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!

17 thoughts on “Update Seventy-Seven

  1. I always love hearing about your adventures and misadventures. :D  I really wish I could make your fundraising banquet.
    Miss you lots sister…see you this summer!!!!

  2. If you can count so many blessings, then I think the rest of us have absolutely NO EXCUSE!  You are such a beautiful inspiration!  Keep lookin’ up!  (Well, don’t forget to still look down once in a while, too — pesky blind spots!  ;-D)

  3. God has so richly blessed you with his presence and power.  I will be praying for you Christina.  See ya soon and maybe you can talk me into a latte and movie while you are here:)

  4. Christina, you continue to raise my level of awareness as to what matters most. You hold a mirror for me to see that life is not  all about me, but about Him. May your treatments continue to go with as much ease as possible. And I think I’ll be praying for your lower left eye quadrant too. Blessings today and each tomorrow.

  5. You continue to amaze me and inspire me and flat out crack me up! What a gift you are to me. You bring tremendous joy to my life. I can’t thank God enough for you and the impact you have made on my life. Keep on fightin’ and lovin’ life! Love you!!!

  6. Thanks again, for your words of wisdom.  I love that you talked about "entitlement."  It’s been a topic around our house!!!  You’re right — we are not entitled to TODAY — it is a gift.  Thanks  for the reminder of that truth!  YOU ARE LOVED!!!

  7. Yay Dina! Yay 3 chemo’s down! Yay only 5 chemo’s left! Yay almost no nausea! Yay for walking, talking, driving, typing, loving, laughing, life!!! Yay for tina-Christina!!! That’s a lot of yay’s! And there’s more where that came from! :)

    You totally had me crying with laughter at your eye adventures. Sorry. I know. It’s at your expense, but I was sooo laughing. O, and when you get that pacing to stave off fatigue thing down, will you let me in on the secret? ;)

    Love your bright, sparkly Jesus shining self!
    Love you!

  8. Christina… I love when you write from your heart.  You are funny and real!  Good description of your blind spots and I’m so glad you are aware you have them and are cautious!  It made me think about other blind spots we have–the emotional and spiritual kind–that sometimes cause lots of difficulty in life ’cause we’re blind!!!  I love you and miss you!  Praying Good stuff poured into and out of your life.HUGSSS…

  9. You’ve done it AGAIN…..slapped us all "upside the head" with a big dose of praise for life and the Lord (not in that order) and common sense.  Hmmpf….You’d think we’d get it by now.  Thank you for your refreshing perspectives, boundless humor and unquenchable spirit!  HUGS!!

  10. How wonderful to see your update this morning! We saw you at church a few weeks ago, but in the crush that is the service at ten, could never make it across to you. May the Lord continue to bless you in so many ways Christina. I know that you have certainly blessed my family with the honor of praying for you. Take Care.

  11. So glad that I got a chance to nab you for some yummy fruit crisp & chocolate tart before you swept out of town! Celebrate the journey and boldly sing "I’m a woman, W-O-M-A-N!!!" anytime you enter a public bathroom. The occupants have been forewarned! Sashay with your arms as u sing and no one will know that you’re checking for airspace as u turn the corner! Hugs ; D

  12. ahhh Christina, I’ve missed these amazing, inspiring insights into your amazing, inspiring heart :) i would so love to drink a latte with you in Portland and hear more. One day..!! Praying for good news on Friday xx

  13. Tinnnuhhhh!

    That sense of humor.  Gets me every time and puts all back in perspective.  I am so grateful for your life…and that you are LIVING it.  Your spirit is infectious and ever-pointing to Jesus, an example I admire so much.  

    Oh I pray your appointment today went smoothly and outcome was as hoped!  

    Thank you for the update this week and for being you!  I’m staying with Sharaya in Nashville this weekend and we both send hugs!    

    Love you friend.

  14. Hey everyone, thanks so much for the love…! Had my appt Friday, and the MRI came out clear!! Praise the Lord… good to go for 2 months! Due to a new insurance deal I will be getting my chemo by mail order which make the timing a bit more unpredictable, especially with my appointments generally falling on Fridays right before the weekend. Hopefully I will be receiving and starting this round starting tomorrow night.. April 19th. Thanks for prayers everyone! Love love love…

  15. HOW did I miss this update when it was HOT off the press?!!??  Well, glad that I was spying on your FB page to catch it!! :).

    LOVING all of those wonderful things you mentioned as well…and especially THE…you add the last part in :).  Definitely joining that party with you!!  Wait…already there :).  LOVE how you love life…smiling ear to ear as I write that.  And love how I get to share it, near or far, present or virtual, with YOU!!!  

    Christina jan…you continue to inspire the heck out of my spirit and remind me of God’s ABUNDANT grace given and poured out as we reach for Him.  Thank you for you obedience to Jesus….the testimony He is continuing to create is impacting lives, specifically MINE :), in profound ways.  Keep it up girl…He’s working wonders through your authentic HILARIOUS self :).

    ZYAT dostet darum!!    ONLY ONE MORE DAY!!!

  16. Hey Christina!! Thank You for always writing with such genuine sincerity. I am always better after I read your thoughts:) It is so good to read that you are having very little nausea with these chemo pills!! I wil continue to pray for that!! So looking forward to seeing you in July!! Love you!                Kristin

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