Tuesday, January 25, 2011

First Step Out Of The Boat

For the first time since diagnosis - I have a 2 week break from blood work.  I will go back on the 3rd week and then 3 weeks after that.  I have a couple of tests and waiting for one test result.  All of my blood work looks good.  Fatigue is ongoing; more intense than it really was when I was on treatment.  It's hard work getting all of these blood cells to wake up and get moving again.  Chemo affects everything from A to Z and things I have no clue about. 
Changes.  Life's constant.  My favorite receptionist has left the center.  I will miss her terribly. She's been on the front lines - such encouragement and my own personal cheerleader (me and 500 others).  She is missed.
I ran into my first nurse.  She too has moved to another department - it was great to see Marcia again.  She was the bright spot on those early Tuesday's last winter/spring. 
Feeling a little unsteady as I step out of the boat.  Everyone who walks into the doors at the cancer center as a patient,  looks ahead to the time they will cut back on visits, but when it happens, it is like climbing the ladder to the high dive.  You decide you're going up,  to prove to yourself you are brave, big and tough and yet each step up, the lump in your throat gets bigger as your mouth gets drier. Then "whoosh" you're off the board. The big "gulp" turns into a big smile, 'whew, made it'.
Now, to move even further ahead, get my legs under me again, turn the fatigue monitor to off and again, learn to live in the moment.  Second guessing is part of life with cancer. I believe it takes a full year to believe you have been diagnosed - this year will be a good year to accept it and take as many giant steps forward as I can; when I can.
Good evening!
love kathryn

Friday, January 21, 2011

By the way...

Theses roses are for you - for Valentine's Day - for loving me and supporting my family.  You, like their incredible fragrance, wafts through cyberspace.  Close you eyes and take a whiff or two.  I love you!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Was Born Under Wandering Star.....

Jesus said
present time
is where you live your life
heart open
each moment
no past — future worry — just
loving in the now.
~Ann Freeman Price

It took a little thing like cancer to drive me right into the moment.  Now. Today. This hour, this next 30 minutes.  This minute as I drink a cup of coffee.
Those who know me very well, know the desert is not my 'cup of tea'.  I would much rather see the Atlantic or the Pacific out my rear view window. Then turning to drive for miles through large trees whose branches whisper hello as they are bent and  waving their lush branches, meandering through, coming out on the other side to find a rich, green valley, a white church, country store and some picket fences along the road. 
A few days ago, I went to a doctor's appointment on the West Mesa.  The day was as clear as glass.   The cottonwood trees that live by the river  do not drop all of their leaves in the winter.   They were this color of golden, burnt sienna (thanks for years with Crayons).  The sun gave them a brilliance that was almost as blinding to the eye as they are in the fall, as they turn that shocking shade of yellow.  The water in the Rio Grande doesn't not roar down, it doesn't necessarily run, it simply meanders in it's own sweet time - the little water that there may be. Live in the moment.
 Every "clip" that ran through my mind was a reminder of time and how we are rushing about; forgetting to remember to live 'right now'....to enjoy shriveled up leaves on winter trees, to see if there is any water charting its path downstream,  to look up and see a gaggle of crows (is that a gaggle?) rummaging through someones backyard, working for their dinner. 
Mom sent me the family photos.  Talk about taking a slow stroll through the past.  This kind of strolling is good for your soul.  You think of those who have left such a mark on your life.  Those you do not know, but you know someone did and they left an impression on my parents lives.  I made up a small box of Leah's pictures, as I am doing for the rest of my siblings, nieces and nephews.  It was great fun to remember them as babies and toddlers.  Memories are fun to pull out of an old photo album.  However, to live there; to want to go back to the past is impossible and not good.  We remember those things of the past, but we move into today and find reasons for joy, time to praise God for this new day, for good times.  To look around our homes and thank God for all we have 'right here, right now'.  O! this has been a lesson for me like no other lesson that has come my way.  To learn to be content.  In those areas of life that are less than satisfactory; to accept that God is walking with me in his time.  Sometimes I'm slow and he never runs ahead.  He just keeps time.  I think Johnny Cash wrote a song on "rhythm"...faded memory (if I'm wrong, correct me).  I think today is a day of listening and experiencing the rhythm of living. 
God bless and keep my friends, Lisa, Jeff, Lori and Johnny, fiance' to Lori, caregiver and dear friend of the Sanders' family.  Mr. Sanders graduated from this life this week.  Our hearts and thoughts are with them continually.
Now to be a little Robin Williams:  Carpe Diem!!!
love you kathryn

Monday, January 10, 2011

Now To Just Have Taken Our Camera!

We arrived in Albuquerque about 7:30 last night.  We went to Grapevine for my niece's wedding.  Leah Kathryn and David Freeze are officially husband and wife. 
Sweetest rehearsal dinner and wedding I believe I've attended.  She is the Princess Bride - a movie she enjoys was played out in real life.  (well, not all of it, I saw no horses or giants or the swapping of wine by two men).  A good time was had by all.  A most relaxing and loving wedding. 
Today is a bitterly cold day, the sun being beat out by the winter winds and Arctic air.
 We took Coco and Scout and they enjoyed the travel as well - making themselves right at home in the hotel room.  However, they too are tired today.  We have been the proverbial crib rats.
My mom looked wonderful, my cousin, Linda was there and looked great as well.  We also got to see Janet (Alexander) Hamilton and enjoyed some time together. 
We have never attended a wedding where grilled cheese sandwiches were served.  We may have to make that the mark of a great wedding from now on.  They were perfect as well as the rest of the food. 
My great niece, Emma, loved the band and rocked out (she is 9 mos old) to "Billie Jean".  She can really keep up with the beat of the music.  Great band, by the way.
We had a wonderful time.  We enjoyed the company, the food, the wedding and meeting Alan's in laws as well as Leah's new family. 
We are also glad to be back home again.  I did OK.  I couldn't travel that distance on a regular basis.  Sitting in a car is very tiring, who knew that?  I am a road warrior and never thought twice about jumping in the car and driving long distances.  Now, I do.  
The Lee's hosted Sophie, the cat.  She may never want to live here again.  She was treated royally by her hosts and we thank YOU for being so willing to take her at the last moment.  Cats are quite sufficient, but I think by the end of our trip, she would have been beside herself.  She loves her canned food and someone to talk back to.  Thank you, David and Peggy.
We are mindful of those families who have been devastated by the tragic shooting in Tucson, AZ.  We're think of all who lost their loved ones, no one person is more special than the other - but the 9 yr old girl who lost her life...it states over and over again, that our lives are but a vapor.
Love one another; make amends, be kind, live with an open hand and an open heart.  Imagine her parents telling her to have a good time and enjoy the opportunity she was going to have - never dreaming it would be the last time they would see her alive.  The federal judge - the same story, a quick hello to the Senator and home with his bag of groceries. 
All of these people have touched and been touched by many lives.  Their families are never going to be the same, nor will those who were close to them.  Praying that God will bless them and bring what they need into their lives. 
Back to nap time as the sun makes it's way down on this side of the earth to wake those on the other side.  Isn't that just a wonder?  One sun is shared around the world.  Rising and setting while we are carrying on our lives.  I watch it set most every evening..a reminder that God loves us so and takes care of us in the most incredible manner.  The perfect amount of light and darkness; seasons that come and go - always right on time.  What is a wonder to you?
i love you!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


kathryn and ruthie, 2010
So guess who is coming to dinner?  Ruthie!  Our first guests and dear family friends, were here last week. 
I haven't downloaded Jeff and Lisa's photos yet.  I'll get to that this evening (I hope).  Another story of deep friendship...
This girl has been in my life since 1974.  Naturally, after months of my boss touting the incredible find she made when Ruthie applied for a job at Colonial Florist, Stillwater, OK, I hated her.  She was beautiful, smelled wonderful, wore beautiful clothing and was "so talented and going to be such an asset to our little world". 
On an August morning, high on humidity and heat, low on make up and tolerance - in walks this beautiful, gorgeous creature.  Lovely, happy, helpful, wanting to be "a part of the team".  She walked to the Xerox machine and said, Hi, I'm Ruthie Jones.  I probably snarled at her (knowing her by all of the descriptive terms we'd been hearing for months) - Hi, I'm Kathryn Parker.....Jordan.  She quickly said, well, which is it?
By noon, we were best friends.  Planning meals, eating out at cheap dives for lunch and spending every waking hour together.  On December 4th, my first husband, Arliss Jordan, took his own life.  Ruthie is the one I called to come and take me home to our apt.  She stuck with me through most of the night.  I remember my friend, Alisha, spending one night with me.  My memories are very broken - some are very strong and most are just fragments.
 Ruthie and Keith filled my days with love and friendship - though in deep shock, they were there for me...as were so many other people.  Relatives, friends, acquaintances - all holding me up and brushing me off and praying for me to be able to get myself glued back together again.  God's grace and mercy and tender loving kindness brought me through that stormy time.
Ruthie and Keith moved away in May after Keith graduated from OSU.  One day, after moving to Okla City, I was so at loose ends, feeling so lost; needing someone who knew "me then".  I called Ruthie.  We picked up right where we left off.  I spent many weekends in Snyder OK.  There was a lot of talk, a lot of laughter, some sledding on the huge interstate circle on inner tubes, a lot of working through our lives together.  We are "knit in heart"....Arliss' death brought us to a level of friendship that is indescribable.  I love her with my whole heart.  She's been through many difficult journey's as well.  God has this amazing ability to put people together.  And keep bringing them together as the years unfold. 
I love you RJ.  Can't wait for you to get here.  Sophie is patting her little feet right now.
Enjoy your day,
love kathryn

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Lovely and Bitterly Cold Sunday Brrrrrrr

January 2, 2011
From his fullness we have received, grace upon grace.  John 1:16

The best news of the day is found in John.  The Word spoke and creation exploded into being.  I look out the back window of our house and see hundreds of things He spoke into being.  The volcano's, pine and evergreen, pyrocantha, trees of great variety.
I look beside me, he created Coco and Scout.  I look at myself and know he created me - to be his child, to go through trials and great joys, to become a mother, to enjoy laughter and funny people and strange things that fill this earth, a person who loves to read, cook, eat, share what is running through my mind, loving others, working to understand others ideas that are different from mine and love the differences, driving, though that is on hold for a bit.   I appreciate acupuncture and receive great relief from JinLin's gentle touch. My doctors, Dr. Clark, Dr. Glass, Dr. Brown, Mindy O'Neil and nurses to numerous to name.  I love my animals, I love Jim and Molly and Dain from the depths of my heart - what a great gift.  I do not understand all of this, but am glad it was placed in my heart by God's love.  I love to garden and see the results of putting plants into the ground;; enjoy the bounty with more than enough to share....isn't that the point of gardening anyway? to share?  To watch these dogs and this weird cat and all of their antics.  To have dear friends come and stay with us.  To have a slice of my dad's great sense of humor and sharp wit.  To have my mother's hands and feet to work and do things I enjoy.  To have the love of Jesus...."deep down in my heart".  I pray it that it will be reflected in my daily life.
To you - You are so very dear and precious.  Gems that fill my heart and reflect to brightly in my life.
i love you,