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...
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!