Friday, November 29, 2013

Felt Like Talkin' To You Today

Has anyone watched the movie called "Trash Dance"?  Jerry just bought it on Vudu and we are watching it.  I like true life stories.  This is all about trash collectors and is very interesting.  I don't know how it will end.  The trash trucks are going to dance.  Hmmmmm?   I'll let you know tomorrow.

I made a video today because I was DETERMINED to make a certain bracelet.  I spent 4 hours trying to make it and I didn't even get ONE LINK done!  I just ordered another $300 worth of Swarovski Crystals, jump rings and wire, but I STILL couldn't do the project.  AARRGGHH!!!  I am the type to stick with it no matter what, but this may be the one time I just give up and try a new project.

Here's the video I made.  No big deal at all.  I do give an update on Jerry in it, and I show you the Art Bin box and how to keep from throwing it on the floor and jumping up and down on it.  (-;

I'll let you go.  Want to finish watching the trash movie.  Perfect show for a "people watcher" like me.

Hugs, Joy

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

My sister just left a few minutes ago.  Jerry's brother, Don, left hours ago to go see their other brother, Bob, who is in the VA Hospital in ICU.  Bob isn't long for this world as he is an alcoholic and a very heavy smoker.  I never expected him to live this long.

Bob has nobody by his own doing, so Jerry and I will be the ones responsible if Bob does die.  And since Jerry just had surgery, that means I will be responsible.  I  am hoping oxygen and hospitalization will gain Bob some more time.  At least, until Jerry is through all the Chemo treatments.

Our dinner was so good!  Hope yours was too.  The weather here was lovely also.

Jerry is practically back to his old self already.  He was much better yesterday.  It must take a while after leaving the hospital for all the intravenous drugs to wear off.  He is messing with his TV remotes, wires, CD player and 3D glasses.  He is walking and bending and talking.  I am so happy to see him improving QUICKLY!  Thanks for all your prayers.  They really work!

Now, we wait.  On December 11th he has to have a Mediport put in his shoulder and get all the staples removed in his tummy.  Then we go the next day to see the Oncologist in Ardmore.  Ardmore is a 45-minute drive from our other home.  We think we want to be there, but I'm not sure that is the best idea.  Maybe we should stay here where it is only a 15-minute drive.  Plus, Christmas is right around the corner.  Decisions, decisions.

Guess we all better get our Christmas shopping done now, huh???  I'm making jewelry, but that doesn't help with the guy gifts I need.  I'm never sure what guys I'm going to see, and that doesn't help.  Oh, well.  We seem to get through the holidays SOMEhow every year.

I am just so VERY THANKFUL that Jerry is going to get well.  THAT is ALL I want for Christmas from now on!

And thank all of you for your very nice, helpful comments through his surgery.  I really appreciate your kindness.

Thank you Margaret for the goodies you brought Jerry yesterday.  You are so sweet!

Hugs, Joy

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The HARD Part Begins

I don't even know where to start this morning.  Yesterday was a whirlwind of emotion.  It was a good thing Jerry was already IN the hospital, or I might have put him BACK THERE!

I am a very organized, in-control, personality.  I can handle most anything EXCEPT people who aren't in their right mind.  It is something I cannot "fix", and it gets me very upset.  On his BEST day -- in his BEST mood, Jerry isn't a great communicator.  He gets facts all mixed up and forgets half of every story.  If I really want to know details, I have to draaaaaaaaaaaaaaag them out of him.

I think most men are that way.

So I got up yesterday morning, had a few cups of coffee and some toast, and I called Jerry at the hospital.

This is how the conversation went:

Hi honey, how was your night?


How are you feeling?

I hurt, Joy!  How do you THINK I'm feeling???

I'm sorry.

They took me to have an Ultrasound on my legs this morning because my feet were swollen, and they thought I might have a blood clot.

Really?  Are you okay?

While I was down there for the Ultrasound, I ran into Dr. Ellis (the surgeon).  He told me I was doing fine, and I could go home today.  He told me that I need to return in two weeks to have the staples out and to have a port put in my shoulder for the chemotherapy.

Great!  HOW does he know you will need chemotherapy?

They have a definite diagnosis now of B-Cell Lymphoma.

WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The doctor told you -- for sure -- what you have, and you didn't think to CALL ME!!!!!!!!!!?

I WAS going to call you.  I just haven't yet.

JERRY!  Don't you think it is just a TAD important to CALL YOUR WIFE when you finally get the diagnosis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

On my WAY BACK to my room, we passed Dr. Keefer (the cancer doctor), and he told me I could go home too.  He also told me that I have B-Cell Lymphoma.  He said I will have to have SIX treatments of chemo -- each 21 days apart -- and then maybe 2 more -- 21 days apart.

That doesn't sound so bad.  Maybe you won't have to have more than six.

THEN -- he said this (try to follow -- it is like "Who's on first?":

When we arrived back at my room, THAT is when I found out I was going home today.

WHO told you that?

The doctors!

The doctors were IN YOUR ROOM?

NO, JOY!  I TOLD you Dr. Ellis was downstairs, and we passed Dr. Keefer on the way back.

Right.  I know that.  Who was IN YOUR ROOM when you got there?

NOBODY was in my room!!!

BUT, you said, "when we got to the room I found out I was going home today".  HOW did you find that out in your room????????????

I already KNEW it from when Dr. Keefer was in the hall.

AND on and on that conversation went until I finally just gave up!  Then the day continued to be just as nutty.  That conversation happened about 8:30 or 9.  I told Jerry I would get ready -- run some errands -- have lunch -- and then pick him up at the hospital.

I arrived at the hospital at 12:45.  Jerry's room was a mess.  There were no towels or wash cloths in the bathroom.  The bed looked like alligators had wrestled in it.  It appeared to be a messy, vacant room except for Jerry's bags -- all packed -- and Jerry.  Jerry was sitting in a chair, and he looked awful.  His hair was a mess and the skin on his face was very red and scaly -- as though he had gotten a bad sunburn.  His back looks like that too.  All I can figure is he is allergic to the hospital bath soap.

I went out to the nurse's station and informed them I was there to remove my husband from the premises as his doctors had released him that morning.  One of the girls decided to take me on as her project, and she began shuffling through papers.  She told me that the doctors MAY have released him by word of mouth, but NEITHER doctor had signed a discharge order.

LOVELY!  So much for my "perfect hospital".  I went into full "Joy mode" and had the nurses calling the doctors -- I called the doctors -- and I asked if I could get the name of the hospital administrator or the Governor or SOMEONE who could release my husband.  I do that, and I probably shouldn't, but I HATE disorganization.  It is ALWAYS like that when it is time to leave a hospital.

TWO HOURS later, I finally got permission to take Jerry home.  Jerry was gritchy and uncooperative.  EVERYTHING I tried to do to help him, he didn't want.  A stranger from the alley could walk into his room, and he would let her do whatever -- but not me.

FINALLY, about 3:30 PM, I get him into our house.  I ask him sweetly where he would like to sit -- or would he like to lay down?  I get a towel and a sheet to cover up the recliner that he chose so the very leaky hole in his belly that has already drenched his white briefs and his sweat pants won't leak all over the chair.

I ask him if I can change the pads over the hole in his belly.  NO, JOY!  Just leave me alone!

Okay.  I decide it is probably better to go to the pharmacy and pick up his drugs than to hit him over the head with a frying pan, and I leave.

I feel sorry for myself as I drive to the pharmacy in the rush-hour type traffic.  I wait in a line of people at the counter, and I finally get his pain meds.  I think about driving to our other home and forgetting I even know this grump of a husband, but I remind myself of how strong I'm going to be, and I decide to go back to him.

I get back home.  He wants a pain pill.  He is in the recliner.  I ask him if I can clean up his leaky drain hole where the tube was pulled out -- which was a very painful process as the tube was quite long inside his body and the nurse had to pull it out of the very small hole.  I lift up his tee shirt to see how wet it is, and it is VERY wet.  I start to remove the drippy dressing and he hollers, "JOY!  Leave me alone!  It is fine!"

My feelings are very hurt.  I want to HELP him, but he won't let me get near him.  I ask myself WHY ON EARTH do you love this man so much?????  I decide to go hide in my sewing room and check my email.  I discover I have an email from the CPA who is doing payroll.  He had dated the checks wrong and had asked for instruction.  I, of course, had to go show Jerry the email which had also gone to him.  Jerry was mad.  He said he couldn't believe that the CPA couldn't do payroll right.  (Now, you know why I didn't want to do it!)  Jerry asked me to copy all the time cards from both stores (which were attached to the email) and bring them to him.  He sat in the chair -- with the leaky hole in his belly still spitting out fluid that was overflowing from the pad -- and he complained about payroll.

About that time, my cell phone rang.  It was Tammy.  She asked how he was.  I told her.  She asked if she could come over and check out his belly.  SURE!  She got here about 30 minutes later.  She walks over to her Dad who is still in the recliner and says, "Dad, can I look at your tummy?"

"Sure", he says, as sweet as can be.

She lifts his tee shirt and, of course, notices the river of light red fluid all over the place.  She gives him instruction and asks if she can do this, that and the other thing, and he says, "Sure".

I'm in the kitchen just behind them, and tears are running down my face because I feel like the biggest failure on Earth as a nurse and as a wife.  Boo hoo.  Poor me!  Then I switch to Boo hoo, poor Jerry, he is going through such an awful ordeal and so much pain, and his wife is a big cry-baby!  I finally get control of myself and fix dinner for the three of us.  Jerry is in a better mood because Tammy has cleaned him all up.

We eat -- Tammy leaves after telling me that Jerry yells at me because he loves me -- and Jerry goes back to his chair.  I'm okay, and I decide to be sweet to him.

Are you okay, honey?  Are you in pain?

YES!  I'm okay Joy!  And, Yes, I'm in pain!  What do you think!?

And it starts all over.  I can't quit crying and feeling helpless.  He can't quit being grouchy.  I decide to just go HIDE and leave him alone.

I go out later to retrieve something on the table next to him.  He wants to know why I'm not in the room with him.  I tell him I'm tired and want to go to bed.  It is 7:30!  He says he wants me to be there with him.

WHAT!?  WHY does he want me there?  He won't let me near him?  I can't do anything but look at him and feel sorry for him and for myself.  I decide to sit on the couch a little out of his view.

He turns his head and actually LOOKS at me for a second, and he notices I've been crying.  Then he realizes I'm not handling all of this very well.  AND he realizes he has been a total *****!

He gets UP out of his chair -- walks over to the couch where I am sitting/crying -- and he tries to bend over to kiss me.  He nearly passes out from the pain of bending over and apologizes to me.

I feel even horribler than I already did for causing him more pain.

On and on it went like this until about 9:30 last night when we finally went to bed.  He complained about the temperature being too cold.  He ALWAYS does that, sick or well.  I turned it up for him.  I covered him with an extra blanket which he later complained was too hot.

I got up 4 hours later to give him a pain pill.  As I was holding the glass of water above him and aiming the straw towards his mouth, he hit the glass with his hand and we spilled water all over his shoulder, neck and pillow!  I had to go get a towel and mop all that up.

I am the most HORRIBLE Nurse!

Give me something to clean.

Give me something to type.

Give me something to organize.

But DON'T give me a sick person.

Now, today is here.  I am fine -- so far.  Jerry said he wanted to have prayer this morning, but he hasn't gotten up yet.  It is 9:15.  Payroll has to be done.  I better go check on him.

PRAY I don't drown him!

Hugs, Joy

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Getting Through the Loooooooong Years

I wish you all could have heard this morning's sermon.  It was SO, SO, SO good.  Pastor Matt Hagee preached today on "The Long Years".

He talked about how he watches people and listens to them when in a mall or a restaurant or wherever.  I do that too, as I have often told you.  I love to watch people.  He was at a restaurant with his daughter and noticed two scenarios.

At one table which was decorated for a party, there was a family.  A girl was celebrating her 10th birthday.  Matt knew that because there was a birthday cake with a 10 on top of it.

The restaurant staff gathered around the table and the guests and they sang the restaurant birthday song.

Matt saw the Mother lean over to the Father and say, "WHERE did the years go?"

Children grow up so fast, and it seems every time you blink, you are in another season of their lives.

Then there was another table with another family.  The Mother had her head covered with one of those hats that Chemotherapy patients wear.  Her skin was pale and she didn't look well.  You could see the heartache from torment and terror on the faces of the other family members.

In this family's world, it was a very loooooooong year.

That struck me as being SO TRUE as not very long ago, the weeks flew by so fast, I often forgot what day it was.  But, now -- now that Jerry has suddenly become so ill -- and maybe more than we know -- the days just crawl along with every hour slowly stretching into the next as we wait, and we wait, and we wait some more.

If it wasn't for my faith in God, I would TOTALLY fall apart.  I won't though -- not now -- not ever.  I am MORE THAN A CONQUEROR through Christ who strengthens me!  The Bible says so and that is where my faith comes from.  Hebrews 13:5&6 says that God will NEVER leave me or forsake me -- or Jerry -- or you!

Matt said, "Adversity is the School of Greatness.  God sends all his champions to it."  There was Job, Abraham, Daniel, Joseph, Jeremiah, Shadrack, Meshak and Abednigo and, of course, Jesus.  Esther, Ruth and Mary, and Paul and the disciples and on and on ......





And Joy will be GOING in the morning to see Jerry.  I never left the house today because the roads were icy and Jerry asked me not to come.  It was very hard to stay here all day.  I would much rather have been with him.  I will make up for it tomorrow though.

Both doctors visited him today.  The surgeon told the nurse she could remove Jerry's bandage.  Wish I had been there for that.  He also got one of the IV lines out.  He had two of them in.  We talked on the phone 4 or 5 times today, and he sounded really good.  He said he sat in the chair most of the day, and he finished reading the book Tammy took him.

Time for bed.

Tomorrow is a brand new day!

I shall REJOICE and be glad in it!

Hugs, Joy

Friday, November 22, 2013

QUICK Praise Report from a Very Tired Wife

Praise God Forevermore!  Jerry made it through the surgery just fine.  It didn't take as long as they thought it would -- only an hour and a half.  The very enlarged spleen has been removed along with a piece of the end of his Pancreas.  The end of the Pancreas kind of points into the Spleen, and one of the tumors in Jerry's Spleen had grown into the end of the Pancreas.  The doctor said he often has to remove part of it when removing a Spleen.

I, of course, got this laptop out of its bag and googled "Pancreas" immediately.  It was a very clear picture of exactly what the doctor described, and I was consoled to see that a whole bunch of the Pancreas is still inside him.  He had to have 3 immunizations against some awful diseases, and those made him very uncomfortable this morning.  I figured once they knocked him out for surgery, he wouldn't notice that anymore.

They took him away from me at 1:00 -- 2 hours later than planned -- and I didn't see him again until 5:00 where he was in ICU.  Honestly, Tammy and I both thought he looked so good that he didn't even need to BE in ICU.

Jerry is a totally different person on drugs.  Actually, he turns into me!  The night nurse last night had brought in one of those breathing devices and explained to Jerry that he was going to have to blow in it several times every hour after his surgery.  Tammy had told him the same thing.

When I got to ICU tonight, the nurse fiddled with all the machines and made him comfortable in the bed, and then she disappeared.

Jerry looked at me and said,

"WHERE is that breathing machine, Joy?!  And WHERE is the nurse!?  Isn't this ICU?  Aren't I supposed to have a nurse!?  FIND OUT where that breathing machine is!"

I searched around in the tangled up mess of our belongings that were THROWN together by two of the nurses in Room 429 -- tossed onto a cart -- and given to me with a young lady escort to take to ICU.  I had NO IDEA where anything was, never mind that breathing device, but I finally found it.  I took it over to him and opened it up.  Jerry put it in his mouth and started breathing into it as hard as he could time after time after time.  He blew as hard as he could 6 times.  He actually was moving the indicator inside up higher than he did BEFORE his surgery when the nurse demonstrated it last night.

Suddenly, some machine went crazy and started beeping saying Jerry wasn't getting any air.  I told him maybe that was enough, and I took it away from him.  The nurse showed up at last to see what all the beeping was about.  I told her Jerry was concerned that he wasn't using the machine properly.  The nurse said, "He doesn't really have to use it when he is asleep!"  Duh!  I asked her how many times he was to use it and how often.  She said 10 times -- once an hour.  Jerry asked me to give it back to him so he could blow in it 4 more times for a total of 10 times.  It's a wonder he didn't blow his stitches out.  The pain meds must have been doing their job!

I lifted Jerry's "skirt" to see his tummy.  Tammy agreed with me.  It looks GREAT!  No more bulge.  It is flat.  You can sure tell the spleen is no longer there.  He will be so thrilled when he sees it!

Tammy, our daughter -- the OK Heart Hospital nurse -- has been there for us at our beck and call!  She brings cupcakes for the nurses, chocolates for the nurses, chocolates for me, a blanket for me and one for her Dad, Chapstick for me and one for her Dad (a wonderful gift, by the way), a book for her Dad that he read half of the day she brought it, a tube of lotion for me to put on his dry skin, and other things.

NO WONDER the cart was overflowing!

I asked Jerry to take our picture yesterday.  He was lying down in the hospital bed, so it isn't the greatest angle.

I was there all day yesterday -- all night last night -- and all day today until Tammy showed up at 6:00.

I TRIED to sleep in the chair-that-turns-into-a-bed last night, but it was IMPOSSIBLE!  It was basically 3 pieces.  The head piece was one height -- the middle piece was lower -- the foot piece was higher.  It was like sleeping on stair steps!  I could NOT get comfortable.  Every time I ALMOST fell asleep, someone would come into the room to see if we were alright.  I HATE that, but I suppose it has to be done.

ICU makes us leave from 6:30 to 8:30, so Tammy and I went out to Olive Garden to eat.  I came home where I am sitting on my very comfortable bed about to turn out the lights, and she went back to spend the night with her Dad.  If she wasn't there, I would be.  I may not be a nurse, but I can sure get one in a hurry!

I am so thankful that the Spleen full of tumors -- whatever they are that the doctor says he can't say -- is OUT of my husband.  That was immediate removal of over 95% of them, I would say.  The Spleen will be dissected and biopsied, and we will soon know EXACTLY what is growing in Jerry that doesn't belong there and Dr. Keefer, the Oncologist, will figure out a recipe to kill it.

My husband is alive and in pain, and I thank God with every breath I take!!!  The pain will leave -- his body will heal -- and I will continue to be his grateful wife for as long as God allows it.  I wish everyone could know how truly AWESOME Jerry is.  I could write a book about all the things he has done to help sick, crippled people and how he has gone above and beyond what is required because he truly cares about these people.  He loves God FIRST and then me, and I couldn't be more blessed!  I don't think even Jerry can imagine how much I love him -- or maybe he can.  I hope so.

I've GOT to get to sleep.

Thank you so much -- all of you -- for your prayers and your comments.

They have helped me through this more than you'll know.  I look for them every morning, and I read them to Jerry.  He can't figure out HOW I know such nice people on the internet.

AND A GREAT BIG THANK YOU AND HUG to Phylly for bringing me lunch from Subway today.  I didn't even think to pay you, Phylly!  I'll buy next time.

AND A GREAT BIG HUG to Margaret who came in horrible weather to see us at the hospital yesterday.  I am always SO DELIGHTED to see Margaret.

Special thanks to Candi.  She should probably be in a hospital herself right now having severe pain in her leg treated, but instead, she is concerned about Jerry and constantly offers to do anything to help us.  She makes sure everything is done and has worked many hours of overtime to cover work not done by absent employees.  Instead of sending work to me that I should be doing, she just does it herself with not a single complaint.  She is the Manager of our store in Kingston, but more than that, she is a true friend.  We love you Candi!

And you all remember Lu, the Manager of our Oklahoma City store -- the one I made a blouse for and matching necklace.  I don't know what she did, but Jerry's phone might as well be non-existent for all it has rung in the last few weeks.  It used to ring non-stop.  I know Lu is taking all the burden she can off of Jerry, and that takes a huge burden off of me.  We love you, Lu!

And my apology to Robert who is a great friend to Jerry.  Robert knows to read my blog, but I suppose, being a man, it isn't at the top of his "To Do" list.  I texted Deanna, his wife, about the surgery, but didn't think to text Robert.  Deanna is down with a terrible cold and bronchitis, and I'm sure she wasn't up to repeating texts to Robert.  Actually, I didn't even know his number until today.  I sent a practice text earlier, Robert.  Hope you got it!  And I'm praying for a speedy recovery for Deanna!

Times like this are so hard, but on the other hand, you find out how good people are and how much they care.  All our employees have been so thoughtful and concerned.  Honestly, it warms our hearts and speeds the recovery.  Even our CPA who just went through a melanoma surgery himself offered to do anything he can to help us.  I hope all of them know, we would do the same for them.

Hugs, Joy

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Angel of Mercy and Surgery Tomorrow at 11:00

I have told you before how AMAZING this hospital is.  Scriptures carved into the ceilings -- a daily bible verse delivered to each room -- crosses all over the place.

Well, if THAT isn't amazing enough, you can't imagine what happened today!

This morning when I was here alone with Jerry, a very nice young woman came in to weigh Jerry and get his vitals.  She was very friendly with a large beautiful smile.  Found out later she is 40, but she looks 25.  She is a black woman, and I only say that because she is so pretty, I want you to picture her.  Tomorrow, I am going to ask her if I can take her picture.

She had talked to Jerry some before I got here this morning.  When she came in to weigh him, she started talking to Jerry about God and scripture.  My ears always perk up immediately when anyone starts talking about God or the Bible.  The second I realized she was trained like we are, I began speaking to her.  This girl's personality is so exuberant and exciting and genuine, I don't think I can even sufficiently describe it to you.

HONESTLY, I told Jerry and Tammy tonight that I think she may be an "Angel on Assignment".  I read a book with that title years ago.

Her name is Keisha.  When she found out that Jerry and I were believing for a miracle and total healing, she said, "I have something for you.  Let me go get it, and I'll be right back!"

She left for awhile -- probably got busy with other patients -- but returned later.  IF I was at home, I would copy the prayer she brought back to Jerry.  She also brought back pages and pages of HEALING scriptures that she keeps "in her bag" at all times.  The three of us talked about how much we love the Lord, and in a few minutes another nurse/aid walked by our room.  Keisha said, "Oh, let me get her!"  She walked out in the hall, grabbed that girl and brought her in the room.  She too is a Christian and believes in healing and wanted to talk to Jerry.  She and Jerry shared healing stories.  They couldn't stay long and both left.

After that, Phylly came to the hospital and she joined Jerry and me in the Cafeteria for lunch.  Jerry was refreshed from a shower and clean REAL clothes.  He doesn't like wearing the "skirt" as he calls it.  They haven't done anything today but take lots of blood from him.  They are supposed to give him three immunizations, but haven't yet.

Tammy came late in the afternoon.  I told her about the nice nurse/aid girl named Keisha that came into our room and how she talked about healing.  Tammy said that was nice, but didn't really register it.  Dinnertime came.  Tammy and I went down to eat in the Cafeteria and Jerry ordered room service.  Dinner was all done and the three of us were just chatting when Keisha came into our room.  Tammy had not met her yet.  I introduced Tammy to her.  Keisha started talking about how she realized Jerry was a Christian right after meeting him, and she was praying for him and believing for healing.  Tammy and Keisha chatted, and it wasn't very long before Tammy looked at Keisha and said,


NOW, Tammy understood why I was telling her about Keisha!  Tammy told her she just loved her!  We all did.

Keisha left to go do her chores.  About 7:30 after Keisha was off work, she reappeared with her purse and her bag.  She was going home.  She said she stopped by just to see if we would like her to pray with us.  Jerry hopped up as best he could and sat on the side of his bed.  I kneeled on the bed behind him.  Tammy was in front and to the side of him.  Keisha was on her knees on the floor in front of him.  We all touched Jerry.  I started the prayer.  Keisha started next and WOW!!!  Scriptures poured out of her mouth like she was a walking, talking Bible.  Jerry and I know a LOT of scripture, but this girl made us look like amateurs.  Tammy prayed last.  She prayed for Jerry, and then she prayed for Keisha.

It was so WONDERFUL!  It is hard to make that happen if you TRY to arrange it.  But when God arranges it, it is so much more beautiful.  Jerry and I both feel like we have been in the presence of God right here in this hospital room.

The doctors have determined that Jerry's spleen must come out.  Blood tests and pain indicate something is very wrong.  We are believing all things work together for GOOD, and I will keep you posted.  Expect a miracle, because we do!  My guess is that the fact that Jerry is still alive is Miracle #1!

Jerry has to get back in the "skirt" and wash all over with some kind of germ-killer.  Don't know why they want him to do in tonight, but whatever.

What a FABULOUS day!

Hugs, Joy

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Jerry Update on Wednesday

My goodness!  JUST when you think everything is back to almost normal, something else goes wrong.  Jerry and I went home to Kingston Sunday afternoon, as you know.  I worked at our store all day Monday getting caught up and Jerry worked at the home office.  Tuesday, Jerry had to go the The Skin Clinic for the thousandth time to get some places frozen on his face and his head.  The doctor sliced a chunk off his arm to see if a new bump was something to be concerned about.

After that, we went to our insurance agent's office to sign new policies for our two homes and 4 vehicles as Hanover decided to move out of Oklahoma and cancelled all of our policies with them.  We wanted Earth Quake insurance since we seem to having several a week these days, but it seems most insurance companies have decided Oklahoma is too risky and they won't issue it.  Traveler's was the only one, so that is who we went with.

Yesterday afternoon, Jerry went back to work in his office at home, and I started cleaning the house.  Unfortunately, I didn't get anywhere NEAR finishing it.  I fixed dinner, as usual, and called Jerry into eat it.  I made Talapia with a breadcrumb topping, spinach, rice and a salad.  Jerry really liked it and told me several times how good it was and what a good cook I am.  That is QUITE UNUSUAL for him.  Seems like I just blogged recently about the same thing.  Maybe my cooking is getting better in my old age!

We went up to the movie room where we watched some very interesting episodes regarding the building of the Bible College in Colorado Springs by Andrew Wommack.  Then we went to bed, just like always.

At 2 AM, I woke up.  No big deal.  I do that a lot.  I reached over to touch Jerry.  I do that a lot too.  I was shocked to find that HE WASN'T THERE!  With all that is going on in his body, I just panicked.  I hollered his name.



I walked out into the living room near his office and hollered again.  Jerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry????

No answer.

I finally climbed upstairs in the dark.  I can see pretty good in the dark with just the moonlight coming in and nightlights here and there.  I called his name again, and he weakly answered me.  He was in one of the recliners.  He told me he had woken up at 10 and at midnight in a lot of pain.  He had taken 2 Tylenol, and asked me to go get him 4 MORE.  I thought that sounded like an awful lot of Tylenol, but he is a Pharmacist and I figured he wouldn't overdose himself.

I've heard several doctors ask him recently about how much pain he had.  On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is it?  So I asked him.  On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is the pain.  He said, "TEN!"

It was 2:30 AM by now.  We were 150 miles away from his doctors or the hospital they would use.  I didn't know WHAT to do.  Jerry hates it when I get all panicky, so I tried to be calm.  I offered to go down and pack up the car and the cats and drive the 150 miles to the hospital.

He said, "Absolutely not!  Just go back to bed, Joy."

I went back downstairs, but OF COURSE I could not sleep.  I tossed and I turned and I prayed and I wondered what I should do.  At 4 AM, I went back upstairs to check on him.  He was sleeping peacefully in the recliner.  I decided I could give myself permission to go back to sleep.

This morning, Jerry was up before I was.  He had my coffee ready when he came in to wake me up, and he said very calmly that he was still in a lot of pain, and we needed to get to the hospital.  I took a very fast shower, packed up the food that needed to be taken, grabbed all the other things we have to have, packed up the two cats, and off we went.

I called the doctor first thing when I woke up.  ACTUALLY, I called the doctor at 2:30 in the morning and left a message so he would call me first thing this morning, but he didn't.  Shane, from the doctor's office, called me back about 30 minutes later.  He told me the doctor wanted Jerry to come right in.  I told him we were 150 miles away.  He said, "Get him here as soon as you can."

I drove 80 MPH most of the way.  We are fortunate to have highway almost the entire way there.  My daughter met me outside the doctor's building where I handed our two cats over to her.  She was supposed to take them to our Edmond home, but she just took them home to her house so we won't have to worry about them.  That was SO HELPFUL!  She took those cats all the way back to her house -- 20 miles -- and then she came back to the hospital where Jerry had been admitted, and she brought me some lunch.  She stayed with me the rest of the day until 7 tonight when we both left with the doctor's permission.

Here's the scoop on Jerry:

They did another Cat Scan on him to see if something had ruptured or was bleeding.  Evidently, it had not and was not.

They took blood from Jerry and are running tests.  He is running a 100.4 temp and has been for days.  The nurse could not get an IV in him.  A specialist nurse had to be called in and he had to do an Ultrasound to find a vein to put the IV in.  Jerry had 3 bandages on his arm where veins had been stuck but blew out -- or some such terminology.  I felt so sorry for him having all those pokes!  The special nurse who knew Tammy, our daughter who is also a nurse and works at the OK Heart Hospital next door, was able to get some other kind of IV into Jerry's upper arm after a few shots of some numbing stuff.

Before Tammy and I left, BOTH the cancer doctor -- Dr. Keefer -- and the surgeon -- Dr. Ellis -- came in to see Jerry.  Poor Dr. Ellis had been in surgery for EIGHT HOURS today.  He was going to do surgery on Jerry TONIGHT, if necessary.  My goodness!!!  No wonder the guy isn't very jovial.

The Cat Scan didn't show anything worse than what we already knew was going on inside Jerry.  Dr. Ellis really wants to WAIT for the next biopsy BECAUSE, if they can find out that Jerry has Lymphoma, he won't have to lose his Spleen even though it is in such bad shape right now.  Chemo can kill the lesions in his spleen, and it may not have to be removed.  ALSO, there are some immunizations that you need to have several weeks BEFORE you have your spleen out.  That is IF you have the luxury of having several weeks before.

Jerry is still in the hospital, and he was allowed to have dinner tonight.  He was so hungry after no food or water since last night JUST IN CASE.  The nurse gave him some Morphine for pain, and he was feeling pretty good when Tammy and I left.  He was giving me orders as to what all I need to bring him in the morning.  I am resting in the knowledge that he is already at the hospital if anything should happen, and I will sleep well tonight.  Tomorrow or Friday, he will have another bone marrow biopsy done.

Thank God for good doctors.  I'm going to overlook the fact that Dr. Ellis' staff never has called me back, and the fact that his nurse is very unfriendly.  Someone told Tammy that Dr. Ellis is very hard to get to know, but once you do, you really like him.  EVERYONE says he is the BEST spleen surgeon, and we certainly want that, no matter WHAT his personality is!  He was actually very nice tonight.  I was blown away that he even came in to see Jerry at all after being in surgery all day long.  That means a LOT!

Jerry and I are believing that something GOOD is going to come out of all of this, and we will have another wonderful example of how good God is to talk about in the future.

Right now, I'm getting in my jammies, and I'm going to bed.

Hugs, Joy

Monday, November 18, 2013

Psycho-lady and Another Biopsy for Jerry

Hello from our real home in Southern Oklahoma.  Jerry and I were on our way to Walmart to buy groceries yesterday after church.  I had already put it off for two weeks, so we REALLY needed to go.  We were almost to the Walmart parking lot when Jerry said, "We COULD go home today."

I was wanting to go home because I could not find a very important box of my jewelry-making supplies -- the wire.  It is really hard to put beads on wire that you don't have.  I looked all over the place for it -- even in the two vehicles we had driven there.  I just ASSUMED I had left it here.

SO, when Jerry mentioned going home, I decided INSTANTLY that I would rather go home than go to Walmart, so we turned around -- went back to the house -- packed up the car and grabbed the cats -- and we headed here.  We weren't home very long before I was in my swing with a glass of wine in my hand.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Such relaxation!

We decided we would stay here until Jerry had to see the doctor again which was supposed to be TEN days.  Jerry got a call at noon today, however, telling him he was to return for ANOTHER BIOPSY this Friday.  Therefore, we will head back to Edmond on Wednesday.  It was still worth coming home even though my wire box is NOT HERE EITHER!  I can't imagine what I have done with it.  So much going on these days, I do good to remember where I am!

I have to tell you the craziest thing though.  Maybe I am the ONLY person on the planet that did NOT know this, but just in case, I must tell you.

As I was driving home yesterday, I turned my XM Radio to a talk show on a station called "Stars".  It started out as Dr. Laura.  She gets on my nerves at times, but overall, she has really good advice.  One lady was TRYING to tell her something, and she wasn't listening to her.  She actually hung up on the woman because she -- Dr. Laura -- wasn't hearing what the woman was telling her.  I was screaming at her, but I doubt she heard me.  And, of course, that is completely normal behavior -- right?  Screaming at a radio, I mean.

Anyway.  Dr. Laura finally went off the air and I thought I was hearing things when the next lady came on.  I THOUGHT I heard the announcer say that whoever she was could TALK TO ANIMALS.  I thought maybe she was a lady Dr. Doolittle, or something.

NO!  NOT Dr. Doolittle -- Dr. Nut Case!

Honestly, I cannot believe this lady actually HAS a program on the radio.

A young boy called in and told her (I'll call her "Psycho-lady") he had a hamster, and his hamster died.  Psycho-lady asked the hamster's name.  His name was "Charlie".  Then Psycho-lady began telling the boy WHAT CHARLIE WAS TELLING HER!

Yes!  Charlie told her that he really liked this boy and that he was a lot of fun.  He liked the food that the boy gave to him.  She told the boy that Charlie had not left -- he was still there -- and Charlie sleeps on the boy's pillow every night!!!  No joke!  Charlie, the DEAD hamster, TOLD her that!

I decided I had to keep listening to see who called in next.

The next caller was an adult woman.  She had a dog that died.  GUESS WHAT HIS NAME WAS?????

His name was "Charlie".

I thought, "You have GOT to be kidding!"  Are all the dead animals named Charlie?

She said she rescued Charlie, and she had him only 7 months when he died.  The psycho-lady told her that Charlie told her he really liked the other dog there, and she asked the caller what his name was.

WHY didn't Charlie tell her?????

The caller told her the other dog's name which was Charlene, I think.  The psycho-lady said that Charlie told her that the happiest day of his life was when he came to live with the caller.  She said that Charlie really liked the cheese the caller gave him.  The caller said she gave him all kinds of stuff to eat.  The psycho-lady said that Charlie was still there and was very happy.  Charlie told her he really loved it when the caller played with him like she was a dog.

The caller said she was going to get another dog very soon.  The psycho-lady said, "OH!!!!!  Can I please tell Charlie that?  He will be SO excited!"  I about gagged on that one!

I wanted to keep listening just out of curiosity at what kind of people actually would keep calling her.  IF Jerry had not been in the car, I would have called her myself and told her my cat Bootsy wanted to talk to her because he was very nervous.  Jerry made me turn her off though.  Darn!  I was having so much fun.

I've got to go.  Just wanted to say HI.

Hugs, Joy

Friday, November 15, 2013

Biopsy Results

Hello everyone!  What a gorgeous Fall day this was.  It was 67 degrees, sunny and calm.  Lovely day to have to meet the Oncology (Cancer) doctor.

We received a 5-page packet in the mail yesterday from Dr. Keefer's office.  On the back was a very nice colored map showing us EXACTLY where to go.  Extremely helpful considering we went to the wrong building twice already in the past few weeks.

You can't even IMAGINE what a wonderful visit this was today.  The complete opposite of the visit to the Spleen-Remover, Dr. Ellis, and Nurse Ratchet.  Dr. Ellis is the one who ORDERED the biopsies.  I have called his office twice this week begging for someone to let us know about the results.  NOBODY called me back even though I was promised someone would.  Still haven't called us.

Soooooooooo.  We walked into Suite 375 which was a very nice, clean, organized office.  The first thing I noticed was that all of the ladies/girls behind the glass window were smiling, friendly and well-dressed and well-manicured.  No tattoos or piercings.  Clean hair that was actually combed into a hairdo.

There was a mini bar with several pots of coffee -- caff and decaf -- and cold bottled water.

I'm a people-watcher -- as you know if you read my blog much -- and I notice EVERYTHING in a room.  I look at the pictures, and the corners and the baseboards and the ceiling and the lamps and the light fixtures and the carpet and the tables and chairs and, of course, all the people sitting in them.  Lots of women came and went, and they had on the NICEST outfits.  I wanted to photograph the jackets and capes several were wearing.

One lady had a large bump of rumpled skin and thread all up and down the length of her nose with large hunks of skin poking through.  I thought she must have had some kind of cancer removed from her nose.  Nobody else had anything noticeable wrong with them.

Look at what I saw on one table:

You cannot see it very well in this picture.  On top of the brown wooden box that looks like a clock is a sign that says "Prayer Requests".

And look at that carpet.  Jerry noticed it.  It is the exact same carpet we have in our Oklahoma City store.

Our appointment was at 11:15, but we were to be there at 10:45 to fill out paperwork.  I don't know why, because Jerry had already filled it out.  We waited 30 minutes.  It was 11:15.  A nice-looking young man named Shane walked out of the back rooms.  He came over to us and asked "Are you the Bernhardt's"?  We told him we were.  He told us that he was sorry but Dr. Keefer had several things come up this morning, and he was about 45 minutes behind.  He asked if we would like to go downstairs to the coffee shop and come back later.  He took my cell phone number to call me in case the Dr. wanted to see us sooner.

NOW, HOW VERY, VERY, VERY NICE WAS THAT!?  Remember two weeks ago when we waited in the exam room ONE AND A HALF HOURS?  Nobody came in.  Nobody spoke to us.  I finally stuck my head out in the hallway that day where Nurse Ratchet was sitting.  I said, "We have been in here an hour and a half."  She said, "The doctor will be right in."  I said, "You told me that an hour and a half ago."  She glared daggers at me.  I closed the door and went back inside to continue waiting.

Just because you are a doctor, does that mean you can't have SIMPLE, COMMON courtesy????  It is extremely rude, and so mean to treat a healthy person that way, never mind a very sick one!


Jerry and I left to go find Catherine's Corner -- the coffee shop -- after Shane gave us directions.  "You go out into the hall -- turn left -- walk down the hall through the double doors -- turn right and keep walking."

We managed to get out of the office, turn left and go through the double doors before we got lost.  OUT OF NOWHERE, a very pretty woman -- 30 something -- appeared.  We, obviously, looked lost, and I have no problem asking complete strangers for directions.  Jerry would have walked 8 miles the wrong direction before asking for them!

The very nice lady was Tracy.  She just happened to be going to Catherine's Corner and offered to show us the way.  On the way, I managed to tell her our entire life history.  When she realized why we were there, she informed us that she was in charge of Oncology Services at the hospital.  She said she would go back to her office -- get us some information -- and come back, which she did, and that was no small thing.  It was a long walk back one hallway and then another one and then up the elevator and down another hallway.

I invited her to sit down with us at our table.  She told us all about care groups and counselling and another lady that we could call anytime for help.  She gave us her business card and the other lady's business card.  Next to her name on her card was at least four sets of letters.  The only one I recognized was "RN".  She later walked us all the way back to Dr. Keefer's office.

BUT, I have to tell you about Catherine's Corner.  It is just a little place like a Starbuck's inside a grocery store.  You can get coffee or juice and a sandwich or a muffin or a few other delights.  My little delight was so awesome, I took a picture to show you.  I may have Phylly meet me there for lunch next week just so I can have another one!

Under the fruit is some kind of pudding, and under the pudding is chocolate, and under the chocolate is a pie crust.  It was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!  I ate everything but the paper it was on.

And look at Bernsides (that's what I call him).  He had a Triple Berry Muffin.

He said it was delicious too.

And does he look sick?


We ate those lovely desserts while talking to Tracy, and then we went back upstairs where we waited only a few more minutes.  We went into the exam room where Shane did all the preliminary poking and prodding on Jerry.  Very nice room.

Dr. Keefer came in and introduced himself.  He was gentle, friendly and a VERY GOOD LISTENER.  He didn't look at me like I was The Creature from the Black Lagoon.  He listened intently to me and to Jerry and he took notes as we talked.  This man should give classes on HOW TO TREAT PEOPLE.  I told him how very impressed I was with his staff and his office.  He thanked me for telling him.

Jerry and I kept waiting for the doctor to TELL US WHAT JERRY HAS.  He didn't bring it up at all.  After about 10 minutes, he said:

You DO know the biopsies were negative?

I about jumped off the chair onto that table and said, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  We don't know anything!!!!"

I explained about Dr. Ellis and how I had even called his office two times this week and nobody had called me back.  He acted shocked.

Actually, I had told Tracy the same thing earlier, and she said she was going to look into it.  She could not believe it.  I think she is the "Boss of Everything" there.

We talked and talked, and he listened and listened.  He kept saying, "You don't LOOK sick at all!"  He asked Jerry how he felt.  Jerry said he felt fine.  The doctor said that DID NOT SOUND LIKE CANCER, and it DID NOT LOOK LIKE CANCER.

I suggested that the lesions might be a fungus.  The doctor didn't seem to think that was possible and kind of ignored the statement.  Later -- and I had made no mention of fungus -- Tammy texted me and said that she and Len had been researching PET scans and what else could show up on them.  GUESS WHAT they found out?  Funguses show up like cancers on PET scans.

The appointment ended by the doctor sending Jerry to the lab to give them blood.  He wanted to do a lot more tests on the blood than have been done.  He also is going to talk to the biopsy doctor who won't be in until Monday.  He says it is possible the doctor just got into the wrong spot.  Since Jerry had THREE different biopsies done in 2008, and they all came back negative, I doubt that he got into the wrong spot.

We are very encouraged!  Both of us feel like heavy weights have been lifted from our hearts.  It is so much like five years ago when Jerry had the large tumor surrounding 3 of his vertebrae.  He had NO chemo -- NO radiation -- the tumor was NOT removed, and it is TOTALLY GONE.  Praise God forevermore!

Thank you all for you comments and your prayers and your advice.

You all hang in here with us, and I will keep you informed on how GREAT our God is!

Hugs, Joy

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lunch Date and Too-Tired Hubby

This was a nice day, although I think Fall snuck away in the middle of the night without me noticing it.  I went to pick Margaret up for lunch wearing my usual tee shirt and jeans.  I did slip on an unbuttoned denim shirt over my tee JUST IN CASE it was cold in the restaurant.  My car was in the garage, so I didn't really notice what the temperature was outside.  The sun had been shining all morning, so I ASSUMED it was as warm as it has been day after day.

When Margaret came out of her garage to get in my car, I noticed she was wearing a turtleneck, a heavy coat and gloves.  I thought it was a bit strange.  I was in my car and I didn't have the heater on.



we got to Applebee's.

We got out of the car, and I was afraid I wouldn't make it to the door before turning into an ice cube!

I needed to go to Walmart and buy some things.  Well, actually, I always need to go to Walmart and buy some things, but I have put it off day after day.  I was really going to go today UNTIL I decided lemons, limes and thank you cards could wait until I had 10 layers of clothing on!  I stayed home the rest of the day.

Applebee's has changed their menu again, as they often do.  They especially like to change it when I have found my all time favorite dish.  The last one was a spinach salad with strawberries and chicken.  Margaret and I had to go through the new menu -- a book really -- to find what we wanted for lunch.  Fortunately, we both loved what we got.

Here's what I had.  It is a GRILLED BLT with cheese and an oriental salad with fried chicken on top.  The sandwich was AWESOME!  Certainly not included in my DESM diet, but I don't eat that every day.

Here's Margaret with her yummy lunch.  It was some kind of corn soup and the same salad except her chicken was grilled.
Applebee's is always at least half empty, and I don't know why.  I always like what I order there, and the waiters are nice.

Jerry had to go to the attorney's office today to figure out how to finalize arrangements for them to do payroll for our company.  Looks like Jerry will have to do it again at least one more time before everything can be set up.  After that, he went to our store for the rest of the afternoon.  He worked until 6 PM due to some computer issues, and then came home.

Jerry walked in the door from the garage at 6:30 -- walked through the kitchen with his coat still on -- fell into the blue recliner right across from where I am typing this post -- and he has been sound asleep ever since.  He hasn't even had supper.  I can tell he is really running out of steam.  I will be so glad when we get this show on the road, and whatever is going to happen, starts happening.

We see the Oncologist Friday morning at 10:45.  Hopefully, we will receive a definitive answer as to what exactly is wrong with him and how we can get it fixed.  We, of course, continue to pray for a miracle.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday and What the Elf Invented

Of course, today started with church.  Pastor Hagee is talking about Godless America.  It is really depressing to listen to because it is all so true.  I haven't been watching the news, but from what he said, America is currently making some kind of agreement with Iran.  HUH!!!!????

Lots of the congregation were dressed in their military garb today since tomorrow is Veteran's Day.  The music was geared to every branch of service, and it was a nice celebration of patriotism.  Nice to see patriotism SOMEwhere these days.

As we wait to hear the biopsy results, I decided to make the MOST DIFFICULT bracelet in the world!!!

I started yesterday after lunch.  I worked until 5:30.  I started right after church this morning, and except for going to get a hamburger with Jerry, I worked until 3:00.

Actually, I made TWO bracelets, but I ended up with only one.  That is because I tore the first one mostly apart, and I started over.

I have decided that I really like making chain mail.  Funny name, I know.

The knights wore garments made from it to keep from getting impaled on each others swords, but this is just jewelry chain mail.

Same idea.  A million little metal rings hooked together.

Here's a picture of some you can actually purchase right now, today.  Those people that play act the olden days make it.

I have a feeling that chain maille garment was EASIER to make than the bracelet I just finished.

At least, the guy didn't have to put beads in it!

This pattern is called "Elf Weave".

I don't know what elf invented it, but he must have been a clever little guy!

First of all, I did NOT have the same size rings that the instructor was using, nor did I have the same size beads.

Now, considering that I have spent $5,000 plus on jewelry paraphernalia, that is hard to believe, but it is true.

Here is bracelet #1 that has a Spring Blue collection of Swarovski crystals in it:

I discovered that I should have added ONE MORE BEAD at the end before closing the bracelet.  Most people would have just let it go, but NOT ME!  Oh, No!  I couldn't dare have such a glaring mistake in my bracelet.  So this morning, I cut the wire that held all the beads, and I pulled them all out.  I removed the clasps, and I started over with gold beads.

Here is the same bracelet with all gold beads:

Jerry likes this version much better.

Sorry the pictures aren't that good.  Jewelry is really hard to photograph.  When I put the camera on super-close-up, it focuses the hairs on my arm instead of the bracelet.  I look like a hairy bear!

I think I'm going to try a silver version next as soon as I recover from making this one.  Good thing I don't make a living selling jewelry.  I would have to charge $300 for this thing!

I think I need to jump on the trampoline for a few moments and get my blood flowing.  Then maybe I'll try a set of earrings to match.

Hugs, Joy

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Biopsies are Done!

Yes!  We spent four hours at the hospital this morning where Jerry had TWO very big needles shoved into his lower back bone and over to each hip.  OUCH!!!  It hurt just thinking about it.  Jerry was on his tummy.  He said he could feel the doctor pushing so hard on the needle that it was pushing his body into the table.  OUCH!!!

I LOVE this hospital for so many reasons:

Reason #1:  There is a humongous cross on top of the hospital.

Reason #2:  When you walk into the hospital registration area past the round-and-round doors, you find there is scripture CARVED into the beams.  There is a scripture in the Bible somewhere about that.  It was really hard to photograph with my phone because just above the words is a very high ceiling and lots of light coming through.  I cut the upper part off, or you couldn't see the words at all.

Reason #3:  When you get to the registration desk, there is a card for you to take with the SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY on it!  And today's was "They shall mount up on wings as Eagles....."  We love that one!

PLEASE, don't anyone tell our President or our Congress!  Next thing I know some fool will get "offended" and file a lawsuit with the ACLU, and it will all have to be torn down.

Reason #4:  Valet parking!  We have never used valet parking before because Jerry is afraid they will get a door ding in our car.  The car we were driving already HAS a door ding in it, so I guess he thought it would be alright.  MARVELOUS idea!  You stop at the front door, and when you leave, they bring your car back to you!

Reason #5:  The "blue people".

I wish I had taken more pics, but with people wandering all around, sometimes they get upset if they see some strange lady taking pictures of "nothing".  Mercy's volunteers wear blue shirts, and there are blue shirts ALL OVER THE PLACE!  They are lovely, friendly -- mostly elderly -- people, and they walk around LOOKING for someone to help.  I wanted to walk around and give them each a big hug.

NOW, we wait.  After three frustrating calls to the Oncologist we want to see, I was able to get confirmation at 5 PM tonight that Dr. Keefer WILL see Jerry, and that he has already seen the scans.  THAT is wonderful!  We tried to get into this doctor in 2008, but he was too busy to take new patients then.

I better go.  My sweet hubby is hungry.  I think it is sandwiches, guacomole' and chips tonight.

Then maybe a movie, although we haven't found one worth watching for six months or more.  I like to watch the duck people because they are Christians and they pray, but Jerry can't stand it.

Wishing all of my readers a FABULOUS Fall weekend.

Hugs, Joy

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Another "Miracle" Story and My Latest Knit Top

My morning started out with another lesson from Jerry on how to do something he has always done.  Then my cell phone rang and I dashed into the kitchen to grab it.  It was Aunt Betty Jane (BJ).  She was calling to check on Jerry.  We received a sympathy card from her yesterday, much to my surprise.  BJ probably had the greatest loss of all losing Leanida as her best friend and Sister-in-Law.  She visited Mom nearly every single day at Countrywood because she lives close by.  That is the only way we could let Mom stay there -- so far away from where we live -- which was her instruction before she completely lost her mind.  We should have sent BJ a sympathy card.

That reminds me, I need to send thank you cards for the flowers.  There were NO addresses on the cards, and I've kind of been in limbo about that.  Jerry will have to help me with names and maybe I can google the addresses.  

It is truly amazing how GREAT Jerry looks and feels.  He is gaining weight.  Lymphoma causes you to LOSE weight, which he did already.  He lost 11 pounds in one week!  Shocking!  But since we got back home, he has been gaining weight.  I didn't ask him how much he weighed today, but I bet he is still gaining.

Jerry has such a happy outlook on this whole thing and that really helps in a situation like this.  Sometimes, he is a little TOO happy, and he just wants to forget anything is even wrong.  It isn't easy to be IN this world, but not OF it.  My Bible-thumper friends out there will know exactly what that means.

When I was at our store picking up things to take to Oklahoma City this morning, I ran into our delivery man, Ronny.  I don't talk to him much at all because I hardly ever see him.  He is 60-something and retired except for part-time work for us.

When I walked by him in the back room this morning, he said, "How is Jerry?"

I told him Jerry was feeling great and that we had the biopsy coming up.

You won't BELIEVE what Ronny told me!

He said, "Look at me!"  "Do you see these scars on my nose?"

I couldn't see them that well as I wasn't very close to him.  He told me that he had Malignant Melanoma INSIDE his nose and sinuses.  He said the doctors told him he would be DEAD in less than 2 years.  He had surgery to have all of his sinuses removed.  He said, "There isn't anything in my head behind my nose."  He told me that way more than 2 years has gone by, and he has not had any recurrence and he, obviously, isn't dead either!

I agreed with him about prayer and miracles, and he said he would pray for Jerry.

WOW!  You just never know what some people have been through!  And this man is right there in OUR store, and I never knew about any of that.

When Jerry is totally healed of this Lymphoma that is ravaging his body, I will be walking up to complete strangers saying, "Hey, do you want to hear what God did for my husband!?"

Remember that top I told you I was going to finish?  I did finish it, but not before I cut a few holes in it.  I don't know WHY I do that!  I was ripping out some stitches and I got in a hurry and pushed too hard and you know the rest of the story.

I did put it on for pictures, and I'll show you how it turned out.  I really like the lace on the collar.  Maybe I should glue some over the holes at the waist.  You will notice that I did NOT put a large enough Full Bust Adjustment in this, so I had to add two pleats at the bottom.  That is where the holes now reside.

 And here is the necklace that I made the blouse to go with.  Perfect match!

I have to get busy doing something.  Maybe I'll try to patch the holes in the new top.

Hope you all are having a MARVELOUS Fall week where you live.

The leaves are turning fast and floating like butterflies in the wind.

How can anyone not believe in God?!

Hugs, Joy

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuesday's Troubles

It is already 9 PM here in Southern Oklahoma, and I am a very tired girl.  I woke up early this morning and decided to jump right into the shower and go into work early.  There is a donut shop right across the street from our store, so I went there for coffee and a ham and cheese croissant.  As I drove up to the drive-in window at 7:30 this morning, I noticed that it was dark inside.  I asked the guy in the window why his lights were off.  He told me the whole town's lights were off including mine.  My driver had just been by there and told him so.
AARRGGHH!  I was so upset.  I had my briefcase full of work, a Braum's bag filled with my lunch of homemade chicken noodle soup and crackers and my notebook where I'm keeping track of all the things I can't forget concerning Jerry's appointments.  I bought a cold ham and cheese and drove 8 miles back to the house.  I tossed the ham and cheese croissant into the microwave and heated it for a minute.  It was hot enough to melt the counter, and the croissant looked like it had shrunk in half just before exploding into several pieces.  I ate it anyway.

Half-way through my very hot sandwich, my cell phone beeped.  It was a message from the store saying the lights were back on.  I gathered up everything but lunch, and I headed back to the store where I worked a full 8-hour day.  Unusual for me.  I needed to get everything done I possibly could do before heading back to Oklahoma City for Jerry's appointments -- the waiting -- and more appointments.

I did call Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa today.  I talked to Carla who was VERY NICE at first.

They would be terribly THRILLED to meet Jerry and help him through his ordeal UNTIL Carla found out he had Medicare and Blue Cross for insurance.

It seems they are way too high class for such crummy insurance that does not appreciate the high level of their services.  PLUS, they only take patients who live in Tulsa.

I couldn't believe it!

Gotta go.  Jerry is watching a video of a miraculous healing on the Andrew Wommack website at  Very inspiring!  SO MANY well-documented healings from babies to men older than Jerry.
Hugs, Joy

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A New Direction

Good Saturday Morning!  I'm typing this from our home in Kingston, OK where we arrived yesterday afternoon.  Jerry is so happy to be here.  He slept 11 hours last night, and I slept 9.  Just so good to be "home" again.  (OOPS!  My computer got a bad bug somehow.  Jerry spent many hours finding it and killing it!  I'm SO GLAD he knows how to do that!  Anyway, post is a day late.)

My blog started out being all about my Sure-fit Designs sewing odyssey.  Remember these?

Then I took that jewelry class from, and I started talking about sewing and then making jewelry to match. That was a fun journey.

Remember the very first piece I made?  It looks like I spray-painted spaghetti and glued peas to it!  I still like it though because it was first.

And this silver set I made to match a christmassy pine cone print blouse.  Not a very good picture.  It is sparkly silver.

All of that seems to have come to a screeching halt right now though, although I might finish a knit top to show you later today.  Jerry and I have been blessed to be extremely healthy all of our lives.  We aren't good at being sick, if that makes sense.  The heavy weight on your soul is almost unbearable at times.  I have found, however, that the fear of the unknown is worse than fighting the beast.  If you KNOW what you are fighting, then you can choose your weapons and plan your strategy.

I have already found out that there is one AMAZING side-effect of receiving a life-threatening diagnosis, and that is the kindness and generosity of so many people.  People you may have known for a very long time, but you had no idea they ever gave you a passing thought.  Family members that you seldom get along with and have nothing in common with.  A neighbor that you have talked with a few times, but didn't really think any kind of relationship other than "neighbor" would come of it.  And, in our case, employees.

EVEN Jerry's brothers who don't even believe in God have called with such concern and have offered to pray even though God probably won't hear them (according to them).

After my post about Jerry's PET scan, we received the sweetest, heartfelt, loving texts, emails and phone calls from all of the above people.  One sweet employee offered to come cook for us and clean our house.  Others offered "anything" they could do.  Our managers told us they would take care of our business, and we were not to worry about anything at the 2 stores.

Phylly, of course, is there for us at all times and she knows HOW to pray and believe with us.  How do I know that?  She emails me her prayers!

Jerry received a long text last night from one of our male employees, and it was so precious.  Jerry called him to thank him.  He told Jerry he was the "best boss in the whole world" and suggested we find the best place there is for treatment.  My managers both offered anything they could do.  One said to call even if it was the middle of the night.

Our next-door neighbor here in the woods -- about 5 acres away -- texted me last week after the CAT scan.  She told me I could ask her to do anything.  She said I could cry on her shoulder and she would be my new best friend.  The fact that I don't have ANY friends down here makes that a very comforting offer.  She and her husband watch our home here when we are gone.

Because all of this happened while going through Mom's last days, all of Jerry's relatives know about it.  They, too, have called and asked how they can help.

And there is the phone call that I just received this morning from my sister.  She and I are close but not-close, if that makes sense.  We seem to get along in short spurts of time before the relationship explodes and falls apart for the millionth time.  She was upset that I had not called her about Jerry.  She doesn't have a cell phone or a computer, so she can't read my blog.  AND, since we are currently at odds, I didn't feel comfortable talking to her about it.  She heard from my brother what is going on, so she called to offer her help.  And WHAT she offered is something I never would have thought of asking anyone to do.  She offered to take our two cats, Barney and Boots, and keep them at her house until this ordeal is over for us.  WOW!  What an offer!  My sister is really good with animals of all kinds, and I know she will spoil them rotten.  They may never want to see us again!

BUT, NOT ONLY THAT!  She offered to give Jerry her blood and her bone marrow if he needs it!  She has Type O blood, and I guess it is suppose to be a match for everyone, or something.  I don't know about that stuff, but what an offer!  

And, of course, YOU, my blog friends.  I appreciate all of you so much -- your prayers and your kind words and your advice.  Thank you so much!

What happens NEXT, happens next Friday, October 8th.  We will go BACK to Mercy in Oklahoma City, and Jerry will have a bone marrow biopsy.  They will cut a hole into his pelvis and take out a sample.  THAT will tell us exactly which KIND of Lymphoma -- if it is Lymphoma -- that Jerry has, and it will determine whether or not it is treatable and if the spleen has to come out.

Right now, I'm going to get ready for this beautiful autumn day in the woods.  I want to finish the blouse I started BEFORE all this happened.  I'll show you later.

Hugs, Joy