Thursday, August 30, 2007

Update on Dave

We just got word that Dave is scheduled for another kidney biopsy, next Friday, September 7. Please keep him in your prayers.

We have to leave it in God’s hands now more than ever…we don’t even know what to pray for this time around! If they find more disease, he will have to go back on chemo. But he will also have another shot at getting his own kidneys to function again. If they find that his kidneys are just too scarred to ever return to normal function, then we will just continue on with the transplant process. Dialysis remains the constant, either way.

Obviously we need prayers that there are no complications with the surgery. It would also be nice to not get anymore surprises, this time around.

The surgery will be at Mission Hospital, and he should be home that night. From our last experience, I think it takes about a week to get pathology reports back.

It’s been a tough road. Thanks for all the prayers and all your calls and emails. Knowing you guys are there is very comforting for both of us!

***A special thank you to our new friends from Illinois! Kim has been so awesome at getting our prayer requests out there! Thanks for the cards, and all your kind words of encouragement!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Got Kidney?

We just got back from UCLA’s kidney transplant orientation. I somehow feel like a little kid on an Easter egg hunt, all of a sudden!

They told us that the average wait for a kidney is 5 – 7 years! There are about 80,000 people in the nation waiting for organs. Neither of us can imagine Dave having to go through dialysis, 3 times a week, for another 5 years. So I am really hoping that I can be his match. My brother is also offering to be a donor, and will be tested when he comes back to California.

We will be meeting with the transplant team in a few weeks, and then be given our own nurse coordinator. I guess we’ll begin testing at that point. It will also be nice to have someone I can bounce stuff around with.

As for the process of being a donor or finding a donor, it’s sort of comical. They told us not to offer to pay anyone for a kidney (like we were going to take an ad out in the paper). Ok, I guess I could see how offering someone a little “bonus” might influence his/her decision to donate. Although, “altruistic” measures of finding a donor are “ok”. So, I guess if we happen to run across a person who has always wanted to be a live organ donor, but who doesn’t want or expect compensation, AND who passes the psych part of the evaluation….we’re golden! Have you ever met anyone who has always wanted to donate an organ, and was just looking for the opportunity??? Yeah, me either.

Dave is also going to have a bunch of tests run this week, partly due to the evaluation process. The other reason is checking kidney size, and getting ready for the inevitable biopsy.

Yes, we are still going to pursue a biopsy, since we want to make sure it wasn’t something acute that happened early this year to make his kidney function go crazy. If it’s truly the kidneys that are too scarred to come back, then at least we’ll know. On the other hand, if there is something else we can do to get function back without transplant, we will.

Thanks for all the emails, requesting updates about Dave. I hope this gets you guys up to date.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My Space

My brother, Ric came out for a visit this past week. We loved having him here, and the kids had a ball with Uncle Ric…swimming, playing games, and watching all the movies that most single, 35 yr old men probably wouldn’t have in their own DVD collection! A lot of animation! We saw some CG Penguins, some talking vegetables that taught values, and SpongeBob. Not a Simpson’s episode in sight!! He was such a good sport, nonetheless!

While he was here he told me I should get a My Space account. He showed me his, and how cool it was to keep in touch with friends. Some of his friends looked a little weird…lots of girls in bikinis. I guess that’s ok when you’re single and looking? I haven’t done either in many years, so I guess it’s what’s “normal”? Yeah…ok.

I get this My Space thing up and running. For any of you who know me, you know how completely lame I’m at computer stuff. Ric got all those genes, and I got the ability to look at blood and not pass out. It was an all or nothing thing with us, I guess. Anyway, I have two friends so far….Tom, the My Space guy; who is everyone’s friend, and my brother. After looking a little further it became evident to me that no one that I regularly communicate with has a My Space account! Why is that? Are we too old? Nah, couldn’t be!

After taking mild abuse from Ric for my plain page, and having none of the usual (read: necessary) music playing in the background or video thingy that most people have. I figure out how to add some stuff. I added music from U2. I downloaded what I think is a cool layout for my page, but I guess I didn’t do something right, since it’s still plain and white. Surprise, surprise!

At this point I’m not sure if I’m ready for My Space. I mean, I don’t totally get the benefits of keeping in touch this way, when I have email and even the much more antiquated telephone. Golly, do I sound as ridiculously old as I think ?? Well, I’ll keep my page up, just in case anyone wants to be my “friend”. But no naked people please. No bikini people, either. I have to have some standards!

I think my address is

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Our strength in Christ...and our beautiful son Joey

In 2 Corinthians Paul speaks about how he begged God to take away his physical pain and suffering, but then how God said to him, “My grace is sufficient. I am strongest when you are weak”.

For me and my family, this year has been so full of struggles, both physically and spiritually. I’ll be honest and say that there are those moments I ask, “why?”. But I know that while God has allowed some suffering to occur in our lives, He has been there, beside us the whole time. I know that when I am at my very lowest and weakest, it IS His strength that somehow gets me through.

I hesitated to post this, since I am prideful about only a couple things in my life…my children being one of those things. As their mother, I consider them both to be highly intelligent, compassionate, loving and probably as perfect as two humans can be. Two wonderful gifts given to me and Dave to raise, instruct and protect until they are old enough to move on. Protect…..

It’s with a heavy heart that Dave and I took Joey to be evaluated for developmental delays, just this past month. Both of us knowing what the diagnosis would probably be, but hoping we were wrong. Not wanting to label our precious child, like society insists on doing these days. But if not one label, then it would be another…maybe a worse label. “problem child”, “under achiever”, etc…

So we went and met with a highly recommended pediatrician. She observed our little one, and just like we had dreaded, he had a rotten morning at home. Making things even worse at the office appointment. Figures! But it was a good evaluation. A morning where she saw him at his worst. Sometimes that’s better for a doctor to see.

We got the diagnosis we feared….Autism. The words still ring in my ears! While it was not a surprise, I felt like someone had grabbed my heart with two hands and ripped it out of my chest. Dave and I felt a deep sense of grieving all weekend. That was then accompanied by tears, then anger, then fatigue. Our precious child....why, him?

But once again, God has given us a mission. For some reason He thinks enough of our parenting skills to bless us with a child who needs a little extra. Once again it is through our sincerest weakness that we are finding strength in Him.

Joey will be fine. He is considered to be "high-functioning", so school will be enhanced with other special therapies to bring him up to where he needs to be developmentally, socially and in language. It will be OK. He is testing well in intelligence thank God. There is no mental deficiency present. We are blessed by that.

Like Paul said….”When I am weak, I am strong”. I get it, now.