Friday, May 27, 2011

Remembering this week

It has been a week since my friend Karl passed away and I have had a hard time processing his death.  We knew that it was coming.  He had battled almost four years against his cancer.  He and his wife Jennifer both fought so hard.  However, when the time finally came I wasn't ready to say goodbye.

There are memories/images from this past week that I will carry with me always.  I will never forget sitting around Karl's bed with all of my dearest friends eating popcorn with m&m's and talking into the night.  I will always remember what it felt like to hold my dear friend as she cried the day that Karl finally went home to be with the Lord.  I will remember how beautiful it was to me seeing so many of my MOPS friends at the wake and at the funeral supporting our fellow mom.  I got up to speak at the wake, telling everyone my favorite memory of Karl, and I will never, ever forget what Anna looked like sitting in Jennifer's arms.  A precious four year old so heartbroken.  At the funeral, watching Luke spread the white cloth over Karl's casket...

I believe that we will see  God use this for His glory.  I know that, even now, it has drawn me closer to my husband and to my God.  I was reminded of this verse, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.  For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."  Isaiah 43:1-3  It was a comfort to me because I know that Jennifer, Anna, Rachel and Luke are God's.  He has called them by name and they are His.  He will not allow them to be overwhelmed or consumed.  For He IS the Lord and their Savior.  What a beautiful promise.

This is a video of the Hundtofte family and talks about Jennifer's bucket list.  Her goal is to raise 1 million dollars for cancer research.  She has also started a foundation called Pray for Gray so that she can help other families who are going through the same struggles that they went through.  This is their website:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dawson's 6th Birthday

Dawson is 6 years old now.  I can't believe it that it has been six years.  We had a busy but fun day with our Buddy!

Dawson started his day off with a little Wii before school.

We had Dawson's favorite breakfast, homemade cinnamon rolls.

Dawson loving his yummy breakfast.

We took Dawson to school and he was so excited because he was able to bring cupcakes and drinks with him.  This year he chose to bring Transformer cupcakes.  We lucked out and it ended up being an early out day so at 1:15pm we picked up Dawson and two of his friends from school.  Before heading home we picked up one more friend and they all headed to our house for the afternoon.  The kids had a great time playing together and having cupcakes.  Around dinner time we dropped off two of his buddies and then headed to Dawson's favorite spot, Buffalo Wild Wings, with his best friend.

Emma and Dawson love getting the silly crowns from BWW.

There is nothing better for this guy then a restaurant that is surrounded with TVs playing every sport you can think of.

After dinner we dropped Dawson's friend off at home and then left for his very first tball practice.  Dawson was so excited.  He loves watching baseball with Dan and couldn't wait to practice with his team for the first time. 

Once tball was over we finally went home to settle down and get ready for bed.  It was a action packed day but Dawson had a blast.  Happy Birthday my sweet boy!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Adventures of Emma - Picture Evidence

I thought that I would share some pictures of Emma that I have taken over the last few weeks.

Can you see the water on the floor?  It is out to the middle of the kitchen.

Emma asked if she could play in the water while I fed Aubrey and put her down for a nap.  I should have clarified what playing in the water meant.

Can you see how full the sink is?  If you notice off to the right in the sink her barbie is sitting there too.  That is what I get for assuming she just meant play with cups and water.

Hey look Mom!  I found a worm!

This worm she kept in a bucket for days until she realized it was dead.  She told me that she was a worm keeper and that she took care of all the worms until they died and went to be with God.

Here she is my little fish.  She was playing out in the water even though it was too cold for it.  She didn't care.  She said, "I just love to swim!"

So there are a few of Emma's adventures these last couple of weeks.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Fun

Yesterday was Mother's Day and it was a wonderful day!  I was able to sleep in until 8am, which really nothing else could have happened that day and I would have been good:)  As soon as I got up Dawson rushed to give me his Mother's Day gift that he made at school.  He has been hiding it in his room all week and has been counting down the days to give it to me.  He had made an adorable card and when I began opening his gift he could barely contain his excitement.  Dawson made me a precious tile coaster.  He was so proud and I will admit that I got a little teary. 

We all hurried around and headed off to church.  The kids went to their classes and Dan and I kept Aubrey with us in the service.  She has been working on a bottom tooth and has been a little yucky.  It was a lot of fun having her with us in the service.  She loved the music.  Emma made me a noodle necklace in class for Mother's Day and promptly I put it on after church.  We had some time to spare before lunch so Dan took me to HyVee and I picked out all the flowers for around our house.  If you drive by you will notice that most of them are pink and purple.  Emma helped me pick out all the flowers:)

For lunch we went to my favorite restaurant, Texas Roadhouse.  Really, I could live off of their rolls!  Aubrey ate a pickle for the first time.  It was pretty funny.  She loved it although even after I wiped her down she still smelled like a dill pickle:)

In the afternoon Dan and the kids helped me plant all the flowers and part of our garden.  It was a beautiful day outside and just perfect for planting.  Emma collected all the worms that we dug up.  She has about 6 in a bucket filled with dirt.  She said that they are all a family now.  There was a small discussion about why worms have to stay outside.

I really enjoyed our family time together.  Dan tried hard to make the day fun and relaxing for me.  I am so lucky to have such a caring husband and loving kiddos.  God has really blessed me.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lab Tests Came Back

My test results have come back. My RF and CCP lab tests were both negative. Based on these results Dr Doud believes that I do not have Rheumatoid Arthritis. She said that she was very surprised because she thought for sure based on my symptoms that it would come back that I have RA. She said, "Well, it's a good thing we do labs and don't just go off of my own initial perception."  However, the lab ran another test called an ANA and it was positive.  Based on the fact that the other two labs are negative and this one is positive she thinks that actually I have Lupus.

Now, it is possible that I have a drug-induced Lupus. Remicade, the medicine that I am on for Crohn's disease, can do that. The action would be to get off of Remicade and my symptoms would eventually go away. Or, I really do have Lupus which is possible because once you have one auto-immune disorder you often get others. However, there is no way to know for sure which one it is unless I go off Remicade. Dr Doud has upped my prednisone and I am supposed to call her on Tuesday to see how I feel. She may put me on methotrexate still (as it is also used to treat Lupus).

I called my GI today and spoke to his nurse about all of this. Dr Doud is hesitant to take me off Remicade because it has been working so well for my Crohn's. I want to talk to Dr Pearson about my other options after Remicade. I am also going to see if they (Dr Doud and Dr Pearson) can talk and feel each other out for a good game plan.

They way that it stands now I could go off Remicade to see if my Lupus stuff goes away. If it does great but I still will just have to deal with my Crohn's. If I go off the Remicade and I still have Lupus symptoms however I have screwed myself in the Crohn's department because once you go off Remicade it will never work as well for you again if you go back on. Or, I stay on the Remicade and we treat the Lupus with methotrexate. Then I will be taking two major drugs. I am not sure where to go from here. I am praying for wisdom for myself and the doctors. I think that if I knew what my options are after Remicade I feel like I could make a better judgement.

Thankfully the prednisone has been helpful and I am able to function a bit more during the day.  I have not had many side effects of prednisone because I am able to stay on a lower dosage.  This is a huge blessing.  I had a wonderful weekend with the family and my pain was manageable.  I am so thankful for that.