Quote for October

A Prayer for the Ephesians Eph. 3:14-21

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cancer is Tough

I have new symptoms. I think they are from the carcinoid cancer or maybe my stomach is doing something new. I want this to be a true account, so here goes.

Now I am vomiting. A few times this year I have gone through a season of feeling queasy in the morning. I only notice it between 7 and 8 am. Then by 8 o'clock I'm at work and too busy to notice. On Thursday I suddenly vomited at 7:15 as I was about to leave for work. I felt very sick as I called for a substitute. A teacher has to punch in a bunch of numbers and answer at least 10 questions, just to get a sub to show up. I was shaking and had sweat dripping off my chin as I pushed buttons on my phone. I just wanted to get the call completed before I was sick again. Then I went back to bed until 1:30.

Today (the following Monday) I had a strong pain in my upper right quadrant of my abdomen at 7:20. It is a few centimeters distal of where my gallbladder was. I got in my car and felt the pain again before I backed out of the driveway. I pressed on the painful spot, and spit up into the trash bag about 20 seconds later. I went to school and was not sick again.

The pain does not seem to be where my stomach is. When I had an ulcer the pain was left of the mid line; this is to the right. I do have acid reflux, so I hope this is just some variation of that. I have never vomited from reflux, and I usually feel the burning in my stomach or throat.

I will see my internist on Wednesday.

Also, I have developed a feeling that is like a shudder of pain and weakness. I have felt it several times this month. Once when I had an episode of carcinoid syndrome, I stood up and had the strongest occurrence. Pain and weakness ran down through my thighs. I almost felt as if my legs would give out, but the weakness lessened as it reached my knees, and then it disappeared. That has happened before. This weekend, I had that sensation develop in my shoulders and run into my back. Again, I recovered because the pain weakened as it ran on down my body. What happens when it doesn't fade away?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our God is an Awesome God!

Our God is an Awesome God
He Reigns from Heaven Above
With Mercy, Pow'r, and Love
Our God is an Awesome God!

Our God is an Awesome God
He Reigns from Heaven Above
With Mercy, Pow'r and Love
Our God is an Awesome God!

Friday afternoon I was working in my classroom at 3:50. I had expected to go home at 3:30, as soon as an IEP was over. That's a special meeting for a Special Education student.

I was looking at the clock, making sure it was right. I was feeling OK (to my amazement), so I went ahead and wrote on the board preparing my requirements for Monday. I had my Homework, Agenda, Warm-up, Objective and the Standard on the board. That should make it easier to get started on Monday morning. I left school at 4:10.

I got home 25 minutes later. I came in the door and stumbled into the living room where I sat on the loveseat and petted the dog for a few minutes. Then Spunky stretched out beside me to take a nap, and I fell asleep, also. My condition had changed on the drive home. I couldn't even walk straight or stay awake. Somehow God preserves me while I am in my classroom.

When R came by about 5:00, Spunky got super-excited to see him. I staggered into the bedroom, pulled a nightgown over my underwear and slept until 7:40 pm. I got up at 8:40pm and felt pretty good. K and I watched some TV and talked. I went to bed about midnight.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

October Begins

I've been teaching for 5 weeks so far and progress reports are due. School is in full swing. We have done 3 labs in seventh grade, and our famous cell models will be done on Tuesday.

This is where I begin to wear out. Always have, but this year is different. I have had to spend Saturday resting all day--except for doing laundry. Last week I stayed in my nightgown until 5 pm. This week I slept until 12:49, but I was bathed and dressed by 2:00. A small victory.

I don't know which of my ailments is getting me down. My cancer marker is low, but my body is still battling the disease. The battle makes me fatigued. The degenerating disks in my neck and lower back cause strong pains that radiate out from the spine. I can recognize those pains. The nerve pain in my neck is the strongest pain I have. My arthritic right arm and hand ache all the time now, and I never had arthritis pain until February 2009. I know people with arthritis are supposed to exercise their joints, but at the same time are to rest and not do too much.

I have two autoimmune diseases called Sjogren's Syndrome and fibromyalgia. Sjogren's has been attacking my salivary glands and lachrymal glands for 23 years. It's primary symptoms are dry eyes, dry mouth, and musculoskeletal pain. My fibromyalgia pains come and go. Before I had a diagnosis, I would have strong pains in my arms and legs that I can now recognize as fibromyalgia, but what I feel today is aching all over. I don't know which condition is making me ache--not everyone has five choices to pick from to figure out why they are hurting.

So there you are, all my symptoms. I feel like "These are the times that try men's souls." I wonder if I should take the whole weekend off from working in order to go back to school on Monday feeling refreshed. I usually work from 2-6 hours over the weekend to get grading done. And I am way behind right now. It's almost impossible for a teacher to feel like she is on top of everything. There is always more we could do to help more students achieve. I hear great teachers at work saying they love teaching, but the grading takes them until 1 am some nights. What about our health?

I appreciate your prayers. This is the time that takes great faith; when you have to press on with no big chance for improvement. Like my rheumatologist said, "It's not going to get any better" when speaking about my degenerating disks. I think that sums up the whole situation. Sometimes I envy the patients at the Chou Family Cancer Center who look so very sick that you know no one expects them to work for a living. Sometimes I just want to sit back in a recliner and be pampered, instead of jumping back on the freeway to hurry home again. Somebody drive me home and feed me dinner. But I stop by Carl's Jr. for food and fall asleep at 7:00pm. At least I don't grade papers on those nights.