Intentionally? Intentionality?

This afternoon I was sitting in a recliner at chemotherapy and the person sitting on my right happened to be a subscriber to my blog. The person sitting on the other side was snoring... You know that really wet gurgly kind of snoring? He was snoring all afternoon. So I offered that sensorial experience up for some special intentions rather than popping in my noise canceling headphones and started to chat with the lady on the right. She pointed out that despite my promises, I keep forgetting to update about how I am doing. Sorry!

Keeping my blog up to date with how this journey is going is important to me.  And there are just some things in life that remind you that perhaps if something IS important to you, you might as well just do it.  Two online friends in particular have been ever so faithful in gently guiding me back to my real priorities.  We call it being intentional.  Some day I need to sit down and copy and paste my whole intentional list down for you.  Then I could REALLY be held accountable.

 So let's see... Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment, and my husband came along... It's always good for me to have a second set of ears to remember and be an objective listener, so Dixon or Sara usually takes me. Then if afterwards I'm sad or discouraged (or clouded by meds) they can keep me straight and focused on the facts. I was honest with the doctor that I had skipped one of my oral drugs more than once on our trip because I struggle so much with the side effects. He changed that one to every other day, he thinks it will still be effective but easier. I just need to guard against the temptation to skip it extra times "since I can just take it tomorrow instead" He said it was too early to decide whether or not the whole new concoction of toxins was working... I'm still having way too much bone pain, but I need to be patient. They drew lots of labs, and we're waiting until the end of September to do the new scans.


Because the pain in my hip is really getting worse fast, they're going to repeat the procedure I had in February to see if that will help while we wait for all the drugs to do their magic. I'll need to be off my feet for a while afterwards so it's scheduled for when Dixon has a week off to take care of things. Meanwhile we've added a new pain medicine and increased doses of two others. Hmmmm... What else is new? Four of my babies go back to school-school on Thursday. I am really sad about this.... I looked and looked for an excuse to keep even just one at home learning with me, but without success. George is going to miss them so much, too.

Speaking of George, this picture makes me laugh.  George used to pull on my hair when he wanted me to turn my head.  Now he grabs my nose...  But back to the whole intentional concept.  One of the things on my list has been to have someone take pictures and film videos with me and each of my children that they can treasure forever.  One of my friends who is an awesome photographer and really understands our family is going to come and help with that project, but we're not sure when.  So while I was really sad and hurting and discouraged and worried yesterday after my appointment, I decided that capturing some amateur shots meanwhile might help me feel like, at least in one area, I was making progress towards my goals.  So today before my date with the infusion nurses I got brave and sat on the wrong side of the camera.

And having things to look forward to helps.  Some are realistic, some, well, not so much.  For sure, my college roommate Rosemary is coming tomorrow.  Maybe she and her son will get to experience a real Carolinas Hurricaine!  And Ann Voskamp is coming back to see us in September (well, actually it's only to pick up all her homeschooling books she had mailed here to save on postage... just kidding, she wants to see us as much as her books 🙂 October brings Sam jumping off the really big building... and the Foreman family is coming through here in the fall.  

But even thinking about crazy things I want to do someday if I get a real big miracle and can have any adventure I want to helps.  Lately at night, when I'm hurting too much to sleep, Dixon and I talk about rescuing orphans with DS from Bulgaria... ... you know, the conversations that start "When I grow up, I'm gonna..."  I'm not so sure with this cancer I'd ever be approved to hop on a plane to go scoop up special babies and bring them home, but a girl can dream, right?  But meanwhile, as I've learned more about the needs these babies have, I'm thinking (back to the INTENTIONAL concept here) that we can expand the scope of our family non-profit to include providing nutritional support and perhaps medical care coordination for these babies. Planning that all out can keep my mind off my bone pain and shortness of breath for a long time.  Speaking of which, I need to take my medicine and go back to sleep... dream of visits from friends, rescuing babies, checking things off my intentional list...

25 thoughts on “Intentionally? Intentionality?

  1. Oh Elizabeth, thank you for the update and being brave and sharing these wonderful photos of yourself with your children — you are all so beautiful! I am so sorry that you are still in so much pain. I am too: I am, I think, pretty much at peace with it. It is as it is for right now. God will heal me according to His will and with that I am truly content.

    I pray for a peaceful night’s sleep for you, and joy filled days with your family and your dreams. Keep right on making plans and breathing deep into each day, Elizabeth. God is with you, in all those plans and dreams and moments with your family and everywhere else in between.

    Peace & blessings,

  2. You are brave, and beautiful, and amazing, and loving, and wondrous. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. I count it a privilege to pray for you.

    Intentionally Yours,

  3. Such wonderful pictures. And yes–brave, beautiful, loving, and wondrous (above) are the perfect words. (And I’ll add “amazingly young looking” to the list, after seeing that pic of you with Emily. And the other one you hear all the time–inspiring.) Praying for you and the kids.

  4. What an amazing family you and Dixon have raised. And the pictures are truly priceless. You are beautiful, Elizabeth, inspiring and so strong. I know that God is with you every step of the way. I continue to pray for your healing. Enjoy this precious time and continue to make those memories.
    Nancy Hardy

  5. I just love seeing your smile! Those pictures are wonderful. Way to go! Wishing you some relief from pain and side effects, and to see your intentions and dreams become reality.

  6. What eloquent friends you have – I agree with all of them and will add my own intentions for you. From your previous post, I am very impressed you have learned to crochet – I have been trying (and failing) to learn for about 30 years. As a skilled crochet-ing friend of mine put it, “how can someone really and truly be so incapable of learning this, I didn’t think it was possible?” True, but humbling. My attempts looked even more bizarre than Emily’s! Did you see the story in the Smithsonian about a woman who crocheted a whole coral reef? Beautiful – but slightly weird!
    May the road rise up to meet you
    May the wind be always at your back
    May the sun shine warm upon your face
    And the rains fall soft upon your tracks
    May God hold you safely in the palm of His hand

  7. I am so delighted to see those pictures! Now I have met everyone in them. I can hear the laughter and giggles in my memory.

    I must know: has Sam lobbed off the bottoms of any “red Christmas trees”, and (if so) has it reduced any laundry issues?

    If I were to win Powerball I would go to the Palmetto Tatters Convention, visit you, and teach you to tat next. (See palmettotatters dot org, maybe?)

    Yes – you can help rescue special babies even from your own living room comfy chair. It takes people AND money for such an enterprise. Even if you aren’t one of the people on a jet this week, you can continue to raise awareness and help raise funds.

    Love, hugs, prayers, and offering up for you today.

  8. Oh, Elizabeth I am so proud of you…I know how you much prefer the “other” side of the camera…but as usual you’ve outdone yourself! Beautiful pictures, beautiful family! The one with George and mama is priceless…he knows how to get your attention!

    I’m with Esther…you have thought of some great ways to rescue babies and raised our awareness as well!

    Lots of prayers, love and hugs!

  9. I have hoped for just these kinds of photos for a long time….simply beautiful! Thank you for sharing them with all of us. Praying that your pain will ease and that you’ll all adjust well to a new school routine.

  10. Thinking of you, old friend. Glad to know Rosemary will be visiting–my best to her, and, of course, you and your family.

  11. The photos of you and your children are beautiful and the love you all have just shines. The photos are priceless. The one of George, you and Danny made me laugh out loud. Thank you for being you and sharing youself and your family with all of us. I hope your pain eases soon and that you and George adjust to the new routine soon.

  12. PLEASE write a “How To” guide for parents of DS. You have learned so much that will help others just starting on this journey. Maybe you could collaborate with Emily. It could reach so many people.
    Marybeth G

  13. i LOVE LOVE LOVE the pictures.

    the thought of you raising 5 kids (two of them with special needs) while fighting cancer gives me courage on the days when i don’t know how i’m going to do it with my one special needs kid and fibromyalgia (which is NOTHING compared to the fight you have).

  14. These photos do not look like they were captured through the lens of amateur. They are beautiful, vivid, and authentic. Just like you… This post brought me to tears. I’ll just echo what everyone else is saying about how your courage and beauty are an inspiration to me.


  15. Thank you so much for sharing the photos of you and your wonderful children. They all capture each one of them so perfectly.

    And thank you for providing an update on how you are. You are constantly in my prayers.

  16. Thank you so much for the update and the absolutely gorgeous pictures! Glad you sat down for them and I’m sure the kids are too. 🙂 You are in my prayers constantly.

    ~Tamie in California

  17. Elizabeth~

    So glad to have an update on you. I check your blog regularly after finding in through Ann and Elizabeth Foss. These pictures are beautiful! So glad you went ahead and took them and posted them! Your children will thank you. I’m much more fond of being behind the lens myself and will remind myself of these photos when I am reluctant to get out in front of the lens for my kids!

    I am praying for you….
    Clarissa in Oklahoma

  18. Pingback: Don’t take my word for it: Q & A | The Blessing of Verity

  19. Hi! Elizabeth! I did e-mail you at 11:49 p.m. Sat nite! Sorry to put that here. I also wanted to say I love your blog your kids are beautiful, YOU are beautiful! God has blessed me by crossing our paths! (((HUGS))) prayers and all our LOVE to you!

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