Monday, April 29, 2013

Be the Match

Several years ago (I think 2010) I filled out a simple application, swabbed my cheek, and returned everything to be registered with the National Marrow Doner registry. I don't even know what prompted me to do this...except that I have known at least three people who have received bone marrow transplants...and it literally gave them a second chance on life.  The procedure is simple - possibly a little painful - but really, what is my small amount of pain compared to that of a person suffering from cancer. 

Since I returned my sample, I have thought very little about this.  I received their e-mails...updated my contact information as necessary...but other than that, I didn't think anything else about it.

Until today...

When I received a phone call from the registry saying that I was a potential bone marrow match! 

You have no idea how excited this makes me!

There are still several steps that I have to go through before I'm selected as a best match - bloodwork, physical, etc., but just knowing that I'm being considered is mind boggling!

ME! I could be the person who gives someone else a second chance at a life - cancer-free! What an incredible honor!

I'll keep you updated on my progress.

To join the registry (which I very much support), you can click here.


Friday, April 26, 2013


There is a saying that goes something along these lines (because I can't remember the exact saying) - the only thing that is constant is that everything is continually changing.

There are those people out there that deal well with changes.  They almost enjoy the constant movement in their jobs, new cities, new children, new ways of doing stuff.  I would love to tell you that I'm one of those people, but I'm not.  Just recently we were discussing change with our Youth and I confessed to them that I do not do well with change...unless it's my idea...and even then, I tend to struggle with change.  My initial reaction is to say "NO!"...and then as I truly consider what the change is, the benefits...the positives of said change, usually I come around.  I have worked really hard to resist that initial knee jerk reaction and wait until I can get to the next phase to see if I can accept the change...but I'm not always successful.

Yet, every Spring, I deeply desire a change in my life.  I don't know if it's coming out of the dreariness of winter...or just seeing how the trees/flowers/bushes all come out and become new...but there is a part of me that wants something to change.  It's not a specific change that I seek...just anything to be different.

The constants in my life:

 - I've been a single mom for 16 (almost 17 years).

 - I've worked at the same place for 14 years.

 - I've gone to the same church for my entire life.

 - I've lived in the same small town for my entire life - even when I moved out of my parents' house, I only moved 2 minutes away...literally.

Over the next year or so, my life is going to change in a major way...because my 16 almost 17 year old son is going to graduate...and move on, as he should.  We were discussing colleges the other night - I desperately want him to stay in NC...he really would like to go to FL.  I told him that I wouldn't lie to him & tell him I didn't want him to stay in NC...because I really & truly do...but I also told him that ultimately, I wanted him to go to the best school with the best options and the best financial opportunities...and one that he would enjoy.  I think he understood...but the one thing that stuck out from our conversation was this - he said "I don't want to just go to a FL school to be near my family. I really want to experience a different culture...a different way of life."  In his mind, the way of life in FL is just enough different to give him a different taste in life...and I cannot fault him for feeling that way.


I don't know how God will orchestrate change in my life, but I'm trusting that He will change what needs to be changed...and leave the rest alone.  I'm praying about some specific things that I think He might be calling me towards...but we shall see.  Ultimately, it's up to Him...and I am trying to be patient and know that His plan is the best course.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

When Boredom Strikes

Or "stricks" as I began to type into the post title...

Just a little randomness today...

My work is staying caught up here lately...which means that I don't have as much to do...which means that I get bored and if I were OK with burning through my vacation time, I would just leave...but I'm not. Plus, I currently have no my time off would consist of my sitting on my couch, watching my big TV and doing nothing...

I'm trying to find the problem here...

My last post (Falling Apart) referenced some goings-on that left me...well falling apart.  All is well & resolved I'm happy to say.

Also, in good news...Baby Oliver is home from the hospital! YAY! He is still using a feeding tube to supplement his feeds & for his medications...but he is home after being in the hospital for almost 2 months. His second surgery was exactly what was needed to make him better and get things moving in a positive direction. Yay God! :)

Currently, I'm reading a book by Mary Jane Clark (see my Goodreads widget over here -------->. I am becoming a big fan of hers! I love the way she writes a mystery, giving the perspective of many different people, some of which you think might be the killer...even giving the perspective of the killer while keeping his/her anonymity until the very end. This is the third book I've read of hers and the first two I honestly didn't know how "dunit" until the last chapter. This book is proving to be the same. They are light reads - not quite as suspenseful as some murder mysteries, but a good read.

I recently finished The Book Thief. Such a good book. It's about a girl growing up in Nazi Germany. It's very sad...but really, what should you expect from that time period? Nazi Germany was a sad time period.

Dylan is taking the SAT's in a couple of weeks...oh my...we are on the eve of Senior year. I honestly can't believe it. One year from now, we will be looking towards Graduation. It's just surreal. I don't feel like I'm old enough to have a high school senior. It's just not possible. College plans are still up in the air...he says Florida State or Central Florida University...I say High Point University. I want to keep him close to me...but we shall see where God lands him. :)

The boy has expensive taste though...not an in-state or "public" school among his selections. All I have to say is that he better be getting some scholarships!

I'm becoming increasingly disappointed in Hawaii 5-0. This, at one time, was one of my favorite shows. Dylan & I have watched it faithfully. My two big issues with this show...#1 - they don't play new episdodes in any regular fashion. There is at least one to two weeks between new episodes. I could understand this during the holiday / award show season...but we are past all that. It's time to get some momentum to the show! Which brings me to #2 - last week's new episode, while it was good, didn't really have anything to do with the story line. They revisited a story line from the beginning of the season...but this one didn't really have anything to do with what's been going on. It's time to beef things up CBS!!!

I have to go to the doctor tomorrow...for a regular check up. I am already dreading it. I was so excited to find a doctor's office that would go ahead and schedule an appointment a year in advance. On the positive, at least this means that I'm going and keeping things in check. On the negative, I hate going to the doctor and usually don't go until I'm on my deathbed. So...tomorrow should be fun.


OK - enough of my rambling...time for me to get back to work. :)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 8, 2013

{Falling Apart}

Sometimes you just have to "fall apart".

And this afternoon was the afternoon for me to do so.

For the most part, I was having a perfectly good Monday...for a Monday, you know.

And then around 3pm I received an e-mail that began a downward spiral that ended with me sitting on my couch, falling apart.

I am not a cryer...I don't like to cry. I don't like to show weakness to anyone. I think I'm an ugly cryer, also. I don't cry's more like a scrunched up face with tears running down my cheeks. Nothing "pretty" about that. 

But sometimes it's a necessary part of the process.

I don't feel better...I won't even lie.

But I know that tomorrow is a new day, with new worries, with new celebrations.

And in the midst of me falling apart, almost minutes after I had checked Oliver's blog for updates on his sister sent me the sweetest picture of this his ventilator and smiling for the camera.

A new set of tears began.

For now, I'm doing what I tell our teens at church - I'm clinging to the promises that I have in God's word. It's amazing...just this morning I commented on Facebook about a recurring theme of "do not fear, for I will be with you". There were no less than three people who had posted one of the many times this is said in the Bible. Just recently I finished reading Deuteronomy & I'm in Joshua right now...over and over and over again Moses & Joshua repeat this command for the Israelites.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

"And the Lord said to Joshua, "Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand; not a man of them shall stand before you." Joshua 1:8

"Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the One who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

And this one from Isaiah:

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:1

OK God - I've got it.

I mean, I might mess up and forget again in less than 12 hours...but I've got it.

And I'd just like to say "Thanks"...

Because I know I don't have this on my own.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Much has happened since my last actual post...we took a trip to Fort Caswell with our Youth...I got another tattoo...and Oliver was born.

Just so you know...Oliver is not mine, but he is my sister's nephew. And his being has been a significant part of my thoughts for the last several weeks.

Several months ago my sister sent me a text...I don't remember the exact words...but I do remember her telling me that they believed that her nephew to be born had a heart condition. I found out later that it was also determined that he has Down's Syndrome. He was to be born on March 19th at Chapel Hill where they were expecting to do immediate surgery to put a shunt into his heart to "fix" it.

Let it be noted that I think Oliver already has a mind of his own...

On Saturday, February 23 my sister called to tell me that her nephew had been born...not at Chapel Hill, but in Wilmington (where his family lives). Her sister-in-law had gone into labor late on Friday night and had him very quickly early in the morning on Saturday. Also, he was to have been born by C-Section because his older sister was delivered in that way...but he couldn't wait to be part of this world and he was delivered "the old fashioned way". It took the doctors a while to get him stable, but soon...he was OKish. 

For almost 4 weeks he was in the NICU at a hospital in Wilmington and they were hoping to put off his heart surgery until he was 6-9 months old. They even prepared to take him home...ironically on March 20th (the day after he was to have been born)...but his condition changed and he was airlifted to Chapel Hill, where he underwent open heart surgery on March 21st.

His recovery has been up and down since then...mostly down. It's been heartbreaking to hear from my sister and to read Oliver's dad's blog regarding his condition. The thing they most feared was that he would have to have a second surgery...which he did, yesterday.

Prior to that, Oliver's mother was given a gift...the opportunity to hold her sweet baby on Monday for the first time since his surgery on the 21st. As a mother, I can't imagine watching my child, day in & day out...knowing that he is hurting...and knowing that I can't cuddle him to me to try to soothe his pain. But for an hour on Monday, his mother had the opportunity to do just hold him and love on him. My sister sent me the picture...the joy was evident on his mother's face.

The last news that I got from my sister was that Oliver was stable & that his stats after this surgery compared to the first surgery are much better. This is encouraging...and give us all what we need most in the midst of this...hope.

I have tried to understand how my heart has become so involved in this little life that is in no way related to me. I have cried and cried over him...prayed and begged God to be with him and his parents. I know that part of it is compassion...and I'm not an uncompassionate person. But at the same time, I'm also not the one to be found weeping over people so far removed from me.

I just know that God has burdened me to pray over this little life. I began to think about the prayers I have lifted up in the past...and I honestly am not sure I've ever prayed so consistently and so passionately for anything in my life.

Which may just be what God wants from me in all of this.

I have been humbled & amazed to see how God is answering prayers for Oliver. One of my specific prayers was that his parents be given some kind of hope...something to hold on to in the midst of his ever changing condition...something that they could believe in. I truly feel that God answered that prayer on Monday when his mother was allowed to hold him. For an hour on Monday, Oliver was not just a sick little baby...he was his mother's child. Just being able to hold him had to inject some hope that this was all going to be OK. I have also been encouraged by the news of his bettering condition.

And I know that this all must be God's loving touch on Oliver's little body.

I don't know what the next few days holds for this baby...but I'm praying & believing that this second surgery is what was needed to improve him...and to allow his parents to bring him bring their little family back together.