Monday, January 31, 2011

ER trip

 Last night, we had our first little scare. M's temp had been jumping all weekend, going from 98.0 to 100.6, back down. I called the nurse and she just said to watch it. He got sick Saturday night, we just thought it was his meal. Last night, he got sick again to the point his incision started weeping and his temp was 100.4, so we called and they had us go to the ER.

We spent all night in the ER and they ran labs. He indeed had a low grade fever, they are now attributing that to removing the drain. The vomiting was caused by his Cellcept, one of the anti rejection medications. They had upped the dose on Thursday. He has too much in his system now and his body is getting rid of it, the only way it can.

Dr.Gallo the young fellow transplant surgeon was WONDERFUL. She has been nothing but wonderful to Marty and I. She came in and checked on him. She told us we are being very dilligent and doing a great job. She isn't overly concerned, they don't like the temp most of all. They will watch that this week.

Please pray for the temp to go away and for them to get these digestive issues figured out. Some of the problem is diabetic gastroparesis, another side effect from being a diabetic for so many years. That could eventually get better, it might not.

Good news, it ISN't rejection!! His kidney and pancreas are looking better than ever!!! His labs looked great in that respect.

Bad news, we spent all night in the ER, came home, slept one hour and now are headed back out to appointments.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend visit

We had a nice weekend visit with the kids, my Dad and Rachel. We are so thankful to Rachel for driving them all up here so we could be together. It was nice to have the kids for the night, Conner slept right by us. Elizabeth kept hugging me.

The kids wanted to see the Hoover tower at Stanford today, but we couldn't find parking. So we took the kids to see the offices of Facebook and Google. That was fun for everyone to see.

It was quite the teary goodbye this afternoon. Conner wanted to stay with us and didn't want to leave. Elizabeth did pretty good leaving this time. I wish there was a way for us all to be together, but there just isn't. They will be visiting with family in So.Cal this week.

People keep asking how they can help. The best way is financially, not going to lie, running two households has been a burden. We are thankful to our church, family and friends who have already been helping out. We are very thankful for the help and it is appreciated. All of our needs have been provided for while we have been staying here. We know that God will continue to provide our needs.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday and Friday update

We went to the clinic yesterday. They continue to be thrilled with Marty's progress. He had the last drain removed. That was huge, for the last five years he had a tube of some sort coming out of his stomach. First the insulin pump and then a dialysis catheter. So he feels free now!

His blood pressure has shot up. That is because one doctor told him to take off a very strong clondine patch and the other doctor said to let it run out. We knew the second doctor was right but we keep seeing the first. So we took the patch off knowing what would happen. It isn't outrageous, but still high from being rather low.

His blood sugars are good. The highest it has been is 180, which I re-took a hour later and it was 129. What a working pancreas does!!!

He is still eating only little bits at a time and has a constant full feeling.  He has been told his appetite will come back. He is still having restless nights, but we are told those will dimish once his bladder stretches back out.

We are looking forward to this weekend our kids, my dad, and good friend Rachel will all be visiting. We did have a overnight visit from Marty's mom last night also.

He does have to have a procedure on Monday to remove a stint holding a ureter open. We are told it is a very quick procedure and he will be out in 30 minutes. He is very anxious about that. So pray for it to be painless and quick.

Thank you all for the support. It is keeping us going and encouraging his recovery!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Before the morning

Two weeks ago, we were before the morning. Today, two friends told me the same thing, "It feels great to be on this side of transplant." It truly does, it still really hasn't sunk in yet. I still have a hard time believing it really happened and we are here. It feels almost unreal at times.

We have been taking walks and really just being. We haven't been doing much each day, but resting and relaxing.  I have started the process of turning the blog into a book. I am going to call it "Before The Morning" after a song that gave us hope during the dark times.

We are so thankful to God for his mercy and faithfulness. These are the words that kept Marty going, these are the words that gave him hope. Perfect to share on the two week anniversary. We are singing a new song today. One of joy, hope, peace and amazement.

Psalm 40:1-3

1 I waited patiently for the LORD; 
   he turned to me and heard my cry. 
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, 
   out of the mud and mire; 
he set my feet on a rock 
   and gave me a firm place to stand. 
3 He put a new song in my mouth, 
   a hymn of praise to our God. 
Many will see and fear the LORD 
   and put their trust in him.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A interview with Marty

We all know, Marty is a man of few words and I am definitely the mouthpiece of this operation. Everyone wants to know how he is feeling and taking all of this in. The best way is a interview, so I can convey his feelings to everyone.

How were feeling before the call, what state of mind were you in? " I was very tired. I really didn't feel like doing much of anything except stay in bed. Tired of being tired, tired of it all. I didn't feel like talking to anyone, I didn't feel like being out. "

What kept you going? "that there was hope. Hope that I would feel better after the surgery. Hope that I would feel better to do things with the kids and with you."

So how did you feel when the call came? " Excited, nervous and a little scared. I have mentioned it before, it's like when you are a kid and you go to the theme park for the first time. You want to go on a big ride and you have fear, you know it will be okay and that you'll have fun but there is fear. The next thing you know, your next in line and your heart is pounding and you are scared."

When did it hit you, this is was really it? "When they were wheeling me back for surgery."

How did you feel when you woke up? " Well, when I first woke up I had a breathing tube down my throat and I was aggitated. Kind of upset they wouldn't take it out. They put me back to sleep I guess, it seemed like thirty minutes but I guess it was a day. When I was able to talk, I was looking for you."

What amazed you the most after surgery? " the doctors telling me that I could eat whatever I wanted and that I could eat the things that I have had to cut out of my diet, or that I was expected to eat those things now! Being able to eat things I have never been able to eat before. Having orange juice with breakfast, eating ice cream."

He turned the tables and just asked me, "What amazed you the most?" When they came out and told me you went from a blood sugar of over 500 before surgery to 120 after surgery. Everytime we check your blood sugar, I am amazed. Seeing it be 98 this morning after it was 122 last night, that was pretty darn amazing.

What do you think about the outpouring of love, the calls, the texts, the emails, blog comments, people praying? " I was just amazed, I read all of them. It definitely helps when you are going through the times of pain and are  wondering if it's all going to be alright? I am thankful for the support. It means a lot to me."

So how are you feeling today? " I feel good. My energy is coming back day by day. That is exciting for me, I have energy to do things like go out and walk."

How do you feel about living here at Stanford? " I think it is a good program, I don't see how we could do it any other way. The only thing I wish they would have is more options for families with kids. I miss my kids!"

What are you doing with your recovery time? " Spending time with Julie. Hooked on the Boba tea, going to get Boba tea once a day. Enjoying shopping at Trader Joe's, since we don't have one near us."

What has been the most stressful part of this time? " Worrying about the kids. Missing them"

What are you looking forward to in the coming months? " Going back to work! Making plans for the future. Doing more activities with the kids."

What would you like to say to the donor family? " You know, it may sound cliche but my deepest and sincerest thank you for a second chance at life. You have given me the opportunity to see my grandkids. I would like to know and learn about your child, who donated their organs to me. I would like to know about their life and given the opportunity, I would like to tell them we were praying for them for three years."

Closing thought? " Three words that I would have had a hard time saying two or three months ago, To be continued."

A/N: That's a lot of words from Marty! I am impressed!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday clinic update

Went to the kidney clinic today. So far, so great! They are very happy with everything still!

His blood sugar was 160 once last week, they said Predisone or Prograft ( anti rejection med) can contribute to that. So they are going to try to lower the Prograft, he is already being tapered  off the high steroids. His pancreas is working just fine. They have him on high Prograft because they are more worried about pancreas rejection but it is toxic to the new kidney.

The said the kidney was still a bit sleepy, but that is due to the Prograft. So they fully expect things to just keep getting better and better.

He gets to ditch a high powered blood pressure medicine he has been on. He is down to two and they might be able to wean him off those soon.

Our good friends Matt and Tammy came to visit yesterday and today. It was so good to see them and have a piece of home here with us. Thanks for coming to see us!

The kids are coming for the weekend this weekend. Our good friend Rachel is bringing them up along with my Dad. We are looking forward to that!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

This is my year!!!!

Marty got his transplant and is recovering nicely and now the Packers are going to the Superbowl!!!!

Marty is feeling really good this weekend and everything looks great. He goes to the doctor tomorrow morning. I will update more then. We had to say goodbye to our kids after a 45 minute visit yesterday and that was hard but our good friend Rachel is bringing them up next weekend for a overnight visit. Marty is bummed about football this year, his Vikings had a bad season, so he could care less about the game.

Everyone always wants to know, how did your California family become Packers fans? Our Grandma was born and raised in Milwaukee. They were huge Packer fans and our grandpa adopted the team when they married. So we grew up Packers fans. My cousin Andy is the biggest fan in the family! We are all thrilled. This is just the icing on the cake of good things happening to our family in 2011!!!

Now we are wanting the Packers to win and Marty to continue making a great recovery. And if it's not too much to ask, maybe Conner and I's favorite cyclist Andy Shleck could win the Tour De France this year too!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Praying forward

We have all been praying for so many years for the transplant, praying for the donor and donor family, praying for a good match, praying for a place for me to stay. God has answered every single prayer we have prayed for the last three years.

How do we pray now? We need to pray for no rejection. Rejection happens about 50% of the time and is treatable. It doesn't mean the end of the transplant always, it can but it doesn't always mean that.

Transplant is a treatment option, not a cure. It will fail someday but we are praying that is many years from now. I have read stories of transplants lasting 40 years. My good friend Tammy's mom had a kidney for 20 years. We are praying for at least twenty years, our children will be grown then. Marty's dad's only lasted seven years and he didn't get to live to see his grandchildren. Marty is praying he can live to see his grandchildren, walk Elizabeth down the aisle and see our children grow. I know and believe God will answer these prayers.

Those are really the major requests ongoing and forever. We thank you all for praying and know you will always continue to pray with us.

Marty has hit the sore stage. He is not in extreme pain just sore. The surgery was basically done like a c-section but on each side of his belly. He also has one incision where they removed the dialysis catheter. He has one drain left and one place where they removed a drain. He says at the most painful his pain has been a 3-4 on a 1-10 scale. He is finally taking the Norco they prescribed, he had been just taking extra strength Tylenol. His weight was 186, blood sugar was 114, BP was 93/69 when he woke up. All the numbers look great.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

You know things are good when...........

  You know things are good when the transplant doctor is giddy leaving the room exclaiming, " Now that is the kind of transplant I like!"

What a great feeling to see your doctors smiling and happy, they are amazed. The one thing Dr.Busque remembered about Marty pre-transplant was the size of his legs. He was carrying all of the excess fluid in his legs and they were like tree trunks, even now the little bit of swelling is nothing compared to before.

He still has in one drain and a stint in the ureter that need to be removed, that might not happen for another week or so. His blood pressures are so good, they are cutting back his medication already. His blood sugar was 100 when he woke up this morning, I don't think that will ever get old!

He is now able to eat cheese, milk, hot dogs and dairy again. His phosphorus that was always too high, is too low now. So he is enjoying eating the dairy products and drinking cereal with milk again.

The sore stage has finally hit, he is pretty sore but not in extreme pain. He mostly is taking extra strength Tylenol because Norco makes him loopy.

We do miss the kids, that is the hardest part of the whole thing!

It is so different going and hearing good news, I know we will continue to hear good news. This could have gone so differently but I know God has began a good work and he will carry it through to completion. Why spend our days in fear and worry when everything is so good? We are just going to revel in the goodness and enjoy the moment.

We are so grateful for the support and love we have been receiving. It has carried us through!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One week later

Marty is all cleaned up and looking so much better. In one week he has lost 25 pounds, I think that is all fluid he has been carrying around. His blood sugars are staying under 200 without the help of insulin. No more four times a day dialysis treatments. Life is good and so much better already.

It was a bit scary coming home last night, knowing we are in charge of the anti-rejection meds and taking them on time. He will take these pills the rest of the life of the transplant. They have to be taken a certain way at a certain time.

There are 16 different kinds of pills and many different doses. We have a list and time schedule. This is nothing compared to dialysis and we gladly will do this instead.

Our little apartment is very cute and tidy. It has everything we need and everyone is joking it is our love nest. We miss the kids terribly. We  are looking at this as a month long 15th anniversary celebration in advance. Di asked for some pictures, so here you go

Very cute and right down the street from Stanford. It is only a few blocks and a easy walk. For Marty they will send a golf cart to drive us down there for appointments. We went grocery shopping yesterday and stocked up on necessities.

One song that has kept Marty and I going is a song written by U2 called "40" it is based on Psalm 40. The lyrics really fit our situation and it has been the song on our lips for the entire journey. One of the lyrics state, "How long?" and we often wondered how long? Now we know, Three years, two months and three days.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How long are you there for?

Marty got released from the hospital today. He is making good progress and they are very pleased, they think it is better for him to be out of the hospital. We do have to stay close for the next month to two months, so we have moved into a apartment on the Stanford campus.

It is a cute little one bedroom apartment, the smallest place we have ever lived. Unfortunately, the kids cannot be with us and are staying home with my mom for now.

Marty continues to improve daily, his creatnine is almost normal now at 1.6. His blood sugar was 220 last night but 120 all day today. He lost another pound putting him down 21 pounds so far. He even asked if he could go to the grocery store with me and they okay'd that. So he drove one of the electric carts around while I shopped.

We are both tired and I have a feeling, this is going to be the best nights sleep that we have gotten in two years!

People are asking how to send us stuff, please email me for the address. Also on my last blog about Paypal, I made a mistake it is

book bound

 I have been fielding this question a lot, "Will you write the donor family a letter?" of course we will and we were already given the okay to do that. Five years ago when I started this blog, I had no idea what it would become. I just liked the idea of blogging and it turned into so much more.

It turned into a journal of grief when losing my grandparents and then it ballooned into something more when Marty was diagnosed. I started blogging and sharing our journey mainly to keep friends and family updated. Then it became carthartic to write it all down. Also it has become a memorial stone for this journey through the desert and valley of sickness.

A couple of years ago, Andrea blogged about blurb a company that will bind your blog into a book. I knew immediately what the plan of action would be. I will have the blogs on Marty's journey bound into a book, one for us and one for the donor family. I want to be able to share our long journey and also the thousands of people praying for so many years for them.

 We were already told we can write the donor family a letter. I am going to give it time. They need time to heal and grieve, maybe once the dust settles it will be welcome. I hope they know how much we prayed for their child and for them. How much they are a part of our lives now and how grateful we are to them.

I also want a book, where I can go back and see the great lessons we have learned and how we have grown. I want to never forget or be jaded about this time in our lives. That way we can share with others who we meet along the way. I also don't know where the book ends just yet.

Monday, January 17, 2011

One more day

  Marty is tired of this place. That is a sign he is feeling much better, he is ready to hit the road. We asked to go to a hotel for the night but the doctor said no. So one more night here for him. I am going to stay with him since his roomate Mike is going home today.  I think that will help him out some.

 His labs are fabulous. He did have to have three units of insulin yesterday but compared to sixty units a day pre-surgery this is great. They won't be doing that today though, Dr.Busque wants to see what it will do. His phosphorus is almost too low, which is so funny because pre-surgery it was too high. He has lost twenty pounds in less than a week, signs the kidney is working great! His creatnine was 2.9 yesterday and 1.8 today.

 We saw the kids yesterday and they are headed back today. Conner is trying to run the house and I am telling him to let Grandma do that. We have had so many come forward to help with them. Right now, the best place is at home where they can be in their own environment. A few people have offered to drive them up here and that is so wonderful, that helps lessen the separation for all of us.

 Everything couldn't be going better! We are blown away by the progress in such a short amount of time. We are also blown away by the love and support. Keep praying the prayers are being answered right and left.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pictures speak louder than words

At Rissa and Daniel's wedding in October

What a difference four days after surgery

My host family

I have been staying with Dave, Stacey, Ashley and Arya. Stacey's parents go to our church and introduced us to each other. I had always worried where I would stay when Marty was in the hospital. There is NO place for family in this hospital and my family and friends are hundreds of miles away. Stacey offered a year ago and that has been the plan since.

They have been so gracious and kind. Truly a wonderful place to stay. Stacey and Dave have both fixed me meals, Arya and Ashley have kept me entertained and distracted.

Last night they had a baby sitter and Arya stayed up waiting for me. I ended up having to go lay with her because she wouldn't go to sleep. She is a very sharp witted three year old, you can get nothing past her. I started singing to a praise song playing in the background and she told me, " You aren't good at singing either!" because earlier in the day she wanted me to color her a picture and I couldn't do it right. I told her that I am not good at drawing either. So then I told her things that I am good at and how we all have different gifts and talents. I almost cried when she looked at me and said, " Our God is so big."

They also are huge Disney fans with a ton of Disneyana in their home. So it is a bit like being in my old job looking at the pictures on the walls.

The kids might be able to come stay with them at night and with us during the day in a couple of weeks. They have graciously offered to do that.

Our family and friends are so thankful to know, we are with people who care! I cannot thank them enough for making me so comfortable.

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

No eye has seen.

1 Corinthians 2:9 

9 However, as it is written:

   “What no eye has seen, 
   what no ear has heard, 
and what no human mind has conceived”— 
   the things God has prepared for those who love him—

This verse perfectly describes what has happened. We could have never imagined things turning out this great. No complications, Marty is doing great. 

When I got here this morning his blood sugar was 115, they took the catheter out and he is walking back and forth to the bathroom on his own. He ate a regular lunch, his first real food since Tuesday. I helped him get cleaned up and he is currently taking a nap.

We have been amazed by everything and real are walking on air right now. We get to see the kids tomorrow and Monday. We really miss them and I cannot wait for them to see their daddy! We all left so fast, I didn't even get to kiss them goodbye, so I am excited to hug and love on them.

We are so greatful for all the messages, phone calls, FB messages and texts.  We are more than greatful for the prayer and that is what is carrying us through and God is taking care of us.

Funny story, Conner called almost the entire church on the day of the surgery. He was nervous and wanted to help out. He only has a 200 minute plan and the end of the day, he called to say he used 1000 minutes. We laughed, how could we be mad? I called the cell phone company today and it wasn't the case at all, I used a thousand minutes which is fine since we are unlimited. We did up Conner's plan just in case but he didn't go over at all.

We are so blessed, I cannot say it enough!

Friday, January 14, 2011

"How can we help?"

I have been getting this question a lot and so many have come forward wanting to help. We are so thankful to everyone in Visalia taking care of our kids and keeping our home running. We are so thankful to Dave and Stacey for opening their home to us.

We will be moving into the H.O.M.E apartments here on the grounds. The condo wasn't available to us and we will have to live here for the month.

Then month two we will be traveling back and forth once a week and month three every other week.

People have asked how to send money or help financially. There are two ways to do this, one is send money via Paypal to


Donate to the benevolent fund at Parkside Chapel Visalia

Parkside Chapel
3200 E Walnut Ave.
Visalia, CA 93292

We aren't going to deny people the chance to help. Everyone has been waiting with us, as much as this is our joy, it is your joy too. Everyone wants to take part and we are absolutely overwhelmed by the outpouring of love. Anything over and above our needs here at Stanford will be donated to the benevolent fund at Parkside to help other families in need. God just is taking care of us in amazing ways.

In fact, these two ladies that I have met wanted to bless our family. I have been praying for them and telling them of our story. They just walked up to me and handed me 80 dollars out of the blue. They wanted to buy my meals.

Every need is being met and we lack nothing. I know this is just a answer to the prayers of many thousand people. We are so blessed beyond measure.

Switching one set for another set

Last night I hit a the only low so far, I slept in the car. We got to his room and it was a shared room, which made me lose it and cry. I had canceled my plans to sleep at Stacey's house and didn't want to call her at 11:30 ( which would have been fine.)

Stanford really doesn't  have places for family members to rest and this particular unit is the ONLY one I have seen without a waiting area for family. The room is so small, I am in the way and really I want the nurses to be able to take the best care of him possible. So I slept in the car and actually slept, but I was sore and tired this morning.

So I came in to see Marty and then took off to Stacey's. Let me tell you, Dennis and Evelyn Smethers raised a wonderful daughter. She made me breakfast, I chatted with her and her little cutie Arya. We went to Target to pick up some essentials. Then I went and got my haircut, I feel a thousand times better now!

I took a nap and headed back to Marty. Of course, the social worker, transplant coordinator and dietician were all looking for me. We took a two hour class on anti- rejection drugs and how to watch for rejection. Transplant is not a cure but really switching one set of problems for another. Of course, the after transplant problems are way less and much better. Mainly a VERY strict drug regimen added to some things we already do such as taking blood pressure, blood sugars and weight three times a day.

Marty can have milk and cheese again!!!!! The diet is actually the reverse of the renal diet. One sad bit of news, no more yellow five til' I die......only Marty's childhood best friends would understand that one. No more diet Mountain Dew or any caffienated sodas or teas. Caffienated drinks are a dieuretic and he has to be sure the kidney is properly hydrated at all times. But, he loves to drink and this will not be a problem like it was with the dialysis.

He is looking great and feeling really good!! Each time I see him he looks better and better. They cannot be more pleased with things. His blood sugar is under 200 and his kidney is producing tons of urine. All of his numbers are trending downward.

We found out we can send the donor family a letter. I plan on taking this blog and making a book to send to the donor family. We did find out it was only a match on one level but the donor was 18 years old and that is what really mattered. A young pancreas is very important and necessary. This transplant can last up to twenty years and I fully believe it will.

We cannot thank you enough for all of the support we have recieved. It truly blows our mind and it has been such a joy to see God at work.  We have been able to share our story with many and it has already been touching other lives. One friend told me last night, she wants to go back to church now because of our story. Others have contacted me about their health and wanting to get better. It is going to take a long time to thank everyone and reply to the many messages. I intend on saving them all and making a book for our family to have to look back. Look and see what the Lord has done!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Further update

When is Marty getting out of the hospital?

That is the number one question. He will be discharged in four to five days BUT.............we will have to live here One or two months. They have housing available for twenty five dollars a day on the hospital grounds. There is also a condo that might be available to us for the same price but our kids could come stay with us there.

Marty is doing very well.The doctors are just amazed at how well the pancreas is working. His blood sugar has not been higher than 167 without any insulin and he is on 5 percent dextrose. The kidney is producing normal amounts of urine.

He will be moving out of ICU tonight and into a regular room!!!

We are so blessed, amazed by God and overwhelmed with his love and the love of thousands of others! Thank you so much for your love and support!!!

Transplant day and post transplant update

This is the day, The LORD has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

I said those words to Marty before they wheeled him off. It was a very surreal moment, almost unfathomable that it was actually happening. While waiting in the OR, I was reading him the good wishes from around the world.

 I walked out side and updated all accounts, called my friend Melissa in Texas who was the first call I made from Stanford, the day they told us they wanted to dual transplant in 08'.

Our friend's from church Dennis and Evelyn have a daughter Stacey here, she got people to watch her kids and came and sat with me. We ate breakfast while I fielded a influx of messages and calls. Then we came and checked in the surgery area, where they have big screen tv's with surgery status. We walked the halls, looked at the giant Christmas tree, strolled the gardens and grounds. Stanford is very beautiful and the weather was magnificent.

We came back in to find the surgery actually started at 10:30 am., his blood sugar had spiked to over 500 due to the dialysiate and dextrose iv. I told the nurse to check it and should have used our meter to check it myself. So that caused the surgery to be pushed back.

I left around two o'clock with Stacey, we went to her lovely home. I showered and she made me a great panini sandwich. I charged my phone and laptop. I also washed my sweats and jeans so they were clean. In truly Julie fashion, I asked her to let me fold the towels in the dryer to keep me occupied. She laughed, if she only really knew, I am weird like that always.

I came back and answered hundreds of messages from around the world. Made a few important phone calls and waited. I was being prayed with by our Pastor over the phone and I looked up to see the surgery was over.

The surgeon came out and told me, the surgery was very successful. The organs were very young and healthy, they took immediately. The fat in his stomach caused from the dialysiate was hard to move but other than that everything was good. His BP was stable the entire surgery. His new kidney made 1.5 liters of urine on it's own and his pancreas has his blood sugar at 140 since the surgery, no insulin.

They felt he was very swollen and he was having a hard time coming around. So they kept him on Propofol ( yes, that milk of amenesia) and a breathing tube for tonight. They will take that out in the morning.

I was able to see him along with the rest of the OR staff who were all very positive. In fact, there has not been one rude or unkind staff member here today.

I cried for the second time when it hit me, the number praying today was over a thousand. People all over the world joining our good friends and family in prayer. I was literally overwhelmed by the love and support for our family today.

The kids are staying at home with my mom. I am sleeping in the waiting room tonight, just to be close by.

Thank you all from the bottom of our heart!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

God told Elizabeth

It started at 7 a.m. November 12, 2010. I got a frantic call from my friend Danielle in Georgia, " I had to call you, I have a very strong feeling that you will get a call in 72- 48 hours. God just would not let me rest until I called you."

72 hours on the dot later, our very close friend Michelle called crying, She had been praying and reading her bible and she said, " God told me, time is near and everything is in place." She isn't a internet person and I hadn't even spoken to her for a week. She had no clue about the first phone call.

Then my friend Janeen in Maryland sent me a message, December 15th. She had a very strong feeling that something would happen that day. I told Marty and nobody else. Janeen and I are in a prayer group of 10 and we all prayed over it.

December 15th came and went. Our friend in the prayer circle Viviana felt a decision had been made that day.  I believe the donor made a decision that day.

On Thursday December 16th, I was helping Marty with dialysis and Elizabeth was playing Angry Birds on my phone in the kitchen. We heard a tap on our bedroom door, "It's me Poohnky, I need to come in." She opened the door and was pale, visibly shaken and on the verge of tears. "What's wrong Elizabeth?" and she said, "God just told me, Elizabeth go tell your parents, your dad is going to be called in a month. I heard it mommy, I really did,"

We told her we believed her and prayed with her right then. We assured her that we believed her but not to be too upset if it didn't happen.

Four days later, the warning call came. Marty was a back up for a transplant surgery. We kind of knew it wasn't the time, but can you imagine how Elizabeth felt? "I told you, I told you!" In fact, I had just shared the story with my Dad the night before and he was blown away to get a call on his birthday, he said, "God did tell your daughter."

The past week, Elizabeth has been packing and cleaning away. She has been anxious and jumpy at every phone call. So yesterday, when Stanford called for real, you can just imagine her joy. " I told you, I told you." What a amazing gift for a young girl, what a story to have. I was so happy for her, to see that God is real and he does speak to us with a still small voice.

I wonder how often this happens and people just don't listen? How many times have I not listened? It is so true the faith of a child. Thankful for Danielle, Michelle, Viviana and Elizabeth who all listened to God's voice speaking to them.

A/N Please pray for Janeen and her husband Bucky. He is in the hospital fighting lung cancer and they have had to call in hospice. It is a very bittersweet time for our group of friends.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

We got "THE CALL"!!!!!!

We had just come home from Dr.Heaney's, I was making baked potato bar for dinner. Marty's phone rang and it said, "unknown" which is how Stanford shows up. He couldn't get it and then my phone rang with Stanford area code.

 IT WAS THE CALL!!!! Three years, three months and 3 days later!

 "How soon can you be here?" and we told them four hours. We called the person set up to watch the kids. She had company. So I called my best friend Heather and she took them for the night. She came to pick them up. Elizabeth has been packing for a week. She knew God told her Marty would get called in a month on December 16th, that date has been fast approaching. Conner, Marty and I threw bags together, kicked our little dog outside and took off. I didn't have time to text or Facebook anybody. I called my friend Di and she graciously updated everyone for me. I made phone calls all the way here on my nifty headpiece that came with my new phone.

  We were blessed with clear driving conditions, no traffic and made it here in three and half hours. We got here and were told surgery was in the morning. They are running blood work,ekg and chest x-ray. They are checking for infection, heart issues and anything major. They are pretty sure it is a go though. I felt peace. Marty has been very anxious and nervous the whole night. I got scared when we got here, just scared they would say no.

  Of course, today was a bad health day. His bp was 234/113 at the doctor. His ankles were swollen this morning and all day. So this is not good to the doctors here. But his BP had dropped considerably, his blood sugar was great, ankles..............very swollen. Of course, we missed a treatment on the way here and then they are just hooking him up now.

  The dialysis nurse is loading the "evil machine" remember the machine that gave us so much heck before?? Well he is setting it up wrong, I tried to tell him but he didn't listen to me. He is now wondering why is isn't flushing and I am happily blogging in silence. He told me to be quiet........ We took out Marty's insulin pump tonight, for what is the last time, we hope! That was quite a emotional moment.

 So, we are getting ready for bed and hopefully will have great surgery in the morning. Of course tonight, I thought of the other family somewhere out there, hurting and sad. Think of them tonight and pray for them. Thanks for all your support these last three years, this is just as much your day as it is ours!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Polar opposites

Conner and Elizabeth are such opposites. It is funny to see it play out in little trivial things such as birthday parties.

Sunday, Elizabeth was invited to a birthday party. She thoughtfully picked out her gift and rushed home to wrap it herself. That night Conner wanted to sleep in our room on the floor since his sister was gone. They don't share a room but he took advantage of his mom and dad time.

Today, Conner went to a birthday party. He went and walked around until he found something suitable. As we are driving home, he says, "Your gonna wrap that right? I don't want to wrap it." that just cracked me up.

Tonight, we asked Elizabeth if she wanted to sleep on our floor. She turned us down, she would rather sleep in her own bed.

I thought it was a perfect case study to share on my blog. This is how they are, one extreme to the next. We have a picture that Marty loves, he says it describes our children perfectly.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Clare, Pen Friends for Life

In honor of my dear friend Clare's birthday today, I thought that it would be fun to share how we met. In 1992, I was a sophmore in high school. I was taking french as my foreign language and our teacher Mme. Nghiem mentioned pen pal program. You paid two dollars and they would set you up with a pen pal. I filled out a form and paid four dollars. Of course, I paid for a french pen pal but as it is well recorded, I am a Anglophile and wanted a British pen pal.

 A few months later a letter appeared in my mail box, it was from Clare. She included her picture and a nice letter telling me about her life. I wrote back telling her of my life and including a picture. We would write letters about school, music, family life. We sent each other packages with goodies from our countries. Eventually we graduated to phone calls. For the rest of our school careers and beyond we were confidants and friends.

It was always my intention to go visit her, but every year I would fail math and have to go to summer school. Finally, when I married Marty she came over here for my wedding. What a joyous day to meet and be together. We had the best time the week before my wedding traveling all over Southern California and sightseeing. It was truly a wonderful memorable time together.

Sadly, after that we lost touch for a couple of years. We grew apart and went our seperate ways. Then in 1999 we reconnected with each other via the worldwide web. Our first phone call was a rather teary affair where we shared about where life had taken us. We both had become mothers and it was so exciting to share all about our sons.  After that we took to emailing and sharing pictures via the web.

I still owe her a trip and promise that will be sooner than later. My lifelong dream is to go see the UK and spend time with Clare. Now we Skype instead of phone chat and talk everyday on Facebook. Boy, how far we have come from our letter writing days. This is actually a good thing for us, because we both have TERRIBLE penmanship! ( which was probably a saving grace for both of us, a girl with nice handwriting might have kicked the other to the curb..hee hee)

The best part of all is our sons have become good friends. They love to Skype chat and meet up on PS3 to play video games with each other. Who would have ever imagined that? I don't think either of us. We have to girls coming up and I am sure someday they will be friends too.

Next year, we will celebrate 20 years of being friends. GAH! That makes one feel old saying that! She is one of the special people in my life, one of the people who has been there through it all.  Can't wait until the day we can hug each other again. Happy birthday my friend, you truly are one of the sisters of my heart.

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A/N The french pen pal never wrote me back.