Welcome friends and family!
It has been a bumpy ride, but God has given me strength, love, friendship, and, FINALLY, health. My prayers have been answered, my miracle was granted, and I want to share the joy of my new life with you.
My entries begin in April of 2008 and my double lung transplant was December 10. Scroll down to my blog archive and you can read from the beginning or jump around. If you are looking for a specific topic, you can use the search engine.
I hope I can help you to experience the love God has for each and every one of us!
May God Bless You with Miracles in Your Life! Nancy
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I hope you all had a relaxing holiday weekend. We got out our Christmas decorations which I have to admit was bitter sweet. It is very important to me that Hannah have a happy Christmas, even with all that is going on, so I was bound and determined to leave this house decorated for Christmas.
Of course, we couldn't put out everything, that just wasn't practical and our 9 ft. tree was too overwhelming to think of putting together and decorating, so Scott found an inexpensive 6 ft. tree that my dad assembled and Hannah (with a little help from me) decorated. We were careful to only use non-breakable ornaments, keeping in mind we have a kitten who is fascinated by her first Christmas tree. We took out a few special ornaments to take to Pittsburgh for the little 3 ft. tree we will have in our apartment there that Hannah will help us decorate next weekend.
It was a sad weekend for me. First, knowing I will not be home to celebrate Christmas was looming in my mind. Second, I only had enough energy to do a little decorating myself, something I love to do. Third, I had to put aside my need for control and allow others: my mom, mother-in-law, and Hannah to do the decorating I take such pride in.
It was also a happy weekend, however. I enjoyed watching Hannah's joy as we opened the different boxes and treasured Christmas decorations and ornaments were uncovered. She did an awesome job decorating the tree and was so proud of what she had accomplished.
Hopefully I will be able to post some pictures of the tree decorating tomorrow.
All my love! Nancy
Friday, November 28, 2008
I piled my plate high and Scott chuckled as he looked at all the food, joking that he would be amazed if I ate even 1/3 of it. Guess what, I ate about 3/4 of it and IT TASTED GOOD! I know that seems like a silly thing to say, (you are probably thinking, of course Thanksgiving dinner tasted good) but food brings me no pleasure lately. I eat because I HAVE to, not because I want to. I can't tell you the last time I really enjoyed a meal before yesterday. So, being able to enjoy this Thanksgiving dinner was a special miracle for me.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
My love and prayers go out to all of you and I give great thanks for the love and support you have given to me. May you have a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving! All my love, Nancy
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Unlike other professions where a job well done is rewarded with promotions, bonuses, or raises, the more successful a home-maker is, the less likely anyone is to notice. When things are running smoothly in our homes, we tend to take for granted the person who is orchestrating that smoothness. It isn't until that person is unable to perform that all they do for us comes to light.
Why do I bring this up today? Because I used to be that home-maker. My life was devoted to the care of my family. I went to work each day to make money to help support us, then I came home and worked all night and weekend taking care of my family's needs. I will admit, there were times I felt extremely unappreciated, never unloved, but sometimes taken for granted.
Last night I saw this unappreciated feeling in my mother's eyes, and it made me very sad. She has given up 8 months plus of her life to come and take over for me. She has become our home-maker and my care provider. My family loves her dearly, yet they often take all of the wonderful things she does for us for granted. I am aware of the sacrifices she is making, because I was once making them myself.
So, today I want to remind you all to appreciate the home-makers in your life, don't allow them to feel unappreciated or taken for granted. Take the time to thank them, to help them, to give them a much needed break. What they do is a job filled with love, caring for the people who mean the most to them, and they should be praised and honored.
To my mom, thank you. Thank you for giving up your life to be here for me and my family. Never doubt that you are treasured and loved! I couldn't feel more blessed or be more grateful to have you as my mother. Nancy
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
(Obviously, we will not be using the pool, much to Hannah's disappointment!)
The manager of the building was extremely welcoming, as were all of the staff and tenants we met. It is a very quiet building that seems to have mainly older residents and I got the feeling it is very much a community. They are currently working on a bake sale to raise money for a wheelchair for one of the tenants and we were invited to the community Christmas party.
The apartment we chose is a two bedroom with 1 1/2 baths. It is on the second floor and has a nice wooded view (there is an elevator). It will not be ready for two weeks because they will be replacing all of the carpeting, the kitchen floor and lighting, replacing the kitchen appliances, re-painting, and cleaning every square inch. (I met the woman who cleans and she assured me she would have it spotless when we arrive.)
(This is approximately the floor plan of our unit.)
Though I dread the thoughts of moving away, yet again, after our scary drive home last night in the snow, I know this is the best thing to do. Hannah and Scott will come as often as they can and at least, now, we will have room for everyone to stay in our apartment. We have also set up a camera on our home computer so that Hannah and I can see each other each night on-line, hopefully that will make the separation a little easier. She has two weeks off for Christmas, so we should get some good time together then as well.
Now I can just relax and look forward to Thanksgiving with the family, knowing that at least we have a place in Pittsburgh.
Love to you all! Nancy
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I would like to begin by apologizing for my blog. I decided to try a new template today and basically wrecked everything, way to go, Nancy! I am trying to figure out how to restore what I somehow deleted and hopefully will have everything back to normal soon.
We received word last night that one of our friends from Family House passed away yesterday. Her name was Tammy and she and her father had moved to Family House soon after we did in May. She had had a small bowel transplant, I am not sure how long ago, but her organs had gone into rejection in May when we first met. She waged a long battle with the rejection of her new organs, but just wasn't strong enough. My heart goes out to her family; she leaves behind two children (her youngest had graduated from High School in June) and a grandbaby. Tammy's father Ken and mother Judy have been very supportive of me and had visited me during my hospitalizations at UPMC. My prayers go out to all of them. I cannot be sad for Tammy, I know she is finally at peace, in God's care, and can rest with no more pain and suffering.
Thank you to everyone who has offered dressers, you are all terrific! I think we are all set there, but I will keep you posted as we think of other things we may need.
All my love! Nancy
Sunday, November 16, 2008
You may be waking up each day with a spouse who no longer loves you or a marriage that just can't continue to work. You face the fear of life on your own, of telling your children, of filing for divorce. These are enormous burdens to be facing and my heart aches for you.
With our failing economy, some of you are facing unemployment. The comfortable life you have known has been jerked out from under you and you are facing debt, a mortgage, and the need to change your entire life's direction. Your family who has depended on you to provide them what they need is suddenly looking to you to save them, yet you don't know if you have the strength to save yourself. My heart aches for you.
I have too many friends who have faced or are facing the fear of cancer. It seems to have no boundaries in who it can affect. Some of you have survived the initial battle, but always wonder when it may return. Others of you are deep in the trenches, fighting through chemo and radiation, hoping all of this pain will end in remission, but having no guarantee of victory. My heart aches for you.
Still others of you are trying to cope with a child's difficult diagnosis. Their total care and well-being are in your hands and you are forced to fight each day to get them the rights to an equal education, to respect from their peers, to understanding from their teachers, to quality health care. In the day you are their rock, but at night you cry yourself to sleep wondering what kind of life lies ahead for them. My heart aches for you.
No wonder there is so much sadness, anger, and fear in this world. Bad things are happening to us and all around us every day. How can you not feel anxious about what evil might befall you or your family around the next bend in the road? How can you be optimistic about the future when you aren't sure you will survive the day?
Last week when I was so ill, a thought occurred to me. It would be so easy to just give up. It is the fight that is so painful, why not just roll over and stop caring. I'll tell you why, because that is the EASY way, that is the way the evil in this world wants us to turn. When we give up, we lose our FAITH. Without it, we are totally lost.
It is easy to become angry with God, to doubt He exists, to question His motives, but it is not God who is bringing us misfortune, it is life. God remains constant, there in good times and bad. All He asks is that you believe, no matter how bad it gets, you believe. If you believe, He will rescue you, maybe not today or tomorrow, but He has promised you a life everlasting in His love, where no pain can ever touch you again.
It is easy to become desperate when you have no hope of change. I may be able to do nothing more to comfort you than this, but I promise you, the pain and suffering will end and for your faith you will be greatly rewarded.
Until then, you have me, and I love you and I'll pray for you. You have many who are rooting for you, who are lifting you up, who are willing to offer their support and friendship. I KNOW this, because I have each of you. Some of you have only recently entered my life, others of you have always been there, but you are THERE, what greater gift could you give me?
So, when you feel utterly alone, you remember my promise, my faith in you, and my love and friendship. Nancy
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Though I am still feeling pretty crummy, I am doing much better than I was earlier this week. Obviously the new antibiotic combination is helping and I am grateful. At least this weekend, if the call were to come, I could accept it because any infection seems to be under control and that brings me relief, I would hate to think of missing an opportunity for lungs because of an infection.
We are starting to try to plan for what we will need to bring to Pittsburgh. It does not sound like we will be able to get a furnished apartment, so we are trying to figure out what we have that can work for furnishings. My friend Rose suggested that I ask all of you for help if we need any furniture items, so, here goes. It would be nice to have a small dresser for in the bedroom, do any of you locally have a small dresser you aren't using that you would be willing to loan us while we are in Pittsburgh? Please e-mail me if you do. If I think of other things, I will let you know.
Thank you all so much for your continued friendship and support! Love, Nancy
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Hannah has been struggling with nightmares. Last night, as she stood by my bed with tears streaming down, I thought of my own fears and how hard it is to overcome your fears. I ended up sitting in her room with her until she went to sleep. As I sat there, I thanked God for always being willing to sit with me when I am scared. He doesn't force me to face these fears alone, He stays with me. Just as I love Hannah and want to help her find peace, God loves me and will continue to be here even as the pain and suffering grows. I can handle anything with Him by my side!
May you feel God's calming presence in your life today and every day! My love to you! Nancy
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I continue to feel lousy. Hopefully tomorrow we can come up with a new treatment plan that may at least take away the fevers.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
A quick update. We saw Dr. Pilewski this morning at 10:00. I am still really struggling, but there may not be much that can be done. At this point, we have thrown the top antibiotics at me and there still hasn't been an improvement, so this may just be my new baseline. I had kind of come this this realization on my own, but needed him to reinforce it so that I could totally wrap my head around it. And we fight on.
We decided to stay here in Pittsburgh one more night since the trip down took so much out of me and I am glad we did, I was able to get a long nap in a bed (not the car) this afternoon while Scott enjoyed the beautiful Pittsburgh weather on a long walk.
I also got to meet my teammate on this quest for lungs, Cammi. Scott and I drove by their rental home and we chatted from a safe distance, me in the car, her in her driveway. I will talk more about this in another post, but for me, this was by far the highlight of my Pittsburgh trip!
Well, I am still exhausted and we need to discuss dinner, so I will go for now. Look for another update tomorrow! Nancy
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Scott and I will be travelling to Pittsburgh tomorrow, I have an appointment with Dr. Pilewski Thursday morning. Dr. Pilewski was good enough to call to check on me last night, I think we all got a little scared with the severity of my symptoms. Though I still feel crummy today, the fever is gone and with the increase in oxygen my heart rate has settled down. I think I'll be doing a lot more sleeping today, however.
Please say a few extra prayers for me. Thank you all so much! Nancy
Sunday, November 2, 2008
We did have a wonderful evening with the girls and Scott and I both went to the movie with them. I enjoyed the movie thoroughly, Scott tried not to sleep. When we returned home, Hannah opened presents and then the girls played Dance Dance Revolution. I am not sure what time they actually got to bed, I was passed out by 9:00 and never heard a thing (thank God for fathers and grandmothers!)