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Thursday, April 28, 2011

surprise!

I realize I haven't told you what happened last week. I will eventually, but the short story is I have some kind of stomach and intestinal infection. This week has been like last week, but not as bad. I've been getting vitamin C IVs along with tons of fluids. Im still throwing up a few times a day. Yesterday I did a detox IV and I had a terrible reaction to it. The abdominal pain got horrible, and I threw up, making the pain worse. It made my whole body hurt too and I got so hot. They gave me some kind of medicine in my IV, but that made everything worse so they ended up giving me another dose of Dilauded (pain medicine). That finally calmed it down. I was in so much pain and crying so hard.

I haven't done pushes the past week because of the stomach/intestinal thing. I was supposed to start them yesterday again, but after the IV we decided not to. Im so glad we didn't because we got a surprise last night!

Earlier this week, my dad told us someone from church was coming to Reno for work. He was bringing some presents for my mom and I from my dad and brother. So my mom was supposed to meet him at the airport when he got here and get the gifts that my dad sent.

My mom got to the airport a few minutes before the plane landed at 11pm last night. She was waiting for the guy from church, when she sees my dad and brother coming down the escalator!! She was so confused and thought she was seeing things!

So they are here for several days!!!! The guy who was supposed to be bringing our presents actually got the plane tickets for my dad and brother! They decided to come just a few days ago, so it was a last minute thing. We were SO surprised. I stayed at the apartment and didn't know they were here until they walked in the door and I was shocked!!! We stayed up really late and thankfully got to sleep in this morning. They are here until Sunday! What a great surprise! We haven't seen them in over a month.

Later today we are meeting with my doctor for our weekly appointment. I'll try and update later tonight or tomorrow, depending on if I do a push and how Im feeling.

Thank you for all the prayers and cards and packages!! We've been so blessed by you all and can't thank you enough. Thank you to the person who got my dad and brother plane tickets to come visit us!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to everyone! This Easter is different for us than every other Easter. My mom and I are still in Nevada, while the rest of my family is back home. Usually, we go to church, and then have everyone over to our house for a big meal. This year, the rest of my family is getting together. My mom and I don't have any plans. We haven't been able to go to church the whole time we've been here because I just don't feel well enough. I still can't eat a whole lot because of the colon infection. So we're just hanging out at the apartment. It feels so wrong. Sundays are for worshiping God with our brothers and sisters in Christ. While we've been here, Sundays don't seem like Sundays since we haven't been able to go to church.

But Easter isn't about all the "earthly" things we make it. Yes, this year is so different. My mom and I have been across the country for almost 7 weeks while I receive medical treatment. We can't go to church and aren't having a big meal with an Easter egg hunt. But Jesus still rose from the dead. He still conquered death and sin! Praise God that even though we aren't doing the "Easter" traditions, Jesus still rose from the grave! Here are some verses and songs that I love.

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

"Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen!" Luke 24:5-6

"Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus." Romans 6:8-11

"There's a peace I've come to know

Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead


And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise"

"Let no one caught in sin remain

Inside the lie of inward shame
But fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely You've bled for us
(Chorus)

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but heaven's will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer's crown
No burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign
Forever let Your church proclaim

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead
He's alive! He's alive!
Rise up from the grave"

Jesus is alive! Praise God!!

I'm working on an update on me, I'm just still not feeling well.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Quick update. I've been very sick the past few days. I have some kind of intestinal infection that is making me so sick. I was able to eat a little bit of soup tonight and have kept it down so far. I will update again soon. Please pray for this nasty virus/infection to go away. Im slowly getting over it, but it's just taking a while.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sorry for the lack of updates...

I'm sorry that I haven't posted lately. The last few days have been stressful. Thursday, we met with my doctor, and then went to my MRI and ultrasound. I was worried about the MRI because I had to hold my breath for 23-26 seconds. Your prayers worked because I was able to do it! We only had to repeat 3 out of the 15 pictures because I breathed too soon. We got the MRI done, and went to the next room for the ultrasound. They couldn't see anything with the regular abdominal ultrasound because the intestines were in the way. It caused me great pain, so we left and went to the clinic to talk to the my doctor about it. We really needed to see what was going on, so we scheduled another ultrasound (the not fun one) for the next day (Friday). I didn't do a push Thursday night because of the pain I was in from the tests.

Friday morning we got to the clinic early to pre-medicate me for the ultrasound. They couldn't find a vein, so that took a while. They gave me IV pain medicine and Ativan, which is a light sedative, and then we immediately went to the ultrasound. I thought I wouldn't remember it, but unfortunately I do. It was not fun! Whoever decided it was okay to do that kind of ultrasound is crazy. I got through it, and we were done pretty fast. We went back to the clinic for my push, and because I was so uncomfortable, even with the medicine they gave me with before. We do have good news though! They didn't see a cyst! We haven't gotten the official report, but the lady doing the ultrasound didn't see a cyst!

We got to the clinic and got me more comfortable, and I got my shots and the push.

Yesterday (Saturday), we just hung out at the apartment, because I'm not feeling well. Friday night I didn't sleep well at all because of the pain. I'm hurting a lot from the cyst rupturing, and just don't feel well. It was nice outside, so we sat by the pool and read.

Today, we are doing the same thing as yesterday. I slept a little better than the night before, but still not great. I'm still hurting and generally don't feel good.

We thought the pain would be better since the cyst ruptured, but it hasn't let up yet. We are hoping in the next few days that it will get better!!

I think I'm just worn out from Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and all the tests and extra medication I needed. I'm glad those tests are over.

All the other times that we've come here for treatment, we've been able to go to church here. We found a little church that we like, and have gotten to know a lot of the members since we've been here so much. This trip, I haven't been at all. My mom has been a couple times, but I just haven't felt well enough to go. I hate not going to church. At home, Sunday's are for church and fellowship. It's so weird not to do that.


Life here is so different than home. Here, our life is centered around treatment. It's very tiring and emotionally hard. One of the best parts though, is meeting all the people at the clinic. They become your family, because everyone is separated from their real family. Most people have traveled a long ways from home. We are all together at the clinic everyday, for weeks or months. I love how we become family. We encourage one another. We pray for one another. We run errands for one another. We cry with one another. If someone is having a hard day, we all cry with them. If someone is doing great, we rejoice with them. Just like this verse.

"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12:15

I still talk to people who were at the clinic with us from previous trips. It's so amazing how God gives you people who are going through the same thing.

Thank you for your prayers and for everything you do. Last week I received SO many cards and packages. It really encourages us! Thank you so much for the support!! I love you all!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday night update

Today was interesting. We got to the clinic around 11 and I started my IV. The abdominal pain got worse as always about 30 minutes into the IV. Once I got some medicine, I was fine for a while until it wore off. I got another dose, and we headed out to lymphatics after I finished my IV. We de-accessed my port before going to lymphatics since we thought I wouldn't need it. Usually we just come back for my shots. The arm shot, butt shot, and push. They have to do the push in a vein in the arm, not through a port or PICC line, so that's why we went ahead and took the needle out of my port.

Lymphatics was fine for most of it. She uses wands that break up lymphatic knots all over the body. One wand session is equivalent to ten manual sessions (working the knots out with your hands). Until today we have not put wands on my right side where all the pain is. She asks everytime and I got tired of her asking if she could put them there, so I said yes today.

So she put one wand on planned to leave it there for 8 minutes. Four minutes in, I told her she had to take it off. She did, and we quickly finished my session. I hid it well that I was in so much pain. As we walked to the car, I honestly thought I was going to pass out from the pain. It was as bad, or worse than when we went to the ER on Sunday night. We raced to the clinic, of course catching every red light there. I barely made it to a chair and lost it. I was in so much pain. I felt nauseous and like I could get sick, and I couldn't catch my breath. They quickly started another IV (tried a vein in my arm but couldn't get it, so they accessed my port again) and got fluids and medicine going. It took 2 strong doses of medicine to touch the pain.

My doctor saw me and said there's no way I should do a push tonight. I didn't even do my arm or butt shot.

Once the fluids went in, and I could move again, we got to leave.

Im still hurting quite a bit, but not nearly as bad as earlier. We will definitely not put wands there again, unless I think I can tolerate it.

Tomorrow I have a busy day. I'll go to the clinic in the morning for my IVs. Then, at 2:30 I have the rest of my MRI of my abdomen. At 3:30 I have an ultrasound of my abdomen and pelvis. At 5, we meet with my doctor, and get my shots. So it will be a crazy day!

Today I received so many cards from my youth group and people back home and it made my day! I've received several packages, including a beautiful blanket! I will post a picture sometime! I've gotten so many cards, and they are so encouraging. It is very hard to be so far away from home, going through all of this. But the cards are a great reminder at how much people care.

So thank you once again for your prayers and encouragement!! It really makes a difference. I'll update when I find out anything!

Update

Last week, my vein must have collapsed or something, so one of the medicines they put in my veins leaked out into the tissue, causing swelling and pain and redness. This is what it looked like..they said it will take a week or two to fully heal. It's definitely better than it was, and I can use my arm again!



Thursday I woke up with the worst sore throat. I couldn't talk or really swallow because it hurt so much. I had fever too, but that's nothing new. Have you ever tried not talking for day? It's very hard!!  Because I couldn't swallow, I couldn't take any of my medicines that I needed to. My blood pressure and heart rate was very high because I was in so much pain, and couldn't take any medicine. We met with my doctor right when we got to the clinic, and he wasn't feeling well either. He gave me a flu push in my IV, which is a homeopathic medicine to prevent me from getting the flu. He said there was a little bit of fluid behind my ears, which told him I had a fever overnight. There must be some kind of virus going around the clinic. Everytime I get over one virus, I get hit with another one. I'm very low in iron and protein, so we need to work on increasing those things. I am starting iron pills. During my appointment, we talked about long term things, but mostly about things that needed immediate attention like pain, nausea, coughing, and those types of things. We talked about doing more Vitamin C IVs to help with the viruses, but decided against it because it causes additional abdominal pain, and I was already hurting so much. I had IV medicine since I couldn't take my oral meds.

They have added another shot to the protocol right now. It's another detox shot, that is to help with any radiation from Japan. I guess it is being detected here in Reno. So now I get a detox (arm) shot either before or during my IVs, then an hour after I'm finished with my IVs, I get another detox (arm) shot, the butt shot, and the push (in a vein in my arm).

My cough is mostly better now! I still sometimes take the cough medicine and/or a breathing treatment or inhaler. I don't need them as often thank goodness.

Friday I woke up feeling okay. I got to the clinic and ate some yogurt to take my medicines. That didn't go so well and I ended up getting sick. So for the 2nd day in a row, I couldn't take my medicines. I also still had fever. Getting sick caused the abdominal pain to increase (just like coughing does). I ended up getting lots of IV medicine since I couldn't take my oral meds. I got IV fluids too because I'm very dehydrated.

Sunday I wasn't feeling very good, so we didn't go anywhere. Around 4pm the abdominal pain got so bad. We called my doctor and he told us to go to the hospital if it didn't get better. So we got to ER (same one as we went to a month ago) and went through the normal routine. I had an ultrasound, not a CT because I've had too much radiation from all the CT scans I've had recently. They couldn't see anything on the ultrasound. Once we got the pain under control, we went back to the apartment. It was around 9 or 10 that night before we left the hospital.

The pain is still really bad. On Thursday I have the rest of my MRI and another ultrasound to see if we can see if the cyst is still there, or if it ruptured.

The detox IVs that I get everyday really aggravate my abdomen, which leaves me needing more pain medicine. We talked with my doctor today about whether it is better to not do IVs to keep the pain down, or do IVs and just take pain medicine. He said to do the IVs and pain medicine.

I've been doing the push everyday, but haven't gotten much of a reaction. We went up on the dose tonight, but I'm just hurting more and nothing else.

The results from my tests on Thursday will help determine what to do next. Please pray that we can figure out what to do.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

in the hospital in Reno

Im in the ER in Reno. We just got here. Please pray

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Things have been the same the past few days. I've been getting a detox IV everyday, and sometimes fluids, just depending on how I feel. I've had 4 pushes and they've not been too bad. Im also on kidney drainage drops, as well as hormone drops. Im doing breathing treatments still. My cough was better, but we think the weather and allergies made it come back again. So Im still on cough medicine too, as well as pain medicine. Everyday I get a detox shot in my arm, and the butt shot (oxygen shot). Then I get the push, which goes in a vein in my arm, and we head back to the apartment.

Tomorrow is my weekly blood draw and appointment with the doctor. The weather has been nicer here, and the trees are blooming. It's very pretty!

Also today, I have another lymphatic "massage". That really helps my body to get rid of toxins. Every night, Im supposed to take a bath of Epsom salts and baking soda because that also draws toxins out.

Thank you for the sweet notes and prayers!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Weekend Update

Here is a picture of Allen and Robin Dutton and my mom and I on Friday. They left yesterday to go back to Brazil. It was great to be at the clinic with them for a week!


The push Friday was a little worse than Thursday. It didn't hit right away, but got worse later that evening. Yesterday and this morning, I woke up soaking wet from my fevers. It is not a pleasant thing! I've felt more run down and feverish this weekend. We did drive to Lake Tahoe yesterday, and it was nice to get away from Reno. Everyday last week at the clinic I got breathing treatments. I haven't done any since Friday because we haven't been at the clinic, so I've been having some major coughing fits. I require breathing treatments as if I had asthma because of the virus I have.

We've just been hanging around the apartment today, as I do not feel well enough to go to church or do anything. Today my coughing has been really bad, and I've been in lots of pain. I'm still on pain and cough medicine around the clock.

They make the push every weekend, so it is usually stronger at the beginning of the week. We will stay at the clinic tomorrow for several hours after I get the push to make sure I can handle it. We will see how it goes!