Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Day of realizations

Annabelle's doctor called today and said that the throat culture he took came back positive for Strep. So.. that is a good idea as to why her lymph nodes are swollen. It still does not explain why her CBC count came back normal with an infection in her body or why the LDH levels were so high. I have tried doing some research online to see if there is a correlation between strep and high LDH levels but could not find anything definative on this. She has had zero symptoms of having strep. She will have to take antibiotics for 10 days and then she will have to go back and have more blood work done. Hopefully with the next round of blood work, all will be back to normal.

I have decided for sure that I am going back to school to get my associates degree in Occupational Therapy. I went to Panola today and found out what classes I could take during this summer to get started. Good news is that most of the core curriculum is out of the way and transferrable from ETBU. I however will have to take Anatomy and Physiology I and II. Lovely. I will be taking that starting in June through Kilgore college. Another good side is that I will get to wear scrubs!!! whoo hooo!! How great would it be to have a job where you are able to use creative thinking and problem solving to help people live a more full and independent life! I am almost 30 years old and need to find that place where I see myself doing something until I retire.

Hopefully all will work out and go smoothly getting into classes and going through the process. I hope it does. Please pray for me and for Joey as we continue our educations.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ton of Bricks

Well let me fill you in on the past couple of days. I will first start with Annabelle. A little over a month ago I noticed a decent sized lump in her neck on the left side a little below her ear. I didn't think much of it because I figured it was just a swollen lymph node. She has not been sick in a long time, no fevers, sniffles, nothing. We knew we would be taking her for immunizations on the 16th of this month, so I just told Joey to have the nurse look at it and see what she thought. She did and she said it appeared as just a swollen node but if it had not gone away in about a week to call them back. Well I kept an eye on it and then noticed that Annabelle was getting 2 more on the right side in about the same place as the other. They weren't too large but if she leans her neck to one side you can see them protruding from under the skin. So, I called the doctor back yesterday and they wanted us to come in at 1:20 pm. Got there and he examined her from top to bottom. He said the nodes were actually small and that her spleen and abdomin were fine (later found out these are ways to tell if lymphoma is present). He said he wanted us to get some lab work done anyway to be safe so he ordered a complete blood count as well as a LDH test (later found out this too is a way prelimarily test for lymphoma). He said we should have the test results back today. I got a call about 11:45 and it was the doctor himself. He said that all of Annabelle's CBC counts looked normal but that the LDH test came back with elevated levels. He said he called a hemotologist at Dallas Children's hospital to see if there was anything else he should do and the specialist told him that with Annabelle's age and otherwise good health, he didn't feel anything was wrong but for us to have another LDH test done in 7-10 days. He said that the LDH levels could have been elevated due to her immunizations 10 days ago. So.... we have another lab appt. next week. We shall see how that goes. I have been reading about this online and it seems that LDH levels can show elevations for multiple reasons so I'm not too worried about it. Just don't know what the next step would be if they came back elevated again. We will cross that bridge if we get there.

No news with the job search and money is getting scarce. Joey and I have decided that we will go back to school so maybe we can use a little of the loan money to survive. I was looking online last night at different courses and it sort of hit me like a ton of bricks that perhaps going back to school to major in a specific field would take away some of this aimless wandering I have been doing for all these years. So, I looked into Occupational Therapy. It sounded so interesting and it seems like something that would be very rewarding. I am going to speak with Panola tomorrow to see about getting into some classes for the summer to get started. I try not to think about it too much because I start to wonder what in the world is wrong with my brain!! Truth is, a bachelors degree in Human Relations won't get you very far. Joey wants to take classes online to get his master's degree! I'm so proud of him. He loves school and I love to see him feel like he is accomplishing something. Well I'm going to go now. I will update more later. Tootles!

Monday, April 26, 2010


The house is so quiet and lonely with no one here. I'm bored. I have exhausted the job search for now. About 15 resumes sent out and not 1 call back! Final paycheck coming soon and nothing coming after that.... gonna have to make some changes I suppose. Dad is finally going home today from the hospital. All is well and the infection should be treatable with some medication. Went to mom's this past weekend and we sang together at church. My stomach was all in knots the entire morning and then I got up there on stage and it all went away! God heard my silent prayers I guess. It was really great getting to sing with her. It is so great to see that she and my step dad are involved in church now. I prayed a long time for that to happen. I think one of the happiest days of my life was the day I saw them baptised together. I will never forget that. I went up to Oakwood today and visited for a while. It was a good visit although it did make me realize why I left. Things are no less crazy than when I was there and never will be probably. These past few weeks have made me realize even more, that my strength is not sufficient and my plans will fail if God is not leading me. I prayed a lot about leaving my job and I felt this peace about it although I had no idea how things would play out. I still feel a peace about it and I have to be honest in saying that because of this peace, I also feel a certain amount of guilt. All things said, I should feel anxiety about this. I should feel worried about tomorrow and the situation this puts us in, but I'm not. I just believe that God is with me right now. He knows my heart better than anyone and he knows the way I must go. I'm just going to listen and wait. Where God are you leading me? Take me there.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Swimming in Sand

Day 4 of unemployment and what shall I do today? I think I will just sit here and roll around in self pity and type in my blog. How bout that! Kidding.... about the whole self pity part and rolling around in it. I however will type in my blog. I spent yesterday out and about prowling around for places I haven't already applied and seeing if anyone was hiring. I found 1 place! 1 place is better than no places though so I happily filled out my application and gave them my resume. Perhaps I will hear something before tomorrow... maybe. I dream of a job where wearing tennis shoes and scrubs are open armedly (is that a word?) welcomed on a daily basis! I have bunyons on my little toes from having to wear heals everyday and now when I wear flip flops I have Shrek feet! Gah!! The plan was to head to Marshall today and visit a few places there, leave resumes, fill out applications and maybe sneak in a little visit to my precious loves at Oakwood House. I miss them already. Leaving was the right decision but having to leave them was the hardest part. I am at a point in my life where I feel just like I did going into college. I have no idea what I'm doing, why I'm doing it, or where I'm going to end up. I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up. What a tragedy. Okay, seriously, since I was a young girl and learned that I can sing I have wanted to have a band. A christian band. I want to sing at youth conferences and make an album with my own songs! If there is anything I have ever felt good at, it was singing and softball. So, maybe with a little God intervention these things could happen but if not, then I'm just fine being a mommy and a wife. These things make me the happiest. Joey is going to be in this ridiculous race called the Tough Mudder in Forney. I have to go with him because he just may die and I would like to be there if he does. It is 3.5 miles of crazy running with 14 different obstacles like jumping over fire pits and swimming under water. Bless his heart. I guess the grey hairs and balding patterns are getting to him and he feels the need to prove his body wrong! Go baby go!! He will do great. He makes me sick running all the time and working out like we are supposed to be healthy or something! good grief! I guess I need to take up some of his ideas for myself. Well I better get off my rear and get to job hunting. Just keep swimming!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Evidence of Grace

Woke up at 4:45 am and got ready for the drive to Louisiana. Left home about 5:50 am and started out for Bossier. Got there about 7:00 am and walked into the hospital not knowing where anyone would be or who would be there. Dad was scheduled to be there at 5:15 am this morning to get prepped and ready for surgery. I hoped he would still be in waiting when I got there so I could tell him goodbye before he went back. I went to the front desk and asked for his name and they pointed me to the day surgery waiting area. A nurse at the desk there escorted me to the back to dad's room. I knocked and poked my head in the door and saw dad's toothless grin immediately. He had his IV already and was in his ever so lovely blue hospital gown. The room was full of family, at least 7 of us piled into this one little room with a big sign on the door that says, "limit 2 visitors at a time in waiting rooms." So much for rule following I guess. My brother and his girlfriend, uncles, me, dad in his hospital bed, nurses, doctor... all of us in this tiny room! I wasn't there for more than 15 mintues before the surgeon came in to explain the surgery to us all and inform us and dad what to expect afterwards. The plan was to make a pretty large incision on dad's right side to allow access to his lung. Remove the cancer growth and examine it under a microscope in the operating room to determine if the entire upper lobe of his lung would need to be removed. If the lobe needed to be removed they would do so to protect against any further spreading or cancerous growth elsewhere. Dad would be in a lot of pain and have a chest tube. He would be in ICU for the night and hopefully be in a room by tomorrow. They would then be able to examine the growth in the lab and determine what steps to take next to fight it. Dad was wheeled back to the operating room about 7:45 am. Uncle Dennis prayed with us and we waited. About 10:30 am the surgeon came out and said, "Well everything went well and your dad is doing fine. After going in and examining the spot on the lung I realized the spot was not cancerous at all. It was actually just an infection. I removed the area of infection from his lung, but did not have to remove any portion of the lung. He will be just fine."

I sat there for a few seconds with my jaw on the floor and asked her again, "So that means there is NO cancer at all?" Her response to me was, "no, the infection was spreading in his lung so it appeared on all of the Xrays and tests to be a malignant tumor of some sort but it was no tumor it was just an infected area."
I was completely shocked and happy and prayerful and elated!
We have gone a month now being told by doctors that they were 95% sure the spot was malignant cancer cells and now here we are at 100% cancer free! God's grace was surely evident today as it is everyday we are given another breath! Thank you Lord for your mercy and your grace!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Here we go!

Friday was my last day at my job and here I sit uncertain and unemployed. I certainly have no one to blame for this but myself. I am the one who quit afterall. But although I find myself in this pickle, I still feel a certain... calm. I constantly look for jobs, send resumes, and pray that God will lead me, but surprisingly I don't feel stress. For those of you who know me at all, you will know that is very odd for me. I stress about the smallest things. I want everything in order and I want everything to be planned out way in advance. I don't like disorganization or change to my routine and when that happens I feel my blood pressure begin to rise and my brain start to run in 5th gear. I am sitting here at our computer desk and before I began typing, I thought "God where are you taking me?" Joey has some of his Sunday school material on the desk here with a map right on top and the first thing I saw when I looked down was the map legend reading, "uncertain location" HA! God, you are so funny! The truth is even my most well laid plans and destinations for me are never as well laid as God's uncertain locations. Where will I go from here, what will I do? For now, I don't know but God knows. My thoughts are not His and my timing is not His. I guess the best plan is to open my ears and listen but close my eyes and hang on.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Today was an okay day. Spent much of it sitting in the ER with one of my residents. Sweet little precious lady was just not doing well. Annabelle had a game tonight and they won! Go Bumblebees!! I love to watch them play. It makes my heart smile. I have had so much going on lately and so much on my heart. Dad has major surgery on Monday to remove the cancer from his lung. Then we wait again to see how to treat it and what stage it's in. I guess it's about time to spill the beans about something else... as of Friday I will be jobless. It was by my choosing not because I'm getting fired or anything. I have kept this in for a month now because in so many ways I feel like a failure. I can't seem to find a job that just "fits" me. I know there will be ups and downs and always things that you don't like. I just couldn't take anymore of the changes being implemented within this company. I have 2 babies at home and a husband I kinda like and I just can't work 50-60 hours per week. I can't work on the weekends or all holidays nor can I spend an hour and a half on conference calls every week until 9:00 pm. I have other priorities and people that I MUST devote my time to. I just stepped out in faith after much prayer and decided that I would continue looking for another job and I know God will provide for me. I turned in my 30 day notice and hoped that in those 30 days I would have at least another prospect for a job but nothing yet. I do feel like such a failure. I feel that I am giving up and giving in. I feel the pride puffing up inside me and telling me that I am too strong of a person to just give up. Truth is... I am so weak. I know that God will provide for me and for my family. He always has. BUT, his provisions just may not line up with my timing. I don't want to fail my family. I absolutely must work in order for our bills to get paid. I question my decision everyday but still feel a certain peace about it. I haven't told anyone because I simply did not want others to see my surrender and my weaknesses. Please pray for me as I continue on this journey. I need a renewed hope.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I realize

I decided to begin a blog if not for anyone else but me. Let me tell you why. A very precious friend of mine went to be with Jesus this past week and at her funeral, portions of her blog were read. It made me realize that if anything were to ever happen to me, I would want others to know my heart too. I would want those that I love and care about to see a glimpse into my soul. Her passing has effected me more than I ever imagined. I truly loved her and admired her. She experienced pain in her life that I have never had to and pray never will. Through it all she praised God and welcomed the pain because it made her realize the sovereignty of God. Her situation reminded me much of Job and how everything he loved was taken away. He never cursed God. I think of myself and how much work I need to do on ME! Though I do not curse God, my complaints are just as well a curse! I complain because I "don't have enough" or "because what I have isn't sufficient" when the truth is, God has provided what I NEED! Everyday I have what I need. I don't need anymore than what I am given. It's time I turn my complaints into praise! God rains down manna from Heaven daily for me and I so often over look His provisions. What a mighty God I serve!