A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Will Rise!

The graduation was on Saturday, which is when I started missing Dad. Then on the way to my small group on Sunday, this song came on the radio. Another God thing! I broke down in tears! Beautiful song and worth listening to the whole thing! :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Monumental Day

Today was a Monumental Day because my Sister Pam graduated from Western Michigan University with her Bachelor's Degree. I am SO proud of her! She has worked incredibly hard for this day! She works full time, is a wife and a mom and was going to school 3 nights a week. It makes me tired just thinking about it! She drove from St. Joe MI to Kalamazoo MI for many of her classes too! A year and a half ago, even with all that was already on her plate, her son Trey had open heart surgery. She's been through a lot to get where she is today!
I shed quite a few tears at Commencement today. Tears of joy, tears of pride, and bittersweet tears that someone was missing from this monumental celebration. When they asked for the parents of the graduates to stand up, my Mom stood up. Something was wrong with this picture. Dad should have been standing up with her, but he wasn't. Anyone who has lost a loved one knows that these waves of emotion, feelings of loss and heart ache, come and go. As time goes on (it's been 9 1/2 years already!) those times get fewer and farther between, but they never go away. Loved ones are never forgotten, especially on monumental days such as today. I know it's natural and human for me to have these feelings. It's ok! Dad would have been so proud of Pam and all that she has accomplished. I know how proud he was to see me graduate!
The truth is, death is not natural. God never intended for things to be this way. I'm so glad He chose to send His only son so that one day we will all be reunited in heaven and will never again have these "waves" of heart ache and grief for someone who is missing from the picture.

Congratulations Pam! :) I'm proud of you and I know Dad would have been so proud of you too!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Randomness by J-La

  1. I've been blogging for 11 months now!
  2. My Sister Pam is graduating from Western Michigan University tomorrow! I'm so proud of her! She went back and finished College while working Full Time and being a Wife and a Mom!
  3. I haven't felt good all week. It all started on Sunday evening. I even took Wednesday off to rest up. This is mostly why I haven't blogged this week. Hopefully I'm on the upswing!
  4. I had more lab work done this week. I haven't heard anything yet in regards to the results. I'm still a medical mystery! :)
  5. I'm looking forward to rescheduling with Jen. We were going to go to "Red Robin" on it's opening day on Monday, but I had to cancel because I was sick.
  6. Work was more tiring than usual this week due to learning a new way of doing things. Change is good, but it is change and it does take time to learn new things! I get nervous about production, but I'll get there, it just takes time.
  7. My allergies are acting up.
  8. I want to lose weight and have been walking more as the weather gets nicer.
  9. I LOVE my new MERRELLS! So Comfy! :)
  10. Sister Debbie is 12 weeks along with my littlest nephew/niece! She is due November 4th! :) It would be cool if the baby were born on November 3rd, which was Dad's B-day.
  11. Mom is still doing chemo. She had another round on Thursday. She'll have another one in 2 weeks and then there will be an MRI to see if the cancer is has shrunk/is gone...basically to see if the chemo worked. For her sake, I pray it did!
  12. A friend of mine was laid off from her job today. She is a single Mom. This saddens me, but I know God has great things in store for her. I'm thankful to have a job.
  13. I get motion sickness. I picked up Dramamine tonight for the ride to Kalamazoo w/ the fam tomorrow for Pam's graduation. The older I get the worse it gets. I'm so used to driving that when I don't drive, I experience motion sickness. YEAH Dramamine!
  14. My Godson and Nephew will be confirmed in May. I can't believe he's 14 1/2! I still remember the day he was born!
  15. I'm tired and signing off now. Tomorrow will be a long but happy day! :)
  16. More later...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My New Walking Shoes...One Step Closer

I had my appointment with my new Internal Medicine Dr. on Friday morning. I was there for an hour & a half and had an EKG done. It's a standard procedure for all of their new patients. I hate to see how much the bill will be for that appointment! I still don't have answers regarding the fatigue and feet/ankle swelling, but hopefully I am one step closer to getting answers! The next round of tests are to find out if my liver and kidneys are functioning properly. When the Dr. was examining me I felt pain near the bottom of my ribs. The Dr. said that was my gallbladder. He said gallbladder issues wouldn't cause ankle swelling though. I wonder if the meds I have been on long term are ultimately hurting my liver/kidneys? We shall see. One of the diagnoses by the Dr. is that I'm overweight. I guess I've been in denial. He wants me to exercise more, which is really hard to do when I can't fit into tennis shoes. The tops of my feet are so swollen I can't fit into normal shoes. So, I bought a new pair of shoes (pic above) at The Walking Company today. These should work both now and when/if my feel/ankle swelling goes down, and they were on sale! :) I just want to feel "normal" again..whatever that is. The good news is that I'm not dying! :) I'm alive and kicking and am determined to one day not be diagnosed as being "overweight"! :) One thing at a time Jen, one thing at a time!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mishawaka Has A New Barnes & Noble!

Mishawaka has had a Barnes & Noble for a long time, but about a week ago the old one closed and the new one opened up. The new one is attached to the Mall. This is the largest and coolest Barnes & Noble I have ever seen and I've been in many B&N's in the big cities! I never thought South Bend would have a B&N this big! It has a large fireplace and even has an extra big study area, which I believe is geared toward Notre Dame students. I just had to take pics of the pictures on the walls in that study area to show you all. All of you local peeps should check it out soon! Come on you out of towners, I know you want to come visit me just so you can experience the new Barnes & Noble Mishawaka has to offer! :) Enjoy the pics!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Birthday Celebration!

Today isn't just tax day, more importantly, it's Mary's Birthday! :) We had a great time hanging out at Hacienda tonight. Their margarita's were on special for $1.00. Can't beat that!
I've known Mary for almost 2 years now and we both agree that we are SO much alike! I'm so blessed that God sent her into my life!
I love you Mary!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My Redeemer Lives! :)

He lives and grants me daily breath.
He lives and I shall conquer death.
He lives my mansion to prepare.
He lives to bring me safely there!
Oh the sweet joy this sentence gives,
I know that my Redeemer lives!
I just want to wish all of my readers a very Blessed Easter!

Words Have Power

This past Wednesday I had my second Mammogram. I had my first one at age 30 because of my Mom's history with breast cancer. They really aren't that bad. It's just uncomfortable. But, it's quick and it saves lives! My Mom has battled cancer off and on for over 9 years. She was first diagnosed with breast Cancer in February of 2000. She is a fighter! :) Anyways, Thursday I received a Voice Mail message from my Dr.'s office informing me my Mammogram results were back and that I should call them as soon as possible. Now what would the normal person deduct from hearing those "as soon as possible" words? I was anxious for over an hour and a half. I called them back and the office was closed for lunch. I called my Mom and even she said, they might see something and want you to have another Mammogram. Maybe they did it wrong the first time. I finally was able to get a hold of them. I did not speak with the person who left the VM Message. I was told everything was fine and that I should come back next year. Phew!

I told the lady that had I received a message that said my results were in and I could call them back at my convenience, I wouldn't have reacted the way that I did. Was it really necessary to leave that VM Message for me to say "call as soon as possible". That would be a negative! Did it put things in to perspective for me in regards to my swollen ankles? Absolutely! My Mom's strength in dealing with these phone calls on a regular basis, absolutely amazes me.

Ladies, if you are 30-35 and your Mom or sister has a history of breast cancer, please get a Mammogram ASAP if you haven't. If you are 40 or older and have no history of breast cancer, please get a Mammogram ASAP, it could save your life! :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Please Help to Bring Anya Home!

My friend Kathy and her husband Marty are the pre-adoptive parents to an adorable 6 year old little girl named Anya. They have been trying to bring her home from Irkutsk for going on 5 years! Their love and determination for this little girl is amazing! It's heart wrenching for me to know they are going through this, so I honestly can't imagine all of the emotions they have been dealing with. Kathy is a Wardrobe Coach, Personal Shopper, and Fashion Expert for WSBT news. Kathy's friend designed and made the necklace pictured above. I purchased this to help bring Anya home, and now I feel even more connected to this family and this wonderful cause. It's a beautiful necklace, and here is a beautiful description of what the pieces of the necklace represent:

The Pearl in this piece represents Truth, a pearl is the stone of Truth. Throughout this ordeal, Marty and Kathy have continued to believe in the TRUTH - which is that Anya was not put on this earth to be left an orphan. The TRUTH is that God loves her too much to leave her without a family.

The little silver bead represents the Strength of platinum. Marty and Kathy's strong resolve, and strong faith to bring Anya home.

The teardrop in the center represents the many tears shed over making Anya wait to come home...it also represents tears of Joy for the end of this story.Finally, the links in the chain represent all the prayers and love that have been protecting Anya since 2004.

Even just reading this description makes me all sappy.

To read more about Kathy and Marty's fight to bring Anya home and to purchase a necklace, you can go here. Whether you decide to purchase a necklace or not, the Friend's would appreciate your prayers as they near the end of this long journey. They are currently awaiting a court date in Irkutsk.

Thank you! :)

Blog Labels

FYI - I just recently started labeling my blog posts by topic. I went back today and labeled some of my older posts. You can view the topics at the bottom right hand side of my blog. Keep in mind that I have not labeled all of my blog posts yet, but hope to do so soon.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Lower Extremity Edema

Ok, so I know my feet are not attractive to begin with, in fact, they are the least favorite part of my body. However, I am blessed to have them. They get me where I need to go! :) These pics give you an idea of the symptoms I have been experiencing. The proper medical term for this is "Lower Extremity Edema". What is causing the lower extremity edema? This is the Million Dollar Question! :) I've been dealing with these swollen feet/ankles for well over 6 weeks. Five weeks ago when I first went to the Dr. he (as a good Dr. should) had me get a chest x-ray and tons of blood work done. $995.00 worth of tests to be exact! Thank God for health insurance..and I seriously mean that! The good news is that
everything came back normal. So, the Dr. gave me a water pill and I was good to go..or so I thought! The water pill did work for 2 weeks, if that, and then the extreme swelling came back. So, this past Wednesday I went back to the Dr. I also showed him the pictures I had taken. He said my pictures serve as good documentation! He was completely baffled as to what's causing this. I'm thankful he admitted that he didn't know what else to do. He said if I were 80, he would think it was a symptom of congestive heart failure, but he said I'm a healthy 35 year old woman. He also said it's strange that this is happening in both of my feet/ankles. My Dr. referred me to an Internal Medicine Dr. My first appointment with the IM Dr. will be on April 17th. So I have 2 more weeks to wait. I told my Dr. the first time that I am a Medical Mystery! :) I think he believes me now! LOL Please don't ask me if I have too much salt in my diet! That will make me want to scream! Trust me, I've heard it all! I know people mean well, but seriously..do these feet/ankles look "normal" to you??? My Dr. assured me that this is more than just too much salt intake! So, I'll just have to be patient and hope and pray that I will get some answers in the next month or so. All I know is that I can only wear the same 2 pairs of shoes, and that I am extremely fatigued. I would appreciate your prayers over the next few weeks that the IM Dr. can get to the root cause of the problem, and that hopefully someday soon, I will be able to see that I do in fact have ankles! :) Thank you! :)