Friday, March 21, 2014

Post Op MRI this morning!

Just a quick post to let you know I am scheduled for an MRI this morning. I check in at 9 and they will start the IV (yuck!).  I should be in the tube for an hour, or hopefully less, starting around 9:30. I meet with Dr. Mickey immediately following to go over the images.

I am not overly nervous, but also not feeling completely peaceful about it either. Dr. Mickey thinks he got it all, but his words from December still echo in my ears. About it being micro surgery and the tumor cells being microscopic...any tiny remnant has the chance of regrowing. Blech!

We just came back from an AMAZING road trip out west during which we stopped at the Grand Canyon, Disneyland, Huntington Beach and then finally attended a great family missions conference. During our fun trip, a sweet, and way too young friend, died in a tragic sledding accident. We also passed 2 AWFUL accidents on the road, and a local man fell to his death off the south rim. Life is feeling very precious and super fragile to me at the moment.

Attending a funeral with your 9 year old so she may support her twin classmates who no longer have a mother is heartbreaking and sobering. And a good reminder that these pesky tumors and surgeries I have faced have left me scarred in a minor way, yet VERY FULL of LIFE!

Thankful yet still anxious about sitting next to Dr. Mickey this morning as he pours over each image and then turns to me and opens his mouth with news.  My prayer is that whatever the "news" is, good or bad, that our response is one that demonstrates our faith to him well.

It is truly amazing to me how the Lord continues to use my children to minister to me. Jade's current verses to memorize? A big chunk of Matthew 6, ending with these verses:

Do Not Be Anxious

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Hearing her shy little 6 year old voice say these by heart warms mine immensely. So, into the tube I go, carrying these encouraging words with me!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2 months! 1 year! Anniversaries and Scar Pic Fun!

We celebrated some big anniversaries this last week. Friday was Valentines Day...but I think it was more celebrated by us for another reason...1 year out from a very successful acoustic neuroma removal surgery!

Then Sunday (2/16) marked being 2 months out from the meningioma removal surgery.

Wow. We are still in a state of utter amazement! 2 brain tumors completely (hopefully) removed within one insurance year. Having about $90,000 worth of surgery behind me feels fantastic. We are so thankful that they both have proved to be benign and I was left relatively unscathed.

Other than the more visible scar, the meningioma tumor removal was by far the easier of the two. I am still adjusting to the deafness and eye issues that the acoustic neuroma tumor removal left behind.  And sadly, a year later, my deaf ear STILL RINGS. Crazy!

But, those things are SO minor! The Lord has given me a couple of people to minister to that have either gone through the AN surgery themselves or are caring for a parent who has just undergone the surgery.  Unfortunately, neither of them had near the experience that I did. It is humbling to be faced with the complications that I faced actually being realized in someone's life. Facial paralysis is not fun. It really is a miracle that I am not dealing with that and all the complications it brings.

Sorry I have been silent for the past 6 weeks. Please know that it is just a sign of a good recovery!

Life goes on! There have been a couple of fun events for family and friends that I have been involved with...namely, a baby shower and a surprise 4oth birthday party. And I also started a new job a couple of days a week...and most recently we decided to list our house and it FIVE days! So the fact that I am even blogging right now just proves that although the movers come at 7:30 in the morning, I am so over packing!!

So, how am I feeling? GREAT! How do I look? Well...the good news is that I don't have to see the back of my head. I feel sorry for the people who sit behind me at church! If they don't know my story, they are surely wondering if I have a patch of scabies on my scalp! I was wearing a hat routinely, thanks to my friend Rachelle sending a lovely care package, but these 70+ degree days have made it too hot.  It was a big horseshoe shaped incision, but only the top part of it really still shows. I will show you some pix of the progression...


The IV mishap bruising has disappeared! Only 1 small scar left from the arterial line.
This picture shows all of the staples while I was still in the hospital. The bald spot at bottom left is where they shaved for one of the mapping system anodes before surgery.

top L) immediately post op; top R) 3 days post op; low L) 7 days post op; low R) 7 days post op staples removed

Above three pics are 2-4 weeks out

this pic was about a week ago. gross, i know!
So, basically it's not too bad, right? Dr. Mickey's NP told me to take a rough wash cloth and basically give the scar a good scrubbing in the shower about 10 days post op.  Nah. That didn't sound fun to me! But now I realize I probably should have. I have had more than one friend offer to pick the scab off for me.  Not kidding.  But it is slowly shedding...makes for some fun dandruff!

The hair is growing back in. Right now it is just at the surface, should be really cute as it gets longer and starts sticking out everywhere! ;)

Thank you for your prayers and interest in my story. We remain so thankful. I have been loving Psalm 34...the whole Psalm, but especially the first 8 verses.

Psalm 34
I will bless the Lord at all times;
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
    let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
    and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
    and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
    around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Like verse 3 says, magnify Him with me and let us exalt His name together!

I go back for another MRI next month. There is a chance that the tumor will show regrowth. I am definitely praying against that, but also sincerely know of the Lord's goodness no matter the outcome.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry might need a magnifier!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

My apologies if our card missed your mailbox this year, and/or if you needed the help of a magnifying glass to identify who it was from!

That is *possibly* what happens when you 1) buy a Groupon for your Christmas cards, 2) proceed to create them on your iPhone, 3) with iPhone pictures, 4) all while waiting in carpool line one November afternoon. 

They looked much bigger and clearer and proportionate and even kind of cute from my iPhone that day! Eh. A deal is a deal and so that is how the Gibson 2013 card went down. 

If you squint closely and tilt it at a 57 degree angle you can see us when we were in Colorado for a wedding in late September. 

I do have a love affair with Christmas cards though. I love getting them and sending them...even hand addressing them. And the kids and hubby know they can only help if they promise to put the stamps and return address labels on squarely. Issues, I know!

We even have an archive of sorts...of past received ones. Just in case you are ever needing a photo card from days gone by, we should have it!! At least going back to about 2004 or so. Is that creepy?

If you are still reading, we do indeed wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I have never hosted Christmas in my life, but due to doctor ordered travel restrictions, everyone is coming our way. Should be a crazy kind of fun. 

All the food is being brought in and we told the girls last night that Santa didn't come to messy houses, so ours suddenly became much cleaner! We totally lied. Made up a story about how last year he tripped over a pair of shoes that had been left out by a kid and missed the rest of his deliveries while he was being treated in the ER. Oh their eyes! And then their labor! It was the most productive 30 minute cleaning I have ever witnessed.

We are so mean!

Seriously though...I pray that amid all of the craziness, that your heart can ponder the indescribable gift that we celebrate today. This year has given me some rare, perspective changing, soul moving, heart wrenching close encounters with our Lord...and I am left wanting more. I wish I knew how to hang on to the intimacy, but I don't. I clung to it as long as I could after surgery this spring...pretty sure that I was annoying everyone around me with "just one more" account of His faithfulness, but inevitably life comes for you. The busyness, the less obvious need of dependence, and the ability to once again meet the needs of others...can distance your connection to God.  And that's just Monday to Friday daily "life"...not crazy chaotic Christmas calendars! 

Well, I am rambling and unfortunately have got nothing! So I will sign off.

Just know that I am thankful that I have felt His presence (even in suffering) and am praying that you may also...(hopefully without the suffering part!) ;)

My precious BSF leader prayed these words over me (via text!) during my ER visit Saturday.

Psalm 116:1-7 
love the Lord, because he has heard
    my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
    therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me;
    the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
    I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
    our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest;
    for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

What a beautiful passage!

Psalm 116

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Trip to the ER and Steroids Wreaking Havoc

Well, after experiencing a super hyped steroid induced state late on Friday (sorry if you received texts from me regarding dancing and taco bell!), I really wondered how I would pass the time on Saturday. Trying to recover with set limits (no bending, lifting, etc) and resting while completely high is difficult! 

However, the Lord, in his perfect timing (and humor!) made the day pass quickly. I woke up Saturday in a panicked state...experiencing a sudden severe headache, visual disturbances and sensitivity to light. Awesome. 

I did say "woke up"...which meant I had at least slept...3 hours is good, right!?! But what troubled me was that I woke up to this sweet face excited about what the tooth fairy had brought...but couldn't see her well.

All she wants for Christmas is...

Can you tell Daddy was in charge of the Tooth Fairy gift? A lollipop?!?

Poor thing...she has lost FOUR teeth in half as many months...I just wanted a picture!

Fumbling for my phone (camera) I realized I wasn't seeing straight. Spotty vision, etc. 

I checked my discharge paperwork and learned that I couldn't ignore these symptoms. They were on the "call 911 list". Well, crap! I messaged the neuro resident on call, thinking surely I would have laid eyes on him during one of Dr. Mickey's parades this past week. Nope. Name didn't ring a bell. All I could muster up was a, "Now who are you again?!? How do you spell that?!? And you *really* are one of Dr. Mickey's?" Impressive, I know. I am sure he loved me right then! 

Yes! I know, I know, I know...residents ARE doctors. Ahem. But, just my preference, after having two craniotomies this year, I would rather talk to the doc who is 6 years, rather than 6 months, down the path of his 7 year neurosurgery residency. Actually, I would rather just talk to DR. MICKEY himself! ;)

Realizing that I was being crass, I quickly prayed while on the phone with him that he would be decisive (little patience for an indecisive doctor!) and correct in his thinking. He asked if I had someone to drive me to the ER because I needed to come in. Well, that was a direct answer to prayer!

Now, what to do with the kids. No way in the world I was going to drag them to the ER during FLU season. By the Lord's provision, and a few texts later, they were set! What do people do without the body of Christ around them? I am completely dependent.

We get to the ER and they immediately want to start an IV. No. No. No. Both of my hands and arms were so poked and bruised and sore. My veins were revolting and not going to surface! I simply said, "Nope!" No IV for me! And "refusal of IV was noted in my chart".  Awful patient.

But they wanted to give me morphine and zofran and other drugs. blah, blah, blah. I didn't want drugs. I was just praying for a CT scan that didn't show swelling or bleeding. And "nameless neuro resident" promised over the phone that it could be done without contrast dye. Step away with the needles!!!

Alas, my veins still were not safe. Blood work to rule out infection, etc needed to be drawn. Okay, okay. The nurse surveyed my arms and asked me my preference. Really? Um, well, I have no clue...please pick the one that will only take one try, okay? Use my leg or neck if you have to. Just once and done, got it!?!

As she starts that poking process, a very kind ER doc walks in. He is asking me questions about my headache and vision changes...location, onset, severity...WHILE the nurse is DIGGING in my arm for blood. It was not good. I finally had to tell the doc that I could either answer his questions OR do the blood draw, but I simply could not handle both simultaneously.

Jerry took over answering questions while the nurse persisted.

I ended up screaming. Not as loud as during the tape-removal-likened-to-childbirth-incident, but definitely a scream. I am pretty sure I embarrassed Jerry. I can't leave those moments only to our children!

Why the scream? Because the stick was NO GOOD. No, no, no!!! Poor nurse. I did feel for her.

So I changed my tune and decided I DID want medicine. I was panicky and asked for some Xanax. I suffer from flight anxiety and MRI tube anxiety, so I am not a stranger to taking a little of this drug when needed. .25 mg always does the trick. Well, the now VERY kind ER doc ordered me a FULL 1 MG tablet! Maybe he had heard the scream? Regardless, I didn't turn it down.

Within half an hour, my CT scan was complete and I had 5 less vials of blood pumping through my body (courtesy of a different nurse). And I was very, very sleepy. And calm, and really just feeling pretty much amazing. Stroke? Seizure? No biggie! I was sure it would all be okay. Really, I was fine.

But, I still hadn't seen "nameless neuro". Hmm.

But then who should appear, but sweet Dr. Klinger!!! You may have prayed for him as he assisted Dr. Mickey with my surgery last week. Harvard grad, 5th year resident, had actually seen the inside of my brain and spoken to me. Such a sweet gift!  I guess he wasn't technically on call, but had run into the other neuro doc while rounding at Zale (which doesn't have an ER) and decided to come see me himself. Love. Love. Love.

He had already reviewed my scan, labs AND spoken with Dr. Mickey. Offered me a the last available bed at Zale for observation, but also said we could just go long as I TOOK MY MEDICINES AS SCHEDULED. Ooops. I guess I did value sleep over meds and had gotten way behind on the doses. They really are serious about taking these little steroids.

Hmm. What to do? A hospital admit would mean an IV, right? Nod. Well, lesson learned...see ya!!!

Filled with absolute praise and thanksgiving that I wasn't facing any sort of threatening complication, we were home bound. Praise HIM!

But man, I still had to take those stinkin' meds. I've asked, and apparently there isn't a term for when your throat forgets how to swallow. I am probably only on a third of the pills I came home on in February, but still...gag me! Why don't they coat the pills!?! Bitter yuck fest. I started to think IV meds actually did sound good. ;)

Meds taken and Xanax still wearing off, I woke up to this precious one.

"Mama, do you notice anything different about me?"  Me, in a stupor, "Um, that your teeth still haven't grown in yet?!?" "No, mama!", Jade says while blinking her eyes and puckering up.

Silly me! Lip gloss and eye shadow, folks. She had put on lip gloss and eye shadow. I forget that in the midst of brain tumors and surgeries, staples and stitches, sleepless nights and unexpected ER trips, that these little ones are going on about their lives and experiencing all of the fun of school vacations and Christmas wonders. THANK YOU LORD!

Tree climbing Lily
Thank you also for the meals that are being delivered daily to our porch. Mama is hungry on these meds! Jade was excited about eating some leftover spaghetti yesterday, but couldn't locate it in the fridge. I couldn't remember if I had polished it off during my 12, 2 or 5 AM binge, but was yummy and very much finished! Sorry, honey!

Jerry and the girls were bringing me lunch yesterday after church and when they arrived, a little later than I had anticipated, they found me in an actual state of tears.  The looks on their faces were beyond perplexed...was I really worried that I might go hungry? Apparently so. This is such a good "anti-drug campaign" for them! Definitely not myself.

Steroids are not for the faint of heart! I realize I am already tapering and barely taking much at all.  I know they are good drugs, and NO, I don't want my brain to swell.  I am thankful for them and feel badly for anyone who has to take them at high doses for lengthy times. YET, THEY TOTALLY ANNOY ME.

And man, am I annoying on them!?! You can pray for Jerry. I was on his laptop yesterday while he sat next to me. Every few minutes a man's name would pop up on his Skype notification saying that, "So and So is online!" "So and So is online!" "So and So is online!" And every time it did, I would tell Jerry about it. Every single time. "Hey, Jerry, So and So is online!"

I even texted him while he was at church to let him know again, that "So and So is online!"

Sadly, it was so funny to me.

And in his patience and love all he could say was, "Wow, you really are on steroids!"

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Chatty Steroid Induced Recap of My Meningioma Surgery Week (with Pics!)

Hello all! I am so thankful Jerry kept y'all up to date through my surgery and hospital stay.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS...WE WERE (and continue to be) CARRIED by them.

What a week. I will try to keep this in order and throw in a few pics. *Warning*: I am hyped up on 'roids...for real!

Here I am in pre-op. They had already glued nodes of a "GPS mapping system" all over my head and shaved a few spots in the process. That sort of shaving sound is not fun to a woman's ears and I would have really rather already been out for that!

The pre-op CT/Brain GPS mapping scan was uneventful and afterward I got to meet my anesthesiology resident. Residents can be the BEST or the WORST part of a teaching hospital experience.  Thankfully I have had more "Best"' than "Worst" experiences with these young brilliant ones who surely haven't slept in years.  Unfortunately, this guy was going to be chalked up in the "W" column. And that is "W" for Worst, not Winner. Ugh. Rude, short, chip on shoulder, know it all. All I could think was please, oh please, where is my sweet Dr. know, the one who held my hand as I woke up in February. I was concerned about my cold and lung congestion and just wanted to be heard. He informed me that he was already a pediatric anesthesiologist and had just come back for training as a glutton for punishment so he could do adults.  Great. I can't believe I said this, but I told him as long has he gave me the ADULT dose we should get along fine. But then we didn't. I saw Dr. Klein briefly but asked for him again just to discuss the cold I had. The moody resident revisited, loudly, and informed me that Dr. Klein would NOT be coming back in, that he (the resident) had cleared me and it was not to be questioned.  Well. Well. Well. I realize my last surgery was on Valentine's Day, but absolutely no love was in the air this go round. Sheesh.

I said my goodbyes to my family and they wheeled me to the Operating Room. No happy juice! What in the world? I didn't want to see the OR! It looks just like the movies. The lights, the sounds, the scans of your brain plastering the walls, countless machines all with their own noises and nurses counting instruments as the metal clatters. Um, hello? Did y'all forget to put me out?!? Ugh, I am still awake here people!

Mr. "glutton for punishment resident" informed me that I would need to get myself over to the table first before being put out...because that is what Dr. Klein prefers (doubt it!). Well, that isn't how it was last time...I told him...and just then, two of the OR nurses, in cowardly voices, gently suggested to him that since I would be "prone" (laying on my stomach) for the surgery, that maybe they could go ahead and put me out prior to positioning me on the table!?! Praise the Lord for those angels. He muttered something about how he thought I would be "lateral" blah, blah, blah.  I was in panicky tears, but then...Dr. Klein hit the scene. Soft hands, soft voice, sweet smile, happy juice, and mask with gas in hand...the last thing I remembered was him saying, "Are you getting sleepy yet, sweetie?" Praise the Lord for his kindness!!

About 4 hours later I was already recovering in ICU and I just remember being annoyed because my hair was wet. I don't fall asleep with wet hair...EVER. My mom didn't even recognize me because they had washed it in iodine or something red. It was crunchy, wet and orange looking. I can't remember when I saw Dr. Mickey, but he really is my hero, and I was sure to thank him for the bonus hair coloring!

Now I had a new nurse to contend with who was convinced that I needed to eat a hamburger or some pizza...and pronto. I am not kidding. Over and over again I could hear him telling my family that I didn't have any diet restrictions and I needed to eat. Just the mention of food was disgusting to me and I was happy when my sweet sister appeased his requests and let him order me a popsicle. At shift change he ranted to the new nurse that I just didn't have any appetite and had been refusing to eat. She calmly said, "Her surgery was just TODAY, right?!?". Oh the things you remember. Finally a break from the food pushing dude.

I know how well I must have been doing just based on the things I am able to recount!

"resting" in ICU

I had a CT scan around 2 AM to check for bleeding and swelling.  Uneventful!! Dr. Mickey said the 3 cm tumor was completely gone, and the artery was not compromised...even after much "scraping" and cauterizing of it. Ouch!

Tuesday in ICU was a bit rough. The interruptions NEVER ended. The entourage of PT, OT, Techs, Nurses, Docs, Residents, Respiratory Therapists (ugh!..spirometer is a 4 letter word to me), Nurse Practitioners, Patient Care Coordinators, Lab people, etc, and they all say, "rest up!" as they leave. Sure, I will get right to that! Quick, LOCK the door! Put some biohazard tape out or something to scare them away!
Fun with Physical Therapy

I also had the WEIRDEST sound of rain drops falling in my head. My mom thought I was hallucinating, but I was more concerned with reporting the symptom (see, I am a good patient) and was glad to hear from the Dr. that it was completely normal! Apparently after that type of surgery you can hear your CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) circulating around in your head for a while. Drip, drip...plop. Drip, drip, plop. Crazy, huh?

The day was also yucky because one of my IVs infiltrated or extravasated? {mom, the RN?} ( in Feb.) and my arterial catheter was not working which led to more sticks. Fun swelling and bruising for sure. And then tape removal. I know it had to have been "Resident Glutton" that went so tape happy. It was nuts! I mean they shaved all over my head, couldn't they have shaved a little arm hair off prior to taping the length of it!?! I did scream. Yes I did. Childbirth was easier. Both times.

I survived the embarrassing yellow "fall risk" gown and did some walking. I was ready to be out of the ICU...matching yellow socks and all!

Brave visitors who still wouldn't take a peek at my incision!

Census was high, but providentially we got a room on the floor late that day (Tuesday). We were greeted by one of my sweet nurses from February...Gretel! The sweetest thing...imagine a beautiful Filipino woman named Gretel. Her parents named her brother Hansel. I am not kidding. You don't forget these things. And she gave me a prized blue gown to wear. Best gift ever!

All the patients want the BLUE gown!

That night was not restful with all the interruptions, but mainly due to my own mishap.  My mom was nestled on the guest couch in the room and I think actually asleep. It was midnight and I woke up wondering if they had forgotten my pain meds. Vitals were even past due. I decided to take a sip of my fresh, full, iced to the brim cup of water. You know...the huge coveted insulated hospital cups that don't sweat! Well, I grabbed it by the lid and spilled an entire pint of ice water all over me and my bed. I cussed, my mom jumped up and that led to an hour of clothing and bedding changes and mopping. Memorable!

Despite all that, I felt decent the next day (Wednesday), had help to get showered and even got the incision shampooed. Yikes! 34 staples = not fun to sleep on or wash. I had moved to mostly oral meds and only had one IV placed just in case.

See, I look pretty normal from the front!

Wednesday evening, Dr. Mickey said I could possibly go home the next morning (a day early!). But as my mom passed the baton to Jerry that night (no one likes to sleep at the hospital), the vomiting began. Let's just say that everything I had eaten for days came back up undigested.  It was really fun. And my sweet nurse Gretel had been replaced. After the first episode, the new "not so friendly nurse" said something to the effect of, "well, why did you go and do that?!?". I begged for a bucket, but 2 more episodes occurred before the bucket came. I was not well. So, IV meds recommenced and my hopes of going home seemed far away.

I just needed a bucket!

Free tip: I highly recommend vomiting at the hospital only during maintenance hours. Otherwise it doesn't get cleaned up quickly. And it kind of stinks...which kind of leads to more, know!

The next day (Thursday) was spent with my previous discharge nurse from February, Shelley! Another sweet one. I was feeling so-so, Jerry was antsy and we wondered if I could still go home. Shelley told us that if we weren't discharged before dinner and shift change it probably wouldn't be likely. We waited, and waited and waited and waited some more. Dr. Mickey's resident came by around 6PM and gave us a glimmer of hope! But shift change was about to happen. Dinner had been served. Hmmm...we wondered. Would this resident be remembered as a "W" or a "B"? False hope is not cool. Dr. Mickey came by and gave the green light! He made me promise that I *really* would rest for the next 4 weeks. I told him I would try, you know, with two kids at home, a dog, Christmas, relatives coming in town, etc...I think he might have rolled his eyes! ;)

Thumbs up and a happy dance (Jerry did the dancing)!

Then it was apparent that "not so friendly nurse" was not used to discharging people at this late hour or maybe ever during her shift. She informed us that we would just have to bear with her...oh the sighs. I was just less patient for you tonight, honey! Right? Where is the joy? So, that proved interesting and sure enough none of our RXs made it to the pharmacy even after bearing with her. Thankfully that handy hubby of mine was able to track down a 24 hour pharmacy and got me hooked up with the meds before midnight!

It was an emotional departure around 9PM. I cried just at the thought of all we had been through this year and how the Lord has been kind and faithful. He has kept us. Could I really be done with brain tumors? Will the door of 2013 really close? Will I be used and grown and purposeful to my Lord who has carried me? Will I ever be able to really articulate His faithfulness? Ever be able to thank the body of Christ who has rallied around us in unimaginable ways? I still wonder.

But the tears have stopped and the steroid induced hyperactivity has begun. Thank you for letting me share my story and for journeying along with us!

I will close with my first FaceBook post after surgery:
"Hola! It's me! I cannot believe the Lord's faithfulness. The Lord didn't have to be this kind. I have struggled with his goodness in the oddest of ways. A sweet pastor helped me after surgery to realize just how much He truly delights in His children. I think I am getting it now. I better at least, because I really don't want any more large scale lessons!! Zephaniah 3:17 - "The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save, he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." --Thank you for your prayers, texts, cards, e-mails, visits, etc! I don't think this room will bind us much longer. Hoping for a discharge late today or early Friday. Not excited about the car ride home, but can't wait to see my girlies and the Duchess! "

And we promptly woke them up and got kisses and licks accordingly.

And now I have a new care team...shown above by the board that Lily replicated from my hospital room. Everyone on this board gets a "B" though...they truly are the Best! And for the care team who left sweet in-laws...we are forever indebted!

*Please know I have the utmost respect for all medical professionals, residents included! Many of our own family members and friends serve in hospitals daily and I am thankful for their tireless work!*

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