other issues the past couple of months. Many days I have felt a bit concerned that I could not measure up to what the Lord wanted or expected of me.

Obviously, it keeps working out. But obviously, there are days when I am worn out.

Sometimes this is not a bad thing. We often complain when life tosses a bunch of problems at us all at the same time. When I look back, I can see that if the pace had been slower I might not have handled things as well as I did.

If we humans have too much time to think on our own, we are prone to mistakes. When things move fast, we are more prone to plead with God for help. And we really do need his help when things get tough.

I will need to try to always be mindful of this way of looking at the way life tosses things my way. God doesn’t necessarily toss them at us. But when we ask for his help, he does shield us from anything we cannot handle, and I believe he does expect, and want, us to ask for his help along the way.

Father in heaven, thank you for always being there to help me when I have the sense to ask for it. And thank you, in retrospect, for keeping things moving, dizzy as it might make me, so that I don’t have too much time to think too much on my own - you know my limits and capabilities much better than I do.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Taking a Moment to Rejoice

All my medical issues and minor surgeries have been moving so quickly that I haven’t had a moment to really stop and rejoice and thank the Lord for all he's done. I’m taking that moment now. 

I don’t believe he needs us to deliver a 30-minute speech to him to express our thanks. 

He knows that off and on, each and every day, I thank him silently. 

He knows that off and on, each and every day, I say quick prayers for those I know and hold dear who are facing their own troubles. 

He knows how much I appreciate his love for each and every one of us.

Father, sometimes we humans just need to hear the words Thank You and I Love You. Because we are made in your image, I think you, too, like to hear those words from your children. Thank you. I love you!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Medical Appointment Schedulers Driving Me Crazy

That appointment gal at the plastic surgeon's is driving me crazy. I finally got her this morning because I thought I had a fresh, quick appointment tomorrow - she had said she'd hold that spot for 20 minutes, yesterday, when she offered it to me. 

I called the free ride, booked it, and called her back in 10 minutes but it went to her voice mail so I left a message asking her to verify by calling me back and she never did. I waited all day. Nothing. 

Now this morning they tell me that I'm back to the 4th - this time, I just kept calling back until I got her again and she said that after she spoke to me, she went to clinic and didn't listen to messages until this morning and by then, that slot for tomorrow was gone! I told her that really messed me up because I was happily looking forward to getting those dressings off my back while trying to deal with the other side's soreness from the lumpectomy. 

Then she says she can give me one for next Thursday at 10:40 and would be by her phone all day. So I called transport yet again, cancelled tomorrow and booked a week from tomorrow. That's the day before my first lumpectomy checkup. Called her back. Finally, we're on the same track. 

Those people at that transport service are going to end up 86-ing me (sigh) if they keep this up... 

Ok - off my soap box.. at least it’s still sooner than the original on January 4th...

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Update After Lumpectomy, Lymph Biopsy Yesterday

Ok, I planned to post a little later today but I am already getting calls, texts and emails, and I do not have time or energy for individual replies. I love you all for caring, but my head is spinning, but happily so.

Surgery went well. We left at 7:15 am and got home just around 5 pm. Arrival was 8:30, then lots of time on paperwork, prep, and a nuclear dye injection after which they had to wait for it to “take.” Surgery happened around 12:15 and I was sitting up normal in Recovery by 2, but they wouldn’t let me leave until vitals reached a certain level.

Worst part of the whole thing was finding a vein for the IV - apparently when I had those 24 straight weeks of IV chemo’s back 1999, my veins blew and have not really recovered. They can draw blood easily but they cannot easily insert an IV. Took 3 stabs, 3 different technicians. BUT happily, they did not “probe.” We all know that pain!

Soreness much less than expected; flexibility better than expected. Wasn’t supposed to drive for 24 hours but my friend who had hers in April drove her family back to the airport the next day, so I took a much smaller drive this morning (2 miles round trip) and dropped off a pain Rx then went back later to get it. Don’t really need it but in case I accidentally push or pull too hard or twist the wrong way, should have it around.

Why my head is spinning is because, first, I just had that surgery yesterday, second, did not figure to run over for the Rx, and third, they just called and found an earlier date for my basal cell cancer surgery originally scheduled for January 4 - they just replaced that date with THIS Thursday, day after tomorrow! So 2 surgeries this week - record for me...

Called for the free ride immediately because that one is too far and awkward to find. After I hung up from that, I finally printed 3 full month-on-a-page calendar sheets with BIG blocks, marked Medical at the bottom edge, and clipped on top of my Bills clipboard. When I began filling appointments in, I realized I needed to now cancel the ride for the 4th of January, so back on the phone. I still need to also book them for the Dec 22 lumpectomy follow-up with the surgeon.

BUT by Christmas, all the surgeries will be done, and next year will merely be awash in checkups, follow-ups, and other ups and downs...cool.

Now, it is almost 1 pm and I am tired. Time to flop for a half hour or so on the lift chair...

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Still More To Do Before Lumpectomy Tomorrow

Ok. I packed, labeled and delivered the button face angels to inside the post office. It will process overnight and be on its way. 

Changed the furnace filters - it will be too hard to lift that metal cover off the unit those two or three weeks when my lifting ability is still iffy. Took all the recycle and regular trash outside. For the next week or so, I’ll just take it out in small grocery bag trips. 

Filled some 1/2 gallon jugs of water and tipped the fresh 3-gallon jug onto the clay pot. Easy now to deal with water this coming week. Took out some pork chili and pea soup from freezer so I’d have that for tomorrow night. I also mixed a can of salmon and an avocado (with Tbsp. of lemon juice) and can eat off that, too, nice and healthy, for next 3 days. 

I took my little power chopper and chopped enough walnuts and peanuts to fill 2 PB jars and have them ready for oatmeal for coming weeks (I toss a heaping tablespoon of each into the oatmeal when I have that). 

Changed the batteries in my digital camera and took some photos of some plastic canvas Santa Bears to post to my Facebook page. Can’t find the stuffed fabric nativity I’ve been looking for. 

Cleared off the washer and dryer. Sometime after Noon (I’ll take an hour break after I post this), I’ll take a shower, change my dressing on my shoulder to hold for several days, and do one load of laundry.

I’ll relax this afternoon with another order that is almost done. Hoping that can mail later this week but it is lightweight and worse come to worse, I’ll absorb part of the shipping and send it Priority...

Friday, December 8, 2017

In Case I Get Too Distracted, Father...

Father, I need to take a moment to thank you for helping me move along this recent path of medical “fixes.” I know I might have sounded as though I were whining or resisting once or twice, but I really am grateful for how easily and quickly you have moved me along. Thank you!

Juggling Appointments - Challenge

Juggling these appointments is a real challenge. I need to do a calendar page for each of the next few months, and fill them in, so that I can print them, update them, whenever I want. I’ll make the file a shortcut on my desktop for easy access. And I’ll print them once a week and tack them somewhere where I can see them at a glance - wall calendar does not have enough room for all of this.

I thought I was doing well with them in my head, but my inner-head-space is getting crowded.

Yep, maybe today.

Just came home from the pre-op blood test and EKG. Nurse said EKG looked good for someone my age. Had to cancel my Friday charity crafters and have to do that again on the 22nd. I do not want to interrupt the flow of this because everything is moving along very well. Lumpectomy and lymph-biopsy is Monday.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Both Surgeries Scheduled, Almost

While I was at the one surgeon’s office, the other called to schedule but had to leave a message.

The basal cell carcinoma will be done Jan. 4, at his office, with a local, and he’ll use stitches that require the least amount of care and/or effort. There will be a two-week follow-up to make sure he got everything.

The lumpectomy/lymph-biopsy will be this coming Monday, outpatient, at a hospital, under anesthesia. A friend in here who had the same thing done in April, and doesn’t mind this particular drive, will take me and wait and bring me home. It could be hours and when I mentioned that, she simply said she would just bring two books instead of one. I left a message just now so they’ll get it first thing when they get in tomorrow, that the date is fine. They’ll call me back tomorrow with particulars.

I mentioned that I’d be out for an hour or so, though, tomorrow, for the podiatrist visit. Aside from that, it’s a Go.

I think I’ll hit the two food pantries on Thursday. I will be tired by Friday afternoon, but Saturday and Sunday, I can rest for Monday’s fun and games. Oh, I might have to have that coil done on the car - will try to do that Saturday.

And away we goooooo!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Am I Being Too Pushy, Father?

It occurred to me this morning, Father, while I was walking gently, delivering the monthly newsletters, that I might be a bit pushy in my assumptions and hopes on this surgery issue.

I have been telling everyone, and assuming myself, that both the breast lumpectomy (with its accompanying lymph biopsy) and the basal cell carcinoma surgery, would be done and over with, except for healing and checkups, this month. I’ve even gone so far as to say “before Christmas.”
I have absolutely no reason to assume that at the moment. They haven’t even called me to schedule it. This time of year, many medical personnel take extended holiday breaks.

So, I really need to simmer down and relax into your plans for these events, not mine.

Father in Heaven, please forgive my brash assumptions and hopes. Instead, I pray for the grace and wisdom and patience to simply accept your timing on these events. I trust in what you are working on. I trust in your wisdom as to how and when it should be done. I trust in you.

I Love My Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar!

A friend surprised me with an animated Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar. The weekend was so busy that I didn’t get chance to open it until just before lunch today. I was eating some of my freshly made pork chili while enjoying the activities immensely.

I’m not sure whether she sent one to anyone else so I won’t mention her by name, but I am so so happy with this! I’ve always loved the Lawson animations but this tops everything I’ve ever seen.

If you are on the fence about what to do for that certain person who has everything, if they have a PC or smart phone, you must check it out. Just go to the Jacquie Lawson site and you’ll see the fees and how many you can get for each discounted quantity.

Considering my December this year, I love the chance for simple distractions and this will keep me busy for a long time, day after day after day. So much to do - trees to trim, puzzles to play, snowflakes to make and hang, and much much more. And this is only Dec. 3 - I have days and days of enjoyment to go.

Thank you, my dear friend, for such a thoughtful and perfect gift! I love this and am so grateful for it.
Hugs and prayers, always, for you and yours - you know who you are. If you feel like acknowledging this, wonderful. If not, your cover is safe with me!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Managed Some Productivity Today, Gently

Considering how the day began, I managed to get some things done today.

Early on, I hand delivered half of my share of the park’s newsletters to about 60 porch railings. Back in the day, it would be quick but I am still happy to say I do it, at my own pace, in about an hour. Tomorrow I will do another run, about the same amount.

As soon as I was done, I drove over to my guy and had them check the car. Most of you already know it was the coil from an earlier post. I could probably use a full tune-up but my guys know my financial situation and we’re doing it as each thing comes up. This will be done the next time it misfires, but the next time, I won’t be so concerned. I know now what to expect and what to do.

By the time I got back home, it was somewhere between 9 and 9:30 but I had been going non-stop since around 6, so I heeded my bod and sat back on the lift chair and just vegged out for a while.
Later, around 1, I re-activated myself. Changed the kitty litter. That requires gently local broom sweeping of the area. I have no idea why these fur babies love scattering that stuff so much!.I had a light lunch (salmon/mashed-avocado salad, some pickled beets, and some steamed green cauliflower) of a sort of salad plate.

I’ve already printed some medical forms I need to fill out, scan and re-send before Monday, so I might at least take my first look at them. If they are simple, I’ll do them today. If not, I’ll finish them tomorrow. There are 12 pages!

I had pre-soaked a 2lb bag of pinto beans yesterday. I’ll be using some of those with other “stuff” this evening to cook a crock pot of shredded pork chili overnight.  I pretty much have that pot filled but I’m hoping the onions and peppers cook down so that I don’t have to scoop some stuff out before it overflows during the night...once in a great while, I over-fill and forget that this type of cooking creates liquid from the slow cooking and steaming.

Prayers Answered in a Way; Thank You My Friends

Ok. My guy says this was a spark plug misfire. We replaced the plugs and jackets a month or so ago, but this is the coil. 

With the plugs, the labor was the highest cost, parts minimal. With the coil, the labor will be minimal but the part will be costly. Either way, when I asked if it happens again and I am out on errands, can I finish the errands and then come in the next day, or as soon as I have the funds, he said that is fine. I will not endanger anyone or myself.

Yesterday when it happened, and the car shuddered, I remembered that happening before and it seemed connected to the misfire. He verified that. So I will deal with a new coil as soon as I can but I have health priorities this month.

So, thank you, each of you for your prayers. I know that some of you say silent prayers even when you do not visibly give a thumb’s up or other way to saying so. I keep all of you in my own heart and prayers.

Father in heaven, once again, thank you for keeping me on track. Thank you for the gentle warning. Forgive my freaking out yesterday but thanks for helping me see what I needed to do. You are always there for me.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Plans: Falling Apart vs Falling Into Place

I really get annoyed at myself when I begin to sound like I am whining or whimpering. Early this afternoon I was quickly overwhelmed when I found my Service Engine Soon light on yet again. I felt that my plans for this weekend were falling apart.

Called my guy, reaffirmed that light is important and that it protects many areas of the vehicle and needs to be diagnosed. Especially if the engine shudders a bit when driving - that part I’m not sure whether I imagined or really experienced.

Either way, it must be checked.

I kept thinking of all I wanted to do tomorrow and Sunday after I deliver my share of our park’s newsletters on foot. I knew I’d be tired when finished and didn’t relish jumping right into the car at that point and driving over there.

Then I remembered all the plans I had for the car in the next few weeks. I knew I still needed to get out and get some pompons for stuffing, drop some baby quilts at Baby’s Bounty next week, hopefully hit 2 food pantries before the surgeries, get to the podiatrist on Wednesday morning, get some things at the store before those upcoming surgeries.

If this had not happened today, I would not be checking it this early in the game in this instance. Something could easily have happened while I was out on the road. It could even have happened after my surgeries when I would have been out on the road, sore from the operations.

At that point, I realized what had happened. My plans were not falling apart. His plans were falling into place.

Thank you, Father...thank you, yet again!

New-Old Problem with Car Just Now

Busy few days but I thought I had it all under control even with lots of running around, trying to tie up loose ends before both upcoming surgeries.

This morning, charity crafting. After that, I was in and out of the house, bringing in almost 2 dozen scarves one of our team just finished and packing a bag of yarn for her next batch. When I dropped that off to her, the car had been idling for a short while and when I got back in and drove home, just here in the Park, it was shuddering a little and the Service Engine Soon light was on.

We thought we had just taken care of that that a month ago with the spark plug replacement. I called my guy just now. I’ll go in tomorrow right after I finish walking/delivering to about 50 homes very early in the morning. I will be tired and I had stuff I needed to do tomorrow but that light is important.

It can signal so very many different issues and they need to check with their diagnostic thingie.
That means I can’t do the overnight crock pot thing I planned tonight because I have no clue how late it will be when I get back from the mechanic. I’ll have to put everything in the fridge and try again tomorrow night.

Not to mention costs involved - no clue what we’re facing. I’m a little tired at this point - lots of days with lots of running around with lots of tests and now this. Oh, well, It is what it is. Deep breath.

Father in heaven, you know what I need. Plain and simple. I’m too tired to get wordy on this. Sorry. I trust in you.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Did What I Could Before Energy Level Fizzled

By now, most of you realize that my highest energy level is when I awaken and throughout the morning and early afternoon. I’ve always been like that. Today was no exception.

I spent 2 hours printing our community newsletter, but finished by 8:30 a.m.

Along the way, I made more ice cubes, made and finished some special order coasters for a friend, took my freezer defrost kit (coolers, pans) out and around to the shed, put 2 totes on porch with full size quilts and spreads that I posted for sale in our newsletter.

I also attached a Christmas wreath to the outside front door and added one to the front porch railing. I added some sparkly trim to the railing around the wreath and around the bird bath pedestal. I’ve still got one wreath and some other trims I wanted to put at the front of my driveway but didn’t have the energy for that today.

I bagged all the trash from little bins around house and took that and the rest out to trash. I’ll roll the buckets out tonight for tomorrow’s pickup.

At the moment, I’m almost finished making a great veggie omelet for lunch; I am very very hungry.

I also found some things to offer for holiday sales on Facebook; but I need to take photos and add price captions somehow.

Time for me to stop and relax for a while. I do have to toss some not-so-soft veggies into the blender (red beets, beans) that probably should have cooked longer before I froze them. I will use them up over the next few days.