Friday, September 26, 2008

Life, Fear and Faith

When I started writing this blog, several months ago, I never imagined that we would be dealing with anything more scary than Dave's health. But in the last few weeks we have seen our economy take a hit. Personally, we have friends who have lost their jobs, virtually all their savings, their company's compensation -stock packages and some major individual assets. Crazy, crazy days!

Today we found out that our own health insurance will be canceled at the end of the year. That would be a scary thing if I had just a regular need for pediatricians and the occasional doctor visit for Dave and I. But with a major surgery looming before us, as well as covering all the donor's care...I'm a little worried, I won't lie. We will be getting's just we aren't sure who will be the carrier.

I try to fall back on my faith, again. I know that as a child of God, He will not leave me, ever. My needs will be met and my family will be taken care of. I rest on that truth. It becomes even more evident, in this life-journey I am on, that I sometimes fall into believing that it's Dave who meets our needs ~ not God. That is really mixed up thinking on my part, for sure.

Today I find myself looking deeper into what it is I truly believe. Who will take care of my boys if something happens to their dad? If something happens to me? There is no financial institution or stock/retirement package or medical insurance that will meet their/our needs. It is through God alone that our needs are met. From whom our real blessings are given.

Faith is tough. It is not tangible, but it is measurable.

I pray for all whose lives have been touched by the current turn of events in our economy. All our friends and friends of friends who have lost so much and who are trying to hold it together for their own families. Maybe it's time we simplify our lives or at least re-prioritize them. It certainly is the time to re-evaluate from where (or from WHOM) our true security comes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Trip to LA and down Memory Lane

Last week was quite a week! Dave, being in the investment industry, went for a rather eventful ride on the rollercoaster of the DJIA and NASDQ. Man, I think everyone was happy when Friday finally rolled around. There was a story in Christianity Today last week that talked about the people on Wall Street praying more these days than ever before. Yeah, no doubt!

On Saturday the family took a car trip up to Beverly Hills to map out the hospital and surrounding areas. We still can't find a decent place to stay that is less than $400 a night. It's pretty sad when you can get a cheaper room in Hawaii than the mid-whilshire district!

Cedars Sinai is a pretty impressive complex. Beautiful, and big, and somewhat immaculate for a hospital. In fact, in the years since getting out of medicine it has always surprised me how dirty a lot of the better hospitals are kept. Cleveland Clinic and UCLA are prime examples of hospitals with great reputations that are just so impacted that there is never any time to clean before a new patient gets plugged into an open room. No wonder MRSA is on the rise in our health care facilities!

Across the street from Cedars is the Beverly Center, a very upscale shopping mall. We took advantage of the fact that the kids were needing a break from the car, ad walked around this multi-level, shoppers dream. We have a lot of the same stores down in OC, so I wasn't blown away. Then, my son David saw it....the place he had only dreamed existed. The Ferrari Store! Seriously, there is a Ferrari Store in Beverly Hills.

I guess it's the place where you can get dad that cool Ferrari cap to wear as he drives the family minivan! No, really...there was everything "Ferrari"; to include a Ferrari LEGO playset. My boys live, breathe and almost eat LEGOS. We had to get one. We got the playset and a die cast Ferrari and spent way too much money and got our huge testosterone rush. Then went back to the car (not a Ferrari) to make our way back home. My son, still wearing a huge smile on his face after visiting boy-Mecca.

On the way back we decided to take a detour and head through Hacienda Heights, where both Dave and I grew up. Fun, fun, fun walking down memory lane! We showed the kids the houses we grew up in, and the church we attended and Dave's high school. We even showed them our cool mall...ok, it wasn't that cool....but the movie "Back to the Future" was filmed there, so it was our idea of cool for most of the 80's.

When we finally got home we were officially pooped! But had a pretty fun day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Surgery Date Changed

We have moved up the date for surgery to November 18, 2008. Dave will start his anti-rejection treatment in mid October. We can't believe it is moving so fast, after so many months of waiting. Praise God!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Homeschooling Update

I have gotten so many emails asking how the home schooling is going, that I thought I would write a little something on the blog.

If anyone watched the season premiere of SNL, you saw the skit depicting the kids on the home schooled team competing with the kids from the public schooled team. Of course the home schoolers were Amish and didn't know anything about REAL biology (gremlins are what carry O2 throughout the bloodstream), but it sure was funny!! It pretty much sums up how some people in our extended family feel about the whole home schooling thing. I guess I shouldn't take it too personally when someone asks me, in a rather worried tone, if I feel smart enough to educate my 5th grader. I DID pass the 5th grade once before! :)

But, really, I don't take it too seriously. I know that David and Joe are so happy. So much less anxious. I am too. Plus they are able to let their God-given creativity flow through the learning process.

David was really into the events of 9/11, and what had actually happened that terrible morning. So I let him research it, and asked him to use the facts to write a fictional story about that morning. He did an awesome job with character development, and wrote a great 5 page story.

Another great advantage to our new adventure is that we are able to start our day with scripture and some praise music. Making God our first focal point of the day really puts the rest of the day into perspective. It grounds me. I can only hope it is doing the same for the boys.

Thanks for all the encouragement. Keep sending it, okay?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Surgery Date

When things start happening around here, they really start happening!!

The transplant is tentatively scheduled for December 2, 2008. Wow! A real date!! We even got a list of hotels / apartments that I will start checking out next week. It looks like we will be up there at least a week, maybe two. Of course Cedars Sinai is NOT in the low rent district, so the kids and I may be eating happy meals every night~ or cold cereal. Totally worth it, though!! (Besides, I love mini wheats!)

It's really happening....yay!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Dave's and his donor's cases have been officially approved for the transplant at Cedars-Sinai !!

They are talking about doing surgery within the next 5 -8 weeks. We will keep everyone posted...thanks for the prayers!

(I can't stop smiling) :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tomorrow's the Day

We have heard from Cedar's Sinai that the board will meet tomorrow to go over Dave's case, and hopefully approve him for transplant. We could use your prayers on this. Hopefully we will hear something tomorrow or Friday~ and then Dave will be sent to the Immunology Dept for treatment!!

I'll keep you posted....

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Favorite Quote

Just something nice with which to start the week. Plus, I just love this quote.....

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. "-Helen Keller

Saturday, September 6, 2008

It's a Match

Most of you already know that we now have a matching donor for Dave's kidney transplant. Thrilled is not a big enough word to describe how we both, all four of us feel! Also very, very blessed and humbled at God's compassion toward's our family.

The case goes before the medical board at Cedar's Sinai's transplant department this coming week, and then we should hear back from the case coordinator soon afterwards to set up something for Dave and the surgery team.

From what we remember, it may take anywhere from one to four months on the anti-rejection medication before they will schedule surgery. Dave will be doing special infusions, since his rejection factor is so high. Another way that God's blessing is evident: Cedar's is one of the few places in the nation that handles cases like Dave's. Of course we would never have known it, but had we been at another facility, chances are good that they would have labeled Dave's case as non-transplantable. His life would have been limited and ultimately shortened due to needing ongoing hemo dialysis. God is good, indeed!!

I will keep you all posted through this site....thanks for all the encouraging words you have sent to us. We love you all!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Palin Rocks!

I have a new hero, and her name is Sarah Palin. Wow! What an incredible speech our soon to be VP just gave! Go, sister, go! Truth be told, I like her a little better than McCain. :)

McCain & Palin 2008 !!!