Sunday, September 29, 2013

The way I see it...

**For anybody that might be new to our blog, "The Way I See It" is my editorial that I write in the newspaper every week.  I added the pictures just for the blog. :) **
A Humbling Half
I survived the half marathon last weekend in Omaha.  Barely.  You guys, it was so hard, but I did it.  I have a medal to prove it!
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but my left knee bothers me sometimes.  I’m used to it. Well, it started hurting about mile 6, but I was kind of expecting it.  By mile 8, it was really starting to hurt and so I was making mental deals in my head to just try to run until mile ten and if I made it, then I would allow myself to walk.  
The good news is I was able to run all the way to mile ten.  The bad news is by that time my left knee felt like someone was sticking hot, sharp knives through the middle of it with every step I took.  
My goal was to run the entire thing and to finish around 2:15, which I was on pace to do.  Once I hit mile ten though, I ran a little and walked a little, for the remainder of the race.  
Less than a mile to go.  I was dying.  Not pretty at this point.
When I crossed the finish line, I took my very hard-earned medal and bottle of water and sat on the curb.  Aaron came over and I totally lost it.  Yep, I cried.  About a race.  Who am I?  These tears coming from the girl who swore she would never run because it was dumb! 
Anyway, in between tears I told Aaron that I was just sad because I’m so competitive with myself that I didn’t want to walk and it just sucked that I had to.  He assured me that my time was still good and he was proud I did it.   
I finished in 2:26.   You know what though?  I did run ten straight miles without walking.  And I finished.  It was hard and it would have been easier to quit, but I didn’t.  Not many people can probably say they went out and covered 13.1 miles on Sunday, but I can. My mental toughness was most definitely tested and I am a stronger person because of those 13.1 miles. It was humbling.  I ran.  I walked. I cried. I laughed at a sign that said, “Smile if you’re not wearing underwear.”  Who can’t smile at that?!  To experience all of those emotions, I’d say it was a good day. 
You know what was worth all of the pain?  That feeling I got when I crossed the finish line.  Nothing else really matters to me, except that I did it and made myself proud, but that’s just the way I see it. 

 I was a much happier camper after I got my emotions in check.  I hobbled up a bunch of stairs and Aaron took my picture inside Ameritrade Park, which is where the college world series is played AND the place we got to run through.  Pretty cool.  See that medal?  Recycled glass.  One of a kind, so also pretty cool. 
I basically took the week off, but did run/walk for 20 minutes on Thursday.  That was plenty.  I think I need to get back to running slowly and hopefully my knee will feel better.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Transplant Date

Long time, no blog.  I've just been waiting patiently until I had something set in stone to tell you.  Finally...I do!

Remember in this blog I told you how we were going to have his bladder surgery first and then hemo dialysis (6-8 weeks in Iowa City ) and then transplant?  Well, guess what?  NEW PLAN!!

The urologist and our transplant surgeon talked at length and decided that we would do the surgeries together.  That means at the same time.  Like on the same day.  I know, it seems like a lot of surgery.  Yes, I'm nervous.  But, yes, I trust them.  There were several reason for doing it this way that made a lot of sense and once everything was explained to me, I now feel better about things.

After a lot of coordinating schedules and OR's and all that good stuff, we finally got a call that surgery has been set.  Tuesday, November 5th!!  We will go and be admitted first thing on Monday, November 4th. 

So, now we have a date and something to plan for which  is nice.  And, also, if I'm being honest, scary.  A date makes everything real.  I know it was real before, but you know what I mean.

For now, I just plan like a crazy mom and think of a million things I need to get ready between now and then and hope and pray we all can stay healthy! 


Monday, September 16, 2013

Iowa vs. ISU make a long story short, Aaron decided to see if he could get a press pass to Iowa State football for the season.  West Marshall has four alumni that are on the team, so I told him a story had to come out of it!  

He met with one of his former baseball players who was on the ISU football team and then due to injury, is now part of the coaching staff. Kody is a really good kid and I think the story Aaron wrote really shows that!

The bonus of this pass? The Hawks happened to play at Jack Trice this season.  Aaron took a bunch of pictures (371 to be exact) and these are ten of his favorites:

 Story on this picture below: Aaron felt a tap on his shoulder, turned around and there stood Herky.  Aaron thought he wanted a picture taken, but no.  Herky wanted to take Aaron's picture.  Apparently with a mascot costume, it's hard to focus. ;)

It's a HAWKEYE state!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

How about some pictures?!

I've been busy.  Like super busy.  Like I took the twins to daycare every single day last week.  That hasn't happened, maybe ever?!  I don't know.  Anyway, between work and picture taking and trying to, as I told Blake's doctor, "shove my entire life into last week because there was so much uncertainty," there was a lot going on. 

I realized on Saturday that I haven't posted any pictures on our blog since the end of August.  Unacceptable! ;) To be honest, I hadn't even taken any pictures of the kiddos with my good camera in September.  I KNOW.  On Saturday afternoon, I told Aaron that I wanted to go up to the football field in our Hawkeye gear and just take some fun pictures.  

Here's some of my favorites:
The twins "wrestle" constantly.  It's one of their favorite activities.  Last week during the Hawkeye game Blake's head hit the corner of the wall and there was blood gushing everywhere and we thought he was going to need stitches, but luckily Aaron got it to stop.  Five minutes after that Blake turned to Bowen and said with a big smile on his face, "Wrestle?!"  These two fear nothing!!

 Brody trying to outrun a very determined Bowen.
 Bowen.  And this face.  All the time.
 We had middle school football pictures last week and the kids were there.  Apparently Brody paid attention and wanted to pose like the big boys.  I can't even... Why does he have to look so big in this picture?

 Miss Photogenic. :)

 Dog pile on daddy!
 A rare moment.  Two cooperative two year olds.  I adore them.  I can't imagine how quiet our life would be without them.  Having twins is an experience I wouldn't trade for anything.
 Practicing our three point stance.
 Tackling...Sort of. ;)
 Aaron and his mini me.
This was my favorite picture of the day.  All four kids smiling means I should have maybe gone and bought a lottery ticket too or something.  Ha!
 It was a good weekend!  The Hawkeyes won, which means life is good!  Especially when you live as close to Ames as we do! ;)

Monday, September 9, 2013

In limbo...

That's what I feel like.  We are currently in limbo right now.  I haven't been withholding information from you or anything, but today we finally heard from Iowa City.

That's right.  I know you all probably thought we received this call telling us Blake had a donor, but we didn't.  Steph told us.  I waited until today and then called down and gave them, "this is unacceptable that we haven't been called yet.  Why have you not called us?  This is a life changing event that should be high on your priority list."

The plan of attack was supposed to be this:
1. Bladder augmentation surgery - bladder needs to be bigger so that when Blake has a functioning kidney, it can actually hold more than an ounce of pee.
2. 6-8 weeks of recovery from the bladder surgery and at the same time he will have to make the switch to hemo dialysis.  Hemo  dialysis is an in the clinic sort of thing.  Hemo dialysis for pediatric patients is an in Iowa City only sort of thing.  Five days a week.
3. Transplant!

After I talked to part of the transplant team today after we got past the ''why have we not been called" stuff and I prodded her on what I needed to do to get the bladder surgery set up she said she sent them a message to call us for a pre-op appointment.  About an hour and a half later, she called me back.

She noted that the hold up is that the transplant surgeon and the urologist who will be doing the bladder surgery are discussing whether we can do the surgeries at the same time.  The same time. That would mean no hemo.  No five days a week in Iowa City.  On the other hand, for this non-surgeon mom of a kidney kiddo that seems like a huge undertaking and if I'm being honest, scares the crap out of me!!

They are planning to make a decision by the end of the week on how to proceed.  If we do both surgeries together, they are thinking the beginning of October.  If they don't, we could do bladder surgery sooner.

We will continue to keep you updated on what we find out. One day at a day at a time...:)

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  Hebrews 11:1

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Verdict is in...

Well, the verdict is in and... DONOR APPROVED!!!!  Steph got the call this afternoon that she had been approved by the transplant board this morning! 

I can't even string together thoughts.  So many happy tears. Feeling blessed.  God is so good.  The power of prayer is an amazing thing. 

Ok, when I can get my thoughts together I'll write more.  Just know that we are one very happy, happy, happy family right now!!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

I'm antsy...

Oh hey...  How's it going this Labor Day for you all?  Oh, me?  Yeah, I'm a little (ok, a lot) antsy. 

I was doing so well.  Honest to goodness.  Not freaking out at all.  Calm even.  I know, it's so unlike me, right?!  I am a freaker-outer.  As today has gone on, I've gotten worse.

The week itself went really fast.  I worked.  Did photography stuff. Cleaned out the toy room. Was distracted by my children.  Went to see my dad.  Went on a boat ride. I ran. Ok, so you get the idea.

Like Aaron said, "We can't control any part of this, so why worry and stress out about it?"  That got me through the week.  Now?  I just WANT TO KNOW. 

The transplant board meets at 8 AM tomorrow (Tuesday morning).  I checked with Steph and she said that we might hear something tomorrow, but there are no guarantees.  AHHH!!  Knowing our track record with the transplant coordinator, I would say we probably won't hear tomorrow. 

If I do hear anything, you know I will let you all know.  In the meantime, let's just keep praying. 

"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.” Joshua 1:9