Friday, September 28, 2012

Beautiful Words in any Language

I tried to do a chorus rehearsal last Tuesday for concert weekend and realized that I didn't have the stamina yet.  I mostly mouthed the words as everyone around me belted out the great words and music.  It was strenuous singing, even for the hearty.  For me, with the strength of a kitten as times, it was frustrating.  Need to get stronger to be a better contributor to the chorus...and to life, too.
Regardless of my inability to sing, I was moved by the words in this beautiful piece of music.  I guess I should say the "translation" of the words, since we were singing in German.  Without the translation, it certainly didn't mean as much to me.  Here's just a sampling:
LOBGESANG ("Hymn of Praise") by Felix Mendelssohn
"Let everything that breathes praise the Lord"... I am breathing--that much is sure.
"Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not the good things He has done!"... never, ever forget, my miracles and hope.
"He numbers our tears in times of distress" of His many blessings.
"Blessed are they who put their trust in the Lord!  Blessed are they who put their HOPE in Him!" ...yes!
"Now let us all thank God with heart, mouth, and hands,
Who in all adversity, turns graciously to us and does so many good things;
From childhood on, He has kept us in His care and done good to all..." ...tremendous gratitude.
"Hallelujah, praise the Lord!" ...Maestro Fischer pronounced that the greatest word in all the world is "Hallelujah", that we should sing and say it with enthusiasm and thanksgiving and love.  I agree.
In any language, I thank God that I am alive and acknowledge His blessings in everything around me.  He is truly a God of Love.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

NOT Superhuman

Sick.  All week.  I think I overdid last week's crazy schedule when I thought I was Superwoman...not.  I caught a cold--the first one since March 2011--which turned into a nasty cough.  Probably bronchitis.  My tummy is also unsettled.  I feel like a baby.  I eat...and it comes back out ten minutes later (sorry for the visual).  I have to call on that one in the morning because it is NOT normal.  The hard part is that I think I'm going to have a better day and then it hits again...bam.  Puts me right back on the couch in my jammies.
Through much prayer (and no breakfast), I was able to go to the temple with Patti this morning.  It was truly a miracle.  Enjoyed every second.  Then, I get home, and you guessed it...bam.  Back on the couch feeling sorry for myself.  No chorus this week.  Next week is performance week.  Can I do it?  What drug(s) will it take?
Prayer:  "Grant unto all those here today a special blessing, according to Thy will."
Thank you.
(Picture:  me dressing up for a part in a play - I was the "80's Girl", if you couldn't tell.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Grateful...and cranky

I'm sorry I complained about insurance and all that jazz in yesterday's post.  I should have been jumping up and down with joy and gratitude...but I have a weird pain that is making me very cranky. 
I pulled weeds along the side of my fence a few Saturdays ago, and even though I sat in a chair instead of leaning over or sitting sprawled on the cement, every once in a while, when I pulled a little too hard, I actually heard a "POP" on my right side at the top of my rib cage.  Should have stopped at the first POP, but didn't.  That hurt for a few days, but finally went away.  Then, Monday, I had had it with my filthy carpets and moved half of my furniture to the other side of the room to do half of the carpet at a time.  Our little carpet cleaner is actually easier to maneuver than our big heavy vacuum cleaner, but once again (minus the POPs), I have this pain above my rib cage...and it's making me nuts.  Feels fine when I'm standing or walking, but I have to gingerly lower myself into chairs or onto the bed and then deal with the sharp pain for a few minutes.  Didn't sleep well last night.  Felt more cranky when I got up before dawn.  There's still half a room to clean, but I don't have the strength to do it.
So, ignore the complaints and attribute it to the pain talking--and know that I am beyond grateful for the miracles that have occurred in my life the past eighteen months as far as medical bills and insurance goes.  There are still those who contribute anonymously to the Medical Account my kids set up in St. George, for which I am so thankful to you who remain nameless and faceless.  Believe me, I see your kind faces every time I can pay even $3 on an outstanding bill, because that $3 can go now go elsewhere (like in the gas tank).  I am also grateful for those who have come to me with a request to pay an entire bill, which makes me all wobbly inside and brings me to tears, because those are the statements that keep me awake at night.  You (and you know who you are) have been my miracle workers and given me one less thing to worry about, which also causes me not to be able to heal as quickly.  I'll never have enough words to say, "thank you", and please know you are appreciated.  I continually ask God to give YOU the blessings you need as you have shown such kindness and generosity in helping me. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Now We Celebrate

The "official" results of last Thursday's scans, in Dr. Grossmann's own words, "Your scans look great."  Now, I can breathe easier and relax.  We love coming away from appointments with optimism and hope beyond belief and smiles...and those magic words, "See you in three months."  I am officially NED, and wow, it feels great.
I do have one reactive lymph node on the left side of my neck that Dr. G could feel on examination.  "Reactive" means it acts like a normal lymph node, similar to one that might be affected by a cold and other infection.  (Guess I'd better get my bad tooth on the left side fixed once and for all, in case that's what is causing things to show "red" on my scans...)
I also have to go back on the Lovenox shots twice a day (I cut down to one shot without permission because I was getting a huge bruise every time I brushed against even the smallest thing) and eventually, I'll go back to the Coumadin pills.  The clot is still in the liver and Dr. G. is hoping it will be re-absorbed soon.  Dr. Scaife seemed to think it would be, so that's what we'll hope for, too.  He did say I would probably be required to stay on the blood thinning meds for a year because the clot is still showing up on the scans.  Just one more "perk" to such an extensive surgery.
I have also been wrangling with insurance the past few days.  I'm not very analytical, so it's hard for me to wrap my brain around numbers that look foreign and confusing to me.  Bottom line is that I am now on three different "payment plans" and it will be a juggling act every month to figure out how they'll get paid, especially now that I can't work as much.  For every bright shining moment, there is usually a really dark nasty one lurking on my office desk trying to mess up my happiness.  Well, not today, buddy!  And even though I've had to talk to three different companies about insurance issues today, I refuse to let them take my light away. 
NOW, we celebrate...
(Picture:  Little Me at 8 years old.  I was in the third grade.  I had been sick for a few days before this was taken, so I look paler than usual.  LONG, long ago...)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Blessed again

Just a quick post about last Thursday's 3-month scan:  I was in the blood lab for an hour...and in the scan room for five minutes.  Enough said.  Poor veins.
I had a follow-up surgery appointment with Dr. Scaife Friday morning.  Lindsey was with me as my support and was having "good vibes".  I needed them.  I was nervous.  I wanted to know that things were really healing the way they should and that all was well.
I love Dr. Scaife.  She is a very visual person.  So, when she said that I still have the blood clot that is causing some of the abdominal pain, especially after I eat, she compared it to something like road construction--the blood is trying to move through that blocked vein instead of seeking out the detours.  "They'll get it soon," Dr. Scaife said.  "They'll find the alternative routes."  Yay.  She also compared the healing of this surgery and the way my body has to adjust to a giant spider web that has to be "swept away" for full healing.  When I first came out of surgery, that spider web was like one you'd find in your attic after years and years--thick, white, and hard to sweep away.  But now, after four months, the healing process is like a spider web you might find in your kitchen one morning.  You look at it, brush it away, and think, "Who did that in the night?"  They'll get easier to sweep away as time goes by.  Love the imagery!
She also made a copy of the "preliminary report" of my scans (apparently, the "final report" means that two radiologists have looked at the scans and given their assessment--at this point, only one has done so, but by Tuesday's appointment with Dr. Grossmann, it will be a "final report") and read through a bunch of the medical jargon, which basically says I have no evidence of disease right now.  Hooray!!  She said, "I'm not an oncologist, but this appears to be good news, and I wanted you to have that for the weekend."  What a blessing.  I am flooded with relief.  My weekend really will "feel" better with this news.
I'll post again after the Tuesday appointment. 
Prayer works!
Miracles are all around us!