08 November 2010


I may keep posting here on Rebekistan from time to time, but I've created a CaringBridge site specifically for health updates and coming surgery in San Diego on November 19th. Thanks for praying! :)

02 October 2010

Health Update

God is good!

Despite His great faithfulness in the past, there have been times along this journey where I have been incredibly afraid and have doubted God’s goodness and even his love for me. It was during one such fearful moment back in May when God showed me this promise in Exodus 33:14, “The Lord replied, ‘I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.’” And once again, I can see that He has proven Himself faithful to His Word and continues to “personally” go with me!

My angiogram in August confirmed that I indeed have blood clots blocking the flow to/in my lungs which disqualified me for the clinical study. However, thanks to God’s grace, the sign of blood clots is actually a good thing because that means that there is an identifiable reason for the pulmonary hypertension. Not only is there a reason, but there is also a way to fix it – a cure! A cure for something that I had been told was incurable! HOPE. I just found out on Wednesday that I am a good candidate for a rare procedure called a Pulmonary Thromboendarectomy (PTE) in which these old blood clots are removed from the pulmonary arteries. I will be having the surgery in San Diego at UCSD where a team of doctors has performed more of these than anywhere else in the world, currently about three times a week. Also, my best friend and her family just so happen to live in San Diego which is a really cool miracle!

I am scheduled to fly to San Diego on November 14th, spend a couple days in testing at their facility, and assuming all goes well will have my surgery at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, November 19th. I am very excited, and my family is working on getting excited. J It is a very serious open chest surgery and I will likely be in ICU for several days and then in the hospital another week to 10 days. My mom and dad and sister will all be with me for the surgery and we will spend a very grateful Thanksgiving in the hospital! I will stay in San Diego for another couple weeks and then return to Houston around the second week of December for complete recovery. Let me know if you have any questions, serious or otherwise!

I continue to be humbled by your love and sustained by your prayers.

29 August 2010

When life gives you lemons...

It seems I've been making bucket-fulls of lemonade lately. Frankly, sometimes what life has been handing me seems a bit worse than lemons. So...my sister and nephew and I started coming up with "When life gives you poop" sayings. My quick-witted nephew came up with, "When life gives you poop, make pottery!" Disgusting? Yes. But, oh it makes me laugh! And well, I came up with something equally as gross, but in a different way, "When life gives you poop, make frozen hot chocolate!" Truth is, I recently found this yummy recipe for this cool tasty treat (no poop needed) and I made myself some this morning in the midst of a very difficult 24 hours. Here's some other ways I've been learning, albeit somewhat slowly, to make lemonade or frozen hot chocolate, if you will. And believe me, you will! (Linda, that was just for you!)

When life started giving me too many trips to the med center for clinic visits and fun things like ekgs, bubble tests, stress tests, echocardiograms, pulmonary function tests, CT scans, blood work, etc. I started going to The Chocolate Bar or to get a Crave cupcake (better than Sprinkles) afterwards. And even better, I had coffee and lunches and retail therapy with incredible friends/chauffeurs/moral support/scribes. :)

When life gave me a day at the hospital for a right heart cath, I brought my mama for a 10 day visit from New Jersey! Yea!

When life gave me pulmonary arterial hypertension: a life-threatening and non-curable (by man) yet treatable (in often life-alterable and painful and emotionally difficult ways I'm discovering), I became a magazine, book, and Redbox junkie to keep me from freaking out when I'm trying to go to sleep. Okay, so this one is not quite to the lemonade stage.

When life gave me an angiogram and implanted IVC filter, I tried to enjoy a day out of the office and quality time with my sister and my blue cuddly blanket that says Methodist Hospital.

When life gave me oxygen tanks and a "nose hose" when I'm walking around the neighborhood, I made several calls to the Dr's office to get smaller tanks and a trip to pick out an overpriced but extremely cute Vera Bradley backpack to carry Roxy around in. Side note: Roxy is my very cute and stylish petite oxygen tank who is very much unlike Oxy Moron who is the very awkward and heavy oxygen tank on that awful metal cart.

When life gave me 5 days of twice daily injections in my stomach, I went to the Boedekers after Saturday night worship for my first injection and dinner and football and conversation and mama and papa bear hugs.

And when life gave me Coumadin...hmmm, any ideas? I am leaving for a FABULOUS VACATION tomorrow with a fabulous friend, but what about after that?

Okay, so truth is that my Jehovah covenant-keeping God is giving me just a sip of lemonade at just the right moments to keep me from totally drowning in all this junk, and I'm not making much of the lemonade at all. And I have to believe in some mysterious way that God is moved to respond on my behalf because of many of you who are fighting in intercession for me. Even though I don't always feel it, I know your prayers are working and that God is indeed with me. And He must, because his Word promises, be working good for me and glory for Himself out of this. One day I'll be able to see. As much as I love to savor the sour sweetness of a Chick-fil-A lemonade, I'd love to see his glory made known all the more!

Now, don't be thinking me more spiritual than I am just because I said that. Truth is, I was curled up on the floor shut up in my sister's closet earlier today. My faith is minuscule. I am too prone to pity parties and self-absorption. I am not rejoicing in my suffering. BUT, only by His grace I am choosing to believe right now in this moment that my God does keep his promises. Choosing to believe that this present suffering will pale in comparison to his glory to be revealed. Choosing to believe that like Jesus, for the joy set before me I can endure this cross - these moments that feel like deaths to me. Choosing to believe that the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives in me. Choosing to believe that the Holy Spirit of Promise, my Advocate alongside me and the very seal that I belong to God forever is near, within, surrounding me through every doctor visit, every procedure, every phone call with painful news, every stomach injection, every walk with oxygen, every moment of fear, panic, anger and sorrow. My Father, my Jesus, my Comforter is near. My soul, wait thou only upon God, for my expectation (my HOPE) is from Him. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.