GOOD NEWS!

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HAPPY DAYS ARE  HERE AGAIN – DADDY, JOHANNA, AND ERIKA

Well, I am so glad to announce that my daughter who spent 10 months fighting with Ovarian Cancer, started back to work yesterday, May 8, 2017. That’s good news! She will have to keep seeing her Oncologist quarterly to make sure all remains well, but that’s minimal to what she went through last year and the first of this year. Her first post checkup came out wonderful. Thank God. 

Through all she went through, she was able to finish book 2 and 3 of her Ruby Eyed Devil Series, and has started on a book of short stories to be published in e-book format. She laughs a lot more now. She is busy regaining some of the happiness that she lost during those months. She smiles a whole lot more, too. I think that she has embraced life so much more since her ordeal with cancer. She is still teaching Sunday School every Sunday at church and cleaning her house, running errands, fussing with her sisters; (some things never change), loving her grandmother and seeing about her. Sounds like normal stuff, you’re right, but when you come away from an affliction that others don’t make it through, those ‘normal’ things become great privileges and you love to do them.

As for me, only God sustained me while watching my daughter suffer. Chemotherapy took all of her hair out, but I guess the stress of watching her made a lot of my own hair fall out, too. No matter, both of our hair is growing back. 

Thanks for listening and blogging concerns and encouragement when I shared with  you for those months. I appreciate you all more than I can say. 

It’s May, 2017. Make sure that you embrace this uncertain life you have and break down barriers if you can between you and anyone you love. Mend broken relationships, too. It’s worth it. I’m happy and joyful today and I am not going to analyze those feelings either. Tomorrow may be different, sure: but I’ll deal with tomorrow when I make it there. 

Rosa

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BREATHING EASIER EACH DAY NOW!

Well, it has been a while but I am able to say that my daughter  Johanna, has taken her last Chemotherapy treatments and just a few more tests and then a CAT Scan and I believe she will be in good health. 

I have to share with you that she has changed since last year. The baby-like daughter that made me laugh because she loved to be babied, has gone. In her place is a young woman who told me just today, “Mom, I’m alright.” I smiled at her and thanked God for His mercy to her and to all of us, her family. She wants to move to another state now. I can see in her eyes she wants a different future, and I can tell she isn’t afraid of it either.  She still has to be checked out every three months for the next five  years to ensure her health remains, but we’ve all come this far and we’ll go even further. Her journey isn’t completely over, but the road isn’t so rocky now. Praise God!

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5-year old Johanna
5-year old Johanna

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To Johanna and all others who have battled cancer of various types, and their loved ones who supported them the best they knew how…

To everyone who whispered a prayer for my daughter, Johanna, and rooted for her…

To everyone who said a comforting word to my blogs and gave words of encouragement…

THANK YOU AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Rosa

JOHANNA’S JOURNEY – PART 4

I CAN FINALLY TAKE A BREATH!

Late last night, Sunday the 11th of December, I spoke with Johanna before she retired for the night and I could tell that she wasn’t so strained. I asked as I always do, “Johanna, how are you feeling?” When she spoke I could immediately tell that her voice was a bit stronger. She said, “I am a little better, Ma.” When she said that, I took a long deep breath. I smile as I think about it now. I really didn’t realize that when she and I spoke I was holding my breath. Most of last week and the weekend she was terribly sad and sick and she had little to no strength. When she would cry a bit, I wouldn’t really know what to say. It’s normally easy to speak when not sitting in the hot seat. But it wasn’t easy for me, so I just sat quiet and she began talking. That did my heart good. I just listened. I think the short talk was therapeutic for me, too. 

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I can breathe easily for a few days as she is stronger than she was all last week. When you love someone, especially your child, and they are going through difficulties and illnesses that you can’t take away or cure, you’ll find that everything gets in perspective. All of those “other” things that were so important before are quite unimportant. In fact they are an insult to the present circumstances. My desires fade away into one request: “God please let her get a little rest tonight.” That has been my one desire and the Lord granted my request. She is even laughing and talking more. I can finally take a breath.

More tomorrow.

 

Rosa

JOHANNA’S JOURNEY PART 3

This past week of intense Chemotherapy has left Johanna, in her own words: ‘SICK.’ She has been heaving every day. When she gets up she up-chucks, during the day she is throwing up. At night she can’t even take the medicine to help her stop heaving because she can’t get anything in or keep it down. It’s been a long week for her.

Johanna has an angelic voice. She writes music and sings it. She wrote a song some years ago and she sang it in church once, too. Here are the lyrics. I hope you are encouraged and inspired by them as you go throughout your day.

 

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LIFE WILL BE BETTER

Verse 1

So you’ve got problems, I’ve got some, too.

Feels like the whole world is against you

Like there is no one who knows what you’re going through

Well, I’ve been there and I can tell you.

Chorus

When you learn to trust in Jesus

When you give Him your all

When you show your faith won’t waver

Then life will be better. Then life will be better.

Verse 2

Feels like there’s no hope. I’ve felt that too.

Pain is your present, your future, too.

Just want a day when your heart’s not in two.

Well, I’ve been there, and I can tell you…

Chorus

 

Verse 3

Cried through some long nights, I’ve cried some, too.

Praying for the moment when dreams will come true

Life ain’t so easy. It’s harder on you

So just do as I tell you to do.

Special Chorus

Life ain’t the best and you’re just living

Things can’t get worse but then it is

How can you see the forest for the trees

Well, I know just what you mean

Chorus

But it’s when you learn to trust in Jesus

It’s when you give Him your all

When you show your faith won’t waver

Then life will be better. Then life will be better

(Written by Johanna Parker, who lovingly gave me permission to reprint it.)

More tomorrow.

Rosa

 

JOHANNA’S JOURNEY PART 2

It’s very interesting to watch twins grow up. In a nutshell Jennifer the older twin is an African Violet. Johanna the younger twin is a shrinking violet. Truth. But where Johanna shies away from the public eye, she makes up in love for her family. She is one of those people who love to be around her family and that’s enough for her. High school  not withstanding, Johanna made very few waves. That’s just not her personality. When something happened or she became more of an extrovert, it was because I insisted on it or she was with her sisters. 

Her  mindset for many years was that of a young child. What I mean by that is she argued vehemently with a 6-year old and she was 14. You would have thought that they were two grown women arguing. It was so funny. She saw nothing wrong with arguing with her 6-year old cousin. So, she was baby-like in those matters. Another aspect of Johanna is that more than any of the other children, she knows her daddy well. She can understand what’s in his mind. She’s been able to do that since she was about 6 years old herself. Johanna had a simple wisdom then and she has a much more mature wisdom now. She hangs onto every word that daddy says:

Johanna: Mom, my ponytail came out at school today (she was about 10 years old) and the other kids laughed at me.

Me: Oh that’s not nice. I am so sorry.

Johanna: That’s alright Mom, because Dad says that when people laugh at you and make fun of you they will be laughed at, too.

Nuf said.

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Daddy and daughter just before surgery in August, 2016

She and her dad have always been close, but this illness has made them compadres. My husband takes her to all her appointments, the pharmacy, clinic for chemo, surgeries she had to endure. He cooks her breakfast, lunch, and dinner, he calls her “princess” at times, too. He takes her food to her most of the time because she is often weak and sickly these days. She was crying once and I wasn’t home, but on the phone with her. She stopped and said, “Mom, I have to hang up. I need to go and get a hug from my dad.” I am grateful for their closeness during this journey back to health. It’s a true blessing.

More tomorrow.

Rosa

WHY I AM NOT SAYING “WHY”

 

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Hi All,

It has been a whirlwind of activity and emotions with my daughter being sick. I have been examining my own reactions and thoughts about her condition:

I wondered why I wasn’t screaming, yelling and crying uncontrollably. It’s because first and foremost, “it’s not about me,” it’s about my daughter and her welfare and getting better. I don’t have time to indulge myself. Yes, at the beginning I cried for about 10 minutes. Then I stopped.  She needs me.

I wondered why I didn’t say, “Why me or why my daughter?” It’s because I know that pain and heartache and sickness and disease inhabits this entire world. It’s because others that I love and know are suffering, too. I watch them and how they quietly do what is necessary to endure and get better. I think that it’s unfair to say why me when sickness comes to all of us. By me saying why me, I suggest that it’s alright for others to go through but not me or mine.

I wondered why I was exhausted and would fall into the bed sleeping heavily. It’s because, as a mom, I am anxious for my daughter. It’s because if I could, I would take the pain for her, but I can’t. I can, however, be there for her and do all I can do to make her trial of illness a little better. I can do that for sure.

I wondered why I am not out of my mind with worry. It’s because in that state of mind I cannot be of service to her. I can’t even pray for her like that. If nothing else I can be a support for her and comfort as much as I can. Worrying my hair out keeps  me from doing that. She means more to me than my biting my nails down to the quick. I don’t have the right to do that. I have to be there for her.

Ultimately, I have a grip because the God whom I serve has already taken care of this situation.

Rosa

AND NOW…A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR

If you grew up watching T.V. when I was young, there was alway a commercial or it was called a station break or even a word from our sponsor. I like that last phrase: Here’s a word from our sponsor.

I’ve enjoyed sharing my family’s history with you. You’ve all been sharing with me, too. I love it. But since I’ve shared with you almost daily something about family, I have had to take a station break. I want to give a word from the sponsor (me).

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I don’t know where you are in your relationships with family and close friends, but if it is a broken or even shattered relationship, try to mend it. Circumstances can change so drastically and so suddenly and you don’t want anything to get in between you and your loved one will may come to need you.

I have three daughters and one son and for so long they have made me proud. The illnesses we’ve all endured to this point have been ‘fixable’ and not too severe, but now my youngest daughter was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it for about 3 days. But since that time she’s gone through surgery, and will soon take Chemotherapy. My heart is broken for her and my husband and I are with her. She is the quietest of all the children, and she has a strength that the others don’t necessarily have. She will never have children, which in and of itself doesn’t bother me—she said more than once as a teen that she never wanted children. She is content to be an aunt. It’s at times like these that I find the faith that I’ve let you hear in my posts from time to time is strong. I have no doubt that God has picked her out for this particular test—and me, too. I’m a mom and feel as a mom would feel to hear her child is ill like that. But my faith in Jesus the Christ is solid and He’s brought us through other trials. He won’t fail now. ovarian-cancer-awareness-fbcover

Keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Rosa