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Updates

Read the story as it happened. Starting with the first e-mail I sent to my family and friends, I've compiled my updates I wrote as the story unfolded. Take a few minutes to experience More Great as those who love me did. 

Update 27: June 22

Melody Raines

Melody's pork-n-beans: Bush's Baked Beans (maple syrup bacon cured flavor) loaded with brown sugar (I've never added too much) and Oscar Mayer Real Bacon Pieces. That's what I've craved for the last two months. Green leafies give me blood clots. Tomato sauce and citrus fruits irritate my acid reflux and enflamed esophagus. So what can I eat? Breakfast. And pork-n-beans. I went to a cookout recently. I brought the beans. I went to another cookout at the lake. I brought the beans. But I forgot the can opener. Huge disappointment. One day I walked into my church's office where I volunteer on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Right on the front desk, I found a big, red bow—stuck to a can of beans. I spent the rest of the day explaining, "When I open the pantry, I contemplate, 'What can I eat with pork-n-beans?'"
 
Whatever I eat, I have to remember to take my prescription pink stuff 30
minutes beforehand. I finished the first bottle and my acid reflux meds a
few weeks ago. The nurse practitioner and I decided I could try a week
without the meds. I felt so bad, chemo man had to give me a week off. So the pink stuff is back on my kitchen counter, and the acid reflux meds are right here next to my bed. Tums are in my purse.
 
Other than my digestive difficulties, I'm just tired (you too, huh?). I've
been especially sluggish this week. But I can still bike a 3-minute half
mile. Maybe I'm tired because I decided to start jogging. Chemo makes my
heart weaker and weaker—it's pumping at 56% right now. Jogging should make it stronger and stronger. So I jogged 3/10ths of a mile Tuesday morning. I haven't exercised since. To give me an incentive, I'm issuing an official challenge to my friend, fellow cancer survivor and pastor, Matt Carter. Yes, you, Matt. The man who hates running. The goal? A 10-minute mile. The prize? Fresh-squeezed orange juice at The Dominican Joe. Oh, wait. I can't have citrus fruits. I'll have a FroJoe creme. We on?
 
Stay tuned for the results. I hope you enjoy some pork-n-beans in the
meantime.
 
Melody
 
"Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8).
 
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my
portion forever" (Psalm 73:26).