Sunday, November 11, 2007


How in the world are you to get any decent rest when you take your Ambien at 11:15 and doze off a little after that (I had a lot to do; I couldn't make it to bed any earlier!), and you wake up by alarm clock at 1 a.m. to take your Prednisone and it takes forever to get back to sleep? Now it's 5:30 a.m. and I can't sleep. I have to take another Pred. at 7 a.m., and then my day will start, full steam ahead. It's Sunday, a pastor's biggest day. Wish I could go back to sleep right now, but sleep eludes me.

My cousin Jan, a pharmaceutical sales person, says Pred. will eat up your bones. I knew that, because we've had lots of parishioners take it, and I've seen the results. I'll never forget a stooped-over elderly woman, with tears running down her cheeks, saying, "They made me take Prednisone, and it ruined my body." When the doctor ordered it--to reduce the swelling in my brain, as well as the tumor--I thought, Oh, great. Now, when I'm 85, I'll have a bad case of osteoperosis!, and then I thought, What do you mean? You can't live that long with a cancerous brain tumor? You'll only make it three or four, if that?

But of course I don't know how long I'll be here. Only as I watch this nightmare journey unfold before me will I know. No, I won't call it a nightmare journey any more. I need to come up with a positive name, a good name, a blessed name. Since I'm an author and my forte is words, and I love to come up with book titles that I think are catchy, I'll have to think on this topic. Nightmare Blessed Walk? Nah, not punchy enough. I'm wide awake but feel too lazy to drag out my Flip Dictionary and my thesaurus to start brainstorming. But I hope to soon. If anybody has any ideas, let me know.

My great aunt Eva lived to 108. If you want a real kick, go to great Aunt Eva Connors' web page , and take a peak at her, complete with a backdrop of ragtime 1890s Victorian music! Many in our family lived to ripe old ages. My Nana Connors at 96. My Papa at 96. My other Nana at 95. My great Aunt Maybelle at 99. My great Aunt Leota at 100. My dear Aunt Tine at 91. On and on, I could go. My darling Mother Grace dropped dead at 86 when she was getting ready to go to the beauty shop and went to heaven instead. Greatest shock of my life. We used to speak at mother/daughter banquets together, for church women's groups, and had other speaking engagements, too, and she was my bedrock, my pillar. I thought she'd be here a long time like great Aunt Eva, all the way into her hundreds. I was only in my forties when she left me, and I needed her so badly. I was her oops baby, coming in her late 30s after four children, and so we had an extra special bond.

I had time to read the 19 comments on one post on this blog last night--that's why I was so late getting to bed! I'll read the rest of them soon, I promise, as well as the 143 emails in my inbox. Thank you, all. You are an encouragement to me, and I appreciate them so much.

Sometimes I JUST CANNOT BELIEVE I HAVE BRAIN CANCER AND AM FACING SURGERY. Me, who never even takes an aspirin barely, and hatest going to doctors, will fudge a month or two on my yearly physicals because I have such dislike of medical situations. But this cloud of peace is still surrounding me, and it's so sweet and sooooooooo supernatural. Otherwise, I'd be a basket case. In fact, my surgeon is removing a brain cancer on a patient Tuesday morning whom he described as just that.

Oh, I do get my moments of panic and tears. But then that cloud settles again. Maybe I should call this journey something to do with "cloud." Journey Under the Cloud? Hmmm. My Supernatural Journey Under the Cloud. Kinda' long. I'll have to think about it some more.

I called my two beautiful daughters into my study last night and had them read my friend author Carrie Turansky's comment where she said to please have Milton or my daughters post when I get...down. They promised me they would. Jennifer has her own blog, and boy, is it good, and they said they'd blog here, so I'm hoping they will.

Pictures, in random order (I'm grabbing my camera constantly and photojournaling my experience):

1. On the deck with the kiddies, Lorenzo and Claudia who arrived Friday with mom Jennifer from San Juan. Claudia is pronounced the Spanish way: Claw - dee- uh. Unless you forget and say it the American way, which is fine.

2. Playing on the Yamaha piano with Lorenzo and Claudia. Claudia has on her Cinderella dress. Or is that her Belle dress? She has lots of character costumes.

3. Getting a neck message from church person Cindy, an R.N., as I'm playing with little Lorenzo. Felt good! She and two other couples, Sonja and Emmett, and Gordon and Fredde, delivered the most delicious dinner last evening! Baked ham, fresh spinach layered salad, homemade mashed potatoes, homemade yeast rolls (Sonja's specialty), and The Best Homeade Peanut Butter Pie In the World (another of Sonja's specialties). It has an opaque filling, similar to a lemon merinque pie (not a cool whip, confectioners' sugar, and peanut butter type; though if anybody brings that kind, we'll eat it, too!), and then Sonja's pie has a mile-high meringue on top coated with crushed peanuts. Thank you, dear ones!

4. The spot my meds hide out in. I'm a rule-follower, and they labels said store in dark place, and since I want them on my kitchen counter under my antique lamp, I thought and thought and came up with this idea. An overturned stainless steel mixing bowl.

Signing off now. Maybe I can catch a few zzzzs before that alarm clock goes off at 7, and I have to pop another Pred.

One more thing: Ann reminded me to have a spirit of praise through this process. Yesterday morning, a spirit of praise hit me. I raised my hands toward heaven and walked through my love home thanking God, out loud and with tears streaming down my cheeks, for everything good in my life. It was so sweet and precious. I tend to cry at beauty. Remember that line Deborah Kerr made to Cary Grant in An Affair to Remember? They were in Paris (or was it the Riviers?) vising his elderly grandmother, and Deborah Kerr was crying at the beauty of the relationship he had with his grandmother, and he asked her why she was crying, and she said, "Oh, don't mind me. I always cry at beauty." That's how I am. I cry in church. I cry when I think about God. I cry at special times in my life.

So I'll end this with praise. I THANK You God for this bad time in my life. I don't understand, and I am trusting in You, but I THANK you to help me through it and accomplish all You want me to on the other side of it.

Oh, one more thing. My darling mother Grace taught Sunday school almost 50 years and loved finding good illustrations for her teaching, to drive home the point to her students. She was No. 5 in the nation in the Henrietta Mears Sunday School Teacher Contest of the Year. She always said she won this high honor because of the glowing application letter I wrote. I really think it was because she was such a fantastic teacher.

She used this illustration in her class one time, then wrote it down and gave it to me to use in my speaking engagements. I think it fits right now:

Here it is, from her hand-written note in my bulging file titled "Illustrations."

Johh Peyton, a missionary, translated the Bible in the the people's language. He couldn't find a word for "belief" that was suitable. He prayed for God to show him the right word that would help the people understand believing. One day a man came in tired and weary and plopped down in a chair and uttered a word. "What'd you just say?" John asked. The man repeated it. John said, "What does it mean?: The man said, "I'm putting all my weight on this chair." So John realized that was the word he needed to use to help the people undersand believing on Christ.

When you believe in Christ and live for Him, you give Him your all. You put all your weight on Him, like the man did the chair. You know how a good sturdy chair will hold you when you plot into it?--and comfort you?--and sustain you from falling to the floor?--as opposed to sitting in one that collapses beneath you? That's how Christ is with our lives. He's there to hold us.

We once pastored in Elba, Alabama, The Little Town With the Big Heart, and we had a close relationship with all the pastors. We used to take turns having meals at the different parsonages. At the Methodist parsonage one night, we all sat down at their Duncan Phyfe cherry ANTIQUE dining room suit (think Mitford novels), and Milton had no sooner gotten seated, than the old wobbly chair crashed underneath him. He was so embarrassed, and they had to run to the kitchen to get another chair. We all laughed, but we all noticed that all the chairs were kinda' wobbly.

But with Jesus, He won't crash beneath you. He'll ALWAYS be there to carry you and help you and sustain you and comfort you and cheer you.

That's what He's doing for me right now. That's what's going to get me through all this medical stuff PLUS a brain tumor.


At 6:27 AM, Anonymous Eva Marie Everson said...


You should get some sleep. Then again, look who is up reading your blog!

I love you and am praying for you!
Eva Marie Everson

At 7:36 AM, Blogger Sharon Lavy said...

God bless you and your family this wonderful day.

At 9:00 AM, Blogger Katy McKenna said...

Kristy, This week I'll celebrate my 8th year as a brain surgery survivor! My tumor was not cancer, but it was on the hearing nerve. I lost my hearing, but God's faithfulness more than made up for it. I am praying for you and rooting for you all the way! Your attitude is amazing, and the Lord is receiving much honor through you!

At 11:29 AM, Blogger brendalottakamaggiebrendan said...

Kristy,your blog has lifted me! Wait a minute, I thought we are suppose to lift you. lol. God will use you as he already hasin a mighty way. You'll get throught this. God bless.

At 1:28 PM, Blogger Robin Bayne said...

Praying for you Kristy! I am a 2 year survivor (although it wasn't in my brain) and can definitely say faith got me through it. Sending warm fuzzy thoughts and prayer your way.

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Mary Connealy said...

Kristy, This song keep going through my head as I read this and pray for you.

Mark Schultz - He Will Carry Me

And even though I'm walkin' through
The valley of the shadow
I will hold tight to the hand of Him
Whose love will comfort me
And when all hope is gone
And I've been wounded in the battle
He is all the strength that I will
Ever need
And He will carry me

I'm praying. God bless you

At 2:43 PM, Blogger Connie Stevens said...

Dear Kristy,
I know a little something about being on a cancer journey. The greater our need, the more precious is God's love and care. His mercy never fails. Great is His faithfulness.

Praying for you,
Connie Stevens

At 2:54 PM, Blogger Christy LaShea Smith said...

You are a beautiful person and a true inspiration for all of us.

I wanted to share with you that I have an acquaintance who had a mass on her brain. The neurosurgeon's had located it, noted it was the size of a grapefruit, and prepped her to go in for surgery. Being the spitfire, and child of God that she is, she remained faithful. Her pastor, friends, family, prayed over her, laid hands on her. She went into surgery and the neuro said he had not seen a case like hers before. The mass the size of a grapefruit had turned to liquid!!!

He is the Great Redeemer!
My friend is still a spitfire, and although I haven't connected with her in a while, I know she is still faithful. After that surgery, she continued to have issues, had to have a shunt installed for drainage removal (I hope I'm repeating this correctly and medically accurate) but the point is she is alive and well.

I hope this will bring you some comfort when you need it. I will continue to pray for you.

At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Carrie Turansky said...

Hi Kristy,

So good to read about all the love and support you have surrounding you! It was wonderful to see the photos of you and Milton and your family and friends. God is so kind to give you these dear ones to be with you and encourage you. Thousands of others are praying for you too. We are asking the Lord to give you complete healing so that all who are watching will be amazed and praise God for his power and faithfulness.

Don't worry about taking the prednisone. Bone loss is not an issue unless you take it for a very long time. If it is going to help shrink the tumor then it is worth it. You need your rest, so use the Ambien and thank the Lord for it. I have taken it during times of illness and it worked well. There were no bad side affects.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts so honestly. It is good to hear your heart and know God is caring for you. I will update our church prayer team and we will continue praying for you.

God is good. His love and faithfulness will bring you through this valley. And when you come out the other side you will be stronger and wiser and more prepared to serve Him in new ways.

Love and prayers,

At 4:07 PM, Blogger Abby Gaines said...

Hi Kristy, praying for you and your family. God is good!

At 5:09 PM, Blogger The Imaginary Blog said...

Kristy, I'd be like the other patient--a basket case. I'm so impressed with your calm and yet exuberant faith.

I don't think you're under a cloud at all. I think you're riding on it!

Praying for you!


At 7:13 PM, Blogger Gina said...

Kristy, Just wanted to stop by and tell you I love you and that I'm praying for you (and thanking God for your spirit as always).

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Jesus, please fold Kristy into your gentle arms of love, brush away her tears, grant her strength for the journey and continued peace. We know You love her even more than we do and we trust You completely to her care. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Love you, Kristy!

At 9:46 PM, Anonymous Linda Mae said...

Krsity, Keep looking up and holding your arms out to those who love you and surround you. Let them love you. They need to.
I look forward to reading the good reports in a few days.
You're such a special woman...

hugs and love and hug Milton for us....:)

At 9:58 PM, Blogger Jennifer L. Griffith said...

Keep your eyes lifted into the sky to the One who prepares the way for every step we make, every breath we take, and He knows each tear we will cry. Count it all joy because through it all, He is there. He molds us and makes us into finer vessels through the mire and fire of life. He has a higher purpose than we can fathom, and He is the King Healer. May the peace that surpasses all understanding guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

You are His child. Stand upon His promises and live.

At 11:20 PM, Blogger Jennifer L. Griffith said...


Charity found out she has cancer a few weeks ago. I thought you might find some strength from her journey. She writes with divine wisdom.

I lift you both up, ladies of the Lord. May you feel God's everlasting love all around you.


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