Friday, April 6, 2012

National Donate Life Month

April 6, 2012

It’s hard to believe that today marks 6 months since surgery. Time has really flown by! I am feeling great and so happy to have all of my strength back. I went for a 3 month and 5 month check up, everything looks good. My scar is starting to fade away and some days I completely forget that I had surgery.
Some exciting things are happing in my life right now. I have recently completed my Doula training with DONA International. I am so excited to begin this new journey as a Doula. A Doula is someone who is trained to give physical and emotional support to laboring women. I have a strong passion for educating and empowering women. I feel blessed to get to do what I love to do!
Also, in honor of Organ Donation Month I will be participating in the Dallas Kidney Walk on April 21st. I am looking forward to being a part of Baylor’s walk team both because I am a Baylor employee and because Baylor is where my kidney donation surgery took place. I am hoping to bring awareness to organ donation. If you would like to show your support for the Dallas Kidney Walk you can make a donation on my behalf, here:
I would also like to encourage everyone to consider being an organ and tissue donor. I realize not everyone is eligible to be a living donor, but we can all register to be an organ donor. We won’t need this “Earthly Suit” in Heaven. I believe God has given us these amazing bodies to share in every way possible. Please Donate Life!! For more information about joining the Texas Organ Donor Registry visit,
Over the past 9 months, since I first began this journey, my life has been touched in so many ways. I feel so blessed to have been a part of this amazing process. I experienced a new peace in my life when I allowed my heart to fully trust God. I am looking forward to next journey God has planned for me!
Thank You, O LORD, that you guide us along the best pathway for our lives. That you will advise us and closely watch over us. Psalm 32:8

Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 Kidney Walk

I just signed up for the 2012 Dallas Kidney Walk!  The walk is on Saturday April 21st.  I am so excited to join Baylor's kidney walk team!  Please consider supporting me to raise awareness of both kidney disease and living donation.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

3 Months Post-Op

January 11, 2012
Today was my 3 month post-op visit.  I can hardly believe it has already been 3 months since surgery!  I had a full day of follow- up testing. First was my glo-fill, this is used to test the function of my kidney.  It consisted of me drinking water, giving a urine sample, and having my blood drawn.   This went on for about 3 hours.  All together, I had to drink 11 cups of water.  Next, I had labs and an appointment with the doctor.  Overall, my results came back good.  The results of my pre-donation glo-fill showed my kidney function to be at 97%, today my kidney function is at 72%. This number will increase slightly over the next few months as my kidney continues to adapt.  They seemed a little concerned about my protein and creatinine clearance levels.  My previous creatinine clearance was 164 and today it is at 83.50 (The higher the better).   This means my creatinine clearance is only at about 50% of what it once was. The doctor said this is still an acceptable number.  She said this number could be affected by numerous things.  It could mean that I am just slightly dehydrated or it could be the venti latte that I’m addicted to at Starbucks (probably a little too much caffeine!).  They want me to follow up with my primary care doctor, stay well hydrated, and to keep an eye on all lab levels.  All lab results aside, I am feeling great!  Gary is also doing very well.  He has started subbing at a couple of districts in the area.  He is hoping to get his foot in the door and find a permanent job very soon! 
The highlight of my day was having coffee with a great friend.  Dana also had her follow up testing today.  We decided to meet up in between appointments to catch up.  It was great to see that everything is going so well for Dana and her recipient Jennifer.  God has taught me so many lessons and blessed me so much in this process.  I am certain that God meant for Dana and I to meet during this journey.  I am so thankful for her friendship!
A few things I am looking forward to, last week I met with Baylor’s corporate director of transplant.  She gave me information about the2012 Kidney Walk, benefiting the National Kidney Foundation.  Both Gary & I, along with our families plan to participate in the walk.  I was also informed about plans for a “Living Donor Wall” to recognize living donors at Baylor.  They are planning to dedicate the wall in April 2012.  I am very excited to see the results of this. 

“Faith is knowing that you never lose what you give away.”

Monday, November 21, 2011

With Thanksgiving in my Heart

November 21,2011
Hard to believe six weeks have passed since surgery.  I am thrilled to report that everything is going great!  Gary is doing very well.  He is still going in for weekly doctor visits and his creatine is holding right around 2.0 (which is great)!  His new kidney seems to be functioning very well.  Gary is eager to begin working again; he is in the process of searching for a job.  I know God has the perfect job for Gary.  As for me, I am feeling completely back to normal.  I am honestly surprised how good I feel.  With the exception of my scar, I would not even know that I had surgery.   School has been taking up most of my time lately.  As, many of you know I have been waiting for months to hear whether or not I had been accepted into the nursing program at UTArlington.  Well, I finally got a letter in the mail this week; I have been put on a wait list.  It seems they had one of their largest application periods ever; almost 700 applicants and only 130 spots available!  I feel blessed to have even been put on a wait list.  They will let me know as soon as a spot opens up for me.  While this may not be my ideal situation……..If I have learned anything this year, it’s that everything will happen in God’s time! 
As Thanksgiving quickly approaches I have so many things to be thankful for!  The list could go on and on…….here are 5 things I am most thankful for:
I am thankful for my amazing husband who loves God and his family with his whole heart.  It was by no accident that Brad and I met.  I am certain God created Brad for me to love.
I am thankful for my beautiful children who remind me to stop and enjoy each day.  I am so blessed to be their mother.
I am thankful for my wonderful twin sister, who is my very best friend.  God knows I could not go through life without her.
I am thankful for prayer.  I truly believe in the power of prayer and I am thankful we serve a Mighty God who answers prayer.
I am thankful that God’s mercies are new each day!
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.  Psalm 118:1

Thursday, November 3, 2011

4 weeks Post-Op

November 3, 2011
It has now been 4 weeks since surgery and things are great!!  I started back to work this week; it feels so good to be back!  I still get tired pretty easily, but I am starting to feel like my old self again.  Gary is also doing really well.  His creatine is down to 2.1 (which is great!). Gary said his creatine levels have not been that low since he was about 18years old! He is also very happy to have all of his staples out.  Next week, he will begin going for doctor visits only once per week.  He is still sore, but overall he is feeling great. I know this is just the beginning of a new and exciting journey for Gary.  I will thank God daily for His faithfulness in healing Gary!
While I am so thankful that everything has been successful, I am still so deeply saddened by the thousands of people who are waiting for a transplant.  Every 10 minutes a new name is added to the waiting list for an organ transplant.  During this process, I have crossed paths with many people who are awaiting an organ transplant.  I have heard countless heartbreaking stories along the way.  I met a facebook friend, named Randy who has been on dialysis now for one year.  Through it all Randy remains positive and upbeat.  He is a big promoter of organ donation and is constantly sharing other people’s stories in the hopes of finding them a donor. I also learned of an amazing little boy named Zachary who received his first kidney transplant when he was only 11months old.  Now, at 6 years old his kidney is failing.  Over 600 people have been tested with no match found.  The doctors say Zachary has less than a 3% chance of finding a match.  But I am 100% sure that our God has a perfect match for Zachary and the countless others who are waiting.  While I may never be able to understand why some people have to face so many challenges and trials, I have peace in knowing that “All things work together for the good of those who love God.” Romans 8:28
 When I look back at this whole journey I am so overwhelmed.  I Wish I could explain how AMAZING it feels to have been a part of this.  I am not sure why God chose me, but I am so thankful that He did!  I have learned so many lessons along the way.  I have learned lessons in patience, faith, and friendship.  Most importantly, I have learned how to fully trust in my God!  I love knowing that God is always at work in me.  This has been such a rewarding experience, and my goal from here on out is to strive to have an open heart and follow Him daily.   
Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth. (Jeremiah 33:6)

Monday, October 24, 2011

2 Weeks Post Op

October 24, 2011
It has been a little over 2 weeks since surgery and things are great!  I had my follow up visit with my surgeon today.  He said everything looks good and I am cleared to go back to work.  I will return to work next week.  I can also begin some light exercise…Yeah!  However, I was told to hold off on running and weight lifting until after the Holidays.  I don’t quite feel like my old self yet, but I am feeling a little better every day.  I am still sore and have trouble getting comfortable at night.  I also have uncontrollable itching in my abdomen.  Yes….IN my abdomen, it is feeling that is hard to explain.  It feels like an itch deep inside that I cannot scratch….drives me crazy!!  And, I seem to get tired pretty easily.  I am sure it will take time to feel 100%, but overall I am feeling really good!
We had a busy weekend!  Ian’s 7th Birthday party was on Saturday.  He loves baseball and of course wanted a party at the batting cages.  He invited his entire baseball team, it was so much fun!  My sweet sister Sarah came in town a few days early to help me get everything ready for the party.  She was a HUGE help, I could not have done it without her!!  The day before the party, Sarah taxied me around to get some last minute things.  We went to several stores and I was getting pretty tired.  Sarah somehow talked me into riding on the electric scooter at Target…Ha-Ha!  Yes, I was a scooter person....still can’t believe I did that!  But, it did make for a nice shopping trip!  I was able to go back to church on Sunday.  I was so excited to worship and praise God for his amazing blessings!
Ian's Birthday Party

I am happy to report that Gary is also doing very well!  His creatine is down to 2.3!  He is still going in 3 days a week for check-ups.  He is looking forward to having his staples taken out very soon.  He is still sore, but feeling great!  I feel overwhelmed when I step back and think about God’s amazing love.  I read a quote today that is my new favorite, “Faith is not believing God can it is knowing that he will.”

Friday, October 14, 2011

1 week Post-Op

October 14, 2011
Well, it has already been one week since surgery.  Gary and I are both doing great!  The first 3 or 4 days after surgery were pretty rough.  I was in quite a bit of pain.  I was also dealing with a lack of appetite and nausea.  It’s amazing the difference a week makes; I am feeling so much better.  I am starting to get my appetite and my strength back.  I am also able to move around a lot better.  I am trying to take it easy and am starting to feel a little better every day. Gary seems to be recovering really well also!  He has appointments 3 days a week to make sure everything is functioning properly.  Gary’s creatine (waste product filtered out through the kidneys) is slowly going down.  Before surgery his level was at 9.9 and today is down to 3.5!  I think the Doctors wish it would come down a little faster. However, if we have learned anything in this process it’s that everything will happen in God’s time.  The important thing is that Gary’s new kidney is functioning!  I am certain that our Mighty God will continue to do His work & take care of the rest!
Just some “strange” things I have noticed since surgery……..I have a weird tingling feeling in the spot where my kidney used to be.  It is similar to the feeling when your hand or foot fall asleep, but on my insides….a little strange feeling.  Not sure if this will go away or not.  Also, my desire for sweets has almost disappeared.  For those of you who know me, you know that I have always had a major sweet tooth.  However, since surgery sweets do not sound good to me at all.   Before we left the hospital, Gary’s blood sugar jumped way up.  Gary and I joked that he got my “sweet kidney”.  Ha-ha!  I am sure my love for sweets will return someday!  Please continue to pray for Gary as he recovers!  Pray that his new kidney will continue functioning and his creatine level will go down! 
With all my heart I will praise the LORD.  Psalm 34:2