My dear sweet friends and fellow prayer warriors, I know that I say this every time I write a "Notes from the Porch" update, but it is simply because I am so incredibly grateful for your kindness, support, and love. I am always so humbled by the continued support, prayer, text messages, letters, packages in the mail, and the ways that you look to uniquely and creatively touch and encourage my little heart. Thank you for walking this long journey with me. I am so incredibly grateful.
I appreciate the fact that so many of you have graciously been praying and encouraging me and giving me the freedom to "just one more time" ask for pray for wisdom on where to go from here. As I shared last time there are a lot of unknowns. Faithfully and as always the Lord in His precious wisdom and timing has started to show us a new direction (and a new step in this journey) to go in. The Lord has been intricately planning this next step and I am excited to share with you! In some ways the days fly by due to treatment appointments, doctors appointments, & general health things that leaves me on a very specific and structured day. In other ways the days seem very slow and I look outside my little bedroom window wondering what the Lord has up His sleeve. In everything the Lord remains incredibly merciful & gracious.
I wanted to update you on some upcoming things & thank you in advance for all of your prayers & support that you continue to offer.
(One) Last week I had a check up for a couple of cancer spots that the doctors are watching. PRAISE the LORD that I continue to get tests results back that there are no new cancer spots. We continue to rejoice in this good news!
(Two) Another thing that brought tears to our eyes was the goodness that for the FIRST time in six months my oxygen levels within my cells has NOT diminished. While it has not improved, I cried out of gratefulness for hearing this report! As I have mentioned before my oxygen levels were at such a dangerous level we were not sure what we were looking at, so this is truly a wonderful improvement. We continue to rejoice in this miracle & remain incredibly grateful to the compassionate owner of the health place that has offered me such an incredible deal on soft covered hyperbaric oxygen & for your generous donations that make this possible. Despite the fact that I know that there is not enough scientific proof that soft-covered oxygen kills Lyme cells (hard cover hyperbaric oxygen does), we know that it is helping my body & we Praise the Lord for this!
(Three) I celebrated having a WONDERFUL day (almost 12 hours!) of being pain free in my stomach area for the first time in 7 months! While I know that we are not truly able to heal all of the gastro issues until the Lyme Disease is beat, I continue to thank the Lord for EACH hour & day that I do not have a severe attack. I am incredibly grateful for a gastrointerologist who continues to work with me and try to help me in this journey!
(Four) I can not say enough how grateful I am for my General Practitioner. Today I left her office marveling at God's goodness in leading me to connect with her office. She continues to help me search for answers for a variety of minor issues (so that they do not become bigger issues). Her consistent kindness, support, and willingness to help me has me always standing in amazement at her and the offices' compassion. TRULY this is an answer to prayer.
(Five) While we rejoice somethings have improved there are a couple of items that are concerning to the doctors & us. At this point I am going to just simply ask for prayer & wisdom & am grateful that you understand that there are some parts of this journey that I have chosen don't need to be "all known".
(Six) One thing that has happened is that my iron count has dropped at such a rapid level that I do have to have another iron infusion on Monday. I would covet prayers as this is not pleasant. Thank you.
Before I continue I do want to put a disclaimer in here at this point because I do believe that the next two points could appear to contradict themselves. I can not begin to express my gratitude for my amazing family & friends who continue to look out for the heart of this gal. Your kindness & support in amazing detail & love as you support the physical and emotional needs is simply astounding. From constant hugs and laughter to beautiful flowers from my sister after a day of blood tests (in my favorite colors!), to my mom's constant listening ear to my dad's steadfast faith & wisdom I am extremely blessed. In addition to knowing that the physical aspect of this journey is important I also have so many AMAZING people in my life who recognize the need for emotional encouragement. From those who have supplied hard to find books & movies to bring distraction & laughter, to priceless tickets to be apart of a dear friends wedding, to countless checks, visa gift cards, & cash with specific instructions to spend it on something that will bring me joy, to tickets for a special trip to Disneyland with a dear friend I have been incredibly incredibly blessed. And so with number six I continue to stand in awe.
(Seven) As many of you know I am going to be going on a cruise the last week of February with my dear friend Michelle! (You probably remember reading about this sweet and AMAZING lady as she flew out to visit me in California for several days and whose treasured friendship could only have been brought about by the Lord!) This gift of the cruise & many other financial details of this has been from several different people who are so incredibly generous. I can't even begin to thank all of you for your kindness. I have never been on a cruise before and am SO looking forward to this. Michelle and I both covet your prayers and I so appreciate your sweet support in this joyful gift.
And as I close I want to update you on the new direction I will be taking...
(Eight) One of the things that I mentioned in the last post was that we were asking for wisdom for where to proceed next. After weeks (well months truthfully) of searching & having appointments at some of the major hospitals in the US we have decided to proceed with a new Lymes Specialist. This was an incredibly difficult decision to make as I am incredibly grateful for all of Whitaker Wellness Institutes help in my journey so far& continue to hope that they will be an integral part of this journey. At the same time though I desire to continue to continue to move forward & beat this! At this point it makes the most sense with my very complicated case to have the wisdom & input of a Lymes Specialist who is familiar with these types of cases. After much prayer & figuring out an appointment that would work with my schedule (and to see if they would have an opening *smiles*) I am excited to share that I will be headed back to California (albeit in a new clinic & city *smiles*) to have an appointment with Pacific Frontier Medical in San Francisco on March 10th.
I continue to ask for prayer that the Lord would give wisdom to this appointment and to me as we make decisions for the future and how to proceed to best kill the Lyme Disease. While the clinic is set up differently then Whitaker's there is definitely a high cost that is associated with this due to the expense of Lyme Disease. In addition to this it is necessary to travel as there is not the expertise where I live and need to have an appointment to get started. Many of you have contacted me recently & asked how you can help donate to expenses that are coming up. As I have used the generous donations from the fall for several treatments that are "closer" to home & for medical bills this expense truly is stepping out in faith. I so appreciate that I have so many of you that have been most patient & generous in this journey - continually donating. Your love & unwavering support has TRULY been a blessing. I continue to try to bring in some finances despite being very ill & as some of you know I have been accepting some free-lance writing work, expanding My Etsy Shop, creating "the parcel post tribe", & opening my instagram store to help off-set some of the funds that I need for medical expenses. I continue to pray for additional orders so that these things will also go to help cover the expenses that are needed for this upcoming trip & future treatment.
In addition to this you might have noticed that there is a new "go fund me" account on this page (to the right). As I do not need to raise the $8,000 that I originally needed if I was going back to Whitaker Wellness Institute, the funds now are updated to share what is currently still needed ($2825.00) for this trip. I am so humbled by y'alls generosity again and again. Thank you so much for all of your financial and prayer support. Listed below is a description of the costs for this trip.
Thank you again for your incredible kindness and love during this journey!
With Lots of Love,
Cost of Trip to California (March 9th - 11th, 2014)
Doctors Appointment: $500
Possible Lab Work (not covered by insurance): $750
Possible IV Treatment: $200
Plane Ticket to San Francisco: $600
Hotel for Tw0 Nights (at discounted rate): $300
Estimated Food Costs: $100
Car Rental: $100