Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Glory to God and on earth...Peace

Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright...

It’s been about two months since I’ve blogged...so much has happened.
My friend, Dana Nelson, is in heaven...
celebrating Christmas in a way I can only enviously imagine.

Thanksgiving was celebrated with great joy and in the company of many people in our barn....about 60 family members and friends. We took turns giving joyous praise reports, expressing our deep love for one another and for the Lord.

In October we had the distinct pleasure of participating in a colon cancer event, the Undy 5000, thanks to my daughters, Ange and Nicole, who worked diligently in forming our team together....Linda’s Fanny Pack. It was awesome!  Thanks again to those of you who supported us.  We raised over $2500 for the cause.

 But the news that has me on my knees again is...
 my cancer has reared its ugly head.

I’m afraid I ‘jumped the gun’ so to speak (offsides it’s called in football) when proclaiming “Cancer Free” in big letters across my entry. A final check-up was needed  before such a bold proclamation could be announced.

After an internal examination by my surgeon, who didn’t like the wording in my cat scan, (I understood it to mean that “it looks good!” meant no cancer) a small nodule was discovered...left over from my chemo/radiation assault.

It seems I may be in the 20% of people where this type of treatment may not be as effective. A biopsy was ordered and it didn’t look good. He mentioned a possible re-section may be necessary....ostomy.

I went silent, all was not calm and someone turned out the light.

Unable to express my thoughts on this board... I abandoned it.

My peace had been shaken

You see, I struggled.  I struggled with the belief that I had been healed, that the treatment was successful and that I could put this nightmare behind me.

 But it was not to be.  I seems I have not yet finished this faith walk after all.

Another biopsy has been ordered by a specialist in Marietta who seemed hopeful after his internal examination and perusing of the last biopsy report, which left him “unimpressed”...and we are waiting for the results. We should know something this Friday.
We have a follow-up appointment with him in Marietta.

So, you see...I am not finished yet with this burden. I pray that He will open my eyes and heart to see what more He has to accomplish through this difficulty.

It is my hope that you will forgive me for the abrupt lapse in correspondence and that you will continue accompanying me on this journey.

Star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright....guide us to Thy perfect light.

Guide me Lord, closer and closer to You.....my perfect light.

Merry Christmas

to you and yours!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wiggin out!

Me and Sue!

Little bit of peach fuzz going on.....
that’s what’s on top of my head now.
My younger brothers have salt and pepper
hair a top their heads.....

so it only made sense, that since I can no longer dye my hair...
the color coming in is just that,

salt and pepper.

It was decided...a trip to the wig shop
was in order.
  after all, it'll be
months before
I get a decent head of my own hair.

Betsy in the mirror..I didn't get this one

My sweet, Betsy and a friend, Sue, volunteered
to bring me down to the Mall of Georgia.

We had a blast!!

Spent the whole morning trying on beautiful
wigs of many different styles and colors.

Betsy was such a dear, taking
photos of each prospect and texting
the pics to my daughters and

”This one?”
“How about this one?”

I got this one!

I finally decided on two and left
the mall with a new spring in my step.

It feels so good to have hair!

Joe and I spent a great weekend down in Woodstock
with our daughters and grandchildren.

We celebrated Nicole’s birthday, went shopping,
attended the Fall Festival my daughter organized
at her work, Trickum Animal Hospital, with all the little pets.

Chester as Batman

(It was a good deal of fun!)

We attended church and generally had a great
time with family.


Thank you, Jesus, for my healing.
Thank you, Jesus, for a renewed faith
Thank you, Jesus, for your love...

“For all that you’ve done, I will thank You,
For all that You’re going to do,
For all that You’ve promised,
And all that You are
Is all that has carried me through,

And Jesus, I thank You.”

~ Hillsong ~

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Heightened Senses

Crunch and crackle are the sounds
the leaves make beneath our feet as we walk
hand and hand around the lake at
Vogel State Park.

What a beautiful and glorious morning!
Joe promised me a walk in the fresh
Fall air...I’m needing the exercise and
it was a perfect morning for it.

It is exactly one mile around the lake.
We took our time stopping to check out
 the different leaf patterns and colors,
basking in His glorious creation.

Chester loved it....he was so excited
to be out of the house for a change.

If you live in Blairsville, or at least,
close by, I encourage you to
take time out from whatever you are doing,
get in your car and get to Vogel before
the season ends! 

It will be so good for your soul!
Rays of sun from heaven
shine through the trees and
brighten the yellow, orange, pink,
 burgundy and red foliage to
a fever pitch.

When one comes out of a very dark place
in life and into the light, everything, all your
senses are heightened.   

All of sudden, what I have taken
for granted...becomes important,
and so meaningful. 

The beauty God created for our enjoyment
is so inspiring and uplifting.
The awareness of God’s presence in
everything is so wonderful
to behold.

It reminds me of the song “How Great Thou Art” ;

“When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze;
Then sings my soul my Savior God to Thee; How great Thou art!
How great Thou art! Then sings my soul my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

My timely devotion today;

“Go gently through this day, keeping your eyes on Me.
I will open up the way before you, as you take
Steps of trust along your path.”

~ Jesus Calling ~

by Sarah Young

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Joy Comes in the Morning


I can’t believe I forgot my camera
on one of the best weekends

I went to church today!

Oh...it felt so good
to be among my fellow believers!

Such warm and welcoming folks,
it felt like home.

I hugged and hugged and greeted people
I haven’t seen in so long....

faithful prayer warriors.

The worship was exhilarating,
the preaching convicting,
the prayer at the altar with my husband...

We were treated to brunch at
 Brasstown Valley Resort
 afterwards, by dear friends,
and had a wonderful meal and a
relaxing afternoon in a beautiful
location which boasted
in Fall finery.


I haven’t eaten that much in
a very long time :)

Joe and  I spent Saturday
evening with dear friends
at a birthday celebration,
the first social outing
I’ve been to in a long while.

My life is slowly  coming back to normal.

But, I am different....
I am not the same....

More on that later,
when I have had a proper
amount of time to pray and reflect.

I’ll end with a plea for prayer....
for my brother-in-law, Barry.

He’s in the hospital AGAIN with
yet another pancreas attack...
and this one just 4 weeks after a procedure
that we all thought was the

Please pray, my sister is being held up
by the Lord as she is battle weary.

Thank you, dear friends.

“...weeping may endure for a night;
but joy cometh in the morning”

Psalm 30:5

Friday, October 14, 2011

Apples and Encouragement

Apples, apples, apples
everywhere we looked!
What a glorious day for a
road trip!

Joe took me to the Mercier Apple Farm
in Blue Ridge this afternoon.

It was so good to
get out of the house!

I’ve had cabin fever for a few months.

What a beautiful day for a ride;
blue skies, gentle breezes and
leaves falling on the car
as we pass under the trees
(a few of my favorite things).

We unloaded apples (Jonagold),
apple cinnamon bread,
fried apple pies,
apple cider,
peach cider,
and a few other treasures
when we returned home.

Thumbing through the mail,
I noticed a card from one of my dear friends,

Such encouragement....

Let me share......

“Fear not for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name;
You are mine.

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
And when you pass through the rivers,
They will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Isaiah 43:1-2
(underline and italics hers)

The cancer came to pass, it did not stay!

I reached the other side!

She further encouraged me....

“I pray the waters, river, and fire only served
to remove from you what the Lord said needed to go,
and what has remained is a greater
reflection of Him
passing through you!!

Thank you my friends for your constant
encouraging cards and prayers...

I am forever beholden to you all

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rain and Peace

Rain, rain, rain....
we sure do need it!

It makes the Fall leaves shine
 brilliant colors....gorgeous!

It’s been a good week so far,
With just a slight set back last Monday.

I think I did too much
the Sunday before with my walking
 and sightseeing.

Wednesday I was able
To go to my weekly
Bible study with the girls.

It felt so good to be with them,
Laugh, pray and study the Word.
Oh....and eat :)

My taste buds have made a full recovery!
Food holds pleasure once again....
what a victory!

Thank you, Jesus!

My meeting with the cat scan this morning
went well...except for the drinking
of the horrific white stuff.
I was able to keep it down, though
so that was good....what a relief.

Dr. Barnes will let me know
Monday what the final outcome will be...

But I already know......

Cancer Free!!!!

Not allowing myself to be tied
up in anxious knots.... I
receive His gift of peace.

It grows in me as I
Continue to trust in Him.

Therefore, circumstances can’t touch my peace,
I’m enjoying peace in His presence.

“All things work together for good
Of those who love, who love the Lord.
Why waste one minute when you can have
Peace in the midst of your storm”

~ Peace in the Midst of Your Storm – Kurt Carr ~

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Glorious Fall

Praise the Lord, My husband
arrived home from Belarus!

All is right with my world,
I thought as he bent down
to embrace me.

I could not stop the tears from overflowing,
I was so relieved to see him.

Apart from the prickly beard
(he forgot his shaver) he looked wonderful
 and none worse for the wear.

We talked into the night about his
wonderful time with the Belarusian
people and the work they
were able to accomplish.

It wasn’t well into the night,
 mind you, he was exhausted!

My weekend was awesome,
 to say the least.

My Joe was home, Tracy came up
and I just kept feeling better and better.

This morning I walked down the driveway
with Tracy and Chester with the wind howling
in the trees and the leaves falling
around us like rain....

It was exhilarating!

I wasn’t even out of breath,
which is quite a difference
 from just a few days ago.

Feeling on top of the world
we piled into the car,
after a breakfast of eggs and bagels,
and headed for Brasstown Bald,
to see the beautiful Fall leaves.


I even got into the courtesy van
which drove us to the very top.
We walked around the museum,
braving the wind, and
then back down to the parking lot.

I’m glad I changed from my bathrobe to a jacket :)

I have been so weak and Jesus
came in with His strength and I
feel almost whole again.

Releasing all my worries to Him
enabled me to lay quietly
in His presence,
allowing His light to soak
into me and He drove
out the darkness that
lodged within me.

Isn’t that beautiful?
Sarah Young encouraged me
in that way through my devotion,
“Jesus Calling”.

It’s been a lifeline for me.

“Hail Jesus, You’re my King
Your life brings me to sing
I will praise you all my days
Perfect in all Your ways”


Friday, October 7, 2011

A Big Mac?!

“Go out and eat a Big Mac!” 

That’s what Dr, Manfredi (my chemo Dr.) advised.
Thrilled as I was to hear I can eat what I want,
I couldn’t see myself eating one.

I opted instead for creamy chicken Top Ramen...Yum!

I had a good visit with the doctor.

My blood counts are really good
and he is pleased with my progress.

“Don’t push yourself and get plenty of rest”,
he admonished.

That’s what I am doing, taking
each day at a time,

 relishing in God’s grace and mercy.

My Father came by today and spent
the whole morning with me.

We had good conversation
 and he read to me from the Word.

I am so blessed to have my Father in my life,
He is a true joy to me.

I can hardly contain myself
 as today is the day
my Joe comes home from Belarus!

He will be so pleased to see
The progress I have made.

I can’t wait to hear the wonderful God stories.

Thank you all for praying for him and the team.
They have been covered in your prayers
And have been protected on high. 

Glory be to God!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sharing the Attention

Chester and I have been healing together.

We’re sharing the couch and
sympathizing with one another.

He took sick with a stomach condition
And is now receiving an equal amount of

Dogs are so funny.

They sense so much and I think he knows
How sick I’ve been...

He’s a little jealous.

It’s not like I’m not willing to share the attention,

I certainly have my share,

And it’s comforting to have him sit beside me
 all curled up and snuggled in close.

That is how I have been feeling lately.

I’m snuggled in and comforted by my family and friends
 who are with me around the clock
in the absence of my husband.

They bring joy to my heart
 and healing to my body.

Each day I feel stronger
and more grateful
for each accomplishment

Thank you, my precious Lord!
You help me find joy,
even in the most difficult

You bring me hope and
unfathomable peace.

I praise your glorious name
And sing Your praises on high!

Monday, October 3, 2011


Surrounded by the finest care,

I am emerging from what felt like

death’s door.

My weeks stay in the hospital brought me from a sickly, weak state
 to a slow recovery.

A blood transfusion, white cell booster shots,
bags of nutrients and constant monitoring
restored my body from a grey to pink color.
My involuntary shaking ceased as well as the nausea.

My stomach is still cramping and I am battling fatigue,
However each day I feel a little better and better.

I’ve been admonished to stay out of hospitals, Doctor’s offices,
Away from the public, small children and anyone sick.

Joe is in Russia and in his absence my family
And friends have risen to the challenge
and care for me around the clock.

I am relaxing in His everlasting arms. 
My weakness is an opportunity to grow
strong in awareness of His mighty presence.

I read that in my devotional...so beautifully stated.

Here’s more; When my energy fails me,
I do not look inward and lament the lack I find there.
 Look to Him and His sufficiency;
 rejoice in His radiant riches
that are abundantly available to help me.

Thank you again for all your prayers, cards, thoughtful gifts,
 meals, time spent reading to me, errands,

       I can’t possibly mention everyone or everything.

I am loved beyond measure and am so
grateful to you all.

Please pray for Joe and the team in Belarus, and for my dear friend, Dana,
Whose cancer is still advancing.....

She needs a miracle!

Please pray for my continued recovery and a restoration of my taste buds.

I am focusing my attention on the path just ahead of me
And on the One who never leaves my side

~ Sarah Young ~

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Golden Arches?????

Well, blogging has its benefits....Mom had a lot of time on her hands while in the hospital: She has mentally remodeled her entire home, yard, property, and probably her hospital room thanks to HGTV :-)
She also was able to look up different blogs concerning her inability to taste, which is a huge hindering factor in her desire to eat. Unbelievable as it is; the golden arches of McDonald's was a remedy that we tried and ....it worked!
The fries somehow coat her mouth and block the "chemo film" enabling her to taste the fries! Which also led us to discover that the coke per mom, "woke up her taste buds a bit". Finally helping us discover that she can taste ketchup! Hallelujah she can eat!!!!!

She thought this was so funny!  (Worth every horrible calorie or whatever else may be in those fries to see that smile and hear that laughter from my Momma again)

Which also led to an approval from the Dr. to go home. Yay!

We have been doing much better at home....learning what things she can taste, using condiments to liven things up (so far it's ketchup and bbq sauce). We have put together lists of caregivers schedule, medications, phone numbers, and such. We have begun to read a book series and heard from Dad, whom is having a few traveling bumps, however should be back on track and in Belarus this evening.

We are continuing to ask that visitors hold off for now, Mom's immune system is still compromised and she is very tired.

Mozart, Bach, and a few other classical artists have been playing, the amazing wonderful pumpkin vanilla candle is lit, the lights are dim, and momma is cozy.

Please continue to pray that her stomach cramps and nausea continue to lessen and for Dad and the team in Belarus to complete the work that the Lord has sent them to do.

Thank you everyone for all of your prayers, support, and help

Blessings, Nicole  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Much Needed Rest

Doesn't she look peaceful????

As many of you may or may not be aware, Mom has been in the hospital for a quite a few days now, though very difficult for any of us to hear, she is getting the much needed attention, care, and quiet that she needs. Mom explained it as a small serene environment, where she can rest in complete quiet and focus on getting better.
When I drove into Blairsville today the only thought on my mind was, "Where is my Momma?" I could not wait to just sit with her, no need to say anything (though we Nickerson's never stop talking) I just wanted to look into her eyes. As I came out of the elevator and was looking all around for her room I looked over and spotted it and to my surprise a big note on the closed door that read "NO VISITORS". My heart jumped, then I approached a nurse and explained that this was my Mom's room and I just got in from out of town, and I saw this note?????? The nurse gave me a look of well....... let me check. She went in and asked Mom if I could come in and of course Momma said yes! Thank God :-)
I was then asked to put on gloves and a mask if I was going to get close (Um yeah I'm getting close, that's my Momma)
Entering the room and seeing her adorable little bald head and her genuine smile, that was all I needed!

I was able to stay for a little while and as I left, I was thankful for a nurse whom was not concerned with anyone but my Momma and what was best for her recovery.
With that I do want to say, we thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for the love, prayers, and concern. We are asking at this time, though it is difficult, to please not go and visit and limit the phone calls to speaking with my Dad, myself, or family for updates. Mom really needs to absolute quiet and peacefulness to continue her healing process.

We are looking forward to the next few weeks when she will begin to transform back into her full of life personality, smile full of sunshine, and healthy glow, that she is made of.

Prayer requests:
Dad leaves for Belarus on Tuesday - please lift him and the team up as they go and fulfill the Lord's work, Mom so desires for Dad to be able to have peace concerning her care and be able to focus on the mission God is sending him on.
When Mom comes home from the hospital - continued peace, quiet, and serenity for her continued healing.
Blessings, Nicole :)