Wednesday, February 12, 2014

His Grace

I have a new camera with a new lens and a new editing program and I am in love with it all. It was an early birthday present from my family as I turn 40 this year...it's the best gift ever. I prayed for it for a long time and as His grace would have it, I got it 5 months before my 40th birthday so that I could use it for this happy new year.



I have been taking my kids to the beach so I could get to know the camera by taking pictures of them...thankfully they are cooperating. They are kind of at the age where they don't necessarily enjoy me constantly taking pictures of them. :)



But they love me so they oblige.

Sometimes. {Bribery also works well}



It's been a rough week, and I will tell you why in a minute.

Before I do though, I have to say that looking at these photos I took at our local beach warm my heart and soul in such a way that I decided not to let all that is bad take over all that is good in my life.



When I stand on the shore with camera in hand and look around me, regardless of how I feel or what is going on, what is bad appears only as a tiny speck on a huge bright canvas of all that is beautiful and good.

That's one reason I come and stand here when life gets tough.



I gain perspective. 

My life span on this earth is but a second compared to the life I will live in eternity with my Savior and I constantly need to be reminded of that.

This life isn't all there is, for any of us. 

What matters most is not whether or not we are healthy, whether or not we have money, or kids, or the best clothes, or the most success--the only thing that matters--the only thing that can never be taken away from us--is Jesus.

And He loves me...He loves you. He has a plan for each of our lives, and if you live for Him, He reveals that wonderful plan little by little. It's by His grace that we have Jesus and it's by His grace that He even has any plan for us, let alone a good and glorious plan.

Looking out to to where the ocean never ends makes me feel like a speck in this huge universe, and while that might scare some, it comforts me. When I look ahead at the horizon, I feel engulfed by His love. And all the bad, the hard, the yuckiness of this life...it all just slips away temporarily and in its place I feel peace. It's these moments I cherish most.

These moments where I feel "peace beyond understanding" and all because of His grace.



In my last post I said that I am still in a lot of pain in the area where I had two surgeries last Spring and that I was going through testing to figure out what's going on. Well, I had the first test, an ultrasound, and the results kind of took us by surprise. My pancreas, bile ducts, appendix appeared normal but the test revealed that something is wrong with my liver....so not what we were expecting.

I have three benign vascular (blood vessel) tumors on my liver, and they have been there for several years; the problem is that they have grown....a lot....just since this past Spring.



If they burst, since they are blood vessel tumors and since they are located on the liver--which bleeds easily all on its own without blood vessel tumors on it--it would be life-threatening. Scary. Hopefully that just won't happen!

They can also affect my liver functions but that doesn't seem to be an issue right now, though more testing will tell us for sure soon.

The unfortunate part is that it seems that the growing tumors combined with scar tissue on my liver and the surrounding areas are both the cause of my constant pain, and both can only be remedied with a delicate and potentially dangerous {in so many ways} surgery.

That freaks me out.

But I won't borrow trouble by listing all the many ways that explain why it freaks me out. Instead, I will stand back and look at this photograph so I can feel small again.



I have been listening to the song "Oceans" by Hillsong a lot lately, and it tugs at my heart strings. This is one of my favorite lines from the song, so I made a print out of it and it sits framed in my house as a reminder to me in tough times.

If you haven't heard it, find it on iTunes....."Oceans" by Hillsong....you won't be disappointed.



Anyway, I am having a triple phase abdominal CT scan on Monday so they can get a good look at EVERYTHING and see what is causing what inside me. It will allow them to evaluate the tumors on my liver and detect any other potential problems.

Since I have Mastocytosis reactions to contrast, and I have to drink contrast AND have IV contrast, I will start getting steroids the night before, be admitted early, get more steroids the morning of, and then get IV benadryl through my port-a-cath before they administer it, and after as needed. A nurse will also be with me the whole time.



I am thankful that they are taking it so seriously...though I must confess it feels strange to be dealing with this as a patient instead of as Gavin's mom and caregiver. He's usually the one we are taking precautions for, not me. I am glad it isn't him, but I wish it wasn't me either.



However, instead of wishing, I just need to give thanks and trust....and give thanks and trust in His plan is exactly what I am going to do.

Please pray for me...that I won't go into anaphylaxis before, during, or after the CT scan....that the scan will be accurate and show my doctors everything they need to know...that we can find pain relief for me without needing to do surgery to remove the tumors and scar tissue...and that the tumors will be fine if we leave them alone.

Thank you in advance!

______________________

My sweet girl and I were on a date on this cold evening when we stopped at the beach to see the sunset and suck on lollipops. She is one of the only people on this earth that can drive me crazy, make me mad, make me laugh, and bring me joy all at the same time.

I LOVE her more than words can say.

She's my sunshine.



She loves the beach as much as I do...that's always a bonus. It's our happy place...our favoritest place in the whole world and I love that about us.



The cherry on the sundae is that Tim and Gavin feel the same way. I mean, how can you not love this place?!


I simply cannot imagine living anywhere else...especially when life is hard, which it often is....so we enjoy this place as much as we can whether it's cold, hot, or in between. There is quite simply nothing more beautiful on this earth.....{if you ask me}


Well...if you ask US. :)


I will write another post after my CT scan results...I am aiming for one post a week starting last week, and so far, I am two for two.



Not a bad start, eh?!

The ocean pictures motivate me to write a post, so I think I will stick with taking more...happy rest of your week to you! :)

3 comments:

Jessica said...

Praying hard that all goes well on Monday, that the results are on the good side and that an angel will be by you the whole time helping you through all the hard times ahead <3

Stephanie said...

I'm praying and believing everything went well today. Sending you love and hugs.

Stephanie said...

I'm praying and believing everything went well today! Sending you love and hugs.