Constance Ore is a retired Teacher, Choir Director, and Organist. And a formidable cook.

November 18, 2008

Filed under: — Constance at 6:53 pm on Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Warm sunlight again today – we are in a pattern of cold, grey days with lovely warm ones interspersed. The hunting season began on Saturday, so there are bewildered deer standing in the pasture even during the daylight hours. Usually, they are tucked into their hiding places awaiting the evening so they can begin their nocturnal lives, but rifles are sounding off around Sanctuary in every direction at sunrise and sunset, and the more fortunate deer select to come into our well protected “No Hunting” area. Alphie throws up his nose and sorts out scents but usually continues his happy trot on the paths rather than rushing into the trees and tall grasses.

This week I am once again contemplating end times. We are all dying incrementally every day, of course, but I must say, very few of us make a career out of it. My own experience since the cancer diagnosis seems to be giving me serial opportunities to view end times, and truthfully, I would just as soon try a different approach. This week, the blood readings show that I am losing ground in the red blood with the white count already decimated. When you have two out of the three blood systems (white cells, red cells, and platelets) in trouble, you are indeed in trouble. The disease appears to have moved off of the “suspended animation” phase, and is moving on. The antibiotic that I am taking for the wicked lung thing is helping that to slowly improve, but the energy level is diminishing at the same time. When the red blood counts move down far enough, I will begin to get blood transfusions. There is a chemotherapy that I can also try as a last resort to buy more time, but it has the usual caveats which place all on a scale weighing out benefits vs. trials. The benefits from the red blood transfusions last three weeks or so the first time, then perhaps two weeks, then one week, and finally, just a few days. This is what we were told by the oncologist, whom we presume speaks from experience.

Meanwhile, I have taken myself out with the bright aqua mask on. At first, I felt as though everyone must be looking, and many did give me a quick glance. Sadly, my smile is hidden and human interaction is curtailed since the signal is clear that you wish to keep your distance. The advantage is that I feel more secure and other than appearing as though I have grown a very large and snug beak, it’s all right.

Charles and I deal with life in this setting by placing ourselves into God’s care. Since the actual transfer from earth to heaven has not yet occurred as humanly predicted more than once, we have cause to “watch and pray” and hope for continued miracles. Of course, this isn’t instant or easy, but it is the only way to hold back the darkness. . . everything else is unthinkable.


Comment by irene Beethe

November 18, 2008 @ 7:36 pm

Dear Connie,

We love you and Charles and continue to keep you in our prayers. God’s care IS the best place we all can be!

If you lived in Michigan, your mask would only mark you as an avid University of Michigan fan! (At least the color looks similar.) And with that…no one would even look twice!

With love, Irene

Comment by dick gale

November 19, 2008 @ 1:52 pm

Hi Connie and all:

1 – Certainly enjoyed the food descriptions and shots on your prior post. We are, however, waiting for J-P to figure out how to make the smells available to us (hungry) readers.

2 – We though of you and your spouse (no, Alphie, not you – you didn’t get to go) the other Sunday afternoon at an early music concert on the Concordia/Irvine campus. Rather than the large hall where Charles played, this was in a small chapel (150 seats) which is perched on the edge of the hill that the campus sits on. As the evening arrived, we could see the “final approach” planes lined up to land at the OC/John Wayne airport – nice, curious contrast w/ Vivaldi, Corelli, an archlute, etc.!!

3 – “Watch and Pray” appears on this post. It is absolutely the case that you and those around you are very central to our daily watchful and prayerful thoughts. The season does bring some darkness, but it also brings many kinds of closeness, even to those whom you have never met.

4 – This weekend is a chamber concert at UCLA’s Royce Hall. It will include the Mendelssohn String Octet, which we sort of know (but have been listening again thanks to

5 – The LA fires did not affect us, although our hearts are with those 1,000+ plus households who know longer have a place to live. It continues very dry, but a little cooler and less windy. Unfortunately, the rains don’t usually arrive until late February – it is going to be a very difficult time.

6 – Your new mask would be a lot of useful if one could adjust the lower part of the face to mirror one’s mood of the moment!!! Maybe 5-6 basic face expression settings would do it.

Life does go on, and you people (AND DOG!) are in our hearts and most spiritual thoughts,

dick and susan gale, laguna woods, CA

Comment by Mindy Werling

November 19, 2008 @ 4:25 pm

Always, always, always, dear Connie, thinking of you! I hope that if I ever face an adversity, such as MDS, that I will have half the grace, wisdom, perseverance, thoughtfulness, and humor as you. Thank you once again for your magnificent example!

The bad economic times hit my company today. Six of my teammates lost their jobs, but God graciously allowed me to keep mine. So many people are struggling financially around the world right now.

Regarding your mask, you can always tell people that you are commemorating the 90th anniversary of the 1918 flu pandemic! What a terrible time that must have been. Back in those days, it would have been unthinkable to go out without wearing a mask. It is great that you are making the necessary adjustments to keep your life as normal as possible. I am reading a book called Deep Survival. The people who refuse to give up, but rather think creatively and look for alternative solutions are the ones who have the best chance of survival in a disaster or accident. So keep on keeping on!

I have taken up a new activity — clogging. It is a happy dance, and I love the sound of the taps on the floor. Of course, I have only learned very simple steps, at a very slow speed. So I am not yet ready for a dance competition!

God watch over you and keep you strong. You are in my prayers!

Love you,

Comment by heidi ore

November 19, 2008 @ 9:58 pm


I am sure these days are dark – a diminishing score on the blood tests leads us on down the path of watchful expectancy that Dr. Hutchin’s describes. Tonight I cry and pray and as I think of your words I think of these as well –

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light”
(Isaiah 9:2/Matthew 4:16)

Peace to you today and everyday, oh most beloved mother whom I adore, peace.


Comment by Tom Ramsey

November 21, 2008 @ 7:53 am

Such beautiful thoughts from your family and friends. Having never been in your precise position, I’m not sure what I’d do, but from afar, I simply offer: when all else is unthinkable, think,if possible, about Jesus, your rock, your shepherd. your savior, your Lord, and your friend. Think about Jesus and enjoy this time of your life, too, with Charles and all your family. Jesus loves you, Connie [and Charles and family, too, of course]…and so do I!…Tom

Comment by Jerry Pfabe

November 21, 2008 @ 6:20 pm

Dear Connie

The report on your last blood reading was discouraging and certainly not what any of us wanted to hear.

I can only echo and not say as well as many others have said, particularly Heidi and Tom in their recent comments. Others have praised you for your amazing spirit and determination in this very long struggle. I affirm that also. You have been an amazing inspiration and model to all who know you and read your blog.

I hope you have a good Thanksgiving with your family. God’s peace and steadfast love will accompany you in the coming days.

In peace and love


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