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Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Love the Colon Club

I just checked in at the Colon Club before I hit the hay, and wouldn't you know I've had 2 responses to my post, More Issues, Any Suggestions? by momsCancer on Thu May 29, 2008 6:37 pm. It's amazing the community of people brought together by this horrible disease.

Okay, I'm really going to bed now, for real :)

Attitude and Sleep

Okay, I am totally in need of an attitude adjustment and sleep. So, last night around 4am I decided that I will change my attitude and start focusing on what's going right AND I will sleep with or without the help of medication. I'm sure I'll have the occasional bad day and sleepless night but I won't live there anymore. How about that for a declaration!

So, what's going right?

Mom has stage 2 cancer, very treatable. She will dance with NED very soon. Learning cancer lingo from the colon club. (another thing going right) NED stands for No Existing Disease and I can't wait for that moment.

Mom has great doctors. In fact, someone told mom that her doctor is the top oncologist here. Her radiologist is pretty great too (currently on vacation for the past 2 weeks and mom's left seeing the dingy doc) but, back to what's right. Her radiologist really has the ability to connect with patients that so many docs lack. She leaves you feeling confident that you're in good hands. And you can tell she is extremely passionate about fighting cancer. So, all the way around, mom likes her doctors and is in good, caring hands. We did not pick her doctors, but I know they were chosen.

Mom has anxiety sitting in waiting rooms, which can be a problem since she has to sit and wait for her turn at radiation every Monday through Friday at the hospital. They are suppose to get you in and out in minutes but there's 2 machines and 1 has broke down repeatedly over the past week. I guess the two radiation machines are different. Mom's machine is not the one that keeps breaking down, it's the other. Talking to one of the breast cancer patients, she complained that she has repeatedly had to wait 2 and 3 hours to take her turn on the machine. Although mom's machine doesn't break down, the line of people waiting can still get long. However, the technician really likes mom and gets her in quickly. In fact today, when he came and got Mom for her daily dose of radiation, one patient retorted, "Your mom sure does get in and out quick." (definite hint of envy)

Mom is here rather than on the mountain where finding a good doctor is a problem. Also, I would go crazy if she were 1000 miles away and I couldn't be there for her. She has good insurance thanks to dad, they've been without any insurance for the past 7 years. (could have been financially disastrous) Right place, Right time.

On a personal note, I've got the best husband in the world. He's taking up the slack and believe me there's a lot of it. I'm gone a lot and when I'm home, I'm still gone. Did that make since? In any case, he's about as understanding as they come, giving me the opportunity to be there for my mom.

I have incredible friends and family who have already done so much.

So, I must say, even if there's no sudden healing I still know that He's taking care of her. One way or another, He's got her covered.

So, It's time to sleep.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Help Wanted

I've spent a ton of time on-line looking for as much info on colon/rectum cancer as possible. The past 2 nights, I've been up til 1:00 and 2:00 in the morning. I'm devouring books from the library as well. I also have been looking for a place to share and read stories from people who are fighting this fight. Last night I found a blog from this woman my age with two girls who beat colon cancer. I'm hooked reading her blog. I started with her first (oldest) blog and read forward. She describes in detail the good, bad, and ugly of radiation and chemo but keeps such an awesome sense of humor throughout. I read some of her entries to mom this afternoon. It was nice to hear from someone who's walked Mom's road. She's had the same side effects, experiences, and feelings as Mom from the mouth sores and weird taste buds to crying spells and problems with pic lines. As I said in my last blog, this past weekend was horrible for mom. Now, mom is mainly experiencing extreme fatigue (total exhaustion). In this woman's blog, she comments on fatigue from chemo. She says that she can't believe she ever complained about being tired or exhausted pre-chemo. There's nothing like the exhaustion caused by chemo. Bad days are really bad and this woman says that good days are when you make it out of bed. Mom and I laughed together at some of her posts. One is if you're constipated, schedule a colonoscopy and have them send you the bill beforehand, You'll Shit! She's so funny, a total inspiration, and cancer free! check out her blog; http://michelepeters.blogspot.com/

I also found a great place to share Mom's story, ask questions, and give and receive support from others fighting colon cancer. I'm now part of the colon club, my username is MomsCancer (It was after midnight and I was all out of creativity) I copied and pasted my post and comments;

by momsCancer on Tue May 27, 2008 1:06 am
Mom is starting her 3rd week of chemo and radiation. She has Stage 2 Anal Cancer. She has radiation 5 days a week and her chemo drugs are 5-FU and Mitomycin-C. She takes 1 through an iv in treatment room, the other through a pic line pump over 5 days. I'm doing my best to care for her but not sure how much it helps. The doc seemed so optimistic in the beginning saying that life should continue as normal as possible. He said she should continue working and all normal activities. She struggles getting out of bed on most days much less doing anything resembling normal life. She's had one side effect right after another. After first treatment, she had intense nausea and fatigue. She felt like she had the flu 100 times over. Her neck and shoulders ached, her hips hurt, and she just cried. At the end of the first week, she ran a fever and felt a sore throat coming on. The middle of the second week, she had full blown mouth sores. She couldn't drink, eat, or talk. It hurt to cry, but she couldn't keep from that. Her white blood cell count plummeted to 0.8 so they put her on antibiotics. Now she has burning when she pees and bumps in folds of vagina that hurt bad. The doc says the bumps will be on-going until radiation ends. Food and water tastes bad. She says plain water tastes like salt water and she's suppose to drink 2 to 3 quarts each day. Continue normal life, yea right! Others are saying how important it is to keep a positive attitude, that seems impossible most of the time as well. It's only been 2 weeks, nowhere near the end treatment.
MOM has Stage 2 Anal Cancer on chemo (5-FU and Mitomycin-C) for 6 weeks. Looking to vent and give/receive support. My blog address is;http://www.onecrazeemommy.blogspot.com/I should change the name to one crazee daughter, I think.

Comment 1: Re: Anything but Normal
by NWgirl on Tue May 27, 2008 2:11 pm
For what it's worth, I found radiation to be the most difficult part of my treatment so far. I had no external skin issues, but urinating was sooooo painful. I cried every time I had to go to the bathroom. On a scale of 1-10, peeing was a 9 - each and every time. And my issues started about the 3rd week too. Unfortunately, they continued until almost 3 weeks AFTER radiation was done. But it did get a little better every day - once radiation stopped. For weeks I couldn't sleep in my bed - I had to sleep in my recliner, because lying flat caused to much pain. I pretty much lived in my Lazy-Boy. The 5FU caused the bottoms of my feet to peel off and it hurt to walk. Near the end of radiation I got a fever and they discontinued the 5FU for the last 5 days of treatment. The last week I couldn't even drive myself to treatments. For chemo I have always driven myself to/from all treatments. Every time I left the doctors office I was stopping by the pharmacy for another prescription - I thought it would never end. But it did end - and now almost all of the radiation issues have cleared up. It just seems like a distant memory - or nightmare - at this point, even though its only been a couple of months since I finished.As I would tell my husband, if it was just one or two things I could deal with it - but it was just one thing on top of another and another and another. After awhile you kind of just lose it. Positive attitude? Yeah right. Save the cheer leaders for the football game. I say just do what you have to do to get through it. Know that it will end (not soon enough - but it will end) and that radiation is an important part of killing off the cancer cells.
Belle DX 10/07 Stage III Colorectal Cancer 20+ nodes affected Surgery 11/07 Currently going thru chemo; Oxi, 5FU & radiation 44 Years Old

Comment 2: Re: Anything but Normal
by bradyr on Tue May 27, 2008 4:31 pm
I’m so sorry things are going so hard right now.I only had colon cancer, not Anal cancer, and clearly the treatment is worse for anal cancer. But I can tell you that they are hard to start with, particularly if you add radiation to the chemo. Mine wasn’t as hard as your mothers, but It was pretty bad. It was so bad I wanted to quit and just have them let me die.But, she can get thru this. It isn’t going to be easy for either of you, but it will get easier over the next few weeks. I will save you the cheerleader stuff. I don’t believe in that either. I think we all have the strength to do what we need to do to get thru this. As for as a positive attitude, it helped me to have my wife keep a journal. Over the first weeks, it was slow, but we could look back at the journal and see that things were getting better, that I was tolerating the treatment a little better each time. That helped me get thru things. My second round of chemo didn’t start of much better, but I’m now half way thur it and it’s getting better. I’m not some superman. I’m not some always positive person. I’m just a regular person like you and your mother. I made it thru it because as you point out there really wasn’t any alternative. But It did get better and I did make it thru it once and now I’m going to make it thru it a second time.Your mother is only stage 2 and although this treatment is hard, it’s very possible that her cancer will respond to this aggressive treatment and be gone. But there is going to be a month or so here that will feel like the worse time of her (and your life).As far as any help with the specific symptoms, talk to the doctor about the nausea. There are additional medications they can provide, such as decadron that can control this. It make take a few rounds to get the right mix as everyone responds slightly differently. But a lot of us took 5fu and the doctors found the right mix so that it wasn’t so bad. I also assume they are providing some kind of pain killer. If not, you shouldn’t be shy to ask for something right now. As far as the radiation, talk to the radiation nurses and see about clear aloe or other creams that can be applied. I had radiation on my arm and my underarm got as raw as you describe, to the point it was almost bloody.I don’t know If your mother has any restrictions on sugar, but try adding crystal light to the water. Also, try various bottled waters, it’s amazing, but while on chemo, I could taste the difference in all the bottled waters. Some were nasty, I found some weren’t as bad. I’m sure you know that you are really helping your mother here. The two of you will get thru this.
bradyr DX Stage IV 2/07 mets liver/bone/brain/spleen colon resection radiation for bone mets folfox4 + Avastin 6m / Xeloda for 4m Gamma Knife on brain lesion 1/08 Now on FolFiri 6 of 12 CEA 31 down from 43 three weeks ago (0.8 at lowest 49 at peak)

Comment 3: Re: Anything but Normal
by pearlgirl on Tue May 27, 2008 5:51 pm
It's possible that the antibiotics may have given her a yeast infection. Check this out with her doctor. Every time I take antibiotics, I have to get Diflucan to head off a yeast infection.

Comment 4: Re: Anything but Normal
by NWgirl on Tue May 27, 2008 10:53 pm
One of the first side effects I had from the radiation was extreme itching. I called my doc on the weekend so he could call in a prescription for Diflucan, which he did. Sadly, it wasn't a yeast infection and it continued for weeks. Insane itching. I tried various creams but all that really helped was keeping the area as clean and dry as possible. Sometimes I'd take showers in the middle of the night in an attempt to get some relief. It was so bad I even got a prescription to help me sleep at night through the itching. Thankfully like most of the other side effects, it finally went away. I just hope the cancer went away with it!

Check out the forum; http://www.colonclub.com/ Go to Colon Talk at top of home page and as I said my username is MomsCancer.

Mom goes for blood work tomorrow. I hope her cell count is rebounding, she needs some good news.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mom, A Cancer Survivor

This is the end of the second week of treatment. It feels like months have gone by. I'm reading books I found in the library to try and better understand and maybe even predict symptoms around the bend. It's like there are a couple of manageable days and you start believing that she's getting better and then the bottom drops out, catching you by surprise and deflating hope.

Last Friday, she was unhooked from the chemo feeding into her pic line. Neither one of us liked the nurse that day and hope we don't get her again., but were still in high spirits about surviving the first round of chemo. Anyway, they checked her temp and she had a low-grade fever. Her throat hurt some so they checked and found it red and irritated. So, instead of going back to work, we headed for the pharmacy to get prescription mouthwash for her throat and a digital thermometer. I regularly checked her temp that evening which spiked at 100.1. The docs say to call immediately if a fever reaches 100.9 or above.

Saturday, she didn't run a fever and felt a little better. She wanted to get her nails repainted and so we went to the nail salon but we immediately had to leave b/c she couldn't take the smell. We went to Walmart and picked out some nail polish to paint at home.

Sunday, she felt pretty good. She talked Dad into taking her shopping at the local plant farm. She planted flowers before coming inside totally exhausted but happy to have spent the day out of the bed doing something she enjoys. Things are looking up!

Monday, her throat is some worse but made it to radiation and crashed by late afternoon. I brought over some chicken and creamy rice. She said that bland, soft food is best. It tastes better and is easier to swallow with her sore throat.

Tuesday, she still has the sore throat. She goes to work and radiation. Radiation is suppose to take just a few minutes but today one of the machines was down and she had to wait over an 1 1/2 hours to take her turn on the radiation machine. While in the waiting room, the patient with breast cancer who has been on chemo for 9 months, told mom that drinking a mixture of Mylanta and Benedryl helped when she had mouth sores. Mom tried it but didn't have the same results. By the time she made it home, she was ready to pass out.

Wednesday, mom goes to work and I head to St. Louis with hubby to turn in final reports and pick up tutoring stuff. Mom goes to radiation and the machine is still down. The technician had mercy on Mom and took her back for treatment in front of others. She also met with the doctor, not her regular radiation doctor but a fill in. She lets the doctor know that she is starting to have burning when she pees, which is a side effect of radiation (besides fatigue one of the first effects she has experienced) The doctor told her to drink cranberry juice. By now her throat is much worse and it has spread to the roof of her mouth. The doctor assures her that cranberry juice would not hurt her mouth. Either the doc didn't know what she was talking about or she flat out lied, the juice burned like fire and about locked up her jaw. Mom is drinking Orajel for pain relief.

Thursday was bad, very bad, extremely bad and she faced it alone. Hubby and I are still in St. Louis and Dad is in Dallas. She wakes up with mouth sores inside her cheeks, covering the roof of her mouth, and all down her throat. Feeling terrible, she somehow makes it to work and radiation. She goes to the chemo place that afternoon to get her pic line flushed. They have to clear the lines and change the dressing each week to keep from infection. The nurse noticed how bad mom felt and asked what was wrong? She showed her the mouth sores and basically lost it in the middle of the treatment room. The nurse immediately went to get Mom's nurse who did some blood work. Mom's white blood cell count last Friday was 6. something. On Thursday, it was 0.8. (Welcome to Nadir) Nadir is 11 to 14 days after you receive chemo when the blood count bottoms out. However, 0.8 was too low. The nurse said that explains why she felt so bad. The mouth sores are a typical side effect of the type of chemo she's getting however the nurse thought Mom might also have thrush in her mouth. So, it's back to the pharmacy to pick up antibiotics, mouth wash to clean and numb her mouth, and a gallon of hydrocodeine for pain. By the time I make it back from St. Louis and to her house, she's in bed totally hurting and miserable. It was nothing less than heartbreaking to see her in so much pain. She couldn't drink, eat, and barely talk. It just hurt too bad. It hurt to cry but that she couldn't hold back. Dad made it back from Dallas around 7:30. This was definitely the worse day so far.

Friday, she felt so bad and asked if I thought she should go to radiation. Her radiologist doctor said not to miss sessions, no matter how bad she felt so we went. We sat with the soccer mom in the waiting room. Her dad and husband were with her. She has had some rough days this past week as well. Talking to us, she tried to convince herself that the cancer, the chemo, the radiation and all that goes with it, would not stop her. She almost seemed angry like cancer has stole her life and she was demanding it back. I really hope she wins that fight. I took mom home after radiation and went to the grocery store to try and find something for mom to eat and drink. Everything tastes like salt from food to water. Grandma met me at the store to comb through the aisles. We picked up Ensure, Jello, Crystal Light packets, oatmeal, and eggs to name a few. As I was standing in line to check out, I saw watermelon and ran back for one. The watermelon was a hit. She didn't eat at all Thursday, but ate watermelon Friday and Saturday.

Sunday, her mouth sores are much better. But now, new sores have shown up down low because of the radiation. I called the doctor who said that it's a normal side effect from the radiation and some things to help lower risk of infection and relieve some of the discomfort. I asked how long before the sores heal, she said they would be on-going throughout radiation (that's another 4 weeks at least) and would go away a week or so after radiation is over. On the up side, Mom and Dad came over this afternoon to hang out and eat hot dogs. As mom was coming down the driveway I noticed she's doing the chemo walk. Other patients walk like that and we wondered if she would look like them too. Mom says those patients look like zombies. I teased mom some about her new walk. She ate a hot dog and even hung out for a little while although she looked exhausted.

In the books I'm reading, it says that from the time a patient is diagnosed with cancer, they are a cancer survivor. I'm not sure I saw Mom as a cancer survivor before treatment began, but now I see her as a Cancer Survivor. Every day especially the bad ones, she is surviving cancer. There are moments of total misery, anguish and pain but she survives. I'm not sitting in her cheering section because believe me, there's nothing to cheer about. I'm just trying to be the shoulder to cry on, the arm to lean on, and in all ways possible, to be there.

Today at church, I broke down. It can happen anywhere and once it starts, it's really hard to stop. Little Man and I drove home as I cried. I looked over at him and apologized for the crying and he said, "That's okay, Crying gets all the sadness out." Isn't he something?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

On A Lighter Note

The kids know Nana is sick but I've not called it cancer. Yesterday (one of mom's better days), the kids really wanted to see Nana. Reluctantly, I said okay but warned them not to get near her face. I said that means no hugging her neck or kissing on the cheeks or lips. I said they could hug her waist. Baby Girl complained "But kissing on the whips is mo better."

Today, as the kids and I were petting the dog, it hit Little Man. "Nana should eat grass, it helps dogs get better when they are sick!"

It's A Start (long blog for a long week)

This week has been pretty tough. There’s some relief in knowing she’s on the road to recovery but even with that, it’s a tough, scary and sometimes unbearable road.

She's had radiation treatments every morning this week. It will continue over the next 6 weeks every Monday through Friday. The doctor says she should not experience any side effects from the radiation for a couple of weeks, however her joints in her hips (where they are targeting the radiation) ache. Rubbing helps somewhat. She goes to the hospital for the radiation treatment. We don’t have to fight for parking because the hospital has a free valet service and with all the construction going on at the hospital, that is huge. The same guy meets us every morning with a smile and asks us how we are doing as he takes my keys. He seems so sincere, like he really does care.

In the waiting room, we sit with the same people every morning. The appointments are the same for each person every day. There is one woman probably in her 40’s who like mom, started radiation and chemo this week. Her husband, daughter, and her parents have taken turns bringing her to treatment each day. She has a brain tumor. Her husband says that she has undergone several surgeries and now she’s taking radiation and chemo (pill form). He says that the cancer is an extremely aggressive cancer. While she and mom were back in the treatment room, her husband and I both nearly broke down talking about all we’ve been through in the last few weeks. We both agreed that for us the not knowing was a hundred times worse than the actual diagnosis and treatment. At least that part is over for now.

His wife reminds me of a cute little soccer mom with the best personality and everything to live for. She’s so positive and always grabs my hand each day to connect and reassure me that mom is going to be just fine. She came to radiation today smiling as always but a little off balance. I think the radiation or maybe the chemo is messing with her equilibrium. Another woman began radiation this week. She has breast cancer and has spent the last 9 months going through chemo. The past 4 days of chemo is too much, I can’t imagine 9 months of it. After living through that, I wouldn’t think she’d be scared of anything, but she was nervous right before her first radiation treatment. One guy is gonna finish up this week. I’m not sure what kind of cancer he has but he walks kinda funny. Mom asked today if I thought she’d walk like him at the end of her treatments. I thought to myself, funny walking or not, there's something to be said for making it to the end.

Mom’s radiologist is really cool. She’s probably around my age and is definitely a straight shooter. At an appointment before mom’s radiation began, she sat down explained in detail the cancer and the treatment she has planned. She ordered another test to take a better look at the cancer so she could aim the radiation directly at the tumor. She shows compassion but isn’t overboard. She leaves you feeling confident in that she knows what she’s doing. We saw her again mid week. She gave mom a hug and said “Let’s kill some cancer together.”

Mom got 3 tattoos, one on each hip and the other right on her butt. They’re just little black marks that help the technicians line up the radiation machine. Maybe when it’s all over I can convince her to turn them into flowers, stars, or something. She said getting the little tattoo dots really hurt so she’s probably not up for any more. They also drew lines all over her hips and butt with red and blue permanent markers. (kinda patriotic)

Monday, mom had her first round of chemo at the cancer clinic. When we arrived, the receptionist (someone mom and dad met at church on Sunday) greeted mom with encouraging words. Her doctor and nurses are really laid back and have a way of putting you at ease. They say to call any time mom experiences any side effects. They say chemo isn’t nearly as bad as in year’s past because there are so many meds available to fight off side effects. Mom’s called once and I’ve called a couple of times already. They always call right back, showing concern and ready to help.

Mom’s receiving 2 different kinds of chemo. One was given Monday through an IV at the clinic. It took a little over an hour much better than the 2 to 3 hours they said it would take in chemo class the week before. Some people on different types of chemo take 6 to 7 hours to empty the IV bag, can you imagine? The treatment room has probably 50 recliners or more, most of them were taken Monday afternoon.

There’s a ton of people battling cancer, I never paid much attention until now. You see someone that you think might have cancer or hear of someone that has cancer and you think how sad, but it never really hits you, at least it didn’t for me, until now.

I imagined the treatment room to have a heavy feeling and be totally depressing, but it wasn’t. Every few seconds someone’s IV would start beeping, nurses were busy checking patients, as the patients lounged in the chairs. Some were working, others sleeping, many talking, even laughing, just kinda hanging out. For a split second, I thought of comparing it to the atmosphere at Panera, but naw I wouldn’t go that far. But, it really wasn’t so bad. The nurse taking care of mom was awesome. She of course monitored the IV and all that stuff but also sat down and really talked to mom. Mom opened up to her describing how she was feeling. The nurse was so understanding and genuinely concerned. I’m not sure how they do it day in and day out, but they really do make a difference.

The other chemo drug is being pumped through a port they call a pic line. They started the drug on Monday. She carries the pump and bag full of chemo in a fannie pack around her waist. This drug is continuously pumped into the port in her upper arm. They say that with this drug slowly going into her system throughout this week, it will minimize the side effects. Tomorrow, the bag will empty and she will come off chemo for almost 3 weeks. One chemo down, one left to go.

Dad picked out a really cool purse a couple of weeks ago that all the nurses and receptionists keep talking about. It’s not only fashionable but functional. It’s huge, kinda like a beach bag which is good with all the medicine, bandages, and spill kit she has to carry. (The chemo is a hazardous material so she has to carry a spill kit just in case the chemo bag or IV lines leak)

So, how’s she feeling?

Monday, she was exhausted after radiation and chemo but glad to have started treatment. As we were finishing up, her nurse said the best medicine was to go home and sleep it off and that’s exactly what she did.

Tuesday was bad. She felt lightheaded, had a horrible headache, and just basically hurt everywhere. It was kinda like the flu a million times over. She called her nurse. Come to find out when on chemo, you have to drink 2 to 3 quarts of water a day and absolutely no caffeine.

Wednesday was much better. She drank plenty of water, resisted coffee, and had a pretty decent day. Her only complaint was she felt like she was having a permanent out of body experience. Around 6:00, she started feeling bad and nauseated.

Thursday morning, she was terribly nauseated and felt horrible again. The pills to help fight nausea were not working so I called her nurse. She called in stronger meds which seemed to help, but all in all Thursday was a pretty rough day.

I spent Monday and Tuesday night with mom. Dad made it home Wednesday around midnight.

I obviously don’t want to talk too much about how I feel, but I guarantee this is the most difficult thing I’ve ever been through. It’s indescribable how you feel watching someone you love so much, suffer so much. I went to the store and bought anything and everything I thought might help. I massaged until she said stop. I brought her water and medicine. I helped her into her pajamas and into the bed. I dabbed her head with a cold washcloth. But as much as I try, nothing takes away the pain.

This is our start. It’s not been all good, not been all bad. We’ve met some pretty amazing people along the road to recovery. Fighting this horrible disease would be impossible on your own, thank God for all the people helping.

Friday, May 09, 2008

How Embarrassing!

Hubby grabbed my butt. It's usually no big deal but he had terrible timing this morning.

Rushing around the house (as usual) trying to get the kids out the door, myself dressed and halfway presentable, to make it to the school for the assembly at 8:30. Little Man's class is leading the assembly and he is proudly leading the state salute. He has his part down and is really excited. Anyway, I sent the kids ahead and ran back inside to throw on a little eyeliner and mascara.

I rush back out the door and into the garage where hubby swats at me but misses. So as we are heading up the driveway, he grabs my butt again and hangs on for good measure as my eyes lock with the new neighbor out for her morning stroll. There's no way she missed it. I mumble out a good morning and then focus on my shoes for the entire walk to school.

Hubby thinks it's hilarious.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Not My Mess

Today, the kids and a couple of their friends were in my van heading home from church. Before I could tell them no eating in the car, half empty cereal boxes were flying around the backseats of the van. The kids were having a grand ole time throwing the boxes at each other. I finally got them to stop and then prayed they didn't make that big of a mess. After making it home I see it's not that bad and had the bright idea that Little Man would clean it up.

He seriously got mad. I've not seen him that mad in a while. Uncontrollably shaking and yelling at the top of his lungs how they did it, not him!

Now I must say that every once in a great while. . . I'm a brilliant mom.

We went inside the house. And the conversation went as follows;

Crazeemommy: Come here, look at the sink full of dirty dishes, who made this mess?

Little Man: We all did.

Crazeemommy: Who's gonna clean it up?

Little Man: You and daddy.

Crazeemommy: Mmmm, look at the floors that have just been vacuumed. Who dirties the floor?

Little Man: We all do.

Crazeemommy: Who vacuums?

Little Man: You and daddy.

You get the picture. We walked from room to room in the house, identifying messes and who would clean them, basically you and daddy was the response every time.

When we completed the tour of the house, I asked, "Shouldn't you chip in when we ask you to, even if you didn't make the mess?"

Long story short, Little Man not only vacuumed the cereal out of the car but also took the trash out, walked the pizza box to the recycle bin in the school parking lot, helped me make my bed and sister's and get this. . . MY NINE YEAR OLD DID THE DISHES!

The kids just came in itching and scared they've caught something worse than poison ivy. Daddy says that I need to give them a bath immediately. Evidently, they both thought it would be great fun to play in the insulation from a house they're building up the road.

I think I'll tell Little Man, "You're on your own because it's Not My Mess" and see how he responds. (hee, hee, haa, haa)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

With or Without Answers

The past few weeks have been a roller coaster of emotion. First, it's all the tests followed by waiting and then more tests followed by more waiting. Now it's preparing for treatment followed by waiting and then the actual treatment in the form of chemo and radiation and then more waiting to see what the side effects will be and if it will even work on her cancer. None of us are very good at waiting. During the wait, my mind goes from one extreme to the other. Don't want to talk about it much for fear of sounding negative, but many times can not keep from talking about it. I feel like a walking contradiction.

Obviously, I never would question the existence of God. I've known Him too long for that. But, during the wait, I have plenty of questions. I've been reading a book, Bad Things Happen to Good People. I think it's only raised more questions than answers. There are a few things that I know I believe. Like I believe that God loves us, comforts us, saves us (sometimes daily), carries us, defends us, protects us, strengthens us and even heals us.

I don't think that everyone that believes is healed. I'm not sure it always matters how much you did or didn't go to church, if you were a faithful tither, if you read your devotional every morning, spent most days in prayer, spoke the word fearlessly in the face of danger, fasted for days at a time, or even had the faith of Job. I don't think that there's always a lesson in suffering, that it strikes as punishment for sin, or that bad skips one and finds you just because you are a strong person and can take it.

So, I like millions of others, am asking the question Why? Why does my mom have to face cancer? The book I'm reading says that God has nothing to do with the bad in the world such as cancer and that pretty much everything happens purely at random. Cancer does not pick and choose who it will infect, it won't skip over one because they are all things good to land on another who is bad or vice versa. The author goes on to write that you can't stockpile your good actions as collateral when bad strikes. God doesn't heal you if you follow steps A, B, and C. Maybe that would eliminate faith.

Although I don't like to think of things happening purely at random, the thought of God giving or allowing His people to get things like cancer doesn't sit well with me either. The author doesn't believe that God heals anyone because he doesn't heal everyone. He doesn't protect bad from anyone because He doesn't do it for everyone. Wow, now that's a tough one. Because I do believe that God protects and heals but I can't say He does it every time for everyone. I don't know why, so I'm back at square one without any answers.

My friend let me borrow her cd. On it is a song that starts off, "I'm not skilled to understand, what God has willed what God has planned" In the chorus it says, " My God He's always there for me." I must say that part is true, I have zero understanding when it comes to my mom having cancer but He's always been right there for me throughout all struggles.

Tonight, my same friend sent me this text; "I love you. (love you too) Trust Him with this. Give it to Him. It's much too big for you." She's right and that's just what I'm going to do, with or without all the answers.