Friday, August 31, 2007

Feeling Pentecostal

Now I get it. We would joke in church about the people raising the roof for Jesus. Jumping up and down with ants in their pants that makes them dance all the way to France.

I get it now.

It's been so long since I've seen it, I forgot how amazing it is.

God heard our prayer. God answered and God provided and all of a sudden all I want to do is tell everyone how He heard.

Debbie got a heart. Hold on, I have to type it again so it feels more real.

Debbie got a heart.

Are you hearing me? Do you understand?


A donor heart that was a perfect match for her became "available" (translation: its former owner passed and was gracious enough to be an organ donor) this morning, it was flown in today and her heart transplant started at 2 pm.

If I had a mountain, I would run to its peak to shout at the top of my lungs and tell the whole world how amazing my God is. He gave her a new heart. I don't have a mountain, but I do have a blog so I'm telling you all here. God gave us a new heart!

Each night Tim and I would pray for the family of the person whose heart He was preparing for Debbie. Each night we begged for God to please send a heart so Debbie can live. So she can see her youngest son graduate from High School, and her oldest son graduate from college. He's in his senior year of Pre Med.

There are not words to adequately express how overwhelmed with gratitude and amazement I have been this afternoon. It's bittersweet. Organ donation is the most amazing, selfless gift.

Debbie got a heart. Debbie got a heart! Debbie got a heart!!!! Praise God for always taking care of us. Thank you, Lord for always hearing us and always answering in Your perfect timing.

Every night we also pray for my dear friend who is going through the worst storm in life. Her husband has betrayed her in the most awful way, and she is in the process of picking up the pieces of what's left and moving on. Babygirl, if God can give Debbie a new heart please rest assured that He can and will absolutely positively heal yours. Because one of the many names of our God is Jehovah-Jireh. The God that provides.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Love Thursday Spectacularrrrrrrr: I Think. A Poem of Teen "Love".

For no reason today, the ode of undying love (ha!) that my high school boyfriend penned for me (allegedly, I would not be surprised if he didn't write it all) popped into my head today.

So in honor of Love Thursday, I shall share with you his epilogue of amore.

I Think

I think of you in the day,
When the sun is shining bright.
And I dream of you when I lie down
And fall asleep each night.

When I look at you, the earth stands still
My heart - it skips a beat.
I think you all day and night
And it makes my world complete.

I think you are a gift to me,
Sent from Heaven above.
I think that you're the greatest, and
I think that this is love.

--- Sir Jay T. Miller
a horny boy who thought this would get him some

The poem was presented to me written on a parchment scroll, which was tied with a red ribbon. He ceremoniously slipped off the ribbon, got down on one knee, read me the poem while gazing deep into my eyes and then pulled out a tiny little 1/4 carat diamond ring. It was like the Playskool version, My First Bling. It was a "promise ring", and the following week he left our little hamlet for college.

We ended up breaking up during his first break home from school. I distinctly remember taking his ring off and flinging it at his head in the middle of the woods. He was still paying it off, and it was lost for good. Boy, was he mad!

I don't remember what assholery shenanigans caused said diamond-flinging, but it must have been bad.

But I do remember his poem word for word.

I guess the pen is mightier than the sword. Or at least mightier than a small chip of diamond flung at your head.

And no, it didn't get him any. I know you're wondering. I'll bet that's what we were fighting about, come to think of it!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Kodak moments fly by way too fast for me to grab the camera!

Jackson was just climbing on Katie (she was laying on her side). He stopped and put his mouth on her mid-tummy and kept kissing her. He'd bob up and down going "Mwah, mwah, mwah!"

It was the sweetest part of the day.

Worlds Apart

What a journey the past two weeks have been. I've learned so much. I'm so grateful.

We decided to still continue on trying on churches to see if another one fit us better. I just wasn't feeling the Pentecostal thing.

We've been trying out this new "community church" that meets at the local high school. This is nice for us, because the high school is literally at the end of our street.

Church in a high school is odd. For one, it's really crowded. People like to mill around and chat, and it's like a traffic jam getting to the nursery. I really don't care for crowds, so that knocked off some popularity points right off the bat. Then the second Sunday we visited them, they moved the nursery to another wing of the building. I'm not a big fan of getting lost, so more negativity was festering once we finally sat down for the service.

They started out the service with some praise and worship, and then the served communion before the message.

I'm probably the only person in the world who likes them, but my favoritest band in the whole wide world is a Christian one called Jars of Clay. And as the ushers began dismissing us row by row to go take communion, one of my most beloved Jars songs began to play...

I am the only one to blame for this
Somehow it all ends up the same
Soaring on the wings of selfish pride
I flew too high and like Icarus I collide
With a world I try so hard to leave behind
To rid myself of all but love
to give and die

To turn away and not become
Another nail to pierce the skin of one who loves
more deeply than the oceans,
more abundant than the tears
Of a world embracing every heartache

Can I be the one to sacrifice
Or grip the spear and watch the blood and water flow

To love you - take my world apart
To need you - I am on my knees
To love you - take my world apart
To need you - broken on my knees

All said and done I stand alone
Amongst remains of a life I should not own
It takes all I am to believe
In the mercy that covers me

Did you really have to die for me?
All I am for all you are
Because what I need and what I believe are worlds apart

I look beyond the empty cross
forgetting what my life has cost
and wipe away the crimson stains
and dull the nails that still remain
More and more I need you now,
I owe you more each passing hour
the battle between grace and pride
I gave up not so long ago
So steal my heart and take the pain
and wash the feet and cleanse my pride
take the selfish, take the weak,
and all the things I cannot hide
take the beauty, take my tears
the sin-soaked heart and make it yours
take my world all apart
take it now, take it now
and serve the ones that I despise
speak the words I can't deny
watch the world I used to love
fall to dust and thrown away
I look beyond the empty cross
forgetting what my life has cost
so wipe away the crimson stains
and dull the nails that still remain
so steal my heart and take the pain
take the selfish, take the weak
and all the things I cannot hide
take the beauty, take my tears
take my world apart, take my world apart
I pray, I pray, I pray
take my world apart

And as I sat and pondered everything the previous week held, it hit me. I needed a shakedown. I needed to be brought to my knees so forcefully and so helplessly that the only answer was God. It's so easy to get caught up in the day to day. So, so easy.

I was already broken, I just needed to surrender. I was trying so hard to not be terrified and to lean on my faith but it was so hard. It was then that I prayed, "Okay. I hear You. Whatever you want to happen, make it happen. If I need to be sick and maybe say goodbye to my husband and my son and You are taking everything away, that's okay. You can have it. It's all Yours anyway. Take it. Take my world apart."

And then I proceeded to live the longest week ever, as I waited for my test results to come in. I just got off the phone with my doctor's office. Everything shows "normal", but I am to monitor my lump and report any changes and if it's still there in two months we will do a needle biopsy.

Strangely, I have found peace with this lack of a diagnosis. It's not mine to worry about anymore.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

No Gnus is Good Gnus

Well, I'm back from my mammo and ultrasound. It all went uneventfully. The radiologist and sonographer didn't say they saw anything, so that's either very good or very, very bad. The sonographer said she was thinking swollen lymph node or a little clogged duct. Yay!

In case you're curious about what happens when you have a mammogram done, here is everything you need to know:

1) You cannot wear deodorant or perfume. Also, no stripper glitter if you are an Exotic Entertainer.

2) You must fill out a very detailed history of your maternal and paternal family legacy of cancer. Good times.

3) You're lead to an inner sanctum waiting area with a little changing room for you to disrobe from the waist up. You get one of those high fashion hospital "gowns". Put it on with the opening in front.

4) Then you wait in the inner sanctum waiting room.

5) They call your name and you are lead to the room with The Breast Vice 2000, aka
The Squisher. The Squisher is your friend.

6) Ditch your modesty at the door people, because now it's time to release the puppies.

7) Your technician will then apply some sticky BB's to your nipples. They're like undersized pasties with a pinhead sized metal ball in the center. They show up on the image, they are used as markers on the film.

8) On The Squisher, there is a bottom tray (where the film goes in) and a top tray.
The bottom tray moves up and down to adjust for your height. Once your Girl is situated on the bottom tray, the top tray adjusts downward to compress. The compression is uncomfortable. I will not lie to you. But it lasts a maximum of 10 seconds, while you hold your breath (so you don't move and blur the image) and the technician hides behind a lead curtain (while your brain is 6" away from the source of radiation - someone explain that to me?) while the image is zapped. Repeat on opposite titoni.

9) Then they adjust The Squisher to repeat the compression from a side view. This is just as uncomfortable as the first time. It never hurts any less. Then you switch sides and do the other lady lump's side view.

10) Put yer top back on. You're done.

My technician came in, started asking me questions about The Lump and then said "Oh I need more films" and left me all alone. To freak out. Thinking about nothing else but The Lump.

I panicked and I prayed and I cried and I told God I was so scared. That I needed Him. That I needed Him to comfort me. That I needed Him to show me He was there right with me in that room at that very second.

I opened my eyes, and right where my view lay on the wall, there was a small gold statuette of this:

Christ The Healer.

I look behind me and You're there, then up ahead and You're there too.

I will get a Radiologist's report in 3 to 5 business days, but until then I am okay.

I am okay, because Christ The Healer is here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's Lump

Lately I've been singing my own bastardized version of POT USA's "Lump" in my head. It goes like this:

It's lump
It's lump
It's lump
It's in my breast
It's lump
It's lump
It's lump
I'm mighty stressed

Anyways, all jokes aside it has been a nightmare trying to find out what my mystery lump is. On Monday morning, I called my OB/Gyn and got in right away. She palpated around in there and sent me with a lab order for an ultrasound. I called to schedule the ultrasound and was told I could only have an ultrasound if I had a mammogram first. So then I called my doctor back and left a message with the nurses that I needed new orders drawn up to include the mammo. And I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Until about 20 hours later, I called and went T-Rex on their voicemail asking why I hadn't been called back, explaining that I could not live not knowing what this lump was that I needed a return call back immediately. I was nice about it, but I was firmly aggressive. Hey, a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do.

So they called me back and then they set up the new order including the mammo and ultrasound. I then called scheduling back to book my exams and I was told their next available was...

...August 28th!


I responded that I could not possibly wait that long, that this was not a regular scheduled mammo, it was due to a suspicious lump, that I have had masses removed before and that my maternal grandmother passed of breast cancer so I absolutely positively could NOT be asked to wait that long to have my tests done. She said that was the first available, they could only book me then and I said that was unacceptable. I was near tears when she finally said she would ask the radiologists if they could fit me into the schedule sooner and she would call me back later. That was late yesterday afternoon.

So early afternoon today, she finally called back and said they could "squeeze me in" (mental image: squeezed pancake boob + this verbiage = me cracking up over the phone to hospital person and her not getting why it was funny) tomorrow at 8:30. I need to be at the hospital, an hour's drive from here at 8 am. I am actively recruiting a sitter for The Moose if anyone is interested. I will have my mammo at 8:30 and my ultrasound at 10:30 and hopefully be on my way home by 11:30 to sit and wait on pins and needles and needles and pins until the radiologist's reports are complete.

In other news, this morning after dropping Tim off at the train station I decided I'd swing through the Dunkin' drive through for a small iced. After picking that up, I remembered that I needed to have some blood work drawn at the hospital (routine diabetes stuff, nothing exciting) so I determined I'd have my coffee at the ready for after my fasting blood work was drawn. So I headed downtown towards the hospital, and on my way there I ended up at a traffic light right next to my next door neighbor from the house I grew up in.

We loved them. Mark and Debbie were like surrogate parents to my brothers and I. We used to joke that we wanted to knock down the fence between our two houses and build an addition to merge our two houses together, and then we'd all live as one big family in one big long, house.

So there I am next to Mark's minivan and I honked and waved like a crazy lady. He gave me a half-assed wave and I could tell he didn't recognize me. I called my mother and asked if they moved down by me, or if she knew what they were doing here. Her answer was sobering.

Debbie has been having heart problems, and she was at the Heart Hospital for some tests. I thought maybe she had some arterial plaque and needed a stent or something minor. Oh, no. She had a pacemaker put in. She's about 50. The pacemaker wasn't working and things were getting dire. The Heart Hospital was attached to where I was going to get my labs, so after I went to the lab I found out what room Debbie was in and Jax and I went up to see her.

She only has 25% heart function right now, and she only has that because of the drugs she's on. Today she was put on the donor list, and they are hopeful that a donor heart will come through for her very soon. She will soon be transferred to the University of Chicago Medical Center downtown, where they will hopefully do a transplant.

She looked so frail. So tired. So pale. She said she didn't want a transplant, and that she was "just tired, and tired of being sick." I felt like she was telling me that she had already given up. I held her hand for an arterial blood gas draw, and I prayed with her and left, we're heading back in a little bit.

My heart hurts, and my mind is swirling with perspective and grief.

The lump has moved from my breast, to my throat.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there, too

Psalm 139 was the focus of Sunday morning's worship service and it touched me, though I didn't know why. The message of God always being by our side and being the great Creator who knows us inside and out made me think of my dear friend who really needs God's comfort right now. Her marriage is going through a horrible trial, and my heart breaks for her pain.

To share the passage:

Psalm 139 (The Message)

1-6 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.

I'm an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
I'm never out of your sight.
You know everything I'm going to say
before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you're there,
then up ahead and you're there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
I can't take it all in!

7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you're there!
If I go underground, you're there!
If I flew on morning's wings
to the far western horizon,
You'd find me in a minute—
you're already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, "Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I'm immersed in the light!"
It's a fact: darkness isn't dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they're all the same to you.

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day.

17-20 Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!
God, I'll never comprehend them!
I couldn't even begin to count them—
any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!

23-24 Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I'm about;
See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.

During worship, I reflected on how blessed and how lucky we are to always have God there to cover us, shield and protect us and heal our hearts with His comfort.

And then I returned home, and while laying Jackson down for a nap I decided to lay down myself. And while I was laying down, I took a minute to try to figure out why my right armpit felt weird.

And then I found it.

I have a lump, the size of a walnut.

A lump.


And all I could do was cry, and even though I knew God was preparing my heart for this discovery with the bible verses that spoke to my heart this morning I still cried.

And I cried and I cried and I cried and I prayed and I cried while I was praying.

All I can think of is who will take care of my baby if something happens to me and I can't. stop. crying.

I didn't sleep much last night. When I wasn't busy crying and feeling sorry for myself, I was praying, praying lots of things.

God, please heal me.
God, please comfort me.
God, I'm scared.
God, why did You let this happen to me? I'm trying so hard to honor You with my life.
God, please take care of my family.
God, why?
God, why?
God, why?

When Jackson wakes up in the middle of the night, I rub his back and "shhh shhh" him back to sleep. I needed God to shhh shhh me last night.

He wasn't there.

God, why?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Amor Jueves

What an awesome week it has been!

1) Hubby got me hooked up in the living room. He plugged my laptop into our 50" plasma. Holy huge monitor, Batman! We went to Best Buy and got a wireless keyboard and mouse for me, but it kind of sucks so we just ordered a Bluetooth wireless keyboard and mouse set. The regular wireless doesn't have as much range as we'd like. Once the Bluetooth set comes in, it is going to be the bomb diggity!

2) Hubby also hooked up the surround sound properly in the living room. This means we can watch movies on the big TV with the full aural experience. We're so psyched about it, we're already planning a Super Bowl party! Woot!

3) Another bonus of the sweetass setup: I can now play my mp3's from my iTunes on my laptop through the surround sound. This makes housecleaning so much more fun!

4) I've been on the prowl for a nice area rug for the living room that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I figure with babies and dogs, I probably shouldn't spend more than $100 because the rug will be destroyed pretty quickly. I found this super cute one at IKEA for $70. It has our current colors in it, but enough other colors that it will pretty
much go with anything we throw down. It's a little more foofy than that which I would ordinarily choose but for $70, I wasn't going to fuss. Hoorah!

5) I'm still loving the H-E-double hockey sticks out of the Ecover dishwasher tablets. They are so seriously awesome! Oh, and did I mention I get them for wholesale through my co-op? *sings* It rocks!

6) I officially have a crawler. Jax has been jetting all over the house, he has also
decided he wants to be a stair explorer. He's stinking fast on the stairs too. I have to check on him every 10 seconds, because if I wait 20 seconds he's already halfway up the stairs. This would be okay if he also knew how to get DOWN. Unfortunately, he thinks that if he just sits down, points his butt downwards and leans back he can get down. He hasn't mastered the idea of "gravity" yet! We decided to teach him how to do the stairs instead of just blocking them off. I mean, he has to learn how to do it sometime.

7) I love Jackson's CURLS! I've researched SkinDeep to find a safe hair product I can use to hold his curls with. I'm ordering him a tube of Kiss My Face Upper Management Hair Gel with my next co-op order. His curls are So. Stinking. Cute. Sometimes, I can hardly believe he's mine.

So...what are you loving today?