Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Julianne Moore Hair

So, I went to the hairdresser today and told her that I wanted my hair Julianne Moore red. It's been red for about 4 months now, but I wanted it REALLY red this time. She did exactly what I asked and I love it. Unfortunately, red washes out pretty quickly, so I'll have to try and get a picture of it in the next week or so before it starts fading. I was so tired of looking like every other highlighted blonde around... I'm so glad I am a redhead now. I love change!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Duke.. $48,000 a year

My daughter Casey is set on going to Duke. She wants to be a cardiac surgeon. It's $48,000 a year now.. imagine what it will cost in 6 years when she's ready to go. We were looking up scholarships tonight and realize just how competitive it is now. It's not just about having a 4.0 average, or being good at a sport or other extra-curricular activity.. it's about being involved in everything. Some of the kids that got full scholarships to Duke have done more in the past 4 years than some people do in a lifetime... talk about overachievers. I told Casey that she can do anything she wants in life as long as it's God's will for her too. She said, "But Mom, what if He wants me to be a nurse.. I really don't want to do that." LOL. I told her that God will make her desires like His if she prays for that. She's doing that now. 

Friday, April 25, 2008

Me and my baby

Just thought I would share....

This is me in the 6th grade...


This is Casey in the 6th grade!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

$52,000.. wow!

Are you wondering if there is still good left in this world.. if people still care? Our church gave away a total of $52,000 last week to those attending (other churches are doing this too). It's called the Bless Back project. The instructions were to donate whatever money you received wherever God leads you...

Here is one of my favorite stories.. it's from a friend of mine!

Last week, I received $50 for the Bless Back Project and all week I have been praying that God would show me what to do with it. I could totally relate to what Mike said tonight in the service about looking at everyone he meets to see if they are the one. I have been doing this everywhere I go. Tonight after the service, I stopped in Duckworth's to pick up a coffee and a newspaper. I saw a couple at the doughnuts when I walked in, but didn't really pay attention to them. Suddenly I heard a man from behind say, "excuse me, Maam". I turned around to find a young man standing there with his hand out holding a quarter and some other change. He told me he wanted to buy a doughnut for his wife but was a little short. I wasn't sure I heard him right, and I asked him what he had said. He explained that his wife was pregnant and that she really wanted a doughnut, could I spare a dollar or some change. As I looked at him, his wife came up behind him. She was a young lady who was quite pregnant. She looked a little embarrassed and I just knew these were the people. As I reached in my purse, I started explaining that my Church had handed out money last weekend for us to bless someone who needed it and that I had been praying all week. As I handed her the $100 I told her that I felt that God had led me to them. The look on her face was incredible. The husband, started to stammer a bit, and said, "what? You are giving us $100?" I said, "yes. God loves you and wants to bless you. I hope you will use this for your baby and to improve your situation. If you do not have a church, I hope you will come to mine". When I told them I went to the Cove, the wife got very excited saying they had been to the Cove at Easter. She said they would definitely come again and thanked me over and over again. The husband said, "you have no idea how much we need this. We are about to have this baby, we have no insurance. God bless you and thank you". I hugged them both and told them I would look forward to seeing them at the Cove. I want to thank the Cove church for blessing me with this incredible experience, and I ask that all who read this will say a prayer for this couple that they would have a healthy baby and that they would get their lives back on track.

Life Group

Jason and I will be trying out 2 new life groups this week. Our old one broke up about a year ago, and because of Jason's schedule, we haven't stuck with a group since then. I am really excited to get back in one, and get connected again. I have missed not having that small group fellowship. We are going to one Wed. night and another one Thurs. night.  I know how important it is to stay connected during the week, and not just attend church every weekend. With his schedule and my health, it has been easy for us to find an excuse not to commit to a life group, but hopefully that will all change this week. I'll let you know how it goes. Please pray that we will choose the right one for us!

Tasty Tuesday

Oops I forgot a Tuesday. I think I slept last Tuesday away! 

This week's recipe is Slow-Cooker Parmesan-Sage Pork Loin and Watercress Salad with Sliced Pears, Goat Cheese and Toasted Pine Nuts. Pork loin is absolutely amazing when it is cooked in a slow-cooker for about 6 hours. You can't get much tenderer (is that a word?) than that. I am not crazy about pears, but Jason loves them. He is 100% sold on the salad. I probably would have preferred spinach with apples instead of watercress with pears, but it did have a very unique taste. I loved the toasted pine nuts, and the goat cheese was good too! I definitely wouldn't change anything about the way the pork and veggies were cooked, and if you have never tried watercress, it is worth giving it a try.

20 year class reunion

I just found out that our 20 year class reunion will be August 30, 2008. I can't believe it has been 20 years since I graduated!!!! WOW! I graduated from Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount, VA. For all of you readers who graduated with me, I hope to see you there! I have no details other than the date. I will post as soon as I know more. Thank you Stacy for keeping me in the "loop".

From what I've seen, the people I graduated with haven't changed that much since high school. It really is amazing that 20 years can pass, and people still look the same. I recently got in touch with a friend of mine from high school (I hadn't talked to her in about 5 years), and she looks exactly the same! Ok, maybe we don't have the 80's hair anymore, but that's about the only thing different. 

I'll have to find an old pic of me and post it! Even if it is quite embarrassing. 

Monday, April 7, 2008

My favorite actor

Hugh Laurie singing Mystery..

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The transplant experience

This past week there have been 2 people I know get their transplants. Tricia got her lungs after spending months in the hospital, and Bjorn got his second lung transplant after rejecting the first set.

This all brings back memories of my transplant experience. It's been 6 1/2 years now since I got my second chance at life. Since they took one each of my mom's and uncle's lobes, the surgery was scheduled. I didn't have to wait for "the call". It helped my family plan for time off from work, and allowed me to really get ready for the transplant. I was so fortunate to receive lobes from living donors! No one had to die for me to receive a second chance at life. It made it easier for me I think.

Tricia's husband mentioned that she has memory loss. All of the anti-rejection meds really mess with your mind immediately after transplant. I remember some of those days immediately post, but most of it is a blur. My family told me that I was in a lot of pain, and I didn't want them to take away my oxygen even though I had 100% oxygen saturation. I was so used to relying on it to breathe, that I was terrified of being without it.. kind of like a security blanket. The nurses finally gave me a nasal cannula and tricked me into thinking I was getting oxygen. They had hooked it up to room air instead of to the O2... I was fine then! 

The hallucinations were quite funny according to my family. I would start talking to people who weren't in the room. I had many conversations with Casey, and she was actually with my mother-in-law 2 hours away back home. I vaguely remember thinking she was in the room with me. 

Thankfully, I don't remember much about the pain in the ICU, but gradually over the next week, I remember all of it. I had to get a fundoplication surgery (stomach wrap) 3 weeks after transplant, b/c I had reflux so bad. That surgery was very painful and made me very sick. I still had a feeding tube, so they crushed all of my meds and put them through the tube. That way, I wouldn't throw them all back up.

Starting rehab at The Center for Living at Duke was so hard at first. They require you to be there 4 hours everyday to walk, workout on the machines and do floor exercises. You go from using a walker to a very brisk walk in just 21 days of rehab. It really is amazing how the body adapts. Immediately after transplant, walking 2 laps around the hallway was difficult. It didn't take long though before walking 2 miles was a breeze! No one that I know of finishes their 21 days in a month. If you miss b/c of a doctor's appointment, or a complication that lands you in the hospital, your days stop counting down until you complete exactly 21 days. My transplant was in November, but my 21 days weren't up until the middle of February.

Tricia will have it rough over the next few weeks. Her body will change b/c of the prednisone.. at first it causes moon face, acne and hair to grow on your face, but that goes away as they lower your dose. She will have to be bronched (have a bronchoscopy where they put a tube in your nose and down into your lungs for a biopsy) in the room with no sedation. That is really tough! They put so much saline in your lungs to "wash" the secretions out that it feels like you are drowning, but the bronchs she will have later on will be with sedation. The pain will seem unbearable at times, but it's like any rough spot we go through... it passes, and we later reap the rewards.

I really have thought a lot today about what Tricia and Bjorn are going through right now. I would do it all again though if I had to. My daughter Casey needs me, just like Tricia's daughter Gwyneth needs her. Having a child makes you fight harder than you ever thought possible! I continue to pray that Tricia and Bjorn have no rejection or infection, and that their rehab is quick without complications. I pray that Nate gets through these days, and realizes that it really is harder on the spouse than it is the patient. I think I had it easier than any of my family!!

You can read my entire story here.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Sleep, sleep and more sleep

I'm not sure if it's the infection or the IV antibiotics that are making me so tired.. but something is definitely doing it. I haven't been online much in the last week and a half, because I have been SLEEPING!!! I am averaging about 18 hours/day of sleep. I haven't been like this since pre-transplant. Since I am allergic to these antibiotics, even though I was desensitized to them, I am thinking that could be one reason I'm so tired, or maybe this infection is just the worst I've had since transplant. My kidneys don't work so well, so maybe that has something to do with it.

 Anyway, I am feeling better yesterday and today, and tomorrow Jason and I are taking a trip to the mountains for the day. Casey is at her dad's this weekend. :(

I'm working on a photo/video montage of Casey. I can't wait to post it. Some of these pictures I have of her as a baby seem like they were taken yesterday!! Time really does fly, as all you parents know! I do enjoy her so much now, but looking at these pics from 10 - 12 years ago make me wish time didn't go so fast. 

Keep Tricia and Bjorn in your prayers please! Tricia got her new lungs yesterday, and Bjorn got his 2nd pair of new lungs last week.