April 27, 2008, Praises Along the Way - Day-by-Day

Today was a good day for Danni. She was surrounded by loving family. It's good to have her home, in her bed, in her room where she can rest. She's been spending a lot of time with her sister and brother. I hear them laughing and joking together and it makes my mother's heart smile.

What a great time to be together as a family, enjoying the company of one another. I thank God for the privilege of family. It becomes a precious thing in times like these. It was precious before but it's just that I've become very aware what a rare and beautiful thing it is.

Like other families, we had at times taken our relationships for granted. Now, not knowing what tomorrow holds, I especially think about it more and more. I think about the little things that I appreciate about everyone involved. Things that may have annoyed me in the past seem so small and insignificant. How petty and fickle we as people can be.

God gives us beautiful souls to live with so that we won't be lonely and so that we can experience his love in greater ways and all we can think about is our grievances towards them. My prayer for all who read this is that they will have a renewed love for and ability to reach out to members of their families creating new stronger bonds with them. For they may not be here tomorrow.

I pray that God would help me and them to overlook the shortcomings and see the potential in every member of their close group of souls, that fellowship that God has placed them in known as family. God has placed you there for a reason, ask him what it is and he'll show you.

April 23, 2008, Thanks to God!

She's home. Her draining has slowed considerably and she is doing well! One day at a time.

April 22, 2008, Thank God She's Coming Home!!

The title says it all! All the doctors released her to come home tomorrow! We will have to watch her head and change the bandages every two days or so but we are grateful to be going home.

I guess they kept us in here long enough that I don't even care about her going home without a bone flap! Kind of like having a baby, by the time the baby comes you are so ready to have it you don't care what it takes! :}

We are rejoicing, thank you Jesus! I was very grateful as well that we were here at the hospital when she had her round with the kidney stone. Maybe that's what we were waiting on. I think Danni is very glad too. Tomorrow will be a big day.

April 22, 2008, Doin' Fine!

While Danni is a little weak today from being in bed all day yesterday and from surgery, she has been for a short walk and is up and at 'em! She had a good breakfast and things seem to be going well.

We are still waiting to see a couple of her doctors to know when it is she can go home. My guess is a couple more days.

Special thanks to all of our friends and family who have provided food, finances and loving sticks of gum :} For all these things, I could never thank you all enough. You are the ministering angels that God sends to us to help keep our heads above water. May God richly bless you all for you hospitality and generosity.

April 21, 2008, Successful Surgery

Everything went well with the surgery. The stone fell apart when the doctor touched it with his instrument. It was soft and the doctor suspects that the one left in her kidney is the same kind of stone and could be dissolved with medication. We will know about that when the test comes back in 2 or 3 weeks.

She will probably have some burning and discomfort for about 3 days or so but she has good pain medications that she can use on demand.

The drain is out of her head and she has a tight dressing to keep the fluid from collecting on the side of her head. We'll go from here. Thanks again for all the prayers.

April 21, 2008 - Test results...

Today we found out how special God made Danni. She only has one big kidney! Problem with that is that she also has one big kidney stone and it's blocking everything. God has gone before her though and worked on the heart of a very kind urologist.

He will be doing surgery on her today to break it/ them up, there may be more than one, and remove them. She has good drugs that she can have on demand by a push of a button and hopefully she'll get it taken care of today and feel much better by this evening.

The nurse will take Danni's drain out at some point and time today, we'll see how that goes too.

Thank God we found out what's going on but Danni has had a pretty bad day to say the least. Just in... surgery tonight at 7 pm.

April 21, 2008, Rough Morning

Danni woke up with sharp pains in her side and the flurry of activity began. She was very nauseous and they took blood for several tests. She is currently trying to down 2 big jugs of barium dye stuff so that she can have her CT scan of the area around 9 a.m. That's after they made her drink a lot of water to get another sample.

The pain seems to have subsided some since earlier this morning, but she was in quite a lot of pain since around 4 a.m.
The doctor isn't sure what's wrong.

Her brain doctor ordered that the drain be taken out, so the nurse will do that after she comes back from the scan. He wants to try wrapping her head up to see if that would keep the side from filling again and forcing her body to deal with it, I guess. We'll see how this goes.

April 20, 2008, Praises Along the Way- The Sacrifice

I thought I'd go down to the lobby for a little quiet time with the Lord. Genesis 22 came to mind so I thought I'd see what it said. "Oh boy," I thought. Genesis 22 is where Abraham is tested with his son Isaac, his only son whom he loved; he was directed by God to offer him as a burnt offering.

Not for one minute did I think I was to offer Danni as a burnt offering so don't worry! I did, however, put myself in Abraham's shoes, best I could. How his heart must have sunk when he heard that familiar voice say to take his son and offer him as a burnt offering. The tension in his voice as he told Isaac that God would provide the lamb. Climbing the mountain, picking the rocks up one by one and placing them in a holy configuration.

I can see him carefully, purposefully arranging the wood, maybe a little slower than usual. What must have been going through his mind? Will God come through? What about the promise? He's been faithful before so many times! He won't, he can't, fail me now! I must be strong! I must be faithful to him, I love him so much! But I love Isaac so much too. How will he provide? How far must I go with this until he rescues us?

Some people say that Abraham had a notion that God would spare Isaac, that may be true, but I think that Abraham was still human. As I wrote my thoughts about what he must have been thinking, I realized that those were many of my thoughts. Four times now my daughter has been "under the knife," at death's door. The doctor said that if she had been 80 that first day she came into his office he would have told her to go home. I'm so grateful for God's provision, that he said, "Hold it! We will spare her for my purpose." "She's been predestined for my glory!"

To many that thought may blow your God box all apart, but the Word says in Romans 8:28-30, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."

Or maybe he won't spare her, though he has up till now - either way he's glorified. The above is a process every child of God goes through. We are predestined, called, justified, and glorified and we have very little to do with the whole process. He does it because he loves us and because he will be glorified!

What trust in God Abraham must have had, what obedience. He was also predestined and called (Gen.12), justified (Gen. 15:6) and glorified (Gen. 22:15-18) just like we all are at many different times in our lives as the process repeats itself over and over, refining and refining until he calls us home.

I don't know where Danni is in the whole process, but like Abraham, I have to be willing, as we all will with our children at some point in time, to put her on the alter and say to God through my actions and words, "I trust you, God, with Danni even to the point of death because I know that my God is the God of RESURRECTION!" She's safe in his hands either way! Some day there will be a resurrection! What joy, what peace to know she has Jesus in her heart! I rejoice!

So, God, I lay Danni, your child that you love more than I ever could, on the altar. I give her to you for your plan and your purpose and for your ultimate glory. I pray for your provision come what may, and I rest in you.

Thank you for filling me with your peace that passes all understanding that saturates every fiber of my being. Thank you for your powerful presence upon me now. You are so good. I praise you, Lord! I praise you! Amen!

April 20, 2008, Waiting for Monday

At this point we are waiting for the drainage to slow enough for the doctor to take the drain out of her head. I think that he will possibly do that on Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully Monday and then she'll be released to go home from the hospital after almost 2 weeks.

Danni's getting tired of being in the hospital. Can you blame her? We are at the "wait and see" stage. Wait and see what God will do!

April 17, 2008, The Next Thing

Danni told me today that the doctor said that possible tomorrow depending on how much drainage she had today, they would take the drain out.

I don't know what to think about this because she still has the place on the side of her head that has fluid in it and I can's see how this will ever stop as the body just keeps producing spinal fluid.

I know, with God all things are possible, it will have to be him. We'll just keep trusting that we're on the right path. Doctors practice medicine but Jesus is the Healer.

I'll keep you up to date. I'll be working the next few days. There is a lot going on constantly in our crazy, predestined lives.

April 15, 2008, Praises Along the Way - A Word in Due Season

As I was talking with my husband about the below article "Bummer," about my discouragement and frustration he paused for a moment and said he was reading something. Then he read it to me.

Luke 8:22-25-One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall come down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.

"Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this?" He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."

How appropriate, the perfect word at the perfect time. I love the Lord's rebuke, so gentle and loving. "Where is your faith?" Yes, Lord, I hear you. We won't drown, you are the Master, and the wind and the water that appear to be raging obey you and you alone!

Oh me of little faith. Thank you Jesus for responding to the cries of my heart. So true you are close to those who are broken hearted and in need of you. I love you so much, you are so faithful!

April 15, 2008, Bummer

The lump on the temple is back. Wasn't this what we had the surgery to get rid of? I know God has a plan and a purpose. Obviously I believe that or I would be screaming and pulling my hair out! But it does make me wonder what on earth that plan and purpose may be. Just bein' real.

I bet it's a doosie of a plan at that. I guess it's our fault we (the doctor and I) tried to hurry things along by not compressing the drain thing as much to slow the drainage. Slowed it too much I guess... ok I get it God, your timing, I surrender. But I admit to you, this is frustrating!

Danni just takes it in stride, truly amazing the grace of God in and on her.

I must need McDonald's mentality removed from my spirit. Remove it I pray. Thank you for our circumstances. Thank you for your mercy because I know that it could be worse. Lord, help us! Amen

April 14, 2008, Just a Normal Day

Danni is hanging in there waiting for her drainage to stop. The doctor says that it has been cutting down by about half each day so that's good. We hope to be home by the middle of the week.

There is nothing growing in the sample that they took from the pocket on her temple, so that is good as well.

Her insulin doctor took her off insulin completely so all in all things seem to be on the upswing. Maybe we can get to radiation soon.

Love to all, hope you beautiful people have a very blessed day! Thanks for hanging in there every day with us!

April 13, 2008, Newest Danni Info

Danni's dad took the weekend to give me a break at the hospital so I have been home taking care of a few things but I did talk with Danni last night. I will be going back to the hospital tonight.

She said that they had taken her off her insulin and sugar pill and moved her to a regular room. They put her back on the heavy duty antibiotics to guard against infection and they will probably take the drain out of the top of her head within a few days.

Other than that she is stable and doing well. Thanks for your prayers.

April 11, 2008, Praises Along the Way- In the Thick of it.

Standing at the foot of her bed, I saw her for the first time fresh from her fourth surgery in two months. Tubes and wires everywhere, blood on her pillow, her head wrapped up tight in a big white turban of bandages. Holding my breath at every move, she scratches her nose, she coughs a bit, "God, you're killing me," I think to myself.

I've seen her like this before but not for the fourth time. I wonder how much her body can take. What plans do you have for her, God? How will you use her? Whose life will be changed because of hers? I think about all this kid has been through in the last few years and I wonder what does it all mean?

I have to believe that God has a purpose greater than I can see or all this is pointless. I have to trust that God is in control and that he knows what he is doing. I have to live by faith and not by sight or what good are my beliefs? Here is where what's in my heart meets the reality of life. If I give into total fear and despair, I've wasted my entire adult life believing in something that isn't real.

Do I believe or not? Do I trust or not? I think God brings every child of his to this point over and over in varying degrees, refining and skimming, then refining our beliefs again. If I'm not going to believe God and his word now, what's the point? Don't get me wrong, I believe him, I trust him, I do.

But so many of us believers go to church every Sunday, hearing the word of God, saying amen to the messages only to go home and never use what we've just said "amen" to the hour before. Myself included!

It's not that I am someone special or extraordinary, please hear me. I just choose to believe God and his word. Just think how we could change this world if we all did that! Think of the souls that would be saved! If we just lived our lives believing what God's word says is true. I don't always get it right. Even as I write this I am challenged to just believe God more and live his word.

I also know that if I do fear or fret I haven't lost my salvation, I am human. But there is a whole other level that we as Christians could live on. A deeper one of passion and true meaning, there is reality!

Lord, lead me deeper, give me more passion for you. I pray this with fear and trembling knowing that this kind of walk only comes from pain but I can't stay here and I can't go back to the old life so lead me on. I know you will be there with me every step of the way and you have put this desire in me because my sinful heart isn't capable of this or any kind of prayer so I come into agreement with you. Help me Jesus AMEN.

April 10, 2008, She's Done

5:30 pm

Danni is out of surgery and doing fine in recovery. They removed the bone flap; it is about the size of a jar lid on the front right side of her head. We will know if this is working within 2 or 3 days. There were a combination of things prohibiting healing from the time they took the tumor out. Out of whack blood sugar, higher doses of steroids, chemo wafers, and radiation were the culprits here.

Now things have changed and she has more things to contribute to healing than before - control of her blood sugar, lower doses of steroids, no chemo wafers, and no radiation for now. Hopefully her body will kick into hyper-healing drive and things will be much better soon.

The doctor will still have to open the wound again to put back the bone flap or a plastic material when we are sure that the infection is gone and things are on the mend. Thanks for all your prayers. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

April 10, 2008, Danni went to surgery

4:10 pm

Danni is now in surgery. We should know something every half hour or so. The surgery is scheduled for 2 and 1/2 hours. While we were waiting in the surgical waiting room, she slept some and seemed to be in perfect peace. Her face looked like an angel.

April 9, 2008, Here We Go Again

We went to the doctor a day early because she was leaking out of the hole where the drainage tube was coming out. Her doctor said that he will have to go in and see what's going on.

So that means that the surgery we were going to have a week ago is back on. This Thursday morning I take Danni down to get ready for surgery and this time they will reopen the wound and take the bone flap out.

While this is major, I have peace. Please be praying for a successful surgery that we can beat this infection in her skull. The surgery is at 4pm, Thursday April 10. The doctor has another surgery scheduled before hers and should that one cancel she will be first in line.

As before, I will be updating the blog as quickly as I know anything more.

Love to you all!

April 8, 2008, Waiting, Waiting, Waiting.

Patience, patience, patience. We went to the doctor yesterday and we decided to leave the drain in for a few more days. She is having trouble with a pocket of fluid collecting on the side of her face again near her temple area.

The drainage has been decreasing which is good except for the fluid on the side of her head. The drain doesn't seem to be even touching that portion. Please pray that her body or the drain takes care of the fluid that is collecting near her temple area. It's not a good sign.

The incision is healing well but if the above-mentioned fluid stays and continues to accumulate it could open the incision and we are back to square one where something else will have to be done.

They did a blood test yesterday to see how well the antibiotic is working on the infection. We will know more from that later. Hopefully it is doing its job. We praise God for a "wimpy" infection (in the words of the doctor), as opposed to a more aggressive one. But the fluid has got to go! Danni goes back to her doctor on Thursday and I expect that he will remove the drain.

Many of you have asked how her spirit is doing. When we asked her this question she gave her "thumbs up" response. She is still cracking jokes and seems to be handling it all in stride. She does have her quiet days too, she's not superwoman, but all in all she's got a great mental attitude.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers!

April 4, 2008, Danni is...

...doing so well! She was commended by her doctor yesterday for her great attitude! I am so grateful for the grace that God is giving her to handle all she's going through. Her incision is healing nicely and we are just waiting for the draining to slow to an acceptable amount so that the doctor can remove it.

It seems as though her infection is clearing too, THANK GOD!

Monday she goes to see two of her doctors and we'll have more answers then as to when she can get back to radiation. As it is now, she has to begin all over, a new mask will have to be made and everything reset in the machine. But before she can start radiation again the drain will have to be removed.

We have been watching her blood sugar closely, attempting to keep it on the low side as the antibiotic and the steroid she is taking cause it to soar, slowing the healing process. Danni is so brave, she tests her sugar by herself and gives herself the insulin shots twice a day.

Thanks to you all for the prayers, cards, money, and food. Every day I have with her makes me extremely grateful. I know God heals her every day, in every way, and this also makes me thankful.

May God heal every one of you in every way, may he pour out on you his richest blessings, may he cause his face to shine upon you all and give you peace. May you shine brightly for him in what ever circumstances you are in because you know he is making you more like him. Amen.

What sweet people you are body of Christ! Jesus pours from you! You may think you don't make a difference in this cold world but I'm here to tell you that you do! Thanks again for everything.

April 2, 2008, Praises Along the Way- What am I thankful for today?

I'm so thankful that Danni is home, that we are sleeping in our beds away from beeping IV poles and nurses popping in at all times of the night. I'm thankful to live in a country and in a town where so many people are so kind and caring.

I'm thankful to have good friends that drop everything to help us move bedrooms around, what was down went up and what was up came down. Friends that clean our bathroom and then make us a meal for the night.

I'm thankful for friends who bring us JoJo Pretzels with mustard sauce! Yum! For people we don't even know who send gifts to bless and encourage Danni. I'm thankful for the body of Christ that pulls together in a time like this and prays even when they don't personally know who we are; they just know we are all part of each other.

I'm thankful that Danni can see and she can remember and she can move around by herself! I'm thankful to have a miracle-working God on my side!

I'm thankful for dearly loved ones who take me out to dinner, who get groceries for us, who work my job in my stead using their own day off to help me accomplish all I need to do, picking up the slack for me.

I'm thankful for home nurses who give me hugs and help me take care of my Sharky (Danni's nickname). I'm thankful that I get to spend every waking moment caring for Danni.

I'm thankful for my mom who faithfully does our laundry, dishes, and cleaning. My house would be trashed if it weren't for her! I'm thankful that she brings order to things. I'm thankful for a loving husband who holds me in his arms and tells me, "One day at a time, you don't have to figure this out now," and "Let me take care of this or that."

I'm thankful for so many things my list could go on and on. I am amazed at how even when you go through refining fire, God thinks of everything and he continually blesses us again and again. Even down to JoJo pretzels!

Whoever thinks that God doesn't care about the details of our lives, think again and write a list of everything you are thankful for and think about how those things came to be in your life. You too will be amazed!