Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Long Story Short

As you see in the last post, I was diagnosed with Cancer in October, 2018. The bad thing is that my best friend, Vicki was diagnosed the next month. I had chemo from Nov 2018 until May 2019. Hardest thing I have ever done until Nov. 15, 2019. I had to tell Vicki goodbye.  We were best friends for 41 years.  Nov. 23 was her and her hubby, Eddies, 42nd anniversary and Nov. 26 was her 67th birthday. Our hearts are broken. We were like sisters. We told each other everything. She was my childrens second mom. I miss her. We miss her.

It's Jan. 21 today. As far as my health, my scans are good and my tumor markers are good. Thank you Lord.  I still have debilitating pain with my back.  I got an MRI today hopeful that they will find something that they can fix.  I also got an IV that should help strengthen my bones that were damaged through chemo and steroids.  

2019 has been the hardest year of my life.  I also have another major thing that has to do with a family member that needs lots of prayer.  Please help my pray.  

I really want to do more on my blog. I love facebook but I always said this blog is for my children.  I have a lot to learn. I have forgotten a lot of this stuff but hope to continue soon. One thing I am having problems with is loading pictures.  I guess I will figure it out.  

I met a lot of blogging friends through this blog. Oh not in person, but some of my dearest friends in the blogging world are from this blog I started in 2007.  I have so many things I want to do.  
But this is a start......

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

My Cancer Journey Part 1

January 2018
My journey.

Sweet Hunter had been out of town.
While he was gone it was cold and the ponds were frozen. To give the cows water I had to beat the ice with a hoe. It was so hard I had to call one of our friends for help. Thankfully, George took care of the cows for me & I could carry fresh water to the other animals.
I was so thankful when Sweet Hunter came home. I was so excited. I wanted to get all the chores done so I could see him. So I went outside and started with Lily, our great Pyranees. She was 100 lb puppy at the time that wanted to sit on our laps all the time. She was bigger than us. Lol. Well. Sweet Hunter had always told me when I go out & he’s not here to carry my cell phone. But that day I didn’t. I knew he was home and I’d be back in quickly.
Well long story short, Lily jumped up on me, knocked me down on a frozen creek, got in my lap and wouldn’t get off. She was as excited to see me as I was to see Sweet Hunter! (Smile) I knew I was hurt because I couldn’t move. So I sat until she decided to get off when she saw a squirrel. I could barely move. I was in pain. But I suffered through and got everything else fed and watered. Then came in, told my Sweet Hunter what happened. Of course he told me I should have had my cell phone to call him. He was right. As always.
As I moved around, it seemed to ease up some with pain pills (which I hate) but I was just so excited my Sweet Hunter was home. He doesn’t have to leave but once a year and only for a couple of days but it seems like a life time to me.
Our baby girl, Mandy had just moved in a new house and I hadn’t got to help her at all. So I went to bed with the plans to wake up and go help her. And I did go but wasn’t much help. When I woke up, I told SH that I felt like I had the flu. I don’t mean like a cold but aching all over especially my back. I went down to her house, when I realized I couldn’t help. SH came by and told me I needed to eat so he took us to lunch but I just couldn’t. He told me to go home and rest. I remember getting in my car but I couldn’t tell you how I got home. The only thing I remember that day after that is seeing my bed and crawling in. And if anyone knows me. I don’t do that. I don’t hardly sit down. much less lay down.
That was the beginning of my journey. I started yesterday looking back. Now I’m catching you up starting with the beginning. Again, this is not for sympathy. This is to encourage you to listen to your body and know what’s happening.
I just hope this helps someone. Everybody has a story. Welcome to ours. 
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A Special Day For Me

So to really understand how special this day was, you have to realize that I have been in my house except for 
the hospital and doctors for 8 months!
It's been a long time!
So my bloodwork was good and I had my last planned chemo behind me and I felt good!
So our daughter, Mandy came and got me and took me to our other daughter, Maranda's house to celebrate her birthday late. It felt good to actually get dressed up and get out!
Now, keep in mind, this day wasn't all about me but it was all about me!!!
Mandy planned it all. She got Marandas gifts from us all and just made this day so special.
We did miss our other daughter, Shannon though.
She had to work.
So Mandy even planned our lunch and it was so good!
It was croissants with barbecue turkey, cheese, lettuce & tomatoes! And the best pasta salad ever! 
And  the best cookies ever!
Did I tell you how special this was?
She made it look so easy!
She brought it all prepared!
I am very proud of my children!!!
There's the birthday girl!!!
It really was about her special day!
But I have the blog!!
Doesn't that look delicious?
It was delish!
Of course, I am eating like a horse
because of steroids!
Hopefully, about through with that!
Happy Birthday Maranda on my special day!
I ate every bite plus!!!
Thank you to Mandy for planning this!
Mandy told us that we need to do this once a month.
She said, if this trial has taught us anything it would be 
to do more together because life is short!
Maranda has taught me this...
Boy isn't that the truth?
I am more than thankful!!
Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good:
for his mercy endureth forever.
Psalm 107:1

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Facebook Vs. Blogger

Just in case someone from face book is popping in.....I was hacked. So I had to delete my face book account.  I hope to be back soon.  Just trying to figure it all out.  In the meantime...….I made hot wings and spinach artichoke dip for our lunch/supper! I also did chocolate chip cookies for dessert!

So while there are crazies out there trying to get in to accounts, I had a good afternoon here at home.  Sweet Hunter worked most the day outside in this heat! We have a cow that is due anytime so we keep checking on it. It's hard to tell but its exciting! I hope it happens at night so it will be cooler.  

I haven't blogged in so long, I am having to relearn this.  My pictures from my phone will not download. It's just one thing after another. But I will figure it out.  I hope.  (smile) This is actually where I like to blog anyway.  Facebook was just quick and easy and you get a lot of followers pretty fast.  

You know. It's not about the numbers. It was about the young girls that were learning what I wish someone had taught me when I was young. It was a ministry. But I can do a womens ministry from here too. I used to.  I just can't figure out why there is so much hate in this world. Why can't everyone be happy?  But hackers don't have anything better to do no matter who they are.  I don't consider them enemies. But we still need to pray for them  Its really so sad.
Pray for Them.
Do Good to them if they will let you.
Stay Humble.
Believe me, I was blind but now I see.
Thank you Lord.

Friday, May 24, 2019

My Story Called Life Update Part 2


This has been the hardest thing I have ever experienced personally in my life.
Chemo & Cancer
As hard as this has been, there is always somebody worse.
It's so sad.  I saw 2 this morning that were so sick. 

If you have your health, be thankful.  I was strong and healthy and worked so hard everyday and I still got "C!"I knew something was wrong.  I can't describe how I felt.  I guess it was my gut feeling. And I definitely believe in a gut feeling.  But here's the thing, getting a doctor to listen.

I have had to stay away from my grandbabies 
so I wouldn't get sick.
That was so hard.  I didn't go out to eat 
or to church or anywhere. I didn't drive.
I stayed at home. 
And as much as I love home, I needed to go somewhere.
Long story short when the worst happened,
 it got the doctors attention.
And then I was referred to an oncologist. 
I had never heard of one of those.  
But we liked him right off. 
He acted as though he cared.
And he does.
And not only that, once I was out of the hospital, 
I found out that one of my friends 
from Church was his head nurse. God thing? I think so.
She's been such a blessing to me. And a prayer warrior for me.
I would go to chemo & I thought to myself. I can do this. 
I will bring some handwork to do.  
I can do this.  
But then I realized quickly 
I couldn't use my hands and one of the drugs 
in the chemo caused a horrible cold sensitivity that caused me to not be able to eat or drink anything cold.
 It would make my mouth and tongue draw. 
It quickly took my hands. I had to wear gloves.
I had to stay very warm or it would cause my hands to draw.
This was horrible  I will admit it.
It has also caused neuropathy in my hands and feet to this day.
But I am praying it goes away. 
Help me pray.

Once I started chemo in November, 
I met many chemo nurses that I loved. I still do.
They all have different personalities and 
I learned their names one by one.
I've saw them get in a circle and 
pray for someone that is hurting. 
And I do know that prayer changes things.
I do realize that they have jobs and homes and kids and families, but I also see that they all seem to care.
And that's a blessing to me.
I've been with them for months.  
They work so hard that it actually amazes me.

There is also one sweet girl at the front desk that I love.
I don't even know her name.
But she is so compassionate with anyone that comes in.
She always tells me how much better I look which really makes me feel good.
I think these nurses are a gift from God.
Be blessed, Val

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Philippians 4:13

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Part Of My Story Called Life UPDATE

I haven't updated in over 2 years. Sorry.  Remember our Granddaughter? Well she's doing well and we are more than thankful.  Thank you for your prayers. 

But. January of 2018 I fell. We had ice. I was out watering and feeding all the chickens and breaking ice for the cows when my Great Pyranees, Lily jumped on me, just playing. But she was 100 lbs. and still thought she was a puppy.  When she jumped on me, it knocked me on the ground. She then proceeded to try to get in my lap and I couldn't get up. She was just so big and strong.  It was one of the few times I didn't carry my cell phone out.  I woke up the next day not feeling well at all but couldn't pin point it except my back.. My back was hurt so bad.  I suffered so. I also had a strange smell in my nose that wouldn't go away.  I went to dr. but they didn't do anything.  Crazy.

Fast forward to March. Started having rib pain. I still had the smell in my nose also. The rib pain was debilitating.  It was horrible. It kept me up all night.  I called the dr. and she sent me for a mammogram and ultrasound stat.  I was thankful for that. I just knew I had breast cancer.  We waited and waited in the waiting room and they came out and said everything was clear.  Thank the Lord.  I cried and praised HIM in the waiting room. I didn't care who was watching me.

Fast forward to April.  I couldn't hardly walk across a room  I had no strength at all. I tried to go feed my chickens and had to sit down on the ground.  All this time back pain was still there. The smell in my nose was still there.  Rib pain was gone.  But no strength.  I went back to my primary doctor and told her I had cancer or heart problems.  I explained no strength and she passed it off because of my back pain.  I insisted on some kind of test. She said all she could do is a cbc.  I told her to do it.  Then I got the call a couple of days later that I was anemic.  They explained I was bleeding somewhere and they would try to get me in with a gastro dr  They put me on iron 3 times a day. The first iron pill made a difference.  I asked them could it heal itself and they said yes.  So now I wait.  I wait on the call for the gastro dr. And I wait.. And I wait. And I wait.

Finally after several weeks I called my primary dr. back.  The nurse said she would try again. I said ok.  All this time thinking if I am bleeding somewhere internally, shouldn't that be stat? Evidently not  And I trusted them.  Long story short I kept calling.  I finally got an appt. in August 2018 with gastor dr. set up. I go after all those months of begging for a dr. to see me.  They set me up a colonoscopy November 16, 2018.  I asked shouldn't I be stat.  They said no.  So I waited again. And I wait. And I wait.  One day I got so sick at my stomach I called and begged them to see me or move the colonoscopy up. I screamed on the phone which is so not me..But I did.  Then they call me back 2-4 hours later. This was in October and on a Wednesday.  They told me to come to hospital for colonoscopy that Friday.  They sent all the prep stuff.  Yuck!  But I knew I had to do it. 
Fast forward to Friday.  After that I don't remember much.  But according to my family I was in the hospital 12 days and was diagnosed with colon cancer.  It was a big tumor.  Stage 3.  I had surgery and they say they have it all.. I also had surgery to get a port for chemo.. Again, I can't remember a it. 
I am doing well. I am in my last chemo right now or so they say.
The pet scan will tell the story per my surgeon and my oncologist.
But I have faith. And I am not alone.
There is much more to my story & I'll share more later but I need to share this part.
At the same time I was going through this my best friend, Vicki  was finding out she also had cancer.  Neither of us wanted to worry the other one. That's what best friends do. 
We can't help but ask why? Why are we sick? Why at the same time"
So many questions.
Remember everyone has a story.
Vicki and I are asking for your prayers.
We sure need them.  
Sorry this was so long and sorry I haven't been on in almost 2 years. Just a lot going on.
One of the desires of my heart is doing this blog for my children.  
Facebook is quick and easy but this blog is where it all started.
I promise it will all not be doom and gloom but I feel I need to update you, And we need your prayers.

And this is our answer to Why?

Beloved think it not strange concerning the fiery trials which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you:
But rejoice. inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings: that , when HIS glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1 Peter 4:12, 13

Be blessed, Val

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Simple Things

When we go through bad times, it really makes you stop and think about the simple, little things.
Funny how things change as you get older.
Too bad we can't be wiser when we are young.

One day I told one of my daughters to go look at a plant that
had the most beautiful blooms.
She didn't act interested.
I said, "That don't do anything for you, does it?"
She said, "no!"
Then I thought to myself......she will
appreciate its beauty one day.
You look at things different as you get older.

My "Sweet Hunter" had to go on a business trip
so I had a couple of days at home.
I only left once for 30 minutes.
As I worked in my house I took my time
and enjoyed every minute.

The whole time I couldn't help but think
how blessed we are.
Not many people can go out in your back yard and
get fresh eggs.

It took me years to realize how content
I am. It's the simple things. It doesn't take much
to be content in this life. So many people are searching for
happiness when it's right in front of them.
I watch very little news because this world has gone crazy.
The hate that is out there is so sad.
I think I will just stay in my little home, bake my cookies,
pick my garden, bake bread, cook meals, wash clothes, etc.
With our granddaughter sick, our family is taking one day at a time. If I have learned anything in this storm we are in, it is to be thankful and appreciate the little things.
Philippians 4:11
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Rough Year

I couldn't believe it when I logged in
to my blog and saw that my last post
was in March.
I am sorry.
It has been a hard year.
To make a long story short,
our granddaughter is still very sick.
She is totally dependent on a feeding tube.
She is not eating or drinking.
As long as she gets her nutrition she is able to function
pretty normal but she's always in pain.
Gastroparesis is a hard thing.
It is basically a paralyzed stomach.
It is also called an "invisible illness."
You look fine but you are sick.

This is her senior year and after missing
most of last year she was
determined to go to school this year.
The weekend before school started her feeding tube broke.
She was admitted in to Cincinnati Childrens Hospital again.
After 2 attempts trying to place the feeding tube in,
the third time they had to
put her to sleep to accomplish this.
It is so traumatic.
I will be honest. This has been the hardest thing ever watching your granddaughter
suffer and you can't do anything about it except be there for her and the whole family.
We had a pretty good summer considering that Alyssa doesn't eat or drink.
She is attending school as much as she can.
The school has been wonderful and
they are working with her so
she has all the freedom she needs to come and go.
They said their main goal is for her to walk across the stage to
graduate at the end of the year.
The farm is growing by leaps and bounds.
In fact, I am selling some of my chickens.
Have you heard of  "Chicken Math?"
It happens before you know it.
You start with 12 and they turn in to 60!!!
Do any of you remember Triston?
I used to call her "Sweet Teen" on this blog.
Well, she is 22 years old.
She just graduated with her Masters and
she is teaching Fifth Grade Math!
We are so proud of her!
And Then there is Brett.
I called him "Brother" on my blog.
Last Sunday he got baptized.
What a happy day!
He's 14 and a freshman this year!
Here is our other grands!
They are growing so fast.
Davis is in the 2nd grade and
Asher just started kindergarten!
This is our youngest!
He is almost 3 years old!
He's a miracle baby.
Remember praying for him?
He keeps us hopping!
We are so blessed.
Well, that's a recap. We need prayers.
We are waiting on our miracle!
Trusting and believing!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Update On Sweet Angel

Well, here we are in Cincinnati at the Childrens Hospital
wearing our "Prayers for Alyssa" T shirts,
getting to see Alyssa for the first time in
a couple of weeks.

She looked so good!
Between the feeding tube, the pic line, and all the prayers........
they saved her life!
We cannot say enough about this hospital!

Here she is with her baby cousin....Huddy!
She didn't think he was coming but we surprised her!

Here she is reading a card from one
of "Big Sis's" friends that had cancer
and is now a Miracle! 
The card was precious because after all this lady had been
through, she was encouraging Alyssa!

I think I told you last time that
when Alyssa was in Chattanooga,
I really lost my hope.
I knew the Lord was there.
I just couldn't see him or feel him.
But looking back there were lots of miracles everywhere.

She was so surprised to see all of her family!
It was good to see her smile.
Look at the beautiful gowns my Mom found her
online! She had to wear hospital gowns but wanted
them to be pretty.
I think Mom did good!

Every day my daughter had a different word or phrase.
I remember the saddest day was when she said she
asked God....WHY?
I tried hard to encourage her without letting her know
I was asking the same question.

People are amazing. This is a gift from someone that
doesn't even know Alyssa. I know them.
Matt & Latisha Winters gave her this gift and
I can't tell you how much this meant to Alyssa
and me. Latisha's Mom was a friend of mine and
she is in Heaven now so this was very special to me.
They gave her a tablet and spent
30.00 just to overnight it to her!
Other friends sent money. Lots sent cards.
I hate to even name names because I would forget someone.
Even blogging friends sent gifts of love.
Another friend sent her a huge box
of so many things I can't even name.
The special thing about this gift is my friend, Nancy Howell had
an aneurysm and was having surgery the next day after shipping this box to
This is the kind of person she is.
She always thinks of others.

She even sent my daughter and son in love special goodies
in the box.
She also gave them stamps and thank you cards.
So selfless.
Nancy came out of her surgery good.
I haven't got to see her yet.
But I hope to soon.

I cannot say enough about these two.
They never left her side.
They fought for her.
They went against doctors in Chattanooga
when they knew something was wrong.
Mom & Dad.
There is nobody like them.
I am so proud of them.
They are tired and worn out.
Please pray for them.
This one right here is also a fighter.
They got to bring her home last Thursday.
She was in two hospitals for almost a month.
She's been sick for 3 years but was able to tolerate it
until Christmas night.
She stopped eating.
After getting nutrition and pic line she looks like our
Alyssa is still not eating but is trying and
still has the feeding tube.
She wants to get better so bad and get back to life.
But for now we are so thankful just to have her here.
We are waiting on her next miracle
and we know it's coming.
Thank you all for your prayers.
Please don't stop.
She has a long road ahead of her but as one of my friends said,
"at least she's on the road!"

Albert Einstein once said......
There are only two ways to live your life:
As though nothing is a miracle,
or as though everything is a miracle!

If you would like to read her story you can go HERE!