Monday, February 28, 2011

Update #23 - Part II

Back home. Fortunately, things went extremely smoothly.  Our friend Danielle joined us at the hospital and I think she's going to have to come with us each time because today... 
  • We made it through Roswell in record time.
  • I only had to have two "sticks" in my arm instead of the usual three.
  • I didn't need to sit through an extra set of scans during my bone scan; a "one-take wonder" I was this time.
  • We even had two hours in between tests that we could actually leave the hospital and have a yummy lunch downtown!!!  (Sugared strawberries in a salad are fabulous. Who knew?) 
The only unfortunate part was that I was a little too efficient. Chad dropped me off at the entrance and then parked the car. By the time he parked and walked into the waiting room, I had already sucked down my barium smoothie so - much to the dismay of my competitive nature - we weren't able to time how long it took!  I almost said that I had to wait until Chad showed up with his stop-watch, but decided getting it over with was top priority.  (I did do a little bragging with the nurse about my mad skills; she was very impressed.)
So...I go back for the results of my scans/blood work on Wednesday at 9 AM.  Those meetings are always a bit unsettling.  Waiting for my doctor to come into the room and trying to read her face for what might come out of her mouth in the .2 seconds it takes for her to start speaking is crazy hard.  
Thanks for your prayers and encouraging words today. They matter. 
I'll be back in touch soon.
With love,

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Update #23

Headed into Roswell tomorrow (Monday) for a CT scan, bone scan and blood work.  I'll be there almost all day.   Needless to say it's not a lot of fun for either Chad or me.   The highlight is the little race I have with myself to see how fast I can drink the yucky "smoothie" they give you before you get your CT scan.  I'm seriously having Chad time me. Last time I totally beat the lady sitting across the waiting room. She started way before me and was still only halfway through by the time I tossed my cup in the trash.  You'd be proud of me, however, I refrained from yelling, "Yeah" and doing a fist pump when the thing hit the bottom of the garbage can!
[I'm laughing to myself because I've never chugged a beer in my life, but apparently, if you entice me with a delicious radioactive drink, I'll suck it down in record time.  Funny or completely ridiculous?!?] 
All kidding aside...I would love your prayers for tomorrow.  Although I won't be getting my results until Wednesday morning, these tests aren't easy. Physically they aren't too bad, but emotionally and spiritually they can be challenging.  I've been praying a lot - and being reminded through Scriptures a lot - about the fact that worrying about tomorrow is just a distraction from being fully present in the blessings of today.   "Lord help me be aware of and stay focused on Your Presence here with me now, at this moment." 
So, while tomorrow provides ample time to practice staying in His presence (lots of laying still and quiet on exam tables), those same minutes can easily be waste on thinking and worrying about all the unknowns of my situation.   Knowing that others are praying for me during those moments provides just that extra nudge I need to keep my eyes on His Face.
P.S.  I'm feeling great after the little incisions are healing nicely.  I've just come to realize, however, that there wasn't as much "swelling" as I thought there was in my belly; ice cream, cookies, delicious meals delivered to my doorstep may actually be to blame! :)    

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Update #22

If you were a superhero, what would your name be?
Me?  I'd be "Scar Girl."
I'd be the coolest Scar Girl ever. 
Not sure exactly what crime-fighting skill I'd have....maybe handing out superpower band aids to boys and girls with skinned knees or paper cuts or boo-boos from a bad run in with a stapler.  Whatever skill I'd have, my costume is one that it'd be tough to argue I haven't earned the right to wear.  
On Monday, I added three more soon-to-be scars to this well-deserved title and am still in a little bit of awe that it only takes three fairly little incisions to remove body parts these days.  Pretty amazing, isn't it?  Three cheers for laparoscopic surgery!  Thankfully everything went really smoothly, including my recovery thus far. 
The most surprising thing is that - unbeknownst to me - I only had one ovary.  Shocking, actually, given that I've had upwards of 10 ultrasounds in the past 5 years and, each time (albeit after some fairly hard-core searching by the tech), they found this now-missing right ovary, measured it, and told me that it looked healthy.   My brain wasn't clear enough to really discuss this "find" with my surgeon in post-op, so I'll let you know what kind of explanation I get when I go in for my follow-up in two weeks!  The good news is that the left ovary - the one with suspicious spot - looked normal, but the jury's still out until the final pathology is complete (in 2 weeks).
So that was the most surprising thing.
The best thing was, once again, you.  I don't mean to be repetitive, but I cannot just ignore the fact that I have been showered - and I truly mean showered - with love from you all. 
From cut-outs of your hands that remind me you're praying for me;
to getting paper roses that tell me encouraging things that make me cry;
to a treasure hunt of gifts spread all over my house that we're - days later and  to the sheer delight of my kiddos - still finding tucked into nooks and crannies (I woke up in the middle of the night to find a plastic baggie of conversation hearts under my pillow!)
to meals being delivered EVERY DAY for the next two weeks;
to emails, phone calls, flowers, cards, visits, and...drum roll drop-offs of Starbucks coffee drinks!
All this and even more that goes unmentioned.  And I'm so grateful for it.
But, you know what absolutely continues to astound me?
The letters, cards, emails, gifts from people I don't even know.
People I don't even know who - because they love Christ - have gone to such great lengths to encourage me.
Me.  Little.  'Ole.  Me.
Don't think that it's because I really am a Super Hero; we've talked about this in the past.  I'm no hero; I'm just a girl with a really big God, remember?
No, I'm convinced that it has nothing to do with me; rather, it has everything to do with the fact that Christ's love matters.  It changes people. It causes people to do illogical, selfless, radical things.  It causes a woman I've never met (who I sense would be embarrassed if I mentioned her name) to send me card after card after card just to remind me that I have a God who is bigger than my circumstances.  It causes mothers with small children and already not enough time in their day to take the time to painstakingly trace the hands of their children, cut them out and write out a Scripture verse that reminds me that He is always present, always in control.  It causes an entire class of 4th graders in a school states away to pray for me daily.
Although I cannot fully explain it, what I know to be true is that Christ love changes people, change circumstances.  It dispels darkness, brings laughter, infuses purpose.
Christ's love even caused this girl's kitchen counter to be covered in presents that she never in a million years expected! It's just that powerful. :)
Not only am I astounded and humbled and grateful, I am refreshed and renewed and encouraged. And while my ultimate thanks is directed heavenward, I would be sadly remiss if my eyes didn't drift toward faces I know and face I don't know and thank you as well. Thank you for choosing to release His love and pour it down on my family, teaching us about the tangible - and intangible - JOY that comes from knowing Christ and being part of His family.
You are the best,
P.S.  Would you pray for Laura?  Just yesterday (yes, I said yesterday), she was given the opportunity to go on a missions trip with Young Life to El Salvador. She left today (yes, I said today) at 6:15 AM for a week of digging wells and sharing Christ. I cannot wait to see what God has in store... Thanks!!