Friday, January 30, 2015

Happy Birthday Mary!

Thanks for all the comments. You are keeping me encouraged. It's working. I'm fighting the fight. And now that I have a captive audience, I'd like to talk about something else today besides cancer. It's my daughter Mary's birthday, and I would like to honor her and tell of the Lord's great kindness to us.

Early in 1983 Walt and I attended a Life in the Spirit Seminar. Some of you who were there may be reading this. Praise God what beautiful memories we share! We were taught about the charismatic gifts, and were prepared to be prayed over for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. For the first time in my life, as I was praying, I heard the words I uttered come into my brain, "Baptize me in the Holy Spirit and give me a baby". Now what I mean is, I had no prior thought to saying the words "and give me a baby". I'd often said words without thinking, but I was usually mad and I definitely had the thought and just hadn't had the filter on to contain it! This was different. I verbally expressed a desire from deep in my heart and it bypassed my brain and came out of my mouth.  Then I heard it and processed it in my brain. That was cool to say the least.  But was I going to suffer for asking such a thing? In the past when  I made a goal that was hard to reach, it could bring a lot of stress. You know, like "I want to be the best mother in the world." Hopefully I didn't hold onto this idea for too long. The stress was terrible and the burden was all on me to make it happen. The beauty with my asking for a baby that night, was that the answer was "yes". It was given as a gift of faith. Somehow I just knew that God was going to make it happen and I could literally let go and let God! I never worried about how it would happen or when. I just knew from that moment on that it would. We looked into adoption. We went to doctors. We were given no encouragement and then Mary Virginia, named after her two grandmothers, was conceived anyway. And on January 30, 1985, in a horrible ice storm in the beautiful family centered city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mary was born and her Dad swaddled her and her three big sisters left school to come meet her and my mother flew in from New York and it was a glorious time. (How's that for a long sentence?) I tell you this because I love telling of the kindnesses of the Lord. (Is 63:7) Mary was the miracle I asked for. Faith was the gift God gave with it. Both gifts are precious and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the icing on the cake.

So Mary is 30. Yikes! She is more like me than my other three gems. It's scary, actually. She just posted on her blog this morning how she created a new system to make her menu planning quicker by putting all her meat in the freezer in a shoe box to make it easier to find. Wow. Honey, I know where you get this from and I think you just passed me up. I have shoe boxes in the closets and drawers, but so far not in the freezer. I like it though. Good organization means a lot to me and obviously Mary.

Mary was far enough behind the other girls to be kind of a family mascot. The older girls had started getting into their activities and Mary's younger years were spent in gymnasiums looking at Katie do gymnastics, or at the football game watching Katie and Bethanne in the band, or the basketball court watching Melanie play. I didn't realize how much she missed that we did with the older girls until she was almost grown. The poor thing didn't get to see any of the famous Disney movies. Apparently we viewed them in the couple of years before Mary was around or at least "up". You know we would put the baby "down" and have family time with the older kids. Oops. Sorry, Honey. But is was fun being the mascot, right?

By the time Mary was in the 7th grade she was the only one at home and I must say this must have made up for the years spent watching her sisters lives. We moved to Virginia and started life with the People of Praise (POP). There was so much culture in the DC area. There were many opportunities for museums and restaurants. The POP opened up Trinity Schools when Mary started 8th grade. It was a rich life and I can't imagine how different it would have been if we arrived in Virginia as empty nesters!  I would have missed out on hundreds of lunches out! Thanks Mary!

Mary lives life to the fullest, loves with all her heart, and has no fear in her when taking on a new challenge. I thank God for her everyday. In August she will have her second child and our 21st grandchild and all I can say is: Thank you Lord for letting that desire from my heart come out of my mouth in 1983. Your loving kindness is awesome! Happy Birthday Mary Virginia! You've added so much to our life! 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Good News!

If you prayed I could handle going out last night, thanks. Three of us had women's night out. We ate at a brewery and saw An American Sniper. Hard story but good conversation about the ethics and morals of war. Then today I crossed my halfway point of chemotherapy and neither the oncologist, surgeon, or I could palpate (feel) the tumor. This is the best 24 hours in months! I'm exhausted and have things in front of me that I won't like, but I'm rejoicing in this good time and good news. I am so grateful for my life and all who are in it. Happy Wednesday! It's our date night and we're going to watch a movie! Hoping your lives are also full of little and big pleasures.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Fighting Like a Girl

Bad week. Cancer stinks! I feel like a bloated balloon immediately after eating and get hungry 2 hours later anyway! I have what I call gasoline breath. My medical team politely calls it a “metallic taste side effect” and encourages me to only use plastic utensils. I feel like I’m sleeping half my life away. I hate greasing up my hands because they are so dry! 
These are only just some of the “side Effects” that don’t seem like a side issue to me at all. I never even felt what cancer feels like! It’s the treatment that is making me crazy!

Ok. I’m a girl who grew up in the 60’s. The above is my way of fighting for the day. It feels like handing me a foam bat to beat everything and everyone that’s annoying me. I found it therapeutic at one time in my life. Here’s a picture of it below.

It’s fun for a second, but ends up totally unsatisfying. The 1960’s are over  - at least for me. Thank God. So what do I do? Cancer treatment does stink and I am tired of rearranging my life to its beck and call. So how do I “fight like a girl” and come out victorious?

Well, I was talking to the Lord about it. Tomorrow at about 3pm I will be ½ infused of all the chemo planned for my “personalized fight against cancer”. They try to make it sound special, don’t they? One thing is thing for sure. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. So how does one get encouraged at the halfway mark? So…darn…that’s right. I forgot to run that marathon. I need to know:
What does the coach say to keep you going at the half way mark?

I thought of the Blessed Virgin Mary and how she “wonders” (ponders) at the hard words about her life given by Simeon. “He (Jesus) will stand as a sign of contradiction, while a sword will pierce your own soul”.  That wondering must have made her stronger. I thought of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta who fought everything by prayer and doing good to others. She certainly didn’t focus on herself! I’m having a hard time not focusing on myself. I remember when I was a grad student I decided I would not miss any community meetings because of deadlines. After all, it was only because of the goodness of the Lord that I had the opportunity to get my MSN. Wouldn’t it be foolish to become so study focused that I ignored worshipping the one who from all good things flow? This worked very well. I got my degree and even though the research could’ve been better, I learned enough and more and grew in my love for God at the same time.  But cancer treatment isn’t like that. I went to Mass on Sunday. With every change of position (I’m Roman Catholic. We sit, stand, and kneel alternatively. I think at one time we all had ADD and needed help to focus. This is a joke. Kind of.) Anyway, with each move I’m thinking will I make it? Am I shaking? Do I need to sit down? Maybe I could just wait in the car. It was totally useless for worship and so I’m going back to my “follow your body” instructions from the doctor. If I’m not feeling right, I’m staying home. This will probably mean missing more things in the second half of therapy. But maybe, just maybe, it will be a joy filled time alone with the Lord. I could certainly give him more of a chance in that area!

My dear daughter, Katie, started a Novena to St. Peregrine who was miraculously healed of cancer. Yesterday the Novena ended. Maybe that’s why I had the hardest of days. It could very well be a spiritual battle. Doing novenas is not my particular spiritual culture, but my parents did one for me as an infant and I have had asthma my whole life with no hospitalizations or big deal of any sort. Here’s the prayer for the novena. I thought praying the daily intentions would certainly arm me for a darn good battle against any attack!

Day 1 – Pray for us, that we will not let sickness bring us to despair
Day 2 – Pray for us, that we may persevere in hope
Day 3 – Pray for us, that we will have the courage to offer up our suffering in unity with the Cross
Day 4 – Pray for us, that the loneliness of our suffering will be consoled
Day 5 – Pray for us, that the fear of death will be replaced with the hope of everlasting life
Day 6 – Pray for us, that our suffering will not rob us of joy
Day 7 – Pray for us, that in our pain we will not become selfish but ever more selfless
Day 8 – Pray for us, that this sickness will teach me to depend more and more on God
Day 9 – Pray for us, that our lives will glorify God alone

After reading this and taking another three-hour nap some good news started to come in.
  •           If I’m not sick tonight I get to go out to dinner and a movie with Robin and Mary to celebrate our tap dance class run by none other than Grandma Birdie (Robin). How blessed am I to get to dance tap with them!
  •    George, my 20th grandchild, had his birthday video posted on facebook by his mom. What a great year of new life and this year will make him a big brother! Walt is calling the new baby Black Jack because he’s number 21 for us. Don’t worry. It won’t stick.
  •    One of my dear friends sent me a picture of her and 2 of her friends at a tea. One of them had made a floral hat with an old bra. Now that’s feminine creativity at it’s best and I’m about to have some used bras! Look out! (Sorry gentlemen who read this. It’s a girl thing. I’m getting over self pity here.)
  •           We have been trying to help an old man in the neighborhood who doesn’t live in a safe environment. More happened toward getting him a new home yesterday than all the days in the last 5 years combined. That’s a lot to rejoice over.
  •     And last but not least, I offered my sufferings 2 weeks ago for my family (always) and my friend Geriann who had surgery 12 days ago on a benign brain tumor. Like me, she had hundreds of people praying. The doctor came out of surgery and announced they were able to get “much more” than they expected. Go Geriann! Go doc! Go prayer! Now Geriann is free to go back to West St. Paul and continue to build a neighborhood where God is known and loved and neighbors and really neighbors. She is awesome! I’m so happy for her and her family! This week I will continue to pray for my family and focus on those who need healing from divorce. May God grant them (the whole family!) peace and a new start to move forward! 

And so, my anger is gone and I have won a battle. Probably not my last, but it’s won! Now help me out with some marathon coaching (you are very good at this), and I’ll continue to fight like a girl: I’ll listen to my body and go in for my halfway dose tomorrow and find out what more of the “accumulating effects” will hit me over the weekend. I will ponder the course of treatment along with the promises of the Lord. And when I’m feeling not so bad, I’ll find some way to reach out and do something good for another. I am happy I have you in my court. Oh, please say a prayer so I can get out with my friends. I’d be much obliged! 

My sister Laurie doing my wrap at my daughter Mary's house. she's the artsy-craftsy one. I'm her student.
                                   Thanks Laurie!  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tomorrow is Taxol #4!

George, Mary, Melanie, Pam and Isa

It’s the night before my next treatment. Every other time I have had a delightful Tuesday almost forgetting the slight side effects that remained in my system. Not so today. I won’t go into detail, but I feel like the chemo is peaking instead of dissipating and it may be my own fault.

I made a decision this weekend to go on a 6-hour trip. Yes, that’s 3 hours each way. Not exactly a big deal in my old life, and it was sitiing in a car without driving the whole time. But my body is not what it was before chemo and I had laryngitis by the time I got to South Bend, and I’ve been sleeping almost steadily since my return. Note to self: No more traveling on chemo.

I am so glad I went to South Bend though. My daughter Mary lives in South Bend and she arranged to have my sister, Laurie, my daughter, Melanie, and my granddaughter, Isa, stay at her house. We had a girl night of talking followed by a pancake breakfast the next morning. We did nails and my head wrap.  100% delightful.

After that, I attended the funeral of an old friend, Chuck Tychsen, age 92. Chuck and his wife Bette were two of the first people we met when we joined the People of Praise. They had a daughter, MarRay, who was killed in a senior trip accident in the 1960’s.  I had three teenagers and a preteen at the time I heard of this, and couldn’t imagine how these people even pretended to smile. But they did. They gave life their all. Generosity, hospitality, and lively debate (about almost anything) were the familiars at the Tychsen’s table. I asked Bette how she was able to move on after her daughter’s death.  She replied that she didn’t.  She had a very hard couple of years, and then the Lord showed her that every day she woke up was one day closer to her reunion with MarRay.  It gave her what she needed to look joyfully into the future.  Now Chuck and Bette are reunited with MarRay and so many more loved ones. There was mourning going on at the funeral, but at the same time it was glorious and a majestic time of celebrating our resurrection.  It was important to be there.  To honor the children.  To say goodbye to Chuck. To remember who we are and where we’re going.  It’s even worth three days of fatigue lying around in bed. But I’m not planning on traveling again until after chemo!

I know some who read this blog don’t believe in eternal life. It must make death and cancer a horrible thing to contemplate! With all due respect and love, I invite you to think about the eternal. Read C.S. Lewis, or the scriptures, or talk to someone you admire who you think has faith. God is love and he knows we are all going to die. He can make it a time of peace. There’s a lot of mystery involved, I know, but if you practice trusting in the Lord on this side of death, you’ll begin to see how he can be trusted for the other side where all sin and evil are gone.

Now I’m tired. I’m not giving up the fight, or planning my own funeral or anything like that yet. (Although I do have a list of my favorite songs in my music ministry bag if the need arises). All the same, when I am healed of breast cancer I will succumb to something. I want you all to be celebrating me at my funeral (electronically if that’s easiest) for I will be very grateful for finishing my race and remaining faith filled.

“16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  2 Cor 4:16-18  (NIV)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Is there a horse in my backyard?

Thanks Therese for the hat and Melanie for the jacket. You love me SO WELL! 

Do you remember the joke of the two twins on Christmas Day? Santa left a bag of horse manure (sorry) under the tree. The first twin said, “Why is this happening to me? I’ve tried to be a good boy!”  The second twin ran out the back door all excited looking for the horse, “I knew Santa would know just what I wanted!” the horse was, of course, out there. Well, I think I’m still working on being the second twin and I won’t get into the false theology of the first twin thinking he was earning his gifts. 
We started yesterday with a wonderful time of prayer, exercise, and an early lunch. I was feeling good! When I was escorted into the little lab where vitals are taken and the port is accessed (hooked up), the nurse manager said, “I see you have a rash on your hands. Is your doctor aware?” I replied, “Well, she knows my whole hand peeled after the first chemo and it was healed completely a week ago and this is just a minor rash. I wouldn’t worry about it”. Nurse: “I think we should let her know before we make up the dose. She may not want to give you chemo today”. In my head with a completely calm face I thought, “What? You are not going to give me a drug to kill my invasive cancer because I have a rash? I’m a fair skin Irish woman. I get a rash by looking at the wrong thing! I can live with a rash! Why do you people make such a big thing about everything?” Then she took my blood pressure and it was 147/99 and it is usually 90/60. I needed to calm down but couldn’t. 
I went back to the infusion area where Walt was waiting. I told him what happened. He said, “Your hands look bad”.  This wasn’t helpful to me. (Sorry, Honey) I said, “Are you going to side with them?” Walt said, “I didn’t know we were taking sides. I thought you said you had chosen this oncologist and were going to follow her wisdom.” At this I cracked a smile and realized he was right. I made a good discernment. We have a prayerful method borrowed from the Jesuits to decide the course to take in life and I decided to go traditional medicine with the best oncology team in the best medical school in Indiana and maybe the Midwest, Simon Cancer Center. Adjunct therapies would be used if advantageous down the road. Ok. So why was I so excited? It’s just my planning nature. I have events on my calendar and so far I’ve missed almost everything this school year! We have a March wedding, Easter, Grandson’s First Communion, Graduation for IUPUI, Action Summer (Please check out the website [Indy Action Summer 2015 on Facebook]  to donate, pray, or come be part of the staff for the summer or the team for 2 weeks.  I’ll promise you that you will never be the same.) Then there’s my nephew’s wedding that I’m so excited about. If chemo gets slowed down and elongated, MY plans are going to be affected in a negative way! I know who is healing my cancer through medical means, and I know who is ultimately healing my cancer if it is God’s will for me to stick around here (thank you, Jesus). I just need to let go of control and look for the horse out back. (See paragraph 1)

Did Jesus plan on having Syrene help him carry the cross? Did it embarrass him to realize he would need help in the dramatic finale of his world saving work?  In Catholic tradition it is believed that St. Veronica came up to Jesus and wiped the sweat off his face while he walked to Golgotha. A miraculous picture of this face appeared on her veil. Did he desire this intervention? Did he plan it? Did it embarrass him?  And what about his mother Mary?Scripture has her at the foot of the cross. Did he want her there or did he beg her to stay home to save her some of the agony. My father would have wanted my Mom to stay home for sure. She and other women friends I know don’t go to violent movies for that reason. I really think Jesus, as part of his cross, had to submit to the unveiling of the events with little control of how they occurred. I want to be more like Jesus. So…

If next week’s side effect is of interest to my medical team, I will be patient first of all. I will give thanks for thorough assessment skills. I will (not literally) run out the back door and look for the horse. Maybe something is occurring on the weekend that the Lord wants me to enjoy and be totally present at. I’ll take it! God will have his way if I have to delay, miss events, or go to events under the weather. I can talk about everything to him and he will be my savior. He’s been faithful all these years. In other words: 

 “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”  Psalm 27: 1
Dr. Mina approved the dose. So I’ve now had 4 doses of chemo in my body. I’m learning the pattern of when the GI and other side effects kick in. Walt and I went out before dinner for a nice walk in the downtown mall and home for spaghetti, vegan sauce, reading, and an episode of Blue Bloods. Thank God for a perfectly delightful day! 

Today is my friend Geriann’s brain surgery, a 5-7 hours surgery. When you’re done praying one sentence for my side effects, please pray for Geriann that they will get enough of the brain tumor to stop the functional problems that will be coming her way when the tumor pushes on the brain. I want this wonderful woman building the kingdom of God with me all the rest of our lives. She has yet to experience son or daughter-in-laws and she just this summer moved into a poorer neighborhood in St. Paul, MN to build the kingdom of God through love and neighborly involvement there with a group of People of Praise people. What a great reason to keep her here a few more decades! Come Lord and heal Geriann!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Here we go...

Today at 12:30 Pam will get the third of nine infusions of taxol.  This past week wasn't great but she made it through ok.  Praying this week that the side effects don't "accumulate" as the treatment goes on toward number nine.

Tomorrow our dear friend Geriann will have brain surgery down in Arizona.  Come Lord, bless her and heal her and be with their family as they go through this trial.

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Challenge to Change

Thanks to Denise and Lois for my head wrap today! 

Here’s the quick note for those who don’t read all the way through. I made some changes yesterday and I feel better this morning than I have in 4 weeks. Thanks for the prayers and thoughts. All good things come from God and he is sending loads of goodness my way.

I would like to clarify that you who hit "like" and make "comments" to me from this blog post or facebook, you are serving me more powerfully than you probably imagine. Thank you for your time. Don't be tempted to say, "Oh it's been a week. What can I add? My life right now is pretty isolating and all I have to do is open my laptop, remind myself that hundreds of people know my predicament and care. Then, I’m fine again. Thank you so much for caring. Thank you for showing your unity with me in this cross.

I’m going to comment on one more thing before my medical update. I want to give thanks for my middle daughter, Bethanne. She is our humorist. While working on adjusting to my bald head this week she said, “Bald is the new blonde. I’m pretty sure.” Bethanne lives in Colorado Springs. She’s not a phone gabber or a high tech person. But the gift of humor she was given leaps the miles in an instant and warms my heart. Geography is nothing when you are good at sharing yourself. I see all the young women in the cancer center who are going through treatment. Lord, let them live to know their children as adults on this earth. What a great treasure.

So, my second round of chemo was much better than my first and my third hasn’t effected me yet (which is later than last time). I didn’t go to the hospital. No skin peeling, no fever. I thought I did great because I “handled” the other side effects by putting up with them. However, when we met with oncologist she said I was at risk for taking another break from chemo or decreasing the dose again because of my side effects. Wow! Apparently, I need to be aggressive and try to rid myself as much as possible of any side effects. Holy endurance wasn’t going to get the award. Now, that sounds silly, who wouldn’t be trying to get things working better. But here’s a few secrets about myself:

  •         I delivered my first two children without any pain medication because I wanted to experience what it was really like in its essence.
  •         When I had three toddlers around me while making dinner in the kitchen one day a few years later, Walt came home to find me hanging over the counter massaging my temples. Walt: “What’s wrong?” Me: “I have such a headache!” Walt: “What did you take for it?” Me: “Hmm”. Never thought of it.
  •     Even when my hair starting graying I didn’t use any color because I didn’t want to block the natural course of history.

So that’s my nature and in this case of combating cancer treatment it needs to change. Your prayer is needed here (hit “like”). I will pull up the list. I will see your names. I will recognize that Christ is in you. Yes, Christ in you bringing with him the hope of all the glorious things to come!” (Col. 1:25-27) Do you understand? Do you understand the power in unity?  In my weakness I will be made strong in Christ! (2 Cor 12:10) I was never meant to do this alone! Even Jesus didn’t live his passion alone! I need you! I need Christ who is in you! You are my hope of glory because Christ is in you and he lives and heals! Walt has promised to be my coach. If you’ve had him as your 7th grade basketball coach, you’ll probably say an extra prayer for me now! Thank you! I want to do what I can to cooperate with my medical team!

Our community, the People of Praise, has a division of missionaries. A few years back, in the lowliest of nursing homes, one of our missionaries met an old woman who taught us a new verse to an old Christian hymn. It came to me the day I found out I had cancer and it soothes me now as I’m a little further along in the journey. Sing this to Amazing Grace:

         Must Jesus bear his cross alone,
While all the rest go free?
No, there’s a cross for everyone
And there’s a cross for me!

On a funnier note, as I tried to follow the oncologist’s encouragement, I took an Ativan last night and had to be awoken twice because I was snoring during a movie that I chose but never got to see more than 20 minutes of! I did, however, sleep for the first time through the night since November 26th and I do feel stronger today for that. So I’m initiating and learning but will adjust that dose tonight!

Before I sign off I want to honor two more people. My Mom carries my burden in a way only a mom can. I know what it’s like to be a mom of a child with an illness. I wish I could take her worries away, but all I can do is pray and envision her wrapped up in the arms of our heavenly Father. His are big arms. I hope she feels them.

And thanks to Walt. He’s doing 90% of the cooking, 75% of the cleaning, and 100% of the errands (I can’t drive due to the side effects on my vision). He shows no sign of burnout. He has been, as always, the perfect companion for me.

I gotta run now and start focusing on the plan. You know, I have pills, extra meals, Yoga, walking, and resting to plan and execute! This isn’t all about laying around enduring you know! To God be the Glory! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Chemo #2

Tomorrow (Wednesday) morning Pam will get the second of 9 chemo treatments (actually there are 9 weeks of one chemo given weekly and one drug is given every three weeks).  I'm praying that the treatment tomorrow will not cause any further side effects than the last treatment.  It is hard to know if there will be an accumulative effect of taking the weekly treatments (I suspect there will be?).  Pray, if you will, also that the persistent insomnia will go away.  The insomnia coupled with the general tiring effect of the drugs makes life difficult.  Difficult, yes, but not impossible!  Pam is up and around and doing so much to keep up with her usual pace.  Come Lord bring healing and relief from side effects.
Now we're both into wearing hats and for the same reason!  Trusting it's a temporary situation for Pam.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A simple thanks for the prayers. I went in yesterday and was astounded that everything they put in me  (with no reactions thank you) only took an hour and a half compared to 5-6 hours last time. They are babying me, I know, but it's fine with me. Oh, and I LOVE having a port. A faucet to the circulatory system. It's so cool.

The last couple of days I kept hearing (the Spirit of God?) saying, "Joy comes in the morning." Whenever I hear this scripture I think of my cousin Joy who lives in Florida. I think, "Oh that would be nice" and then I laugh. I usually do not consider it being a word of the Lord for me. But last night I couldn't sleep. First I struggled with thoughts of the lack of productivity in my life. My big goal for today was prayer and 30 minutes of "exercise" which I hoped would be cleaning the refrigerators because. Well, you know. Because. I started down the slippery slope of thinking of all that I miss. Then nausea set in. Then I took pills for that which didn't do much so I took the second pills that are given for when the first don't work and at 3am I went to sleep. I woke up at 7am with Joy in the morning!

Emotions are weird. We can't choose what pops up in our minds, but we sure can chose how much attention to give it! I choose the joy that came this morning and cleaned both refrigerators listening to upbuilding music and found a ton of leftovers so Walt won't have to shop for a couple of days. I am a busy bee style person, so when I do physical work I get more joy. I am now exhausted and ready to listen to my body and go to bed. Turn my phone off. But don't feel bad for me. I am full of the joy that was promised to me this morning.

Thanks for your love and support. I'm counting on you!And thanks to the Raways for my new magnet pictured above.