Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Going east in a few hours!

Dear friends-
I leave at 8:20 a.m. for the office and then the airport. I actually just got home from the airport a few hours ago and have a total of 10 of them at home! I just came from Partners International's President's Forum in Laguna Beach and the meetings were fantastic. The people I met were also amazing.

I am going to Baltimore, Lascaster, Harrisburg, Benton, PA, Bath, NY, Ridgewood, NJ and back to Baltimore with some visits on the way to these various places. I would appreciate your prayers for good health and safety on the road. I fly home on Nov. 2nd and teach Greg's class the next day.

Thank you and blessings-

Monday, October 05, 2009

Travels, Daughters, Wrists and Berries

Hello all!

It is officially fall now. Cooler and windy today. We are still picking raspberries from Greg's garden and I picked 6 quarts of blackberries on Friday afternoon up on Green Bluff. There were millions I didn't have time to pick, but the ones I did pick, I made into freezer jam, blackberry syrup and I froze the rest whole. Some were actually over 1" long- sooo good!
(Me, Greg, Jennifer and Jesse at Whitworth orientation.)

Someone gave us apples which I have been cutting up for pies. Greg invited his college class students over for dinner this Friday night and promised them apple pie. He has asked Jesse, Allison and Adjua to share about cross cultural communication with them while they are here.


Jennifer (Adjua) our exchange daughter from near the equator in Ghana, told us tonight when we invited her to go walking with us, that if she went, her blood would freeze and she would become static! You have to love that! And it is only in the 50's! She keeps asking if it is going to keep getting colder. Snow will be new for her. It sleeted on Friday and she was excited about that.

Tonight she and Greg and I talked for quite a while about adjusting to a different culture. She has trouble getting people to understand her because of her accent, so she holds back in communicating sometimes. Things like asking a question in class or trying to buy food at the cafeteria at school make her nervous. Greg is going to have her share her experience with his class in cross-cultural ministry on Thursday.

She spent most of the weekend teaching herself how to do graphs on excell for her lab write-ups for school. A high learning curve, but will pay off later. Ironically, most of the American students made their graphs by hand last week after she had spent hours!

I had the test done by the neurologist on Wednesday and my right wrist has carpal tunnel. When he did two of the electric zaps toward my thumb, I yelped. That is where there is a swollen place on the right side of my wrist. The other zaps were just sensations that were not painful. The left one only has a little carpal tunnel. The hand orthopedic doctor should be calling this week to let me know the next step in solving the problem. I know that most things are making it hurt or numb these days- driving, cooking, sewing, typing, sweeping, sleeping...

I have a check up with my oncologist on the 14th- right before I leave town for a few weeks. This is routine. As usual, I have new aches and pains we will talk about. Scar tissue is a big factor for me these days. I will let you know what they think after my visit. I will also see my gyno in Nov. as I think there are problems with my cystocele repair from last year. Things are feeling sore and out of sorts with that part of my body. I am still walking with Greg most evenings.


I have two friends going through cancer right now. One I met through our realtor. Leslie lives on the South Hill and her son goes to Grove City as is a sophomore. We got together before school started this fall so Jenni could meet Joel and a girl going to Grove City as a freshman.

Well, Leslie and I also have the recurring breast cancer thing in common. She is on her 2nd time and tomorrow is scheduled for a double mastectomy. We got together last week and I loaned her my scarves and hats for her time in the hospital and recovery. I shared my experience with her so she would know more of what to expect. She won't be having reconstruction for a while, but plans to have a TRAM flap like I did. Her hair is beginning to grow back.

We went together with her mother to the store where they sell items for ladies with our special cancer needs. While we were there a woman came in who had just found out she had cancer and needed to buy a wig. She was crying and we just felt for her. Leslie got the coolest cotton camisole with pockets for light weight breast forms and a place to put drains, etc. That is new since '99 when Deb and I were inventing "Beanie Boobies!" And it is covered by her insurance. It just keeps getting better and better for those experiencing breast cancer! We agreed that if you have to have cancer, to have it there is a blessing. It is on the outside and can be removed- unlike pancreatic or liver, etc.

Leslie brought up the idea of maybe it being time to start a Christian breast cancer support group in our city. To our knowledge there isn't one, and I really miss my Friends For Life support group in Denver. We might just start the Spokane branch! I have quite a network of contacts now. I think I need to find someone who still has an intact memory to help with the leading. My memory has been affected by 'chemo brain' and remembering names is difficult for me. Anyway, Leslie and I have a desire to do this and we would appreciate your prayer that we can work out the details in the next several months. I think it will be after the holidays at least.

My other friend with cancer is Mary. She is working remotely for Partners, coming from Seattle to our office every few weeks or so to work on accounting. She got horrible vertigo about two months ago and then began having weakness all over her body. One of her doctors researched for a whole weekend and had her scanned for a malignancy on the next Monday. It was one of the possible causes for her symptoms he came across in his research. It ended up being caused by ovarian cancer. She had surgery and is very slooooowly getting back the ability to speak and hopefully the rest of her abilities through physical therapy. It is going to take time but we are all so very thankful that the cause was discovered early. They don't believe it spread outside her ovary. The neurological symptoms allerted them to this often deadly cancer in its early stages. She has very strong faith is her loving Heavenly Father and is counting her blessings.


I have my plane ticket and am putting together my schedule for a trip east. I plan to visit my mother, visit 2 or 3 supporting churches and many supporters. I plan to rent a car in Baltimore where Laura lives and drive to New Jersey and Pennsylvania to visit supporters and churches and also go to see my mom in Bath, NY. I fly out of here on Oct. 20th and fly back on Nov. 2nd. If anyone has an idea about an inexpensive rental, let me know. Currently my options are coming out at about $400 for the 2 weeks. Ouch!

Allison gets home on Tuesday night from South Korea, via Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Florida. We haven't seen her since Christmas. (We haven't seen Laura since then either, but since it was so far it seems longer and I get to see Laura on the 20th.) Adjua is looking forward to meeting Allison. I think the two of them will be peas in a pod.

On the 14th of October, Greg and I will be in Laguna Beach for a Partners International event for 5 days. That will be an exciting time of sharing the ministry with people coming from around the US. Since I have seen the ministry up close overseas and have had partners stay in our home, I feel like I have stories to tell. I just want to be available and a help. The day after we get home I leave for the east coast, so basically, I will be gone for 2 1/2 weeks. While I am east, Greg will be doing some hunting in between working and teaching.

Well, my knees are throbbing, so I think I will hit the sack. Drop me and email if you get the chance at nancyfritz@aol.com or call: 509-990-8465.