Friday, August 09, 2013

Good news . . .

Statements, phrases, experiences tend to bring different songs to mind.  When Dr. Thigpen came in Tuesday and said he had "good news," I immediately thought:  Good news, chariots a' coming, Coming for to carry me home, but that didn't quite fit if we believe the "home" of the song is our ultimate home in heaven.  It does fit, however, if we think of "home" as the place God has created for us here of earth.  For "home" is where I am and where I plan to be for the foreseable future.

The areas of disease had shrunk from "several large" to "two small."  Though the CA125 result was not availble, we know that it has continued to go down.  I'd call that "good news" for sure!  Tommy went with questions to ask about the side effects of the chemo, but he said when he saw the smiles on both my face and the doctor's, he kept quiet.  We had hoped that if the news was good that the chemo regimen would be changed.  Unfortunately, I have to have three more cycles of three treatments each and will return to Jackson for another pet/ct scan the end of October.  Yes, I was disappointed, but then I don't do this in my strength.  Yesterday, Thursday, began day 1 of the first cycle in what we hope will be the final set. 

During my resting time I have enjoyed being up more and doing more things for myself.  My Hattiesburg oncologist reminded me yesterday that two really important things to remember are good nutrition and activity.  Good nutrition was a problem at the beginning because I was still trying to recover from the abdominal problems that plagued me in the winter and spring.  Those are fine now.  Being active is the hard part for me since the medicine zaps my blood counts.  Again, I cannot and must not rely on my own strength!

Everyboday is at school today.  Tommy just walked over and said how weird it seems. Friday has always been his day off, but he's always had at least one child at home or one he's had to take to pre-school.  Elisa, the last one, started kindergarten today.  The last two years she has spent a lot of time with me on the days she wasn't in pre-school and I will miss her!! 

Besides the activity involved with my appointments this week, we have had lots going on with the chickens.  One night Jacob went down to the barn one last time and found a dead hen.  She had gotten her head caught in the feeder somehow.  While they were trying to get her out, Jacob noticed a snake slithering along the side of the barn. He killed it and upon further investigation they discovered it to be a Copperhead.  That prompted Tommy to look more closely at the dead hen for fang marks. In telling me the story later, he remarked that it was strange trying to do an autopsy on a chicken.  Still, the question remains: did the hen strangle herself or did the snake bite her?  We do know that we have a problem with a racoon who hides in the fig tree and wanders up on the porch at night to try to find chicken feed. (I did learn that my cat scares the racoon away.  Some nights Smokey sleeps in a chair on the porch and the coon won't snoop if Smokey is there.) The night after the hen/snake incident we heard another hen squawking close to the house.  I had gotten up about midnight to let the cat out and saw Jacob walking home from my house.  He has been finishing up a project for school over here and I called to him to see if he was through for the night.  About that time we heard the squawking and Jacob went running to see what was wrong and why there was a chicken out of the coop.  He found it in the dog yard next to their house where the fig tree is, gathered her up in his arms and took her back to her nest.  Meanwhile, Tommy comes out with his gun, looking for the racoon.  It remains elusive.  Never a dull moment!!

It has been an eventful week, but a blessed one!  Good news from the oncologist, children back to school here in Mississippi and children in North Carolina getting ready, chickens keeping things hopping and our first watermelon brought in from the garden.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Pastor Margaret

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