Friday, 30 October 2009
Each new day of life is a precious gift from God. Most of us know that in our minds. But we don’t always live and react like we do. Many cancer survivors reflect on the fragileness and uncertain pathways of life. They realize that each breath we take and each step we make are granted to us by a loving, caring creator, a creator who wants us to find goodness and joy in each of them. Never forget that God has given you a special and wondrous gift with this day. Always know that God is with you to sustain you and to share blessings with you in every moment you have on this earth.
When my eyes open each new morning, I am reminded that the day is a gracious gift from you. I pray to use this gift gratefully and joyfully for you, O God. Amen.
(Taken from cancerrecovery.org, a daily devo I receive)
This morning I'm packing for the weekend and will disappear to Greenhill Lake for the weekend, where I will do registration, listen to Anne Grant, cook, perhaps sing, and get a bit of sleep. It will be nice to see everyone who attends, and get away for a weekend. I am thankful that I am able to do so much, but I must learn how to pace myself. You've always had this problem, haven't you !Deb?
PS: The other day I was offered a daily 'thought' program on CJRI, so will begin working on that (I think I may call it "Stay in Tune" Appropriate, perhaps, considering my musical background?). The half hour show I told you about (which I hope to call "Soul Cafe") I am still developing and will do it when I have it planned. You can tune it to 104.5 or cjri.fm.
Stay in Tune
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
It must have been a combination of the 'ammo' from the 'mammo' I had this morning, and the H1N1 flu shot I had directly afterwards that caused me to have yet another day of mania. After these two procedures, I commenced a full day of various activities:
- Home Hardware to buy a sculpture floral picture for my living room wall with my birthday money (it's taken me awhile to find something I like);
- Drove to Greenhill Lake Camp with Jessica to prepare for women's retreat this weekend;
- Unloaded a large amount of groceries and filed them in the kitchen and fridge
- Made many bunkbeds with Jessica. We really learned to appreciate Nurse Cherry, who usually does this job. And I'm sure we are sore tonight;
- Transported a microwave to the nurse's cabin where Doug and I will stay for the weekend;
- Drove back to town for 3:30 to teach, but decided to create yet another banana bread for the weekend;
- Taught two students til 6:00;
- Didn't think I had enough banana bread (even though I made four last week, plus a lemon bread), so made two more breads;
- Peeled organic apples and made applesauce;
- Planned my soup;
- Fed Doug supper;
- Called the radio station to talk about my show with a fellow DJ;
- Doug & I went to Superstore to get groceries for my soup making/apple crumble day tomorrow (as well as teaching);
- Print out registration form for weekend retreat;
- Tried to find autotext feature on computer so I could tell Max who needs this info, but alas, I cannot find it. Linda, help?
- Wash dishes
- Go to bed sometime and hopefully sleep
Thank you for the full day, Lord, and the energy to get through it. Is this the same day since this morning? Sometimes I think that at the end of a day.
Monday, 26 October 2009
Brenda J. came for coffee this morning. She leaves for Florida this Sunday. Lucky gal. For five months! Have fun, B. Arrived at the radio station at 11:30. Ross saw me and said, "Oh, there you are, come in here and do the commercial." So I did. I read it through once, then a sound check, then once through and after a couple of tips from Ross, it was a go. He said it was perfect and that I had a great 'female voice.' Glad to know that, considering I am a female. I went out and asked Gord, "Well, boss, what's next?" (How did I get here anyway?) He had me start working on the 8,000 song database. I updated 27 songs and artists, listening and researching on the internet for tidbits of info that I could put in the database so that the DJ can have information at his/her fingertips. I also get to know the artists this way when I do my own show (smile)… Before I left, Gord asked me if I was still interested in having a weekly praise show of my own. I said yes, of course, not knowing why, but I think this has been a dream of mine. So, he told me to take it and run with it. I think I'll call it The Soul Café. And the live events I'll call The Soul Café Live. Now I have to brainstorm and pray about this new venture. I'll let you know when it's up and running.
Pray about my mammo tomorrow morning: 8:45…thanks everyone.
Sunday, 25 October 2009
It's been another full day, but another good one. Oh, I love good days, don't you? Church and leading the music this morning, out to lunch at Jack & Andy's (it's becoming a fav place) with Anne & Laurel. Reg & Lin, AJ& Betty were there, too and hugs were given all around. Good to see them again. Remember AJ's soup – how addicted I was to it this past winter during my chemo treatments? Perhaps he'll think to bring me a flask of soup or something sometime. Just in case he's reading, I'm still eating soup.
Stopped at the radio station on the way home to give them an announcement for tonight's event, and they put me on the radio! You never know what's going to happen to you, do you? It was fun. Came home and prepared for the evening at The Soul Café, which I did at Morning Gate Church, since our home is a bit small for a larger crowd. We had a good number there – upwards of 30, I think. We sang and sang and rested in the love of God. A time of refreshing, and I was refreshed. I hope others were, too.
Well, it's 10 o'clock and time for the PJs once again. I've not had a rest today, so hoping for a good one. Tomorrow I go to the radio station to work on a commercial and who knows what else. Today, Barry asked me if I'd come in and play the piano some Saturday morning on his live show. Now that's a stretch, but I guess it wouldn't be any different than this evening, where I played live for 2 hours. Just a wider audience, I guess. All around the world. Check out CJRI FM – you might just hear me doing a commercial or some other such thing. The other day, M. asked me to read the children's story I wrote on her radio show ("The Princess & the Cowboy"). And Gord asked me to start working on the song database so I can familiarize myself with the music, in preparation for my own show. Now slow down a bit! I feel like I'm on a fast track or something. This past week has included an orphanage in Romania/Moldova; radio station work; The Soul Café, transcription services for doctors, and flu shot mania. I don't know where to turn next, and yes, Mom, I'm taking it easy, or at least trying to. One thing at a time, and one day at a time. It's like God is opening doors everywhere and opening up my dreams. I pray that I will honor and bless Him in all I do.
Saturday, 24 October 2009
Thursday, 22 October 2009
It was a manic day, and it wasn't even Monday. The day started out at 6 AM, when I awoke for the third time in the night. So I decided to go to my office, turn on the fireplace and read. I read Acts 28, where Paul was bitten by a snake and expected to die, but he shook it off and continued on with his life and ministry. Seems to me I read this about a year ago, and today it came to mind again. I want to believe that this passage is for me now – I have been bitten by the snake of cancer and am now through treatment. I need to shake it off and continue on with my life and ministry. So that's what I want to do now.
At 9:30 I went to Smythe Street ladies' Bible study and led music, and then took off to Dr. T's office (Dr. Troy Randall, I call him Dr. T.; he laughs whenever I call him that). Doug met me there. Dr. T. gave me a flu shot and we talked to him a bit about various and sundry things. I think the flu shot made me manic, though, because here's what I did after that:
- To Tony's Music Box to pick up my Taylor guitar which was in for repairs;
- A stop by Rick's office at Washburn & Associates;
- Read's Magazine & Coffee stand for magazines and coffee;
- Reitmans in Kings Place mall, where I simply stood outside the store and encountered several friends (Ruth, Brenda & G J., Max), and engaged in several conversations (this happens to me in the Superstore as well. Doug thinks I should set up a booth, sort of like Lucy on Charlie Brown. Good idea, Doug. I could charge 5 cents for advice, perhaps. Or I could pay people 5 cents for their advice);
- In to Reitmans to try on a few clothes that I had put on reserve with the saleslady. This is the same store that Nat & I went to the morning of my benefit concert in May. Well, while I was trying on clothes today, Abba's Dancing Queen song blared over the intercom. I chuckled and felt like dancing. Just for me, I thought – God, you're good! You know I'm in here trying on jeans and you sent my favorite song to me in my favorite store! I bought a pair of hip jeans for a hip dancing queen who likes to dance occasionally;
- Over to have Bengal spice tea, cheese and apples with one of the Bobbsey Twins at her house, where we had animated discussion. She left me sitting at her counter writing a recipe while she took off in her car on a paper mission. I let myself out after stealing a small chocolate bar from a box on her counter;
- To Chapters to look for Mitch Albom's new book, but decided it was too expensive, and left with Max Lucado's new book, "Fearless," instead;
- To Jack & Andy's restaurant to meet Elaine K. for dinner and discuss a mission for young women in Moldova (Russia);
- To the furniture store to check out a kitchen table and chairs for The Soul Café;
- Back to Tony's Music Box, where I called my mother and had her come over in the pouring rain, so I could show her a piano I thought she would like. She came over, played it for awhile and bought it. Michael and I worked on some chord arrangement ideas for Somewhere Over the Rainbow (hey, it's a rainbow…just noticed that; I usually see rainbows every day. Yesterday I saw one in one of my student's eyeglasses, for goodness' sakes!) I always chuckle and smile whenever I see rainbows in strange places. They just keep appearing, like signs from God to me that He will preserve my life. Doug decided he'd had enough – he took off for home. I think he was getting tired of my mania. I stayed and checked out a teaching guitar, talked to Repairman Dave about whether my old guitar could be healed. He didn't think there was much hope for it, so I left with an inexpensive new teaching/traveling guitar (yes, Nat, believe it or not. My old guitar just wasn't working anymore; it wouldn't stay in tune. Jon dropped it and broke its neck years ago). I've had so many guitars since I was 14 that I've lost count. Probably 14 guitars, no doubt. Anyway, Taylor guitar has a new baby sister;
- Almost twelve hours later, I arrived home, had a shower and donned the PJs.
- Doug is sleeping in the chair; it must be time for bed soon. I hope I sleep tonight.
The flu shot made me manic and it isn't even Monday. Tomorrow I need to try and stay home, although I have to go to York Manor at 2 to play the piano for Anglican communion for the seniors. One thing about my life, it's never boring, that's for sure. Good night.
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Received a phone call last evening while teaching guitar that I had won yet another prize at The Run for the Cure. My name was drawn for some nice prizes. I made arrangements with the woman on the end of the phone, and picked them up today. A beautiful large decorative bowl from Wheatons, silver earrings, candles, a three month membership at Curves, and last but not least, a fanny pack for a dog with attached leash (which took me awhile to figure out). I thought perhaps this was a sign to get a dog. I'll think on that, I think. I called Natalie to see if she wanted the fanny pack leash for her dog. She said yes, I think. Either for herself or for a friend, not sure which. I think RCMP man wants a dog, if he can convince Nat. Years ago, they had a German Shepherd named Owen, who visited us on occasion.
It's been a whirlwind two days, and I love it. It's so nice to be normal again and doing normal and not so normal things. It seems like so many opportunities are presenting themselves to me that I can't keep up. And people in my house again – students making music and melodies. Here at The Soul Café.
Yesterday, I dropped in to Paradise Imports to get a specialty coffee, and ended up talking to Jon and Nancy, the owners. Jon is a barista and roasts coffee beans right there in the store and serves up some mighty fine brews. Brenda and I have made several trips to this unique store on York Street to buy jewellery sometimes and coffee always. Check it out. Well, Nancy and I got talking about my journey, and I left with a hug and encouragement from her. I left her my card and my website to check out. She and a few friends organize retreats and breast cancer awareness events. I just may end up speaking there sometimes. She said she wanted a comedian at the next one. I blurted out, "that would be me." I don't know why I said that, but I did. Sometimes I think I'm funny. And I like to speak and make people laugh. And do funny things, so you never know.
I picked up my rolling luggage, courtesy of New Balance. I think I could pack my whole house in this thing, so it will be interesting to see where it takes me. Brenda, have you ever seen so many gifts and prizes that I have received this past year? (She comments on this and shakes her head every so often, so amazed she is at this phenomena).
Today has been a full day. Reading and studying in my office now adorned with an electric fireplace, a trip to UNB to pick up my prizes, over to Green Village to buy a burning bush for a friend, a stop at Max's house for yogurt and tea so that I would have energy to go to the gym, to the gym for a half hour workout on the elliptical trainer (a beast of a machine that kills your thighs and calves), the grocery store for yet more groceries for my full refrigerator, home to put them away and scarf down some chicken, before hightailing it to the radio station to talk and observe the goings on there (more about that at a later date). Then home to teach, have more chicken and take off to choir, play the piano and sing my lungs out. And now here I am again, ready for a hot shower and pjs.
Meditations on this day:
- Life is full of activity and opportunities arise when you least expect them
- Life is precious and not to be taken for granted
- God is always at work around us
- People are more important than things
- Music is wonderful
- I love my fireplace and am enjoying my office once again
- I enjoy singing beside my mom in choir – I don't take her for granted and value any time I spend with her
- Stay in the day, !Deb, stay in the day
That's enough for today.
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Here's a pic of me and Brenda after we climbed the hill last Thanksgiving weekend. Cousin Mary Beth, Medicine Woman snapped the photo. In the background is the house our mom grew up in, and where we spent many happy years (Aunt H and Uncle F live there now). Our RV is parked beside the Pirate's house. Cousin W's house is not shown but is below the Pirate's house, and where we had our "Capture the Flag" tournament (Wayne's hedges are 'slightly' damaged). The beautiful village of Coldstream is in the valley. Now you know where Coldstream is. Make a plan to visit.
Some days are peaceful. This was one of those days – full of peace. Church this morning: leading music, teaching the high school class, meeting with friends. Went out to lunch with my boyfriend of 32 years at Frank's, stopped by to see J & Ph's house they are building in Penniac, and off for a long Sunday country drive. Should have taken my 'rolling luggage' along with me, just in case we decided to stop somewhere for the night. Although I haven't actually received the luggage yet – probably should stay home long enough for her to deliver it to me!
It was nice today because we didn't have a schedule or an agenda. A day of rest. Just me and my handsome boyfriend, traveling the country roads to see what we could see and where we would end up. We took roads we had never been on before. Stopped by Jessica's house to have a bit of a rest, a warm hug, and a peanut butter sandwich. Doug helped L. put a bookcase together. Now I'm on the couch soaking my sore feet again. I feel like an old woman when I walk, and I'm sure I look like one, too. But what, pray tell me is 'old' anyway? Isn't age relative? You're only as old as you feel, 'they' say, whoever 'they' is. Our family has been trying to find out for years who 'they' is. Anyway, I'm off track again.
Yesterday was the first day since I finished radiation that I actually felt like I just wanted to sit in a chair and relax for the day. Although I didn't. I always have good intentions for rest, but never follow through, it seems. I made banana breads and muffins instead and ended up having a short kitty nap before supper. So today it was nice to sit in the van and be taxied through the countryside.
Peace – if every day could be this peaceful. Peace starts in the heart, I guess, and we know where peace comes from. I try not to worry about the future, but am trying to live in the day.
Saturday, 17 October 2009
You are the third place fundraiser at the Fredericton site. I have your prize, a piece of rolling luggage in my trunk.
An appropriate gift for me, don't you think? A piece of 'rolling luggage' for the girl who loves to 'roll on down the highway.'
PS: Thanks to Century Farm for their contribution to the cause and to those of you who supported me personally in the Run!
Thursday, 15 October 2009
"Well, it is saturday evening, and all are safe and in their respective beds. Glad that Luke and Arron got to stay here with us. Seem like very nice young men. It has been a great weekend for me to just be retrospective and enjoy as much of this as I can. It warms my heart to watch everything unfold here on the hill.
Our tree we have together, will be here next year as well, and it may or may not have its leaves, in that season, but this year they stayed to signify, we made it again kiddo. [The Pirate showed me two trees outside his house -- one with leaves, and one without. He said the one without leaves represented my life last year (gone), and the one with leaves is me living on. When he spoke that to me, the reality of it went deep inside and I began to weep, as I realized I'm still here, living on]. Next year we will have another significant sign that will again stand in our memory. We made it , and we will keep making it year after year and you will see , when we are our parents age, we will always look back to those days, and remember , and you will say" how did you really know Jeff?" Then I will tell you a story. It will be much the same as many I have told you, and you too will know, that my life has been spent knowing of many things. Some good, some not so good, but knowing just the same. I have come to the conclusion though, that it is not good to know or be aware of too many things, only the things that we are supposed to know, and each is given the knowledge based on what we can realistically handle. Maybe that is how the original plan was supposed to work. Each with an individual knowledge to be brought together as one , each with their own talent to make it work as a coalition. Just a thought.
I love to listen to the family play, all together. What a coalition that would make , if we all worked together , to achieve one thing. Try to imagine if one person from that group possessed all of the knowledge of all of the rest together. I guess that one soul could do it all then, but think of the overload it would create within one. What a lonely place in this world it might be if that person needed no one. I definitely know we need each and everyone. The other thing I know is that our family is blessed and will be protected throughout all of the life blessings and mishaps or unforseen occurrances that might come upon us. Doesn't mean there will be no sorrow or tradgedies, and our families will grow old and depart, but what it does mean is we will all go through it strong and together, and with blessings until that day when the return will bring us all together once again. Just knowing that is a blessing by itself. A long time ago our beginning began here, and to here we will always return. Quite an insight huh?
I think I can hear Doug snoring out in the motor home, so maybe I had better quit writing for tonight and say," blessed I am this weekend". Love you Guys, and hope you loved being here as much as I loved having everyone. Coldstream Pirate always."
Thanks, Pirate, I heard Doug snoring, too -- Thanks for all the encouragement... !Deb
I must go soak my feet in Epsom salts. Perhaps my whole body.
God is good and His mercies endure forever.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Dr. Broad called me this morning with the results of my white blood cell test -- it remained the same as last time -- 2.7. Weird. And I've been eating roast beef like crazy. She's going to test it on Nov. 10th again (which is the date of my diagnosis last year). She said my platelets and hemoglobin (red blood cells) were good (13.2). So, keep praying. I had a dream that it went to 5.1 (I may have told you this last week).
This morning I went to Saffire and endured her training yet again. She says it doesn't look like I sweat, but I do -- it's a real workout for me. I just 'perspire,' not 'sweat,' I guess. I'm a lady. I would rather stay home and not exercise, but I really want to be healthy, so I force my body to be my slave. Discipline is difficult, isn't it? But in the end it reaps a reward of sorts. Now I'm just being philosophical.
Went to choir tonight and sang my heart out (after teaching). I'm lung weary -- exercise exertion, talking while teaching and breathing during singing. Now I'm just being silly. Good night.
"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want...."
Thursday, 8 October 2009
Getting ready today and tomorrow for our annual Thanksgiving getaway up at the farm in Coldstream, wherever that is. Friday night music night with The Pirate and relatives, Saturday will be an assortment of eating, games, children, hiking, general mayhem, with a big meal on Saturday night and hopefully "Capture the Flag" and indoor games.
Our RV is parked at The Pirate's house right now, awaiting our arrival tomorrow. Jed and Granny are taking their trailer as well for Brenda and family to stay in. Jon & Alicia and Stephen & Becky are staying at Cousin Wayne's house. Jed and Granny are staying in the farm house with Aunt Helen & Uncle Floyd. We had this weekend event last year and it was a blast.
Praying for good weather....!Deb on her way to Coldstream
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Lunch with Mom and off we went to Home Hardware and Kent to search for a new picture for my living room and a kitchen fan/light fixture. I didn't get either, and Brenda left with a new light for her kitchen instead. Groceries and then home to teach piano and guitar til 6:30, where Brenda and I hopped in the car and went to the choir together. She sat in the back of the 110 member choir and listened. I got to accompany the choir for a short time again, which I enjoy. But I really enjoy the singing challenge. I lose myself in it, for that short hour and a half on a Tuesday evening. Our Christmas concert will be quite an event, I'm sure.
To DQ after such a vocal workout, where we met Doug for sundaes. And now I'm ready for bed, once again. I pray I can sleep tonight. Sometimes when one is overtired, one doesn't sleep. Isn't that true? I know I was tired after the Run for the Cure, and my left foot has been suffering with plantar fascitis. I could hardly walk this morning. Oh well, I guess I'll have to learn to walk again.
Sunday, 4 October 2009
(Becky, bless her heart, ran 5 km). It was an emotional day for me personally, as these people battled the rain storm with me and hundreds of others through the streets of Fredericton. And to realize that I made it this far. When I made it to the finish line I raised my hands in the air in victory. I made it! To walk this 5 km walk is nothing compared to what we've been through, and to see everyone walking in support of women survivors and non-survivors is very touching. We all went back to our house for snacks and conversation. Thank you EVERYONE -- who walked and who donated, and those of you who were with us in spirit. It was a great time and we were soaked! But one thing about it, we'll never forget it! The names of those who walked today on Team Dancing Queen Southern Division:
Angie Murphy (Team Captain), Deb & Doug, sister Brenda, sister Janet, Mom, Sandra Piercy, Kim Cook, Shelly McCready, Erica McCready, Jonathan Gilbey, Dawn Marie Allaby, Janette Alward, Doris Mersereau, Krista Rose, Kyla Weston & girls, Holly Phillips, Becky Horsman, Charlotte Miller, Janet White #2, Sarah White, Matthew White, Alicia MacDonald (Jon stayed home with Jack, Afton & Ivy) and Barbara Beck. I hope I haven't left anyone out, so if I did, please let me know! (Kyla & girls & Shelly & Erica and Jon Gilbey missing from pic).
A special thanks to Angie Murphy, our Team Captain -- you did a great job and we all appreciate your efforts on behalf of the team! Our team has raised over $7200. and counting. The Fredericton walk raised over $246,000. for research. Amazing!
I'm waiting on Team Dancing Queen Northern Division's pictures and will post them once I receive them. They, too, had an awesome day. I feel so honored to have you all walking and standing with me -- those who walked, and those who have been standing by me this past year. God bless you all!
Saturday, 3 October 2009
Getting excited about the Run tomorrow, no matter what the weather. Team Dancing Queen will be gathering here at 12:00 noon and we will go to the run as a team, run/walk as a team and eat together later as a team! I'll post pictures and tell you all about it later. I am so honored to have so many friends rooting me on in this journey I'm on. And for those of you participating in the run, an extra thank you -- for all the fundraising you've been doing, and taking the time to walk 5 kilometres with me. And thanks to the Northern Team Dancing Queen, who are also walking/running tomorrow in The Pas. (They are also walking/running and eating together tomorrow as well). Wish we could be there with you!
!Deb -- The Dancing Queen