Monday, March 30, 2009

Health Update...

It's been quite the couple of weeks on the health front. Let's see if I can get all this out without sounding disjointed and skipping around too much.

Ok, after my pap tests came back for HSIL, they sent the sample in to test for High Risk HPV (the ones linked to cervical cancer). It took 3 weeks for those to come back as positive for one or more high risk strands (they can't get more specific than that). So, everything was sent to Dr. Wisebaker, my OB/GYN. I called her office on Monday the 16th, and they had received the results, but Dr. W wasn't going to be back in the office until Friday the 20th (on-call at the hospital). They said a nurse would look everything over and if she felt it couldn't wait for Dr. W to get back, they would call me. No phone call, which is a good thing.

A week after Dr. W got the results, I still hadn't gotten a call to set up follow-up. I called them on Friday the 27th, and the nurse couldn't find my test results in my chart. She said she would find out what was going on first thing Monday morning (today). It was close to 5pm on that Friday, so she couldn't call me PCP to have them re-send the results, so it had to wait. I got a call from Dr. W's office this afternoon. She said that Dr. W had my test results for the last week in her personal possession. They want to do a colposcopy to start off with. But, Dr. W is in Mexico for the next 2 weeks, so my appointment isn't until April 21st. I'm a little comforted by that. I really feel like if Dr. W felt like this couldn't wait for her to get back, she would have requested that another doctor in the practice do the colposcopy sooner. Dr. W knows me - I used her for both my kids, and I trust that if she felt I was in a dangerous situation, she wouldn't want to wait.

So, here's the game plan. Colposcopy on the 21st, including biopsies of any areas that are a concern. Depending on the results of the biopsies (displasia, cancer, etc), that will determine what the next step is. There is a chance that my body isn't fighting off the HPV like it should be, so the longer it stays in my system, the more at risk I am for developing cervical cancer. Most adults will get HPV, not all will get the high risk strains, but usually people (especially young like me) are able to fight off the virus themselves before it starts causing problems. I'm not sure exactly why I'm not fighting it off, but I plan to call my PCP and see if she has any recommendations of things I can do in the meantime. I've heard of some things that have worked to reverse HSIL in other people's cases that I'm going to ask about, and also things like CoQ10, Folic Acid and B Vitamins that can help with HSIL and high risk HPV. We'll see what she has to say about all of that.

I've been doing really well burying being scared lately. Even Rick wasn't aware that I was scared to death until I finally broke down and fessed up to him tonight. He said I was doing such a good job hiding it that he didn't think of it as the reason why I've not been acting myself lately. It feels good to have told him how afraid I am and to be able to use him as a support. I was trying to protect him (and myself) by trying not to think about all the "what-ifs" and apparently I'm a good actress, because he really had no clue that I was still scared about all of this... I don't know what he thought I was feeling, but let's face it - guys and girls deal differently, and I think he just assumed I was ok. But, it was really nice to be able to break down to him tonight when I got home and let him hold me up for a little bit and be there for me. I think that's really going to help me as I wait for the next appointment.

I was driving home from my last meeting with my amazing Small Group tonight. I've been a part of this Bible Study for 2 1/2 years now, and I was so sad to have to leave them. I was already feeling vulnerable, losing that support system, and I had an hour drive home. My mind started spinning out of control and I was REALLY upset as I was driving. I knew that wasn't healthy, so I asked God to quiet my fears and put on my heart a Bible verse. I'm an immature Christian in that I don't have a huge arsenal of Scripture memorized. But, there is one verse that I memorized 2 years ago that fits SO MANY situations. The first 2 lines were just what I needed to quiet my heart. I got through those, started to feel better, and was going farther into the Scripture (I had memorized like 11 lines worth). There was ONE WORD at the very end that I just couldn't remember. I thought I had it (and I did), but it just didn't feel right, so I spent almost the next half hour trying desperately to retreive this one word from the recesses of my memory. I didn't realize it at the time, but it was sure an effective way to take my mind off my current situation!! That had God written all over it!!!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Finally, house pics!!

I assure you, I did not forget about house pics - it just took a while to get to them! Here they are, though!!

I will start with some of the exterior shots. We spent all day Saturday pulling bushes out from the front of the house. We are both not "shrub people". The plan is to put a porch in off the front stairs that goes in front of the living room window, and then do landscaping on the other side of the stairs, under the bedroom windows.


This was after pulling out the bushes. Here's what it looked like before:



After Rick pulled out the big tall one that was next to the stairs.

I think it looks SO MUCH better, minus the bushes. Don't you agree?

Now, onto the rest of the house.

Here is the kitchen, coming in from the mudroom:


And some more kitchen pics...





As you can see, it's not a huge kitchen, but it has TONS of cupboards and counter space and I'm the only one who cooks, so it works for me!!

Here is the dining room:



I took these on Friday night. It sure gets dark in the country, as you can see from the sliders! And yes, I know there are no blinds or curtains - We have woods behind us, and I haven't found window treatments I like for the sliders yet.

As of Friday night, this was the ONLY place with something on the wall, lol. I haven't gotten the rest of the "homey" stuff up yet - that'll happen. I need a new piece of art for the dining room and for my living room.


This is part of the living room, with the front door and a coat closet on the far right side.


The rest of the living room:


As soon as we have electrical run in the basement (which will hopefully be in a week or so!), we're going to move the GIANT tv and tv stand downstairs. I'm getting a small unit for the corner by the window and we're going to get a 32" Plasma tv for the living room. That way I can watch tv if Rick wants to watch a movie in surround sound, or play video games in the basement.

We only have one bathroom, and it's small, but there's a huge linen closet behind the door that makes up for it. Plus, I'm the only girl, so I can deal with a small bathroom for now!!


Here is "My Space". An office of my very own, which is helpful since one of my jobs is working from home. I don't like "clutter" in the bedroom, so I love having a place for all my books and personal stuff, without it being all over the bedroom. Eventually this will double as our guest bedroom for when our friends and family come to visit, but we need to get a new mattress for Josh's old bed before we'll get it set up in there. Trust me, I'm not anxious :)



This is Josh and Logan's room:


Their bunkbed is a little big for the room, but we made it work.


And Joshua has his very own desk for doing homework. I still need to get him a chair, but eventually that'll happen :)


This is the Master Bedroom:


As soon as it's warm enough, the dated wallpaper and ugly chair rail are coming down. I'm going to paint the walls a slate blue and we're actually going to downsize to a queen size bed. We need a new mattress, and we don't need to have a king sized bed anymore, so we're just going to replace it all. Plus, I need a reason to get a new bedding set and window treatments!!


Double closets - that's nice!!

There ya have it - the grand tour of our new home!! We really love it. Hopefully everyone can come over and see it, now that we're not living in boxes anymore!!

On a health update - my OB/GYN has all my test results. I'm waiting for a call with an appointment for follow-up so we know what we're dealing with. As much as I want to know if it's cancer or not, because it's been a while and the initial shock is over, I'm actually coping much better than I was. I'm still scared, but even more than that, I know this has already been ordained as part of God's plan. I'm one of the lucky people who can see God in everything - good or bad. I've been through too much not too. I'm very thankful for the gift of feeling Him everywhere, and in everything, though.

I covet your continued prayers, though. I know that's part of why I'm "ok" right now.

Hope your week is a true blessing!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Man, I'm a Slacker!!

Goodness - I can tell life is getting busier because it feels like I'm not updating like I normally do!

What's going on now... well, I'm still waiting to get in to my OB/GYN. They just got my other test results last week, now they need to go over everything and then decide what to do next. Hopefully just a colposcopy, which I'm praying will be fine...

Yesterday it finally warmed up to like 50 degrees! And there was this big orange thing in the sky that we haven't seen much of in the last 4 months. I was able to take the boys to the park down the road from our house. Rick had two of his best friends from high school over and they were playing video games, but it was WAY too nice of a day to waste inside! So, I made the kids go to the park and play for a while to get some fresh air. Today it's supposed to make it into the 60's!! And be sunny! And I'm at work, lol. But, I told the kids we can go back to the park after dinner tonight.

Joshua only has another 3 weeks left at Coopersville before I'm switching him to Whitehall. That will make my life a little easier. Instead of needing to leave Whitehall at 7:30am, I won't have to leave until between 8:15am and 8:30am. Plus, he can start making friends before summer vacation. And then Logan and I should be getting home by 3:30pm instead of 4:30pm, which will be nice too. For as long as I continue to work in GR, that will be helpful. I am glad, though, that I decided to keep him in Coopersville for a while. He's had enough changes in his life lately without having the throw that into the mix too. At least not right away, anyhow.

We're going to start looking for a new church home, too. I've gotten some recommendations from some people in the area. That'll be tough - I LOVE our current church, but I can't drive to GR 6 days a week. It's just too much for me. So, prayers that we find the right one for us quickly.

Have a beautiful, blessed week!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Just an Update

Figured it was time for an update. First off, nothing new on my test results yet... hopefully any day now. I guess these results can take a couple of weeks, but I'll be calling the doc again today and find out if they've been forwarded to my OB/GYN yet. I'd really love to get this taken care of. As much as I try to remember I'm NO DIFFERENT than I was before I got the results back, I'm still struggling with the "not knowing" part. I have a feeling I'm not going to like what comes of the follow-up appointment, but I really hope that's just Satan trying to make me feel what's not real. Once I can get in for the follow-up appointment and see what's going on, that will help. If you know me at all, you know I struggle with patience and waiting. I'm not very good at it, ESPECIALLY when it comes to stuff like this. I just keep thinking that my first pap EVER was abnormal (when I was 18 years old), and then the follow-up for that was fine and I had clear paps until my post-partum with Logan. And then the follow-up for that was fine, and I've had clear paps again until this one.... I just feel like if there was something going on, it's had a lot of time to get bad. Plus the other ones were low grade changes, and this one is high grade. That's scarier to me...

But, like I said before, my God is bigger than that. And he will never give me more than I can handle. That said, though, I think the scariest part of all of this is knowing that if I do end up having cancer, that will mean that 50% of my family will have had cancer... is it fair that after going through it with Joshua that Rick and I might have to go through it again with me? Not fair at all. And what about the rest of our family? Our parents? Grandparents? Siblings? Should they have to deal with it again? Of course not... but life isn't always fair. I just hope that it's NOT something that we have to deal with. The thought of what it will do to my family is more scary to me than what it will mean for me, although I'm plenty scared for myself.

Onto better, not so depressing stuff.... I don't need those thoughts in my head today. We're doing well with unpacking the new house! I got my office all set up and organized yesterday. That felt REALLY good. I love having my own "space" and being able to find all the important stuff that I need. Our house is actually coming along. I have some work to do in Josh and Logan's room - putting up shelves, moving a bookcase (I think) and a little rearranging, but not too much. Our bedroom DESPERATELY needs to be re-done cosmetically. There is wallpaper in there that I hate, a really dark wood chair rail halfway up the wall that needs to go, and a couple of other small things, but that'll happen eventually. I can't wait for warm weather so I can repaint in my bedroom and bathroom (the only 2 rooms that haven't been freshly repainted)!!

The living room has some furniture that needs to be swapped out once we get the basement set up and I don't really have any of our personal stuff up yet, but again, that'll happen. I finally got the kitchen all organized, which makes a huge difference. I have significantly fewer boxes laying around then I did last week, which is a good thing :)

Rick's cousin is moving and they bought all new furniture for their new house. We SCORED and got all their old (but in REALLY good condition) carpet and furniture for our basement. Saved us a TON of money!! Rick's helping them finish moving this week. They live like 5 minutes away from us now, which is way cool. It's nice to have some people I know so close by. I know some people in Whitehall, but not many, so it's easy to feel a little lonely. Although once the house is in order, we can invite people over and hopefully that will help. And, when it warms up, it'll nice to venture out and check out the neighbors :)

Well... that's about how life is for us right now. Lots of stuff going on, but it'll all work itself out, one way or another. If you could keep us in your thoughts, though, that would be great.

Have a blessed week!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Good news for Josh!

Joshua had his semi-annual MRI yesterday. They put him under General Anesthesia for this one, which was traumatic for me, but way easier on him. Our nurse called me last night and everything looks good!!! Praise God for that!

I'm still waiting on the rest of my test results before they can be sent to my OB/GYN. I'm going to call the doctor today and see if they're in yet. I'm still really scared, but honestly, God will get me through whatever comes, and I KNOW that. I'm confident of that, even if I'm scared. Whenever I start to feel panicky about it all, I just remember that Satan knows that I'm terrified of cancer. I ALWAYS have been - even before Joshua got sick. I know that's the reason why I'm so scared, it's like my biggest fear. And because Satan knows that, he's trying to use that to his advantage. Lucky for me, I know that my God is bigger than all of that. I just say a prayer for PEACE with what happens - regardless of what it is. And then I feel better. For a while, anyways, until Satan sneaks his way back into my head.

Oh, our house is a disaster area. We have ALMOST everything moved in, but there are SO MANY boxes I can't even barely walk around. I'm hoping to get that all taken care of this weekend... As soon as everything is in order, and I re-discover where the camera is hiding, I'll take some pictures. We really love our house and we're really happy there. It's hard to be happy about that, though, when I'm so scared about being sick, but I'm working on that...