A family Christmas picture and one of Charlie- the dog we dogsat for Jesse's Army buddy. And comparing who is the fattest after a big holiday dinner!
A NEW CAR
Jenni got in on time and the next day she and Jesse helped us buy a new car to replace our 2001 Mazda MPV we had named Seabiscuit- small but lots of umph. By 8 p.m. on the 23rd we ended up with a 4 door, red, 2008, Toyota Yaris. It is in excellent condition and handles in the snow like it has 4 wheel drive. It has all weather tires and is certified, so that means we have the warranty to 100,000 miles or 5 years. The family felt that a smaller car was better for me since most of the time I don't need the small van. This one gets 40 mpg. It has a big trunk for my stuff, and it seems to be growing on me. Of course everyone wants to drive it!
ALLISON IN THE ER
Allison's car is in the shop, so she is taking mine tomorrow when she goes again to Seattle for another nanny interview. Jenni is going with her. The night before last, Allison broke out in hives and Jenni and I ended up taking her to the ER, concerned that she would stop breathing. The swollen spot on her elbow where it started looked to us like it might be a spider bite, so we didn't want to take any chances. We got there at 10:15p.m. and left at 1:15. The doctor took one look at her and said she was allergic to the antibiotic she had finished 24 hours earlier for a dental issue. We need to confirm which type she had been on, but suspect she is allergic to the pennicilyn type. She is on benedryl and steroids for now and is having fresh hives still breaking out today. The swelling on her eyes looks better today and she knows not to itch. Please pray for her reaction to end and for her interview tomorrow. She needs to find a place to live in Seattle with roommates also. All the jobs are there and none are in Spokane. We are grateful that at least she will be only 5 hours away.
About the time we were thinking about taking Allison to the ER, our neighbor who is an appliance repairman, was here checking our dryer. He told us it was tentative. Well, yesterday it kicked the bucket. Last night Jenni and I went to a few places and ended up at Sears buying a washer/dryer set- the energy star kind. We will use the old washer in a rentals eventually. So when it rains it pours, huh?
With a heading like that I will start by saying that I am OK and don't have any cancer in my body that I know of. I had a cystoscopy procedure right before Christmas to check my bladder and there were no leasions there. My bladder lining actually looks less raw than last year. There is now scar tissue in there- probably from extending it last year with 500 or so ml of saline to stimulate healing. I still have my intersticial cystitis symptoms. I am achy since I stopped taking naproxin for muscular and joint pain from other meds. It was causing me to gain weight. Since I stopped taking it, my weight is coming back down. I am also on an accountability program with my doctor for diet and exercize which I began yesterday.
I got a call last weekend from Lois from my church. She had listened to my talk about the 10 blessings of breast cancer in October right after I got back from Ch!na. She said it touched her deeply and she went home and checked herself. And she found something. It was cancer and she had a lumpectomy on Wednesday this week and wanted to thank me that what I had shared had given her peace about her own situaition. I am honored and humbled that what I shared made a difference for someone in such a personal way. I thought it would be good to share my basic outline for you all here. Of course there are details left out, but I think this will give you the idea. I have a strong urge to share this with you today. I have a lot to do, but needed to do this first.
I will sign off here. I do wish you an amazing year, full of an awareness of God's hand on your life in the little and big moments. God bless you! Nancy Fritz firstname.lastname@example.org 509-990-8465
The 10 Blessings of Breast Cancer
By Nancy Fritz © 10/2010
1. Save on shampoo and TIME!
2. Fun Times! (Picking out wigs, etc.)
3. Gaining a deeper appreciation for the days I am given by the Lord. (It isn’t pancreatic cancer and can be
Be very careful then, how you live- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
4. Learning that the right question to ask is not, “Why me?” but, “Why NOT me?”
As a believer in Almighty God, I have the resourses of my relationship with Him to help me through- an advantage and blessing that those without Him face these hard times without. I know where I am going when I die, so even the worst case senarieo doesn't scare me. I am looking forward to it!
Matt 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, for I have overcome the world.
Phil. 3:10 I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
2 Corinthians 1:5-6
For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if you are comforted it is for your comfort which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.
5. Earning my membership in a sisterhood that was not sought, but is an amazing privilege!
6. I learned how to be on the receiving end of ministry by the Body of Christ.
7. I got to be a witness to all the professionals and other patients I encountered. Oncologist, nurses, radiation oncologist, pharmacists, blood draw people, other patients, surgeons, radiation technicians, etc…
8. I learned how to give back later and become a blessing to others by sharing my experiences.
Life went/goes on! www.nancyupdate.blogspot.com
9. Learned firsthand about God’s Grace Bank...
A relationship with Him gives you an account.
He has unlimited resources of grace there.
He knows your circumstances intimately.
He will give you grace
It is given when you need it- never early.
Minute by minute, second by second, and day by day.
How much you need- never any extra.
Like manna, it isn’t meant to be stored.
He is totally worthy of trust and is faithful with His love and grace.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
10. I learned what to do (and not to do) to minister to someone with breast cancer.
You never know what to say when someone says, “So, you’re cured!?”
A counselor asked me, “It is like there is a murderer in your back yard and he could come inside at any time. How are you handling that?” The only way to know that your breast cancer isn’t going to come back and kill you is if you die of something else first. It is a process. Some days I think about it, some days I don’t.
So ask how she’s doing or if she’s had any recent test results. (5 years clear means little. My recurrance was at 7 years and I have heard stories like mine often. 5 years of survival is something to celebrate- 5 years and you are still alive! It just doesn't mean you are guaranteed no further cancer.)
Ask, “How often are you seeing your doctor these days?”
Let her share about how she feels without trying to fix her. Give her a chance to be honest. I know some people wouldn't understand the ongoing vigilence, so I don't go into details with them. Every time I have a test, the possibility of bad news is very real. Most people who know me don't have a clue about those times.
If in treatment, ask what you can do to help…
Meals if there is a family to feed.
Rides to treatments. (Chemo might take most of a day)
Care for children if this is a need.
Listen to children share their heart in a safe place.
Coupons for restaurants
Coupons to health food grocers to get supplements
Finances if insurance isn’t enough
Go to Dr. apts. to listen w/ extra ears
Fun things she might not get to do normally, like movie coupons for a date night if she is married…