Friday, September 28, 2012


I am slowly getting to the point of wondering if the chemo is worth the painful side effects. I have faith that God will heal this incurable cancer with or without chemo, so, I ask myself, why am I living like this? My pain threshold is pretty high.....always has been.....but my knee and both legs are so painful every step, every hour, every day, that I find myself pulling back from life. Pain really does change you. I try not to complain about it-----Dick gets the brunt of my frustration----but I am starting to wonder about quitting the drug. As the pain intensifies, the decision gets easier.

I have worked every day this week, and am very ready for the weekend. I need a couple days to vegetate.

Thursday, September 20, 2012



I don't know how he felt about the arrival of a baby sister......I've never asked
Mom and Dad if he ignored me or liked me. All I know is that he was
my buddy growing up, my nemesis in the turbulent teen years,
and my beloved buddy again today. I love him with all my heart.

Have a great day, Mikey!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Most days, faith is easy. Most days, my heart is strong in belief that total healing will be mine. Some days, like yesterday, faith feels heavy. It felt like a scab I had to pick at, or a puzzle piece that would not fit into the puzzle of my life. Tears fell on sofa, bed, loveseat and dining room table. I felt like I could not cry enough to ease the burden. It was a day I felt I had to help God, and I knew I was just too tired to help Him. Two years of waiting has made me tired. Help God. Yeah. That's how much of a meltdown there was at our house yesterday. My best friend Susan reminded me that if we could do it (whatever "it" is for all of us......healing, salvation, peace, restoration.....) ourselves, we would not need a Savior. He doesn't want or need my help. I've known that for 2 years, but yesterday, the devil convinced me I wasn't doing my part.

Susan reminded me that the only thing I needed to do was to rest with confidence that God has no condemnation for the wavering moments. And then Richie. My sweet husband, who absorbed all of the tears and spoke truth to my searching heart. He reminded me that a day of tears is OK. He reminded me that my only job is to abide in Christ....that in abiding is where the fruit is. He reminded me that my faith and my trust really ARE strong, even if a day of floundering pops up. He read healing Scriptures to me as I blubbered. He reminded me how much healing I have experienced so far. He read to me out of our healing Bible study....truths that I know I know. He was my tear-catcher yesterday. I hope he knows that I would not be alive today if not for him and his faith.

On my own, all I could hear yesterday were the insidious lies that the enemy wanted me to believe. I heard tiredness and guilt and impatience. I heard whispers that I should "do better," but then my husband walked on the scene, and all I could hear were the footfalls of grace.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


We had a real nice Saturday afternoon over at Dordt. Watched the end of the girls' soccer game and all of the boys' game. The Jamestown College Jimmies swept the Defenders, but the day was beautiful, and we got to take Sam out to dinner before he had to get back and study. He's got a big week coming up.

There was a girl on the Jamestown team with the last name Wahl and her hometown was Jamestown, so I made an assumption she was a daughter of either my classmate Doug Wahl or one of his brothers. I knew Craig and Steve and Doug and Wade, graduated with Doug. So I decided to approach the girls' team on the bleachers after their game and asked the group which of them was Kara (yes, I know, I probably embarrassed her). I asked her if she was related to Doug Wahl and she said that Doug was her uncle. She was the daughter of Steve, who was a year older and dated one of my good friends for awhile. I got to write down my name for her and tell her to greet her dad and Doug for me. She was a sweet girl.

I am sitting at a soccer match in a small town in Iowa, and meet the niece of one of my high school buddies. Go figure.

It was fun for me to see the bright orange Jimmies bus, reminding me of the campus which I grew up passing nearly every day. We only lived a handful of blocks away. Am very proud to have grown up in Jamestown and graduated from JHS! I didn't go to Jamestown College, but if they had been playing any other team but Dordt College, I would have been cheering them on!!

Sam in his element, in his broadcasting "booth"

Saturday, September 15, 2012


My knee has no meniscus tear. The MRI revealed wear and tear of the cartilage behind the kneecap, which although is normal aging, seems a bit premature to me. I walk 2 miles every day, rain or snow, but I was only a runner for about 5-6 years....I want to think that the wear and tear would not have started quite yet!! It could be part of the reason for the pain, but the bottom line is, the doc doesn't know what is causing the locking up of my knee and the pain with weight bearing. He injected the kneecap with cortisone on Thursday and we are going to see if that, along with 10 different exercises for strengthening the hip and knee will help.

Richie and I are headed over to Sioux Center today for the soccer game against Jamestown College! Sam will be field-side broadcasting play-by-play for the live webcast, so we can sit near him, chat during breaks, and take him out to dinner. His only request from home: 7-layer bars. Mom complied.

Off and running...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


A year or so ago, Sam was home on break and sitting with me on the sofa. We were chatting about everything that was new in his world, and I was delighting in our conversation, but found myself increasingly frustrated with his continued texting as we were talking. I’m sure I said something, but he continued to do it. (He knows that I think texting has pretty much interfered with normal human relations across the planet.)

Later, at the dinner table, he continued to text and he continued to read every text that came in. Setting down his fork every minute to answer someone’s (probably mindless) comments was really grating on my nerves. I said to him, “Why do you think it is necessary to be attached to this telephone? What is so important in life that cannot wait for 20 minutes until we are done eating?”

He answered, “I need to be accessible to my friends.”

In the spirit of Heathcliff Huxtable commenting on one of his son Theo’s legendary illogical schools of thought, I said to my son, “That is about the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Even if someone died, would anything change if you didn’t know about it for 15 more minutes?”

The phone was put down for the duration of the meal and Mom’s Dinner Table Rule #2 went into immediate effect. (We’ve gotten by with only 1 dinner rule in 20 years.)

That evening I sat down with Sam and talked to him about being “fully present” when he is with someone. We talked about the importance of being earnestly tuned in to another person in every human interaction, professional and personal, and that it makes one seem juvenile, rude and disrespectful when he/she cannot refrain from texting or talking on a cell phone when in the company of others. He completely and totally “got it” and I have to say that ever since, we have not had a cell phone claim center stage of any conversation, game, or meal. Sam is now the one in any group of his peers that is talking to everyone while the rest are eyes-down on their little phone screens, half-listening to the conversation around them.

I’ve had to swallow my own advice the past couple weeks during my devotional time. Not because of a phone, but because of my brain which lately has gone overboard with streams-of-consciousness. I open my Bible and get a good 10 minutes of study in, then find myself thinking about my grocery list or the pictures I just ordered to go into the scrapbook. I go back to my study and prayer time and get another good 10 minutes in, and then I remember that I forgot to empty the dehumidifier downstairs and run and do it. I might get sidetracked downstairs in the laundry room and then I get back to my time with the Lord. Lately my brain is firing on too many cylinders.

This happens every fall when we move home. It seems like I have so many things to re-organize or repair or catch up with that I have a hard time focusing. I know this is temporary. It always is. But it is no different to God than if I was texting during my prayer time. Talk about a slap in the face to the One who loves me more than any other and wants my undivided attention and worship every day.

Bottom line: I need to be better at being FULLY PRESENT with my Creator and Savior. I need to corral my thoughts when they wander astray and not let myself lose my focus of Him.

Today I was remembering that talk I had with Sam and knew that the memory was to help me as well. I guess there are few object lessons that we teach our kids that we ourselves cannot benefit from as well.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


I am home after 4 days in Fargo visiting my parents. It is always great to spend some one-on-one time with them and to be able to do a few things around the house for them. I am so blessed to be so loved by these two people!!

I had an MRI on my knee on the way to Fargo (stopped in Sioux Falls). I played telephone tag with the orthopedist for 2 days and did not get my results yet. Hopefully tomorrow we can connect. On a positive note, my back, which has been pretty painful for 2 months, is feeling great, and I am grateful. I still have the crazy chemo side effect of flashing lights in my eyes every morning when I get up. It drives me crazy, but at least it only lasts about 10 minutes.

Dick went to a healing service at a church in a small town near here, and met the pastor and his wife, who both seem to have a healing anointing. They have witnessed many miracles. We are going to go up to Sioux Falls to attend their church one Sunday and take them to lunch to talk further. It is always so reaffirming to meet people who also know that faith heals even incurable cancer!!

I subbed for my friend Amanda last week and on her screen saver was this picture of flying geese. I just sat and smiled at it. She forwarded the photograph to me.....I think it is making its way around the internet, because I found it in Google images as well. It's now my screen saver. Anyway, here it is. The image is too big for this column, but I'm going to keep it big to get the full effect. Too cool not to share. Mike, Chris, Jon, and Dad, I think you'll like this.