Sunday, December 28, 2008

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas! As expected, my daughter Kelly arrived home from Texas, around 4am on Christmas Eve morning. My nephew, Ben Govero, also lives in Texas, and they had gotten together to make the trip back home to Missouri for Christmas. They had lots of funny stories to share about the Govero Christmas Road Trip! The kiddos were so excited to have her home. Emma Jean woke up, and looked out the window to see Kelly's truck and trailer sitting out there, and squealed "Kelly's home!!" I made pancakes and we all sat around and had breakfast together, laughing and listening to stories. That evening, we loaded up and headed to Keith's parents' house for the annual Govero Christmas Eve get together. My daughter, Jen, was at my mom's house. She called, and said that they were coming to the Govero's and they were bringing Grandma Adams with them! It was a surprise, but a good one. I truly think mom enjoyed herself. She got out of the house, and she got to have conversation with lots and lots of people. Jen, Mom, and Jen's boyfriend, Mike loaded up around 8:30 and went back to mom's. We stayed a little while longer, but by 9:30 or so, we too were loading up our crew. By the time we got home, we were all tired as we carried the younger ones inside to bed. Christmas morning, we got up around 7ish to watch Emma open her presents, teehee. This year was a very different year for us, and the focus was not on the gifts. There were a few under the tree, but nothing compared to Christmases past. Mom and Jen arrived around 11ish, and my son Nick, and his family arrived about the same time. We all gathered around a table of good food and had good fellowship, as we celebrated the birthday of our Lord. After dinner, Nick's wife, Jessica sang a couple of songs for us! She sang one of my favorites, "Mary Did You Know". She has a beautiful voice, and sings acapella.

We received 4 box seat tickets for Christmas, from Mike and Jenna, to see the Radio City Rockettes at the Fox Theatre on Saturday night. Keith "declined", so it was my daughter Kelly, Jenna, Mom and I. My daughter, Jen, turns 21 on the 30th of December, so we used that as our birthday dinner celebration. We went to the show, then out to eat afterwards at Herbie's in the Central West End. It used to be Balaban's, where Jen worked until it closed and she was forced to find other employment. As we were walking from where we parked the car, to the restaurant, Kelly was walking on the outside of us, next to the cars parked on the street. As we walked by this little white car, a huge German Shepherd tried to eat her up!! It was sitting in the back seat of the car, but apparently Kelly got way too close for that dog's comfort, and he decided to let her know she was too close!! I thought Kelly was going to have a heart attack! We laughed all the way to the restaurant, and for quite awhile once inside! It was tooo funny.

This morning, as we were getting ready for church, my son called and said that he had a commercial to film today, and Jess wanted to go with him, so could they bring Ruger over. I never miss an opportunity to watch my grandson, so yea!!! We packed him off to church with us, and he was such a good boy, he was awake during the music portion, but once Bro. Carl started preaching, Ruger laid down with his plug, in Kelly's lap, and went right to sleep! We then came home to a big pot of beans and ham and cornbread. What do you do with your leftover Christmas ham??? Soul food baby!!

Today has been a relaxing day, watching my kiddos play together, watching my grandson play with them. I'm trying to practice what I preach, and let go and let God. I'm trying not to think about the fact that Tuesday morning, again, we will be leaving at 6am to go to Barnes again. At 8:15am I will be getting an EKG, and at 9:30am, another biopsy. I can do this...........

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Good Morning folks out there in cyber space! I am here to "eat crow", so to speak. I have said my daddy was a baby when it came to pain tolerance. Let me just say, I got no sleep last nite!! He didn't complain near enough about this port thing!! The more the lidocaine wore off, the more my neck and chest area hurt, where they had placed the port. Actually, it was my neck muscles that were hurting, and only when I used them. Ha! You don't realize how many times your neck muscles flex! Smiling, chewing, laughing, even when you need to "raise your voice" to say something to your teenagers, teehee. My, my, my, this is going to be fun. I can't even grit my teeth, instead of raising my voice. So, hmmm, I just have to say what I need to say in a gentle, quiet spirit. That's going to be uh, hm, different.

I just need to vent a little here. This is Tuesday. Christmas is Thursday. I have absolutely nothing under the tree for my teens!!!!! I did have some things I had bought back in the summer for my little girls, and they have been pulled out and wrapped. But for Ethan and Adam, nothing. For Jessy and Kate, nothing. And, it goes without saying nothing for Nick, Kell and Jen. I have been a bit distracted, and kept thinking, after I'm done with this, or after I'm done with this. I still have time. And after each of the procedures, it took me a day or two before I felt comfortable getting out and navigating the "zoo" that's out there this time of year. My daughter, Kate, works at Wal-Mart. She comes in last nite, after working a 10 hour shift and declares...."I hate Christmas!!" Of course, I said, as strongly as I could without using any neck muscles, "KATE, DON'T SAY THAT!!! YOU DON'T HATE CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS IS JESUS' BIRTHDAY!!!". She said, ok, I hate what they have turned Christmas into, can I say that??? There you have it, from the mouth of an 18 year old babe. She is getting to see, up close and personal, what Christmas has turned into. I am torn between, letting Christmas come, without trying to get something under the tree for my kids that are "old enough to understand", or just letting it go. This morning, I am leaning towards letting it go. I still can't turn my head either direction without feeling "pressure", since I can't really label it as pain. Therefore, I don't feel like that is a condition I can drive with. Not to mention, it is drizzling freezing rain and sleet out there. My son, Nick, just called from town to let us know the roads are hazardous, and the crowds are worse! So, I guess, the decision has been made for me. What's there is there, and nothing more.

I think I have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day covered, when it comes to my mom. My husband's family have their get together on Christmas Eve at his mom and dad's house in Festus. Jenna has volunteered to go be with mom on Christmas Eve. She says her and Mike, her boyfriend, will go to Grandma Govero's to make an appearance, then they are going to mom's to cook her dinner on Christmas Eve. Then Mike will leave, and Jen will spend the night with mom. Christmas morning, Mike will return to pick up Jen to have breakfast with his mom and family to watch them open their presents. Then Jen will return to mom's to help her make banana pudding and then bring her down to my house for Christmas Dinner. Then, before dark, return mom back to her house. I say before dark, because mom keeps saying, as long as I am back home before dark. Of course, all this is easily changed by the weather, but at least if the weather turns bad, Jen will be there with mom, and she won't be alone on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Pray for us!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

We got in the car this morning at 6:35am. The temperature was 3 degrees. Slightly chilly today! We drove the familiar route to the hospital. 55 North, get in the left lane to exit onto 44 West. A drive that never fails to bring memories flooding back, that I have tried to push out of my mind. Only, on my current routine, I do not get off at Grand to head to St. Louis University Hospital. I go one exit past that, get off at Kingshighway, and head towards Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Siteman Cancer Center. A place my daddy wanted to be. A place my daddy repeatedly told us was "the best" hospital. We pull into the parking garage that has already become a familiar routine. We have already learned to go past this level, start down the other level, so as to get ahead of the "rookie parkers", and get the best parking spots. We find our way to the 2nd Floor Radiology where I am to get a MUGA scan to test my heart health, establish a base line, before they start the chemo. They stick me once in the left arm, inject me with something. Then, they insert an IV in my right arm and inject me with something else. I am then escorted into a different room, told to lay on my back very still, while they take pictures of my heart with this huge camera thing. The good thing about that procedure is that they let me keep my phone, which I had playing my Praise and Worship songs through my headphones! About an hour later, I am released. We then head to 3rd Floor Radiology Procedures, to have the Portocath installed. That lasted about 2 hours, and they gave me some sweeeeeeet sedation stuff! I was awake, I could hear them, I could even answer their questions, but I felt nothing, and basically didn't care what they were doing, LOL! Then they wheeled me back into recovery, where Keith was brought in to hear the "discharge instructions". I am to pick up nothing over 5 lbs with my left arm for the next 7 days!! And nothing stronger than Tylenol for pain. We then gave my nurse, Karen, a call and she met us in a conference room on the 7th floor to go over my prescriptions and what side effects to expect. I have been known to faint whenever I get really scared or nervous. As we were sitting there in that conference room, as she was going over all the meds; "compazine is an anti-nausea drug blah blah blah, Zofran is also an anti-nausea medicine blah blah blah, lorazepam is an anti-anxiety medicine which has good anti-nausea properties blah blah blah. You will also be given Neulasta, an injection that you will have to give yourself the day after each chemotherapy treatment blah blah blah." The more she talked, the warmer that room got and before I knew it, the clouds were coming in. I mentioned with a shaky voice I needed water. Keith was on it. He saw it coming. I mentioned to Karen, while Keith was gone to get me some water that I was feeling slightly dizzy and she suggested I lay my head on the table. Seriously...... Out of respect, I did that....for about a minute. I realized quickly that wasn't going to slow it down. I said, I am gonna have to lay down on the floor. She began to get nervous, no honey, you don't need to lay down on the floor. By the time she was at the "honey", I was flat down on my back, laying on the cool floor. Keith was wiping my face with a wet paper towel, and talking me out of it. Karen left and returned with several choices of food and beverages, one being OJ!!! Keith set me up, I drank the OJ, and began to feel better. Keith was making excuses about having nothing to eat since yesterday, and it was 2pm. I knew better. That may have played a slight part in this, but I feel it was more the "familiarity of the drugs, the side effects,", the whole deal. It was her talking. It was memories flooding way too fast. It was me not wanting to talk about it, and me not wanting her to talk about it!! It was me wanting to scream "just give me the papers, I can read, besides I know everyone of these drugs and what the side effects are!" I wanted to run out of there, down the hall and back to the parking garage! But, they had one more stop for me to make. I had to go across the hall, get blood drawn one more time, for this one last test they needed to have in their files........a pregnancy test! LOL! Now that is laughable, is it not? They have x-rayed me, injected me with radio active die to make the pictures show the contrasts, etc. I mean, seriously, now they are going to do a pregnancy test?? But, hey, they need that paperwork and test result in their file. Routine. Whatever, we then left and headed for the parking garage. On the way home, we stopped at Arnold Ready Mix to pay a concrete bill or two, then on to Herky to stop and check in on mom. She seemed to be in good spirits, so after she asked a couple times where we had been, I told mom that we had just come from the hospital. She said again? Didn't you say you were there last week having some tests done? I finally told mom, that yes, they had found cancer in my breast. She asked me, rather quickly, what they are going to do about it. I told her they were going to start me on a treatment plan of chemotherapy for several weeks. But then told her the story of comparing leukemia and breast cancer was like comparing an elephant to a mouse. Two very different animals. Breast cancer was curable. And I wasn't going to be in the hospital. All my treatments were going to be out patient, one day a week, for several weeks. I think she was ok with all my explanations. I hope so. I guess time will tell.

Prayers are welcome.....

Sunday, December 21, 2008

This morning, Nick, Jess and Ruger, joined us at our church for morning services! It was "Gift Sunday", and they presented each and every child between the ages of 2 and 4th grade, in church today, with a gift! It was so cute to see Ruger open his present on stage, as well as Emma Jean, Kassy and Kimberly. Kim and Kass both got backpacks with water bottles that sported the logo "Kid City at Calvary Temple". Emma and Ruger both got toys! When Bro. Carl read the prayer list, my name was on the list. Some came up after church, wanting to know why. Very emotional.....

I am not to have anything to eat or drink after midnight tonight, until after the PORT is put in tomorrow morning at 10 am. After I am done with that, I am supposed to meet with my Clinical Nurse, Karen, to go over my prescriptions and what each drug is for. I have been reading on line what to expect from each of these drugs. Some of it is scary. But, most of what I am reading is convincing me that, even though this will not be a fun journey, it will be a journey that I will be able to get through. I have a good support system. I can not imagine the people that make this journey without the faith I have in my God. I spent all of 2007, "helping my dad" walk this path, or so I thought. Apparently, it was more to prepare me to walk the path I am about to walk. When my Oncologist sat down to begin to explain to me what a PORT was and what to expect. Tears filled my eyes. Again, not because of what he was saying. But because I had to say, I know what a PORT is, and I know what it is daddy had a PORT. Again, memories. I don't know whether it is a good thing or a bad thing that I am so familiar with the terminology, the tools, the tests, etc. When I was processing all this Friday, I reached up on my shelf, and got down "The Notebook". I kept a notebook all during the journey of dad's battle against Leukemia. Everything from meds, to notes about how he felt on each day, how he responded to each drug or test or procedure. I wanted to read about the day daddy got his PORT. It was not hard to find. "Daddy got a port put in today. He left his room about 8:30 and returned around 11:30. He was asking for breakfast, saying he was hungry and had gotten nothing to eat today, and had not had any coffee." As I read this, again, memories flooded back. It is all still so vivid, even today, more than a year later. It is just so weird that now it is me hearing everyone say, we will get through this, it will be ok. I can hear daddy saying, "Quit talking to me like I have one foot in the grave!" But I also am reminded of how many times he had to go to some procedure, have some tests run, and what all we said to try and calm him down, keep him from being worried. Now I know, it doesn't matter what is said. I know that daddy did it, and he was a baby when it came to pain tolerance. But that doesn't stop me from being nervous about tomorrow.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

OK, now that I have played around with this website, figured out how it works, now, I will share the details of my distractions of late.

I have been noticing some changes in my body. I can't put my finger on when it started, or how long it has been going on. I guess I was in denial. There was a sore that just wouldn't heal. I couldn't feel any lumps. But, there was this sore that wouldn't go away. I tried Neosporin, after all, that fixes everything, right? I then tried Goldenseal. That is an herb, that is very powerful and has wonderful healing qualities. Still, no luck. I began to research breast cancer, just in case. Couldn't hurt to have some information, right? I located a program on line that offered free cancer screenings to women, Show Me Healthy Women. I called the number, in Jefferson City. They asked appropriate questions, then gave me numbers to call locally. I called and made an appointment. The date they had an opening, was the same day I was putting mom on the plane to Beck's, November 19th. It was for 3:30. I thought, hey, that will work. Mom's plane was scheduled to leave at noon. I could put mom on the plane in St. Louis, then drive straight to the clinic for the appt. I drove up to mom's the night before to help her pack and help her with any last minute details. She was going to be gone for 2 weeks!! The next morning, we packed the last minute things, then drove to pay her water bill before she left town. We then drove to the AT&T store, to get her phone turned back on. We had let it lapse, oops. That took about 15 minutes, but we were then, free to roam about the country. We drove up there, checked momma's bag, got my security pass, and made it through security without any problems. Once she was on the plane, I headed for the parking garage. Stopped in at the Alzheimer's Support Group meeting in Festus, then headed down to the clinic. As I was pulling onto the parking lot of the clinic, my phone rang. It read, Ann Adams. Thinking, she's there, safe and sound, and Beck suggested/helped mom phone me to let me know, I answered it with "Your there?" Mom responded with "I am, but Beck's not! They switched gates, and I don't know how to let Beck know!" It took me a minute to process that, because, the realization that my mom had just used her cell phone, by herself, was BIG!!! Way bigger than the fact that Beck was not at the gate to meet her!! I told mom I would call Beck, for mom to stay put, right there by baggage claim and not move. I then called Beck, gave her mom's cell phone, and within minutes they were hooked up. I then went on into the clinic appt. During the appt, the dr. did a physical exam and was "concerned" at what she was feeling. She told me she was going to send me to Barnes for a "diagnostic mammogram". I informed her I did not have medical insurance, and therefore, couldn't afford to do anything about it if they found something. She said, not to worry, no matter what they found, it would all be covered under this program. I left there to await a call from Barnes. The next morning, Barnes called and scheduled an appt for December 9th. I then kicked into Thanksgiving mode, and prepared my house for my sister's family to arrive on Sunday. Lois then joined us on Wednesday night, and Thursday, we all enjoyed a good old fashioned turkey and dressing dinner. Then, Lois and her family packed up and moved to Bryan's family farm. I boarded a plane for Colorado at 6:30am, the next morning! I spent a wonderful week with my other sister, Becky's family, and my mom. While there, Beck and I truly bonded again. I then shared with her, the path I was sure to be walking in the future. Together, we both tried to talk mom into staying there with her family, at least until after the holidays. Mom, again, couldn't be convinced to stay. So, in the middle of a slight blizzard, Becky drove us to the airport. We boarded a plane, and landed in St. Louis. Keith picked us up, and after stopping for dinner at Cracker Barrel, we took mom into her home, sat a few minutes to make sure everything was in good shape, and then we left for home. Lots and lots of hugs and kisses from my kiddos!!! Church on Sunday, life picked up again. I did share with my pastor's wife, that I was going to Barnes on Tuesday for a diagnostic mammogram, because in the physical examination, the doc had felt a lump. Tuesday morning, off to Barnes we went. Sign in, fill out papers, be escorted back to a dressing room, given a pink gown, and escorted to a different waiting room full of ladies in pink gowns. Then, my name was called. I went into the room with what looked like a young girl to do the dreaded mammogram. No comments by her. Then told to wait in the inner waiting room for results. Soon they came to get me, escorted me to a different room, informed me they needed confirmation, and were going to do an ultrasound. From there, they took me into a room with a dr., went and brought Keith in for the consultation and results of the day. They did tell us they couldn't be 100% positive without a biopsy, but were fairly certain it was cancer. Lots of info, lots of discussion, then scheduled me for a biopsy the next day. We drove home in silence. Way too much to take in, way too much to process. I feel the need to say, that at this point, it was not what they had just told us, as much as the fact that it was all way too familiar, way too fresh. The memories that I had spent a year trying to deal with, came flooding back way too fast and furious. The next morning, we got up and headed back up to Barnes for the biopsy. Again, dressing room, pink gown, small room with drs., ultrasound guided core needle biopsy. Two samples taken. Painful? Slightly. But nothing worth screaming about. Then, given an ice pack, instructions not to lift anything heavier than 5 lbs with that arm, no showers for 24 hours, and only Tylenol for pain. Back home, and we have a sit down with all the kids. We carefully explained to them what was going on, what was coming up, and how very very different this was than what Grandpa had. My doctor shared a story I could share with my kids to help them understand, and I did that. Comparing leukemia cancer with breast cancer is like comparing an elephant with a mouse. Yes, they are both mammals, yes, they both have 4 legs, but after that the similarities slim. That is the way it is with leukemia and breast cancer....2 very different animals. They are saying that I have a very good prognosis. I am healthy otherwise. And, it appears to not be in my lymph nodes, and that is way positive. It appears to only be in my right breast, so that, again, is good news. We were back up there again Wednesday, for what we thought was going to be a consultation with the surgeon. The appt was for 8:15, so we didn't eat breakfast, thinking, we will go get breakfast out somewhere when this is done. HA! What were we thinking???? The surgeon said that he would like us to meet with the oncologist as soon as possible. And, because we drove so far to get there, he would make some calls and see if that could be arranged for today. His nurse came back in, and said that he was successful, and we had an appointment for 2pm today with a Dr. Ellis. She said, "and that works out perfectly, because we want you to go to 3rd floor and get a Bone Scan done, and that takes about an hour, and then to the 2nd floor and get a CT Scan and that takes about an hour, and back up to 3rd floor to finish up the Bone Scan. Then you will have just enough time to grab some lunch, before you meet with Dr. Ellis. Wow.... By the time we got to 1pm, which is when they released us from Bone Scan, we were starving!! We found the cafeteria, stood in line, got some food, gulped it down, then quickly found our way back to the elevators to head to 7th (?) floor for the meeting with Dr. Ellis. That entailed lots more paperwork, meeting with Clinical Nurse Karen, then Research nurse, Jennifer, finally, Dr. Ellis. He took his time explaining his different approach, how he customized the treatment plan to each individual patient. Then offered me the chance to sign on to clinical research trials. After much discussion, I signed up. No, I didn't need time to think about it. By the time we left the hospital that day, it was 5;30pm. When I turned my phone back on, it lit up like a Christmas tree, for a zillion times!! Everybody, my girls, all wanting to know what in the world had happened to me. Lots of explaining to several people. On the way home, we stopped at the bottom of mom's hill, went through the drive through at Wendy's, got some salads, and called mom and stopped in for dinner with her. We walked in, and her blue "lift" chair was all the way up!! Not only that, it was in the spot that daddy's chair usually is in, and daddy's chair was in the spot her chair is usually. Now, I am here to tell you, I have moved that chair myself. Daddy's chair is a Niagra chair, with heat and massage. It weighs ever bit of 600 lbs!!! We agreed to sit down and eat the food first, then Keith would take a look at it. So, we fixed drinks, and thanked God for the food and his blessings, and ate dinner with mom. Then Keith took the controller apart, and found the switch broken. He took it out, asked mom for some super-glue. She found a brand new tube!! He then glued it carefully together. After a few minutes for it to set, he put the switch back together, and it worked!!! Momma's chair set back down in the appropriate position to actually use as a chair. Meanwhile, she didn't have daddy's chair plugged in, because the cord wouldn't reach, so we got that situation fixed, and mom was good to go. When we left her, she had the heat in daddy's chair going, as well as a slight vibration going. She asked us why we were up running around at this time of night. I told her that I had a mammogram done, and that we had been to the hospital to have some more tests run. She responded, "yea, hospitals love to run tests." Then went on to talk of other things, so I let it go at that. She didn't push, I didn't give her too much to dwell on. I will spoon feed her with just enough information for her to process, a little at a time. Please continue to pray with us for mom. I am sure this news will be harder on her, with all her memories still so fresh. The docs have called, and it looks like we will be back up to the hospital on Monday, next week, December 22nd, for another all day long trip. They have me scheduled for a MUGA Scan at 8:30 am, and an appointment to install a PORT at 10 am. The MUGA scan is to check my heart, to make sure it is healthy enough to withstand the chemo. The PORT is give them an access point for the chemo. They are going to do another breast biopsy on the 30th, my daughter's 21st birthday. On that day they will take 4 core samples, ouch. Then on the next day, new year's eve, i will receive my first chemo treatment. The perfect ending to this year, don't you think? People keep calling to say, what can I do? What you can do is take care of my mom. Call her. Visit her. Take her goodies?? Take her food? Take her out to eat? She is extremely lonely, and once she finds out about this, will be more lonely and more depressed. If we can't talk her into going to visit my sister in Colorado again, and I am still trying on a daily basis, any help you could give me in that area, would be helpful. She doesn't drive at night, so most Christmas parties are out, unless someone picks her up and drops her off. I thank you in advance for your prayer support!!
Now it was our turn in front of the tree! Merry Christmas!
We made the effort to take pictures of the kids after church last Sunday. At least, the 7 of them that are still living at my house with any regularity. From the top down, Katlyn (18), Ethan (12), Kimberly (10), Adam Richard (16), Kassidy (8), Jessica (14), and my Baby Girl Emma Jean (4).
May 2nd, I had tickets to join the ladies at my church to hear Beth Moore. Then I received a call from one of mom's life long friends, Thelma Harmon, telling me that another of mom's life long friends, Martha Barnes, was turning 80! And, she had come up with a plan for me to grab momma, start south on 55, stop and pick her up in Portageville, then take them both down to surprise Martha in Little Rock!! How could I turn that down!?! I called and gave away my Beth Moore tickets and made a road trip to Little Rock! It was such a precious trip to watch momma laugh and giggle with her "girlfriends". Precious memories......
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My daughter, Jennifer Rebecca Govero, on the day she graduated from Culinary School!! That is a picture of her very close friend, Alberto!!
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I started this blog to help me get through an incredible year. I had grown use to writing my feelings out, basically talking to God, through writing. As the year got busy, my visits to the blog got more spread out. Lack of time? Maybe. Probably more so, just losing the desire to make my feelings "public", and more keeping them inside. But there have been many changes lately. One of the biggest changes, has been that the Lord has healed the relationship between my sister, Becky and I. I actually was invited to spend Thanksgiving with her and her family! Of course, I declined, since I had other family coming to my house for Thanksgiving. But, I did agree to come the day after Thanksgiving! I had put mom on a plane on November 19th, to go visit Beck and her family for 2 weeks. When Beck began to call and urge me to come join them, I was a little nervous, I won't lie. The relationship between Beck and I had been seriously damaged with all that had gone on surrounding my dad's fight with Leukemia, and then mom's "memory issues", and all the different opinions of what should be done and when. But all that is behind us now, and God is good!!! We have now come together as a family again, and are enjoying the fellowship and support that I have missed out on this past year. Praise Jesus!!!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Keep swimming.....

Life just never seems to slow down these days. I picked mom up from the airport, after spending a week in Colorado Springs with my baby sister, Becky, on April 30th. On May 2nd, I went up to spend the night with mom, so that we could get up and come down to Farmington to the Annual Briargate Yardsale! Kate said all the kiddos were lined up at her bedroom door by 6:30am, making sure she didn't get up and try and slip out without them, LOL! We had a great time, although it was cold! And it was windy!! We got tons of stuff, but by noon, we are so wind-whipped and tired that we opted to load up and go home. We first stopped by Grandma Vandiver's house to go potty and rest a bit, then loaded up everyone and Kate headed home in the burb with all the kiddos and mom and I headed north to Herky. I tried to hook up with Patty, so I could take mom by there and show her the apartment they built for Patty's mom, but they too, were at the sale, so that just wasn't going to happen that day. By the time we got home, and unloaded, I had a terrible headache. I am sure it was from not drinking my coffee because I was in such a rush that morning. I took a couple Tylenol and made a fresh pot of coffee and sat down to relax a bit before time to leave to go to meet my friends to see Chonda Pierce tonight! We met at Joyce's house, and I drove. Joyce had gotten us VIP tickets so we sat on the 3rd row from the front!! It was such fun, but we didn't get home until midnight. This girl was tired, after being up and at the yard sales by 7am! Monday, May 5th was reading class with my son, then Tuesday we loaded up the mowers and went and mowed mom's grass. May 8th, was Jessy's 14th birthday, so her and I went to town to do lunch with Kell at Pasta House. On Friday, Keith had me running vouchers for him, so I gave mom a call and told her, "get your hair done and your makeup done, I will be by to pick you up in about 30 minutes and you can run with me to do vouchers for Keith." When I got there, her bags were packed and sitting in the chair! We had discussed her coming down to my house to spend the weekend, since it was Mother's Day and all, but she had gone back and forth, saying she would, then saying she wouldn't. When I walked in and saw the bags packed and sitting there, I thought, hey, she changed her mind and was coming down!!! I grabbed her bags and as we were walking out the door to the car, she said, "What time does my plane leave? Are we gonna have time to run those vouchers before going to the airport?" I set the bags down, and turned around and looked at her, and said, "mom, you know we are not going to the airport today, you don't leave for Florida until Thursday" She said, "well, where are you taking my bags??" I said, "I thought you were going to my house for the weekend, since it is Mother's Day" She said, "No, I can just wait and come down on Sunday morning." GRRRrrr. I know that means I will be driving up to stay the night at mom's and meeting my family at my church on Mother's Day morning. Oh well....

We got into the car, and drove to Hillsboro to run the voucher, then back to the bank to deposit the money. On the way back from the bank, mom saw a yard sale sign and said, "Hey, let's go check that out real quick, it's right there!" So, I pulled in there, and it was a good one! While I was on the other side of the garage, looking through the clothes, I heard someone talking to mom about the Mother Daughter Banquet tomorrow. I heard mom say, well, I didn't know anything about it, but I will talk to my daughter. I took my things to the check out table and then mom and I got into the car to leave. No sooner did we get into the car, than mom said, "did you hear that lady from Herky ask me about the Mother Daughter Banquet?" I said, "I did". Mom then proceeded to tell me how no one from that church ever sat with her, she always sat by herself. Perhaps she would give them another chance. "Will you be my daughter tomorrow??" I just laughed and said, "as opposed to today mom?" So, we discussed me coming back up tomorrow morning, instead of tomorrow evening, so we could go to the Mother Daughter Banquet which started at 11am. She then proceeded to say, "I think I will just give them one more chance, and go to my church Sunday morning and see if I have to set by myself." I pleaded with her, explaining that it was MOTHER'S DAY, and that everyone would have family there, and it seemed like she had two choices. She could go to my church, be surrounded by family, all my kids were going to be there, including Jenna and Kelly, who had both asked off work, so they could be with their mom and grandma, or she could go to her church and sit by herself. Then, of course, she would go home by herself, and eat by herself.......ON MOTHER'S DAY!!! She was telling me, you go home, go to your church, I will just drive down after church. I laughed, and explained she had never driven down to my house, much less by herself. She replied, I can if I set my mind to it. I said, mom, tell me again why you won't drive 25 minutes to go to First Baptist House Springs, a church you love, a church you miss, a church you never have to sit by yourself??? She just looked at me and said, I can do it, if I set my mind to it. Right.... It was such an emotional roller coaster day. I drove home that afternoon, crying all the way home. I knew, as a daughter, I could not allow my mom to spend Mother's Day alone. I could not allow my mom to endure the hurt feelings of sitting alone in that church, much less come home to an empty house and eat a cold cut sandwich alone. So, I explained to my family, my kiddos, my husband, that I would be spending the night with my mom, then attending church with her at Herky, then we would drive down and join the bbq they had planned. Kelly was just sick, saying, mom I have to be at work by 2pm. I don't have time to drive up and go to Herky church!! So, the bottom line is, all my family, all my kiddos were going to be at Calvary Temple without their mom. But hey, I was going to be at Herky with my mom!! Saturday morning, I got up, dressed for the Mother Daughter Banquet and headed up to Herky. That afternoon, as we were sitting there in the chairs relaxing, Kelly called. After a brief conversation, mom said, what did Kell Kell have to say. I explained she was still trying to find out where we were going to church and all. She looked at me and said, "well did you tell her we were coming down to your church? I don't mind going down there, really!" I just looked at her in disbelief. It was as if we had not had a conversation at all the past couple days!! I said are you sure mom?? I called my family and told them, plans had changed and we would be at Calvary Temple in the morning!!!!! PTL

Monday, April 28, 2008

"Shoot up here amongst us....."

Relief just doesn't seem to wanna come these days. Keith has worked one full week in the last 6 months. And that money hasn't all come in yet. We did get "some" money in, but when you are as far behind as we are, it is extremely hard to get caught up quickly. I did send out some money to some of the more persistent creditors.

I put momma on a plane to Colorado last week. This week has been tough. I am sooo use to talking to her every day, twice a day. I was weak the second day she was gone, and called her. She sounded very up beat, so I promised her I wouldn't smother her and call every day. I will let her and Beck have this time. But, I truly didn't know I would miss her this much. I took the kiddos to a concert at my church on Thursday night to see Avalon, Michael English, Cadia and the Daniel Doss Band. It was fun, and I thought of calling her to tell her about it.....but didn't. I took the boys up to mow her grass Friday. While there, Jen called and said she had free tickets to see Barry Manilow Friday night, but she had to work. I thought, geez, of all times for mom to be gone. Keith was up north hunting turkey. Kell didn't want to go. If mom was here, her and I could have gone to a concert. I called my friend Susan Vaughn. She talked to her husband, and called me back and said, yes, she could go!! Cool!! It was fun! Once there and seated, we turned around and saw Mike and Janet Weseman sitting 3 rows up behind us!! I didn't get home until 1:30am!! Keith called and woke me up around 7:30 to tell me he got his turkey! No rest for the weary.....

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Keith finally worked a full week!!! And, and, and, and, got paid! So, he called me from Festus Friday and said, we are going out to eat tonight to celebrate! I said, what are we celebrating, and he said, everything! We are celebrating the fact we worked the first full week in 6 months. We are celebrating the fact that we finally got some money in. We are celebrating the fact that the IRS agent we have been working with says that things are looking good for the OIC to be accepted this time. We are celebrating the fact that the grass is turning green in our fields. We are celebrating the fact that your momma is going to visit Becky finally!! He was in a very good mood. Today, is Saturday, and I am cleaning up the breakfast mess, and then will pack my bags to go spend the night with momma. Tomorrow is the 50 year celebration at FBC House Springs. They are having a special preacher in, as well as a catered sit down dinner after the services, which you had to RSVP and pay in advance. Momma loves that church, but she will not drive over there by herself. So, occasionally, I go up and take her over there. The people go out of their way to give her the "Queen" treatment. And of course, it is good to see the Maharrey's, and give Mary a hug.

Taking advantage of the good weather, I took the boys up to mom's to mow her grass this week. Bob (her neighbor) has already mowed his at least 3 times!! Oh yea, the insurance guy called and said they are going to put a check in the mail to cover the loss of Jen's knife set and her laptop!! That was also welcome news. Her truck has been broken into twice in the last month! The first time, they got her back pack, with her books and her laptop. They also got her knife set. They broke her back window in the truck to gain entry, with a brick, which they left on the back seat in a pile of glass. We fixed the window, out of our pocket, since the deductible was $500. We haven't replaced all the stuff yet, but that didn't stop them from breaking the glass again to see. Again, leaving the brick on the back seat in a pile of glass. I told her to cut a piece of cardboard box, lined with plastic, and tape it up good. I can't afford to replace a window a month!! She is looking for a new apartment, NOT in the CENTRAL WESTEND!! Inside her backpack, was her jump drive, so there was no "back up" plan for her papers due for finals! She had to start over!! But, she said, she had alot of the info still in her head, so she felt she could do it. She is down to one more week actually at the school location, then she has 10 weeks to do an externship at an approved restaurant. Then, she will be a graduate!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Hello out there in cyber space! The sun is shinning! The check came in the mail from the individual!!! Yes, there is once again a positive cash flow. Not only that, but the job that Keith did yesterday, paid yesterday!! Love that!! So, today, I am paying past due bills, and that, believe it or not is a WONDERFUL feeling. I hate being late, paying late fees, penalties, making excuses to bill collectors who call. Today, I am sending out money. So, yea, by the end of today, I will more than likely be broke again, but at least, bills are getting paid!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


This has been an especially difficult winter for us. Now don't get me wrong. My husband has been in the construction business for over 20 years. I know that it is seasonal. I know that it is "feast or famine". I know that in the summer we are rich, and in the winter, we are poor. We usually prepare for the winter by putting away some of the excess money made in the summer, and live off that in the winter. Yes, it is always tight, but we always seem to manage. We eat differently in the winter, and don't go out to eat at all, LOL! Meaning, we make changes in our routine to adapt to our lack of funds. And, we seem to manage just fine. And then came 2007. Not only was I a bit preoccupied with my dad's serious illness, but work was extremely slow for my husband, even during the summer! So, we basically cruised through the year, paying our bills, but not having enough to put back for the winter. And, I don't mind telling you, sometimes the bills went unpaid, or were late, and we had to play catch up. In my mind, it was because of my "full plate" with my dad, and the daily trips to St. Louis. And my husband was "protecting me", by not giving me more to worry about than I already had. It was a crazy year. The IRS decided to show up and want to have a face to face with us regarding tax years 1997 until present. And to make matters worse, the IRS agent met with us on February 8th, 2007. That morning, we are sitting at my dining room table with the IRS agent, and that night we are sitting in a hospital room at St. Anthony's hospital with my dad explaining that they had diagnosed him with ACUTE MYLOID LEUKEMIA. Now that, folks, falls under the heading of ONE BAD DAY!
One morning as we were preparing to leave for the hospital, my daughter comes into our room and wants to know why there is smoke coming from the field down by the road. My husband looks out the window and says rather loudly, "THE HAY IS ON FIRE!" Yes, someone had set fire to 90 of our round bales that we had lined up along the fence, down by the road. Just another "bump in the road". But, I didn't mean to get side tracked, talking about last year. The bottom line is, we are broke. This winter has been the worse winter we have had to endure since my husband first became "self employed". The economy has seriously put a damper on new home construction, which trickles down to our work load being slow. And, without that major part of our business, that explains why our cash flow is non-existent. But, as my husband keeps reminding me, we do have work out there. He has the opportunity to talk to others in this business, and several have told him, they don't even have work in front of them, and they usually do by now. We do! Praise God for that!! The work is there, the phone is ringing, and the job schedule is beginning to shape up. But car is on empty, and unfortunately, so is my bank account. The suburban does have gas in it, though. So, today being TAX DAY, I have running to do. I talked to mom last nite, and although she has been looking over her tax return, which has been done since middle of March, she is nervous about signing in the right place, and would prefer I come up and go over it with her. My husband did a huge job for an individual last week, who told us he has put a check in the mail, and we should be getting it today. So, I wait. My husband has been unable to pay the guys for working with him. But, they have been good to show up and do the work, knowing that if we don't do the work, we don't have a chance of collecting any funds. They are being patient. But this "being patient" is extremely hard. It is hard to wait. This too, is teaching me what is a need and what is a want. We are entering what we lovingly refer to as "Birthday Season" here at our home. It started with Kassidy's birthday, April 13th. Next comes Adam's birthday, April 24th. Then, Jessica's on May 8th, mine on May 12th, Kelly's on May 17th, and Kimberly on June 4th. Then we have a slight break, before Ethan's on July 2nd. Now, folks, that is alot of cake and ice cream. But of more concern right now, is the "expectations". We have always made a bigger deal out of their birthdays than Christmas, as far as what they receive. Christmas is not about them. Christmas is about Jesus! So, we help them understand that, by giving more on their birthdays. Now, we don't go all out, as some folks do. We do have a large family, so everything we do sets a precedent. But we tend to get them one or two things to open to celebrate the day they were born. Looking at all the gifts that are expected, the birthday lists that are beginning to show up randomly on my desk, it is getting harder and harder to stay focused. The bills that are piled up on my desk, that are over 30 days old, some over 60 days! Late fees, penalties, interest, etc. ARGH!!!!! It is downright frustrating. I am trying to stay positive for my husband and my kiddos. We have been on this farm for 13 years. This week, the loggers are down in our bottom field, cutting down my beloved woods, so that we can try and survive this famine. We have already culled the herd down, and taken 13 head of cattle to the market. We are thinning out, cutting back, doing whatever we can to put food on the table and fuel in the vehicles. And continuing to wait upon the Lord. The trials keep coming. The waiting gets harder. But, I know the Lord has a plan. HE always has a plan, and all HE wants from me is trust. I do trust you Lord. I do. Forgive me when my vision gets clouded by the problems and circumstances of my life. I am trying to put one foot in front of the other and walk this path. Just lately, it seems to be up hill, over large boulders, and it seems to be more of a climb than a walk. And yes, I am reminded of the poem someone gave me after daddy died. Part of it reads, "You don't have to be perfect all of the time. He forgives you the slip, If you continue the climb." I will continue to climb. I will stay focused. I will not let my circumstances dictate who I am. I am a Child of God, a child of THE KING!! I will make it, one day at a time, sometimes, one hour at a time.

Monday, April 14, 2008

My Kimberly asked Jesus into her heart!!

Hello folks! This past weekend was one of excitement at the Govero homestead. April 13th happens to be my Kassidy's birthday! On the last Sunday of March, Kimberly Ann Govero asked Jesus to come into her heart! So, we have spent this past week cleaning house, and planning the festivities for a Sunday Celebration. Celebrating Kassidy Lynn's birthday, and Kimberly Ann's "re-birth". Of course, no celebration is complete without Grandparents to help share the day with. In the first part of the week, I made the appropriate phone calls to the church to see if we could set up the baptism for the Sunday of April 13th. Once that was approved, I made more phone calls to inform family members that it was a "done deal", so that they could make decisions on whether they could attend or not. Keep in mind, this IS the last week to work on tax returns and get them buttoned up and ready for the IRS. Now, I know that I am tired and over-worked. But, this week was extremely emotional for me. I can't seem to put my finger on when it started. I seem to have an emotional roller coaster going on inside me. Some days I function "normal" and others, well, not so good. Some little "daddy moment" will pop up, that in the past, I would have called my dad to share something, or chat with online. This week, the emotions were flooding, mainly, because I was planning for my daughter to be baptized by someone NOT my dad. The first one of my children to be baptized by someone else. That was huge. On Tuesday morning, I went searching for Kimberly, since she was not joining us at the table for school. I found her in her room, holding one of the heart shaped boxes that valentine candy comes in, that Grandma had given her. She was crying. I asked her why she was crying, and her response made me cry. "Grandma said this was one of the last things that Grandpa gave her." I think she was just processing the whole baptism thing without Grandpa. I had not said anything to anyone out loud about how I was processing it, much less given any thought to her processing it! By the time Saturday afternoon rolled around, my plan was to get all the details lined out at home as far as clothes for everyone to wear to church, how the meal would be started on Sunday morning before leaving for church. Putting together details of important it was to straighten up the house before we leave for church, since we will be returning there after church, complete with Grandparents in tow. To manage to pull all the details off, without me actually being there to check and double check, I don't mind telling you was driving me crazy. I had already called mom that morning, to remind her that I was planning on coming to spend the night with her Saturday night, so that I could bring her to our church to see Kimmy get baptized. I loaded all my bags in the car, then Keith and I decided to run to town to get groceries and a birthday present or two. While in town, his mom called, and offered to pick mom up and bring her with them to our church!! I gladly accepted the offer, told her I would call mom, and let her know. I then called mom, ran that idea by her, and she said, "that would save you a trip! Sure!" I then called Jean back and told her that mom had agreed to that plan! We then finished our shopping trip and headed back home. After unloading the bags from the car, I started the Saturday night routine of baths and picking out outfits, while Jessy was baking the birthday cake. Sunday morning was a crazy as ever, but we got the house straightened up and roast in the oven, and headed out the door for church. The grandparents were already there when we arrived. Kelly, my oldest daughter arrived shortly after us, then my next oldest daughter, Jenna, who is attending college in St. Louis, arrived shortly after her! They both had fellows on their arms, so we had quite a crowd! We enjoyed the service, and headed back home to enjoy the food and fellowship with family. It was a day with priceless memories that I will forever cherish. God is good.