Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday Update

Uggh-I am so weary of the drive back and forth to the hospital and doctors office-This was our 4th appointment in about as many days.

Liver Scan-I was injected with a solution so that they would be able to get a good look at my liver and the mass. I had to wait 30 minutes for this to circulate through my system, before they could begin the scan. The scan itself took about an hour. I had to lay still for extended periods of time while the camera took slow images. Then they would move and do it from another angle. It was not painful, or scary, just draining. We will not have results for several days.

I have only been able to work 1 1/2 days this week (due to the tests and appointments) and that is frustrating and difficult for me. As of now, I will work tomorrow and get to be there all day, which will make it 2 1/2. I am still juggling 2 hats at work and so it makes it even more difficult to be out.

At this point I am emotionally drained. Zapped! I feel like I have been drug through the mud and back. Yick!

Next Step: I will call the GI doctor tomorrow and try to schedule an appointment for next week. My hope is Tuesday, since we will be off for election day. We hope that at this point they refer us to a surgeon for gallbladder and biopsy. The quicker we complete all these steps the better.

Side Note: Yesterday Dr. Mossburg asked me how I felt about all this and I told him that we just wanted to know what to do. That we were faithful in God's promises and know that he is in control of the situation. I was thankful for this opportunity to let him know where our trust lies!

Prayer: Continue to pray for us as we deal with the unknown, as we try to face this adversity looking to God for direction and Guidance.

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen things I have experienced in the last 7 days:

1. Abdominal Ultrasound
2. CT Scan
3. CT Scan with contrast
4. Tons of bloodwork
5. Nuclear liver scan
6. GI appointment
7. Discovering I have a gallstone
8. Discovering I have a mass on my liver
9. Discovering the mass is the size of a golf ball.
10. A loving and caring husband who has been with me every step of the way
11. Fear of what the future holds.
12.The awesome knowledge that God is control
13.The comfort and power of friends who pray

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday Update

We love Dr. Mossburg our new GI! He is personable, compassionate, and to the point. He was reassuring that in many cases this mass could benign. But he is not settling for assuming, which we appreciate greatly!

What we learned:

1. The mass is golf ball sized. (This freaked me out, I had pictured a marble)

2. A cyst/mass like this is particularly common in my age.

3. Due to my "youthful glow" as he put it, I am at much less risk.

4. Still no definitive cause

5. Still no reason for it being there

Our Next Steps:

1. Extensive Bloodwork: Completed today. This will test liver functions, enzymes, and markers that could possibly indicate cancer. (and Lots of other things I can't remember)

2.Nuclear Liver Scan: Thursday 10:00 am This will be yet another Xray type procedure, with contrast to give more views of the liver.

3. Gall-Bladder Decision: I am still having a great deal of pain/problems with my gallbladder. The only choice at this point is to wait or to schedule surgery.

4.MRI, more tests: The biggy for our doctor is that we do everything that is uninvasive first to learn as much as we can, then we move on from there.

5. Biopsy-This will be the last option for now, but if gallbladder removal is schedule, this will for sure happen and happen at the same time.

Prayers:

1-A clear view in the nuclear liver scan.

2-Calm nerves for me and for my DH as he waits and endures with me.

3-Quick answers confirming what they find

4-Patient and caring radiologists to complete and read the scans

5-That anything I swallow will stay down ( I think I have to drink the contrast this time)

Today, this is the verse I cling to:

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn."Psalm 18:32-36

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."Deuteronomy 31:6

I praise the Lord for the doors he has opened over this last week. For the glory he has revealed and for the strength he has poured out over us. HE has gotten us through day to day and contiues to do so. There are so many things going on in our world, the future of our Nation hangs in the balance as this election draws near. Remember as you pray to pray for this Nation, for healing and for people to take action in electing a new leader. But let's not forget all we have to praise! I look around at the beauty of my surroundings, my amazing family, the children I am blessed to teach, the friends God sent me this summer, just everywhere I turn I see God's hand and reasons for Praise! We praise you Lord for your glory-for even the ability to call on your name and know that you will answer.

Prayers

WOW! How thankful I am for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are lifting us up in prayer through this struggle! I appreciate so much the hugs, love, and thoughts, but most of all your commitment to pray for us. I have said before how I feel God's hand in so many ways. This is a chance for me to share it and profess it! God is our everpresent help. He is right with us as we undertake this scary journey. He might not make it go away, but he's there to see us through it. I read The Shack this summer. And I keep thinking back to some of the encounters the main character had with Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit. I was reminded of so many profound things from this story. I think I just might read it again.

Again-for those of you that are praying thank you for taking your time to bring our petition before our most Holy God. I thank God for each of you!

Also, I would love to know that you are praying and keeping up with the blog here-I hope for it to be a witness of God's amazing power and presence in our lives! Please leave a comment and let us know that you've been here! You don't have to be a blogger to comment!

PS_I promise an afternoon update when we get back from the doctor!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday Update

Goodness! What a day! It amazes me how hard it is to get a doctors appointment and actually see a doctor. What a mess. My family doctor worked today on getting me an appointment with my GI-who I saw forever ago for IBS. He couldn't see me until NOVEMBER 10 and his PA couldn't see me until NOVEMBER 3. Needless to say this was not what I wanted to hear-waiting a week to even know the next step we will take. So, they are sending me to Dr. Mossburg tomorrow at 12:30.


This is such a praise! Not to have to spend any more time than necessary stewing over what will happen next. I have a peace about all this, but I don't like dwaddling through. I want to get on to the part where they figure out what is going on with my body and what they need to do to fix it!

I do have to say what an amazing support system I have! My husband has been super amazing. He has been there every step, holding my hand, holding me, and reminding me that we'll just take things a step at a time. Even when I felt like I should go alone tomorrow and him not have to miss work, he wants to be by my side, even just to hear what happens next. I praise God, to have such a supportive and loving husband. We have been through so much the last six years and he continues to be by my side plunging through it with me!

So-tomorrow at 12:30 I will be in Spartanburg (once again) and meet another new doctor. My prayer is that he will be knowledgable and compassionate about the situation and that whatever avenue he recommends will not be one that takes months to play out! Whatever is going on needs to be dealt with, or God would have never revealed it :) I just pray that through each step of the way God's light will shine through us!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Update

After a really looooooooooooooooooooong weekend filled with prayer, tears, and time with friends and family, Russell and I awoke this morning and trudged back to the outpatient center for my CT scan. I was nervous, but had the sweetest radiologist, who walked me through everything and was very low-key and patient. I had to have an IV to administer the contrast-and the contrast made me feel a little funny, but the feeling faded quickly. It didn't take more than 30 minutes, which was great, and they got all the shots they needed. I shook the whole time, prayed myself through everytime the machine coached me to breath, and made it to the car. Then as we prepared to call our friends and let them know this step was over, I lost all composure I had struggled so hard to keep. The tears came quickly and it was too late to turn them off. We tried to busy ourselves in Spartanburg, praying for quick results like those we received on Friday. But, by 1:00 we were done, and weary from hours of anticipation. We spent the afternoon at home playing with Isaac, knowing that we were much better off if we didn't get a phone call. Then, at 5:00 the phone rang. My doctor, not his nurse, called to let us know that they definetly saw a mass. He has decided instead of jumping straight to a biopsy, that I will go to a GI doctor, hopefully quickly, and then we will move from their.

I feel God's hand everywhere in this! This mass was found because of God's amazing power, and whatever needs to be done will be done. I have truly felt the power of each prayer as we have muddled through these days and nights. Of course I deepest hope and prayer for today was that there would be nothing there, but I had also prayed another prayer. I have prayed that the doctors would see what they need to see and we would continue to cling to God's promises. My new issue of HomeLife pointed out a verse I have clung to
"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorius hand." Isaiah 41:10

He is holding me up no matter what. This is beyond my control, I can't do anything to change it, but God is ready and waiting to help. It might not be in the form of removing the mass, but more in the form of providing doctors with the ability to find and do what they need to do. I am resting in the promise that I am in his hands!

We are so blessed with friends, family, and church family who have gathered around us and showered us with love and prayer! This is such a scary place to be, it makes it so much better to have a God who is in control and friends who are lifting us up in prayer!

Pray for us as we wait for this next step and try to keep our eyes fixed on our Lord!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Prayer request

I went today for a gallbladder ultrasound. I wasn't really worried about what they would find because we knew that it would either be: fine, sludgey, or a gallstone. Those were the options, at least the options we had imagined. We got a call back from the doctor before we ever even made it out of Spartanburg, which is never a good sign. They found a gallstone, but they also found something on my liver. When we went back to the doctor's office we were told that they have found a mass on my liver. I was blown away. If it had not been for my pesky gallbladder we would have never found this. God is SO amazing.

I'm still a wreck! There are so many endless possiblities. I go first thing Monday morning for a CT scan that will show all angles of the liver and hopefully give them a better view of the mass. Once they do this, they will schedule a biopsy so that they can see what we are dealing with. In the meantime, I am shocked, shaky, weapy, and really trying to lean on God's promises.

Please pray!!! We are praying that the doctors and radiologists will have wisdom as we go through this process and that we will have peace as we wait. I can be such a worry wart, so I pray that I can give to God and let him work in mighty ways!

I was just reading a blog yesterday, about the friendship and support found through fellow bloggers and it got me thinking how much I enjoy sharing what is going in our lives and hearts with others and getting to share their lives.

It is such a relief to pour this out and know that my friends will be lifting this up to the Lord!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Negative Comments

In all the time I have blogged I have NEVER had anyone leave anything ugly, until today. I appreciate comments and I respect opinions, but this blog is not a place for anyone to be judgemental or critical of anyone. I am disappointed that someone who reads my blog would stoop so low as to leave negative comments and then do so anonymously. I think people misinterpreted what I wrote. I was simply trying to be an encouragement to my friends, and remind them that they are loved and appreciated-something we all need to be reminded of :)
That being said:

Now, I must step onto my soap box!


God has truly blessed my life with the women he has placed in my path. From the ladies I work with, to ladies that I go to church with and in between.
We are all different ages, in different stages of life, but I consider them all friends. There are single moms, stay at home moms, working moms, moms of multiples, moms with lots of children, moms with only one child, moms with grown children, moms with lots of family help, the list goes on and on.
These moms all have 1 thing in common: They are continually seeking GOD'S will for their lives and the lives of their families. None of us are perfect in our search, but thankfully we have a loving and forgiving GOD. That is why I have such respect for these women, and feel so honored to be there friends. We are called to be encouragers, to uplift our brothers and sisters in Christ, I am not always the best at this. I am often quick to judge and continually struggle to rid my life of this. God has shown me lately how important it is to be an encourager, looking for positive points, and offering a smile, or a prayer for a friend or a stranger.
This just to say: These ladies I call friends and I, some bloggers, some not, are not doing what we do out of selfishness, need for attention, or any other outward reward. We do what we do: teach, nurse, mother, etc. because that's where we feel like GOD has led us. We are not choosing one thing over another, or putting anything else first.

If you haven't had this struggle, of finding the right path for your life, then you are either blessed or missing out. If you read my blog then you remember my post HERE, and what a struggle I had at the beginning of the school year with making sure I was in the right place and trying to balance everything.

Remember, it is difficult for us to find balance, no matter what we are juggling-and we need each other to lean on and to encourage us :)

Thanks for enduring my soapbox.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Super Mommy

Super Mommy
Everytime I start feeling bogged down with everything I have going on, I stop and look at Raegan! With 3 BOYS (7months, 2 1/2, 5) Raegan is full time Mommy, housekeeper, referree, and more. She inspires me so, with her easy going nature, her clean house, and her willingness to help others. Despite having 3 of her own boys to take care of, Raegan is always willing to help us with Isaac when we need a hand. It's easy to feel like Mommy duties go unnoticed, but Ragean-you are amazing and an inspiration to us all :)
(Maybe I could borrow your cape sometime???)

Frazzled?? Really??


Lana has to be the least frazzled female I know! She has such a full plate: wife, mommy, science coach, leadership school, children's choir, search committee, friend, and I'm sure she could think of more to add. But, she does it all in a way that she is a blessing and wonderful witness.
In our busy days it is so easy to get snowed under and forget that we are loved, needed, and great at what we do-Don't forget it! I love you girl!

Women's Mission Banquet

Raegan and Dawn's Mexico Table

Lana's Italy Table and her Guests


Raegan and Dawn's Mexico Table with Guests

Around the World in an Evening!

Tuesday night we had the pleasure of attending a Women's Missions Banquet at our church, Landrum First Baptist
Different ladies within the church sponsored and decorated tables from different countries. Emily Fitchpatrick, from On Eagles Wings Ministries spoke, as well as a local Missionary from the North American Mission Board who is based in Asheville, NC.
It was a wonderful evening, with great food and fellowship, but most importantly a great message from these ladies. A reminder of our call to go forth and tell. It really hit home for me. That I have been to complacent and eager to just sit back and watch the world whirl around me. It opened my eyes to opportunities around me and made me eager to spend more time spreading God's love.
Of course, it doesn't take much to get my mind rolling, so I'm left with many questions to ponder and pray over. God has been so good to us-I am so blessed, and more than anything I pray for the opportunity to help others know his love and feel his touch.