Thankful Thursday: An anniversary

Happy Heart Day. Valentine’s Day. Appropriate for me that it lands on a day to play along with Thankful Thursday at Brian’s Home.

But not for the usual reasons. It was two years ago this morning that Entrepreneur was wheeled into an operating room for brain surgery. On Valentine’s Day.

We’ve come a long way in two years, but not without the scars…both physical and emotional. The surgery successfully removed an almost 2 inch tumor. But renal cell cancer is a relentless adversary. Even after a year and half of oral chemo, it’s trying to reclaim territory. Same war, new battle. 

But today we celebrate. Celebrate two years post surgery, thanking God for the tender mercies of the past and for extending his life. We have gratitude for experiencing the good and bad that intertwines itself throughout our story. Our faith has grown deeper despite the uncertainty of the future. Relationships have grown deeper despite past differences. The keen realization of how fleeting this life is on earth has grown painfully sharp.

But today we celebrate love and caring for special people in our lives. Whether you buy into the Hallmark hype of the holiday or not, I’m sure there are special people in your life. Be sure to share with them how much you care….don’t wait for a specially designated day to show your appreciation for them. You may not be offered another chance.

Today we celebrate.

Blog hopping today with Thankful Thursday hosted by Brian’s Home.

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Thankful Thursday

Hey everyone, Cabo here today with Mom who tells me she has a hugely thankful heart. It all began back on January 20th. Mom and Dad were watching a game where people throw a ball up and down the field and chase each other….my kind of game! There was two minutes left in the game and I was contentedly gnawing on a toy called a nylabone. It didn’t have much taste, but I was bored and no one wanted to play. The next thing I knew,  Mom had her hands in my mouth trying to dig out the chunk I’d successfully broken off. But I was too quick for her and swallowed it before she could get it out.

Well, I heard her on the phone and then we went for a ride. It was a place I’d never been before. She called it the emergency vet clinic. Evidently, one should not eat pieces of nylabones. Little did I know that chunk could cause a blockage in my internal tubing and be all kinds of bad for me. Mom gave the okay for them to try to make me vomit it up. Ewwwww…..I didn’t comply with their wishes. So we went back home.

It’s been almost three weeks since that awful experience and I seem to be okay. I haven’t miss a meal and think everything is coming out okay on the other end. Oddly, I cannot find any more nylabones in the house. Mom says I’m a lucky puppy and she’s thankful no harm came of the experience.

Ummm…..Bridget here. I suppose I’m glad the fur ball is okay. Having health issues of my own, I do understand Mom’s worry.

Linking up for Thankful Thursday over at Brian’s Home.

January Blogging Challenge: Books

Oh my goodness! I love PJ’s prompt for this months photo challenge! So many books….so little time. As an avid reader, I’ve been known to even read the back of cereal boxes in a pinch.

The written word….the tool in which language is expressed….has been with humankind for millenniums. Writing systems date back to the eight millennium BC with tokens and pictographs. The development of alphabets and phonics emerged around the second millennium BC.  The written word is a powerful tool that brought us such documents as our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. While oral history is important, it’s the written word that is capable of spreading ideas quickly and documenting history in preservable detail.

I can’t think of a better way to spend a frigid, January winter day than curled up with a good book and cozy afghan. So, hope your enjoy this peek into my library and passion for all written words. While I gravitate towards High Fantasy (think Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings etc.), the genres in my library span a multitude of topics, authors and styles.

Books #1
Starting off the list is my favorite novelist, John Grisham. Don’t even ask me what I want for Christmas if he’s published a new book. There are a lot of great novelists out there, but the way Grisham weaves details, plot twists and unexpected turns throughout his story is genius. Most noted for his stories revolving around the legal system, he has written some lighter books like Playing for Pizza and Calico Joe that are entertaining, summer, pool-side reading.

Books #2
In a previous lifetime, my BFF and I owned a book design studio. We worked with university press houses across the country and turned author manuscripts into books. This photo shows a few of the books I worked on during that time. This experience forever changed the way I look at a printed book from the cover design to the very last index page. Knowing what goes into designing and compositing a book, I vowed to never again whine about the cost of the written word.

Books #3
I’ve not completely jumped on the e-reader wagon, but did install our local library’s app on my laptop to see what was available. I did download an e-book on the recommendation of a fellow blogger for test drive. I much prefer a bound book, but this will do in a pinch, especially when I don’t want to purchase the book to keep.

Books #4
Apologetics and books relating to different worldviews are a passion of mine. This is just a sampling of the books I have on this topic squirreled away around the house. I especially think books written by scientists addressing the relationship between science and faith are fascinating. I also have quite a few books by C.S. Lewis, including a set of The Chronicles of Narnia.

Books #5
Dovetailing with the above is the book that surpasses all books in print. The bible clocks in with 5 billion books printed since 1815. Add to that, all the hand-scribed copies prior to the invention of the printing press. Many of you have issues with its written words. I encourage you to read what I wrote about the bible HERE. It’s the Big God Story that is filled with poetry, Hellenistic biography, documented history as well as inspiration and comforting words. It’s a book that reflects our messy lives. Because of our circumstances, I’m spending a lot of time in Psalms….usually accompanied by diffusing essential oils and hot tea.

“Check out” the other books over at PJ’s for January’s prompt of Books.

And, in keeping with Thankful Thursday over at Brian’s Home, I think it’s safe to say I’ve been thankful for the written word since I was old enough to pick up a book. I’m thankful this passion was not lost on my daughters. And Peanut, at age 10, has been assessed at a 7th grade level for reading comprehension. I would be thankful if Twix, who is learning letters and basic words, follows in their footsteps.

 

Awwww Monday: Mom and me

When you become a parent, you finally appreciate and understand what your mother did.
~Julianne Moore

Last Saturday was my birthday and we took a day trip to Kansas City. While we were there, we stopped by to see the woman who birthed me all those many decades ago.

At 85, she is still kicking’ and lives independently with her husband in their own home. Good genes. May I be as fortunate when I get to be 85.

Like all mother/daughter dynamics, those teen and early adult years were all sorts of challenging. I remember giving my parents flowers on my 21st birthday with an “I’m sorry” card. A perfect child I was not.

Appreciate your mom. She’s wiser than you think and stronger than you know.
~Steve Maraboli

So fast forward to 2019, and I’ve come to realize just how difficult it is to parent young children…..as well as adult children. And, over the years, I’ve developed an appreciation for my mom’s back stories and the experiences she had as a young woman, wife and mother. Perspective is everything when you take yourself out of the center of attention.

I’ve also come to realize a child’s birthday is just as much a birth day for the mom as the child. Moms usually get lost in the hoopla of the child’s special day, surrounded by well wishers and gifts. For most moms, the joys of watching her children upstage the sacrifices she made physically, psychologically, emotionally and financially. Sacrifices many women will never begin to understand until they are mothers themselves.

So next time you have a birthday, enjoy the attention, say thank you for the gifts, and don’t forget to acknowledge the woman who made it possible.

Blog hopping today with Comedy Plus and Awwww Monday. 

Same war, new battle

This may not seem like a normal Thankful Thursday post, but bear with me. You’ll understand in the end.

As some of you know, Entrepreneur was granted a 90-day chemo holiday last October. This allowed him to enjoy the holidays and our family vacay to Mexico last December.

Last week, he went in for his 6-month brain MRI and 3-month CT scan. And, the news was not what we wanted to hear.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. ~John 16:33

Cancer cells have begun ringing the initial tumor site in his brain. How long they’ve been there is anyone’s guess. Renal cell is a slow growing cancer so it’s feasible they were there prior to the drug holiday. One spot on his lungs is slightly larger than it was three months ago. More surgery is not recommended at this time. I agree.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ~Josh. 1:9

Not excited about going back on oral chemotherapy, Entrepreneur and his oncologist looked at a new immunotherapy treatment for renal cell cancer. While there is no cure or remission for this type of cancer, trials for Opdivo have shown success in prolonging life.

So buckle up, Buttercup, we’re gearing up for another battle in the overall war. Once a month, he’ll be hooked up to an IV, reclining in the chair of his choice in the infusion room and receiving the immunotherapy drug to try and boost his own immune system to fight the good fight.

This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. ~2 Chron. 20:15

Looking back, we both believe the drug holiday was instrumental in allowing his system to strengthen in preparation for this next step. His body simply could not have undergone immunotherapy in its weakened state. Now, he’s gained back  much of the weight he lost and is physically and mentally stronger to endure the side effects.

Today I’m thankful for every extra day we’re given together. I’m thankful there is an alternative to chemotherapy with this type of cancer. I’m thankful for the loving, caring people who are circling the wagons around us while we continue the fight. I’m thankful for a God who understands pain, grief and loss, and is sending strength, comfort and reassurance in the face of the storm. I’m thankful there are music artists who so eloquently write songs that personify the struggle and challenges of this world.

Blog hopping today with Brian’s Home for Thankful Thursday.