Monday, March 29, 2010

Low Expectations

Those two words have been on my mind a lot lately.

A friend of mine, Lynn, who has been a mom with cancer, offered this advice before I was going on our Minneapolis trip.

She mentioned that when she was sick it helped her to keep her expectations low for what she would be able to accomplish. Then if you couldn't accomplish much, you at least weren't too disappointed. And if you could do more than your expectations, well wonderful!

I've chewed on it, managed to understand the concept, and think it is wonderful advice.

What I am struggling with is applying it to my life.

While I've never been that super talented overachiever, I do strive to have high expectations for my little slice of this life.

My expectations looked a little like this.

House always clean.

Meals hot and ready for hubby, no matter what hour.

Laundry done, folded, put away.

Kids always in cute clothes that match, clean faces, hands, hair brushed.

Teach kids to read at an early age, have them memorizing verses, some musical instrument.

Me always showered, dressed (not in sweats), face done, and ready for the day.

Every single one of those expectations came crashing down around me these past 2-3 years.

I am not naive enough to not realize that this would have happened anyway to some extent, but it might have been 20/80 or even 50/50. Or maybe not all at once.

Now it is like 2/98.

The worst part, or maybe it is the best, is that my expectations are my own fault.

I have a husband, a mom and dad, in-laws, sisters, even my own kids that have the expectations for me that I should be having - realistic ones.

Instead, I often find myself in a inner turmoil because what I think should be happening isn't. This turmoil produces anger and frustration- directed at myself- but spills out on everyone around me.

The days where I'm not in a lot of physical pain, but just tired, are the worst. It kills me to just sit like a bump on a log and not do anything to help take care of my house and kids.

That is what today is like.

God reminded me yesterday in Psalms 37, I believe, "Do not fret, it only causes harm."

My high expectations and not being able to accomplish them are a form of fretting.

Fretting that my house is clean, being quite relaxed with that word, just unorganized and toys everywhere. And yes, in need of a thorough spring cleaning.

Fretting about not being able to cook the meals I would like to.

Fretting that my kids go out the door in non matching outfits, uncombed hair, jam on their face and possibly without hats or mittens on below zero days. Possibly, I say. :-)

Fretting that I'm not getting better fast enough. I mean, my goodness, I've been on this diet for a whole 28 days. The tumor should be gone!

My expectations for the above need to be low right now. Low for sanity sake, and low for my family's sake, so they can enjoy me.

God knows my desires. He reminded me to Delight in Him and He would give me the desires of my heart.

I need to focus on just that. What He gives me may not be quite what I'm expecting, but I'll be more prepared for it if my focus is on Him.

For now my expectations will have to be low in what I accomplish, but when it comes to getting better they are SKY HIGH!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

changing tides

These days my emotions are like the ocean tides. Up and down. Day in and day out.

This is as close as we get to the ocean here in the midwest, so this is the picture you get. :-)

Maybe it would be more appropriate to say that my emotions are like Iowa weather. 60 degrees one day and then snow the next.

Today is one of the snow days for me.

I'm not worse.

I still see signs of getting better.

But that doesn't keep the discouragement away.

A precious woman from church sent me a card the other day.

I've always wondered about cards when I pick them out.

Do people really read the sayings and poems on the front of them?

Is it worth going through a gazillion of them to find the perfect one?

I think it is.

On the front of this one there is a poem entitled "What God has Promised"

I'll sum it up.

He hasn't promised skies of blue, flower strewn pathways all our lives through.

He has promised strength for the day, rest for the weary, light for the way.

Grace for trials, help, sympathy, and His undying love.

That so ministered to me and was a good reminder.

Right now my skies aren't looking so blue, and my path is strewn with beans instead of flowers, but He never fails to give me strength to get through the day.

Enough energy to do what needs to get done.

And His love and sympathy never fail to amaze me.

Here is this huge God, Creator of the universe, and He cares about me.

It's very humbling.

And it also reminds me that with God on my side even the snowy days are able to be conquered!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Do I dare...

This has been posted once, then accidently posted again, so.... I'll just post it.
The reason I took it off was because I feared being too excited. Maybe imagining things that weren't there. That still may be the case, but because I have a little bit of hope, I'm going to share it anyway. If I'm wrong, well we can all cry together and keep praying harder! Here it is.

I almost hesitate to write this.


But I'm going to anyway.

Because all of you are praying for me.

A few days ago I noticed that my wheeze was getting less pronounced.

Very timidly I shared this with my husband and family.

It is so hard to get my hopes up, only to find out I'm imagining feeling better.

When you are sick you get pretty good at that.

I've hesitated to even draw a deep breath because I didn't want to disappoint myself.

Today I was on the computer, slouched down.

"Yes, Grandma, I know it is horrible posture. I promise that when I am done with my coughing I will walk around with a book on my head for weeks."

Can you tell my grandma is concerned about posture? Every time I see someone slouch I think of her.

It's a good reminder, not a bad one. And she still stands super straight, by the way.

But, anyway, back to my wheeze. It is always worse when I slouch.

I breathed in, then froze.

Breathed again.


Deeper still.

No wheeze.

Not a single little bit.


"Don't. get. too. excited." I told myself.

I straightened up.

Deep breath.

Still no wheeze.

Granted, I'm giving myself coughing fits like crazy.

No new news on that yet.

But the wheeze.....

You have no idea how encouraging this is to me right now.

It may not be completely gone, but this is the very first day in a very long time that I have been able to take a deep breath without a wheeze. If you don't remember the wheeze is from the tumor pressing on my trachea.

The only way the wheeze could go away is if my tumor is getting smaller.

So... back to the "Do I dare..."

Do I dare believe that this bean, veggie, GARLIC, hot water and protein diet is working?

Do I dare believe that this denying myself sugar and all fruit, passing up frozen strawberries, cheese, etc... might actually be worth it?

I'm beginning to dare.

No other signs of getting better yet, but the wheeze is a pretty big deal. God is amazing!

Thank you so much for praying, and while you are at it, could you pray that the cough would be the next to go? That and the pesky ear ache that sometime comes to my right ear due the the pesky tumor. :-)

Now, off to prepare my bean and protein and the minced garlic supper. I will be rejoicing about it more than I would have a couple of hours ago. Praise the Lord for Beans!

Ooey Gooey

Ooey Gooey was a worm,
A mighty worm was He.
He stepped upon a railroad track,
The train he did not see.


Poetry has been added to my daughter's education.

She quotes this with gusto, especially the last line.

I woke up this morning quoting this inspiring line of poetry, as well. :-)

Since it has been running through my head, I have had the chance to derive several moral lessons from this deep and profound piece.

First, if your name is Ooey Gooey it is probably best to avoid the railroad tracks.

Second, even the mighty may miss obvious things, such as a huge train barreling down the tracks you stepped upon. So be careful the next time you cross a railroad track. If a mighty worm named Ooey Gooey could meet such an end, the rest of us mortals are indeed at risk.

Third, whoever planned this curriculum was a genius. Karis is hooked on poetry.

I can't wait to hear her quote more.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Writers block

I haven't suffered from this for my entire blogging career. There has always been something to write about.

And come to think about it, there still is...

I can think of about five things to talk about.

But I just don't want to.

I'm hoping this mood passes soon because I truly do love to blog.

I love to write the fun things my girls say and do.

Like Gabi and her vegetables.

Oh yes, the girls eat their veggies right along with me.

I pull out my favorite treat - Celery and P.B.

Gabi runs up and says, "I want Hellery, Iwant hellery."

It always vaguely seems like she is saying a bad word, but so very cute. :-)

I guess I just did write something fun....

Maybe the answer was to just write.

Small health update.

I have some leads to a couple of oncologists thanks to a doctor we know.

I'm actually excited about seeing them.

After talking to this doctor, I think I know why I'm so confused about what I exactly have.

Ready for this? It's because they are too!!!

No one knows exactly what Carcinoid is because it is so new.

This is why I am getting answers like "benign, non-cancer cancer, etc."

So.... I just want to sit in an oncologist's office and say, "Ok, what is it exactly that I have?"

So... I'll call them this week and figure it out.

The diet is going well.

It will be a month the end of March. I'm curious and curiouser to see how I feel.

So far I am noticing little improvements, but they are tiny baby steps.

Patience, patience, patience.... along with those beans, beans, beans.....

I went to church last night for the first time in a long time.

It felt so good to be among our family there.

They love us, care about us, and it's nice to not just hear that from them but to be able to see it and feel it. Makes me happy. :-)

I'm hoping I can go more often now.

But, I'm praising God for the live video streaming they do every Sunday morning.

That way if I feel yucky I can sit in my pj's, hot water, and watch a super sermon.

Thanks, Doug!

Ok, that's all....

I think.

Sorry for such a random entry, but maybe this will get me going again. :-)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ups and Downs

Last night I was hungry.

Not for protein, or fiber, or vegies.

I wanted sugar.

So much that I sat on my kitchen floor in defeat and felt the tears well up.

I felt silly, even at the time. It was just sugar, for crying out loud!

Resolutely I got up, grabbed my trusty celery and natural, no sugar peanut butter.

I pulled my natural, but with sugar peanut butter out, as well, feeling a little guilty.

She hadn't said no, but then again, I hadn't asked her.

I mostly put the good stuff on, but two inches was with the sugar.

Every inch of that treat was enjoyed! Especially the last two. :-)

Then I remembered that I could have things with sugar, but if it tasted sweet, run the other direction.

Oops... I guess that answers my P.B. question.

I can honestly say I didn't remember that until after eating my treat.

Still feeling sorry for myself, despite my crazy dangerous jump off the deep end into the land of desserts... ;-) I remembered that Dustin had told me to read 2 Cor. 4 earlier in the day.

I reluctantly cracked my Bible open.

You see, when I'm having pity parties the Bible usually isn't the best guest to invite. It has an uncanny and extremely predictable way of breaking up my parties. Always, no exceptions. See why I was reluctant? I wanted to hold onto my feelings for a little bit longer.

I opened it through tears of self pity.

Verse 17 and 18 say "For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."

The first word that grabbed me was momentary. But for a moment. My entire life on earth is but for a moment. Even if I have Cancer for the rest of it, and don't get another bite of sugar, it is but for a moment compared to eternity.

I'm not giving up by any means, but it put my life into perspective. I could live 100 years and it will be but a moment in eternity. Makes me feel a bit small. Makes my affliction seem very light, actually.

I read in the commentary that God is never a debtor to anyone. What suffering we have on earth will be more than made up for when we reach heaven and our eternal rewards there.

Not that it makes the suffering easy, but knowing there is a reward at the end sure helps me out! Nope, never outgrew my excitement about rewards. Hey, If God is telling us about it, I'm going to get as much enjoyment out of looking forward to it as I can. :-)

And the last thing I want to talk about that grabbed me is looking at the unseen, not the seen.

Everything I see now, my cancer, my no sugar, my tiredness, the inconvenience of being sick... they are all passing away. They won't last long.

The important things, my faith in Christ, my family, sharing what God has done for me in first of all saving me from my sins, and second of all being here with me through my sickness every step of the way, are things that will be here forever.

He didn't disappoint me. The pity party was broken up and ended with a time of praise on my part. Praise that I was able to turn to Him when I was hurting. Praise that He encouraged me through His Word. Praise that He was there for me, even if the biggest thing that was bothering me was a silly sugar fix. I'm so glad it doesn't have to be something huge and earth shattering to get His attention.

You would think sugar would be a light affliction, indeed. But people, this is America. The country that is dedicated to sugar! I can't walk five steps without running into something about sugar. Sugar, sugar, sugar! I'm considering a move to a nation that lives on beans and rice for the next 18 months!

Birthday surprise!

Saturday I went to my parents in the morning as has been our plan. I wasn't expecting much, if anything in the way of a birthday. Dustin had taken me out the day before and my family has done so much for me already since I've been sick.

Karis and I went over to my Grandma's for a bit and stayed for a long chat.

Faith called up and informed me that we had been there too long and I needed to come home.

My mind whirled with possibilities. All the ones that involved people besides my family were worrisome. :-) You see, I hadn't showered yet that day, nor brushed my hair, just put it in a ponytail.

As soon as I stepped in the door Faith wisked me out to the car. I frantically grabbed my Psyllium husk (substitute for beans) and followed along.

Oh for the days grabbing my purse was the biggest thing on my mind. :-)

I was still trying to figure out where we were going, but Faith assured me I looked ok for it.

Several minutes later I solved the mystery - my sister Noelle's place. Whew! I was safe.

Those two sneaky girls had planned a super day, perfect for me. Quiet, backrubs, yummy food I could eat, and movies.

This yummy spread was waiting for me.
My adorable sisters. They give amazing backrubs and head massages. :-)
My post it note sign. So cute and creative if you are ever in need of a quick sign idea.
I even got to make a quick trip to Salvation army where I found two pairs of light summer pants. I'm super excited to wear them - only it will have to be really warm so I can go without a scarf!
Back at my mom's I had two excited little munchkins who decorated and wrapped a present for me! The day was completed by my mom's gift. "The Bean Queen's Cook Book!" We are trying out the first couple of recipes tomorrow.

Thank you family for making my day unexpectedly special!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dustin took me out Friday night for my B-Day. We celebrated the day before because he had the day off and I had the bright idea that if we went jean shopping before we ate maybe I wouldn't be so tired.

Karis helped me pick out my outfit - wow she is getting big - and off we went to the local mall.

The first couple of stores were great, I didn't find anything, though. Even if I really do need the jeans I just couldn't bring myself to fork out exorbitant prices for the ones I liked.

By store three or four I was dragging.

And the temptation to get some ice cream, or a chocolate easter bunny was growing.

I was praying hard for strength to resist. He helped me to walk quickly by!

We had reached the mall at four, by five I felt like I had run a marathon and wanted to leave.

I was describing this feeling to my grandma the next day. She leaned forward in understanding and said, "I know exactly how you feel."

I loved her sympathy, but it didn't make me feel any better. You see, my grandma is 90! There is no way she felt like this when she was my age. In fact, I know she didn't. There is no one in my life that I can think of that had more energy than my grandma, and that was less than 20 years ago.

My mom assures me that the dragging feeling I have all the time is because of my immune system being compromised by cancer.

If that is the case then I say, "Cancer, GO AWAY!"

And that is the goal, to get rid of it by any means necessary.

But... back to my birthday... I got a little sidetracked. :-)

Dustin took me to HuHot, a mongolian BBQ. So yummy! And I ate my fill of vegies and protein.

We laughed as I selected the seasoning to pour on top.

Garlic flavored with black bean sauce.

Dustin was like, "You haven't had enough of that yet?"

I guess garlic four times a day and beans just don't get as old as I think they do. :-)

I forgot to take pictures at the restaurant, so here we are back home. My one purchase of the night was a new scarf on clearance. :-)
I love this picture. It's not the best of either of us, but to me, it shows the commitment of my husband. On the way home we were joking about money. He is the only one making a significant amount, but we both have never questioned that it is our money. After all, I work just as hard at home, until lately that is. I laughingly said, "well, I used to work for it, but now I'm really just a leach. I don't clean, cook, barely take care of the girls...." by the end I had tears in my eyes. It is so hard to be out of control of your own life.

Dustin quickly put an end to that line of thinking and made me love him just that much more by saying, "It doesn't matter to me what you do, Becca. What matters is that you are here. Working on getting better. I love you no matter how you feel."

That was the best birthday present I could have.
We did make one last stop at Target where I purchased this adorable purse (oops, I lied, I got two things that night) with a gift card Teresa sent me with the purpose of buying jeans. Sorry Teresa! But I love the purse, and knowing your purse fetish, I figured you wouldn't care. :-) So thank you very much. You have great taste!

The adorable candle in the picture is from Dustin's mom. I'm telling you, she has figured out my taste completely. I love it! She also babysat our girls, which was a great birthday present in itself.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I'm not a huge cake person, never have been. But the old adage is true. When you can't have something it makes you want it more.

A couple of days ago I was at my grandma's house killing some time. I grabbed the paper and opened to a page detailing the amazing desserts at area restaurants.

Naturally I couldn't turn to a vegetable page.

They made my mouth water and I almost went and hunted all nine of them down. It just might have been worth the sugar crash they would have caused. :-)

What I did do was wish I could have just one of them for my Birthday.

I'm determined to be good on this diet though, so it can really have a chance, and resigned myself to a vegetable and protein menu plan.

Two days before my birthday, a good friend of mine called and told me her husband was swinging by the next morning to drop something off.

Being near my birthday, I of course decided it was for me. Probably a scarf, or some such thing.

He walked in the door the next morning with a covered cake platter, one you can't see through.

I figured they were just sympathizing with me on the fact that I couldn't have cake, and the present was inside.

My greeting was, "well, I know it's not cake since you know I can't have sugar!"

He replied, "Actually, it is cake," and whips off the cover.

It was cake! The most adorable cake I've ever seen! Feast your eyes on the pics!

It says, "Handcrafted with all our love ...."
It was a super sweet and thoughtful gift. One that will keep me smiling every time I take a peek at it. Thank you guys for giving me my cake!

Oh, and the cake fun isn't over. Who would have thought that a girl who can't have sugar would get two cakes? Certainly not me.

I'l blog about my actual birthday later, but since this one is about cakes, I have to put this picture in.

Noelle, my super creative sister, was going to make something out of baked pears for me, then remembered I can't have fruit, or fruit juice, or fruit anything. Poor girl, I really am a frustrating person to make any dessert for. My advice is just don't try.

Try she did, however, and the result was adorable.

She made a carrot cake.

Minus the flour, sugar, eggs, salt, baking powder, cream cheese frosting......

And you know what? I adored it! The love that went into making both my birthday cakes humbled and amazed me. God has given me such precious people to surround me.
My carrot cake. Gabi loves it, by the way. I had had a few too many carrots already that day, so I confess only my eyes have feasted on this treasure.

Friday, March 12, 2010

It's a date!

Karis had taken a nap earlier in the day, which, if I want her to go to bed early is never a good thing.

Instead of fighting it, we decided to have a special date after Gabi went to bed.

And what else do girls do on a late night date? Why fix each other hair and watch Sound of Music, of course! :-)

Karis got the honors of going first. Unfortunately when you brush through my hair it only frizzes up, but still, she had the time of her life and informed me when she was finished that I was going to be the "Apple of Daddy's eye." Where she comes up with this stuff, I'm not sure. Neither Dustin nor I say that.
My turn came next, and she seems pretty happy about it, don't you think?
The end result was me thinking I should probably get in for a long overdue hair-cut and realizing that I have a very adorable daughter.

We did manage to watch sections of the Sound of Music. Karis really enjoyed it, but she wanted me to go back to a certain part.

"Mom, can we watch the Pavilion part?"

I'm scrambling in my brain to think of what a pavilion is, let alone what part she is talking about. I knew it was a structure of some sort. It must be the gazebo part.

I was too slow for her.

"Mom, you know the part where they are dancing, and it starts to rain, and they discover they want to be husband and wife."

"Oh, yes, that part. Sure."

I found it and we snuggled contentedly as they discovered they wanted to be husband and wife.

Yesterday I looked up Pavilion for my own peace of mind. Yes, I had a general idea, but what was it exactly?

You want to know the definition of gazebo?

"A small pavilion that is built specifically for the purpose of enjoying the view."

Just how does one stay smarter than their children? She is only four and already I am having to pull out the dictionary to refresh my memory.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I can't!

I went to bed last night in a snit. I know, hard to believe of me, huh?

Dustin had just gotten home from a closing shift at about ten p.m.

I wanted to stay up and hang out with him for awhile.

He looked into my eyes and instead of something romantic, asked, "Are you sure that is a good idea? Shouldn't you be in bed and sleeping?"

And then I went into my snit.

I turned from his hug and started muttering to myself.

"I can't stay up late, I can't have sugar, I can't go out a lot with my friends, I can't take care of my house, I can't take care of my girls all the time, I can't, I can't, I can't.... I'm so sick and tired of 'I can't!!!'" I might have even added a subtle stamp with my foot, I don't remember if I did or not, but I do remember throwing a pillow off my bed. So very mature of me.

Yes, I will be 32 on Saturday.

Hard to believe, I know.

Dustin came and made me finish our hug.

And brought some sanity back into my pity party and temper tantrum.

I was quickly reminded not to focus on the "I can't's"

Everyone has I can't's, not just me. Some people have a lot worse I can't's than me.

It doesn't matter what I can't do. It matters what my focus is on.

Obviously we have seen the results of me focusing on the I can't's.

Not pretty.

I'm working today of focusing on my Savior and the blessings He has given me.

Jess, my oh so precious friend for going on about 14 years, gave me an early, and timely, birthday present. It was the below poem or prayer. I love it! And it reminds me where to go when my focus gets out of Wac and I start throwing pillows. :-) Not at anyone, mind you! I haven't sunk that low yet!
I know you probably can't read the small print, but look at the bold. Such precious promises, and ones I need daily.

Oh, and see that card in the corner? You never think you will see the day when people start giving you "Happy 29th Birthday" cards. Sadly, I have reached that day. And from a friend, too. Thanks for rubbing it in, Jess. :-) Wait till you get your birthday card!
This has nothing to do with my snit, but with the fact that Dustin has been waiting years to share a hot drink with me. Mine may be only water, but steam comes out and he can pretend it is coffee.
This is the look of excitement he gets when I mention he will be grilling. :-) I will add that he does a marvelous job of turning out a really yummy steak. And the chicken he did the other night was superb!
This is my new perfume. Dustin informed me the other day that I smell like a cross between a spice closet and a Chinese Restaurant. I'm still trying to decide if that is good or bad....

Now, off to a day where I focus on everything I can do, which is a lot!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I need your recipes!!!!

Day six of this new diet.
You know what?
It's not that bad.
I did drool over the Cookies 'n Cream ice cream
that is currently residing in our freezer.
I nicely asked Dustin if he could move it to our
basement freezer because I'm afraid if I did it some might be missing
by the time it got there. :-)
The peanut butter jar held a strange fixation for me this morning.
I think I can have it, but I'm not sure, so I'm not going to
until I talk to her. It does have a lot of sugar in it.
Denying yourself is hard in all areas of life. And food is so big in America.
It is everywhere! I may have to stop watching commercials till the cravings pass. :-) Even if it doesn't taste good in real life, somehow they manage to make it drool worthy on the screen.
But there have been blessings.
I feel better.
Now that my cold is disappearing, I can tell I feel better.
How much better, I don't know yet.
Is it just one of my good days?
Maybe, maybe not.
I know this sounds superficial, but another is I am losing weight.
I was thinking today that this diet would be so much harder if it was causing me to put on the pounds.
At least when I have to say no to Cookies 'n Cream, I can say it's for a good reason.
Ironically, depriving myself of sweet food for weight loss seems much more worthy than hopefully shrinking a tumor.
See? So superficial am I.
But... if it is shrinking the weight, prayerfully it will soon do the same to the tumor.

But, back to the main reason I'm writing.
I could really use some recipes with Beans in them.
I've done chili, but, even that gets old.
So, if you have some, send them my way.
Thank you in advance!

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I probably broke all blogger rules of etiquette with the length of my last post, but wouldn't you know it? I still forgot some things.

I didn't want you to feel too sorry for me so I needed to add that I can have any and all condiments.

I'm a ranch dressing person and I love olives. When pregnant I crave olives, green olives, no pickles.

Phew, I was safe.

Even though condiments do contain sugar, the amount is minimal, and, to quote Karen, "When you crave sugar you won't go and pour yourself a bowl of ranch dressing."

She seems pretty positive about that.

You never know, I may get desperate... :-)

Also, I can pretty much have any and all starches that don't have sugar in them.

Chips, noodles, rice, pretzels, bread, popcorn, cereal, etc.

I was super excited about this list. Really? This diet wasn't so bad, after all.

There was a catch, of course.

I could have them AFTER I had eaten my protein, beans, and vegetables. If you didn't wade your way through my last post you will have to now to see how much of each I am forking down. :-) Sorry, you have my sympathy.

My excitement quickly died. So far I have had a few nuts and about 5 chips. Yup, I'm pretty full, all the time.

And, I know some of you are asking the question,

"So, if you are eating all those beans, are you tooting a lot?"

Let's be honest, I know I would be.

Actually, Dustin could probably still win that contest around here, despite all the beans I'm ingesting. :-)

And, you know what I learned?

It isn't the beans that cause the "foofing" as we call it here. We are mostly girls, after all.

It's that General Sherman Bile that most of us have floating around.

Even in Bile G.S. burns his way out of town.

Ok, corny, I know.

Once He is gone, the foofing stops.

I had to add this because beans really do get a bad rap.

Now, off to my post of chili that is simmering upstairs.

And yes, it does contain mostly beans.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Good Old General Sherman

I loved American History, but I'll have to admit I needed to brush up on General Sherman.

Oh yeah, the Northern general who went through Southern towns like Alanta, GA and burned them.

I know I'm considered a Northerner, I guess the war between the states isn't quite over yet, according to some, but I can't say I'm super proud of that part of General Sherman's career.

In my opinion it was enough just to win the battle, he didn't need to burn down the rest of the town, too.

But... as I said, my history is a little fuzzy on him, so maybe I'm judging him a little harshly.

You may wonder what this has to do with my diet.

It has to do with the bile.

General Sherman bile, to be more precise.

You see, healthy or not, your liver produces bile.

Doesn't it sound like I know what I'm talking about?

I'm really not sure that I do, but it sounds good, anyway.

Back to Bile.

Once the bile is produced, the liver sends it through your body to gather toxins.

In a healthy body, the body that eats the perfect diet, the bile attatches to soluble fiber and exits the only way food should exit the body.

There is a problem, though.

Most of us don't get near enough soluble fiber in our diet.

Since the bile can't exit, it takes itself plus the toxins it has collected and heads back to the liver.

The liver isn't excited. You see, it wants to make new bile, not recycle the old with the yucky toxins.

But it does, because livers apparently are amazing, and do this.

Even livers have their breaking point, though.

They start to protest when the bile becomes "General Sherman Bile."

Doesn't that just sound like it has to be bad?

So, apparently, I have "General Sherman Bile" currently residing in my body.

The bile is trying to fight the war against toxins, but General Sherman is burning some things up along the way. :-)

My nutritionist is determined to oust General Sherman out of the South.

(And by the way, I misquoted her. She gave me no guarantees that the tumor would shrink. She just said she has had a lot of success, but only God knows the outcome. So true!)

Here is her plan.

Beans are her number one weapon to send G.S. running. You see, Beans are the number one food in insoluble fiber. You only need 2 cups to get the 15grams you need a day.

If you were to do it with fruit you would need 30 cups.

Vegetables at least 15.

So, back to beans.

Oh it's beans, beans, beans, that make me feel so mean, on the farm..... on the farm....

Sorry, don't quite know where that came from. It has been popping into my head randomly over the past few days.

You see, I have to eat 1/2 cup of beans 8 times a day.

I have yet to achieve this.

Four days ago I loved beans.

Today if I passed a bean on the street I would probably avert my eyes and put my hands in my pocket.

We are not on the best of terms these days.

But... I have a secret weapon, there is this nifty little thing called Psyllium husk that comes in two pills that can be substituted for any and all servings of my beans.

Four days ago I didn't think I would need it.

Tomorrow I will be at the store at nine if I am at all able.

But why insoluble fiber?

Bile can't resist it.

It is like a young couple who are dying to get married.

The bile sees the fiber, falls madly in love, marries it without a second thought, finds himself superglued to the fiber for life. He can't get back to the liver if he tries because fiber can't penetrate whatever walls it needs to penetrate to get to the liver.

Your bile is literally flushed away. :-)

And the liver rejoices because now it can make new bile and General Sherman is gone forever.

There are alot more reasons why getting rid of the bile is important, but I can't type it here cause it just takes too long.

On to the next part of the diet.


Not just desserts. No fruit, no juice, no jam, no jelly, no maple syurp, nothing artificial, nothing natural, NOTHING!!!!!

Why? Cancer feeds on sugar. It loves it.

I can see why..... I love it, too. :-(

You cut sugar, you starve cancer. It's that simple.

So.... I'm cutting sugar.

It's not having fruit that is the hardest. I adore fruit.

And then it's four cups of vegetables a day.

Three servings of efficient protiens. Like eggs and meat, any kind of meat.

And... one clove of freshly minced garlic four times a day.

I am so paranoid that I will smell like a garlic clove in a few days.

Very paranoid.

I chew parsley after I quickly swallow my minced clove, and no, I don't chew it, it just washes right down.

I can't wear any fragrences, wash with scented laundry detergent or soap.


If you smell garlic in the area, look around, it's probably me wearing my new perfume,

"Garlic' ala stink"

I am also required to wear a scarf 24/7.

And I did check this out on the internet.

It is cutting edge cancer research. (Not the scarf) called hyperthermia thermal treatment.

They are raising body temperature along with chemo and radiation and finding it helps get rid of the cancer faster.

My nutritionist said that if she could, she would put my body at 104 for a sustained period of time, closely monitered, of course.

But she can't, so... scarf, warm clothes, heating pad on my tumors whenever possible, and 3/4 of a gallon of hot water a day.

Lest you feel sorry for me, aside from the beans, it really isn't a bad diet.

My sister Rae, who is studying to be a nutritionist, told me, aside from needing a little more fat, it is almost perfect. Except for all the beans. A normal, non cancer person, doesn't need so much insoluble fiber.

And a normal person could have fruits and dairy.

I'm not normal at the moment.

Cancer is one of the defining factors of my life.

But that's ok. :-)

I will have my pills to swallow tomorrow.

Beans and I can renew a casual acquaintance. :-)

And General Sherman, I am looking forward to saying,

"Goodbye, forever!"

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Step by step He leads me...

And I will follow Him all of the way.

That has never been my favorite song, but it fits where I'm at right now.

We are moving baby step by baby step on this journey called Cancer.

The Oncologist visit didn't happen on Monday because Dustin was sick.

That was a change. :-) It's nice to not always be the one who can't do something because I don't feel good.

Right now I am waiting on a call from my Doctor to hopefully recommend an Oncologist closer to home.

Long drives are getting old really fast.

However, I'm willing to drive if it means a better Doctor.

That being said, Chemo and Radiation will be our last option.

I'm not talking about last option as in ten years from now, I'm talking more like 3-6 months.

God has giving us the blessing of time.

My tumor isn't growing.

Since I have that blessing, I'm going to hold off on those toxic chemicals that make up Chemo for as long as I can.

I do understand that they kill cancer. I also understand that they kill a lot of the good stuff, too.

Please don't think we are making this decision lightly, at all. We aren't. We are well aware that Cancer is close to, if not the #1 killer in America. We know that what we are dealing with is serious. Much prayer and thought has gone into deciding to try other things first.

Back to the blessing of time.

Our first step was to get a consultation with a nutritionist.

I had thought about doing this for awhile, but had no idea where to start.

God knew I was clueless so decided to step in.

Jess mentioned that a mutual friend of ours wanted to tell me about a nutritionist who had helped her mother in a significant way with her Parkinson's, cutting her meds in half, but she didn't want to bother me with it if I wasn't open to hearing about it. I told her I would love too.

The next day I had this ladies number on my answering machine.

I looked up the website and shot off a quick e-mail detailing my problem and asking if she could help.

The following day the mother of one of my students called and said she wanted to share something that had helped her son. She has adopted kids who came from rough homes. Her last son was a drug baby. So sick they were in the Doctors office around 20 times in three months. He couldn't gain weight, nothing was helping, the Doctors were at a loss.

She heard about this Nutritionist.

Within a month the baby was putting on weight, within three months he was still catching what everyone else got and staying sick a little longer, but almost like a normal baby. By eighteen months he was better.

Guess who the nutritionist was? Yup, one and the same as the lady I had just e-mailed.

Never heard about her before in my life, then in the course of two days I had heard from two people in two different states that had no idea the other existed.

I was starting to see God working here.

Then.... my dad was reading an e-mail someone had sent him about a seminar a nutritionist was giving.

"Hey, Becca, was that nutritionist you wrote from WI?"


"Was her name Karen Hurd?"

"Umm.... yeah, why?"

"I just got an e-mail about her."

At that point I told the Lord I had the picture loud and clear.

If the nutritionist thought she could help I would do what she said.

I had a phone consultation with her last Friday after I had filled out an extensive form about me.

Not only does she think she can help, but she thinks the tumor can shrink.

She works with Cancer patients all the time and has had a lot of success.

Will it shrink my tumor?

I have no idea.

But will it prepare my body to fight if I ever have to do Chemo?

That I can tell you with absolute certainty that it will.

Am I praying that I am one of her successes? Of course.

But maybe that isn't why God put her in my path. It may be just to prepare my body for things to come.

We will see, and that is why I am so grateful I have God, my family, and all of you to go on this journey with me.

Thank you for all your concern!

And don't worry, I'll tell you all about the diet in another post. It cracks me up!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Oh My :-)

We are back! And I want to say thank you to everyone who prayed for us.
I felt good. No crash.
Praise the Lord!

Now, for our adventures!
We are waiting here for our adventures to begin.
Mall of America, here we come.
Unfortunately, another person had chosen the same weekend we had to coordinate their visit to the Mall, as well. Next time we will consult her and choose a different weekend. You see, she had several thousand friends with her for the Walk for Diabetes. And several thousand extra people make the Mall rather crowded. :-)
The food court was a zoo. I looked for about ten minutes for a table and came up empty. So... we decided to sit on the floor. It was clean when we looked at it.
If I could, I would blame the kids for this mess, but I must be honest.
Jess was holding the drink tray, but it was heavy, so I offered to take it.
The transfer went well until the drinks started wobbling too and fro.
Once they got started we couldn't stop it,and crash.
At least we saved the food and nobody got very wet.
Only my shoes.
Someone took pity on us(or maybe the poor kids with the clutzy moms) and gave us their table.
American Girls, here we come.
The dolls are ready.
Oops, this is out of order. We took a drink break earlier.
Callie, my old doll with a new name from Karis, is ready for her dessert.
Oh mylanta, that is a hot fudge sundae. And no, she didn't eat it all.
Isn't this precious? I'm not sure what is up with the King sized desserts at a little girls store, but they sure enjoyed them. Keilah is loving it!

Now, onto
Build a bear
If one foot on the gas pedal is good...
Then two is even better.
Puttin some love into the bears hearts.
Grooming them.
The finished product.
And by then we decided that going to the Rainforest for supper was just too much. Time to head out and do some swimming.
And this is why we will check with the Walk for Diabetes lady before we ever go to the Mall again.
This is the response you get when it is discovered that two of the swimsuits didn't make it into the car and to the hotel. Uh oh, the moms were in pretty hot water here, again. First the drinks, now the swimsuits.
So... off we went to the local Wal-Mart. And found the last two swimsuits in that size. God answered our frantic prayers on the way over there.
After a fun night, and morning of swimming, we had a little mishap.
Maddie accidently slipped in the tub and split her poor chin open.
It required stitches, so I called down for the nearest emergency room.
We promptly had a manager at the door and everything we needed.
It was nice to have first class treatment, but sad for Maddie.
The girls were troopers. The plan had been to do toenails, hair, walk around Ikea, etc., but they managed to have fun for a couple of hours in the waiting room.
I had to chuckle as I sat there, looking at the familiar surroundings of nurses, waiting in line to be seen, worried looking people. Even on my weekend getaway God wanted me to spend a little of it in a waiting room. I was so grateful that it wasn't me seeing the Doctor, and that this time I got to hold an adorable baby in my arms.
Chowing down. Thankfully Jess had the presence of mind to throw in a bunch of snacks. Made the time pass more quickly.
And the end result. It is under the chin, so you won't see a scar. And.... we got a voucher for a free room out of it. Next time Jess and I are meeting all by ourselves.
It will be a mommy weekend, and hopefully we can stay out of the emergency room, and maybe, just maybe, not spill anything!