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!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Good Music! Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

I was reminded to listen to this great old hymn today when David Crowder posted on Facebook the line " Let Thy Goodness like a Fetter bind my Wandering Heart to Thee".

Mercy Me does an updated version of this old hymn. I enjoy this one so much. Bart Millard and the band do a big ending on the last verse, then quiet down to sweetly sing the very last line. I listened to this cd during my last MRI. It was a wonderful choice.

David Crowder Band does a version more like what my family might have sung in the past. It has more of a bluegrass feel. This video posted the lyrics.

Enjoy the music. Do you have a version of this old hymn that you would recommend ?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I am not Ready to Make Trips to the Emergency Room, Yet

One thing that (sort of) amuses me is the way our symptoms are referred to as being "flushing and diarrhea". Flushing, like my face just turns pink or red. Why doesn't anyone show a flushed face with sweat running down from the front hairline to the ear? How come they don't show the back of the head with wet hair on the neck? 

When I was suffering from diarrhea this week, I kept waking up at 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00 am bathed in sweat from my head to my waist. How I longed to take a shower, but I didn't want to wake up my husband. He takes care of buying the groceries, cooking meals and cleaning up when I am sick. He has been in pain from gout; so I wanted him to sleep. (I did bathe, but it was later in the day.) I seem to really overheat before dawn when cancer makes me sick.

Early on the third day of being sick, I got my body out of bed and pulled the pillowcase off the sweat-soaked pillow, as a reminder to wash the sheets. I managed to lift the shower chair out of the bathtub, and put it in place. I wasn't strong enough to take a complete shower, but I could sit down and get the water to run over my upper body and wash off the worst smells. So I succeeded in getting washed off before I started my day, but I was horribly weak.
  So, why not go to the Emergency Room and get an IV of electrolytes when I am so weak? I know that was probably what I needed because of the fluid loss from diarrhea and perspiration. 

OK, Update! 7-18-2013: I talked to my gastroenterologist about being dehydrated. He says I should be OK by just drinking water and Gatorade when I feel better. Unless I have very dark urine or no urine, my body should replenish its fluids in the next days after being ill.
So, what causes the weakness? Well, I am somewhat dehydrated, but it's the cancer making me feel weak. I have been having the D-word and feeling ill for nearly 2 weeks. My face is flushed. That's just carcinoid syndrome.

I am not ready to begin making visits to the ER, yet. I guess it's just an attitude. I am not ready to begin that pilgrimage that will go with me for the rest of my life. Other patients write of the strong pain that develops later in the progress of carcinoid cancer. They go in for shots of dilaudin or other painkillers to relieve chest and abdominal pain. Others have heart and lung problems, and, of course, our livers begin to fail. I don't want to go from France to an ER in 21 days. So for now, I am depending on Gatorade and fresh fruit to help adjust my electrolytes. I am getting stronger every day.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tracking Variations in my Health

After posting just last week about our trip to France, I am going through a rough patch in my carcinoid symptoms. From the evening of July 6 through July 9, I had repeated diarrhea. Usually, I am only sick for a day or for the morning, and then I just collapse into bed. When  I get up after sleeping, the diarrhea is often gone. I take Welchol at the first sign of unusual bowel activity, and I keep up with my Octreotide shots.

I just want to track that this does happen. I was sick for 3 days and today I am noticeably weak. I took a loooong time to walk 30 feet  toward my car from the doctor's office today.  I had a regularly scheduled appointment with my oncologist today. 

One change we made was to start a standing order to have my Chromogranin A and Gastrin checked every two weeks. Whenever I get sick suddenly, I can go in and use that standing order to see if I have high levels of either compound in my blood. I would really like just one time to catch my cancer markers in the act of making me suddenly sick.

The last time I went through a period of being sick over several days was in March this year. I wrote about it on March 16, 2013. One thing I want to do is to keep track of the regularity of when I get sick. Here we have a four month time again when I gradually got better, then got worse. I would like to figure out why the tough times come around.

I realize that I have not written much lately about drawing strength from scripture or from music. One verse I have known was in the Bible, but I didn't know the location of was found by me while on the Seine!

Psalm 118:17 I shall not die, but will live, and proclaim what the LORD has done. The LORD has chastened me severely, but He has not given me over to death.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Doing Well in June 2013


I hope things are well with you! In May and June I have been quite well, and even went on a trip I have been planning for a few years. All three of us were able to go via Air France to Paris and spend 12 days in France! We didn't spent much time in Paris, but saw Reims and Chantilly, and then headed to Normandy. About 8 days were spent in Normandy because it may be the home of my Lesueur ancestors. My ancestor, Joseph Lesueur or Lazzieur, was married in Maryland, in the American colonies in 1702. We are not sure specifically where his family was from as there were many Lesueur's in Normandy, Picardy, and Paris by the time Joseph came along. That story would make another blog.

However, I have wanted to go to France since I was 15 and saw pictures of Versailles. I spent time last year working out where I would want to go, and began praying about when to go. As I was looking up airline schedules and hotel locations, ads for group tours started to pop up on my computer's monitor. After studying several, I realized only one of them would go to the places I wanted to see and stay in one place the length of time I wanted to remain there. So we made the arrangements to go with a tour that would start from Paris and go overland to Chantilly, Reims, and Cabourg. Then we would board a riverboat that would go down the Seine and take us to Paris.

It worked out very well! If you have carcinoid, of course, you wonder, "What will I do on the days I get sick?" I got sick one day while we were at the Grand Hotel in Cabourg and on another day while we were travelling down the Seine. I was sick in the morning and went on the afternoon excursion at 2:00 pm. We never had to change any travel plans.I did miss going to see the famous tapestry at Bayeux, but I began to get better by 9:00 am, and had a lovely walk around Cabourg. I visited gardens, the shopping district, and a local creperie by 1:00 pm.

These photos show the Chateau Chantilly; Reims Cathedral; American Cemetery; Normandy Dancers; Eifel Tower; Notre Dame du Paris, and a garden in Cabourg in Normandy.