52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 11

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This is the 52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 11 at Haddon Musings

My husband I spent Mother’s Day weekend with Mercy and Will in Portland, Oregon. We went to The Salty’s for a seafood buffet brunch on Saturday instead of Sunday.

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After brunch, we went to Kelley Point Park and enjoyed our walk in this fresh green park full of sky tall trees. At one corner of the park, we found an old dock with an abandoned anchor.

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I am thankful that Mercy has a healthy pregnancy. She and Will are leaving tomorrow to go on a 2-week vacation in Canada before the baby joins their family.

Mercy

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52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 10

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This is the 52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 10 at Haddon Musings

I am excited and thankful that Mercy and Will are having their first baby.

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Back in January this year, I called my daughter Mercy and talked about visit them in the following month. They checked their calendar and gave us a couple dates. Then we picked the last week in March to visit them.

The time I called was when Mercy first found out that she was pregnant. She wanted to tell us in person, not just on the phone. Mercy and Will were excited that we were going to see them. They planned a surprise to convey the good news.

Between January and March, Mercy was doing some decluttering. Decluttering is something I do as an ongoing project. But somehow a little bird told me something else was going on. In one of the conversations, I couldn’t hold my curious feeling any longer.

“Mercy, are you pregnant?” I asked.

She tried to distract my attention by talking about something else. I went along with the conversation.

At the meantime, I had this urge to tell my husband something. I was holding this urge for a week, but couldn’t hold any longer.

“I think Mercy is pregnant!” I said to my husband.

One week before our trip to Portland, Mercy called. Then she suggested that we skyped each other. During the skype time, Mercy and Will revealed that Mercy was pregnant, and showed us the ultrasound films. We also learned that her due date is September 19. She said she was going to wait, but couldn’t wait even for one more week. She decided to skype and gave us the exciting news face to face. We talked for a long time, then gave each other virtual group hugs before saying good bye.

Time has gone by so quickly. It’s May already. My husband and I are going to Portland to spend Mother’s Day with Mercy and Will. It will be a wonderful time for all of us.

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52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 9

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This is the 52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 8 at Haddon Musings

I am thankful this week for good health.

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My health insurance has a great prevention program for patients over certain age. The “head to toes” physical check-up does not require copay for doctor’s visit. Upon completion of the check-up, patients will receive a $50 credit card as incentive. The insurance customer service representative even called my doctor to set up the appointment for me.

I always have my annual physical examination anyway. The proactive, preventive program of the insurance made it easier for my visit to the doctor. Prior to the appointment, a physical history review form was sent to me to fill out. I was thankful that I checked “no” or “none” for 99% of the problems. The only concern I had was my high blood pressure.

Dr. Hutain has been my doctor for 25 years. During the visit, he had on his computer a list of questions. The questions were in the categories of my diet, exercise, lifestyle such as drinking or smoking, my emotional state, my vision, the ability to drive and my memory. It felt so good to hear my own answers to all the questions were positive.

At the end, I was prescribed a low dosage of high blood pressure medication. My doctor had a big smile on his face and said, “You’ll be around for a long time!”

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Daily Prompt: None

Daily Prompt: Lifestyle

52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 7

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This is the 52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 7 at Haddon Musings

I had written eight posts about my melanoma treatment. I need to write one more to complete my story. I emerge it as part of my Thankfulness. So this week I am thankful for going through the journey of cancer treatment and have been in remission for almost eight years.

August 13, 2009

My bio-chemotherapy came to the end. I just needed a couple more procedures done before the completion of treatment.

When I had my first cancer surgery in October 2008, the surgeon removed all the cancerous tissues except one cancerous lymph node. He sent me back to my primary health care provider and oncologist for chemotherapy. Due to the lack of communication, the referral didn’t get any attention until two months later. I went to the oncologist’s office, sat in the waiting room, demanded for attention. Finally a case caretaker came to talk with me. I cried and complained, saying that my last surgeon requested chemotherapy within four months before the cancer entered my brain, and it had been two months already.

The next day she called the case management office. The supervisor of the office took over my case. She made all the arrangement of tastings and obtained the authorization of referral to a melanoma specialist.

By the time I started my first cycle of treatment in January 2009, the cancer in one lymph node on the right hip area had invaded the whole set of inguinal nodes on the left. So the cancer went from stage II to stage IV.

I went through two cycles of bio-chemo and one surgery and two more cycles of bio-chemo. At the end of June 2009, I completed four cycles of in-patient treatments and one surgery. By this time, the first cancerous lymph node had shrunk into a dead tumor. Dr. O’Day, the melanoma specialist, and the surgeon agreed that it was a good idea to have one more surgery to remove the dead tumor. I had the second surgery done in early July, 2009. The surgeon removed one larger tumor plus 15 smaller dead tumors.

The final procedure was the radiation. Dr. O’Day ordered two sets of radiation. The first set was five days a week for four weeks in the pelvic area. The second set was once a week for four weeks. I met with the radiologist. She aligned me with the radiation machine, marked the tattoo on my body so that each radiation would be done in the same position. She further explained to me the side effect and the possible damage of the radiation. My husband is a radiology technician. He discussed the situation with Dr. O’day. Dr. O’Day decided that the damage would have outweighed the benefit. Therefore he cancelled the first set of radiation. I only needed to do the second set. I started the second week of July and completed it in the first week of August 2009.

Before I entered this journey, I didn’t know where it would have taken me. I only knew that if God didn’t say He was done with me, I had no right to decide to quit. I had to take the chances presented to me and trust him to guide me through. All I could do was to take one day at a time. There were so many nights that I didn’t have any sleep because the chemo drugs burning continuously. My body was so hot and the skin was so sensitive. Knowing that I didn’t have to go to work the next day helped to reduce my anxiousness. Throughout my treatment, my family and friends were my greatest support.

I do believe there is a reason for every season, and for every suffering. With God’s help, I could look beyond the suffering, even when I was right in the middle of it. In the end, I was able to count the suffering as my blessing.

Post note: The highlighted links are linked to the previous 8 posts. I continue to suffer lymphedema (swelling) on left leg, and nerve damage on both legs resulting in tingling and poor circulation.

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52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 6

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This is the 52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 6 at Haddon Musings

I’m thankful this week for having 45 minutes of touching, contemplative Good Friday Concert presented by the Choir and orchestra tonight. The concert presented the message of the Lamb of God sacrificed Himself for our redemption. We were grateful that our new pastor was part of presentation. He read the scripture and prayed before our singing. He appreciated the choir’s service to the church.

The choir has been singing for over 50 years. Some of the members have been together from the beginning. We are not merely a choir but a family, a support group that uplifts each other. Some members are in their 60s, 70s, even 80s. In the first photo, the members in the front row were sitting down because of their physical limitation. They don’t let their physical conditions discourage their participation in singing. In fact, praising God with their voices becomes their strength.

The former pastor who stayed with us for only a couple years almost dismantled the choir. (The previous pastors stayed for 20 years each.) We went through a most difficult time in our choir history. Yet we still met and prayed together regularly even when we were not scheduled for singing.

The new pastor embraces all age groups of the congregation. He also appreciates classical, traditional, and contemporary music. The choir has a greater hope to be included in the services in the future.

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52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 5

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This is the 52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 5 at Haddon Musings

My husband has been retired for six months. He is happy to spend more time at home. I’m thankful that we could do more things together. We have been keeping up our workout schedule at the gym three times a week in the morning. On the same gym day, we go to Laguna Lake where he runs and I walk in the afternoon. In the evening, we try to play board game together once a week. I’m very good at board games, so far I’m winning! This night we played Chinese checkers. I played on green and he played on blue. I reached the destination across the board to his side. He came to my side with two steps before all the checkers were in. ♥♥

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52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 4

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This is the “52 Weeks of Thankfulness” Week 4 at Haddon Musings

I have been traveling by air for forty five years, and haven’t missed a flight yet. When the flights were delayed in a significant amount of time, the airlines usually compensate by overnight accommodation, tokens, or coupons. If we miss the flight, that’s another story.

We almost missed the flight coming back to California from Portland, Oregon last Tuesday, March 28. We eventually made it and got on the plane eight minutes before the plane closed the door! I was so very thankful!

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Here is the story. We were leaving Portland last Tuesday. My daughter and her husband went to work. We checked out from the hotel at 11:00 a.m. Our flight left at 5:55 p.m., so we spent a few hours at their house, then took the MAX trains to the airport.

I already went online and printed the train schedule. We needed to take the yellow line to a Transit Center, and then walked across several crosswalks to the red line that goes to the airport. We took the yellow line on time as recommended. After we got off the yellow line and walked to the red line station, for some reason, we were just a few steps short to catch the red line train.

Alright, the train comes by every fifteen minutes; we just had to wait for the next train! My husband said the next train would arrive in 24 minutes due to a 10 minutes delay. I started to get anxious, and looked at the time on my phone every 15 seconds. I sent a text to my daughter about the delay. My daughter offered to ask her husband to take us to the airport. I looked at the traffic and told her that driving could be worse. The 24 minutes wait was like forever, but finally the red line train came.

While we were still on the train, my phone received the boarding notification. I just kept praying instead of telling my husband. I knew if we had no problem going through the security check, we would have a chance to make it.

Thankfully, we had TSA Pre-check, so we went through the short line for security check. Then my husband ran to the gate, let them know that we were there. He had my phone with the Boarding Passes. We finally got on the plane eight minutes before the door was closed.

I sent a text to my daughter to let her know that we made it. She said she was praying for us all that time! God is good!

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