Sunday, March 29, 2015

Renal Issues

Lately, things have been just humming right along but then we hit a snag at the beginning of this year.

Kidney problems?

Well at first the doctors said it was from lack of drinking water. Ryan drank more water and then we had to wait and see what his creatinine levels looked like a month later. They are slightly higher than normal - which doesn't mean dialysis but it still isn't good.

Then he went back a month later and they gave him a liter of fluids with his last round of chemo and sent him to a nephrologist. When she checked his blood work, it came back at the same level. It still wasn't what it should have been so she referred him to a different specialist.

That specialist said this sort of thing won't resolve itself, and wouldn't be solved by just drinking more water.

His kidney inflammation and blockage is likely caused by his chemo.

He ordered two tests: 1) A kidney function test and 2) a CT scan.

These two tests will happen on Wednesday, April 1st. Then we will get the results on Thursday, and Ryan will have chemo again.

Will you join me in praying for the results on Thursday?

We know that God is in control, no matter what they say and that He is bigger than Cancer. But we still appreciate your prayers because we are stepping off into unknown territory during this part of our Cancer journey.

Thanks so much!

Much love,
Ryan, Anna & Talitha

Monday, March 9, 2015

Fitting In

My Mom asked me to facilitate a card making party for her and her friends many years ago, and I gladly obliged. I was a consultant for a fairly well-known craft product start-up company and saw it as an opportunity to grow my business.

When I arrived, the lively women were cheerfully assembled around my Mom's dining room table, chatting happily about their lives and excited to make some Valentine's Day cards. I was astonished because my Mom wasn't the type of woman to hang around a large group like this and just blend into the mix. She was more of a one-on-one friendship person. I was so happy for her. But then I felt sad for myself because I didn't have this type of group.

So I set out to find one.

First I looked for it when I attended school to become a teacher.

I struck out.

Then, when I was working I looked for it within each school I got a job in.

It didn't work out so well there, either.

After we moved to Corona, I tried to fit in at our new church.

I did not make one friend in three years.

You read that right.

Not even one.

After much prayer and many tears, we decided to change churches.

It changed our lives.

God opened the floodgates of the blessing of many friendships since early 2012.

But I still didn't find that "group" I was looking for. So I joined a bunch of different Bible studies at our church as well as at other churches. In 2014, I was attending 5 different groups a week!

It was during the past year I thought that my group just HAD to be at my church, and all my new friends should come from there. I am not sure where I got that expectation, but it made me miserable. In December, 2014 I prayed for God to help me "get over myself" and learn how I could make more friends. Shortly after, He answered my prayer.

Church isn't necessarily in a building or a group.

I thought about the scripture that talked about two or three gathered in His name and how their prayers and that very gathering brought His presence.

I stopped demanding friends to fit neatly inside a box that I could check off my list of "perfect people have X in their lives."

Needless to say, I've met many women since my prayer in December, who I now consider my friends. Friends I met "randomly" who are sharing this thing called life with me in a way that touches my heart and has helped me to grow stronger through this long Cancer journey.

Ryan's been working excessively, which has given me a lot of time to do things "alone." I've had too much thinking time - which is where my friends come in because they just don't let me go there. I am so blessed to know all of these women, those who have been with me for years and also those who have been with me for weeks.

Recently I've been reflecting on how Ryan's cancer journey doesn't fit neatly into a box either. We don't know his timeline and although we can assume what's coming, we still don't know for certain what lies ahead during Ryan's lifetime here on earth.

But one thing is certain and it's this: God will be with us both now and when we see Him face to face in eternity.

And I know then I will perfectly fit into my group of friends - everyone who loves God with everything they've got!