Simply Balisha

Simply Balisha

Friday, January 30, 2015


This thing just progresses. Chemo hit me with a bang. Rough night last night and today is not much better. How will I tolerate more chemo?
 Wonderful man was here and cleaned the whole house. I love a clean gave me a lift.
Joe and I just laid on the bed and he looked at me and said,"We're a fine pair to meet."
Still no appetite...jello and ginger ale are delicious. Supposed to keep hydrated, but hard to do when I'm carrying this big belly around. I really feel full.When I get rid of this belly of water on Mon, I know I will feel better.
Sunny day is nice.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Feeling weak this morning....I guess a natural thing with chemo. Don't know how I can feel much worse.

Do you really want to hear a play by play each day? Very depressing to read...I would think.I know you all care, but this is really a downer.

So much going on here....almost too much to handle.

On a lighter note....when I was reading comments during the night...I heard two owls in our front yard. I've never heard an owl here before.
Poor birds...I'll bet they wonder where Balisha is.

Hugs  Balisha...back later

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

She shaved her head

This is my daughter LuAnn. She lives in DC and was here at the beginning of all this and will be back on the 6th of Feb. She and I are very close and I know how hard it is for her to be so far away.She was hooked up through Iphone, so she could participate in the family meeting with the oncologist. She could hear everything and ask questions. Yesterday, while talking to my son, John, he said, "Have you been on Facebook today? You had better check, because there's a picture you might want to see." When I opened FB.....there she was with her head shaved. Her beautiful hair was gone...just fuzz left. I laughed at first.... then cried. She did this to show her love and support for me. I'm having my head shaved in a week or so and we will probably have a picture taken together. Love this girl....

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Gift

This is the day for my first chemo treatment. Feeling weak and just have to sit or lie down for a few minutes. This chair is comfortable and the computer is just around the corner from my bed. Yesterday, I mentioned that I would tell a few things about how I feel.

I'm surprisingly calm about what is wrong. Typically frightened of what's to come as far as chemo goes. I asked my Priest, why if I have a strong faith, am I scared. He said..."It's being human."I've heard such horror stories about this cancer and chemo. I've had a lot of time during wakeful hours to think about this. I've come to the conclusion that it is sort of a gift. I'll explain....

Here I am in the center of it all. Joe has been doing the best he can. He's not in the best shape, so we need all the help we can get. He's learning patience.

My kids and my brother and sister in law.....have always been there for me. We went through their Dad's death and then Tim's a couple of years ago... together. They love me so much and we are a tight family. Daughter in law, Karen, and grand kids are part of this tight family... I know they care deeply.

I told Joe the other day, about my feeling that it's a gift. He said, "A gift???"

As far as the feeling about being a gift....this has helped Joe's kids to see that their dad is old and might need more help. God's already working on this. It is teaching patience and compassion. It has made me understand a relationship in my family...and I have found that just getting to know someone and listen has helped. It has brought a couple of my friends together. It has made friends here in Byron concerned and helping so much. It has helped the Church be able to help someone who needs it. It has brought more prayer among people. Maybe it will bring someone back to Church. I has brought loving comments from my blogger friends...and they are praying.

I feel like I'm in a circle with God's work swirling around. I feel secure . We always hear about bad things happening to good people and wonder why. Why does God let a little child die? Maybe this is the gives people a way to show what they are made of. Extending prayer and help...where they might not have done so  before.

The Lord works in mysterious ways, you know. I can see his working for me everywhere.

These are just a few thoughts of mine.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Real Name

Feeling a bit stronger this morning. My real name is Patricia. I got the nickname Balisha from Joe when we first married. He loves to rhyme know....Patricia Balisha. So, when I started blogging, and really didn't want to put out too much info...I used Balisha. The name caught on and feels almost like my own. Real name, Pat Cerasa I've been asked for my address, but I don't feel safe putting it here. So, if you want me.

I feel a bit stronger this morning. Blood pressure has been in the 70's and 80', so that's not helping. Today, I'm getting ready for tomorrow. Hair wash, shower, and a little tidying of the bedroom. We have lots of things in the fridge for me to choose from.... after chemo. I still don't have much appetite. My wonderful blog friend, Ernestine, fills her posts with healthy foods that she is eating. Looking at her posts has always made my mouth water. So, E. just keep on are my nutrition person.

I'll be back later today to write a little about my feelings at this point.

Love, Patricia-Balisha

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The picture

Finally figured it I am with Willow, one of my daily canine visitors. Dogs are so calming and one little fox terrior just snuggled up next to me and we looked into each other's eyes. Such a simple thing brings such pleasure.


Waiting for them to bring Communion from Church. I've been up for quite a while. Just one day at a time......that's how I' navigating.

No appetite. Joe, who eats a lot, keeps watching me and trying to get me to eat more. Simple mixtures for me right now. Tiny portions often throughout the day. I think I should be able to have a sweet once in a while :) Ginger ale tastes best to me.

Have a picture to send of me and a hospital therapy dog, but couldn't figure out how to do it...maybe later.

May be back...I'm to stay up more and try to gather strength for Tues. Don't know how I can feel worse than this.

Sorry for such a downer....does me good to vent.

Just read this from Margie's sermon at Margie's musings....God will be our refuge, but the refuge does not protect us from experiencing the storm, but rather it strengthens us during the storm. 

Can't possibly thank everyone for comments. I read and reread them and am so appreciative for them.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Just a note from me

After being in the hospital all week and going through a million tests....they found cancer cells in the fluid that they drained from my abdomen. They also drained fluid from my lung to make it easier to breathe.The final diagnosis is Ovarian Cancer. The tumor is about 7 inches across.....about the size of a honeydew melon. I had my yearly physical at the end of Nov and everything was fine. So, starting chemo on Tues. After an aggressive chemo....I think for 6 months....I will have surgery at Universary of Madison, Wis.I'm so afraid of the future...I guess the mystery of not knowing how my body will react to the treatment is why. I hope you all continue to pray for me.
I'll be back here probably daily if I can manage.
Hugs from Balisha

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Just to let you know...

Well here goes.

I spent several hours in the ER yesterday. My belly was swollen as were  my feet and legs. The doctor wanted me to go to the OSF clinic for an abdominal x ray. I felt that it would be too much for me to travel an hour and then have to wait for treatment. So, Joe decided to call the paramedics and have me transported by ambulance. I can't say enough good about our fire dept. They are so caring and gentle with people and know just what to say to calm you down. So far, they have given me the best care.

So that brings me to this....after x rays, ct scan etc. We found that I have ascites. There is fluid in the abdominal cavity that shouldn't be there. I look like I'm about to have a baby at this point. Weak as a kitten and shortness of breath. I haven't been able to sleep.They told me that not much would be done over the weekend and I could go home and come back if I get worse. I am to make an appt at a gastro enterologist as soon as  possible. There are a couple of things that might be causing this. Liver not working right or bowel. I don't drink alcohol...never have smoked and don't use caffeine, so the cause of this is a puzzle.

Now, we have to find a doctor that can take me soon. Now, I'm on my soapbox....the health care system in our country is really bad. The days when you could just call the doctor and he would see you are gone. You almost have to jump through hoops to get attention today. Old people seem to be lost in the shuffle. Where are the geriatric doctors? You think you are doing the right thing by going to your doctor and having regular checkups....and then if they do find something... it will be taken care of. Now, you go to the doctor and then do followups with his nurse on the phone..... that's how it's done today. Sometimes waiting all day for them to call back. A phone call or two isn't can they see your progress by talking on the phone?

I don't know what is going to happen. That's the scary part. I try to keep a positive attitude, but that is slipping away.

I appreciate all your loving comments....this old computer chair is the most comfortable place for me. During the night, I often come here and read them over and over again.

I have a strong faith that God will see me through this. Please pray for me.

Love to all of you,

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


I really appreciate all the prayers and comments over the past few days. I've got pneumonia and I am still feeling miserable. The doctor says maybe 6 wks before I'll feel good. I need another x ray in 4 to 6 wks.

I haven't felt like blogging....just couldn't get myself to put anything together, but the computer chair has been my lifesaver for this short time.It's the most comfortable place for me. I come here and just click on the comments, once in a while read a post or two, and just know that there are friends out there...who care about me. 

When you are my age, pneumonia can be rough. I'm weak as a kitten, and really can't do anything except take care of my own needs. There's no room for impatience I've found. The disease always wins. I have to learn to just go with the flow. I'm learning :)

Starting my 2nd round of antibiotics today...took me off prednisone, and continue with cough meds and pro biotics. I am hoping that this antibotic will be the miracle drug.

I've never been laid up like this before and don't like having to depend on others for meals etc. It's a whole new learning experience for me. Letting others do for me.

I have found that keeping a freezer full of little meals from now on is essential. Keeping go to foods in the freezer upstairs is essential. Keeping things like tea, gatorade, and juices... essential.When I think of all the holiday prep that I did, when I could have been stocking my freezer... was sort of silly. Preparing for an illness is sort of like preparing for a storm or earthquake. We need certain things on our emergency shelf and with an illness....the same is true. We hope to never have to use these things, but they are there just in case.

We have lots of food here.....just that everything needs long cooking. We did just stock up on freezer entrees by Stouffer's. They are surprisingly good.  

As I close this I just want to say....that you find out who really cares about you when you are down. So, thankful that I'm not alone here. Thank you if you've left a comment and even if you didn't, I know that there are so many out there who read this, almost daily blog, who care.
I'll be back later...maybe tomorrow to let you know how I'm doing.

Love to all of you,

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Under the Weather

                  I'm a bit under the back soon.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

An Afternoon with Maya

I watched something on TV that has really touched me. It was on Oprah's Master Class. I haven't watched many of these programs, but when I saw that Maya Angelou was going to be featured...I recorded it. Yesterday afternoon, as I sat here alone, I turned on this program and wasn't disappointed. Maya has a voice like no other. When she listen. Her soft gentle way is so soothing. I love her poems and love to hear her recite them.

Sometimes I get a little sad that I am approaching 80 yrs old in a couple of years. Maya began the interview by saying that she was celebrating her 80's...something she's looked forward to. She said, "My 60's were good and then the wonderful 70's and now the 80's are here." She looked like she was so full of joy. Here was a woman bubbling over with anticipation of what's to come. 

The interview went on telling about her life and then the program was only Maya....telling about some of her views on life. 

She said that words have your words. Be careful what words you use and let into your home. 

She said that God puts rainbows in our clouds. People who are kind can be a rainbow. We carry everyone who was ever kind to us in our daily lives. Those people are there to help us. Be a blessing to other people. 

When you have a choice in a questionable situation.... Just do right. This will satisfy your soul and no matter what will be peaceful with your decision. Be the best human being that you can work, home, and your Church. Think about how people perceive you...decide to do better. 

She says we are all children of God. Thinks it amazing that the one who created a flea and a mountain created her. She says that she is a human being and nothing human can be alien to her. We have the same makeup as people who do bad things. We make a choice to do the right thing. 

She speaks of her grandmother and says that her grandma always said, "When you get.....give, When you learn.....teach."

She believes that Faith is the evidence of things unseen.

She ended with Love Liberates.

This remarkable woman died this past year. She was 86 yrs old. There are so many things on the internet about her. If you get to see Oprah's Master Class in reruns....take some time to won't be disappointed.


Friday, January 2, 2015

Looking Ahead One Day at a Time

I begin the new year by hanging a new calendar. I pick one out for the breakfast nook and next to my computer. Every fall, a favorite thing to do is go through the calendars for the new year at Amazon. What one to choose? Joe says, "With all the free calendars that we still need to buy one?" I needn't remind him that he chooses one with Springer Spaniels each year :)

I appreciate a beautiful piece of artwork on my wall. Look forward to turning the page to see the next month. I never look ahead....the element of surprise is what I love. I have chosen ones by Susan Branch so often. I keep some of these throughout the years and sometimes use them in my own artwork. Lately I have chosen a narrow one by Susan Winget. It fits next to my computer in a narrow space on the wall. With my vision changing, I may have to choose a new one next with bigger squares. Her calendars always show the warmth of country living. Quilts, apples, flags, pumpkins and snow men with a few flowers mixed in fill the pages of her calendars. I enjoy reading about the artist at the end of the calendar. As I hang my new calendar, I can picture her working in her studio at home...on next year's calendar.

 Then there is the calendar that we put in a wooden frame on the wall in our breakfast nook. I sit at the table and look ahead to see the beautiful artwork of the month. This calendar is the creation of Annie LaPoint. There is a piece of scripture on each page. The pages are full of mossy green flower pots...(most of them are terra cotta) and ivy topiary, vintage gardening tools, favorite flowers and seasonal things. Since I love ivy, topiary, terra cotta and moss...this is a no brainer for me. I love reading the little bit of scripture too.
I have bought one by this artist for the past 3 yrs. I love reading about her life and her ministry...building Churches in poor communities. She and her husband are working with volunteer groups to build Mi Casa Children's Home in Mexico....soon many children will have a home. 

So, as I hang my new calendar, I look forward to a new year. One filled with hope and promise. 
I hope that you all have God's peace and I promise to continue with this blog as long as I am able.