Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I had my check-up with Cliff Pyne, RN, today. He was concerned because I had been having swelling in my right leg so he sent me to the main hospital for a doppler on my leg. The technician was very thorough and she found a blood clot. I had a DVT in 1997 and a couple of instances of phlebitis since, but I really was surprised. I went back to the Cancer Center and saw Cliff. He gave me prescriptions for Coumadin and Lovanox. I hate Coumadin, but I may have to be on it for a while. The Lovanox is a shot I will have to give myself in the stomach for 10 days. I will have to start on Monday having a protime blood test 2 or 3 times a week until it gets leveled out. I am going on the Web and see what I need to do for my leg. Everyone had left except Cliff and the billing clerk. I told him I would look up what I need to do. I vaguely remember and I may even have the paperwork from the last time. I don't seem to be able to throw things away. I forgot to eat lunch today, not thinking I would be gone so long.

I found out why I have been feeling so bad and in so much pain in my back and just in my bones in general. Taking a white cell booster such as Neulasta® helps protect the white blood cells, but can cause side-effects, like pain in the bones.

When I got home, I had a wonderful surprise. Bertha Taylor Baldwin sent me one of her Get Well/Praying for You Scrapbooks. She takes used cards and cuts them out. She painstakingly puts them on construction paper and makes books out of them. Different colored paper for different feelings. It is so sweet. She sent me one in 2001 and I have taken it out and looked at it everytime I have been sick. It always makes me feel special and brightens my day. Now, I have two. I may have to ask if I can share one with someone else.

Poem from the Scrapbook:

As You Go Through This. . .

Difficult things can cause us to ask "Why did this happen?" but if we are
trusting in Christ we never need to ask "How could He let this happen?"

God may never reveal all His reasons to us, but He has revealed His character
to us. His character assures us that He never makes mistakes, is never uncaring, and that He never separates Himself from our need.

- Roy Lessin

"When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet."Proverbs 3:24

I will not be afraid. I will keep my faith in God. I will praise His name.

He will sustain me.


Love to all.

Friday, June 26, 2009


This is an avatar that I created on line. As close as I could get to me. LOL! They don't include lines in the face for these. Everyone looks younger.
Today is Friday. Strange, I barely remember the week. This round of chemo is a little different. I just can't seem to stay awake and I am so nauseous. I have been trying to Tweet and fall asleep right in the middle. It is so crazy. I have a numbness in my cheeks, mouth and nose. How strange is that? I ended up laying down on the couch and sleeping last night. Just anywhere I seem to lay my head.

It is difficult to put things together in my mind. I wish I felt like working on the Hispanic Website for the Church, but I am not so sure I could organize my thoughts that well. I took it from the Word document and put it into PowerPoint and then copied it into picture files. This is the only way I could be sure of doing it right, since I don't speak Spanish very well.

I got tweets from Riverside that they were reading my blog. Isn't that Sweet? They are some really nice people working at the Riverside Cancer Center. Dr. Schlesinger is absolutely wonderful and Cliff Pyne is a terrific nurse. My chemo nurse, Shannon is very kind and good at her job. They are all so caring, from the girl at the reception desk, to the lab ladies, to the nurses, doctors, and even the girl who checks me out when I leave and makes my appointments. I couldn't ask for better care.

The wonderful people on twitter really keep me feeling good. They read the blog, they say prayers for me, they are very supportive. I have 12 followers now, and I only had three until I put the blog on twitter. Still not making any money, but money isn't everything. The support I have received from them has meant a lot.

It is 93 degrees outside and Ray cut the grass. He was afraid there will be a thunderstorm tonight and make it impossible to cut grass tomorrow. Our weeds are doing well. I am not one to care about grass too much. As long as it is green and mown, most people cannot tell. Funny thing is, most weeds make for a much prettier green yard than a lot of grasses that die when there is not enough rain. I have some black bamboo in the back yard. Andrew cut down quite a bit of it, but he left some in selected spots. It does spread, but you can control it by cutting it down, which is what I will have to do if we ever move. I don't know if you can buy black bamboo now. I know that when this was given to me, you couldn't. And, it couldn't be sold here. It really is pretty. When it gets about 7 ft tall, it gets hard and turns black. Makes great stakes in the garden. I suppose I could make something else out of it. But, What?

I miss Wednesday nights at church. I miss the fellowship, the dinners, the teaching after dinner. I miss Sunday Bible Study, I miss church services. I should be more comfortable about going soon. I guess I have kind of sheltered myself. I almost feel like I have to protect myself right now. The doctor says I can go back out in public again, but I am afraid I might catch something and feel even worse than I do now.

My mother finally got the right glasses and is feeling much better. We were talking yesterday when they showed little dogs from a puppy mill on tv. Her little dog is a shitsupoo and not very big. I really miss Pepe and would like to have another dog but Ray balks at this. Of course, he didn't want Pepe to start with, but grew to love him as much or more than I did. A lady with Canine Companions comes around with two little shitsu's when I am in chemo and they are so little and so sweet. I would really love to have one, but Ray just doesn't want one. It is a little comforting to know that we don't have any fleas in the house and there are not hidden puddles on the floor, or wet spots on the carpet. Not to mention, the house smells better. Maybe not a good idea at all. I might just get a little stuffed one that barks.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Wedding Pink

My dear friend Kathryn Oder married her best friend, Jason Vickers, in a lovely ceremony at First Baptist Church Newport News Va last Saturday. What a beautiful couple. I was sorry that I was not able to attend the wedding. There are some beautiful pictures on KathrynVicker's page on Facebook. I was sorry that I was not able to attend. Kathryn and Jason will be going on a mission trip to Antiqua with our church team soon. Kathryn is the daughter of State Representative, the Honorable Glenn Oder and his wife Mary. They have 3 beautiful daughters. Kathryn and I got to know each other on email while she served as a missionary in Peru last year. She is such a wonderful Christian young woman. Jason is a very blessed man.

I was ill most of the weekend, so Ray took me to NC to our house down there for me to rest. I ran a low grade fever all weekend and my right foot swoll up almost twice the size. Rhonda thought maybe that I had gout, but I don't think so. Probably a side effect of the chemo. Edema can be a problem, but I think they are probably more concerned with my right arm. I should go see my vascular guy.

It was so nice to see my family. We bought lasagne, meatballs, and salad at Sam's Club and fixed it on Saturday. Deborah, Ray's daughter, and Emily her granddaughter came for a visit. The children had such a great time in the craft room. They drew on the wall and made a slide out of the mattresses stacked in there. They watched "Hello Kitty" on the DVD player and had a grand time. Emily will be entering into Kindergarten next year and Rhonda fixed her a learning toolkit for the summer for her mother and grandmother to work on with her. Rhonda is a kindergarten teacher. She knows it is so important for kids to learn as much as possible as early as possible.

Garrett and Taylor are above grade in their reading. Rhonda spends a lot of time with them each day and is continuing through the summers. They are so smart. The twins just finished first grade and Taylor read "The Velveteen Rabbit" on my new Kindle2 this weekend. She read it fairly fast also. I have always loved reading. I was reading classics when I was ten in England. I read "The Scarlet Pimpernel," A Tale of Two Cities," " The Man in the Iron Mask," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," etc. I learned to read French by the time I was eleven but would never learn to speak it very well. I thought it was interesting that the languages of France and Spain were so similar. Later I discovered "Romance languages" and it all made sense. I still cannot speak them, but can figure out most of the meaning because of the similarities to each other and English.

Sunday, Jeff came over and trimmed my new wigs from Hong Kong. They are my around the house wigs. One is red frosted and the other one is blonde. He trimmed the bangs for me and made them look a little more real. He said I might want to use some mousse on them to make the look more real. My good wig, the Sophia Loren wig is nice, but I think that I could have gotten one that was the right color and had it trimmed for a whole lot less money. The reason I need around the house wigs is I am not particularly fond of hats. It is very hot and my head sweats. Having eczema causes a problem with a wet wig on my head, so I need more than one. Therefore, I keep more than one so I have a dry one to put on when needed. I even sleep in one. It makes it easier to look in the mirror in the morning. Since they are all different, I can be whoever I want to be today. LOL!

We drove home after another dinner of lasagne and meatballs with salad. We still have meatballs in the fridge. Ray had a meatball sub yesterday. I usually leave left-over food with Rhonda but I knew I was having chemo this week and it was a good time to have some food around for Ray to eat.

I took my steroids Monday and Tuesday and went to sleep at 4 a.m and 3 a.m., respectively. I had to take them today, I sure hope I get more sleep tonight. Maybe that is why I feel awful on Thursday after chemo instead of the next day. I had to go get a shot today for my white count. I worked on my puzzle some. I really worked on it last night. I am getting used to late night television.

All in all, it hasn't been a bad couple of days. The chemo was pleasant because I had my computer and got to go on Twitter for a while. It sure helped to pass the time.

About bedtime. I may watch Leverage while I check Twitter. Just remember, God is good, all the time!

Night friends.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Green PINK

This is my picture on Twitter in support of the students in Iran.
It has been some week, two days good, 1 day bad, 1 day good, 1 day bad. I had some good things happen. Ray cut the grass on Sunday and our grandson, Andrew, came on Monday and got started on the weedeating. Tuesday he came back and finished up on Tuesday.

My beautiful friend, Catherine Bell, came today and cleaned my house. She is such a treasure and so very nice. She had a lovely trip with her son last week.

We plan on going to NC for the weekend. Looking forward to seeing family.
Chemo planned for next Tuesday.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I had my apointment with Cliff Pine, RN, today at Riverside Cancer Center. They took blood tests and everything looks okay. Cliff is such a nice man. He works with Dr. Schlesinger and does follow-up. I am a little shakey today and I have issues with the insurance. He said he would refile for me and see what happens. He gave me a prescription for something besides Prolosec. I think it is atrocious that the insurance company gets to choose your medication instead of your doctor.

It is so hot outside. I almost had a melt-down coming home. I had to stop by RiteAid and I walked around in there trying to get cooled off. When I was in the examining room, I had a hot flash and I haven't had one of those in 10 years. I don't know if it is the chemo or what, but I just have to have air moving around me. All the ceiling fans are running on low here. Last night, I could not sleep and did not close my eyes until at least three this morning. I woke up at 6:30 a.m., so I guess I may have to have a nap. I believe them about having enough sleep at night leads to how you feel the next day.

Jim & Linda Gregory picked came by and rode with Ray to Chesapeake to the Lions District 24D Meeting at the Kedhive Temple. They have a dinner and it is the meeting where they give out the awards and introduce the new cabinet. A lot of people attend and I would have, if I felt better.

I have been trying to study blogs/webpages/Adsense/Amazon Affiliate, etc. I have some EBooks that I downloaded free that I need to read, so I guess that is what I am doing tonight after my Bible study. I just can not tell you enough how important it is to stay in God's Word. All those wonderful postive statements and stories about enlightment and prosperity had their basis in the Bible. I just can't imagine how anyone could look aroung this world and come to any other conclusion. All I can say is that Satan has absolutely too much freedom. Christ will be reigning in Satam though, but none know when, but God. We just need to strive to do our very best in His name.

GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME! Love you, Barbara

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Monday the 1st of June was a nice day. We had our Lions Club meeting at Angelo's. Lion Ray Yanello attended in his capacity as the Zone Chairman and brought our guest speaker who gave a program on the blind. It was a very nice meeting and I think everyone enjoyed it a lot. We clarified who would have the program for July, which is nice, since I won't be done with chemo by then. If you know someone who has a heart for service, please have them give me a call. We need Lions desperately. It is such a wonderful organization. We don't really get thanked for all the glasses/hearing aids that we purchase very often, but a few years ago when we were meeting at the Golden Corral, one of the waitresses knocked on the sliding door and said there was someone who wanted to speak to Mr. Ray Duke. A lady and a little boy came in and spoke to Ray and then he introduced them to us. We had purchased glasses for the little boy over a year before and he was able to graduate from grade school with an A average. He attributed it to the fact that he could see to read and study after we purchased the glasses.

There was another time, our president was invited to the graduation of a little girl from grade school. She was diabetic and had to have new glasses every year since kindergarten. We purchased them each year. She had the highest scored of any child in that school for the whole grade school time and was so grateful for what we had done. Granted, we don't do it for the accolades, but it really warms the heart when someone expresses their appreciation.

It has been a long week for me. Right after the chemo, I didn't feel bad at all for a change. The chemo itself wasn't so bad. I took my computer and twitted a while I sat there. I forgot my Verizon connector, but was able to go Wi-Fi on the hospital network. A volunteer and her husband brought her dog in for pet therapy and since her birthday was on Friday, she brought us all cupcakes. They were good, but very sweet. I took as little jar of peanut butter and graham crackers to snack on. I got there too early, not realizing they changed my time from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Since Ray had dropped me off, they fitted me in. There were people there talking, chrocheting, listening to music, computing, playing games, etc. We are encouraged to drink lots of liquid to push the chemo through our system.

Catherine came and cleaned on Wednesday and I was even able to do the laundry. I think it must have been the steriods I have to take the day before, day of, and day after, that made me feel better. Things seemed to go downhill after Thursday. I am really trying to keep things straight, but sometimes I feel like my legs weigh a thousand pounds and my arms only a little less. It makes you feel like if you move, you will hurt yourself or just fall over. Sometimes, I even feel like there is a brain fog going on.

My insurance won't pay for the BRAC test. But, Tricare was supposed to pay for it and I got a paper saying that they wouldn't pay for it either. I guess I need to get on the phone with someone, but I just don't know who. Otherwise, it is going to cost me almost $4000. It sure would be nice if when you had surgery, the hospital would provide you with an advocate who could handle these things. I get huge bills that say I don't pay anything and get smaller bills that say I have to pay it all. And, then there are medicine bills. If I order my drugs from the drug company my insurance works with (MEDCO), I have to pay for half the cost. If I file the prescription at the drug store, the insurance pays half and TRICARE pays the other half (I don't have to pay anything). Now, if you had the choice of paying about $250 a quarter or nothing, which would you pay? So, it is RiteAid for me!

I wasn't feeling well Sunday morning. I had a stomach upset about 3 a.m. so I stayed home from Church. When I read the Daily Press, a coupon fell out for two entrees and appetizer at the LoneStar Steakhouse for $19.99, so I got cleaned up and was ready to go when Ray came home from church. We had the Texas Star appetizer (fried onion), Ray had Salmon, and I had some grilled chicken. It came with 2 sides each. You almost couldn't cook all that for the price. We went directly home and Ray slept in the recliner most of the day.

I seem to have a lot of sciatic pain in my back but I will not let it bother me. I ordered another wig from EBay (Hong Kong). It came in orange, so I ordered another one that was supposed to be brown with frosting and it came in Red with frosting. I actually trimmed it yesterday and decided it will be my at home hair. Now I can call my red-headed stepsister, Linda and tell her she now has a red-headed stepsister. LOL! If I go out, I will wear the good one. I remembered that synthetic wigs lose their luster when they get hot (like when opening the oven door, cooking, getting to close to fire). It kind of makes them fuzzy.

I started another blog. It is "Barbara Duke - Writer & Author". The URL is It is my ramblings about different stories I hear about or see on the news. Just my opinion. I really would like it to become something that people would actually comment on. I don't know if I put the other one on here or not, it is "Christian Thoughts" and the URL is Still trying the Adsense thing. Now I am signed up as an affiliate on Amazon. If I figure all this out, maybe I can stay home and not have to get a part time job when I get well. Then we would be able to travel some.

I guess I could stop rambling. I need to go on the church website and do some changes to the children's website. Beverly said she sent me some pictures and I may be able compress them tonight for her. Sure would have liked to go to church for dinner. Not many left until summer. I need to find someone to fill in for me on Sunday as Deacon.

Ray and Juanita Wilson called last night. Ray is doing well. He seems to be really healing up nicely. They are such a wonderful couple. Ray has some formula left from his feeding tube time and I need to find someone to donate it to that cannot afford to purchase it. There is even the apparatus to use with it.

I need to check all my email and work on the church site.
Prayers are working. Thank you for all the cards and prayers.