My Moments to Breathe

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I got this one too!



Has it really been that long? Guess I need to sneak in a blog post in December, so here I am. The picture you may ask? Thats "The Zell family from Ann Abor, MI!" HAHA....as most of you know my family tried out for Family Feud, and should know soon if we got on the actual show! Helping Mom work on her Cancer Sucks bucket list!

First I will say thanks for everything everyone did for my Lungiversary. It was a good week of spoiling the crud out of my lungs, whatever they wanted they got. I am alive because of my donor, and even though I know nothing about them, they are a person close to my heart. I am still hoping one day that the family will want to read our letters and that they will want to write us back. I pray often about that.

Thanksgiving was nice. After much mulling we decided to hop in the car for a crazy 36 hour trip to the Mitten so we could see family and be thankful with all of them. Good food, good laughs, good company! I brought a sled back that I fell in love with, its outside our house right now with a wreath. So cute, if you drive by check it out. I hunted for that!

Added a neurologist to my list of Doctors to see. He said there is no reason I should be having migraines and wanted me to make sure I don't have a tumor. Well, as most patients who are on tons of meds know...you get side effects and I just happen to get the "migraine side" one. So, right now, I am not going to get the MRI. He gave me some medicine and it has been working so, well, literally haven't had a migraine in 7 days. Since the day I started this medicine. Only down fall...its suppose to make you sleepy but since I have been taking it...I don't fall asleep until about 4. The insomnia was getting better but...WIDE EYED right now. Naps about 8 am come in handy for that!

 Shannon and Francesca are still doing great! I had my "one year out" appointment earlier this month. I once again broke my own records and my Doc said I had the highest numbers so far. All I need to do is drink more water and exercise a bit more. And, yes, after the Christmas season, I do plan on getting my body is better shape and using my treadmill more than I do. I want to keep this girls around.

The best news that I smiled and started tearing up about was....drum roll...(ok it may not sound like a big deal to most people who read this, but honestly its huge!)...I don't have to go back to the doctors for 6 months (unless something comes up and I need help with it!) 6 MONTHS!! I have never gone that long since...since forever. I have never done that, I have always had my normal appointments every 3 months since I can remember...and now they say I'm "healthy" enough for the time to double. 6 months. Count them...6!

Now for the not so cool news. The following day I had my bronch and psh it kicked the crud out of me this time. While I was still sleeping they had informed Jeremy that I had infection but everything looked good for a negative rejection. BOO and infection. This was coming off the cusp of a cold I was trying to kick without help, as was doing it well. So my doctor just said I can try to kick this infection off by myself too. Well, that lasted all of 6 hours. SIGH, that evening I started to run a fever over 100 and chills...which are two big NO NOs in transplant land. So I took some Tylenol to relax my body around 4 am so I could sleep. Called the doctor bright and early in the morning to inform them and they gave me the sad news of admission. So, yes, I cried. This was my first December in 4 years I could do everything with my daughter and make it magical for her. I didn't want to spend anytime in the hospital let alone Christmas. So after talking to Jeremy, I convinced them to try oral antibiotics on me first. After awhile Kelly called back and gave me the deal, but would have to call back in 2 days if I was better.

 Praise the Lord, it worked. I coughed up all the blood that was left over in my lungs from the bronch and started to feel even better. There was more blood than I feel there should have been for a little longer, but the girls fought hard. I am going to talk to them about the way my body handles bronchs and what to do about that...I need the bronchs. My lips got cut and swollen from it, a fever, blood, and just felt yucky (that is the scientific wording I am sure...haha.) But it is working out so far and am resting, a lot, and listening to my body while trying to get everything done for Christmas (not complaining because I love the hustled and bustle.)

Not much else to report, and, as always, no news is good news!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

LUNGIVERSARY



Today is the day! I am 1 year from this very day that this wonderful gift was given to me. A shiny, blinged out, only blows glitter, pair of lungs. I will not even begin to count the number of times I have cried today. I started to count but have already stopped because all the texts, messages, phone calls, cards, posts, well they all make me cry. A wonderful, crazy, mixed emotion sort of cry.

But in honor I thought instead of hearing me write on about how excited I am (that can wait until tomorrow and the week of celebrating) and things that I sort of maybe remember...I decided to hand over my blog for the day. I gave it to the person who was with me from the moment the phone rang to, well, the person who is still by my side. I thought this person needed to write how it all went for him, his feelings. So here we go. Presenting...Jeremy Jon...



I was groggy.  We had taken a family nap. 

We took a lot of family naps.  Cassie was tired all the time.  When she wasn’t sleeping, she was on her oxygen more and more—and when she wasn’t, I was telling her that she should be.  Even dropping her off at the door for things like Wal*Mart and church (yes, we live across the street) wasn’t working anymore.  Those “exciting” outings took too much out of her and she would have to relax, use her oxygen, and, eventually, fall asleep.
A few months earlier we got together with the Husbys at a condo in South Haven.  Cassie spent 90 percent of the time in the room, sucking down air.  My mom told me afterwards that when the MI Husbys got back to the east side (the RIGHT side) of Michigan, the prayer chains started.  They saw what I was seeing every day.  Cassie was dying.  She was not breathing.  She could not keep this up.

So, yeah, Laila and I got to do a lot of things together.  And, no, I wouldn’t trade it.  I’m positive that having that daddy/daughter time while mommy napped or relaxed is why Laila still has her days where she follows me around and completely ignores anything Cassie does or says.  I love it.  But, still, there were times, particularly on Sunday afternoons (I know I only work one day every three weeks J, but when I do, preaching takes a lot out of me!), where I needed my rest, too.  So, Cassie in bed, Laila with her, me on the couch, we took a nap.

We were trying to figure out what to have for dinner.  It was snowing.  I didn’t want to trudge through the snow to start the grill, even though we had steaks thawed in the fridge.  That meant a tiring trip to the grocery store.  That meant me cooking.  That meant me washing the pots and pans and the dishes right away afterwards because I’d have a busy Monday and wouldn’t be able to get to them for a couple days…plus I was out of underwear and undershirts.  We decided we’d go out to eat instead.  And then it happened.  Cassie’s phone rang.  She looked. Lungs.

It’s gonna be ok, Cass.  Step one, I’ll call Marquardts to see if they can take Laila.  I remember trying to explain like 6 or 7 different things to Mike and then realizing I wasn’t making any sense.  Can I bring Laila over now?  Look back at Laila and Cass.  Laila is running around and jumping all over the place.  She’s singing about how her mommy is going to be able to run with her.  God, I hope so.  Don’t cry.  Be strong. Go hug your wife.  She’s gotta be going crazy.

Ok, Cass has her transplant bags ready.  I need to figure out what I am going to wear, knowing that it is cold outside, but I’ll probably be inside for the next three weeks.  I just need something comfortable to wear that won’t make me sweat, that I can wear for about the next 36 hours.  Stop focusing on this silly problem.  Go hug your wife.  She’s gotta be going crazy.  It’s gonna be ok, Cass.  I promise.  Jesus promises.  It’s gonna be ok.  I love you.

Remember your wallet.  Remember your phone and your charger.  Grab your laptop.
We got in the car.  It was snowy.  I called my mom.  Don’t cry.  I called my brothers.  Don’t cry.  I called my fellow pastors. Don’t forget to drive carefully…

We arrived about 90-100 minutes after we got the call.  It usually takes about 90 minutes…but somehow we got packed, took Laila next door, and still got there in the same amount of time.

We got there around 6 pm.  They said surgery was planned for 9 pm.  Yeah, right.  Ok, surgery is now planned for 10:30.  Yeah, right.  Ok,midnight at the latest.  Yeah, right.  They poked and prodded Cassie.  Hug her.  Tell her everything’s gonna be ok. 3am.  Time to go to surgery prep.  We went down.  Everywhere we went, there was NO ONE around.  It looked almost like a Walking Dead hospital.  Lights in hallways were only halfway on, if on at all.  Went to a prep/waiting room.  And boy, did we wait.  Alone.  No nurses checking in.  No Dr. DeOlivera saying everything was ready.  No nothing.  Just me and Cass.  Talking.  Silence.  Tears.  Talking. Tell her everything’s gonna be ok.  Smile.

We took silly pictures.  We looked at the clock…a lot.  Then, finally, around 6:30—a nurse!  We said good morning and she about jumped out of her crocs!  She was just there to weigh herself while no one was watching.  She didn’t know anybody was down here.  She’d check in to see what was going on.
7 am came.  They took Cassie.  Don’t cry.  Smile.  Make her think you’re confident.  Make her think you are unafraid.  If this is the last time you see her, make sure that she knows that you love her or you’ll regret it every. single. day. for the rest of your life.

I made sure they had my cell number.  I’ve given them that cell number 20 times.  I give it again.  To three people.  I go get another coffee.  And another. 

Last time, it was about an hour and a half in when Dr. Maloney came and told me the surgery didn’t happen. I looked around.  8:30.  Nobody.  8:45. Nobody.  9am.  My phone rang.  Surgery started about 20 minutes ago.  What?!  It’s actually happening!!  Call your parents.  Call your inlaws.

Facebook, Twitter, and Email.  7 hours of updating TONS of people (NOT complaining.  I was overwhelmed with how many people cared).  I counted 70 emails—just from the kids at school.   About every 90 minutes I’d get a call.  One lung in.  One lung in?! They took one lung out and put another one in.  How does that work?! More coffee.  Second lung in.  I cried.  I was walking to get an energy drink and I could no longer see where I was going.  They put new lungs in my wife.  I updated.  Constance texted me back.  I sat down.  I texted back.  I was overwhelmed.  I couldn’t function.  I couldn’t see anything.

Around 3 they called again.  They were closing her up.  It was successful.  I was going to meet with the surgeon and talk about how it went.  So I updated and then I went to the waiting room.  And then I waited.  About 4:30, Cassie’s dad said he arrived at the hospital.  I met him and we walked together toward the waiting room and, on the way, ran into Dr. D.  He smiled.  That’s a good sign, right?!  The three of us went into the waiting room.  He talked.  I listened.  I tried to process.  I tried to think of good questions.  Over and over Dr. D said that everything went really, really well, but, we can’t get excited yet.  Things WILL go wrong.  Be prepared.  Stuff WILL happen that is unexpected…expect it anyway.  One thing in particular (make a mental note of this, this is gonna be important) that Dr. D is not worried about, but will keep a close eye on, is that she is draining a LOT of dark red thick sticky blood.  They’d like it to be a little more translucent…a little more watery and pink.  But not worried.  Again, set backs WILL happen. My father in law and I, both at about the same time asked the important question…CAN WE SEE HER NOW?

We saw her.  We wore gowns and gloves and masks.  I told her I loved her.  I told her the surgery happened.  I told her everything went well.  I watched as 4 different nurses were checking 40 different things and realized that the best thing for Cassie right now was for me and Cassie’s dad to be out of the room.  We exited.

“You ready for a beer?”  What?! Am I ready to drink?  My wife just had major surgery and you want me to drink?! And then it made a little more sense.  It was time to celebrate.  It happened and it went well.  Not to mention that, amid all of the coffee and energy drinks, I forgot to get food in my belly too.  My tummy started to rumble.  I excitedly agreed.  We gave my cell number…again…and we left.  In the car, we went over everything that Dr. D said with a fine toothed comb.  We couldn’t find anything in what he said to worry over…except that she was draining too much dark red thick sticky blood.

I ate.  I drank two big beers.  My nerves calmed.  My adrenaline went back to normal.  It was time to, finally, sleep.  I got gowned, gloved, and facemasked.  I told Cassie I loved her again.  I told the nurses my cell number…again…and told them where I would be sleeping.  It was9:30.  I fell asleep.
At 1am the light in the room turned on.  “Jeremy?”  Check my phone.  1 am.  No phone calls.  30 emails.  I asked the nurse what was up.  They had called.  They needed to take Cassie back into surgery.  There was too much dark red thick sticky blood draining.  As we walked back to Cassie’s room, I tried to process what she was saying.  They were going to give her a “wash.”  They had to open her back up and “wash” through the area to make sure that it would drain the way they wanted it to drain.  I was confused, to say the least.  They were going to take her in 15 minutes.  God, NO! She made it through.  Do NOT let her die NOW!!  How serious is this procedure?  How long will it take?  Explain the process again? That didn’t help. This very kind, pretty nurse, for the third time, explained what was going to happen.   I still don’t get it!

“Listen, I know you are doing your job, and you’re doing a great job.  I just need you to tell me, should I be calling my inlaws to get back here?  They are in Lake Mills.  Sleeping.  Should they be here for this?”
“Well, Jeremy, really that’s up to you.”
“Listen again…uh..well…ok fine….Is my wife going down there to die!?”
“No.”

So I went back to the room.  I chose to let Zells sleep.  I opened my bible.  I laughed.  Someday, picture yourself waiting while your spouse is in major surgery and read the first 90 psalms.  It is insane how much of it had a direct correlation to the feelings I was experiencing.  I laughed.  God knew what he was doing.  He is in charge.  We should fear, love, and trust in God above ALL things.  Never in my life did Luther’s explanation to the 1st Commandment mean so much to me.  Trust in him above all my feelings.  Trust in him above all the medical jargon.  Trust in him above the days and weeks and months of Cassie dying.  Trust in him above all things.  Recognize his almighty power…power he promises to use for your good.  Love him.  Love his care and concern.  Love his providence.  Love him for the fact that no matter what happens in the next 4 hours, you and Cassie (and Laila) will eventually be together forever.

They knocked again around 6.  Procedure done.  It went so well.  Cassie is resting.
I wish you could have seen the difference that I saw between post surgery Cassie and post wash Cassie. 
They put a 5th (!!!!!) chest tube in her tiny torso, but out of each one of those tubes was trickling tiny drops of watery, pink drainage.

My wife had an excellent surgeon.  She had a superb group of assistants (other docs and nurses).  She had a donor family that made a loving, kind, and selfless decision and gave my wife the best present that she could ever receive in a time when their hearts sank in sadness and grief. 

Today, November 18th, 2014, my wife woke up and got Laila ready for school.  As I’m writing this, she just got back from driving, out in this wonderful 9 degree weather, to get Laila’s favorite lunch from Panera.  She’s going to walk over to school and sit with her 5 year old and laugh.  And then she’s going to come back home.  She’s going to finish up some laundry.  She’s going to wash some dishes and tidy up the house a bit.  We are going to go out to eat tonight to celebrate.  And then, tomorrow, she’s gonna do much of the same…because she can.  Because she can breathe.
Psalm 30
1 I will exalt you, O Lord,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 Lord my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.
3 Lord, you brought me up from the grave;
you spared me from going down into the pit.
4 Sing to the Lord, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6 When I felt secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
7 Lord, when you favored me,
you made my mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.
8 To you, O Lord, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 “What gain is there in my destruction,
in my going down into the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me;
Lord, be my help.”
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Its November!



Has it really been that long since I blogged? Well, you can all assume that no news is good news right now. I am still doing very well. I have been keeping myself pretty busy around here.

Cold season is here so I am trying keep it out of my house and out of my lungs. They are still doing blinged out and I am still blowing high numbers on my spiro. My weight is still up, my shakes are still on and off again, and my sleeping is still well, not there. My face still has aged about 20 years over this last year.

Yeap, its been almost a year since I was blessed with the gift of new lungs, oxygen, and new life. Jeremy and I still talk about it at least once a week. This week we talked about how tramatic of a thing we went through. I got to hear the parts that he personally were the worst. I got to tell him what the worst was for me. He wins this round, I slept through most of the scary parts HAHA!

But all month we have things lined up to celebrate, starting with the actual date (Next Tuesday...the 18th) and I am not sure how I am going to make it through everything without tearing up each time. I have said it a million times this month but I will say it a million times again...I am blessed. I got my miracle in a miracle. 

I am able to tell my story (was asked to do a talk in Lansing, MI a few weeks ago and now am lined up to talk to a group on Nurses in March) and not cough during it. I can go to Walmart and put the groceries away. I can wake up in middle of the night with Laila and not cough for 3 hours after. I can eat like a normal person and keep weight on easier. I can work. I can travel. I can walk across my house. I can carry Laila. I can laugh with Jeremy. I can keep up with my family. I can live. All those things I can do where as last year at this time I couldn't, I was dying and planning on how to get things accomplished before that time was here.

"I  still forget how sick I really am. I wonder if I need to give in more and just decide that this is the life I have right now, dying." This was part of my blog entry on Nov 10 from last year. I look at it now and wonder how I didn't see how sick I was. I was either just that naive/dumb or just that much of a stubborn German who kept up her fight....you can decide for yourself. But either way you decide, I was glad at the time that God made me what I was, because it got me through what I needed to get through.

Thank you again to all those who have so graciously helped me with whatever it was my family needed help with. Whether it was a meal, a good laugh, watching Laila even for that little hour so I could breathe, taking her on her "forever stay", cleaning, gardening, donating to Team Cassie, praying, writing encouraging words, or for even my little penny on a post-it-note. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! 

Hope you all have a as much of a great month as I am about to have. LET THE CELEBRATING BEGIN!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Getting normal



I am almost 11 months post transplant. Can you believe it? Yeah, me either. Its been on my mind a ton lately, and feel very blessed.

I had my 9 month post bronc (a little late because of an added bronc earlier this year) and everything came back rosie. I have no infection, no rejection. Praise the Lord, especially since I have Pseudonymous up in my sinuses. Oh, these lungs...I think I am in love.

Another sleepless night for me. Laila has already been up once for an extra cuddle and Jeremy is soundly. But me? I am up and writing this blog. I have a ton on my mind, my sinuses are stuffy, neck ache, and did I mention I have a ton on my mind? 

More good news: I am now (again) a member of the working society. Truly blessed with this one. I get to work out of my own house at my own pace doing something that I love. I get to be artsy/crafty and just watch things come to life. Plus, I have a very cool boss. If you can, check out SEW WHIMSEY. To die for.

It feels great to have a job again and be able to help my family out. Plus, it kind of just goes to show that I am doing so well. This makes me a little giddy, if you couldn't tell. It is a perfect job because the only "germs" I am around are mine and I can still put my health first.

I rejoined the church choir, and its weird. Not the choir, but the singing. I have to pretty much relearn how to sing the right notes, how to breathe (which my body is still very much trained on how to breathe like a CFer with cruddy lungs, so I have been working...trying to work...on breathing the right way. Even while I am just sitting here.) But am loving the opportunity to do it again. 

I have been able to pick up my camera more and more lately too. I am still giddy about this hobby as well. Practice makes perfect, so Laila has learned to be a little model....and really is becoming quite the diva in this category. 

She is still loving school, and I have been able to help out a few times to watch how she interacts and how her day goes (and I have walked her to and from school everyday.) Its nice too since Jeremy works at school everyday, he gets to pop his head in a see her and what she is doing. It doesn't hurt that she gets an extra Daddy hug too. Her teacher is great, and beams with love for all the kids! Just love getting the little story about Laila during her day. Makes me feel like I miss less that way.

I am slowly, very slowly, getting ready for the fall season and the busy few months that are coming up. Much to celebrate again the next few seasons. Still praying, my donor family has comfort and one day reads the letters we sent. I think about my donor daily and wonder what he/she was like. I still see so many odd differences in me after transplant and would like to know if that comes from my donor....they must have like tacos and peaches. They must not have liked leftovers as much!

It is 1:30ish in the morning and I am yawning up a storm, if only my body and brain could connect! Guess I will try some frosted mini wheats and at least relax so my body can get some relief. Hope you all have a nice Tuesday, mine will be full of laundry, working, and Walmart. And that still makes me smile. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Another little battle



I went to the ENT (ears nose throat) on Wednesday to see what has been up with my sinuses and those pesky migraines. I was looking forward to it a little because I knew something was finally going to be done and I could go back to feeling 100% better. I do just want to throw it out there for all the people who say they are dying when they get sick....this feels nothing like dying. It stinks, it hurts, and its not comfortable....but its not dying! 

I saw a cat scan of my face and wow do those things look crazy. I learned that through multiple surgeries my sinuses have been opened up pretty wide. I relearned that I will always have a thick mucus wall. I learned that I have a massive deviated septum, so much so that when I get those headaches it makes my right side worse and can (and does) make both my ear and my jaw hurt. I learned that I have chronic infection as well as an acute infection (boo) so they took a swab so they could culture it and figure out what was going on in there. But the best thing I learned was that surgery most likely wasn't that answer since everything seemed pretty open, just sore.

As of today, I learned one more thing....

I learned that I have a case of Pseudomonas that can hopefully be taken care of with the antibiotic Cipro. Oh, and I also learned I cultured ANOTHER Pseudomonas that will NOT be taken care by that antibiotic. So they are also putting me on a nasal rise of an antibiotic and also a "topic"...UGH. They are going to watch me very carefully since I have already had the bug that is drug resistant. They want to knock this all out, fast and completely. So in 2 weeks if this doesn't work we go on to the next thing, and if that doesn't work we try to see what more doctors would do. This is life. 

Tears and frustration today. I know it hasn't even been a year and I have been doing amazing....but its just that I got a taste of that amazing, and I want it back. Now.

The good news is, last night I blew my best Spiro yet...at a 3.35. So thanks lungs for keeping your crud together and just being incredible. I have given them a few extra squeezes today. This meant that on Monday I do not have to go to my transplant clinic appointment (because it was not even a month ago I went to start the whole sinus stuff and was doing well then.) I just have to go in on Tuesday morning for my 9 month bronc (even though I am 10 months post...as of yesterday!)

So lets hope for a fast and wonder recovery with little problems. The next 2 weeks are time to kick some CF junk again. A little battle to keep winning this war!

Side note: Next Saturday is Team Cassie's Beerfest in Ypsi, MI. I am traveling back and hope to see many of your pretty faces. Need info either let me know or check out the Team Cassie Facebook page!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sinus...schminus


My nights since transplant have been full of no sleep. It is really starting to wear on me. I have dark circles and bags-under-bags under my eyes. I am starting to feel and look pretty old. If I could just sleep, several straight hours of wonderful sleep. If you are ever up between 1-4 and are bored, shoot me a text and we can keep each other company. I wish I could figure out what it is that is standing in my way and causing me to get the rest I need at night...therefore needing to crash in middle of the day. Between that and my sinuses I heard myself, through tears, under the words, "It just feels like I did with CF...tired and in pain again."

I think it is just because I had such a wonderful taste of being wonderful, and know its silly things getting in my way, that make me feel and say those things. My lungs are still so great, and I can do so much still without getting out of breath...its just lack of sleep and migraines that stop me now. C'mon! Now I do know this is better than the alternative, and better than my old lungs, so I really don't mean to complain. I'm just tired and need sleep.

The good thing is that since I am used to having chronic discomfort and the such, I can still manage to do most daily tasks. Its just that I put them off as long as I can. Thats totally normal, right? No its pretty much just pure laziness. I just want to have all that energy again. Suck it up Zell!!

Now that I said it and wrote it, I won't again mention it...at least not in the blog. But Jeremy will have to hear about it, bummer for him. 

I was asked and am signed up to talk at the Lansing, MI Wine Event for the CFF and am pretty excited to do so. Its not often at all that I get to talk in MI. And this will be my first talk post transplant! 

Hope you all are enjoying this little bit of summer left!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Last bit of Summer



Sorry I haven't blogged in awhile and left the good ol' blog in such a sad state. The last part of summer has been a little hectic...in many good ways.


First, let me update you all on my mom. Praise the Lord! She is cancer free! It was stage 1 (meaning it was only in her uterus) and she is now home and doing the healing and healthy thing. She is doing great and the family is now back to what we wanted. HEALTHY. Pretty sure we all need to order some sort of Tshirts that read something sort of like this. 

Angies's: I survived Pulmonary Stenosis. 
Mine: I survived a double lung transplant. 
Mom's: I survived uterine  cancer.
Dad's: I survived these three. 

^^True Story!

Meanwhile this household caught strep. Thankfully, I am pretty sure that it is now gone and hoping that it won't come back again. I had a doctors appointment this week and everything is still glitzy! My weight is stable at a whopping 105. My blood pressure is ok for all the meds I am on. My chest xray was clear. Oxygen was at 100% and heart rate perfect during my 6 minute walk. My PFTS were at 112%. And that is all with chronic sinus infection and migraine! BOOM! (I am hopefully getting into the ENT soon and most likely schedule a clean out/surgery for those sinuses....which I am totally OK with as long as it works.)

Enough with all this medical/health mumbo-jumbo and unto the fun hectic stuff.


We took a vacation to South Haven, MI. Sun, sand, a fun town, and a beautiful lake. I love this little tradition that we have started. Plus many little trips around WI!


I was also fortunate enough to get the OK to fly and go to the other side of the states. I got to go to California. And got to go with Angie and take pictures (and be a bridesmaid) in our friend Katie (and Marks) wedding. Holy Buckets. It was so cool, SO COOL! I could be anyone I wanted to there. Its so different from the Midwest. Heck, I even wore lipstick (I know, right?! Crazy coming from a girl who pretty much loathes the stuff.) On a Cysters note...I could walk the whole time without running our of breath, there is no way I could have done that pre transplant. But with my glittery bling I was normal and didn't look at the hills like they were a spawn of Satan. I had no problem with the any of the 20 we walk. This new life!


Laila started school this past Monday. Kindergarten. Like full day, 8-3, five days a week kind of school. Another holy buckets moment. She was and still is super excited, granted she isn't so fond of waking up early every morning. But that takes five minutes of Mom snuggles and the grump face is gone. She has been such a trooper with her new schedule. I am hoping this continues and even get a tad better. She is growing up too fast, moms always warned me it goes by quickly...I never wanted to believe them! Looking forward to the long weekend with her, hopefully do something fun!

So that was the short story of the last month of summer. If I said everything I think this blog could have been super long. But all these things definitely kept me busy, some stressful, some fun, so nostalgic...but none the less everything to thank God for. Every minute of this past month I have been able to take a step back, breathe and thank the Lord that I was not only here to do it all. But pretty much everything turned out the best way it could have.

Bye summer, hello fall!