Thursday, April 30, 2009

Yes, I am still alive. It just seems that life has been incredibly busy lately. Spring, on a farm, maybe?? The garden is tilled, the potatoes are actually showing greenery, along with the weeds popping up. We have been getting so much rain, that it makes it hard to stay on top of the weeding. And yes, I know, that weeds come out way easier when the ground is saturated. It's just the whole bending over, in the mud, while the rain is dripping off of my hat that bothers me! Will this rain pattern ever end? This week, my husband has not worked one day! This is Thursday, and yes, rain this morning, and later this afternoon, heavy rain. Right now, this minute, not raining. The kids are feeding, Keith and a couple of them are down at our neighbor's house, helping him with his chores. He is 79 years old, and has pneumonia this week, so being we dearly love him and his wife, when he is down and out, and calls for help, we go. And for those of you that know our neighbors, it is Hildon. He has been sick for a few days, we were worried about him and so was Peggy. He finally got up and went to the doctor, and after a couple shots and some antibiotics, he is up out of bed, and at least sitting in the living room recliner! Big Big improvement!! I myself have had a toothache for the past few days, and finally, called the dentist and made an appointment. I made it on the same day as mom's check-up, knowing I would be up there anyway (my dentist is in Festus). Nothing like a few sleepless nights, and alot of pain to make even this mom call a doctor! Teehee! I called my oncology nurse, and ran it by her first. She gave me the go ahead, so I went ahead with the appointment. Once I got to Festus, picked up mom, and we headed to her appointment first. It went well, thanks for all the prayers!! The doctor we saw this time was wonderful with how she handled mom. She had mom on her side within minutes of us sitting in the exam room. She was very good. Very complimentary of mom's skin, how young she looked, how nobody would ever guess her to be 72, etc. Yea, she was winning mom over! Then she brought out the MME test that mom was given in December 2007. She scored slightly better than back then!! Still below "Normal", she scored 25 out of possible 30 points. She missed "What day is this?", "What month is this?", calendar related questions. When she was asked what season is this, I held my breath. Lately, after several warm days of mom sitting out in her swing, it turned cold again, for like a week, and mom has made the statement how she was not ready for winter again, being couped up in her house for another long winter. No matter how many times I would try and point out that the trees were green, the birds were singing, the grass has been mowed, the flowers are blooming, mom it is spring, this is just one of the last cold spells that Missouri is famous for in the spring. Winter, Spring, and yes, even summer thrown in the same week, typical weather for us in the spring. Last week we had a few 75 and 80 degree days!! So, anyway, I held my breath, thinking mom was going to say winter. But, by george, she said, "Spring! The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming!" Praise the Lord!! And no, we did not have a discussion that morning about the season. I didn't get there to pick mom up until 1:15, and her appointment was at 1:45. So, yea, I had to remind her why I was there, and get her up and moving to put on her makeup and get ready to go. No time for chit chat. So, I did not prompt her on her test questions. I did not know that they were going to give her that test again. But the other praise report, is that when given 3 things to remember, repeated back to the doctor, then after several other questions, mom was able to recall 2 of the 3 things! The last time, she could not recall any of them, wouldn't even try. But, back then, she was mad about even being at the doctor, and the doctor handled her differently, and it was within a week of my dad's funeral. So, yea, mom was rattled on that day. Her memory issues are way more noticeable and directly related to her tiredness and her stress level. Mess with her routine, and yep, she is worse. Noticebly worse. But, in her normal routine, many have called me in the past two weeks just to tell me how they had seen mom, or talked to mom, or visited with mom, and how they thought she was doing better. Praise the Lord for those dear friends that help me to know that I am not in denial when it comes to mom and her condition. I freely admit she has memory issues. I freely admit she is worse on some days than others. But I also freely admit, she is not ready for round the clock care yet. I do admit, that would make my life easier, and yes, more relaxed, knowing that someone was caring for mom, watching over her. But, until mom progresses further than where she is now, that just is not an option. Even though she is testing "Slight dementia/Alzheimer's", she is still capable of taking care of herself. Maybe not at the level we would like, but still at a level that is safe. Just because she is not performing at the level we would, does not make the level she is at, unacceptable or unable to live alone. And, I admit, it made me feel much better to know that she has not been to the doctor to be checked out, since December, 2007, and yet has not progressed further, or worse. Actually, tested better. So, maybe, if we continue to let mom remain independent, in her home, her place of security, she will perhaps not progress quickly. Right now, the repetition is just a minor annoyance, when compared to what she would decline to if we removed her independence. I went to the feed store this past week, and my friend that runs that store, his mom is in Crystal Oaks, in Festus with Alzheimer's. We got to talking, the store was empty, except for him and I, and we talked for nearly an hour!! He admitted that his sister, who lives in Festus, is the main care-giver for his mom, and he was always differing in his opinion of how she should handle this or that. He said, my sister finally got in my face one day, and said to me, when you start coming up here and spending as much time with mom as me, then you can have an opinion of what I should do or how I should do it, but until then, back off. He said, I took that challenge, and started going up there more, and spending time with mom, just sitting with her, and yes, I could see what my sister was talking about. It truly helped our relationship, and I began to support her more in her decisions. He said, it was hard for me to give up that time. I run a business here, I have my own family, and yes, it was a sacrifice that had to be made. But, he admitted, we get along alot better now, and agree alot more on mom. I asked him how they came to the decision to move his mom to a facility. He shared many details, helping me to be convinced that mom is not there yet. In fact, she is a long way from there. But even as bad as his mom was when they moved her to a facility, I asked him, if you had a do over, would you wait longer. He said, honestly? Yes. I asked him if his mom declined further, after she was moved from her home, and he admitted, yes she did. He advised me, "Deb, if you can leave your mom in her own home as long as you possibly can do, she will be better, easier to get along with, easier to handle. Trust me." And, I have gotten that advice from so many people who are walking this path that I am walking. People who I consider to be experts, since they have been on the path way longer than me. Even the Alzheimer's Association advises to not move them from their home, their security blanket, their routine, until all options have failed in keeping them safe at home. So, as much as I would dearly love to move mom, whether it be to live with my sister in Colorado, or with me, either way, I will continue to do whatever it takes to allow her to stay in her home. Even if that means I put 100 miles round trip on my vehicle, every time I go to moms. Even if that takes me away from my family and my responsibilities here at home on a regular basis. She's my mom, and I love her, and I want her to be happy. Right now, that means allowing her to stay in her home, alone. While we were sitting out in the swing last week, I did tell her about my good report I got from the doctor. She brought it up, she asked me if I was still getting treatments. I told her I was, and that I was responding to treatments. She asked how I knew, so I told her that the doctors couldn't feel the lumps anymore, and even had said they appeared to be gone! She said, "When did you get this news?" I said, last week. She said, and you didn't tell me?? Debra Faye, that is news you should share with your mother! I said, mom, you don't like to talk about it, and have told me and everyone else that, so I don't bring up anything about it. If you ask me, I will tell you. And you asked me! She said, well, from now on, if it's good news, share it with me. I agreed to do so. Momma, some days she is just normal. I love those days. As for my cancer, I am responding to treatments, and my life is the same as my Pre-cancer life, on most days. I am a mom, who prefers to stay at home with my children, and love on them, teach them, and enjoy my life here on my farm. I love sitting on my deck with my coffee in the mornings, and watching my humming birds, which are up to about 25 now! Yes, I love the view from my deck of my fields turning green, my hay fields beginning to "wave" at us. I love watching my kids ride their horses. Yesterday, one of my husbands contractor friends had come down to ride. He brought his real estate agent who works with him selling his houses. We told them, that Wednesday was chemo day, and that we would not be here, but they were welcome, the kids would be here and would help them get saddled up and supervise them. I do have an 18 year old, a 17 year old, and a 14 year old, who are good riders, and are capable of that job. I did, however, give my kids direction on which horses I thought would better suit their needs, city folks who think they are experienced riders, because they "have been on a horse before". We have already been down that road more than once, and seen those folks on the ground, and the horse still running away from them. So, yea, I don't care who you are, or how important you are in our business life, you are not coming to my farm, picking out which horse you would rather ride, and mounting up and riding away.....alone. Not going to happen. Horses are not like four wheelers. You can go to the barn, pick out a four wheeler, get on it, turn it on, and ride away. It will not try and run you into trees, to rake you off, or go where you don't stear it. And if you get afraid, you can take your hand off of the throttle and it will stop, right where you want it to. You can get off, walk away, and walk back and it will let you get right back on, no attitude. A horse, now that is a different story. They do have a mind of their own, and will sense that you have anxiety, or fear. And yes, will test you and your ability to control them. And yes, given any indication at all that you are not in control, will take control and go where they want, and more often than not, at a faster rate than you may be comfortable with. I told my kids, you can give them space, privacy, but keep them in eye sight at all time. If you see trouble brewing, get up there and handle it before it gets out of control, and we have a horse running through the field with the person on their back pulling on the reins trying to stop them, and the horse already determined they ain't stopping until they get to the barn. Well, they were still here when we got back home from chemo, and were sitting on the deck, having some ice water and ice tea. With all my kids, sitting around them, chatting with them, teehee. Yes, they had a good ride, but with a story to tell. Apparently, the horse the lady was on, when traveling all the way to the bottom field, had decided, far enough. The horse decided to lay down and rest a bit....with her on his back. As he went down, her legs caught herself, and she just sort of rolled/stepped off, so she was fine, just a little startled that the horse would do that. Yep, that is what I refer to as the horse having a mind of it's own. When he's tired, he's done. Thankfully, he didn't decide to throw her off, or run back to the barn!! She said, he laid down, I got off, he stood back up, and I got back on, no trouble. But, she said, laughing, we came back to the barn, which I guess is what he wanted and was trying to tell us. But the contractor called back last nite, to again tell us what a wonderful time they had, and what wonderful kids we had. He said, "I have never seen so many kids, in one spot, be so well behaved." Thank you Earl!! Even without mom and dad there to make them!! LOL!! By the time we got home, Kate was gone to work, so the "so many kids" that were here, were Adam Richard (17), Jessica (14), Ethan (12), Kimberly (10), Kassidy (9) and Emma Jean (4). So, yea, six children, which I guess to most people is a lot of kids. To me? Gee, they are thinning out! I am used to having way more than that! When I had ten kids at home, they always had friends, so I always had way more than 10 kids here. I love my life, I do. I am blessed. Financial problems and shortages now, yes. Cancer, yes. Mom with slight dementia/alzheimers, yes. Problems in life are a given, misery is optional. Thank you Lord, for walking this walk with me, right beside me, constantly reminding me that you are there, and you care about even the little details in my life. I could not want to walk this path without my Lord. I don't know how those people who do not have their hope in Jesus even deal with one moment of their life. I would not even want to try.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hello folks. This has been a long week for me. I don't know how your week has been, but mine has been incredibly busy. It started out with a crazy Monday! After I made my normal phone call to my mom, to make sure she's doing ok, and didn't need anything, I received a phone call from her friend, Ms. T an hour or so later. She just needed to tell me that she had tried to call mom and got the answering machine, complete with daddy's voice. It never fails to catch people off guard when they call mom and get daddy's voice on the answering machine. She was a little "unsettled" by that, and wanted to know if I knew where mom was. I told her that I had talked to her this morning, and she had not mentioned any plans for the day. Maybe she was just sitting out in the swing and forgot to take the phone out with her. Ms. T said she would just try and call her again later. Well, I tried to call mom about every 20 minutes or so for the rest of the day. Not that I was worried or anything, teehee. But it was my daughter, Kassidy's birthday, so I was baking a cake and doing birthday preparations anyway, so I would just periodically try and call mom. Finally, later that afternoon, I got her on the phone. I said, "Where have you been all day!?" She just laughed and said that someone had called and invited her to join the seniors from FBC-Festus on a trip to Arnold to hear the Lester's sing, and have lunch with them, so she drove her car down to the church parking lot, and got on the bus with them! I said, mom, it wouldn't break you to just call me every now and then. She said, "it's long distance to call you! You need to move closer!" I laughed and said, "or you need to move closer to me! And since neither of us are willing to move, why don't you just spend 10 cents and call me! That seems a whole lot easier than either of us moving!" I try and not worry about my mom, I know God is in control. But, I'm telling you, my life would be a whole lot easier if my mom would dial the phone!! Oh well, just a small bump in this road I am on. One of many. Oh well, I just have to share the good news I got from the doctor this week. The first doctor came in and couldn't feel the lump at all! She went out, and brought in Dr. Ellis, and he said, "hmm, it appears to be gone! I don't feel any lumps at all either!" I said, "well, Praise the Lord!". He went on to say, that it was not uncommon for the chemo to shrink the cancer completely, but that he needed me to know that if that were the case, it does not change the plan of attack. We will still be doing surgery. Because, we cannot be completely sure the cancer is gone until we do surgery. We cannot be completely sure that there is NO lymph node involvement, until we do surgery. So, folks, even though I got a good report, as far as how my cancer is responding to the treatments, it appears we will still continue on. We talked of some other details concerning when the surgery would be, they confirmed that yes, I would be doing radiation as well. And that the reconstruction surgery would not be done until the skin from the surgery and radiation was completely healed. And that would probably not be until the first of 2010. Joy..... But I just wanted to share with you all. Thanks for your prayers. This week, coming up, is shaping up to be another busy week. Monday, I will go up and spend the day with mom. Monday night, will be my monthly Homeschool Support Group meeting. Wednesday, of course, is chemo day. Thursday, Nancy Leigh DeMoss is going to be at a church in St. Louis, and I would dearly love to go hear her speak. I am not sure, at this point if I will be able to work it out, considering how busy the week is already shaping up to be. Friday, Adam Richard turns 17, so birthday plans are in the works. Saturday I have a book club meeting at Paula's house that morning, and that night, a girlfriend has provided me tickets to go and hear Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith!! So, yea, this week is going to be one crazy week. Of course, throw normal life into that mix, and I will be running all week. After all, I do live on a live working farm, complete with animals to care for, and I also am the book-keeper for my husband's concrete flatwork business. And yes, I also am the teacher, principal and superintendent of our school. Add being a mom and grandma, and some days I meet myself coming and going!! But tonight, Saturday night, we are all at home together, doing baths, finding clothes for in the morning, and enjoying the best part of the evening together.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hello there folks! I know, I have not been very diligent in keeping everyone "in the loop" with my life. And how I know this, is I am beginning to receive emails from people asking me which treatment I am on, or how many more do I have to do, or asking how I am doing with them this time. Here is the scoop. I have done 3 treatments of the weekly doses of Taxol and Herceptin so far. I have 9 more to go. I will finish with my last treatment June 10th. After that, my oncologist says we will do the mastectomy. He says, regardless of what they find with the mammograms or biopsy between now and then. "Even if we find nothing, we will still do the surgery. Because without the surgery, we can not be completely sure of what is left or whether it is in the lymph nodes or not." Until the surgery, we cannot be 100% sure if lymph nodes are involved or not. And cancer cells are microscopic, so we could biopsy you and go in right past a cancer cell, and totally miss it, and bring out a clean sample. So we MUST do the surgery. And they had told me they wanted to do the surgery in June. But because of different factors going on in my life, I have asked them if they could move it to July. They have not given me an answer yet. I have an appointment with my surgeon in May, and from there we will determine an exact date for surgery. This routine of weekly treatments have not been as hard on me as the first 12 weeks. The first 12 weeks consisted of one treatment every 21 days, and because they were spaced out like that, the dose was larger, and therefore, yes, harder on my system and body. But because I am now on a weekly routine, the dose is not as large, and therefore, easier for my system to handle. I still fight the fatigue, but I have no nausea, or at least it is not as bad. If I let myself get overly tired, and have to deal with something yuk, then yes, I feel a bit nauseous. But if I am careful with my energy bank, and don't let myself get overly tired, then I don't have to deal with the nausea!! I do have a couple of other minor side effects that are mostly just an annoyance. I have nose bleeds on a fairly regular basis. They are not bad, just annoying. They generally stop within a few minutes of starting. I also have minor bone pain, that feels more like little jabs of pain in my ovaries or my hips, and sometimes my shins. Again, it doesn't stop me, just annoys me. Now, you have all been brought up to speed in my cancer walk! Let's move on to the rest of my life. My mom is doing great! Last week she walked over to her neighbor's house and that neighbor was nice enough to drop me an email to let me know that she thought mom seemed perky and upbeat, and "as normal as the next guy". I always love to get that kind of validation from other people in mom's life. I know she has her bad days. But she still has enough good days to make the bad days bearable. She is having a hard time with this silly Missouri weather of late. It goes from a couple of beautiful sunny days, 70's outside, sitting in her swing, to a "hard freeze" and back into the 30's and 40's that forces her back into the house, sitting inside in her recliner. Her moods are directly affected by the sunshine, and her ability to get outside!! As most of you know, the holidays always give me a little bit of a problem with trying to work out the logistics of trying to get mom to my house. I don't live around the corner from her. I actually live 45 miles south of her. I go to church 20 miles south of my house. In the past, daddy and momma would drive down to my house for holiday celebrations. Now, momma doesn't like to drive on the interstate, and especially not when it is raining. She still drives back and forth to church, or to her local things like bible study at FBC Festus-Crystal City or the bank. Every day, all week long, I kept reminding her that this Sunday was Easter, trying to get a feel for whether or not she wanted to drive down herself, or have someone come get her and bring her down. She never really would comment like she had a preference one way or another. So, I began to try and put some plans together, like plan A, plan B, etc. You know me, I like to have a plan, LOL. Plan A seemed to be working, then ended up not working. Plan B then came into play. Plan B was what we ended up going with. So, Saturday night, I call mom and remind her about the plan in the morning, the plan for Easter Sunday. Sunday morning, I called her at 8 o'clock and again, remind her that today is Easter Sunday, and that Jenna will be there at 9 o'clock to pick her up and bring her down to our church, then to my house for Easter dinner. She sounded like she "got it". But when Jenna got there at 9, mom was sitting out in her swing, in her jeans. Jenna, not wanting to confront Grandma, let her get in her car with her, and they started down the highway. When Jenna turned down 67 highway, towards Fredericktown and my church, instead of down 55 South towards my house, Grandma began to question her where she was going. When Jen said, "to church Grandma, it's Easter Sunday", well, mom got more than a little upset. She began to give Jen a lot of static about taking her to church in jeans. Mom was seriously upset. Jen ended up calling me, asking how to handle Grandma, what she should do. I said, if mom doesn't want to go to church, then take her to the house, we'll be on home after church. I didn't think it was something my daughter should have to deal with, so I was trying to make it easier on Jen, and make mom happy. Well, Jen was able to deal with mom, and they both showed up at church on time. Mom was fussing as she came through the door. I tried to reassure her that what she was wearing was fine. It was the drama anyway, so the lights were dimmed, and people were running around in costume anyway. We got settled in, and mom began to relax a bit. The service was wonderful, and the drama was really really good. Afterwards, we all divided up into separate vehicles and made our way to my home for the feast! We had a wonderful day, of good food and lots of family time. The crisis feeling that the morning started out with slowly began to subside, and we all relaxed and had a good time. Around 7:30 or so, Kelly loaded up mom and they left. Kell got her settled into her recliner, and then left to head back up to her apartment in the city. Monday, mom spent the day with the seniors from FBC-Festus Crystal City, at FBC-Arnold, at a senior luncheon and singing. She was gone most of the day, and had a good time being with lots of old friends and actually getting out and about again. The weather has not been good for that lately. Today, I took the tax returns up there, and we sat at the table and got the needed checks filled out and attached and all buttoned up to be mailed. We then worked on getting all her bills written out and in envelopes. After we got everything prepared, we went to the post office and put everything in the mail. Yippee! Everything is done, and taken care of, at least for the month of April, teehee. After we got all our "chores" done for the day, we went and had lunch together at Captain D's. All in all, it was a wonderful day. Mom was good, and seemed to be upbeat. Thanks for all the prayers, folks, I am still standing in the need of prayer. Tomorrow, is Wednesday. Tomorrow, I will spend my day, all day, at Barnes hospital. Labs, doctor's appointment, and chemo. My husband will be taking me, and even though I will be sleeping through most of the chemo treatment, Keith will be faithfully there beside me, playing Freecell.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I hope you all are enjoying this Palm Sunday. This is the time of year I get out my Resurrection Tree, and we read daily scriptures that tell the events that happened the week before Resurrection Day. We started this tradition when Nick and Kell were small. We made the tree, and we made the small ornaments that correspond with each days events. It helps re-focus my kids away from the world's attempt to move the focus away from the spiritual meaning. This day is not about chocolate bunny rabbits and candy. It is the season we celebrate what Christ did for us, the price He paid for us. Today, we hung small felt palm leaves on the tree. We read the scriptures that tell the story of Jesus entering the city on a donkey, while the people waved palm fronds, and laid them down for the donkey to walk on. In those days it was a way of honoring a king, and a way of cutting down the dust that was caused by the animals. Because I have but one ornament for most days, it has become the tradition for the youngest to hang the ornament on the tree. I love this time of year. I love the time I get to spend with my kids, teaching them spiritual truths. You only get the chance to teach them for such a very short time, before they are grown and gone, making their own decisions and choices.

I am now in the part of this journey, that I go to St. Louis every Wednesday. It is not a fun walk, but it is doable. I feel the prayers of the people praying for me. Thank you so much. I so appreciate all the help from all my friends. Thank you Paula for taking mom to breakfast. I so enjoyed the worship service this morning. I always enjoy being with my church family at Calvary Temple. They are such wonderful people, so caring, and such a praying people. Thank you for all the cards and letters guys. I love you so much.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

We left the house yesterday morning at 6:30 am. My very faithful husband and I. It has rained every other day for the past week. Wednesday, it was beautiful. I urged him to work, I have several friends that have offered to take me. It's no big will be fine. He wasn't buying it. We arrived at the 7th floor labs to get my blood drawn. Again, my trusty port did what it was expected to do. It worked!! No pain when they accessed it! I have learned the art of applying the lidocaine creme on it in generous portions so that I don't feel any pain when they access it. My lab appointment was at 8:15 am. I was called back by 8:20. Then I signed in for the chemo lab appointment by 8:30. My appointment was not until 9. They called me back there within 10! I told them about the Benedryl knocking me out. They called Dr. Ellis and got the dosage adjusted. This time wasn't as bad as last time, but it still knocked me out, just slower, and not as long. I vaguely remember Keith nudging me a couple times, because I was beginning to snore, teehee. We were leaving the hospital by 12:30!! Jen had called asking us to come where she works for lunch. So, once leaving there, we went to have lunch at the Tap Room on Locust Street, downtown St. Louis. Yum! Then we drove through the loop, and headed for Kell and Jen's new apartment. Keith made his walk through inspection. We then drove around the neighborhood, again, getting a feel for it. We then headed south, leaving the city. We stopped in to visit with his mom and dad. We don't do that often enough these days. It was a wonderful visit, and Jean being Jean, brought out food and fed us. She said she had fixed a roast for Sunday and no one had come!! So, she brought it out, and heated it up. I laughed, and said, "Now Jean, next time you are putting roast in, and wanting company, don't leave it up to chance, call me!! I can bring veggies, and add to it! Call us!! At around 6:30, we left there and stopped at FBC Festus to pick up a book and some dvds and it is Wednesday night, so we visited with several people there as well. It is so good to visit with people we miss spending time with and seeing on a regular basis. And I think it is good for them to see me, up walking around, being "normal". It helps slow down the tendency to "embellish the story" when talking of how I am doing and my cancer. This is not leukemia, and such a different walk, not nearly as hard as the walk we were on with my daddy. There are hard days, but they are sprinkled in and around good days, so God is faithful to help me continue to be positive, even though this is a hard path to walk, that no one wants to walk. I did ask my doctor about the weight gain, and that is a side effect of the steroids. Weight gain, go figure. I teasingly asked Keith last nite, "it's a good thing this happened to us after 29 years of marriage. Because, otherwise, it would be so much harder to know that you still will love me and be attracted to a 51 year old fat and bald woman!" He's such a good sport about all of it. A real trooper, that man. He's not exactly what I prayed for, LOL, but he is the answer God gave me, and for that I am eternally grateful. I love him. He is such a good caring man. That is the best part of faith, knowing that even if we don't know what we want, God does. He not only knows what we want, He knows what we need. I love the peace that comes with knowing that. I can truly trust the God that created the universe, to know what I need and want for every situation. As I have shared with you before, things have been so tight these past few months. Saturday, we had some very dear friends come for a visit. They brought in food, and brought fellowship as well!! They handed us a card, and encouraged us to open it now. It included a love offering. God had laid it upon their hearts to help us out financially. I cried. It is hard to accept what society has deemed "charity", but I know better than to argue with God, or God's people. We accepted that gift, and are just so amazed, yet again, at how big God is. And the day is not over yet. When the kids brought in the mail, there was a big envelope from BJC (Barnes Jewish Children's). Now, that is also how some of my bills/statements come. So, thinking, great, here is a bill. I opened it up, and it had words that alluded to the fact that it was some sort of partial refund from an overpayment we had paid on the acount for Kimberly Govero. Now for those of you that don't know, or remember, when Kimmy was 18 months old, she had a hole in her lung, and spent a week in Children's hospital, connected to machines that kept her lung from collapsing. Which, keeping an 18 month old still enough to not pull the machines apart from her and cause beepers to alarm the personnel, was more of an issue than all the medical issues combined. And, to put it in perspective, I was pregnant with Kassy, while leaning over the hospital bed to care for my baby girl and keep her still and happily occupied with still activities. Memories.... Anyway, we had no insurance, so we were setup as self pay, uninsured. We paid a monthly payment on the over $17xxx bill for the next 5 years. It was like us making a car payment, only on my daughter! Well, according to this notice, they had determined (8 years later??) that we were overcharged, as uninsured, and overpaid, and they were refunding some of that! It was a check for $4126.26!!! Wow, what a day!! I just cried and cried most of that day. God is sooo big, and so incredibly good to us. Needless to say, I spent that money Monday, paying alot of our over 90 days bills. I did not use that for any that are due now. Only for the "old" ones. Praise the Lord!! On another note, mom was not having a good week this week at all. Her good days and bad days can be directly connected to the weather. We have had some yuk weather this week, rain, wet snow, cloudy cloudy days. These days she can't sit out in her swing, she won't get out and drive in it (PTL!), so she is stuck in the house, by herself, and she gets lonely and depressed. I helped Kell and Jen move this week, so Tuesday, I was on the way up there with a loaded truck, and called mom to see if she wanted me to stop by and pick her up, so she could ride up and see their new place. She said, sure, I'll be ready! So, we stopped in, rearranged all the stuff in the back seat, making room for Adam to move to the back seat, so we could put mom in the front. Then knocked on the door, and mom answered, still in her gown, no makeup, nothing. Mom! You said you wanted to go with us, and you would be ready. She said, it's raining, I don't go out in the rain! I said, mom, it's sprinkling, and besides, my truck is clean and dry, and we will be sitting in the apartment while they carry the stuff in, and we will be clean and dry. I'll wait, go get dressed! It's not big deal, we'll wait. She would not be moved. So, finally I gave up, and loaded the boys back up and we left her there. By the time we got to Kell and Jen's, the clouds were breaking up, the sun was popping out, and it was a nice day. But, mom was sitting in her house, alone, circling words in her word book. I could just tell it was not going to be one of her good days. She was more confused than normal. When we left the apartment, we stopped in to visit with mom. When she answered the door, she saw the sun shining! I said, lets sit out in the swing for a little while. We did! The boys grabbed her basketball, and began to play while we watched. She asked questions, like "when is Beck coming through?" "June, this summer, that is their vacation." "What month is this?" "March" "Oh, this is my birthday month!" "Yes! You turned 72 last week! Remember? We had cake, ice cream, presents, out to lunch at Bandanas, Jen and Kell came and cooked for you that night?" "Hmm, I guess". I could tell, she was not remembering that. I hate these days. It is so hard to see her on those days. I prefer the perky days!!! But, I kept reminding her that tomorrow would be Wednesday, her Bible Study day. Sure enough, when I called her Wednesday morning, from the waiting room, she said, I am sitting out in my swing, but I am planning on going down to the bible study at 1 o'clock. She sounded a little better, but still somewhat down. I called her again around 1:30, and sure enough, got the answering machine with my daddy's voice on it. That always gets me again. But sometimes, I do call it when I know she is not there, just to hear it. When I called her last nite, she sounded much better, perky!! We talked of the bible study, and how she loved to be with the people, and hear a good Bible Study teacher. Thank you Lord!! Love hearing my momma more like my momma. We then talked of Kell and Jen's new apartment issues, and filled her in on those details. But, ended the day last nite, on a good note...momma was better. This morning, I got the answer machine again. So, my friend Paula had talked of taking her to breakfast on Thursday, so even though mom didn't mention it last nite, maybe, that happened?? Or, she was in the swing without the phone.....again. I will try again later. God is good. Have a good day folks! I am finishing up tax returns!! Can't wait until they are all done!! Ugh, I hate this time of the year!! Thanks for the prayers folks....I truly can feel them. God is doing a good work in me. And he is patient with me, the headstrong, pushy, domineering and severe Adams girl. Teehee