Monday, February 28, 2011


I am consistently consuming 2800-3000 calories daily.

Dairy seems to be agreeing with me - Thank you Lord!

No real progress in putting on the pounds as my body is adjusting from starvation to abundance.

Now, finishing up on day four, I can feel things settling down.

Will you pray that I continue to adjust and eating like this feels normal again?

The nuts are going down a little better.

The chocolate milk and "egg nog" slide right down.

Actually, the only thing that is hard to eat is the nuts, so I really can't complain.

My mom is the best. She faithfully writes down every calorie.

Sadly, I think that by the end of this I will be a calorie counter for the first time in my life.

I found myself mentally totalling up the amount of calories in an 8oz steak. (Approximately 480 in case you were wondering.)

I can tell I'm adjusting because I've already consumed about 2700 calories today and I'm looking forward to the steak Dustin is going to grill tonight after the girls are in bed. Steak, potatoes, asparagus.... yum!

Thanks for your prayers!

Friday, February 25, 2011

If He can do it, so can I!

If I have said that once, I've said it a thousand times the last couple of days.

It's amazing how an uncle who is a good two hours away can feel like he is right next to you.

Uncle Bob is my favorite uncle on my mother's side - he's the only uncle on my mother's side, but if not, I'm sure he would still be my favorite! :-)

He has faithfully read my blog for some time now - telling me that it is the only blog he ever reads.

Not only has this made me feel very loved, but I feel guilty if I don't post for say like, ummm, eight days like I managed to do last week.

But now I think of him for a new reason.

We can relate in having to gain weight.

Last night I looked balefully at a glass that held a 1/4 cup of nuts.

They were what was remaining of my cup and a half for the day.

May I just say that currently nuts are the bane of my existence?

I used to love nuts.

A few walnuts were an absolute treat.

Pecans, yummy.


If I never see another nut after I put on this weight it will be too soon.

But... a cup and a half of nuts or seeds has 1060 calories in it.

That is a whoppin' amount, and I need whoppin' amounts.

So..... I eyed, and eyed, and eyed those remaining nuts.

Repeating in my head, "If he can do it, I can do it. If he can do it, I can do it."

I thought of my uncle, sick, skinny (He was 15 and 98 pounds - I got straightened out on the facts today) in a hospital bed, forced to wake up and eat every two hours.

I don't have to be awakened to eat at night. I just had to get these nuts down.

Somehow they disappeared and those calories hopefully are turning into fat cells.

Now I have two new sayings. "If he can do it, I can do it," and "With God all things are possible."

Three thousand calories today.

My mom is a drill sergeant, which is exactly what I need.

Give me a month and I'll be almost as good as new. :-)

Thanks, Uncle Bob, for being an encouragement to me.

Thanks everyone for praying - I'm still enjoying my chocolate milk and so far so good! (It almost, almost not quite, makes up for the nuts)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Konversations with Karis

Yesterday we were driving up to the farm and all was quiet in the car.

That is a rarity. Usually I can't hear myself think.

Taking advantage of this moment, I was thinking random thoughts which have since escaped my mind, not hard these days. :-)

Karis and Gabi were singing to themselves and looking out the windows.

"Look, Mom!" Karis said.

I looked. Everything seemed normal to me. Same buildings, same signs.

What had caught her eye? An animal? A plane? Some building?

"It's a murmur diphthong."

Oh heaven help me, I thought before I said, "Um.... what's a murmur diphthong, again?"

"You know Mom, er. Er, er, er, er, er..... like a rooster."

"Oh yeah..." I so didn't remember that.

She went on to have this long conversation about the different murmur diphthongs she is learning.

As I listened to her chatter my mental conversation went something like this,

I have to get better soon to keep up with this girl.

It looks like I'm going to brush up on phonics whether I want to, or not.

I wonder how many other people have conversations about murmur diphthongs on random car rides?

What am I going to do when Gabi starts spouting this stuff out, too?

Oh dear..... :-)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mom to the rescue....again!

I haven't written in forever because, frankly, I've been so discouraged.

Gaining weight is just stinkin' hard.

I'll put on four pounds, then have a couple of bad days and be right back where I started.

You see, this is what happens.

Because I am so underweight, I suffer joint pain and exhaustion.

In the past two weeks joint pain has kept me up twice most of the night, if not all night.

That hurts a normal, healthy person.

It turns me into a zombie.

The vicious cycle keeps repeating itself.

I need to gain weight so I can get rid of the exhaustion and joint pain.

The joint pain keeps me exhausted and from gaining weight.

Yesterday I was up at Mom's and she was telling me a story about my uncle.

At sixteen or seventeen he got super sick and was in the hospital for most of a summer.

During that time he went from 160 to 110, or 98, I've heard both.

The point is, he lost a ton of weight and was worse off than I am.

However, my mom said my grandma, great aunt and the nurses were feeding him every two hours around the clock. Even if he wanted to refuse he was force fed.

Tears came to my eyes.

Did I dare say what I was thinking?

Mom already does so much for me, but I knew I needed just that.

A nurse to force food down my throat when all I felt like doing was curling up in a ball and shutting out the world.

I know I need to gain more than anything.... but pain and exhaustion.... well, they win.

My mom's words were, "I'll be your nurse, but you have to eat what I feed you!"

And today I'm doing just that. Planting myself up here and eating what I'm given.

It's a good thing my mom isn't keeping tabs because I will never be able to pay her back.

On the bright side, my lung is still doing great.

This seems like a silly request, but would you pray that the dairy I'm trying in my diet won't make me cough up blood?

I'm hoping my lung is far enough along that it won't bug it so much.

You see.... my mom makes this amazing chocolate milk. It tastes like 2% with chocolate syrup in it.

There is no sugar, nothing I can't have, except dairy.

The calories are so easy to get down that way, and right now, any easy calories are welcome.

Hopefully the next time I write about my weight the progress will be significant.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Adjacent vowels

Yesterday morning we were having a family quiet time.

Dustin finished reading out of Luke and then prayed.

Karis decided she wanted to read a verse, so grabbed my Bible.

Usually she reads out of one that has the words of Jesus highlighted in red.

Mine doesn't have this, so instead of Matthew, she ended up in Judges.

We waited to see what would come out.

With a puzzled expression on her face she proceeded to say, "Mom, I don't know what this word says because it has an adjacent vowel. I'm just learning about adjacent vowels and I don't know the sounds these make together."

I love my little scholar. :-)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I can't remember how much I've shared about our quest for a car. Forgive me if I repeat myself.

These faces pretty much describe how it has been going. :-)

First, we had a lead on a cheap, rebuilt transmission.

We could get it and have it installed for around $500.

Evidently God didn't want this to happen because that weekend the man's garage burned to the ground with "our" transmission in it.

Couldn't get much clearer direction that that. :-)

After talking to a few mechanics we respect, we gave the car up for lost and donated it.

Now what?

Dustin's Grandma offered to loan us money for a new one, so we started looking.

Not wanting a huge payment every month because the funds just aren't there, our selection was limited.

It seemed everything we called on had just been sold or was junk.

Dustin had very little time to look as he was either working or helping me.


If my grandma hadn't loaned us her van in the meantime it would have been much worse.

Praise the Lord for grandmas!

Still unsure what we were going to do we headed out to Chicago.

While there, we received an e-mail from some friends we met in college ministry days.

They had a car they were going to get rid of. Nothing fancy. It got you from point A to point B.

If we still needed a car they wanted to give it to us.

There is nothing better than free.

Yesterday we went to their house and picked up our new '93 Dodge Shadow. :-)

Is it fancy?


But beauty is all in the eye of the beholder.

To us it is an amazing little car because it is an answer to prayer.

We asked God for a car that got us from point A to point B.

He provided in a very unexpected way.

A way that didn't put us under any more financial strain.

A way that built our faith in the fact that He is indeed watching out for us.

Including tax, title, license, and new windshield wipers (which cost ten times what the car did) we spent a whopping $44 yesterday.

Here he is. I affectionately named him Gus.

You have to name old cars, it is a rule of mine.

New ones, no.

They don't have enough personality.

They are shiny boxes that house smooth running motors.

Nothing unpredictable about them - not that I mind that.

Old cars.... they have seen a lot.

They have quirks.

Gus, even though I don't know him very well yet, feels like a quirky car. :-)

A quirky car that is a huge blessing.

Thanks Jeff and Anna for meeting a need!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Shopping can be a spiritual gift

There is a precious lady at our church who has the spiritual gift of shopping.

I know that sounds a little funny... I mean, don't all of us women have the gift of shopping?

But seriously, she does.

God has given her a talent for finding deals and using it for others.

In the past I know she has opened up her "basement store" for missionaries.

A couple of months ago, she asked us if there was anything we needed.

I ran into her at church and mentioned that the girls needed new toothbrushes.

I could see her mentally running through what she had...

Toothbrushes for little girls?

Of course.

Today my dad transferred the "toothbrushes" from their car to ours.

I smiled as I quickly glanced through the bags.

The girls will love their pink princess toothbrushes.

Dustin and I will enjoy the toothbrushes she gave us, as well as the razors, the toilet paper, the paper towels, the zip lock bags, tin foil, tissues, and the list goes on.

What a blessing to be a part of a church family that is so willing to share their gifts.

God has been faithful to meet every need we have.

Even with toothbrushes.

PS... I've gained the two pounds back plus another one!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


1. I slept from 9:30pm to 5:00am last night. I did have one interruption at 12:30 when a little girl came in and said "I'm sorry Mom, but I need some more water."

I got the water and fell blissfully back to sleep.

Not sure exactly what the doc did in his adjustments and new pills this time but whatever it was I want some more of it please. :-)

2. I have this picture in my head of dying cancer.

Have you seen those mucus commercials? The ones where the green blobs make a home in your lungs?

That is what I am picturing. Only since it is dying I'm picturing it black and shriveling up.

Wish I could just cough it up as easily as in the commercial.

Doc said it will either come up in a chunk, with a gagging sensation, or just dissolve. Fun, huh?:-)

The chunk would be quicker, however.... the tumor is only a little over an inch, so even the dissolve part shouldn't be too hard.

3. About that "inch."

In my head I've known this tumor is 3cm.

I know that is pretty small, but...

How can a tumor that is only a little over an inch cause so many problems?

Ugghh..... Go away you nasty little tumor.

Be GONE, I say!

I've had enough of a little squirt like you calling the shots!

4. I'm so curious to have my next MRI.

Curious, but scared.

What if the cancer isn't dying? What if my feeling better in my lung is all in my head?

What if doc doesn't know what he is talking about?

I'll have to face it soon, I can't go any longer than the end of Feb. middle of March. My oncologist will get antsy. :-)

5. Most of all I want to put on the weight before I have to get on a doctors scale.

That's what I'm most scared of.

Silly, isn't it?

I just don't want to be yelled at by my doctor.

He won't yell at me, I know. But he will look at me and I'll squirm.

I'll squirm and make excuses, and tell him that I am working on it.

I have these conversations in my head.

And because of these conversations I avoid MRI's. :-)

I may need my head examined next.

6. I have no joint pain today.

I'm celebrating that.

Waking up feeling normal was absolutely amazing.

God knew I needed a day like today and a sleep like last night. It gives me hope that normal is around the corner.

7. Love you all!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It is COLD!

I am ready to go someplace warm.

If I could find someplace in the US warmer than 70 I might buy a ticket.

Anyway.... Chicagoland was shiver me timber cold.

I'll give a detailed update tomorrow if all goes well, but the news is good.

My doc says we are beating this silly old cancer.

If he is correct, it is almost DEAD.

That doesn't mean the tumor is gone, but it does mean it is dead - and dead means it can't grow anymore.

Today is a good day, too.

Yesterday wasn't so much, but it passed and I am excited to have a day like today.

So many blessings to share, but for now, I wanted to leave you with the good news that my cancer is on the run.

Happy dance time!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sleeping with the Psalms

The book I find myself turning the most these days is the Psalms.

Last night I set my cd player to continuous play of someone reading the Psalms.

I love David.

He is so real with his feelings.

If He has been awake and crying all night, he says it.

If He is having a great day loving the Lord, he puts it out there.

If He is confused and wondering where God is, he asks Him.

If He is having a thoroughly rotten day, well... he doesn't hide it.

David and I haven't gone through the same things, but the feelings and emotions are the same.

I lay there, and instead of thinking of not falling asleep, or thinking about being uncomfortable, I listened to someone else voice my feelings, and hearing God's answers to them.

I was asleep before the cd started over again.

I'm not sure how many times it went through it before I woke up again, but the point is I slept.

And when I wasn't sleeping, instead of fretting about that, I listened.

I'm praying that this will help.

What I do know, is that it will help my relationship with God.

Last night I realized again that life is never perfect like we want it to be.

But that's ok.

What matters is that Jesus has saved me.

Life here is short - even if I live to be 100.

Eternity is forever and my relationship with my savior is what matters the most.

Way more than aching joints and sleepless nights.

I may never sleep well here. (I pray that isn't the case)

But it's ok because I've put in a request for heaven.

I know you don't get tired there, but I'm asking that for at least a couple of days He will let me just sleep. :-)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

This is what keeps me going....

There are days this journey seems like it will go on forever. That I just can't endure one more pain, one more set back, one more anything.

Those are the days I look at these faces.

She loves me so much, and according to her, tomorrow she is going to marry me.

I will be the prince.

How can it get any more precious than that?

And then there is this little one. She is my helper, my encourager.

The two of us, we have a deal.

When I'm better, when my body doesn't hurt like I'm 120, we are going to have the biggest tickle fight on the planet.

And you know what? We are.

Someday that tickle fight is going to happen.

And that one in the middle?

His unending patience with me puts me to shame.

He is never upset when I have a day that is a little worse than most.

When I cry because I just want a day where I don't have even a little bit of joint pain.

Or a full night of sleep.

I had to look at these today because while I'm sleeping a little bit, I'm not sleeping great.

I had a nightmare last night that one of my aunts almost shot me.

I don't have any aunts that would even think of doing that. :-)

Lack of sleep really does a number on me.

But what hit me the hardest today was the fact that the two pounds I put on came back off.

I was sick last week. Nothing serious, but it kept me from eating as much as I wanted to.

Who would have thought the loss of two pounds would cause me to cry?

A year ago I would have laughed at you.

I seriously considered putting a feeding tube in, but that would be wimping out.

With God's help, I can do this.

I still have a lot of great things to be excited about.

I'm coughing a lot less.

My lung feels so much better.

I think I'm headed in the right direction, but what is it that people say?

The end of the race is the hardest?

I don't know that I'm nearing the end, but if the difficulty is any indication I'm hoping I am.

Pray that God helps me to stay strong.

That I keep force feeding myself and don't just give up.

That I can rejoice.

God has given me much to be thankful for.

My family.

Our parents.

Our siblings.

A warm home in this weather.

Cozy slippers.

Food to eat that will make me gain weight.

The ability and strength to eat even if I don't feel like it. I could be bedridden.

A church family who keeps on caring, and caring, and caring - like the energizer bunny.

Warm tea.

Back rubs. :-)

A God who never gives up on me, despite my doubting moments.

Those of you who keep reading my ramblings and praying.

Thank you!