So last Sunday in choir rehearsal we were practicing Total Praise to sing today and I thought "I sure am glad I don't have to direct this piece." I guess God laughed at me. Pam was diagnosed with the flu on Friday and asked me to lead worship today. Amelia Baptist Church has the easiest choir I have ever stood before to direct. They did an awesome job. Thank you Amelia Baptist for the way Teresa and I have been so accepted for who we are and given us opportunities to serve our God and our church family. After lunch at Mrs. Carolyn's T and I went for a walk and it was little cooler than I liked so we went thru Pirates Bay and ended up walked 2 1/2 miles trying to get out of there. Neither of us had our phone for a map and I had only been thru there twice before. God is still laughing at me I am sure.
The weather is somewhat better. At least we have been able to get out of the house and walk some and ride our Segways some too. The book writing is on my schedule so since I like schedules it is happening again. I got a new story line this week from a person on the island that rescued a Blue Heron. Pain in my leg comes and goes and I am hoping it is cold related. Today is not a good day. I did awaken on Wednesday this week and felt like I had a whole new lease on life with the way I felt. It was stranger than anything I have every felt. We are praying for those that a sick now as the flu is attacking a lot of people we know. I'm leading music tomorrow because Pam has it now too.
It has been an unusually cold beginning for Amelia Island in 2018. Temperatures have dropped into the 20's which is 20 degrees colder than we ever saw last year. There was also a lot of snow that fell down into North Florida and our former residence in GA got 4 inches of snow. They had a ball while we stayed warm. Teresa had often wondered why condos in FL have fireplaces. We figured it out and have used it as supplemental heat in our condo. Most folks just use it for decoration or extra ambience but we did better. I only have one more day of radiation and the cancer journey will have a phase to end and a new one to begin (waiting a month for test results and start a new diet). We really enjoyed all our children spending time with us for the after-Christmas holiday. The grands are so much fun. Oh yeah, Teresa and I gave each other mini Segways for Christmas and of course the weather has not allowed us to venture out much yet but we shall!
Updates: I only have ten more days of radiation. It has been quite a journey with up and down feelings particularly with fatigue. I have to go clean windows in two condos for guest coming in today and the day after Christmas. Teresa is cooking goodies for the kids arriving next week for a visit. Michelle and her brood arrive on Tuesday for a few days. I'm sure Melodie's crew will be here quite a bit too. We are going to their house early Christmas day to be with them. Later in the day we go to Mammy and Angie's for a late lunch or early dinner with our bunch and Josh, Courtney and Logan visiting from Houston. I went to Writers by the Sea last night and enjoyed the fellowship and the readings shared by those in attendance. Sunday will be special at church including Sunday nights Communion and Candlelight Service. I will be singing "Where Else Would a Lamb Be Born" by Steve Amerson.
Christmas will soon be here again. It comes so often when you get older. The good news is that I'm a bit over halfway done with my radiation therapy and only had minimal side effects. More good news is that the Gospel was shared again last weekend with nearly 1000 people at Amelia Baptist Church with the 21st annual An Evening in December. All our shopping is done and gifts are wrapped and under the tree. We are looking forward to some Christmas fellowship time with friends and family.
I received a call from Dave this week and they wanted to stop in for a visit. They arrived at the KOA Campground in St. Mary's on Friday and picked them up and went to dinner with them at St. Mary's Seafood. I was not feeling well and only ate half a baked potato so we came home after dinner. They came to see us on Saturday and we immediately went to Mrs. Carolyn's for brunch. I was hungry! (I've got to check with them about a website since their only thing is a poor Facebook page.) A drive to the beach to see the ocean and then we did a walking tour downtown including the Farmers Market and the Arts/Crafts. A rest on the waterfront energized us enough to walk back to the car. Next was a drive to the southside of the island to see some of the sites down there. We came back to the house for a lot of chatter and sharing about our lives, snacks then the SEC Championship Game. Go DAWGS! They left us and were going back toward Houston Sunday. A great visit with a great couple.
Today is Teresa's birthday. We celebrated lunch at Slider's with Mammy, Angie, Steve and Melanie. We road with Mammy and Angie for our annual Huggins Family Thanksgiving Reunion at Mt. Olive Baptist Church. It is always great to see family that have scattered all across the country, Of course, there always some that cannot make the trip due to work and distance. We also have a Wedding Shower for Landon and Kelsey. The biggest news for me this week is that I had four days off from radiation treatment.
This is a memory that popped onto my Facebook account today. It is from November 1, 2015 while I was attending a conference with Teresa in Athens, GA.
I noticed that as the sidewalks dried out and the fallen leaves were blown away there were remaining impressions of the leaves. Yes, the damp fallen leaves had left impressions of where they once were lying. I wondered about the impressions I make when I have storms in my life. What do people see or what type impressions am I leaving behind? And, how long are those impressions, whether positive or negative, lasting? My Lord Jesus, help me leave impressions that reflect You and Your influence on my life for those that are looking for fresh impressions.
On Monday Dr. Son confirmed the cancer. While we were in his office he called Dr. Ackerman and we set a Tuesday appointment here on the island. Tuesday was a lengthy three hours of testing and talking and setting up all the other test for the next several days. Wednesday was a Pet scan. Thursday we got good news with the Pet scan results in that the cancer is contained within the prostate and there is arthritis in my lower left back. Friday we make a trip to the Ackerman Cancer Center in Jacksonville for Fiducial Seed Placement in my prostate to make targeting more precise for the radiation and a SpaceOAR to separate a couple of organs to keep them away from radiation. I take four pills soon after my arrival and I am aware of what is going on with the biopsy but really didn't care. They had to get Teresa to help get my clothes on as I had sort of gone into nod land. No real discomfort followed nor any pain pills from the procedure. Monday was a Pelvic MRI to verify the SpaceOAR positioning. Tuesday was a CT Scan for final treatment planning. Wednesday was a follow-up with my regular doctor dealing with sinuses and back pain. I then got a week off and then prepared for smooth sailing for 45 treatments within 10 weeks. The tough part is drinking 24 ounces of water before each treatment to fill the bladder. I have discovered it is not all smooth sailing but it is doable. I am trying to hold on strong as a witness to those that are watching me.
January - An in office prostate biopsy that turned out atypical. A colonoscopy the same week that removed one large Pollux. April - A broken femur and three months of rehab and recovery. September - An MRI to get a picture of the prostate. October - A hospital prostate biopsy. Five days later I had numbness in my mouth and was checked for a stroke that turned out negative after many, many test and no answer as to why. It went away within two minutes of Pastor Neil praying for me. Miracle. A doctor visit to clear the allergy and sinus issues discovered in all those test. There was back pain I thought was caused from weak muscles from the broken leg and on a visit to Jesup I had Dr. Bodnar do a chiropractic adjustment and the pain has been gone now for 5 days. Miracle. The biopsy follow up confirmed cancer and tomorrow a visit with yet another doctor to begin a process to kill it with radiation. So January, April, September and October have not been good months for personal health. But I know my God is in control of me and God's Got Me.
I'm a wanna be writer but only dabble with personal stories and illustrations. My true joy is my relationship with God and family. Then comes the music and technology. I'm writing a children's book called Goose Freedom.