Update on Chloe…November 6, 2018

In October, Chloe had a routine surveillance colonoscopy with an endoscopy thrown in because of some upper GI symptoms. No issues on the upper scope, but the colonoscopy showed patchy inflammation which was confirmed with the biopsy results.

It was a surprise. Since August 2014, she has been in remission. Three years of diminishing health and worsening diagnosis, and finally she was in remission.

For years, we’d been in survival mode. It took a while to breathe easier. It took a while to relax. It took a while to rest. It took a while to let down our guard.

The last four years Chloe has grown and developed into a beautiful young lady. She has played competitive soccer and even ran a half marathon last spring.

When her doctor met me in the waiting room and reported his initial findings, fear raced to the front of the emotional line. Not because of where Chloe is right now, but because of where she had been. These results are a reminder that there is a sleeping giant who we have been tiptoeing around.

The giant is stirring. Chloe feels pretty good. But the inflammation is rumbling, and at a cellular level waking from slumber.

The question now is what to do. There are risks to allowing inflammation to continue unchecked. There are risks to adding new medications.

After another round of lab work to test her antibody levels, there will be a preapproval process for a biologic called Entyvio. If that isn’t approved, then for Remicade. Once insurance gives their stamp of approval, Chloe will be scheduled for infusions.F5FD7680-E5C3-4B29-9B0D-E12EC2AD25AC.jpeg

Advertisements

Tale as Old as Time

Once upon a time, there was a boy, there was a girl and there was a party. Tale as old as time. Perhaps. At least as old as my time.

Girl desperately wants love. She is asking anyone and everyone if she is beautiful. If she’s worth fighting for. Her dad has told her no she is not. Tale as old as time. Perhaps. At least as old as my time.B5614EC3-4B17-4CC2-B2B9-8C30C913F398.jpeg

Guy desperately wants to prove he’s a man. He’s asking anyone and everyone if he’s got what it takes. Is he masculine and strong? His dad has disappeared. His father has left the question dangling while he too searches desperately to fill his own void. Tale as old as time. Perhaps. At least as old as my time.77292F26-1013-4A48-BA1C-3AE73D4CE943.jpeg

Back at the party, a boy and a girl seek the answers to their questions. Each seeks to fill an empty spot that they can not clearly understand.

Just the hunger. Her for affection. Him for assurance.

His attention sparks her hope. Her attention sparks his hope. Alcohol lends false courage, dulls intuition and disarms self control.

An unguarded heart, she is at risk. Rather than fighting for her. He objectifies. Taking what he thinks will fill him.

The bloom of beauty is bruised. Petals wilt.

Counterfeit love leaves one emptier. Temporary love. Shell of love.

Selfish.  Unsatisfying.  Destructive.

Hope fades. The hunger grows. Self esteem shatters.

Tale as old as time. Perhaps. At least as old as my time.

Looking back, there is a tale even older.  It began with the One who is unconstrained by time.

His tale fills.  His tale is selfless.  His tale builds.  His tale redeems.

Fathers love your Daughters and Sons.  Answer their questions.  Tell her she’s lovely and worth fighting for. Tell him he’s worthy and has what it takes. Protect them.

There is a way full of hope.  His way.

John 15:12: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”689B9137-C9DF-4A3E-91C7-130DB1638D24

The world’s answer is heartbreaking.

 

Not Your Enemy

I am not your enemy.

Words spoken. Sometimes with tears in my eyes from heartbreak. Sometimes with a wave of anger ready to crash down on both our heads.

Quincy, dear one, I am not your enemy.

Your battle is not with me…and my battle is not with you.

But right now, it sure feels like it.

Ephesians 6:12 NLT For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

I understand childish exuberance. I understand the struggle for independence. I understand the frustration of disappointed hopes. If I’m honest, I understand the desire to hurt someone…yet this is the very aspect of your behavior that tears me apart.

Your eagerness to bruise me feels intensely personal, and your aim for my heart wounds me to my core.

Your battle is not with me…and my battle is not with you. I am not your enemy.

I do not understand fully the scars that you carry. I do not understand fully what it feels like to be adopted. I do not understand fully what that loss means to you.

You, dear child, were my gain. You were God’s gracious gift to me and a symbol of His sweet plan of redemption.

Your battle is not with me…and my battle is not with you. I am not your enemy.

I want so much for delight, joy and love to characterize our relationship.

I want your heart to be softened, transformed and healed by the perfect love of a Holy Father.

0A8E3EC8-0960-4661-AA40-92B7D286E413.jpeg

Your imperfect mom is struggling. To love when I feel rejected. To be patient in the process. To continue to see the real adversary and to fall on my knees before the Lord.

Your battle is not with me…and my battle is not with you. I am not your enemy.

And you, darling boy, are not my enemy. You are my precious son.

Ephesians 3:18-19 NLT And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Be Anxious for Nothing

anx·i·e·ty
aNGˈzīədē/
noun
a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

My dad was always anxious. Even with therapy and medications, anxiety plagued him.

I’ve said it before. Alzheimer’s has taken so much of who he was. His memories. His intellect.

But it’s also taken his anxiety.

He lives in the moment with no care of the future. He does not worry about the progression of this disease. He does not concern himself with the financial aspects of long term care. He eats what is placed before him with no thought of how it got there or of when the next meal is coming.

He is in the present. If a Broadway show tune plays, he sings along uninhibited by those who may hear. If he is happy to see me, he smiles with genuine sincerity. If he’s moved by music or emotion, he unabashedly cries.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

My dad has lost his independence. His mind is being ravaged by Alzheimer’s disease.

Even in the challenge, there are gifts. He has lost his anxiety. He lives moment to moment. In that, there is peace for my dad…and for me.

9A775605-223E-4F23-AD44-F340C756475D

How about a cup of coffee?

A52686CA-ED0A-42BB-813D-47F75478EAE2.jpeg

How about we sit down for a cup of coffee or if you prefer, a cup of tea?

How about we commiserate over the evils that have befallen our fellow moms?

How about we share the pain and the worries…what if it was our children and how can we possibly keep that from becoming a reality?

Do we see each other? Do we hear each other? Is social media robbing us of our humanity while promising incredible connection?

Are empathy, compassion and caring translated through the text on our tiny handheld devices? Is the benefit of the doubt erased with the flatness of the screen and the ease of a keyboard? Are clever quips and creative memes replacing genuine relationship?

How about we sit down for a cup of coffee or tea? Tell me your story. Tell me about your worries. Tell me about your dreams. Face to face. Heart to heart.

Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

 

Chloe Update May 2017

I knew my message to Chloe’s doctor would begin a cascade. 

She had a couple of bouts of severe pain over the last couple of months. It knocked her for a loop. Brought panic to her eyes. Then it subsided. 

Turns out she’s been having less severe pain as often as once per week. 

The First steps to figure it out began. Blood was drawn.  An ultrasound was performed. 

The initial results were not good. Liver enzymes were up. Her common bile duct enlarged. 

Chloe had an MRCP done. The results indicated that there’s probably been progression in the Primary Scleroscing Cholangitis. But her liver specialist said that other factors might be in play as well. 

Chloe had her annual colonoscopy the next day. After a monumentally horrible clean out process, she sailed through the procedure like a trooper. 

Her GI doctor reported that visually her colon looks good. After a week her biopsy results show minimal inflammation. 

Thankfully the “knock your socks off” pain isn’t frequent. Some kids with PSC have pain that’s never figured out. 

Our scurrying for answers and to appointments and tests is over for now. 

If Chloe has another severe episode, she’ll have blood work done. We also plan to document all pain plus be ever faithful in taking her medications. 

This is another reminder that this is a long haul with Miss Chloe. Thanks for all the prayers. 

Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Empowered

 

I didn’t feel empowered when I walked into that old converted house in Richmond.

I didn’t feel empowered when I was educated that abortion was safer than child birth.

I didn’t feel empowered when I was counseled to continue the process in spite of my reservations.

I didn’t feel empowered when I was given a sedative to take the edge off.

I didn’t feel empowered when I sat in a tiny room with a dozen other broken women waiting for our turn.

I didn’t feel empowered when I was herded into a procedure room.

I didn’t feel empowered when I was hurried out to recover.

I didn’t feel empowered when I drove away bleeding.

I didn’t feel empowered when counterfeit love couldn’t bear the weight of loss.

I didn’t feel empowered alone with my secret.

84% of post abortive women felt they had no option. No power to choose.

Abortion doesn’t empower. It steals. It robs. It abuses.

Real power came when I found forgiveness and healing in Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8).

By His grace, a loving husband and subsequent pregnancies followed.

The most empowering moments of my life can be found in newness of life.

Redemption. Child birth.

I will be a voice for the unborn. I will be a voice for women.

#whywemarch