A new doctor and a new outlook…

HI everyone,
This will just be a short post and sorry, but I don’t have much in the way of dolly talk… just one little story.

First of all, if you don’t believe in prayer, you should! It made all the difference in the world for us today, so THANK YOU from the bottom of my hubby’s and my heart! We met with our new doctor today and he was kind and gentle, soft spoken, and compassionate…he explained everything to us, he had read over my hubby’s history and was knowledgeable about his case, he gave us choices and asked us about questions we had, he explained what to expect and gave us some options we weren’t informed of before. It made all the difference in the world. We still cried in the doctor’s office… (somehow those tears for both of us are too hard to hold back) but they weren’t so much “fear tears” as they were tears of sorrow of what’s to come.

My hubby will start out with 2 months of aggressive chemotherapy for his bladder cancer, then we’ll go back to St. Louis for a check up to see if the cancer is staying under control. If it is, we will come back home and do 2 more months of chemo. Because my hubby is otherwise healthy and strong, they said it would be aggressive and powerful and he would lose weight and most likely be sick, but with all the prayers you all have prayed, we could be “covered” under that too! :o)

Then in probably March, he will have his bladder, prostate and lymph nodes around the bladder removed. Next we have to decide what to do about how to make a path for him to go to the bathroom. The other doctor, the one we saw the first time, whom my hubby has dubbed as “Dr. Doolittle,” didn’t explain the options like our doctor today did. We don’t have to decide right now, but he made the case for the bag on the outside of my hubby’s abdomen sound more safe and had less side effects. But we don’t have to decide on that now. My hubby asked me as we were walking to our car, after seeing the doctor, “Could you love a guy with a bag on his side?” I told him I don’t care what extra appendages he has, I just want him around to love!!!

We are supposed to go see our doctor here in town on Monday, to set up the Chemo treatments… We are able to do them close to home, which will be much nicer.

Okay, so that’s it pretty much in a nutshell! Big difference than the story I told you the first time, isn’t it? Somehow I just knew in my heart this was going to be different. When we first arrived at the hospital, my hubby was going down the escalator… we both saw the sign, but I grabbed my phone just in time to capture this moment!

If you can’t read the sign, click on the picture and it will enlarge.


When we were done, my hubby actually asked me if I wanted to go shopping? There is this HUGE thrift store in St. Louis called SAVERS and today all the clothing in it was 50% off because of Veteran’s Day. We both looked around and it seemed okay to be doing it. Before it didn’t! I had just gotten started on the “trinkety” aisle, when I spotted all these dolls… you know, mostly the porcelain ones like you find at Big Lots or flea markets. Well, sometimes these kinds of places have American Girl dolls for $3.00, so I always look. I found a lady looking at the dolls and she looked like she was in a dilemma. I struck up a conversation with her and she told me she was looking for a blue eyed doll to turn into a Shirley Temple doll. We looked at all the blue eyed ones and decided on one with banana curls and very pretty blue eyes. She was a doll lover, I could tell, because I watched her as she put the doll, carefully in her cart and moved the curls that had fallen in her face, out of her eyes. Awww… it was so sweet. I wanted to snap a picture of her through the next aisle but I didn’t want to “creep” her out, so I resisted.

I haven’t had a moment to get back to my red, green and gold dresses for my Effner girls, but they are patiently waiting on my cutting table…maybe this weekend.

See you on Monday,
…and thank you again, to all who prayed and sent sweet notes to us. I woke up at 1:00 a.m. Friday morning and reached for my phone on the nightstand, for some strange reason. I saw a new message from one of you ladies and it was filled with such hope and reassurance and ended with a “have a wonderful peaceful night of sleep!” :o)

Blessings, Jeanne AND my hubby, George

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  1. Thank you. That’s exactly what I wanted to know. That’s a wonderful picture.
    One of my sisters had a very bad intestinal infection and ended up with the bag option — in her case for only a year, and then it was reversed. She was worried about it showing or smelling strange, but she said no one would have any idea that it existed. There seems to have been no extended learning-to-deal-with-it-period-either.
    I am so pleased that you found a much better place and a much better doctor for George. All those prayers did pay off, didn’t they?

    • Hi Marilyn, we are so grateful for the way things turned out yesterday. It doesn’t make the outcome any different but somehow just with a new doctor who was compassionate the way he was, seems to make all the difference in the world.
      Thank you so much for your prayers. Everyone’s counted and we appreciate them all.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Linda Doyle says:

    What WONDERFUL news, Jeanne! I’m so happy for you both that the day came out just like you wanted it to! I was thinking about the two of you off and on and saying little prayers that things would be going well. Yes, that sign is a very touching and encouraging one, especially when you feel apprehensive and unsure of things. You certainly are in God’s hands now! I was trying to figure out what part of the hospital you were in from the picture, and looking out, I think I see the hospital chapel. That hospital used to be known as Firman Desloge Hospital for many years. When I was a teen, I worked at the Veteran’s Hospital as a Candy Striper, which is a bit farther down on Grand Avenue. While I didn’t live anywhere close to that area, I did take the bus there from the suburbs. Actually, when I started working at the hospital, we had street cars! And where is this SAVERS store you were talking about? I have never heard of it!

    Don’t worry about finishing the dresses soon! First things first!! I hope you and George have a much better weekend—–I KNOW you will! Hugs to you!

    • HI Linda,
      Even though the outcome was still the same, and the diagnosis was the same, it did feel different because of the new doctor. That does make a huge difference when you have confidence in your doctor and what he’s telling you!
      George got out a little brochure they had given him at the hospital and you were right…the chapel is right behind that glass window in the picture of George.
      George’s sister used to be a surgical nurse at the VA hospital years ago. She’s probably been gone from there for maybe 20 years…she moved to Florida.

      I’m sorry, I always forget… we call Fairview Heights, around the St. Claire Mall area, St. Louis… we have for years. Saver’s is by the Mall and is on the Illinois side. Sorry about that. But you should check it out. They always have super sales going on and it’s the biggest place I’ve ever seen… They have clothes, shoes, furniture, electronics, kitchen, knick knacks, books, pictures, home stuff, and just about anything you can think of. We try to go there when we are up that way. I got 3 sweaters for less than $10 and George got 2 books and a plaque for his office wall.
      Thanks for your thoughts and prayers Linda…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Charlotte Trayer says:

    I’m so glad this doctor was more to your liking, and more sympathetic; also that he gave you some other options, too. And I do love that saying on the wall–so glad you took a picture of that!!

    Don’t worry about the bag on the side; a friend of ours had bladder cancer quite a few years ago, with a “bag on the side”, and she said it wasn’t difficult to deal with at all. When I was talking to her in the store that day, *I* certainly couldn’t tell she had one! As far as I know, she’s still alive (quite elderly now); she had her surgery maybe 15 years ago.

    I had to laugh about that lady in the thrift store, looking for a blue-eyed doll to turn into a Shirley Temple doll! Shirley didn’t have blue eyes, she had brown eyes!! (Or was it hazel? I’ve forgotten.) I remember reading about the first batch of S.T. dolls brought out many years ago were rejected by Shirley’s mother, because the dolls had blue eyes!

    Anyway, you will be in for a rather grueling few months now, you and George, but just no that I (and I’m sure many others of us) will be lifting you both up in prayer. “If God brings you to it, He will bring you thru it.”

    • HI Charlotte,
      Well, considering the last doctor, this guy didn’t have to be much to beat him! But we were very pleased and it just felt comfortable with him. It was a big comfort to us both.

      We have a few months to mull over that decision of the diversion, so we aren’t talking about that just now…

      It’s funny, I picked up a brown eyed doll, and showed it to her, and she said, “No, she’s got brown eyes!” I didn’t even catch it myself… I’m pretty sure she had brown eyes. I bet she’s got her all fixed up by now.

      I’m not exactly sure what to expect with chemo… I don’t know anyone personally who has ever been though it… I mean that I’ve been around… so this will all be new to me. We do have an adjustable bed upstairs, and I was wondering if maybe we should bring it down and put it in the sitting room, in the back of the house, beside the big picture window, just for a change of scenery… ?
      Thanks Charlotte,
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • Charlotte Trayer says:

        Jeanne, I think you should ask your doctor about that bed….and specifically how debilitating the chemo may or may not be. Is he going to be able to go up and down stairs? If so, maybe a comfy recliner downstairs might be adequate. If not, you need to think about which would be more convenient for You (and others who may come in to give respite care so you have a break); it could be that having him downstairs will be more convenient. Hopefully you can come up with a few more questions, then perhaps call or email the doc or his assistant, and get a few answers.

        I do know that two people having the same chemo can have somewhat different reactions to it–one might be quite sick from it, another, maybe not so much.

        Prayers have already started at this end! Be sure to take care of You, also!! (((Hugs)))

  4. Glad you were guided to this new doctor! Sounds like the burden has been lifted to find a doctor both you and George can feel comfortable with. Prayers for you both, and your family, as you continue this journey of healing. It still upsets me to know that bad things happen to such good folks! Blessings!!

    • HI Karen,
      Well, as long as man has been on the earth, bad things have been happening to good people. No one is immune to being hurt.
      I am so glad to have found this new doctor too! It makes a world of difference, knowing that you can trust what he says. My hubby would probably already have his bladder out if we had stuck with the first doctor. I had read that doing Chemo first was a better way to go and chances of survival were higher…
      Thanks Karen,
      We appreciate your prayers.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. I will continue to pray for you and George. It sounds like you needed to go through that awful doctor to get a much better and more compassionate doctor who actually cares about his patients. ((((HUGS))))

    • HI Christine,
      Going through the awful doctor certainly does make us much more grateful for the better doctor.
      Thanks so very much for your continued prayers.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. So glad this visit was much better and more informative. It’s a lot to take in but it sounds like a schedule is being set up and hopeful options are being discussed. I absolutely LOVE that sign, Jeanne. Thank you for sharing it with us. It makes me want to fall on my knees in awe and respect and praise. It is such an emotional uplift. How befitting that the hospital put it where it is and I’m so glad you and George saw it and could find strength in it.
    You will see uplifting reminders like this often, perhaps in other ways, as you both move on in this year and the next – as you are truly in God’s hands! Hugs!!

    • Thank you Paula,
      This whole ordeal has been pretty scary so when we saw that sign, it brought us back to where we need to be…trusting in the Lord for every single thing that happens.
      Thanks so much for your very kind and encouraging words!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. So grateful and glad to hear such good news, Jeanne. Thanks for taking time (and that photo!) to let us share in the gratefulness of the day. Blessings on you both.

    • Thank you Becky,
      How grateful we are to have so many wonderful ladies praying for us as we start on this journey. I don’t want to go down this road, but apparently we have to!
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Shara Smith says:

    Jeanne.. continued prayers for your sweet hubby🙏
    With God watching over him, He’s got this!

    • Thank you Shara,
      We appreciate your sweet words of encouragement. I hope to get back to some sewing soon!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. So glad to hear what a difference a new doctor can make. Know the chemo won’t be fun, but got to get the bugs. This will also give you more time to research and make decisions.
    That Savers store sounds like my kind of place, should I ever get to St. Louis.
    Have a restful weekend.

    • HI Joy,
      I agree, gotta get those bugs and I want them ALL gone! I do like the fact that we have a few months to figure things out too…
      Saver’s is ANYONE’S kind of place… it’s huge and has everything you could possibly want. I didn’t realize the clothing was 50% off until I got up to the register… if I had known, I probably would have picked out a little more!
      Thanks Joy, We worked on the porch some more… putting planks around the edges. It was pretty chilly out as the sun started to set.
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • You know, got to finish the project. The wood around the edges really makes for a lovely finish. We did that on our decks too. And we have finally finished restaining all of the decks so it it lovely to look out on now. Uniform in color and weather proof for awhile at least. But, it was a horrible job to do. Never again as the other person says. 🙂

  10. So happy you found a great doctor. My heart is breaking for you. I know how much you love George. You are both in my prayers. May God give you strength, comfort and healing.
    God Bless

    • Thank you Marsha,
      So nice to hear from you! We appreciate your prayers and know He does hear them… from Texas to Michigan and California to Pennsylvania!
      Blessings to you and your sweet hubby,
      ~ Jeanne

  11. Anne Johnson says:

    What an answer to prayer, Jeanne! So glad to hear of your comforting experience with the new doctor. Love the sign in the hospital! It is a great reminder that healing ultimately comes from God. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. We will continue to cover you and your family in prayer in the months ahead.

    The Betsy McCall paper dolls bring back fond memories for so many of us. Did you know that she was added to the magazine to feature McCall’s sewing patterns? McCall’s Magazine, as many of us knew it from our youth, had its origins in a fashion journal founded by Scottish immigrant James McCall, a sewing pattern designer and printer. In 1870, McCall began publishing a small-format magazine entitled, The Queen: Illustrating McCall’s Bazaar Glove-Fitting Patterns, as a vehicle to advertise his patterns. After his death, the magazine changed its name and format many times, ultimately evolving into a women’s magazine simply named, McCall’s, with a wider range of topics, though still featuring McCall’s patterns. Despite the name changes, for many years info on McCall’s patterns filed an average of 20% of the magazine’s content. At some point in the mid-1900s, McCall’s began billing itself as a family magazine. Beginning in May of 1951, and continuing into the late 1990s, Betsy McCall paper dolls, featuring McCall’s clothing patterns, were printed in most issues, to the delight of little girls everywhere (me included!). In 1957, the year I was born, the popularity of the paper dolls inspired the production of the first Betsy McCall play doll, an 8″ hard plastic version that itself spurred the production of various sized vinyl dolls produced by Ideal and other manufacturers. McCall’s patterns of matching outfits for little girls and their dolls became hugely popular. Based on an enduring love for Betsy, famous doll designer Robert Tonner reintroduced his take on a Betsy McCall doll in a 14″ sculpt in 1996, later followed by a 29″ version and an 8″ size called Tiny Betsy. Many of 8″ Tiny Betsy’s clothing pieces are based on original Betsy McCall paper doll clothes with “All-American” appeal. Though I’ve never had a Betsy McCall doll, I think she is quite charming, and my love for the paper doll version of my childhood will always have a special place in my heart.

    One more interesting fact about McCall’s Magazine: The female artist and illustrator, Jesse Wilcox Smith, was famous throughout her long and prolific career for her illustrations of mothers, babies and children, and she and another pioneering artist named Neysa McMein contributed dozens of illustrations to McCall’s cover portraits. Often compared to impressionist, Mary Cassatt, you may remember some of her best-known illustrations from the books, Little Women, Heidi, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Children’s Garden of Verses, but Jeanne, you know her best for the image you use on your blog!

    I trust the new doctor helped put your minds at ease, and I hope you and George are resting more easily after your visit with him. I also pray you can now approach what lies ahead with peace in your heart and faith in The Great Physician. Have a good weekend, all.



    • HI Anne,
      It’s amazing how a doctor can set the tone for your attitude about things. When we met with the first doctor 2 weeks ago, we we so distraught and confused and all I could do was cry. I actually went to sleep last night and didn’t cry. I guess that says a lot about how I felt with things to come… not that I’m relishing what is to come, but I think I’ve come to peace with what is happening…at least for the moment!
      Oh my, Anne, you have given so much information about Betsy McCall… I may have to copy and paste this and use it in a future post. Thank you so much for all your work on putting this together. I’m sure everyone who has read it, enjoyed it!
      Thank you so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

    • Charlotte Trayer says:

      I love all this info about the McCall company!

      I have to add that American Character also made a 13″ Betsy McCall doll in the 1950s, as did Ideal. I’m not sure which was first–don’t have my info handy. They are also very cute (but the one I wanted was the 8″ one, and I had supposedly had my “last doll” by the time she came out! HA!).

  12. Hi Jeanne,
    So good to hear the visit with the new doctor went better than the first. I will continue to lift George and you and your dear children in prayer. It was good to hear that you stopped after the doctors to browse a shop. Stay strong and keep the faith!
    Psalm 147:3King James Version (KJV)
    3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

    • PS … Anne’s information about the McCall magazine and Betsy was fun to read. Thanks for sharing Anne

      • Thank you Ingrid,
        Yes, it’s amazing how much difference a new doctor makes! Night and day!
        Thanks for the scripture. I’m writing them all down!
        Yes, wasn’t Anne’s information wonderful! I may have to use it again sometime!
        Thanks for your sweet note, Ingrid.
        Blessings, Jeanne

  13. bobi florida says:

    Dear, sweet Jeanne….so happy to read that you’ve found a doctor that you feel safe and comfortable with. It makes all the difference in the world! We will continue to pray for the two of you, believing God will bring you through this. I have a dear friend who lives in Idaho and about a year ago she was diagnosed with stage 4 non-hodgkins lymphoma….she’s 84!! When the doctors gave her the grim prognosis and laid out the aggressive treatment plan she simply replied, “Well, let’s get started…I have at least another 20 years to live and don’t want to waste a minute more of it than I have to, messing with this.” The chemo kicked her behind, she had a few complications but gee whiz…she’s doing great now and in fact responded so well that she didn’t even have to have her last round of chemo. I haven’t seen her but have heard she looks wonderful and is back to painting and gardening. She has walked closely with Jesus her entire life and gives Him all the glory. Prayers for the same complete and remarkable healing for George!

    • HI Bobi,
      Yes, it is nice to have found this wonderful doctor! We feel very blessed.
      It’s nice when everyone shares stories… it builds up my faith and helps me realize if others can get through this (at 84!) surely we can too!
      Thanks so much for your sweet thoughts Bobi!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  14. Two things:
    Prayers and 🙂

    • HI C,
      Yes, prayers and smiles will see us through this rough patch we’re in right now!
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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