Monday, August 3, 2015

What? ------- A YEAR!!!!! Part 2

Yes, our adventure of Aorta Heart Valve replacement,  which began July 30, 2014, and then Cancer of the Lung diagnosis, biopsies and pet scan continues into 2015.  But, with the wonderful news, and the best Christmas present ever received on December 23rd, that it had NOT spread to the lymph nodes, as feared, and is contained in the lung.

January 8 - Surgeon Dr. Parmley removes the upper left lung lobe which contains the cancer.  Dr. Parmley's report is they were able to get it all.  We are relieved.

What was intended to be a 5 day hospital stay turned into a 14 day stay. The problem, and reason for the long stay, was they could not get the draining of the lung fluid stopped.  They seem reluctant to release Mickey and Dr. Parmley has not been in to see Mickey for several days.  On January 20th, our son, Marc, had gotten upset over what seemed to be going on and talked to the two PA's who had been checking Mickey, and the draining, and demanded Dr. Parmley come see him.  Within an hour one of the PA's is back and says they will release Mickey the next day.

January 21 - Mickey is released to come home but the fluid is still an issue and I am going to have to change the bandages.

We are all very weary from the long hospital stay and drainage problem but confident that this is yet another hurdle that we will get over.  We cling desperately to God's assurance to us that He is not through with Mickey and His plans and purposes for our lives.   

January 22 - Our first wonderful day at home. He is released to come home but the fluid is still an issue and I am going to have to change the bandages. Praise God for our Church friend, John Gummel, who is a nurse, and who came over each and every day to do this for us. 

January 26 - The bandage sprang a huge leak, during the middle of the night. It was so bad I had to change the bedding in the middle of the night. Mickey, for the first time had a panic attack and so did I.   

January 27 - John came and redid the bandages AGAIN and calmed Mickey's fears saying there was probably a "pocket" of the flood in the area that bust and not anything to be concerned about.  

January 28 - was another rough night of little sleep.

January 29 - Talked to Leslie, a nurse with the TAVR group.  She informed us that Dr. Parmley was gone.  In fact, he left on January 23rd, 2 days after Mickey was discharged!!!  Now we are without our main TAVR Dr. who was the one qualified to do the Aorta Valve Replacement.

We are so thankful for our faith and trust that NONE of this has, or is, taking our Lord and Savior by surprise, although it certainly took us by surprise.  We cling.  Another hurdle to overcome and HE will guide and walk us through it.  

January 30 - We make a trip to the TAVR clinic and nurse Leslie, uncovers the wound area, applies an ointment and removes stitches.

February 1 through 10 - We are continuing to treat the stitched area but it is not looking well.  We make several trips to see Leslie, the TAVR clinic nurse.  She assures us all is well.

February 11 - We see a different nurse, Katie, at TAVR clinic.  I show concern that no Dr. appointment for follow-up has occurred.  She says she understands but with Dr. Parmley gone, Dr. Archer & Dr. Ensley are having to handle all their own patients plus work in Dr. Parmley's and doing the best they can.  I tell her, "I feel like we have fallen through the cracks".  She leaves the room for a few minutes and when she returns she says, "Dr. Archer will see you in the morning, if you can be here by 8 a.m."  Can we!!!  I would have come at 5 a.m. if necessary.

I am praising God that I spoke up and that God intervened in our behalf and we are seeing a Doctor.   Over yet another hurdle!!

February 12 - 8 a.m. First appointment with Dr. Archer, who is concerned with all the weight Mickey has lost and says he could not undergo the TAVR procedure unless we can build him up.  He prescribes an appetite enhancement drug that ends up costing us $376 !!!!    

February 17 - Our first appointment with our new Primary Care doctor, Dr. Aldridge.  He is an older gentlemen.  When we first go in I tell him our story, and that I feel we are being "dropped through the cracks."  I am sure he is probably thinking, "Oh these are some of these complaining type patients'.  BUT, after he looks through all the computer records and our history to this point and Dr. Parmley being gone he says, "You have been dropped through the cracks, but I'm putting a safety net under you today."  I could have hugged his neck.  We could feel the concern and the carrying.  

To be continued.............  

Saturday, August 1, 2015

What? ------- A YEAR!!!!!

The title says it all - but little did we know at the time.  

July 30, 2014 Mickey sees our primary care Physician with concern over becoming increasingly short of breath.  (As an aside:  Mickey had double-bi-pass heart surgery in October, 2008 at the VA Hospital in Oklahoma City. We decided we did not want to use VA this time and be hospitalized at either Oklahoma City of Muskogee, so we opted to use our regular insurance carrier.)
 A few tests are run and he is referred to Cardiologist Richard Irvin.

August 28 -  First appointment with Dr. Irvin. 

September 9 - Dr. Irvin performs a Heart Cath.

September 14 -  Dr. Irvin orders an Ultra Sound & Echo Cardiogram.  

October 13 - Based on the Heart Cath, Ultra Sound & Echo Cardiogram Dr. Irvin's conclusion is the Aorta Valve needs replacing. 

Mickey is referred to TAVR, which stands for transcatherer aoritic valve replacement, for people who are considered high risk for a standard valve replacement surgery.  The TAVR is a group of 4 Drs. who must all evaluate the patient and must ALL agree that the patient qualifies for the replacement. Mickeys age, 82 years, is also a factor. 

At this time we are becoming very aware that we are facing a very difficult and serious challenge.  As we seek God's direction and guidance we are BOTH assured by God's Holy Spirit that even though we are going through a difficult season we will walk through it safely and the end will be good.  We have complete assurance that 'GOD IS NOT THROUGH WITH US YET' and has much more for both Mickey & I individually, and collectively, to do in the future for His kingdom. We are at utter peace, 'That peace that passeth understanding". 

November 5 - Beginning at 9 a.m. and running through 12:45 p.m. 4 different tests are preformed at St. Francis Hospital by Dr. Edward Morris, Dr. Thomas Smith & Dr. Ralph Ensley in preparation for the TAVR procedure and to ascertain Mickey's qualification.  

November 11 - Appointment with Dr. Matthew Parmley & Dr. Ralph Ensley where Mickey is informed the tests have shown 'something' in the left lung.

November 17 - A biopsy is performed to see what the 'something' is. 

November 19 - The biopsy tube is removed. There is suspicion it might be cancer.   

37 days after our peace & assurance from God we are now facing our first unexpected hurdle and challenge.  We view it as that - a hurdle we must get over and through. 

November 25 - We are referred by Dr. Parmley to a Lung Specialist, Dr. Timothy Nokes, for an assessment to whether Mickey could tolerate both lung surgery and the TAVR procedure.  His conclusions was affirmative.  Over THAT hurdle.

November 26 - Pet scan to determine if mass is cancerous. It was!  The scan also showed a possibility of cancerous cells in the breast bone. 

December 10 - Consultation with Dr. Parmley.  The small lung mass can be addressed and they believe removed successfully surgically, but if there is cancer in the breast bone EVERYTHING is off --- no TAVR, no Aortic valve replacement.  He schedules a Mediastinoscopy.

21 days after hurdle #1 we are facing hurdle #2.  Our peace, our confidence, our 'knowing' God is faithful and with us is holding and sustaining us.  

December 12 - More tests at St. Francis Hospital in preparation for procedure. 

December 18-19 - Mediastinoscopy if performed by Dr. Parmley.  Results will follow and we will be informed later, probably after Christmas because of the holiday.

December 20 - That evening Mickey had a turn for the worse and had to be re-admitted to St. Francis for 1 day and further tests. 

Waiting and waiting - Christmas, and my 77th Birthday, and we are trying to have a 1/2 way normal Holiday time, but none of us are really feeling it.  We tie ourselves literally to the hem of His garment and we hang on with everything we have.  The children and I have decided we are not going to say anything to Mickey until after the Holiday since we don't know anything affirmative.  

DECEMBER 23 - The BEST possible Christmas gift we could ever receive ---NO CANCER in the beast bone - it has not spread past the lump in the lung.  All is GO full steam ahead.

Our joy, our exultation to our JESUS and GOD cannot be understood unless you have experienced something of this degree.  We are jubilant, we are beside ourselves.  Our God is faithful to His word and our assurance is solid.  

Over the 1st, of 2 hurdles, and full-steam ahead. Lung Surgery and TAVR coming in 2015.  Part II of - What? ------- A YEAR!!!!!! to be continued.....


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Thursday, July 16, 2015


For my dear friend Retha and anyone else who might enjoy and want it.


Sauce Ingredients:
1     onion, chopped
2     cloves garlic
3     cups sliced mushrooms
2     bay leaves
1 1/2 t oregano
1 1/2 t basil
1/2    t thyme
1/4   C chopped parsley
6      C tomatoes, diced (fresh or canned)
5      water

Other Ingredients:
2    10 oz package frozen spinach
1    cup part skim ricotta, thinned with 1/2 C skim milk
8     oz whole wheat lasagna noodles
1/2  lb part skim mozzarella, sliced thing 
1/4  cup grated parmesan cheese
vegetable coat spray

To prepare sauce, saute garlic and onion in water in a large saucepan until onions are clear.  Add remaining sauce ingredients.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove bay leaf.

Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water until tender and drain.  Rinse in cold water to prevent sticking.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with vegetable coating spray.

Cook frozen spinach.  Squeeze all excess water from spinach.  Spread thin layer of sauce on the bottom of pan.  Layer noodles on top of sauce.  Spread more sauce on top of noodles.  Place 1/2 of spinach evenly over sauce.  Distribute 1/2 ricotta evenly.  Sprinkle 1/2 mozzarella as next layer.  Layer more noodles and repeat the process, ending with a layer of noodled, tomato sauce and remaining mozzarella.

Bake covered for 30 minutes 15 375 degrees.  Uncover and bake until brown.  
Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese

Serves 8

Calories 307.0  

This recipe is from SPA Specialties from the kitchen of Lake Austin Resort and was given to us by Outpatient Cardiac Rehab - St. Francis Hospital, Tulsa, OK.   

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Sunday, May 3, 2015

2015 Books #7 - The INNOCENT MAN

I have not felt compelled to blog about a book in a long time, but I must do so about John Grisham's The Innocent Man - Murder and Injustice In A Small Town. 

If you desire truth and justice I highly recommend this book, published in 2006.
To quote from the book cover jacket - "If you believe that in America you are innocent until proven guilty, this book will shock you.  If you believe in the death penalty, this book will disturb you.  If you believe the criminal justice system is fair, this book will infuriate you."

I have to say I am shocked, disturbed and infuriated.

I am so thankful for my friend, Shirley Smith, loaning this book to me to read because I probably never would have done so otherwise. In fact when I first read the above words on the jacket I almost  didn't read it.  I'm so glad I did.

In light of all the current events and happenings being reported daily in news reports, I believe it is important for many of us to re-examine our mindset on many levels, topics and subjects.  The Courts and justice systems being only one of them. 

I am not going to make any further comments except to say again,  I highly recommend this book.  If you have read it, or you do read it, I would love to hear your views and comments.     

A history of my book reading since tracking on my blog:  2010 - 15 Books ~~ 2011 - 16 Books ~~ 2012 - 13 Books ~~ 2014 - 3 Books ~~  so far in the first 4 months of 2015 - 8 Books.  I am an avid reader. 

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Love is a heart and soul connection that only God can make that transcends our human understanding.

Such is a love is my connection with Kathy Wright and her wonderful family from Phoenix, Az.

It all began seven years ago, on April 24, 2007,  in the wonderful land of BLOGS.  I stumbled (no, in hindsight I know it was God's leading me) onto a blog called The Bumbling Genius by Kathy's husband, Danny.  I liked and approved of what I read and became a faithful follower of Danny's blog.

On April 2, 2008 Danny informed me his wife, Kathy, had started a blog called A Field Lilly and invited me to visit it and meet her.  I checked it out immediately and knew this was an instant connection.  

We followed each other faithfully and during the Cancer Battle of our daughter, Suzette, and her trip to Heaven on May 19, 2011 I found GREAT strength and comfort from both Kathy & Danny.

Our first MEETING, in real life, occurred on July 2, 2011 when we finally got to meet the Wrights - Danny, Kathy, Daughter Bethany, Son Daniel.  What a grand time we had celebrating July 4th together and their visit of 3 days, our friendship grew.  

Our second meeting occurred in September, 2012 when Mickey & I, along with help from Danny and their wonderful, dear friend Mary Lee worked hard on arrangement when Mickey & I decided to SURPRISE Kathy with an unannounced visit on September 29, 2012.  What a fabulous 3 days we got to spend with them and the friendship grew.

Fast forward to Sunday, April 12, 2005
Kathy & her lovely daughter Bethany came to Tulsa!!!

I planned a surprise Get-Together of the WOW Woman (Woman of the Word) Bible Study group, of which both Kathy and another DEAR Connection, Retha Naidoo, belong via the private fb group.

There were only 5 of us from the group who were able to make it Sunday afternoon after church for our Luncheon but we had a good time.
(Left to right, Jenny Oswald, Thelma Horton, Kathy, Bethany, Patty Ross, Susan Joyce, Kathy Robinson.)
Bethany celebrated her 15th Birthday on the 10th so I surprised her with a cake. 

Bethany blessed Mickey & I by playing a song for us on her violin.
It was beautiful and such a joy and blessing.

The bad part of this 3rd visit was that it lasted only about 5 hours.
Part of this visit was to encourage Mickey who has been fighting the Aorta Heart Valve replacement process for the past 8 month.
Mickey is giving Kathy driving instructions as they are leaving.

Kathy blessed me with this lovely bluebird picture with the verse 
His compassions fail not
They are new every morning
Lamentations 3:22-23

I had the perfect place to hang it, even with a nail already in place!, over the sliding glass doors in our living room.  Right where Mickey can see it as he watches his bluebirds building their nest, sitting on the eggs, and awaiting the new life of baby birds flying away.

Now - Mickey & I are waiting and looking forward to visit #4!!!
Don't know where -
 Don't know when - 
but are confident there will be a 4th. 
And we'll be seeing all 4 Wrights, including Danny & Daniel, next time, too.

How I thank my Father God for placing this wonderful family in our lives and the ability to stay connected, almost on a daily basis, via fb and still share our blogs.

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Sunday, April 12, 2015


I have always been a prolific reader from a very early age.  Being raised essential as an "only child" (I had one 1/2 sister who left home when I was 6) books became my friends.  In my childhood I devoured all the Nancy Drew mysteries.  Many times, in the middle of the night, my mother would be saying, "Turn off your light and get to sleep, Susan".

Right after I was saved, at age 18, a friend loaned me Hannah Whitall Smith's book, THE CHRISTIAN'S SECRET TO A HAPPY LIFE.  It laid such a foundation of beginning growth in my then new walk with Jesus that over these ensuring 58 years I have read mostly Christian authors and self-help books.  Devouring series, first LEFT BEHIND by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.  Then, all Joel Rosenberg books to date, along with 3 Frank Peretti novels. 

One of my main loves in spiritual books have been classic writings by the many Spiritual Giant of Authors who are now in Heaven. During these years my focus was for Spiritual growth and not for casual reading. 

Just recently, with my husband's long and difficult medical situation, I decided it would be a good idea to start reading aloud to my husband.  My dear friend, Judy, who's Bible Study I attend on Monday mornings reads a lot of lighter Christian authors, so I asked her to loan me a couple.  The following Sunday she and her husband dropped off 2 Christian mysteries by Terri Blackstock.  We devoured them in a week and the following Monday I returned those 2 and received 4 more.  Which again, in the first week we have finished 2 of them.

I have a feeling we are going to be reading a lot, especially the next 4+ weeks as we await my husband Aorta Valve replacement procedure.

I Praise God for many things, and books, and the ability of those Authors who write them, and the many hours of learning and pleasure they have given me over these many long years. 

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Very Special Gift From FAR-FAR AWAY from Very Special PEOPLE

On February 11th I received a phone call from The Green Parrot Cafe informing me that our wonderful friends, Jason & Retha Naidoo from South Africa had contacted them and purchased a gift certificate for Mickey, son Marc, grandson Aric and myself to enjoy a meal.  Talk about shocked and stunned.  I can only imagine the love, time and effort that went into their doing this!  First, locating a local cafe here in Coweta and then going through all the work, and back & forth they had to go through, to accomplish this surprise.

Due to Mickey's health and the hospitalizations, Dr. appointments, procedures, and just generally being basically home bound the majority of the time,  it took us 52 days to reap the joy and thrill of this unique and wonderful love.              

The four of us  awaiting our order.

The three generation of Joyce men as we enter 
The Green Parrot Cafe
This Cafe was established in 1942, 73 years ago and when I was a 4 years old child in Santa Fe, New Mexico and had never even heard of Coweta, Oklahoma!!!
It is on the main street, which is Broadway, and is known by everyone who lives in Coweta.
It is a landmark and a hangout for many of the locals.
The only female in this group getting a picture of the front window and sign (and myself!)
One of the nice things about The Green Parrot is they serve breakfast the entire 7 1/2 hours they are opened, in addition to a large selection of other items and a daily special.
Our choices ran the gambit - Aric had breakfas: waffle, egg, bacon - Mickey & Marc both had the Chicken fried steak special with 2 vegetables & bread - Susan had hamburger with fries.
EVERYTHING home-style and freshly prepared.
ALL was delicious and we were filled to the brim.
Another interesting thing, on this particular day, other than the owner and cook, I was the only female and all the other patrons were men.

The inside is all panelled with knotty pine and has the old time counter, stools and malt machine
Plus lots & lots of Parrot pictures, figurines and other Parrot items collected over the years.
Yes, quite a unique place and a very unique gift for us from so FAR away.
In a perfect world we would LOVE to have Jason, Retha & Ethan with us eating here at 
The Green Parrot in Coweta, Oklahoma.

Mickey & I all smiles and full of joy and gratitude for so blessing us with such a strong SPIRITUAL and LOVING connection with Jason, Rethan and their son Ethan.
It brings tears to my eyes on many occasions when I marvel at the great work GOD has done, and is doing, in our lives and friendship together.  ONLY GOD!!!! 

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