You've Been Given the Gift of Life, Give it Back!

Welcome friends and family!

Thank you for visiting my blog. It documents my amazing journey from pre to post double lung transplant. I am a 37 year old mother and wife with Cystic Fibrosis who has been more greatly blessed than I could ever imagine possible!

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.

If you are a first time visitor, please take a moment to watch The Miracle of Transplantation video below. To me, pictures speak a thousand words.

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.

Please feel free to contact me with questions or feedback, I would love to hear from you!

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


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Beauty is SOUL deep!

Hello friends!

I have been struggling lately with my sense of beauty. I look in the mirror and see my fattened face, I try to squeeze into pants that no longer fit, I feel the love handles sticking out over my jeans, and something inside starts to doubt my beauty.

As a mother of a tween girl, I have to be VERY careful about what I am modeling for her. I do not want her to ever question her beauty or feel she is not pretty enough. She is gorgeous, but not because of her sweet face or her lovely figure, but because of her soul that only those who know her can see. That beauty is more important than a pretty face by a long shot!

We hear the expression "Beauty is skin deep", but I would like to coin a new expression: "Beauty is soul deep." The beauty of our souls is where we should be focused. That beauty is there no matter what our physical body looks like. If people can't see it, they don't know us.

If you are like me and are struggling with your changing body, let me suggest two scriptures to you.

The first is 1 Peter 3:3-4

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.  Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's eyes.

The second is Psalm 139:13-14

You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

I challenge you to post these on your bathroom mirror, so each morning, as your making yourself up, you can remember that God only cares about the beauty of your soul.  The next time you are feeling down about your external appearance, remember that God made you just the way you are and YOU are FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made!

God bless you all, my beautiful friends!  Nancy

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lots to Catch Up On!

You KNOW how AWESOME I think your prayers are, well, let me tell you they have been working.  Wendy is doing really well and is off the ventilator breathing on her own, hooray!!!  Please keep those prayers coming for her recovery.

Last weekend we took our annual trip to Pumpkinville.  Poor Hannah, I have made her stand by this sign since she was tiny.  Look how far she has come.

11 months old



We always have fun taking pictures with the fun decorations there.  I think Scott might have a crush on this pumpkin headed woman!

 They sure do grow pumpkins LARGE around here!

We got to watch apple cider being made, that was really cool!

We ended our trip to Pumpkinville with some delicious pumpkin donuts and cider slushes, YUM!

I also wanted to let you all know how helpful Zoey is, now that she is feeling better.

She loves to help pick out the food for dinner.


and, she is right there waiting after dinner to help with the dishes.  What a good little girl!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mega Prayer Request

Okay friends, you know what powerful prayers I think you all have.  Every time I have asked you to pray for something it has happened.  Most recently, for our new kitten, and guess what, she is 98% better, hooray!

Well, I have a major prayer request for all of you.  I have a dear pre-transplant friend who just got her call for lungs this morning.  When Wendy called she was getting ready to fly to Pittsburgh.  I am SO SUPER EXCITED for her!  But, she needs our prayers.  Please join me in praying that Wendy's donor's lungs are viable and that the surgery proceeds successfully and with no complications.

Also, join me in praying for the family who is mourning a loved one right now, but who was generous enough to look beyond their grief to donate the gift of life.  May God bless Wendy's donor and welcome him/her into His arms.  I will keep you posted as I know something.

May God bless you all!  Nancy

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Several New Recipes

If you like to follow my cooking blog, I wanted to let you know that I just added 10 new recipes.  Be sure to check them out!

My new kitty is really struggling

Hello!  I wanted to ask for your continued prayers for Zoey.  She is so sick and it breaks my heart.  We are giving her antibiotics, nose drops, extra attention, and tons of love.  I can't wait for her to act like a kitten once again.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Please Pray

Hello friends!

As most of you know, I had a bronchoscopy last Tuesday.  I haven't felt too great since then.  I was exhausted for several days after and I have felt heavy chested.  Yesterday my transplant coordinator called with the final results of my sputum culture.  The news was not good, I have a B. Cepacia infection in my new lungs.  Cepacia was the reason no other hospitals would consider me for transplant.  I had hoped this nasty bacteria would never enter my beautiful new lungs.  It has, however, so I begin a new fight to keep it under control.

My doctor is starting me on an oral antibiotic first to see if it can help the infection, if not, we will look to IVs.  I will also begin a new nebulized antibiotic.

On top of all that, my sweet new kitten has a horrible infection in her head.  I have never seen a cat with a stuffed up nose.  So, she is on antibiotics as well.  I guess we make a great pair.

I just wanted to ask you to pray that I can fight off this infection and keep the Cepacia under control.

Thank you all so much!  Nancy

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Meet Zoey

I am so excited to introduce you to my new kitten, Zoey Matthews.  We adopted her today from Joyful Rescues as a belated Birthday present for me.  I am in love!

Please pray my little Sweet Pea gets used to her quickly so they can become best pals!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A great weekend in Pittsburgh!

I didn't get a chance to let you know that we were headed to Pittsburgh on Friday.  We had a busy few days there starting Saturday morning with a Halloween Feis (pronounced like Fesh = Irish Dance Competition).

Everyone was encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes, even to dance in, so we had fun designing a monarch fairy costume for Hannah.

Scott decorated her eyes, they turned out GREAT!

Yes, I also dressed up.  I used my costume from last year, but instead of being a witch, I was a vampire (I didn't want to deal with the witch hat.)

We purchased a plain black leotard and I used iron on gems to create the design.  She got TONS of compliments on her costume!

When we first arrived at the Feis, Hannah and I didn't see anyone else in costume.  All the girls were dressed in their Irish Dresses.  I was glad for Hannah's sake that I was in a costume so she didn't feel too silly.

As more and more dancers arrived, we began to see lots of costumes, which made Hannah very happy.  Was their one other adult in costume, however? NO!!!  I got a lot of crazy looks.

My feeling, loosen up everyone, it is a Halloween Feis, dress up and have fun!

Though Scott would not walk with me, he was too embarrassed, I felt like I had come through for my child and made it more fun for her, and isn't that all that matters?

Wasn't she adorable?

It was a VERY successful Feis for her.  She swept all of her soft shoe dances with 4 firsts!  She has never accomplished this before, so we were very pleased.

On Saturday evening Scott and I attended the 30th Anniversary of my Transplant Center.  Some good friends of ours took Hannah for the evening.  We had a lovely time.  I finally got to meet a good friend, Brenda, who is also a CF transplant recipient who has done amazingly well.  It was a joy to finally meet her.  I also got to meet my doctor's wife and see my surgeon.  It was a terrific evening!

We also had a lot of downtime on Sunday to just relax together!

On Monday I had my doctor's appointment and Pulmonary Function tests.  My PFTs continue to be great with an FEV1 of 106%.  I had a bronch yesterday and am feeling awful today.  The lung biopsy was negative for acute or chronic rejection.  There was narrowing in one airway that was treated with laser and balloon dilatation.  There were also some secretions in the Right lower airways, so we are waiting to see what the cultures show.  Please pray there is no infection.  

Christmas Challenge

Please help me change the world, one family at a time!

Please pause music player and listen to this song while reading.
Keep Changing the World, by Mikeschair

Do you ever feel like you have lost the true meaning of Christmas?  Each year we stress about what to buy for family and friends, people who don't NEED anything which is what makes it stressful.  We spend tons of money on things they may never use or don't like, yet we feel obligated.

This year my family is changing its tune.  We have prayed about how Jesus would want us to celebrate His birthday and the message that came back LOUD and CLEAR was by helping and supporting others who actually NEED things for Christmas.

Instead of spending money on each other, we have adopted a family in our community to support with gifts this Christmas.  The father is disabled and the mother has to stay home to take care of their 6 children and her husband.  They are too financially needy to provide gifts for their children at Christmas.  Doesn't every child deserve a special gift at Christmas?  We are going to make sure they each have something special under the tree.

We will all get together and have a gift sharing party to show each other what we bought and prepare the gifts for the family.  It will be such a celebration of the true meaning of Christmas.

I would ask you to say your own special prayer about what you might be able to do to bring Christ back into your Christmas this year.  I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

May God bless you greatly!

The Miracle of Transplantation

Pause the music player before watching.