Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sisters of the heart

I have had this blog in my head for quite sometime now. It's a very emotional subject for me and something very dear to me. I have two sisters of my own, but sadly we aren't close. Some of that is by choice on my part and some of that is out of my control. I wish things were different, but they aren't and I can't really change that. I have tried and failed. It takes two to change things and if one party is unwilling, it leaves the other with tough choices. I worked for years to change things and couldn't without enabling myself to be treated badly.

Last year during a particularly sad point, God reminded me of the great blessing I do have; I have many sisters of the heart. They might not be blood related, from the same parents but they are sisters none the less. They are people who love me for me and I love them for them. I often use the term and I know people wonder what I mean by that. So that's my definition right there.

My cousins are a few, they are more like sisters to me than cousins. They have filled the void left and have known me my whole life. We grew up together and share much of the same upbringing. I am so thankful for them and the role they play in our lives.

My Dad and Marty joke, I have so many friends they can hardly keep up anymore. It's true, I have a ton of friends and I am so lucky. I feel so much joy at being blessed many times over in the friend department.   Some people don't even have twenty friends and I have about twenty close friends.

A few of my friends have become sisters of the heart. They don't have sisters or don't have sisters they are close to, some have sisters and still include me in the bunch. They are the one's I turn to in times of crisis or in times of joy. I am so thankful for them and their role in my life. It was them who helped heal the scar and fill the void in my life. It took years but I have finally gotten to a good place in this area.

I am thankful for them and love to be there for them in return. Just something that I wanted to write down and explain to those who wonder about the meaning.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

hardly seems like 5 years

 Today marks five years my grandparents have been gone. It hardly seems like it has been that long somedays and then other days it feels like forever. I saw this picture of them the other day, while digging around for pictures of Marty and I. I just love this picture of them together.

   Back when I started this blog five years ago, it quickly became about my grief. I wrote probably 50 blogs on the subject. So today it felt fitting to mark the day and reflect on five years. I still have days where I feel like I can just pic up the phone and call them. I especially felt this way when Marty got the call. Or days when I say something one of them would say and feel the pang of grief so strong, I feel like I can't breath. That happened yesterday when I said, "Wait for baby!"

   Twice in the last month, I have found a shirt that I think is cute only to realize I love it because it was something grandma would love. Especially the yellow shirt that I liked, I never wear yellow shirts, but she wore them all the time.

   About a year ago, due to a sync problem I lost about 3500 pictures from our past. One of them was this picture that Marty took and gave to me. I love this picture because it makes me feel like I am home again. There is a line in a song by Jack Johnson, he says " I took a picture, I don't like to look at." and I always think of this picture.


None of this is really going to make sense to any of you ( unless you are family). I just needed to write it out and have it for me to look at. I hate letting days pass by without saying something about them. When I write about them, it helps me feel better. They were such wonderful people and wonderful influences in my life, I can never let them go. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What a way to celebrate

Yesterday, we celebrated our anniversary by driving to Stanford. It was a good day just to be together and chat. The kids stayed with our friends Larry and Joyce. Today he saw the doctors at Stanford and there is quite a bit to report.

 They cleared him to go back to work April 3rd. This is a huge relief because he is out of time. In fact, we got to put that no worrying thing to pratice last week. His human resources specialist called to state he was out of time and only getting 50 percent of his pay. Thanks to the generosity of his co-workers donating time, he will get a full check. So he needs to get back!

  His hemoglobin A1C was 5.7, normal not diabetic levels. The lowest his had ever gotten was 8 with the insulin pump. Before the insulin pump it was in the 13-14 range. So this is HUGE! His blood sugars are so good, he gets to cut back on insulin to 5 units a day. After one week, if his blood sugars are still in the same range, he can stop taking the insulin all together. Very exciting, hopeful news. Dr.B looked at him today and said, "Welcome to your new life!" how wonderful to hear those words.  

 We still have to go back in two weeks, but things are progressing well. We are hoping after that we might be down to once a month. What a wonderful way to celebrate 15 years of marriage. By celebrating our new life together!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy 15th Anniversary Marty

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Hard to believe it has been 15 years. We have lived more in those 15 years than many live in a lifetime. So glad we have been on this journey together and can say we love each other more today, than the day we got married. I love you very much and here is to many more happy years together!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Aunt Patty!

Aunt Patty, Aunt Maggie and I

It's my Aunt Patty's birthday. I wrote my other aunt's a blog for their birthday and thought I would do the same for Aunt Patty. Plus, she doesn't have a Facebook and I can't wish her happy birthday there!

  My aunt Patty is one of the hardest working people I know. She has the patience of a saint, she is the most patient person I know. In fact, when I was young she told me to scream and yell into a pillow when I got angry instead of yelling at someone else. She is kind of like Switzerland in our family, always neutral and keeps her opinions to herself. Whenever you need someone to listen, you can count on her. She's a great mom who I look up to as a mother.

One of my favorite memories is driving in the car with her and singing along the song "Rosanna" on the radio. A couple of years ago she came up to visit and taught me how to make the best enchiladas. She also makes the world's best scalloped potatoes. When I got married, she offered to let me wear her wedding dress if I wanted.

She has always been a wonderful cheerleader and supporter.She has the most beautiful hair, she hates it but I am constantly telling people she has the prettiest hair ( I know my Dad envies your hair!) I always love when I get to spend time with her. She is part of the glue that holds our family together. I know she is well loved by all of her nieces and nephews.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday! Love Julie

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy,boring, normal,words I have longed to use.

 That describes our life right now. We are just adjusting and finally hitting the routine, everyday mode. It's so nice and a refreshing change.  For so long, life was stressful, anxiety filled, unknown and hard. Now with no dialysis and a working kidney, life is good once again.

I am so grateful for that time and the realizations that came with it. I learned that so often, we live in our own self created drama or drama created by other people. When something happens, out of your control, not caused by someone else, you learn that lesson. We were living something that I wish was a easy fix but wasn't.

I have learned that worrying, is a waste of time and energy, it gets you nowhere fast. Worrying is trying to control things that are out of your control. It wastes precious time and energy.

Everyday that everyone is healthy is a good day, no matter what. It's hard to not sweat the little things, but in perspective they don't really matter.

Most of all, I wanted to thank some really important people. For a long time, it was ugly. There were a lot of hard days. There's a  few people who heard the ugly, day in and day out. There were dark, hard parts that I didn't want to share publically with anyone. Everyone knew it was hard but these people heard just how hard. Most of them live far away, outside of our everyday circle of friends and family. They were a safe sounding board for me. They took on a huge burden and really helped carry me through. I could get online and talk to them at all hours. Many nights where Marty couldn't breath when he slept or early mornings when his blood sugar crashed so low, I thought we might end up at the hospital. Or days when his blood pressure was so high, I feared he would have a stroke or heart attack.

They would talk me through, give me kind words, pray for me. They would take the worry and carry it for me, when I couldn't worry any longer. Sometimes, in my in town circle, they were on the receiving end of frantic phone calls where I proceeded to have grand hissy fits before them and God!

I have so many thank you's to make. These are the first of many. I wanted them to get the first. I don't want to leave anyone out or hurt any feelings, because so many have helped us through.

For my little prayer group, who I met at the time Marty got diagnosed: Viv, Kim, Sarah, Janeen, Sandra, Ruth, Tammy,Ellen and Carla. Thanks for being there and listening to the really hard parts. For being accessible at all hours and listening to the ugly things, nobody else could hear. God brought us all together and I know it was at his perfect time!

For the cone of silence gals and two senors: Andrea,Di, Eric, Caroline, Stacy, Rachel, Rube,Sam, who really heard the bad parts and stuck by me on some VERY whiny, ugly days. These people have seen the ugly and still love me in spite of myself. Thanks for talking me through. For the new cone of silence friends who came along in the very last months, your new blood helped take the burden off some of the others.

For the phone partners: Traci, Tam, Heather,Staci, Joyce and Heather for talking me through some very tough times and encouraging me always.

And my mom and Dad, they took a lot of hard phone calls and I know it was hard for them to hear. They wanted to fix things they couldn't fix.

Rachel and Sarah, who made so many trips to see us when we were stuck! They brought a piece of home and family to us.

I am so thankful for everyone that helped us. Everyone played different roles and many hands made the burden light. I just wanted to share a part, that I largely kept in secret and for myself.  It was a private place for me to go and have someone who would listen. This is not the last of the thank you's by  any means. There are so many of you, it will take me a while to get through the list!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Downgraded to two week visits

We are so excited. No visit to Stanford next week, they don't want to see him for two weeks. Everything is going amazingly well. Blood sugars are lower each day, we're hoping he won't need insulin soon. He is healing well and stablizing. The doctor's are thrilled and so are we!

Life is starting to return to normal. We are enjoying each day and relish boring, normal, quiet days. We are just starting to live life. We appreciate the small things now and don't sweat the small stuff.

We did have a nice time on the way home from Stanford this week. We found out there is a Pea Soup Anderson's just 6 miles off the road we take. We stopped and had lunch together. The kids had never been and we hadn't been for 14 years. It was a great lunch and the kids loved it. It was fun to go somewhere that holds fond memories of my childhood.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Officer Down Foundation

We got a huge blessing and surprise today. Marty's co-worker Randy brought us a gift from the Officer Down Foundation at his work. Randy started this foundation last year to help officers during a time of medical emergency. They started it after seeing co-workers struggle while off work during medical emergencies.

  Our trips to Stanford will be covered for the rest of the month. They had a bake sale and tv raffle to give us this gift. Just yesterday Marty was telling me he wasn't going to worry about the cost of the trips.

  God really has blessed us during this time, just when it looks like something might not be covered, he provides for our need. A big thank you to Randy and the rest of Marty's co-workers at CSH, we are very grateful for the donation and will put it to good use.

 We're going to be celebrating 15 years of marriage this month. We have this song that we love and has kind of been a theme in our marriage. It really sums this blog up nicely. One of the lines says, "The guys at the factory took a collection, again God provided for the bills they incurred."

Friday, March 4, 2011

1,314 miles and counting

 Trip number three to Stanford under our belt. Bringing our total driven to about 1800 miles. Totally worth the miracle and the good reports we are receiving. Also, since coming home everything has only gotten better for Marty. He hasn't had a fever and the vomiting has stopped since coming home!

We stayed at the Stanford Guest house on the campus of the linear accelerator. Conner loves sitting in the communal kitched and listening to the "smart talk" of the engineers and physicists over breakfast. He says it brings a whole new meaning to "smart talk".......only Conner.

We sit in the room waiting, the nurse coordinator M comes in and goes over the medication list. He tells us the doctor's aren't there yet. Right after that, Dr.G comes bursting into the room anxious to see Marty. Nurse M had to come in and tell her "there's another patient ahead of him." LOL. She likes us as much as we like her!

She came back and was thrilled with his progress.  The blood sugar numbers are coming down. They want him to lose another 10-15 pounds to see if that helps. The high blood sugar is for sure caused by the medications and a bit of insulin resistance in Marty's body.

Dr.M one of the supervising physicians ( Dr.G is doing a fellowship and hasn't graduated yet) came in and agreed with her assesment. They think he might be released after two more visits!!! They are cautiously optimistic that things will be the same.

We're thrilled. It couldn't come at a better time with the rising price in gas! Also, just to get on with life and really start to live. We are really looking forward to that. Freedom is something we have been longing for. We already feel so much more free. In fact, Marty keeps playing this song over and over, saying it is how he feels.