Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thankful for life

This year on Thanksgiving, I was able to spend the morning surfing at the beach! It was surprisingly warm, about 80 degrees so after taking at least 5 weeks off of surfing due to the swine flu I got up and headed west to enjoy the morning on the shore. The waves were nothing special, really small actually, but the sun was shining and my new long board (thanks Cesar!) was the perfect ride for the small 1-2 footers. 

As I sat on my board looking out at the horizon I was overcome with a thankfulness for life. I was reminded that this year on Thanksgiving no matter the circumstances I'm frustrated about or the questions I've been asking God for months, I am thankful for the fact that I had another Thanksgiving with my family and the gift of breathing in the fresh air that morning. I spent the day choosing to think of how blessed and how much I've been graced with- family, friends, a home, my 26 years of health, all that God has done to use CF for good in my life and my relationship with the Lord. I am truly thankful this weekend and praying and asking God to allow this verse to ring true in my life- that I would be shaped more into a woman of thanksgiving, remembering how much God has already given me.

Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. -1 Thessalonians 2:11 


Friday, November 27, 2009

Holiday Shopping for CF!

That's through Christmas day, if you plan on buying a Christmas movie (made by Warner films) buy it at CVS Pharmacy. Each Christmas film bought there, CVS will give $5 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation! See this article for more details :)

Can't believe it's the Christmas season!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Disneyland with the Family

Tuesday we spent the day as a family celebrating my mom's birthday! (See post below :).
We went to disneyland for a few hours and then off to dinner at Taps in Brea (yum!). Check out some pics....Happy Birthday, Mom! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my wonderful mother's birthday! I won't share how old she is on this public blog, she might disown me, haha just kidding....But seriously, I want to share a little bit about my mom and her role in my life. I am so blessed to get to celebrate with her and my whole family later at Disneyland (I'll post some pics of that tomorrow).  I thank the Lord for giving me a mom like her- she has brought me through so much and I truly believe God placed her in my life, and in our family for many reasons.

My mom is a woman who is incredibly selfless and she gives of herself every moment.  I've heard many stories of families with children with CF and as I hear stories of mothers who are just like mine (selfless, encouraging, loving) and stories on the contrary of mothers who don't support their children, I can't help but be thankful for her sacrifice in my life. I am so lucky. When my parents had me, their first child, Cystic Fibrosis was furthest from their mind. I am sure they had dreamed that their child would be healthy, just like each parent dreams. When doctors told my parents the news, I know they went through a flood of emotions and thoughts. Just as any parent would experience, I'm sure it was one of the most difficult moments in life. But through it all, my mother, never, not once, let me feel like I was 'sick' or like I couldn't do anything. She was and still is my number one cheerleader- keeping me encouraged, keeping me focused on what's important, empowering me to embrace who I am and live my life well and loving me each step of the difficult road. She taught me to feel like I could do anything, that CF didn't need to control me mentally but that it was something I could live with and continue on with the dreams and plans I had for myself. She helped me dream and keep those dreams alive, and it's the greatest gift a mom could ever give. 
As I've grown up, my mom has graciously allowed me and taught me to take care of myself. I am glad she taught me to be independent and yet if I need help, she's the first one at my side.  At times when I feel alone or have felt overwhelmed, she is always there to help me pick myself up and work through it. Just these past three weeks, for example, she put down all of her work and responsibilities to take care of me. As I lay with 103 degree fever, she made sure I was eating and drinking and was right by my side when I was admitted to the hospital making sure I was comfortable...and makes sure that I stay on my toes playing cards ;). Each time I go through a hospital stay or a rough time with CF (Or not with CF) she is right there to encourage and love me through it all. She is a woman of wisdom and grace, someone I can go to in the midst of any part of life.

Happy Birthday, mom. You mean so much to me- more than this blog post, any birthday card and any speech could never express. You are an incredible example of someone who works hard, loves with each ounce of your being and is always hoping in the Lord for all things. You never give up and you sacrifice everything for your family. I thank God for you, for how He's brought you in my life and made you the strong, supportive, and loving woman that you are. Thanks for being my mom, my friend, and my encourager and my example of a Godly woman. 
I love you so much.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Swine-free is the way to be!

Here's a little update...bullet-point version style (Mostly because i'm so tired, I don't think I would make complete sentences!):

-I officially ended my IV meds this past weekend and pulled out my needle from my port on Saturday night! Praise the Lord, it feels good to be free!
-I am swine-flu free, no need to get the H1N1 shot, I've got plenty of antibodies to protect me.
-I am really wiped out, my stamina is low and I'm pretty sure my PFT numbers still aren't back to normal. I'll go back to clinic in 2 weeks to have a check-up...until then, I'm working out and working on getting my numbers back up.
-Went back to work tired...but nice to be back...enough said :)
-Ready to surf? Not quite yet. Maybe after I don't get winded walking to my car after work. Hm.
-Appetite is back? Not yet....I'm working on it, it's slow but steady. My doc said the combo of meds I was on was pretty brutal, so even though my digestion is slowly getting better, my appetite is slow to return and it will once the meds get out of my system.

That's about it...stay away from swine-flu, peeps. It is a gnarly bug, I am blessed and grateful to be on the other side of it now :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Update on Denise

For those of you praying, here is a little update I've received today through a friend...Praise God, all has gone extremely well. Denise went into surgery yesterday at 4pm and finished just after midnight. By today at 3pm (less than 24 hours post-surgery!!) she was breathing on her own without any tubes, and by 7pm tonight she was awake and eating some Jell-O :)!! She is still in the ICU but everything is going great.

What an incredible miracle and also a mind blowing think that just over 24 hours ago she was breathing with her lungs and now she is breathing with someone else's lungs??! I mean, wow. I know she's got a huge road of recovery to go, this is just one step of the mile long process. But, she is doing very well and to be awake and breathing without support is an amazing feat. Please keep her in your prayers and I'll make sure I keep updating. Thank you friends and CF Community. I know she would be blessed to know she is being lifted up by so many.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Praying for Denise

Right now, an old friend from my CF Camp days (back when we used to be able to go to camp) is getting a lung transplant! What an incredible miracle, a huge life change and a huge blessing. It's a huge surgery and huge recovery. Her name is Denise, and I ask you to join me in praying right now. Surgery is scheduled for 2pm at USC University Hospital.

If I could scan and upload an old photo of us, I would. But right now, please keep her in your prayers...
Thanks, friends.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Great Quote

Props to my friend Dannah for this fabulous had to be posted on the blog considering my recent encounter with swine flu:

"Swine flu is the Kanye West of infection diseases.....
everybody knows about it and loves to hate on it"

First day out :)

Yesterday was my "first day out"! I know, sounds cheesy to blog about that, but for me it was a big deal. Instead of wearing sweats and a t-shirt I put on some 'real clothes', did my hair and actually drove my car to meet my friend Kim for lunch! We went to a new place in Fullerton which had excellent, fresh, homemade, healthy food called The Greenhouse Cafe (I highly recommend it if you're in the Fullerton, CA area). I'd like to go back there once my appetite is back and try many things on the menu! After that, we walked around some vintage shops in downtown Fullerton. It was a lovely afternoon :).

I was exhausted when I got back but it was well worth the outing to feel 'normal' again. I always go through the process of getting back into my life when I get out of the hospital. I balance my health care and a slow gradual adding of my normal life things- like driving, and hanging with friends. It's definitely a process....but a good one. I'm blessed to be out of the hospital and as I reflect on the last 2 weeks, I see the progress I've made. Two weeks ago, I could barely stand up I was so dizzy from the flu and lack of oxygen and now, I had a day out in Fullerton and each day gets better and better :).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

So glad to be home

That's right...I am officially out of the hospital and home in my own house, sleeping in my own bed and eating homemade food! It's such an amazing feeling! I was discharged Saturday and after a discussion with my doctor we decided I would do another 7 days of IV meds just to make sure my body has fully kicked the infection in my lungs. I have two IV and one oral antibiotic that I'll continue for another week.

Because I spent the first 10 days or so of being sick fighting off the flu, my body still has some catching up to do to help fight this infection in my lungs. My lungs still aren't back to normal- my breathing still gets a little short and I'm getting tons of mucus out (which is a big sign that my lungs still aren't in the clear). Thankfully my flu IS gone (with sadly, the exception of my appetite's absence).  So, with another 7 days of IV meds plus home-cooked food some gradual exercise and my own bed, I'm hoping to be back up on my feet and rearing to go in my normal life very soon. 

I had no idea how much this swine flu took out of me I got until today, spending my first full day at home, all I wanted to do was sleep! I find that many times after I leave the hospital- though I am supposed to be resting, the hospital is not exactly the best environment for that. I am constantly interrupted, walked in on by doctors, nurses, interns, maintenance workers, you name it (if only they'd allow us to lock our doors....hmm...guess that would defeat the purpose of people taking care of you ;). Anyways, when I got to take a nap today without anybody walking in my room it was a beautiful feeling! 

This week, I plan on doing my very best to re-gain my strength and stamina and fully recover. And I am extremely glad to be doing it from home :). As I reflect tonight before doing my next dose of medication, I am so thankful for the incredible USC staff of docs and nurses who really took care of me and helped nurse me back from the pit of the swine flu. It was a huge blessing to have people managing my health care for me when I didn't have the energy or strength to do it. I am so thankful for the care I received the last 14 days and thankful to be home to finish up the healing process.