Friday, May 15, 2015

Quick Update :) I'm Moving Up :)

Between the past 2 weeks, I have gone through many tests and doctor appointments.  Some tests got bumped back and had to have them rescheduled which put me a bit behind schedule.  We were told it was looking like my selection committee meeting with all the doctors that I've seen along with those who will be taking part of my care after transplant would be moved from the 14th to the 21st.  I know its's only a week...but its a whole week of the waiting.   I'm ready to move this into fast forward a bit faster lol.   I got a phone call at 9:30 Tuesday night from my nurse transplant cordinator.   She was still at the office trying to get all my files together to be able to make it for the selection committe for the 14th.   We missed a cat scan that was needing done, so she was there early Wednesday to get me scheduled in for that.  With all of her hard work she was able to present me before the panel of doctors on the 14th ��.   She called asking if I really wanted to know how things went....UM YES!!!   She said all went well and that it was decided that only the intestine would be transplanted.  I'm not sure the reason for keeping the stomach with it not functioning...but i know with the stomach being transplanted the pancreas would need to be also.  My pancrease is good , and the more I can keep of my own the better, with rejection.    The next step is approval through the state of Ohio transplant board.  It's a second panel of doctors who look over my case and make sure that this is the only option and best option for me.  They have 5 days to respond once they receive the letter amd it usually doesn't take that long for them to respond.   Also need cleared and approved by insurance, which I have got a call this morning on from the transplant financial department.  That is all approved and ready to go.  Not sure, but by the way things are going, maybe by the end of next week I can be on the transplant list.   I have to see the allergist again, due to a medication they give in the OR to transplant patients to make sure I don't have an allergy to it.  I'll update next week once we know more! ��

Thank you once again to every donation that has been made! Each donation, is a blessing no matter the amount.   Feel free to share my blog or funding page with others! Also thank you for the support you've shown to us thru your love,prayers,cards, emails, and phone calls . 

I'm so thankful for God's strength day to day.  He knows my every need and if he cares about a sparrow, how much more does He care for me. He is my Great Physication, Peace, Strength...and so much more.   All my tomorrows have to pass by Him, before they come to me.   He is so good to me!

Love,
Jamie 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Things are moving forward!

Things are starting to move forward :)

I started an update that I thought was saved but wasn't so I'll do my best to back track and fill you in.  

Things are starting to pick up with the process of getting ready to go on the transplant list.  The Lord gave me a HUGE miracle regarding some paper work for insurance.  I was in tears thinking I was following all the steps and doing all that I needed to do on my part.  Not the case when I made a phone call one Friday mid-morning.  I got off the phone in tears feeling like everything I had done the past several weeks was all for nothing.  I talked with Shane and explained what was going on and we explained to the kids that we needed for God to help in the situation.  Nothing is too big or too little for God to step in and change things.  Another lady called me that afternoon and after explaining my situation to her, she asked if she could call me back in about 10 minutes.  When she called me back, things that were to take another week or two were done right then.  GOD is so GOOD!!  We rejoiced and cried tears of joy for the answered prayer.:)

In the meantime I have fought some low grade temperatures so I called my doctor...and was told to go to the ER.  In flushing my central line, the line broke.  Not good.  The ER doctor did some blood cultures and lab work and then called my doctor to update him.  Since my counts for infection were within normal range, I was sent home to watch the temps and come back if they got worse.  They would be keeping an eye on the blood cultures, knowing that it would take 24 hours for the results and would call me if anything was growing.  I got a phone call the next morning saying I needed to go to the hospital and be admitted for a line infection.  I had to have the line removed and wait for the cultures to come back negative before placing a new line.  The doctor there decided that it would help me to just have 1 line, however my own doctors were not made aware of the change.  I woke up to my nurse flushing my line back in my room, noticing then I only had one line.  The lipids for my TPN are not compatible with one of my IV nausea medications. It took me a few days of waiting to get the line placed already so I wasn't interested in camping out there a few more days. They made it work for the time being and this Tuesday I have to go back in to have it replaced as 2 lines since I'll need it that way for the transplant also.  Even if they would have been able to switch it out the next day, my body wasn't ready to do the change out.  It takes about a week for the soreness to work its way out.  Also glad it happened now before being on the transplant list, because things would have to be placed on hold for that to clear up before having the transplant done.

While I was in the hospital walking the halls I came across a girl crying, with a box of tissues in her hand.  Talk about break your heart.  I didn't want to come across as nosey, but I couldn't just pass by and leave her alone.  She told me through her tears that her Mom was here to have a stent placed in her liver.  She had a liver transplant in the past and wasn't doing well from having the stent placed due to some lung issues and being on the ventilator.  After praying for her and her Mom, I told her if she needed me, to just come to my room.  I told her my name and said she could just ask my room number at the desk.  That evening I heard a code called for the area where her Mom was.  A few hours passed and I went on my walk for the night and the room was empty.  I'm not sure what happened and have still had her come to my mind, and continue to pray for them.  I don't know what the outcome was...BUT GOD does and even tho I don't know her name He knows all the details.  I just don't want to miss any chance that I have to be the willing vessel that He has called me to be.  I want to have a sensitive heart.

I got to meet a new "friend" thru sharing a room.  She was sweet and we talked, laughed, and yes shared some recipes!!  I now have a new recipe for homemade cornbread-no more jiffy!  Can't wait to not just make it, but enjoy eating it also!  Oh, and can't forget to add butter to the top of it!! YUMMMMY  

It's a full week of testing, doctor appointments, more testing and pre-op appointments too.  After this week I still have a few more to add to the list but this is the fullest part of the schedule of events.  It started with 25 vials of blood for well over 25 tests ordered. Yes even though I only have 1 line, I am glad that I at least have a central line to draw the blood.

It looks like May 14th I will have my case presented before the board of all the doctors involved with the pretesting and any doctor involved with the transplant. I will keep the blog updated before then and update you once I hear that things move to the next step for going on the list.  

So thankful that we are able to go to church while we are here. The kids have other friends their age which is nice.  The church understands the reason why we are here and have all been so kind.  They also have began praying for my family and me.  God is so wonderful in allowing me to have people all over the place to call out me and my family in prayer. Not just from Illinois and Ohio, but throughout the world.  I am so thankful that we are not having to face this alone.

While I was in the hospital Shane needed to go home a few days so his Dad and Mom came, stayed the night.  His Mom stayed and his Dad, Kelsey, and Shane took off to go to Princeton.  He came back 2 days later with Kelsey, bringing more things for me from home.  I hope by the time we go home to Illinois I'm not needing a UHAUL!  LOL !  It was nice to have his mom here to help, with me being in the hospital.  While Shane was meeting his dad to take his Mom back, the girls and I had some Mom and Daughter time.  It was way past due and much needed.  I am thankful that I have been blessed with two beautiful young ladies. They are just growing too quickly and time needs to slow down just a bit.  They had noticed that a bookstore was hosting a book signing with Jim Brickman.  Saturday we had the chance to go to it and hear him play a few songs, take a few questions and do a book signing.  We were in line to see if we could get a picture with him and the lady behind me turned to ask if I had purchased the book.  I told her no ma'am and she placed her book on my lap.  Once she got back in line from getting herself another book she handed me a CD also.  I sat there with tears saying thank you.

Thank you so much to all of you who have helped us financially.   There are some who have made donations thru the National Foundation for Transplant that I don't even know.  Thank you!  Every bit helps.  What a blessing! 

Thank you for all the love and support you have shown to us through prayers, emails, cards...!  A huge thank you from all of us!  

Thankful that God cares and knows our every need and that each step I take HE is right there.  I am so grateful for His love for me.   He knows my name.  Without Him, I wouldn't be here today.   He guides my footsteps and wipes my tears, gives me peace in the midst of each storm, and everlasting joy.  We serve a Great Big Wonderful GOD! 

Have a wonderful day!
Love-
Jamie

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

We are here in Ohio

WOW! My head spins trying to go back since December and fill you in. I apologize for not keeping up on the blog better than I have and hope to do a better job from here on out. I'll just back up to just a few weeks ago and let you in on bit of my new journey I'm on-but not alone!:) I am now residing for some time here in Ohio. I received a phone call March 20 that we needed to be here in Ohio to get the ball rolling to be placed on the transplant list. Since my surgery in November there has been some things that have improved, but some things that haven't. Between my transplant surgeon, transplant nurse, and transplant social worker, they decided this is the next step we need to enter into. With much prayer and consideration of a lot of other things,we have made the tough decision to make the move. I am not on the list at the present time, but will be going on it soon. There's a few things we need to do before going on the list and once that's done, then a handful of doctors and a few test to clear me for the transplant list. That gave me 2 weeks to get some of my house packed up and ready to put on the market to sell. To pack ALL of my medical "stuff". I hope to leave some of that here in Cleveland once I get to come home again. To decide what clothes to take for spring and summer. I am a girl and 5 outfits are not enough for me to make it through a week:) NO more needs to be said on that.:) Getting important documents together. Helping 3 kids pack some clothes and their school things, fix a few meals and throw them in the freezer to have for while we are in Ohio so I didn't have to bring my kitchen with me. By the time I got my "things" all together I realized I had too much! So then, I had to go back thru and condense a few boxes together and decide what I could leave behind for a bit. It was a BUSY 2 weeks that went by too fast! We decided that Shane would bring Kelsey and I on out to Ohio first, so on April 2 we left and made it from Princeton Illinois to Westlake Ohio. Lots of loading up a car and unloading of a car in one day! He headed back to Princeton on the 4th to get the younger two and they came back to Ohio on the 8th. Kelsey and I were able to get the room unpacked and things put away before the rest of the family got back. I enjoyed the time that we had together, but I sure did miss being a complete family. The Marriott TownePlace Suites have a 2 bedroom apartment and we felt that would be our best option. It has a little kitchen with a small stove/oven, fridge, dishwasher.... There is a transplant house, but we have 3 children that will be with us off and on. We are doing some family things together while we have the time and chance too. We have done an art gallery and nature museum. Shane has taken the kids on walks to Lake Erie and a few parks to give me some time to catch some rest. We are enjoying our time that we have together:)We were able to go to church on Sunday morning then came back to the room that afternoon to rest. The kids are troopers, and are handling it well. We keep reminding each other in rough moments that this is only temporary. Since we have been here I have been fighting a little bit of sinus issues and doing better but it seems like my energy level has been zapped. Also with adjusting to the time change-Ohio is an hour ahead of us. Yes, I know it's an hour but it makes a difference.:) I have people asking what they can do to help. I have a page on the National Foundation for Transplants set up. I do have a link for it on the right side bar that you can go to if you would like to make a donation. I have had many people already donate which we are very thankful for. Any amount is greatly appreciated- especially when you consider all the cost involved. I realize not everyone is in the position of being able to donate financially, but please keep our family in your prayers. Also please pass this along to your family and friends. I was touched because my very first donation on my page was someone who doesn't even know myself or my family. My page was shared with them from one of my family members and they made the donation. I am so thankful that I am not walking this alone, but He is with me every step I take. So glad that He is always here and will not leave or forsake me. I am so grateful for everything He has done and is doing in my life. I can't do this without Him!! If it wasn't for Him, I would not be here. HE's so faithful!! He has seen me through each storm I have faced! He's my strength,my peace,my joy,my rock,my healer,my hope. I have such a peace from Him- what benefits He blesses me with a His child. So thankful for His precious Word that I can not just read, but memorize and put in my heart. I am so thankful for all of you who have held my family and I up in prayer. Thank you so much for all the love and support you give to me through prayers, meals, cards, phone calls, emails, and blessing us with your giving!!! I'll try to do my best to update the blog as this move along. :) With love and thanks- Jamie

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Long Awaited Update :)

Let's see if I can try to fill in the gaps since the last post from Saturday November 8.   On Sunday I walked the entire circle of the floor.  The epidural was then removed and the pain became very intense.  I was given some pain reliever  through the central line and ended up with a bad reaction to it.  Thankful for Gods hand once again pulling me out.  Monday was a better day.  I was even, able to have an aide wash my hair which, by the way, felt wonderful.  It wore me out a bit but it was well worth it!!  On Tuesday I was getting my things packed up.  A social worker came in and asked if I could be ready to go by 9 Wednesday.    I said yes ma'am no problem!:) Wednesday morning came and 9 am was not going to happen.  I had some patient teaching I had to finish and was still finishing up my TPN from the night before.  We got the green light to go about 1:00.  Not bad:) It felt wonderful to be outside. The doctors and staff were all impressed by my recovery and how well things are going.  They would do their rounds in the mornings and were always saying keep up the great work, and how thrilled they were to see how great things were.  To God be the glory!  It is his strength and healing that has brought me through this!   Thank you for all your prayers for me, Shane and our children.

Wednesday night at the hotel was a bit of adjustment from being in the hospital.   Thankful for a wonderful loving handsome "nurse" who took care of me. :)  I didn't get woke up to IV's beeping, calls over the intercom for staff, the sound of helicopters coming in and out,and the list goes on.:)   Thursday morning was early due to the fact of the In Home Care nurse coming to my hotel room.  I got ready and got some supplies out for her.  She lives in West Lake near the hotel we were in.   She was helpful and very nice.  She said she would be back on Monday to due to some labs and help with the dressing change and things.  By Thursday evening it was snowing.  By 8 that night it was sticking and looked like a blizzard at times. Snow was piling up quickly on the roads,vehicles, trees, and whatever else was outside that it could find to stick to.   East Cleveland had already been hit with 10 inches of snow and West Lake had around 3 inches or so.  We got up at 5 am Friday to try to leave out early for my blood work.  We left the hotel at 6:30 and arrived at the hospital at 8:30, it  took 2 hours to go 30 minutes away. I got a good report at the Dr.'s appointment and with all the progress I made they gave me the green light to go home as long as I would be back a week later on November 21.  I said no problem!!   YES!!!  I was given the ok to be home in my bed, in my own home, with my KIDS!!!  Thank you LORD!!!!   It was answered prayer considering I was discharged November 12 and this was only the 14.  I was told many times prior to surgery- about 1 week as an inpatient in the hospital, and 2-3 weeks in the hotel.   Well God just sped up the process and I was able to only have a few days of hotel stay...not even a week!  By the time we left the hospital that Friday from all the appointments we were back in traffic that evening leaving the hospital.   We both were exhausted from the excitement of the news and the early morning.  We were heading to get Shane a sandwich  and go to the hotel  when I accidentally put my crushed pain medication for my J-tube  in my central line to my heart. not good...but I have ONE BIG GOD!!  Thankful for HIM sparing my life!  We made a few phone calls to my Dr's to find what we should do....head back to the main campus and go to the ER.  Pass go and don't get your $200.00 go directly to jail.  To God be the glory I didn't have any reaction, but since I had done it I contaminated my central line so it had to be pulled and a new one placed.  They started me on some antibiotics and got me back in the hospital on the transplant floor again.  I was so upset with myself for what I had done-yet forever grateful that He spared me from anything at all happening.  I had a Dr from general surgery waking me up at 2 am on Saturday morning checking on me and reassuring me that I was going to be ok.  I was so upset that here I was so close to getting to go home and I messed it up.  Something that could have possibly cost my life.  I was the talk amongst the DR's cause they never had a patient do something like before.  Every time I gave the story they all said they understood how an accident like that could happen.   I am so very thankful for God intervening once again for me.    I had the line changed out Saturday evening and was discharged on Sunday mid-morning!!  From Friday to Sunday each day held miracles!!  To God  be the Glory- I was able to head home and only be 1 day behind the original plans!    On the way home we discussed all the tubes from surgery and added up to 13 tubes that I came out with and within 7 days was able to get it down to 4 with the Lords help:)  It was a welcome Home for sure!!  We pulled up to the house and there was a arrow sign saying Welcome  Home Shane and Jamie!  On the other side it said  A miracle lives here.  Our Pastor and wife put it up. :)  I was able to visit and love and snuggle with my precious children before crashing for the night.  It was so good to be HOME!!!!!!

Since then we went back for my appointment on the 21st and had my incision that was 20 in long, freed from all staples and stitches.  That was not fun but glad that is done with!   I got a break from going the Friday after  Thanksgiving, with it being Thanksgiving weekend.   What a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving week!  I am so thankful to be here to celebrate it with family and friends!!  What a miracle!!  I have so many blessings to count!

 We made another trip to Cleveland December 5th for appointments with my GI and the Transplant Dr's.  I'm still having issues with the nausea and vomiting.   They are wanting to give the J Tube feeds another try again, but waiting for the nausea and vomiting to be more controlled.  Glad I have some Dr's that know the drive is a big one especially with us heading into winter wonderland.   I'm going to do weekly phone calls with them.:) So glad that we won't have to drive in the bad weather like last year.

I can't thank everyone enough for all the prayers, meals , calls, emails, cards , love,and support.

Thank you!
Love- Jamie

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Happy Anniversary

I'm a bit behind in getting the updates out, but I'm taking advantage of the time that Jamie is taking a nap and get everyone caught up. 

To start, I want to say a big "happy anniversary" to my precious wife of 18 years! It's been a great time working with each other, loving each other, raising a family together, enjoying a lot of laughs together, and enduring some hard times together. Whether it be working full time jobs on some crazy shifts, following open doors to new career opportunities, closing doors to career opportunities, a hospital stay, a LifeFlight helicopter ride, a couple babies born in ICU, remodeling a house, last minute getaways, raising three great kids, unemployment, starting and running a business, then two, a move across town, playing hide-n-seek every day after work, doing dishes in the tub until the sink was fixed, a drive across the state for a 5 minute doctor's appointment, blood transfusions, meetings with new doctors with a new plan, a lot of new doctors with no plans, pacemakers, g-tubes, j-tubes, ng-tubes, new lines, new procedures, vacations, no vacations, times of plenty, times of questioning, life threatening infections, chest tubes, testing, more testing, more of the same testing, no answers, family moving away, kids are sick, kids in the hospital, kids in school, church activities, kids in the youth group, late night talks, dreams born, dreams lost, in home care, taking a wheelchair wherever we go, working our best to keep going, trusting God, believing in His plan, .....it's been a pleasure to share moments like these and many more with a great woman. No matter what life has thrown our way, my love for my precious wife has never changed because she has never changed. A walk with God and a walk with my good wife never cease to amaze me. Thank you, Jamie, for loving me. Thank you for always being real. Thank you for being there for me. 

Now, back to what this update is all about...Jamie's health. Jamie's recovery has been outstanding! She had been up and sitting in a chair numerous times yesterday and even took a short walk to the restroom this morning! After her afternoon nap, we're planning to take a walk down the hall and call the kids. They started the intestinal feedings last night at a pretty slow pace, but the nausea was almost immediate. They've now stopped the feedings and strictly TPN (central line) nutrition. According to the doctor's plan, that's okay. Now we need to work on pain control. She's still on the epideral, but once the nausea settles down, they will slowly taper that. If all goes well, discharge could come as soon as Tuesday!  She will still have a two week local hotel stay, but that'll be one step closer to home. 

Thank you for all of your concerns and prayers. It looks like Jamie's up and ready for a walk!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Surgery completed

From Shane...

The excitement and the usual jitters accompanied us on our trip to Cleveland on Sunday, though we knew we were in good hands....God's hands. The weather was beautiful and the time that we had together was long overdue. 

The staff at Cleveland Clinic were top notch upon arrival on Monday morning for the pre-op meetings and paper work. Everything went smooth and we were surprised at our last meeting when the head surgeon unexpectedly came into the room. Such a down to earth and caring individual that gave us whatever time we needed and there to answer any questions. 

Tuesday morning. The big day started off early with a 5:15 arrival at the surgery center. As soon as we checked in, they had things moving right along without hardly a wait at all. They started the pre-op procedures and prepping and suggested an epideral for post-op pain control. Jamie never had an epideral with any of her pregnancies and this was a big first step in an already big day. Looking back, I'm so glad she went with it. By 7:00, we had said our prayers together and our goodbyes and they had her off to the operating room. 

By 7:46, the status board in the beautiful and comfortable 2-story waiting room said that Jamie was in surgery. Jamie's parents, our Pastor and his wife, another friend from Ohio, and I all knew this was going to be a 5-6 hour procedure. After about two hours, my pager went off and the head surgeon came out to talk with me. I wasn't expecting this visit so soon. He left the operating room to let me know that the large intestine was pretty much just 'mush' and that the small intestine was better, but not by much. He also found a large cyst on her ovary that was undoubtedly causing some pain. That cyst and part of the ovary were removed. The large intestine was removed and a portion of the small. The sphincter at the bottom of the stomach was also cut in order for the stomach to drain better. The gastric pacemaker was to be removed as well. The stoma at the intestine, surgical drain tubes, a J-tube for future intestinal feedings, a G-tube for stomach decompression, catheter, and a central line will all be a part of the external plumbing that will be a part of Jamie after surgery. After a few days of recovery, he is hoping to test the intestine with tube feeds and hopefully wake up what is left of the intestine. If nothing happens, then we should consider the transplant. A lot of information for me to take in, but I was glad to hear him say that there were no complications and that his team of surgeons were endeavoring to get this all completed. 

After almost 8 hours of surgery and 3 hours of recovery, her mother and I were able to visit her for 5 minutes. She was still pretty out of it, but you could tell that her pain levels were increasing and that nerves were becoming more alive. I was so proud of her. And so thankful to God for bringing her through. 

It was still another two hours later before she was moved to a room on the floor where we could be with her. Just in that two hours, you could already see an improvement in her recovery. Some of the first words out of her mouth were to ask how everyone that had been waiting were doing and making sure everyone had plenty of food throughout the day. That's when I knew everything was going to be alright and I had my Jamie back!

Jamie had a bit of a rough night last night with nausea, primarily due to the stomach drain tube down her throat. So, other than being tired when I showed up this morning, she was doing pretty good, all things considered. This afternoon was a bit of a different story. I don't know if organs are waking up from surgery or the gases are on the move or all of the above, but Jamie was in a lot of pain and felt like the stitches were about to pop. After some praying and some additional pain meds, it seems now that things are settled down as long as we stay on top of the pain control.  As I'm writing this update, she is beside me resting well right now. 

Thank you all for your concerns and prayers. God has been so good and has kept us through all of our low valleys and brought our family to higher heights in experiences with Him and with each other. The kids are at home during this visit to Cleveland and are doing so well with keeping up with school and with life without mom and dad. The oldest text me last night and said that they had a little prayer meeting at home and the power of God swept through and she said it was like having church at home. Praise God! I am so glad that our kids know how to touch God in their younger years, and that they know how to let God touch them. 

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Current Events......

I published my last post even tho it wasn't up to date, just to fill in the first half of the year.  So much has happened since then.  I'll try to do my best to get you filled in on things since then.

I went to Cleveland at the end of August.  We had lots to discuss with my stomach and intestines getting worse as far as the motility.  My Dr. felt it was time for me to see an intestinal transplant specialist.  He spoke highly of the Dr. he would be referring me to.  We discussed the options that I have. My Dr. said he has 2 patients with simular stories to mine and told me how good they are doing since they have had surgery. I asked if he would give my name and number to them so that I could ask a few questions.   He shared my info with one of the patients and within an hour after leaving his office I had a phone call from her.  She was very sweet and answered all the questions I had for her.  

My Dr. feels like this is the next step - choice 1 - to have some of the intestines removed, and choice 2 - to have a multi-visceral transplant.   He put in the referral for an appointment with the specialist. With many phone calls and lots and lots of faxing of my records I was able to get an appointment set up.  It took a bit to get it all because they set me up for testing and the appointment both while I was out there.  I had an appt on Oct 13 to see the specialist and had some difficult testing set up to be done while there.   I had been praying that some of it would be cancelled due to the prep for some of it.   Not quite sure how I was expected to drink a bottle of mag citrate and a bottle of barium...hummm.  Monday started with having some blood testing done.  That "some" ended up as 30 vials of blood taken.  I am very thankful I have a central line that they were able to use.  After that I had to go to another building and have a CT of the abdomen and since there was some down time in between, the kids and Shane ate some lunch.  We took the kids with so that we could spend some time together as a family and do some things while there.   They had fun while eating their lunch watching the construction in the parking lot.   I got to meet my nursing coordinator, Shatina, at the appointment.  We talked on the phone many times getting the appt set up and it was nice to be able to meet her in person.  She is super sweet!  We went over my medical history, then I met with one of the Surgeons in the office to review it.  He was really nice and informative on everything.  Then I got to meet Dr Kareem.   He has a big heart.  He went over the the 2 choices and we both felt it would be best to go with option 1 first. He is not for certain how much of the intestine he will remove.  He knows the large intestine will go but not sure on how much of the small.  He gave me a hug and reassured me that he will do his best on getting me back on track.  Both he and my GI Dr. feel like I am strong enough for the surgery and that having the surgery will help with the pain  help me feel some better.  He also wanted to see the kids, so Shane went and got them from the waiting room and brought them back.  He gave the girls a kiss on the forehead and told them he was going to do his best to get their Mama feeling better.  He also cancelled out all the tests except for one- an esphogeal manometry test.  Before leaving I signed my surgical consent for Nov 4.  That ended the big day for Mon.   On Tues. I met with the nutritional support team for my TPN and then had an appt with my GI Dr.  We basically discussed Monday's appt and what Dr Kareem had had to say and that was my day. On Wed I had the wonderful tube down my nose for the manometry test.  Glad that was no more than 20 minutes or so of testing.     We started for home Thursday morning but not without stopping for the birthday girl, Kailey.  She turned the big 11.  We surprised her with tickets to the Blue Gate Theater to see the play- Josiah for President.   It was a really good play and we all enjoyed it.

We are getting things packed and ready to go for Cleveland.  I will be in the hospital for a week and then in a hotel for 2-3 weeks before I can come home.   We decided the kids would be better if they stayed home.  They will be able to do their schooling still and be at home and in their own beds. I'm trying not to pack the house as I'm getting ready.  Just don't want to forget any of my medical supplies and things I would need while I'm in the hotel.

The kids are doing well.  This is Matthew's first year of homeschoooling and he is doing great!  He is working hard!:) The girls are doing good in their studies also.  Matthew and Kailey have been working extra to get ahead of the planned assignments so they won't be behind when I come home. They all have been a big help to me in getting things together.  What a blessing that these 3 kids are to me in so many ways!!  I love them lots and will miss them bunches while gone.

I have really enjoyed the fall this year.  The weather has been great and not too many days of cold weather.  I have enjoyed looking at all the beautiful colors in the trees.  Some are so breath taking at how vibrant they are.  God is the Greatest Artist no doubt!  We have gone to a couple orchards this year and the kids have enjoyed some apple cider donuts.  Kelsey had the experience of a goat chewing the pocket on the back of her skirt.;)

The Lord has really blessed Shane's business.  He has been able to expand and get more of the building.  He did the Homestead parade again this year.  Dad and Mom Pennington have moved back home from Texas to help Shane with the business.  What a blessing for Shane to be able to leave and be with me and not have to close the shop down each time.   God is so good!  He is our Provider.

I give God all the glory and praise for the great things He is doing!  He is everything we need and more than enough!  I can't thank Him enough for everything He has done and every time He has brought me through.  He is my peace, joy, comforter, and healer.  I'm so thankful my life is in His hands and that He is my great Physican.  If it wasn't for Him I would not be here today.   He is doing great and wonderful things.  I'm so glad that He walks with me each step I take.:)

I want to thank you for all your love, support, and prayers!  I feel like this post is all over the place-hope it makes a little bit of sense.  You guys have waited patiently as you have texted and emailed wanting to know what we had found out at Cleveland.  I'll try to a better job with my updates.  Shane will try to keep you posted until I'm up to it.

Love Ya