Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On the road

We spent the weekend in the Kenosha, Wisconsin and Chicago area. The joy of seeing friends and the encouragement received has far surpassed any fatigue I feel. We were so grateful to be at our church, Grace Community Bible Church, and have been so blessed. It was a quick stop but some of these conversations will encourage me for the next year! We plan to travel today to Oklahoma to visit with Patrick's parents and sister.

In answer to my last post, the doctor called the morning of the appt. and canceled. She said that I can do my tests when we return from OK (sometime next week). We thank the Lord that she submitted a good medical request to the airlines which moved our date of departure to Sept. 23. I am trusting that this will give ample time to make sure my body is receiving the meds well and to rest up before our return. Thank you for all of our prayers.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Doctors appointment tomorrow

Tomorrow is another appointment with the Infectious Disease doctor. We will need to talk about a lot of things--medicine, what tests I need and will need throughout the rest of the year, side effects of meds (it seems to be giving me headaches), any further test results from the biopsy, etc. I will need to go back to our country with a good documentation of what the diagnosis truly was, so that I won't be questioned by the state health officials as to why I didn't finish my TB meds. I could hear the conversation now...so we want to avoid it! She is also going to petition our airlines to stay a few weeks more, so we will see if she did that. Please pray that all of this falls into place--the airline tickets, the car rental so that we can see our friends in Chicago and then see Patrick's parents, our return date, and rest. I am feeling much better but I still exhaust easy.

Please also pray for my sister Sara as the doctor put her on bed rest for a bit as she was having bad back pains and she still has a few more weeks of pregnancy. She's been a big servant, but now needs a big break!

On a fun note, a dear college friend got all of our kids "Webkins." I had never heard of them, but now all the kids' animals are registered online with lots of games to play. We all are vying for internet time now! We had 3 public computers checked out at the library today as well as a laptop, making use of their wireless--kids laughing and pointing while mom enjoyed checking emails. I'm taking photographs in my mind, these are such cute memories.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Today is our 14th anniversary. I can't imagine life without Patrick. We have a fun evening planned while Auntie Sara and Uncle Brian are taking the kids to see Kung Fu Panda. I'm thankful too that my mouth is no longer numb after the dental work done this morning. Nothing like drooling at your anniversary dinner!

I think that my health is improving a bit because I haven't needed a nap for the past few days. I am taking anti-fungal pills currently along with some Wild Oregano Oil which a friend said will really help. Little by little...


This is the first time J has been on a bike and he's doing great!! Hopefully he'll learn how to brake soon...

Uncle Brian invited us to go on a bike outing with his middle school youth group. We had a really enjoyable time.

Ready to be pulled by Patrick the great.

We have been blessed by many families from Brian and Sara's church who have lent us bikes and also a mini-van to drive this month. Wow. Thank you!

Friday, August 8, 2008

A clear lab finding--Hooray!

The Lord has answered our prayers by giving clear lab results. Only one thing has tested positive thus far--the Coccidiodes Fungus (Valley Fever from Arizona). We are so thankful that it’s treatable, it’s not contagious, and it didn’t take many, many testings to find it. The doctor will continue to research the other cultures but gave me a prescription for an anti-fungal (itraconazole), believing that the fungus caused my lung cavity and nodules.

We are so thankful to have answers and for the quick and thorough care at the Clinic. A big high five too to Lesli K. for first mentioning Valley Fever months ago and to Dave F. and others who wrote with great “survival” stories.

Who would have thought that I had carried this for several years since our Arizona days. I had mentioned this fungus to our overseas doctor who said that they didn’t test for it because they didn’t have it there. He was 90% sure that it was TB, an infectious disease, so there were no options but to take the TB meds. What an interesting journey filled with face masks, daily shots, seclusion, and waiting. Yet, the Lord was near.

There are, of course, some lingering questions and continued items for prayer. How will we manage to get this expensive medicine to our home overseas for one year? And how necessary really is our doctor’s advice to remain in the states for another 2 weeks into September? And what can “rebalance” my emotions and body after these months of antibiotics, etc.?

But, those answers will come, for now we are rejoicing in the good news of a correct diagnosis!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


We have been waiting for results. My next scheduled appointment is this Thursday at noon with an Infectious Disease doctor.

Meanwhile I am enjoying the time here but struggling with some symptoms that I didn’t have before I took the TB medication in May. It’s hard for me to know then if it’s from my illness or lingering side effects. They include emotional things like mild anxiety attacks, feeling overwhelmed easily, and fatigue. It seems like something is out of balance. May the Lord shed light on what’s going on and may He grant strength, joy and boldness for each new day.

An olive lover

“I’m hungry,” said H, at that belly-rumble-before-dinner time.
“Here are some nectarines or bananas,” I replied.

Our little girlie wasn’t craving those things. She grabbed for the olives!! She took a whole handful and was satisfied. Our Mor. friends would have laughed and nodded. She is one of them!!

Another cute thing she did yesterday was to hold open the automatic door while I steered my cart out of Giant Eagle. She then watched, surprised as it closed and opened by itself! There’s a lot to be amazed of in these here parts!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

She's a Grand Ole Flag

"America! America! America!" the kids shouted from the back seat for each flag we passed on the road. The street was lined with flags, like the 4th of July, so the car remained noisy.

"Is the president coming?" B asked sincerely. "Dad, is the president coming down this street?"

Nope, that is in our other country. When a city puts up flags it means that the king is coming. We've even waved to him once or twice.

We love flags. E said today that he wants 3 flag stickers on his water bottle--USA, Spain, and our couscous country. Flags. They truly are emblems of the lands we love!

Friday, August 1, 2008


I am sitting in the public library, using their free internet, while B is adding to her pile of books by the minute, H is hugging a little doll she found in the play area and Patrick left to buy coffee due to the early wakeup time today! I'm groggy with rubbery legs but my heart overflows with thankfulness. Grateful for the quick bronchoscopy this morning, grateful for the freedom I had to return to this country, and grateful for you--our family and friends.

We set off at 6am this morning, arrived, and was prepped for the bronchoscopy. When I entered the operating room, I saw my vast number of CT scan films up on the wall (some stained by olives that I tried to import in our luggage!! Oops!). Then the anesthetic kicked in and I only remember opening and closing my mouth on command. Everything went smoothly, thanks be to God.

They will know the results early next week. They are testing for numerous things--TB, different fungi, bacteria, autoimmune related illnesses, and cancer, though he did say that cancer was unlikely. He said that many of these things are slow growing so the cultures may take a few weeks. My doctor has been in discussion with 3 other Infectious Disease doctors and I will meet with one after the biopsy results are in. Under his breath he said that the ID doctors like to do A LOT of testing so again we are praying for clarity and that we begin down the right road for treatment.

We are so very grateful for you and your concern and prayers for us. The Lord is near.

Off we go now--to rest and read!