Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The power of mankind!

Hardin is going into his 3rd day of laying in a fetal position and sleeping.  He says the pain is deep and unlike any he has ever had.  (I am told that as the cord cells began to engraft, that there is much intense pain!)  These 'baby cells' just aren't sure what they are doing.  Their counting is 1,2,4,7,3,9,5,3,10 . . . when we need 1,2,3,4,56,7,8,9,10!  Having sat by his side 99% of the night, I practiced counting for them over and over!  
He asked me last night and several times today, "Don't leave me, OK?"  "Mom, am I really going to come through this?"  "They haven't told you something you are not telling me have they?"  "Just touch me on my back."  So I sit on a foot stool by his bed(the fold down murphy bed meant for the caregiver . . . which is much more comfortable than the hospital bed which continually moves up and down with your body movement).

Watching far too much tv, but if I tried to read, the eyes close and the head nods, I came across a documentary on Niagara Falls.  The commentator was speaking of the power of the water and energy it  released.  As I've listened to the rhythmic pattern of Hardin's breathing and then the erratic patterns that comes with a new wave of pain . . . I am reminded of the "Power of Niagara Falls"!

I have a power I'll put up against it's sku-millions of gallons of water and it's power . . .
The "power of  man kind" . . . the will of these transplant patients!!!  I watch them walk the halls with each step requiring more energy than all the falls together can produce . . . and they do it day after day.  I watch them loving life so much that they go through the worst of the worst just to have another tomorrow.

It's the power of man kind . . . the will of the nurses, doctors, lab researchers  and techs who continually search for a cure of so many illnesses and diseases . . . who use the power of their  being to think outside a box to find and follow the power of a new thought or possibility.
It's a power of Divine strength and magnitude.  

It's the power of man kind . . . the will of inventors who come up with the machinery, tests equipment, new formulas . . . who use the power of 'what if' & 'why not' to find the new
'this is it's'.

It's the power of man kind . . . the will of the mother or dad who work 2 and sometimes 3 jobs so their children can have food to eat, a place to live and the opportunity for a secure tomorrow.

It's the power of mankind . . . made in God's image!  For with God, all things are possible . . . when you love God with heart, mind, body and soul & love mankind as much as God loves mankind . . . then God's power is in mankind.

For this moment, Hardin sleeps.  Bailey and Will Faulkner willing be meeting, loving and caring for Sydney Elizabeth Faulkner one day in August . . . maybe on her mother's birthday, Marc or Evans' birthday or maybe one of her own.  

For this moment, the energy of mankind is alive and well . . . seeking out all the possibilities of 'what could be' . . . each second of everyday and I feel peace, joy and wonder in this moment . . . but mostly 'gratitude' . . . for The Power of life!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Great Way to Think into Today . . . Happy Sunday!!!

from Renaissance Unity . . .

Sunday, April 3, 2011 – Victory
Fall seven times, stand up eight.”
~Japanese Proverb

“The only victory that counts is the one over yourself.”
~ Jesse Owens
Today's Affirmation
Anchored in Truth, I am victorious over fear, worry, lack and limitation of every kind.
Today's Meditation
Dear God,

There is much noise around our world, shouting about how hopeless things seem.
If I listen, my mind quickly takes the noise and creates a story that recaps all of the terrible events
    and then tells the story over and over.
In the midst of this clanging, I can hear Your still, small voice when I take time to focus.
Your voice reminds me that everything is working together in ways I might not understand yet.
From an expanding awareness of Your presence flows peace, calm and serenity.
I surrender the victim stories I have created,
And with YOU experience the sweetness of victory over fear and worry.
Hold my hand God, I am holding Yours . . .
in this race to win.
Thank You.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Random thoughts!

Written 3/31/11 (but no signal to post so will show up at 4/1/11)

One of the blessings of any journey is the people that cross your path.  

I was sitting in the family kitchen of our floor at MD making a pot of coffee tonight and waiting to hear if Kristy was still up.  A young woman came in to pop corn and her shoulders were a bit stooped and her face was tired.  As you know, I can talk to a wall . . . so the conversation began.  

Long story short:  she is a resident wanting to go into peds or family practice.  She is taking a leave for the months of March and April to care for her mother who began her chemo today before her  bone marrow transplant on April 7. 
She is tired!  She is worried for her mother and also as to how she will care for her mother when she leaves the hospital.  You see, when a patient leaves MD after the transplant, they are to have someone with them 24/7.  In discharge class today (want to be ready whenever this day comes!) the statement was made several times, that if there are things you need/want to do once our patient is discharged, then do it when they are in the one of the clinics getting blood/platelets or waiting on lab and results!!! 

I asked her what surprised her most about this process called med-school, residence & her journey.  She pondered, went somewhere very deep within herself and after what seemed like an hour directed her warm eyes into the past and spoke of a patient who had breast cancer without insurance and what she went thru to help her get thru the system.  Then she spoke of another and another until her eyes were filled with tears of compassion and concern.  She was most surprised about her emotion for each patient and not just in treating the diagnosis!

That precious, glorified spirit before me was already a  "physician"!!!  She had passed the title of 'doctor'.

She sat down with me and prayed . . . no, she had a conversation with her Creator which I was honored to witness.  Her words fells on God's heart and my soul was blessed.

Hardin has slept 90% of today.  You know how new born babies are . . . eat, sleep and ????  Well, Hardin has slept, eaten almost everything put before him . . . well  some things mothers of 'adult sons' don't need to know unless it is an emergency.

For the last 28 days,  Hardin has been up at this 2a.m. hour showering and visiting . . . he now lays in that cuddled, fetal position, sleeping like a newborn baby.  That is exactly what he is doing . . . going thru that birthing process!

They will come in at 4a.m. to draw blood.  The results will be in about 8a.m.  Will his WBC stay at 0.5?  Will they drop?  Will they go up?  My mother's heart is so full of gratitude and joy to see him sleep so peacefully that for this moment in time . . . that is all I need.

Oh, April 1!!!  In one week we will have been here for 6 months without returning to where my heart is happiest, Arkansas!  Never in my life did I ever dream of not being within it boundaries for half a year!  I so love coming home from any journey when you top those knolls seeing the skyline of downtown.   The site of those buildings always bring an exhale moment.

Good night Arkansas . . . Where ever you are!!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hardin's WBC

WhiteBloodCount today is 0.5 with signs of neutrophils!!!  

The great news about neutrophils is:  this means that those glorious baby cells are truly 'trying' to engraft!!!  They are beginning to like their new home!!!

The WBC  can still teeter up and down . . .  but wherever it goes, we know that it is in God's perfect Will and timing on this earth as it is in Eternity . . . and there is peace and joy!!!!!!!

I do not understand all this medical terminology . . . I do not understand how this glorious God made body works.  But,
I do understand that God's Love is with us in every situation  -  whether we perceive the situation as good or bad . . . and 
I trust The God,  who created each of us who has ever been or will be.

I do know and believe with every fiber of my being that, "This is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it!" (Psalm 118:24) . . . regardless of any counts or any situation!!!

I had just typed to this point in this note . . .  and googled the scripture above to verify the location was correct, which I had wrong.    A YouTube location came up  entitled "This is the day the Lord has made!!!"   
It had a little one's picture on it & was only 24 seconds so of course I had to open it!   It has to be a representative of Hardin's baby cells  singing . . .!!!  
"Amen" baby stem cells . . . . . . . sing on to God's glory!!!

Words being sung - (because babies are often hard to understand): 
"This is the day .  This is the day.  The Lord has made.  The Lord has made.  We will rejoice. We will rejoice and be glad He made.  Be glad He made. For this is the day the Lord has made!!!"
Out of the mouths of babes!

"Thank You Lord my God . . . The God of Abraham,
For giving us this moment in time to praise You and Your glory!!!
Rejoicing in this day You made . . . Amen!!!"

Click on this for a 24 second smile:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hardin's update

Hardin is still in a holding pattern.  His white blood count is at 0.1 for the 17th day, which is a start.   We are just waiting for the white count to start the upward climb when those baby cells take hold and decide to stay!  

The rash bioscopy came back and it is pre-host vs. graft . . . which means that his body is aware that someone new is there trying to be part of him.  It requires him to cover his body from head to toes in steroid cream, wait 30 minutes and then repeat the coverage with a very heavy vaseline to leave on.  I think Hardin now understands the term, "Slippery and slimmy"!!!

There is no way to tell you what a day will hold:  swelling of legs, face & body, rash, sleeping, awake, hungry, not eating,  high blood pressure . . . but the constants through out is:
1.  God's unending guidance and Grace;
2.  Hardin's attitude of "I can do this!"; 
3.  The quality of care and concern from the staff of MD Anderson. 
4.  The devotion of each of you in constant and continuing prayer.

We take this moment as a gift and opportunity . . . a fast, hard lesson in 'living in this moment'.

I'm sending this as an email and will post it on the blog.  Some of you have said you won't be able to do the blog and others have said, yea!  So . . . 
I'll continue to send emails with updates and then post all my too many words to the blog.

The one person I want to say a special "Thank You" to is a Renaissance man for all times . . .  Johnny Bale.
He has made it possible for me to be with Hardin as needed.  He has provided us with a great apt or Houston home.  He continues to fly between LR & Houston without complaining.  When he's here in Houston he is washing clothes, preparing home cooked meals from pot roast with fabulous veggies - to chicken and dumplings, running errands, bringing breakfast or anything else we need/want.  He listens to Hardin and me with the diplomacy  of an ambassador.  He is on the phone trying to help Hunter with an every changing business.  He is simply and forever the purest example of a man of God, a Godly husband, daddy and friend I have ever known.  He doesn't have to preach a sermon . . . he just lives his life as one.

When Nancy Tillman wrote, On the Night You Were Born she had each of us in mind, but especially Johnny Bale for the last two pages:
"For never before in story of rhythm.  Not even "once upon a time" . . . has there ever been a you my friend, and never will be again.
Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn . . . on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born."!!!

 . . . Happy Birthday Sunday, March 27 to you Johnny Bale.  Happy day to the world . . . YOU were born!!!

                 Happy Birthday also to the daughter-of-our-heart, Brooke Bale.  She and Johnny share the 27th and it's her first birthday as Evans' mother!

With gratitude for each of you and the days you were born!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Blog?

A Blog?  I'm going to try it!!!

So many of you have been so faithful to keep our family and especially Hardin, on your lips and hearts before God!  Your wings of friendship have carried us when we couldn't walk.
Your notes, phone calls, cards, surprises and visits- all the way down here,  have been the sunshine in our days.

I have meant to be better about up dates and keeping you by our sides in all this information driven society. . . but my 'mean to's' and my 'doing's' have been as far apart as the definition of 'thought about it' and 'did it'.   I'm up by 7 or 8a.m. after going to bed between 2 and 3.
You'd think in those 17-18 hours of awake time I could achieve everything.  Not!

So, I'll give this a try.  I also need to inform you of a GREAT UNtruth I printed in yesterday's thoughts . . . you'll now know for sure of my lack of 'fishing knowledge' . . .
it is NOT a Rainbow Bass but a PEACOCK BASS Hardin wants to fish for.  Well, they both have a lot of color!!!

Love to you all and if this doesn't suit your fancy . . . we can always send out emails!!!

Gratitude for God's Love . . . Grace . . . and YOU!!!

Good Morning Houston!!!

The twin towers outside our MD Anderson window are cloaked in the mist of the unknown.   What lies below the glowing spikes is not clear.  But as it has for the past month, this mist of the unknown will be dissolved by the brilliance of a south Texas sun which reflects the hearts and souls of it's citizens.

We have been in Houston since Oct. 8.  This was not a  trip I ever dreamed of.  I did not plan it.  I did not buy a plane ticket.  It is a trip I never wanted anyone to take and certainly not one of our sons.
We arrived by air ambulance from Little Rock, Arkansas and have not left the boundaries of this "City of Compassion" since!  We've celebrated All Saints Eve, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day,  St. Patricks Day and before we know it Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day and perhaps even the 4th of July within this city's boundaries.

The outline of the surroundings buildings are beginning to wake up to another day.   It's the week-end so many of the eyes of the hundreds  of windows will sleep til Monday morning.  Yet past the immediate buildings the mist is still shrouding the world in nothingness. 

The moon last night, being 33,000 miles closer to earth, made it a wonderful night for a moon dance.  I can only imagine the magic from the Houston Rodeo with it peeking thru the ferris wheel and shining down on the midway with the illumination of real magic.  How exciting to be in the city of NASA & experience the moon in such glory.  I am told by some that 'man never walked on the moon', it was all a ploy!  But the truth of life is the moon is a welcoming magical place, as is MD Anderson and the city of Houston . . . so I know that man continues to walk on this moon! 

As my eyes drift from the outside view they fall on the shadow of one of the heart beats of my soul called 'son' and I see the most magical and mystical site in the world.  A gift lent to my being for an unknown time.  I am so grateful for this opportunity to be apart of his spirit for today.  The past six months has been a journey of terrible, horrible, very bad chemicals being pumped into his body to fight the battle with AML Leukemia.  The battle is being won but there will be consequences, as with every decision in life.  There of course has been hair loss, nausea, diarrhea,  water retention to the point that his feet won't fit in his shoes and his face appears to be double in size.  There have been days of dreams that left him in tears for fear they were actual events.  Now his body is covered in a rash that is of unknown causes with many possibilities.  But through out this journey/battle  I continue to see his spirit glowing from within and there is peace and joy in my being.

This is a man-child who is at home tracking a deer, calling in ducks, reading the signs of broken twigs and shifts in wind & clouds,  who finished 8th in the world in team roping and is hoping to one day fish for "peacock" bass . . . yet with the business sense of a Fortune 500 Company executive . . . and with a love for his son that is second only to that of his own dad.  I look at him and see the curly headed child running through the Destin surf. . . the young boy at his first Pony Club Rally clearing jumps with the smoothness of a duck gliding over a still pond . . . the teenager rebuilding an old Chevy blazer to have ready for his 16th year. . . standing with his Catholic High School senior class singing, "Here I am Lord, It is I Lord.  I have heard You calling in the night.  I will go Lord, if You lead me.  I will hold Your people in my heart." as they awaited the presentation of their senior rings . . . the daddy holding his 23 hour old son, who is now four, as he awaited the first of five major surgeries . . . and now a man in this battle with cancer, with the armor of faith and the spirit of hope.

Oh,  daylight has broken and the reflection of golden pink, from a building across the way, tells me that Houston is aglow with the activity of it's people.

That's what all this rambling was to say . . .
I know you, the city of Houston, have many nicknames you have been known for, most based on geography and economic facts, but my favorite and the one that truly is about the people of Houston is "The Big Heart".
May I add a personal name for Houston, Texas?  The City of Compassion!    

"Thank You" Houston for taking us in as one of your own . . . for being so kind and considerate (except in driving!) for each and every one of our needs - from directions, to white blood cell donors, to coat hangers . . . for being a city that never sleeps - in activity or COMPASSION!!!  

Houston, we are grateful for your 'journey' in science, health, business, the arts, natural wonders and being an international home to the world.   Your journey and God's Grace has paved the road for our family, and so many families, to travel into this day with faith and  hope and "Thank You" for sharing your heart!

On behalf of all the people who are full of "gratitude" to this City of Compassion . . .

"Thank YOU"!!!