May 28, 2008, MRI Results are in...

This afternoon the doctor called to give us the results of the test and give his suggestions as to where we need to go from here. He apologized for it taking him so long to get back to us. He was waiting to consult with 4 other doctors at the same practice.

They reasoned that they should put the prosthesis in to seal her head and that should take care of the fluid that keeps accumulating on the side of her head. We will make an appointment tomorrow for early next week and in the meantime we will be making a list of questions for him and prayerfully considering what our next move will be.

As far as the site where he took out the large tumor, he said that it looked good but the other tumor that had crossed over to the other side of her brain had grown but not substantially.

My thinking is that he wants to get her put back together and healed as soon as possible so the radiation doctor can do his thing. I felt positive about this call because I had originally thought maybe the doctor had done all he could do. I don't think he's given up just yet. Also, at least we know where we are and where we are going.

The other option we do have is "wait and see" but the doctor says that the fluid filled pocket on the side of her head is expanding and he wants to address it. Once again we will know more next week. Thanks for your concern and prayers.

May 26, 2008, Still Waiting

We are still waiting on the results of her last MRI from Thursday.

Hopefully, the doctor will read the MRI tomorrow and let us know what the results are and what we can do about the results. She still has a lot of fluid on the side of her head but the incision is still closed and not leaking. We want to know what is causing more headaches and where the tumors are in size.

We had a great weekend with friends and food and Danni went out with her friend for pizza too. So, many thanks to God for a full but happy weekend.

May 23, 2008, Another Doctor Day

Yesterday, we went to have an MRI and then to the doctor who takes care of her IV. We should know the results of the MRI today after the doctor reviews them films. They have discontinued her IV antibiotics for now but left the PICC line in her arm until after we know what the surgeon wants to do about the fluid pocket on her head.

They are puzzled. No one knows why she continues to have fluid collecting on the side of her head. As my tragedy coordinator and I sat in the van, we pulled out the MRI films and began to review them (because we knew what we were looking at, NOT!!). Anyway, we tried to understand what we were seeing. We could not.

Hopefully, I will hear from the surgeon today. I hope he has a solution. I can't understand why he leaves her this way. It's so hard to see her like this. But, then I think, "Well, maybe it's God's way of keeping her from chemo or radiation for some reason." I'm one who believes there is purpose to everything God does and allows. I must admit, often I don't understand why but I really don't need to. I just need to know that He's in control and He has the best in mind for all of us. My plan is to keep you all posted and "baton down the hatches." I have a feeling there is more to come.

May 20, 2008, Praises Along the Way-- Good God Encouragement

I love when God speaks the appropriate word to me, and each one of you all, just when we need to hear it. He never fails. If you haven't read it read the "Daily Bread" for today. It's called "Productive Pain" and it's very appropriate for our situation.

In thinking about the "Daily Bread", I could hear his love and encouragement, it seemed like he put that there just for me.

I must admit I've been kind of grouchy lately. That happens when I run life on empty. I'm sure that each and every one of us goes through this process, we get distracted and before we know it we've run dry. That's when I lay down my pride and say to the only one who can help me, who can deliver me, forgive me. And he does with open arms.

The thing about God though is that even before I realize it he's already wooing me back to him. He pours out and pours out over me his loving-kindness understanding that I am made from dust. The word says in the last part of Jeremiah 31:3 "...I have loved you with everlasting love, I have drawn you with loving-kindness." This is God's heart toward me and all of you no matter who you are or what you've done or how you've acted today. He loves you more than ever with his everlasting love.

God isn't fickle like we are, he has unconditional love that continually amazes me.

May 19, 2008, Today's Dr. Visit

The fluid pocket on the side of her head seems to be increasing in size. The doctor doesn't think that infection is the reason. We are scheduled for an MRI on Thursday morning. She's also beginning to have headaches again. We judge the pain on a scale from 1 to 10. 10 being the worst pain and 1 being the least amount of pain. Normally if she did have some pain it would be a 1 or 2 on the scale.

Her pain has increased in the last two days to a 4 or 5 on and off. We will know more when we get the results of the MRI. Please pray for the Lord's will in this situation. She's in his hand and its all up to him.

May 16, 2008, Praises Along the Way- Bumped by the Canadians!

"It's my friend's birthday and she's done so much for me, I want to give her a gift," Danni said to me. So, after the nurse left we loaded up in the van with what we needed and away we went. "I want to give her food," Danni's beautiful heart had replied. Now, we all know that food is a very valuable thing to a college student!

We had a good time eating at IHOP and after we were down the road a bit, we came on some road construction. Two lanes down to one. Slowly we moved along following the long line of cars ahead of us, we approached an intersection and the car ahead of me stopped sudden because the next light had turned red.

I barely got the van stopped and thought that we were in the clear when all the sudden WHAM! A little red car bumped us from behind. Immediately, I called 911. I knew better than to get out into heavy traffic. "911, what's your emergency?" a voice said to me. "I've just been in an accident and I'm not sure what road I am on," was my reply. By this time there was a huge line of cars behind me and I was shaking like a leaf. "What do I do?" I asked my mom. A man came to Danni's window and said, "Is anyone hurt?" I said we weren't and I asked him what the name of the road was. As I relayed the information, the voice on the other end of the phone asked if there were any shopping malls around. "Mike's Car Wash, Grease Monkey, ahhh, I'm not sure," I said "Is there a Market Fresh, is there a Market Fresh?" She had to ask me about three times before my brain could function. "Yes," was the answer I gave her finally as I began to pull into Mike's.

That was the end of the phone call and I knew help was on the way. After I had checked to see if everyone was okay in our van, I got out to see about the other people. "I'm so sorry," she said in her lovely accent, "I was distracted by my baby screaming in the backseat." I told her it was okay and I asked if they were alright. She said they were and I noticed that they were from Canada. They said they were on their way home. I felt bad for them. Amazingly, the baby was now fast asleep, kids, who can figure them out?

Anyways, we went back to our own vehicles to wait for the police and then the man brought his other small child to see us, I guess he wanted to meet us. He had a very sweet smile and I said to him, "Hey buddy, that was a scary accident wasn't it?" He smiled some more and nodded his head, his dad said to him, "We will get to meet a real live American policeman."

After curiosities had been met the police finally arrived. With no one hurt and practically no damage whatsoever we were instructed to exchange names, phone numbers and insurance stuff. God was looking out for us, my shoulder ached a bit from the seat belt but other than that it was minor. The amazing thing was that Danni had forgotten to put her seat belt on, she could have flown headfirst into the windshield. This was such a testimony to me of how God protects us. Yes, sometimes he allows us to go through things and then other times he keeps us out of situations.

Thank you, Jesus, for keeping us safe today. What a set-back that would have been for her. Thank you that you are completely in control. Amen.

May 14, 2008, Life as Usual

Well, as usual as possible. Danni is holding her own, yesterday she went for a walk around the cul-de-sac and she seemed to enjoy it, even if mom was watching her every move!

"Mom, I'm not going to fall!" She text me a few minutes later that she had made it into the house without falling. She's so funny.

I have good news to report, in the last two days her head has stopped leaking! She still has the fluid on the side of her head that concerns me, but for now the leaking has stopped! Thank you Jesus! Now, if the fluid-lump would go down maybe she would be able to get back to radiation and have chemo too very soon.

We are waiting on the neurosurgeon to put her in the clear. Keep up the good prayers! Thank you soo much

May 11, 2008, Praises Along the Way- The Mother's Day Card

"It's 6:45!" Matt said. "Oh man, not again!" I said to myself as I jumped out of bed and ran for the stairs. I was supposed to give Danni her IV infusion at 6. "There's still time," Matt reminded as I flew down the stairs. I grabbed her tray and got things together quickly. "It's going to take forever to warm this syringe." I thought to myself.

I opened the door to Danni's room apologizing all the way. "It's okay, mom" she said. Kids are always so forgiving. As I flushed the line with a saline syringe Danni and discussed the possibility of squirting the cat with an extra saline syringe. Danni was more kind than I, she said the cat was having a bad day. Her humor is so rich. I cracked up.

"Due to lack of funds and transportation," she said in her high pitched voice, " I made you a Mother's Day card." Her next breath was to ask me if I was sitting on it. "No, I put it on the floor," I said between giggles. We were almost done with the antibiotic syringe when we both realized, man, we've got to go to the bathroom! "Just squish it in she said," I got the hint and since I had to go too we decided to hurry the process along a bit.

She gave me the card saying, like any kid would, "You have to look at this first and then I will show you the picture I took of us at the beach." The card had a big red heart on the front drawn on her drawing paper in her color pencils. When I opened it she had wrote in there that she wanted me to have a Happy Mother's Day and that when she got better and rich and famous that we would go to the beach together and yes even the "Egg McMuffin" could go with us. Danni gets this nickname for my hubby Matt partly from my nickname for him (of which I will spare him the embarrassment) and because when she was in the hospital he would bring her egg mcmuffins to eat with her hospital food. Steroids do make a person hungry.

I laughed with joy as I read the card and then she handed me the "picture" she had taken (in colored pencil). Sure enough there was Matt McMuffin and I and Danni on the beach. She chuckled a bit as she described the picture of Matt saying, "I picked up the neon yellow by accident so his egg is a little bright." Her rendition of Matt was, you guessed it, an egg and cheese sandwich with a head, mustache, stick arms and legs. He was of course holding a Nascar flag in one hand. "His feet remind me of wheels," she said, "and he's short, I should have given him a stepladder."

Don't get her wrong, she loves him dearly, she just has a sense of humor that won't quit.

"Why are my feet on backwards?" I asked "I was tired and kept falling asleep and the pencil kept slipping, see I don't have any thumbs either!" "Sorry about your hair, I grabbed the purple and thought it was brown so then I had to color really hard.." by then am losing it! "Heeeeyyy," she says. "See I have my hat on (her bandage) but my eyes are all wrong, at first they were one way then I changed them and now they are all messed up!" she said with a hint of disgust and orneriness.

It's times like these that make you realize how blessed you are as a mom. Not everyone got a card like that this morning at 6:45 am! "I'm sorry I couldn't get you anything," she said. "This was the best Mother's Day present ever!" I told her.

"Thank you for taking care of me, mom" the card read on the opposite side. "Where else would I be, what else would I be doing?" I always wondered how moms took care of their sick-beyond-the-normal-stuff kids, now I know.

Thank you God for Danni, Jessi, and Atlee, I love them all so much. Thank you for the opportunity to be a mom, even when they drive me crazy! Bless them richly today, cause them to go deeper in you than I ever will be, let them stand on my shoulders and reach farther into you. Keep them close to you, no matter the cost. I love you, Lord and I commit them into your hands, they were yours to begin with and I dedicate them anew to your purposes. AMEN!

May 7, 2008, The Stitches Came Out!

Today Danni and I made a trek down our well worn path to Fort Wayne to the neurosurgeon to have her stitches taken out. That went well and everything looked good to them. They said we should just continue to watch the draining from the top and make sure that the pocket of fluid at her temple doesn't reopen the wound.

They want to see her back in 2 weeks. Meanwhile, we will keep up the every eight hour vigil of iv antibiotics and wrapping of her head every day. We are thankful for the circumstances that God has chosen to discipline us with to make us more like him. Discipline meaning training not punishment. Read Hebrews 12:7-11.

He continues to go before us in all circumstances and we give him praise and glory!

May 4, 2008, Praises Along the Way--Refreshed in Every Way

What a great weekend, thank you Jesus! Danni went to her dad's for Saturday night so Matt and I snuck away to Michigan to do some antiquing. Even though we didn't find much we had a very relaxing time of it.

Danni enjoyed the time with her dad and I think we all feel refreshed. We are still waiting on the incision to heal before we go back to radiation. Danni has an appointment with her neurosurgeon this week so maybe we will find out more.

It was good to get away and relax, we all need that from time to time no matter what our circumstances.

We ended the weekend by listening to a sermon online from TD Jakes, he's one of our favorites. He was speaking about Mary when she was carrying Jesus and how when she came into contact with Elizabeth, John who was in her womb, leaped within her!

What a powerful thing to think about that when Jesus comes in contact with us we leap to life!
Romans 8:11 says And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you!

I was also reading in Colossians 3:1-5 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Matt and I had a great discussion about this scripture today. We discussed sinful things that plague us at times and how we deal with them. The scripture above tells us that we are dead and our lives are hidden in Christ.

God brings life to our mortal bodies and with that life we go on sinning? In the words of the Apostle Paul, " no means!" (Rom 6:2) It goes on to say there that we died to sin.

Back to Colossians 3, that whole chapter talks about putting to death the old junk and clothing ourselves with the new self and its attributes such as compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Col. 3:12).

With the life you've given to me, Lord, help me put to death the old garbage and put on the new self. Sometimes it doesn't seem like I can do anything about the old stuff but your word says I can. Help my unbelief, Lord, either your word is true or its not. When the enemy comes at me, help me to think like the new self.

Thank you for this most beautiful day and for your Spirit that lives in me causing me to leap inside! I love you Lord, fill all your lambs with your glorious Spirit and cause life to change our old yuck to new woo hoo! Amen!

May 1, 2008, Just a Lil' Note

Again, our family would like to send special thanks out to all those who have been faithfully feeding us the most wonderful foods! What a blessing it has been just to be able to rest and not to have to plan meals.

We would also like to send a great big thanks to all the students at International Business College for all the gas cards that were sent. I am much impressed by the generosity of the students there and I feel confident that their future employers will have professional, kind, loving employees! You have the biggest heart!

Danni is having a good week and she's resting and allowing her body to do its thing. We've been encouraging her to think about some online classes so she can make the most of her down time. I'm not sure yet where she will be doing them or if she will be doing them but she's considering the possibility.

Thanks again for all the prayers, love, food, gas money and other contributions. It is a beautiful thing to see the perfect and good gifts from above stream into our need through those he chooses to use. Richest blessings upon you all.