Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fighting the "Ugh!"s

Ever had one of those "Ugh!" kind of days, Gentle Readers? The kind of day that starts too early because you are too uncomfortable to sleep, then irritating things (like counting calories and recording food) take more time than they should and stop you from doing things you'd rather be doing (like sewing), and then your exercise is lovely but leaves you tired and hungry, and you have to choose between more exercise or lunch. (And lunch wins out, of course!) Then you head to physical therapy hoping to convince the PT that this whole lymphedema thing is a figment of your (and her) imagination, but she reminds you that you have one arm that is a full 3 centimeters larger than the other, and really needs treatment. Besides that, none of your non-stretchy blouses will fit on your arms, which is really crimping your style!) So, against your desires, you are again sent home with an arm that looks like this picture.  It has two kinds of stretch gauze on the fingers and hands, cotton sleeves, springy foam, and the the stretch bandages to keep everything tight and draining. And it is to stay on for TWO nights until I return to PT on Thursday. Try typing with this thing- or even worse, cooking, gardening, showering, sewing! And it is NOT comfortable, nor cool.

Definitely an "Ugh!" kind of day.

Just this morning I was talking to a friend who is in the midst of severe health issues, and we were talking about what we do on these "UGH!" kinds of days to get through.  Here is the short version:
  1. Rehearse God's attributes.
  2. Review the excellencies of Christ
  3. Remember the truth of who you are in Christ
  4. Refuse to let it get the better of you.
So, there you have it, Gentle Reader-- four R's to beating back the "ugh"s.  Do you have other ways of fighting the "ugh"s?  If you do, I'd love to hear them!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The B. Finnegans of Peoria, AZ

We loved having Ben and Elsa and Ada here last week.  We didn't do much but relax, play with the adorable Ada, eat, and play card games.  It was lovely!
 And just in case you need proof that Ada is adorable...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Update and upcoming visits

I am nine weeks out of surgery, and I have much to praise God for, Gentle Reader!
  • I had an excellent bone scan, so am starting my Arimidex in good shape in that quarter.
  • Three weeks in to Arimidex, I am not noticing any obvious, bad side effects.  There are a few questionable ones, but none that I can be sure are a result of the drug rather than the lack of hormones or the recovery from surgery.
  • I am off all pain/swelling meds at this point- except occasional ibuprofen when I over do it a little.
  • I am slowly getting a few things done. (Emphasis on FEW. See prayer request #2 below.)
These are all praises! And there are a few struggles still happening:
  • I am experiening some mild lymphedema in both arms, but particularly my let arm, so Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) with the Physical Therapist is now part of my routine twice a week.  Dave came with me to my last PT, and learned the basics so he can help in-between treatments. Our prayer is that this is contained and improves rather than becoming a chronic problem.
  • My energy drains very quickly, and that is a frustration.  Even if I don't feel the need for a nap, I move more and more slowly, and eventually have literally no choice but to stop and assume a resting position. I am still able to do very little after I care for this body, and while I trust that is all in God's good providence, I miss accomplishing tangible goals. As I write this it sounds fairly whiny, since all things are going as well as they are going.  So please forgive me. I just would like to be accomplishing a little more with the days given me.
So please praise God with me for His mercies, and as I come to your mind, ask Him to continue them!

And speaking of mercies, have I mentioned how amazing my children are?  Tim and Nikki came here (with Emma) in February.  Then we visited everyone in Arizona at the end of that month. Ben and Elsa and Ada arrive Monday for almost a week.  And Nikki and Emma will be coming back for the first week in April, Lord willing, while Tim is on travel. I can't tell you how much help and how much fun these visits are.  They lift my spirits, and I am grateful! And they mean that you, Gentle and Patient Reader, will have more grand-baby pictures to look forward to!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sabbath Songs

Jesus What a Friend for Sinners
by J. Wilbur Chapman, 1910

Jesus! what a Friend for sinners!
Jesus! Lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Saviour, makes me whole.

Hallelujah! what a Saviour!
Hallelujah, what a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end.

Jesus! what a strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in him;
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my strength, my vict'ry wins

Jesus! what a help in sorrow!
While the billows o'er me roll,
Even when my heart is breaking,
He, my comfort, helps my soul.

Jesus! what a guide and keeper!
While the tempest still is high,
Storms about me, night o'ertakes me,
He, my pilot, hears my cry.

Jesus! I do now receive him,
More than all in him I find,
He hath granted me forgiveness,
I am his, and he is mine.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Who I am

Yesterday was one of those days: it began with physical discomfort and emotional turmoil.  It included an early morning tiff with my dear husband, mostly because of those first two items I mentioned, coupled with my own firm belief that my feelings are the most important in the cosmos. I spent hours struggling with God on account of it all.

Where God eventually led me, through reading and prayer and the songs on the radio, was to reflect on who I am in Christ.  I remembered an old prayer notebook where I had recorded once long ago what it meant to be "in Christ". I pulled it out to remind myself of who I am in Him:
  • I am free of condemnation
  • I am chosen
  • I am holy and blameless
  • I am adopted by grace
  • I am accepted
  • I am redeemed
  • I am forgiven
  • I am abounding in the riches of wisdom and prudence
  • I know God's will
  • I know God's presence and good pleasure
  • I am gathered to Him
  • I am obtaining an inheritance
  • I am predestined according to His perfect purpose
  • I am praising his glory
  • I am trusting in Him
  • I am saved
  • I am sealed with a promise
  • I am His
  • I am beloved
This is the truth of who I am that I had to preach to myself yesterday, because none of it was visible to me. This is how one walks by faith, not sight.

So just in case you need to be reminded, Gentle Reader, of who you are in Christ, or need to be prodded to remember who you might be in Him, ponder the amazing place we have in Jesus today. And below is the song from the radio that encouraged me in my battle yesterday.

Remind Me Who I Am by Jason Gray

 When I lose My way,
And I forget my name,
Remind me who I am.
In the mirror all I see,
Is who I don't wanna be,
Remind me who I am.
In the lonliest places,
When I can't remember what grace is.

Tell me once again who I am to you.
Who I am to you.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to you.
That I belong to you.
To you.

When my heart is like a stone,
And I'm running far from home,
Remind me who I am.
When I can't receive your love,
Afraid I'll never be enough,

Remind me who I am.
If I'm your beloved,
Can you help me believe it.

I'm the one you love,
I'm the one you love,
That will be enough,
I'm the one you love.

Tell me once again who I am to you.
Who I am to you.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to you.
That I belong to you, To you.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Finally finished projects

Dave and I finally finished some projects that were mostly done by the beginning of December, and which were intended to be Christmas gifts. *sigh* Well, now it's March, but they are done. :-)

This is a rocking llama made for Emma by Pampa.  All I did was encourage and paint the eye. As soon as a car travels between here and there, Larry Llama will reside in Tucson. He is beautifully made of black walnut.

Above is a quilt for Ada.  it's rather large for a baby quilt, but I had fun making it, and somehow missed the size when I was choosing the pattern...It is a little wider than a double-sized bed...

And this is an activity book I made for Emma.  Below are a few or the pages.