Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hoping... and a prayer request


For those that don't get the Facebook posts: This is Rick: Vicky's surgery went well and the stent is in place between the kidney and bladder. We are hoping this will help her regain kidney function. She is back home now and resting, hoping for a quick recovery. We all thank you so much for your support and prayers - the Westra's.

"I considered the reality that sometimes suffering comes because of the decisions we make; sometimes it comes as a way for God to gauge His place in our hearts; and sometimes it comes simply as a byproduct in a world that is in a state of falling apart.  Yet no matter the origin of suffering, God's presence remains the same.  He finds us in our hearts, if we want to be found.  His power to filter the worst that life has to offer, with goodness remaining, is our great hope."  Jay and Katherine Wolf. Hope Heals.  

I've dog eared and underlined so many passages in the book Hope Heals.  Katherine and Jay spoke to me in ways that made me again feel as though they had walked a mile in my shoes and could tell parts of my story.  Even though she had a stroke, and spent two years living in a brain rehab- the wisdom they garnered breathed life into me.  I wanted to lean in closer, and re-read the words, because each time I gathered a bit more I could cling to.  

As I finished the book, I had to ask Him, "What are you preparing me for?"  So many long days and nights of one thing or another that has me in an uncomfortable place most of the time- with no easy answers, or quick fixes.

Its funny how you both know things are changing, and yet have no real idea how it might all play out.

Like today, when I had to go in for a renal scan just to keep an eye on what my kidneys were doing.  No big deal.  I'm not nervous, or even sweating it at all.  3 months ago I saw the urologist, and he felt we should do a baseline scan of my kidneys and then repeat them every 3 months.  But somehow, I got sick and couldn't make it in.  And I dropped the ball.  I didn't reschedule.

So there was nothing to compare this scan to...

And yet..

Rick came with me today.  And got to sit in the room while the scan took pictures for 35 minutes.  And he saw that at first?  Only 1 kidney showed up.

Then after they put some lasix in my iv?  Suddenly two kidneys showed up, as my bladder filled.

But after the scan we had two hours until the we saw the doctor for results.  

So we went to Blackbird Woodfire for pizza.

Its gloomy, windy and quite chilly outside.
The warmth from the pizza oven pulled us right in and the pizza was delicious.  
In little time we were whisked back to our car by the wind.
I barely sat down in the waiting room and I was called back to see Dr. W.

He just blurted it all out instantly.  As he flipped on the screen to show me the scan, he said I have my left kidney functioning at 75 percent, while the right kidney only functions at 25 percent.

He was sparse with his words, and I was trying to connect the dots.  

I finally said, "ok, if you were to put this in a category of little, or moderate, or 'oh its bad,' where am I at?

And without hesitation, he said "severe."  You are in sever kidney failure and if we don't correct it, you will lose the function of your kidney.  Then the bigger issue?  How long can the other one work?  And how much chemo will it be able to process?  

So my options?  Are to do nothing... or have him put a stent in.

Dr. W had already in our last appointment told me he dislikes the stent option.  They're painful, they can cause infections, and the list goes on and on.  Plus you have to replace them every 3 months.

But what I really needed to know?  What would Dr. P say?

I love doctors who say, "well why don't I just call him?"

So he did!!  Dr. W grabbed his cell phone, and within a few rings he is talking to Dr. P.  

And when he gets to the part about the stent?

I hear a resounding YES, lets do the stent.  No hesitation.  He is hopeful my new drug will work and we need that kidney to perform better.  He has hope.  

So I smile as I say after they hang up,  "So I guess we'll be doing surgery!"

And again he floors me, and says, "Yes, how about tomorrow?"

I guess "severe," goes hand in hand with "surgery tomorrow."

So at 9:15 am, I am set to go to the Same Day Surgery unit to have a stent put into my right kidney.  Its a short procedure, and if all goes well I should be able to go home tomorrow.  

Would you all pray for me?  That the stent placement goes well.  That with a compromised immune system, I don't garner any infection.  And that "all shall be well."  We have some teary-eyed boys in our house, can we be gentle with them? 

I'm still filled with hope.  Will you join me in believing too?

I'm closing this post with pics I meant to share a long time ago.  Nolan, with his sweet new friend, Taylor.  She was, simply stunning, the night of prom.  They made such a great couple.  

And she has been a wonderful guest at our house.  

We had a hint of spring that day... and it left us with just enough hope that we will enjoy more blue skies in the days ahead.

Rick will update everyone on Facebook tomorrow!  

~All shall be well~ 

Love and blessings to you all! 


  1. I look for your posts......and you know that I am sending you so much love and good stuff....I will pray and pray that your procedure is all good, and successful, and without issues. You have very handsome sons,'re a lucky Mom. Hang in Vicky....we're with you....

  2. I am going to spend tomorrow praying, friend. God will be with you in that operating room and He will guide their hands. He is good and faithful. You are in good hands.

  3. I will be praying for you. I was driving home from work today listening to praise music and I thought of you. I said, gosh I hope Vicki is okay haven't seen a post. Then here you are :) Fight on warrior !

  4. Such a relief to see your post today. Prayers and belief will abound tomorrow and as you recover from the procedure. Thank you for taking time to write.

  5. Prayers rising for you all, Vicki. My daughter (also with very compromised health), had a kidney stent put in 2 months ago, and it went very easily and well for her. May it be the same for you.
    Such beautiful young people in the prom photos. Surrounding you all, lifting you up and over this time.

  6. I will be working at my hospital tomorrow, praying for you at yours. They are a good-looking pair together!

  7. oh my, I absolutely love the quotes you post!! Faith will carry you through anything this world throws at us! My prayers are with you and your family! <3 <3 <3

  8. Oh honey,
    I am on it right this very minute. I am praying for your kidney, for the stent and for the
    wisdom of the doctors. I am praying that this will give you relief and that there will not be any infection. I am praying for you and your HOPE METER being FULL as you start this process. I am praying for those teary-eyed boys who are worrying about their Mama. Thank you my
    dear friend for all of your prayers for our sweet Annora Grace. Our whole family will be holding you up.

    And didn't that book, Hope Heals, just touch your soul? I read and re-read so many parts. Cried buckets. I just knew it would speak to you as well. Hope is my word for 2017 and I have HOPE for you, my dear friend.

    I love you always, Vicky Held Westra, to the moon and back!

  9. Our Prayers continue to be with you and your dear family!

  10. Believing, praying, hoping along with you and so many others. Envisioning you in the palm of His hand. Lord, give Vicky your peace. Love to you and your family.

  11. I have a 5 hour drive tomorrow and will be driving and praying for you and your sweet family all the way!! God bless. And what a great looking group of kids! I know you are proud.

  12. My dear soul sis,
    I have been up early this morning in Spokane holding you in prayer! I am asking God for a
    MIRACLE...for Him to help in this medical situation that is so full of concerns. I am asking Him to give you a peace beyond all understanding that you may know that He holds you...every day and every the palm of His Almighty hand.

    I re-read your post again and tried to take it all in...with my mind and heart. Nolan, a young man looking so grown up and handsome, yet still growing in mind, heart and spirit. Praying for Colton as I know how he loves his Mama so dearly and for your Rick...the rock in all of this.
    How hard t must have been for him to hear this news. Yet over and over what comes back when I pray is that "all is well", even in the midst of not knowing all the answers. And believe me, as you know, the last few weeks have been teaching our family that same lesson.

    Wherever you are, He is already there. In the scanner, in the medical procedures, with Dr. W and Dr. P. God has got this, especially when it seems the most scary.

    Love you, dear one, more than words can express!

  13. Praying for you and your family!

  14. I was so happy to see a post from you! I check daily and when there isn't one, I worry. My husband said "it's my hobby". lol I pray for you and your family daily and will definitely be keeping you close to God's ear through your procedure. Thank you for sharing the prom pics! What a group of lovely young men and women!

  15. Dear Sister, Blogger Friend, Teacher of Hope For Me,
    I will pray as you have taught me...and I will HOPE for you to:
    O...optimize (everyone's positivity)
    P...pray with Power
    E...epitomize the fullness of God's Grace

    Love you,

  16. Thank God for Dr. P. Praying that all will go well with your surgery. What great pictures of your son and his friend. Beautiful and handsome.

  17. Prayers and blessings for you! Not everyone is on Facebook, so can someone please update here???

  18. THANK YOU for the update. Still praying for comfort and healing and peace.

  19. Continued prayers for your beautiful family.

  20. beautiful pictures!... sending prayer and love and hope and absolutely, BELIEF that you've got this, you'll pull through without complications and continue your journey- hopefully more comfortably - I believe, I believe, I believe. xo


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