Update Seventy-Seven

Yesterday morning I had the absolute privilege to meet up with Ryan and Dina, my next-door neighbors in ICU from my hospital stay back in January! Picture above:) They’ve been mentioned in several updates, but Dina was the one who suffered from a severe brain trauma in a ski accident and arrived in ICU just about the time I did. Read back if you want more of the story:)

I am happy to report that Dina has made an enormous recovery! She’s walking, talking, laughing, and quite the spitfire I might add! We had a fun time making brain jokes as we set up our meeting, knowing full well that we were working with 2 heads very much in recovery. We’d send each other reminders at the exact same time, distrust our own directions, we hoped that we’d both arrive at the location in one piece and actually recognize each other! We weren’t exactly completely aware when we met the first time, (her in bed in a half coma with restraints, and me getting wheeled in, woozy on pain meds, wrapped in a head bandage.:) THIS was much better, and we had a great time! She’s still doing therapy a few times a week to work through a few lasting issues, but in general passing her in the street, or chatting in line at the store, you’d never know anything had ever happened. Just amazing! It was really fun to tell them how much so many of you had been praying and asking about them. They in turn told me how many of their friends had been tracking my story. We talked about the power of prayer and how none of us knew how important or powerful it was until God had met us so specifically and suddenly at some of our darkest moments… with our amazing friends lifting us up. Both Ryan and Dina got teary talking about certain friends on their knees in prayer for them. All of us agreed… how absolutely humbling.  And how beautiful is the body of Christ?!:) Please continue to keep Dina, Ryan, and their boys in your prayers as they take one step at a time navigating a world with new changes – especially as the world moves on, but some of the changes may not. I am so excited to continue these new friendships!

So round 3 of chemo is coming up this Friday! 3 done out of 8. Not bad! Yes September is a long way off, but 5 rounds left does sound a lot better than 8:) So sorry that I haven’t written an official update since asking for prayer right before the first round. It’s actually gone amazingly well!! During the 5 days, I am definitely very tired, but have had almost NO nausea! Thank you for your prayers!! I KNOW that much of this has to do with all of you! Thank you for walking with me through this  dear friends. I have never felt alone to fend for myself, ever. What a gift! In general I am doing very well. I have low energy but am able to do most things if I am careful to pace myself:) Haa, easy to forget! And to not compare myself to the world around me:) hmmm, the kicker! Good lessons for sure.

My eyes are still about the same, as of a couple months ago. They focus well now, praise the Lord! I am still adjusting to my blind spot issue, which will just take some practice:) Imagine if each eye was broken down into quadrants, like crosshairs in a scope. I am missing the whole lower left quadrant in both eyes. There’s a really long word for it — totally forgot it, of course:) It makes reading, walking, driving all new experiences. It takes awareness and practice to stay safe, functional… and not frustrated:).  I’ve learned to drive slower and keep my eyes scanning at all times. Walk around corners with an arm out (yep dorky but might save me a bruise, or… bumping faces with a stranger!:) I’ve learned the hard way, to glance down at my feet more often – curbs, suitcases, tables,, little dogs… have all made for some spectacular award winning falls. The middle of the night, half-asleep ones are the best! Poor downstairs neighbors:) SO if you happen to see me walk into a men’s restroom because I missed the WO in the WOMEN sign, (yes that happened — thanks mom for the shout and save!). Or if I happen to shoulder-butt you in a crowd at church or something (yes that’s happened!), don’t think I’m having a bad day or am giving you the literal cold shoulder:) You just appeared out of thin air!

Today I go in for my first MRI since chemo started. These I will do every 2 months to track any changes. We hope for none:). Then Friday I will have my appointment to go over those results and hopefully have good enough blood counts to start round number 3!

Stuff with work and Consider the Sparrow is really coming along. I’m set to start up again here at the hospital very soon, and in Port Angeles we’ll be having a fundraising banquet in May. How exciting! And nerve racking for me… always. Maybe someday I’ll grow out of my fear of attention… eeeks:) But tingly buns and all, I’ll be there!

Don’t you just love life??? I sure do. I love being able to walk, type, and drive. I love being able to go to the gym, even as brief and wimpy as it might be! I love having an appetite! I love dogs and coffee, birthdays, cousins…crepes:) I love miraculous recoveries of friends! I love leisurely mornings with lattes and soul capturing music.  I love to have to have an abundance of time to just sit and soak in the Lord’s presence. I love my comfortable bed, and showers and my sunroof. Even this rain today — ice pellets in April?? Ridiculous! But nothing a delicious candle or a fire can’t fix, right?:) I love unexpected over-the-top blessings that don’t even make sense!!:) I love connecting with friends… both in Port Angeles and Portland. I am SO thankful for the AMAZING communities I have in both places! Relationships old and new… all very exciting;)

Celebrate WITH me everyone. Today is right now… and we are all ALIVE together in this moment! Why waste it on grumpiness, or stress, or worry for the future?? The future is uncertain for all of us! Today is NOT something we are entitled to – it is a gift for YOU as well as me:) Be excited and hopeful for where your journey might lead — because he does have incredible plans in store for you. Jeremiah 29:11 –believe it! 2 years, or 20 years, or 2 weeks, or 2 minutes. He doesn’t waste a second to use you and/or draw you closer into his presence. But you do have to actively choose that. Love it. Life will never be more rich, adventurous, or SO deeply satisfying. I have to work on this every day — surrendering worries and control is hard work and an every day choice. But, so far have found NOTHING more worth the sacrifice. Wanna join the party?? Jump on my friend!

Love to you all…  off to the tunnel I go!
Christina