The month of spring!

 

 

3/1/2020

March 1st today.  I have thought about this month for quite some time. It's my birthday month, and I knew when my birthday arrived, I would be close to graduating. So, here we are!  Seven weeks of class left, I think.  I am working on school work this weekend in hopes of completing quite a bit of it, so I am not too stressed next month.

I am also working on my presentation for Rotary as I will be discussing my event with them this Thursday! Of course, I am nervous, but I think my PowerPoint will be received well. At least I hope it is. The biggest thing is that I can get online to show it!

After finally feeling better from the cold I have had since November, I woke up yesterday with a runny nose, increased cough, and a sore throat. I canceled my plans, including visiting Granny and stayed home and worked on school work. I haven't had a shower since Friday, and I'm not sure I will take one today. I still don't' feel well and don't plan to go out. Hopefully, no one stops by to see me and is disgusted by my appearance and smell. :)

 My physical therapist reminded me on Thursday that my hips are hurting so much because I am off Prednisone. It completely slipped my mind that the reason I had been feeling so well was that the steroid masked my pain. Now I am back to where I was- finding it difficult to walk after sitting more than a few minutes. I am again frustrated but determined to continue walking on the treadmill and doing stretches in hopes one day I am free from the pain.

A dear friend, I met at Ronald McDonald House was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and I am so sad. Her family has already been through so much, and this is another big blow.  She was so active in her community, and I am sure this is difficult for everyone she knows.

I feel completely disorganized and like I forget things I have promised to do. I don't feel very responsible right now. I keep writing things down but never in the same notebook. I don't remember what I wrote or where! I have to be more responsible.

I have not seen the girls in a week, and I miss them so much. I had planned to keep the three of them overnight yesterday, but due to my sickness, it was best not to expose them.

 I went to a trauma-informed health care event on Friday.  I was happy to know that professionals are discussing how medical interventions can induce trauma and how we, as professionals, should approach the matter to aid them in processing their experiences.

3/3/20

Patrick and I are both sick and not getting better, but also not getting any worse. He stayed at the cabin yesterday and will come home today.  He didn't want to get his workers sick, which is honorable!  I canceled two appointments yesterday- one was related to my practicum, and the other was my PT.  I figured I would cough all through the PT and expose my germs to others, which they don't need!

I am gearing up for my presentation to the Rotary on Thursday.  I am very nervous. One Rotarian called and suggested I either skip the PowerPoint or limit it to three slides.  My heart sank as I had just finished it a couple of days ago, and there are definitely more than three slides!  I have been so programmed through school to do presentations on PP that it's difficult for me to do anything else.  All along, I have felt the need to "tell the story" of what returning citizens go through when they leave prison.  I haven't had the confidence to try it out. Today, I plan to buy some large index cards and write key points on them and practice. I have 20 minutes to convince a group that my Reentry Fair project is viable and will be helpful to the participants.  It's time to start having confidence.  I know this subject professionally and personally. I can do this, right?  Before that, I will be interviewed on Cabbage Radio.  Let's see what I can do.  Yesterday, I was interviewed by a reporter at the Frontiersman.  He is going to run the story about the event in hopes of increasing participation attendance.  Again, I fear that I will have all of these providers and no participants!

Today will be another low-key day for me. I plan to stay home all day until my Opioid Task Force meeting. I need the rest.  I also have four more papers to write this week!  

3/5/20

This morning I will be going to see my local medical provider.  My oncologist told me on Tuesday that she thinks it is too risky for me to fly to D.C. after hearing about my symptoms and the newest strain of Corona Virus going around.  I told her I was tired of putting my life on hold. How long am I going to be immunocompromised?  How long am I going to have to think about my fatigue level before committing to anything? I'm getting pretty frustrated.  I woke up today with a bloodshot eye and a throat so raw it feels as if it has been cut with a knife.  I'm going to see her and see what she thinks about my upcoming trip. I am not leaving until midnight Saturday night. By Monday, I could feel fantastic, so I don't want to cancel now.  Tuesday is my birthday. In 2016, I was in the hospital on my birthday (with corona as well as RSV and pneumonia) the year before I was in the clinic, and they were attempting to get an IV in me because my central line was removed due to infection.  After multiple failed attempts, I walked out. It was my birthday, and I didn't want to be subjected to any more medical issues!  The following year, we were in New Orleans on my birthday, which was my 50th!  I don't want a repeat of 2015 and 2016, so I need to get better very, very soon.

I have my presentation to Rotary today, and I hope my voice holds out, and they can hear me. I also hope and pray that I am articulate and engaging!!!! I wish I had my parents' gift for public speaking.

The presentation went great! I prayed before I presented that God would speak through me, and people would feel God's love for those who have been incarcerated. He did give me the words, and I'm so thankful. I was worried about it, not only because I'm afraid of public speaking, but also because I am so sick and my voice isn't reliable. My throat feels like someone cut it with a knife. A very sharp knife that went in deeply. I went to see my ANP, and I have a sinus infection, so I am now on more antibiotics.

The Washinton D.C. trip got canceled.  They decided it was too risky to take immunocompromised volunteers on this trip. I'm so disappointed, but I have to agree that it was the right call to make.

3/6/2020

I canceled everything today. My throat feels even worse, and I don't know how that is possible.  I still am not running a fever, so I am not concerned. My cough causes terrible pain on my tonsils too!  The stores are out of hand sanitizer, and so many started wearing the Vog masks that I think "I" introduced to the State of Alaska.  I vividly remember when I started wearing the mask and how it felt to be pointed and stared at in public. I felt embarrassed and humiliated to have that happen. I understood when kids did it, but I couldn't figure out why adults did. I felt like a freak in a freak show. Now it's the "rave," and I would fit right in.

It's scary how quickly this virus is spreading. I even canceled my breathing treatment today because I knew the hospital staff would not want me there with my symptoms. It's ironic because I need the breathing treatment to help ward off pneumonia.  Crazy!!!!  I left a message for them, and since no one will likely call me back, I will call again and try to reschedule for next week.

I, and countless others, are praying for all who have been affected by the coronavirus, influenza, and other illnesses, as well as those in TN affected by the tornado. Such tragedies worldwide each day, but we notice when it's in our own country.  It seems a bit more personal, but certainly not more important. All the people and all the countries are valuable!

3/7/2020

My throat hurts so bad!!! I cannot figure out why this is lasting so long. My coughing has increased as well. I am still in the same pajamas I have been wearing since Thursday night. I think I'll take a shower today and get dressed. I do have to go into Wasilla and pick something up, so showering and dressing is probably a good thing. I haven't seen Granny or my granddaughters for too long. Ailynn was running a fever yesterday.  I think I'll just have to video chat with everyone for a while. There is no need to pass the germs back and forth.

3/8/2020

I’ve been sick for over a week, and each day has gotten progressively worse. I never did make it out yesterday.  I took two naps and both times woken by a phone call. I got some notes done for a couple of papers, and this morning put one on the computer and edited it.
 
Today I feel a tiny bit better and think I will take a shower and put on some fresh clothes. Good thing I’m home alone with just my dog and cat! Patrick would probably run and hide. Yesterday I got to thinking about my chemo days and the days following my transplant. I don’t think I missed a shower day then, but a sore throat and cold symptoms have me down for the count. I think I’ve turned into a wimp. So, the old saying, “Just don’t suck Marre,” is in my head, and I’m going to pull my soon to be clean big girl pants up and finish my schoolwork! I HAVE seen worse days, and I HAVE gotten through them.
 
3/9/2020
 
I did take that long needed shower yesterday and put fresh pajamas on.  I wish I could say I feel better.  I think my throat hurts worse today than it has the past several. I cannot tell you how bad it hurts. I am absolutely miserable.  I am still not running a fever.  I am on two antibiotics and nasal spray, and it's not touching the pain.  I gargle with salt water a couple of times a day and am using Chloraseptic spray too. Nothing helps!  I once again canceled my plans today.  Tomorrow is my birthday, and it's not looking good that I'm going to be feeling well.
 
3/10/2020
Happy birthday to me!  I am alive and thankful.  My throat still badly hurts, but I am dressed today!  Yesterday I called both my oncologist office and my local ANP office. Both providers were out, and both medical assistants told me to get a strep test.  I asked them both if being on antibiotics would make my strep test negative. Both said they didn't know but didn't think so. Both insisted I go to urgent care. I did.  Guess what? The doctor said, "You can't have strep because you are on antibiotics."  What a waste of time, energy, and money!
 
I wanted to pamper myself today with a facial but didn't feel up to it. So instead, I am doing some practicum work- via teleconference.  I'm okay with that. I can't see my granddaughters because I don't want to get them sick. Such a reverse strategy here! Usually, the Petrie dishes get ME sick!  Ollie will be getting her adenoids and tonsils out, along with getting ear tubes AND having an artery in her nose cauterized because of her frequent nose bleeds Poor little girl!  Whatever day they have that scheduled, I plan to be there.  
 
I've been blessed with many texts, phone calls, and FB messages wishing me a happy birthday. I think I'm loved, and I'm so happy and feel blessed.
 
The Coronavirus is creating a lot of havoc in our world. The entire world! It is scary and is affecting us socially, economically, physically, and emotionally.  I'm appalled at the video I saw about three women fighting over toilet paper! I"m also shocked at the people price gouging- selling needed items at ridiculous prices.  We need to be compassionate people who support one another and work together to get through difficult times. We should not be profiting off the misery of others.
 
I pray for our entire world. So many people are scared, sick, worried, and affected by this latest crisis.  God, please bless us and have mercy upon us all.
 
3/12/2020
 

So many of us spend a lot of time encouraging others and helping people better themselves. We are the ones who believe that everyone can change and should be given support to do so. We are the ones cheering people on as they go through the change process. The process can be ugly! It can be challenging and exasperating, and sometimes we wonder if things will indeed change. But those of us with a compassionate heart keep holding on to hope. We continue praying for success, and we never stop encouraging others. We don’t look down on others as we know we can also make mistakes that can disgrace ourselves and our families. We take no pleasure in the pain of others, and we do not smugly gloat over the demise of another person. We applaud the successes, no matter how small.

As a probation officer, I felt compassion for people, even when hearing the worst of the worst stories. I wondered what happened in their lives to make them choose such a destructive path. I never judged. I decided to get my master’s in social work because of that compassion. I’m going to continue helping people and supporting them in their journeys because I have a heart for people.

Family is about supporting and encouraging one another. Sometimes that support people need doesn’t come from blood. Sometimes families are toxic. For those families who don’t understand, keep it to yourself- don’t do further damage. For those who are hurting- if your own family doesn’t offer you support, find a community that does.

What I don’t understand is why anyone feels the need to humiliate someone publicly. I wonder what they get out of pointing their finger at someone who is hurting. Do they feel superior? Smarter? Better?

Shaming doesn’t work, and it’s not the answer. But shame on the ones who shame others.

3/13/2020

Life is not easy. It's tough when few understand what someone is going through.  The lack of support from those who you think should care the most hurts so much.

 On top of my broken heart, I was directed today to cancel my Capstone event because of the coronavirus.  I was also told I should not be going into the prisons anymore because it's too risky for my health.  There's not a thing going right at this time. I'm home alone with no one to lean on. I need to lean on someone right now. I guess this is a good time to cry out to God and share all my pain and sorrow with him. I sure could use a friend. 
 
3/14/2020
 
I got to see my Granny today, which is always nice.  Since I have a sore throat, I kept my distance from her.  It was great to see her, but it's discouraging when she can't remember things from one moment to the next.  At one time, she was larger than life and could accomplish anything. Now I see her sad and depressed and lamenting the inability to do what she wants.  It hurts my heart.
 
I've spent my day working on some practicum projects. I have so many hours left, and now that I cannot go into prisons, I'm at a significant disadvantage for filling my hours.  I am tired of sitting in front of the computer researching, but I am trying to have the right attitude and keep in mind I am close to being done.  This is the worse, "senioritis" ever.  Being cooped up due to the coronavirus panic is hard on me, but I'm sure it's hard on everyone. I am grateful I have a warm house, a T.V., books to read, food to eat, and a phone. I have no reason to complain.
 
Meghan, Kirk, and the girls went to the cabin to hang out with Patrick. I stayed home because I thought I could snatch the girls for a night.  I was a bit bummed, to say the least, when I learned they were going down there.  I would have loved to have been there and part of the family.
 
3/15/2020
 
I have got to stay off social media!  There is nothing but doom and gloom on there, along with the "funny" comments about the coronavirus. I find nothing funny about it. I, along with so many I love, are in that "vulnerable" population of people who could die if we contract it.  The jokes are getting old, and I'm fed up with seeing all the pictures of the empty shelves in the stores.  I'm thankful we have enough food to get us by for a while, but I am so irritated with people who are hoarding food.  Alaska has a difficult time getting things up here, and the selfishness of others is making it difficult for people who need something to be able to purchase it!
 
My throat is getting worse again, and my cough is now back.  I still don't have a fever, so I'm going to have to resign myself to the fact that this virus is going to hang on for a bit longer. It's been over two weeks now since my throat started hurting.
 
Casey needs a lot of prayers.  Addiction affects the whole family, and my family is suffering. I know that Casey is suffering too, and as his mom, I want to make it all go away, but I cannot.
 
3/17/2020
I always make sure I am wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day, and today will be no exception even if no one but Patrick and I see that I am wearing green!  I am making corned beef and cabbage for dinner, of course!
 
The mass hysteria is scaring us all. I have to admit I am falling into it, and I keep reminding myself that God is in control. It really doesn’t matter if I die because I know I will live in Heaven for all eternity.  I’m more concerned about the economic impact and how any of us will recover. I worry about food shortages and business owners losing their businesses because no one is going out. I am afraid we picked the wrong year to begin a touristy business with our cabin rentals/RV Park. Then I remind myself again that God is in control. He‘s got this! I told Patrick last night that I feel as if this is the tribulation, and we were left behind.
 
Ever since I saw a Hooding ceremony when I got my associate degree, I have imagined myself being part of that unique and honorable ceremony. We had a three day weekend planned for graduation. Friday was the gala, Saturday was the hooding ceremony, and Sunday was the commencement. Since May 14th is When I celebrate five years post-transplant, May was going to be my special month. It’s all canceled—no ceremony for graduates. I’m upset, but so are the high schoolers who lost out at the end of their senior year. No proms. Nothing.
 
We need peace, and we need God. 
 
3/18/2020
 
I slept well last night because I broke down and took an anti-anxiety pill my oncologist gave me. I slept like a baby. If I coughed, I did so without waking up. I also lathered my body with Voltaren gel, so I didn't hurt as usual. I'm back to having difficulty walking since being off the Predisone. I pretty much hurt all of the time. I had body aches again yesterday and moped around all night. I feel so sad for Patrick. I'm sure he wants a wife who feels good and can have conversations with him without falling asleep or complaining of aches and pains.
 
Casey got into an inpatient treatment center, and I cannot be more overjoyed. It's a long-term center- a 13-month faith-based program. I am praying and hoping he makes it through this one.  Yesterday, someone asked me what my favorite word was.  I didn't have to think about it for too long. My favorite and most-used word is HOPE.  I HOPE Casey does well in treatment.  I HOPE he recovers.  I HOPE my leukemia never comes back. I HOPE my body stops hurting all of the time. I HOPE my grandma and parents will survive this Coronavirus, and I HOPE I get to visit with my granddaughters soon.  I HOPE that we can all survive this economically.  I HOPE none of my family and friends suffer because of this illness. I HOPE everyone I know turns to Jesus.
 
My favorite word should be BLESSED.  I am BLESSED  I have survived leukemia.  Casey is BLESSED  that he was able to get into a faith-based treatment center.  I am BLESSED that we have money in the bank, food in the refrigerator, and the cabinets. I am BLESSED that I have family and friends.  I am BLESSED that I am almost done with school.  I am BLESSED that I am a child of God. I am BLESSED that I have a home and fresh water to drink. I AM BLESSED beyond measure.
 
Patrick came home sick today and has been in bed since 4:30 PM.  I am worried about him and me. He has the option of working from home, and I think for my protection (and his of course!) he should do that.
 
3/19/2020
Patrick slept for about 18 hours. He is feeling a bit better. I spent the day doing schoolwork. I finally started a paper I had been dreading because I didn’t know how to write it. I have a couple of things left on it, but it’s mostly done. This weekend I hope to wrap up one of my significant papers- and that will leave one final paper.
 
I ate a large lunch at about 2:30. I think I ate too much. My stomach started hurting immediately after I took the last bite. Unfortunately, 8.5-hours  later, it’s still hurting. It feels like it’s seizing. It just dawned on me that this is how my symptoms started with the GVHD acted up last summer and then again in November. I cannot deal with this right now. Oh, God, please don’t let it be the GVHD again! 
 
The treatment center did not work out for Casey. Once again, we are emotionally exhausted and anxious.
 
3/21/2020
 
My stomach symptoms worsened Thursday night. Yesterday I tried calling my doctors. I sent Mayo a portal message, and they responded with, "you need imaging."  I called my gastroenterologist only to be told the doctor is out for two weeks. I explained my symptoms to the medical assistant, who did not know what GVHD is.  She said she would call me back. In the meantime, I called my local oncologist office only to be told my doctor is out for two weeks. I explained my symptoms to her, and she also did not know what GVHD is.  Then, the medical assistant from the gastroenterologist called back and asked me more questions.  She placed me on hold.  A couple of minutes later, the answering service picked up and told me the office was closed and to call back on Monday. I explained that the office called ME, and she had placed me on hold. The answering service operator continued to tell me to call back on Monday.  By that time, I was extremely frustrated and feeling pretty vulnerable. Here I was experiencing similar symptoms like the ones that put me in the hospital in November.  Right now, the hospitals are turning people away.  Then, the doctor himself called me back. He is concerned and told me I needed a CT scan of my abdomen. I negotiated with him to wait until Monday. He put me back on the Budesonide- my steroid GVHD medication. He also said I need to see my ENT on Monday because my lingering sinus infections can cause a lot of complications in immune-compromised patients like myself.  I am feeling better today and think that this is a very mild reoccurrence. He ordered labs, and I got the results today. The results showed some elevations which concern me, but it's probably all related to the inflammation in my gut and sinuses.
 
Today is Casey's 30th birthday, and I wish I could be with him. I know he's lonely and sad.  It's gloomy in Texas, so he can't even get out in the sun and enjoy the warmth.  Being quarantined is no fun at all. I'm pretty experienced with it, but most aren't. The girls are so sad that they can't come to see us and I miss them so much!  Meghan is going to come to pick up their mail. Maybe I'll sit on the porch and read them a story from six feet away!
 
3/23/2020
 
I was so excited about May 2020. I'll be celebrating my 5th re-birthday from my stem cell transplant, and I am graduating.  There will be no ceremony or hooding ceremony, and my five-year check-up at Mayo might be canceled.  It is not as exciting as I expected. I wanted a big party to celebrate, and it looks like we may still be quarantined.  There are lots of people disappointed with canceled plans, and mine are no more significant than others.  I'm just sad for our world. I believe this is the end times.  Everything in the Bible about the end times is happening. Are we ready? I'm so ready.
 
The girls came by today, and they stayed in the truck with Meghan while Patrick and I sat on the porch. I read the girls (Ailynn was home with her dad) a chapter in a Raggedy Ann book I have.  It was a sweet visit, even though we couldn't hug or kiss those precious girls.
 
My gastroenterologist wants me to have a CT scan. I am worried about going. They don't even have any appointments available until Wednesday. If I am a lot better, I am not going to go! I'm back on the Budesonide- which is a steroid.  Now I am on two again.  I never did get my blood sugars under control since I was on the other two. Dang, it. But I'm feeling great today!
 
3/24/2020
 
Lord God Almighty, we come to you humbly asking you to heal our land. We see that the prophecies in the Bible are coming to pass. We know that only you know when the end times will be, but it seems like we are getting close. People have turned away from you. Instead of relying on you to comfort us, instead of having faith that you will protect us, instead of having peace that only you can give us, we see so many filled with anxiety, selfishness, and pain. Lord, please bless all the world’s leaders. Let this be non-partisan; let this not be a fight about who knows more or who is to blame. Lord, let us all work together and show compassion and love to everyone we come in contact with, whether in person or through social media or other means. Let us remember we are children of God, and it’s our responsibility to share your love with others. We thank you for giving us life. We ask your protection upon all of your people throughout the world. We ask you to bless and sustain those in need financially. We ask you for peace and comfort and for healing and gratitude. Help us be the light in times of darkness. We trust you, Lord Jesus. Thank you. Amen!
 
3/25/2020
Today I had to get that abdominal CT scan. I was appalled at the lack of compliance with the six-foot distance between people there.  People were checking in two feet apart, and the registrars were about 12 inches from each person! I wore my mask and stood six feet away and talked loudly.  
I'm shocked at how careless people are being. I don't want to be paranoid, but everyone needs to be smart about this.
 
Patrick and I are going to the cabin tomorrow. He is working from home so he can work anywhere. I want to quarantine there. Somewhere different to be.
 
I finished my practicum hours today. I have watched a whole lot of Ted Talks lately! I've learned a lot but certainly not how I wanted my practicum to end...
 
Life is good, and I am okay. I hope you are as well. Be safe.
 
3/27/2020
 
I think it’s Friday!😬 Who is keeping track anymore! We arrived at the cabin yesterday afternoon. It was so warm, sunny, and beautiful. Ringo and I went for a walk, and both of us kept sinking in the snow. I probably should use my snowshoes today when I walk. I sure hope it doesn’t get cold again like it’s predicted to be.  I get way too wimpy when it’s cold.
 
I hardly slept last night. Patrick was snoring so bad I climbed up to the loft. I could still hear him, and I laid there anxiously knowing if I drifted off to sleep, I’d be woken up. I decided maybe there was a reason I couldn’t sleep, and I started praying for people that came to mind. When I did sleep, I would wake up a short time later with a Christian song playing in my mind. A song of peace and comfort, reminding me that God is in control. 
 
I had a dream, I remember. U.A.A. built a new Mat-Su campus right next to my house!  I was furious about the noise and traffic. I went over there and visited with someone I knew. I left my purse in her dresser drawer, and when I came back, it was gone- stolen! I was so upset and told a security guard. He took me to lost and found and there was my purse with everything in it! However, someone was trying to frame me for stealing. They put ink cartridges in it and wanted me to be prosecuted for shoplifting.  Don’t ask. I have strange dreams. 
 
I encourage each of you to use this confinement period to rearrange a room, clean out that closet that’s a mess, deep clean, sort through things to give away. Start a new hobby Like scrapbooking, pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Study the Bible. Make a list of people to pray for and do so at the same time each day. It can be well with your soul if you trust in our maker.
 
 3/28/2020
Do we use essential oils? Gargle with vinegar? Swab our noses? Drink warm water every 20 minutes? Does Advil exacerbate Coronavirus? We see controversial reports about it all. The truth is, no one knows because the world has never seen this type of virus before. It’s new, and it’s vicious. It’s claiming multiple lives each day and its growing, festering, and killing the old, the young, and the healthy. Who will survive and who will succumb to the virus? Will we die alone?   
 
For the first time in most of our lives, we are hearing our government to order us to stay home and only leave for essential purposes. The world will never be the same after this is over. There is an increase in admissions at domestic violence shelters across the nation. There most likely is an increase in child abuse too, but who can the children tell? And most importantly, how can we help?  How can we know what is going on behind closed doors? For those who physically survive, will they survive mentally?
 
Where is God right now? He’s right here with us grieving for the lost, the dying, the sick, the hurting, and for the ones who still refuse to worship him. Now is the time to get right with God and confess your sins and pray for redemption for yourself and all across our lands.
 
People are scared and with good reason. But God tells us not to worry, not to have a spirit of fear, but to trust in him.  Even though things seem out of control right now, he still has us in the palm of his hand. Remember this song?  “He’s got the fish in the sea in his hands; he’s got the birds in the sky in his hands. He’s got the whole world in his hands.”  Trust in God. Turn to him and share your fears with him. Pray with family and friends (even if that means telephonically) and trust him. Pray for those who have lost their jobs and are worried about how they are going to buy food and pay bills. Pray for wisdom for our leaders that’s they make the right decisions.
 
You can do this! I believe in you, and I believe in the power of God who can and will sustain you.
 

Today

Today when I got out of my warm bed, I thought about all the people who don’t have a bed.

Today when I took a shower, my heart hurt for those who do not have access to running water.

Today when I ate three meals, I felt thankful that I have food.

Today when I looked at my husband, I was filled with gratitude for having a kind man in my life.

Today when I took a walk, I thought about all the people who cannot walk.

Today when I reflected on all the adversities in my life, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude that God used those adversities to bless other people.

Today when I thought about what our world is facing because of the Coronavirus, I felt confident knowing my God is in charge.

3/30/2020

I can feel the anxiety creep back up like a tangled spider web wrapping around my mind. Nothing makes sense- it’s all twisted, and nothing is flowing correctly. More and more people are being infected with this virus, and more and more are dying. We are all affected financially, and our economy isn’t just taking a nosedive, it took a backflip off a cliff and landed on jagged rocks. Patrick was just informed he is taking a mandatory salary cut. We don’t know how much that will be yet, but I’m nervous. We have bills to pay just like everyone else. We are in the process of getting a loan to buy two buildings for our business. At this point, we don’t even know if anyone will be able to stay at our business.  There may not be any money made this year at all. I could find a job, but with my immune system, that would not be a good idea. I need the peace that only God can give me. We all do.

There is peace like a river; there is peace like a river, there is peace like a river in my soul. That song I learned so many years ago is playing in my head. God wants us to have peace. I looked up how many the bubonic plague killed- 25 million! The Swine flu and the Asian flu killed hordes of people as well. What does this mean? I have no idea. I simply pray for us all. Salvation is here. Reach out and accept it.

3/31/2020

Today is Kirk's 29th birthday. He is a good husband to Meghan, and a good father to Olivienne, Ailynn, and Boe.  I'm glad that he is not working right now because at least he's not bringing home a virus to Meghan and the girls.  I'm trying to look for the bright spots in every moment.  In today's times that can often be difficult as brilliant moments are hard to find.

I worked on one of my significant papers today. I have most of it done. I need some data that I have at home in Wasilla, so I can't finish it, but I am pretty confident I'll have wrapped up both of my big papers by the end of next week.  That leaves my PowerPoint 20-minute presentation. I practiced yesterday, and I will tell you I need a LOT more practicing before I present through Zoom on the 23rd! This is a massive part of my grade, AND I'll be presenting in front of many professors and U.A.A. faculty, not to mention my family. God take the wheel and give me strength and your words to flow through me.  I know the stuff, I just need to refine the delivery.

God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good.

4/2/2020

Five thousand one hundred deaths in American from COVID-19. How incredibly tragic and more deaths are expected. My mind cannot process this. I feel as if I cannot wake up from a nightmare. Some say we should have known this would happen and should have been more prepared. I don’t know- Americans tend to think nothing bad is going to happen in the land of the free. What could we have something differently? I’m sure that a year from now, we will hear all about it, and a new protocol will be put in place.

I worked some more on my PowerPoint yesterday after meeting with my professor in Zoom. She gave me some great suggestions, and I feel more confident now. I am not finished with it yet, but it won’t be much longer. Once it is done, I can start practicing again for my big presentation. That is in three weeks from today!!  I’m almost there!

Last night I was upset because one of my classmates said she is worried about all the women who can’t get abortions right now.  Right now, our country is focusing on saving lives, not ending lives!

I also got the sad news that a guy who helped prepare me for my transplant died. His transplant was several months before mine. He told me what to expect and encouraged me. I was sad to hear about his death. Perhaps saddest, most of all because he died from drug use, not transplant complications. He fought so hard to live, and the damn drugs killed him.

4/3/2020

Three more weeks of class. I can do this. Last night's policy class about sent me over the edge.  I have taken the comments, the insults, the innuendos about conservatives being terrible people for the past two years. Last night I should have held my tongue but didn't. Thankfully, I stopped myself from saying too much. I think it's incredibly wrong that those who are liberal can say whatever they want, but if a conservative tries to point out another point of view, she gets attacked.  They are like vicious wolves, and I don't care to be part of a group of people who attack because my beliefs are different than theirs.  The majority of the class is not open-minded. At least I listen to what others have to say and contemplate it.  Most of them just ignore whatever I say or tell me it's wrong. I am going to keep my mouth shut for the next three weeks.  I don't need the stress or aggravation.  

Right now, we should be supporting one another, respecting one another, loving one another, and offering compassion to all people.  We are in a world-wide crisis, and it's not the time (nor is it ever the time) to turn on one another, to criticize our leaders, to publically call our president a leader, to incite hatred, to attack one another because of race (recent Asian family being stabbed over fears of Coronavirus), or to be divided in any way. This should be a time where we encourage one another, build each other up, appreciate what we have, be thankful for a God that can restore us.  

It is time to appreciate the little things in life.  Be grateful that we are home with our loved ones. So many don't have a loved one living with them.  Be thankful that we have electronic communication to keep in touch with the loved ones we cannot be with at this time.  Be grateful that most of us have electricity, food, and water. Be thankful that our basic needs are taken care of at the moment.  Be grateful that unemployment benefits can be immediately applied for and utilized. 

I love life. I love living. I love my husband, children, grandchildren, parents, granny, my brother, his family, and all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. I AM GRATEFUL!  I am thankful that I survived leukemia, and that right now, I feel healthy.

Reach out and call someone you have meant to call.  You most likely have the time now.

4/5/2020

Patrick has done a fabulous job on Casey’s Bear Den rental cabin this week. He has the bathroom pretty much done, the upper cabinets and sink in the kitchen, and even put up a couple of decorations for me!  He is going to leave the bottom of the kitchen open- he will build a couple of sinks on the left, the middle (under the sink) I will put a tray for dishwashing detergent, and on the right side, we will have a mini-refrigerator. Once that’s finished, we can put a bed in there, and it’s ready to be hooked up to septic and water as soon as the snow melts, and he can get to that. We realize due to COViD-19, we may not be able to open this year. We are trusting God and moving forward in faith. It gives us both hope to continue planning for the future.

I am looking forward to going home today. Although I love the cabin and the relaxation I experience here, I have two papers and a PowerPoint to finish, and I prefer doing so on my PC. Once those are finished, I can truly relax. Well, I can truly relax after my presentation on the 23rd anyway.  I also get to see Granny tomorrow for the first time in a month. I will stay a safe distance away from her and wear my mask when I give her her pills, but it will be nice to see her. I dreamed last night I got to hold my granddaughters, and that was a wonderful feeling.

Keep hoping and believing that our world will get this pandemic under control. Pray that a cure and a vaccine will be discovered soon. 

Father God, we know you know what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. We confess that we need you. We need a miracle, and we need you to bless our nations. We are people who have turned our eyes from you. We have denied you and have not allowed you in our schools, our government, our workplaces, and even our homes. We have rejected you, and we see the consequences of that. If there has ever been a time when we see the need to call upon your name, confess our sins, share our faith, and implore you to intercede on our behalf, I would say there is no better time than the present. People are dying, people are facing financial ruin, and people are troubled. These are your people Lord. We humbly come before you and ask you to heal our lands, and we will give you all the glory and credit for doing so.  Let all Christians stand together and publicly call upon your name, and the unbelievers will know that you are the King of kings and the Lord of lords. You are the gracious and almighty God, the alpha and omega, the God of all comfort, and the one who holds our future in your hands. Thank you, God, for creating us and showing us what you want from us- to serve you and only you. Amen.

We now know we should have appreciated what we had. We complained about our jobs, we complained about being too busy, we complained about all of the stuff we wish we could have right now like having a job, money, and being active.  I think many of us are wondering why we didn't appreciate what we had.

4/8/2020

It started with a dream. My arms literally ached due to a lack of hugs from our granddaughters.  My heart felt so heavy, and the absence of their presence has been overwhelming.  We got back from the cabin on Sunday, and I looked around my house, catching glimpses of toys, little clothes, and stuffed animals.  I sent Meghan a text yesterday and asked her if she could meet me in the parking lot at Fred Meyer as I picked up my groceries from the click list order.  She responded with, "but what about Dad? Should we just do another driveway visit?" So that was our plan.  Just like last time, she would park in the drive, and we would stay on the porch and visit with them by speaking loudly so they could hear us from six feet away.

It wasn't long before I noticed that both Patrick and I were not honoring the six-foot distance suggestions. We were within three feet. I went into the house and got my mask on and found myself getting even closer, feeling secure that my Vog mask would protect me.  Patrick, who was not wearing a mask was doing the same.

Then, the plan changed again. Patrick suggested we all go into the garage so the girls could ride their bikes.  The garage is big enough, so we could spread out and respect that distance.  It wasn't long before the girls were zipping right past me as they rode the bikes around my car.  We then decided to move outside onto the sidewalk. I went to the deck and felt safe, looking down at them.  Guess what happened next? Yep, they moved up to the deck.  Patrick started our electric fire pit, and we all tried to keep warm by staying six feet apart.  That was hard to do since the fire pit is tiny!

Ailynn announced she was hungry, so I went in to finish the spaghetti dinner I had started before they arrived. Patrick set up the little kids table outside, and I marveled at how resilient the kids were.  They never complained of being cold or whined to go inside.  Soon, Boe demanded, "Papa, move your chair up to the table!"  So there he was sitting at the kid's table six inches away, not six feet.  After dinner, the kids and Papa went out to the garage to change the oil in his truck. Meghan and I were visiting through an open door (remember it was about 30 degrees) while I was washing dishes. Finally, I said, "this is ridiculous; you might as well come in the house."

One by one, the girls came to the door. Meghan immediately scooped them up and carried them into the bathroom and dumped them in the bathtub. She washed them thoroughly, including their hair much to their dismay.  She put clean clothes on them, and I said, "we have already broken all the rules, so I am going to get my hugs."  How incredible it felt to have my arms wrapped around these precious girls.

We broke the rules, but in our defense, we have all be avoiding all people for the past couple of weeks.  I worry most about Patrick being exposed, as he is the one going into stores for essential items, and is now back at work.  He is good about showering as soon as he comes home and is practicing safe behaviors while out in public.  We took a chance, and I pray to God that it wasn't a bad one.  The hugs I got will keep me smiling for days.

4/9/2020

I am reading a Kindle book of the story of a young man who was diagnosed with AML at the age of 18.  Andrew shares the perspective of what it's like to be given a cancer diagnosis when one is at the prime of his life.  He had far more complications than I did, and I cannot imagine going through all of the things he did.  I consider myself extremely blessed and thankful. As I laid in bed reading his story at 0330 this morning, I was conscious of the pain in my hip as I laid on it, reminding me that I did not come out unscathed. I experienced feelings of anxiety as I read the description of his anxiety. 

Andrew points out that the emotional/mental effects are often far worse than the physical ones. As he described his mental anguish, I could quickly return to "that place" where I thought I was literally going insane.  I was in Kootenai Hospital in Couer d'Alene, and I could see the psychiatric wing of the hospital from my hospital room. I had been in for quite some time, and the only reprieve I had was to walk the same halls over and over and over and over. I kept telling my medical team that if they didn't release me, they would need to admit me to the psych ward. They thought I was kidding. I was not. 

He shared how his friends naturally moved on with their lives while he was stuck in the hell of treatment and its effects.  He understood why people would move on, but it pained him that he was continuously blasted by complications and couldn't move on as well.  I understood what he meant when he said people don't want to hear about the difficulties or how you really feel. It makes them uncomfortable.  They want to know that you made it through, and you will be okay because deep down, they are wondering if they will survive if it happened to them.  That is entirely natural and understandable.

Andrew writes about his drug addiction caused by the readily prescribed narcotics for his intense pain.  I am thankful I have adverse reactions to drugs and refused them all but one time. I remember the time I broke down and said I would try a morphine pump.  I was a couple of weeks post-transplant and in an incredible amount of pain.  Like Andrew described, I was extremely bloated from all the fluid retention and had gained 30 pounds in just a couple of days. I was bald and completely red from head to toe. I looked like a clown. I was in severe agony for days due to the rapid white blood cell stimulation shots. The pain was surreal, and I was desperate for it to stop.

On top of that, I was experiencing extreme pain in my jaw- the jaw that I  had surgery on for osteomyelitis when I was 12 years old. I also had a sinus infection.  I could be brave for only so long before I gave in to the narcotics.  As I had experienced before, I had an adverse reaction (usually lots of vomiting), and after a day or two, I told them to remove it. I would rather be in pain than vomit anymore.

Reading his book is certainly bringing back my fears and anxiety. But along with that, I realize how fortunate I am to be doing as well as I am.  I have been blessed, and I must appreciate that more.  I am thankful to God for his overwhelming love and guidance.  Seriously, I am about to graduate with my master's in social work!  There was a time when we were not sure I would even live. I am living. I want to live my life to the fullest and thrive, not just exist.

4/11/2020

It is Saturday, and I know that because my phone screen says so.  It's hard to know what day it is anymore.  I did spend four out of the five days this week cranking out edits on my papers and practicing my PowerPoint for my presentation. I am thankful for the technology that allows me to get a group of people together on Zoom to watch my presentation and give me feedback. The more I practice, the better I will do on the 23rd. That's the plan anyway. I hope my idea is a valid one. I'm really nervous. I have noticed that lately, my chemo brain is back with a vengeance, and words frequently escape me. I am so concerned that I will stumble over my words and make a fool of myself during the presentation that is the FOCUS of grad school!  Please do lots of praying for me on the 23rd.  

I decided the other day that I am going to have a graduation commencement and holding ceremony here at my house even if it's just Patrick I able to participate. I can use Zoom to stream the ceremony to others. I want to wear my cap and gown and be "hooded" by Patrick.  I made myself valedictorian, and I will give a speech.  I crack myself up sometimes with the things I come up with. Patrick will humor me.  I think I'll throw myself a party (of two) when it's the fifth anniversary of my bone marrow transplant too.  Why the heck not!!!!

4/12/2020

He has risen. Christ Jesus has been resurrected, and we have been forgiven of all our sins because he willingly shed his blood for us. For YOU and me.  Isn't it amazing to have someone love us so much? Our spouses, family, parents, children, and friends disappoint us, but our God always has our best interest at heart.

This is the loneliest Easter many of us have ever had. Patrick is at the cabin, so it's just me, Ringo, and Oreo. I did decide to drive to Sutton and hide Easter eggs for the girls. I wore my mask and watched them find them. I didn't have a whole lot because I can't go shopping myself and I forgot to ask Patrick to go. Lucky for me, I had some candy and several plastic eggs. My heart felt happier seeing those precious girls and Meg and Kirk.

I have no ambition to do anything. I need motivation and energy.

May God be glorified today and every day.

4/14/2020

Like many others, I sometimes look around and wonder if this is just a nightmare, and we will wake up and things are back to normal.  It's like one of those reoccurring dreams that plague people; the same bad dream over and over again, and we have no control to change the ending.  Over the years, I have experienced many of these "reoccurring dreams" that are not dreams at all.  The first was when we were told Logan had leukemia.  The second was when we were told he was going to die.  The third was when he did die.  Then there was the nightmare when I learned Casey had a drug addiction. I have lived in that nightmare for years now.  The horror that feels like it might never end.  Then the nightmare when I learned I had leukemia, another one when I relapsed. I have also lived in another nightmare for years experiencing chronic pain, disappointment, and problems.

This is not a dream we are going to wake up from, and there is nothing we can do to control the ending.  We must be safe and smart and do a whole lot of praying.  Natural disasters are happening more (seems to be more anyway) frequently around the world. Tornadoes tore through South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee yesterday. People lost their lives, their homes, and their livelihood.  

In times like these, we need to band together and support each other, not point blame at one another. God is good; he is good all of the time.  We must remember that and fall on our knees and ask for the healing of our land, and for people to realize HE IS GOD!

4/16/2020

Before bed on Tuesday night, I watched my "at the moment" favorite TV show, "Elementary." It's a Sherlock Holmes show, and clues lead to solving crime. Fantasy befuddled my mind while I slept. My insulin pump has been waking me every three hours for months, indicating that unless I pushed a button, it would suspend all insulin. That night it repeatedly went off several times in a row. My sleepy mind told me that I was being given clues.  I would temporarily silence it, only to have it begin screeching again. After several minutes of this, I realized I wasn't solving a mystery from clues.

I have been experiencing lots of interrupted sleep. Last night I finally figured out how to stop the pump from going off during the night. I couldn't wait to sleep all night restfully. That didn't happen. I repeatedly woke up, and now it's 0400, and I am wide awake. Why, why, why?

I finished both of my papers yesterday, and I couldn't be more excited! I'm having trouble uploading them and pray that I can successfully do that today. Next Thursday is my presentation! I'm feeling pretty good right now.

4/19/2020

Yesterday it was a gorgeous day in Alaska! We experienced almost 60-degree temperatures, and we ran around the yard like it was 80 degrees on a tropical island. Okay, maybe not quite as no bathing suits were present!  Well, that is except for Ailynn, who wore one under her clothes.  The girls came over, and we played outside. I also put them to work, helping me clean up the yard. I don't remember every doing yard work this early. Usually, I start raking right before Mother's Day. We had an incredible amount of snow this year, and it melted earlier than I expected. Sure, I still have some in the backyard, but it's melting fast.  I have a few of my flower gardens prepped for planting flowers, and I cannot wait to plant.  I would love to put a flower garden in at the cabin, too, along with a vegetable garden.  I'm not sure how or where I will be able to do that down there, though.  

Ailynn came up to me and said, "I have mascara on, and it's waterproof!"  Ollie said, "I have mascara on too!"  Boe, (who had her shirt off) said, "I have boobies!"  Okay then! She must not have gotten any mascara.

Ollie spent the night with me, but the other two needed their mommy. They've barely left the house and have had minimal contact with anyone for over a month. (except a little bit with us) Patrick is at the cabin.  Ollie said she wanted to sleep with me, but she knows (they all do) that I have trouble sleeping with anyone.  She said, "We can put pillows between us!" She followed that up with, "Ailynn tells me every night she is scared and asks if she can sleep with me. I always say, "Ailynn, okay, but just for tonight. But then, I'll wake up, and she's cuddled right next to me, and I find myself on the opposite end of the bed in the morning trying to have room to sleep."  She just cracks me up how she reasons things out!  I told her that Uncle Casey used to do the same thing to Uncle Logan. And Logan responded pretty much the same, "Why does he always want to sleep with me!"  Those older children are so calm and reassuring to their younger siblings. They are viewed as experienced and wise siblings, which they usually are. Something about that older child: I see similar personalities in Meghan's three children, as I did in Logan, Casey, and Meghan. I love them all so much- mine included!

I gave Granny her pills and took her breakfast yesterday. She looked so adorable coming out of her bedroom, pushing her walker while wearing her long victorian nightgown.  She really looked pretty despite just waking up. I FaceTimed my parents and Caseys so they could chat with her and see her.  My mom also looked beautiful. I hope I look as good as both of them when I am at their age. 

Four more days until I present my capstone project to a WHOLE bunch of people through Zoom. Some of my friends and family members will be able to sign on and watch. I'm nervous yet excited to share about this event that I planned for so long. I can't wait until COVID-19 dies down, and we can hold it. I know the community will be blessed.

4/22/2020

Tomorrow IS THE DAY!!!! This is the day I have known about since the beginning of the MSW program- the equivalent of a thesis, my Capstone Presentation. Am I nervous? Oh yeah, so nervous! I present from 11:15 Am to 11:45 PM. I have practiced 10-12 times at least and I'm still stumbling over my words. I will ask God to give me the words tomorrow and that his knowledge shines through me as I speak in an "eloquent and professional manner." Oh, hear my prayers oh Lord!  After I give my presentation I can relax and realize that school is basically over. I'll have two more classes- one tomorrow night and one next Thursday, but no more work to do. All assignments have been submitted, hallelujah!  

I'm so keyed up I don't even know what to tackle first. I need to clean the house but I also need to pick up leaves in the yard. I think I'm going for the leaves. It's sunny and pretty outside and I need more fresh air. Besides, who enjoys cleaning the house?  

I put some pictures on here from my "photoshoot" I felt like such a dork, but it was fun to get those "senior pictures."

I shall update you as soon as I can after my presentation is complete. All prayers are appreciated!

4/24/2020

God is so good. I prayed before my presentation, took some deep breaths, and felt the love of my many loyal supporters, and I nailed it!  The presentation went really well and I am so grateful to God for giving me the words and the confidence to present my capstone project- the Mat-Su Reentry Fair. I received some really good feedback and people seemed supportive of the event.  Even though the event didn't happen due to COVID-19, I put a lot of thought and planning into it and the event will happen in the future. I have community buy-in and people are eager to see healing in our community between community members and returning citizens.  I was pleased that Casey and Meghan watched (all through Zoom) along with my parents, Patrick, and several friends. Their support means so much to me.

I have one class left- next Thursday and all my work has been turned in. However, I still do not feel like I am done. I still have feelings of anxiety. I think it's going to take holding my diploma in my hand before it feels real- that I finally achieved my master's degree in social work. It's just surreal to think about all I have gone through my entire life, but especially these past 22 years- starting when Logan was diagnosed, then his death, my journey of grief, Casey's battle with addiction, my journey with leukemia, Graft vs. Host disease, hospitalizations, etc. So much to overcome but through the grace of God, I overcame. Praise you, Jesus!

I'm leaving today for a two week trip to the cabin.  I need time to process things. I have worked so hard over the past two years and my mind needs a rest. We are taking the girls for the weekend and then Patrick will take them home Monday. I don't have a date that I am coming home but eventually, I'll be back in Wasilla.  I am so tearful and overwhelmed right now. I think it's just the emotions from being almost done with school. I think part of it too is that I feel really well right now and I have no big obligations and because of the pandemic I cannot socialize with people.  God give us all peace!

4/26/2020

The girls were so well behaved in the car on the way down. Ailynn slept maybe 45 minutes, but Boe and Ollie were wide awake. I got creative when it came to entertaining them on a long car ride. Ollie can read the clock numbers so I no longer have to answer the question, “are we almost there yet?” I told her what time we were expected to arrive and she could see how close we were. Plus, I would tell her markers such as, “at 3:45 we will pass Hope.” It made it fun. Then I thought to bring my I-pod, my I-Pad, and my I-phone! One for each. They love to look at pictures. After a bit, they got jealous of the other having a device, so we played the “3-minute game” where they had to switch devices every three minutes. Even Boe found it fun!

I got stuck in the muddy drive and had to carry each girl to the cabin plus make endless trips to unload. Ailynn stood on the dry ground eager to help me. Ollie has done an amazing job being the best big sister ever, and Boe keeps us laughing. Yesterday she was sitting on Patrick’s lap and he said, “ What are you talking about Willis?” She looked at him and said, “I not Willis!”

The Girls played in the mud all day long. Ollie was mad a time me because I made her come in around 8:30 PM. She can entertain herself for hours!  We didn’t do much work- we just soaked in the love watching the girls and playing with them. We played by the creek a few times, wading through the shallow water.

Patrick drove them to the lake in the six-wheeler and Ringo and I walked. Patrick loves to scare me and he got too close to the mostly melted lake with the girls in the wheeler and I told him to stop. He did it twice and I was not happy. I walked back to the creek and they had gotten there before me. Ailynn, who is 4, met me on the bridge. She said, “stop right there, Grammie! It is not okay for you to be mad at your husband! What you should have said is, “Patrick, please don’t put my granddaughters in danger!” Ollie, who was standing beside me said, “she did say that Ailynn!” Ailynn said, “oh, I will be right back.” She’s then proceeded to yell at Patrick for not listening to me. We were both cracking up. Marriage counseling from a 4-year-old!

I get tired and grumpy around 8 PM. I wanted all the kids to take a bath, brush their teeth, and be I said they could watch one movie. I said no more sugar. Patrick came in and made hot chocolate for them and let them go back out and run around outside. I got really grumpy and said I was going to bed because obviously no one is going to listen to me. Ailynn came in to make sure I was okay and to ask me if I was mad at Papa. I assured her I was simply tired and grumpy and needed sleep. (I am still not sleeping well) I could hear her reassuring the others I was okay. A little bit later, she came in and asked, “ Are you sure you are okay, Grammie?” Bless her little heart! I feel SO loved!

 4/28/2020

The cabin is pretty quiet since Patrick and the girls left yesterday. At first, I simply sat around and relaxed attempting to recoup some energy. It was so beautiful outside so I spent some time on the deck but eventually found myself picking up trash and finding rocks for my future flower garden. The outside of the cabin needs beautifying. We have mud and gravel and that is it. 

I spent a couple of hours on the phone with a cousin who recently found out her bone marrow is suppressed. She will soon have a bone marrow biopsy to find the reason why her counts are off. I hope and pray it still not a bone marrow cancer.

I got my lab results back and was discouraged to see I still have adrenal insufficiency. It is worse than last month. I saw the results on the website- the doctor has not bothered to call me. My diabetes test- my A1C is still high as well😰. I have another cold but I feel pretty well and I am moving around so much better and I’m thankful for that. I even climbed down the hill using the rope Patrick rigged up for the girls to propel.

I got 100% on my capstone presentation! God is good. 

4/29/2020

The week is flying by for me- here alone at the cabin. I have gotten a lot of chores done and am working on some deep spring cleaning. The days have been gorgeous- sunny and beautiful. The mud is still bad but I am hoping by this weekend it will dry up so Patrick can do some work with the borrowed bobcat.   I still have so much to do that I want to complete before he arrives Friday. Today I am driving to Anchor Point to make a payment on the buildings we are purchasing for our business. I will also do an inventory of the store and see what I want to buy from him and sell. I sure hope my record keeping is up to par as I am not a business major! I have been record-keeping for many years so I am sure I've got this!  I handle the business side of it and Patrick handles all the maintenance and building side. We make a good team.

I am listening to my top 25 played Christian songs on my I-Pod today. These are the songs that got me through all of my treatment. It's incredible how easily I can go back to those days- see myself in the hospital walking the halls and praising Jesus during the hardest physical time of my life. These songs brought hope and peace to me. Music is healing and therapeutic and can certainly bring us closer to God.

 4/30/2020

On this last day of April of the year 2020, I would like to announce that I have completed ALL requirements and classes and can now be identified as Kelly Marre, MSW.

Glory be to the God who made this possible. The God who saw me through the worst of the worst over many years. The God who took my personal experiences and used me to glorify him through my works of helping others. The God who gave me the strength to complete this program despite all of my health and personal issues. The God who reassured me that I could complete the program even when I didn't have faith in myself.

I also acknowledge my family and friends for their concern, prayers, and encouragement. I apologize for ignoring so many people, missing so many activities and fun, and being distracted so much of the time.

I thank my darling husband who never hesitates to give his blessing to me whenever I have "an idea" of something I want to do. He supported me financially and emotionally through this entire two-year program.

I thank my three children for inspiring me in different ways to complete this. Logan gave me the desire to be compassionate towards many causes as he was an advocate for many. I thought of him a lot during this program and knew and felt his love and happiness for me.  Meghan is the one who talked me into doing the program. She planted the seed and kept telling me I was meant to do it. Casey has told me many times how proud he is for me and he shared so much with me to help me be more compassionate towards others.

My parents and my grandma often tell me how proud they are of me. Mom, Patrick, and Meghan edited MANY papers for me and I award them an honorary degree.  Dad gave me a quarter for each A so he is poor because I got many A's.

Thank you all for your encouragement and support. I love you all.