Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Blog

In mid December of 2009, I was making a presentation after a brainstorming session at the corporate office of the pharma company I work for. Out of nowhere I noticed an occasional word or syllable didn't flow as easily as it should. It was only noticeable to me but believe me, I noticed it. It was the last day of our meeting so I flew back to Little Rock but didn't tell Jeff about the incidence. I wanted to see if he picked up on it but he didn't. Two weeks later I finally told him what had occurred and then we proceeded to have a fight because I thought he was watching my mouth instead of listening to me! Close to Christmas, we made a trip with our children to Grand Rapids, MI, to visit Rebekah, Juston, and our grandsons, Hudson and Hamilton. Even though we were in close contact with each other and when we are together you can count on much discussion taking place, no one noticed anything. Jeff had mentioned this to our daughter Abby, who is a speech pathologist, but she concluded it must have been nothing because she noticed nothing different about my speech. After Christmas and back at work I seemed fine in the morning and even through most of the afternoon but by evening my mouth and jaw would be tired. We noticed on the weekends my speech seemed better because I didn't have to talk all day like when I was working. But still, that was the symptom that stood out and I felt fine otherwise. I was even training for a half marathon in March! Finally Jeff forced me to visit our family practice physician who sent me immediately to have an MRI to rule out any chance of stroke. It showed no evidence that anything of that nature had occurred which I felt great about, of course! That began our search down a long and frustrating road to know what was going on with me. The good news is that I am a really healthy 54 year old in all areas except that I was eventually diagnosed with ALS. Are you kidding me? I have been extremely blessed with terrific health my entire life and was proactive to take care of myself trying to avoid the unhealthy heart genetics possibly passed on by my parents! I use to tell mom and dad I was planning a bypass procedure around age 65 just in case!
Needless to say I am devastated by this diagnosis since there is no cure. I have loved the life I have been privileged to live and I shouldn't complain but I just not that compliant with this type of news! I am so thankful to have lived the dream I had of loving my husband, raising our children to become faithful believers in God and His son, and basically working hard at whatever I thought worthy and just loving life! I just had a different plan in mind...many more events to be part of on this earth. I am praying for God's mercy to pour over me and restore the physical strength I once had! In the meantime, I am trying to remain focused on the same things I have always thought important, family and friends. I see no benefit in changing my life pattern just because of ALS! I am starting this blog out of respect to my children and friends that have requested I write a book. I don't think I can pull that off but those of you that know me know I love to talk to everyone, knowing you isn't really necessary! I am the person that wants everyone to feel included, even in line at Starbucks! And I must admit that I have strong opinions about whatever is very important and so the title of my blog, " More to Say ". Very seldom do I not have something to say, even though it has been an adult challenge of mine to learn to be silent in many circumstances! I sense this blog will become an outpouring of the numerous thoughts and moments I observe but cannot comment on because it has become very difficult to speak or to be understood. Hopefully I can share these because you can be certain, I may not can speak but I still have more to say!

27 comments:

  1. Mom...I'm so proud of you and your first blog post! Thanks for sharing your story and your heart with everyone. I'm proud of you and love you...Rebekah

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  2. I love this! Thank you so much for being willing to share this difficult road with us. You are showing us how to walk with God even in the most difficult times. We love you and are praying for you daily!

    Mary Beth

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  3. Well, we miss hearing from you so i am thrilled you have found a way to keep teaching us all that you are learning through this journey!

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  4. Paul Farley (your ken folk by marriage) is my barber but until recently he had been mum about you having ALS. Recently he has been more open, always with a spirit of concern. You have been in the thoughts prayers of Geraldine and me for several weeks. Your love for God and people has always been apparent, but likely your present walk of faith and trust is more examplary than ever. Thank you for sharing.

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  5. Nancy, thanks for sharing your heart! Since we haven't seen each other much the last couple of years, your thoughts help me feel close to you. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Love you!

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  6. Love this! You are a beautiful woman and I love your family. Thank you for sharing this with us. I lift you up in prayer often and can't wait to SEE all that you have to SAY! : )

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  7. Sweet lady, thanks for sharing your heart with us in this very difficult time. Knowing that you love to share and have always loved it makes this more special. It just means you are the same person and you are going to show us how to live through trials. Bless you for staying strong and faithful. You are indeed God's lady!!!! love you Charlotte

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  8. So good to hear from you Ms. Nancy! You are always in our thoughts and I look forward to hearing more from you.

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  9. This blog is awesome Nancy! I think that you should take this opportunity & platform to post all the funny stories that have happened in the Chandler family over the years. I believe that would be HIGHLY entertaining to read.

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  10. Nancy, you and your family are all in our prayers daily. We have been down this road before with John's Aunt Elaine and a very dear friend, Brenda Tradal. This is not an easy journey, but I know that with God's grace and love, you will not only bless others but be blessed yourself. My friend Brenda also found journaling to be a great source of comfort and strength both to herself and others who loved her. May God always bless you on your travels!

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  11. Nancy, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us! You have brought all your sisters together with your love for the Lord and us! Now we prayerfully stay on our knees for you! Hugs, Tina

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  12. I'm so so thankful for you starting up this blog. I miss hearing your funny stories and words of wisdom. I will agree with Sam, I hope that you will post some of your family stories as well as post some of your wisdom on parenting and marriage. You and Jeff have been such an encouragement to Paul and I since we were first married, literally like 6 months into our marriage. I can't wait to hear all your words, i know you have had them stored up for a bit so let the words flow through those fingers :) Love you precious lady.

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  13. Perfect title! Thanks for taking the time and strength to write the blog. Love you.

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  14. Nancy,
    Even though you were not speaking to me in your blog... I still heard your voice and can remember your facial expressionsas as if you were sitting with me here in my kitchen.
    You and Jeff will always hold a special place in Ray and I's heart.It was 1997 when we studied with you and went to LR Church and Jeff baptized Ray and I together there in LR Church. We have been faithful followers of Christ since that day. (I feel sure you and Jeff will get extra special treatment in Heaven for having to deal with us here on earth)lol
    You are a wonderful, wise and beautiful woman and I am so happy you are blogging because I get the chance to learn from you again and hear your voice and lessons in my head.
    You also know I have always been a huge fan of your Kids. Abby was my best babysitter ever!! and we have such great memories of she and Anna Grace going to Florida with us!If it were not for your kids ....my kids would have never discovered Camp Tahkodah and it is there that they had some of the best memories and became closer to God.
    So....it appears I owe you and Jeff alot and I want to thank you for the blessing that you and Jeff and your family have been to mine.
    We love you and will continue to pray for you and your family.
    I look forward to your blog..... I know you have lots to say and when Nancy writes....... I listen because I can learn something.
    LOVE YOU!
    Michelle Daugherty, Ray, Jordan and Wilson
    daughertywellness@gmail.com

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  15. I'm so glad you decided to start this blog. The title is great! I agree with everyone's comments about loving to hear your stories and wanting to continue to learn about life through your words. Thanks for sharing. I will look forward to every post!!! The Cook's love you so much!

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  16. Nancy,
    What a wonderful way to share with those who love you. I'm proudly wearing my "Nancy" bracelet through Anna Grace's efforts. Becky Weber bought one for me as a friendship gesture. I plan to send a donation to ALS. The bracelet is a visual way to pray for you at all times of my day and night. Continue sharing!

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  17. What a great idea! Thank you for taking the time to write this. You are always full of great stories and inspirational thoughts, and I feel honored that you will continue to share them. Looking forward to many more to come! Love you!

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  18. Ditto to what others have said! I love you, love your family, love your stories and love that you've started this blog. We still miss our LRC family so much! You and Jeff and your precious family are so very special to us.

    Hugs & blessings,
    Lisa McSpadden

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  19. Thank you so much for sharing. You are a truly beautiful person and I love you very much.

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  20. Oh, Aunt Nancy, I am so very glad you have started this because not only do you have so much to say, but we have SO much to hear from you! We love you deeply and pray for you continuously.

    All my love- Ashley

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  21. Great blog, Nancy. Bev and I will hold you up to the Father. I look forward to the richness of your words.

    In His Hands,
    Ken Dowdy

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  22. Nancy,i have been wanting to give you a big old "Grandma"hug, ever since you first were having symptoms of this disease,so i'm sending you a big one now, i've been reading your blogs,what a great way to correspond with lots of friends and family.you are fast becoming a big HERO to all of us.I remember when G.L.and i first met you,when you and Jeff were first dating,you were so cute and feisty,we fell in love with you and Jeff did himself proud when he married you.you have made a great Christian wife and Mother and now, Grandmother.I am very thankful that you and your family have been such a close integral part of my son's life,you have been part of the Little Rock"village" that has raised my Grandchildren and now my great Grandchildren.I thank you so much for that.I'm looking forward to hearing more of your story,learning some things i never knew,very interesting,and inspiring,i love you sweet girl.Jean,stacy's Mom

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  23. Nancy,
    Thanks for doing this blog. You have always been such an encouragement to me. It is so nice to be able to read your thoughts. You are constantly in my prayers. Love, Celeste

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  24. Nancy

    Your blog from Estes Park brings back such happy childhood/early adult memories! As you know, our "branch" of the Chandlers had annual Colorado trips that always included a night at the Lazy B campsite.

    You are an amazing lady that brings inspiration to all of us. My love and caring, Janis

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  25. Nancy,
    Have never met you but found out about your blog from a high school friend(your nephew Trey!)...you DO have more to say and say it so eloquently here. I will visit this spot often as I too live with a chronic illness. I pray for your health to be restored as only the Great Physician can do!Thanks for your comments.
    Stephanie (Carger) White

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  26. Nancy-
    I love it! Thank you for continuing to remind me to smile when I want to scream! I have always looked forward to our times together; because I know you always have more to say..... which leaves me uplifted,full of spirit and with new ideas!
    I thank God for our friendship!
    Hugs,
    karen

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