Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Blessed Weekend

Well we got started on the long holiday weekend a little early...on Wednesday...Jay had chemo in the morning and in the last 20 minutes of the session, he began to have back spasms and his complexion turned to a slight shade of gray. Needless to say, it was alarming to me AND Patty (our chemo nurse). Patty immediately shut the machine off and ran saline through the IV to see if that would take care of the reaction. It did...praise the Lord! But Jay is famous for having a reaction to each chemo regimen after a certain number of sessions received. So, I took him home and sat and watched him very closely for 24 hours. I hardly slept because I was afraid he would have a delayed that has happened before and landed us in the ER. But praise God nothing further happened. So we made it to Thursday without any complications or illness.

Since Jay had chemo on Wednesday, we decided not to celebrate Thanksgiving until Friday so it allowed us to relax for a day or so and recuperate.

Fast forward to Friday...our "official" Thanksgiving Day and my birthday. I cooked a turkey dinner for the very first time in my whole life. I was so proud that I even took a picture...

It may not look like much, but it was tender and juicy and yummy! The dinner was a hit...praise God that I didn't poison anyone! LOL

As I was preparing dinner, my niece, Aly, was getting some exercise from playing Dance, Dance Revolution on the Wii...

She is so cute! I just adore her.

After all was said and done...I think I washed about five loads of HAND because I don't own a dishwasher...can you say, "Dish-pan hands??" LOL

We have spent the past couple of days recovering from all of the action...we don't see much around here...and this is what everyone in the house looks like now...LOL.

It was a wonderful weekend...a blessed birthday and Thanksgiving...I couldn't have asked for anything more. The Lord was faithful to bless the time spent with my family...and brought some restorative time to Jay.
For all of these things...I am thankful.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Birthday Wish/Prayer...

Remember when we were little and everything rode on that one wish you got for your birthday when you blew out the candles??

Well, my 39th birthday is on Friday and we will be celebrating Thanksgiving that day because Jay has chemo on Wednesday and it’s the first day he will actually feel like eating any real food…so the birthday goes out the window because I’d rather give thanks to the Lord for this day with my husband, and my family. But, if I could have one wish come true…one more prayer answered…I would ask that cancer be taken away from all who suffer from it, and never let it take up residence in anyone else ever again.

That sounds like a Miss America Pageant response…”I would ask for world peace.” LOL

Seriously though, I have prayed for the Lord to take this cancer from Jay, and I will continue to do so as I wait for an answer from Him…but I will also keep asking the Lord for answers to questions and solutions to the puzzle that is cancer. He is faithful to answer in His time…I will do my best to be faithful to wait.

His answer for now?...“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Father, I pray that this Thanksgiving will be filled with gratitude for all that You have accomplished through me. I want my eyes to stay focused on You. Please help me to do that. I am thankful for the time I have with Jay and I pray that You will make Your presence known on Friday. Help me to make it a special day for him and my family. Help me to set myself aside. This moment, this day; I give it to You. Amen.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Day Away?

I've been feeling pretty stressed out lately...well...honestly, I feel stressed out all the time but for some reason this past week I have felt a bit overwhelmed. So, I decided to talk to my boss about taking Friday off. He was very supportive, of course, and gave me the day off. I was excited to have an extra day added to my weekend.

I've been reading this little booklet that I bought about caregivers taking care of themselves...which is somewhat of a foreign concept to me these days. I just keep going and going and going until I drop. I'm close to dropping I contacted a friend of mine who works for a local spa. She offered me a free ticket to the spa a long time ago and I was finally ready to take her up on it. So I set up an appointment to get a massage and a pedicure...I may as well make it a great day while I am there, huh?

It was a beautiful day here in good ol' Southern California yesterday...perfect for a day at the spa. I sat and relaxed by one of the several pools, read a book, got my massage and got a pedicure too. You would think that was a heavenly experience...well...something in me just couldn't relax enough to truly enjoy the day. I kept thinking about my husband and how he doesn't get to take a day off from cancer, so how fair is it for me to enjoy a day away? I just had a difficult time relaxing knowing that Jay was at home and in a lot of pain. I fought with myself all day about it too. I went back and forth between thinking to myself, "Jamie, you've been far too stressed out lately and you need this" "Jamie, you need to get home and take care of your husband."

I know that every person that is a caregiver goes through this emotional turmoil, so I try not to be too hard on myself and realize that this is just a normal process...but the roller coaster ride is getting to me now. Have I stopped trusting the Lord? No, not at all...I am just tired...but He is faithful to stay with me even in my weary state...He even carries me at times...when I allow Him to.

So, was it a "day away" from everything? No. It just made me realize how entrenched I truly am in this battle. Scarred, bruised, wounded...alongside my beloved, I fight to the bitter end.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Jaybird!!

Here are just a few pictures from his special day:

Okay, so the theme of Jay's birthday this year was "Angels." He absolutely worships the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim...even though they didn't make it to the World Series this year, he has remained a die-hard fan. So, I had an idea a few months ago to talk to some friends of mine to see if they had a contact at Angels Stadium. The idea was to just get something signed by one of the players...maybe a hat or a jersey or something. Well, my friends took that idea and ran with it. They got together and wrote a beautiful letter to their contact at Angels Stadium, letting them know what Jay has been through these past couple of years with his cancer and would it be possible to do something special for him? They totally came through! Jay received an entire duffel bag full of Angels stuff.
My friend Karen helped me to wrap each individual item and put it back in the duffel bag on Friday night. So, Saturday morning, Jay had to work hard at unwrapping each of his gifts. LOL He didn't seem to mind though as he had help from our 7 yr old male Boxer, TJ (Tasmanian Devil Jr.). It was hilarious. Jay would peel off a corner of wrapping paper and then reach the gift out to TJ and he would take the corner into his mouth ever so gently and then ease the paper off one piece at a time. I have not laughed so hard in such a long time. To contrast that, our little weenie dog, Sonny, would just tear into the gift as though there was a huge steak waiting for him underneath it all. This comical show almost became more fun than Jay receiving his gifts...almost, but not quite. (Pictures shown above of the gift wrap mess, TJ running away from me with some gift wrap in his mouth, and Sonny jumping into the Angels duffel bag.) LOL
Jay loved every bit of what was in that duffel bag...two "vintage" Angels hats, a patriotic Angels hat (shown in picture), a Torii Hunter t-shirt, a fleece blanket, and a bunch of other little keepsake goodies that made him smile. But the best gift that brought tears to Jay's eyes was the authentic, AUTOGRAPHED, Garret Anderson baseball bat. "GA," as he is called, is one of Jay's favorite players that has been with the Angels organization for about 17 years or so. Jay was blown away at the fact that he had GA's bat. His reaction was priceless.

After we got all cleaned up, I had Jay and the dogs sit in our front yard so I could take a birthday picture. I love this photo. I think I will frame it. We didn't get to go to the park as planned for picture taking, but I thought this was a nice compromise.
As for the rest of the day, we went to the movies and saw the new James Bond movie, "Quantum Solace." We then followed that up with a nice dinner and then dessert and more gifts at my friend Karen's house. She had made her famous salsa for Jay as a gift....great idea as he says he could drink that stuff through a straw, he loves it so much. And then we had ice cream cake from Cold Stone (delicious) and played a card game and then Jay and Karen's husband Tony played hockey on the Wii.
Overall, I think this was one of the most special birthday's Jay has ever had. It was a special day for me. I was present and conscious in every single moment, knowing that this day would be filled with great memories.
Happy Birthday, my beloved Jaybird! I thank the Lord for you. I will love you for all eternity!

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Special Day...

Tomorrow is Jay’s 43rd birthday. I’m going to try to make it a fun day for him. He had a break from chemotherapy this week…not because it was his birthday, but the scheduled break just happened to fall on the week before his birthday.

He has been trying to get outside as much as possible these past few days. The weather has been sunny and in the 80s here in good ol' California. He is still experiencing quite a bit of pain, but the pain medications make it tolerable for him so he can get out of the house. He can’t hike around the lake and fish like he used to, but he can at least get out and enjoy some time outside.

Tomorrow, I am hoping to be able to take him to a park where I can take some more recent pictures of him. He doesn’t really like to pose for the camera, but I don’t care, I make him do it anyway. It took until I was 38 years old to figure out that taking pictures and making memories are important in life, so I’m making up for lost time…as much as possible anyway. So, hopefully by Monday, I will have some pictures to post.

I just want Jay’s birthday to be special, and I’m sure we won’t do anything spectacular, but our time together will be just that…special. I will do everything in my power to see to it that it is.

Blessings on your weekend everyone!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day Salute

I salute all the men and women who serve our country so that we may remain free. I salute all of the men and women who sacrificed their lives in the pursuit of freedom. You are all worthy of our praises. I may be one person, but I am one person who loves her country and supports her troops! I thank you all for truly having a servant's heart. Thank you for my freedom to be myself...freedom to hang a flag from my house...freedom to pray for my troops. I pray for your safety...Godspeed.

And taking a cue from another blog that I read this morning...there are other men, women and children who are in a different kind of war...the war against cancer. Whether you are the patient, caregiver, family member, or are in the battle of your lives and I salute the "veteran" warriors that you are. You may not be fighting for the freedom of a country, fighting to free prisoners of war, or fighting terrorism...but YOU are... WE are...waging a war against a disease that robs us of our freedom to live a normal life.

If you are a patient with cancer, you are fighting for survival, fighting for freedom from disease, fighting for a renewed body. Please stay strong. I salute you!

If you are a caregiver, you are fighting for your loved one's dignity, fighting for freedom from HMOs, hospitals and doctors, fighting to create a new life for your loved one, fighting for a good night's rest, fighting for just one moment without thinking about cancer, fighting for that one last special moment with the one you love. I salute you!

If you are a family member or friend, you are fighting to support the patient and caregiver in whatever way you can. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I salute you!

To the veterans of war, I will forever be grateful for your sacrifice.

To the "veterans" of the war on cancer, I am proud to be your comrade; I am honored to be fighting with all of you to one day WIN THIS WAR.

And finally, to those "veterans" that have lost their lives in the cancer battle; without your paving the way, technology would not be where it is today. Please know that your death was not in vain. You were a hero to many for your bravery. Your sacrifice has helped others to live longer lives. I salute you!

God bless you all!

Monday, November 10, 2008


What I have found in this process of dealing with the constant cancer battle is this…people just want to help. They have no clue what to do to help the situation, but all they know is that they just want to extend a hand of assistance. But when the question is posed, “What can I do to help?” or “What do you need?” - I have no idea what to say!

It’s frustrating because I want help but what I need help with, no one can take care of for us. I want Jay’s cancer to go away. I want his pain to go away. I want him to have a long, healthy life. I want to stay home and be with my husband instead of having to work. What I want and/or need cannot be fulfilled by man or woman.

Somehow I think that the Lord has planned it to be this way. He often reminds me that my help comes from Him. He is the only One that can grant any of my “wants.” But as His plan unfolds, I understand why some of my “wants” are not being granted. Little by little, He reveals parts of His plan to me so that I may receive His peace in my heart. Sometimes, He pulls back the veil just enough for me to gain strength from obtaining His perspective. This allows me to trust Him. And I do trust Him…even when I don’t exactly know how I’m feeling about this situation.

It’s funny…there are some days when I know exactly how to respond when someone asks me how I’m doing…the answer?...“I’m fine, thank you, how are you?” But there are days, like today, when I am emotional and I don’t know what to say when that question is asked. There is a part of me that wants to just say, “How do you think I am? My husband has cancer!” But people truly are being genuine of heart and I don’t want to squash that with my unsteady emotions. Instead, I find myself holding in my emotions and just trying to put the brave smile on my face and say, “I’m fine.” I even find, on the rare occasion when I open up and reveal what is really going on in my heart, myself consoling the person I am sharing information with because they feel bad for asking me how I’m doing. LOL It actually does make me chuckle because it’s as if for a moment, the burden shifts from me to them.

I just love that people can be so good. I love that they truly do want to help carry the burden since they can’t take it away from us. I love that in my little bubble; I am safe and I have many to turn to. That is a blessing from the Lord.

Thank You, Lord, for Your unwavering goodness towards me. I love You!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Everything Has Its Time

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NKJV

Now, for most people over the age of 30 (at least), when you read that scripture from Ecclesiastes 3 in the bible, you start humming the tune to the song that The Byrds released circa 1965, “To everything, turn, turn, turn; there is a season, turn, turn, turn; and a time to every purpose under heaven.”

But the meaning to that scripture is much deeper than that song can convey. That scripture is spoken from God telling us that there is a perfect time for every single thing here on earth. Every moment that we spend on this earth is meant to carry meaning as the Lord teaches us through each positive and negative circumstance in our lives. There is a right time to be sad, and a right time to be happy…there is a right time - it is in God’s time.

Whether the circumstances were brought about by the Lord to test our faith or from our own life choices and the Lord has chosen to allow a lesson to be learned from what we have brought upon ourselves; still, it is all in the Lord’s timing.

I have been reflecting on my life these past couple of years and the battle that my husband and I have been in for so long, and I have wondered, “How long will this go on, Lord?” I admit – I am weary. And if I am weary, Jay must be plain exhausted…and yet he still remains a warrior. He is so amazing to me. But the amount of time this goes on is insignificant...what is the Lord teaching me in the process? That is what is most important. What am I learning? To wait on the Lord and allow HIS time to be fulfilled.

I can’t even remember what it was like BC (Before Cancer). I pray that the day will come when Jay doesn’t have cancer, but I don’t know if that day will ever come. I trust the Lord to make that decision for us…no matter how weary I may get…I still trust the Lord. I know what the doctors have to say about all of this, and I can speculate how long my guy will be able to fight the good fight before the cancer has the final say-so; but, ultimately, God will take all that is meant for bad and make it good, so even if I don’t get the answer that I want to my prayers; I know that the Lord has the greater understanding as to why it cannot be that way for us.

Even if it appears that there is nothing good on this earth, there really is good, but I await the day when I will have nothing to worry about ever again. As it says in Revelation 21:4-5 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.…Behold, I make all things new.…for these words are true and faithful.”

In heaven, there will be nothing bad! Praise God!

I took all of the negatives out of Ecclesiastes 3, and you can just imagine being in heaven…and look at what we can look forward to:

There will be a time:

· To be born (again)
· To plant
· To heal (full restoration)
· To build up
· To laugh
· To dance
· To gather stones
· To embrace
· To gain
· To keep
· To sew
· To speak
· To love
· There will be a time of peace.

Peace. Peace for all who believe. The peace that surpasses all understanding; that can only come from the Lord.

I think of all of us who are enduring some kind of trial right now. In trials we are made strong…even when we don’t feel strong, the Lord gives us the strength to persevere if we will only trust Him. Our times, good and bad, are in God’s hands…if we allow Him to work in our lives.

I trust His handy work…will you?

Almighty Father, thank You for speaking to my heart today. I pray, once again, please take this cancer from my husband’s body. I come boldly to Your throne and I am asking for another miracle. Nothing is beyond Your power. I pray that You will restore Jay’s body here on earth. Just as Jesus asked, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me”…I too ask, let this cup pass…but nonetheless, not my will, but YOURS be done. I trust that You know what is best for me and for Jay. You are the sovereign God and it is Your will that I want more than my own selfish desires. I place us in Your hands. Give us Your wisdom, Your peace, and Your love. I praise You, my Father. In Jesus name. Amen.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Let Your Voice Be Heard...VOTE!

I'm not usually a political person, but this election between Obama and McCain has got me all excited! Not necessarily in a good way, either. I am concerned for our future and the candidate that gets voted in today has a HUGE responsibility on their shoulders. They need to pull us out of the "deep end" and help the United States to rebound. That's no small thing!

Everybody wants change but I don't know that anyone is really ready for some of the bigger changes that are looming if certain candidates are elected into office, and if certain propositions are passed. I have cast my vote and I will eagerly await to see what the rest of the nation has to say. If I am out-voted, I will be in heavy prayer for our nation.

One of my big issues of concern is who will step up to increase the revenue given to researchers to find a cure for cancer...any cancer...all cancer???! All I can say is whoever is elected today better keep their word and put their money where their mouth is!! The statistics speak for themselves; 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will have some type of cancer in their lifetime. Those are such sad statistics.

But, regardless of who is chosen as our president, the Lord still reigns over all the earth for those who choose to believe it...and no matter what, we believers are going to be fine! The state of the world today was prophetically written in the bible, so we are even closer to Jesus' return. I look forward to that day because then I won't have to worry about anything ever again. No tears, no fear, no worries in heaven. I will never think of earth and evil again when that day comes! Oh how I long for that day to come!

Heavenly Father, YOU ALONE reign over this earth. I pray that the right candidate will be chosen for president. I pray that this election fulfills YOUR plan. Be with us, Lord. Protect us. Draw us closer to You. Thank You that You are not willing that any should perish, but I long for the day when I will see You face-to-face. I praise Your Holy Name. Amen.