Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A small update

I hardly know where to begin.  I've tried so many times to get an update out to my dear readers, but I haven't found the best way in order to do so. 

In a nutshell, here is what has happened. 

I've been in and out of the hospital- 11 days total. 

 We simply couldn't find a method to use to update my blog in the hospital.  I also couldn't manage with my phone.  I had to rely on Facebook, knowing so many readers aren't necessarily connected to me in that way.  

I've been home now for almost a week.  Some strength returning, from a bout with a complicated infection which had me knocked down pretty good.

I even got to spend my 50th birthday in the very hospital I was born.  I don't recommend my venue, although the company I had was great.  My brother, Lee, flew in with my niece, Alex, to surprise me. But boy did I surprise him/them.  I had been admitted just hours after he left Pennsylvania.  The look of shock on both our faces as he walked into my room at the hospital was possibly priceless.  I can say, the best gift, was time spent face to face, one on one, just talking with Lee, and truly all of my guests.  Alex, my niece, was also a trooper and sheer delight to spend time with.  

The other guests we had were Rick's brother, Matt, his wife Julie, and their 3 kids.  My boys were in cousin heaven!  I was so grateful for the time they had together, despite the fact I could not see the younger kids. 

At some point in my first hospitalization, we figured out the infection I had, was most likely coming from my kidney stent.  The same day, I was taken into surgery by Dr. Williams who had placed my first stent.  The very next day after surgery my counts rose enough for me to go home.

Even though, less than 24 hours later, I had another bout with chills, then fever.  I was readmitted that Friday night.

 So many blessed events had already occurred- and they just seemed to continue.  Friday night as I sat at the clinic, I was given a direct admission from the Oncologist on call so that I could bypass the ER.    Dr. Panwalkar had already prepared him for the fact I may be calling him.  Plus, I also found out, the next day, Dr. P was on-call and I would see him both Saturday and Sunday.

It truly seems that, for all those who prayed for me, every prayer felt like it was heard and answered.  My care was first rate while I was at Sanford.  From garnering a private room, to Dr. Panwalkar coming each and every day to see me, I felt watched over.  I had a wonderful view of downtown Fargo, with an entire wall of windows to see out.  I could see two beautiful churches and even hear the bells ring in one of them.  I watched many sunrises, and sunsets.  I could go on and on.

No it wasn't all easy.  It was truly hard and difficult.  I surrendered to so many new things, over and over again.  

But here I am.  Still praying that whatever His purpose for my life might be, that somehow I fulfill that.  

I will be having blood work again today.  Then I will see a nurse practitioner, and we will decide if my counts are high enough to do a lower dose of the chemo I had July 5th.  I'm in a bit of a pickle.  The last thing I want to do is feel sick again, as I slowly start to feel better.  But with the new growth in cancer that showed up, I truly need that chemo to help me fend off that cancer.  

I simply don't know what is in store for me.  Neither does Dr. P, or any of the medical community.  My focus is narrowed to staying within each day and making the most I can out of that.  

The question I hear most often?  What can I do for you?  I'm so touched... it's simply this:

Will you all keep holding me up in prayer?  A few things on my heart: 

I'm a little lightheaded and my legs feel as though they can go right out from under me- I don't want to fall.  

My blood counts, both my platelets and my hemoglobin as well as my white blood cells are low and could use a boost. 

My boys and their precious hearts and minds are often burdened and sad- they just need to know in their hearts they will get through this no matter what.

Superman has been my superhero- and he also simply needs to know he has continuously met all of my needs and I'm in awe of his commitment and compassion.  Its ok for him to let others help, too.

I'm deeply indebted to you all!  Will do my best to get an update out at some point.  

~all shall be well~


  1. you are a halo of sunshine every time I read your posts....even tho you are in pain and just tired of plain ol' being ill. when I'm down during my day, all I have to do is think of you and that shiny halo to get me out of a funk.
    I'm praying for you daily. Wishing on stars. Talking to the moon and the Man who made it all.....He is your best friend. He will do the right thing for you.....
    kisses and hugs to you every dingle dangle day!

  2. Each one of your prayer requests is and will be on my daily prayer list, sweet friend.
    I love you. Above all else, He loves you, and my continued prayer is that you will always feel his tender hugs and powerful presence.
    My eyes are brimming with tears as I know you have been through so much and you go through it with grace. I love you.
    PS. I want you to know that Daddy (who turns 91 in a couple of weeks) had his first stress test ever a week or so ago. He had experienced some chest difficulties, so the doctor ordered that test. It came back clear. I know that you pray for and love Daddy....as you and I always will be "Daddy's girls"..... and I wanted to share that news with you. I love you, Vicky.

  3. Dear Vicky, I'm so sorry for all of your suffering. You bear it up so valiantly, even though you probably don't like to hear that. Your walking through this in such grace is so inspiring to many. Troy and I depart today for a 25th anniversary trip to Seattle and San Juan Island. I will be holding you in my heart during our journey. You are loved!

  4. Oh Vicky, you never stop inspiring me. I am in awe of you, your boys and Superman! I continue to send prayers. My brother-in-law is fighting brain cancer and is another inspiration to me. XO, Pinky

  5. Holding you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Continuous prayers for you, your family, your friends, everyone in your world. You are nothing short of amazing.

  7. Everyday I check your blog for an update. That is the time I pray for you.

  8. thanks for taking the time and the energy to provide an update. these specific requests are helpful. lots of love...

  9. God has you in his hands right now. And his arms around all your loved ones. I said goodbye to my 53 yr old husband in March after kidney cancer and know he is with me and my boys every day. And we are doing ok because God has his arms around us too. Love your specific prayer requests, I'm on it!

  10. Oh Honey,
    What a gift to hear your words, your voice, and to know what is on your mind and heart.
    Just like the plaque said...those angel wings are wrapped gently around you each and every moment. And God is there, dear soul sis, in the midst of a doctor's appointment with Dr. P, or in the night time when you wake up and feel scared. He is there. No matter what. And so are all of us, dear heart, here. With you. No matter what. You are living your legacy, dear Vicky, one day at a time. Please know that I keep you in my thoughts and prayers every single day, many times a day. And I am asking God to hold you up, in the palm of His almighty hand. I am asking Him to hold up your boys and superman too. They love you so. I do too, honey.

    Love you always, Vicky Held Westra, to the moon and back. All is well, dear heart. Yes, all is well!
    Your soul sis,

  11. Praying for you! God is using you mightily.

  12. Peace of Christ to you, lovely Vicky. I am in total awe of your bravery and ability to remain positive, always looking for the good in your situation. Prayers continue from Washington, D.C. Thanks for updating us.

  13. Thank you for update. I continue to pray for you daily. Teaching me to live one day at a time as well. Enjoying today. Blessings to you from NJ.

  14. Sending you many blessings....and prayers every single day. You inspire me to do better each and every day. You are AWESOME!

  15. Well, I am oh-so-happy that you're now home and for your family visits, but a big fat UGH to being in the hospital at all. I am praying for you, my friend.

  16. My dear, sweet Vicky. You are in my thoughts, my heart and my prayers. The strength and grace you show, as you continue to fight this battle incourages me more than you'll ever know. Thank you, dear friend, for keeping us updated as you can. I always check to see if you have written and if you have any prayer requests. Remember that God is with you always. Love you, Vicky.

  17. It's Wednesday, August 9....
    I came back to let you know that I'm thinking of you with love and prayers.
    Always praying for you, Vicky.
    Love you,


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