Friday, April 20, 2007


  Well J-Land, I completed my second round of radiation today -so far, so good. I feel like I've climbed that mountain and am standing on the plateau, ready to start back down. Only two sessions of chemo left and then I'll only be getting radiation. Praise God, I feel good and know, I can make it. You all have no idea what your comments and prayers have done for me. I thank God, everyday, for each of you.

  I have another share, I'd like to share with you. Read it  and if you know of anyone that this would help, please , pass it on.

  Remember, I'm on that plateau and feel  all the  closer to my Lord. God bless each of you, with love and hugs,Barbara


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Another Lovely Share

People are always sending me, such beautiful stories. I hope you don't mind,me sharing some, with you. Love and hugs,Barbara



Subject: Thorns - in remembrance of Easter<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Thank Him for the Thorns...

Sandra felt as low as the heels of her Birkenstocks when she pulled open
the florist shop door,

against an April gust of wind. Her life had been as sweet as a spring breeze and then in the

fourth month of her second pregnancy, a "minor" automobile accident stole her joy. This was Easter
week and the time she should have delivered their infant son. She grieved
over their loss.

Troubles had multiplied. Her husband's company "threatened" to transfer his job to a new location.

Her sister had called to say that she could not come for her long awaited holiday visit.

What's worse, Sandra's friend suggested that Sandra's grief was a God-given path to maturity that

would allow her to empathize with others who suffer.

"She has no idea what I'm feeling," thought Sandra with a shudder. "

Easter, Thanksgiving, Holidays? Thankful for what?" she wondered. "For a
careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her?

For an airbag that saved her life, but took her child's?"

"Good afternoon, can I help you?" Sandra was startled by the approach of the shop clerk.

"I.... I need an arrangement," stammered Sandra.

"For Easter ? Do you want the beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to
challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the "Easter Special"?

m convinced that flowers tell stories," she continued. "Are you looking
something that conveys gratitude this Easter?"

"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months, everything that could go wrong

has gone wrong." Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the clerk said,

"I have the perfect arrangement for you."

Then the bell on the door rang, and the clerk greeted the new customer, "Hi, Barbara...let me get your order."

She excused herself and walked back to a small workroom, then quickly
reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery,

bows, and what appeared to be long-stemmed thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems were

neatly snipped, there were no flowers.

"Do you want these in a box?" asked the clerk. Sandra watched for the
customer's response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no
flowers! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed.

"Yes, please," Barbara replied with an appreciative smile. "You'd think
after three years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved by its
significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again." She said, as
she gently tapped her chest.

Sandra stammered, "Ah, that lady just left with, uh.... she left with no flowers!"

"That's right, said the clerk. "I cut off the flowers. That's the "Special".

I call it the Easter Thorns Bouquet."

"Oh, come on! You can't tell me someone is willing to pay for that!"
exclaimed Sandra.

"Barbara came into the shop three years ago, feeling much as you do, today,"

explained the clerk. "She thought she had very little to be thankful for.

She had just lost her father to cancer; the family business was failing;
her son had gotten into drugs; and she was facing major surgery." "That
same year I had lost my husband," continued the clerk. "For the first time in
my life, I had to spend the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no
family nearby, and too much debt to allow any travel."

"So what did you do?" asked Sandra.

"I learned to be thankful for thorns," answered the clerk quietly.

"I've always thanked God for the good things in my life and I NEVER
questioned Him why those GOOD things happened to me, but when the bad stuff
hit, I cried out, "WHY? WHY Me?!" It took time for me to learn that the
dark times are important to our faith! I have always enjoyed the 'flowers'
of my life, but it took the thorns to show me the beauty ofGod's comfort!

You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and
from His consolation we learn to comfort others."

Sandra sucked in her breath, as she thought about what her friend had
to tell her. "I guess the truth is, I don't want comfort. I've lost a baby and

I'm angry with God."

Just then someone else walked in the shop. "Hey, Phil!" the clerk greeted
the balding, rotund man.

"My wife sent me in to get our usual Easter arrangement...twelve

long-stemmed stems!" laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue
wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.

"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you mind
telling me why she wants a bouquet that looks like that?"

"No... I'm glad you asked," Phil replied. "Four years ago, my wife and I
nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the
Lord's grace and guidance, we trudged through problem after problem.

The Lord rescued our marriage.

Jenny, here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her
of what she had learned from "thorny" times. That was good enough for me.

I took home some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each
for a specific "problem" and give thanks for what that problem taught us."

As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special!"

"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life." Sandra said
 to the clerk. "It's all too... fresh."

"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me that the
thorns make the roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care
more during trouble than at any other time. Remember that it was a crown
of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love. Don't resent the thorns."

Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident,
she loosened her grip on her resentment. "I'll take those twelve
long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out.

"I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready in a minute."

"Thank you. What do I owe you?"

"Nothing. Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first

year's arrangement is always on me." The clerk smiled and handed a card to
Sandra. "I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you would
like to read it first."

It read: My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked

You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach
the  glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that
I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain. Show me that, through
my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant."

Praise Him for the roses; thank Him for the thorns.



Monday, April 9, 2007

Three more chemo treatments!!! Believe me, I'll be so happy to say good-bye to them. I have a rest week, this week, just have to go for blood test. I'll start my radiation in about two weeks, I hear they aren't as bad as the chemotherapy. Hope you all had a wonderful blessed Easter. I did.  I had dinner with all my children, that's always a time of happiness, for me. Till next time, My J-Land friends, love and hugs,Barbara



Friday, April 6, 2007


I had this shared with me, I hope you enjoy it , as much as I did or know someone it would help. Happy Easter to all. God's love to all. Hugs,Barbara


I have cancer...
but cancer does not have me.
Cancer is not who I am.
It is only a bend
in the road
that is my life's journey...

an unexpected detour on my path.
It is a
lesson in the cosmic schoolroom that is 
human existence.

So I Will
pause to rest...and heal ...
and study the lesson...
before I move on to my life beyond cancer.

I will not
give in to fear, and I will not
be discouraged by setback.
Setbacks are only opportunities

to review the lesson.

I will not be ashamed
of my scars.
My scars are the brushstrokes

in the masterpiece that is my life

I will be thankful for
the many blessings cancer

has brought
into my life:
People I never would have known,
love that I had never been still
or quiet enough to witness,
humility I needed,
strength I thought I had lost,
courage I never knew I had.

I will remember
that I can still have fun

and that it's Okay -
~even healthy!~ to be silly.

I will remember
to find the joy in rainbows...
I must endure the rain.
And I will remember always that...
while I may have cancer...
cancer  does not  have me!
Kathy Cawthon
The Cancer Crusade
used with permission.

I recommend that you
click HERE
to view the "The Survivor Movie"
a very encouraging well made movie

Cancer is So Limited!
It cannot cripple LOVE!
It cannot shatter
It cannot corrode
It cannot destroy
It cannot kill
It cannot shut out
It cannot silence
It cannot invade the
It cannot destroy
It cannot quench the
It cannot lessen the
Our greatest enemy is not disease, but despair.  Keep trusting God's love so your Spirit will remain strong.  If cancer has invaded your life, refuse to let it touch your Spirit!  Your body can be severely afflicted and you might have great struggles, but if you keep trusting in God's love your Spirit will remain strong.
"fear not them which kill the body,
but are not able to kill the soul."
Matthew 10:28
Victim or Survivor
Although the definition said, "a cancer survivor is anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer and is alive today."  The first time I read it, I didn't feel like a cancer survivor.  Cancer victim seemed a much more accurate term.  But then the dust settled, treatment began, and I realized the "victim" thing just didn't fit.
I tossed the victim/survivor issue around and finally came to the conclusion that a victim and a survivor are the same thin - - almost.  The differences are subtle, but at the same time enormous.  The first thing I realized is that a survivor is a victim with an attitude.  After I understood that, things were a little better.  I had a choice about something - I could be a cancer victim or a cancer survivor.  I liked the idea of having an attitude and I liked the sound of being a survivor.
Next, I thought about a friend of mine who had metastasized breast cancer and was the epitome of a cancer survivor.  To Barbie, survivorship was a state of mind.  Despite the moments of sadness and pain, she never lost her ability to laugh about some of the absurdities of cancer and cancer treatment.  She treasured every moment and faced each new situation as best she could.  Eventually, the cancer got her body; however she  never allowed it to reach her Spirit.  I think of her as a survivor in the truest sense of the word.
Very slowly, the differences between being a survivor and victim became clear, and I started making a list.  I'm sure every survivor can add one or two more.  This is just a start..
Being a victim is a state of body.  Being a survivor is a state of mind.
A victim fears hair falling out.  A survivor knows bald is beautiful.
A victim  knows about feeling down.  A survivor knows feeling down is okay.
A victim dreads the side effects of treatments.  A survivor wonders how to conceal his membership in the Side-Effect-of-the-Month Club.
A victim is amazed at all the tears.  A survivor never leaves home without Kleenex.
A victim goes to "see" a doctor.  A survivor "consults with his or her physician.
A victim gets caught in despair.  A survivor prays a lot.
A victim feels helpless.  A survivor says "thanks" with dignity and grace.
A victim enjoys a good laugh.  A survivor loves one.
From the moment we are diagnosed, we are victims.  We must choose to be survivors.
Paula (Bachleda) Koskay
From Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul

~  Father, make me sensitive to the pain in other people's hearts and help me do whatever I can to ease their pain.   ...Amen ~