February 24 2022

Home and Health Update

It’s hard to believe it has been almost a year and a half since my last update on both my health and the house.


I’ll start in September 2020.  We sold our house, but unfortunately, the lot on which we wanted to build was no longer available.  We still moved in with my parents, but we knew that the three months we were expecting to live with them was going to be a little longer.  We immediately started working with an architect who told us our plans would be ready in December, so we figured we would start building in January 2021 and would definitely be in our house by January 2022.  Of course, right?


In October 2020, we found a lot after searching everywhere for property.  Yay!


The first pulmonologist sent me to a LAM (lymphangioleiomyomatosis) specialist.  Apparently, there aren’t a whole lot of them.  She conducted a pulmonary function test on November 12, 2020, and I met with her to discuss the results on November 17th.  The results came back stating that I have amazing lung function despite my lungs being covered in cysts.  She assumed that I must exercise regularly to have such great function.  I disappointed her by telling her the truth.  No, I don’t exercise regularly.  I wish I did.  Unlike the first pulmonologist, she wanted to put me on two different medications.  I proceeded to ask all sorts of questions regarding these medications and found out they were both a form of chemo.  I told her I would go home, talk things over with my husband, pray about it, and I would get back to her soon.

After doing more research on these meds and praying about it, I replied to her letting her know I didn’t feel comfortable at all getting on these medications, and I wanted to see what my scans in 2021 look like to see if any major changes were found and based on those findings, we could discuss medication.  With much hesitation, she agreed.  However, I didn’t want to be on something that would completely compromise my immune system during a pandemic.  Yes, if this would have been cancer, I would have taken a chance, maybe, not sure about that 100%.


Fast Forward to January 2021.  My mom came down with Covid and so did my dad a few days later.  I took care of her for the two long weeks she was sick, and I eventually also came down with it.  Can you imagine if I would have started that treatment back in November?  By now, after two months, my immune system would have been non-existent.  Would my body have been able to survive Covid?  Maybe.  Maybe not!  I am just glad I chose not to do it and instead did everything I could to strengthen my God-given immune system.


January and February were our Covid months since we all ended up getting it: my parents and all four of us. In February, we experienced the freeze in the middle of sickness, but praise God we didn’t have any pipes burst.  Oh, and it was also when Kobe and Kylee began competition season for Tumbling and Trampoline.


For the rest of that winter and spring, we continued to work with our architect which, by the way, was not done with our plans.  Yes, he promised they would be done by December.  We also traveled a lot for all the different competitions.  It was fun to watch the kids compete and continue to improve their skills, but it was also frustrating to not have our final plans finished, especially because the price of building materials just kept rising.  Spring came and went.   Summer arrived, and we still didn’t have the final plans!  However, we did have enough of the plans to get a quote from the Owner Builder Network.  Unfortunately, a lot has changed since we built with them back in 2004, and we felt it was not a good fit for us.  We contacted another builder with whom we felt could work well together and started the bidding process.


Summer came and went, and still, no plans!!!  Can you sense my frustration?!  Oh, and the prices of building materials were still rising.


I did get some great news in August 2021.  I had my yearly scans, and because all looked great, my doctor at MD Anderson didn’t want to see me in a year.  He said we could wait two years!  Oh, and by the way, according to the radiologist, there was no change in my lungs after Covid.  God is good!!!


In the fall of 2021, we continued to work with the builder and the architect to see if we were even going to be able to build this house that at one time was possible, but now, with the prices continuing to rise, maybe not.  One of the issues with the lot is that it slopes.  This makes it both unique and beautiful, but also expensive to build on.  We had no idea this was going to be the case.  We contacted our real estate agents to help us find a different lot.  One that was flatter and maybe even smaller.  After much searching without results, we started to also look for houses.  After not having a home for over a year, we were ready to have our own space.  While we were and still are extremely grateful to my parents for letting us stay here for over a year, we need our own space, the kids need their own space.  My parents need their own space back.


We searched and we searched, but either we would find something and the next day it was sold, or we just didn’t like a house enough to make an offer.  Patiently, we continued to wait and search, and wait, and search.


In December 2021, I went to my PCP for my yearly intensive blood work.  I have always been anemic, but she was extremely concerned this time.  So, she had me do additional tests which I finally got around to doing this month.  Yes, as in February!  Come to find out, I am so severely anemic that I will need to undergo iron infusions accompanied by B12 shots.  She said she has no idea how I still have the energy to continue functioning.  So, I was referred to a hematologist.  I prayed that I would really connect with her.  So far, I have absolutely loved all the specialists that my PCP has referred me to.   I went to go see her last week, and I am happy to report that I really, really liked her.   To be able to prescribe exactly how much and how often I should have these iron infusions, she conducted additional testing. Thank the good Lord I live in an area where there are such amazing doctors.  With these additional testings, it was also concluded I was not low on B12 and folate, so I will not need to get those shots. I will keep you posted on what happens there.   Within one hour of arriving home, the doctor herself called me and asked me how I was feeling. She was very concerned because my numbers from the blood work of that day were worse than the ones I brought in from my PCP.  She told me she was going to get her office on top of it so this could be expedited through my insurance.


Let’s back up some.  In January, we found a house we really liked.  We will call this the “Ranch House” because they had cows.  While it didn’t have some of the features we wanted in the house we designed, it had everything we needed.  So, we decided to ask more questions to get more details and hopefully make an offer by the end of that week.  Well, when our agent called the other agent, he was told the owners changed their mind and decided not to sell.  “Ok!” We thought, “God is in control and he knows why things happen.  It is well with our soul”  We continued to look and look and look to no avail!  Then, about a week and a half later, our agent tells us the owners of the “Ranch House” have decided to put it back on the market.  We requested to look at it again, ran into the owners, and had a great conversation, but in the end, they didn’t accept our offer.  That’s ok, it wasn’t meant to be.


Good news!!!   I literally, just now, heard back from my hematologist that my insurance has approved the infusions treatment, and I should be hearing back from the infusion center within hours to schedule my first appointment!   While I am not looking forward to being hooked up to an IV for over an hour each week, I am so looking forward to feeling normal that I’m crying tears of joy and hope.


We covet your prayers as our search for a home continues.  As I always say, “It could be worse!”


Maybe in my next update, I will be telling you about our new house and how amazing I feel.


In His amazing grace,

Fabi Richards

Category: Family Life, Update on My Health | Comments Off on Home and Health Update
September 6 2020

Where Do I Begin?

Where Do I Begin?

Well, I need to begin by giving thanks to the Lord Almighty. I am thankful for his grace, mercy, provision, and protection!

As many of you know, the tumor on my right kidney came back, and I was scheduled to have an embolization in March. However, due to Covid, that didn’t happen until June. Well, I am happy to tell you everything went well with the procedure. My experience during my recovery was actually much better this time. By not having anyone allowed to stay with me in the hospital, I actually felt I was able to rest better. Last time, after coming home, my pain shot through the roof. It was unbearable! I was so afraid that was going to happen again, but thank the Lord it didn’t, and my experience was much better.

I am also thankful for all my amazing friends and family who took such good care of me and brought me such yummy meals. God is good for providing me with such an amazing support group.

A couple of months after the embolization, in August, I had another CT scan. Fortunately, the CT scan showed that the tumor is shrinking again; therefore, I don’t need to be back to MD Anderson for another year. The CT scan performed in August included my chest per my pulmonologist’s request. When the original CT scan was taken two years ago, the one in which the kidney tumor was discovered, the radiologist also found nodules in the parts of my lungs that were visible on the CT scan, and it was highly recommended I follow up with a pulmonologist about this. My PCP and my doctor at MD Anderson suspected LAM (lymphangioleiomyomatosis) due to all my other symptoms and test results. When I finally got an appointment with the pulmonologist, he looked at the scans and stated that despite the fact that I do have LAM, my lungs look great. There are three other tests he wants me to have done, but unless something unexpected shows on any of these tests, I don’t have to see him for another six months. For now, the only restriction I have is no scuba diving! He asked me if I had ever gone scuba diving, and I told him I was working on my certification in college but didn’t get to finish the course. He said I probably would have ended up with a collapsed lung. It hit me as I was sharing this with a friend how God’s protection was over me even then. God is so good!

So that’s what’s going on with my health. Now, for an update on our house.

If all goes well, we are scheduled to close on September 30. We are currently looking for a lot in our neighborhood that we can purchase and start construction. In the meantime, we will be moving in with my parents. We will definitely keep you all posted on all of this.

Category: Family Life, Update on My Health | Comments Off on Where Do I Begin?
March 19 2020

Just A Quick Update In The Midst Of All This

I cannot believe that the last time I posted about my health was two years ago!  This is so crazy.

Long story short:  I have another tumor, possibly an autoimmune disorder, and LAM.  If you want the longer, more detailed story, keep reading.

Here is the timeline:


January- CT scan intended to look for kidney stones finds an abnormality on my right kidney.  No kidney stones are found. So another CT scan is ordered. This time with contrast.

February- Second CT scan with contrast shows a tumor 6 cm in diameter, so a biopsy is ordered.  At first, the biopsy results show the tumor to be leiomyosarcoma which of course is cancer. Two days later my urologist calls to tell me the results are inconclusive.  It may not be cancer after all. Sending slides to MD Anderson.

March- MD Anderson confirms it is not cancer.  I have an angiomyolipoma, a benign tumor. The doctor gives me different options, one of which is to simply watch the tumor and do another CT scan in 5 months.  I take that option even though there is a risk of sudden hemorrhaging.

August- Another CT scan with contrast is done and the findings are:

  1. Stable solid right renal mass, likely biopsy-proven angiomyolipoma. However, renal cell carcinoma can not be excluded by imaging.
  2. Stable multiple pulmonary cysts may represent lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM).
  3. Given the above findings, further evaluation is recommended to exclude possibility of tuberous sclerosis and consider brain MRI.

September- Genetic testing is done to rule out tuberous sclerosis.  I test negative. Praise God!!! The doctor highly recommends I see a pulmonary specialist to be treated for LAM.  In regards to the tumor, I decide to go ahead and take the option of an embolization. I did not want to have restrictions on traveling with my family.

October- Embolization is done on the tumor and turns out to be a lot worse than I expected!  The pain was worse than any c-section I ever had and the recovery ended up being just as long.


February- Follow up with a sonogram shows the embolization was successful as the tumor is almost undetected!  Praise Jesus!!! No need to be back for an entire year. However, I now have hypertension. Never before had I had high BP, EVER!  On the day of my follow up, my BP was 189/115. I am told to see my PCP to manage that. My PCP orders a CTA scan to make sure my kidneys are functioning correctly.  Everything turns out to be fine. Medication is prescribed.

September- I decide to go on strict clean keto and before I know it, my BP meds are too strong.  The doctor prescribes half the dose.

October- BP continues to lower and the doctor lowers my dose again.  This happens twice in October.

November- BP continues to lower and the doctor has to prescribe a completely different medication that is not as strong.

December- Only taking BP meds as needed!


So here we are.  It is 2020. What’s new?  Several things.

In February, I went for my yearly follow up at MD Anderson.  I had a CT scan, and unfortunately, it confirmed I now have another tumor.  The doctor is 99.99% sure it is another angiomyolipoma. Another embolization is recommended.  I am also told to make sure I follow up with a pulmonary specialist in regards to the possible LAM diagnosis.  I know. A long time has passed and I have not made the time to take care of this. The good news is that my doctor is okay with me waiting to have the embolization in May or June which is great because at that time, my kids had all sorts of competitions scheduled in March, April, and the beginning of May.  My mom is having knee surgery this month. (Please pray for her) Of course, with everything canceling, I no longer have to worry about the competitions, but I do want to wait until my mom is well enough to get around in case she needs me after her knee surgery. In addition to all this, my in-laws have had procedures as well.


A follow up with my internist also led to additional blood work due to new symptoms.  The blood work shows my ANA is super high. It should be 1:40 and it is 1:640. This means I may have some sort of autoimmune issue.  So now I get to see a rheumatologist in addition to the pulmonary specialist. Oh, and because of the severe hair loss I have been experiencing, she also wants me to see a dermatologist about that.


It would be worse.  In all of this, God is still in control and will use this all together for His glory.  I pray you and yours are all doing well, and if there is any time I can ever pray for you, please don’t hesitate to let me know.


I promise I will not take as long writing my next post and it will not be near as long.  For now, I leave you with this: Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

March 19 2019

Has It Really Been 6 Months?

Yes, life has been crazy and I have not had time to make an entry in 6 months. A lot has happened! Yes, we will continue with the Marie Kondo method of tidying up, but since many of you have asked about my health, I’ll start there and get back to Marie Kondo later this week.

On October 4, 2018, an embolization was performed on the right renal mass. At the time they were able to cut off over 90% of the blood supply to the tumor making this procedure considered successful. Of course, we wouldn’t really know until my follow-up appointment in February.

February 11, 2019, came, and I was eager to find out through a scan if the tumor had shrunk. Good news is that the tumor was almost undetectable! Praise God! I am certainly rejoicing in that and thankful that I won’t have any spontaneous bleeding. The bad news is that a tiny tumor was found on my left kidney. When they looked back at the original CT scan, they could indeed see it which means it had not changed much in a year. That was also good news. So for now, we will take a look at it again in about a year to make sure it has not changed. The really bad news, however, is that when they were checking my vitals, my blood pressure was through the roof! I am talking high enough to freak the nurse out. She took it several times on the same arm, then she switched arms but no change. She even tried a different machine. She wouldn’t even let me look at it. She kept asking me if I was nervous and how I was feeling. The crazy thing is…I have NEVER, EVER had high blood pressure. EVER!!! Because I had NEVER EVER had blood pressure issues, I didn’t even know what normal numbers were. At one time it was 184 over 113. Yes, I now know that is stoke range!!! They kept asking if I had a headache. Well, yes, I had been having a headache, but I blamed it on the pollen. I mean, every surface is green around here. My white car is green. My driveway is green. EVERYTHING IS GREEN. So, I assumed the pressure I felt in my head and my eyes was from the pollen.
So…long story short, I’m on blood pressure medicine until my doctor figures out what is causing the high blood pressure. It could be a side effect from the embolization. Who knows. I go in next week to see a specialist and hopefully I will know more then. In the meantime, I just live life to the fullest and enjoy every day because you never know.
God is good. If the high blood pressure was caused by the embolization, I’m ok with that because I’d rather have something that can be controlled with meds than a tumor that can bleed at any moment and cause severe hemorrhaging.

Category: Update on My Health | Comments Off on Has It Really Been 6 Months?
September 6 2018

Moving on to Chapter 2!

I invited you to join me on the journey of decluttering back in July!  July!  It’s now September!  Really?!?!  I am not giving up.  I’ve seen improvement, and for that, I am thankful.  Life happens…trips, kids, school, moving kids to school.  Holy cow!  I must be super old.  I have two kids in college now.  It’s all good.

First, an update on my health since so many of you have asked.  I’m doing great and feeling great.  Back in March when I first went to MD Anderson, the doctor gave me a few options on how to deal with this tumor on my right kidney, all from as drastic as removing the entire kidney to simply keeping an eye on it.  At that time, I chose to just keep an eye on it.  The only risk with that is spontaneous bleeding which can’t be prevented, so I was told to continue doing whatever I wanted to do, but that I needed to not ever be too far from civilization where an ER could easily be located just in case.  It was also highly suggested not to travel outside of the country, much less to a third-world country where medical care may not be as accessible.  Well, the idea of not being able to go on a last-minute mission trip, hiking in remote areas, etc. was disappointing, so the next least drastic step is to get an embolization.  In August, my follow-up took place, and the embolization was scheduled.  Oh, yeah, and while I was at the follow-up visit, they mentioned that neither the tumor nor the nodules in my lungs had changed.  What?!?!  Nodules?  What nodules?!?!  So, now I get to visit another department at MD Anderson.  Genetic testing, here I come!  Yes, there’s a possibility I may have tuberous sclerosis!  What the heck?  That appointment is set for September 24.  In the mean time…I was supposed to have had the embolization August 31, but on August 30 when I went for pre-op testing, a UTI was detected, so it was cancelled.  I am thankful this was found before the procedure, especially after the surgeon explained to me how dangerous this could have been.  Once again…God is good!  Now I am taking antibiotics and waiting to hear from the Intervention Radiology team to reschedule the procedure.  Your prayers are appreciated!  This UTI needs to clear up before surgery.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program…Chapter 2!

As I stated in previous posts, the art of tidying up according to Marie Kondo must include discarding!!!  If we continue to organize the clutter we have, it will quickly be unorganized again, and the cycle will continue.  Somewhere in chapter 2, I remember reading that the decluttering stage could take months!  The key is to have a plan, a goal, a “why” we are doing what we are doing.  My plan is to work on decluttering every Friday while my kids are at Super Friday.  We’ll see how that goes since that is also my only time to visit with other mommies.  My goal is to have significantly less things that are of no use to me or my family, things that only clutter, not just our space but our minds.  My “why” or my reason is that if I have less stuff, my house will stay picked up more and it will take less time to clean which hopefully will mean that I will have more time to spend with family and friends.  Something that really resonated with me from chapter 2 was this, “…focusing solely on throwing things away can only bring unhappiness.  Why?  Because we should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.”  Kondo goes on stating, “I had been so focused on what to discard, on attacking the unwanted obstacles around me, that I had forgotten to cherish the things that I loved the things I wanted to keep.”


What about you?  What is your plan,  your goal, and your “why”?


March 19 2018

Do You Trust Me? No, I Mean…Do You Really Trust Me?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight  Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

I cannot begin to express my gratitude to the many of you who have faithfully been praying for me since the moment I found out I had an abnormality on my right kidney.  As I stated on my previous post, it has been a roller-coaster ride to say the least.  Who would have known that going to the doctor for an annoying bladder infection would have me end up at MD Anderson.  Well, according to Dr. Karam whom I saw today, that is exactly how most kidney tumors are discovered, through accidental findings.

After analyzing my biopsy slides, MD Anderson confirmed that I do not have cancer.  The tumor has been diagnosed as angiomyolipoma which is benign.  In about 1% of these cases, this tumor could turn malignant, but due to the properties found, mine will not.  The biggest risk with this tumor is bleeding.  If this were to happen, I would just need to go straight to MD Anderson if I can get there or to the nearest ER, and they will transport me from there.  Dr. Karam suspects this tumor has been there for years, maybe even 20 years or more!

There are ways to treat this, but unfortunately the risks outweigh the benefits.  The best thing to do for now is monitor it.  It will be a every few months at first.  If there are no changes, the time between each monitoring session will be longer.  The treatment with the least amount of risk is embolization.  By cutting the blood flow to this extremely vascular tumor, the tumor would be expected to shrink and die.  I will do this if a trip outside of the US is in our plans because  it one thing to have this tumor start bleeding while I am less than an hour away from MD Anderson, but it’s another thing to have this happen when I am no where near a reputable hospital.

I am praising God for this outcome.  Oh, how I know it could have been a lot worse.  At the same time, I am exhausted, not of praising Him, of course, but of the waiting, the wondering, the not knowing.  I cannot begin to explain how tired I am.  There are so many beautiful things that have come out of this, and because of these things, I would go through the anguish of thinking I have cancer all over again.  God has shown me through so many of you that I am not alone, that no matter what comes my way, He is there embodied in family and friends.  You, my friends and family, have been such a testimony of what the body of Christ looks like.  Through this experience, He has also allowed me to understand others who are going through an illness such as cancer.  While I was already praying regularly for these friends, I now find myself praying for them more often, more fervently.  What a privilege it is to come to the feet of Jesus on behalf of others.

Diving deeply in His Word, I gained peace, a peace that truly surpassed all human understanding.  The more I read His Word, the more I would feel God asking me if I trusted Him.  “Of course I trust You, Lord,” was always my response, but it was as if it was not good enough because I felt Him asking me, “No, do you really trust me.”  Once again, I would say, “LORD, I trust you.  You can do with my life as you please, but please don’t let this be cancer, and if it is, please let me live at least until I graduate Kylee, and she’s off in college.”  I was obviously not getting Him because I so sincerely felt him say, “No, no, no.  What I mean is do you really, trust me?  Do you trust me the way Abraham trusted me with Isaac?”  It was then that I knew what He was taking about.  It was then that I shouted, “Whatever my lot, it is well with my soul!”  It was then, on February 28, 2018 that an enormous peace came over me even though I had been told I had sarcoma.  And it is today that I rejoice in what He has done, and will continue to do in my life.


March 4 2018

Please Keep Your Hands and Feet Inside the Vehicle at All Times

One of my favorite things to do is ride roller coasters, especially while holding my hands up in the air.  It’s such a thrill.  Does that count as not keeping my hands inside the vehicle at all times?

Just as I learned in life it was more fun to ride roller coasters holding your hands up, I have also learned to ride life holding my hand up in the air toward the sky, toward my God while praising Him, even if…  I am not completely sure where I read this, but I remember reading somewhere that it is hard to receive God’s blessing with closed fists.  Blessings are poured on us everyday, but we are only able to receive them with hands wide open.  And that is what I need to be ready to do even if…

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a biopsy performed almost two weeks ago.  This last Wednesday, my urologist called me to inform me that the tumor I have is malignant and that it had been diagnosed as leiomyosarcoma.  She told me she would be referring me to MD Anderson.  They would determine the stage of the cancer and the proper treatment.

Just the night before, on Tuesday at Bible study, this quote spoke to my heart, “Be willing to obey God in anything He says, and be willing to thank Him in anything He sends.”

The hard part now was going to be sharing the news with our parents, but especially our children.  Conveniently, Kendy would be coming down from school for spring break this weekend and we, Marcus and I, would share the news with all four kids at the same time.  I prayed and asked God to give me just the right words when telling my kids that I have cancer.  I asked many friends and family members to pray with me, and boy did I feel their prayers.

Thursday was filled with lots of phone calls and paper work for MD Anderson, but it was also helpful that Kiernan had a baseball game and Kobe had a track meet.  The kid’s activities helped me keep my mind off the cancer and enjoy the beautiful weather with the kids.  By the end of the day, however, I was exhausted, both physically and emotionally.

Then Friday came.  Friday was a roller coaster ride kind of day.  My urologist called me to tell me she had gotten word from the pathologist that the findings were inconclusive and the tumor could be benign.

“Wait!  Are you telling me I may not have cancer after all?” I asked.

“Correct.  But because of the uncertainty, we need to have another pathologist look at your slides to confirm,” she stated.

Oh the joy that came over me with the thought of the possibility that I may not have cancer after all.  I was praising God as I was on my way to pick up my kids from their Friday program.  I immediately called Marcus to tell him the news.  With every friend I ran into, I had to share the news.  I just had to.  We shared tears of joy with many.

That afternoon, Kendy came home, we ate dinner, and shared the news with the kids.  I will say it was much easier to tell them with the hope of the possibility that this tumor may indeed be benign.

For now we wait; but in the mean time, we are grateful for every second we have together.  We will enjoy our week together as a family, a week filled with school, baseball, track meet, rodeo, and many other fun activities.  Until we hear the new pathology report, that is all we can do: wait.  We will cease striving and instead be still, knowing He is God!  Psalm 46:10 (paraphrased).  When the results are in, we will take it from there.

I either never had cancer to begin with or my God, Jehovah Rapha (The Lord Who Heals), has performed a miracle and has healed me.  However, even if the pathology report comes back and confirms the tumor is malignant, I will continue to praise Him, for He is Sovereign, He is Almighty, and I am no one to question His will for me.  He never promised it would be easy, but He did promise He would never leave us nor forsake us.  I know if cancer is what I am facing, He will be there holding my hand every step of the way, and I will continue to raise my hands high in the air as I ride this roller coaster with my palms open, ready to receive His blessings.

February 18 2018

How I Know They Were Working

“I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Corinthians 1:4

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who have been praying for me.  I truly feel your prayers as a blanket of peace and protection.

My pre-op this last Friday went well, shorter than expected and for that, I am thankful.  I covet your prayers on Wednesday morning, February 21, during the biopsy.  As with any procedure, there are risks involved; therefore, I ask you to pray for God Almighty to be the guide as the biopsy is conducted.

Originally, the biopsy was scheduled for February 9, and I was informed I must stop taking any medications or supplements that have any blood-thinning properties whether natural, OTC, or prescribed 7 days before the procedure.  Those of you who know me well, know that I lean more on taking natural supplements.  To not take any risks, I stopped taking several of my supplements that were questionable, and oh my goodness.  I had no idea how great I was feeling until I stopped taking these!  I went from feeling well, having energy, not craving bad foods, and sleeping well to feeling sluggish, having all sorts of aches and pains, craving foods that I don’t usually crave, having brain fog, and my sleeping patterns are back to wacky!  This is how I know for a fact that all my supplements were working!  That is the only drastic change I’ve made since February 1.  It took about a week for all of that to catch up to my body and about a week and a half for me to put two and two together.  I don’t know how soon after the biopsy I can start taking all these supplements again, but I pray it will be no more than 24 hours.

I am sharing this because I am asking you to please continue to pray for me and my family as I go though this procedure.  I am also sharing this with you because I have such a passion for achieving health and wellness in the most naturally way possible.  Don’t get me wrong.  I do believe prescription meds are necessary when the natural ways are not working.  This is when wisdom and discernment come in handy, especially the wisdom and knowledge of a trained professional.  I would have never known that some of the supplements, although natural, that I was taking had blood-thinning properties had my trusted friend Dr. Stacy with  Dannenfelser Chiropractic not informed me.  I am all about natural remedies because most of the time the “side effects” are not serious or life-threatening and will not need pill B to take care of the side effect brought on by pill A.  My recommendation is to consult with someone who is well-versed in that field before you start taking tons of supplements, especially if you have any medical conditions.

Again, thank you to all of you who have so selflessly offered all sorts of help.  God has shown me through you His unending love and grace.  Whether I need your help and how I will need it depends on the results of my biopsy.  I will keep you posted.

February 12 2018

Not What I Was Planning on Blogging About

I was inspired to begin this blog mainly to share information about homeschooling, my experiences, and the lessons I’ve learned.  However, while I was working on setting all this up, I got a call from my doctor.  She had ordered a CT scan to see if I had kidney stones which she fortunately did not find.  What she did find was an abnormality in my right kidney which led her to order another scan, this time with contrast.  The second scan confirmed that I have a mass growing within my kidney.  The next step is to do a biopsy, and based on the results of the biopsy, I may need surgery to remove that kidney.

That is the condensed and abridged version.  At first, to be perfectly honest, I was scared.  Our minds and imaginations always take us to where we shouldn’t even be.  I immediately decided to share this information with all my friends and family requesting prayer.  As soon as many of you, my sweet friends and family members began to pray, I…Then [began to] experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace [ began to] guard [my heart and mind as I] live in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

I cannot explain the peace I have right now.  Thank you for your prayers, for all the words of encouragement, cards, and love you have been pouring into my life!  I am blown away and aware of how truly blessed I am.

How I have seen God’s almighty hand every step of the way… El Shaddai

I got the call with the results to my first scan the week before I was to attend the Ladies Getaway at Frontier Camp.  Fortunately, I was able to schedule the second CT with contrast the morning I left and was able to enjoy a wonderful few days of relaxation.  I had been asked to do a devotion one of the mornings.  The Lord impressed on my heart to share about His faithfulness when we are within His will.  If there is one lesson I have learned through this Harvey ordeal is that God is faithful in always providing for ALL our needs.  I have witnessed firsthand how God has provided for so many who lost so much in the flood.  He has also been providing for me and my friends to be able to bring dinner to the hotels twice a week since the middle of September!  He provided a group of amazingly generous people who went above and beyond to make Christmas very special for so many who didn’t have a home this year.  People gave Christmas trees, presents, food, and so much more to bring a little joy into the lives of so many.  As a friend and I were reflecting on this, we agreed, “By serving God’s people through this ‘hotel ministry,’ we feel we have been given front row seats to the most amazing show.”    After I gave my devotion, a lady came up to me and mentioned it all reminded her of God being with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego every step of the way.  She quoted Daniel 3:17-18 which states, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”  It was then that God reminded me that he always answers our prayers just not always the way we think He should.

It is well with my soul… Jehovah Shalom

As I said before, I have peace about all of this.  I don’t know what is going to happen and what the future holds, but I do know who holds the future.  I also know that whatever happens, I will not go through it alone.  God will be right there with me in whatever fiery furnace I am in.  Last weekend, at the Home Run Ministries 20th Anniversary Gala, Christian comedian, Bob Smiley reminded me that God saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego IN the fire not FROM the fire.

How He has already provided… Jehovah Jireh

Insurance.  Oh, the world of insurance!  Originally, my pre-op was scheduled for February 6 and the biopsy for February 9.  The hospital called me on February 5 to tell me that my part for this procedure was going to be a little over $3500.  I called Marcus to let him know, and he reminded me that our company had just signed up with a new insurance plan and our deductible was a lot less.  I called our insurance rep and she suggested I call my doctor to see if the procedure could wait until the new insurance was in effect because this way my part would only be $250.  The doctor did not hesitate which was encouraging to know she didn’t feel this procedure needed to be done right away.  Not only that, but because we were not switching insurance companies, only plans, anything I had already paid toward my deductible after January 1, would be applied to the new one of $250, so the $200 I paid for the CT scans will go toward this and I only have to pay $50!!!

Like I said before, I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know my God hold the future, and He is greater than anything I will be facing.

Trusting in Him,