Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Where I've Been...

It's been a while since I've been able to post an update. My world has been turned upside down recently and if I'm completely honest, there are days where I am struggling to keep my head above water.

When we found out we were pregnant with quads, we knew that our world was going to change. We just quite didn't know how much. Boy were we in for a ride. Even the plans we made while I was pregnant, somehow, have all turned pretty much upside down. It seems like nearly every plan we made faced challenges, albeit some larger than others. Except for our commitment to keeping God in our lives and our children's lives, it seems that somehow, every plan we made, was derailed. Fortunately for us, we did keep God by our side and he's been right here helping us through every challenge, decision, and change we've had to make. He's always provided for us; often, at the very last minute, but He's always seen that we are taken care of. 

On the day the babies were born, other than my husband, there was only one other person at the hospital: my Mom. My Mom was my rock through my pregnancy. Always there to listen, support, clean, wash baby clothes, put together a nursery, she even sewed all of the babies bedding (with minute details I might add). On the night they were born, I begged her to go with Adam to check on our babies while I was in recovery. She was hesitant to leave my side as I did have some complications during delivery but even when she went to see the babies, she refused to touch them until after I had a chance too. The plan was, that after they were home, my Mom would be one of my primary helpers in caring for them. We even moved to be right next door to her so it would be easy for her to come over at all hours of the day or night. What an amazing grandmother!!!

A few weeks after the babies were born, Mom started having some pain in her lower back/hip area. Knowing that several years prior she had undergone a very major back surgery, she immediately thought it was complications from that. However, upon visiting her doctor, she learned it was her hip and was quickly referred to a specialist who focuses solely on that area. Two weeks after we came home from NICU, Mom went in for a total hip replacement. 

It was supposed to be a quick recovery lasting about 6 weeks! Unfortunately, several weeks into it, Mom began having issues with being extremely exhausted and not having energy. After several doctor visits, and a hospital stay, they determined that she was not making blood. We battled with doctor after doctor as they tried to diagnose what could be going on. At the beginning of June, Mom texted me one morning asking for Benedryl. I told her I had some and would be happy to bring it but asked what was going on. She told me she had sores popping up on her body and in her mouth and she thought it was an allergic reaction. Quickly, I told her I thought it was important to visit her doctor. She did. Unfortunately, her doctor was not quick to recognize what was going on and that my Mom was actually having a very serious reaction to an antibiotic she'd been given in the form of Stephen's Johnson Syndrome. What started out as a small rash, quickly escalated into an all out major medical crises as her body began shutting down, skin began sloughing off, and her mouth became completely covered in sores. We soon decided it was best to take her to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston where my Mom has been in the fight of her life ever since.

She was later diagnosed with HLH, a blood disorder. Unfortunately, that diagnosis changed, and after a little more than a week, we learned she had Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a blood cancer. Lymphoma occurs when lymphocytes, white blood cells that help protect the body from infection and disease, begin behaving abnormally. Abnormal lymphocytes may divide faster than normal cells or they may live longer than they are supposed to. The main form of treatment, like many cancers, is chemo.

The issue at hand was that before they could treat the cancer, they had to clear up the other issues caused by both the cancer (HLH) and the allergic reaction (Stephen's Johnson Syndrome). The past three weeks have been a roller coaster. Often feeling that every time we took one step forward, we took three back. 

My Mom finished her last dose of this round of chemo yesterday. With much prayer, she seems to be improving. She was removed from the ventilator yesterday and is having tubes removed from her body daily as she hopefully begins to function on her own again. My Mom was an athlete and a coach all of her life and she's amazingly strong so I know she's going to fight this lymphoma. My Mom also has something else on her side, bigger than all else: her faith in Christ. While I haven't been able to be with her as often as I'd like during this ordeal, I've remained in constant prayer for the restoration of her health. 

This time has been really tough for our entire family. My Dad has remained by my Mom's side through all of it. He's such an amazing man and witnessing his true love for my Mom has really made me realize what marriage is all about. We've been so fortunate to be surrounded by loving family and friends who've stepped in and helped out in so many ways. We are so thankful for each and every one of them and for every single prayer that's lifted up my Mom to the Lord. 

During this time, we were blessed to find an awesome helper locally who has been able to help me care for the babies during the day while I am working. The women in our community have also been a Godsend; offering up their time and strengths by picking up the babies' laundry, washing, drying, and folding it before returning it at the end of the day. The community has also pitched in an helped us with diapers, wipes, a four-seater stroller, and other (expensive) necessities that are constantly required by four infants. Still, four babies require pretty much constant care and attention but I trust God and know that every part of this is His plan to teach us something. 

We definitely have a long road ahead of us but are prepared for the journey with God by our side. Adam and I are still in the process of more changes as our life adapts to quad life and we start to settle into our new normal. Mom has a long battle ahead as she fights against lymphoma but her faith and her strength are in Christ. If you are able, please lift her health up to the Lord and ask him to restore her body to health and provide her with comfort that only He can provide in the meantime. As things begin to settle here, I do promise that my blog will soon become more of a focus for me. I'll post more later in regard to those details but for now, please understand why my posts are sporadic! 

In the meantime, love and prayers to all!

Misty





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