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Praise!!!

Getting to this point has felt like a nightmare and it would never happen at times. Yet we trust!

Praise! She is currently in the OR. Please pray. The time is 3:15pm, the surgery can take up to 8 hours. Their goal is a complete aortic aneurism repair. Hers is dissected from her chest to below her belly button as of yesterday. Huge huge repair and very complex surgery. Please pray for success in the OR, her recovery and there would be no neurological damage. We love you all.

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Update

I don’t know how to update without doing the blog thing. I don’t think Facebook is the best place.

Rhonda is responding to stimuli. People, tests-she is squeezing hands, making eye contact. She was in pain this morning which as gut wrenching it is to watch her, it was equally reassuring to see her awake and show feeling, give eye contact. They have put her back to sleep to keep her blood pressure down so there is not a rupture, which is fatal. Each minute is so critical. We all are just so frustrated at the time this is taking-as like I said, each minute is so important.

The doctor said she is in renal failure. Which I personally believe will be reversed. She had a 100. 9 fever that has lessened to 99 something just a bit ago. I have faith  God will continue to move mountains. Her passing every test and being responsive and awake is just such a beautiful miracle. I don’t use that word lightly.

Friends. You don’t understand  gravity and hope we have because of YOUR prayers. The continual answer to prayers. Our whole family will NEVER ever be able to appropriately show our gratitude. I want to cry knowing SO many of you are begging God in her behalf. This is the most devastating trial I have ever been through. Christian was so hard. So painfully hard. But he was not our mom, sister, wife, friend. We NEED her. She is the joy, love, continual godly example, and prayer warrior we all desperately need.

I am going to get personal here. Please pray:

That she would begin voiding urine.

That this surgery would be successful and she would recover perfectly and be restored

that her diagnosis of renal failure would be reversed.

That God will get her transported to the Stanford hospital ASAP. The surgeon is waiting for her. Apparently the surgeons phone died, which we know God’s hand was over that as well. Satan wants so badly for us to cower in fear and be anxious. We WILL NOT. God is so much bigger and we will continue to pray He will be glorified through this transaction.

Thank you forever for your loving prayers.

In his grip,

Michelle and family

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Rhonda

People don’t understand that us only children-our mothers’ hearts beat for us when we are hurting, their hearts beat with ours when the good times are upon us. People don’t understand our hearts can’t beat without theirs.

My amazing, precious mom in law had a massive stroke this morning and will be going into open heart surgery tomorrow. I am crying out to you all-if you are reading this-it is because God brought you here. He wants you to be a part of this. Please pray with me! I am petitioning and begging for a miracle. Please Lord!! I don’t know why this is happening to an angel here on earth. But then that’s just it. She is from heaven and is lent to us. I don’t know what tomorrow holds. I don’t know how this will unfold. I do know that God is in control. As out of control we feel right now, He is not a God of chaos, but of order and control. He loves her more than all of us do. Which is impossible to understand as everyone who knows her adores, loves and appreciates her. Always serving, helping, doing, praying. My Rhonda is so deeply beautiful-her soul radiates Christ, joy and love. For everyone. Not just the shiny nice people. The people in the corner of a room no one will talk to. Grumpy people. Children. Older people. The unloveables.

Please friends, please pray God’s will is she will be fully recovered and given back to us.

That God would heal her for His glory.

Please pray for mercy on our whole family, Rob especially.

Please pray God would choose the perfect surgeon and be the surgeons hands.

That she would awake and we can now serve and love on her. Please friends, pray. I need you. Our family desperately needs your prayers.

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Prayer please?

Dear Sweet Friends,

Oh how I have missed you all. I have missed your prayers and encouragement. All the love. The connection of Christ’s body, my friends, family. This blog became a platform for me to share updates on myself and our family as we waded through incredibly challenging seasons. Much to my surprise, through all the pain, the Holy Spirit gave me a gift to share even though I am fairly certain I was a couple points above a vegetable. True story.

I haven’t written in so long. Like-dusty cobwebs ewh long. Keep your expectations low people. I make no promises. I am 94% sure this is not going to come out in an adult-like readable fashion.

What has kept me away: Too many excuses. The inability to think straight, hold a thought, recall super special words. People. Hello Bray-er-Chad. Everytime. Cute kids. Most of the time. Cleaning. Feeding. Headaches. The laundry circus. More laundry. Keeping said kids alive. Remembering to pick them up and deliver them according to individual schedules. Sports! Oh and did I mention laundry? It’s a lot people. These past 4 years have been crazy beautiful. Insert one of the most painful seasons we have had as a family. More fun and sweet memories than I deserve. Full of love and growing pains and lots of visits to my lovely hair magician/ person/ stylist. OH MY GRAY HAIRS. What the beans?!! Eyebrows? Really.

I am not one to ask for help. You people seem to keep offering it to me because you are amazingly loving. And I am a hot mess and I believe you are my friends. Clearly VERY forgiving, selfless, kind friends. As hard as this is to type, I am humbly asking for prayer. Not because I am above it, More like I have leaned on all your petitions so many many many times.
God has given us a wonderful, bigger than life, 4 (YES 4!) year reprieve of dealing with this tumor growth. Many praises and endless thanks!

Pics of new situation. keep in mind these are slices of my brain. As for the dark space…Explains SO MUCH. Judge away.

See hot pants? On top of double kleenex? Am I happy laughing or sad laughing right now. I dunno. Anyway, pic of the 3.

New big Bertha. Major Christmas tree ball.

Unfortunately, my old tumor is now 3 tumors. The old one, a new more aggressive one and oh-don’t forget the baby. It was originally a grade 1. Now the surgeon is saying aggressive grade 2. The other surgeon said it’s on it’s way to the next step. By definition, these tumors are stupid and slow growing. Mostly benign. Mine, not so much. The problem is one is invasive. Wrapped around my venus/ sinus. Which currently holds a blood clot/ blockage. Prime real estate. Surgery would require removal of the mesh they used to replace my skull and dealing with the blood clot, oh and remember that one time my wound wouldn’t heal and I was in the hospital for 40 days? Not in a rush to get in that line.
2 Items to note: My tumor does not respond to chemo. I am maxed out on radiation.

After talking to 4 incredible, KIND, doctors. It appears I have 2 options.
1) Laser surgery. They burn the tumor from the inside out. Only it won’t get everything. As one Dr. says, only the strongest survive. They apparently come back faster and more aggressive the more we mess with them. The problem is the most aggressive tumor is moving toward the vision area of my brain. Oh and they haven’t used this laser situation on my kind of tumor. Risks: brain swelling, hello headaches! And of course a brain bleed.
2) immunotherapy trial. This has worked amazingly well for many cancers/ tumors, however, again, it has not been used this for my kind of tumor…yet. Oh and they would need to accept me. Minor detail. Risks are developing an inflammatory illness ending in -itus. You name it. Brain swelling.

Friends, I am asking for prayer for these things, and more if you think of them:

-that God would lead us to where He wants us, treatment, Dr., etc and open the doors.
-that He would be glorified through this whole endeavor.
-that this surgery/ therapy would actually work and give me an eleventh life so I can continue to be the mother and wife He designed me to be.
-that He would open doors to share.

-Please pray for Chad. That God would give him endurance, strength and support. He works tirelessly to meet everyone’s needs. I love him.
-that we will all make it through this version of hard. Add our parents to that as well. They give us SO MUCH love, time and support.
-mostly that my children’s relationship with Christ would grow! Be solidified. They would see Jesus not just as the Savior, but THEIR Savior.

You guys: No pity. No sad face. No sulking. More faith! Let’s look to see His hand in it all. What He will do with this mess. As I write this- I am crying at Gods goodness to us. I feel guilty at looking at this next chapter with doubt. I feel foolish actually and I repent of that. God is SO. MUCH. BIGGER than my fear. My sadness. That hellish recovery gave me so more than it took. It showed me more of why I am here: to share His love and truth. The gift of salvation by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Giving us life beyond the pain, the failing bodies, the suffering. We are here to look to an eternity so much more amazing.

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2017

Haaaaaappppy New Year! Or happy day. You woke up right? It’s been so long…Writing feels like navigating mental cobwebs. I have missed it! And more importantly, you all. 🙂 God woke me up at 5:19 this morning. This is important as If you know me, this waking this early IS an act of God. He laid it heavy on my heart to put words on proverbial paper, (blog), to recognize His faithfulness, His sovereignty.

This last year, you did not read much as I physically was capable of much more, thus-I walked around in circles and tried to clean and stuff. Enjoy my babies. Play uno. Oh, and uhhh, sell our home and move. Adjust to all that comes with that. Sports. School. Everyone is most excited to eat more than toast and fruit, and not having to make daily trips to the market. Moving was a big deal and I had no idea something I desired so badly, could rock our family in such a big way. 6 months later and God has faithfully carried us. Along with that of course is the blessing of new home! Space! It is so much more than we deserve and I am so grateful. Our whole family truly loves it here.

The blog became super interesting to everyone when my brain issue started happening, and that is was gave me the platform to share what God has taught and continues to teach me as I work through all that comes with this bad boy. I had not realized how God blessed me be able to share all that was happening medically, emotionally, spiritually and how that helped me get through one of the hardest times of my life. I have all of you to thank for supporting and loving on me. This last year has held the kind of trials you can’t talk about on a blog, or publicly for that matter. These are the most isolating, and most damaging to the joy our eternal perspective ought to bring us. God is so faithful, so, so faithful. He carried me through, bringing just the right few people I was able to confide in and walk alongside me, and pour truth into me when I felt like a shell. Other days, He just allowed me to get to bedtime, and sleep offered the reset I needed for the next day, whatever that would bring. He chose this trial, and I have surrendered. And He is good. And there is redemption. Dare I say joy?

I get MRI’s every 3 months. I have felt so convicted for not sharing this, as all of you have always prayed for me and ask about my health.

In July, my MRI came back no growth. In September, as Dr. and I are flipping through MRI images, he was very happy to tell me no growth. Great! Oh wait doc-what is THAT.

image

On my frontal lobe there was a new growth, in my brain tissue. 1cm x 3-4cm. The radiologist MISSED it. How does something like that happen?

He didn’t know what it was yet, but it grew to be that size inside 3 months. I didn’t want to bring it to everyone’s attention as he didn’t know what it was yet-I wanted to wait. The entire month, my mind wandered. I cried. I cried a lot. My stomach hurt a lot. And then I went in October for another MRI…and it was GONE. No remnant. No artifact. No sign it was ever there. My jaw about hit the floor, I had no words and he joyfully stuttered he had never seen anything like this-ever. It was a gift. A total miracle.

I should have been proclaiming God’s greatness right then for the world to hear, right? In fear, I held back not wanting to draw attention, and that was wrong. I have struggled with that these past few months. Tuesday, I had an MRI, next Thursday, I find out what God has planned for my brain tissue for the time being. While He has graciously given me MUCH redemption and healing, His faithful character is not contingent nor related to the gifts He has mercifully blessed me with. His faithfulness lies in His unconditional love, willingness to forgive, and ever presence I know I can call on at any time.

My mother’s 90 year old friend is currently in the hospital dying. It is no less sad and upsetting to watch life end, regardless if 90 great years were lived. As I watched her breathe last night, knowing her life will soon end, I am reminded so sharply how each minute of life is sustained and controlled by our loving God. What peace that brings me in the most uncertain and painful times. What a reminder to praise Him in the happiest. He is sovereign, working all things together for those who love Him, and I trust He will do good