Monday, December 30, 2013

Bright Spot in The Clouds - THANK YOU KEVIN SPACEY!

It has been a dreary weekend most of which I spent in bed. For the past couple of weeks, I've had a hard time walking on my left foot. I don't have feeling in my feet anymore, but I can feel the bone pain! It was hard just taking down the tree yesterday and packing decor away.

One day has run into another. Time tends to do that when you're alone. But today was different. I received a card in the mail from Kevin Spacey! THANK YOU KEVIN! You made my day!! You put a smile on my face.

Tomorrow is doctor day once again. This is a new rheumatologist. Had to wait three months to get in. I hear she's worth it. Hoping! I cannot imagine going into a doctor's office sick and actually feeling like they helped. It has been a long time. Just like most people in the world today, doctors don't seem to care anymore. Just praying she does.

BRRRR it is cold outside! Cloudy. Where's the snow??? If it has to be cold and dreary, we might as well have snow. When I was in college here thirty years ago, there was snow on the ground from November through March. Now we're lucky to have snow for a day. Come on snow!! :)

Today's plans were to clean. But the weather has beaten me down once more. Another day!

Rascal has decided that this computer is in his way. Time to get offline and cuddle with the kitty.



 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Hardest Christmas

Today was one of the hardest Christmases I've faced. Alone. No dinner. No family. No friends. I slept most of it away. It was the only way I could endure being alone at Christmas. Thank you, God, this day is over.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

My friend cancelled Christmas dinner. So it looks like I'll be alone at Christmas again. My heart is broken. It was the one thing I thought I could count on this year.

When I awoke this morning, there was a dusting of snow on the ground and flakes falling. The clouds have cleared out and it won't last much longer, but I am so thankful for a short white Christmas Eve! Thank you, God, for the nice gift this morning.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Two More Days...

Two more days until Christmas. Most are excited. I'm just thankful it will soon be over. Just two more days.

First Tornado Siren

Went to see "A Tuna Christmas" at the Woodford Theatre in Versailles, KY last night. It was late when we came home and the weather was wacky. It was around 11:30-midnight when I heard this crazy sound outside. Opened the door expecting two cats yelling at each other, but instead was greeted by a tornado siren in Wilmore.

Went back into the bedroom and turned on the news to find out there was a tornado nearby. Then I heard a loud sound like a train above my roof. I grabbed Rascal and headed into the closet. Since I keep a lantern in the closet, I turned it on and we waited.

It was so fast that poor Rascal didn't have time to react. After about fifteen minutes, he realized I put him in the closet. So he started pawing and meowing to get out. I finally opened the door and watched him sprint under the bed.

Quiet. Turned on the news again to find out the tornado had moved up and east. Checked outside and nothing seemed damaged. Not sure if it was a tornado I heart, but it scared me.

It was pretty late when we finally went to sleep. With the weather soaring up to near 70 yesterday, added with rain and yuck, it really wreaked havoc on my body. It is the barometric pressure. Now it will dive the other direction by morning. Wouldn't mind the cold if it came with snow, but no snow.

 

Friday, December 20, 2013

MY Take on "Duck Dynasty"

He quoted the Bible. Had every right to do so to back up his beliefs. 1 Corinthians 6:1-12. If other people condemn him for stating his beliefs, then those who do the condemning have no right to say anything when someone condemns them. Sad that the world doesn't work this way. Instead they allow Miley Cyrus to be on TV repeatedly. A&E is showing "Duck Dynasty" marathons to capitalize on their own "self made condemnation." It is all about the money to A&E.  

IF Phil had not been interviewed and asked specific questions, he would not have backed up his beliefs. Since they come from the Bible, I believe in the Bible and God, I stand behind him. God does not change.

OUCH!!

OUCH! The rain has come in and the temps are yo-yoing again. It feels as though someone is taking a 2x4 and beating me from the inside out. I cannot function when the temps do this, when the rain sets in. Bed rest again. The days run together so much so I have to look at the calendar to know what day it is.

So easy for days to run together when you're sick and alone. Sad, too, when the mail comes and leaves nothing in your box. Very few Christmas cards this year. Must be the economy.

I remember those who are alone because their family has passed on, they have no children, or they've reached the age where it is easy to fall between the cracks. I fall into the "no family" category and there are many days I feel invisible. Many days I wonder how God could possibly use a broken bodied person like me. It makes my heart heavy.

Lupus, along with all the other illnesses that have spawned over the years, has really taken its toll on my body, mind and soul. When you're in a position like this, you rely on God more. I am so thankful to be in His loving arms.

Please think of those alone at Christmas. Don't just think, do something for them. If you look around, you'll see there are many in your own neighborhood. Remember that a smile and a hug cost nothing but love.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Final Answer

I called my cardiologist today and asked him to take a look at all three tests. He said the aneurysm is 4.7 cm - off by .6 cm as told to me by the surgeon. Now I have a full year to look for another surgeon.

Thankful for no surgery yet!

A NIGHT OF MISERY!

A few hours ago, I started throwing up and experiencing diarrhea. I finally leveled off. This is happening far too many times now. I knew when I crawled into bed early this afternoon something was coming. I just don't understand the frequency and severity of it all. Tried eating crackers but did not work.

This adds to the misery of the Christmas season for me. Loneliness is consuming. Now illness has set in.

If you have family, be thankful every day for them. Dealing with illness alone isn't fun.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

And STILL Confused!

Went in to see the surgeon expecting to hear surgery plans. Instead he came in through the backdoor and straight into my exam room.

"It looks good. See you in a year."

"Wait. What? The second test showed it was 5 cm."

"The last test says it is fine and stable. That is why I asked for the CTA scan."

"You also asked for the echo cardiogram."

"I did?"

I asked many questions including the following:

"So those who read the second test just worried me for nothing?"

"Well, it depends on who reads these tests."

"It was my cardiologist who read the test. He was highly concerned and said it was 5 cm. Wouldn't let me go home until he was certain I was okay."

"Well, it doesn't matter. The size is 4.1-4.4 cm."

"It was 4.7 cm last year."

"I don't care what it was. It is what I wrote on your chart."

He didn't look at the cd of my scan, just read off a sheet of paper.

"Why did I have to come all the way into Lexington to hear you read off a paper for five minutes?"

"I don't set up appointments. Nurses do that."

Something is not right. I call my cardiologist tomorrow morning to find out what he thinks. Geesh this is stressful!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Lonely Weekend

It has been a lonely weekend. Spent most of it resting because the rain came in and caused a flare. For some reason the rain hurts me physically, but not the snow. Wish it would just snow instead of rain.

Spent a lot of time talking to God asking Him how on earth I would ever recover after open heart surgery when I have to do it alone. If I had someone in my life, a family member (all of whom have passed away), facing surgery would be so much easier. As it is, I worry about how on earth I will be able to function afterwards.

I'm still waiting to hear news about the last test. Turns out it was nothing more than another cat scan with more dye.  See http://www.scandirectory.com/content/eb_ct_angiography.asp

Will find out results when I see the surgeon on Tuesday. Just want to get it all over with.

December is hard for me. Even though Christmas is a celebration of Christ's birth, the world has turned it into a celebration of family. It is for this reason I do not go to church in December. The void of family is magnified ten fold. The heartache is worse.

Having no money to buy Christmas goodies, presents, etc., my small Charlie Brown tree is empty underneath. Nothing to open on Christmas day. That's okay. I don't need things. What I truly need cannot be wrapped in paper. While families gather together to celebrate, I sit alone in my freezing cold apartment.

And worry! I worry about how much out of pocket it is gonna cost me for all of these tests. I was prepared for two doctor's visits this month and a scan, but that has increased to three doctor's visits and three tests. Sad when you have to juggle money for food, living expenses and medications. Tag on medical bills! Overwhelming!

Holding my breath until December is over.

So let's just assume I go through with the open heart surgery. Lupus magnifies my chances of not waking up. If I do wake up, I face having to deal with recovery alone. How do I care for myself, wash clothes, cook, clean? How do I take care of Rascal, Buddy and Tom?

And let's just assume I don't wake up from the surgery. By far I will be in a much better place - Heaven. But if that is the case, this will be my last Christmas. Still alone. Still lonely, but relying on faith.

Those are the thoughts I've been struggling with this weekend. Tomorrow I will make myself go outside this door and walk. May not get far, but the walls are closing in. I can't bear them anymore.

Here's to hope for a better week.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

ANOTHER TEST!

My thoracic surgeon decided to schedule another test. This is a CTA scan scheduled for Friday at 12:15. I have an appointment with him on the following Tuesday.
It appears he's going through the steps to reach the goal of open heart surgery. No matter what, I won't agree to it until after the first of the year. I just want one more Christmas no matter how lonely it will be.

It is so hard getting news like this and having to deal with it alone. I'm so stressed out! But truth be told, if I don't make it through the surgery, it won't affect anyone's life.

Just need the strength to endure a lonely Christmas. The last thing I want to think about is surgery.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Echocardiogram

Talk about a turn around fast! Went in for the echo cardiogram. The tech was very thorough. He left me in the room for awhile and I was wondering what happened. When he returned, he told me he had a concern about what he saw. Turns out it was an optical illusion. THEN he said my aneurysm was 5 cm and didn't want me to leave until a cardiologist read the test.

Luckily, my own cardiologist was on call to read tests today. He said I should be okay to go home for now until the surgeon saw the test results. There was a huge difference in size from what the cat scan showed to what the eco showed. Now we're at the wire for having surgery. Open heart surgery.

I was stunned when I heard the news this morning. My thinking had to turn toward facing what was ahead sooner than expected. But my best friend said something today that settled my mind.

"No matter what happens, it will be okay." I knew either the surgery would make a difference or if I died, I'd be in a far better place. So it will be okay no matter the outcome.

So now I'm stuck waiting on the surgeon to make a decision.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

And the Ice Storm is coming!

There is ice, sleet and snow headed our way. Today the temperature dropped more than 30 degrees from the day before. Gosh how that hurts! The Up and down temperatures cause my lupus to flare considerably. Let's just say the cat slept better than I did last night. The pain was far too great.

Rain tends to put me in bed. My joints swell and the pain is bad. Today was a cold and rainy day. If we could skip the rain and just have snow, my body would be more pleased.

Tomorrow morning I go back to Lexington for a echocardiogram. They want to make sure the aneurysm isn't leaking. Have to be there at 8:00 a.m. That puts us leaving at 7:15 a.m. So what am I doing now? Wasting time instead of going to bed early! I'm having difficulty breathing tonight. When I lie down, I can't breathe! So tonight may be spent in a chair instead of bed.

Realized today that Christmas is only a couple of weeks away. Why does it seem that December flies by while the summer months crawl like snails? I put up a tree, a small tree. Sometimes I wonder why I bother since there are no presents under it and won't be for that matter. One of the side effects of not having any family and being alone in the world. No Christmas dinner under this roof either. Hard when you juggle cost of medications, medical bills and whatever is left goes to food. So no goodies here.

Top today off by losing my camera! Won't power on. No, it isn't the battery. My best friend and I determined there is a connection problem within the camera. In other words, it can now rest in peace. It is officially dead. Bad timing! This weekend is Wilmore's Old Fashioned Christmas. I so wanted to take photos. Not this year.

So it seems appliances and me do not get along well. My best vacuum cleaner just quit. I am not sure but it appears its years have come to an end. Add to the list my tv is going as well. I guess these things come in threes. Well, the electronic deaths can stop now. That makes three.

Better to head to "bed" in my chair soon. Going to check to see where Rascal is since he ran when I turned on the vacuum cleaner.

 


 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

TEST Results!

Today I saw a new doctor - a thoracic surgeon I was pushed onto after mine moved back to Boston. My other doctor was kind, understanding, and took time with me. This doctor only gave me test results and scheduled an echo for Friday.

I was told the aneurysm near my heart has increased in size and would soon be ready for open heart surgery, but not this year! I was also told the nodules in my lung had disappeared. Yet more news was there are no other aneurysms.

I go Friday for an echo cardiogram to make sure the aneurysm isn't leaking. When they reach this size, they can do so.

One more doctor's appointment this month and that's it. Won't be another until Jan. 6th.



 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Doctor Runs

My doctor runs start Tuesday afternoon. Thoracic surgeon gives me the test results. Then at the end of December I see a new rheumatologist. I can hear the $$$$/medical bills adding up again. Stress is part of medical expenses. Stress also causes lupus flares.

While most people are spending money on presents, I'm sitting home in the dark. Since it has been terribly cold here, my gas and electric bills will be going up. Looks as though this will be a minimal Christmas year. If someone asked me what I wanted to Christmas, I'd have to answer this: "To not be worried about medical expenses!"

 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Night Before Thanksgiving

Tonight and tomorrow families will gather together. Thanksgiving. I have fond memories of my mother's cornbread dressing. Unfortunately, she threw everyone out of her kitchen and didn't pass on her recipes. I miss that dressing.

Makes me sad to be alone at the holidays. Life is hard enough day to day when you're sick and disabled. Being alone makes it so much worse.

Picked up the cd of my cat scan. Hoped to find the test results on there, but they haven't been read yet. So I'm stuck waiting until next Tuesday for my results. Picked up and forgotten for now.

Took a walk in the cold and snow this evening. SO crisp and clean! Wilmore had a little traffic, but was still quiet. I walked three blocks. That's major for me! Had taken my camera so that I could take photos of Asbury in the snow, but my battery died. I need a new camera so badly. This one is being held together with duck tape. Pretty sad really.

Baking some pumpkin bread for tomorrow. Going to the Potter's Inn B and B for lunch. Was a small group last year, but this year it is turning into a huge one. I'm not good in a crowd of strangers. Maybe I can get lost in the crowd.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

And the Test is Over!

My cat scan went well. VERY nice people where I went! VERY nice person took me for my appointment!

When I lay down on the table, I looked up to see a beautiful picture of horses - Calumet Farm in Lexington  at sunrise. SO beautiful! So soothing. More places need to do this.

Went to Susan's grand daughter's kindergarten Thanksgiving play afterwards. Oh how I miss teaching! The kids were wonderful. So sweet. Some didn't have parents there and that broke my heart. There was one boy who stood alone afterwards because he had no one to run to and be loved.

Had lunch out - what a nice treat! I hadn't eaten anything since last night (fasting test).

It was a wonderful day even though they were searching for more aneurysms and lung nodules and checking the size of the one near my heart. God does turn bad things into something good.

Won't find out the results until next Tuesday. Doctor's appointment then. So once I pick up the CD of the scan tomorrow I plan to forget about all of it until then.

Monday, November 25, 2013

CAT SCAN TUESDAY AND UPDATE

My cat scan is Tuesday. Time has been moved up. Have to be there by 9:45 a.m. so I'm assuming it will be earlier. They will check the size of my growing aneurysm near my heart, look for other aneurysms throughout my body, and check the size and growth of the nodules in my lung (something I didn't know about until a couple of weeks ago).

The weather is suppose to be horrible Tuesday - icy rain and snow (good stuff!) later on. Not the best day to be out and about.

Good thoughts and prayers are appreciated. I see the thoracic surgeon the following Tuesday.

I'm still in pretty bad pain today after yesterday's accident. Still have a knot on my head and it hurts to even lay it on a pillow. My back and shoulders are really painful. I also woke up with sore tonsils and an ear ache. Just seems like I'm getting hit in all directions right now.

I truly don't know how anyone goes through life without faith in God. There is no way I would have made it this far without Him.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

BAD Weekend!

What started off as a good weekend ended up pretty bad! The good part took place Saturday morning when I attended a one day retreat. It was inspiring and fun and so much needed.

When I arrived home a few hours later, I was throwing up and experiencing diarrhea again. Horribly sick! It finally subsided by midnight. No clue as to what keeps causing this. Seems to run a three to four month cycle.

Then this morning I sat down in my new glider rocker and it turned over with me. I hit my head on a table behind it. Have a huge knot on the back of my head! It was so painful and scary experiencing this alone. I just lay there and cried. Waited for strength to pull myself up again. Hit my neck and shoulder pretty hard as well.

Did I go to the ER? No. Why? Because everyone I knew to call were in church. No one would have answered their phone. So I cried it out, took ibuprofen and put ice on my head with a flector patch on my shoulder.

Checked out the chair later in the day and it appears it tipped back too far because of the way the base was sitting. I wasn't going to let it get the best of me. I turned it over, checked the base and readjusted it. Afterwards I sat down carefully and rid  myself of the fear. Problem is every time I get up Rascal crawls into the chair. We have arguments as to who owns it.

The swelling has gone down, but I still have a pretty big knot on my head. It hurts still. I was hit hard this weekend in the area of getting sick and having an accident. The worst part of all of this is being alone and suffering. I am so tired of dealing with all of this alone. That goes for dealing with the holidays alone, too.

Sometimes life is just too hard.

AND Tuesday morning I head out for my cat scan. They'll check the size of the aneurysm near my heart and search for others. They will also check on the two nodules they found in my lung.

Keeps getting better and better!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

WISH LIST

I don't normally get Christmas gifts since my family has passed away. Still it is fun to wish! The only thing I couldn't PIN was enough money to pay my medical expenses and not struggle through the new year.

http://www.pinterest.com/maryjc83/wish-list/

 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Friday Night

Went to dinner with a friend last night. We tried a local place in Wilmore. I was amazed at how abandoned the streets looked so early on a Friday evening. It almost looked like a ghost town. Since I'm on the other end of Wilmore and am unable to walk far right now (actually, I can't walk down the road right now!), it has been a long time since I've walked downtown at night.

We sat and had dinner together. SO thankful for the company. It had been a week since I've seen another person. One of the side affects of systemic lupus is losing friends. When people find out you're sick, they do several things: walk away in fear they might catch it, judge you as a lazy person, get tired of you quickly. No one wants you to slow them down. I've been left in the dust many many times by people who ask me to do things and then leave me by walking too fast (I walk slowly since I've lost all feeling in my legs below the knees and feet).

It is a rare gift to find one person who treats you like you're somebody. I'm thankful for that gift last night. Not much on talking. Think it comes from being alone most of the time. But I do listen and that seems to be the one gift God uses.

I spent most of the day in bed today (Saturday) because I felt so bad. When I finally was able to sit up, I heard the sounds of happy people coming through the wall next door. They always invite people to dinner on Saturday nights and it goes on forever. The only affect it has on me is sadness - being alone in the world is awful! Hearing the sounds of a family next door, one I barely cross paths with, just makes me even more sad.

Holidays are coming and they are focused on families. No one seems to reach out to someone who is alone anymore, not even in Wilmore. If only people would step out of their comfort zone and reach out to those who are alone, especially at the holidays, they would make a real difference in someone's life. Just look around you.

 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

TIME PASSES

I noticed old friends my age are starting to lose their parents. Hardest thing in my life was losing my parents and my only brother. I was young. My mom died two days before my 24th birthday. My dad and brother died within two years of each other. I had turned 35 when I lost my dad, the last member of my family.

Now those who are my age are losing their parents and experiencing the pain involved. I can tell you that you never get over losing someone. You only learn to live with it as time passes. I still break down missing my family even after all these years.

Hard thing was I didn't have anyone to grieve with me. I did it alone. Made life even harder. But I've learned to live alone, suffer alone and endure. Still doesn't make life any easier.

I believe losing my family when I was young left some major scars on my heart. As I've said before, life is hard enough without adding more pain. When you're suffering physically, emotional pain is just icing on the cake.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Still not able to go outside. It has been a terrible lupus week. Need to get some things, i.e. needs, but can't go past the door. Thank goodness for Rascal. He has been my constant companion. No matter how much it warms up outside, we're still freezing on the inside. He's curled up in a blanket and I'm doing the same.

 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

STILL Flaring and Other Concerns

Still flaring! Seems that lupus won't leave me alone since the rain came through. Snow I can handle. Rain, no way! It has been a slow moving day. Accomplished two things and am thankful I could. But the cold has really pulled the rug out from under me. Still wishing I had a fireplace, but that darn fireplace never magically appears! Can't afford to turn on the heat.

It is COLD in here! Has always been drafty. Rascal woke me up last night searching for body heat. When the temps drop to 22 degrees, time to cuddle. Wish I could find the spot where the wind blows through, but haven't been able to do so. I surely can feel it when the wind blows outside. 

Thanksgiving is coming in two weeks. A family holiday. No funds to buy food for Thanksgiving here. Bills are paid and hopefully have enough food for the month. Worried about Rascal's food though. It is going fast. Would rather make sure Rascal is fed than me. I can endure. He can't. 

Sometimes I wish I could pull the covers over me until Thanksgiving and Christmas are over. No money. No family. No reason to celebrate. The only thing I have to look forward to is a cat scan and two doctors' visits. Oh joy! The expense alone will wipe me out. 

Systemic lupus is an expensive illness. My first rheumatologist told me this eighteen years ago. He was absolutely right! So do I buy food to stay alive or choose the medications that are keeping me alive? Do I sit in the dark, dress in layers and stay under a blanket all day or somehow afford to turn on the heat? These are the reasons I have to choose needs above wants. $800 a month only goes so far. 

Still there is hope. There is ALWAYS hope. God has never let go of me and I am truly thankful! Life is hard enough without hope. I will hang onto the hope God has given me and look forward to tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

BBBRRRRR!

It is now 29 degrees outside! Suppose to drop to 22. Even though this place is so cold, I'm thankful for the roof over my head, blankets and warm clothing! Would still LOVE a fireplace! Have the space for a faux fireplace, but can't afford one. Wish this place came with a fireplace! :)



When I awoke this morning, there was a dusting of snow on the ground. First OFFICIAL snow! Had flakes last month, but nothing stuck then. Of course, when the sun came out the snow melted. Some still remains in the shadows. Hoping this is a sign of a good snow winter like my college days.

The temps are going back up again by the end of the week. Attacks my body terribly! Lupus flares are going up and down! I haven't been outside the door since Saturday. Dishes sit in my sink. Things are left undone. But I'm thankful to open my eyes in the morning.

Today was beautiful! Thank you, Lord, for snow!

 

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Cold Winter's Night

No, it isn't winter yet, but the temps are dropping fast outside in Wilmore. The high is suppose to be 39 degrees tomorrow. The plus side - snow predicted! Not much accumulation is predicted though. Still beautiful!

If we could skip the rain first, that would be wonderful. But the rain started falling already. I could feel it coming when the pain in my spine was intense. Cannot stand for more than five minutes! It would make perfect sense to crawl into bed right now, but I'm like a child at Christmas. I want to see the snow fall!

Rascal is curled up in my chair on top of a fleece throw. He's happy. But I'm in pain,  severe pain, from this drastic weather change and the entrance of rain.

Today was not a day of accomplishments. It is so hard when you can't stand for very long. Nothing gets done!

Praying for a good night's sleep in spite of  the rain.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

An Evening Out

Went to dinner with a friend last night and out to hear the Lexington Brass Band concert. It was Artist Series at Asbury University, my alma mater. Beautiful! Soothing! Long! We left at intermission because it was so long.

When I was in college, we use to dress up for Artist Series. Last night I didn't see one student dressed up. Sad indeed. It use to be a shining opportunity, a date night.

I wonder if the school still has Brother/Sister halls, Secret Brothers and Secret Sisters. My most favorite part of Asbury was just before Thanksgiving when the brother/sister halls would join for a Christmas party. There you would find out your secret brother and secret sister. I remember our hall standing in front of the dorm serenading us. They were standing in a bank of snow. Afterwards we would join in for a Christmas party. During Secret sister/brother, you'd receive mystery gifts. That night the secret would be revealed. They weren't fancy gifts - simple things like a huge brown bag of cheese popcorn, cards, etc. My most favorite memory!

If the college doesn't do this still, these kids are missing out! There was something so special when the guys would serenade us. When the guy's dorm had a fire drill, they would surround our dorm and sing. Such a beautiful time. So very very thankful I went to Asbury thirty years ago!

As I sat in the concert last night, I found myself looking around at all the couples, seeing wedding rings shining from the musicians' fingers. Then special Asburians who returned to perform would be introduced as "This is so and so. They met their wife as Asbury."

I kept sitting there wondering what was so wrong with me. Why did I end up alone in the world? The nicest people I've ever known I met at Asbury. Yet it feels odd to be back in the chapel in those horrible seats still wondering what's so wrong with me.

Every year I pray I'm not handcuffed to another Thanksgiving and Christmas alone. Those prayers haven't been answered for me.

And I still wonder - what's so wrong with me? Perhaps my mother was right when she said I'd never be good enough. I've lived under her harsh words all of my life. Did she know what she was doing? Probably not, but her words have destroyed me inside on how I see myself. I can get over any past incidents, but my mother's words are something else.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Finding My Hope

http://myhopewithbillygraham.org/

Worth taking time to watch.

Coming Soon: Chance of Snow/Christmas Wishes

How can a woman as old as I am be so thrilled about snow? When I checked the weather forecast, it predicted an 80% of SNOW Wednesday and 60% on Thursday. Woo hoo!! Snow in November! So excited! Joy joy joy!

Snow doesn't hurt as badly as rain and it is far more beautiful! The air is crisp and clean. Easier to breathe.

Since we've "fallen back" on time, it gets dark even earlier here. Never has bothered me to have short days. As long as the temps are cooler, I'm happy.

Yesterday the wind was high. I opened the window to hear the leaves rustling outside. The colors came in late and now they're on the ground. Still beautiful! One of my most favorite things about living in Wilmore is having four seasons. So nice to enjoy the Fall.

Was thinking about Christmas today. Even though I'm alone at Christmas, I still make a point to decorate. Love the lights. Was remembering my youth when Sears use to send out a Christmas catalog each year. I'd grab it first and circle all of the things I wanted. Of course I never did get what I wanted, but it was fun to dream. Now "wants" have turned to "needs." But if I could go back in time and open the Christmas catalog today, I'd make my "wish list" like I did before. But I'd have to add a few needful things as well:

Want - glider rocker. Can't beat this for someone with back problems

Want - a 5ft folding table I can use for crafts.

Want - a stand mixer.

Want - a flat screen tv.

Need - Fancy feast canned tuna and cheese cat food for Rascal and Fancy Feast dry Salmon. Litter.

Want - a round bed for Rascal to sleep in at night.

Need - Funds to pay for increasing medical costs. It reaches the point I have to choose food or medications.

Need - a dryer. Mine is on its last legs.

Need - Peace and love. No price tag there!

Need - encouragement and friends who stay even when I'm so sick I cannot function.

Need - to be pain-free and have a life outside these walls.

Amazing how my "wish list" has changed over the years. Just like my youth, I know I won't get the things on the list, but it is fun to wish!

 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

OHHHHHHHHHHH THE PAIN!

The pain has returned with a vengeance! Rain is coming in and temperatures will fall once again. With this weather pattern comes swollen joints, a fever, and extreme fatigue. Was hoping I had finally licked the lupus flare, but with the barometric pressure going up and down, I've returned to pain and bed rest.

Sometimes living with lupus is more like suffering with pain. Stress doesn't help it either. The one thing my rheumatologist in Dothan said was "avoid stress!" Doesn't take much to set off a flare.

Having a hard time breathing today as well. Will be glad to get the cat scan over and meet with the new thoracic surgeon to find out about the lung nodules. Wondering if this is a symptom.

Want so much to live a normal life, but when you have a chronic disease like lupus, you're thankful for the small things. You never know what the day may hold.

I'm exhausted just from recording this entry. Time to return to rest once more.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Human Kindness

I've been washing clothes by hand since my washing machine finally died two months ago. Today I received a brand new washing machine from a kind soul - someone who did not want to be known. Human Kindness. How very grateful I am for this washing machine! I was so happy I did two loads of wash! After putting back up my clothesline late last night, I hung out clothes on a warmer, sunnier day than we've had in a while. They smell so good with fresh air and sunshine.

No mopping up the floor after the old machine flooded it. No more stress in that area! To whom ever blessed me with this machine, THANK YOU!!! What a huge difference you made in my life.

If you ever watch "America's Got Talent," you may be familiar with Joe Castillo, the sand artist. I was blessed to see him in person when my university sponsored him. I ran across the following post with his "Human Kindness" art. A little long, but well worth watching.

http://vimeo.com/76625405

I also ran across this page that shows human kindness in progress. Hoping those who run across this post will be inspired to be kind to others.

http://www.world-actuality.com/index.php/people/671-these-20-photos-are-going-to-make-you-cry-but-you-ll-see-why-it-s-totally-worth-it?fb_action_ids=214913425349327,214910035349666&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map={

 

Monday, November 4, 2013

STRESS!!

Today I find out my medications are going up. So it looks like I'll have to choose between food and which meds I can afford next year. Too bad I don't live in a house that's paid for. Would be less money going out and I could pay for the much needed medication.

STRESSED! And no stress is not good for lupus. Stress is today's word - too much stress.

Started my day heading outside to hang out some clothes and discovered my clothesline was taken down by my neighbor. I had to go next door and ask him why and where he put it. This is the second time they've done this and it really ticked me off. Why can't people ask before removing something that isn't theirs? So now I'm having to go back outside and put it up myself.

Then the letter about my increased medication costs. So I spent half and hour waiting for my insurance company to pick up. Then they sent me to call another number where I spent another half hour. Nothing was resolved. Just costs more and I cannot afford it.

Today is one day I wanted to crawl back into bed and pull the sheets over my head. But I was too stressed to unwind! So I'm having problems breathing - which is a common reaction when my lupus is active.

I just want to scream!!!!!! Oh and by the way, thanks Obama for my $15 a month increase. Won't cover any of the meds I take nor will it help with the cost of living increase.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Oh The Joys of Waking Up!

I finally fell asleep this morning at 9:00 a.m. When I awoke, I had a sinus infection. Oh the joys of waking up SICK! No clue where this one came from. 

The weather here has been going up and down and with it comes a body full of extreme pain. Even turned on the heat, but this place is really cold. The cold doesn't help with my swollen, painful joints. 

So many times I wish I had a house again, one with a fireplace. I'd be just as happy with an all electric place to live. Gas heat doesn't do it. Wishing it was closer to the grocery store and the college. So many things I miss out on because of location and illness. 

On the tail end of a lupus flare and pushed myself out the door this past week. Looks like it was far too soon. I'm back to being so sick that I cannot sleep at night (another joy of lupus - insomnia). Still have almost eight weeks before seeing a new rheumatologist. 

Yesterday it hailed for awhile. White little ice pellets falling from the sky! Simply amazing since most of the day was bright and sunny. Rain was quite heavy Halloween night. They postponed trick or treating until Friday night. I don't get trick or treaters at my door, so this year I didn't bother buying candy. 

Looking forward to the first snowfall. We had some flakes last month, but didn't stick. Hoping this Christmas we will see white landscape. 

Sorry this is so "rambling" in context. It has been so hard to concentrate this flare go round. Just taking it one day at a time. 

Dreading the holidays. Looks like I'll be spending Christmas alone for sure. At least I have plenty of time to adjust my thinking (i.e. accept it). Being alone at Christmas is the worse feeling in the world. It magnifies the loss of my family so much. Who wants to be alone? I know I don't, but sometimes you just have to accept it and go on. Doesn't help that they are showing Christmas movies this early!

Time for more sinus medication. I think it is also time to put on a coat. Just too cold in here! Even Rascal is sleeping as close to me as he can because he's shivering. I think he needs one of those round cat beds, but since I cannot afford it, we'll have to do the best we can.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Update on Cat Scan Plans

On Nov. 26th, they will scan my aortic thoracic aneurysm which is near my heart. When I received the paperwork in the mail yesterday, it also stated "lung nodules." No one ever told me about this diagnosis so I called them to enquire. She said they discovered lung nodules in my right lung when they scanned last year. They are 3 cm. I asked what that meant and finally after beating around the bush, she said it could possibly be cancer. If the nodules have grown, they will have to do a biopsy to determine if this is cancer.

I knew they would be searching for other aneurysms, but this one came out of the blue! I am still stunned. Whatever they find, they find. Just add it to the already growing list. By the time the scan rolls around, I'll accept it. Right now I'm still stunned.

Sometimes it is just so much easier not to know.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Remembering My Brother

 Sunday, Oct. 27th is the anniversary of my brother's death. He died at age 46 from cancer in 1994. It was one of the most difficult days of my life.

I cared for him during his illness and decline while working full time. Cancer is a horrible disease. It is also a "helpless" one. When there is no hope left and you have to face the fact your only sibling is dying, it is horrible.

I went to work that morning and as soon as I arrived, a phone call came. My brother was dying. He was gone before I made it home that day. Never have gotten over this loss. Just learned to live with it.

Life sometimes isn't what you plan. Illness, death, loss, etc., come in when we least expect it. Two years after my brother died, I lost my dad. He was the last member of my family.

Someone told me God provides a "family" when you're alone. This has never happened to me. I've had to struggle alone for a long time now. My own illness has taken me hostage into a world of being alone, wishing for hugs where there are none, just to see another face during the day. It is a different world.

One thing I have experienced that has held to be true is people may mean well, but words are empty without action. With some people, words are just words. No follow through. No anything. I've had to learn to block out useless words that fall to the ground never to take root.

I was taught that your word is your greatest asset. When someone says they will do something, they do it. I will never say I'll do something unless I can do it. And if I can't, I will tell you so. Too many people don't take this as a promise anymore or perhaps promises have become just endless words. What is happening to this world?!

There was a poll in the news this week. It asked if there should be a law where children take care of their elderly parents. WHY should this even be a law? You just do it. And if you refuse to do it, then your parents shouldn't have to endure your neglect. I took care of my mom until she died. I took care of my brother and my dad until they died. You just do it. Has this world become so selfish that they just don't care anymore?

Taking care of my brother, watching him grow weaker and weaker from cancer and then passing away was the hardest thing I've ever done. But you know what? I wouldn't trade a moment spent doing it. I miss him terribly.



----------------------------------------------------------------

Last night I had a wonderful dream with the same person appearing. Seems to be the star of these dreams. He came for a visit and brought me a check for a great deal of money. I remember giving it back to him and telling him just being with him was worth more. I've had recurring dreams of this person over the past few years. I always wake up the same: Sad. Wishing they would come true. Wishing they were real. Asking God why I keep dreaming of this person. So I say a prayer for him and put him in God's hands.

If only we could make our night time dreams reality. I wonder if you dream about someone like this, do they dream of you, too?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Doctors' Appointments Coming Around the Bend


Time to get a catscan and x-ray of my thoracic aneurysm near my heart. Scan is set for Nov 26 at 9:30 a.m. See the doctor Dec. 3rd. When I called the first time, no one bothered to tell me my surgeon had moved to Boston! So now I see a new doctor - Dr. Appleby. When they do the scan this time, they will be looking for other aneurysms in my body.

Then off to a new rheumatologist on Dec. 31st. Hoping she works out to be a better fit.

I truly hate my thoracic surgeon moved. I really liked him. He took great care with me, thoroughly examined me, and listened. Would have been nice to know he had moved on!

I'm not feeling well today (again). It has been a week since I've seen another soul. When you're sick, you don't fall into the active friend stage. Seems people want to be friends if you have something to offer them. When you're sick, the only thing you have left is your heart. Not many people want that part.

It was a very restless night with pain surging through my back again. I'm not sure what is going on, but for weeks now my back has been in excruciating pain. I still believe it is the horrible mattress I sleep on. When I get up in the morning, I can barely move. If there is a solution I wish someone would help me find it.

It has been terribly cold the past few days. Saw a few snowflakes fall yesterday. The temps dove to 29 degrees last night. The cold will be gone soon and another warm up coming. Still, the cold will return by the end of next week and my body will bounce from one extreme to another. If it would stay one temp or another, that would be better for me.

With all the doctor's appointments coming up, I dread to see the cost of all the scans, bills, etc. As is I can make it month to month if I stretch my medications, cut cost with food, and pay for basic bills. How I'll make it over the next two months is beyond me. Prayer and hope.


 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sad Part of Being Sick

I'd say the saddest part about being sick is being alone. You find yourself wishing there was one person who cared enough to check on you. You lose count of the number of days that pass by without seeing another person. Then you realize just how alone you truly are.

If you have family, cherish them. No matter what differences you have, be thankful for them.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

IT'S 2:30 A.M.

It is 2:30 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. Rain is coming down in gentle flow. The air outside isn't too cold as I feed Buddy and Tom, both of whom are curled up in their own individual boxes on the covered front porch. The neighborhood stray, a black cat with one white toe, sits on the sidelines just waiting for Tom to stop yelling at him so that he, too, can partake of a few dry food pieces and be on his way. They simply don't like each other and make it known in a LOUD way when their paths are crossed. But I cannot chase away a hungry animal. So I sit on the porch as a block between the two until Tom eats and returns to his box once more. To me, animals are not only God's creation. They are God's gift to us. And the fact remains I would give food to a hungry human as much as I would an animal who shows up on my doorstep. I will not stand before God Almighty and answer for not feeding His creation when they came to my door. If people cannot understand this, I'm sorry for you. Will never turn away a hungry person or someone in need. I know how that feels. Will never turn away a hungry animal for I know how it feels to be thrown away and neglected.

Fact still remains, it is now 2:45 a.m. in Wilmore, KY and I haven't been to sleep yet. The pain is too immense. So it will be a day of (hopeful) rest. Sometimes I wish for a GOOD surprise in the mail (instead of junk and bills) or flowers to remind me my life still counts to someone. But the surprises do not come. The flowers, a mere wish, never show up. And the thought that my life still matters to someone else is a memory.

There is always HOPE.

So the rain is coming down in sheets now, heavy enough to soothe, but not heavy enough to storm. My eyes are so droopy. I can barely keep them open. How I pray sleep will find me soon and the pain will drift off to another world. My sleep is reserved for good dreams, pain free dreams, and hope. It is there I find solace and peace.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.....time to try again.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Lupus Flares Galore!

PAINFUL lupus flares! Every joint in my body is in pain. I've had two pretty high fevers just today. With the temps dropping so fast and the rain/wintry mix coming in, looks like I'll be housebound yet again. I long to go for a walk through Wilmore and look at the changing Fall leaves. But this horribly sick body just won't cooperate.

On days when my lupus is so active, it is hard to find something I can do. With swollen hands it is difficult to knit. With pain off the scale, it is hard to write, to concentrate. I feel like a statue frozen in suffering. Cannot find a chair to support my back pain. Instead everything I sit in seems to flare it worse. Have to get one of those glider rockers! Best back support ever.

Would be so nice to have family, at least one person to be here when I feel so very bad. Would be nice to have someone to bring hot meals, clean for me, even wash my dishes for these are the things I cannot do on days like this.

Weather is predicting possible snow mixed in with the cold rain. I've put off turning on the heat (expense issues), but tonight I'll have to do so. My electric blanket isn't doing the job it should be. Even Rascal is telling me time to turn on the heat!

This is the weather I remember from college years. Cold, wet October. Snow (hopefully) beginning in November. Perhaps this will be Winter like I those I remember so many years ago.

Saving to My Site


Evangelist Billy Graham
By Troy Anderson
Just as Noah did in ancient times, world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham is sounding the alarm that the Second Coming is “near” and signs of the end of the age are “converging now for the first time since Jesus made those predictions.”
Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United Nations General Assembly “biblical prophecies are being realized.”
And last week, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., claimed the world has entered the last days.
“When you see up is down and right is wrong, when this is happening, we were told this: that these days would be as the days of Noah,” Bachmann said.
The remarks by Graham, Netanyahu and Bachmann come amid a steadily rising wave of public interest in the end times, as demonstrated by recent polls and New York Times and Amazon.com bestselling books such as “The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future,” by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, and “Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change,” by Pastor John Hagee.
In September, a poll by the Ventura, Calif.-based Barna Group found 4 in 10 Americans – and 77 percent of evangelical Christians – believe the “world is now living in the biblical end times.”
Now, a new wave of end-times predictions for 2014 and 2015 involving blood moons on Jewish holy days and prophetically significant events on the Shemitah – the ancient biblical year of the Sabbath – are igniting even more interest in humanity’s ultimate fate.
Throw in next year’s reboot of the “Left Behind” film featuring Nicolas Cage and the cinematic destruction of biblical proportions in “Noah,” starring Russell Crowe, and last-days fever is back with a mainstream vengeance.
“I think we’re on the verge of a global awakening in interest in apocalyptic events,” said Paul McGuire, an internationally recognized prophecy expert who is a regular commentator on Fox News and CNN and appeared on two highly rated History Channel specials, including “7 Signs of the Apocalypse.”
“I see a fuse being lit here, between what Billy Graham, Michele Bachman and Benjamin Netanyahu said, and I think there is going to be an explosion of interest in the end times like nothing we’ve ever seen before,” McGuire said.
Watching the signs
In an exclusive email interview with WND, Graham, 94, who is giving what may be his last message to the world as part of the My Hope America with Billy Graham evangelistic outreach in early November, said the world is “coming toward the end of the age.”
“There’s a great deal to say in the Bible about the signs we’re to watch for and when these signs all converge at one place we can be sure that we’re close to the end of the age,” Graham wrote. “And those signs, in my judgment, are converging now for the first time since Jesus made those predictions.”
In his new book, “The Reason for My Hope: Salvation,” the famed preacher who has delivered the gospel message to more people face-to-face than anyone in history wrote the great hope of the Christian faith rests in the promised return of Christ.
Graham said he now has a burden for “sounding the alarm for humanity to repent and turn from their sin … just as Noah did in ancient days.”
“God keeps his promises, and this is why we can be sure that the return of Christ is near,” Graham said. “Scripture tells us that there will be signs pointing toward the return of the Lord. I believe all these signs are evident today.”
The evangelistic outreach and book come as a number of major evangelists – Graham, his son Franklin Graham, Reinhard Bonnke, Greg Laurie, Luis Palau, Banning Liebscher and others – are turning their attention toward America in the hope of helping ignite what Graham calls an end-times “great spiritual awakening.”
In what the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association describes as the largest outreach in its six-decade history, Graham will give a dynamic and poignant pre-recorded message the week of Nov. 7, his 95th birthday. The My Hope programs will be available for viewing online and on YouTube. The Cross, the primary program in the My Hope series, will be broadcast on the Fox News channel, TBN, Christian networks and local television stations in a number of cities.
The event follows an open letter Graham released in the summer of 2012 titled “My Heart Aches for America.”
In the letter, Graham wondered what his late wife, Ruth, would think of a nation in which “self-centered indulgence, pride and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.”
Graham compared America to the ancient city of Nineveh, the lone superpower of its time. When the prophet Jonah finally traveled to Nineveh and proclaimed God’s warning, the people repented and escaped judgment, Graham wrote, adding he believes the same thing could happen today.
Acceleration
The end-times warnings by Graham, Netanyahu, Bachmann and others come amid a series of events in recent years that have prompted many to ask whether the countdown to Armageddon has begun.
The events include the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the global recession and more recently what some view as an increase in purported end-times signs, including super-earthquakes, mega-tsunamis and gargantuan storms and tornadoes.
“We’re looking at things like the possibility of another global economic meltdown,” said McGuire, an author of 22 prophecy books, including “The Day the Dollar Died” and the upcoming “A Prophecy of the Future of America.”
“Consider the earthquake warnings, the potential volcanic eruption of Yellowstone, the Japanese tsunamis and the radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster traveling across the ocean and contaminating the food supply here on the West Coast, along with massive tornadoes the size of which we’ve never seen in human history,” he said.
McGuire said government and scientific experts are also expressing concerns about the potential of a massive West Coast tsunami, increased solar flare activity and severe climate change.
“The dramatic and unprecedented planetary climate change is something on the level of the apocalyptic predictions of the Bible,” McGuire said. “We’re on the verge right now, because of climate change, of massive food and water shortages, which could affect tens of millions of people worldwide because of the droughts that have occurred. The intense heat and water shortages have dried up the crops, and we are going to see that play out in the near future because of all the freak weather.”
Blood moons
Against this apocalyptic backdrop, prominent faith leaders such as Graham, Greg Laurie, Cahn and John Hagee say they are witnessing an unparalleled acceleration in last-days signs that suggest the Second Coming is fast approaching.
Hagee, pastor of Cornerstone Church and author of the newly-released book “Four Blood Moons,” told his 22,000-member congregation recently that the appearance of four blood moons on Jewish holy days between April 2014 and October 2015 points to a “world-shaking event” that could signify the beginning of events leading up to the seven-year Great Tribulation.
“I believe that the heavens are God’s billboard – that he has been sending signals to planet Earth and we just haven’t been picking them up,” Hagee told his San Antonio, Texas, congregation. “Today, with the help of God’s word and some very astute scientists, I’m going to walk you through 500 years (of four blood moons on Jewish feast days) and show you how God is literally screaming at the world: ‘I am coming soon.’”
The phenomenon, a rare combination of lunar and solar eclipses, has only occurred a few times in the last 500 years – 1492, 1948 and 1967. It will happen again in 2014-15.
The previous dates correspond with the Jews’ expulsion from Spain and Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America (a sanctuary for the Jewish people), the creation of Israel, the Six-Day War and what Hagee and other Bible prophecy scholars believe could be the Middle East “War of Gog and Magog” predicted by the prophet Ezekiel 2,700 years ago. This war, according to Bible prophecy scholars, involves an attack on Israel by a coalition of nations led by Russia and Iran.
“The Bible speaks of signs in the heavens that have been discovered and recorded by NASA that you yourself can find on Google on the Internet,” Hagee told his church. “The coming four blood moons point to a world-shaking event that will happen between April 2014 and October 2015. What does it mean? What is the prophetic significance? Is this the end of the age?”
Likewise, Cahn, author of “The Harbinger,” which has remained on the New York Times bestseller list since its release in January 2012, says his book highlights a pattern of escalating judgments at seven-year intervals on the Shemitah that may point to another major prophetic event between September 2014 and September 2015.
Cahn’s book, based on a real-life prophetic mystery he discovered in Isaiah 9, frames a biblical warning of national judgment in a narrative as a journalist encounters a mysterious figure, “The Prophet,” who claims the same nine harbingers of divine judgment that preceded the destruction of Israel 2,700 years ago are now manifesting in America.
The book, and its newly released nonfiction version, “The Harbinger Companion,” notes that the greatest stock market crashes in American history occurred seven years apart. The first was shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the next on Sept. 29, 2008, amid a global economic panic.
“Both crashes took place on the exact same biblical day, Elul 29, the day of the Shemitah, the day appointed in the Bible to strike a nation’s financial realm, and wipe clean its financial accounts,” said Cahn, the senior rabbi at the nation’s largest messianic congregation, the Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, N.J.
“The Shemitah is based on a seven-year cycle,” he said. “If you go back seven years from the greatest crash in our financial history, it takes you to [Sept. 17, 2001].”
And while Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 29, 2008, are not exactly seven years apart on the Western calendar, they are on the biblical Hebrew calendar, Cahn pointed out.
“On the biblical Hebrew calendar, it was Elul 29, the Day of the Shemitah, to strike a nation’s financial realm,” Cahn said. “So the greatest crashes in American history, up to those days, each happened on the exact same biblical day, the day that just happened to be appointed to strike a nation’s financial realm, and exactly seven biblical years apart to the very day and the very hours.”
The next Shemitah begins in September 2014 and concludes in September 2015. And while he’s not “dogmatic as to what will happen,” Cahn said it’s quite curious to note that the dates of the blood moons “in some ways parallel the Shemitah’s in that they take place also between 2014 and 2015.”
“The correlation between (the blood moons) and the Hebrew holidays are very interesting,” Cahn said. “The occurrence of the blood moons on these Jewish holidays occurred only a few times in the past 2,000 years. Some of these, in the early Middle Ages, are hard to connect to significant dates. But the last three, the Spanish expulsion, the birth of Israel and the regaining of Jerusalem, are all very significant dates in Jewish history and, in the case of two of these, in end-time prophecy.”
Haven’t we heard this before?
Despite these apocalyptic portents, critics point to a nearly endless string of failed end-times predictions dating back thousands of years. This includes the the Mayan apocalypse on Dec. 21, 2012, and radio evangelist Harold Camping’s prediction that Christ would return on May 21, 2011.
Laurie, pastor of the 15,000-member Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., and president of Harvest Crusades, said he’s seen many end-times prognosticators come and go over the last several decades.
Laurie, who got his start under the ministry of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa Pastor Chuck Smith, who died Oct. 3 at age 86, became a Christian during the Jesus Movement of the 1970s – a time when there was a great emphasis on the imminent return of Christ.
It was the decade of Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth,” the book the New York Times called the “No. 1 nonfiction bestseller” of the 1970s. The book popularized prophetic beliefs about the last days and contributed to the Jesus Movement.
“Well, clearly, decades have passed and Jesus has not returned,” Laurie said. “Were we misguided in our beliefs? Well, I don’t think we were. The Bible says that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and it also says in the same series of verses that God is not late as some men count lateness, but is longsuffering toward us.
“And I’m glad that God did not answer our prayers back in the early ’70s for Jesus to come back, because if he had, there would have been a lot of people who would have missed the Rapture and would have gone through the Tribulation period.”
Today, Franklin Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said there is an urgency and sense “that the Lord Jesus could be returning soon.”
“The Bible gives us warning signs,” he said. “Jesus told his disciples the things people should be looking for, and I believe all the prophecies that have to take place for Jesus to return have been fulfilled.”
One of the big prophecies was the rebirth of the nation of Israel in 1948.
“It’s just now a question of when is that time, and I believe in my own heart that it’s sometime soon,” he said. “When I say soon – the next 10, 20 years – I don’t know. But as far as the history of the world, I believe we’re coming down to the midnight hour on God’s clock.”
‘We can’t go on much longer’
Charlie Daniels, the country music legend and the host of the recent documentary, “Behold a Pale Horse: America’s Last Chance,” said Billy Graham is a very dedicated man of God and “what he’s feeling is very much valid and in connection with what is going on now.”
“I also feel the end times are approaching,” said Daniels, who is best known for his No. 1 country hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” “I don’t know the chronology. I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but I know it’s closer than it was. I believe that the things left to be fulfilled in the Bible could be fulfilled in a very short amount of time.”
It’s a time, Billy Graham wrote in “The Reason for My Hope: Salvation,” to take the news of the day in one hand and the Bible in the other and watch the unfolding of the great drama of the ages come together.
“This is an exciting and thrilling time to be alive,” wrote Graham, a man who has preached to more people – 2.2 billion – than any Protestant in history and who has appeared on Gallup’s list of the most admired men in the world 56 times since 1955, more than any other individual in the world.
“I would not want to live in any other period,” he said.
“The Apocalypse (the unveiling of the end times) speaks powerfully of trouble ahead with storm warnings that carrying a booming jolt of truth. The warning is clear: prepare to meet thy God – followed by the voice of the gentle Shepherd – ‘Come.’”
A new world is coming, Graham wrote. The paradise that humanity lost in the Garden of Eden will be regained. Christ is coming to conquer evil and establish his perfect rule over all creation
“But until then God wants to give everyone an opportunity to know Christ through repentance and faith,” Graham wrote. “Regardless of what society says, we can’t go on much longer in the sea of immorality without judgment coming. We are at a crossroads, and there are profound moral issues at stake. It is time to return to biblical truth.”
An award-winning journalist at the Los Angeles Daily News, The Press-Enterprise and other newspapers for two decades, Troy Anderson writes for Reuters, WND, Charisma and many other media outlets. He’s also the president and editor-in-chief of the World Prophecy Network – An Online Newsmagazine and Community Spreading the Hope of Jesus in the End Times. He lives in Irvine, Calif.

Be Ready at Any Hour Mark 13:32-34


32"But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 33"Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. 34"It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert.

Luke 12:40
You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."
Luke 21:36
Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."