Thursday, August 20, 2009


I was talking about Mother's upcoming visit in my last post. Well, she has come and gone. She arrived on August 11 and we were supposed to go to a meeting on Tuesday, but I just didn't feel like it, so we stayed home. Thursday, we got up and packed our suitcases and the car while we waited for Ray to come home.

He went to a funeral at Peninsula Funeral Home for a friend of his that worked for one of his customers. Andy Starmer, 36, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2009. He was a lifelong resident of Newport News, where he was a tow truck driver for Superior Towing. He was working on the interstate and a drunk driver hit him while he was loading a car onto his wrecker. Ray was a tow driver when I met him and this was my worst nightmare. Andy left a wife and small son. That little boy will grow up without his father to nurture him. There were over 25 tow trucks in the funeral procession. I hope his wife sues the drunk driver and I hope they get enough to take care of them for a long time to come. Drunk driving is just not an option. And the way I have seen people driving while on the cell phone, their licences should be revoked for a year at least.

When Ray got home, we left for NC. About halfway down, I began to have pain in my right side, near my ribs. The pain just kept getting worse, and by the time we got to the Beach House, it was really bad. I couldn't sit, stand, or lay down without it hurting. Jesse called the Rescue Squad and off we went to East Carolina Medical Center in New Bern NC. They did a CAT Scan and a chest xray. Then they put me in the "penthouse" otherwise known as the oncology ward and there I have been for the past week. It was determined that I had pneumonia.

The nurses are great, my daughter stayed with me most nights and made sure that I comfortable and clean. I never ran a real fever, I just had lots of pain when I breathe. They gave me Dilaudid by IV and Percoset. All the time, I have been on Levaquin, first oral and now by IV. It has been a very difficult week. they diagnosed pneumonia. Then they discoverd my iron levels were extremely low, not to mention my low potassium. I should be back to my normal jolly self in a month or so. They may even let me go home tomorrow. I hope so, but I also hope the pain is gone.

Someone on Twitter knows a pastor in Havelock. He called and talked to Ray Tuesday afternoon. I was asleep. I have received so many #Sweettweets from my Tweeps. It makes me feel so loved and cared for. Actually, they have helped me keep a positive outlook the past few months. The hospital chaplain came by today. He came by the other day and we all witnessed to each other. When we talked today, he said that I emit a light of sweetness. He said he had seen in only a few times in his lifetime. I told him it was the light of Christ in my heart that I shine for everyone. My purpose in this life is to make as many others be with me in Heaven as I can. I have the assurance of the Father as to where I will spend eternity and it is a wonderful feeling.

My pastor, Dale Seeley, called and talked to Ray. He told Ray that I was prayed for in both services on Sunday, and today I got 3 cards mailed to the hospital and 8 cards from the mail at home. Ray had to take my mother to Norfolk to catch her flight this afternoon. He is back sleeping on the recliner chair in my room tonight. I was able to take a shower all by myself this evening. That was wonderful. Very warm water running down your back after a extended bed rest sure feels good.

Got to say good night. Getting very tired. Love, Barbara

Sunday, August 9, 2009


It was a pretty slow week, until Saturday. We went to First Baptist and had breakfast with the Deacons and our new pastor, Dale Seeley. He preached his first sermon as pastor last week. I haven't seen the DVD yet, Debbie is going to make me a DVD of the sermon. I was able to meet him yesterday and he is very nice. Our search committee did a very good job. There was a lot of praying going on. I had such a nice time at the breakfast. I haven't been able to go in so long. The radiation and chemo was so exhausting that most days it was an effort to just get out of bed.

We went to Hampton and DJed a benefit dance (Hokie Hoedown) for the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad to help them purchase a new ambulance. It was sponsored by the GFWC District and since I am a member of the GFWC Woman's Club of Newport News, we donated our services. They raised over $2000. Most of the women's clubs in VA are holding fund raisers. They need about $180,000 to make it happen and I think so far they have raised over half of the total amount needed. It was really nice and the Walmart in Gloucester donated a lot of Hokie paraphernalia to raffle and auction. The auctioneer also donated his services.

When the hoedown was over and we were putting things away, I lost my balance and fell backwards down the stairs. I bruised my right hip really bad and my right wrist was scraped and the skin torn. The Hampton Rescue Squad was called and they took me to Riverside Regional Hospital Emergency Room. Once there, they did blood tests and gave me xrays and pain medication. Nothing is broke, but I sure am sore and stiff this morning. The Hampton Rescue Squad are the ones that picked me up and they were really nice. Actually, I am supposed to look on Facebook this morning and befriend them.

I have been doing Facebook more because my 7 year old granddaughter is working on a farm in FARMTOWN. I send her an animal or plant every day. Rhonda says Taylor actually designed how the farm is set up. She reads so well. I think she is going to surprise her teacher this year. Garrett is doing well also, but as is normal for boys, he is a little bit behind Taylor.

Rhonda just had to call me and tell me about the decorating she is doing at our "Beach House." Most everything was done in the house, so after she finished up the Craft/Guest Room, she started on the yard. I haven't had a chance to do the outside yet. I actually took some plants down one weekend but was too weak to plant them, so I gave them to Rhonda. We are only there about one weekend a month, so it is difficult to do much outside when you cook a big family dinner for 9 on Saturday. Since I have been sick this year, I haven't been able to do much because I can't stand the heat. Rhonda planted some flowers and put down mulch, painted the porch, deck, swing, rocking chair, table, etc. She said it looks more like a beach house now. (It is 40 miles from the beach, but if you have a hurricane, that is close as you want to be.)

I think I told you yesterday that I went over 8000 followers on Twitter, today is
8193 already. My Twitter friends are really great. They send me such wonderful, encouraging Tweets.

I am going to go now, got to put something in my other blogs before I go back to Twitter ( Thanks to all who have supported me and befriended me over the past few weeks. I love you all, and remember:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I am having a good morning. I went over 8000 followers on Twitter. My Twitter friends are really awesome. There are people praying for me all over the world. Twitter is a great place for positive thoughts and prayers. One of my Twitter friends, Bella in California, let me put her article on my blog. Take a look if you have time. See @CiaoBella50 (Twitter name) on my blog. Good article. RT Pls

Another friend sent me an email with a really good story. His name is Al Harris and he was the loan officer we used when we refinanced our home a few years ago. It is on http://thoughts-of-Christ/

I continue to get cards from my friends in Christ at First Baptist Church of Newport News. To date, I have received over 100 cards and many phone calls. They are so faithful in praying for me. We have a deacon breakfast to meet our new pastor, Dale Seeley, on Saturday morning. I have not met him yet and hope to be able to go to the breakfast.

Ray will be DJing for the "Hokie Hoedown" at the Masonic Lodge in Hampton(1456 W. Queen St) on Saturday, August 8 from 4-7 p.m. Pray that I am feeling well enough to go.

To God be the Glory in everything that I do. I cannot tell you how important it has been for me to have Christ in my life through this ordeal. I feel that I have learned from my illness far more than I could have possibly learned without it. As I stated earlier, cancer has brought me closer to Christ and has helped me to understand illness in others better. It has led me to much more compassion for others.

I don't know what tests are next, but I hope it will be something to let me know that I am cancer-free. I see Dr. Schlesinger on August 20th and I will let you know what is going on then.

Other wonderful news, my mother is flying in from Lexington KY on August 11th. I am so excited. We will be spending some time in NC and it will be her first time visiting our home there. I can't wait for her to see it. My daughter, Rhonda, is cleaning the dust bunnies and decorating the craft room and making it into a bedroom She is doing a great job. I cannot wait to see what she has done.

Got to get ready to go get Ray's car in Hampton. Love and prayers to all.