Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Splendid Wild Flowers....

As I was running errands a couple of days ago
I decided to stop and take pictures of the flowers
that have been inspiring and encouraging me.
The fragrance that wrapped around me when I was
standing in this field was like a hug from heaven.

They grow rampant along the sides of the roads
and in the fields standing in defiant victory against weeds and harsh sun.

When I was a girl, we lived in Texas for a good handful of years.
Despite the familiarity, I have never cared for Texas scenery or the weather.
Amazingly, this year there has been so much rain that it is not brown outside
and they are calling off water rationing for the first time in over 5 years.

These beauties are so tall that I had
to look up to take their picture.
Because the ground has been so dry, it doesn't readily receive the rain
and there has been some flash flooding.
Thankfully I have heard only of heroic rescues and no fatalities.
On Monday Daddy had his follow up appointment with his oncologist. His symptoms had dissipated enough that the doctor was all for starting up therapy again and scheduled him for an immediate transfusion.

The Doxitaxil.....Daxitoxcil....grrrrrr I can't remember the name of is the chemotherapy drip that begins a 14 day treatment cycle and it is proving to be the cause of at least half of Daddy's symptoms. It is what makes his eyes tear constantly like he is crying. It is essentially burning and killing his tear ducts. The doctor said we could do a tear duct blockage surgery but that seems too much of a hassle and I have read that it is not always successful. It also causes his nails to have harsh spots at the nail bed like he has been smashing his hands with a hammer. It doesn't hurt him though so we are grateful.

The newest symptom happened right after his transfusion and basically it was an allergic reaction that triggered a MILD flash pulmonary edema. While it definitely could have been a lot worse, his breathing became shallow and rapid and his right lower lung lobe started crackling as sweat poured off of him. I was sitting in the waiting room and by the time the nurse assessed the situation and told me they were taking him down for x-rays, his body had already stabilized. We did the x-ray anyway and his doctor felt confident that Daddy was good so we went home. I kept a close eye on him the rest of the night just in case he flashed again but he was great.

Now we are on day 3 of crushing up his Xeloda chemo pills so that Daddy can take them via G/J tube instead of trying to swallow them. We've developed a system that works well with putting the pills in several layers of heavy duty tin foil so that I can crush them without getting dust in the air and affecting myself.

The Xeloda has ruined his taste buds as a side effect and is the culprit of the Hand/Foot Syndrome blisters but hopefully that won't come back this time. The doctor says that if his symptoms increase again then we will have to cut back on treatment.

Despite all of that, Daddy has been so uplifting. He is joking around and staying awake more than I have seen in a while. He is ever so generous with his "thank yous" and "I love yous" as I do the many things for him that he can't do anymore.

On my errands day, I found myself unsuccessfully holding back my tears in the card section at the store. I had wanted to pick out Father's Day cards for the men in my life but found the task quite daunting. Without going back into all the details of our relationship, as little as 5 years ago I found buying a card for Daddy to be more of a formality. Our relationship had been strained for so many years and I found all of those 'little girl loving her daddy' type cards to be irritating to me. That has all changed now and I wanted so badly to find the most perfect card. Cards have never been a huge deal for me. It matters more to me what a person writes on the inside. But oh how I stood there in the store struggling over just the right picture with just the right words. I kept thinking that this may be the last Fathers Day card I get to ever get for him and I wanted time to stand still.

After I finally picked something out and blew my nose, I turned around and found the gift book section in the same isle. My eyes wandered aimlessly through the titles and I hoped the distraction would bring relief. One of the books jumped out at me and now I am so grateful for it. It is a father's journal filled with all kinds of life questions. Daddy and I have been doing a few pages in the evenings and really enjoying our time together. The questions are making him remember things about his childhood that he hasn't thought about in years and the memories are blessing him. As I write down what he says, I am learning so many things about my dad that I never knew before.

Father God I am so grateful that You are here with us. I am so grateful for Your grace and love, Your hugs and Your presence.

Thank you for your support and your encouragement.
Have a blessed and amazing destiny filled day!


  1. Bless his heart!! And yours too!! Such a trial to see the pain and hurt from the chemo.

    Hope your afternoon is filled with fun filling out pages in the journal!

  2. Oh, I'm praying and praying for you and your Daddy! It is so very, very hard!

    But I am so glad that you are filling in that book together. You will treasure that for ALWAYS!!!! Love you!!! Janine XO

  3. Thank you my sweet Julie for you gift of words…wonderful, uplifting words that soothe my soul. How God is using you and CHOOSING you to deliver such words of hope and inspiration. As I reflect back on losing my parents, my heart breaks for you as you go through this. But, yet I know God has chosen such a time as this to bring you through and to create a “lifetime” of memories for you even in this seemingly small frame of time that you’re able to spend with your daddy. I know you are enjoying and cherishing every moment. I pray that this will be the best Father’s Day ever ~ for both of you. My heart is with you and I pray God will continue to drop and sprinkle His little “Gracelets” on and around you each day as you need them…and that He would continue to show up for you in unexpected places…even in the wildflowers! I love you so much!

    Heart hugs and blessings,

    Wen ~


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