Avrielle had her second piano recital this last weekend at SCCS. She played a song called Humoresque. Her teacher Miss Susi is wonderful and so encouraging. Avrielle would be an amazing pianist if she enjoyed practicing as much as she just enjoys being with Miss Susi:) Sometimes all we want to do is talk with her. My mom and Rick came to watch her play and then we all went out for coffee afterwards. Later that night, they convinced Grammy to have a sleepover and David and I got to go on a last minute double date. It was a very nice weekend.
Boy, was today crowded and crazy at the hospital!!! All of the patients that are normally seen on Mondays had to be seen today because the treatment room was closed on Memorial Day. The nurses were totally stressed out, and most of the patients were complaining. We got to the hospital around 8:30 in the morning, and didn't see the doctor until close to 11:00. All that time waiting in the waiting room was horrible for David, because he gets nauseated just being there. He finally started getting his treatment at 12:30, but by then he was pretty sick from the moment they started giving him the medication. The good news is once he leaves the hospital he feels a lot better. He even requested a falafel sandwich for lunch! He must have been hungry, because we didn't get home to eat till almost 4:00. Hopefully next time will go smoother.
On Thursday night, David's parents surprised me by taking everyone out to dinner for my birthday. We had a really enjoyable time, and the food was yummy. David's dad is on the left side, then Carissa, Katja, and Avrielle. On the right side is David's mom, Chandler, Me, and David.
David took me to see Wicked last night for my birthday. I enjoyed it so much. I can't believe how talented some people are in life! It was such a treat to see a live play instead of a movie for a change. I can't wait to do something like this again. If any of you ever have suggestions or recommendations of other good ones out there let me know. I would love to be able to do something like this again.
I just wanted to share another thought from my Heaven book that I'm reading because it is so cool and practical for now. In the past, if you asked me what will we do in Heaven? I would give the typical answer we will be worshiping God for eternity. I guess I pictured singing or gathering around Him giving thanks, but honestly I couldn't picture doing it all day long forever. Then, I came to this question in the book. Will we always be engaged in worship in Heaven? This is what the author says, " Yes and No. If we have a narrow view of worship, the answer is No. But if we have a broad view of worship, the answer is Yes...."Will we always be on our faces at Christ's feet worshiping him? No, because Scripture says we'll be doing many other things-living in dwelling places, eating and drinking, reigning with Christ, and working for Him. Scripture depicts people standing, walking, traveling in and out of the city, and gathering at feasts. When doing these things, we won't be on our faces before Christ. Nevertheless, All that we do will be an act of worship. Worship involves more than singing and prayer. Even now we're told" Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances."(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).That God expects us to do many other things, such as rest, work and be with our families, shows that we must be able to be joyful, give thanks and pray while we are doing other things. Have you ever spent a day or several hours when you sensed the presence of God as you hiked, worked, gardened, drove, read or did the dishes? Those are foretastes of Heaven-not because we are doing nothing but worshiping, but because we are worshiping God as we do everything else." When I read this, I was encouraged to worship God here right now. Another verse came to mind, "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31 )I knew that I would be having a busy day, but I can still worship God as I do everything. It reminded me not to compartmentalize my life which I am guilty of doing a lot. I forget to worship God and see his soverignty in my everyday circumstances, and then I find myself frustrated because I don't respond how I would have hoped to. It's nice knowing that we can enjoy doing the same things on Earth as we will be doing in Heaven, the only difference is in Heaven we won't be entangled in the affairs of everyday life and we will finally be true worshipers!
I'm sure every mom loves watching her babies sleep. When they were little, I used to go in to their rooms and look in their cribs several times before going to bed and think to myself how cute and peaceful they were while they were sleeping. The funny thing is, it is still one of my favorite things to do. I took these pictures this morning before I woke them up. Chandler reminds me of a Tootsie Roll because he always wraps himself so tight in his brown blanket. You can't see it in this picture, but Avrielle sleeps with at least 10 animals who all have to be properly arranged. They have names, birthdays and unique personalities. She rotates which animal, or should I say "baby" gets to share her pillow with her. (In case you are wondering about the sippy cup, no she doesn't use it all the time...we make her use a cup with a lid if she is going to keep a cup of water by her bed. It was really hot last night.) I know these special times won't last long, so I wanted to remember them.
If you don't know how tag works, I'll explain it...Someone answers a set of random questions on their blog, and then they "tag" or list 5 blog readers to answer the same set of questions on their blog. So here goes. This one was hard. What I was doing 20 years ago today(May 16, 1988) Let's see, I was in 11th grade at Granada Hills High School. I ran on the track and field team after school, and worked at Primetime Airport Shuttle. What I was Doing 15 years ago today(May 16, 1993) David and I were dating and attending Grace Community Church together in the college department. He was a reserve police officer and worked as a campus security officer. He majored in Hospital Administration. I was working as a teacher's aide in 2nd grade class and finishing my teaching credential at Cal State Northridge. What I was doing 10 years ago today (May 16, 1998) I was a bridesmaid in my friends Sandy Torres and Lance Roberts wedding. Happy Anniversary guys! I hope I have the date right. Avrielle was 9 months old, and the day before the wedding, she tried to eat a bunch of dried flowers. It was the first time I told her, "No!", and she looked at me and ate them anyway. What I was doing 5 years ago today(May 16, 2003) Five years ago, I was unpacking boxes. We moved on Mother's Day weekend to our new house which was only a block away from our old house. Chandler was three years old and decided it would be fun to climb the stairs on the opposite side of the railing. That was my first clue that he is definitely all boy! What I was doing one year ago today( May 16, 2007) I think I was trying to see if I could get a copy of David's Birth certificate for our Hawaiian cruise. We planned the trip at the last minute, and I thought he needed a birth certificate. We had already paid for the airline tickets and the cruise, and it was all non refundable. David didn't have a valid copy of his birth certificate, and we wouldn't have been able to get one for several months because it had to be special ordered from Sacramento. I think I was panicking. By God's grace, we didn't need one for Hawaii, but we would have been out all the money if we had stuck with our original idea of going on a cruise to Mexico. The trip was amazing and I am so thankful it all worked out. What I did yesterday( May 15, 2008) I woke up to a quiet house. It was the first day David has been to work in 3 weeks. I helped the kids with their home school assignments, folded laundry, changed sheets, made breakfast, lunch, and dinner and school lunches for the next day. I went to the chiropractor, read a little bit, made some phone calls, answered e-mails, and watched Tuesday's American Idol on TIVO after we put the kids to bed. Now I tag: Ashley Georg Sandy Kelli I Cherie
Thanks for praying! David made it through without getting sick. The doctor did decide to cut the Bleomycin from the therapy. So we will see how that goes. He thought it was OK to do since the Bleomycin is only the third strongest of the four drugs in the cocktail. If the cough is due to lung toxicity, then we can expect to see improvement in 3 to 6 months. They can do a lung function test, but there is really nothing they can do to improve lung function once they know the results. It should improve with time as he removes the toxins out of his body. We still don't know for sure if the cough is from that, but it is a very common side effect, and the drug is known to do that. I'm glad they are stopping it before it could get worse and cause permanent damage. Hopefully, the other three drugs will continue to stop the cancer cells on their own.
We really enjoyed a nice Mother's Day. I woke up to breakfast in bed made by the kids. They made me toast with jam, cut up bananas and strawberries and water. They put flowers and cards on the tray too. They even bought me a shirt with their own money! My mom and Rick, and David's parents came over for lunch and we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon. Tomorrow we are going for treatment #8 ( I think) David still has his cough. It went away for most of Saturday, and He felt like He was getting better. He even went to a Dodger game with some friends from church. The cough ended up coming back later that night though and has continued till today. I guess we will have to decide whether to cut out Bleomycin from the treatment tomorrow. I'm not sure what the doctor is going to suggest, so we are praying for him to have wisdom. Please pray with us if you can. I'll let you know tomorrow what he decides. Thanks.
The physical has to do with David. He is still continuing to cough. We called his oncologist again today, because David finished his cough syrup from last week, but it hasn't helped him much. The doctor prescribed some morphine this afternoon which we had to drive down to the hospital for, show ID and pick up in person since it is a "controlled substance". I thought morphine was used for pain not for coughs, but I remember my dad's doctors gave it to him too. So far he has taken 2 doses tonight, but he is still coughing. It kind of sounds like the book called The Hungry Caterpillar where it says, he ate 4 apples, 3 cupcakes, two pieces of pie and one piece of pizza, but he was still hungry. I really hope he gets some relief soon. The mental part has been the hardest for me during the last few days because the coughing really reminds me of my dad, and those hurts are still so fresh. It was so hard to watch my dad suffer with the coughing, and now it is affecting David too. If he just had an ordinary cold, I probably wouldn't think anything of it, but when someone has cancer, you immediately think the worst. David did have a clear x -ray and his oxygen was 97, so that is really good, but it is so puzzling to know what is going on inside him and what is causing this. X-ray vision would really come in handy now. I am still trusting God, but it is a moment by moment battle of my thoughts telling myself what is true and not worrying about an unknown future that I can't control. So, I am trying to just enjoy being with my hubby tonight, and every time he coughs it is just a reminder for me to think about how much I love him and pray.
David's doctor decided to wait a week due to the cough and do treatment #8 next Tuesday. He prescribed a steroid that we will try for a week and see how it goes. From what I understand, there is no definite way of knowing for sure if the cough is related to the Bleomycin. The Chemo that he takes is called ABVD, and the "B" stands for Bleomycin. What we will have to pray about and decide is whether we want to cut that drug out of the treatment. Since we don't know for sure if the cough is even a result of that drug, it is a hard decision to make. The cough has kept him from work this week because it is too difficult to talk on the phone, carry on conversations with co-workers or drive a car in the middle of a spell. It is also hard on his stomach muscles and physically exhausting. He said he would take nausea over the cough which I find really hard to believe but it puts what he is feeling in perspective. Anyway, we are very thankful because we felt like the Lord answered our prayers for wisdom and direction at the appointment today, and we will trust Him for next week as well. Thank-you to everyone who is praying for us too. Yesterday when we talked to the doctor on the phone, he didn't seem to take our concerns seriously, but today he was different and we felt good about the decision he made. It is interesting in medicine to see that there aren't as many clear cut answers as I once thought, and there are so many variables with each decision to make, but I'm glad our God is all knowing and none of this is confusing to Him. It reminds me of Proverbs 3 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."
This weekend, my aunt let us use their beach house in Ventura for the weekend. Our friends Charissa and Tate watched the kids. The weather was beautiful. We were so thankful to be able to get away and spend the weekend together. It came at the perfect time because David is still battling this miserable cough. He went to the doctor last Tuesday and that doctor said everything is clear in his lungs, but the cough is still really bad. He can feel fine one moment and then cough for up to an hour straight without being able to talk the next. It was nice to just be able to read and rest for him without any distractions or interruptions. We will be going to see his oncologist on Tuesday, so hopefully we can find out what is going on. I'm not sure if he will end up having treatment #8 or not. David doesn't see how it would be possible, but we will see what the doctor says about it. I am planning on making him a goody bag for his queasiness with moist towelettes, Listerine pocket packs, ginger candy. ginger ale etc. If any of you have any other ideas of something that works, let me know before then. Please pray that the treatment will go smoothly and we will figure out what this cough is all about. Thanks
After dinner we have been reading two books. One is Prince Caspian, (I always like to read the book before I see the movie), and the other is Heaven For Kids. Randy Alcorn has a book for the kids as well as the adults. A lot of the Heaven book has quotes from Narnia, so it is fun to see how the books go together. We are really enjoying this special time together. In this picture, I am sitting alone on the rocking chair, while the two kids piled on David because they both wanted to sit next to him. I'm not jealous or anything though:)
I am happily married to my beloved and my friend, David, and I am a mom to my precious children, Avrielle and Chandler. I started this blog in January,2008 as a way to keep our friends and family updated when my husband was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Little did I know that my dad, a non smoker, would be diagnosed with lung cancer also only two weeks later. My dad passed away on March 22, 2008, only 2 1/2 months after his diagnosis. These last few months have been a trial, but God has been good and faithful, and kept us in His hands.
We added a guest book at the bottom of the blog page. Please sign it and add a picture if you would like. It is really easy, I promise! We would love to see who is out there reading. Love, The Smith Family
Chandler: "Mom, could I just marry my sister? That way I don't have to kiss anybody new."
Avrielle: As we are trying to find my car in the crowded parking lot, "There it is mom, I memorized your licence placemat."
Mom to Avrielle: "It's time to brush your teeth." Avrielle: "May I appeal, I need to defrost more from waking up."
Mom to Chandler: "If you're not thankful for your dinner, maybe I should take it away, and all you will have to eat is some bread." Chandler: "Sounds great!" Mom: " Ok, since that didn't work, How about if we take away all your toys too, so you will see how much you have to be thankful for..." Chandler: "I'll just play with my bread!"
Chandler as he is trying to throw a dirty kleenex into the trashcan. "He shoots, (it lands on top of Avrielle's head) He SCORES!!!
Wow Avrielle, that was a quick shower. Did you wash your hair? "I only put conditioner on it, because I washed it last night and I just needed to remind it that it had been washed already so it will obey me this morning."
Chandler: "Dad, could you please make sure you take the right sandwich to work tomorrow? I don't wan't you to leave the healthy one for me by mistake."
Chandler: Can you not put gel in my hair this morning? If I get it cut later, it will hurt because it will be like they are cutting through a wall of steel!
Chandler at Trader Joes: Why does nanny have to take so long reading every label in the freezer aisle? Can't it be the "try out" aisle instead???
Chandler telling a story at dinner: "Not yesterday, but the yesterday before..."
Mom to Chandler: Your closet is a mess. Yeah, I know, it's always an adventure because I get to find new undiscovered sightings. Mom: What kind of undiscovered sightings? Well, you know, like, I'll put something in there when I'm seven and then discover it again when I'm fourteen.
Mom to Chandler: What is the most important thing you learned from Papa? He taught me never to hit people with the golf ball when I'm chipping.
Mom to Avrielle: What is your favorite memory with Papa? He took me to the American Girl Store, and walked all around with me explaining the history of all the dolls until I found the one I wanted.
Chandler, What does it mean to store up treasures in heaven? Well, it's like God has cubbies for each person, and when you do something that pleases Him, He puts a trophy in your cubby."
Chandler after hearing the bedtime story of Corderoy. "Mom, some stories are so good, I feel like I want to cry inside when I hear them."
How do you like the pistachio Chandler? It's sort of medium low on the scale of goodness.
Chandler while looking at a pre -cancer picture of David, "Wow Dad, I don't remember that you used to have an afro!"
Chandler, you need to wipe the chocolate off your face! Do I have to mom? If I leave it on, I can taste it again later!
Avrielle while watching Taming of the Shrew in the park: "I love the play mom, but which one is William Shakespeare?"
Chandler: Mom, can you please buy some more string cheese? It really puts you to work! Mom: I thought you don't like doing hard work. I love hard work when it comes to my food!
Chandler to mom: "Do I have to open my Christmas presents? I want to warm up to the day first."
Avrielle watching Taming of the Shrew in Hart Park. "Mom, I like the play, but which one is William Shakespeare?"
"Avrielle, You have been really quiet since the debate has been on, do you have any questions about what is going on or what they are talking about?" She look over to us very seriously, and said,"Mom, I think I understand what they are saying, but I only have one question. How can they stand there and talk so long without having to pee?"