Tag Archives: Gratitude

Merry Christmas

It has been a challenging time for me since the beginning of November. I have an allergic reaction toward something, possibly medications. After having gone to the Urgent Care twice, Emergency Room twice, hospitalized for five days and seeing eight doctors, no doctor could pinpoint what happened to the constant inflammation of my skin. All they could say was to ask me to discontinue this and that medication. I will discontinue ALL my medications in less than a month. What a motivation for me to get rid of all the medications I have been taking. They gave me some treatments such steroids and antibiotics. I spent Thanksgiving in the hospital and was hoping not to miss all the celebrations in Christmas.

 

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Messiah Performance

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Messiah Performance

With great effort and determination, I gathered my energy and ensured a pleasant appearance; I managed to sing in one of the two performances of Messiah. I couldn’t sing in the first one because I was still miserable. Laying in my bed, I could hear the choir singing. My disappointment was no greater than my motivation. I quietly plead for good health the next day so that I could sing. Oh, what a miracle! I woke up feeling the coolness of my body. It was a great joy for me to spend hours to prepare myself. The photos showed my red face (with no make-up) from the inflammation. My friends in the audience were happy to see me.

 

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Retirees singing to the retirees

I also got to sing in one of the two chorale concerts. I missed the first one when the group sang in a retirement home. The second one was as fun when we sang to the fellow retirees.

 

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Precious group of ladies at the Christmas dinner

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Joy to the World celebration

There were two Christmas parties I was delighted to go and had fun seeing my friends of thirty years. One was the ladies Christmas dinner, and the other was the adult fellowship Christmas party.

I haven’t seen the end of the tunnel yet. I’ll still must take a blogging break until my health is fully recovered. Until then, I wish you all

A Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

Gratitude for Being – A Poem

November is a month of Thanksgiving. This is a post in response to Stevie Turner’s Share Your Story – November.

 

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When I taught second grade twenty-five years ago, there was a boy with purple lips in my class. Hector’s mother told me he had a hole in his heart, a ventricular septal defect (VSD) which is the most common heart birth defect. The ventricular septum is the wall that separates the left and right lower chambers of the heart. If there is a hole in the wall between the two ventricles, it is a ventricular septal defect (VSD).

Hector’s mom didn’t expect him to live for a long time and had never made him study hard. He was a happy boy, ran as fast as any boys and girls on the playground and took part in all the learning activities. I treated him with no difference than any other students.

Years later, I met his mom in a restaurant and learned that Hector was in high school. It made me feel good to hear he continued to live with a heart defect.

The inspiration for having Hector in my class was that it is a miracle to be born with the intact features of the body.

Gratitude for Being

From ashes and dust of the earth,

        beautifully and wonderfully

        we are made.

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Share Your World – January 22, 2018

Cee’s Share Your World questions and my response:

List 2 things you have to be happy about?

I need the help of all the fingers and toes when I count my blessings.

I’m happy to have my daughter Mercy, her husband Will and now my granddaughter Autumn in my life. They have brought so much joy to me. I’m delighted to see Mercy and Will strive to grow individually as well as together. I was touched to watch them day by day, learn to be loving parents. Autumn is an adorable baby with good temperament. Mercy said, “This little girl melts my heart every day.” I’m privileged to share the same joy with her.

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Share Your World – November 13, 2017

This is my response to Cee’s Share Your World – November 13, 2107

Do you ever sit on a park bench for more than ten minutes?

We do that often, especially in Laguna Lake. My husband and I love to walk around Laguna Lake which is 0.77 miles around. We walk around the lake twice, then find a shaded bench and sit down. The lake is a home to many kinds of ducks, Egyptian Geese, turtle and many sea creatures. The irrigation system keeps the water of the lake flowing while there is stillness on a calm day. In the summer, the ducks enjoy their lazy nap by tugging their heads under the wings. We relax and watch people doing their leisure fishing, riding their horses, their bikes, jogging, walking their dogs, or walking their babies in strollers.

 

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Gratitude for Being

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Gratitude for Being

From ashes and dust of earth
Beautifully and wonderfully we are made

Eyes to see the majestic sky, mountains, and sea
Ear to hear His voice and harmonious sounds of music
Nose to smell fragrance of flowers and scents of trees
Mouth to sing praises and speak of peace
Hands to serve and extend the healing touch

Heart to feel acceptance, compassion, and love
Feet to trot spreading the good news
Walking the path that is less traveled
Faithfully and gratefully we roam
Till the day He calls us home

Debbie’s Forgiving Fridays

Daily Prompt: Gratitude

Share Your World – October 2, 2017

Cee’s Share Your World – October 2, 2017

  1. If you were given the opportunity to ride in a helicopter would go?

My husband is a helicopter pilot by hobby. He flew a lot before we got married. He has never flown after we married. Even if he flies, I wouldn’t fly with him due to fear of collision. He described that he had such “close call” encounters at least two times.

When we went to Alaska, we went on a helicopter ride. I don’t mind flying with a professional helicopter pilot. The pilot said if my husband has the license with him, he would let him fly.

We had a great view of the glacier, the mountains, and looked at the water from above. It was a wonderful experience.
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  1. What are some of your favorite type of proteins to eat? (meat, seafood, eggs, soy, cheese, nuts)

I’m not an official vegetarian. My daughter has been a vegetarian for twelve years. When I’m with her, I eat tofu (from soy) and quinoa for protein. My husband has a new diet since April 2017. We have mixed vegetable green smoothie every day. We eat eggs for breakfast, salmon or fish for dinner, and have meat once a week. I eat nuts for snacks. My husband is doing great to reduce his blood sugar level with this diet.

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  1. What would be your preference, awake before dawn, at dawn, or awake before noon?

I’m a night owl. When I was younger, I could stay up until 2:00 a.m. every night. Right now I try to go to bed before midnight. Due to the nerve damage from chemo treatment of cancer, I still have tingling in my legs. The sensation is stronger at night. I take medication several hours before bedtime, but the sensation still may keep me awake for a while. Therefore, I don’t fall asleep until the tingling stops

The time I wake up depends on the time I fall asleep the previous night.

  1. What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

By observing my daughter giving birth to her baby Autumn, it reminds me again that life is a miracle. Safe pregnancy and safe delivery are not something we could take it for granted. Any second could bring us stress or joy. I’m thankful for her safe delivery of a healthy baby. They came home yesterday. Their friends came to decorate their front porch to welcome and congratulate the new family.

Cee’s Share Your World – October 2, 2017

52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 7

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This is the 52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 7 at Haddon Musings

I had written eight posts about my melanoma treatment. I need to write one more to complete my story. I emerge it as part of my Thankfulness. So this week I am thankful for going through the journey of cancer treatment and have been in remission for almost eight years.

August 13, 2009

My bio-chemotherapy came to the end. I just needed a couple more procedures done before the completion of treatment.

When I had my first cancer surgery in October 2008, the surgeon removed all the cancerous tissues except one cancerous lymph node. He sent me back to my primary health care provider and oncologist for chemotherapy. Due to the lack of communication, the referral didn’t get any attention until two months later. I went to the oncologist’s office, sat in the waiting room, demanded for attention. Finally a case caretaker came to talk with me. I cried and complained, saying that my last surgeon requested chemotherapy within four months before the cancer entered my brain, and it had been two months already.

The next day she called the case management office. The supervisor of the office took over my case. She made all the arrangement of tastings and obtained the authorization of referral to a melanoma specialist.

By the time I started my first cycle of treatment in January 2009, the cancer in one lymph node on the right hip area had invaded the whole set of inguinal nodes on the left. So the cancer went from stage II to stage IV.

I went through two cycles of bio-chemo and one surgery and two more cycles of bio-chemo. At the end of June 2009, I completed four cycles of in-patient treatments and one surgery. By this time, the first cancerous lymph node had shrunk into a dead tumor. Dr. O’Day, the melanoma specialist, and the surgeon agreed that it was a good idea to have one more surgery to remove the dead tumor. I had the second surgery done in early July, 2009. The surgeon removed one larger tumor plus 15 smaller dead tumors.

The final procedure was the radiation. Dr. O’Day ordered two sets of radiation. The first set was five days a week for four weeks in the pelvic area. The second set was once a week for four weeks. I met with the radiologist. She aligned me with the radiation machine, marked the tattoo on my body so that each radiation would be done in the same position. She further explained to me the side effect and the possible damage of the radiation. My husband is a radiology technician. He discussed the situation with Dr. O’day. Dr. O’Day decided that the damage would have outweighed the benefit. Therefore he cancelled the first set of radiation. I only needed to do the second set. I started the second week of July and completed it in the first week of August 2009.

Before I entered this journey, I didn’t know where it would have taken me. I only knew that if God didn’t say He was done with me, I had no right to decide to quit. I had to take the chances presented to me and trust him to guide me through. All I could do was to take one day at a time. There were so many nights that I didn’t have any sleep because the chemo drugs burning continuously. My body was so hot and the skin was so sensitive. Knowing that I didn’t have to go to work the next day helped to reduce my anxiousness. Throughout my treatment, my family and friends were my greatest support.

I do believe there is a reason for every season, and for every suffering. With God’s help, I could look beyond the suffering, even when I was right in the middle of it. In the end, I was able to count the suffering as my blessing.

Post note: The highlighted links are linked to the previous 8 posts. I continue to suffer lymphedema (swelling) on left leg, and nerve damage on both legs resulting in tingling and poor circulation.

 

Please share your thankfulness by participating at Haddon Musings

Gratitude Moments #6

April 3, 2009

I was discharged from the surgery on March 22.  An appointment was made to visit the doctor in two weeks. During these two weeks, I recorded the amount of fluid collected from the drainage into the two bottles. One bottle was getting less and less fluid, but the one with the needle inserted to my left thigh had the same amount of fluid every day. The fluid just didn’t circulate to my upper body. The only outlet was through the drainage.

At the meantime, I had a lot of pain on my left abdomen and left leg. The numbness went from the upper left thigh to below the knee.

The doctor’s instruction was to lay flat and elevate the legs. By doing so, it would help to reduce the swelling. He also asked me to stay “active” as much as I could, so I did little things here and there and walked around the house to keep my left leg awake.

After getting up for an hour or so, my leg’s swelling increased. It was so bad that I couldn’t bend my knee. Our bedroom is upstairs. I wasn’t able to alternate my feet when going up and down. I could only make my right leg do all the work and dragged my straight left leg without bending. When I tried to sit and elevate both legs, only the right leg could move to the elevating position, the left leg needed to be lifted to the position.

During my doctor’s visit, one draining tube was removed. The other one remained because the draining was still active. Two more weeks later, the draining did not decrease, but the doctor removed the second tube anyway. His instruction was to massage the leg to reroute the flow of the fluid.

I was praying all the time and kept a grateful spirit. Many cards, emails of comforting messages made me feel that I was not alone in this trial. Family and friends were by my side, they were literally carrying me through every step of the way. One person sent me an email saying, “You may not know me, but I am praying for you.”

I had never felt so weak physically all my life. There was no complaint about my pain, or my suffering. I was grateful to be alive. Our friend Dr. John Sailhamer was a Bible scholar, fluent in Hebrew and Greek. He wrote many books and Bible commentary. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer disease the same time I was diagnosed with cancer. He was in the early stage of disease when I went through my bio-chemotherapy. He translated Psalm 1 directly from Hebrew and hand wrote it for me. His kindness touched me so much. I read his translation of Psalm 1 every day, and meditated on one word a day. It gave me the assurance of God’s perfect plan for me.

The doctor gave me six weeks to rest until the third cycle of bio-chemotherapy. During these six weeks, my only job was to get strong enough for the next treatment. I’m blessed with a husband who took good care of me, did all the chores and cooking.

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