Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Following Kathryn

For those following Kathryn's journey, this post may be hard to take.  When we began posting her health updates, we asked that friends would pray for mercy.  Here we are again, dropping to our knees and begging God for His mercy in Kathryn's life and asking you to join us.

For the past month, Kathryn has been complaining of pain in her hip.  She grew more concerned when the pain increased and it began keeping her awake during the night.  She went to her physician and got it x-rayed hoping it would show something.  On our way to Richmond for Qavah's surgery, we got the call on our cell phone explaining that the x-ray showed that Kathryn's femur, at the top where it meets the hip socket, has lost its blood supply.  She is experiencing what the doctor called, "bone death."  Because Kathryn's body is not absorbing calcium, her bones are deteriorating at a rapid rate.  That set her up for this diagnosis of avascular necrosis.  

Kathryn's physician is sending her to an orthopedic surgeon, but any attempt to repair that bone or the blood supply will be very difficult.  We are praying for a miraculous healing in that bone.  We are also praying that her cells will cooperate and take the calcium to the bones to replenish them.  Although this has been difficult for Kathryn, she remains calm and positive.  A physical therapist will be coming to the house to work with her tomorrow, and a home health care nurse will be bringing medication to give her for the infection in that bone that is causing her so much pain.  She'll be receiving IV Rocephin, and will see the surgeon March 7th.  

With this situation weighing on our minds, last weekend was one of rest, quiet reflection, and prayer.  This health challenge with Kathryn was one of a number of things we have been praying about.  It has been my observation that people handle the difficulties of life in many different ways.  We are holding on by faith that God "works all things together for good for those who are called according to His purpose."  Lord, in your Mercy, hear our prayers.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


We have enjoyed another quiet day around here.  Paul used this day to sleep and rest. That's very rare for him to do on a Saturday.  Richmond was a little much for us.  Today we sat down to rest.  We prayed together this afternoon about several concerns, then sat quietly in our sun room and dozed off to sleep.  Back in the early days of Kathryn's diagnosis, sitting in her cramped hospital room, I dreamed of days like this.  Now they are here and tears of gratitude are welling up in my eyes as I type.  There is no place like home as the sun goes down.   I am so very grateful for this day, and the comfort of home.  Maybe you've been there too.  And maybe this quote from Mark Twain speaks to you as well.

“Only he who has seen better days and lives to see better days again knows their full value”

Friday, February 24, 2012

February 24, 2012

We had a quiet day.  We prayed.  We thanked God several times throughout the day for the grace He freely gave us this past week.  Kathryn and I have grown so close these past few years that one or the other of us usually suggests praying together during the day.  We feel the need to sit down together and talk to God. There are many needs in this world today, and stopping to pray about some of them gives us the hope that one day things will be better.  By better, I mean that wayward children will return to the faith of their childhood, or that the sick will be healed, or that broken relationships will be restored.  We pray these things for family and friends, not because we expect  a perfect world, but rather that at the appointed time, God's plan will unfold and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.  Today was a praying kind of day.

 "We must begin to believe that God, in the mystery of prayer, has entrusted us with a force that can move the Heavenly world, and can bring its power down to earth." Andrew Murray

Thursday, February 23, 2012

February 23, 2012

Qavah has successfully come through her tooth extractions at the hospital in Richmond.  There were seven extracted, in addition to the one she pulled last week all by herself.  God's mercy was shown to her by the people who did such a great job today.  She was completely comfortable as they wheeled her away, and Paul and I were left to sit in the waiting room (which is always a long wait, no matter how short).  Two hours later, we were able to see her as she began waking up. She was such a brave girl and earned all of her Tooth Fairy Bucks!

There were little gifts of God's love for Qavah all along the way.  Her doctors had gentle spirits, which always helps her to remain calm.  The nurses were joyful, and encouraging, as they praised her bravery.  The Hospitality House Quilter's Guild gave her a beautiful quilt this morning as we left for the hospital on a chilly morning.  The nurses made up a "doctor" kit for Qavah to bring home and play with, which included face masks, hair nets, her blood pressure cuff, medicine cups, and more.  On the trip home we were able to stop in Charlottesville and Fishersville to see family and spend a little time relaxing before driving home this evening. These were the sprinkles of joy throughout the day.

This is just another small step completed, towards the bone marrow transplant.  But for some reason, we are greatly relieved that this part is over. Qavah needed this experience to see how she can breeze through uneasy circumstances by keeping a good attitude.  She always astonishes us with her child-like faith. While she slept like a log last night, Paul and I slept fitfully and frequently checked on her, only to find her fast asleep.  She is really trusting us and seems to know we have her best interest at heart.  Each time I awoke to check on her and found her peaceful I prayed, "Lord God, I want to be like Qavah when I grow up." Tonight, I hope to sleep like a trusting child.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

More Cleaning

We are now laughing about the way our house is being cleaned from top to bottom.  After the bed bug scare and washing all linens, curtains, bedding and towels, cleaning all closets, and pulling up our carpeting, we now have a mouse in the pantry.  We have not had this experience before, but our old cat is not doing any more hunting.  The outdoor cat kept all the mice away from the back door in the past, but its eyesight is failing and it's time to get a couple more kitties.  They have to be outside cats that would be happy in a barn, but they also need to be good with children, since we do have a few children who would want to pet them. 

Since discovering the tell tale signs of a mouse in the house, I had been taking every item out of the kitchen pantry knowing that the mouse was probably watching me.  Finally, last night we strategically set the traps so that we'd be sure to catch the critter. We did catch that mouse.  We are now washing all of the cans, jars, and plastic storage containers that were contaminated in the pantry.  I don't think I have ever spring cleaned with this much intensity.  I don't like the thought of sharing my home with a mouse. Unlike Beatrix Potter, they hold no charm for me.

My friend, Amy, who knows her way around the city of Richmond, drove Qavah and me to the School of Dentistry, where Qavah was seen on Tuesday.  That was a great help and I appreciated spending the day with a friend.  Qavah's appointment went well and her surgery to remove her baby teeth is scheduled for later in February.  We are praying that Qavah will remain relaxed in our love and not suffer too much anxiety over what is to come.  We have encouraged her to talk to us about the things she is hearing the doctors say.  We want her to expose her fears so that we can help her process them.  The prayers of our family and friends are helping in that regard.  Paul is going to work on some scripture memorization with her and plans to start with, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6.  It may be some time from now, but at some point in her life, Qavah will look back on her life and see that He who is faithful has kept His promise.