April 17, 2014

Mid-April Ruminations & Cogitations

After a brief cold snap, we’re going to be heading into a string of beautiful spring days here in east Tennessee. In typical April fashion, I’ve been alternating the thermostats between heat and air conditioning. Trees in our area are rapidly taking on a multitude of green hues. Dogwood and redbud blooms are winding down, and late-season daffodils and tulips are heralding the season.

While we were sitting on the front porch this past Sunday, a male hummingbird paused in front of our faces, wondering if we had put out the sugar water yet. We put a feeder up in short order, and hummingbirds are already visiting it. We also have a pair of birds making a nest in the bird bottle that hangs on the front porch. I haven’t caught them in the act yet, so their identification remains unknown.

We had some landscaping work completed about a week ago. I don’t know when I’ll be able to actually blog about it and share photos. It turned out great. We had a hardscape border installed around the mailbox area and some trees/bushes replaced in the front yard. We also had a handyman friend come over to fix a few warped doors that would no longer close and also re-caulk tile and wood trim. The next jobs that will be lined up will be window washing, gutter cleaning, and pressure washing. I also need to run out in the next week or so and get some annual flowers and herbs. Spring is a busy time!

While the earth continues to rotate on its axis and life continues on without us, we are caught in the ugly time warp of cancer. Mr. Jim’s first round of chemotherapy thoroughly knocked him down for 11 days out of 14. The second round was this past Monday, and it is taking him down once again. It is brutal stuff. We’ve been making multiple trips to the Cancer Institute for either chemo infusions, chemo pump disconnections, and supplemental IVs of fluids and nausea medicine. The chemo drugs and pills for nausea and pain conspire to make him extra tired. He sleeps and rests a lot. He doesn’t have much enthusiasm for food. After wrangling with Medicare in their repeated attempts to ration prescribed medicine (that’s government health care for you!), we now have some pills to help stimulate appetite.

Many of you have inquired about Mr. Jim’s health. Please don’t be offended if I fail to respond personally. I simply do not have time or energy to write back to everyone. If you get any note back from me, please consider yourself lucky! I am fulfilling many roles right now. Also, I don’t want to get into all of the blow-by-blow details of his illness for privacy reasons. The chemo regimen is tough and will continue indefinitely. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. That pretty much sums it up. The best way to get the latest information is to read my blog posts. And if you would like to send Mr. Jim a card or note to cheer on his courageous efforts, I will gladly provide you with our mailing address!

My self-imposed blogging slowdown continues. I have attempted to keep up with blogging friends on a hit-and-miss basis, and I usually don’t comment. Please continue to grant me some understanding and latitude. Thank you for all the good wishes sent our way on a regular basis and sweet comments that you leave on my posts. You touch our hearts and we greatly appreciate your prayers for us!


  1. Donna,

    I didn't know that Mr. Jim has cancer. That has most likely knocked the wind out of your sails! I can certainly understand the devastation and the fight that ensues when cancer strikes. It is such an ugly disease. Please know that you are both in my prayers.

    My daughter has always called my husband Mr. Jim, never Dad.

    Stay strong!



  2. i am really sorry that the chemo treatments are so difficult. i do hope jim's appetite will improve so he can keep some strength. you keep concentrating on what needs to be handled.

  3. Thank you for posting. It lets folks know how to pray (for an improved appetite for example). It always gets me that life goes on when it feels as if it should slow down at the very least. Don't those warped doors know that they shouldn't warp?! No worries about visiting or writing. Just do what needs doing.

  4. You are in my thoughts and prayers. It cheers me to see you here for a post or a comment but I don't think anyone expects personal attention. Just hang in there and keep busy with those spring chores. It will help a great deal to get some perennials planted. Take Care... hugs!!

  5. I'm very glad for the update although I know it is hard....all of it. I keep you both in my prayers my friend. Don't worry about anything except what you need to take care of right now. And try to take care of yourself, too. Sending Jim some extra hugs....and my husband and I are both praying for his recovery. Your buddy, Diane

  6. So sorry to hear that the chemo is so rough on your husband. I'm sure that this is all very draining for you. I'll be thinking of you both and keeping you in my prayers. I hope that you have a happy Easter

  7. I remember how exhausting Chemo can be, and the nausea is more than annoying, I only wish the best for both of you, and pray you have the strength to endure this horrid ordeal. On a happier note, love that you have hummingbirds already. Keep well my friend, thinking of you often.

  8. Hugs to you, my friend -- and all my best to Mr. Jim, even though he doesn't have a clue who I am. You are both in my prayers! ~Sally

  9. Donna...same weather here in central NC...we get your leftovers :) we also have hummers already. I put a feeder out this week and in 30 minutes there was feeding! I'm sorry to hear about the health crisis going on with I assume, your hubby, I pray for the best possible outcome! Blessings!

  10. I'm so sorry for what Jim is going through ---and YOU as his caregiver... I can only imagine how hard it is.. My love and prayers are with you both during these hard times...

    Govt. Healthcare is just going to get worse and worse for most of us... Scary --but a reality... We haven't experienced some of this firsthand yet --but I'm sure we will... DANG it.

    Enjoy those sweet little hummingbirds. We haven't seen any up here yet...

    Hugs and Prayers,

  11. God bless you both; my prayers of course continue daily.
    Do not, for even one moment, apologize for anything, Donna.
    Your hands are full, and I know your heart is heavy. Wish I
    lived near.

  12. Thank you for posting, Donna. We certainly understand that your time and efforts are taken up with taking care of Mr. Jim through this grueling ordeal. I'll be praying for strength for both of you.

  13. What an enormous load you're carrying dear Donna.
    I can see it is all consuming.
    It's about facing one day at a time for both of you.
    You are both in my heart and in my prayers.
    With love and caring hugs
    Shane xox

  14. During a medical crisis, it feels as if time stands still, but it also feels as if the world is spinning all around you. Such a strange, rather surreal passage of time. So I thank you for stopping in with an update on your world.

    Of course, we understand! You must attend to so many pressing needs...and visiting (much less commenting!) all of your friends must take a backseat to all of that. But please know that I am continuing to pray for Mr. Jim and for you. You can count on it!


  15. Thank you for keeping us posted on Jim's health. It is a very personal journey, so I understand completely that you would want to limit what you share.
    Tim and I lift you both before the Lord in our prayers, Donna.
    I will keep checking back for any reports you have time to post.
    I would love to have your address whenever you can send it to me.
    Hugs to you dear friend-Kimberly

  16. Donna, life has it's challenges and you sure are faced with a lot of them right now. Hoping and praying that every day gets a wee bit better for the two of you. Hugs

  17. We do like to know how things are going dear so thanks for the post and update. Know your time is limited with so much going on…………just take each day and do what you can, and know we are all here praying that things will soon be easier and better days are ahead.

    Love to you and Mr. Jim.
    Mary XX

  18. I'm so sorry for all that you two are going through right now. You know you are always in my thoughts and prayers. We'll be here waiting for whenever you feel like updating or just saying hello.

  19. Wishing you both the best on this hard road that you both travel together.

  20. Donna,I have been where you are and sadly my husband was in Jims position. It is a long and tiresome road for all involved! I am thinking of you both and willing you guys along. Expect little from yourself at the moment and do whats important and necessary!!! Time watching the humminbirds sounds like good rest and recooperation time...for both of you to take a spell and enjoy the little things. As you do get weary just from all the appointments and of course in Jims case the treatment....keep your spirits up...love you My farraway friend xx

  21. Thinking of you and Jim often, Donna. Wishing you both peace and strength and praying for healing for Jim. God Bless you both! Thanks for keeping us updated. Pamela

  22. watching the hummers gives us so much joy...I see they are on their way up to us pretty soon...I need to clean out my feeders before hand. Thinking of you each day

  23. I put my hummingbird feeders out last week as well, Donna. I noticed a neighbor had hers out so I googled this year's migration and was amazed that they were already in Massachusetts and points North! Several weeks early! We've got bluebirds moving into the bird box we hung on the tree outside our dining room window. It's a lot of fun watching them bringing all sorts of things in to build their nest!
    I hope you had a beautiful Easter!

  24. You know how I feel about you two...I just wish I could help! Frustrating...so I turn to prayer.
    Love you guys....

  25. As usual these days, I'm late catching up - but not late with thoughts and prayers for you and Jim! You have been on my heart much lately. No apologies needed for not sharing more or replying to comments. You have your hands full and I am just thankful to hear from you via your blog posts. Sending bunches of hugs to you, dear friend.


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!