A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Update on Scott From Debbie - Words From Her Heart! :-)

Journal entry by Debbie Heiman — 14 hours ago
Scott has labs at 9AM tomorrow. We will meet with Dr. Charlson at 10AM. We will discuss next week's chemo and figure out how many days he will do. 

Last week, Scott's liver counts were all elevated. They thought it was likely due to his cold virus. I pray that those numbers are back to normal tomorrow. I also hope that his white blood and platelets are back up to a level that is ready for him to tackle another week of chemo. 

As always, we just take it one day at a time. 

I can't thank you all enough for helping our family keep pushing through. I don't know how others have personally helped Scott or our kids, but I have felt so blessed lately. 

There are so many people who probably don't realize the impact they have on me. It's not easy to get up every day and keep living a "normal" life amidst all the abnormalities of our life. Thank you for the kind things that you say to me, the quick hug in passing, listening to me talk about my feelings and heartache, offering to help me if I need it, bringing us food, praying for us daily, and just being a friend. These things help us keep pushing forward. God Bless you for your love and kindness! There are a lot of really good people in this world, and those are the ones I need to cling to. THANK YOU for being the light that our family needs!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Thanksgiving Weekend I Didn't Know I Needed!

 At the risk of sounding like a Scrooge, I have strongly disliked the Holidays for as long as I can remember.  Just being real.  Rushing around here and there to get to at least 2 different Thanksgiving Celebrations and 2-4 Christmas Celebrations, during my hardest time of the year, stressed me out.  The fact that Dad passed away on December 8th, 17 years ago, didn't help me handle the holidays any easier.  Yes. I am an Extrovert.  Yes.  I love people.  But, I dislike rushing around trying to make it to every Holiday Celebration, so as to not upset anyone, while not taking care of me.

This Thanksgiving Weekend was hands down, the most relaxing and stress free Thanksgiving Weekend I have ever had.  This does not mean that every other Thanksgiving has been awful.  We have had some great Thanksgivings with Friends and Family, and we are so appreciative of all of the hard work that goes in to hosting Thanksgiving Dinners!  There are many things that play into why this was the most relaxing Thanksgiving I have ever had.  1.  This was the 1st time we have celebrated Thanksgiving in our own Home!  2.  We had a small, intimate celebration.  There were only 7 of us, plus Mookie.  3.  We didn't drive anywhere, not even for the day.  4.  This means we had 4 full days off together, at home, with no plans, and no driving. Mookie had a grooming appointment at 1:00pm on Friday, and that was the only thing we had planned.   I had so much time to just "be" in my own home, with my Husband, and my Dog.  It was glorious!

Thank you Jonathan, for all of the hard work you put into preparing our Feast.  It was delicious!  Also, thanks to Joel and Sandy and the boys for driving down from Grand Rapids to celebrate Thanksgiving with us.  It was so great to see you all!  I don't think God ever meant for us to get so stressed out over the Holidays.  Parties and gifts and appearances aren't the Reasons for the Season.  Jesus is the Real Reason for the Season!  He knows my Heart and He knows what I need, and it is truly liberating to have spent a Holiday exactly the way that I wanted to spend it.

So, if I don't show up for a Family Holiday Party.  Please don't take it personally.  This is just not my easiest time of year, and I need to take care of me.  So far, I'm doing a much better job of it than I have in years past.   Please understand, It's not that I don't want to see you.  It's just that other times of the year are easier for me to attend get togethers.

I am beyond Grateful for these past few days that I have gotten to be off work, in our home, with Jonathan and Mookie.  Life is Good!  We are Blessed! :-)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Debbie's Thanksgiving Post

I'm SO PROUD of my Sister, and the Faith and Strength she has shown, during these stressful and uncertain times!

Journal entry by Debbie Heiman — 11/23/2016
This Thanksgiving, I am so thankful for so many things. Even though we had a rough patch since last Sunday, and had to spend 5 days in the hospital, Scott was able to come home. For that, I am thankful!

Scott had labs drawn at Froedtert today. They were prepared to give him IV fluids, but he was well hydrated, and didn't need the fluids. He was very happy about that! This is another reason to be thankful.

His counts are still low, but not dangerously low. They are often low after chemo, and he is only 12 days out from the last day of his 5 day chemo.

All of his liver counts were elevated. They are assuming that it's due to the chemo and having been sick recently. They will check those numbers again on December 1st. We are so thankful for his wonderful Doctors and nurses.

We were able to pick the kids up from school and head to Scott's parents house for Thanksgiving. I am extremely thankful that he is able to be with his parents for Thanksgiving. Their house is his favorite place to be.

Every day that we get to spend with Scott is a huge blessing, and I'm so thankful that he is with us for another Thanksgiving! No one is ever guaranteed tomorrow. We just have a reason to live like every day could be our last. 

We pray every day that God will bless us with many more years together. Only HE can count the number of our days. 

Please join me this Thanksgiving by thanking God for the many blessings that he showers down on us.

I am thankful for Scott, our kids, both of our families, our friends, and all of the people who have been there for us and prayed for us. We've made it over 19 months down this difficult road. I'm thankful that God has kept us strong in the faith. He has provided for our needs every step of the way. He is such a good and gracious God. 

We want to say thank you to each and every person who is reading this. Your love and support mean more than you could ever know. God hears each and every one of your prayers. 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!   🍁 

P.S.  If you are travelling, I pray for safe travels for you. Enjoy this precious time with loved ones.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Debbie's Caring Bridge Post - They Are Home! :-)

Journal entry by Debbie Heiman — 31 minutes ago
Scott's stomach was feeling much better today, so we didn't end up seeing GI specialists. Scott's counts keep getting better, and he is no longer neutropenic. They told us we could go home around noon, and we were home before 2PM.

All of the doctors agreed that Scott should not go back to work until Monday. They also said that he shouldn't be pushing himself so hard by working 10-12 hour days. He needs to be told to slow down sometimes. He is a hard worker, and that's a great quality to have, but not when it jeopardizes your health. They want him to be extra cautious and take it easy during the weeks following chemo. That's when his white blood counts drop and he is at more risk for getting sick. Sticking to desk work was recommended during those times. 

We are so so happy to have him home in time for Thanksgiving! We will go to Froedtert on Wednesday for labs and to meet with one of Dr. Charlson's nurses. We want to make sure his counts are all still looking good. If so, we'll head up north to Scott's parents house for Thanksgiving. 

Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. We wish everyone a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Still at Froedtert - Debbie's Caring Bridge Update

Journal entry by Debbie Heiman — 14 minutes ago
The Doctor told us today that Scott will be here until at least Monday. We'll continue to pray that everything looks good and we won't have to stay any longer. They truly want to avoid sending us home, to have us end up back here in a day or 2. 

Scott gets hungry and wants to eat, but his stomach can't handle the food. They put him on a clear liquid diet after breakfast today. We'll see how he handles that. His fever seems to be gone for good. 😁

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. We really want Scott to come home on Monday.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Debbie's Caring Bridge Update From Today

Journal entry by Debbie Heiman — 1 hour ago

I brought Scott to Froedtert yesterday at 9:20AM to have labs drawn and to see Dr. Charlson. He was running a fever of 101, and with no spleen, we have to be extra cautious.

His blood counts were low and they thought that he might need to be hospitalized. They gave him IV fluids and antibiotics. They also did a chest x-ray. The x-ray looked good (no pneumonia) and they were thinking about sending him home.

They took his temperature one more time, and his fever was up to 102. They decided he needed to be admitted. The highest that it got yesterday was 102.9. He has been fever free since this morning. We pray that continues.

He is dealing with a lot of intestinal issues and stomach cramping. He isn't able to eat without having pain.

They assume that we'll be here until Sunday or Monday. The are closely monitoring his temperature and blood counts. 

He had an ultrasound because his bilirubin was a bit elevated. The ultrasound also looked fine. They are running some more tests. They checked for C diff, and he doesn't have that thankfully! They took a swab of his nose and throat to check for a flu virus. We haven't gotten those results yet. 

His hemoglobin has dropped from 11.6 (low) to 9.7 (even lower). They are monitoring that and trying to figure out if there is cause for it besides the chemo he had last week. 

It's hard not knowing what caused the fever and if the stomach issues are from chemo or something else. At least they are covering their bases and checking him for anything that could be wrong. 

We obviously aren't able to be a part of the basketball tournament at Lamb of God like we had hoped. We are not happy about that, but this is out of our control, and in God's hands. 

I will be going to the tournament to watch Hannah and Tyler play. Big thanks to our friend Matt Meitner for putting the games on Facebook Live for Scott to watch in the hospital. He is extremely grateful.

Many people have offered to help out with the kids, to help my Mom if she needs it, and to help us if we need it in any way. We truly appreciate your love, support and prayers!

I pray that the rest of our stay keeps bringing positive reports and that he continues to feel better and stay fever free. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Our Non-Traditional Family

Our Wedding Verse was "God sets the lonely in Families"."  ~Psalm 68:6A NIV

Jonathan, Jennifer, Mookie, Eliana & Caro

I've learned that "Family" comes in many different forms.  Jonathan and I have a non-traditional family.  We Married later in life.  We were content being a Family of 2 for 5 years, until God put it on our hearts to adopt Mookie.  Then we decided we are going on a Mission Trip to Ecuador next Summer.  We will be visiting a Compassion International Center.  This is how God put it on my heart to Sponsor a Compassion International little girl from Ecuador.

I went on the site to see the children available for sponsorship between the ages of 1 and 8.  I acted like I was picking one.  Then it asked me to consider sponsoring another little girl from the same Church.  How could I resist??  Both of these girls waited for 248 days to be Sponsored!  I felt God pulling me to Sponsor both of them.  However, it's not just me that makes the money decisions.  It's Us.  Jonathan prayed and thought about it for a day or so.  Then he also wanted to Sponsor both girls.

Eliana is in the Middle pic.  She is 6 years old.  Caro is in the bottom pic.  She just turned 5 years old.  I've already written them and sent them our picture online.  The letter/picture will be printed and sent to them. The money spent sponsoring them goes to help educate them, feed them, teach them about nutrition, etc and most importantly it goes to teach them about Jesus.  My heart is full.  The girls live in a different part of Ecuador from where we are going for the Mission Trip, but I hope to someday meet these precious Children of God. Until then, I will pray for them, write to them, and love on them from a distance, and love on Jonathan and Mookie right here in South Bend, IN.  God is Good!  We are Blessed.