The battle is over

This is Laurie’s husband Alex.

It is with a very heavy heart that I must say that Laurie has lost her battle with her brain cancer. At 4:30 am on Mar 14, 2017 Laurie passed away. She fought hard for 8 months (to the day) and suffered much. She is at peace now.

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From Grandma’s Country Kitchen — Pumpkin-Apple Cakes

PUMPKIN-APPLE CAKES

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup apple juice

1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Bring butter or margarine and eggs to room temperature. Grease and flour ten 4-inch fluted tube pans or one 8 1/2-inch fluted tube pan; set aside.

In large mixer bowl beat the butter or margarine till creamy and fluffy. Gradually add the granulated sugar, beating at medium speed about 6 minutes or till light and fluffy and sugar is dissolved. add eggs, one at a time, beating about 1 minute after each; scrape the bowl frequently. Stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves, and ginger. Add to creamed mixture alternately with pumpkin and apple juice, beginning and ending with flour. Beat just till thoroughly blended. Turn batter into prepared pans, filling small pans about 2/3 full. Bake in 350 degree oven 25 minutes for individual pans or 45 minutes for large pan. Cool 10 to 15 minutes; turn out onto wire rack. Cool completely.

Stir together powdered sugar and enough of the milk to make a glaze of drizzling consistency; spoon over the cooled cakes. Makes 10 small cakes or 1 large cake.

Enjoy!

Laurie Jackson

What Can I Say?

have cancer! I have cancer! I have cancer!

Nope, anyway I write it, I don’t like it!!!

I will not let it define me. I plan on putting a world of hurt on this cancer. I will fight this with all my strength. I am counting on God to be by my side the entire time. I know He will be! I also know with the Lord by my side that I can do this! God never gives us more than we can bear! If He brings you to your knees, pray. I’m not angry at God. When I ask myself, “Why me?” God answers with, “Why not you?” My faith is strong. Apparently God believes in me!  Besides, I have my Mama’s sass. My baby sister, Mindy, put up a hell of a fight for 11 years. She is my role model. I never heard her complain about being ill or anything. She went through radiation and chemo, as I will be. This cancer doesn’t have a chance in hell to defeat me!!

Thursday, July 14, 2016, my life changed. I had brain surgery to remove a tumor which, unfortunately, was cancerous. I have glioblastoma multiforme. It is stage 4. It is the Grandfather of all tumors. (I can’t do anything simple. No, I have to do it big all the way or don’t waste my time. Haha!)

For the most part, I am positive. I am a roller coaster of emotions. The doctors tell me that it is to be expected. This tumor is the last thing I ever expected to take place with me.

Alex and I had been planning a trip to Canada when all this happened. We still have not received his passport card. We agreed to go somewhere just to get out of the house. The hospital was not what we had in mind! Being away from home for three weeks was unbearable. I was getting bored and irritable. I (should say WE) wanted to go home.

A week before I went to the ER, I had been having trouble with texting, finding the correct spelling of my words and slurring of my words. Alex noticed I was slurring my words. The following Monday we went to the ER in Wentzville. The doctor ordered a CT Scan. He made the discovery of the tumor. (I’m sorry I do not remember his name. He was very thorough.) He sent us to Dr. Neiles right away. I was transferred by ambulance to St. Joseph Health Center in St. Charles.

Eat that dessert first! Drink that wine or whiskey, which ever suits your fancy. Live each day to the fullest.

God Bless!!

Laurie Jackson

 

Update on Laurie

First I would like to apologize for taking so long to post an update. It has been a week and a a half since Laurie’s surgery and I have been by her side the whole time.

The pathology report came back and it was as suspected. Laurie does have cancer. The tumor was a high grade glioma multiforme blastoma. It is the most aggressive of the primary brain tumors. The surgeon told us it will come back, the oncologist told us that treatment will eventually stop working. How much time we have it not known at this time. She will be seeing a neuro oncologist on Aug 8th at the Siteman Cancer Center in St Louis, MO. The doctor specializes in this type of tumor.

The tumor affected Laurie’s right side (causing weakness and some loss of direction from her brain to arm and leg). It also affected her speech and language area. She has aphasia (difficulty in finding her words and getting them out) – both spoken and written (texting and typing included). She has been at a rehabilitation hospital since last Wed night. She gets physical, occupational, and speech therapy. She is making amazing progress. I have no idea if she will ever be able to blog again, but I know she will try her hardest to. She loves to write and she loves this blog.

Below are some pictures of Laurie’s journey so far:

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Alex – Laurie’s Husband

Prayer – Update

Laurie made it through the surgery without any complications. They removed a tumor just bigger then a golf ball. She had a good night. She has been talking, eating jello, laughing and crying. Her speech is still affected and will probably need therapy. The right side weakness showed some improvement then slid back a bit. She is still trying to sleep off the anesthesia.

We could possibly have the pathology report today. She has a long road to recovery but she is a fighter and will make it through this.

Alex

A Prayer

This is Laurie’s husband. I am writing this because Laurie is in the hospital and will be having brain surgery tomorrow (Thursday July 14th). On Monday a CT found a 3 cm mass on the left side of her brain. Over the last 2 weeks it has been affecting her speech, ability to text, write, type, and spell. It is considered an aggressive tumor because of how fast the symptoms have progressed. Yesterday weakness on the right side of her mouth showed up and has moved to her arm today.

She is a talented writer and this is devastating for her. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. We don’t know yet what type of tumor it is or what other treatments will be needed. We won’t know this until the tumor is biopsied tomorrow.

I will update this when I know more.

Thank you everyone

Alex Jackson (Laurie’s husband)

From Grandma’s Country Kitchen

GERMAN CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE SQUARES

1 package Fleischmann’s active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115)

2 to 2 1/2 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened

2 packages (8 ounces each) plus 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

Coconut-Pecan Topping (below)

Dissolve yeast warm water in a large bowl. Stir in 1 cup flour, 1/4 sugar, the salt, 1 egg and the margarine vigorously until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 3 to 5 minutes. Cover; let rest 20 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease jelly roll pan, 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch. Press dough in bottom and up sides of pan.Beat cream cheese in large bowl on medium speed. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar and the cocoa until fluffy. Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into crust. Bake until crust is golden brown and center is set, about 25 minutes, cool. Spread with Coconut-Pecan Topping. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 1 hour. Cut into about 2 inch squares. Refrigerate any remaining squares.

3 dozen squares.

*If using self-rising flour, omit salt.

Note: Unbleached flour can be used in this recipe.

COCONUT-PECAN TOPPING

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/4 cup margarine or butter

2/3 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat sugar, egg, milk and margarine in 1 quart saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thick, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in remaining ingredients.

Enjoy!

Laurie Jackson

From Grandma’s Country Kitchen — Fudge Pillows

FUDGE PILLOWS

1/2 cup margarine or butter

1 1/2 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Fudge-Cream Cheese Filling (below)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut margarine into flour and salt until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and vanilla, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and dough cleans side of bowl. Divide dough into halves. Roll each half into rectangle, 12 x 8″ on cloth-covered board generously sprinkled with sugar. Cut each lengthwise into four 2-inch strips. Prepare Fudge-Cream Cheese Filling. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into 6 mounds, 1 inch apart, onto 1 strip; top with another strip. Cut into six 2-inch squares; seal edges securely. Place squares about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining strips and filling. Bake until light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet; cool.

2 dozen cookies

*If using self-rising flour, omit salt.

Note; Unbleached flour can be used in this recipe.

FUDGE-CREAM CHEESE FILLING

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa

2 teaspoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 package (3ounces) cream cheese, softened

Mix all ingredients in small bowl until smooth.

Enjoy!

Laurie Jackson

From Grandma’s Country Kitchen —Peanut Butter Squares

PEANUT BUTTER SQUARES

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 margarine or butter, softened

1/3 cup Skippy super chunk peanut butter

1 cup Gold Medal all-purpose or whole wheat flour

1 cup regular oats

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Peanut Butter Frosting

3 tablespoons Hershey’s cocoa

1 tablespoon milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease rectangular pan 13x9x2 inches. Mix sugars, egg, margarine and peanut butter in large bowl. Stir in flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Spread in pan. Bake until golden brown, 17 to 22 minutes, cool. Prepare Peanut Butter Frosting; reserve 1/3 cup. Stir cocoa and milk into remaining frosting until smooth. If necessary, stir in additional milk until of spreading consistency. Frost squares with cocoa frosting. Drop Peanut Butter Frosting by teaspoonfuls onto cocoa frosting; swirl for marbled effect. Cut into 1 1/2″ squares.

About 4 dozen cookies.

*If using self-rising flour, omit baking soda and salt.

Note: Unbleached flour can be used in the recipe.

PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING:

Mix 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup Skippy super chunk peanut butter and 2 tablespoons milk in a small bowl. Stir in additional milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time until of spreading consistency.

Enjoy!

Laurie Jackson

Sing That Song

I love to sing. I’ve been singing probably since the age of 6.

It was Christmas time and in order to open our gifts, Grandpa wanted to hear us sing first. I remember standing on a bench in the garage. (That’s where our tree was at the time.)

I was in junior choir, youth choir and the adult choir. While me and my siblings were in youth choir, the group toured to different churches to sing. We wore blue long sleeve shirts and blue jeans. It was so much fun.

I sang in the adult choir for many years. Then, I started getting nervous and I could feel my face get super red. A few times I really thought I’d pass out.

On occasion, my siblings and I get together and sing in church for Mom. She is proud of us for our singing talent. We don’t want to sing professionally. We do it because we enjoy it. My brothers sing bass and tenor. Two of my sisters sing alto and the rest of us sing soprano. (There are seven of us.)

The Christmas before my Grandma Helen passed, my siblings and I sang for her at Mom’s home. We sang a cappella. I glanced at Grandma during the hymn…that was a mistake. Tears were rolling down her cheeks. I could feel my eyes water. By the time we finished singing, I believe we were all in tears.

I enjoy singing to the radio. I’d like to think I have a good voice. It’s just that it cracks and shakes when I get nervous. I used to sing while driving to work. The radio was cranked up and I sang my heart out. Even with depression, I enjoy to sing. Singing brings me out of my funk.

If you feel like singing, do it! Who cares who’s watching or listening. Sing and be happy!

Have a blessed evening!

Laurie Jackson