I am looking through the Psalms, there has got to be just the right HALLELUJAH verse in there where David just says Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for the blessing. But none seems to be enough!
As you know, we went back up to Johns Hopkins to get going again on the new chemo. You won’t believe this…the anticipated side effects of nausea (NOPE!); fatigue (SOME, but what’s a nice nap now and then); tingling fingers/toes (nope!) are so minimal.
But it’s that nausea! Not A BIT so far. I know they told us that the symptoms can be cumulative and maybe I’ll ramp up a bit as the days go by…but so far, I am tummy happy! (and eating, eating, eating just to prove it!)
They have me on the same dosage level that they say 90% of the folks who are on this combo take. So it is a bit of a down-dosage from last month…so of course you know me…I’m thinking ~ is this working? I am not sufffffffering? (A sign of a sick mind, I know.) But that’s where the patience comes in again. We won’t know until the next round of tests to “look back” and see if this poison is the right poison for my cells. Please keep praying that it is…but I do know that if it is not, then there’s just another plan.
When we were at JH, Sally & Frank & I met the neatest couple. Bill Forbes was told several years ago that he had 6 weeks to live with pancreatic cancer. And there he was! Full of stories. When he and his wife asked which chemo treatment I was on, and we told them, they said, “Oh, Bill had a great year and half on that!” That was so encouraging…. (He also told me that he had had the Whipple surgery that works for some pancreatic patients, but his cancer came back…he also cited that 90% of folks who have the Whipple have returning cancer. So that was interesting. Anyway, in my case, (some of you have asked) I’m not a candidate for the Whipple…too many cancer cells spread around to too many places. That’s okay. God has a different plan for me.
I don’t want to ramble on and on, just wanted to give the good news and ask you to Thank God along with me, Praising Him for continued blessings…who would have thought after the great day of the wedding. Ah, me of little faith…I thought that was a “one day” blessing….but nope! God intended blessing upon blessing and I’m loving it! We are still out at the Eastern Shore hanging out.
Thanks for being there for me. Thanks for your unceasing prayers.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Sally!! I just looked at the blog! You good girl! Thanks for getting some wedding news up for our friends…and where did you get those cute pix? I love them Sally! (and we have MORE!)…
Okay, gang, Bear With Me…it’s Mom time! I want to tell you all about the wedding. It was a perfect day! Yesterday I received a lovely card from Dixcy, our sweet neighbor next door, and let me share with you a couple things she said that were a perfect description of the day: “…On this eve of your daughter’s wedding, I am praying for complete sunshine and joy in your hearts and hoping that for this weekend – time will stand still. That sorrows of the past or worries of the future will not enter your thoughts. That you will be completely enveloped in the presence of God’s Love….” THAT is a perfect description of the day.
First…all about me! ☺ It was as though God ensured that there was not one OUNCE of chemo in my body or one misguided CELL anywhere. I was me! Not once during the whole day was I tired or weary, worried or distracted…and I’m telling you...I was not faking it! It was a total gift from God..an answer to your many prayers everywhere. It was a gift to me, to Christine, (who is my lil worrier) to Frank, and all our family, my boys…everybody could see…this was MOM! And I was THERE! Totally there….in the dress that Christine picked out for me (on sale, yay!) and had hanging in the closet in sizes 12, 10, 8! okay, nuf about me. BUT, I was fabuloso as my sister in law Michele would say! Praise God b/c it was indeed blessings upon blessings all day!
Wedding was on Saturday of course, but Friday, as you saw from the email that I sent to Sally that she cut and pasted for all of you,..it rained (um poured!) all day Friday. I mean it poured. Buckets! We had a bit of a reprieve for the rehearsal as the kids squished thru the grass practicing walking to the beautiful little archway that Amy created by the water. Oy vey! But they were wonderful sports, hiking up their skirts and kicking off their shoes. Then the rain came again as we dashed to the happy, love-filled Rehearsal Dinner that Erik’s mom and dad (Chuck and Ruth Anne Maginnis! WE LOVE THEM) hosted for 100 people! It was an Eastern Shore buffet with oysters, crab cakes, cream of crab soup and lots of yummy food…which I “ate like a trucker”…as my dear husband describes. It was wonderful. (The only intimidation was the wonderful, heartfelt, articulate, lovely toast Chuck Maginnis made to welcome the about-to-be-joined families…Frank was feeling the pressure for Saturday night!)
Saturday morning was overcast…sun was teasing around…but there was a wonderful BREEZE…and.. fast forward, by the time of the ceremony at 5 pm the grass was totally dry (yep!) and the sun was shining. The only funny thing was that for our guests, instead of walking around the side of the house to the back yard for the ceremony everyone had to come UP the front steps, ACROSS the porch, THRU the front door, and OUT the back door, DOWN the steps to the yard! Ha ha. That was a little funny….but as Frank said, it made us feel like, “Hi friends..come on over to our house and into the back yard to share in Erik and Christine’s WEDDING!”
The ceremony was unbelievable! So many people commented on how thoughtful and meaningful Pastor Mike’s words to the couple were. He had a wonderful way of weaving scripture and Biblical truths and conventional wisdom and humor. We loved that, as he was speaking, Erik and Christine were so intent…nodding their heads at him, looking at one another at this point or that…it was as though the 3 of there were up there having a conversation and the rest of us were listening in on the wise words that Pastor Mike was sharing with these two wonderful people. But on the other hand, we all felt blessed by what Pastor Mike was saying, because it was wisdom for new and seasoned marriages. It was beautiful. Oh! And it was cool….after The Kiss and Pastor Mike pronounced them man & wife, they strolled out (see photo!) ...went back into the house for some alone time….and Pastor Mike kept the rest of us there! And he had a special “Charge to the Family and Friends” where he took some time and basically said….”okay you saw an extraordinary exchange of promises here between two every special adults…but now YOU have a job…” and he talked to us, every one of us, about our role in supporting their MARRIAGE, and their promises, and their commitments that they made. It gave me goose bumps. I was not just an observer…every one of us was In a Support Role of this marriage for a lifetime. Anyway, I’m not doing it justice, but let me say, it was very cool. We all felt it!
After the ceremony, we had a wonderful reception, sun is still shining, nary a cloud in sight from then on! Our friends and neighbors here on Goose Neck Road made Christine and Erik a “wedding burgee” that was flying from our flag pole, ruffling in the warm breeze thru the wedding..I’ll have to post a picture of it for you. It was neat!
There was that weird time when they take the wedding party off for pictures, we noshed on yummy hors d’houvres but soon the kids were back! Then the party began. Wow-eee! So much fun. Erik and Christine started off with a Dance! They had so much fun going to dancing lessons for 4 weeks and learned a dance to one of their favorite songs: “More” – started out with a slow fox trot then broke into swing..and a DIP! It was so fun..everyone was clapping and cheering them on! Our Erik has quite the moves on the dance floor. He was charming!! No wonder Christine is smitten!
From then on the dance floor was never empty! Erik picked every single song that was played and insisted on “crooner music” during dinner. It was so wonderful…we actually all couldn’t stop our dancing-feet and were dancing before and during dinner! So what! It was fun to dance to the Old Stuff….and we have some friends who can really cut up the rug, so it was fun to watch AND join in! (Made me wish my dad was there..my mom & dad were QUITE the dancers…but my mom had lots of dances during the night. She didn’t turn down one fella, and at one point I noticed two young guys asking Grandma Ruth to dance!)
Frank and Christine had a beautiful dance to James Taylor’s song, “You’ve Got a Friend”…you know (sing along here)..”when you call out my name…you know wherever I am, I’ll come running, cuz you’ve got a friend…..” It was very sweet. By the end the Maginnis family and we were all on the dance floor.
After dinner with the “real dancing”--- it was a blast! EVERYONE was up and dancing! To all sorts of wonderful music ... you just couldn’t stay in your seat! Even Frank and me! And Andrew and me, and Chip and me, and Mike, and Howie, …I danced and danced! Oh…this is funny….you know how the kids do that thing where they get in a big circle and they are all dancing up and down but someone is in the circle…well Andrew comes over and grabs me and WE danced in the middle of the circle!! Now THAT was a God thing…I wouldn’t have done THAT in the “old me!” hee hee.
OH!! And then the surprise! At some point in the reception, the DJ said, “please come to the dock, the neighbors of Goose Neck Road have a surprise for the family”….and there were FIREWORKS! No kidding! Phil was over setting off REAL fireworks. It was like a fairy tale! I couldn’t believe it! Not a cloud in the sky and there were Erik and Christine looking up at beautiful, firey, bouquets in the sky! Our good friends George & Nanci, Susie & Steve and the GNR gang had us all speechless!
Well, at 11:45 I looked around and thought – ooops, I was supposed to be limping out of here at 9:00 feeling sorry for myself at missing the party and here I am! God, YOU are amazing! So many folks stayed right to the end, not just the youngsters! It was unbelievable! At midnight, the last dance came, we were soon tucked in bed, couldn’t believe the day that God had given us.
Sunday morning was another beautiful day….the gardens were again lovely ... perfect. About 150 people came back over for brunch by the water. It was relaxed and fun. Many of our Goose Neck Road neighbors came so that made it so special too. They have been so amazing this whole wedding week…AND they allowed us the special treat to have all of Frank’s brothers invited to stay on the road and so all week we had Marshall brothers and cousins walking and bike riding up the lane to stop and out. It was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.
Whew! So what more can I tell you??…Frank, mom, the boys, c&e, and I are still amazed at ME! I am still feeling great. I would say that it wasn’t until 5 pm Sunday evening when Peggy Anne and Scott left that I finally felt like….hmmm, think I need a nap. I wouldn’t even say I crashed…just slumped! The kids left Sunday night, off to Barbados for their honeymooning. When they get back, Erik goes off with “his boys” – students from the high school where he is a Latin teacher - for a mission trip to West Virginia (I think) for a week. So they will have their honeymoon to rest and will be back at it when they return. Christine will start a new rotation in the Lockheed Martin Finance Leadership Development Program…for this one she will be based at the Pentagon..so she is very excited about that for the year ahead.
Chip left today, along with the Marshall brothers, to return to Southern California. He has a busy few days ahead with some flights scheduled…he is waiting to hear if he goes to back to the Middle East soon (like within a month or so) or later…(like next year)! So that will be our next news. Please pray that God will orchestrate that just right for Chip. As always, we had wonderful conversations with our USMC aviator Captain Chip,…but this time it was clear that the timing of “going to Iraq”/ “going on other assignment” will have long term ramifications b/c of other assignments that flow from this timing…like 8 years out! You military guys out there “get it” on this, but it was all very fascinating to me how one timing decision can have such an impact.
Andrew is still home to hover over mother, but we gotta get him out of here b/c he worries about me too much. (although I have to say, he has the quickest draw on the little buckets with the nausea strikes!.. and produces a nice damp cloth for my neck that I never realized felt so good! ha ha) Andrew will soon be off to be a counselor at a wonderful Christian camp up in Maine – google “Moose River Outpost” You’ll want to go too! It’s a high adventure camp for teens. Andrew will specialize in Wake Boarding and Paint Balling….oooo, it will be a tough summer of ministry! Hee hee.
As you saw from Sally, we are back to Johns Hopkins tomorrow for a nice blood draw then back to chemo. I’m ready. Yep. I AM READY! I think I will go back on the same cocktail they were trying last month…so please pray that the Oxyplatin/Xeloda combination is the right one for these pesky cancer cells AND that they won’t be so smart this time to out maneuver the chemo-poison so quickly. The side effects are nausea and fatigue….but I have been eating like a horse (um, thanks to the ½ steroid Ella Mae has me taking each day..rats..there goes my aspirations to be a professional athelete!) and have gained back a 4 pounds over the past week. Yay! Ali gave me some advice from her dad to try “sugared ginger” for nausea…so I’ve got my stash that Pam provided and I’ll try that for the nausea.
Okay. So BIG BIG BIG thank you to you all, and to God, for the evidence of His Love and your prayer faithfulness in this past weekend. Not just a beautiful joining of two very pure hearts…but the many, many, many tiny miracles during the week and days leading up to the day.
Pictures: !....We have 1277 pix that friends have already given to Peggy Anne on their “cards” on Sunday morning and the photographer (Laura Thorpe – In His Grace Photography) is going to put pix on her website..I’ll let you know the link (ABF Girfriends!!) and if you want, you can see the whole blessed day! – but now I feel as though I am being pushy. But I must say..it WAS a beautiful day. God was there. You’ll see.
All filled up and spilling over with Love for you all,
PS. Look for more pics later!!
Posted by Carol Marshall News at 7:16 AM
Monday, June 8, 2009
I want you to hear the details of the wedding from Carol. But in the meantime, I know you are all eager to see the beautiful bride and GORGEOUS mother of the bride! The wedding was perfect in every way. The ceremony was at the water's edge . . . Christine and Erik flanked by a very good looking wedding party and lots of hydrangeas. The sun set over the beautiful tent, also by the water. And when night fell the sky was filled with a fabulous display of fireworks!
Your many, many prayers were heard . . . and answered! God gave Christine and Erik a lovely day, a beautiful sunset, a full moon over the water and a wedding to remember!
Posted by Carol Marshall News at 6:34 PM