Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘cancer’

Fear of Death?


Are you afraid of death?

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“Nope!” my friend answered with assurance.

Then yesterday, I had an ultrasound. The radiologist not only took a million pictures, but then she called in her senior partner and asked for her assistance.

Oh my! What were they seeing? How many angles did the image need?

By the way, it was my kidneys and bladder areas, not something less complicated – like my hand.

Later in the afternoon I received a call from the medical center. It didn’t surprise me when they asked me to schedule an appointment ASAP for an MRI. They needed a more definitive picture of whatever is in there. Something that’s not supposed to be, of course.

skeleton body

Would your mind do what my mind did under the circumstances?

Would the big “C” word enter your mind? And would you contemplate your own mortality?

I did – and I am!

When I go to the medical center tomorrow and they receive the MRI results, and they say, “Your days are numbered. You are full of cancer,” would I panic?

No!

Why not? Well, all our days are numbered, aren’t they? Nobody’s going to get out of here alive.

Heavenly Sky

 

But, would I like to live a healthy 100 years
and then die peacefully and unexpectedly
in my sleep one night?

Sleeping couple

You bet!!

But, what are the chances? Pretty slim!

However, in today’s world, a person who has enjoyed good health and is living a healthy life style should expect to live at least into his/her 80’s. Don’t you agree?

Old Lady

After all, my parents lived into their late 80s, and so did both my in-laws. Genetically and socially, I expect to do the same. Wait, though…  I’m not quite 80 yet.

How would I feel about an eminent death sentence?

How would YOU feel? Have you faced such a challenge and overcome it?

My husband, Bob, was diagnosed with prostate cancer about a dozen years ago.

First step: We called my older cousin who is a Prostate Cancer Survivor “Poster Child.” We received tips from him. He recommended we get on line and learn everything we could about the disease and the treatment options. Go to renowned specialists (he named two). Get a second opinion. Keep a positive outlook. Pray. Share. Ask friends and family to pray with you. Seek professional advice. Research your options. Be your own best advocate. Remain positive.”

Second step: We did all those things, and Bob chose cryotherapy – he had his prostate frozen – and he is “in remission.” Cancer free – and living the “Golden Years” with me!

If I should learn that my days are short, I would miss my loved ones here on earth, of course. But would I be afraid of dying? As my friend said when I asked him that question, I can emphatically say, “Nope!”

I know where I’m going. I know my Redeemer lives and has a place reserved for me in Heaven. And, I pray you BELIEVE, too. Then, we can be assured we will see each other in Paradise and we will enjoy eternal joy together.

Beautiful sky

Flying High

See you there someday …

Hopefully not too soon!

A Love Affair with Bostons


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Do you have a dog who has captured your heart?

TazE is our little Tasmanian Devil with an E for Ears. When she was a puppy in her kennel in Indiana, the folks there named her “Ears” because that part of her anatomy seemed to overpower everything else. All you saw were those enormous appendages sticking up on this wiggly little Boston Terrier. Living in a remote part of Montana, Boston Terrier puppies are nowhere to be found. So, I searched on-line and saw a picture of a batch of five sparkly, bright little pups all lined up in a row. The middle one had ears that stood up like antennae while the two pups on each side of her had the typical floppy puppy ears. It was love at first sight. We needed another Boston. We had just lost our five year old pup to cancer.

Following a long and grueling battle with cancer, Angela joined our Buster and Benjamin in the clover fields of heaven. She left a hole in our family that only another Boston might partially fill. If you’ve ever owned one of these little American ladies (or gentlemen), you’ll understand what I mean.

There is a part of my husband’s personality that only emerges when he has a playful black and white (or brindle and white) terrier to play with. He thinks Bostons are the only dogs that count. He wouldn’t consider another breed! When he was in high school, his girlfriend’s family had one. He remembers the dog always had a ball in his mouth, asking to play catch whenever Bob went to visit. That’s when his love affair with this breed began.

Before TazE, we had owned four Bostons in the 54 years of our marriage.  Each time one of our little angels died, that playful part of Bob died with them.

The first one, Buster, lived 13 years. His face was the kind only a mother could love: one eye surrounded by white hair was constantly bloodshot. The other eye, surrounded by black hair looked off to the side rather than straight ahead. His typical Boston nose, pushed in, looked like he’d been hit head-on by a truck. But, our son, Ty, and daughter, DeAna, loved him as much as Bob and I did. He was the family’s little king – and grew to a husky, muscular, strong little gentleman. He ruled the roost on Yale Drive in San Mateo, California.

At about the age of eight, Buster moved with us from the mild temperatures of the San Francisco Bay area back to our roots in California’s San Joaquin valley. To go for a swim, he didn’t even need the prompting of a tennis ball thrown in the pool. He had his own doggie door, so he’d exit the house into the fenced-in back yard and dive into the pool to cool off during the triple digit summer weather. Whoever was pool-side then endured his splashes because he insisted on coming right near the sunbathers to shake off!

We had a black and white cat to match our Buster. Tootsie and Buster usually played beautifully together, but sometimes Buster would get a bit too frisky or play a tad longer than Tootsie wanted. So she would tell him, “Enough’s enough” in no uncertain terms. Once her claws caught Buster’s blood-shot eye. It wasn’t healed yet when he walked into a rosebush and the eye was damaged further by a thorn. It got infected and wouldn’t heal. The vet finally decided to remove it. Having only one-eye didn’t slow him down, however. Buster and Tootsie were quite a pair! I think she died of a broken heart less than six months after the September morning when he dug under our fence, tried to follow our kids to school, and was hit by a car.

Our second Boston was Benjamin. He was brindle and white, with a lot of brown showing through the places on his torso where Buster had been a pure shiny black. His eyes were marked perfectly with black around each and a “monk’s cap” of white on his forehead. He loved to go with Bob out to our Bee Farm and ride with him on the truck to locations where the hives were placed in fields or orchards to pollinate the crops and gather nectar and pollen. I was teaching full time, Ty and DeAna were preoccupied with their high school activities, and Bob was busy as a beekeeper, so no one took the time to properly train Benjamin. “Come” was not in his vocabulary, nor was “Sit” or “Stay.” In spite of a collar and leash, he would somehow wiggle out of them to jump out the truck window if he saw a jack rabbit or something else he wanted to chase. More than one summer afternoon while Bob was working the hives, Benjamin would manage to free himself to chase something. Usually, he’d come back to where Bob was. Other times, however, he did not return. It seemed like Bob spent half his late afternoons looking for the dog before coming home dog tired. One time he came home without Benjamin. The next day he put up posters and put an ad offering a reward in the local newspaper near the spot where Benjamin had disappeared. He made the hundred mile round trip on the third day to look some more. No luck!

We always have our dogs spayed or neutered and have a chip inserted in case they should ever get lost. Our hope was that Benjamin was still alive and whoever found him would go to a vet who would check that chip. Sure enough, three days later we got a call. A farm family had found Benjamin, brought him to their local vet who read the chip and called us. The vet had seen the ad in the newspaper. The family wanted to keep Benjamin rather than receive the reward. No, we weren’t ready to give our pup away! In retrospect, however, maybe he would have been better off. He needed to be in some wide-open spaces where he could run and chase squirrels and rabbits to his heart’s content. He needed that young family with children who’d tussle with him daily. He met his demise one afternoon when a pack of stray dogs ran through our orchard. They were savvy. He wasn’t. They ran across the busy country highway avoiding the truck traffic. Benjamin didn’t. He was only three years old.

I knew we should not get another dog before I was free to go to Obedience School with the pup. It was unfair to have one if you didn’t have time to train him properly. Bob had said, “No more dogs… I can’t go through this agony of losing them anymore,” but I knew he missed having one as much as I did. Once you’ve had a Boston, life is incomplete without one. So, when summer came and I had three months when I could devote time to proper training, I found Angelo in a newspaper ad. It said there were Boston puppies six weeks old, born on a farm less than twenty miles from us, ready for adoption. I picked the friendliest one. He came bounding over to me, licked my face, and captured my heart.

Angelo had a long and happy life. He lived through many transitions, including our retirement. He died a natural death of old age. After Angelo came Angela, the one who died of cancer. But, like I said, if you have a part of your happiness wrapped up in your relationship with your dog, it won’t be long before you have to find another.

TazE came via U-Ship.com from Indiana. She’s was a wild and crazy, frisky puppy. I was determined to have an Angel. That was what I called her after I bought her on-line, before she arrived here. As soon as I met her, though, I knew she was no angel! She’s a little ball of energy and has a mind of her own. Taz for the Tasmanian Devil… that’s her! At eight years of age, TazE has calmed down some. She stops jumping with excitement about ten minutes after she receives company. Come visit! You’ll see. And she’ll capture your heart, too.

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Sharing Your Faith Journey


Sharing Your Faith Journey with

Yesterday I met Lois Olmstead. She shared her faith journey with me and a group of my friends who are Senior Companions in my part of Montana. I was so inspired by her and her message that I checked out her website today and ordered a couple more copies of her book, EnJOYing the Journey. She is a humorous, genuine, authentic, inspiring Christian lady who has survived breast cancer and has lived to tell her faith story. The sub-title of this one (of three) of her books is, “90 spirit-lifters for the potholes of life.” Check out this link and fall in love with our Lord all over again as you fall in love with “Time Out With Lois.” She has a gift – – – and she shares it so beautifully!

Realizing Limitations


“I don’t understand why people can’t admit their faults; if I had any, I sure would!” I love that quote. It’s all about the log in my eye while I’m pointing out the sliver in someone else’s eye. That log gets in the way of my clear vision. It prevents me from realizing my own limitations.

Limitations? Do  I  have limitations? One of my favorite scriptures is, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” ALL things? Jump tall buildings in a single bound? End war forever? Cure cancer? Well, those are limitations that are easily recognized and admitted. What realistically do I see and acknowledge? What are the slivers in my eye? Do others see the speck that I choose to ignore?

The ophthalmologist calls those specks “floaters.” They are shadows caused by the floating cell particles at the back of my retina. Too remote to be seen without the use of high-powered instruments  –  or ever-discerning, fault-finding friends. Those friends are treasures! They care. They take the time to really observe. Most people don’t, you know. We’d all worry less about our faults and who sees them if we realized how few people care enough to really LOOK at us that closely! YOU are the one who holds the mirror, stands in front of it, and stares.

Limitations? Sometimes the most obvious ones are the ones we actually DO see – – – and we may be the only one who does. After all, who cares more about you than you do? Do all faults have to be limitations?

Go ahead – – – scale that tall building! Find a cure for cancer! Someone will someday, you know. Might as well be you!

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