Thursday, October 18, 2012

Discouraged for the First Time in a Long Time!

Not sure how much more I can take. Surgeon says full recovery will take 3-6 months. My stomach hurts every time I eat, and I am hungry!  

Asthma doc says my lung function is down to 70%~got two shots and more meds today.

Spent $100 on sick cat 2 weeks ago. Just spent another $100 on sick cat. Cat has a severe eye infection & may lose his eye! 

Everyone at work has been asked to take 9 days off without pay between now and the end of the year due to budget cuts~that means I am out over $900!

It is two steps forward three steps back every where I look!  Please, please, please pray for me!

I was thinking and praying about all of this today, and God impressed upon me that I should ask the elders of my church to pray for me and anoint me, so that's what I am going to do.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

God's Blessings, Provision and Healing Continue

I received this beautiful card in the mail from one of my YMCA swim lesson families.  I have taken a short leave of absence from teaching lessons until I recover from surgery, and I miss those children!  Two of the families are Christians and have faithfully prayed for me through the entire ordeal of my recent surgery and hospital stay.

The inside of the card reads:

The One who made us
knows how to mend us.
He is the Great Physician--
the only One who can heal
body, soul and spirit.
His appointment calendar
is never too full...
His schedule is never too busy...
His diagnosis is accurate...
His treatment is gentle...
His results are wonderful!
You couldn't be
in better hands!
Get Well Soon

The healing that this card's verse talks about has happened in my life for the past 15 months...I went from deep despair, depression, anger and unforgiveness toward Dave.  God has taken my hardened heart and has helped me forgive Dave.  I am now filled with forgiveness.  I still get mad at him at times, but guess what?  Jesus got ticked off too when it was righteous to do so!  But I am blessed beyond measure with improved mental health, healing from the recent surgery and hospital stay, financial prosperity and am surrounded by more love and friends than my heart can hold.

The card also included this gift:

And as we all know...God is seldom early but never late.  Before this gift card arrived I was getting a little concerned about finances.  I lost two weeks pay while I was in the hospital because I didn't qualify for Family Medical Leave since I hadn't been with the company 90 days yet.  Stephen and I both had prescriptions that needed to be filled.  He needed some clothes and some food to take back to IU.  Doctor bills have started to come.

And then yesterday God provided me with $500 cash given to me anonymously through my church, The Pointe Church (

God just keeps providing, providing, providing.  I shouldn't be surprised.  I am overwhelmed by this person's generosity.  I am blown away that the God of this universe still takes time to make sure my children and I are provided for.

Fortunately, I am still on Dave's insurance, and we just met our deductible from all of my medical bills.  Dave agreed to wait to finalize the divorce until 12/31/12 at my request.  I have several doctor's appointments and follow up check ups, and since we have met our deductible all future appointments and prescriptions are at no charge.  I am praising God for that as recent bills for x-rays were only $49 and for CT were only $25 prior to meeting the deductible..

We also had Amy in the ER for an appendix scare last week.  The school nurse called and told me she was doubled over in pain, nauseated and very pale.  We got her to the ER right away, and I demanded complete bloodwork and a CT.  I wasn't about to take her home only to bring her right back as happened to me.  The CT tech thought her appendix looked bad, and her white blood cell count was up.  I was still not in the best of shape, and I accepted the news very tiredly.  Fortunately, a pediatric surgeon stepped in and thought she just had a virus.  I got his pager number just in case and took her home.  I made her stay home from band practice and made sure she rested.  The next day, she got up, went to school and went to band practice without a problem.  Many, many people were praying for her, and who is to say that God is not a great Healer?

One of my friends from church is a financial counselor at Lutheran Hospital, and she is guiding me through the process of paying the hospital bills.  Right now I owe $3800, but she counseled me to wait until all of the insurance had been applied to the bill.  She is convinced it will be much less.

I owe the asthma doctor about $470, and the office has graciously agreed to a payment plan of about $150 a month for the next 3 months.  I paid the bill this month, and I am sure God will provide the rest.

My workplace has been extremely supportive.  My boss stayed in touch with me throughout my hospital stay and repeatedly told me, "Do not worry about your job!"  When I returned to work, he told me, "When you get tired, go home.  Do not over do it.  You know how to work from home, and if that's what you need to do to get your job done do it."

My friend, Kerry, is hosting a birthday party for me at her house on October 28 to celebrate my recovery from surgery and my 15th year of being CANCER-FREE!  Anyone who reads this blog is invited.  I have sent many of you an invitation via email or facebook.

I have so many reasons to celebrate!  Am I not blessed beyond measure?

So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

Friday, October 5, 2012

"...see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." Malachi 3:10

It is my third day home and recovery is going well.  It is so good to be able to eat real food (I was on a liquid diet for 10 days at the hospital), sleep in my own bed and take a shower.  I am healing well and trying to gain back some of the 12 pounds I lost.

My beloved nephew Evan, who recently graduated from college and is in between work, came from South Bend to take care of me.  He is shopping for me, taking me to the doctor and cooking for me. It has been a fun time with him that I will cherish in my heart forever.  There are not too many 24-year-olds around who would willingly and lovingly care for their aunt!

To fill you in on the details of my hospitalization....I headed to the ER Friday,  September 21 with abdominal pain.  I was sent home with pain and anti-nausea meds.  Saturday, September 22 I woke up to severe vomiting and continued abdominal pain.  Just as I was getting ready to call someone for help, Alice, our worship pastor's wife, rang my door bell.  God's timing is so perfect!!!

She took one look at me and took me right back to the ER.  The ER doc did an abdominal x-ray and said I needed to go home and do an enema (not fun!).  My friend Kerry brought me home and an enema and two suppositories later, I found no relief to my pain.  I went to sleep hoping for a better day the next day.

Unfortunately, I woke up Sunday, September 23 with severe nausea and pain. My friends Sharon and Kerry to me back to the ER.  The ER doc who saw me Saturday was there, took one look at me and said, "You are not going home," which was an answer to prayer because I was going to beg them to keep me.

Throughout this whole process I was in contact with my asthma doctor.  He and I suspected that possibly all of the antibiotics, steroids, etc. that I was on for my severe asthma flair of recent weeks was wreaking havoc with my stomach.  Throughout the weekend we made adjustments and took me off some of the medications, which still did not help.

The ER doc did a CT of my abdomen and found that I had a blockage caused by scarring in my small bowel.  It was caused by the colon resection I had in July 2011.  The doctor admitted me, and they tried an NG tube to pump my stomach hoping that would clear the blockage.  By Monday, September 24 it was clear it was not working so I went into emergency surgery at 6 p.m.  My memory of this time is very hazy and unclear.  Apparently I was pretty hilarious in recovery and said some funny stuff!

The next few days went by in a haze.  My sister, Connie, came from Franklin to stay with Amy and Heather and to take care of me in the hospital.  Connie had to leave Thursday and friends and neighbors kept an eye on the girls for me.  It was my hope to be home that following weekend...Saturday, September 29 or Sunday, September 30....but my colon did not cooperate and the doctors would not let me out until I pooped!  So I had people all over the US and England (literally) praying that I would poop.  To try to get things going the doctors took me off morphine and the IV as I was tolerating liquids and was pretty mobile.  For 5 days I got up, showered, dressed myself and walked and walked and walked the floor trying to get things moving.

While I was in the hospital friends from a high school band committee cleaned my apartment, washed sheets and left fresh flowers and magazines for me.  My fridge was overflowing with food from church for the girls...I was so blessed that my neighbor Dawn and her family ate for a week from what I had in the fridge!  

The best part of the story is still to come....Stephen got a ride from IU and came to see me right away on Friday, September 28.  As soon as he got to my room, he cried.  He said it was so hard having all this happen with him being at IU, and he felt so helpless.  Then he said, "Mom, I have to tell you something.  You know how I have been involved in CRU (Campus Crusades for Christ) at IU, right?"  And I said, "Yes, and you just went on a retreat with them, didn't you?"  He said yes.

He went on to explain that he had been really mad at God for a long time because of his dad's changing theological beliefs (Dave no longer believes in the Trinity...more about that later).  Dave has been asked to leave two churches over the issue and his argumentative attitude.  Stephen said that because of that he thought he might check out a church at college and maybe look into a campus fellowship, but he wasn't real enthused about it.  

My dear friends in Bloomington, the Fredericks, invited Stephen to their church, and he said, "Mom, I love my church!"  Then he cried and spilled out the most beautiful story my mother's heart had so longed to hear.

He said he and his friends were out in a courtyard for an IU Welcome Week party, and there was a tornado warning.  The students were all sent to the basement of the nearest building.  While they were in the basement, some Campus Crusades for Christ students came by and started handing out info cards to get students' contact info and asking them to check boxes if they were interested in learning more about Christ, joining a small group, etc.

Stephen said, "Mom, I filled out the card, but I wasn't going to check any boxes.  The next thing I knew all the boxes were checked.  It was if God checked them for me.  I went to the small groups and meetings, and I loved it.  After everything that has gone on with Dad, I thought I would only find God at Cedar Campus (our Christian family vacation camp), but Mom, God found me at IU!  He took a tornado, a piece of paper and a basement, and HE FOUND ME AT IU!"

Of course, we were both sobbing with joy.  I wept so hard, I could hardly talk.  He went on to show me the CRU website and told me all of his friends were praying for me.  I told him to tell them to specifically pray for poop, and bless his heart, he got right on his phone and started texting away.  Those beloved students began right away to join in prayer for me to poop!

Stephen then began asking some very pointed questions about the divorce.  He knew there was more to the story, and he said he wanted to know everything.  Sensing God's timing, I said, "OK....I will tell you.  Dad wants you to know most of the story.  We are just trying to figure out when and how to tell you.  Please don't tell Dad I am telling you.  I am not saying that out of disrespect to him, but we are no longer under his spiritual leadership."

Then I told him that Dave had cheated on me multiple times, and of course, Stephen cried.  I very quickly said, "Don't hate him.  I have forgiven him and have let it go, and in time you will too."

Stephen replied, "I am so glad you didn't tell me until you had forgiven him.  You have done an amazing job not throwing him under the bus, when you had every right to this past year."

Stephen then had to leave, and I told him we would talk more later in the weekend.  Saturday he went downtown to see the Fort 4 Fitness race, hung out with some band buddies, went to the band competition to see Amy perform and had a very late night.  When he returned Sunday before he had to go back to IU, he was very weary and tearful.

I asked him what was wrong, and he said, "I was up until 4 in the morning talking with some friends.  We have a friend in the military, and he is having a very hard time, and we were trying to figure out how to help him."  Bless his precious ministering heart!

Then he said, "Mom, I know there is more about the divorce that I need to hear, but I don't think I can take it right now."  I said, that was fine.  Then I mentioned this blog, which would tell the whole story.  He asked if I could send him the link, and I told him I would sent it to him when I got out of the hospital.

I said, "You can only read it under a few conditions.  Pray before you read it.  Don't read it late at night.  Don't read it all at once...and don't read it alone."  

He had to leave then to catch his ride back to IU, but before he left, he said, "Mom, I don't think Heather should know everything." 

I replied, "You will have a couple of weeks to read the blog and process everything, and then you will be home for fall break October 12-October 14.  That weekend Dad, Amy and Heather will be at a band competition, and you and I can continue to process the blog, pray and figure out how to move forward."

With a hug and a a kiss and tears in his eyes, he left and headed back to IU.

There is so much more to tell about how God has blessed me and taken care of me through the whole hospitalization and the surrounding events.  I will share more in my next entry.  

Needless to say, God has surrounded me with a great cloud of witnesses to care for me...He has thrown open the floodgates of heaven and has poured out so much blessing that I do not have enough room enough for it!