Updates & Prayer for Ginny Smith

December 3, 2007

December 3, 2007 Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — by ginnysmith @ 6:12 pm

Dear family and friends,

 Ginny is now back home! She was released from Cedar Sinai a week ago. Her blood counts are very good. Her stem cell was a huge success! She is left, however, extremely weak and fatigued. Some of her early troubling symptoms have gone. For this she is grateful. She has started to eat solid foods after almost two or three weeks of basically a saline drip. Needless to say Ginny has lost almost thirty pounds and some of her hair. She still tries to walk around the house with the help of a walker to get back her strength. She even ventures outside for a very brief walk. It will take months for Gin’s recovery but her prospects look good.

There is no place like home! It is decorated for Christmas and anticipated time around the tree with Christmas music playing. We missed being with our family for Thanksgiving so much. This Christmas promises to be a joyous time celebrating our Savior’s birth and hopefully spending some limited time with family and friends in the church. She will need to restrict her visiting and public outings even though she can hardly wait to return to church and to her former school to see her friends. Ginny will not return to teach but will officially retire next June.  

We are overwhelmed with gratitude for all God has done, is doing and will do for us.  Christmas is a wonderful time to remind us of the love of God.  We join with the heavenly host, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased”. We know our Lord is pleased with those who are of faith, for without faith it is impossible to please Him. We also know that we are pleasing to Him only because He is pleased with His Beloved Son with whom we identify.

We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas! May our days be filled with the love of God and the joy of Christ!

Don & Ginny



  1. Dear Ginny, Don and family,
    Just received this prayer today and then “Oh My”…. I ventured to your website and my prayers seem to have been answered–how emotional to read of all you have been through and know there is wonderful hope for your comfort and recovery. So I am sharing it with you, it is so uplifting and calming.

    May today be all that you need it to be.
    May the peace of God and the freshness of the Holy Spirit rest in your thoughts, rule in your dreams tonight and conquer all your fears.
    May God manifest Himself today in ways that you have never experienced.
    May your joys be fulfilled, your dreams be closer and your prayers be answered.
    I pray that faith enters a new height for you;
    I pray your territory be enlarged and I pray that you step within your destiny in ministry.
    I pray for peace, health, happiness and true and undying love for God.

    Yes, this prayer has been emailed many times and I keep forwarding it as it gives one such a good feeling. Lloyd and I have been gone most of November and so my email has had “Cox” difficulties as I get back online, however, you have been close at heart and I was so hoping that everyone’s thoughts were reaching you in the toughest times of your procedures, side effects, isolation,etc.– giving you the strength and energy minute by minute, day by day to come back to us — and hear I visit your website and read such heartwarming news.
    God is truly blessing us all, each and every one and especially you.
    Love you,
    Char T

    Comment by Char Takahashi — December 3, 2007 @ 9:07 pm |Reply

  2. Prayer is so powerful, isn’t it, my dear friend? How truly happy I am to read your news!!! I can only imagine how wonderful it must be for you and Don to be home at long last. I bet your house looks beautiful to you all decked out for the Christmas season. To sit in your favorite chair, gaze at the Christmas tree, listen to carols, and maybe nod off for a bit must feel real good to you. You’ll gain back your strength and weight with Christmas cookies and family nurturing. Maybe some light hand and ankle weights eventually will help strengthen you as well. Maybe Santa will bring you some light exercise videos that you can do by sitting in and standing by a chair. Walking in and out of doors of course is wonderful for the body as well as the mind. I should take my own advice!!! I had no doubt that you would beat this, Ginny, and I pray that you continue to return to your former self stronger than ever before. I attended a holiday party for the ladies at my former school here in Keene, NH. Many were missing as we had our first snowstorm most of the day. School was closed, but the roads are cleared very quickly so I took my time driving the 13 miles to the party. It was fun to see some of my former colleagues, however, there were a lot of new faces as there are at Valencia too. I’m leaving on Thurs for Tucson for a few days to visit my friend Chris who was my next door neighbor in CA for 13 years. She and her husband just moved there 2 weeks ago. It will be nice to feel some warmer weather. Tom and I will be in CA April 17-25 so I will be sure to see you. Well, my dear Ginny, you are on your way to a complete recovery, but forever changed by these past months, and I mean that in a positive way. You will look at life differently, more appreciatively, more closely than those of us who have not endured what you have endured. You have walked with God more closely these last several months and for that you are most special. With my continued prayers and love. Rose

    Comment by Rose Dowling — December 4, 2007 @ 3:35 am |Reply

  3. Ginny
    I am so glad to hear that you have made it through the hospital ordeal successfully!!! My thoughts and prayers have been with you these past few weeks. I will be faithfully reading your blog to see when we are able to visit you again. Take Care, Pat R.

    Comment by Pat Renga — December 7, 2007 @ 7:47 am |Reply

  4. Ginny!
    Love the new pic of you and Don. What a beautiful couple you are! Arrived home from Tucson late last night. Rainy and cool there, but not nearly as cold as here. Always good to be home isn’t it? I’m sure you are trying to put some of your own touches on the holiday festivities at your house as well as getting all the necessary R and R you need. Our Christmas letter isn’t written yet nor the tree inside as it’s frozen in the bucket of water. We’ll bring it in the basement tonight and get it up tomorrow. I’m going to a cookie swap tomorrow at an old friends home in Fitzwilliam, NH, about 40 min south of me. We did Lamaze together 33 years ago! I’m making my sugar cookies from an Oklahoma recipe. I’ll just make trees with green sugar and put them in holiday bags of 6 or less. Whatever number of cookies you bring that’s how many you can take home. It’s fun. Last year I did biscotti for the first time. They turned out very nice. While in Tucson I went to a Presbyterian church with my friend. I had never been before. I enjoyed the service and especially the welcome by the community. The pastor was a woman in her early 40’s I’d say and very friendly and human. Chris, my friend, has a good friend from Laguna Niguel by the name of Kathy Rook. Not sure if I spelled her last name correctly, but Chris thinks she may have been or still is a member of your church. She has 2 sons in their 30’s. One has suffered brain cancer twice and is recovering at home with her. I know Kathy as well, and she’s a lovely woman. Better get started on those cookies. “O Come Let Us Adore Him” Love you. Rose

    Comment by Rose Dowling — December 11, 2007 @ 4:49 pm |Reply

  5. Hi Don & Ginny,

    I am so full of joy and gratitude to read your latest update. God is sooo good! I’m so happy for you that you can be home with your family during Christmas. You are always daily in our prayers. Your new picture looks great! You two have been through sooo much. Your courage and faith are a wonderful example to all of us.
    As of Tues. all my concerts at school are over. Now I have to pack it all up today and get the stuff back to storage. It is such a joy to see how the children blossom during the programs. Each show is different! We had lots of miracles and as always, God was faithful to bring the kids through in amazing ways. It’s such a lesson in faith.
    Jack and I have been battling colds since Nov. Now that the programs are over, the stress will be less, so maybe we can get over it. We are on the road to recovery.
    Now I can concentrate on family celebrations. Our kids and families are coming for Christmas Day. Since both daughter in laws come from divorced families, they have a lot of activities to attend. I’m glad they can fit us in.
    We are driving to Canyon Lake tonight to babysit the grandkids. We go about 2-3 times a month. Then the parents have a date night and we get to play with the grandkids…soooo much fun!!!
    Enjoy the wonderful music, the decorations, family opportunities and of course celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
    Again, we are so grateful for your progress and the love that surrounds you. I have you on several prayer chains besides our own prayers for your recovery. God bless you all.

    Jack & Diana Cranny

    God bless you

    Comment by Diana Cranny — December 15, 2007 @ 1:57 pm |Reply

  6. Hi Ginny
    So glad to hear you are doing so well. All the prayers that have been sent up to the Lord have certainly helped. Please keep in your prayers my friend, Kathy Branigan, a teacher at Rancho. She had surgery for cancer last week and will find out today if it has spread. My friend in Minnesota, Heather, had surgery for breast cancer last week and seems to be doing ok. These prayer lists are getting too long.

    Loved the picture of you and Don. Think of you often and want you to know how much you are missed at Valencia. We are looking forward to a visit from you after the first of the year! You take care and enjoy your family and friends at this blessed time of year. Many seem to forget the true meaning of Christmas with all the shopping and hurrying around. My favorite part of the season is going to church and seeing the manger and singing carols. My favorite is Silent Night. God bless you and your family, stay well and we’ll see you in 2008.

    Love, hugs and prayers,

    Comment by Nancy Jumper — December 17, 2007 @ 11:43 pm |Reply

  7. GEEZZ!!! It’s cold here. Do you remember the cold Kansas winters? It was 6 below at my house early morning today. I’ve been battling a bad head cold I think I must have picked up on the plane last week, that recycled bad air. I remember a man behind me hacking up from his toes and I thought to myself, “Hope I don’t get his germs”. Today I made fudge with walnuts and currants from a Rachel Ray recipe when she was on Oprah the other day. It’s delicious! Tomorrow I’m having lunch with 2 old friends from 35 years ago. We meet monthly, so I piled a little antique plate with fudge and wrapped it in cellophane, makes a nice gift. Jennifer, our oldest, in NYC called this morning to give us her holiday schedule. She’ll arrive Sat morning by train in Springfield, MA, about 1 1/2 hrs from us. We’ll pick her and cat up and she’ll be here until Friday. I’m so glad she’s staying so long. Can’t wait to see her. We have a Polish tradition from my Father’s side on Christmas Eve. We celebrate Christ’s birth with a holy supper and we use a wafer called, Oplatek, which comes in sheets. Each person at table has a sheet that they offer to each other to break off a piece and are wished certain things like health, happiness, love, etc. We’ve been doing this since I can remember and then we go to church. It’s a very special time in our family and over the years we have had neighbors and friends join us. We will remember you and your family at our Christmas Eve Holy Supper as we prepare for Christ’s birth once again. My Mother will of course be with us and our Suzanne and her family only a phone call away. Whatever special family traditions are yours at this time of year I wish you an abundance of love and the enjoyment of those special things for years to come. All my love. Rose

    Comment by Rose Dowling — December 19, 2007 @ 12:30 am |Reply

  8. Merry Christmas!
    So happy that you are home! We think of you so often! I have so many parents at Valencia asking about you. I am happy to report good news to them. We miss you, your students miss you, Valencia misses you! Hope we can see you and have a visit!
    Patricia Thee & Family

    Comment by Patricia Thee — December 20, 2007 @ 6:37 am |Reply

  9. All the preparation and it’s over in a flash! Hope your Christmas with family was all you wished for and more. I thought of you and Don at mass Christmas Eve and prayed for your continued improvement. I hope you were able to be in church for some time this Christmas. I had some news from old friends this holiday and realized that we are all so vulnerable to the tribulations of this world. I guess that all we can do is thank God for each new day and ask for His blessings and guiding hand as we move through life. May the blessings of the Christ child be yours throughout the coming New Year. With much love, Rose

    Comment by Rose Dowling — December 27, 2007 @ 2:16 am |Reply

  10. Hi Ginny,
    Still praying lots for you. So glad you are home and on the way to recovery.
    Praying you had a wonderful season at home with kids and grandkids.
    Love and prayers, Bonnie G.

    Comment by Bonnie George — January 2, 2008 @ 2:19 pm |Reply

  11. Hi Ginny-
    I’m praying for you and Don today and hoping the peace of Christ has been your companion during this Christmas season. I am sure that the girls and their families have been loving on you and want you to know you are not forgotten in prayer even in Oregon.
    Thom, Sue, Riley and Emma Turner

    Comment by Thom Turner — January 2, 2008 @ 8:38 pm |Reply

  12. We’re in for another frigid night. New Hampshire broke a record for snow inches in Dec. We have sooooo much of the white stuff on the ground. My abs are getting a workout from shoveling. I just finished watching the movie “Happy Feet”. Such a delightful film, if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. I took down all the Christmas decorations yesterday except for the tree. Tom and I are leaving for NC Jan 10-14 to see our grandson and have a second Christmas and I need to have the house in order for the dog sitter. I haven’t been snowshoeing yet on the lake. One of the neighbors was snowmobiling yesterday and said there was a lot of open water under the snow on the trails, so I’m not taking any chances even though I’m sure the lake is safe. There have been a few bob houses (fishing shacks) out and quite a few ice fishermen, but the temps are too cold for me. Did you stay up to watch the ball drop at Time Square? We were at a neighbors house with 4 other people and as soon as it dropped and Dick Clark said Happy New Year we all went home. Too old and too tired to party after that. Happy New Year, Don and Ginny. God bless you and keep you in His care. Love, Rose

    Comment by Rose Dowling — January 3, 2008 @ 2:25 am |Reply

  13. Hi Ginny,

    Well, I can’t believe that vacation is almost over. This vacation has just flown.
    We had a lovely time with our family on Christmas Day! It is so much fun to share Christmas with little ones! What a joy!
    I had a cousin and his wife visit from SD. They were here for the Rose Parade. They came with the SD band, so we only got to see them for a couple of hours New Year’s Eve. They are on one of those tours that has you see all of SoCal in 5 days. They were already exhausted!
    Jack and I went to the parade. We got there late, so we had to stand, but we had a great time! I love parades! Jack goes just to make me happy…tee hee! I usually watch it on TV when we get home too. After being in Africa this year, I struggled for awhile with all the expense etc. I felt guilty enjoying something that was sooo expensive after seeing the poorest of the poor. In fact, the next day, I had to journal on it to deal with all those thoughts. I came to the conclusion that the parade is a wonderful extravaganza. It provides many, many jobs, many in struggling countries and in ours, volunteers work together and share life while they’re working, students come together from all over the world to share their talents with the world watching, and it is an American tradition that pulls us together as Americans. Of course, I considered a lot more than this, but this was the bottom line. It is a great tradition!
    Chuck Colson was speaking at church last night. It was good to see him in person and hear his message. I so admire all that he has done with his life!
    Ginny, know that you are in our daily prayers and on our church prayer chain. You are so special to all of us. God bless you, give you strength, encouragement, love, peace and joy.
    Jack & Diana

    Comment by Diana Cranny — January 6, 2008 @ 11:58 am |Reply

  14. Who will be our next president? Our primary is underway today. The results will be interesting. I predict Obama will take NH. We are having our January Thaw, but it’s about 3 weeks early. It’s supposed to hit the 50’s today. I started walking yesterday. I’m going to try to do a half hour daily outside and if the weather is bad, I have the treadmill. So, my dear girl, how are you doing? It’s been a while since message posting, but I’m sure you are resting as much as you should and increasing your strength and endurance each day. I’ve been lazy lately, I think I get like this every January. I remember when I was teaching that January and March were dragging months no matter on the east or west coast. I wonder why that is. Maybe a let down after the holidays. We usually have a lot of winter sun here, but not so this year and that doesn’t help. Tom’s annual Chamber of Commerce dinner is tomorrow night at the college, a very big fund raiser for the Chamber, one of three big ones. I of course will be there trying to make conversation with the governor and senator, whose son I had as an eighth grade student a few years back. I’ve gotten better at this over the years as I now know more people, but it’s still a struggle. Tom doesn’t understand as he says I’d talk to a pole if no one else was in the room. I’m sure politics will be part of the conversation and I don’t do well on that score. Maybe I’ll ask Molly, the senator, whether she shops at TJMAX. I can fill her in on the best bargains. She really is a very nice and regular person. Her husband was friends years back with a friend of my brother’s – small world. Well Ginny, I’ll write you again when I return from NC on Mon. Until then, may God continue to bless you and give you strength. It’s a New Year, Miss Ginny, and a new you is blooming! Hugs and Hugs, Rose

    Comment by Rose Dowling — January 8, 2008 @ 7:49 pm |Reply

  15. I hope your Christmas with the family was filled with love and prayers for the new year. I think of you often and pray that this year brings you peace and health.

    Comment by Suzanne McCord — January 10, 2008 @ 2:24 am |Reply

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