This last month has been unexpected in a bad way. We were planning one more family trip before school started to Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, and King’s Canyon National Park.
One week before it was time to leave, I found myself in excruciating stomach pain in the middle of the night. I finally threw up, which helped me start to feel a little relief. The next day I could barely get out of bed. I improved as the week progressed, and felt like myself again in time for our trip.
We made it to Lake Tahoe before it happened again. I felt terrible stomach pain and was sick again. I told Josh we needed to go to the ER, thinking I would need some antibiotics or something to clear up the issue.
They did a CT scan.
They found a large mass in my intestine. 5cm x 5cm x 7cm. They recommended immediate surgery.
We were in a small hospital in the mountains. Halfway across the country from home. And the doctors had used scary words like carcinoid tumor.
We agreed to the surgery. A few hours later, they sliced my stomach from top to bottom and removed part of my colon, part of my small intestine, and my appendix. They sewed the intestine and colon back together and stapled my stomach shut again.
The mass was sent to testing to see if it was cancer.
The next week I was in the hospital.
I had IVs in both arms. An NG tube down my throat. Blood drawn daily. Shots of blood thinners daily in my stomach.
The first couple days were hard. I felt groggy and in pain. The pain medicine they were giving me made me dizzy and nauseous. Once the pain was controlled enough and I stopped the dilaudid, I felt much better. Each day got better. A little more strength, a little more able to do things.
By 5 days, they started giving me liquids.
At 6 days, they gave me foods again.
I was finally released the following Tuesday.
A section of my body was removed and in only one week, my body was able to mend enough to function without it. How amazing are our bodies!
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
There were fears, but there was also faith. I am so thankful for the family and friends who gathered around me to encourage me and my husband, Josh. For those who prayed for good test results and no complications. For healing and health. Thank you. I felt your love and encouragement so deeply. It’s easy for me to feel overlooked and insignificant, but I didn’t feel that way in how my loved ones gathered around me during these weeks.
The mass was not cancer.
I didn’t get further complications.
Praise Jesus. Praise the Lord.
There were times when I was too tired to pray. Too tired to read. Too tired to even watch TV. I turned on some worship music and felt the strength and courage of the Lord in the darkness. In the hard times. Thank you Lord for taking care of me.
Also, I have the best and most wonderful husband in the world. Josh was a pillar of help in this time of trouble. He sorted out the kids. He sorted out the hotels. He sorted out the travel and work. He prayed with me and sat with me. Walked with me through the hallways. Made sure the doctors explained everything to us. He was a rock and a blanket wrapped around me.
What a trip!
I have a surprise for you! Starting today, my new YouTube series: Picture Book Showdown is going live! I have recorded three videos so far, and plan to release more on a weekly or bi-weekly basis (however my schedule can handle).
I would be BEYOND THRILLED if you would watch my first video, like, and subscribe to it. Also, if you know some moms, dads, librarians, teachers, kids who might enjoy a picture book review/competition… sharing my video/channel would be a big blessing to me.
Books I’m Reading and Recommending:
by Matthew Cordell
A longer read than most new picture books, this one is full of adventure and heart. I love Matthew Cordell’s illustrations and beautiful story.
Evergreen the squirrel is afraid of many things: thunder, hawks, and the dark paths of Buckthorn Forest. But when her mother tasks Evergreen with delivering soup to her sick Granny Oak, the little squirrel must face her fears and make the journey.
Along the way, Evergreen is met by other forest dwellers – some want to help her, but some want her mother’s delicious soup! It’s up to Evergreen to stay the course, and those who help her will surprise and delight young readers.
by Eleanor H. Porter
Another great classic for reading aloud to my kids. My nine-year-old loves it. I hope a little of Pollyanna’s joy and good attitude finds a home it their hearts as well.
Pollyanna is a classic children’s novel written by Eleanor H. Porter and published in 1913. It tells the story of a young orphan named Pollyanna who goes to live with her stern Aunt Polly in the fictional town of Beldingsville, Vermont. Throughout the novel, Pollyanna’s cheerful attitude and outlook on life have a profound impact on the people around her. The novel has been adapted for film and television numerous times, and its title has become a part of the English language, used to describe an excessively optimistic person. The novel is a timeless classic that continues to delight readers of all ages. Its message of finding joy and hope in even the darkest of situations is as relevant today as it was a century ago.
by Ireen Chau
This is a sweet – and clean – romance for young teens. It has adventure, excitement, and a mystery to solve. Also, there are beautiful illustrations by the author as well.
When sixteen-year-old debutante Amarante Flora finds out she’s half witch, all she wants is to get rid of her magic. After all, zapping Prince Ash in the midst of high society’s Season certainly won’t help her troublemaking reputation.
But the more her powers grow, the more she realizes magic—and the witches who possess it—are not as dangerous as she was led to believe. When the queen falls mysteriously ill, Amarante knows there are far more dangers lurking in the palace than in Witch Village.
Among potion-brewing and glittering receptions, Amarante joins Prince Ash in an investigation before innocent witches are condemned. However, uncovering the culprit’s schemes could mean exposing her magic. And exposing her magic would mean her very life—and the contempt of the prince she is trying to help.
Until next time,