Friday, January 11, 2008

The weather here was horrific yesterday--Tuesday, too, for that matter. Tuesday there were tornadoes and high winds north of us and yesterday they were south and east of us. The local weather "gurus" interrupted the program I was watching and talked, predicted, talked and predicted for almost an hour. My thought is they were being paid by the word. We were cautioned about going outside in the 60 mile an hour straight line winds. Really. Who could even open the door with winds that strong? Stay away from windows because they could break from the pressure. I wonder if they thought the viewing public had fallen off a turnip truck.

While they were going on and on Tom was napping and Elisa was sleeping soundly on a blanket at my feet. I was formulating a plan to get both of them up and into an inner room away from windows etc. should a tornado visit us. I was also thinking how glad I was that my trip to the oncologist in Corinth, MS was Friday, not Thursday. Corinth was one of the areas right in the thick of things. Today I learned that the entire clinic had to be moved to the bottom floor to an inside surgical room. That meant taking twelve infusion patients down, each with a pole with drugs hanging. It was quite an ordeal.

Oncology nurses are among my favorite people! I have been helped, advised, served and loved by some good ones. At the UC Davis Cancer Center, they went the extra mile to provide information not on the printed page and to give practical hints about the particular drugs the person was taking. Terri, at UC Davis Clinic in Roseville, who drew my blood more times than I can remember became a dear friend--my only friend outside the church I served. We learned on my first visit to her that we share a common faith and we began to pray for one another. That bound us together. It was she who insisted I be seen and tested when I had the pneumonia that came close to taking my life. Terri has been a Godsend. The nurses at my new clinic told me that they and their patients are family and if ever I felt like I wasn't being treated like family, let them know. A little after five this afternoon the phone rang and it was one of the infusion nurses. The computer had just posted my CA125 and she called to "make our weekend brighter." It's 19.2--down from 27.something in December. She didn't have to do that. But her call did indeed put a smile on our faces. Some other personnel in the clinics have shown care and compassion as well. I remember the perky receptionist at the UC Davis clinic--always a smile, never ruffled. Ava, in Corinth, shed a tear the day we learned I would have to be treated again. She felt and shared my sadness with the bad news. I have been blessed with the best doctors anywhere. All have made this road a little less bumpy. All are answers to our prayers.

There was sunshine everywhere today. Exept for water standing in the fields there were no signs of the storms of Tuesday and Thursday. It was a beautiful day! Events of the week could be compared to the weather: some events were quite stormy; others were calm and full of sunshine. Many events connected with disease are stormy; some have rays of sunshine like when medication helps Tom's symptoms or chemo lowers the blood marker. Always, God is bigger than any storm. In the midst of the stormy weather we had our own sunshine provided by baby Elisa. How very special it is to have her with us a few hours a day! I know babies as young as she is aren't supposed to smile, but I have seen a smile or two this week--with no signs of gas present. A call from our daughter, about to have her first baby, lit up our whole house a big ago. She is so excited--as are we!

Here is my five sentence sermonette. Forget the storms. Watch for the sunshine. Rely on the promises of God. No, cling to the promises of God. Especially remember that He will never leave you, nor forsake you even in the midst of storms.

Pastor Margaret

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