Thursday, March 24, 2011

. . . And Counting

A sampling of my counting.
His blessings in my gratitude journal . . .

190. Cedar Waxwings roosting
215. Potato peels heaped
231. A brother's strength
245. Lunch in an African basket
260. Home lights aglow through the dark
286. Deep sleep
318. Tenderness when I'm weak
347. Reading long by candlelight
355. Last day of chemo and radiation!
382. The first blue bird in our yard
401. Gentle rain music all night long
403. Forgiveness circling deeper each time
405. Pain receptors
419. Words washing souls
435. Desire to dance again
446. Freshly scrubbed trash cans
480. Wisdom of God
483. Hydration
501. Homemade candles in used jars
508. Steps . . . one in front of the other
513. The letters of children
521. Fuzzy soft socks
532. All the windows - wide open!
533. Iris leaves edged in evening gold
543. Taste of minty toothpaste
550. Tying the sash on her long pink dress
552. Gauzy white curtains in the breeze
561. Laying down in fragrant spring grass
571. Eating green peas
573. Bare feet
576. A ladybug flying from my finger
590. Hope
596. Her firm stand for integrity
601. Music of Bach
606. Discovering wisteria outside my window
614. Being held after hard vomiting
618. Hair on my head
621. Fresh homemade tamales
633. Adventist education
634. Parents with strong values

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Things that Help

So I have been talking for awhile now . . . I just haven't had the energy to blog until now :)
My mouth has healed up. Yay! Now I just need to keep all my food down - and I'll be doing good! And that part is getting better too.

Through the past few weeks I have found the following especially helpful:

1. Listening to beautiful music
2. Drinking fresh air
3. Making a bed on the porch and staying there all afternoon until twilight wakes the owls.
4. Jennie's cooking
5. Silk DHA omega-3 soymilk - the only food I can always get down :)
6. Hugs!
7. Listening to sermons by Pastor Shane
8. Counting blessings!
9. Reading books by Helen Hoover (The Gift of the Deer is my favorite)
10. Encouragement of family and friends

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


One of the common side effects of chemo is mouth soreness. It is currently my only lingering symptom from the second round of chemo. Gratefully, both my roommate and sister know me so well that most of my grunts, facial expressions, and improvised sign language are generally understood. Even brief phone conversations with them consisting on my part of only mms... and hmms tweaked with a variety of tonalities have been successful!

However, after several days of not talking I've been really missing the simple ability of verbal communication. Just to speak a complete sentence again without pain will be wonderful! I've taken to pulling up a blank word document and typing my half of the conversation in it for any conversational needs of length.

It surprised me how half of a conversation could so quickly fill several pages. It can take on a nonsensical appearance quickly - especially if talking to two people at once.

All these words in our lives. The river of daily chatter. Most of it not worthy of archiving yet important for relationships and necessary for getting anything accomplished together.

And I wonder . . . what if I craved prayer the way I crave to speak?

What if my communication with Heaven could be unbroken?

A river of daily chatter with God.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Slow growing...

"What do you think I am - an invalid?" Thrusting my feet down I forced the wheelchair to an abrupt halt, "I can walk just fine. My blood pressure would have to be lower than 88/60 for me to pass out. Trust me!"

"Caitlin! The nurse said you have to!"

"I'm going to walk." I snapped, gathering up my water bottle, purse, and orders for IV fluids. I stepped to the side and headed for the entrance. Shaila in a puddle of exasperation.

"Are you done with that wheelchair?" I heard a grandmotherly woman sweetly ask. Shaila nodded resignedly and turned to follow me.

"You're just like Papa!" She fumed, referring to my grandfathers' legendary obstinacy, "And I don't mean that to be a compliment!"

Ignoring her comment I trudge to the low wall outside the drop off for the cancer center and sit down, suddenly cold from the wind and weaker then I would admit. I knew I needed to budget energy for walking into the infusion center on the other side of the hospital.

"You can just pick me up when you drive by."

And I shivered grace-less. Sick. Stubborn. Rude... Again.

And I sat on cold stone and spat truth at myself. Each time I journey into grace to learn His footsteps I circle back to the same spot of ungratefulness. Hurting those I love the most and barricading myself with pretended self sufficiency.

Forgive me, for I know what I am doing. It is not what I want - nor His wish either.

But this I still seek: to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 3:18

Growing is slow.
Grace beautiful.

And His Love is more stubborn then I can ever be.

For this - I am so grateful.